Friday, January 8, 2010

A Crisis With An Opportunity

By Masami Sato

What we should do when things go bad.

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.

Whenever there is a downward trend, whatever it is, the best way to overcome it is by rising higher than it. If we drift with the wind and go where it takes us, we might find ourselves in dire straits, waiting for the wind's mercy for deliverance.

The fact is that when we know our strength and can hold sway over ourselves, we can rise above the mundane and not worry about what is going on all around. Let us visualise it properly.

'Go-getters' or 'Go-providers'

Let's say we want more - more profits, a pay raise, more holidays, more freedom, and more opportunities.

When we have a desire for an object, our first tendency is to straightaway go and have it. That just makes us 'Go-getters'. And a 'go-getter' is surely a self-motivated person, an activist and a natural leader. Such a vision is a proven way to succeed in life as we have heard. Still, there is some sort of a snag. When this plan is brought into play, the results are somewhat surprising though in a way it is foreseeable as well.

Because after 'getting' and 'having' it what tends to follow is 'losing' it. We either lose it physically or we lose interest in what it was we got.

So then we immediately shift our focus to getting more. And here's the real problem; the more we do that, the more we create a cycle that actually makes us continuously feel as though we do not yet have enough. It's like a carbohydrate 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 generous and giving attitude creates generous and giving customers and team members while our price consciousness and 'getting attitude' attracts precisely those types of customers and team members. And they're the very ones we don't want!

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.

The essence of what he says is that when a business has ties with the idea of giving in one way or other, it is bound to be more tempting to others. It stands out above thousand businesses the attributes of which are similar.

Creative Capitalism is the idea of taking things a step higher than the destination at which one would have originally chosen to make the compromise. When we can leverage our visions and initiatives in a way that helps and promotes the needs of the global society, we are conserving things, efforts and abilities in trying to win pro tem. Then we begin fashioning genuine success for us as well as for supporting our global financial system.

The appeal of effective giving

The initiative of bigger enterprises to contribute back to the society is known as Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR. It is fast becoming mandatory for large corporations to do so. Still, when it is done for image building or as a mere compulsion, public may eventually realise the truth. Nevertheless, it is a face-saving mechanism.

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.

What would be the result if part of the amount that is meant for marketing is diverted towards charity?

Giving gives rise to something greater than what we actually are. It has the power to inspire. And true inspiration is possible only when it echoes on the people whom we want to enthuse. And we are enthused only when we put our heart and soul into the procedure. It is simply not sufficient to listen to the interesting tales. One has to become part and parcel of the whole process. Everyone has this inclination to make one's own input - to one's immediate relatives, friends, and to the society at large.

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 would you like the scenario whereby every time you have a coke at a nearby eatery, a needy child in Africa gets clean water at least for a single day?

Equally exemplary would be the situation where whenever someone subscribes to a magazine, a tree would instantly get planted in a barren patch in another continent? Or, if every time one eats a hamburger another would instantly get at least a handful of rice?

Consider the scenario of someone attending a coaching session. It would be commendable if someone who needs similar coaching would get it as a direct consequence (and just at the cost of not more than 60 cents for the day's coaching).

Where a motivational speaker at a conference is connected with a charity, part of his income might go to helping kids who have speech problems due to facial defects. It will be a matter of great satisfaction for the participants at the conference to know that their very participation is helping a deserving 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 actual winning 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 heart of a most powerfully persuasive transaction-based giving globally, correlating business ventures of all sizes to any noble cause anywhere. It is weaving a universal society of business givers and for SME`s, Buy1GIVE1 links up businesses, their clients AND charity requirements in a most passionate and mutually satisfactory manner. The whole thing is completely automated.

You can become a citizen of this global giving movement by simply getting a Buy1GIVE1 `VISA` directly off the Buy1GIVE1 site at And if you own a business you can become a B1G1 Business through a simple online application and select your cause for your main product or service to kick-start you're giving. Buy1GIVE1 forwards 100% of the contributions to their international Worthy Cause Partners (there are now over 528 projects you can select) making the giving even more effective.

Are you aware?

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

* Even in the 21st century, which is the age of the internet, there are about a billion people who have never put a pen to a paper.

* 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.

* A mere 12 percent of the world's population uses 85 percent of its water; and these 12 percent do not live in the Third World.

* Medical aid is not available for one billion people of the world population.

* 63,000 square miles of rainforests are destroyed each year.

Statistic From Global Issues

Buy1GIVE1 Businesses-check out these examples

* Buy1BUILD1 (,

* Instruction to Instruction (

* Medical treatment helping in medical aid (

* Phone card to human interaction (

* Relaxation to healing (

* Losing weight to feeding children (

* Blind installation to lighting up schools (

* Socks for comfort to feet free of frostbite (

* Coaching to train social entrepreneurs (

* And for full details, just log on to

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

So let's begin again from where we had set off-financial instability and succeeding in having what we need. The requirements are in reality quite clear-cut. It is just a triumvirate starting with the letter C - correlation, cooperation and community.

When we can collaborate instead of isolate and when we can create an effective way to add to each other instead of taking away from each other, we discover there is so much abundance and resource already available in our world. And when we connect, not just with each other but with our true selves, we discover something really interesting-that we're all ONE. Then we understand how easy it is to create a global community from something as simple as giving.

The secret was always alive in nature

In earth's natural workshop, beautiful butterflies fertilize flowers and help to produce gardens that continue generation after generation. It was there even before recorded history.

Failures are said to be stepping stones to success. In the same way we can turn setbacks into advantages. In reality we should be thankful for the current situation that is helping us to move ahead.

And when a person chooses to donate now itself, in spite of the financial crisis, he will feel more contended. And with this contentment he will find a hope that is rekindled anew, which will ring a bell on how the ebb and flow of things can change. Today's charity might be that which will reverse the flow.

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