3 success factors every Changemaker should embrace

More and more (awesome) people are starting their own venture to create “the change they want to see in the world”.

They quit their — sometimes very well paid — jobs to become Social Entrepreneurs. They dedicate their life at making a difference.

Being an entrepreneur is not easy. Being a changemaker is even more challenging, as you have to both make a positive impact & become financially sustainable.

In our last blog article, we showcased the most frequent challenges Changemakers face all around the world. Here, we want to reflect on success factors, and even encourage you to embrace them (with a very special invitation at the end of this article!)

Success factor # 1: do not reinvent the wheel

When you become a changemaker, there are sooooooo many things to consider

  • A business model that is both impactful AND sustainable
  • How to raise funds (and when to do that?)
  • The best way to educate the public about your cause
  • A marketing plan that will allow you to attract (enough) customers and client
  • If you should write a blog
  • How to handle Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more, without social media sucking all of your time
  • How to manage a newsletter
  • Oh, and make sure you are indeed going in the right direction
  • How to manage your business finances
  • When you should grow your team and how to do it well
  • If it makes sense to run a crowdfunding campaign (and how!)
  • How to design a good work-life balance and avoid burn out
  • How and when to measure your impact
  • … and so much more!

No one is born with the full skill set AND all the knowledge required to make those choices and implement them in the most efficient way possible.

That said, we all have the capacity to learn along the way! One big mistake is to try to figure everything out on your own. Unless you have unlimited resources (= no time constraint), it is a big waste of time and money to reinvent the wheel.

After all, all the challenges listed above have been figured out by others before you! Not trying to reinvent the wheel is a big success factor.

Learning from others who have been there before you is a fantastic success booster.

Success factor # 2: consider your personal development as a driving force

Behind every successful enterprise, there are hard-working, passionate individuals.

Social Entrepreneurs and Changemakers have it in their DNA to make purpose matter before anything else. To make other’s happiness and well-being their nb1 priority.

However, too much dedication can sometimes lead to over-devotion. When you forget about your own well-being and stop taking care of yourself … you open the door to work-life unbalance, increase of stress level, motivation struggle, procrastination, and even burn-out risks.

Instead, consider your own well-being as the sources of { energy + creativity + vision } your initiative needs to move forward.

Take frequent holidays, meditate, read self-development books, nurture personal relations, and above all: invest in yourself. Whatever makes you grow as an individual will have a ripple effect on the positive impact you ambition to build.

Success factor # 3: collaborate with your peers

As a changemaker, you know it is important to grow a community of supporters around your initiative. Beneficiaries and clients of course, but also media, potential partners, and even in some cases potential investors.

In other words, other individuals your initiative needs to thrive.

That said, it is also very important to build a community of peers. People who are taking the same journey — sometimes in fields that are very different from yours.

No matter if they are few steps ahead of you or a little behind, they understand first hand what you are going through. There are no better people on earth to brainstorm with, compare your challenges with, celebrate your (even small!) wins, or even share what keeps you up at night.

Because let’s face it: your friends and family might be willing to be supportive, they can never truly understand what you’re going through as well as a fellow changemaker.

Having a group of peers to collaborate with is a bit like having colleagues in a corporate job — expect they are perfectly like-minded with you (and never complain about “the boss” 😉 )

Sharing your journey with peers will help you you through the ups & downs every changemaker have to face.

Now, ask yourself those 3 questions :

  • Do you have entrepreneurs you can learn from, or are you constantly reinventing the wheel (and spending hours and hours on Google.. 😉 )?
  • Do you make sure you grow as an individual while growing your initiative?
  • Do you have a community of peers to share this roller-coaster drive with?

If you answered “no” to at least one of the above question, come visit us inside Changemakers Lab, an open Facebook community for changemakers to gather, exchange ideas and collaborate!

2 Comments

  • Kay McDonald

    Reply Reply June 26, 2017

    Hi Danielle and Solene,

    I think #2 is STILL the hardest for me after being an entrepreneur for 29 years:).

    When you are passionate about what you do it is so easy to put off the yoga class, eat what is fast,and do a project instead of exercise.

    Guess it’s my life long challenge:)

    • caAdmin

      Reply Reply June 27, 2017

      Thanks Kay for sharing your perspective ! It’s true that passion for what you do can lead you to unhealthy habit… a bit like love for another human being makes you put on weight ^^
      Now, as entrepreneurs we are the driving force of our enterprises, and so self case is actually important to keep the energy and the motivation up at all times !

      Since you’ve been an entrepreneur for so long, this means you must have found a ballance somehow. Even if it doesn’t look perfect on the outside, it must work for you 😉

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