Published on November 16th, 2017 | by Seanne N. Murray, Esq.0
The 5 Stages of Social Entrepreneurship: When Your Ego is Slow Mo’ Crushed Like a Lemon with a Baseball Bat
To dream is to contemplate possibility.
To fulfill a dream is to cause that thought or series of thoughts to be realized.
For some, dreams occur in sleep, a place where notions form, often unnoticed and mostly forgotten.
For others, dreaming is a way of life, the genesis of change and the foundation of social entrepreneurship.
Dreaming is the easy part.
Even that requires a level of attunement that connects us to something greater or the desire for more personally, professionally and, hopefully, universally in terms of impacting the greater good.
Dream fulfillment is the hard part.
Everything we do comes with great responsibility to ourselves and to others in terms of the impact we generate.
To be successful is to attain dreams, to be a dream fulfiller rather than a dream chaser.
It doesn’t come easily. You will be broken and forged back together in ways you never imagined.
And you will be fulfilled.
Social entrepreneurship, more common in the UK, Canada, South Africa and other areas of the world outside the U.S., is the development of profitable endeavors that are scalable and sustainable to solve community problems.
Music, for instance, is, in my opinion, a social enterprise as it has the power to impact humanity and the direction of society.
It can be used to destroy a la the drug inducing Molly Percocet, Future’s personal rendition and support of annihilation via street trafficking and big pharma.
On the other hand, Jay-Z is now using music, the melodic tones of rap and Nina Simone, to “rinse it”, to wash away the slave like mentality that says we’re incapable of utilizing our skills to be our best selves and change the world.
As an entrepreneur, and more recently a social entrepreneur, intent on empowering people to change the world through whatever device I can originate, I encourage you to dream on, to “sing for the years” like Aerosmith, not “just for today”, but for a lifetime and for our future.
Like the stages of grief, there’s a process we must endure to become dream fulfillers.
Here are the 5 stages of social entrepreneurship:
1. It Takes Two
Dream fulfillment, the essence of social enterprise, requires monumental commitment.
You must soldier through.
If you believe in God, there’s your two. Otherwise, you’re on your own.
Until you become crystal clear on your what and your why, you’ll be like #45 at a rap concert in Chicago, alone and afraid.
Your first idea may not be the right idea or the best idea, but it’s a beginning.
There is something sacred about that first whisper, that hint of something dynamic to come.
Think of it as a suggestion that you can play with and revise until you get it right.
No matter how many revisions it takes, from two to a hundred and two, don’t stop until you get it right.
3. 99 Problems
Unless you’re independently wealthy, ninety-nine problems will be the tip of the iceberg.
Naysayers are loud and boisterous.
Ain’t no party like a hater party.
Have you seen those egg frying this is your brain on drugs ads?
Yeah, your ego will be fried and crushed in epic slow motion like a lemon with a baseball bat.
People will think you’re crazy. They’ll be brutal.
Sometimes you’ll believe them.
Your circumstances will be merciless and uncivilized.
The lost coziness of that regular day job, assuming you’ve gone full immersion, will reveal what you’re made of when the rent isn’t paid, your internet bill is due, the gas is shut off and there’s nothing but hope on the horizon.
Yeah, the life of a social entrepreneur is cold AF.
4. Sorry Not Sorry
There are times when you’ll be sorry and feel sorry for yourself.
My advice is, don’t do it!
Be unapologetic about who and what you are and the experience itself.
When it comes to your mission, be ruthless.
Your mission will take first place in your life, above friends, family, and mates. If they’re gone when you come out on the other side, hasta la vista, baby.
When they come running back, the choice is yours.
For me, once you’ve left the island, you ain’t coming back to live in the villa on the hill.
Have you heard of the dark night of the soul?
It’s a place of unmitigated and unrelenting desolation when the world says, “this is real life mofo”.
In the art of the screenplay, as in life, it’s that darkest before the dawn moment, when all is lost, when giving up seems to be the only option.
It’s the devastation we must endure to demonstrate our fortitude and examine our level of commitment to self and to the world.
As a social entrepreneur, this time is vital.
If you come from a place of personal suffering that you intend to change, like homelessness or abuse or shame, it’ll take you to those bleak moments to remind you of and reinforce your why.
If you haven’t endured the great struggle you seek to alleviate, this time of dark contemplation will move you from compassion to empathy and provide you with an endless source of knowledge and perseverance that will make you unstoppable.
6. The Awakening
Yes, you’re fully woke now.
Life is as real as politics on Twitter.
It’s intense. You can’t close your eyes and don’t want to.
You’re on fire, not like a fake emoji, but like a flame throwing comic book character equipped with x-ray vision.
You are clearer than you’ve ever been on what’s happening and what you’re here to do.
A drive through miles of homelessness on skid row, the sound of gun shots before they shred the flesh of unarmed victims, the vacant look in the eyes of an abused child, will chill your soul and bring tears to your eyes, but you’ll come out swinging like a warrior on assignment.
This is the life you’ve chosen and the life that’s chosen you. The journey of a dream fulfiller, a social entrepreneur, will be the most difficult and enriching time of your life.
Soon, you’ll be smashing pumpkins.