For the innovative mind, it’s always on the lookout for avenues where it can display its budding creativeness.
Volunteering is the perfect way that those who hunger to grow in their desired fields can gather ideas, make connections, form bonds, develop passion, design systems, and do so much more…for free.
Most of the ideas that have touched humanity a great deal were developed when individuals were not even thinking about how to make money.
Some of them were busy on the volunteering field, trying to help out, and as they were giving their energy, time, and resource, they found out that they were also gaining substance to help them shape the ideas that they were nursing in their hearts.
Is volunteering the only way? Definitely no. But it’s one of the simplest ways to get what you want, especially if you understand how innovation works.
In volunteering, you can get the rare privilege of associating with people who are at the top of the innovating chain.
People you may not be able to work with now, based on your current level of experience, exposure, expertise, academic qualifications, and achievements.
Volunteering takes you there…
And as you interact with them, learning from them, you find out that you begin to absorb some of their leadership mentality, as you take from theirs, to build your own values.
Most of what I know today came from my rugged spirit of wanting to always volunteer the little resource that I had.
I am still a rugged volunteer, always looking for ways to give my expertise, time, and resource, to something worth it. Because a time comes in your leadership journey when you can’t just throw your feet into any boot. It has to be something that matters.
A lot of innovative communities that we see around us today started on the backs of volunteers, and many of them still run on the willing shoulders of people who have devoted their time and dedicated their resources to make sure that a particular cause that is touching the lives of people in one way or the other is always there when you come to check it out.
Volunteer, if you can. But always know when you are being manipulated and used. This is what we see in most communities today.
If people genuinely volunteer to work with you, you should be able to reward them, no matter how small or infinitesimal the reward may look. You are not paying for their service (It doesn’t matter the level of impact of what they are giving), what you are just doing is showing them that you genuinely appreciate what they are doing.
It could be something free for the volunteers. Or little gifts, in any form.
When people volunteer to work for us in Care City, we always try to show our gratitude. In little ways, but it goes a long way in making them feel special and important.
Sometimes, we give call time or Data. Some other times we offer to help them with their projects or allow them to publish their essays or articles on our blog (for those who write).
Do you run an NGO or have a startup that has not started raking in the millions? You are definitely not the only folk making things happen. Sometimes, take something out of your own resource or the communities resource, and appreciate your key volunteers.
I must tell you, it does a lot. I do that all the time. For now, we have not started seeing the big buck. I always take resources out of what I have to appreciate our key and active volunteers.
You know, it’s a privilege to have them work with me. They can be busy somewhere else, but they have decided to stick around. It’s awesome.
Hey, Champ, go out there, and volunteer. Give something out. Do it for the love of it.
And one final thing, you should also know when it’s time for business…honestly.