Recently, I’ve been taking a social innovations class at BYU-I where we are encouraged to keep a journal of what we learn each week. Welcome to entry 11 of  said journal. I’ll be using Joseph Campbell’s theory of The Hero’s Journey as a framework for my posts, each week will be a different stage. I hope you like it

THE ROAD BACK.  About three-fourths of the way through the story, the hero is driven to complete the adventure, leaving the Special World to be sure the treasure is brought home.  Often a chase scene signals the urgency and danger of the mission” Read more here.

On the Road Back
In the next stage of the journey it’s all about the road back. This involves multiple stages that aren’t necessarily individual stages of the Hero’s Journey. One of these is the Refusal of the Turn. Just like at the beginning of the journey where we didn’t want to leave our normal and to go out to this crazy land, on a crazy adventure, after we fought the battle often times we feel the same but in revers. We don’t want to return home even though we know we must. In this journey you’re returning home with the reward that you have received and using it to bless the lives of those you left behind. You are bringing back the elixir, as well as knowledge, and a changed version of yourself. There’s a sense of separation and sense of sorrow that comes from leaving the journey and knowing that it’s complete. It’s sort of like mourning. You’re mourning what you traveled through, you’re mourning the person you were. I believe that, in a way you are also mourning the trials themselves.
“If you’re doing something great, if you’re disrupting, you will get opposition.” – Brother Gwilliam
The above quote from our professor, Brother Gwilliam, has been a big theme throughout class this semester. It’s also one that, in a way, is actually quite comforting. Something that I really like about how this class is taught is that when he tells us that we can achieve great things-when he tells us that we can dream and achieve things we never thought we would be able to-you know he means it. Not only that, but you know he comes from a place of actually having done it at our age. When he tells us to dream he also make sure that we see the whole picture. We aren’t going into it thinking that all is roses and sunshine, but we also aren’t going into it with a pessimistic attitude. He’s clear that there will be opposition any time that we are doing something great. We will come across trials and hardships. Something great is that we have even gone through examples of this looking at people like Steve Jobs, Muhammed Yunis, Mother Theresa, and many other people. To do something great, to do something different, is to disrupt the reality in which we live in. As a people we don’t really like change, it makes us uncomfortable, and so anytime that you’re doing something truly meaningful but that involves change you will often get push-back. We know from a gospel standpoint that there needs to be opposition in all things. We know that there must be light and dark and that when we do great things it there will be a push against us and a force trying to get us to stop. Sometimes this opposition,  even comes in the form of ourselves. Something else that I really love that was mentioned in our class this week was a quote by one of our classmates. He said-
“I feel like passion is really vulnerable.”
I couldn’t agree more with this statement. Sometimes we talk about passions in class, and I think about how much I have to open yourself up to feel deep passion for the things that I care about. It’s hard, and scary, and it takes a lot of trust and a lot of hope. It doesn’t mean that bad things won’t happen, but that it will still be worth it. Unfortunately, our self-preservation instinct sometimes overpowers our long-term view point of what will truly bring us happiness, and what will make a difference in the world. So, therefore, it becomes our constant job to overcome our instincts and push ourselves to live with passion. We also talked about “finding passion statements, building marketing around them, and building employees around that.” which I believe is crucial.  Passion, plays a big role in The Road Back or The Return. Ultimately, your passion for the people in your home who need your newfound knowledge and gifts, wins out over the new land that you have grown to love, and the passion for the journey. This is important-crucial even-for what is a journey if you aren’t able to bring something back to change and brighten those you love?
Reflection questions
1. What is the term “for-benefit” mean?
For-benefit means that you’re working to benefit the community in the world and often times a social problem not simply money. For-benefit is often used to describe social ventures such as social businesses. This is a term that people can more easily understand. To be a for-benefit business means that it’s not just for profit but it’s for benefit of the world, at the business’ very core.
2. In order to create a successful for-benefit enterprise, what must a socially minded entrepreneur focus on during the start up of his/her business?
I believe it’s important to start with passion first. And once that passion has been chosen, to follow up with doing the “5 Whys” exercise. It is crucial that you have a vision as to why you are going to start a business for this cause in the first place. Because, at some point in your business you will want to give up, and you will lose view of why you did it in the first place. However, if you do find-and clearly state-the passion and the motives of why you’re doing it in the first place, you will be able to prevent that as well as to guide your business with success and direction.