Bonnie St.Pierre here again! I'm a member and Board of Directors and Committees Volunteer with the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce, my business being a commercial and storytelling photography studio that also offers professional copywriting services, writing the words that companies use to market their benefit/products and services. In addition to this, I am a children's books and journal books author.
Do you think it's fair to say that wearing all these hats... running my own business, marketing and making connections while also responsible for production of my services, and having any kind of personal life with its accompanying highs and lows... keeps me busy? Yes, like most everybody else I know, I am quite busy and there are just not enough hours in the day. Why then, would I ever ADD to that by volunteering my time to someone (or some organization) else?
Well, let me tell you why.
First, if I am a member of anything, I want full value out of it. Sounds selfish, I know. But I also recognize that organizations don't run themselves; someone is working hard to make sure that members get that promised value, and, that they can't do it alone. They need a good, dedicated team, for many, many tasks. So in order for ME to make sure that the organization is providing its very best to me, I feel a responsibility to chip in and do what I can to help make it as healthy as it can be, and be part of that team.
Second, it's about me again... gee, maybe I really AM selfish! Here's a confession. I know myself, and I know that I need structure to keep me motivated. It would be so easy for me to talk myself out of it and NOT attend that evening program tonight, or reach out to that other member by phone or email, for I'd really love to be sitting with my feet up with a good piece of fiction to read instead, if I have the time. But someone is counting on me. I've made a promise. And THAT ends up being something that is for my very own good, because my company needs me to be in front of, interacting and networking with others who will learn that I really do my best that I can with everything in front of me, and might someday be able and willing to connect me to the absolutely perfect client for the benefit that I provide.
Oh, finally some redemption... something that is not just about me! I truly love to see others who are working hard to succeed, make that connection, get that job, reach that goal! Often, a little help from someone else tips the scale in the right direction for them, and I like knowing I can be one of the people that provided that support, by strengthening the opportunities and systems the organization, of which they are a member, provides.
And last, I enjoy working with others in a team effort, and through this, building a list of people that I can confidently refer to offer quality services to the people I care about, my family and clients. I meet so many people that earn my respect and admiration for their work and volunteer ethic, and I am pleased to get to know them ever so much more than I would if I just met them occasionally at a networking event.
So, is volunteering on committees hard work? Yes, sometimes it is. I won't lie to you. Is it a waste of time? Not in the least. Being part of something bigger than yourself makes you better, changes your perspective and changes your opportunities.
The Merrimack Chamber of Commerce is lucky to be FILLED with competent, hard-working, dedicated people who turn their attention to helping make the organization better and stronger for all its members, through volunteering. If you are considering joining a committee or helping out on specific events or tasks, you'll be in good company, and in the long run, while helping the organization as a whole, you are helping yourself as a member too.
Bonnie St.Pierre, B. St.Pierre Studio, Merrimack, NH 603-883-2517
Photo Illustrations: www.bstpierrestudio.com
Children's Author: www.bstpierrecollection.com/childrens-books-by-bonnie
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