Sitting here at Impact Hub Seattle, a member of Toniic and Investors Circle, and a teacher at Pinchot, I’m surrounded by thousands of entrepreneurs, investors, philanthropist, and employees who all work for mission-driven organizations, both nonprofit and for-profit.
The one commonality across all of that is that everyone has a mission.
Back in my days in tech, this wasn’t true, at least no mission beyond having a big exit and making a lot of money. So perhaps its not so much that the “do good” community have missions, as much as they have purpose.
In any case, the big learning for me in my five years surrounded by do gooders is that no two organizations and no two people have the same mission. This fact causes a lot of angst and grief.
Grief, in that most people expect others to agree that their mission is important, if not the most important mission of all missions. It’s not. It’s just your personal mission.
What I had to learn in telling the story of my mission helping mission-driven for-profit startups is that most people don’t care about such companies. Even when the person I’m talking to is a do gooder, a philanthropist, or even when they themselves are the founder of an established mission-driven for-profit.
What I’ve learned is that missions are like fashion. Everyone has their own taste. And that like fashion, those tastes change over time.
So with that learning and that framework in mind, I no longer get frustrated when my audience doesn’t care as much as I do about my mission. When I do find kindred spirit, it’s nice. When I instead just get some nods, that’s nice too. For everyone else, I hope they enjoy their mission as much I do mine.
Meanwhile, as part of my mission, I’ve decided to start spreading Fledge further around the world, replicating the program in multiple cities. If you too like mission-driven for-profit startups, and would like to help in this effort, launching, operating, or funding a Fledge program (or fledglings) in your home city, use the contact form to reach out to talk.