Are You Curious Enough to Build a Good Business?

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

PNG Local Business Coach focus: Mary Handen

We are excited to be partnering and building local capacity in our women-led business coaching program in PNG. Mary is one of our Local Business Coach (LBC) participants and we have loved working with her over these past few months. We caught up recently and want to...

Business and mindset coaching offers key to covid recovery for women-led businesses in PNG

TDi are working with PNG Women’s Business Resource Centre to recruit and coach a total of 100 women-led SMEs (or deliver 800 hours of coaching) over four rounds of coaching from May through to December, with an average of 200 hours of coaching per round. Alongside, 4 Local Business Coaches are being trained in TDi’s method to continue to support women-led SMEs in PNG. Here are the results for the first of the four rounds of coaching.

What 10 years and deep curiosity has taught us

Last year TDi celebrated 10 years, and over that time we’ve had the opportunity to travel with a number of organisations and often get a bird’s eye view of what’s going on. Recently, TDi’s CEO Anthea Smits, had the opportunity to reflect on what the past 10 years and deep curiosity has taught us. This article is a reflection on our top 6 learnings.

Meaningful Conversations about Reconciliation

This month’s Meaningful Conversation coincided with the start of National Reconciliation Week so we took the opportunity to explore the notion of reconciliation, and particularly this year’s theme which invites brave action.

Using the Business Model Canvas

When it comes to creating a new business, one question looms larger than all others: “Does this have potential?” The Business Model Canvas is a great starting point. This blog by TDi’s Isaac Jeffries describes how to fill out it out.

Hope in a challenging environment

A reflection by TDis, Carlo Demaio, on the PNG Highlands township of Porgera.

Mitch Wallis puts his heart on his sleeve about working with TDi

We were so grateful to Mitch from Heart On My Sleeve for sharing this video story of his experiences working with TDi.

A creative business model that is inspiring Pacific Islanders to return to local cuisine to benefit their health, economy and climate

“The story of the food is the story of the people.” This is the belief that has inspired celebrity chef Robert Oliver to create the reality cooking show and community project ‘The Pacific Island Food Revolution’.

Reflections on a year of Crisis and Challenge

As the mood becomes festive, with the end of a long year in sight, we want to take a moment to pause. It’s tempting to want to switch off, but before we do, we want to share some honest reflections of this past 12 months so that we go forward with the learning and insights of this year’s journey. 

Holiday Reading Recommendations

The TDi team spend a lot of time reading (or listening) to books and podcasts throughout the year. This year has been out of the ordinary, to say the least, so our reading and watching suggestions for this holiday season are a mix of fun and educational - just to...