You are only allowed to read it if you promise not to tell Harvard that I barely passed high school and had to use spell check on the word ‘entrepreneur’
The word “Entrepreneur” is one of the most over used terms in the English language today. I think it is really just a fancy word for someone who has an idea, and then has the mettle and follow through to pull it off. That could be an idea for a brand new product, to combine old products to make something new, or even just someone who has an idea for how they can earn a living doing whatever it is they like to do and not working for anyone else.
In the classic sense of entrepreneurship, let’s call it Entrepreneurship 1.0, the spark of an idea and the work that thrusts it forward into the world is most often motivated by the desire to achieve personal financial success (amongst a host of other pat-yourself-on-the-back good feelings predominantly focused on self). Well, at least that is what drove me for the first 7 years of my entrepreneurial escapades.
From my personal experience I can tell you that making a solid amount of money felt damn good, but I found myself always wanting more. It never ceased. Luckily though, through a lot of trial and error, some incredible books, and developing a massive fear that I would strive for more until I ended up a 55 year old dude with a red sports car and a 22 year old girlfriend with daddy issues, I stumbled upon contribution (with a business twist), and “the more”… stopped.
Social entrepreneurship, let’s call it Entrepreneurship 2.0, is something bigger than self, it takes the same creativity, brains, and brass mentioned above but the objectives seek to improve the world in a much larger context. It’s a lofty pursuit; with rewards far greater than those you would win in the Entrepreneurship 1.0 arena.
In 2.0, the challenges we entrepreneurs happily take on change from things like “how do we increase the people we reach with our marketing efforts”, to questions like “how do we increase the amount of people who get to live a life with opportunity and/or health that they would have never had”. It’s a really nice change.
The landscape is different when the goal is worldly rather than personal; competitors can be friends and in turn competition fades away. It’s amazing what you can achieve when you don’t care who takes the credit and energy is truly invested as a unified front.
As the world shrinks and we all become connected at super speed it is my belief that the notion of “us” as opposed to “them” will become an antiquated moot point and that the people of this planet really will unite in an effort to create a whole planet reality that is livable, pleasurable, and beneficial to all.
I think that creative, talented entrepreneurs channeling their innovative and brilliant energy toward causes that benefit themselves and all of our sisters and brothers is not only a necessary next step, but that it’s the natural next step. I am just happy to be able to be a part of it.