There's either something in the water in St. Louis or what is happening there is the beginning of a movement that will restore your faith in the human race and business community. With the shootings in Tucson, all the hateful rhetoric from both political parties and stories of Wall Street greed, it is reassuring to know that we aren't all going to "hell in a hand basket."
USA Today reported this past week on the new Panera Bread Company concept the company is testing in St. Louis-- the Saint Louis Bread Company Cares Cafe. Customers order lunch as you would in any Panera Bread Company restaurant and then decide what they want to pay. Profits are fed back into the community. The company plans to open more locations outside of St. Louis under the name Panera Cares Cafes. According to the USA Today article, a sign at the entrance says: "Take what you need, leave your fair share." Customers who can't pay are asked to donate their time.
A similar concept has also been launched in several locations across the United States, including St. Louis, by the Red Rocker Sammy Hagar. Sammy, who sold his share of Cabo Wabo Tequila for a reported $80 million, is giving his portion of the profits from Sammy's Beach Bar & Grill to local Blessings in a Backpack organizations in each community. You can find the grill in the Las Vegas McCarran International Airport, New York's JFK Airport, and Harrah's Casino in St. Louis, just to name a few locations.
Last but not least, from USC blogger Jordan Moore, the story of USC quarterback Matt Barkley. No bowl game? Season over? Sit around and whine? Nope. Matt along with friends and family headed to Nigeria for 11 days over the Christmas holidays and school break to bring much needed supplies and gifts to several villages and do volunteer construction work in the area.
I spend as much time, effort and money as I can to be a part of Communities In Schools in my school district, helping those kids at risk of falling through the cracks. Through Steele Media Services, I'm doing my part to capture the brilliant minds that will assure our future as a great nation. Even if it is just one class room pizza at a time.
On a much larger scale, much larger, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are twisting arms to get mega-wealthy individuals to give their fortunes away. Or at least half of their fortunes.
What's your give back? What's your company's giveback? Are you the owner? Do you make millions in profits? Which property can you turn into a giveback for your community? Can you at least buy a pizza for a classroom?
What if McDonald's did this? What about Subway Sandwiches? What if every major chain and company in the country did something like any of the companies or indidvuals I've mentioned? I asked Hagar how he would convince other well-off individuals and companies to follow suit. His answer, "There is no convincing. You have to come to this conclusion yourself."
So I'm saying, come to that conclusion today. Give away your success. At least some of it. Ultimately, it's what makes getting up each day worthwhile. And, it's what Rock Stars do!
Dayna Steele is a serial entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker who creates rock stars using her 4 Rock Star Principles of Success. This would be Rock Star Principle #4 - Appreciation.