I am an entrepreneur. At least, that is how most people see me. I launch, grow, and sell businesses, and I have been lucky enough to enjoy some success. But while I love what I do – there really is nothing like the thrill of getting a new business off of the ground – if I am ever asked do define myself, I prefer to call myself a philanthropist. I have been focused on giving back for my entire life. Ever since the Boy Scouts taught me to value generosity, I have looked for ways to bolster others. It is the reason I seek financial success so aggressively, and why I began The Blake Johnson Alliance.
When it comes to philanthropic giving, I value transparency above all else. My goal is to help as many people as I can, and that means making sure that my funds are going to the right places. Tracking the finances of various organizations isn’t always a simple task, and therefore I look for organizations and causes that are upfront about how their money is spent.
Fortunately, it looks like the days of writing a check and wishing it well may soon be behind us. The advent of cryptocurrency allows people to track their money more closely. If philanthropic giving transitions to the crypto market, philanthropists like myself will be able to track where the money is going, and even be able to see who spends it. We will know exactly how are funds are allocated, and be able to closely track the impact. In fact, I recently spoke to Forbes about it in this piece on how crypto currencies are becoming a popular choice for entrepreneurs and philanthropists.
My point is that in order to give effectively, I have to give mindfully. First, I find a mission or a cause that resonates with me, and then I find a way to support it. It isn’t unlike the process I described in “The Ingredients in Grit”. First, you have to discover your passion. For most, that is the easy part. For me, it is education and injustice. I support several schools across Los Angeles, due to the monumental impact education had on my life. I also support organizations like the International Justice Mission, which is working to end slavery across the globe. Next, you need persistence. This is where the process gets trickier. Without persistence and hard work, philanthropists would never identify worthy organizations, or secure capital to give. I work hard launching and selling businesses, so that my philanthropic efforts might grow, and since it is so important to me, I work hard to do it responsibly.
Nothing in life comes easy, not even giving. I urge everyone not only to give back to their communities, but to do so in a thoughtful and responsible way. If everyone gave like that, then our world would be a better place in which to live.