Today’s advice comes from social entrepreneur Elizabeth Scharpf’s interview with the Harvard Business Review. “I am most effective when I understand what drives people to do what they do, whether it’s what they are passionate about, or what makes them feel insecure, or what makes them feel good about themselves, or what makes them have confidence, or what they can be proud of — keeping in mind all of those things.”
Tapping into human emotion is key to growing a fledgling business, according to Sharpf, a 34-year-old Harvard Business School graduate and founder of Sustainable Health Enterprises, a start-up aimed at provides low-cost and eco-friendly menstrual pads to women in third world countries, like Rwanda.
According to its website, SHE also aims to help local women in developing countries create their own businesses to manufacture and distribute the sanitary pads.
When you find emotion in your work, you are more likely to relate with your customers. And employees will jump to work with you, says Scharpf, recalling a recent job opening.
“If you read the job description, beside the intro and stuff about the need to financially analyse the potential to grow a business in x y and z ways, it was very dry stuff, but when we added the emotional elements around that factual description — that we are trying to basically change the paradigm of how international development is done, that we’re trying to work with communities to help improve lives, that we want to be disruptors — all those good things — well, the response was overwhelming.”
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