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:
- Hedgehog Concept (from Jim Collins Good to Great)
- Tony Robbins OPA
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‚Äôt 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!
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