Advice to a Young (Aspiring) Social Entrepreneur

As I continue to find out more and more about entrepreneurship as a means to address societies’ economic, systematic, and spiritual problems, I also find myself asking “Just how do I then get started with social entrepreneurship?” Working (mostly) 9-5 on a desk job, I often feel like I’ve got to drop what I am doing now and start doing things that are directly relevant to entrepreneurship (think joining startups, coffee dates with local entrepreneurs, etc.). If nothing else, having a sense of purpose in one’s work is just good for one’s well-being anyway. How are entrepreneurs-want-to-be’s then to see their daily grind — which may or may not be seen as more menial and tedious labors than startup-like job titles — as essential pieces to their journey into entrepreneurship? Or are they even essential?

I think today’s young people do have a heart and want to do good, but if you want to succeed that’s not enough. You also need to think through your financial model. So my advice: Before launching yourself into a business, get some experience, do volunteering work. Many youngsters today have been raised on handouts from their parents and they need to build some inner core strength. They can’t take stress, because they’ve never really experienced hardship, they’ve never experienced failure; their parents have always been there to help. To build a muscle you need to train it regularly; it’s the same in business. You will have issues coming your way every day, and that’s something you need to learn to deal with so it doesn’t become stressful.

H/T to Elim Chew. See the full NY Times article here.

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