Social entrepreneurship can be one of the most rewarding careers, if pursued with the proper preparation and planning.
Imagine a life where: You work on issues that you care deeply about. You get to meet fascinating people. The work is novel, exciting, and frequently groundbreaking. You get an unparalleled sense of satisfaction that you work actually means something and is helping someone. And you will have no shortage of professional opportunities as long as there remain social problems to be solved.
Another key benefit of becoming a social entrepreneur is that you develop a set of attributes that equip you for success in almost every other profession.
Let’s examine these individually.
As a social entrepreneur, you need to comprehend in depth the problem you are attempting to solve. This requires a multidisciplinary, holistic examination of the issue, understanding its root causes, and finding and assessing solutions for those causes. You must consider cultural, political and economic factors. You have to know who the stakeholders are and their motivations.
For a practicing social entrepreneur, it is essential to possess a broad range of soft skills like effective communication, emotional intelligence, self-awareness, resilience, networking skills, and the power of persuasion.
Practical, relevant tools
You will have in your toolkit a variety of practical and relevant tools accumulated over time that will help you navigate the personal and professional challenges of being a social innovator. These include self-care practices, financial tools, methodologies for organization, efficiency and continuous learning, and problem-solving devices such as The Five Whys Method and the Theory of Change.
Proper mindset and attitude
Perhaps the single most important attribute in being an effective social innovator is having an entrepreneurial mindset. This is a way of approaching the world (and life in general) with creativity, cognitive flexibility, self-confidence, resilience, calculated risk-taking, and enhanced problem-solving abilities.
Learning how to develop and apply these vital attributes is the formula for success in whatever profession or career you choose. Everyone – educator, doctor, engineer, banker, lawyer, artist, activist– can benefit by having this training and knowledge, no matter how you choose to manifest your gift to the world.