Every year, our company puts on an annual conference in Palm Springs called Wealth Bowl: the Super Bowl event of the year. It is honestly the best weekend of learning and growing both professionally and personally; I always walk out of the event a better version of myself—thanks to tangibles from our top executives and mentors on how to become better to make a better impact.
We gather together like one big family, celebrating all of our wins, and best of all, we come together to give back. Every year we give back to a different cause that changes the world in its own meaningful way. Last year’s Wealth Bowl event raised awareness about cystic fibrosis as we came together as an Ohana to raise money for The Mauli Ola Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing hope and confidence to individuals living with genetic diseases.
I learned that these poor kids with cystic fibrosis are on so much medication and breathing treatments and don’t have a real chance at living a normal and full life. What shook me most was learning that the average age expectancy of those with cystic fibrosis is 19. This literally broke my heart and I was compelled to do something. Anything that affects innocent children wrecks me and drives my soul to do something bigger than me.
So here’s what the Mauli Ola Foundation does that warmed me back to life: This foundation teaches kids with cystic fibrosis how to surf. The vibration of the surfing and the salt water is a natural therapy for these kids to clear their lungs while enjoying the fun experience of surfing. “May the wave heal us all.”
So there I was, in a big ballroom, and the live auction was to begin. I sat there nervously wanting to help as much as I could… Knowing clearly that my financial state as a single mom with 4 kids to send to college–let alone feed and keep healthy and happy–is a serious responsibility that many would never understand. However, that was not the point. The point was to help these poor kids with cystic fibrosis gain more days of life through natural healing and to create more happiness for them through surf.
Ok, so back to the ballroom and out of my mind. I knew exactly what I wanted to bid on. It was a day of surfing with our founder Shawn Villalovos and he and his amazing wife Jaime Villalovos would open their beautiful home to us for a team dinner and private mentorship. I know exactly what I wanted to do: I wanted to invest in the foundation. I wanted to invest in helping these children. I wanted to invest in my kids. I wanted to invest in my team. To me, it was a win-win-win-win-win.
So there we have it… The bidding began, which started at $500. My hand went up as my heart started to speed up a notch faster, too… We’re now up to $1,000 and my heart started its sprint… My shaky hand raised, as did my bid of $2,500. My friends then started telling me to “Stand up, Win Win!” My face was hot and sweaty, my body was trembling, and I basically told everyone to shut up because “Just look at me. I’m shaking. I can barely stay seated.” So there I sat “knees weak, palms are sweaty” (like Eminem the rapper in the movie 8 Mile), trembling in apprehension, thinking to myself, “WTF now?” At this point, the bidding has reached $3,500 and I was reasoning with myself, doing mental math about what my maximum bid should be. I’m thinking that $1,000 per kid to learn how to surf while we help more kids get a chance to surf and heal made enough sense. This would be my FINAL ANSWER. “I will figure it out,” I thought to myself. So that was that… As I took my final, shaky stand, I made a stand and stood up to donating $4,000 towards the Mauli Ola Foundation so that more kids could have more days of happiness and natural healing in the ocean. (I will figure it out.)
Best of all, I co-created a Win-Win-Win-Win-Win-Win thanks to my amazing company WFG. Every year, we associates come together to personally contribute to a meaningful nonprofit, charitable foundation, while WFG matches our contribution to double our positive community impact. In my particular case, WFG matched my $4,000 contribution and we together donated $8,000 to help more children heal more naturally and happily.
I’ve come to realize that the union of collaboration and contribution cultivates a greater impact. When I looked around the ballroom as I raised my shaky hands in the bid war, I noticed that I was in a far less financially comfortable state than most in the room, but my desire to do something, to help was far greater than those surrounding me as well. It was clear that some of us have a deeper desire to contribute and that’s my tribe. So many people are in a less fortune situation and I just figured that my situation is much more “figureoutable,” as Marie Forleo would put it. I’ve always believed in giving back, and I’ve always had faith that selfless acts of giving will always come full circle.
Here are the realities of contribution though: I want to contribute more which means I need to make more. I know that having more will allow me to give more. I want to make more to give more back. I want to make income with an impact so I can make a greater impact with my greater income. Are you following me? And following my journey? Is this your life journey, too?
Truth is, good causes need money so guess what my goal is? To make more money doing more good to help more good causes. My goal is to donate 20% of my income this year towards causes that fuel my soul and help more kids. It’s all a win and this is my journey to becoming a full on philanthropist. Till then, to all my aspiring philanthropists who do their part in contributing at any and every level… Cheers to you, world changer! I’m with you in spirit and soul and on this joint venture.