Creating a Company That Cares
In 2015 when I launched Tier Level Digital Marketing I was spending a lot of time with different entrepreneurs who had a unique bend in their ideas about what entrepreneurship can look like. In typical start-up circles the emphasis is on success and making money to enrich yourself. The group of starters I was spending time with had a different emphasis and focus, they were starters with a purpose.
We used the phrase, “Make Money Matter” as a slogan to capture the idea that money should matter and that we as entrepreneurs have an opportunity to start purpose-oriented businesses.
When I started Tier Level that was square on my mind.
My desire to create a for-purpose company was not a vision to do some cheesy promotional campaign but to actually be invested long-term in a small corner of the world.
Stumblings and An Opportunity
Like any growing business Tier Level became responsive to the needs of a growing business. We were focused on systems and operations and personnel. In a very humbling way we were succeeding, becoming a go-to digital media company within the restoration world and to our surprise one of the fastest growing agencies in the world.
However, in all this the vision of purpose got side-lined; things would soon change.
In January our leadership team was presented with an opportunity. We were not looking for it, it came to us. We became aware of 14 kids in Nicaragua who were promised an education and an opportunity to learn. The organization that fell through created wakes of havoc and 14 children would miss the opportunity to learn and grow, something we believe is the rightful gift every child deserves.
Our Tier Level leadership team met, we talked about the children, about ways we would be able to help and we talked about what we are able to bring to the table. Our leadership team agreed unanimously that this was a strategic opportunity to make a meaningful impact in a local community. We had before us an opportunity to re-direct the lives of 14 children and we could not say no.
A Visit and A Commitment
This April Angela Goodwin and myself traveled to visit the school and the children our team sponsored. When we first entered the community where the school was located we were humbled by the poverty. Nicaragua is the second most poverty-stricken country in the Americas — we saw that first hand. But we were also amazed by the spirit of the kids and the families. They weren’t entitled and expectant of something, they were thankful for an opportunity.
But I did have some disturbing moments during my visit. I had conversations with our friends on the ground as well as local leaders. I heard too many stories about the negative impact of one time donors, mostly churches and non profit groups. In their stories I saw this pattern repeat itself: people come, they take pictures then they make promises they never intend to keep.
It seems that charity has become a one time personal satisfaction project and not a lifelong commitment. This pattern has greatly scarred the reputation of helpers.
I hate that this is how things are. Charity has become about self fulfillment and not actual compassion and help.
This is not the story of Tier Level or our work in the community. I want to be clear about this. I speak for myself and our team when I say that we are 100% invested in the 14 children we sponsor and will walk with them for the long-term. As we grow, we will look for ways to help more kids and make a small dent in the world, one person at a time.
We are excited to return again in July and many more times as the years go by.