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Last Update: Wednesday June 23, 2021

Key Idea: Prepare To Volunteer

Owner of J.R.'s Goodtimes, Jim Wordsworth warns that you should make sure your business can function without you before you begin donating large blocks of time to charities.   More...

Key Question:


Don't volunteer until you have your own house in order.

Q: How much can one person accomplish as a volunteer?

A: It depends upon how your employees function when you are not to be around. Jim Wordsworth advises us all not to start volunteering until our business can run without us. However, we have seen many owners however donate time and money even during the startup of their business.

We believe Jim is warning that volunteering can become addicting and your excuse for not making sure that your business grows.

Think about it

What are you doing now without pay and is it keeping you from growing your business?

Clip from: Volunteer! Get out of the Office!

Throughout the USA:  This special episode is a salute to the volunteer work done by the 25 million small business owners.

Over and over we learn why, "Business is not about greed." Although there are plenty of greedy people within business, the very first principle of business is to create something of value; and to do this, we must give more than we receive. 

Small business owners are volunteers, especially in Chambers of Commerce. Chambers are the local torchbearers of good business for every community. They are the foremost advocates for a better future for everyone.

The Chambers recognize and often reward those who do good things within a community. They reinforce the good and they discuss, analyze and attempt to change the bad. Since 1994 we have turned to the Chambers to validate, recommend and guide us with the selection of businesses for each episode of the show. The people within the Chambers know who are the givers and who are the takers.

In this program we learn from many owners why they volunteer.

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J.R.'s Goodtimes

Jim Wordsworth, Founder & CEO

8130 Watson Street
McLean, VA 22102

Visit our web site:

Office: 703-893-3390

Business Classification:
Food Service

Year Founded: 1972

Prepare To Volunteer

HATTIE: (VO) On the other coast in the state of Maine there are 50,000 businesses with fewer than 20 employees.

DANA CONNORS: Maine takes great pride in considering itself the entrepreneurial state.

HATTIE: (VO) Dana Connors President of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce works to nurture them all.

DANA: we recognize the key to our success is the individual, the individual's ability and creativity to take something from an idea and to build that into something that bears fruit. This state is very proud of that fact that we try to do everything we can to nurture it, to preserve it, but most of all to build upon it.

STEVE ANDERSON: I'm President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Restaurant Association.

HATTIE: (VO) This is Steve Anderson.

STEVE: Well I've been involved in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for 25 years, as long as I've been in association management and the Chamber of Commerce overall is vitally important to what we do. I'm a trade association executive. I have to work on issues that are specific to the restaurant industry. I call those our micro issues. The big this issues that do impact the restaurant industry, I rely mightily on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to carry the water for us on those the macro issues. The small Business Council is absolutely vital to what the chamber does. I think a lot of people have the perception that the chamber is all about big business, which is not true. You know the restaurants are the cornerstone of the local community. Nine out of 10 restaurants are involved in philanthropic work. Whenever there's a disaster or a problem in the local community they always turn to the restaurant operator and they're always the first ones to volunteer to help them out.

HATTIE: (VO) And Jim Wordsworth is one of those philanthropic restaurant owners. He is founder and owner of J. R's Goodtimes in McLean, Virginia. Why do you take time to volunteer?

JIM WORDSWORTH: I think because I care. I care about things. So what I try to do myself is to make sure I've got my housekeeping done so I can go out and pursue these things. It would be fruitless for me to be talking to you here today or to be at a cerebral palsy meeting or an educational meeting, or a National council meeting., and my business falling apart and I couldn't even pay for the plane ticket back. So step one I think was to make sure my house was in order. And then set two to pursue those things that I think are additions to quality of life. I'm all about quality of life for me and for you.

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