You can spend all day every day building a business, but what should you do when it becomes successful? Millionaire entrepreneur Timothy Sykes advocates for giving back to good causes.
Sykes has earned millions of dollars trading penny stocks and teaches his students how to do the same, all while traveling around the world. More recently, Sykes partnered with photographer Mattheau Abad to found the charity Karmagawa.
To date, this charity has built 54 schools in developing countries and aims to build 1,000 more in developing countries. Karmagawa also helps protect endangered animals like the giraffe and rhinoceros.
Sykes divides his work day between trading penny stocks, teaching his students and working for his charity. He advocates for entrepreneurs sharing stories about and supporting causes they feel passionate about. That translates to monetary donations or helping out at an event and sharing all of this on social media.
“If you can donate $50 to your local organization and do a post about the local organization, they’ll get some exposure,” he says. “Your followers and maybe your customers can also help. Start small, start testing stuff out.”
“You don’t have to necessarily build schools or try to save the rhino,” he says. “We’re all pretty passionate about something, and there’s usually a charity associated with that…like helping people get involved with art, or singing…or you can help feed the homeless or the poor in your area.”
Tell Stories About Good Causes
Building a stock trading business through content and social media marketing taught Sykes how to promote good causes in a way that traditional charities miss.
“It’s kind of crazy how similar stock trading and building this charity has been, because I’m creating a lot of content based around the facts and stats,” he says.
“I trade penny stocks, which pretty much the whole world hates. That’s why I bet against them, and you can profit from that,” he says. “When I see companies doing stuff that’s going to harm the environment, I just want to get good information out there.”
According to Sykes, whatever your business or cause, honest story-telling will capture more people’s attention. Sykes spends hours curating colorful photographs and writing detailed descriptions for his posts on Instagram.
A quick perusal through his personal and charity Instagram channels reveals posts and videos with tens of thousands of views. Once nicknamed the “Wolf of Instagram” by The Daily Mail, Sykes has shifted from images of yachts, Lamborghinis and a rich lifestyle to telling stories about Karmagawa.
“I can use a few different photos and a few different videos and make a collage and tell the story,” he says.
As an example, Sykes and his team recently created a video about the rhino, which amassed 30 million views and was shared six million times.
“It created this viral loop that just kept going, and more and more people were shocked about it,” he says. “That’s the future of social media and the future of business online. It’s not just about likes and comments…how do you actually get people to care?”
That approach also means sharing his wins and loses as a trader alongside the good work of Karmagawa.
“Charity can change the world if enough people get involved, and there’s enough transparency. I show every dollar that I make from trading. I show every dollar that I donate to charity. And I’m proud of it all,” he says.