The Journey of a Social Entrepreneur with Kari Enge, Rank & File Magazine

Rank & File is a values-based business magazine for purpose-driven entrepreneurs.

Kari Enge, Rank & File Magazine

Kari Enge, Rank & File Magazine

The process of becoming a social entrepreneur has often been described as a journey. And, as anyone who has traveled realizes, a journey changes you.

There is no one more qualified to talk about the impact of a journey than Kari Enge, Founder, and Editor-in-Chief of Rank & File magazine. She has a thing for travel. When Kari graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management, she landed an internship at The World, the largest privately owned residential yacht on earth.

Through her hustle and simply saying yes to opportunities, Kari earned a full-time position. She quickly rose through the ranks from Hostess to Operations Coordinator. She became the Manager of Destination Programs where she set up custom tours for the ports the ship visited. It was through this experience that she began to several social entrepreneurs in several countries.

Though Kari had grown up in a family of entrepreneurs, it was by listening to podcasts that Kari began to see entrepreneurship as accessible to her. Kari became excited about the possibilities of using business to do social good. The more excited she grew, the more she talked about what she was learning. Eventually, her boyfriend encouraged her to start a blog.

Kari watched YouTube videos on how to find a web host, how to register a domain name, set up a WordPress website, create an opt-in form, write a newsletter and more. She launched a blog, The Global Commute as a side project in 2014. On the site, she described herself as “a travel junky in love with social entrepreneurship.” She interviewed social entrepreneurs from around the world. By speaking with so many social entrepreneurs, she gained a greater understanding of the needs of the community.

During this time, Kari also watched the culture of the company she worked for begin to change. A new board was brought in. The board shifted the focus to maximizing profitability. Kari says “I saw the shift in the mentality of the board of directors. And then I saw it shift the leadership. And then I saw it affect the employees. It happened fast. Ultimately the product started suffering.”

Her experience helped her understand the power of leadership to shape a company. “This is the message that I want to bring to the social impact community: this lesson of strong core values and strong servant leadership.”

The combination of meeting so many social entrepreneurs and watching the impact of leadership on a company spurred her to launch Rank & File magazine. To fund her venture, Kari made some sacrifices. She sold her car and moved in with her parents. She ran a crowdfunding campaign on StartSomeGood.com. To gain early momentum in the crowdfunding campaign, she emailed everyone in her network and got them to commit to early funding. She even called the parents of her friend from high school. Kari says “Crowdfunding, like starting a business, is harder than you think. It’s going to take more hours, and it’s going to take more sweat equity than you think.”

Rank & File magazine supports people who want to make an impact on the world. They publish a beautiful online magazine filled with well-written articles. They also host events that allow social entrepreneurs to connect with one another.

With Issue 5 of Rank & File, Kari returns to her roots, examining the role travel plays in our lives and businesses. It is available right now, at http://rankandfile.com.

Social Entrepreneurship Quotes from Kari Enge

[spp-tweet tweet=”“I’ve always had that entrepreneurial personality,” Kari Enge, @rankandfilemag”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“Podcasting opened my eyes to it,” Kari Enge, @rankandfilemag“]

“I thought, this is so cool. We can use business to do good in the world.”

[spp-tweet tweet=”“My first idea was just a simple blog,” Kari Enge, @rankandfilemag“]

“When I look back, that was the first step.”

[spp-tweet tweet=”“I just saw an entire company shift by a simple change in one or two people.” Kari Enge, @rankandfilemag“]

“We have to act out those values.”

[spp-tweet tweet=”“It was the first time I said, OK, I’m going all in,” Kari Enge, @rankandfilemag“]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“Entrepreneurship is an emotional roller coaster,” Kari Enge, @rankandfilemag“]

“It doesn’t mean you’re a failure when you reach the part where you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s just all part of it.”

[spp-tweet tweet=”“Just cut yourself some slack,” Kari Enge, @rankandfilemag“]

“Your first idea is not going to work.”

[spp-tweet tweet=”“No company has ever succeeded on Plan A,” Kari Enge, @rankandfilemag“]

[spp-tweet tweet=”“Allow yourself the ability to breathe, move, and shift. Don’t hold on so tightly,” Kari Enge, @rankandfilemag“]

Social Entrepreneurship Resources:

About the Author
Tony Loyd is a TEDx speaker, podcast host and the author of Crazy Good Advice: 10 Lessons Learned from 150 Leading Social Entrepreneurs. He is a former Fortune 500 executive with extensive experience in strategic planning, talent management, and leadership development. Tony is the host of the podcast Social Entrepreneur where you can hear the stories of changemakers who are making an impact on the world.

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