How to Mix Passion with Profit to Create Meaning
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” —Margaret Mead
Ever see a huge societal need and wonder how you can make a difference and make a living doing it? Over the last decade the growing trend of social capitalism, or concious capitalism, has birthed companies that create social solutions while generating profits—they sell products and services to fund projects that are close to their hearts. Companies like Whole Foods and the charitible fashion brand TOMS Shoes (that donates a pair for every pair purchased) are is just the tip of this incoming social-innovation iceberg.
Let’s start by examining capitalism in it’s lilteral sense. Capitalism would say that you can organize your resources of time, energy, and money as you choose to create value to others in exchange for money. In a capitalist society, the revenue driver is a stimulus for people to come up with ideas for goods and services. This model has motivated people to create amazing things like Facebook, GPS, and wrinke-resistant fabric. A genuine capitalistic exchange would include a exchanging money with someone who provides you with something valuable—and both parties win. When it works well it should distribute wealth to those who put forth effort.
Social capitalism (a.ka. concious capitalism or or social entrepreneurism), happens when an entrepreneur sees a societal need and offers a solution through a sustainable for-profit business. These people are literally using business as a force for good and the elevation of humanity. They meet needs that are otherwise not addressed through non-profit organizations or government services. And with the deluge of social issues we face, you can find endless opportunity to improve lives, your reputation, and your karma.
Lisa Lannon is a social entrepreneur and the co-founder for Warrior’s Heart, a treatment center in San Antonio, TX. After building a successful rehabilitation network for clients recovering from drug and alcohol addiction (Journey Healing Centers) using the social capitalism model, she noticed a huge need and decided to shift her vision to fill a specific niche. Often, veterans and first-responders (like firefigthers and police) who are experiencing chemical dependency, PSTD (post-traumatic stress disorder), or other symptoms will wait up to 18 months to receive services. She knew she could meet this need more quickly, with higher quality, and at a reasonable cost. So she and her husband started Warrior’s Heart; an organization that offers healing through a community of peers who can empathisize with what they go through.
They came up with a solution that nobody had throught of for this demographic, and social capitalism led them to a business model that offers huge results with a profit for them. They believe entrenepreneurism doesn’t have to be separate from philonthropy. Having a social impact and a successful business is really the best of both worlds. They believe in a triple-bottom line philosophy—people, planet, and profit.
Lisa and Josh Lannon also pay-it-forward to new entrepreneurs. They offer a myriad of helpful advice to get started along with a program called Creating a Rich Life to guide you in matching your business with your values. Want to learn more? Their book, The Social Capitalist, and their website, http://www.thesocialcapitalistbook.com/ show you how you can make money with meaning.
Across the world and in our own backyards people want purpose in their lives. They want their resources to be a positive contribution—social capitalism is the next mega trend of social movements in America.
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