Do you practice what you preach?
As you start your entrepreneurial journey, you will most likely be tempted to use big, pompous, and often superfluous concepts that may mean nothing to you.
Please, do not.
It is easy to look around the myriad of social media platforms, and not only, and find yourself “inspired” by others’ commitment to save the planet, plant trees, combat climate change and create a better world.
You can only influence and impact your own world, your own business, your own community and your own circle of friends and family. And, if you do those well, the most you can hope to achieve is to spark in everyone the desire to follow in your footsteps: the snowball effect.
Because the change we need to see in today’s world cannot be sustained by any one person or any one organisation – it takes all of us to pull together; it takes different ecosystems, collaborating and creating both sustainable and lasting value.
If you promise something you cannot achieve, you will be called out on it. If you promise something you have no intention of achieving, you will be accused of greenwashing and any reputation you may have managed to build for yourself, as a start-up owner or founder, will be gone in a second.
Can you really afford to do that in the beginning of your journey? No, you cannot: you can never and should never afford it.
What you can do, especially if you are a customer focused and sustainable start-up, is to take others on a journey with you. Incentivising people to do good is easy; changing perceptions and behaviours overnight is extremely hard. And do you know why? Because we, humans, are intrinsically resistant to overhauling change.
In terms of fundamental societal behaviour change you can achieve much more with honey than you can with a hammer. And there is an abundance of good practices and behaviours you can take inspiration from – you just need to look around.
If you are a young entrepreneur, the future of your “not-there-yet” children may be irrelevant to you now; but it should not be because, especially if you are an entrepreneur in a Western democracy, today you can do anything you want because people younger than you sacrificed their lives for your future so you can have one. If the Allied Forces had failed to defeat Hitler’s Nazi Germany in the Second World War, today’s world would have looked vastly different.
The “sacrifice” the society expects from you, as a young entrepreneur – especially the so-called “sacrifice” you should expect from others – is nothing compared to that of past generations: it’s not difficult to look for sustainable materials as opposed non-recyclable/non-compostable ones; it’s not difficult to offset the CO2 footprint of your activities by reducing your energy consumption or choosing renewable energy sources; it’s not difficult to plant a tree for every item you sell or donate a small portion of your pre-tax profits to a charitable cause that has a clear environmental mission.
While it is not difficult at all to do good, to respect the planet and its people, it is a conscious choice you need to make and, most of all, stand by it and stick to it. You can set an example to many who will follow in your footsteps, your family, and friends.
The only question you really must answer is this: what sort of example do you really want to set?
Circklo’s Business Configurator is solely dedicated to sustainable start-ups. We help you configure your start-up for both profit and purpose and, after 12 modules of intensive business coaching, mentoring, dry-pitching, and networking with industry experts, angel investors, venture capitalists and other start-ups in the community, you will see the enormous difference we make to your business: we optimise your business to be investment-ready.
Join our Business Configurator to scale-up your product, and be confident about what it can deliver to your customer base. Apply now