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I’m sometimes asked why I volunteer for so many organizations.

Is the return on the investment of service worth my time?

My answer is ‘yes’.

Thankfully I learned early in my life that the pathway to success is in giving to others without an expectation of anything in return.

I have always felt I am at my best when I am serving others in almost any capacity. I like to show up early to events so that I may help with the setup and meet the presenters.

I have also given time to organizations like the Napa Chamber of Commerce. I’ve continuously served in some capacity since joining the organization 16 years ago.

I’ve had the pleasure to serve on several committees, including marketing, membership, legislative action, candidate endorsement, chamber ambassadors and board of directors.

In addition to the Napa Chamber, I have also served on other boards, and have volunteered for service organizations when asked. I am always happy to give whatever help I am able.

This column is another unpaid volunteer activity since 2009. For my faithful readers: you have experienced my growth and I have been complimented and thanked hundreds of times for some words of encouragement — or new approaches to marketing and business management.

I always welcome your emails and calls to make suggestions and share your alternate opinions, too.

I am honestly not intending to “blow my own horn.”

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I intend to give a personal real-life example of how this service brought me success.

I can actually attribute much of the great success and growth of my marketing and advertising agency to this volunteer service.

I have made friends and associations with leaders in many government, education, and nonprofit organizations through these activities.

Because of these connections, referrals came naturally for business opportunities that enabled me to move on to living my dream of early retirement—so that I can now help others to learn the skills I did.

I want everyone to be truly happy and live his or her dreams, too.

I encourage you to join an organization that fits your passion.

There are many, and only you can know what works best for you.

In the medical world, there is the Queen of the Valley Foundation. In wine, there is the Napa Valley Vintners Association. In business there are Chambers, Rotary clubs and Kiwanis.

If your passion is not in one of those areas, you can contact the Napa Valley Coalition of Nonprofit Agencies. They can help you find a nonprofit that fits your passion and give you the opportunity to serve.

Wherever you volunteer, you’ll know you’ve found the right place because you will feel joy in serving.

It will be light work and fun. This elevates your self-worth and helps you recognize the abundance all around us. It is a step toward success.

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Randy Martinsen is a brand partner for Nerium International and a mentor of leadership principles for success. He can be reached at 707 206-6443 or randym@budgetworks.net.

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