Something’s not sitting quite right with me right now. I’ve read a lot of people’s social media posts, etc. lately saying they want to make a difference, but when they explain what that difference is, it becomes a sales pitch.
Making a difference, social entrepreneurship, impact – these have all become buzzphrases for people trying to capitalize on other people’s guilt and willingness to do good without actually doing anything.
I’m not saying you need to make a BIG difference. If everyone does some little thing to improve the welfare of others, when it’s all combined that’s huge. But be honest about it. If you really don’t care about social, environmental, animal welfare causes, etc. then don’t use that messaging just to make sales.
While I certainly admire the work of organizations like charity:water and Pencils for Promise, I’m most inspired by small business owners doing their part. I’m inspired by people who were dealt a nasty hand or experienced a serious problem in their life and found a way to alleviate that pain for others. Whether it’s through coaching, or donating money, or helping communities sustain themselves through small businesses, it does make a difference.
One of the main inspirations for starting Be Rad Media was to help people, namely struggling small business owners who want to change lives but are bogged down by trying to deal with all the nonsense online; people who want to make a difference, but would rather work in their business than on the marketing of it. And eventually, I want this baby to grow big and strong so that I can start using money in really meaningful ways.
My big dream is that eventually social business will be more popular and powerful than business that only cares about the bottom line. This is what Sir Richard Branson calls Capitalism 24902.
How do you want to leave the world better than you found it?
Maybe you’re like Stasha Washburn of The Period Coach and you want to end the taboo of menstruation by empowering women with useful information and changing the conversation about “the curse” into something more positive.
As Stasha says, “when it clicks for a woman, she stops punishing herself and realizes her power!”
That’s fucking huge.
Or maybe you’re like Christine Parma, who was so inspired by a mentor during what she calls a hopeless depression, that she decided it was her life’s mission to help other people become mentors.
“Just as my mentor’s help was the turning point in my life, there are people who desperately want and need what only you can give them.”
I posted the question, “in one sentence why do you want to make a difference?” on a Facebook group and the first response was gold.
“Because I can.”
So stop saying you’re all about doing good and changing people’s lives, and start actually doing it. You’ve got nothing to lose, and a ton to give.
In a giving mood? I’m raising money and cycling 300KM in June with the Great Cycle Challenge to help kids with cancer. Donate today or share the page.