𝗛𝗲𝗹𝗽𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗢𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗶𝘀 𝗦𝗲𝗹𝗳𝗶𝘀𝗵
“𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒎𝒐𝒔𝒕 𝒔𝒆𝒍𝒇𝒊𝒔𝒉 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒘𝒆 𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝒅𝒐 𝒊𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒘𝒐𝒓𝒍𝒅 𝒊𝒔 𝒉𝒆𝒍𝒑 𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒔.”
– Satyam Abhijeetverma
As a founder, you face many challenges which may cause frustration and fear. These feelings come from a lack of control and a sense of futility.
As a professional, you may be facing layoffs (it's hard whether giving or receiving them) and have those same feelings.
One way to regain some control and to rediscover value may seem like contrarian thinking in an existential crisis – reach out to help others.
Many personal and emotional benefits occur from directing some of your energy to improving others' lives.
There will be numerous opportunities to support others – your staff, the community, and other aspiring founders could use your help.
"𝑯𝒆𝒍𝒑 𝒐𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒔 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒈𝒊𝒗𝒆 𝒔𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒃𝒂𝒄𝒌. 𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒈𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒔𝒕 𝒓𝒆𝒘𝒂𝒓𝒅 𝒊𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒆𝒏𝒓𝒊𝒄𝒉𝒎𝒆𝒏𝒕 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒏𝒆𝒘 𝒎𝒆𝒂𝒏𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒊𝒕 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒃𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒐𝒘𝒏 𝒍𝒊𝒇𝒆." – Arnold Schwarzenegger
In high school, I compiled a manual on volunteerism. In the introduction, I wrote, “Volunteering is selfless and selfish.”
Our advisor, who I still remember fondly, insisted I remove the word “selfish”. He thought it seemed inappropriate.
Years later, I still respectfully disagree – you gain a lot by helping others.
Here are some of the many benefits:
Perspective: Supporting others reveals new viewpoints from others’ lives. Finding ways to help them develop may also apply to us.
Skills: Assisting others can hone your skills around leadership and communication and you may learn about different industries or systems.
Networking: Serving others brings new professional relationships (e.g. through volunteer boards). You may even make friends.
Purpose: Volunteering can create a new sense of meaning which may offset the temporary discouragement of entrepreneurship.
Fun: Assisting based on your interests can be enjoyable. I volunteered at some amazing productions which I eagerly would have watched anyway.
While it may feel there’s no time to help when you're preoccupied, remember that a full schedule is not necessarily a fulfilling life.
In times of great pressure, consider pushing your own boundaries. It may feel silly to add more to your plate, but it really can be energizing.
Helping others is a way to also help yourself. If you gain by making others’ lives better, that’s a meaningful life. Give and grow.
Photo by Lalesh Aldarwish who can be found here: https://bit.ly/3BsRd2U