“In 1787 a dozen people began meeting in a small print shop in London to abolish the lucrative slave trade [which, in one form or another, engulfed about 75% of the world at that time.] They were reviled and dismissed by businessmen and politicians. It was argued that their crackpot ideas would bring down the English economy, eliminate growth and jobs, cost too much money, and lower the standard of living. Critics also pointed out that abolition was being promoted by a small group of self-appointed troublemakers and extremists who had no expertise in trade or commerce. “Blessed Unrest by Paul Hawken
Yet it was these ‘self-appointed troublemakers and extremists’ that created a global social movement, the likes of which the world had never seen up to that moment.
And six decades later, slavery was legally abolished virtually everywhere.
The modern green movement started almost five decades ago, according to most experts. In 1962, The New Yorker published excerpts from the upcoming blockbuster environmental book, Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson. Carson’s published excerpts and the ensuing book turned the business world upside down in how it was treating the planet we live on.
And ever since then, businesses, particularly some of the largest in the world, have been recycling the same arguments from 213 years before, in an attempt to discredit the movement for being run by a crackpots and extremists.
Well, perhaps we are!
Have passion for the green movement? Already on board? Thinking of getting involved? Here are some pros and cons from the perspective and experience of someone who started his green business in 1991 and who has been creating and helping others create and grow them since.
Pros of Ramping Up a Green Business NOW:
- Be a Leader—nothing wrong with being a follower, but if you want to be known for making this movement happen, now is the time to get involved.
- Explore the Wild West—right now the movement is trying to get grounded and determine its core principles, markets and trends. Technology and tons of money have been flowing and crucial in accelerating the process for stabilizing green business sectors.
- Create Trends and Directions—have a serious opportunity to be the trend-setter and founder/early adopter of the green business movement.
- Experience Guts and Glory—huge risks and rewards with so much at stake can be extremely exhilarating. Taking on the big boys’ manipulation of Congress can be a LOT of fun.
- Use High Levels of Creativity—to move big habit-busting ideas and trends forward takes huge levels of creativity and passion.
- Get Established—by getting started now, be known as an expert in your industry before the masses get on board.
Cons of Ramping Up Now:
- Lots of Risk—want others to make the mistakes and learn from them before you try. Instead, start with basic things the masses are already doing.
- Deal With the Unknown—while science and business at odds and business manipulating Congress, there are lots of knuckle-biting moments ahead.
- Complex Set of Issues—science and society are constantly evolving around the complexities of our environmental ills. This can cause stress and lack of surness.
- Take it On the Chin—from all the naysayers and people / businesses whom feel threatened by the changes the movement is creating.
- Change of Habits—both yours and others. For most, not easy to adapt to.
Bottom Line: if you’ve got the passion for being a serious player in the green movement, willing to take the heat and flack from all the naysayers, and have a passion for helping solve some of the biggest challenges known to man, then GO FOR IT!
And if not, you may want to sit on the bench a bit longer and do much simpler tasks that can also make a difference for the planet and society.
Action Steps for the Week:
So how do you decide if it is time go get going with your green biz? Or, if you already have one, whether to take it to the next level?
First, get clear on where you are:
- Don’t Care At All—just running my biz to make money.
- Care But Not Interested—got a company to run, for God’s sake!
- Care and Interested—not sure how to get started to make money being green.
- Successful and Care—making money being green and looking to make more.
- Care and Successful—green and want to make more money to be greener.
Next, determine your passion level. Do you have enough to carry you through the bumps and grinds along the way that a new model of doing business requires?
Lastly, ask yourself if you have the resources of training, time, energy, and money to make set up/grow your shop?
Come up with your answers. If you are not 110% clear and super-charged about them, ask respected colleagues and friends for advice and their take.
If your decision is to hold off, get clear on when you will get started. If you decide to go for it (or already are going for it), determine your next three steps you need to make this week.