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The Business of Giving Back with Jody Steinhauer

Episode 73:

We talk a lot about loving what you do—finding your passion and building a life around it.

Our guest on this episode embodies that philosophy in so many ways. Jody Steinhauer is a business owner who has built charitable giving right into her business model, and is helping other companies do the same. This is a wide-ranging conversation about her business experience and how she has built a life she can be proud of and grateful for.

As President and CBO (Chief Bargain Officer) of the Bargains Group, Jody Steinhauer uses her network of resources and leveraged buying power to aid every company and not-for-profit agency that she touches to maximize their buying dollar. Since 1988, Jody has grown Bargains Group from her apartment to a multi-million-dollar-a-year business.

Pioneering her belief of “giving back makes good business sense”, Jody is a tireless not-for-profit advocate, and the founder of the national charity, Engage and Change, and its two annual initiatives, Project Winter Survival and Project Water. Jody’s business has expanded to include a social enterprise wing: Kits for a Cause. With a focus on social impact, Jody has built a model for companies to support their local community.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • How to move on with confidence from a toxic work environment
  • How to build giving back into your business model
  • Why a pivot in your business can be the best move you can make
  • Why you need to measure success by your standards, not someone else’s
  • anaging your schedule, being where you need to be, and letting go of the myth of “balance”
  • What it means to “broker” goodness
  • How to find a cause your whole team can get behind
“I had an epiphany when I realized I could save a charity a lot of time and money with my skills and connections. My employees loved it, the charity appreciated it, and it kind of snowballed from there.” – Jody Steinhauer Click To Tweet “In business, I want to work with people who are aligned with me in terms of our values.” – Jody Steinhauer Click To Tweet “I teach people all the time how to leverage philanthropy and a cause you believe in, and align it with your business.” – Jody Steinhauer Click To Tweet “You can do a one-time charity event and that’s fine. But if you want to go further, call it a program. Once you call it a program, it’s in your company’s DNA and you can replicate it year after year.” – Jody Steinhauer Click To Tweet “Look for a cause that resonates with your team, not just you as the leader. When your team gets behind the cause, the buy-in is already there.” – Jody Steinhauer Click To Tweet “Nobody wants to write a check to a charity anymore. They want to roll up their sleeves. They want to do something (but not for more than about an hour.)” – Jody Steinhauer Click To Tweet “I knew I had to make some dramatic changes when my doctor told me I was suffering depression. ‘But I’m the happiest person everyone knows!’ And she told me, ‘No, Jody, you’re the busiest person anyone knows.’” – Jody Steinhauer Click To Tweet “I know so many people who hate what they do, but they're getting so much money, they're terrified to walk out. You'll make double the money if you figure out what you love to do.” – Jody Steinhauer Click To Tweet