Right now, in 2016, it’s more important than ever that we do work that matters.
And I think entrepreneurs are better positioned today than ever before to be at the forefront of tackling our world’s problems – both the perceived “untouchable” categories as well as the biggest opportunities.
Think Elon Musk. He’s dared to explore some big untouchable categories like auto, solar, finance, space exploration. In doing so, he has us all thinking differently about the opportunities that exist in each of those industries.
Just imagine what would happen if Mark Zuckerberg applied everything he did with Facebook – to healthcare?
It’s massive disruption – for social good.
It’s time to take what’s great about entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking and apply it to opportunities like education, healthcare, energy. It’s time to start asking, “How can we disrupt those untouchable categories that have the power to create real change?” Here’s the great thing – you don’t have to be Elon M. or Mark Z. to do this. You can absolutely do it where you are today because you can use your entrepreneurial spirit to drive something, anything forward.
GOOD FROM THE GET-GO
We see and hear this a lot these days – start-ups or entrepreneurial ventures with a give-back, do-good arm. It’s awesome. What’s funny though is that a lot of them wait to get these initiatives rolling – they wait until they have the brand equity or recognition, they wait until they have a couple years under their belts, they wait for the right funding or investors.
But, what if you committed to launching your start-up WITH a give-back campaign, initiative, or community focus from the get-go? No questions asked. No holes barred. What if that was just the operating mode – the business gives back from day one? Sure, it’s risky; it’s scary to put your name out there especially for or with a cause – but what if you end up attracting the business and partners you want because that’s just the way you do business? What’s possible if every new entrepreneurial venture launched TODAY with that thought process?
PAY IT FORWARD
You don’t need to teach entrepreneurship to a class of 18-year-old business majors – you can teach it at home to the kids in small pockets of time – five minutes after dinner, running errands to local businesses on a Saturday morning. Since Etsy shops are all the rage right now, imagine this: how can you spend some extra time with your daughter and her Etsy shop to start laying the groundwork of business education and entrepreneurship when she’s age 8 – versus when she’s 18, away at college, taking Business 101? How much smarter will she be at 18 because of the time you spent with her at age 8?
What if she takes those entrepreneurial lessons between the two of you to school or to a fundraiser – what if she ends up applying those lessons to a bake sale to raise money for a local charity or animal shelter? She’s figured something out that very few of us figure out at any age – let alone before we hit a double-digit age.
BRING ENTREPRENEURIAL THINKING TO A TOTALLY UNCOMFORTABLE PLACE
A couple things to think about: How can you disrupt that board meeting with that fresh, out-of-the-box idea you’ve been holding off on? How can you inspire initiative, drive, and entrepreneurship into your team, division, or company? How can you infuse that startup spirit and moxie into that next presentation?
Sure, those examples aren’t necessarily driving social good, but think about it – maybe you’re presenting at a local charity’s fundraising breakfast, and you’re tired of the same-old, same-old speech every damn year? How can you bring some entrepreneurial thinking to a place that’s not expecting it? That might have the potential to engage people – donors, investors, partners – in a whole new way? It’s worth thinking about.
Here’s what’s really worth thinking about: How can you – wherever you are, whatever you do – use your entrepreneurial spirit, drive, and moxie to create serious social good that stands the chance of making a real difference?
Now, what are you waiting for?