Time and the social entrepreneur

stress and anxiety imageWe are regular readers of Entrepreneur.com – a great source of inspiration, ideas and shared experience for start-ups.

Although U.S. based, the site does often contain the stories of UK and European organisations and individuals, and is nearly always relevant for new companies in the social sector too.

Recently published was an article on time management. An old skill well worth mastering of course, but the interesting slant given by Entrepreneur.com was around the need to combat ‘time urgency’.

This struck a nerve with me.

Getting things done quickly, when in completely ‘focused’ mode other things begin to distract you – creating stress, physical discomfort and rising feelings of imminent disaster.

This may sound a little strong, but the drivers of small revenue engines, whatever the context of their work, will recognise the symptoms.

Limiting these feelings of time urgency will definitely enable you to work better – the end result is better quality personal output and a more efficient business.

The article refers to research that indicates social entrepreneurs often fall into the ‘Type A‘ personality category, fuelling bad habits and looped behaviour of driving yourself to achieve, yet the very process obstructing the successful completion of your goal.

Some theorists argue that  indicators of this type of behaviour can also have very negative effects on your health too. (Although Type A/B personality assessments are sometimes considered ‘pop’ psychology by some, the analysis can help in self assessment of behaviour or stress, I think).

I recently stopped a piece of work for an organisation, despite being highly worthy of support, because engagement was forcing me to step outside both my natural rhythms and to develop modalities of action outside my lived experience of social business development.

I am not sure whether that makes me an A or a B?

For me, better not to do it and move on to a new project, than to persist with increasing rafts of time urgency – to the benefit of both projects, new and old.

If you recognise yourself in this short piece, to cope with time urgency for the social entrepreneur often requires some very hard thinking and crisp action, but the benefits will be worth it.

You can read the full Entrepreneur.com article here. Lower stress, better business – wherever you are.

If you have a time urgency solution or experience, let us know, and we’ll share it here with others.

(This post was written by Tim Smith).

The Start UpToolkit

startup processes imageWhat is my route to market? Who will buy our product or service?

The website thestartuptoolkit.com is a great place to begin pulling together ideas for your new social businesses.

Created by Rob Fitzpatrick in East London, we think this web service is a great way to construct, layout and reflect on your social business ideas, or to develop a coherent new business model.

This site provides you with a toolkit, or matrix, which enables you to think about, plan and keep a record of how you are to get your new product or service to market, who is going to buy it and how you will manage risks?

All new businesses, social or otherwise, involve risk and surprising responses to events – the better your plan in the first place, the better you are placed to cope with these unexpected results of your business actions.

A great way to see how thestartuptoolkit.com system works is to access the ‘instant demo’ section of the site, right at the top of the home page.

It takes you to a demo ‘canvas’ where you can answer the key questions in your business model. You can register with the site and save your deliberations so that you can return later. You can also make your ‘canvas’ public or private too.

A short blog post understates the clarity of thought and potential help that thestartuptoolkit.com offers. The site plans for additional features and services, like better collaboration tools, make this both a useful tool now and in the future.

Sue is on Everest

Sue is on Mount Everest – walking uphill a lot and raising money for charity. You can see regular updates on her personal blog www.faithgoeswalkabout.org

If you would like to sponsor Sue and donate money to ASBAH and Sue’s parish then please visit the Sponsor our Adventure page and leave your details.

Sue has included a narrative about her journey below.


Sue wrote…

A chance of a lifetime, an opportunity not to be missed.
A real adventure, we will be walking for 13 days and getting to altitudes of over 15,000ft.Leaving on Sunday Oct 10th and returning Thursday 28th October.
Lots of preparation and training and I am hoping, to make it to base camp, altitude sickness permitting, but however far I walk it will be an exciting trip.
I am raising money for ASBAH, Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, St Nicholas Church, Gayton and would be really pleased if you are willing to sponsor me.

Information about the adventure.

Day 1 Arrive Kathmandu
Day 2 Sightseeing in Kathmandu
Day 3 Fly to Lukla (2,800m) and trek to Phakding
Day 4 Phakding to Namche Bazaar
Day 5 Acclimatisation day
Day 6 Namche Bazaar to Kyanjuma
Day 7 Kyanjuma to Thyangboche
Day 8 Thyangboche to Dingboche
Day 9 Acclimatisation day
Day 10 Dingboche to Lobuje
Day 11 Lobuje to Gorak Shep (5,288m) and visit Everest Base Camp
Day 12 Gorak Shep to Kala Pattar (5,545m)
Day 13 To Thyangboche
Day 14 To Lukla via Namche Bazaar
Day 16 Kathmandu
Day 17 Kathmandu
Day 18 Return to UK

I am really looking forward to being in the mountains and seeing Everest. Will love meeting the people and seeing the flowers and scenery as we walk.
On the way we will stay in local teahouses, which have basic communal accommodation and a chance to have a meal and a shower (I hope!!)
Namche Bazaar is an impressive village on the edge of a sheer hillside,from there onwards we will be out of contact. Quite a challenge for me as I rely on my mobile and internet links to speak to friends and family.
Everest base camp, altitude 5,288m, is on the edge of the Khumbu Glacier which we can walk across to stand at the base of the ice fall reaching up to Mt. Everest.

I am raising money for and ASBAH, Association for Spina Bifida and hydrocephalus, St Nicholas Church, Gayton and would be really pleased if you are willing to sponsor me.

To find out more as I travel you can visit my blog  below which I will update when I can…

See  www.faithgoeswalkabout.org.uk

Wish me luck and I hope together we can raise some funds for ASBAH and St Nicholas Church.

Sue Martin