Photo: Havskampen — Why5 for Life

Do you want to be a social entrepreneur?

Today I received an e-mail from a young professional who wanted my advise on how he should become a social entrepreneur. He has a big passion for building companies and he wants to do something good, but he doesn’t know where to start. I didn’t think to much about it — I just decided to write down what I think is sound, healthy advise for someone in his situation. I figured that this is something that I could share here as well.

What makes you happy?

Identify what it is that makes you happy. For example: Is it people, the environment or animals you want to do support? How do you measure your own success? Is it money? Is it how many people you’ve reached? Is it the lion that you saved or pollution you have prevented. Find what your focus is and how you — for yourself — can connect your passion, happiness and motivation to what the business should do.

What do you really want to do?

Would you be willing to travel 200 days per year, sit in front of a computer 24/7 and have the phone next to you while you sleep? Do you like to be in an office or in a board meeting? Are you happy then? Or would you rather be out with the people you’re helping, the lions that you rescue or out in the nature that you are saving?

If it is yes to the first part you should focus on building a company. If you are more passionate about actually being out there in the world maybe you should start a non-profit organization, or find one that already exist where you can devote your self to what you want to achieve.

Get involved

Once you know the above — get involved. Find your context and begin to engage in meetups, nonprofit organizations, meet other like-minded (or people that can widen your horizons) and start looking for the gaps and opportunities. You won’t find the problem you want to solve or the opportunities if you don’t engage with others that are active in the field of interest that you want to get into. Talk to people, ask questions. Especially — ask people how you can help them.

Finally, keep in mind that if you build a company that will sell or deliver one product or service but ultimately you make a difference in another area then you have to be truly passionate about the what you are actually selling.

Compare it to this simple example. If you are selling socks in order to give clothes to those who do not have clothes — make sure you think it’s a blast to sell socks. That’s when you ultimately succeed in giving clothes to those in need.

What do you think?

All the best / Fridens liljor,

Jonas Almeling
Community builder & Business developer
@almeling

Photo: Why5 for Life — Havskampen