While most of the news and the stories and everything that’s coming out each and every single day has been largely negative, the stuff that I have been much more drawn to and the stuff that I believe is really going to make more of an impact on your life, in your local business are the stories of people being of service. 

I’ll give you some examples. So truckers are getting supplies to stores. Employees are stocking the shelves all night and they’re letting the elderly and the older people come first. Carnival Cruise Line told the president we actually have enough capacity to match those big Navy hospital ships, and you can leverage our cruise ships. General Motors said, we’re going to stop making cars and we can pause them and start making ventilators. There were reports of women and kids making homemade masks and even handing out snacks to first responders and truckers, restaurants, for example, in schools and they pivoted very rapidly to take out but they said, “well, we’ve got kitchens.” So they’re helping feed kids that were getting free meals. Churches pivoted to online services and they’re not just having the message for their parishioners, but they’re having that message go all across the globe. Players in the NBA, for example, started writing checks so they could pay the arena staff. Construction companies were giving their medical supplies or they’re not necessarily medical supplies that they were intended for. But they’re saying I hear the masks take these for the medical staff and doctors. Now the breweries locally that are making hand sanitizer over the leftover ingredients. 

The stories that are coming out each and every day are amazing.

What I want you to think about is how can you put yourself in your business in a place of service to the community? Let’s just talk about some examples. If you’re a financial advisor, I’m sure you’re getting an insane amount of phone calls, because this time has been extremely volatile. What could you do to help the community that’s legal? I know you can’t give specific investment advice and couldn’t do some general content and here are some books you’d recommend they should read. Here’s some general strategies, just general info. You could do that via zoom or GoToMeeting or Skype or whatever you’d like and have the Public Library start to send out messages, that once a week, you’re going to do something like that. I love the idea of the breweries. I actually had no idea they could do that. And I know not all of you have leftover alcohol to make hand sanitizer.

But just continue to look at how your business can contribute to the community. Because here’s what I’m seeing. And here’s what I’m finding. And here’s what I’m feeling is that this is still going to last at least a few more weeks. And a lot of people in businesses are still paralyzed and pretty much completely shut down. They’re just shut down.

And I’m seeing one of two types have business leaders, business owners? The one is they’re just kind of staying shut down and saying, well, I’ll ride this thing out.

The other one I’m seeing, they’re saying, we’re going to ride this out. But then they’re also finding ways that they can contribute to the local communities. And I’m not going to say that every single local business owner and every single one of you has an easy way to contribute. But what I’m finding the best way that you can help contribute is through content. 

What type of content can you put out there about your subject matter that you know a lot about? Everyone knows a lot about something.

If you own a pest control business, what kind of content could you put out there? I mean, things that you can do at home without having to buy expensive chemicals or something like that. While the weather is changing, if you are a teacher, there’s a lot of teachers that are rising up. Sadly, I’m seeing a lot of teachers that are not rising up and trying to help people by doing zoom sessions and things like that. But all these learning centers, most of them have had to shutter their doors. But what I was surprised about is that, why are they not doing something digitally, to continue to help the community

This doesn’t have to be, you’re going out there and doing this because you want to gain some notoriety or some press, you’re going to go out there and do it for the sake of doing it and helping your community. 

A lot of restaurants obviously have gotten hammered and they’ve pivoted over to take out. But I had some takeout the other day. I’ve been trying to order takeout almost every single night to support the local businesses and the owner. 

I was their first person they’ve had in two days. And I challenged him a little bit and said, what are some other ways or some other ideas that you have that rather than some of that food going to waste, because obviously food has a shelf life that you could offer to the community? He said, “Well, I could do, Monday’s could be like first responder days, and I could kind of pre package up some meals and offer them completely free of charge for the first hundred people or something.” 

So things like that. You just have to start thinking outside the box. And at this stage of the game, the little things actually matter. 

And I’m going to share this very, very brief story about a really little thing, but it touched me yesterday and for some reason, it literally brought me to tears. So I’m still getting my morning coffee. Up here in Buffalo, Tim Hortons is the main coffee. So I still tend to go there almost every single day. And I’ve done it randomly, not a ton of times, but maybe 10 or 15 times over the last year where I will pay for the person behind me. And I hope that that starts some kind of change, or at least it makes the person behind me smile and have a great day. And it’s never happened to me until yesterday. And it was a younger guy in a truck and he pulled up, I had my credit card out and the manager said your money’s no good here your buddy in front took care of you. And for some reason, just at that moment, that little thing brought me to tears.

At this stage that we’re in, things are  just so still up in the air and they’re extremely chaotic. But we can be kind to one another. And your business can find some ways to contribute. We’re trying to help as many of our clients as we possibly can, that are getting hammered. Like, anyone, that’s working with local business owners like we do all day every day. Things are insanely tough out there. We’re doing free training. We’re offering to differ things. We’re trying to do anything that we possibly can. Those are the types of businesses that are going to thrive and survive over the coming months. 

How can you be of service to your community?