10 Golden Rules Entrepreneurs and Social Entrepreneurs should follow

This month’s guest blogger Martin Edwards, Chief Executive of Julia’s House children’s hospice, shares his 10 inspiring golden rules for entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs.

Some background…

Four years ago the Trustees of Julia’s House accepted my proposal that we replicate all our Dorset care services for children in Wiltshire. We set about raising £3million, rolled out nursing at home, and began building the Wiltshire children’s hospice.

Julia's House January 2017 Millie Pilkington

It hasn’t been easy, but discovery starts with…

1. Risk

Big ideas, innovation, and expansion: they all carry risk. It should never deter you from setting forth.

2. Believe

Don’t ‘try’ to get the momentum you need.

As Yoda from Star Wars said: “Do, or do not. There is no ‘try’.”

Early on in raising support for the new hospice, I stuck that quote on my desk. From then on, it was not whether we would build it, but how long it would take.

3. Reach critical mass

Reach critical mass before you go public with your idea. That way, any naysayers must deal with the reality that you’ve arrived.

4. Plan and plan again

No plan ever survives contact with real events, so keep adjusting yours and make it a tool for continuous improvement and financial sustainability.

5. Get the right people!

You live or die by your recruitment decisions.

6. Nurture people

Even if you get most recruitment right,

10 per cent of your people will always dislike you;

20 per cent will always love you;

but the other 70 per cent are all ‘in play’:

you can and must influence them.

Success coach Anthony Robbins says people everywhere are motivated by two things: a sense of belonging and a sense of progress. Everything you do as their employer should build those two things.

7. Resilience

Unless you’re superhuman or supremely arrogant, you’ll have moments of doubt or down days. Find top leaders elsewhere to talk to in confidence.

8. Focus

The biggest timewaster in any organisation isn’t emails or meetings; it’s choosing the wrong things to do – and then doing them really well!

We coach all Julia’s House managers to regularly ask themselves ‘is this (still) the right thing to be doing?’

9. Expect fulfilment not enjoyment

Making things happen requires huge tenacity. You’ll face bureaucracy, obstructiveness and jealousy. Much of it won’t be fun, but there is nothing more fulfilling than achieving a great goal in the face of adversity.

10. Learn

Study successful people and projects – even when you are successful.

As the great US basketball coach John Wooden said: “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”

Julia’s House Devizes Entrance View

The Julia’s House Wiltshire children’s hospice opens this summer.

By Martin Edwards – Chief Executive at Julia’s House Children’s Hospice – Martin has been Chief Executive of Julia’s House since 2005, He has over 25 years’ experience of charity management and voluntary roles, ranging from overseas aid to supporting UK families in crisis. Martin is also a writer and speaker on leadership, and has presented on Julia’s House leadership methods to Barclays and Northern Trust Banks, Centrica British Gas, the Institute of Directors and a Premier League football club.

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