Things I’ve Learned as a Social Entrepreneur
The purpose of this blog is to give readers a glimpse into the behind the scenes workings of the organization and into the people that are MSC. So here we go.
I thought I’d start this first post based on a presentation I gave recently to a group of senior undergraduate Environment and Business students at the University of Waterloo. I was asked to deliver a presentation on the Story of MSC. As a co-founder of MSC, the story is full of layers—some of which are the personal trials and tribulations of a social entrepreneur who has seen her share of successes, failures, struggles, excitement and fear. It’s been a rewarding and challenging journey without question. And if there’s one ability that I continue to rely upon, it is courage.
So back to the presentation I gave to the students that day… I chose to include several slides on “Things I’ve Learned” as a social entrepreneur and I will share these with you now… drum roll please.
Things I’ve Learned:
- It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Perseverance and resilience are key.
- You’re going to make mistakes. Learn from them and move on.
- Surround yourself with people smarter than you.
- Never miss out on an opportunity to connect with new people, you never know where a simple conversation will take you . (More on this later)
- You may not have the answer today, but tomorrow is a new day and it’s amazing what sleeping on it will do.
- The path to success is messy. People think it looks like a linear arrow going up, but it’s really an arrow going up with a tangled mess of spaghetti in between.
- Celebrate your successes.
- Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.
So to close off on this inaugural MSC blog post, I’d like to share with you what happened after giving the presentation. Several people had come up to me afterwards, including someone from St. Paul’s University College. This person in particular began to quote #4 on the list above and had an opportunity that she wanted to discuss with me. She didn’t get into any details but we agreed that a starting point would be to have that simple conversation and we were both open to seeing where that would take us. Well, I’m pleased to report that we did have the simple conversation and it has led to a bigger opportunity—of which I could have never foreseen leading up to the day of that presentation. So what’s the bigger opportunity?
Well I have been appointed as GreenHouse Director at St. Paul’s University College — a social innovation community for undergraduate students at the University of Waterloo. This is a new and exciting project for MSC, which will involve developing student experience and learning services that provide students with the social entrepreneurial resources to explore, exchange, test and execute their environmental and/or social justice ideas. So, there you go, who knew that sharing the things I’ve learned would result in a new and exciting opportunity?
Tania Del Matto
About Tania Del MattoIn 2007, Tania co-founded My Sustainable Canada (MSC) - a national not-for-profit organization with a mandate to help people and organizations make more sustainable choices. Tania currently serves as MSC's Executive Director and is responsible for establishing and executing on the major goals and objectives for the organization.