Fair Trade Campaign Conference

Fair Trade Campaign Conference

David Steingard spoke at the 2016 Fair Trade Campaign Conference in Philadelphia about social enterprise, communicating your story, and getting consumers to care. Here are highlights from the talk.

Practicing Your Dreams

Practicing Your Dreams

Most entrepreneurs daydream. Perhaps you are driving, taking a train out of town or strolling through the city, and you let your mind wander. You think about your life, the world, something funny that happened recently. You eventually get to ponder long-term plans for your business. Then, you notice something in a shop and think, “that’s cool” or “it would be better if...” Out of nowhere, you are struck by a great idea. In a whirlwind of imagination, you see yourself building a company and culture. Before you know it, you make the cover of Forbes, Fast Company, Wired... As a social entrepreneur, your vision also includes a profound social impact.

At this point, if you are have any experience starting a business, you quickly come back down to earth. You realize, for better or for worse, the practical challenges which must be overcome to execute your idea. If you have no experience, and especially if your passion is social enterprise, then you could be in trouble. One the other hand, we shouldn’t allow experience to choke off our inspirations.

Read more in the Huffington Post. 

What!? You Want To Feel Welcomed...

What!? You Want To Feel Welcomed...

For many people, “work” now signifies human interactions based entirely on the commercial exchange. If you are an employee, the customer is someone you serve because the boss pays you to. If you are a boss, the employee is someone who helps you make money from the customer, and the customer is someone who brings money into the business. I love my work because it doesn’t feel like “work.” What I do all day long is pay attention to what people need and what they want — to making them feel welcome. If my work begins to feel like “work,” I know I am doing something wrong.

Read more in the Huffington Post. 

 

Art of the Trade Off

Art of the Trade Off

I've begun a regular column for the Huffington Post. I've posted my first article here with links.

What we need and what we want are very different things. Our needs and wants often drive our decisions in opposite directions. I may want a swanky office, but I don’t need it. For the entrepreneur navigating the startup, or anybody navigating life, being clear about what you need should come first. When dealing with the trade offs that inevitably arise in a growing business, the better we understand our needs the less confused we will be about our decisions.

Wharton Business Radio

Wharton Business Radio

I was a guest on the Sirius XM Radio program Dollars & Change, produced by Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania. It was nice to speak about Laughing Man and my personal journey as a social entrepreneur.