If you’ve been a member of the marketing community for any amount of time, you likely know the name Amanda Brinkman: Chief Brand and Communications Officer for Deluxe Corporation, and creator of The Small Business Revolution – Main Street.
What a surprise and honor to be asked by Amanda – who I have admired for years – to be the inaugural subject of her series featuring interviews with strong female leaders. I don’t deserve the attention, but I’m grateful for the spotlight on Two Or More – the grassroots community service movement that was born soon after Authentic Brand launched. It is my heart’s desire to engage my professional network, and their networks, and their networks to make an impact for good. It only takes two or more.
You can read the full interview on Amanda Brinkman’s blog here.
Or, scroll down for a few excerpts from our conversation.
Q: What made you decide to launch Two or More?
A: The idea came to me about three weeks into the start of my business. I was building my business plan, and laying out Authentic Brand’s corporate values, the first of which is “Service & Collaboration.” I thought to myself: How can I make a meaningful service impact when (at the time) I was just a team of one? It dawned on me that though I was a very small business I have a very strong network. Certainly there were other independent consultants, small businesses, remote team members, or even enterprise employees that did not have access to a corporate volunteer program, and would value the chance to be part of a diverse group of business professionals who shared volunteerism values. So, I tested the idea with a post to LinkedIn, letting my network know that I’d be setting up some service events, and asking if anyone would like to join my rag-tag team of volunteers. I got a fantastic response to the idea, and that was the catalyst moment that became Two Or More.
Q: One of the biggest things I’ve learned through Small Business Revolution – Main Street is that seemingly small efforts can have a ripple effect on communities. Have you found that when business people come together to perform volunteer projects for Two or More, their efforts create a ripple effect too?
A: Absolutely! I am a huge believer in the multiplier effect that happens when two or more people come together around a good cause. It’s amazing what we can achieve when we combine our values, passions, energy, and time. Something really special happens in the context of service that doesn’t happen at a typical business or networking event. Conversations take a different shape. Relationships move beyond the day to day. We find a much deeper and more meaningful common denominator. We show up as a more true, authentic version of ourselves. Volunteerism is a great antidote to the tension and divisiveness that so frequently fills our newsfeeds. In serving others, we reconnect with our shared humanity, and we gain a broader world perspective. It’s a humbling and beautiful thing.