I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the purpose of this blog and what I’m trying to achieve.
I’ve spent the last year on a brilliant start up course with The School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE). We had our official graduation last week, and as part of it we had to do a three and a half minute presentation about our enterprises.
My expectations at the start of the course were that I would finish the year with a fully fledged social enterprise and would have worked out a way to make this little blog into a sustainable business, in every sense of the word.
But that hasn’t happened, it’s still a work in progress, and if anything I am possibly farther away from making this into a business than I was when I started the course. But the brilliant thing about the SSE course is that it doesn’t just teach you how to run a business, it teaches you how to run a social enterprise. A business with a social or environmental mission.
So it teaches how to get clear on what your mission is, and what your values are, at the same time as teaching you cashflow and business plans.
Putting together the final presentation, without a real business to show for it, meant that instead of focussing on the nuts and bolts of the enterprise, I had to talk about why I’m doing this. I had to go back to the beginning, which for those of you who don’t know, was a year buying nothing new. So I talked about about what I learned from that year, and as I was writing and practising my speech, it really helped to crystallise why I am doing this. Why I carry on posting (however erratically), why I started up the Facebook group, and continue to try and spread the word by writing in other places.
I remembered the most important thing I learned during our year, which was that one person, one family, can make a difference.
Our year buying nothing new taught me that the choices I make everyday, matter.
And if my choices matter, then yours do too.
I read a quote somewhere and I can’t remember it exactly, but it’s something about how every time we spend money we are making a choice for the kind of world we want to live in. And I thought “Yes!”. We can choose to buy mass produced goods, made somewhere out of sight, that we will only use a couple of times before discarding, or we can choose to make more thoughtful and deliberate purchases. We can buy secondhand, we can buy ethical goods, or we can choose to make do with what we already have, or repair what is broken.
We can choose.
And I realised in writing that presentation that what I want to do, my mission if you like, is to remind us all that we have power. We have a choice.
I want to spread the word that we don’t have to go through our lives mindlessly buying what the advertisers and big brands tell us we need and must have, feeling like we have no power to change the big issues that our society is facing.
We do have the power.
Being more aware, more conscious, of what we buy, where we buy, or even not buying and choosing to fix something instead. That’s power.
I want to empower all of us to believe that our choices matter.
To believe that we all have the power to gently shake the world and disrupt the status quo.
We are all change makers.
Let’s go change the world 🙂