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.

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.

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.

Get One

Passionate idea people are beautiful. The dreams and the excitement are contagious. And most of those dreams and visions go nowhere.

We can see the big end goal, the helping of thousands of underserved people. There's an image of our firm with people all across the world, or our software platform linking thousands of buyers and sellers, or shipping 1,000 units per month of our new cool gadget.

But what stands between the grand vision and today's current reality? More often than not it's one customer that's not your mother or your friend.

Once one customer comes in the door and they are delighted, a second and third come along. Now you've started a real entity. Money is coming in, money is going out, and most importantly people are being served.

You may be losing money every month, and that's OK. When you know how to find people that want your thing and people to pay for it (those that pay and those that use are not always the same), you can work out the details later.

For any of this to happen requires a first revenue generating user. Then a second and a third until a sustainable financial model is developed.

All of this is to say that we need to walk before we can run. Our vision may be helping thousands per year. To help thousands, someone has to be first, and second, and third...

There is simply no getting around this paradigm. To have something big, you have to start with a first user. To become an adult, you have to start as a child.

Can you get one user for your thing? If you can, do it and put all the rest of the noise on hold. The other issues will be there when you get back.

How Fear Invalidated Months of Work

A client recently sought council on some very specific features and benefits of a product under design. Finally, after some prodding, she agreed that what she needed to do was speak directly with prospects instead of spending money on a consultant (sometimes we need to fire customers to help them).

But she was frightened to talk with target prospects and spent several more months making guesses at design and copy. Her product eventually launched but by the time she got to sales and profits she was burned out and hated the process. Her family life and career had suffered. All because she was scared to ask her prospects a few simple questions.

In the end, what makes your project or product successful is getting someone to pay for it and be happy they did so after use.

So before building something, talk to the people you plan on selling to and make sure it's something they want to buy.

In startup circles, this is called Customer Development, and it's critical to launching successfully.




* No relationship, affiliate or otherwise, exists with those linked in this post.

Just in Time Learning vs. Just in Case Learning

Entrepreneurs and especially wantrapreneurs are addicted to learning. When classes and books are consumed because the knowledge will be valuable "someday," it's just-in-case learning.

Courses taken that we execute on and produce right away are just-in-time learning. We learn and do simultaneously.

The problem is just-in-case learning can become counter-productive.

There is nothing wrong with learning purely for the love of learning. It's a great gift.

However, if the idea is to start and grow something, every minute spent reading and taking in new information, if not used immediately, is a waste of the most precious resource, time. When starting out time needs to be spent producing.

Producing can be creating leads, setting up systems, creating content or otherwise doing work that gets us closer to revenue generating activities.

If you're about to start a new training ask yourself if this is something you can implement right away. If it's not, but you still want to do it because you'll enjoy the experience, then, by all means, do the training.

But know that when you're doing just-in-case learning, put it in the fun and entertainment bucket because listening to videos is leisure.

Doing exercises and sharing the results (just-in-time training) is work. And it's work that propels starting something great.


Kusikuy Clothing

GGE Ep 6: - Kusikuy Clothing with Tamara Stenn

Dr. Tamara Stenn is quite an entrepreneur. By age 25 she already had her a successful advertising firm. She gave that up to go into the Peace Corps. Then came back home and started a business while getting her masters degree.

While owning the business, she got her Ph.D. and taught economics and entrepreneurship.

Now, she is restarting another socially conscious business, Kusikuy. 

Global Social Entrepreneurs Lab

GGE: Ep 4 - Global Social Entrepreneurs Lab

Today we get to know Danielle Carruthers.

She is the founder of Global Social Entrepreneurs Lab and The great thing about what Danielle does is bring people together. She knows how to tap the wisdom of crowds to find great solutions to world changing problems.

Podcast; Sustainability Roundtable, Inc. founder Jim Boyle

Jim Boyle shares an inspirational story of how he put his vision of a sustainable society into action by creating the Progressive Business Leadership Network, and then went on to create the Sustainability Roundtable, Inc. ( The Sustainability Roundtable, Inc. provides a new model of sharing that allows companies and governments to reach sustainability goals faster and at less cost through collaboration.

More Evidence: Conscious Capitalism Pays

OK. So nobody is colder and more bottom line oriented than Wall Street. And Goldman Sachs is getting the brunt of it now. So that's why if they say green is most profitable, it probably is. After all, The Street values profit over all else. According to a Goldman finding, "from 2005-2007, organizations that are leaders in leveraging environmental, social and corporate governance considerations for sustained competitive advantage outperformed  global stock funds by 25%."

Why would anyone start a business today and not make it green? It is clearly where the money is. And the good karma!