This post is going to be a bit different from what we normally write on our site. This is a topic that means a lot to Jacob and I and doesn’t come up in conversation with creatives very often. GENEROSITY.
Filling your Love Tank
Okay… So what? In an article recently published by our friend Chris Hatchett called “How To Get Over Impostor Syndrome,” Chris talks about filling your love tank. Now, admittedly it sounds a bit odd when you first hear it, but, the concept is quite good.
In his words:
“Every time I work on a project, or serve a client and they post something nice about me on social media, or even better, send me an email or hand-written letter thanking me, I keep them all in a little folder. When I have moments of self doubt, when I feel like I have nothing to genuinely offer, when I feel like I’m literally incapable of doing my job, I go back and read them. I remind myself of my successes, and dwell on them. This refills my creative ‘Love Tank’ and gives me a quick confidence boost, and it always comes in clutch like the last can of Celsius in the cooler at the end of a 12 hour shoot day.”
I love this idea and it’s something that Jacob and I have learned through a core training program called Pathways. Where this concept takes us is that you can’t give from yourself to others if your tank is running on empty. While this applies in all walks of life, I feel it’s especially important to creatives because our art is sharing pieces of our hearts and souls.
Generosity in the Creative Business
Since we are in the business of creativity, and are running a business, it is easy for us to get so bogged down in where money will be coming from that we let our tank drain until there is nothing left.
For us, this is where generosity plays a big part. Now, most people will associate generosity with money, and, while there is nothing wrong with that, often times, creatives, like ourselves just don’t have the money to be a financially generous as we would like. This is where Jacob and I have taken a special interest in working with non-profit organizations.
Where we started
As best as I can remember, Spring Creek Ministries, a non-profit organization run by our parents, Lonnie and Donna Hamil, was the first that Hamil Bros Studios ever supported and launched a part of our business that we really never expected. When we started donating production to various non-profits, we discovered something: we get more out of it than they do.
Observe your motives
Now, wait a minute, if you’re just doing non-profit work to get something out of it, then your motives are wrong.
Nonsense! No matter what religion, belief system, or philosophy you subscribe to, any talk of generosity discusses the benefit of the giver. If giving doesn’t make you feel good then you’ve got something deeper in your heart that you will want to work through anyway.
Any time we give production to charitable organization, we get immense value from it. We, often, get to attend their events and, I can’t speak for Jacob, but, I often find myself getting teary-eyed because something we’ve done is making a difference and having an impact on lives. If that doesn’t fill your love tank, then I don’t know what would.
Find the value
The other benefits are not negligible either. We’ve found relationships with some of our best clients and highest paying clients through our work with non-profits. And if that isn’t enough, it really makes us look good.
Let’s clarify, though, we don’t just work with non-profits to get more clients and look good. I feel like that’s backwards, but, we are running a business that needs to make money so we can eat and pay rent, and our reputation is very important. Anything we can do to help that is not a bad thing, but, that’s not the driving motivation behind the work. It really does fill our tanks and gives us new air to breathe when we’re feeling drained.
All that being said, the spirit of generosity will ultimately lead you to more success and a more fulfilling life simply because it is our nature to be generous.
Risk vs Reward
Now, obviously be smart about it. Putting yourself or your business at risk over non-profit work may not be the best decision, but, if you look at it through the paradigm that you have to be able to take care of yourself before you can take care of others, you can find the right balance.
I hope that you have found value in this post and we absolutely hope that you will share this.
Please, comment and share your thoughts below. We would love to know what you think and/or how you approach your generosity.