I loved hearing Steve Butcher from Brown Paper Tickets talk this past Saturday. The whole concept of “Not just for profit” is simple yet revolutionary. I was astounded to hear about his road trips across the country to theaters and small locations where he simply offers his assistance with a show or repairs and then eventually will talk to them about Brown Paper Tickets, but only if it feels right. I read recently about a dentist who offered free dental services to patients without insurance from 7 AM to 7 PM. He called it the Dental Hope 2014 event. He brought on sufficient staff and was able to serve over 40 patients in those 12 hours. The press kept asking, why are you doing this, no really, why? The answer was simple: To give back.
I believe organizations of all sizes and industries could benefit from this type of mentality. Everyone has one day they can donate to a cause. There is always room in the budget to make a positive impact on people’s lives. At first, it feels daunting to shut down an office for a day and go out to make a difference, but in the end, you can afford it. We get so wrapped up in our day-to-day tasks, our deadlines and our scheduled meetings that we lose sight of what impact we can really have. Think of all the appointments Justin Coke, founder and CEO of 7to7 Dental, gave up that day to offer free appointments to patients without insurance, then think of the number of appointments he was actually able to fit in that had a huge impact on those people’s lives. I would say the benefit far outweighs the costs.
I hope I will be able to keep this in mind when I run a company some day. I also want to emphasize this type of mentality at my current workplace. This is about more than the giving tree at Christmas or the food bank at Thanksgiving, this is about looking for what you can do every day to make sure you are leaving the world better than you found it. It is about going the extra mile for the customer because they are relying on you to find the answer to their question. It is about helping out a co-worker with something outside of work. It is about taking a day for the company to serve the community and stop worrying about the meetings or emails coming in.
I really enjoyed Steve Butcher’s mentality and hope to keep this inspiration with me as I move throughout my life and career.