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Why the best business leaders care about philanthropy

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Corporate philanthropy makes sense and more businesses than ever are involving themselves and their employees in charitable activities. But it doesn’t stop there.

Many of the world’s top business leaders have made philanthropy part of their lives; entrepreneurs such as Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia of Dominvs Group, Leonard Ainsworth of Aristocrat Leisure and Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou of Easy Jet, to name just three.

But why do great business leaders care about philanthropy, especially when they’ve reached the top? Here are just a few reasons why giving back is something that the best entrepreneurs genuinely care about.

The world is changing and their support is needed fast

Often business leaders are some of the first to understand that you can only affect real change by tackling the root causes of a challenge. That means many are focused not just on supporting disadvantaged people but understanding issues such as climate change, its effects on our environment, and its long-term impacts on the people’s everyday lives.

Australian companies gave $867m to charity last year, and in fact, according to the CAF World Giving Index, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand are the top three giving nations on earth. So it should come as no surprise that some of the world’s top individual philanthropists are living in the region.

Business leaders who do step up to the plate worldwide are impressive. One such philanthropists is Sir Stephen Tindell, founder of New Zealand’s largest retail group. His foundation is helping to reconnect New Zealanders to their natural environment. Since its foundation in 1982, the fund has donated more than $145m and supported initiatives including donations to develop sustainable farming and plant millions of trees.

We sorely need more people like Sir Stephen right now because when you look across the board, environmental philanthropy lags way behind other forms. In fact, it’s estimated that in the UK, only 3% of all giving goes towards the environment.

Giving back as a duty and responsibility

Many business leaders are self-made and have been on a very long journey to success. Some were immigrants who fled violent regimes as children; others worked their way out of extreme poverty.

These experiences often give them a sense of duty and responsibility to help others and the planet. John Paul DeJoria is one of the world’s richest people but his early life was a huge struggle. In foster care, in street gangs and homeless, one point he was so poor that he lived in his own car. But despite the odds he went to build a series of successful businesses including John Paul Mitchell Systems, Patron Spirits Company and the House of Blues nightclub chain.

DeJoria says: “People say you give away all these millions, but I don’t give them away. I invest it, in people,” he says. “I don’t mean I get the money back, but our planet will. We have to take care of one another. And that’s what we do.”

Setting an example for their peers and the next-generation

One of the most fascinating developments over the last 10 years has been the number of ultra-rich who are prepared to talk openly about their philanthropy. It’s easy to speculate about why they have begun to do this, but one of the reasons is likely to be that family business owners especially are looking to inspire the next generation along with their peers.

The Giving Pledge is the most visible example of this. Created in 2010 by three of the world’s most outstanding philanthropists, Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, it encourages billionaires to sign a pledge to give away the majority of their wealth over their lifetime. To date, 204 of the world’s wealthiest individuals, couples, and families have signed the Pledge including Elon Musk, Brian Chesky and Mark Zuckerberg.

One signatory to the Giving Pledge is long-time Scottish philanthropist Sir Tom Hunter, a self-made entrepreneur who started his first business by selling sports trainers from the back of a van. He built the business up to be Europe’s largest retailer. His written public pledge reads: “We don’t want to be the richest guys in the graveyard we want to “do good” while we are still alive. Why let others have all the fun? For those who are thinking about this. All I would say is seeing a project we have helped work is a bigger sense of achievement than any business deal I have ever done.”

Business leaders give vast amounts of their own money to good causes for a huge variety of reasons but it’s clear that the majority do so because they care a great deal about using their business experience and wealth to help others and the planet. For business leaders, philanthropy makes sense not just on a corporate level but on a personal one too.

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Mindset

How To Avoid Burnout

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If there is a time that’s more likely to tip you to burnout it’s right now. Every year ending we get busier with projects ending, management keen to close off customer-related tasks so the business can start afresh in the new year.

Yes, you might love your job but there is only so much anyone can take right? What makes it harder to tolerate in November and December is the coldest months are still ahead of us!

Therefore burning out is a real condition that affects workers in different ways.

The troubling signs you may be heading for a breakdown or burning out include:

  • more irritable
  • increase in negativity
  • trouble sleeping
  • snapping at others
  • lack of empathy or caring
  • always tired

There are many more symptoms to look out for and when you realise all is not well with your mindset it is important to find healthy ways to avoid a full-on burnout!

Unplug Completely

Taking yourself out of the situations that led to burnout is a great way of avoiding it. Unplugging or even taking a holiday gives you the chance to leave everything behind and instead focus on your mental and physical well-being.

An added advantage of doing this is that you will get back with increased energy and be able to achieve much more than you would have if you kept going.

Reduce Mental Fatigue

A common reason for burnout is mental fatigue brought about by having an excess workload. When this happens, we are unable to think through what we want to get done first or what is more important and warrants our attention right now. When this happens, we get stressed, which leads to mental exhaustion and eventually burnout.

A good way to reduce this mental fatigue is to start working on the things that are leading to stress.

Since you already know what you need to do but are stuck due to being overwhelmed, start by taking the right kinds of actions. As you cross over from knowing into doing, start with smaller tasks that have the most impact on reducing your stress.

Once you are done with these, go down the list of things you need to do until you are left with a manageable workload. By doing this, you will have moved from a stressful state and into one where you can manage your stress and avoid burnout.

Take a Nap

Naps are a great way to disconnect and refresh and recharge the brain. Many people turn to coffee or energy drinks when they feel exhausted but that is the wrong approach. Opt for a 20-minute nap instead and you will be much better off than if you took coffee or an energy drink.

Exercise Regularly

Did you know you feel more fatigued when you’re not exercising enough each day?

Exercise helps reduce stress and promotes a state of mental and physical well-being. Exercise can also make you feel a lot more energized, which can help you increase your productivity.

Regular physical training can also help you sleep better, which is another important way of avoiding burnout.

Instead of spending an extra inactive hour on the desk at work, why not go to a gym and work out? Or get a dog and then you have to go walking with it every day!

Find a Hobby

A hobby should not just be something you do at the weekend but something you are passionate about.

A hobby gives your body and mind a much-needed break from the weekly grind and allows you to reset for the coming day or week.

Nature is invigorating. Create a Zen garden or meet a friend and walk trails to get back to nature and feel instantly refreshed.

Summary

Avoiding burnout is much harder than it seems because of how we live our lives now. Remote working has relieved some of the stress of commuting however don’t fall into the trap of spending more time at your desk and on the computer.

Take the time you’ve got back doing something just for your wellbeing including some of the suggestions mentioned in this article.

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Management

Wise Words Before Starting A Business

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Preparing yourself for a new role business is vital. There is no room for ‘winging-it’ even when it’s your own company! First impressions matter most, so you’ll want to hit the ground running with the wisdom, education and right mindset to face off the many challenges that will come your way. To top it off, you will need to know how to navigate your startup during tough trading times like an economic recession or pandemic!

Rather annoyingly, no one set rulebook can help you with starting a business, and there’s no blueprint to follow as no entrepreneur’s journey is ever the same.

Despite all that, there are things that many business people wish they knew before embarking on such an endeavor. In this article, we give our wise words on can make the difference between taking the straight or winding road to success with a new business.

Money Isn’t Everything

While it’s possible to get by without sound financial acumen, it’s really not where you should want to be when you’re the owner of a business. Even if numbers don’t come naturally to you learn and appreciate the financial statement and other important metrics like profit and loss. When you are competent with the balance sheet of your startup, you can dig deeper and know exactly what it is going to take to make your startup stable. For example, cash flow is king – not capital. Many early businesses have been able to raise a sizeable amount of investment and grow the revenue, but despite this, these businesses have eventually failed.

Cash flow keeps the wheels turning in a business

With ample working capital derived from cash flow, you can focus on improving the business while your team works in it.

Strategic planning to avoid troughs and peaks that threaten your service levels and thus, business reputation is an example of working on the business.

Worrying about money is detrimental to productivity, and with great cash-flow, workers are paid, marketing continues, sales go up, and your business can go from surviving to thriving.

Get An Education

Just like with money – education isn’t everything, but it will give you the confidence to make the right business decisions. Business is no walk in the park. You will need to arm yourself with skills and in areas that are currently foreign to you. Formal tertiary degrees and courses, provide the foundation from which you can grow as a business manager.

Education provider, Victoria University Online say it takes less time to get an MBA when you do it online. These courses can either give you an overview of the business to enable you to be competent and confident with all aspects of the business. Alternatively, you can choose to study a specification so that you can get expert insight and understanding into a more focused department, such as finances and leadership.

It’s also a good idea to learn some of the key skills and characteristics that many businesspeople have, such as critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and good communication.

Shouldn’t Be Work All The Time.

It can be tempting as a business owner to put all your energy into making your business a success; however, putting in over 12+ hours a day can be detrimental as it may mean you’ll suffer from burnout.

Burnout will make you extremely unproductive and can force you to make bad decisions, so you must get that right work/life balance. Working fewer hours, or appropriate hours, will help you streamline your operations and make you more efficient, and a good way to do that is through various automated software.

Separate Yourself From The Business

Business owners at some stage look to move on, and thus they have an ‘exit plan’ to sell up. Knowing how to, and when to start to ease back, so the business is a valuable asset for sale without them in it is challenging, and this is when an exit strategist is required.

Your exit strategy should be part of your overall business plan and thus from the first day onwards you’re aware that you’re not the business but an employee and shareholder within it. Are you inspired to forge ahead with a startup? See our inspirational quotes.

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Mindset

6 Situations When a Phone Call Can Be More Effective Than Email

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While we know to a large extent, business runs on email these days, or if you’re under the age of 30, you’ll be using mobile apps as much as you can. Neither an App nor email completely replaces the value of a telephone call. In this article, you’ll learn the telephone call is not dead!

So when is a phone call is more effective than email, and why is it important to recognize when it can make a big difference to your communications?

While our preference in business is to send out a quick email, the real message can be lost in translation; therefore, sometimes it’s essential to take the extra step and pick up the phone. With that in mind, here are some occasions when a phone call can be more effective than an email.

When trying to convey authority

No matter how good you are at writing, it can be hard to convey the correct tone via email. All of your words are up for interpretation, and different readers are going to interpret your message slightly differently, even from the same email.

When you speak to someone on the phone though, you can convey tone much more accurately, giving your message greater authority.

When you want to convey an important message

You might know from personal experience that people’s inboxes can be messy affairs. There are lots of unopened messages, and any new ones go into a queue to be dealt with at some stage.

If you’re trying to send an important message though, you don’t want to be sat hoping the other person has got it. Instead, you can pick up the phone and know for sure the other person received the message.

Therefore this is just one of the reasons why today’s businesses still need to make sure they’re investing in their phone services through companies like Kortek Solutions. Your most important messages should be delivered via the phone rather than email.

When you’re apologizing

Apologies are tricky things, and they’re something you want to get right.

While emails give you the advantage of being able to spend time picking out the exact words, they often miss the more human elements that an apology needs. Part of an apology is fronting up and facing the person you’re apologizing to, and this is much better achieved when you pick up the phone.

When someone has questions

When you’re emailing someone about something complicated, then it’s likely, even preferable, they come back with questions. However, you don’t want a constant trickle of questions dripping into your inbox. Instead, you want to be able to get them answered as efficiently as possible.

If you’re explaining more complicated ideas by phone, then you don’t have the back and forth of email and can explain things much more quickly.
When you’ve taken too long to respond

Sometimes you forget to reply to an important email; it happens. However, at some point, you’ve got to get back to the person, and you want to show that despite the fact you took a long time to reply, you’re still taking their email seriously.

In these cases, it’s a great idea to pick up the phone and give them a call. It shows that you’re taking things seriously and you’re ready to deal with the issue at hand.

When it’s something personal

Few people want to hear personal news through an email. Confidential information should be given a personal touch, and a telephone call is much more useful for this.

It’s just as easy to pick up the phone, and people will appreciate the time you took to be more sensitive with the personal information you wish to convey. The other option is to use video conferencing, not that takes communication to a new level.

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