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The world is full of opportunities to help others, especially during this time of pandemic, loss of jobs and downright fear on the part of many. It’s important to realize that as business owners, we are in a prime position to participate in those opportunities to change peoples’ lives.

Remember that movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed? Made back in the 1940s, the movie will absolutely bring a tear to one’s eye, but more importantly, it shows us that one person can make a huge difference.

To show a real-life example of this, when a young woman I knew lost her job as a custodian, she was terrified that she would not be able to feed her family, pay her rent, utilities and car payment. My team sat down with her, and through gentle questions, we helped her discover that she could earn money cleaning houses. We then helped her form her business plan and discussed with her that she could begin by telling people she knew that she was available to clean. Today, she has a successful cleaning company where she is able to employ others. With our business expertise, it was not hard for us to come up with ways to help her, but our simple act made a world of difference to her.

Another example concerns my friend Nicole who showed the spirit of giving when she recently gave each of her teammates $1,000 and told them to go out and use the money to help others. She and her teammates did various acts of service like paying to repair a broken-down car for a waitress, helping a family with limited funds at the grocery store who simply wanted to serve a better cut of meat, helping a mother looking for clothes for her children at a thrift store, and painting a fence and railings for an elderly woman who couldn’t afford the repair.

There are so many ways to help in your community. Our local high school has a learn-to-work program for class credit, and we have trained students on data input, newsletter authorship, brochure creation, sales techniques, office organization, photography, accounting, property management, and so much more. While these programs were helpful to us, they were even more helpful to the students we mentored, many of whom went on to obtain careers in the areas we helped train them in.

You don’t have to give giant donations to charities in order to be philanthropic. There is no limit to the impact you can make if you open your eyes and look right in front of you. You have talents and expertise others will never have unless you share them by showing them the way or sparking a confidence in them. Many times, all anyone needs is encouragement or a helping hand.

When you spread the love, the results are amazing. It’s a wonderful life!

Julie Timms, broker/owner and master coach with Workman Success Systems, began her real estate career in 1979 as a sales assistant, and four years later, in 1983, opened her own brokerage. In 1998, she met her now husband, Bernie Timms, and together, they started an independent brokerage with no agents.