The leaders who are most successful at changing how things were being done in the world are the ones who are never fazed by obstacles; they always find workarounds and solutions to whatever got in their way.
The “It can’t be done” mindset is not only in their vocabulary; it actually pisses them off when they are around someone with whom it is.
There are many excuses from social and green entrepreneurs about it being so hard to be green (and/or) social and do well in business. Then they list off all the reasons why.
Here’s the deal: it’s going to take an Unreasonable way of being to restore the planet, economy and society from the mess we spent so many years of hard work creating.
What does it take to be Unreasonable?
Strong Leader: someone with unrelenting energy, passion and conviction that they will be successful. Someone with a deep sense of the issues and a strong sense of their boundaries. They are not in it for the fame and fortune.
Amazing Vision: one that attracts many people to want to get involved in making it happen. It is steeped in a powerful understanding that something must change in order to make things right again.
Intense Determination: armed with their vision and leadership, they move forward. As the world resists and challenges them, they stay focused and clear on their objective.
System to Deal with Obstacles: whenever they hit up against something, rather than picking up their marbles and going home, they find ways to move forward.
Powerful Support Team: you are only as powerful as the team you surround yourself with. Those that the team can rely on when they hit their obstacles and psyche themselves out along the way.
This Unreasonable mindset is crucial when dealing with some of the biggest challenges green/social entrepreneurs face. Things like global warming, our addition to oil, community breakdowns, extreme poverty and so on. Here are some of these entrepreneurs’ challenges (and solutions):
Competitive Disadvantage — many non-green competitors only focus on price, not the impact they have on their communities and the environment. Plus some industries are heavily subsidized, like oil, coal and natural gas as well as agriculture. And then there is China selling green products below cost just to gain foothold in the US.
Most feel they can’t compete. Wrong answer! First, don’t compete on price. You will never win that one. Second, make it hip, cool, trendy when at all possible.
Consumer Skepticism — with everyone and their mother now having a green solution, it gets overwhelming. And most of the claims are false or exaggerated (called greenwashing). To deal with this, speak to the skepticism before it speaks to you.
No Money Out There — with the economy in the dumps, so is funding new ventures, right? Think again!
If you’ve got something fundable with the right team in place, there is money to be had. If not, there are dozens of ways to work around needing the funding.
Can’t Change People’s Buying Behaviors — this one is getting old, but there are still droves of entrepreneurs who really believe it to be true. At the end of the day, what will have us successfully change the world is our scope of thinking. A limited scope gives us excuses and finger pointing.
Written by Stefan Doering
Adapted from It Takes an Unreasonable Person to Change the World