Sunday, February 28, 2010

if you could have your time again... life lessons for social entrepreneurs

There’s a regular feature in a private business management magazine that asks prominent business leaders each issue if, with hindsight, they’d have done anything differently if they had their time again.

Recently, at a networking event organised by Social Enterprise Yorkshire & Humber and Unltd, I had the opportunity to ask a panel of prominent and successful social entrepreneurs what they, if they had their time again, and with the benefit of hindsight, might do differently.

I’ve transcribed their responses below, and get the feeling that it was the question that people in the room most appreciated being asked and answered:

* Recognise the timing – most successful enterprises (social and otherwise) are opportunistic in response to emerging or changing need

* thinking more about what you want to get out of it – it’s too easy to let it take you over (something that I always counsel start-up businesses about, and have developed a tool around to manage)

* finding more resources – you can never have enough people, support or materials

* being single or having a very understanding partner

* gaining more knowledge – however much you think you know, there’s probably something crucial you’ve overlooked so never turn down the chance to learn something new

* more partnerships – you can never have enough, and you never know when you’ll need them so always be seeking new groups to hook up with

* making more mistakes – ...and learning from them as they’re the greatest source of learning you have

* don’t go it alone – take every opportunity to get together with other entrepreneurs to be encouraged, re-invigorated and refreshed

all seems really useful insight - the sort of thing we perhaps don't talk enough about, but what would your answer be?

1 comment:

  1. Articulate a clear vison, set goals and go for it. I was suprised by how things fell into place and the amount of support that I was able to attract by asking. Now we have a multi million pound co-operative