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One of my lasting memories from the recent SapphireNow and ASUG2012 event was the keynote from Lance Armstrong and would highly recommend watching it if you missed (starts at 50 minute mark). He was an excellent public speaker telling an uplifting story about his successful battle with cancer. I personally found it very moving on a number of levels and whether you are a fan of Lance or not no one can dispute all the great things he has done to raise awareness in the fight against cancer. I loved how he ended his speech quoting Muhammad Ali from being at his 70th birthday Service to others is the rent you pay for your room on earth." This touched me as about 6 years ago I personally made a real commitment to start giving back from a charitable standpoint as well as within the SAP Community as a light-bulb went off on how lucky I was. Giving back has become something that plays an important role in my career as was as personal life and I have never regretted it for one minute. If you are working in SAP you have been blessed with an unbelievable opportunity on a number of levels and it is important that you do the needful as you will become better for it.  Here are a few ways:

Charity – Pick your favorite charity and either invest your time or money. Having focused on SAP HCM and Payroll consulting for 14 years I am pretty dialed in to what the “average” SAP employee and consultant makes and there is no reason why you shouldn’t be writing some “big” checks but if you don’t have the financial means than start with your time and pick a charity that is near and dear to your heart.  The bottom line is giving to groups/people that need the help is the right thing to do.

SAP Community Network – How many of you are regular users of the content on the SAP Community Network but have never contributed towards the community. When I hear people say they are too inexperienced or my pet peeve “too busy” to contribute I know firsthand those are just excuses. The community is great because of what we all do to make it and it is important that everyone does their part. Make it a goal to write your first blog this year, contribute on the SCN forums, rate/like a blog or even better leave a comment. The bottom line is you owe it to the SAP Community to “pay it forward” and you will become better in your career because of it.

SAP User Groups – There are several great SAP User groups such as ASUG, DSAG, UK & Ireland SAP User Group and they are always looking for volunteers to help with conferences, organize webinars, and facilitate regional meetings. If you work for a SAP customer you should ensure you belong to your countries user group but also as an organization plan to contribute and share your SAP experiences. The bottom line is customers can learn alot from other customers and the easiest way is to start sharing your time and knowledge.

Through some volunteer work I do with ASUG I was lucky enough to meet and get a picture with Lance Armstrong. I also got his autograph on a recent magazine cover he was featured and in the spirit of giving I gave it to a industry colleague who is a big fan. Special thanks to Bridget Chambers and Nellie Greely for the opportunity.

After reading this article ask yourself if you are following the “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room on earth” which is obviously a lot broader topic than I have stated above. If the answer is yes than continue and try to spread the word with others but if the answer is no it is never too late to start and trust me you will be happy you did.