"Life's most urgent question is: What are you doing for others?" ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
4th of July weekend is always an inflection point in my year. Somehow a switch flips in one area of my life or another and off I go. This year was no exception, except that I feel much more confident in this year's 4th of July inflection point than I ever have any other year.
I've been batting around an idea for a social enterprise for a number of months. I've gone down a few different avenues and always ended up scrapping the plan. I had an idea of what I wanted the end result to be; I just didn't know how to get there.
A few weeks ago I went down to DC for my friend Eric's engagement party and was able to catch up with my friend, Liz, whom I used to work for in DC. She is one of the most talented researchers around and she has tremendous first-hand knowledge about urban education, exactly the area that I want to focus on for my social enterprise. I pitched my idea to Liz, and without blinking an eye she had a plan for my idea - how to execute it and how I could find funding.
Over the past couple of weeks, I've worked on a rough draft of the idea and passed it to a few people for review, one being Liz and another being my close friend, Amy, who has done work similar to what I'd like to do with this social enterprise. With their help I am revising the draft of my project, and their excitement over it has made me even more hopeful. I actually believe I can make a go of this.
Next I passed the draft on to a Twitter friend who is writing a book about social enterprise. He liked it so much that he asked if he could send it on to several friends of his for their input. Of course I whole-heartedly encouraged that!
While I've been so interested in entrepreneurship for some time and dabbled in it in one way or another at different points in my career, for the first time I am gaining the courage to take that plunge and never look back. So what's different this time around? The motivation isn't money or job security or what else the company might be able to earn for me. It's motivated by this unrelenting idea to make a difference for urban public school kids who need this program. It's a combination of timing and resources and passion for an idea. I know I can do this more than I've ever believed I can do anything. My answer to life's most urgent question just couldn't wait to be answered any longer. It's just time.