It’s Thanksgiving Day today, and it’s important to think about giving back on holidays like this. Luckily, as entrepreneurs and business owners, there are so many ways to give back to your community. Here are some examples:

1. Become a Mentor

Sure, some people get paid a lot of money to be mentors and coaches, but there are also many occasions where it’s nice to help others who are trying to break into your industry. If someone approaches you for advice, and you feel like they are a hard worker, take the time to mentor them. This could include getting a cup of coffee with them and talking about the industry or sending clients their way if you find ones who are not a good fit for you. Giving your time truly is the greatest gift of all.

2. Share Your Failures

We all like to shout our successes from the rooftops and stay quiet about our failures. However, I’ve noticed that if we can be honest about our failures as business owners, we can help our friends and colleagues in the process. Entrepreneurship is not an easy road, so if we can show others that everyone struggles with their business from time to time, it can help someone else push past mental blocks and find a way to succeed. It’s therapeutic to share private or personal failures too, not just business failures. Showing your clients and customers that you are human too makes you more relatable and more trustworthy.

3. Get Involved in Your Local Community

There is a big difference between an online community and a local community. By joining your local Chamber of Commerce, you can meet other business owners who might benefit from your advice or your services. You can even give back by offering to give a presentation for free to your local chamber members and share your expertise. Who know; you might learn something along the way too!

4. Donate

The last way to give back to your community is to make a monetary donation to a cause you believe in. Giving your time to your community or those who want you to mentor them is great, but sometimes a check can help people even more. Maybe you can donate computers or iPads to a low income school or pay for someone else to take an expensive course or training session. Regardless of what you choose, it feels amazing to help someone in need. Plus, as a business owner, most cash donations are a write off.

Ultimately, it’s important to give back when you’re a freelancer. Freelancers spend a lot of time chasing clients, working late into the night, and trying to accelerate their businesses. When you take a step back and think of others, it makes you work more meaningful. When you try to connect with likeminded people, it helps you to build a tribe that can help each other with free advice or barter services. When you do well or have a great month, giving a part of that to someone else to make their lives better improves yours.

So, as you go through this seasons of thanks and gratitude, think about the ways that you can give back to others too.


Catherine Alford is the go to personal finance expert for educated, aspirational moms who want to recapture their life passions, earn more, reach their goals, and take on a more active financial role in their families. Named the Best Contributor/Freelancer for Personal Finance in 2014, her writing and expertise have been featured in dozens of notable publications and in national media.

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