Get your social enterprise off to a rock solid start by defining your vision and values

We often think of business values as fluffy words that sit on a wall to assure clients you’re a nice organisation. I discovered that values are, in fact, the solid foundations to building a business when I was invited to work with a group of emerging Geraldton entrepreneurs.

For the last three years I have supported Pollinators’ innovative incubation program Catalyst by running business skills workshops, such as Leading for Good: getting things done in all areas of life.  This year I helped participants articulate their business ‘why’.  The workshop covered:

  • The vision for the future that drives them
  • Why that vision is important for them personally and for their beneficiaries
  • How to write clear, tangible and meaningful business values to guide decision-making
  • Specific activities their enterprise will do to contribute towards that future i.e. how they will make money

The entrepreneurs from Geraldton, Kalbarri and other towns in WA’s midwest found clarifying their vision and values made their business mission (what they actually do) easier to define.

Interestingly, subtle differences in values led to different business models. For example, the owner of a music studio who values financial security might run business mentoring for musicians. If creativity ranks higher in her values, she might focus more on beginners have-a-go sessions.

When you’re about to start a business, get your vision, mission and values down on paper so you know if you have a business idea you’re willing to jump into.  Building a business takes time and energy; you might as well begin with a solid base.

To book a vision and values workshop email rachael@rachaelwest.com.au.

How to make a difference: The School of Life arrives in Perth

I am delighted to have been invited to run How to Make a Difference when The School of Life pops up in Perth for the first time next month. Based on the book How to Change the World by John-Paul Flintoff the workshop was designed by the school’s London faculty and will be made relevant to a local audience, covering the many ways we can make a difference; the cultural and social resistance that may come in our way; and skills for practical action.

The School of Life was founded in 1998 by modern philosopher Alain de Bouton and has since opened in Amsterdam, Paris and Melbourne.

“Our classes are devoted to developing emotional intelligence through the help of culture….to give useful insights around the big themes in life. You’ll be challenged to think deeply about the issues that matter most, and provided with a space to share your thoughts, ideas and experiences with other curious, open-minded individuals. Sessions are designed by experts and taught by members of our faculty.”

More about The School of Life here.

Leading for good: business skills for social entrepreneurs

I was invited to work with Pollinators Inc, on their Catalyst training program for entrepreneurs for the second year in a row. This year, I designed the module Leading for good to help budding entrepreneurs in the midwest understand how to get things done in all areas of their business and life. Continue reading “Leading for good: business skills for social entrepreneurs”