I got into business for a few reasons. I plan to write about my why’s very soon, but want to cover one of them today.
I am not a veteran.
I never served in any service.
To be honest, it’s a small regret of mine. I wish I would have at least explored the opportunity. I think it should be required for two years. Not getting into politics with this post, just my opinion. I just think it does a lot of good, and I could have used a swift kick in the ass when I was 18.
I thought I knew it all at that time 🙂
Of course, there are so many other reasons to join the service.
Inbound Marketing Works
Almost two years ago, a guy read a blog post of mine. He downloaded a free report (I think it was on social media or something) and was entered into my email autoresponder. Now, I had never had a conversation with this man. He received my emails for about 8 months or so, before reaching out to me with a question.
He got to know me through my emails and blog posts. I built up trust with him by sharing strategies and case studies on how any business could leverage the power of digital marketing to boost their bottom line. I would assume he started to like me and the reason he reached out to me.
Know, like and trust. So important in doing business online.
Steve is a director of a non-profit here in Las Vegas called The Key Foundation. They are veterans helping veterans, and I’ll let their site explain it, as it does a much better job than I could do.
Formed by a group of Department of Veterans Affairs Outreach Center volunteers who saw a need for housing and employment services for homeless and unemployed veterans in the early 1990’s, we are an I.R.S. approved 501(c)(3) non-profit organization since incorporating in February, 1991. Approximately 12,000 veterans have received assistance in various forms from our organization to date.
We fail to understand why there are veterans who are homeless in this country, sleeping on the streets of our cities. These are the very men and women who put their lives on the line to keep our country, and scores of others, free. Many were disabled while fighting for that very freedom. It is past time for this country to come together and end this despicable tragedy in America. We ask our fellow Americans to join us in ending both homelessness and unemployment among our military veterans.
Our mission is to help veterans who are unemployed and/or homeless, and at risk, to live independently by helping them become self-sufficient. In other words, to provide veterans with a true hand up, and not merely a handout.
Lunch with Steve
Steve and I met for lunch this past spring for the first time. He told me about the Key Foundation, how it got started, how they have helped close to 12,000 veterans and how they house the veterans in 2 homes here in Vegas.
We also discussed college football, golf and poker. Steve is a very good poker player and loves to play golf. I could talk college football for hours, so Steve and I got along great.
We did discuss business, as that is what the lunch was about. They needed help getting the word out about what they were doing. This is so common with non-profits — getting the word out. Content marketing and social media is a perfect recipe for non-profits.
I laid out a plan for The Key Foundation to help them;
- Increase exposure and awareness
- Build a database of leads (donors, volunteers, members, sponsors, partners & advocates)
- Increase donations from the online assests
- Educate potential donors, volunteers, members, sponsors, partners and advocates on their mission
- Optimize website to increase donations
As you can see, it was a large project. It was going to take time, energy and a well planned strategy. It wasn’t going to be cheap either. It wasn’t in their budget at the time. Completely understandable as it was going to be around $30,000.
We stayed in touch (thanks to my CRM).
We have went to lunch 3 or 4 times since then and I email him monthly, usually to talk about the Dallas Cowboys and/or Oklahoma Sooners. He was a linebacker at Oklahoma and a diehard Cowboys fan.
I went and visited one of the homes this past summer to have a look at what they were doing. I requested a tour of the home as I wanted to “feel” it. Obviously, a much different experience seeing it in person, as oppose to reading or hearing about it.
I left that hot August day and headed back home. I remember thinking — what can I do to help? How can I help them educate the people of Las Vegas about all the good they are doing?
I knew I had to do something to give back to the veterans.
Elite Agent Inner Circle was Born
I started the training website for real estate professionals for a few reasons. I wanted to teach realtors how to build a marketing system that generates leads 24/7/365 (find out more here).
It’s exactly what I do and I know a lot of agents struggle with the lead generation part of the business. I have been in this digital marketing industry for 4+ years and wanted to teach my craft.
Another reason was that I wanted to give back to my community. I wanted to do my part, or as Steve Jobs would say, “make a dent in the universe”.
I then came up with the idea of donating a certain percentage of revenues from the training website to The Key Foundation. I decided to donate 10% of all revenue generated from the training site to The Key Foundation.
Steve and I met for lunch last Friday where I presented him with the first (of many) checks. I was hoping to write a larger check, but I know the $70 donation will be put to good use.
I am doing this for a few reasons — to help a cause that I truly believe in, as I explained above.
But the other reason, is to inspire others to do the same. Inspire others to give back to their community or cause they believe in. It doesn’t have to be local. It doesn’t have to be a lot of money. The training website did $689 in total revenue, so I rounded up and wrote a check for $70.
Do I wish I could have written a bigger check?
I also know, 6 months from now, I will be writing The Key Foundation a MUCH larger check. I realize I have to start somewhere.[overused cliche alert]
Rome wasn’t built in a day, right?
Do You Know What Creates the Greatest Happiness?
Investing in others, which simply means giving your money away.
If you want to watch an excellent clip of the power of giving, please watch this Tony Robbins clip.
I want to thank all the current members of Elite Agent Inner Circle and all the future members. Without you, this wouldn’t be possible, so I am extremely grateful for each and every one of you! I am just trying to make my dent in the universe.
Giving back is what it is all about.
This is a great time of year to be talking about giving, too. I hope this post inspires you to do the same or something similar. Again, it doesn’t have to be a lot of money — start small.
In the above video clip, Tony talks about buying a cup of coffee for a stranger and the happiness it creates compared to buying a cup of coffee for you or a friend.
So that is why I am not celebrating Veteran’s Day. My monthly donation is my way of honoring veterans EVERYday, not just a Monday in November. They most certainly deserve it.
I am trying to build my legacy each and everyday.
I’ll leave you with a quote from one of my favorite businessmen, Gary Vaynerchuk;
Legacy is greater than currency