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.

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


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 to Make Selling Easy

Stand for Something

When we stand for something, features (beyond the minimum requirements) become irrelevant.

The hardest part about selling is building trust. Stand for something; then you'll have the confidence of those in your camp. They'll buy from you because they like you and genuinely want to support your commitment.

When we stand for something in public, we speak for those that feel unheard and this builds engagement no advertising or PR can offer.


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.

ASRA Foods

GGE: Ep 5 - ASRA Foods with Jill Ouazzani

When they followed their dreams and moved to Vermont life was great. Beautiful surroundings, great quality of life, educational opportunities. It was perfect... well, except for the olive oil.

Vermont is a leader in great local foods, but without great olive oil these foods weren't fully meeting their potential. At least not to the Ouazzani crew.

So they decided to combine their passion of helping small farmers with the need for great olive oil into a business.

ASRA foods was born from that passion. Listen to how Jill and Simo Ouazzani are navigating a brand new family, jobs and a new businesses. And kicking ass at all of it.

These are truly great people. Enjoy!

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.