Challenge Not Only Accepted, But Completed!
It's the end of the month, and thus, the end of my 30-day blogging challenge! In today's post, I'll share everything I learned in the process AND link all 30 blog posts in one place! Let's get inspirational!
Lesson Learned #1: The number of ideas and audiences are beyond numbers.
First of all, it's really not that difficult to think of 30 or 60 or even 200 blog post ideas in a short amount of time because ideas flow like water when you give yourself a deadline. I spent 30 minutes every weekday (while on the train) thinking of blog post ideas, and every day, I was able to think of at least 20 new ideas for what I'd like to write about. In a week, I had 100 ideas when I only needed 7 to write for the next week! It made me realize that not only do I have so much to give in my subject areas, but others who commit to creating useful content for their audiences also have an abundance to contribute. Since I found this deep well of insight, I find myself asking my friends, co-workers, business acquaintances, and really everyone I meet why they don't blog? Or podcast? Or draw cartoons? Or do something that expresses their ideas to the world? I want to know what the most interesting people in my life think of everything, and I'm probably not the only one! How many people in your life are waiting for content they didn't even know they craved?
Lesson Learned #2: I'm not longer concerned with other people knowing and taking my ideas.
Considering the above, I noted that ideas really aren't that rare. Everyone has them, and someone else likely already thought of it first. The difference and the value is in the execution. I like to take Omar Zenhom's example to underscore this point: How many times have you walked past an item on the shelf in a store and thought 'I thought of that first!'? You may have thought of it, but you didn't do it, and that's what actually matters. At first, this scenario seemed like a strong justification for hoarding my ideas. After all, if someone executed it before I did, what could I do? That same fiercely protective voice encouraging me to protect my ideas as if they were life or limb turned into a fiercely competitive voice that said 'Just do it better or do it differently!' Think about all of the different brands of products and services that do the same thing - blenders, cable providers, universities. They are able to exist concurrently because they appeal to different parts of the market. Sure, someone else might have thought of it first, but are they doing it the best they can in a high-end market? How about providing a low-cost option for the everyday? No matter what the product or service, you can find a way to do it better - whether that means more efficiently, more quickly, etc - or differently. The idea itself isn't sacred. It's all about the execution.
Lesson Learned #3: I love teaching!
I've always been a strong proponent of education, but I never thought I would enjoy teaching as much as I do. I thought I didn't have the patience or even the expertise to be able to provide a high quality service. If you've ever met me, you'd be surprised by that last statement because I'm one of the most confident people I've ever known. And it's not to toot my own horn, but to note that even those who seem confident have things they feel a little shaky on. The process of creating value daily, answering questions, and explaining and creating processes have given me a level of joy and motivation I've never experienced in a self-imposed exercise. I've gleefully put restrictions on my time to continue to do these things that bring so much meaning to my life. If I can turn this mental exercise to physical exercise, I'd be golden!
Lesson Learned #4: It's hard to find practical resources I would recommend to a budding social entrepreneur.
Maybe it's because the title of social entrepreneur is so 'new' (although, I'd argue that women and minorities throughout time have had to be social entrepreneurs to navigate the unjust restrictions placed upon them). But there just aren't a lot of resources that provide guidance on developing your ability to nurture both the financial and social bottom lines, using both nonprofit and for-profit laws to create an in-between space that addresses the market failures created by capitalism, or even carefully considering your type of entity to maximize your ability to serve the social good. That's why I'm going to switch gears from writing daily blog posts to writing blog posts every Monday and Thursday to redirect some of that creation energy to a new project. I'm going to build an online community for social entrepreneurs to learn and grow with other social entrepreneurs. I'm looking forward to being able to provide:
- Specific feedback (from me and your fellow change agents) on your social enterprise from mission formation to product/service/program building to impact expansion
- Worksheets requested by YOU to put theory into practice
- Curated content specific to your social enterprise industry and goals
- Case studies of social entrepreneurs building bridges between traditional business and social transformation and, most importantly, the techniques they used to do it
I envision an online knowledge bank for social entrepreneurs to continue to refine their craft in the presence of others who understand their missions and core values. If you think it sounds epic, it will be! Look out for it on January 1, 2017. It will be the year of the social entrepreneur!
To get FREE downloadable worksheets and first access to my social entrepreneurship online community, sign up for my mailing list.
P.S. here are all of the posts this month in order!
- 7 Reasons Why Nonprofits Are a Hot Mess - Part I
- 9 Things You Don't Know About Me But Should
- How to Plan Your Employment for Social Entrepreneurship
- Why Nonprofits Are A Hot Mess - Part II
- How to Discover Your Social Enterprise Core Values
- A Case Study in Core Values: Cultural Competence
- Why Nonprofits Need Business Plans and Revenue Models More Than For-Profits Part I
- Why Nonprofits Need Business Plans and Revenue Models More Than For-Profits Part II
- How to Design Corporate Partnerships That Last
- Online Community Mass Collaboration VS Deep Work - Is There A Problem?
- Social Entrepreneurship Rules of Engagement: Sidepreneur Before You Socialpreneur
- How to Craft Your Social Enterprise Mission and Vision
- Social Entrepreneurship Rules of Engagement: Don’t Burnout Before You’ve Even Started
- Nonprofit Cultural Afflictions that Stop True Social Innovation in Its Tracks: Founderitis Part I
- Nonprofit Cultural Afflictions that Stop True Social Innovation in Its Tracks: Founderitis Part II
- Nonprofit Cultural Afflictions that Stop True Social Innovation in Its Tracks: Founderitis Part III
- Why Social Media and Online Communities Aren’t Just for Narcissists
- Are Your Board Members Leaders or Managers?
- Q&A: Women, STEM, and the Gender Gap
- The One Thing a Company Can Do to Plug the Women in STEM Pipeline Leak
- Why You Should Be Blogging Your Way to Social Enterprise Success
- A Case Study in Blogging: Foundation Funding
- How to Strategically Expand Your Programs the Lean Startup Way Part I
- How to Strategically Expand Your Programs the Lean Startup Way Part II
- How to Strategically Expand Your Programs the Lean Startup Way Part III
- Why You Should DO Social Entrepreneurship Instead of Study It Formally
- How to Build a Business Model as a Social Enterprise Ecosystem Part I
- How to Build a Business Model as a Social Enterprise Ecosystem Part II
- How a Culture of Frugality Can Trap Your Social Enterprise in the Nonprofit Starvation Cycle