What is your philosophy on time, money, and service?

Over the last two years I have been on the organizing committee for GIVE Salt Lake, a conference that promotes collaboration between non-profits and business leaders.

We held the second annual event earlier this week. It was inspiring to rub shoulders with leaders who want to make the world a better place.

Some of these leaders spend most of their time in the non-profit world and depend on raising funds from businesses, wealthy individuals, governments, etc. Some of these leaders focus their time on generating a profit while intending to use some or all of the profits to do good.

Interacting with these leaders has got me thinking about my own philosophy about time, money, and service.

At this stage in my career, do I focus on maximizing my income and wealth so that I’ll be in a position to serve in the future? Or do I spend some portion of my time on non-profit causes now, even though it might cut into my income?

I will have kids in my home for the next 10 years. Do I focus all of my non-work time attempting to raise my kids to be productive citizens with the goal of turning my attention to service after 10 years?

I love serving business owners and managers right now by taking the administrative aspects of running a business from their plates.

I see that many non-profits would like to focus on serving their target audience but can get bogged down in the administrative tasks of running an organization. I wonder if I can build a profitable accounting consulting/outsourcing practice while leaving room to provide pro-bono administrative services to non-profits.

For the last few years my philosophy about time, money, and service has been this:

My top priorities are my physical and spiritual health, my family, and my career. I won’t be any good to anyone if I don’t have a spiritual anchor, if I have no energy, if my family is falling apart, or if I struggle to make a living.

Whether or not I feel I have these areas fully taken care of, I still need to exercise my service muscles. I fulfill my church assignments, and I get involved in at least one small community service role at a time. I have brought Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University to my community, served on community advisory committees, sat on the board of a credit union, and helped to organize the GIVE conference.

Although these service roles are small, I feel it’s important to at least do something. Once I feel that my top priorities are well taken care of, I would like to step up my community/non-profit involvement. I’m not there yet, but I like to think about causes I may want to get involved with in the future.

I don’t know the answers, but my experiences at the GIVE conference have got me thinking.

Question: What is your philosophy about time, money, and service?