VOL. 127 | NO. 85 | Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Giving Leads To Receiving
By Jeremy Park
Last week we spotlighted Mid-South Food Bank, which is fighting hunger through the efficient collection and distribution of wholesome food as well as through education and advocacy. Inspired by a recent visit from the legendary running back Herschel Walker, this week let us reflect on his examples of how giving back has opened doors and led to opportunities that have yielded great success in his business and personal life.
Herschel Walker’s story is extremely inspirational. He was born in Wrightsville, Ga., to a blue-collar family of seven children. As a child he was overweight and had a speech impediment, which led to bullying from the kids and being called “special” by his teachers. At an early age, he made the decision to break free and take control of his life.
From here, most have heard of his daily routine: 2,500 sit-ups, 1,500 pushups, and racing trains to improve speed. He went on to be the valedictorian of his high school class and broke records throughout his football career in high school, the NCAA and the NFL.
Once retired from football, Walker parlayed the skills learned on the field into a successful career as an author and entrepreneur. What started as simply wanting “to give a man a job” has grown into a corporate portfolio including Renaissance Man Foods, now supplying 250 million pounds of chicken for McDonald’s globally, seven hospitals, a hotel linen company, promotional products and a bakery – combining to employ over 900 individuals.
Walker gives all glory for his success to God and his team, but humbly highlighted two concepts that are perfect for sharing in this column. First is the power of helping someone and not expecting anything in return. His mantra is “God looks at us and says, ‘What have you done for someone else?’” Call it the butterfly effect or law of attraction, but this giving mindset draws people in and can create genuine, powerful relationships with people who will want to help you in return. It is no coincidence that almost all of his businesses were forged from relationships formed years ago by helping someone.
Second is the power of philanthropy. Walker automatically gives 15 percent of all profits from his businesses to charity; money earned from his mixed martial arts events is donated to churches; and proceeds from his book are either donated or invested into his hospitals to take care of soldiers who need mental help transitioning back from war. He said business owners thought he was crazy to give away so much, but the more he gives, the more he seems to receive.
Building relationships based on helping others is a powerful tool to enjoy life – and can cause opportunities to seemingly just “appear.” Creating a culture of philanthropy within your company or family will then add more fuel to the fire!
Jeremy Park, director of the Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club, www.lpbreakfastclub.com, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or followed on Twitter at @lpbreakfastclub or @jeremycpark.