There are three hard parts to launching any peace building project:

The first hard part is attaining technical knowledge (i.e. getting a degree, getting experience, phoning a friend, etc.).

When launching a peace building project, the savvy peace builder often doesn’t think too hard about the first part. In peace building fields from mediation to law, attaining technical knowledge is considered a rite of passage. Which is why peace building is so dominated by the presence of volunteer labor at one end (mediation) and highly paid labor at the other end (litigation) and there is a squeeze in the middle. As a result, many peace building practitioners continue to fund a self-perpetuating economy of training and certifications, rather than doing and experiences. This is a hamster wheel for another reason: The training and certifications are to reinsure that the peace builder continues to remain proficient in old skills they already know and practice (i.e. mediation skills) rather than training and certifying them in new skills that might be uncomfortable fro them to learn and practice (i.e. marketing, sales and business development).

The second hard part is getting the hardware together and attaining a certain level of comfort with it, particularly if it is new.

When launching a peace building project, learning new hardware (or software in the case of many entrepreneurial peace builders) is the second hardest part. Admittedly, there are ton of applications and software solutions that can be cobbled together to create the operational infrastructure for a functioning business model. But too often peace builders (as do many other entrepreneurs) become so focused on avoiding learning the new application (or fiddling with it constantly) that they miss completely the third hardest part of developing and launching a peace building project—sales.

The third hard part is developing content—and allying with partners in that development—and getting that content distributed to the right audience to genrate a lead, create a relationship and to close a sale.

When launching a peace building project, content development—books, articles, blog posts, podcast episodes, workshop/seminar content, and on and on—is seen as the most overwhelming aspect of launching. At the core of most content development practices are three objectives for the peace builder to consider:

  • What do I want my content to do? (i.e. drive brand recognition, drive sales, create actionable leads who will pay, etc., etc.)
  • Where do I want my content to be distributed? (i.e. from a workshop, from a blog post, from a podcast, etc., etc.)
  • Who do I want my content to target? (i.e. women with children, business owners with conflicts, men in divorce, judges in arbitration, etc., etc.)

Unfortunately, many peace builders get caught in a spiral of focusing obsessively out of fear on “how to make money” rather than focusing on “how to make a difference.”  To be successful as an entrepreneurial peace builder, the things is to manage thinking about how hard the three hard parts might be to accomplish collectively, rather than avoiding actually taking the concrete steps to think (and act) differently about at least one of them individually.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
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