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Lifestyle / Giving Back

The Masters of Giving

Giving is its own, and the greatest, reward.
- VIP Contributor
Entrepreneur, CEO and Founder, Sports 1 Marketing
4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

There are two activities that I enjoy participating in every year, and I love sharing these experiences with others who haven’t had the opportunity to -- yet. The first of these activities is sports-related. Going to the Masters Tournament is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for sports fans that I offer to my employees, clients and friends.

The other activity has nothing to do with sports. It is our annual giving experiment we do at Sports 1 Marketing. The experiment is set up for all participants to do three seemingly simple things:

  1. Experience giving
  2. Experience receiving
  3. Experience the witnessing of giving and receiving

The plan

In order to do this, we separate our team into groups and send them out into the community with some cash and the directive to give abundantly. For a few hours, my team does nothing but focus on helping others in need and being of service.

I started this tradition eight years ago, and it is the best thing I've ever done in several years in business. I believe this is one of the most life-changing experiences that I've ever created or participated in, which is why I make sure to hold this "experiment" every year for my team to experience.

Our 8th Annual Tradition of Giving

Video: Our 8th Annual Tradition of Giving

Related: 5 Reasons You Need to Be Giving Back

Why should we give?

Many studies have been done about the effects of giving, and the findings show how important the practice is to a person's emotional well-being. Biochemically, there are several hormones and neurotransmitters that are released when you give, making you feel better. The same happens to the person that is receiving, as well. Endorphins are released and improve everyone's mood.

The most significant thing that I learned about giving, however, was that anyone who witnesses giving and receiving experiences the same biochemical benefits that the giver and receiver do.

Related: 8 Gifts of Giving Back

Giving is contagious.

Not only can sharing go viral on the internet and social media, but it goes viral in practice by opening doors, carrying groceries, helping people to bus stops, sharing knowledge, donating money, time, and food, and all these different things that Sports 1 Marketing does with our annual experiment.

Will it work?

Each year, I get worried that the experiment won’t work, because as we got more employees, we still have our legacy employees who have already experienced the joys of this exercise in being abundant. I thought to myself, "Can it still have the same effect? Can it still be as powerful of a lesson to give and receive?"

It's amazing that there are all of these different benefits from giving, receiving, and witnessing, and, just like my experience going to the Masters for 17 straight years, every year our giving experiment gets better and better. It doesn’t matter if you have experienced the wonders of giving (or receiving) before, our annual experiment never disappoints.

Related: Giving Back Is How Your Startup Changes the World

Believe the hype.

I've taken people to the Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, MLB and NBA All-Star Games, and even World Cups, but they don't always live up to the excitement or the hype. I'll tell you this, beyond the Masters, the S1M experiment in giving, receiving and witnessing not only lives up to the hype, but it even creates more hype every time.

Even more important than all the emotional benefits that studies have demonstrated is that when people witness others giving they are more likely to give themselves.  The more they see others give, the more they will give because giving is contagious.  

Being of service will never, ever disappoint.

The most important lesson

Give often. Be abundant. Make sure that you don't just show up for one day of giving. In order to reach your full potential of giving, you must incorporate it into everyday activities. Stay consistent, because the more you give, the more you get.

8 Gifts of Giving Back