So here I start… in that period where an idea shifts, changes, grows, implodes… and hopefully emerges better.
I took some time this summer vowing not to make any commitments to any project until the fall… and to not launch anything new on my own. In September I emerged refreshed from some time with family and some time with myself… alone. The product of that time was my best attempt to describe what it is that I do and where I want to focus:
“co-creating entities and initiatives in service of restoring balance among people and the planet”.
A little wordy but captured a lot of meaning for me. Of course, my first bit of work was to engage with those that are doing some work in the area of ‘restoring balance’. It wasn’t long into that that I realised that somehow, in the midst of those conversations, I began talking of that statement as a project I was working on. There went the commitment not to start something on my own.
The underlying beliefs that began to form were that:
- venturing is one of the most powerful tools in creating systemic change
- ‘social entrepreneurs’ are leading the charge but they can only do so much (it’s hard to create new entrepreneurs)
- it IS possible to ‘manufacture’ companies for specific purposes (without requiring entrepreneurs)
- some keys are in setting-aside seed investment for a specific topic, determining the root cause, engage the community in formulating and developing the solution, and having dedicated trios (initiator, facilitator, and analyst) shepherding the process from set-aside to launch.
Over the past two months I’ve explored this idea taking it as far as drafting up my financial model and pitch deck… and a week ago was kindly reminded of the opportunity to walk the talk.
My challenge, is the model I am proposing turns the traditional venturing process around with having the seed funding set-aside up front which then motivates a process of community engagement to uncover rout causes to issues and subsequently the solutions to them. I fundamentally believe in the approach, but my instinct has me chomping at the bit.
As the year winds down I’ve initiated a few more conversations with key people I see as thought/action-leaders in some of my key communities. I don’t know what to expect from them as I’ve sent more of a thesis rather than my more conventional pitch. What I hope though is to have a better sense if I should walk the talk or get back to running.
I guess it’s the entrepreneurial drive… but it’s amazing how hard it is to sit still.