New year's resolutions for social entrepreneurs

In the latest in his occasional series of letters to a young social entrepreneur, Liam Black offers some pointers for your new year's resolutions.

Dear Jude, 

Samuel Johnson said we need to be reminded more often than we need to be instructed. The time crush and warp speed of leading an enterprise can make us neglect some simple truths about leadership and running  a business. So, some questions and reminders for the coming year.

1. Are you still passionate about the course upon which you are set?

Is running this social business how you really want to be spending your time? Are you sure that your fellow leaders and board are as aligned with you as they should be? Your first board meeting of 2017 is probably a good time to check in with them all that you do indeed have the same destination in mind.

2. Deal with the stuff you've been avoiding.

That member of your team who is just not good enough (in spite of all the training and support – yeah, that one); the one who you know really isn't as into all this as you are; that board member who just saps your energy and asks stupid questions; that customer or funder who is just not worth the hassle any more. Those people. Choose at least two and commit to showing them the door in 2017. Believe me you'll feel so much better.

3. Scroll through your phone contacts.

Be honest: how diverse and useful is your network? It is all too easy – and this is especially true in social entrepreneurship – to get stuck in an echo chamber. Rather focus your energy on those six to 12 important people who can truly help you succeed and invest time in those relationships. Build your personal boardroom, Jude.

4. Really be there for those you love.

Changing the world is a long, bloody hard road with many set backs – especially in this post-truth political culture where compassion and solidarity are in even shorter supply. You cannot do it alone and the strength and energy of healthy relationships is vital. Stay fit. Stay curious. Don't take yourself too seriously and never forget the importance of what you have committed yourself to – it matters more now than ever.

Peace, love and profit.


Liam Black is the co-founder and Chief Encouragement Officer of leadership company Wavelength