One of the best kept secrets of the movers and shakers is that volunteering is a powerful way to improve you business and your life.  There is nothing more powerful than a group of people pulling together for a common cause.  When you work side by side with another person in an effort you both care about, you will find that forces seen and unseen will work in your favor to bring you closer together.

Volunteering differs from taking a leadership role in that volunteers do the heavy lifting.  They function in an operational manner.  They do the planning, coordinating, and directing others.  These are the unsung heroes of the event that went off without a hitch, the issue that was tackled and defeated, and the community that was changed for the better.  Volunteers make our lives better and we couldn’t live or function without them.

You can get started by simply offering to be a greeter at the reception table at the next event you attend.  Or you can offer to serve in a role at your local chamber of commerce, service club, or school.  There are more opportunities than one can count to volunteer and make a difference.

When choosing how to serve, consider the things that you are passionate about.  While serving your industry group will reap rewards in your business life, serving with other people who share your passion for a cause will bring you personal rewards and satisfaction.  And don’t fail to recognize the opportunities you’ll be given to expand your business with the people you will meet who will be interested in you since you share a common interest in a cause.

But don’t be too anxious to do business.  You will have access to people that you could never get to through normal business channels.  When you serve with others who care about what you care about, you will be amazed at the different people you will easily meet and spend time with.  Volunteering gives you access to people you may otherwise never get close to and better still, it gives you the commonality that builds relationships.  Do not abuse this opportunity by trying to sell.

The best approach is to get to know the people you are volunteering with and let them get to know you.  Once they know you, they will like you, and your co-service will lead them to trust you.  You won’t have to ask for the business, they will naturally bring the business to you.  You will be a trusted resource they will go to and lead others to when they find a need for your products or services.

Remember that you should volunteer to serve a cause or group you have a passion for and you will find that business will naturally happen.  In the process you will find personal fulfillment, new friends, and bigger business opportunities.  Friends do business together.