Let’s All Be Good
I saw a tweet today that made me think about how little a lot of us know about what other people do in terms of “good deeds” through work. If I had to name five SEOs that are vocal about what they do in terms of charitable efforts, I could name three and that would be Wil Reynolds, Russ Jones, and the guys at Ayima, and those last two are known to me because Jay (husband/CEO here at Link Fish) was involved (and still is) in a charity effort where SEO agencies volunteered time to help some in-need social service organizations.
So who else is doing something like this? And, most importantly, why is it that those of us who do good things don’t always let people know? We’ll shout it from the rooftops when we get a number one ranking or drive traffic up by 400%. Why don’t we do the same when we do something good for someone else? Is it because we’re just supposed to do these things and not brag about them, as it puts the focus on us, not the deed itself? Maybe so, but why ignore the potential to encourage other people to get off their butts and do something themselves?
Soon you will see a post by Cynamon Frierson (my MBA superstar!) about her volunteer efforts. She’s truly an amazing person anyway, someone who just puts everyone else in a good mood all the time simply by her presence (and her dog Roxie doesn’t hurt, especially when she’s wearing a pink dress and sandals.) She works, she volunteers, and she just completed her MBA. She’s kind of a bad ass. She may leave us soon for greener pastures but if and when that happens, she’ll be leaving us with a massive space to fill in many ways, the most important being how she views the world and her place in it.
So no more sap, just a few words to say that if you or your company are doing something besides making money for your clients and yourselves, let’s talk more about it ok?
I can back this all up by telling you what we’ve done as a company over the past few years, as I did previously believe that saying anything about it publicly would somehow lessen the effort and make it one of those “look how awesome we are!” kinds of thing. I still kind of think that but I recognize that it’s silly to keep it under wraps because even if it inspires one more person to do something good, it’s worth it. So here you go.
My proudest Link Fish moment was the very first time we donated Christmas gifts to a family in need. I asked my kids’ school social worker about it, was given a list of the kids, clothing sizes, and what they’d like to get, and we were off like a rocket. Everyone pitched in. Employees donated money or bought gifts and we did a company donation to make sure that we got everything on the list. Jay and I came in to pick up the gifts one morning so we could drop them off and my entire office was covered in wrapping paper. It was fantastic. Even my board eraser was wrapped up. The gifts were so beautifully wrapped that it astounded me, as when I wrap, it’s like I’m dealing with a burrito and I’ve not slept for 18 days. When we dropped the gifts off, the school secretary was amazed, and the principal later told me that when she saw everything, it made her cry. We did our 3rd round of this kind of thing this past Christmas.
We’ve bought back to school supplies for a family, we’ve donated money to a local Meals on Wheels program, donated to an event where local people with various disabilities have a shopping day at the mall, we’re buying Kindles for a school here and one in Baltimore, and we helped raise money for an ex-employee who needed surgery. That’s company-level stuff. If I had to list all the things that my employees do on their own time, I’d fall asleep typing. They’re a good bunch of people and I’m very proud to have an office where people actually get excited and pitch in when there’s a need. That makes me much happier than having an office full of people who get great links or great rankings or write great content. They’re great people, period.
Watch for Cyn’s post in just a bit, and I’ll leave you with her best quote EVER. When she said she was bringing the dog into the office I asked “is she going to be dressed up?” and she said “no, she’s just wearing a t-shirt.” This is why I love her. She also lets me touch her hair.