The world seems like a troubling and confusing place right now. There’s a great deal of political and social unrest and division, particularly here in North America. I believe that business and social enterprise are the most practical catalysts to unite a divided people, and bring hope to those looking for value, purpose, and meaning in uncertain times.
Opportunity in chaos
They say the only thing constant in life is change. And, although I don’t enjoy change as much as the next gal, I recognize that change brings with it a plethora of positive opportunities, particularly for those of us keenly looking for them.
Don’t ever buy into the mentality that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. That saying literally only applies to actual dogs! Although they are some of the most brilliantly intelligent animals on the planet, they have a limited capacity to learn. You do not! Worried that your education is becoming null and void due to quickly evolving technology? Sign up for a bootcamp at HackerYou and learn how to code. Or, take a evening courses in Digital Marketing at BrainStation. You don’t have to enrol in another 4-yr degree at a traditional university to have value in a changing marketplace. Explore other options available to you. Or better yet, learn how to edit photos, design on Adobe Illustrator, or start a fitness program, all on YouTube!
Uncertain times = Unending opportunities
Either you rise to the challenge of uncertain times, or you buckle under the pressure and get washed away by the waves of change. You decide. If you choose to rise above your negative circumstance, then the best way to do so is by planting your feet with some solid wisdom – acquire new and improved understanding and skills.
Rallying people to march and protest for a cause they believe in has it’s value, but greater value can be found among those who do something tangible and practical with their convictions. Do you believe in empowering women to be entrepreneurs? Then set up a program like in your community to encourage and equip women to tap into their talents and start a business. Do you believe in helping women in developing countries earn a living and be self-sufficient? Then support companies like The Little Market, a fair trade non-profit that supports female artisans from countries like Nicaragua, Haiti, and Laos. Or, put your money where your mouth is and hire refugees to work for your organization. Help them help themselves as they build their new lives in North America.
There is very little I would lace up my shoes, paint a sign, and march around and chant on the streets for. Perhaps that makes me an ignorant person, but I’d much rather DO SOMETHING about that which I believe in, like meet up with people and help them with their personal finances for free. Your efforts to improve the world don’t have to be global in scale. It starts in your community, in your network of friends and family, in practical ways that improve personal economies and instill a sense of hope in their lives.
Business is about giving
As citizens of this world, it’s our job not to just live our own life, but to give to others. What value can you pass on to someone to help improve their situation? I recently realized that I had a knack for teaching people about personal finances. Over many years of learning and growing in this area myself, I decided to put myself out their and offer free help to anyone who needs it. Since then, I’ve meet with many people and helped organize their personal finances, teaching them along the way why things like saving, giving, spending wisely, and investing are important. Serving and giving to other is all business really is! Effective, lasting businesses and companies are the ones that deeply understand their responsibility to deliver valuable service to their customers and clients.
The more you look outside of your own circumstances and start seeing the needs, hopes, and dreams of others, you’ll begin to find greater purpose in yourself. You’ll come up with ideas in which you can both help others AND make money while doing it. And, there’s nothing wrong with making money as you help people!
Business allows people to engage and contribute in the marketplace and feel like they have a place in this world. I am certain that this kind of hope is powerful to lift anyone out of the pit of despair, and offer them a sense of belonging and meaning. So, rather than joining the next march about your cause of choice, pick up pen and notebook, start jotting down some ideas that will help people, and go make a dent in the universe.
Here’s to the person who made a killing making all those pink p***y caps for the Women’s March…