David Bolno on the Meaning of Giving Back


David Bolno is a business manager in the LA area who has enjoyed tremendous success in his industry. Having worked with an array of clients in the Hollywood elite, he’s seen how fortunes rise and fall in a competitive city. Across his career, he’s learned that giving back is one of the most meaningful things you can do as an individual, and this is true regardless of how much financial wealth a person has. He opens up more about what it means to give back, how different actions can have different effects, and how he’s managed to leave his mark on the LA business community.

Double-Sided Benefits 

For Bolno, giving back and business can go hand-in-hand, even when it seems as though the two are at opposite ends of the spectrum. As a business manager, he has to put other people first if he wants to get ahead. Giving back rests on the same principle.

Charitable acts can be seen through a variety of lenses. There are some who might say that those on the receiving end are those who are purely in need. However, this is rarely the case when you look closer. David Bolno can tell you that he’s likely to get just as much from giving back as they are. When you give to another person, whether it’s time or money, you make a conscious effort to do something about a problem. David is the first to say that those problems can run the gamut when you’re a business manager. He has to think about how he can use his expertise and platform in a way that will benefit the most people.

When you think of others in your community, it means shifting your mind to very different matters than the ones that often consume our daily life. It takes the focus off of yourself and your problems. It gives you the opportunity to be grateful for your own successes in life. It allows you the chance to evaluate how to use those successes to bolster those that you care about and beyond.

David Bolno’s Tips on How to Help

People often have a lot of excuses about why they can’t help their communities. Maybe they’re short on money, so they’re really unable to give even a few pennies to charitable organizations. Maybe they’re short on time, and they don’t feel like they have the emotional bandwidth to step in. Maybe they’re just not sure how to get involved, and they allow roadblocks to stand in the way. David offers a few tips for anyone who’s struggling to find the right path for them.

Be Realistic 

Not everyone will be able to donate 10% of their wealth to charity. They may not even be able to donate a few dollars to charity. However, most people can give more than they realize if they look closely enough. It could be as simple as giving a few cans of veggies to a food bank, or packages of ramen to a homeless shelter. These aren’t large financial demands, and it still gets people involved with organizations that seek to help.

Find Your Cause

Not everyone will want to volunteer their time for the same reasons. For instance, you might not enjoy working very much with children, or you might not want to spend time making care packages for others. However, David Bolno points out there are so many causes out there that it’s hard not to find a mission you align with. Community gardens, children’s hospitals, and libraries are a great place to start, but you can also branch out more easily than you think.

Plus, as we’ve been told so often, charity really does begin at home. Just because you help a family member or a friend doesn’t diminish the effect any less. In fact, you might be surprised at how far one good deed can really go. The ripple effects of helping your brother-in-law move or connecting an old acquaintance with a job opportunity can stretch a lot further than you think.

Become a Mentor 

Mentoring is a time commitment, which is why it’s not always easy to get into. As with most things in life, though, the efforts that you spend the longest on are often the most fulfilling. People can easily underestimate how much knowledge and experience they have to share with other people. They may even think that no one really cares about what they’ve done or learned in their life.

David can say that mentorship has proven to be a cornerstone of his success. Whether it’s a client, a friend, or a community member, he’s happy to share what he knows to help other people. This is how he’s really made his mark on the LA business community. It’s less about the big names he’s worked with and far more about how he looks out for other people’s best interests.

Support Your Neighbors 

When businesses like Amazon and Wal-Mart dominate sales, sometimes giving back is as easy as going to a neighborhood store. It’s not always as convenient (or as cheap) to shop at local businesses but consider where exactly your money is going. When you infuse money into the local economy, that money is going to stay where the people are. When you spend on big corporations, your money is more likely to go overseas or into the hands of a corporate bigwig who doesn’t actually need it. When experts tell you to vote with their money, what they’re really saying is that our choices help drive the direction of how everyone lives. Choosing to support the people that you know and trust is a small but important way that you can do your part.

Talk to People 

While we tend to think of big-name influencers as the only people with platforms, the truth is that all of us are influencers. Whatever platform you have, whether it’s on social media or just sitting around with friends, people are listening to what you say. When you use that time to talk to people about the causes that matter, you open up their minds to how they can make small changes in their lives too. David Bolno says that it’s important not to preach to people. The much more important goal is to engage with them on their level. That’s the best way to get real results.

David Bolno has enjoyed numerous successes and accolades over the course of his career. He graduated from law school Cum Laude and he received his bachelor’s from Duke. However, he doesn’t measure his accomplishments by how much money he’s made or how many famous clients he’s worked with.

He believes in much bigger values than that, and he emphasizes just how important it is to remember this every day of your life. David understands that making a mark on your community is more than just a one-time contribution or a few hours spent at a nonprofit. Instead, it’s a conscientious effort that needs to be made on a regular basis. It may not always be as straightforward as people want it to be, but he reminds everyone that the rewards are truly immeasurable.