When I decided to take my life in a completely new direction that’s all I knew. The missing part was what direction I wanted to go.
I wanted to be my own boss. I wanted the work I spent my valuable time each day doing to actually matter. Not just to me but to the planet. I didn’t want my earnings capped by a salary anymore.
I wanted to start my own business but didn’t know what to do!
At the time I was a heavy reader of magazines and books but also listened to podcasts. Always looking for inspiration and trends.
When I learned about the idea of social entrepreneurship I was all about it because it aligned with my values. Using business to tackle social problems. The activist in me said, yes please, that’s what I want to do!
Of course, at that time, there was very little information about pursuing that form of entrepreneurship. Not even one magazine. There was no Change Creator Magazine.
But I did find a book calledwhich became a bible for me. Parish’s story was inspiring. He hiked the Himalayan mountains and witnessed a melting glacier first hand. After that personal experience, he was so inspired that he dropped out of Yale and began his journey as a social entrepreneur and was very successful. He shared his ideas and perspectives which to me were of great value.
I learned that there are tons of ideas out there. Broken systems that need fixing. Social problems that need to be solved. Local or global, it was endless. They are all business opportunities!
Did this help make it easier for me now? No, actually it was tougher because I had so many ways I could go but I couldn’t decide what was best for me to pursue.
After a while, I realized my hunt to pin down the right idea led me to become paralyzed. I had no progress. No new developments. Nothing.
Starting Without a Real Plan
It got to the point where I decided to just start something.
The first thing I pursued was plastic pollution. Plastic water bottles drive me freaking nuts! My thought was to create something that could replace the plastic bottle and that was a hemp water bottle. I found that other containers were made from hemp because it’s so versatile.
I spoke to hemp experts and found that while a bottle can be made the challenge is water absorption over time. I found a solution to that problem from an FDA approved food product designed by some folks at MIT that could coat the inside of the bottle. It would then prevent the water absorption like a repellent. But it wasn’t on market and had some years to go before it could ever be used in scale. Plus, nobody at MIT would return my emails.
In addition to that, I found out that manufacturing would be a huge cost. If you wanted a water bottle company to take on the task using hemp, it would require a ton of different equipment for processing. This means big cash.
I decided this path wasn’t for me and crossed it off the list.
Because I cared about so many different topics I created a blog called The Blue Dot Post. I started waking up each day at 4 am and wrote articles, hundreds of articles! I got some other great people to work with me and contribute and after a year I didn’t really know what this thing was yet or how to monetize it.
I took audience development classes, writing classes and learned a ton.
I knew I had to get more niche and decided to focus on deforestation. I was guest posting and learning a ton!
During this time I also did volunteer work that gave me exposure to new things and helped me develop a lot of skills I use today as an entrepreneur.
But I never really created a business, just a hobby.