I interview Social Entrepreneurs the world over on my podblog. I’ve also worked alongside these folks for about a decade. Across all of this, I’ve noticed common themes in the ways that they build successful cause based businesses – so, I offer these 10 keys as the first step on your journey to pursuing your dream of sparking social change. I’ll publish new keys each week, so follow this series, learn from it, incorporate it into your work, and become a part of our movement at socialchangenation.com
7.) Start Local, then go Global.
This is probably the one key that I see us social entrepreneurs struggling the most with. We naturally want to spark big change, and shift the direction of the world. So, we naturally try to engage in world bending projects very early on. This is understandable, but the end result usually is disaster. We overcommit, burn out, or worse still – alienate our supporters.
Don’t do this. Your roots will grow strongest where they are deepest. Start in your local community – by building up networks of people who will support you as you embark on this very challenging mission. These are your first crusaders – they know you best, may even love you, and will be there for you when the inevitable setback gets you down.
You have all the resources you need to build a foundation, launch, build your story, and find your truest supporters right by your side. Engage them first, and grow from there.
This little gem from an Anglican Bishop in the 15oos sums it right up…
“When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older and wiser, I discovered the world would not change, so I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country.
“But it, too, seemed immovable.
“As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me, but alas, they would have none of it.
“And now, as I lie on my deathbed, I suddenly realize: If I had only changed myself first, then by example I would have changed my family.
“From their inspiration and encouragement, I would then have been able to better my country, and who knows, I may have even changed the world.”
3 Quick Tips to get Started on this Key:
- Think back to volunteering you’ve already done, what is it that really motivated you at the times you most loved serving others?
- Try to limit your intake of mainstream news, it’s generally bad. Instead, immerse yourself in local groups, forums, and independent local writings. This will keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening.
- Share what you’re up to with all your local friends if you haven’t already. You’ll be amazed at their willingness to help.
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