Members of the TwoBrain family spent November and December setting goals and making their 2019 Annual Plans.
We set goals in 5 categories: travel, education, lifestyle and service first; and then we add the cost of those goals to our cost of living expenses to determine our profit goal for the year.
Surprisingly, the “service” goal is sometimes hardest to define.
The question we try to answer is, “How will you serve your community outside of work in 2019?”
Service is a necessary step to happiness. And since we want you to build a legacy in your community, we want you to serve outside the thing that pays you.
Service can mean money or time. Sounds simple, right?
The problem is that most of us have dedicated our entire LIVES to service already. We left higher-paying careers to start a gym. We use the gym for fundraisers (sometimes we even raise more money for charities than we pay ourselves!) We take calls and texts at all hours. We put our clients first, coaches second and ourselves third. So why is it hard for the 500 entrepreneurs in TwoBrain to set a “service” goal for next year? It should be easy!
It’s hard because most people think too big.
I’ve been lucky enough to jump on a bunch of goal-setting calls with entrepreneurs and their mentors, and the service goals I hear are amazing:
“I want to volunteer at the animal shelter every Friday.”
“I want to donate $10,000 to the Vision Fund.”
“I want to sponsor 70 families for Christmas.”
Those are all very worthy goals. But what do you tell your clients when they say, “I need to lose 50 pounds this year”?
You say, “Let’s lose one pound first.”
Take a kid fishing.
Walk your neighbor’s dog.
Buy coffee for the woman behind you in line.
Drive a kid to their basketball game.
Double-tip your waiter.
These small acts of service might not be grand gestures. You might even forget about them five minutes later. But the recipient won’t. It will matter to THEM.
Over a decade ago, I was working a client through a private session, and he mentioned that his foster kids were a real handful. I said, “How do you DO it?”
He said, “What do you mean?”
I said, “How do you take these kids in, usually in the middle of the night during some traumatic event? How do you embrace them like your own and get attached to them, knowing they’re going to be sent back?”
He said, “Oh, it’s hard as hell. But you have to hope that the day you have them is the day that makes the difference.”
He knew he couldn’t rescue every kid. But their month with his family might be just enough to show them how things COULD be. It might not matter to all of them. But it might matter to one.
Years later, I was working on the CrossFit for Hope committee. We’d just done our third year of fundraising for St. Jude Children’s Hospital and our second for Kenya. I’d been to both places. The CrossFit community did great work. But we thought our impact could be more if we skipped the bureaucracy of charity. Greg said, “Look for opportunities where $5000 or $10,000 will make a meaningful and lasting difference in one person’s life, and do that.”
Back then, I couldn’t afford $10,000, but I understood: I began to look for ways where a little bit would mean a lot.
I bought hockey equipment for one kid who needed it.
The next year, one family on our hockey team couldn’t afford to travel to a tournament. So we anonymously paid for their hotel rooms.
This year, we donated over $30,000 to local kids who needed help to play sports, and another $10,000 to families in crisis. I volunteer to coach two hockey teams. But in 2014, I didn’t have the money or the time. If my goal was higher, I wouldn’t have done it. Imagine setting a goal to serve others and failing: that’s demoralizing.
But imagine succeeding, even in a small way. That’s fulfillment of your life’s mission.
Your service doesn’t have to matter to everyone. If it matters to anyone, that’s enough.