John Smith volunteers for social good. Photo courtesy of Jane Jones.
Fellows Friday is a weekly series on the TED Blog that profiles one TED Fellow each week. We have asked the Fellows to answer our question below to share their knowledge and advice with other social entrepreneurs, innovators, and changemakers who are coming up with big ideas that can change the world. Read past Fellows' answers here.
LA Philharmonic violinist Robert Gupta performs for the homeless and mentally ill. In this interview, he explains how music and the creative process heals.
Question: There are many aspiring social entrepreneurs out there who are trying to take their passion and ideas to the next level. What is one piece of advice you would give to them based on your own experiences and successes?
Answer: Focus on helping others before helping yourself. That’s what’s rewarding in the long run.There are many aspiring social entrepreneurs out there who are trying to take their passion and ideas to the next level. What is one piece of advice you would give to them based on your own experiences and successes?
Something that I learned from Derek Sivers, who has spoken at TED very often: “Just do it.”
Another thing I’ve learned from amazing social entrepreneurs at TED is that you don’t have to ask for money first. You don’t have to build up this base of funding and then go and start. It doesn’t work that way. If you have an idea, whether it’s an idea the world thinks is nuts, or it’s one the world embraces, go and do it. Ask for money when you establish that base of what you’re doing.
Ideas evolve. Tim Harford’s TEDtalk talks about “The God Complex,” where people have an idea and think it’s the one and only way things should be done. But it doesn’t work that way. You have to find a way, do it, be wrong, then find a way that it evolves and works.
Read the rest of Gupta's interview here.