Reflections of 2013 - A look back at the Left of the Dot 'Community'

Impacting The Community We Live In!

When Left of the Dot was first created back in 2010, Chris and myself sat down and spoke about what was truly important to us. This conversation has led us to create a set of company values that we live every day, and thus, baked into the company’s very DNA is the value of COMMUNITY. In fact, it is even incorporated into the company’s Mission Statement:

At Left of the Dot, we’re turning million dollar domain names into multi-million dollar businesses by being the best at acquiring and monetizing traffic that takes advantage of market inefficiencies. This will allow us to capitalize on the value of these businesses and better our communities.

With every new hire, we enforce the importance of our company values and the role that each Leftie can play within his or her community
So, what is ‘COMMUNITY’? We empower everyone to define their Community as they see fit. It is helping out at a child’s school; it is standing up and being a civic leader; it is becoming an expert in your field and contributing knowledge at conferences, meetups, events, and even as a mentor to those up-and-coming in the field. It is volunteering your time, even when (especially when) you are busy. It is supporting the local economy and becoming active participants in it, not just passive observers. It is volunteering at Little League, it is captaining your beer league sports team, and it is offering encouragement where encouragement is needed. It is showing up at community events: farmers markets, local parades, and town-hall meetings. It is setting up your company offices in the suburbs of Maple Ridge where people live, rather than in the city of Vancouver, where people simply commute to. It is getting out to vote, or exercising your right not to vote as long as you have participated in the democratic process and learned the issues. It is about taking pride and making a difference to make your world a better place. It is about sharing your time and talents with others in the hope that those gifts can make the community better.
Every Leftie is offered and encouraged to take ‘Community Days’ throughout the year. Thus, rather than coming in to work in an afternoon or morning, they are out bettering their Community. The one caveat that we have is that we want to know about it. The equivalent of “Facebook Official”… if there are no pictures, it didn’t happen.
Going forward, we will be sharing these in a special ‘COMMUNITY’ category of this blog. In reflecting back on 2013, here are a few things we did to improve our Community.
Fostered Cats – The elderly owner of these cats was paying $1000+ per month to have these cats cared for. We adopted them for approximately 2 months while she was in a long-term care facility. It took a while for them to get used to us, but soon they adopted us.

Fostered Office Cats
Meet Dennis and Tigger, our Fostered Office Cats

Vibrant Downtown Task Force – John was asked to chair the Maple Ridge Vibrant Down Town Task Force, helping these other community leaders make recommendations for improving the vibrancy of the down town region.
The Vibrant Downtown Task Force on a walk about through Maple Ridge
The Vibrant Downtown Task Force on a walk about through Maple Ridge

Help Portrait 2013 – Help-Portrait is a movement of photographers who are using their time, equipment and expertise to give back to those who are less fortunate. The goal is simple; find someone in need, take their portrait, print their portrait and deliver them.
Alan taking pictures as part of Help Portrait 2013
Alan taking pictures as part of Help Portrait 2013

Giving Blood – Sarah inspired us all with this selfless photo of her giving blood. A blood drive is being organized for early this year for the rest of us.
giving blood
Sarah giving “The Gift of Life” just before Christmas

Shopping Locally – OK, I could have chosen the local grocer or deli, or perhaps pictures of the farmer’s market, but we didn’t have any pictures of that. We did, however, snap this photo of our selection for Beer O’clock purchased from Firefly Fine Wines and Spirits
Shopping Locally
Shopping Locally at Firefly Wines & Spirits

Miracle Treat Day and Camp Day – Getting involved in one’s community does not have to be about self sacrifice. Sometimes, it is a regular activity in support of someone else’s good cause.
Sometimes helping can taste good too.

Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner – Yes, we are a high-tech company with customers who are not local, but that doesn’t been we can’t network with local businesses and share in the spirit of the community. This year, we were also nominated by an unknown person(s) for the “Most Innovative Company”.
Commuity Awards
Nominated for Business Excellence Awards

Bangladesh Office Visit 2013 – Left of the Dot opened a development office in Bangladesh shortly after we started. In April, a few of us were privileged to visit our team overseas (the entire visit deserves its own post). For those who went, the experience changed us both corporately and personally. Our COMMUNITY extends not just to Maple Ridge, but also to Khulna, Bangladesh. Here is a picture of us doing our 3-2-1 Lefties! cheer (which we do daily to end our huddles). We are very cognizant about not imposing Western values and norms on our team in Bangladesh. However, with all new employees there, we go over our company values, and the value of COMMUNITY knows no boundaries.
Making a difference at home and abroad
Making a difference at home and abroad

Thanks to the entire Left of the Dot team for working to better our community.  You make us proud.  Stay tuned for regular posts from our team members as they contribute to the community throughout 2014.

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