This is not a post about politics.
This is a post about making an impact on causes that matter.
Giving time and money to benefit organizations and individuals has always been an important part of my life.
Today, I’m committing to specific actions for using my business to make a positive impact on the world and am inviting you to hold me accountable.
Why Does The Blogsmith Exist?
When people ask, “Why did you start your business?”
The answer is different from why I continue it today.
My initial reasons for freelancing were mostly selfish: to support myself and to do work I enjoy with flexible terms and a sense of ownership.
Moving forward, a better question is, “Why does your business exist?”
Now we’re getting a little more philosophical.
What does The Blogsmith do?
For me and those that work here, it supports our lifestyles.
For our clients, it helps them achieve marketing goals by helping them reach and communicate their purpose to their target audience.
And how about in the larger world we operate in?
It exists to leave this world a better place for us contributing to it.
The Blogsmith: A History of Giving Back
I want to set the stage in terms of the major causes I’ve gotten involved with in the past.
Here are a few ways I’ve given time in my adulthood:
1. I spent spring break in Xicotepec, Mexico with Rotary International:
Mentorship continues to be an important ongoing focus for giving my time.
I offer two free 30-minute office hour sessions every week for anyone who wants to pick my brain. In 2019, I ran an essay contest and sponsored the winning freelancer with a $1000 grant, free access to some paid resources I offer, and 12 months of coaching.
Although we live in different places, we were able to meet up in person, in the middle of the process!
I’ve also co-organized multiple free Meetup groups (Automation with Zapier is my current focus) and spoken for free at many community events for the purpose of sharing knowledge and meeting kindred spirits.
I have less time and slightly more money as I go into my thirties, so I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can make a difference with this in mind.
So I’ve started to focus on ways I can make a difference by using my business to fund causes I care about.
One of my favorite organizations to give to is Kiva. Kiva connects lenders to entrepreneurs around the globe seeking funding.
So technically, it’s not a donation. It’s a microloan that pays me back at a 96% repayment rate. But I’m not ever planning to withdraw the money I’ve put in — I’ll just keep adding to the pot and using repayments to fund new projects.
My first transaction happened in 2018.
Currently, I invest $50 a month and re-lend money as I get repayments.
Here’s a summary of my impact so far:
Another favorite organization is Unbound, where you’re paired with a sponsored friend, typically a child, whose family could benefit from additional funds. You get a picture and profile about who you’re sponsoring. But the best part of working with Unbound is that you can write letters back and forth with your sponsored friend.
I sent my sponsored friend Melina, who lives in Bolivia, a letter in Spanish. I shared some pictures to give her a glimpse into my life and she sent a response with pictures showing me important things in her life.
I’d also like to mention Family Reach Foundation, which was started by my family members. My cousin Kristine was part of the inspiration for starting this organization. In turn, they inspire me to use my life to make an impact — Kristine has certainly made an impact on all of our lives, long after dying from cancer far too young.
I donate to Family Reach Foundation on a regular basis and encourage you to learn more about their mission to offer financial support to families dealing with a cancer diagnosis. The people involved with this organization empathize with those who struggle to pay the bills during a situation that’s already difficult enough.
And when I get the chance, I help with day-of odd jobs for their charity golf tournaments:
The Blogsmith: Increasing Our Impact
I knew I could do even more to make an impact as my company’s agency model started to pay off. It’s now at a point where it’s comfortably supporting me, multiple team members, and there’s still plenty of room to grow.
One of my team workers sent me this, which helped me to understand that The Blogsmith is now about so much more than me.
It’s making an impact in the lives of those that work from me, who benefit from the flexible work environment.
I’ve worked really hard to get here but I’ve also been incredibly lucky in the circumstances of my birth and upbringing.
I’ve been building up to this point in my life for decades — really ever since I stumbled upon web design and made it a focus at age 11. But I also need to acknowledge that I’ve been given many advantages in life. I didn’t have to worry about student loans and I didn’t have a family to take care of when I built my freelance business. I am a white woman who has never really felt marginalized.
Finding myself in this position, I feel compelled to use my business to make a bigger impact in the world around me.
This is my commitment moving forward for running The Blogsmith:
Every month, I’m going to donate at least $1000 to a cause that aligns with my values and is doing something positive in the world. So long as my business continues to provide for me, I will use a portion of my profits to help others.
After all, what’s the point of growing a business if it doesn’t do good when the opportunity presents itself?
This isn’t intended as a humblebrag or virtue signaling. I’m sharing to hold myself accountable and to inspire others to think about how they might make a difference in the world around them by giving their time or money to causes that matter.
It’s not that $1000 is an easy amount to donate, it’s not. But it feels like an amount that my business can give to make a difference.
For April 2021, the kick-off month for this initiative, I’ve donated $1000 to Asian Americans Advancing Justice.
What Do We Stand For?
My dad passed in 2019 and it shook me to my core.
It was the first time I really had to come to terms with death because it was the first time someone so close to me had passed so unexpectedly.
My dad was a huge influence on me as an entrepreneur and a confidant that I could trust whenever I needed some perspective on a business problem. I really miss having him to turn to now that I’m taking my business into completely uncharted waters.
Coming to terms with losing him has also made me think more about my own mortality. And bigger picture questions about my purpose in life.
If I’m going to spend a good chunk of my time working, then I want my work to be an extension of my purpose, reflecting my values.
In thinking about how I want to use The Blogsmith to give back, I’m forced to consider our larger mission.
What do I stand for?
And what do we stand for? is actually the better question, because The Blogsmith is about more than me now. It impacts more lives than mine, so I need to be tactful when answering this question.
In developing our mission, I think about who members of The Blogsmith team are as individuals. And what we do together to help clients.
I also have to consider the final consumers of our content: the reader. Their needs are just as important as the clients we create content for.
Here’s The Blogsmith’s working mission statement:
We obsess over the reader experience, delivering high-value content that helps our clients attract better customers and build relationships with key stakeholders.
Final Thoughts: The Blogsmith — What We Stand For + Giving Back
I’ve been thinking a lot about my life’s purpose and how to use my business to make a bigger impact. Right now, I’m ready to increase my monthly charitable contributions and I want to be held accountable to that goal by publicly sharing about the different causes I decide to get involved with.
Join me in making a commitment to using business profits to make a positive difference in the world. Or, hire The Blogsmith to help with SEO content services and a portion of our proceeds will automatically be donated on your behalf.