Do you want to give back more with a greater sense of purpose?
Mission driven entrepreneurship is a way for experienced leaders and ambitious philanthropists to create businesses and other organizations that solve important problems. Your own nonprofit or mission-driven company could become a lasting institution that makes a sustainable impact on a cause that's important to you. And while some of these models might earn a profit, the goal of mission driven entrepreneurship isn't to generate return on investment. It's to improve Return on Life for you, your employees, and your community.
Here are three reasons to consider adding a mission driven entrepreneurship goal to your $Lifeline.1. Dedicated solutions to local problems.
When a hurricane sweeps through the Gulf Coast, you can bet the Red Cross will be on the ground handing out food and clothing. Large medical organizations like the American Cancer Society are working hard to find the next life-saving breakthroughs.
But there might be important issues in your community that fall through the cracks, or that need more attention than they're getting. Your mission driven organization might be able to cut through the red tape and start making an impact right now. And while you're organizing park clean-ups, rehabilitating that empty shopping center, or treating patients at a new free clinic, you might also be creating new jobs, giving your community a facelift, and inspiring your neighbors to give back as well.2. Your lifetime of skills put to a new use.
Starting a new business can be a great way to kick off a second professional act, especially if you feel like you've been spinning your wheels at a job that's not very fulfilling. Not only will starting your own company give you a positive outlet for your skills, but you'll also be able to give yourself that long-overdue promotion to CEO.
Likewise, many seniors turn to entrepreneurship in retirement as a way to keep busy, or to realize a dream project they weren't able to tackle during their careers. Combining your professional expertise and personal drive with a charitable mission can be an extremely rewarding way to find purpose in retirement. Mission driven entrepreneurship can also become a cornerstone of your legacy planning, especially if you organize your mission around a cause that brings your family together.3. The freedom to give more and get more back.
The financial freedom that comes at the end of a long, successful career, or after a major windfall, can be overwhelming. When work is optional, you're free to do anything. But the "endless vacation" lifestyle can also get boring fast. Many people of means eventually take another job not because they want to work, but because they just want something to occupy their time.
Mission driven entrepreneurship can be a way to challenge and inspire yourself to achieve something extraordinary. It can be a way to match your God given means with your God given meaning. Many people have a vision for how they want their communities to be, but they lack the business acumen to create sustainable solutions. You might be uniquely capable of finding that sweet spot between realizing a mission and staying in the black. You might even be able to create a workable model that's scalable and adaptable to other communities or problems. And as you get more from your money than just more money, your Return on Life will grow as well.
Have you considered mission driven entrepreneurship as a goal for the next stage in your career? What skills do you have that you think could help you found and lead a new organization with a mission beyond profit? What causes could you impact? What challenges do you anticipate?
Give these questions some thought and then let’s discuss incorporating social entrepreneurship into your Life-Centered Financial Plan as discussed during my appearance on Wall Street Today and the book Mission Driven to be released this spring.