During this series we have heard that the problem with overcoming societal issues has traditionally been the ‘for profit’ seen as the baddies who are greedy versus the ‘not for profit’ seen as the bleeding hearts who have great programs but the model for the most part sets them up to be the poor as there is no money for the long-term. We have also seen in Part 2 that the proposed Solution is to Social Enterprise Evolve (SEE) the economy which is winsome or using the play on words, where all win. SEE is where love and money or community and economic development meet in healthy ways. Then Part 3 began the breaking down of what WINSOME looks like. W is for Wider Community or World Benefit. This week is Part 4 considering what the SEE your way to a better world solution looks like for Inventors and Investors.
Inventors or creatives need space to create while Investors need to be making money so there is money to available for developing and promoting new ideas and inventions. One solution for creatives is for philanthropists to commission work. One book I highly recommend which encourages the revival of the arts as a tool to impact the world is The Arts Manifesto: Engaging the Arts. The author, Geraldine Paterson, has done an amazing job of covering such a diverse industry as the arts and gives credible suggestions of how to see new projects come about. I believe that for any business to thrive, especially one that exists to imagineer a better world, that the activities of imagining and play are paramount. Daydreaming and considering the what if’s. This is like playing the movie forward. Games are a great way to do this too. We can act out a certain plan and see consequences. When life is too intense or out of balance, we are more stressed then the creative juices dry up so to speak. The most successful companies in the world know this and even set up their workplaces with spaces to dream, relax and do exercise to break up the day so everyone is more productive and the creative, the administrative and the financial can move ahead together.
In a successful creative partnership, we need both the dreamer / creative and the more practical / financially savvy person for best effect. Of course, when the one person has both, it is awesome. Some call this trait the millionaires hook. A small percentage of people have both and yet without the love and support especially encouragement of trusted confidants, there is the probability of falling into a pit of weariness. Alternatively, this double blessing can make us susceptible to flattery and building the ego, reducing our ability to discern the motives of those around us, which can lead to partnership disasters!
Having an entrepreneurial mindset involves having the vision (which tends to be more creative), plus the stewardship abilities and character (which often is the more practical wisdom). At Imagineering 2 a Better World we also believe that intimacy or vulnerability is essential where we can be real within a solid foundation within ourselves and our own identity as well as having a close protective support network which often, but not always, is family. Ideally, the first line of protection will be in a healthy marriage where each partner complements the other, and encourages and supports them, while also remaining faithful and loyal in all ways. When we are loved and protected we can learn to thrive. In recent years I have seen so many examples of successful couples heading up very successful companies. It inspires me every time. We need to see great examples so we know what it looks like, then we have an image or destination to aspire to.
Investors who want to come alongside creatives need to see a Return on Investment. This is usually but not always financial, however I would propose that it should have at least as one of the goal’s financial sustainability in the long-term. For example, I love micro-financing in the developing world. Where people learn how to run a micro business, then once proven successful, they have access to more money to expand their business further. I believe that if a product or service is great, that with the right team supporting the advancement in the right timing, all will prosper. Usually this must involve a marketing plan. Sometimes though the journey is one of transition, where we need to press in during hard times and overcome the self-doubt, be open to new ways of doing things and new opportunities, while also staying afloat financially, until the breakthrough. This may mean having an additional income or two during really tough times.
When these components of creative and practical, or inventor and investor, come together, the acceleration in growth can be turbo charged. We believe it is time for Social Entrepreneurs to arise. For small teams to take measured risks as with micro financing. Will you join us?