GGE Ep 9: Masterclass: Creating Sustainable Revenue in a Social Enterprise

Click the link to go to the now famous blog post: "23 Questions to Ask Yourself if You're Not Generating Enough Money with Your Social Enterprise."

Today's guest Solene Pignet wrote a great blog post, "23 Questions to Ask Yourself if You're Not Generating Enough Money with Your Social Enterprise."

I'll be the first to admit the title doesn't roll off the tongue very easily, but it is impactful.

It was so interesting we decided to do an entire show on the concept. Don't worry, we'll also get into Solene's story on how she jumped ship from the corporate grind to start and run her own social enterprise.

A Map to Your Funeral

What would you want to be said at your funeral? Can you close your eyes and imagine your funeral? Who is speaking? What is being said? Most of us, in a rush to start a business and become successful, forget to actually define success. We shoot for more money, bigger houses and maybe even big impact.

Rarely do we stop long enough to map out a course to our own success.

But what if, just for a few minutes, we took the time and energy to determine what's important? What makes us happy and serves those around us?

Who are the people with whom you spend time - maybe not the specific names, but the quality and kind of people.

The words at the funeral are the endpoints on our own map of life.

On the way, there will be detours, prototypes, and iterations. The road will be winding with thousands of small decisions. Our definition of success is our true north as we are faced with those dilemmas.


Without a true north, we bounce around like a pinball. A definition of success helps us enjoy the journey.

GGE Ep. 8: This Lesson Will Change Your Life

What if there was one skill, that if you had it could change your life and your organization. Well there is, and that skill is persuasion.

In this special episode of Greater Good Entrepreneur, we're going to give you something special. It is a brief lesson, only 15 minutes, that literally can change your life.

In this lesson, you will learn the art of persuasion. Whether you are seeking investors, trying to get an email address, or trying to get someone to come over to your point of view, this lesson will teach you a persuasion architecture you can use for the rest of your life.

You can use it in a conversation, when writing web content, as a guide for writing an article, or any other communication medium you choose.

If you need to persuade someone of something (and we all need to do that several times per day) then this brief special episode is for you.

Want to See the Future of Work? Look at TV and Film

Television shows and films have very short lifespans. A movie may take 1-2 years to make and play for only a couple of months. A television series will run for a couple of years if it ever even gets an audience. Only outliers last more than five years.

Product lifecycles and companies themselves are becoming more and more like TV and film. Products last a few years at best. Companies change so much and so fast that workers can't rely on staying at the same place for an entire career.

For better or worse, the gig economy is the future.

According to the Forbes article "The Rise of the Freelancer Economy," as of January 2016, there are 53 million freelancers in America. By 2020 it is expected that 50% of the US workforce will be self-employed.

Want to know how to plan your career when the economy consists of products and businesses with short lifecycles? Look to your friends in the film business. They've been doing this for years.

Milk Money

GGE Ep 7: - Milk Money with Janice Shade and Louisa Shibley

Vermonters already know the benefits of Eating Local and Buying Local. Now Vermont is leading the way to Invest Local as a way to build a strong local economy.

Communities thrive when people invest in each other. Entrepreneurs and small businesses gain access to “neighborly” capital to grow their company, while investors work toward their financial goals by investing in companies they believe in. The whole community benefits as local jobs are created and wealth is recirculated through the local economy.

Louisa and Janice have started Milk Money as the platform to enable Vermonters to invest locally. You will hear how they got started and how you can invest, or find investors, for a local business.

To learn more about Milk Money go to


Getting There Before the Tank Reaches Empty

When starting a new venture,  the only thing that is certain is it will not look like the thing you imagined at the seed of the idea. We start out putting something out there, we learn lessons, adjust, and try again. We keep running this sequence until we get something that works.

The really really really big question is, how long can you keep learning and adjusting (pivoting) before running out of money. The cheaper and faster your tests, the longer you can keep trying until the puzzle pieces fit together.

A former mentor used to tell me "cash is like gas." When the tank hits empty, everything stops.

Do This One Thing to Have a Better Life

Our lives are made up of conversations. The quality of the people with whom we speak every day will significantly impact the quality of our lives. Jim Rohn said, "we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with."

If we spend our time with negative or disruptive people, we lose our mojo. If we spend our time with people that are moving forward on the kinds of projects and relationships that we love, we move forward.

There is nothing more critical than taking control of the people with whom you surround yourself. We become them.

To the extent that you can control who you speak to on a daily basis, be intentional and vigilant surrounding yourself with the right people.

The Man in the Arena

No one says it better than Teddy Roosevelt did back in 1910.

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

Putting yourself out there means potential financial and social risk. To strive forward doing work that matters involves getting hurt and being vulnerable; because honestly pushing boundaries means sometimes falling.

There is nothing wrong with opting to for invisibility. But being invisible has its price, paid by the soul.


What is Your Important Work?

Our most important work is passive. It won't show up if we don't intentionally carve out time to get it done. Whether it's career, relationships or physical health, it takes specific intent to get the most important (and almost never the most pressing) work done.

  • Showing up at the gym
  • Eating well
  • Going on a special outing with your partner
  • Writing a letter or email to a colleague relationship that needs nurturing

All of these require intentionally stopping the noise of email and facebook and twitter and the constant stream of work stuff that feels important at the moment but can almost always wait.

Getting the most important work done is a practice of living with intention; knowing what is important today and intentionally making time to do it.

Mind the Gap

Most of us feel like we have done the studying and the learning to know our craft, and it feels like that should be enough. But the only thing by which others can judge is the work we produce. The art, the article, the extra time spent meeting with a friend...

The world cannot see what's in your head and heart; they can only know what you produce.

Can you see the gaps in the things you care about and the what you've created?

Intention is not the same as action.