Giving Back Celebrating Victories
Giving back is a simple and rewarding way to celebrate a victory. It rewards both giver and recipient. It’s an opportunity for you to set a high-quality example because so few entrepreneurs give back in meaningful ways. And as a bonus, giving back transforms your character into the kind of person others respect and revere.
I know well one of those famous entrepreneurs-turned-venture-investor who has a lot of dollars in his bank account. He enjoys traveling with his wife looking for schools, institutions and groups of people in need. Quietly they’ll depart, and later a lawyer contacts the organization to announce an anonymous, substantial financial gift.
You don’t have to wait until you are financially rich to give. You have other riches to share, those things that you encountered during your earlier years on the startup trail. Those are what young people want to learn from that. I’ve watched startup veterans donate personal time to speak and teach about how they wobbled and flopped, got up and finally succeeded during their epic journeys along the startup trail. One example is offering to do some teaching to classes in your alma mater school. You’ll be welcomed to present what you encountered and how you coped. I did that during 26 years for Cornell University, enjoying every day of it.
You can also give to NGOs. Those non-governmental organizations are places I’ve seen techies turn to for second careers. One became a pastor in a Silicon Valley church. Others joined NGO staffs to help organize distribution of relief aid to vast numbers of people damaged by weather, disease and war. They gave assistance organizing and flying tons of supplies around the world to desperate refugees.
One of my students did three startups, cashed in his shares, put a lot of money into his bank account, then headed off to China to fulfill a personal dream: create a startup in his home country that makes life a lot better for people in lesser levels of that society.
Call it philanthropy or just plain giving back; people in victorious startups can use their time, talent and bank accounts to do a lot of good. That’s worth celebrating and becomes part of your legacy.
Bottom line: Celebrations of victories is central to how winning leaders build their companies and shape their personal lives. They’ve learned about the bright and dark sides of victories. I’ve seen big-bucks winners steer clear of the dark side. Veterans highly recommend beginning by finding a mentor who is mature and wise, and a licensed, professional counselor. They are competent, able to help you avoid disaster when the riches role in. And start thinking right now about how to give back, especially how to use your experiences to benefit others eager to learn and those less fortunate. Celebrations of your victories is central to strengthening your sense of well-being, constructively shaping your character and building your legacy.
I wish you The Best on your Adventure!