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The Need For Social Entrepreneurship

03.04.14 - Just spoke with another potential client.

Just read an Influencer post called "Profit is not Purpose." It made me think, so I am sharing it here with you…

I recently attended a wedding reception where, in typical fashion, we were each placed randomly at tables with other guests filled with both familiar and unfamiliar faces. Among the faces at my table was a young woman whom I'll call Amy to protect her identity and my inbox.

Although I rarely speak about what I do unless asked, my reputation as a hard-working entrepreneur seems to precede me, which I am grateful for. Knowing this, Amy asked me for my advice on a business she was just starting. I was happy to oblige, and she continued to share her story. She explained that she has been a nanny most of her adult life and had moved on to public relations; however, her previous clients were still contacting her to see if she was available for nanny services. This was her "light bulb" moment.

In her words, "That's when I said to myself, I could make money on this!" She proceeded to tell me her detailed plan to dominate the nanny service industry online, etc., etc. Once she finished her pitch, she looked at me ready for my words of wisdom, but all I could do was wish her luck.

I take great pride not only in being an innovator and entrepreneur but also in paying forward the advice and mentoring I've been given along the way by helping other aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs. However, it matters to me who I help and what their true intentions are. I didn't once hear Amy speak of the overwhelming problem parents' face when trying to find a caregiver they can trust or about how her expertise could really help ease the hearts and minds of moms and dads with a great vetting method she had created. She was doing it for all the wrong reason: money.

Clearly, we all need money, and most of us would not show up for work tomorrow if we knew our efforts wouldn't help pay our bills. However, "purpose over profit" is and should be at the heart of a true entrepreneur. Sadly, it seems to be a dying characteristic among the up and comings.

I reserve my advice for those who truly seek to create where there's a need, for those who are driven by purpose, helping others and bringing something to market that advances our society, not just their own wallets.

More and more, the entrepreneurs I encounter all seem to fall into the same category. They believe in the millionaire guru of the week but not in solving real problems. They are not individuals. They use business books as their bibles. What they fail to realize is that the iconic innovators and entrepreneurs they worship didn't get there by reading how everyone else did it.

I shudder to think that Amy is a prelude to the future of entrepreneurship. Living in today's culture, where becoming a reality TV personality is considered success and infomercials are viewed as marketing genius, I can clearly see why the tide may be turning.

Being a true innovator or entrepreneur comes with a responsibility to yourself, to the public and to other entrepreneurs. We must act and create where there is true need for our products and services, not pander to the ever-increasing desire of our society to accumulate and possess. I'm sure this new type of business person is called something, or will be soon enough. In the meantime, I will discontinue the use of the words "entrepreneur" and "innovator" to describe all aspiring business owners and reserve those terms for those who do them justice.

Hmmm. I wonder what John Galt would think.

Profit Is Not Purpose

By Dawn Strobel, CEO & Co-Owner at Go By Truck, Inc.

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About Tracy Diina Communications
Tracy Diina Communications provides PR and fundraising support for non-profits and small businesses who need big time results. We provide personal, mission driven attention to your organization, using our experience in issues development, communications and non-profit management. And remember…at Tracy Diina Communications, all work is totally catered to the individual client so once an organization's needs are fully fleshed out, we will determine what package we can create that will be the best fit for you!

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