That season is upon us. This is the time of year where most of us reflect on what we’re thankful for and have gratitude for our various blessings. This is also the time of year where emphasis is placed on giving; whether through charitable giving, volunteerism and even getting involved with an organization through a special fundraising event. But an attitude of giving shouldn’t be something only set aside for this season, it should be a lifestyle. Something that we do year around.

Now, more than ever, there are so many ways to give charitably. Naturally, one of the best and most encouraged ways to give is through a monetary gift. It takes a lot to run a successful non-profit and without the necessary resources no organization can sustain. These contributions are relied on year around and make all the difference in the impact that is made. Though money is one of the preferred ways to give, there are times when food items, both perishable and non-perishable are requested. In other cases, items such as clothes, shoes, toys, school supplies and even personal hygiene products are requested.

Another way to give is with your time. Volunteerism is the backbone of any organization. They rely on people willing to lend their time to support the mission. This could mean lending a hand with food preparation or distribution, assisting with animal care, putting stamps on mailers, making phone calls or even being a part of a non-profit's committees, such as event planning or fundraising.

If you have a pastime like golfing or bowling, special fundraising events are always a great way to support a good cause while having a fun time and meeting new people. Runs and walk-a-thons are a great way to spend a Saturday or Sunday giving back, while getting in some exercise. There is generally an entry fee with these events, but like most charitable giving, it is tax deductible. Fundraising auctions (both live and silent) can also be another way to support a good cause. Items donated to the organization are auctioned off to the highest bidder. Auction items can include airline tickets, spa services, hotel stays, gift cards and gift baskets. Supporting a good cause while being rewarded is definitely a win.

This is the time of year that most people get in the spirit of giving. With Giving Tuesday coming up on November 30th, this is a day set aside to give a monetary gift to the organization of your choosing. However, if you like to give in a more tangible way, giving a non-monetary donation is always an option, while volunteering your time or supporting a worthy cause by participating in a special event is always appreciated. With the many ways to give, make it a lifestyle. You will feel the benefits of your giving in ways that you could never imagine. Make a commitment to year around giving today!

Are you dreaming big enough? This is a question that is often posed when the “realist” in us begins to compete with the “dreamer.” The “dreamer” is open to expansive, profound and out-of-the-box ideas, while the “realist” in us questions the practicality, limitations and sheer responsibility of what we’re doing. The dynamics necessary to be an effective dreamer come down to having a clear vision while realizing the magnitude of what your goal will require to get to the finish line and what it will require through a supportive team of more than just yourself.

Allowing yourself the freedom to open your mind creatively is a great starting point in realizing any dream. The genesis of this dream could come from an actual dream that you have at night, an idea that popped in your head or maybe as a result of the inspiration of a person, place or thing. Fleshing out that initial giddiness you may feel when a dream is planted in you, is the starting point for the realization of any dream that you wish to come to fruition.

As the dream starts to take shape in your mind, and in many cases your heart, reality then hits you with the realization of the magnitude of time, energy, support and resources that will be required to bring this dream to life. I’ve never known anyone with a big dream who didn’t question how they would ever get from point A to Z. The only difference for those who were up for the challenge is that they all had one thing in common: they had faith in themselves and in the process.

Big dreams I’ve found aren’t ever achieved as a solo endeavor. They require individuals working together to bring the vision to life. Each person brings their gifts, talents and abilities. The key is finding the right supporting cast that understands the vision and can be trusted. One of the most important things to recognize when expanding your capacity to dream big, is that you should be careful to share or include people in your dream process that have a limiting mindset.

Supersized dreams require us to push the boundaries on what is possible. It starts with a grand thought. Then there’s the understanding that for this idea to take shape there must be extraordinary steps taken, along with a belief in yourself and the process. Lastly, it’s true that “team work, makes the dream work”. Having the right people to support you is vital. All this combined is the perfect recipe for bringing unimaginable dreams to life.

If there is the chance you are one of the primary decision makers, if not the only one, within your company or organization, then you are likely aware of the sheer focus and responsibility of “running things.” Whether that decision is about new hires, meeting payroll, taking on new clients, initiatives or projects, a brand revamp or introducing a new marketing campaign it’s important to understand the “who”, “what” and “why” at the core of your business model.

The “who” is vital because it clarifies your target demographic. Understanding the audience you want to attract or service will help steer the direction of the branding and marketing. Knowing clearly who your audience is can help with generating targeted sales leads. If your company has not clearly defined who your demographic is, there is a good chance whoever your true audience is doesn’t know you exist or understand your benefit to them. Addressing this can be as simple as evaluating the gender (if specific), age and personal interest of your ideal audience.

Whether your company or organization is established or just starting, it’s important to be clear about what the services or products being provided are. It is also just as important to be clear about what your company or organization does not provide. The reason for this, it eliminates the need to be all things to everyone and presents a greater chance of success because there is purpose behind what is done. A mission statement can be very beneficial in helping to define the “what” and ever so often, it should be reviewed to make sure that things stay on course.

Last but not least, there is the all important “why” your company or organization does what it does. In most cases, this is stated in the purpose. Whether this is centered around a family venture, a niche, a social cause or a passion, the “why” is important because it is the foundation for a company or organization’s story. When a story is well defined it presents the perfect opportunity for strong connection, longevity and growth.

The fundamental success of a company or organization is predicated on the understanding of three main things. They are the “who”, “what” and “why”. When the audience, mission and purpose are clear there is alignment. Mind your business and I assure you, unlimited opportunity awaits.