Stepping out – My journey to becoming a social entrepreneur
As an engineer graduate I never envisaged myself going down an entrepreneurial path. I was keen to work within a large corporate and climb the career ladder. That person seems a million miles away from where I am today. I chose engineering for a few reasons, a strong one being the range of potential careers that you could have without being restricted to a certain field, but instead have transferable skills. I was set for a career in mining having secured a job with a large prestigious consulting firm. But the past decade has brought a shift in economic trends, which has naturally led to a shift in employment opportunities.
The financial crisis hit at a time I like to refer as my character building year (working in retail), which turned out to be a critical pivot point that helped me discover sustainability and changed my career trajectory. I was later privileged to work for a company where I could help to shape consumer choices through education and knowledge. It was a rewarding and valuable experience for which I will always be grateful.
Meanwhile, I was starting to uncover my own entrepreneurial spirit. Using the power of the shared economy I had started my own venture with my partner. I realised that throughout my whole career I had always worked for either startups, or startup business groups within large corporates. This had given me the freedom to explore my passions and talents and work within organisations that were and are change makersin the sector or industry in which they operate.
It is often said that everything happens for a reason, sitting here in Valparaiso, Chile, taking a moment to reflect I can attest to this. A random social media post and catch up with One10 founder Geoff, whom I have respected for a long time, was destined to open my mind up to new possibilities and put me on a new trajectory. Purpose-driven business and social enterprise has been an emerging field for some time and whilst the work I was doing was fulfilling, One10 took the concept to another level and I knew I had to be part of that journey.
From a mind map vision to officially launching with minister of innovation Phillip Daladakis, I knew that the time had come to take the next step in my journey. With a heavy and somewhat conflicted heart, I took the leap from intrapreneur to fully fledged entrepreneur and began to work within the One10 business.
Today, when people ask me what I’m passionate about, the answer is simple. Making a tangible difference in the world. I’m not just here for my own gain. I want to help change the way things are for the better. Some might think this is a bit idealistic, and perhaps it is, but it’s been my guiding principal on my journey to date and has brought me opportunities that I may not have otherwise experienced. This is by no means the end of my story. It’s the beginning of a whole new chapter and I look forward to growing and developing in the coming years.