Everyone knows giving back on a regular basis is ideal.
But beyond just “doing good,” volunteering yields several proven benefits, including higher levels of happiness, improved wellness and promotes career advancement. Do we have your attention?
Taking notes from other public figures and entrepreneurs who are not only volunteering regularly but are finding ways to weave philanthropy into their business ventures helps us, especially busy professionals, configure exactly how to make time to volunteer.
Lisa Song Sutton, the “cornerstone” entrepreneur Grit Daily spoke to for this story — and former Miss Nevada 2014 — has always had a lot on her plate. Lisa owns several companies in real estate, tech, retail, and food and beverage. Beyond her heavy involvement in her businesses, she’s a TEDx speaker, writer, and philanthropist. In fact, one of her primary passions is giving back to causes that she holds close to her heart.
No matter how much you have on your plate, there is always a way to make a difference in your community. We sat down with Lisa to learn more about her commitment to service, and how others can prioritize service in their lives.
Grit Daily: What skills and values did you develop in your upbringing that you believe helped you become successful as an adult?
Lisa Song Sutton: My Mom and Dad were very involved parents. They taught me from a very early age to focus on my strengths, pursue skills and talents that I’m innately good at, and to always finish what I start. They also heavily emphasized the importance of volunteering. With as busy as my parents were in handling a family and careers, they always made time to give back through our church and community.
GD: How do you manage your time as a founder, model, writer, and philanthropist?
LS: I’m blessed to have incredible business partners and operations teams. I don’t handle any one endeavor alone. Personally, I utilize both a digital calendar and a paper pad for my scheduling. I like to make daily lists of to-dos to help keep me on track.
GD: How have you integrated your passion for philanthropy and giving back throughout your ventures?
LS: I did the occasional volunteering when I first moved to Las Vegas in 2010, but I was really able to enhance my involvement after winning Miss Nevada. I had the opportunity to travel throughout the state reading in schools, volunteering in hospitals, and just being involved in as many organizations as possible.
Currently, I serve on the board of two fantastic, local non-profits: Monday’s Dark and the Asian Community Development Council. I integrate my businesses with my charity work through providing donations, in-kind and for silent auction. I also have my shipping stores serve as drop-off locations when we conduct canned food drives or clothing drives.
GD: What are your personal and professional goals for the next 5 years?
LS: Professionally, I want to keep building on the foundations I have laid so far. I’m particularly very excited about our real estate brokerage, Christie’s International Real Estate. We are the exclusive brokerage for southern Nevada and it’s the perfect time for our city to host such a prestigious and historic brand.
Personally, being in my 30s, I still feel like it’s time to grind. I’m definitely a believer that you can’t become exceptional without sacrifice. So I’m in hustle and grind mode at the moment, and just want to continue cultivating everything I have built to provide for a future family one day.
GD: What is your top piece of advice for female founders?
LS:: It’s two-fold: 1. Be assertive and play to your strengths. Especially being a feminine woman, we really hold the cards in more ways than one. Take that meeting. Raise your hand, ask the question. Introduce yourself and let people know why you’re there and what you want. 2. Get engaged with the community.
As female founders, our schedules are jam-packed, but carve out time to volunteer at an elementary school reading week, or go walk dogs at the animal shelter. Volunteer in an activity that brings joy to you.
What Lisa Song Sutton has accomplished is a prime example of how true grit, determination, and a “never-give-up” mentality can help you conquer anything you set out to accomplish.
When you find success, it also enables you to give back. When you make that a top priority, as in Sutton’s case, it elevates your entire existence to a higher level — new opportunities, continued success, etc. — it’s the snowball effect.