Insurgent Tip by COMMON

We are all doing our best to find and live our purpose — to become the fullest version of ourselves with the most to offer. When we’re seeking to do big things, especially in a space that is nascent and evolving, sometimes the people around us just don’t get it. This is even more true when your path may not be fully formed or easy to articulate.

This Insurgent Tip is for those social entrepreneurs who are forging new paths, bringing new industries into being and envisioning new futures. Because if you’re on that trajectory, you’re…


Insurgent Tip by COMMON

COMMON’s CEO, Mark, likes to take long, solo walks in the woods to help him unplug and hang out with his own mind. On one such ramble, around the three-hour point, he realized he needed to hurry up and get home — so he started taking some shortcuts. These shortcuts eventually ran him up against the bank of a stream, giving him two choices: either walk alongside the stream (and further extend the time it would take him to get home) or just jump over the stream and continue on his way.

With the onset of…


Insurgent Tip by COMMON

Here’s our hot take for the day: the most important thing to the success of your business is not your products or your services. It’s your relationships. More specifically, your relationships with the people who make your products/services possible.To quote our friend Bud Caddell, “Business, any business, is just the commercialization of human relationships.”

If you’re not paying as much attention to your relationships as you pay to the nuts and bolts of building your product, then it’s time to take a beat and look around. …


Insurgent Tip by COMMON

Social entrepreneurship demands a lot of us as individuals. It takes immense drive and vision just to get started, and seeing things through requires even more grit and determination. While these sorts of individualistic qualities are essential for success, too much self-reliance is a recipe for disaster. Keeping a sharp mind and a positive attitude through the ups-and-downs of running a business requires help sometimes, and habitually trying to take on the world’s challenges alone leads to burnout and failure.

No matter how brilliant an idea is, its potential (and your own potential, for that matter)…


Insurgent Tip by COMMON

In case it’s somehow missed your radar, we’ve spent over a year now in a paradigm-shifting, world-stopping pandemic. And it hasn’t been easy on anyone. To say nothing of the unfathomable suffering we’ve witnessed and felt, the daily grind of Zoom and isolation has worn us all down until it sometimes feels like all of us are just one big, raw nerve.

As this thing has dragged on, we’ve noticed a shift from sharing about one’s experience to complaining. That’s not inherently bad — we are all about authentic self-expression, especially when things get rough. …


Insurgent Tip by COMMON

We all have a little nagging voice inside our heads that contributes to moments of insecurity and indecision. We’ve set out to transform lives and the way business is done, so a pinch of self-doubt from time to time is inevitable (even healthy). But if we let it, that nagging little voice can get loud enough to wreak havoc. Our goals are big, bold, and beautiful. We tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves, and when we don’t meet our own standards we can become our own worst critics. …


Insurgent Tip by COMMON

Operating a social enterprise means competing with businesses who follow the standard capitalist operating procedure, i.e. “Make money by offering products at the lowest possible price point, regardless of the corners you have to cut to make that happen.” That means social enterprises have a built-in disadvantage in the free market, because we care about the effects of our businesses on people and the planet.

It’s business 101 to articulate why your product fits customer needs. But as a social enterprise, you need to take your pitch a few steps further by describing how your product…


Insurgent Tip by COMMON

As entrepreneurs, most of us like to be in the driver’s seat and to be the decision-makers in our vehicles of change. We prefer to be the one that turns the wheel and determines which roads to take and how fast or slow to travel. The best days are the ones where we hit all the green lights and traffic opens up at the right moments to let us switch lanes and get ahead. Sometimes we can predict when there will be slowdowns or detours, and we can plan accordingly. Other times, unforeseeable obstacles, inclement weather…


Insurgent Tip by COMMON

Let’s see if this sounds familiar: At 9AM you sit down at your desk and open your email, ready and energized for a day of Doing Shit That Matters. Then there’s a flurry of emails, a couple of calls, and somehow you find yourself staring at a blank screen trying to come up with the perfectly-worded email to address whatever breakdown or conflict popped up that day. Anxiety is creeping up your neck and you’re clenching your jaw. …


Insurgent Tip by COMMON

Dealing with disruption is part of the gig for entrepreneurs, but this past year took things to another level. For many of us, it felt like someone pressed the pause button on life, as all social events, work gatherings, and daily outings were put on hold. Now that vaccines are being distributed and some activities and gatherings are resuming, the shift “back to normal” is officially underway. But after a year of disruption, normal might not feel so normal anymore.

The downsides of quarantine are numerous and clear– we’ve all felt them, and we won’t waste…

COMMON

A creative accelerator for social businesses and projects. We're working to build international excitement, conversation and action around entrepreneurialism

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