Monday, August 12, 2013

Take Your Business To Profitability By Saying Yes

I was astounded. I raised $1,109. Yes, that's a lot of money and that's not what astounded me. What astounded me was that out of over 8,000 participants I was the 23rd top fundraising participant. Frankly, I find that embarrassing. Why? Because, I hardly put any effort into raising that money, I didn't think I deserved any special honor.

Let me share some background with you. I decided to run in a Warrior Dash. In addition to sounding like tons of fun (okay, so my version of fun may be a bit warped ), the Warrior Dash is a fundraiser for St. Jude's Children's Hospital. A Warrior Dash is a very dirty event; as a way to encourage fundraising St. Jude provides a special area for "St. Jude Warriors" to put their things, a headband, complimentary snacks, drinks and, most importantly, for those that raise at least $300, a warm shower. I figured … "What the heck, I'd like a shower. I'll ask a few people for donations."

I asked a handful of people and quickly raised $300; I reset my goal to $500, then $1000. All I did to raise the money was put a few posts on Facebook and send out one email about it to people who follow me through my business. I didn't even ask my friends.

The fact that I raised money didn't impress me. I easily could have raised more had I put any "real" effort into it.

Now here's the really astounding part. There were 8,000 people registered for the race. They staggered start times. Each "wave" had 250 people in it. There I was in the starting corral getting ready to run. There was a DJ getting us psyched up and ready to go. He mentioned St. Jude and asked if there were any St. Jude Warriors in the starting corral. I raised my hand. I was the only one who raised their hand. Really? How could that be? How could I be the only one out of 250 people who even bothered?

So what does this have to do with your business?

Most people don't bother. Some, even if they want to bother, stop themselves before they even try. Creating and running your own business takes effort, lots of effort. However, you can make a world of difference in your business by just showing up, raising your hand and trying. Pick a few things to do and do them.

Initially, my goal for the Warrior Dash was simple. I wanted to finish. I accomplished that and received a medal along with everyone else that did. What I'm even more proud of is the simple wristband that I got giving me entry into the St. Jude Warrior tent. The wristband that shows me that, out of 250 people, I was the only one to raise my hand.

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