During this week’s podcast, Mike talks about the inspiration behind building Worklodge and the Gabriel Project. Often people ask, “how is this non-profit helping your business?” His reply is always the same- our reason for existence is more than just dollars. Mike Thakur explains the difference between an entrepreneur that chases the dollar, versus an entrepreneur that chases the dream. When starting a social enterprise, you have to ask yourself what that dream is. 

CREATING A SOCIAL IMPACT 

The privilege that follows owning a small business is realizing you’ve created a voice for yourself. What better way to use that voice than to send a message. The message you and your business send can allow others to understand what exactly your DNA, culture, and morals are. The message that Thakur was able to send through Worklodge is “Hey, our goal is to build and create something that could impact our local communities.” Thakur has worked toward building a business founded on core values. These core values include a heart that beats for service, for helping people. This reminds me of the quote:

“If you are more fortunate than others, build a longer table, not a taller fence.” 

FOUNDATION OF CORE VALUES

It’s a no brainer that when you choose a message tied to your core value and send it, profit will follow. Worklodge is a company Mike built on a foundation of these core values:

1. Build a servant heart and servant leadership.

It is a privilege and a joy to be able to take care of our customers and local communities; to have a servant’s heart. When you take care of your people, local communities are taken care of as well.

2. Build local jobs.

It is statistically proven that small businesses create more jobs. They look after their employees way better than the corporate world seems to. They don’t “hire and fire” like corporate companies tend to do. Most people don’t enjoy the corporate world, they thrive better in a smaller environment. Creating jobs directly through Worklodge has helped feed growth. It has also helped the small businesses, that join Worklodge, grow their small business and create more jobs.

3. Build something inspirational.

If you take a look around at small businesses in faith-driven circles, there doesn’t seem to be any. And if there are, no one is talking about it. This has helped Mike with the idea of creating a podcast. The Mike Thakur Show serves this exact purpose. 

4. Build something that gave us the freedom to help people.

Mike wanted to build something that gave him the freedom to help people without having to constantly fundraise, or even go through donor maintenance and management. 

The measurable metrics at Worklodge aren’t just about profitability and revenue alone, even though they play a huge role. Our success factors are also built upon these core values. Mike and his staff often ask themselves these questions:

“How well are we growing this culture?”

“How well are we developing these core values and living by them?”

“How well are we creating jobs?”

“How successfully are we inspiring others to engage in this conversation and online community through the podcast?”

SUCCESS THROUGH SOCIAL ENTERPRISE

This overall discussion begs the final question, “Does having this social impact element helped us be more successful?”. The answer is an absolute yes. Having this social impact aspect has improved our profit and revenue. When you help your people through your business, they want to start helping in any way they can too. 

KEY TOPICS

– Inspiration behind Worklodge and the Gabriel Project. How chasing a dollar vs. a dream differs. Why it is important to recognize that and choosing accordingly.

– When you choose a social enterprise, you send a message to the world. This message is how you are perceived. It is important to choose a message tied to your core values.

– What foundation of core values Worklodge was built on. How this has impacted profitability. 

QUOTES

“Truly successful entrepreneurs never chase the dollar, they chase the dream; they chase the idea.”

“We wanted to build a business on a foundation of core values, so we could build a culture around service.”

“If we can inspire others to think about their place in the world and their role in their local community, that’s a measurable metric which is one of our success factors.”

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