If you spend much time in the entrepreneurial space, you may notice something — conversations seem to immediately turn to topics like “scaling up” and getting funding. But what if that isn’t what you want? What if you’re a purpose-driven entrepreneur who wants to run a solid business, positively impact the world, and achieve growth with balance?
I have good news for you: you can still have a BIG impact on the world with your business, even without achieving massive “scale.”
Now there’s nothing wrong with wanting to scale up and get big (quickly) — for some purpose-driven entrepreneurs, that’s exactly what they’re after — but if you’re focused on achieving massive scale, this post isn’t for you. This is for the entrepreneurs who want to make a difference but don’t want the stress of raising capital and working with investors or the burden of leading a huge organization.
This post is a love letter to help those business owners find some clarity and confidence around the impact their business is making.
So YOU, purpose-driven entrepreneur who is focused on running a good, solid business with balance, let’s talk about five ways YOU can change the world.
Whether you have one employee or 100, you have an opportunity to change the world for the people on your team — and everyone THEY touch. By providing a healthy work culture, fulfilling work, and fair compensation, you are positively impacting the lives of not just your employees, but their families and friends as well. By offering something like profit sharing or an equity ownership program, you could change the course of those families for generations to come. That is a huge deal.
Small, local businesses are the lifeblood of communities. They provide jobs, valuable services or products, support local kids’ sports teams, and donate to local charities. They pay taxes and encourage civic engagement. They participate in career days at local schools. They support the arts. As a purpose-driven entrepreneur, you can demonstrate what it means to be a good corporate citizen.
Every business has an impact on the environment. Every. Single. One. Your business doesn’t have to be directly working to solve the climate crisis, plastic problem or biodiversity loss to positively impact the planet. Look at every aspect of your business and how it affects the planet (it all does, even if indirectly), then start making changes to reduce your negative impact. What can your business do to reduce its carbon footprint? To reduce waste? To prevent biodiversity loss? Moving beyond reducing your negative impact, what can you do to help heal the planet? The fact is, we don’t have time to sit around and do nothing.
Setting an example
Unfortunately, there’s still a lot of people out there that don’t believe a business can be financially successful while balancing the interests of other key stakeholder groups. By running a successful purpose-driven business and being willing to tell your story, you become an example and inspiration for other entrepreneurs and business leaders. Go out there, do good, make a profit, and talk about it.
Your greater purpose
Many purpose-driven entrepreneurs have a very specific impact they’re passionate about. Maybe it’s reducing the racial wealth gap, removing plastic from the ocean, or helping shelter pets find forever homes. What’s yours? As one of my favorite quotes goes, “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” – Desmond Tutu
I love you, purpose-driven entrepreneur who wants to improve your corner of the world. And I’m telling you the truth when I say that you can have — ARE HAVING — a big impact on the world. It’s not just about the direct impact you make in the above areas, although they’re important. It’s the incredible ripple effect you can have on the world just by running a business that does the right thing and cares about people and the planet (while also making a profit.)
You’re amazing, and the world needs more business owners like you.