It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day grind of work. It’s the nuts and bolts of what we do, but it’s also an inspiration killer. Fortunately, there’s a move for more creative projects that lift business spirits and motivate us to not only “do” but to create.

Take a lesson from GE and Mashable, who teamed up to create the series The World at Work. Brilliantly worded as “powered by GE,” the series features people, projects and startups that “drive innovation” all in the interest of “making the world a better place.”

Yes, making the world a better place is cliché, but it does move us and give us a warm gooey feeling inside. Meanwhile, we’ve subconsciously come to associate GE with innovation.

Though the warm gooey feelings aren’t without their own mini inspirations in marketing. Take for example the story of young Jack Kim. Seventeen years old, Kim founded, a search engine whose profits are directed to charity. As goes with success, it didn’t come overnight. Kim started with what he knew and worked within his own community – namely his school. He started small and slowly scaled up. He perfected his craft one skill at a time and went back to the model at each interval to improve and tweak as needed. He took the success of his lessons with him along the way, realizing he could be profitable in search engine marketing. However, he didn’t try and recreate the wheel. Google was already king, so he just pinged his site off of Google.
Another inspiration can be found in She’s the First, an organization aimed at education and grooming girls for leadership in third world countries. It’s a noble cause and something many people can get excited about. But for those business owners adamant on only talking about themselves, notice how G.E. is featuring something completely irrelevant to their own product line. This should serve as a reminder that it doesn’t always have to be about you, your business or your product. Offering people something they can care about is just as good; they’ll associate your name with it.

The stories shared on The World at Work are vast and all delightfully worth your time. It’s unique content that also helps boost the profile of a lot of startups and organizations that otherwise would be unable to afford this great PR.

The lesson here is to understand that the end goal shouldn’t be to promote yourself so much as it is to offer people something of value – even if it’s just a story to share or something to be able to believe in. If you’re keeping your nose to the ground for trends, and if social media itself wasn’t enough of a clue, then let this be your giant flashing neon exclamation that gets you in the direction of being a business interested in the act of giving. GE and Mashable are giving, and look at how much they’re getting back. People are talking about them; people are excited about them.

This is how 21st century marketing works.