Social entrepreneurship isn’t easy, these 4 reminders can help you stick with it.

As entrepreneurs, we talk a lot about having a seat at the table — and how you need to do whatever it takes to get there. For some, it takes weeks, months or even years just to get in front of the right people. So when you do, you’re ready to hit the ground running and make a difference, right?

Not really.

Outcomes don’t happen without hard work, and more often than not, they take a lot longer than we might think or hope. If you’ve come to this realization for the first time, you might feel your passion or excitement fading. You might be thinking: “Do I keep going?” or “Is it time to quit?” When you come up against barriers and setbacks, no matter how big they are, it’s important to remember these 4 things:

Making a difference isn’t easy.

Of course it isn’t. If it were easy, we’d have social entrepreneurs flourishing left and right, with a better world and solved problems to show for it. But it isn’t easy. Some causes require years of hard work, advocacy, and a few failures before seeing any results. Plus, social entrepreneurship is a lot more than a great idea. Social entrepreneurship requires a long-term approach that is sustainable for years into the future.

Neither is building a company.
Systemic social change aside, business is difficult, even when you cut out the altruism. You’ve got finances, personnel, marketing, programs and the red tape of legal and governance to manage — and many of these areas will bring plenty of unforeseen circumstances along with them. If you’re having a hard time figuring out how to build the engine, it’s because building it is hard.

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