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How do you prepare for the days when you’re just not feeling it anymore?Stocksnap IO

As entrepreneurs, we talk a lot about having a seat at the table — and how you need to do whatever it takes to get there. For some, it takes weeks, months or even years just to get in front of the right people. So when you do, you’re ready to hit the ground running and make a difference, right?

Not really.

Outcomes don’t happen without hard work, and more often than not, they take a lot longer than we might think or hope. If you’ve come to this realization for the first time, you might feel your passion or excitement fading. You might be thinking: "Do I keep going?" or "Is it time to quit?"

When you come up against barriers and setbacks, no matter how big they are, it’s important to remember these 4 things:

  1. Making a difference isn’t easy.

    Of course it isn’t. If it were easy, we’d have social entrepreneurs flourishing left and right, with a better world and solved problems to show for it. But it isn’t easy. Some causes require years of hard work, advocacy, and a few failures before seeing any results. Plus, social entrepreneurship is a lot more than a great idea. Social entrepreneurship requires a long-term approach that is sustainable for years into the future.

  2. Neither is building a company.

    Systemic social change aside, business is difficult, even when you cut out the altruism. You’ve got finances, personnel, marketing, programs and the red tape of legal and governance to manage — and many of these areas will bring plenty of unforeseen circumstances along with them. If you’re having a hard time figuring out how to build the engine, it’s because building it is hard.

  3. Do it anyways.

    Once you acknowledge, accept and embrace the hard work at hand, it’s time rise to the occasion with self-awareness and confidence. There isn’t a single person qualified, or unqualified, to bring about social change. It could be you, really. Wake up in the morning and do whatever you need to do to feel confident, capable and motivated. Hack into whatever keeps you most energized, aligned and invested in your mission. There will be days you feel less-than, but there will certainly be days when you feel like you’re exactly where you need to be. Cling to those moments and keep going.

  4. Create a network of support for when you need it most.

    Social entrepreneurship is important, but it’s not sustainable if you don’t have a plan to take care of yourself. Make support and self-care non-negotiable, and non-episodic. Build a network you can count on when the day gets tough or the task feels overwhelming, and consistently tap into this support. Who can you call when you need to vent? Make sure you have your network in place before you need it, so you can count on them when you do. 

When you’re pioneering a social enterprise or nonprofit, it’s normal to feel burned out. Move forward being okay with getting uncomfortable. Rise to the occasion and surround yourself with people to support you in good times and bad. When you do, you’ll foster the determination, tenacity and sustainability needed to change the world.

Follow me on Twitter (@tori_utley) or Facebook for the latest news and stories on social entrepreneurs and the organizations they create.

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How do you prepare for the days when you’re just not feeling it anymore?Stocksnap IO

As entrepreneurs, we talk a lot about having a seat at the table — and how you need to do whatever it takes to get there. For some, it takes weeks, months or even years just to get in front of the right people. So when you do, you’re ready to hit the ground running and make a difference, right?

Not really.

Outcomes don’t happen without hard work, and more often than not, they take a lot longer than we might think or hope. If you’ve come to this realization for the first time, you might feel your passion or excitement fading. You might be thinking: “Do I keep going?” or “Is it time to quit?”

When you come up against barriers and setbacks, no matter how big they are, it’s important to remember these 4 things:

  1. Making a difference isn’t easy.

    Of course it isn’t. If it were easy, we’d have social entrepreneurs flourishing left and right, with a better world and solved problems to show for it. But it isn’t easy. Some causes require years of hard work, advocacy, and a few failures before seeing any results. Plus, social entrepreneurship is a lot more than a great idea. Social entrepreneurship requires a long-term approach that is sustainable for years into the future.

  2. Neither is building a company.

    Systemic social change aside, business is difficult, even when you cut out the altruism. You’ve got finances, personnel, marketing, programs and the red tape of legal and governance to manage — and many of these areas will bring plenty of unforeseen circumstances along with them. If you’re having a hard time figuring out how to build the engine, it’s because building it is hard.

  3. Do it anyways.

    Once you acknowledge, accept and embrace the hard work at hand, it’s time rise to the occasion with self-awareness and confidence. There isn’t a single person qualified, or unqualified, to bring about social change. It could be you, really. Wake up in the morning and do whatever you need to do to feel confident, capable and motivated. Hack into whatever keeps you most energized, aligned and invested in your mission. There will be days you feel less-than, but there will certainly be days when you feel like you’re exactly where you need to be. Cling to those moments and keep going.

  4. Create a network of support for when you need it most.

    Social entrepreneurship is important, but it’s not sustainable if you don’t have a plan to take care of yourself. Make support and self-care non-negotiable, and non-episodic. Build a network you can count on when the day gets tough or the task feels overwhelming, and consistently tap into this support. Who can you call when you need to vent? Make sure you have your network in place before you need it, so you can count on them when you do. 

When you’re pioneering a social enterprise or nonprofit, it’s normal to feel burned out. Move forward being okay with getting uncomfortable. Rise to the occasion and surround yourself with people to support you in good times and bad. When you do, you’ll foster the determination, tenacity and sustainability needed to change the world.

Follow me on Twitter (@tori_utley) or Facebook for the latest news and stories on social entrepreneurs and the organizations they create.