"Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much."
- Helen Keller
"You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life."
- Winston Churchill
October heralds in the changing of the season from summer to fall. Leaves turn colors and people turn inward, reflecting on their accomplishments and public service to others in anticipation for the remaining days of the calendar year, before the holiday season officially begins in late November. Days get shorter, and people's mental "to-do" lists get longer. At the top of the list, it seems that people attempt to create or heed a call to action for various causes during October; many of which mark the human rite of passage, transitioning from Me to We. A rite of passage which parents and educators work so hard to teach children all over the world, who can grow up to either start wars or prevent them, and keep to themselves or work with others to leave the world in better shape for the next generation. This month offers a plethora of movements, causes, opportunities, and calls to action for us to heed, and the Information Superhighway i.e. the Internet, can help us plot our course. October, known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month and National Women in Small Business Month as well, also marks the start of a new fiscal quarter, where the ever present struggle to balance Me/We plays out in diverse and sometimes unexpected ways.
Women in particular, are biologically and historically hardwired to measure overall job satisfaction and pride in our performance, by calibrating how much of a positive impact we have on community, not just ourselves. It is something I learned from my childhood best friend and mentor, Dr. Natalie "Nechah" Hochstein PsyD, who lost her three-year battle to breast cancer last December. As a psychologist and female entrepreneur, she taught me much about the human drive to connect while still retaining a sense of self. This struggle is why it is so important for newly minted female entrepreneurs to alter their mindset and methodically plan their transformation from dependent employee to independent founder. Startup entrepreneurs also have a rite of passage requiring them to transition from a Me to a We, in both perception and action.
A successful transition involves gradual movement through various phases of development of The Plan, and the ability to seamlessly incorporate self actualization with collective "group think" to implement it; authentically and profitably. That is why startup entrepreneurs, particularly women, need to keep in mind two factors driving the entrepreneurial process; necessity and opportunity. This is the flip side of the transition from Me to We, which occurs in both Real Time and online, when using social media venues. Hubspot's blog and Hootsuite's blog, particular the posts by Evan LePage, are especially illuminating to entrepreneurs and Twitterati alike.
October is a good month to literally and figuratively transform individual entrepreneurial aspirations into collective deeds and accomplishments that result in profit; economic and moral. How?
1. Get informed! Learn about economic, technological, and cultural trends affecting your industry. Get mentored from real folk and from virtual mentors such as thought leaders and bloggers and be "triggered". Follow The Huffington Post. Get to know other online sites offering lectures and courses such as Ted and Coursera. Use your various mobile device App(s) to clip content and save for future reference.
2. Get educated! Learn the truth behind the entrepreneurial process and how to break it down realistically, practically, and easily. Get sponsored in your field and be accountable.
3. Get moving! Join a cause, maybe several. Get involved, and help promote change. Let your voice be heard, either in Real Time by giving a presentation on your area of expertise, or online, by carefully curating content for your blog/social media sites, and carefully commenting on relevant articles gaining attention and web traffic. Get connected to like minded individuals and be proactive. Choose wisely.
Movement, migration, transformation, and renewal of the seasons; all signify the journey of Nature, and the built in potential for change. I believe that the capacity for change is an inherent right and outcome of being alive, a divine gift bestowed upon sentient beings. It is necessary for a person's Theory of Mind, skill set, and legacy, to evolve. The transition from Me to We takes time, mental acrobatics, and finesse. It is the cornerstone of civilization, social communication proficiency, and a purposeful life. October is a great time to begin this process, and map out a trajectory to share with others. I commend my fellow female social entrepreneurs Aurora Chiste, and Shannon Benton for setting examples, and look forward to learning from more wonderful women this coming month!