The Curse of the Conscious Entrepreneur

Being socially conscious is what the world needs more of right now, but it's also a curse, here's why and how to overcome it.

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There is a growing breed of conscious entrepreneurs changing the landscape of business. But while becoming more conscious and considerate, there is also a curse that paralyses and contains the conscious entrepreneur.

What is a conscious entrepreneur?

As a conscious entrepreneur you are more aware of the place you hold in this space on earth. To use the AAVE (African-American Vernacular English) term; you are ‘woke’ to not only the social injustice, racial histories and perspectives of others, but you are ‘woke’ to the needs and movements for inclusivity, equality, gender rights, climate change and a whole host of other global issues. You are ‘woke to the interconnectedness of humans and the planet and you take personal responsibility for being educated and informed on the issues and improving the lives of others and the world around you. You aspire to work and do business in a way that contributes to a greater good, a higher purpose and you honor your talents and abilities in making change.

But what a curse!

As a conscious entrepreneur you have a giant heart for others, and an overthinking mind. This is your curse. With so many perspectives to consider, you worry constantly about potentially offending someone. You stay up long hours worried about how to perfect your message so as not to offend, be the most inclusive and demonstrate your integrity in affecting the change you want to make. You worry about sourcing the least offensive materials or highest quality certified products so as to have the most perfect product out there. You stress and you overthink. This is your curse.

As a result, you agonize over your product design, your marketing, your branding, your message. You agonize and you delay and you hold back. You’re afraid of showing up and not being perfect, you’re afraid of sounding or looking like a hypocrite, you’re afraid of offending someone. Your business moves slowly.

Breaking the curse

Breaking the curse of the conscious entrepreneur takes compassion, self-love and action.

Forgive yourself for not being perfect

You don’t need to be perfect, your business and your product don’t need to be perfect. You are not a hypocrite. Forgive yourself for feeling guilty about what you can’t do right not and focus on what you can do. Small changes are what it takes to move mountains, if a certain supplier is not available, don’t delay your product development because of that. Don’t stress about potentially offending someone or trying to be as inclusive as possible (you need to niche at some point). Do your best, focus on what you can do, getting clear on what small change you are aiming to make and then iterate. It’s not about coming out and having the most perfect thing in the world, it’s about just starting and feeling the momentum of a few lives changed that propels you beyond the paralysis.

Give yourself permission to fail

Again, perfection. Failure is going to be a part of doing business, it’s about starting, trying out what works, iterating if it doesn’t. Give yourself permission to fail because if you don’t, and it’s a bit of a miss the first time, you might give up. And your mission is too big for you to hide.

Tell the story of your challenges and your failures

We all know the importance of storytelling, but it’s not just about your why, it is also about your journey. Equally important to the final result and change you want to make is the story of the journey. Be transparent with what it takes to do business, what are the challenges, the considerations you have made, the decisions you landed upon. Give people a glimpse of what it took to get where you are and what you’re trying to do. This is the piece that ‘wakes’ us. It’s in these details that reveal the changes that need to be made.

Find support

The life of an entrepreneur can be lonely enough, add in your conscious curse and it can feel like a weighty thing you’re trying to accomplish. Find support, there are more and more conscious entrepreneurs out there and it truly is this collective action that will bring about the change we want to see. Find your tribe, find your community and create that support network that can see you through the challenges.

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