Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Social Justice is Not a Theology, it's the Heart of Christ

God is compassionate

In Mark 1:40 (NKJV) the bible tells a story, "Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, "If You are willing, You can make me clean," Then Jesus, moved with compassion (my emphasis), stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, "I am willing; be cleansed.""

Let us go deep down a second

This word compassion is vital to our comprehension regarding God's heart for the poor and hurting. This word is "splagchizomai: to be moved in the inward parts, i.e. to feel compassion."

Jesus himself was stirred deep inside by the needs he saw. Strong's concordance goes on to say the definition of compassion is, "I feel compassion, have pity on, am moved."

This is a first phase that many of us miss. He FELT. Many remove feeling and emotion away from life with Christ. They rationalize and theorize but they don't FEEL. They debate and argue but aren't moved. They defend and criticize but are not compassionate.

No wonder they have a concern with social justice. To them it's a statistic. A theology. Not a feeling. They probably have never peered into the eyes of an orphan or fed a starving family; Have never seen with their own eyes the hurt and misery of God's children. If you see that with your own eyes something moves very deep within you. A gut wrenching feeling: compassion.

If you can look upon these atrocities, even hear of them and not be moved there is something wrong. JESUS FELT. Jesus was moved. Jesus cared about the hurting.

Social justice is not a theology; It's the heart of Christ.

Be moved and take action.

Compassion is a feeling, a God feeling; a gift. A gift that should move us to action to labor non-stop making a difference in this world. Do a word study on 'compassion' in the bible. It's all over. Many miracles started off saying, "and he had compassion on them."

Colossians 3:12 says, "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."

Not only is compassion a thing Christ had. It's something He inspires us to have. He requests us to CLOTHE ourselves (that's an action) with compassion. We all agree with the other virtues: kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. But what about compassion? Why has it become a reason of disagreement among Christian circles?

Jesus does not see numbers; He sees people. He doesn't see statistics; He sees individuals. He doesn't see multitudes; He sees the one.

He sees the parentless child. He sees the hungry mother. He sees the unemployed father. He sees the AIDS ridden woman. He sees the abducted woman forced into prostitution. He sees the child laborer. He SEES; And He is MOVED with compassion about it. Moreover, He COMMANDS us to be moved with compassion about it.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Cause Marketing: Set Your Social Enterprise Apart

One area that will set your social venture apart from a classic organization competitor is your story. You are doing something unique. Instead of just offering your product or service, you are committed to making a difference. You have a top quality product and a attention grabbing social mission.

Now you have to tell your story, we call this Cause Marketing.

There are a variety of surveys showing off the benefits of having a cause underlying your product or service. That in most all cases where there is similar quality and price cause wins.

"42% of consumers put social purpose as a top deciding factor after quality and price." (good purpose survey)

To Get the Most From Your Cause Marketing Efforts:

Be Authentic

People can detect a fake from a mile away. Consumers know if you are just doing lip service, or if you are really truthful.

Check it in yourself first: Are you really truthful? Is it something you are serious about or are you just doing it to try to gain a competitive advantage?

Be authentic. Get passionate about a problem and work to make a real change in that area through your social enterprise.

Tell a Your Story:

"Hi I'm Joe from xyz travel company, We are a full service online accommodation provider, offering hotels, cottages, and villas. We focus on customer satisfaction and fulfilment." BLAH BLAH!!

"Hi I'm Justin from Ethic ! Travel. We offer top quality hotel and vacation rentals online. But we are more than that. With every booking we donate a portion of profit to help build homes for someone in need. So you can have a vacation and make a difference!"

This is one of the keys to Tom's Shoes success. Someone says, "hey check out my shoes, and guess what, whenever you buy a pair another pair goes to someone without in a third world country. Isn't that cool?"

That's effective word of mouth advertising! It's something people want to share with their friends and co-workers.

Choose the right platform:

If you want to compete with the big boys you have to find the best path and platform to share your story. There ARE people to be found who will LOVE what you do and be unbelievably passionate about it. It's your job to be on the platforms where they are looking for something like you!

Find which platform would fit best with your organization (your culture, social mission, strategy, etc.)


  • Blog
  • Video
  • Podcast
  • Micro Blogs (Twitter, Facebook, etc)
  • Online Networking groups
  • Offline networking groups
  • Rotary club, toastmaster, EO Group, etc.

There are many more platforms, and much has been written on them. Just Google it and you will find plenty about marketing platforms you can use.

Find the best platform or arrangement of platforms that harmonize your brand to get across your message.

Market Your Product or Service Too:

I know this should be evident, but you would be surprised; I have seen a number of social businesses that when you look on their twitter, blogs, or other marketing efforts ONLY talk about their cause. Remember, you are selling a product or service too. People are not JUST going to buy from you because you do good. You must offer an exceptional product or service, as well as a social mission.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Overcome discouragement and failures on the way to your dreams

I decided to record this as a video blog too. You can either read or watch, whichever suits you best!

Just this morning I was reading a book called Crush it. The author was talking about being open and honest with your visitors. That encouraged me to write this.

The truth about business and pursuing your passion

1) It is not easy
2) It takes a lot of time
3) It takes a LOT of hard work and perseverance

Some business guru's and books make it sound so basic. Just do this and that and you'll be successful. Follow steps one, two, three, and boom you will have miraculously arrived.

I know from myself and several close friends of mine, all of which are also going hard after life trying to live tremendous lives and make a difference, that it does not always go the way we think. And it sure isn't easy. There will be obstructions as you go.

Most people talk only of their successes. Yet, it's in the failures that we learn and grow the most.

It's in the journey of struggles that we grow and become the people we need to be to manage the vision that is in our heart.

I have failed...many times. I have been refused from investors, lost business competitions, failed ideas, to name a few. I would love to say that I never let any of that stop me. But that's not true.

There was a occasion I distinctly remember when I let the discouragement of failure beat me.

I was spending so much time trying to build this social business company. Through a connection / mentor I was able to set up a meeting with two top executives of a large company. My meeting was to pitch them for our company as a consultant, coming in to work on helping them integrate strategic social impact into their company.

Long story short, they did not share the same value of making a difference with the poor as I do.

I was exceedingly discouraged. I let the failure dictate me. It was at a time when we desperately needed some breakthrough. I walked in the door and my wife said she could see defeat on me, which is not normal for me.

To be honest, it took me months to shake off that defeat.

The failures have grown me

The interesting truth that I've learned as I have contemplated some of the defeats and failures is that they aren't really failures if you learn and grow from them. They are part of the journey. They have grown me in ways I never could have dreamed.

There is a great quote that is incredibly inspiring, "He works all things together for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose."

I would not be where I am today without having gone through the learning experiences of my failures. I know that they are shaping me to handle the huge dream in my heart.

6 Ways to overcome discouragement and failures:

  1. Get around a like minded community
  2. Find some mentors who are successful
  3. Read about other successful people to get inspired by their stories
  4. Determine to NEVER give up
  5. Stay Focused don't let discouragement get you off track
  6. Spend some time thinking and writing out the purpose behind your vision

These are some things that have helped me after periods of discouragement and failures.
I hope it helps you.


I would love to hear some of your stories so others can benefit from what you've learned.. Have you had failures that took you off course?

How did you handle it?

What advice would you give to others?

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

6 benefits to adding strategic social impact to your business

1) Increase customer buy-in / loyalty because they are a part of something more than profit.

“86% of global consumers believe that business needs to place at least equal weight on society’s interests as on business’ interests.” - Edelman 2010 goodpurpose®

2) Strengthen employee attraction, retention, and satisfaction

A survey of 759 graduating MBAs revealed they rank social responsibility very high on their list of values. 97.3% said they’d take up to a 14.4% sacrifice in income to work for a company that exhibited a strong social mission (Stanford Survey).

3)Increase your competitive advantage through adding a unique selling point

42% of consumers put social purpose as a top deciding factor after quality and price (good purpose survey).

4) Your social impact goes further

Toms Shoes founder, Blake, says that if he were to invest $500,000 into buying shoes to give away it would have given shoes once. However, by investing $500,000 into his business that gives shoes with a sustainable model, as of Sept. 2010, they have been able to donate one million pairs of shoes.

5) Attract strategic partnerships

Danone partnered with social enterprise Grameen bank to provide fortified yogurt in Bangladesh. Likewise, Ralph Lauren created a strategic partnership with Toms Shoes.

6) More fulfilment in business and life

We all know that money is not an end in itself, and leaves us unfulfilled and unsatisfied on its own. Whereas, giving and helping others brings true fulfilment.

We are offering a special 30 minute free consultation to talk through how you can add a strategic social impacting element into your business. Our desire it to see the world changed, and that starts with you. Send us an email to set up your free appointment, live, phone, or Skype.

Social Business Investment - ROI Squared

ROI2 (ROI Squared) - Return on Investment x Return on Impact

Usually, there are two types of investments available: financial and social. The first is investment into high producing corporations for optimum return on financial investment. The second, and less common, is investment into the charity sector for a high social return on that investment; which would be viewed as a donation not to be recouped. Having said that, there is a new trend growing; being powered by a fairly new theory coined social business.

The Trend

A social enterprise is a firm that is self-sustaining, not relying solely on donations, with a definitive goal of creating a social impact on society. A idea brought into popularity by nobel peace prize winner Muhammed Yunnus, Grammean Bank founder, a micro-finance lending institution in Bangladesh. Through his model, the bank lends modest amounts to impoverished entrepreneurs that normal banks would never consider. Thereby, giving them the chance to create income and lift their families out of poverty. Those funds are then recovered and can be used again and again. An income earning company whose main concentrate is social good.

What's most desirable about the idea of social business is the fact that it bridges the gap between traditional businesses and charities, at least in some situations. It opens up a whole new set of business opportunities, as well as investors. Yunus calls it a new capitalism. Social business will appeal not only to individuals and businesses that donate, but also to ones that desire to make a social impact, yet don't want to simply give once and lose their money in a donation.

In a social business the impact of the invested funds will be multiplied.

Consider this, if a person decides to donate $10,000 into a charity the charity will take the funds, put it to great use making a difference, then it is gone. On the other hand, a self-sustaining social business will receive the funds put it to great work in their business, which is making a difference, and recoup the investment back. The investor can then re-invest that $10,000 into the company or choose to use it elsewhere. That is why in social business it is about considering ROI2, return on investment x return on impact.

I want to pose a visionary question; what if investors began partnering with social businesses? Instead of leaving funds in savings yielding 2-3%, investing them into a social business receiving the same near the same rate of return, or better, and were making an incredible social impact. Then those funds could be reused for social impact over, and over and over again.

For more information on this topic please see our iSi Capital page and contact us.

Check out our new branding and download your free eBook on social business HERE!

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Social Business: Clarify your Idea - From Vague to Focused and Actionable

I was recently working with someone on this issue. It is common among numerous entrepreneurial thinkers. They have big and great idea. However, in their head it was too great and too overwhelming. Clarity is needed in your social entrepreneurship pursuit, or any business idea. Make it simple. Otherwise it will be too big and too hazy and you won't be able to make it actionable.

Now grab a notebook and pen, computer, or iPad, and get ready to work through these points. Make sure to write it out. This is very important. If you do not write it out it will keep on wedged in your head spinning around the same un-actionable cycles over and over.

Here are two frameworks to help you clarify your idea:

  1. Hedgehog Concept (from Jim Collins Good to Great)
  3. Tony Robbins OPA

Hedgehog Concept:

What are you most passionate about in the world? (What social issue are you trying to solve?) Do not limit it to your social business idea. Just list all things out that that you are considering. This is a key portion for a social entrepreneur, what social aspects are you most passionate about solving? What makes you most angry when you hear about it?
List them out.

Now rate them. What are your top two? Once you do this it will give you more clarity into what the social business should really be focusing on.

What are you best at in the world? Or another way to say it, what do you love working on most  in the globe? This will shape the way the social business is run. It may even adjust the overall direction of the your business idea. Are you best at speaking, networking, writing, selling, talking, connecting with people, administration?

What drives your economic engine? (Or if you are a non-profit, in his book Good to Great in the Social Sector, Collins says this circle can be changed to - How can we develop a sustainable resource engine to deliver superior performance relative to our mission). What is your business model? How are you going to make money from this social business. you've clarified the one biggest passion or social dilemma you want to take care of. You have shown out what you are best at in the world (how you are going to personally solve the social problem). And additionally, how you can make money, in the best way, through your socially impacting idea.

In some cases there are aspects of our ideas that we hold incredibly tightly to for no reason.
Which items in your social enterprise idea are non-negotiables? What unquestionably makes the business? What really HAS to be there?

If you believe it really is important then WHY? Does it line up with what you are most passionate about, what your best at, or your business model? If not, then maybe it shouldn't be there.

OPA Model - Tony Robbins

Now that you've done that you should have quite a bit more clarity already. Nevertheless let's take it one step further. By the end of this, hopefully you would have a specific set of action items to take away and do.

OPA - Outcome / Result, Purpose, Actions

Outcome: Write out the final outcome. Try to be very specific. Do not just say, I want to help feed orphans. Say:

I am going to clothe orphans globally; commencing with india. I will do this through selling my own distinct designed t-shirts and donating one shirt for everyone purchased. These shirts will be sold in boutique clothing retailers starting in Georgia, and broadening from there.

This is merely a quick example off the top of my head. It should overlap what you came up with in the Hedgehog principle above.

Purpose: List out 10-15 reasons WHY you are doing this.

Actions: Brainstorm as many action items you can think of that you need to do. From the biggest to the smallest. Many of them will be big projects in themselves with their own set of action items. For example, you might have:
  • Call John to see about the price of buying product x from him.
  • Create a business plan
  • Create a website
  • Start blogging regularly
  • Meet with x about possible partnership

Clearly calling John is a one step process. However, writing a business plan is a substantial project within itself. Likewise, developing a website is a venture with a number of action items to finish. Don’t worry about this for now. Later on, after you have completed this entire exercise. You should go through each of these, pick out the projects and do another OPA framework for that.

Rate each item on its importance.

Go through each item, pick out the bigger projects and create another OPA for it.

There you have it. Hopefully you've clarified your business idea; boiled it down to one area to focus on. You should also have a clear set of action items ordered in priority to get you going.

Write out the outcome and purpose on your computer, possibly add some relevant uplifting pictures and quotes, and hang it on the wall to look at everyday. This is very important. There'll be days when you don't want to do it, when you don't want to get out of bed, and do not want to write that next article. Days when you don't want to make that next sales call, or book that next meeting. Look at it, let it re-encourage you!

Download your FREE eBook on social business to learn how to change the world through business - Click Here

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Why social entrepreneurs can be the most successful people the world has ever seen

I have frequented training courses, have been learning and studying, and spoken to numerous successful people. Most, if not all, point to one of the same variables in their high accomplishment: Purpose. The reason behind what you do. If you do not have it you probably won't succeed; but if you do, the skies the limit. In this article I want to explain why social entrepreneurs who are working to build social businesses should be the most successful in the globe.

Gary Keller, founder of Keller Williams Realty, says it perfectly:

" ... A Big Why brings big focus and big energy, and a little why brings little focus and little energy. HIGH ACHIEVERS ALWAYS HAVE A BIG WHY" (p. 73).

The superb book, E-Myth, by small business guru Michael Gerber says it like this,

"Your Primary Aim is your innermost driving force. It gives you a sense of direction and purpose. It motivates you to your highest levels of energy, and puts you at your best" (Chpt. 12).

With that said ...

Don't social entrepreneurs have the primary target of all? Don't they have the most  worthy motivation behind what they are doing? Then doesn't it stand to reason that social entrepreneurs, as they are giving their lives to solve the world's complications, should be the most enthusiastic, avaricious, energetic, devoted and efficient people on the face of the globe?

One lesson I learned early in my social entrepreneurship activities was that money is not a good inducement. Since establishing my firm Ethic Travel, which focuses on using a percentage of our profits to help construct homes for those in need, and now launching Impact Through Business, I have NEVER had this much liveliness and obsession. I'm up at 4:30 a.m most mornings, and work till late into the evening many nights; all to do it again the next day. And what's more, I am thoroughly loving it. I can see the repercussions that our business can have on individuals lives. I put a picture of a boy in atrocious poverty up on my wall. When I do get down or feeling lethargic, as we all do at times, I take a long look and let it refocus my purpose. It's an utter impossibility to stare at this, let it sink it, and not have burst of motivation surge through me. This is what I am working for in Ethic Travel. To see quality homes built for people like this, to give them a healthy stable environment so that, in turn, they can begin to build their lives.

What moves you?

If you want to arrive at your potential think about the big picture. What do you want your life to be about? What do you want the history of your life to be? I truly believe that pursuing social entrepreneurship should be the most triumphant in the world; they have the biggest why.

Not only will a big why propel you to success, it will sustain you once you get there. If all you are pursuing is money alone, you will be sadly saddened and unfulfilled once you get some. True success is being fulfilled, and that cannot come by pursuing money alone.

Move forward in your journey to true fulfilment and utter success download your FREE e book, Changing the World Through Business: the what and why of social entrepreneurship. - Click Here