Surely they can’t just want to help others? There must be something in it to help themselves? Our human brains are wired with a negativity bias so our primal instinct is to think ‘worst case scenario.’

But actually many people simply want to help. 

Yes, ‘giving,’ one of the five ways to wellbeing, results in a feel good factor,  but many altruistic people in our communities ‘give,’ all year round because everyone needs support in some walk of life. 

But can this be the case with business leaders? Whether they are driving a non-profit or a philanthropic organisation, money doesn’t always need to be a dirty word because actually the more these ‘brands,’ do good, the more good that can be done in the world, in the right hands. 

I didn’t always believe this, so I never desired to earn a lot of money as I just wanted to help people who felt unheard, until I discovered social enterprises and  I realised my poverty mindset was holding me back. Setting up as a nonprofit meant I needed to drive revenue and profit to be reinvested into the communities I wished to serve.

This is something that Leeds accountant and avid Yorkshire Evening Post reader Colin Glass has since drilled into me. His drive is not money which seems ironic as an ‘accountant,’ but it’s to enable businesses to flourish so that organisations prosper and reach their potential – “but we all need to live and deserved to be paid for our skills.” 

And even when such philanthropic leaders reach their potential, as I witnessed at the recent not-for-profit Yorkshire Society Awards, those leaders often use their platform to do more good. Such as those attending the awards who chose to fundraise on the night for Yorkshire Children’s Charity.

We all know as ‘leaders,’ in any area of life that while we may have blossomed out of our own adversity that we too needed support along the way. And actually we still do. 

Last week, for example, we launched our first professional Impact Podcast with business support organisation AD: Venture and while we shared tips on where to find support, both our guest Rebecca. Hopwood Youbee Media and I shared how we too were receiving support from AD: Venture to grow our enterprises.

IMPACT PODCAST: Connecting with your challenging cheerleaders so you can better serve others

Even that morning before recording, I had a mental health appointment and that evening I attended a Yoga class because I know what I need to do to stay as well as possible. 

One of the ways we can help ourselves is by practicing “gratitude,” explains Leeds-based The Joyful Coach Sophie Cliff at the first WECAN business conference held to empower female leaders. 

“Gratitude is taking positive emotions and swirling them around in your mind.”

Sophie transformed a tragic bereavement into her new business in which she now uses positive psychology to transform the lives of others. 

In a hyperconnected world, we can all feel disconnected, so safe places brining people together to support one another and challenge each other to prosper, which means we can better help others. 

And as Ali Ward from Social Enterprise Yorkshire and Humber said: “I don’t like the term ‘not for profit’. Instead, it should be ‘profit for good’ as a social enterprise sees their ‘profit’ as a way to direct some good.”

Let’s start giving to ourselves and others this Lent and beyond. 

Photo: “If you can’t see it, you can’t be it.”Mayor Tracy Brabin at WECAN Conference

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