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This month I would like to chat with everyone about hindsight and the journey that comes with it. The story of how I built Uptown Studios, and the community I brought with it, may be just what you need to hear to get your budding business off the ground.

More time than money

In my early days, I had a lot of time and not a lot of money. Sound familiar? While I didn’t have work, I did have a strong desire to help build up the community around me. Fortunately, my previous endeavors had given me the expertise I needed to effect some real change and the confidence required to reach out to some of the local organizations with a cold-call. This was the beginning of my journey.

I reached out to a variety of nonprofits, joined marketing committees, signed up to volunteer at their events, and I eventually was elected to quite a few Boards of Directors. Not only did it help me network professionally, but it also gave me a network that I could call my own, personally. I made new friends quickly that held the same values and were interested in making a difference in the same communities as I was. When you connect on more than just a surface level, deeper friendships are bound to form – and they do. It was a time filled with doing good work and meeting cool people.

For the good of doing good

Back in the early days, there was a sort of unspoken rule about not touting the charitable work one was doing. Do it “for the good of doing good” they’d say. I followed suit and didn’t talk about the work I did, the time I donated, or the money I was raising.

It wasn’t until around fifteen years ago that I decided to start sharing the work and commitment to the community that I have at my core. Something miraculous happened: by sharing the work that I was doing, and the time I was donating, it built up exposure for the non-profits I was contributing to. In turn, it brought new volunteers their way and built up the teams that were so crucial to their success. It was a kind of magic that I had never seen before. People started to want to join in and experience the same thing that I knew and loved right there with me.

Keep talking and keep sharing

I kept talking and I kept sharing. I shared about the opportunities and the organizations that interested me, carrying their messages far and wide. This is where the hindsight comes in. The changes that took place once I began to share my efforts with others is what ultimately built my reputation within the community. With that came a general willingness to get involved by others, which ultimately built the Uptown Studios reputation within the community.

Giving Tuesday

All of the sharing and carrying of messages elevated my self, my work, and ultimately, my company. You can do the same by enacting the same spirit this year on “Giving Tuesday”. It is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, November 30th of this year. It is a day to give thanks to each of the nonprofits that squeeze your heart just a little bit. So many places are doing such incredible work in our communities, and they desperately need your help.

This year, I am going to be giving to many of the nonprofits that I admire, and I hope you will consider picking November 30th as a day to say “thanks” to them yourself. In the spirit of this post and the giving season, spread the word and tell your friends about who you are helping. You never know who you might inspire.

And don’t forget to say thanks to all the people doing the fabulous things that make our city a little bit better every single day.

Thanks to you for all you do! Keep on keepin’ on!

Tina

By Tina Reynolds
Tina Reynolds is president of Uptown Studios, Inc. and has been running her own design firm since 1976. She is the community face of Uptown Studios and her blog entries are directed to business owners ready to make their materials, Easy, Fun and Popular.