Mental Post-Its

Thoughts, Notes, and General Mental Mayhem

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Plywood’s Social Entrepreneur Curriculum

Plywood FilmingA couple of weeks ago I sat in on another great Plywood People event. I always love seeing what they’re up to. And currently, they’re working on a curriculum for social entrepreneurs to be released at their annual event in August. It’s going to be great!

So, a few friends and I showed up to be audience members, and were able to hear from a number of experts on character and building a business.

Here are my take-aways:

Doug Shipman

  • Don’t just tell people your story, create a way for them to be a part of it.
  • Meet people’s needs.
  • Map out your conversations if you’re making an ask.
  • Make the ask about them, not you.
  • Make a small ask, then a bigger one. Start small with people and get them in the door.
  • Ask friends and family for connections.
  • Events build momentum and show people you can get stuff done. It allows them to have an emotional connection.
  • To invite people in, and make it relatable to them.
  • You cannot innovate by committee. Bring in few decision makers.
  • Your principles are your boundaries.

Ryan Gravel

  • Solve both current and future problems.
  • Think holistically.
  • Find people with the skills who both compliment and supplement yours. Multiple voices make a better project.
  • Define what’s special about your project, and protect that.
  • Think less about what your doing, and think about what you want to be.

Leroy Barber

  • Love your neighbor. Love the person in need along your roads.
  • Don’t take over a space in which you are trying to help. Provide dignity for those you are helping, or an exchange.
  • To evaluate your program, ask those who have gone through it first-hand.
  • If you’re getting bored on a project, bring in other voices to breathe into it. Don’t let it go stale.
  • There’s a big difference between ending something and quitting something.
  • Listen and learn first.
  • Celebrate the small wins.

Brad Montague

  • Your failures don’t define you, they prepare you.
  • Ask people, “What do you love about what you do?” instead of what they do.
  • Your life is a work of art.
  • Community keeps you grounded and on mission.
  • Define your mission before someone defines it for you.
  • Every person deserves to be celebrated.
  • “I hope what you do comes out of a deep sense of who you are.” – Fred Rogers

Andy Levine

  • Use the lows as learning opportunities.
  • Take care of your fans, so that it creates a gravitational pull for them to come back and bring others.
  • Craft a moment (above and beyond, make it right, hold the line—customer service)
  • Be a friend, not a fan.
  • Think about the “wake” you leave behind you.
  • Choose people who embrace your culture first. You can teach skills late.
  • Promise makers need promise keepers.

Callie Murray

  • First ideas. Then a plan. Finally, put it on your calendar. To make it real you need to get it on paper.
  • Have a plan for quitting so there is no impulse decision.
  • I am not my business, and my business is not me.