Do you live your life generously? When was the last time you were a blessing to someone? I remember the day when a client and friend, Tom Van Weelden, President of Allied Waste, told me “it’s not the money you make. It’s what you do with it.”
Are you waiting to be generous until you have more money? Before we had any money, we chose to be generous to the best of our ability. When there was no money the to give we started somewhere. We were generous with our time, an encouraging smile, a hug, being with someone in their time of need. It seemed that using what was in our hands at the time became seeds planted for a future harvest for someone else.
As the team at Desert Star Construction, we started small as well. We didn’t start with half-million-dollar projects. Twenty years ago, we were helping with small projects, planting trees in church parking lots, completing the tenant improvements for the interior of a local cafe, and donating money for a baseball field in West Phoenix. Years later, we’ve had the privilege of donating money to countless nonprofits and companies, such as the Phoenix Dream Center.
You don’t have to wait to be generous until you’ve reached a certain financial goal. All of us can be generous with the time and talent God has given us.
We weren’t just intentional about how much we were investing. We were intentional about the people we were investing in. Still, to this day, our donations are part of what helps people eat out of the kitchen, victims of human trafficking sleep in rooms, and kids playing on the ball field. There are teachings, weddings, receptions, and funerals still happening in the cafe we helped construct. It’s ongoing. It’s an eternal return on investment.
When was the last time you reflected on the investments you’ve made? In what ways can you intentionally be more generous with your time and talent moving forward?
- Invest in yourself first. When you prioritize keeping your heart and motives pure, you can bless others from a genuine place.
- Invest in other leaders. Empower and teach the next generation of leaders about the legacy they can build far beyond their lifetime.
- Invest in nonprofits. Help the homeless or take on a project that will change someone’s life.
Put others first. Change your perspective from “How much can I get?” to “How much can I give?” In the back of my mind, during all the chaos, I thought about the client and how I could best serve them. I knew how much they cared about the home and their investment in its creation, so it was vital to put them ahead of myself and my needs. We kept our client from getting involved and eventually repaired everything. Although that project did not go according to plan, we stayed dedicated, and the client has been friends and loyal supporters to us for 20-plus years after that.
Remember, it’s not about recognition; it’s about impact.
Rather than focusing on what you can get out of your relationships, focus on what you can give . Additionally, don’t forget to take someone on the journey with you. Take a look around you. Whether it’s a family member, friend, or coworker, invite them on the journey of generosity and take on a new project together.
One year we took our team to Walmart and filled up carts and carts with an abundance of clothes and toys. We made it fun, and then we had a wrapping party. We took the gifts to the Phoenix Dream Center and saw children’s faces light up with smiles. The looks on their faces were priceless. Our team will never forget it.
Next time you have the opportunity to encourage or bless someone, take it. You will never know the depths of the eternal impact it will have.
Seeking to live in His reflection,