Lessons from social entrepreneurs for newbie self-starters

As an organization that helps socially conscious ideas come alive, our teams faces the same challenges faced by first-time entrepreneurs. Perhaps you can relate to this:

marisol blog image 1

Here are 3 tips from this #socent gal for all you lovely folks:


  1. It’s All In The Details

Many starter projects struggle through the infancy stages. During this period, projects are usually not fully developed yet, missing details, or are unable to fully guarantee success. During this stage, nothing is perfect. Money is tight, and manpower limited.

However, if you are just testing the waters, but don’t have everything figured out, or feel a little insecure about your project – Don’t worry. Just make sure you are able to communicate your project ideas and the intended outcomes clearly. Being able to do so will already set you apart from many other entrepreneurs.

Amidst the unpredictability of starting off, use storytelling and visuals to minimize misunderstandings for your listeners. Moreover, try to engage your audience by carefully crafting your communications material ahead of time, and have someone else review it for you.

  1. Keep Growing Your Track Record

We all know it. Starting a business can put a big financial stress on business owners – no matter how well prepared they are. Plans can fall through, partnerships may crumble, economic climates will change.

When money is not falling from the sky, always remind yourself to be patient, and that clients seek out proven track records and testimonials. The more opportunities you have to prove yourself, the easier it will be to command the fees you want. Hence, look for opportunities to showcase your skills.  If you’re creative in demonstrating your abilities, the value of your product, and are not afraid to take risks (an essential part of the entrepreneurial DNA), clients will take notice, thereby making it easier for you to adjust your pricing in the long-run.

  1. Don’t Listen to Fear

People sense desperation and fear in email replies, when conducting meetings, or even when negotiating prices. And it sucks. Because if anything, fear is the last thing anyone needs – especially, when you’re already struggling to pay your bills.

Whenever you feel restlessness and desperation kicking in, just sit back, breathe and take a step back. Remind yourself of why you started. Acknowledge that failure is part of the journey. But most importantly, stop internalizing these feelings of inadequacy, and embrace the natural progression in your business.

And if all fails, be confident even when you’re not. If you have to, practice your pitch in the bathroom mirror until the words naturally glide off your tongue. Attend meetings with someone, especially if you know that person is going to fortify your presentation or overall standpoint. In other words, fake it until you make and don’t be afraid to own all the work you’ve put into your business.

Written by Marisol and Silvia Fornoni, Founders of JDC.

JDC supports socially conscious organizations with finding sustainable ways to tell their stories using visual design, engaging content and non-traditional media. We help you with anything from organizing fundraising campaigns to web design and social media management.


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