Paying it Forward

How it Started

There comes a time in one’s life when a career, regardless of how much success one has achieved, is no longer the top priority. Not that it becomes unimportant, just that it’s no longer at the top of the list. There’s nothing more rewarding than the time you spend with your family. A close second is the time you invest working on behalf of others in your community. It’s not uncommon for some people to reach a certain level of career success, it varies for everyone, and start to focus more on what they can give back than what they can take. I’m very grateful to be one of those people.

For many years, decades in fact, my career goals were what drove me. I’d set a goal, reach it eventually, then set a new goal. A career is important – we can be far more generous to others with our time and resources if we are coming from a place of comfort or even abundance. While I’m glad to have the ability to support multiple worthy causes, the truth is I was the one who missed out on the special satisfaction that comes from working with friends and neighbors on behalf of others in our community. I suppose, for selfish reasons, I’m trying to make up for those lost opportunities now.

I am frequently asked for support in the form of money and time. Whenever this happens, I give my full attention to the people and organizations asking for support and always try to give whenever I truly believe in them. From schools to community counsels, and from Fire and Police Department fund raisers, to simple charities, I do my best to give back whenever possible. In fact, over the decades, I have donated in excess of $100,000 to local schools alone.

George donates to the Short Avenue Elementary Spring Fundraiser every year

George’s Certificate of Completion from Mary Morrissey Life Mastery Institute

My Influences

I’ve learned a great deal about how to give back from people like Mary Morrissey and Bob Proctor – who’ve inspired millions with their books and seminars, and was humbled to be able to contribute an essay to the Destinies collection edited by Bob, Peggy McColl and Sandy Gallagher. Closer to home, Tom Ponton, the first chairperson of Mar Vista Community Council is another person whose example I’ve tried to follow in becoming more effective at giving back.

Each day I do my best to wake up and be the next better version of myself. I am compelled to perpetually change and evolve for the better. I try my best to always keep an open mind and be vulnerable to new ideas and concepts. I try my best not to judge others, and always present myself professionally and with as much human kindness as I can.

Paying it Forward to the Children

One organization I am a proud supporter of is Walgrove Elementary’s Studio Lab, located right here in Mar Vista. This program, which gives kids hands on experience to instill lifelong curiosity in arts AND science is truly inspiring, and whenever I pay them a visit it is always the highlight of my day. Mar Vista Elementary also offers many exciting opportunities for their students and I am glad to support them as well.

Another way to pay it forward is through professional mentorship. I try to make myself available to younger real estate professionals. I do this to help them realize their goals but also to share some of the tools I’ve developed over the years that will help them serve their clients ethically as well as profitably. I do my best to remind them that a well-rounded person – someone who does more than just work, can be of far greater service to their clients than someone who does nothing else.

George receiving an award from Walgrove Elementary for knocking on one million doors

George gets involved in the programs he supports

Your Time is As Valuable as Your Checkbook

One reason I try to encourage people to volunteer their time, as well as their checkbook, is very simple. We’ve all had loved ones who’ve been sick, and we’ve felt powerless to do anything. Well, somewhere in your community there is someone who could use a helping hand. They may be someone else’s loved one, but you can certainly do something for them and yourself. Regardless of how large the proceeds of the sale of your home may be, giving back is always more rewarding.