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Friday, December 11, 2009

Turning Setback Into Advantage

Posted by patrick

By Masami Sato

What we should be doing when the economy is down.

When the financial market is unstable worldwide, the first reaction of most people is to hold on to what they have and also cut costs. They also presume that practically everyone is doing the same thing, as that is the impression that newspapers create.

Everyone ISN`T responding in that manner. There are many people and many ventures that flourish, whether the economy is down or not. And if you are wondering why it is so, the solution is available there where it is often likely to be overlooked. It will be a good idea to search for the answer together.

When a current is going downward, whatever the reason be, the way to survive is by rowing against the current. If we let ourselves to be swept away by the current, we may sink deep down and survival might become difficult.

The truth is that when we know how to steer ourselves and be our own masters, we will able to stay afloat or swim against the current, come what may. Let us see how we can manage it.

'Go-getters' or 'Go-contributors'

Consider a situation where we want much more - fatter profit, a salary boost, lengthier holidays, better freedom, and better prospects.

When we yearn for a thing, our response is to try to get it. By that yardstick everybody is a 'Go-getter'. And a 'go-getter' is understood as a dynamic, enterprising person with leadership qualities. Such an attitude is a prime requirement for succeeding in life as we understand it. Nevertheless, there is an innate conundrum. When these approaches are put into practice, there are certain unanticipated, though unavoidable upshots.

The gist of the matter is that after 'getting' and 'possessing' it we tend to 'get rid of' it. We might actually jettison it or might become apathetic to the whole idea.

And when we are tired of one thing we concentrate on getting something new. And these fresh cravings never end. The more we go in search of newer things, the wider the chain of desire that makes us continuously yearn for things. It simply becomes an addiction!

But what if we turned our 'getting' into giving?

You might be conscious that the act of contributing produces a unique pleasure. This arises from gratification and not from alarm or self-indulgence. One can go on contributing and get so much in return like a most rewarding expedition.

Our charitable and contributing approach will produce charitable and contributing customers and group mates whereas our concern about the cost and "getting tendencies" would bring in only like-minded co-workers. Companionship with such people is surely not welcome for us!

Creative capitalism

Most ventures are today aware of the inspiring role of capitalism. They are ever ready to contribute more through many avenues. The idea has strongly impacted the business world as they realise how giving is central to business interests. A typical example is Bill Gates, who expounded the philosophy of 'Creative Capitalism' in July 2008 in a TIME magazine article.

He explained that helping others might be the fine deciding point that could persuade people to prefer one product to another.

What he's actually saying is that when a company links its business to giving in some way, that company and its products become more attractive to customers. It takes us way, way above what's been called 'the sea of sameness'.

Creative Capitalism is concerned about reaching higher than what we might reconcile for to arrive at where we hoped to arrive. When we can make the most of our design and inspiration in a way that assists and fosters the larger community of nations and continents, we are preventing the wastage of supplies, endeavours and capacities to succeed. Then we are crafting the most authentic success for ourselves and for the financial stability of the countries across the world.

The appeal of effective giving

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the phrase that's often used to describe giving back at a corporate level. It's becoming almost a required part of corporate business practice. Yet when it's done out of a sense of obligation or with the intent to just make ourselves look good, people eventually get what it is. It still is a temporary strategy.

Individuals and enterprises that 'contribute', appeal to everyone. Their fervour and conviction about what they do are acknowledged by the people with whom they build up relationships. This acknowledgement is in addition to the official public relations campaign of the establishment.

So, what happens if we allocate some of the marketing budget to go toward giving?

From the act of giving rises something that transcends us. The act of contributing results in revelation. And this revelation ensues only when it reverberates across those whom we want to arouse. And we are aroused when we become part of the happening totally. We cannot be satisfied with the narratives that are passed on to us. Those tales have to be lived in. in the end it is human nature to yearn for the satisfaction of making our own donation - to our kith and kin and organizations and society.

Transaction-based giving makes it happen automatically

The ability to give just got so much easier too, thanks to an initiative (some would say a 'movement') called Buy1GIVE1 (Buy One Give One). Buy1GIVE1 is the home of transaction-based giving. Transaction-based giving changes everything. Let's use some imagination to see why.

How wonderful is the situation where every time someone buys an ice cream, a child somewhere in an underprivileged country gets a cup of milk?

Or a different scenario where with every subscription to a journal that you would like to read, a sapling gets planted somewhere where it was badly needed? Or whenever you ate out, someone routinely got fed out of its profit?

Or supposing you are undergoing some training. How wonderful it would be if another eager student far away is also getting the necessary training as a corollary (believe it or not, the training does not cost the training institute more than 60 cents a day).

Or if a conference sponsors has arranged a speaker, part of whose income goes to help kids who has speech impediments due to deformities, wouldn't that be a matter to feel satisfied? Just by attending the conference and paying for it, you are becoming part of a noble cause.

Imagine now if you could apply transaction-based giving in your own unique way to match your main products/services to engage your customers and team members to be part of the giving story. Here's how.

The real win-win economy

As of now, enterprises all across the world are realising the power of transaction-based giving. TESCO, one of the better known supermarket chains of UK, has correlated its sales in such a way that when someone buys a pair of school trousers from them, a child in Kenya gets a school uniform.

The Mineral Water Company known as Volvic is one that has followed swiftly in this transaction-based giving program. They connect their water selling to well digging in Africa and call it Buy1 GIVE 10, because when one litre of water is sold, the money that comes from it helps in making a 10 litres flow in the well that is being dug.

Middle level and comparatively small enterprises are now in the forefront in widening this global giving phenomenon through Creative Capitalism. Buy1GIVE1 (, a Singapore-based Social Enterprise came up with an effective strategy which has turned this transaction-based giving into a movement that anyone who wants can participate in.

Buy1GIVE1 is the abode of the most powerful transaction-based giving in the world because it ties up any enterprise of any size to any worthy cause in the world. It is creating an international community of entrepreneurial givers and for SME`s, Buy1GIVE1 correlates enterprises, their buyers AND causes in an unsurpassable way. The system has been so perfected that it is automated.

Any person can become a citizen of this phenomenon of global giving merely by getting a Buy1GIVE1 `VISA` directly off the Buy1GIVE1 site at Those who have their own enterprise can become a B1G1 Business through applying online and selecting the charity and the primary service or product for launching the giving. Buy1GIVE1 forwards the entire contribution amount to their international Worthy Cause Partners (more than 528 projects are available for members to choose from) thereby making their contributions highly productive.

Have you considered?

* One half of the world's population -which is about three billion people-does not have a daily income of even two dollars.

* Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their name.

* UNICEF has reported that more than 30,000 children die every day due to abject poverty, which makes it 20 child a minute and 210,000 a week.

* 85% of the world's water resources are utilized by just 12% of its population. And of this, even 1% does not live in the Third World.

* One billion people lack access to basic health care.

* Rainforests of about 63,000 sq. miles get destroyed every year.

Statistic From Global Issues

Buy1GIVE1 Businesses- take a look at these examples

* Buy1BUILD1 (,

* Instruction to Instruction (

* Medical practice providing healthcare (

* Telephone card helping in communication (

* Relaxation to healing (

* Losing weight to feeding children (

* Blind installation to lighting up schools (

* Socks for feet to socks for social effect (

* Coaching to train social entrepreneurs (

* And for an overall look, simply go to

Discovering what we are looking for-Nature has got the answer

So let's let us return to the starting point-turbulent economics and managing to get what we need. The needs are in fact not all that knotty. They are just a group of three words that begin with the letter S - strong bonds, solidarity and society.

When we can pool resources and not segregate and when we can divine a proper way to augment what everyone has got and not cut down from what each has got, we understand that there is a veritable cornucopia of sources to be had in the world. And when we bond, not just with our physical persona, but with our intrinsic selves, we discern something completely fascinating -that we're all ONE. Then we comprehend how uncomplicated it is to form a universal community from something as ordinary as giving.

And nature gives us a real clue to that.

In nature, bees and butterflies pollinate flowers and create sustainable flower gardens for many generations to thrive on. It's been in front of us all along!

When a fiasco inundates the world, it should be leveraged to turn it into a benefit to return to normalcy. Now is the time to acknowledge what we have got and forge ahead to succeed.

And when a person opts to begin giving today itself, the sense of euphoria would be much more, notwithstanding the economic problems. And with this sense of elation comes a reawakening of hope that will remind him of how the power and direction of tide can easily change. And his giving might be that which brings about this change.

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