A good friend once told me that happiness was as much in taking as it is in giving. This may appear to be a simple justification for looking forward to birthday or holiday gifts. But what I’m really interested in is sustainability. I’ve been exploring more about growing businesses and starting new ventures lately and it seems that “taking and giving” is a necessary cycle for successful entrepreneurship.
Giving and taking. Taking and giving. These are sustainable cycles. Taking and taking and giving and giving are guaranteed failures over time.
Although this principle is immediately visible in social entrepreneurship, it is as vital of a component in general entrepreneurship, where fiscal profit alone may be the objective. To start any venture for a beginning entrepreneur requires borrowed human capital. Networks, expertise, advice, trust… It often feels like I’m in deeper debt of human capital than I could possibly give back in a life time. While I try to give back where I can, and as much as I show gratitude it’s probably not enough–still I’ve got a lot more to take if I want to have a lot more to give.
A friend of mine at Catalyst Humanitarian sent me an email today to let me know a google search of Utah Social Entrepreneuship brings up John Keller as one of the top results on Google.
Fun novelty aside, (thanks naymz.com) it does help to illustrate the how segmented the industry is for social entrepreneurship in Utah. Social entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of all backgrounds for that matter would benefit from a more consolidated social entrepreneurship community in Utah or their respective states. The challenge of developing a lasting venture that has positive social impact is incredible. It is an exciting prospect to think of how various social entrepreneurs could work together to share networks and resources to responsibly and profitably improve their local and global communities.
I spent the weekend in L.A. working to develop relationships with USC, UCLA and a number of non-academic book related publishers and programs. Although I’ve been to L.A. a number of times, this is the first time that I had the chance to spend time with the L.A. local scene.
I have a close friend who took me to see a number of the best movie-star hot spots. It was my first time acting as a paparazzi, and although we didn’t really see many stars, it was still a fun experience.
While eating a burger at a popular L.A. pub, I had a chance to talk with some of the local residents. The gentleman I spoke with told me about his experience living in a city that was so big with so many options and cultures that he felt he lost himself for the first 5 years of living there. “Ironically,” he said, “after going through all of the motions and learning and developing, I found myself right back where I was before. The same person, only more developed, stronger–wiser.”
Although I’ve never spent enough time in the City of Angels to have my own L.A. Walk-About, there’s something to what he said that seems to apply to a lot of different parts of life. In business, in relationships–especially in entrepreneurship. We work hard to grow and ultimately sell the business. We end up in a similar position to where we started, but our experiences and understanding is so much more developed than when we first started.