“Find Your Kitchen Cabinet”–Cheryl Dorsey, President at Echoing Green

Today, I’ve got 2 versions for you:

The Pumpkin Spice Latté with Whipped Cream (a.k.a. the “why yes, I don’t mind if I do) version:

What an absolutely beautiful autumn day be BE BOLD, which is fitting since every time time I have heard Cheryl Dorsey speak she conveys exactly that message.

As the President of Echoing Green, a nonprofit which supports emerging social entrepreneurs around the world, Cheryl Dorsey must be incredibly busy. Yet, when she speaks to you, she looks you in the eye with genuine care for what you are saying.

But with all this buzz around social entrepreneurship, it is also important to realize that everyone just ain’t meant to be one. If you want to be a founder, go for it. But if you want to be a supporter, a fundraiser, an adviser, a communicator–that’s an equally valuable and admirable role. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

In other words,  “find your kitchen cabinet.” Figure out what excites you and stick to it. Learn everything you can about it and don’t stop until you start running into the same people, the same books, the same news articles in all your frenetic learning hurry. You want to do it? Great, first know it.

But more than anything, being BOLD isn’t a stand alone concept. To be bold, you must first be open. And here is another one of Cheryl Dorsey’s messages: great ideas won’t just fall into your lap–they can–but most often, you will have to put yourself in as many new and stimulating experiences as possible in order to purposefully stumble upon that next big thing. 

….and here’s The Skinny:

  • So you want to be a social entrepreneur? Great. First, make sure you are an expert in your field.
  • Have you thought about where you want to live one day? Maybe it’s too early to start thinking about that, but then again, it’s never too early. Does your big idea address an issue that exists in that area?
  • Star tip: you should have some finance knowledge and know how to fundraise
  • Clients often won’t come to you initially, no matter how great your idea or your organization. So, go to them.
  • There is as much value in being an entrepreneur as there is in being an intrapreneur, in being a founder as there is in being a supporter.
  • The reality is, the world of social entrepreneurship can set you up on a lonely journey. The solution: find a network that will support you and a community such as that provided by Echoing Green and similar organizations.
  • Q: If I start an organization, how will I determine my salary and the salary of my employees? An A: Look at the prevailing wage in the area where you are, as well as the potential employee’s education and experience. But also step back and think about it simply: do you want to pay your employees well? Would you rather have a few higher paid employees or a greater number of lower paid ones? You’ll have to think about that for yourself.

The Bottom Line: Find your kitchen cabinet, and fill it with a wealth of knowledge and the people who will support you. If you feel like you can’t do that, fake it. But don’t just fake it till you make it,  fake it till you become it.

You are never incapable of being the best possible version of yourself.


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