What would the world do without it?
But what does the word “charity” bring to mind for you?
Maybe putting some dollar bills in an envelope at church or making a donation to your favorite cause?
Yeah, that’s charity.
But… charitable contributions come in many forms. You can donate your time, skills, energy and knowledge, too.
Charity in those forms is always good, but it can put you further down the court in your business!
I’ll get to what I mean by that in a minute.
First, let me tell you what happened at an event in Colorado Springs a few days back. (A hot real estate market, BTW.)
You see, I was invited to lead a series of very private Cashflow games for a special group of young athletes. It was the US Men’s Junior National Basketball Team.
Here’s a pic of me playing Cashflow with the young men on the team!
I got to hang out with them for a few days before they headed off to Argentina for their games on the courts there.
Admittedly, it was pretty neat. I love basketball, and hanging with these guys was cool. Plus, you should see all the great SWAG I came home with.
In fact, they even gave me a piece of roll-around luggage to cart it all home in. Talk about funny. Because the rollie cart had the words “USA Basketball” displayed prominently across it, I got some looks.
Here I am, a tall black man with pretty big hands and feet, rolling a carry bag with the logo. Hey, I looked the part.
People’s reactions at the airport as I waited for my flight back home were interesting. They seemed to want to approach but didn’t know if they could. They probably wondered if I might be a professional basketball player.
For a minute I felt what it might be like to be famous. (Okay, yeah, it was cool.)
No one asked me for my autograph, however, which is good. Not sure what I would have done.
Now, let’s get back to the event.
It was a USA Basketball Men’s U16 National Team Camp, and aside from leading them in Cashflow games, I got to educate them on concepts that were new to them.
Here I am with one of the young men. He’s only 15, but he stands an astounding 7’ 3” tall!
I met a lot of new and interesting people… like the young people on the team. It was a true honor to share new ways of thinking about the money and how to make it work for them now and once they leave the courts.
The sad fact is that many professional athletes don’t manage their money well… or their managers don’t manage it well. They blow through it, don’t invest it and don’t start businesses so they have a next chapter.
That’s why I want to work with athletes. If I can help them learn how to make better choices, I’m a happy camper.
What these kids learned playing the game and talking to me was eye-opening for them, but it was also eye-opening for me.
My biggest takeaway?
- I learned that even at the highest levels of what we do in life, there is always someone better. Everyone I was surrounded by at this camp were in the top 10% of their game. I’m talking anywhere on the planet.
- When you’re in the presence of such a massively talented group, where literally everyone you meet is in the upper tier of what they do, it’s kinda mind blowing. And humbling.
I won’t lie. It was a lot of fun, too.
There’s a different level of intensity you find with top athletes. They were, well, let’s say competitive…
They played to win!
Here’s a cool picture from the end of the game. Look at those smiles!
I asked the young men what they had learned.
- They said making their own financial decisions is better than letting someone else make their decisions for them. That’s really cool given their age. (They are getting it now before they are adults, which is fantastic!)
- They said that it is better to have streams of cashflow vs. having piles of cash. The latter isn’t going to get them very far once they retire from professional basketball. They have to get a plan and work it. (Another big WOW because if they grasp the concept now they’re gonna do okay.)
They were really interested in learning more about how to do real estate investing, which is great! We also talked about how they could become business-owning entrepreneurs.
I was so stoked!
Something that made me really smile is that I heard they were asking if they could play Cashflow even after I left. GREAT! I made a positive impact and I opened their minds to the possibilities.
Isn’t that what playing Cashflow is all about?
These guys started out by asking the same questions most people who’ve never played the game before ask. The biggie was how to use the income and expenses sheet right. Some of these athletes said they never really thought about their income and expenses before in realistic terms.
One player was a previous trainer for the Indiana Pacers. His name is David Craig. This is him:
David’s story is on target for what I was in Colorado to teach. David opened sports clinics and physical therapy centers to help athletes heal after injury and even prevent injury.
He started this business back in the 1970s, and he raised private capital to get it going. He gathered 10 investors who each put in $10K.
Long story short, David’s practice grew and grew, earning ongoing returns for the investors and himself.
Wanna learn how to raise capital for
your business ideas or real estate? Click here.
Just like in hosting any Cashflow game, I taught the players that what is done on the board can be done in real life.
It’s a great way to learn to…
- Wholesale properties
- Work with partners to make deals a win-win for everyone
- Raise capital
- Think in more entrepreneurial terms
They also learned that how they manage their money right now as well as down the road is really, really important. It will dictate how comfortable their retirement years will be. (And all the years prior!)
What else did they learn?
How they do anything is how they do everything!
How these guys play on the court is how they play in the Cashflow game and vice versa. (But that is true of all players. How you deal with things in life is what I see you do on the board!)
I teach this ideology a lot. In fact, here’s a video I made to help people understand the game:What happened is that they came to see that their behaviors would dictate how they manage their finances and that they would have to learn to take control of their emotions and their actions.
Now… I promised to talk to you about charity in its various forms and how it benefits you in business.
So here’s the deal…
You can donate funds to any charity you want. That’s really great. It helps the charity move their needle forward toward their goals.
But what if you don’t have disposable income to donate?
You have time, energy, skills and knowledge, right? You can donate those things to others.
For example, I love participating in these basketball camps. Here’s a clip so you can see what I mean.I’ve done this for kids in underprivileged areas, like Memphis and in Compton, Calif. There are two reasons.
First and most obvious, when I’m at a basketball camp where the kids’ minds are engaged and they are there to learn new basketball skills from professional athletes and coaches, they are more open to learning a fun new board game.
- What they don’t know is that they are learning skills to apply in life and that they will pass on to their parents later in the day.
- Ultimately, because the Cashflow game isn’t basketball and these young players aren’t on the courts trying for the basket, they aren’t actually thrilled to be asked to sit at a table to learn a board game.
- They may think of it as schooling.
But here’s the cool part… In minutes they are lovin’ the game! They ask excellent questions and I get to see little lightbulbs go off all over the room.
That’s a feel-good for me!
Take a look at this. It’s from the Compton event!Second, when I participate in these camps, it’s great for my exposure. I’m moving my needle forward in my goals. That’s not the main reason I do it, but the helping-my-business-exposure part never hurts.
It always happens that I meet people I would never otherwise have met. A lot of times, they have interesting stories and may make great guests for my podcast. Their stories can help my listeners. That’s another win-win.
For example, here’s one of the speakers I met at the Compton event. His name is Rahki. Maybe you recognize him from the rap music scene. He works with rappers!
I end up doing business with some of the people I meet at these events. When I know I am helping them in one way or another, well, that is also a big win.
What I want you to understand is that you can do the same thing.
- Make a list.
- What are you really good at that if you were to teach others would benefit them?
- Now match that to a charitable group or a few groups that have events that would facilitate your coming in there and teaching their people.
- That means the people in their group and the people their organization is helping.
For me, aside from helping in the basketball camps by teaching participants financial intelligence, I also choose to help Hope Worldwide. While I won’t go into the details, I will say that by donating financially to this group, a whole lot of underprivileged kids across the globe are helped.
If you’re looking for a good organization who does great charitable work, go to www.HopeWW.org. I’m sure they’d appreciate your support.
The point is… get involved in charitable works. Donate what you can, including your time, skills, energy and knowledge. You’ll be making more of a contribution than you might think!