Are You Curious Enough to Build a Good Business?

December 5, 2016

by Ishani Chattopadhyay, Head of Programs at TDi (2016)

Over the past 15 years I have been an entrepreneur and worked closely in the operations of several social and environmental enterprises. I am attuned to the philosophy of “make what you have work”, as well as the strong intent with which an entrepreneur will set up their enterprise.\r\n\r\nMy personal journey has led me to realise that while the path of entrepreneurship is joyful, it is also tough. Without support along the way, it can be a very lonely road ahead. In fact, in research I conducted interviewing over 100 social enterprises, I discovered that having trusted people around them was identified as the number one necessity. People to talk to and sound board with was crucial as well, but … money was number 3!!\r\n\r\nIt goes to show that when you are trying to design and build a business that might potentially impact the world, working in a silo is a little counter-intuitive if not completely counter-productive. It’s imperative that you talk to others, whether that is other entrepreneurs or subject matter experts, to help fine tune and add rigor to your method of creation. It’s even more imperative that at this early stage of setting up a business, you seek out those that ask you the hard questions. This will help you think through them and make the necessary iterations to your model.

My personal journey has led me to realise that while the path of entrepreneurship is joyful, it is also tough.

— Ishani Chattopadhyay

As I have followed the journey of several social and/or environmental entrepreneurs, I have noticed the successful ones are curious. They constantly challenge themselves and their beliefs, learn and iterate. A wise person once told me that a belief is a thought you think many times over- and over time it becomes your belief. Entrepreneurs who have created a constant curiosity to learn and imbibe are “teachable”. It’s the opposite of developing an entrepreneurial ego and getting stuck in one’s own belief system.\r\n\r\nIf your business idea has the ability to change the world, wouldn’t you want to do all that you can to make it the best it can be? Of course! So seek out people willingly and regularly to have those tough conversations. Apply rigor to your business model, so it can create the impact that you want it to create in the long term. Creating businesses that impact the world isn’t a small feat by any means, so equip yourself, invest in the right partners and get comfortable with the discomfort of creation!

Spots are now open for our 2017 Two Feet program. Please email Ishani for more information at ishani@tdi.org.au

Spread the love

9 Mindsets of my Favourite Difference Makers

TDi Senior Consultant Isaac Jeffries shares the philosophies and habits that are the hallmarks of his favourite difference-makers.

This is a concrete list of practices and mindsets for working in community, and maintaining connection to people without burning out or burning others.

Bilum: The Power of Story to Drive Inclusive Economic Growth

by Annie Smits, TDi CEO   In May this year we attended the first official public screening of The Bilum Story, hosted by the AUS-PNG Network at The Lowy Institute in Sydney. Before the screening, I introduced the film to a crowded room, by bringing to the fore a...

Why We Need More Coaches and Fewer ‘Experts’ in International Development

By Kate Wilson, TDi Associate   An intuitive mindset coach and mentor, Kate's insight and expertise is so valuable to our team – we hope it will be for you too. This post was originally published on Kate's website, Resources Reimagined and explores the vital role...

Reconciliation Week 2022: Wrestling with our role in the Indigenous Business Sector

Anna Moegerlein, Deputy CEO, TDi In light of National Reconciliation Week, TDi’s Deputy CEO Anna shares some of the unfolding story around our work in the Indigenous Business sector: What are the challenges we are wrestling with as an organisation, what are our...

Introducing: Accelerate with IBA 2022 Cohort

Our 'Accelerate with IBA' Showcase on April 7 was a great success. It's been an incredible six-month journey as we partnered with Indigenous Business Australia once again to equip a new cohort of business owners to grow, learn new skills, and explore their social...

Meeting Uncertainty and Crisis with Curiosity

Anthea Smits, TDi CEO   I’m going to be honest; I had a rough start to 2022.   We endured a bout of coronavirus in January, followed by a series of personal crises. Each of these would have been manageable on their own, but one after the other, at a time when...

5 Minutes with Difference Maker Tammy: Ethical Innovation in First Nations Fashion

The challenges of ethical production in the fashion industry are many, but they lead to innovation and creative problem solving. We sat down with Difference Maker Tammy Saville and discussed the joys and challenges of starting her own children’s label, and how the IBA Accelerator is providing practical assistance in helping her meet her social impact goals. 

Mindset in Entrepreneurship

Anna Moegerlein, Deputy CEO TDi I’ve been at TDi for almost six years, and in that time I’ve worked with about 120 entrepreneurs. The one thing I’ve seen, over and over, is that we all get tripped up by our own mindsets. Our mindset has a big impact on our success in...

Meet Difference Maker, Ruth

Ruth has worked closely with us on several projects including the Laikim Sister program, as well as our ongoing work with bilum.

Holiday Recommendations – 21/22

Looking for some reading, listening or watching recommendations for the holiday season?Throughout the year, in our Newsletter, we have shared various recommendations for reading, listening and watching. We share some of these below that you might like to enjoy over...