One of the most common questions that comes up among social entrepreneurs in our incubator is how much they should charge for their product or service.
The truth is, I’m not qualified to answer that.
And, honestly, neither are they.
Instead I give them two recommendations, which taken together have yielded amazing results.
1. It’s probably more than you think.
2. Don’t guess. Instead, test.
In case you missed it, the internet was ablaze this weekend with talks about Amazon’s work culture. The New York Times published a scathing expose of life in the Seattle company’s headquarters, which prompted passionate debate on both sides and even rebuttals from employees. The article painted a picture of a brutal, soul-crushing, data-driven, relentless culture, one which forced a woman to work the day after a stillbirth, and encouraged employees to backstab coworkers with anonymous feedback.
While it’s easy to simply give in to our lizard brain and either reactively grumble and moan or instinctively defend hard-charging corporate culture, moments like these importantly provide a chance for us to reflect on our own leadership values. Here are a few questions we should be asking ourself in light of the debate on Amazon’s culture:
As the world celebrates Jon Stewart’s contributions to comedy, news and politics and mourns his departure from The Daily Show, many people are forgetting that Stewart is more than just a talented satirist. He’s an outstanding leader.
Here are three leadership lessons we can learn from Stewart from the way he approached his work and his team.
While our society traditionally values IQ over EQ, The Donald’s last month of surging ahead in polls fuelled by hateful rhetoric only to be cut down when brand after brand after brand no longer want to be associated with him, shows that EQ is actually more important than IQ when it comes to long-term, sustainable success.
Why are some people truly amazing mentors while others — even with years of experience — fail to contribute? I believe that anyone can be a great mentor, so read on for three ways you can become the mentor that entrepreneurs dream of.
Culture is crucial.
The truth is that your organization is going to have a culture whether you, as the entrepreneur, define it or not. Even the lack of culture is, in and of itself, a culture. So the question is: will you step up and define your culture? Or will you just sit back and let it define you?
You are not your pitch deck. You are not your perfectly manicured excel bar chart showing just that magical inflection point where your growth turns into a hockey stick. And you are not your minimum viable product. You are you. And that’s exactly the point.
Defining the constituencies a social venture supports seems like one of the simplest questions a social entrepreneur faces — after all bigger is better, right? In reality, it’s one of the most difficult and important questions to ask as you begin your journey as a changemaker — and it takes a lot of thought and hard choices to get it right. So before you get started, read on for tips on how to clearly identify who is — and who is not — in your target group.
If you pick a stranger off the street and tell them your vision statement, the best question they can ask afterwards (okay, besides, ‘can I invest in you?’) is: how? (e.g., how do you do that?). This means that you have them hooked and can now explain your practical path to achieve your vision. The worst question they can ask is ‘But, why do you do that?’ If you’ve failed to sell them on the ‘why,’ then nothing else matters.
I know, I know. Your schedule is filled from morning to night, every square on your google calendar colored in with pitches to partners, deep-dive synergizing strategy sessions, and lots of caffeine-fueled coffee meetings. There’s no way you can find the time to sit down and read, right? Think again — it can be one of the best investments you make in yourself both as a leader and for your organization.
Read on for 5 books every changemaker should read, and some of the lessons they have in store for you.