Every entrepreneur hits a point at least once when they suddenly feel that whatever it is they are making won’t make much of a difference at first. The fact of the matter is that for a huge impact to be realized, scale is required and even then, the impact will rarely solve all related problems. This is a sobering thought for all of us.
Yet, a few things are often forgotten: first, that your company’s example will inspire others/fuel new innovation and second, that everything builds on each other (including impact).
It takes way more than one person and one skill set to build a skyscraper, but the end result speaks to the power of collaboration.
David Brooks wrote a recent piece in the NY Times that criticized social entrepreneurs for having “little faith in the political process”. While he is right to suggest that politics warrant attention, we should not discourage those that are building pieces of the skyscrapers.
Today, Dowser published a response which argued the case for social entrepreneurs to continue as is, citing Ben Powell who founded Agora Partnerships: “The best leaders in the country are not going and running for Congress. And that’s a problem—but it’s not a problem that can be solved by a bunch of 22-year-olds with liberal arts degrees…They’re not waiting around. They’re working outside of the system. And they’re being very successful.”
This week we’ve been highlighting the importance of little joys in life. Let me extend that analogy now to entrepreneurship: social entrepreneurs and companies should be celebrating the little bits of impact that they are having in their initiatives.
Do one thing and do it extremely well.
I’ve seen first hand in Pakistan education initiatives by the government that fell flat on their face, and yet social entrepreneurs are able to come in and build one school, or teach one class and do it right.
Yes, politics have the power to reach scale effectively, but social entrepreneurs have the ability to experiment and learn effectively. Both are needed.
Celebrate the little successes; once they start to add up, the politics will come.