This post is a guest post by Alexandra Nash, the founder and CEO of Yuhme, a social enterprise on a mission to provide clean water to those who need it. Yuhme makes eco-friendly, reusable water bottles from sugarcane. The purchase of each bottle provides 6 months of clean water to someone in the Central African Republic via Water For Good.
For me it started with a dream. Dreams the bunny that is— a stuffed animal I bought for our then unborn daughter, Harlow. A figure to remind myself that I needed to focus time and energy on finding my true purpose. Little did I know then that the name “Yuhme” I came up with a year later for our social enterprise, actually meant "dream" in Japanese. A sure sign to me that I was on the right path.
When I was asked to write this blog post my initial thought was that it was going to be a breeze, but I soon came to realize that putting this two-year journey on paper was harder than I initially thought. Below are the takeaways that I have learned during this incredible journey so far.
ALLOW YOURSELF TIME.
I truly believe that the most progress happens when we allow ourselves to be in a state where we can just be. To search, to dig, to read, to meditate without any real goal other than searching for that spark and purpose. Sometimes we have an itch that we want something to be different, but we don’t allow for the process of finding out what that is. Instead we plod along with our day to day lives and think that maybe it isn’t for us. But please believe that real things happen when you least expect it, and stop with the TV watching and the social media scrolling and I promise you that there is enough time to make it happen.
KEEP IT SIMPLE.
The greatest missions were created on a small idea that gained momentum because of the passion behind it. The beauty with a social enterprise is that even if you only sell one product, you have already helped at least one person. So yes, aim for the stars but plan to land in your backyard. By that I mean don’t get stuck in the thought that you are in search of this great big idea, for the smallest, most subtle idea could be the beginning of your own social enterprise.
JUST FOCUS ON THE NEXT STEP.
Once that little (or big) idea has entered your mind-- that same idea that makes you nervous and excited at the same time-- nurture it. Show it respect by taking things one step at a time. Focus on the next step, and then the next and the next. Before you know it all those steps add up and you are doing things you never thought you would or maybe could do.
DARE TO REACH OUT TO THOSE WHO INSPIRE YOU.
Following your passion to your big social entrepreneurial idea might sometimes be a lonely road. The people you usually spend time with might not go through the same transformation that you do. Change is a scary thing for people that have not chosen it, especially for people close to you. Instead find your new tribe—the people that do what you want to do, that share your interest, or run bomb businesses. Don’t let the name scare you whether it is Blake, Sophia, or Michelle; Just send that email! The worst-case scenario is a zero response. But I promise you that this road will give you a lot more yeses than noes.
So, there it is! Just one thing left: where do you start? The intelligent answer: it doesn’t matter. Most ideas never see the light of day because people feel they aren’t ready. They’re not ready enough to start, not prepared enough to start, don’t have enough money to start… Let me finish off by saying if you do dare to start, regardless of those perceived challenges, you are amongst the 1% that actually act on their ideas. That in itself is motivation enough to get going. Good luck and can’t wait to see what you create!
What dream, no matter how big or small it may seem, can you get started on reaching right now?