Last month I donated $20,000 in cash to the worthiest people and causes I could find in the Los Angeles area. This is all part of my commitment to a year of charity in 2015, but more than that it’s meant to inspire all of my followers.
A little background. About a week prior to choosing the lucky winners, I made a post on Instagram announcing the cash giveaway and asked people to “Like” the post and tell me in a comment why one of their friends or loved ones deserved some of the money. This has ended up being one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Here are seven reasons why:
1. This has ended up being the most popular event I’ve ever hosted through social media. The original Instagram post has more than 4,000 comments and 9,000 likes. It may not be surprising that so many people would like a post where I offer to give away $20K, but I saw so many worthy people and causes.
2. If you know anything about me, you know that $20K is not a big deal to me. However there are a lot of people out there for whom even $1K could make a world of difference. I actually found one such person just like this in Charlotte, one of my followers. She was working as a bartender but dreamed of opening a daycare business. I decided to finally make that dream happen and gave her $2,000, which allowed her to purchase the insurance to build her daycare center.
3. I love doing stuff like this, and after you become wildly successful it’s always good to give to the less fortunate. That’s the very reason why I created the Timothy Sykes Foundation, a 501(c)(3) registered charity.
4. The truth is we need more selfless people. There are way too many entrepreneurs out there (especially in finance) who think of money as a video game, where whoever has the highest score wins. This is an empty and unfulfilling way to live. Success tastes so much sweeter when you give back.
5. After all, if I never gave back I wouldn’t have experienced my proudest achievement -- giving $20,000 to a little boy so that he could communicate with his parents for the first time in his life.
6. Most rich people hate talking about how to give money away because it’s so “taboo.” I say screw that! We need to make these events public because it inspires others to do the same. Several millionaires have reached out to me and are now also donating because of what I’ve done.
7. In the age we live in being transparent about money is revolutionary. And guess what…all of this giving has actually increased my business dramatically! Since people are able to see what I do with my money, they trust me and know I’m not just a scam artist hiding behind a website. After taking that into account, the income I get from my students more than makes up for any cash I give away. It’s probably one of the only win/win situations there is when it comes to money.
Those seven reasons are more than enough for me to realize that my $20,000 cash giveaway has been one of my best life decisions. Every single person who is successful should be giving back. Some people may choose not to listen, but it makes too much sense -- you get to give to people who need it and help your business grow at the same time. If you’re reading this and you’re successful, find a way to give back. If you’re not there yet, hopefully this post has inspired you to achieve so you can do the same.