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Mindset Musts in Social Entrepreneurship

“Social entrepreneurship is chill!”, said no one ever. If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you’re very familiar with the entrepreneur’s roller coaster. From founders to intrapreneurs to employees – none are immune. Successfully managing this ride is possible through the power of your mindset. By mastering a mindset that serves you in your work, you’ll be able to perform well and retain greater focus in a more relaxed way. Not to mention that you’ll reap benefits in other areas of your life. 

Here are our suggestions on how to make your mind work for you and not the other way round: 

Prepare for Plan A, B …. and Failure 

With more than 60% of Australian small businesses failing in their first 3 years of operation, the hustle is real. As a social entrepreneur, you need to be 100% clear on your business plan. That’s Plan A. What fewer social entrepreneurs do, is have familiarity with Plan B. Let alone planning to fail. 

Taking the time to understand what failure looks like to you can be uncomfortable but also empowering. By getting comfortable with the worst possible scenarios (please do not freak out)  and how you would respond, you’re more likely to be mentally prepared when something does happen. Obviously it’s impossible to plan for every outcome, but by cultivating a mindset that is comfortable with different ways your social enterprise could evolve, you’re more likely to have the mental stability to deal with situations when they arise. So we suggest, know your Plan A, Plan B, Plan C and plan for failure. 

Morning Routine

We’re the millionth article to speak about this, we know, so we’ll be quick. By starting the day your way, you build personalised habits for a stronger mindset– one that prioritises you. For a social entrepreneur, your time is precious, so before you jump onto autopilot when you wake up, consider taking 5 minutes to yourself. Sit in the park. Practice mindfulness. Read a book. As this becomes routine, you’ll notice a mindset shift that becomes more focused, ultimately helping you to have a productive start to the day. 

Visualise Your Goals

By consistently having your goals at the forefront of your mind, you are more likely to achieve them. Create a vision board, a sound recording, a poster, a journal entry – whatever works for you and reflect on it regularly. This can be your business goals, but do include some personal ones as well. As you regularly reflect, you’ll start to consciously and subconsciously think about your goals and take actions in line to achieving them. 

Become Aware of Your Negative Thought Patterns

It’s important to become aware of any thought patterns you have that go against your goals. By identifying triggers for behaviour in your work and personal life that don’t serve you, you have the choice to be in charge versus them ruling you. You may even be surprised to uncover that you are holding your social enterprise back in some ways by performing behaviours that don’t serve it. To identify these patterns, try journaling every day for a week, reflecting upon what worked and what didn’t work in your day. Ask a team member what your habits are. 

Step one is becoming aware and step two is actively changing your mindset around these behaviours. You may find it benefits your social enterprise in surprising and indirect ways.

Hopefully this article has persuaded you to adopt at least one, if not all of the behaviours mentioned towards developing a stronger mindset. If you already do these, GO YOU! Wherever you’re at, the hustle of a social entrepreneur is real and your mindset towards it is some of the strongest personal fuel you can get. 

Natalie Klenner breathes social impact. Through social enterprises eliminating youth homelessness to facilitating preventative mental health and emotional wellbeing workshops, Natalie believes in giving all young people opportunities to thrive. She’s also passionate about ideas that change the world. On a day off, she can be found in a kayak or doing a dance… somewhere.
Jay Boolkin
Jay Boolkin

I'm passionate about positive social change and the power of social entrepreneurship to tackle some of the world’s biggest problems. I believe that for-purpose business models can become part of the mainstream and I am enthusiastic about advocating for business models that are genuinely built around a social or environmental mission.

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