In today’s world there are so many ways to broaden your horizons and expand your experiences. Your career is certainly one way, but it’s no longer enough to attend to just your business or industry. Your true measure of success should include all aspects of your life and your passions in your work. There is no such thing as a traditional business model any longer. By stepping out of the box and getting involved in different types of activities, you can diversify, enhance and expand your business and your world. Some ways of doing that are philanthropic, some are academic and some are based on service to the community. These are some of the reasons why, in addition to my business career, I became involved in public service.
- As a county freeholder, I have immersed myself in all of the aspects of government service. I educated myself on how tax dollars can be and are used to benefit our constituents, especially those who own small businesses, and have been able to obtain a deep understanding of our downtown communities. With the incorporation of our small business revolving loan fund, as a freeholder I have been able to leverage over $2million in small business loans for local businesses.
- Interactions with chambers of commerce, rotaries and other business organizations are definitive proof that networking activities benefit the growth of small business, and provide a channel for the passage of information.
- When folks involve their business in organizations that promote charitable giving, the exposure that a sponsorship offers is invaluable.
- When a business owner or representative participates on a board of an organization, not only can they glean knowledge from the other board members, but they will find themselves and their company in the public eye more than any marketing or advertising can accomplish.
- These endeavors are so important to the health of our communities, and therefore our consumers. Not only can you be of great assistance to those in need, but you will also be of great assistance to your employees and your customers by maintaining a successful and thriving business.
Don’t keep blinders on when it comes to the day-to-day operations of your firm. Force yourself to look at the world through others by involving yourself in activities outside your work, whether it is your local chamber, your church or a charitable foundation or board that represents a cause you are passionate about.
Heather Simmons is Gloucester County freeholder and liaison to the Department of Economic Development and Department of Public Works.
Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Biz, Volume 7, Issue 6 (June, 2017).
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