The ‘Holidays’ …
… offer entrepreneurs a renewed opportunity to serve, solve, & be civil, especially in hyper competitive industries.
With this mindset, we can ask ourselves a key question:
How can business owners strengthen the pillars of our civil society?
Please think & then brainstorm ways to turn thoughts into energy; consider this post both informative AND actionable.
Defining civil society
This topic echoes last month’s post, many definitions exist, leaving us with another question to ponder that’s also well worth our time. Which to pick?
Here’s my chosen one.
Yet, if you settle on another, there isn’t a ‘wrong’ answer; your choice is likely tied to your unique perspective, lens, and/or life experiences.
Civil societies, in the 19th century, often included a ‘sister’ term, a component, [a] mutual aid society …
[they] prefigure most functions of the modern state. They’re at least as old as armies, but their mission is life, not death. For millennia, people have banded together to provide each other with health care, pensions, … and livelihoods. They have also leveraged their numbers to elicit some of these same benefits from those other two institutions, business and the government. Mutual aid extends the bonds of kinship and makes individuals into citizens.
1st pillar : The Family
The holidays & families often are rightfully intertwined: so, too, the first pillar of civil society is emblazoned with the word ‘family’ & it’s an earned label.
Maybe you’re a family business? Nearby where I live, the Conway Center is a terrific resource for them & the other businesses who seek to serve this demographic. Quite likely, there are ‘like’ organizations elsewhere in America, as family businesses are very common.
Perhaps some/all of your clients/customers are families?
No matter how we look at it, it’s rather challenging to separate family from civil society, and a civil society from entrepreneurship.
2nd pillar : Non Profits ( inc. social enterprise )
As the 19th century transitioned into the 20th, mutual aid societies began to fade; previously thriving organizations were often overshadowed as America became more centralized, corporatized, & urbanized.
We’ve now begun ( this post offers backgrounder ) turning back, with a modern flair, to where we once were as a civil society. Rough edges & burrs on the saddle of the Gig (Sharing/Youpreneur) Economy can, without question, be ‘buffed’ by devolving & delegating societal challenges & thorny problems to non profit institutions, especially social enterprises.
What’s a social enterprise? As stated in this annual report, they’re ‘easy to understand’ & more necessary to renewing our nation than many might realize.
3rd pillar : Faith institutions
Faith in the entrepreneurial ‘square’, our common culture, let alone civil society, often stirs up emotions & thorny debates.
To avoid needless arguments, I humbly encourage everyone to consider multiple definitions:
Perhaps you’ll pick ‘faith’ as defined by the venerable Napoleon Hill in his masterwork, ‘Think & Grow Rich’ , or maybe you’ll instead lean into a Judeo-Christian foundational definition, as espoused by organizations like Truth At Work.
No matter your decision, this pillar’s densely strong, earning its place as one of the key four; it props up each & every business owner at some point(s) in her journey from ideating a business, to launch/startup phase, thru ebb & flood tides, linear or exponential growth, & further ahead into an as of yet unknown future.
How so? Faith oft times can act as the antithesis of fear; it can buttress your failures & keep you anchored to your purpose & mission.
4th & final pillar: Entrepreneurs
And now, the spotlight shines brightly on Y-o-u: The business founder/owner, the entrepreneur.
If by now it wasn’t crystal clear, it now will be: Entrepreneurship, in all its forms/types , is absolutely a pillar.
You’ve likely seen/heard statistics about small businesses’ vast importance to our nation’s vitality.
Or, maybe you’ve encouraged someone to start their own business at some point: maybe a family member?; neighbor?; a past co-worker?; or as a mentor for a future graduate or recent alumna from your alma mater?
Action(s) as common as keeping your business viable, including delegating task(s) to someone like Karissa , or expanding your product line, are each useful in ensuring that this fourth pillar will always be foundational for generations of Americans in the 2020’s & well beyond.
Further context to the first question
The first three pillars have boundless potential: leveraging 1, 2, or all 3 can enable your business(es) to morph from a pure ‘S’ [ self employed ]; to at least a hybrid ‘ S/B’, or even a straight ‘B’. It’s the latter state where you’ve reached the nirvana of time freedom; you’re definitely working “on” & NOT “in” your venture, thereby freeing the owner to participate more actively in civil society.
Profiles Worth Following
Please invest further…
… in your thinking.
You’ve read & trustfully sensed the heart, soul, & spirit of this created content; now, will you commit to dig into this curated content from other valuable resources?
- The holidays offer a chance to reflect
- Civil society: Quotable quote & definition[s]
- First two: Family & Non profits
- Second 2 : Faith & Entrepreneurs
- Further context
- Follow these Social profiles
- As always, take action: curated content from add’t resources
Thank YOU for reading!
SJ Barakony is a serial entrepreneur, futurist, & connector.
He lives in Ohio & is the Founder of Service Before Self Leadership: An Educational Solutions Provider.
He offers four highly customizable solutions to encourage families, individuals, faith institutions, & business owners to create & cultivate lifelong learning cultures in our homes & workplaces.
He’s been a guest on an educational podcast; been interviewed for an online small business community; is a guest blogger for Innovate NA; and has been an invited speaker five separate times for HECOA.
He believes strongly in youth & social entrepreneurship: He continues to serve two chapters of the YEA program (student mentor, mock judge, ad hoc consultant ) & has co-facilitated a session of the SeaChange Accelerator program.
He also recently became an educational advisor for Tessr.io, a startup in the exciting world of blockchain/cryptocurrencies that will be establishing a cutting edge educational foundation.