In this new age of Indie Entrepreneurship, an emerging set of young entrepreneurs across the world are driven by a ‘socially focused, not technology focused, more designer & artist-centric than engineering-centric’ culture thus dynamically expanding startup economy. Building innovative and sustainable products & services, bringing about positive social & environmental change, and solving local problems through creative solutions are some of the hallmarks of millennials, right from Silicon Valley to developing economies like India. Today, if you are a young entrepreneur in your early twenties and you identify yourself with this new thinking focused on achieving social good, you should ask yourself– “Which way should I choose, Mother Teresa way or Elon Musk way?”
Both these individuals are immensely popular and have made laudable contributions to the welfare of humankind albeit in their own way. Mother Teresa worked and cared for people who were neglected, with love, kindness and compassion while Elon Musk – popularly known as the real life Tony Stark is harnessing cutting edge technology and innovation to radically change the world for better.
Mother Teresa Way
The name Mother Teresa is synonymous with compassion, selfless service and passion to work for the well being of other fellow humans. Mother Teresa is an inspiration and led many others in her footsteps. A Nobel laureate, she began by starting open air schools for children living in slums of Kolkata and over the years devoted her life to the welfare of low income groups by providing free education, healthcare and community living. Going Mother Teresa way is to put others and their problems before yours and devoting your energies towards solving them.
Mother Teresa believed,
“If each one of you would use the same drive you use to build your businesses to help others, just think what a difference you could make for a better world!”
If you have the Mother Teresa streak in you, you should identify and espouse a social or environmental cause you are genuinely passionate about, build a platform to address the cause, get many others to care about it by involving them as volunteers or donors, work tirelessly towards spreading awareness on the issue and finally make society a better place. A nonprofit organization or a public movement can be a great manifestation of your efforts.
Elon Musk Way
A young visionary is building tech startups to further his dream of making the future, better for all. Brain behind electric automobile company Tesla Motors, PayPal, space technology company SpaceX, and clean energy provider SolarCity, Elon Musk is delivering positive impact by advocating the use of solar and electric energy in his inventions. He is a visionary whose trying to solve problems of tomorrow by replacing fast-depleting fossil fuels with renewable sources of energy thru cutting-edge technology.
If you choose the Elon Musk way, you are convinced that technological innovation, design of sustainable solutions wrapped around by a profitable business model is your way of addressing some of the pressing concerns of humanity. You can become a techno-social entrepreneur, create innovative products & services for the people at bottom of the pyramid, find an equally innovative way of delivering them or create livelihood for a community by involving it in a fruitful economic activity.
Young entrepreneurs who are at the threshold of starting something which is driven by their passion can either choose a non-profit path like Mother Teresa or create path breaking innovative solutions for the greater good like Elon Musk is doing and establish themselves as innovators and visionaries. The key lies in striking a sound balance between social good and business acumen to drive positive impact.