I’m a huge advocate when it comes to philanthropy and it’s something that can highly benefit all entrepreneurs, for several reasons. Back in 2016, my wife and I founded the Yad and Shobha Senapathy Foundation. The foundation was created to promote and recognize responsible and entrepreneurial philanthropy.
Whatever charitable cause you are interested in — education being mine — you can contribute to and make a significant impact on the cause itself while also making yourself a better entrepreneur.
Some examples of my philanthropic initiatives include financial contributions to schools in India and Dallas, Texas, where my family resides. I’m also involved with the North Texas Food Bank, another local cause, donating more than 200,000 meals during the ongoing pandemic crisis.
Entrepreneurs are driven and motivated by different causes and reasons, and when you apply that drive and motivation to a philanthropic cause it makes a massive impact on causes dear to your heart and in return makes you a better entrepreneur. Here are five benefits of giving selflessly throughout your entrepreneurial journey.
1. It Helps You Create Incredible Personal Networks
You have undoubtedly heard the statement, “Your network is your net worth” before, and it’s incredibly accurate. The people that you surround yourself with are those you turn to for advice, suggestions, and just bounce ideas and questions off.
Your network acts as both your cheering section when you are winning and a support system when you are faced with adversity and difficult decisions. Their guidance can often help you make the correct decisions, leading to a positive impact on your business ventures.
Being involved in philanthropic causes help introduce you to other successful entrepreneurs, thus making your network more powerful. You can be introduced to entrepreneurs that you otherwise wouldn’t meet — high-level business owners are often more open to networking with those that share their same passion and involvement when it comes to philanthropy.
2. You Receive Educational Lessons Not Found in Traditional School
When you become involved in philanthropy it helps you become more empathetic, expands your thinking, and widens your perspectives — these are all skills that are highly useful for a business owner.
I can say with 100 percent confidence that my philanthropic initiatives have made me a better entrepreneur, and the overall experience has been invaluable — to both me and my business ventures.
Simply put, you do not learn the things philanthropy teaches you in traditional school. You learn so much by selflessly helping others. These are experiences that help you grow as a person, both personally and professionally.
3. Your Creativity is Enhanced Tremendously
Have you ever noticed that many of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world are highly creative individuals? That’s no coincidence. Being creative allows you to stand out — even in the most competitive industries.
Most problems that philanthropic causes aim to solve require immense creativity. You often need to think way outside of the box to come up with a way to solve the issue at hand. By constantly using your creativity through philanthropy you are continuously developing and enhancing this skill.
It’s the same way an athlete stays sharp — by constantly training. So, you not only make a positive impact and help others, but you also refine and enhance your creativity, which will directly benefit your entrepreneurial ventures.
4. You Begin to Give Without Expectations
We often hear about the importance of giving without expecting anything in return, but the benefits aren’t always addressed, which are:
- It can lead to being on the receiving end, often ten-fold in terms of value.
- You feel great and it creates a positive mindset, which then spills over into all areas of life — personal and professional.
Don’t assume you have to have an endless amount of money to be philanthropic — every dollar has the potential to make a positive impact. Your time, along with money, is valuable to many causes.
You hear many people speak about karma and receiving unexpectedly when you give. For me, there isn’t a better feeling than helping causes that are close to my heart. Have I been on the receiving end? Yes; I’ve made amazing connections and built valuable relationships that have helped immensely, but I don’t give with expectations — and that approach has proven to be the most valuable in my personal experience.
5. You Become a More Effective Problem Solver
Think about some of the most successful businesses in the world. What do they do better than anyone else? They solve problems. Understanding how to solve problems is one of the most powerful traits an entrepreneur can possess.
Through philanthropy, you’re going to constantly come face-to-face with problems to solve. Problems are never going to disappear, so the more practice and real-life problem solving you engage in, the better prepared you will be to tackle these new problems when they appear.
Philanthropy further develops your problem-solving skills, and while you are helping a cause, you are also developing yourself into a more effective problem solver. This trait will help immensely throughout your entrepreneurial journey.
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