Good Profits

Make the world a better place by being a social entrepreneur

Every one of us has something that makes his or her heart beat faster. Something one can dedicate hours and hours to without thinking of other issues or getting tired. It can be a long way until you discover your passion, but it's definitely worth it.

Making sense to me and to others

Ten years ago I was a sports student in Cologne, working as a freelancer for the german sports news television and having no clue about my direction of life or my destiny. Being almost 30 years old the little voice in my head was getting louder, always yelling: do something with your life that makes sense to you and to others. I gained interest in personal development, later in financial education and investing. I felt that money is an important resource that helps me living the life I wanted. I found partners and mentors I could learn from (you could make it without learning from mentors, but it will take much longer this way). I struggled a lot, but after being successful in what I was doing – mostly because it became my passion – I still was looking for ways I could do something that made sense to others, not just to me.

I began that process at the age of 30 and I still am in the middle of it, so don’t ever think it is too late to give life a new direction.

One key turning point came when I read the book “Creating a world without poverty” written by Muhammad Yunus. It's about social businesses addressing the world’s problems. Businesses are among the most powerful organisations on earth. They have the most resources and influence. It is just a matter how they use their power. There are so many people tired of working in a job in a big public company (or a german sports broadcaster) making no difference to the world. So I decided for me that the best way to have an impact and combine making money and making sense is to be an entrepreneur. A social entrepreneur.

Thinking it through

What we are doing now - investing in ethical companies and social businesses - was just the logical consequence of thinking it through. It’s my perfect way to grow personally, as an entrepreneur and as an investor. Simply put I found out that entrepreneurs – especially social entrepreneurs - are the people I have the most fun working with. That is a very important point. I feel that it is my personal mission and the best leverage I can use to do something good for the world. My wife and my two sons are also a big part of my motivation. It's always a very good question to ask: what kind of world do you want for your children to live in?

Build your business around your passion

Starting and building a social business is really about two things. First you have to do something where your passion is. And second you have to have the wish to solve problems and do something good to the world. It may be an environmental issue, a social problem or the desire to help people in need. There are so many topics to address, and social businesses can make a significant contribution to solve some of them.

Identifying your passion and the problem that compels you is your “why”. If your business is going to work, it absolutely must be built around what’s in your heart. There will be times where you hit a wall. If you don’t have the passion for what you’re doing and for your goals, you’re not going to have the stamina and perseverance to go on.

By the way I believe that if you’re going to build something with impact, you’ve got to be able to reinvest the profit, which means you’ve got to generate it. That includes everything from building a team to marketing or funding to grow your business and therefore your impact. It’s not always the easiest way, but as I said before: it’s worth it.

What's your passion?

So what’s your passion? What’s your consequence of thinking it through? You certainly don’t have to create a business to begin solving problems. But if you decide being a social entrepreneur following your personal mission and serving the world, then I am sure you are going to get a lot of fulfillment on your way.