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As human beings, it takes a high degree of emotional maturity to remain rational, collected and cool in ‘less than ideal’ situations. Disappointed by a meeting earlier this morning, I found myself unproductive for several hours following it... Despite much anticipation and excitement for this meeting, the conversation did not go very far. What’s worse, my frustrations of the focus of the conversation caused me to develop a defensive and aggressive tone in selling SoJo, because I felt as though I wasn’t being heard. Sadly, this wasn’t the first time I found myself in such a situation.

It’s an art to eloquently  ‘push-back’ to clarify misunderstandings and articulate your position and the value that you are offering – while not coming across as defensive, even though you feel you are being trampled. This is an art that I need to hone, as we will need to find creative ways of working with people who are not on the same page as us, if we wish to bring this online community together. In the meantime however, we need to stay focused on developing our strengths and building our product.

These experiences have allowed me to sympathise with entrepreneurs who get doors slammed in their face by Venture Capitalists and other stakeholders, because their audience didn’t quite understand them or get their vision. Setbacks are part of the game – and real character, I believe, comes from one’s ability to extract the key learnings and move on, instead of dwelling over what could have happened.

Changing status quo is not easy – nor is it easy to propose bold, innovative approaches that are different than what has been done before. Isn’t this what entrepreneurship is all about?  Couldn’t help but be reminded of the book The Power of Unreasonable People which states that social entrepreneurs are unreasonable because they are capable of creating visions that are unreasonable – however the book also states that the world needs these people, whose “path-breaking innovations and courageous leadership have driven remarkable change in the world,” and made the seemingly impossible – possible.  

SoJo has a grand vision – one that I am excited to have others co-create.  Although we are still figuring out HOW SoJo will come together, we know WHY SoJo is needed. We need to remain focused, work within our capabilities and eventually make room for the skeptics to come to us. It is at a time like this when we need to remain focused on our WHY; be reminded of SoJo’s driving belief; the world needs more young social innovators who need support and guidance to be more effective agents of social change, and align ourselves with people who get it and want to work together to make this happen.

 


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