In the last 4 years I’ve spent a lot of my time directly working in the community. At a grass roots level, training and employing those people that no-one else will offer a job…. High school students who are disengaged and unmotivated, People with a disability that have physical and sometimes mental challenges, And the long-term unemployed who are struggling to find purpose in life.
Working with and getting to know people at this end of society is humbling. And that, for me, is the best place to start when working with people who have either a lot more than you, or in this case, a lot less.
I don’t believe there is any difference between the potential of an under-educated 45 year old and a University Graduate. Both can make an equal contribution to the world, and most importantly, in their local community.
When you focus locally, it becomes much easier to move forward and see instant results in what you do.
My charity operations are focused on providing local solutions to the community’s local problems. When people are hungry – find food and give it to them!
It’s not complicated.
When people in your local area don’t have jobs? Create a business and offer the jobs that they need and can work with. The jobs don’t have to be complicated, and they don’t need to be full-time. But having a job gives an individual pride, a sense of purpose and self-worth. Without that, life is hardest.
You can do something like this in your own community.
If you have a business that needs to get some sales and marketing support, consider hiring someone for 8 hours a week.
Start with one.
Give them jobs that are simple, clear and have a purpose.
No-one wants to walk around stuffing letters into mailboxes every day, but they will print the letters, fold them, put them in envelopes and hand them out to people. This often works better than a simple flyer and you can have them standing on street corners or near bus stops or train stations. Your offer or product coupon can be inside, but a bright envelope and a friendly person handing them out might give a good result.
Pay them on an hourly rate.
Don’t start people on commission or performance-based agreements. Make it something they can count on. Then they will be reliable and show up each day you ask. Knowing that they can pay a phone bill or buy more food is a strong motivator.
Help them look good
Using the resources of the local community – their job agency, the Salvation Army, or a thrift shop, find $20 worth of clothes and dress them up for the job.
Please note: None of this is designed to in any way demean or degrade a person, everything you are doing is with compassion and respect. You’re improving your sales person and giving them a fair exchange with money for time worked.
And if you employ them for two shifts, each 4 hours, two consecutive days a week, you’ve just freed up 8 hours of your own time to focus on key followup, relationship building and leader building.
You could hire someone in any of these areas:
Imagine if you had 4 people working for you each week. Your cost might be as high as $500, but your time is valued at more than that.
With 32 hours of time spent working on your business, with 32 hours being worked by others in your business you could be just about anywhere! You could fly to a city and back the following day, holding key meetings.
You could attend a training workshop knowing that leads were still being generated and your phone being answered.
You could have your dry cleaning collected, your mail sorted, and your office neatly organised.
Now I know what some of you are thinking, “Mark, you want me to be a Boss! And I didn’t want to have employees!”
I’m not saying be a boss. I’m saying consider the value of your time and delegate some of the less valuable tasks to others.
I’m asking you to consider offering an opportunity to people less fortunate than you to work beside you and with you in your business. Because when they see what you are able to do, what you can create, then they may just want to be with you IN your business in a more significant way.
Having people close, that respect you and are grateful for a job, creates the best possible source for future team building. Because this is definitely outside your warm market, and yet is an entirely new and enormous circle of friends and colleagues you can be introduced to.
I know that the hundreds of people I’ve employed in my charity in the last few years have all appreciated the chance to work and help others, as well as wanting to have the lifestyle I have.
And some have wanted to learn more, and find out how I can help them become independent, successful and travel the world.