To respond to your email we must first look at business and go back to the seed of meaning, the why of business.
Business is a position of leadership. It is a platform of power where a minority intend to represent the needs and voice of the masses. These leaders become stewards of the earth and ambassadors of the future. Although the term has been worn by many who adequately represent its gravity, to be a leader is a sacred responsibility.
Authentic leadership is a meeting between humility, power and service. No company can function without the support of the people, which people your business is responding to is entirely depicted upon which values you uphold. Every business that exists is a representation of a set of beliefs and ideas. As we can see reflected in the current state of the world, this is not always a positive expression. The role of responsible business is to be not only a reflection of what is but to uphold a vision of what could be. To see beyond the transitory desires and into the needs of the people, to educate and inspire positive change and a sustainable future through a deeper understanding of what motivates the marketplace. Using already jeopardised resources, speaking on behalf of a collective, adding to information overload culminate to a heavy load all businesses must acknowledge. That level of responsibility requires ongoing self transformation.
Creating a business is not necessarily the best path of doing good or achieving fulfilling work. Ideas are not enough on their own when mirrored against the current state of the world, they must be innovations and they must be essential. Aligning ourselves with others who stand in integrity and share the same values, passions and vision creates community, when we stand together we can achieve so much more than when we stand on our own. Perhaps then, question whether it is better to first seek out what already exists, allow space for your passions to place you where you are needed.
Creating something new, working for yourself, the freedom of working to your own rhythm; these are the beautiful dressing, the shimmering outer skin that the entrepreneurial journey wears in public. Yet there is a body of work underneath that, demanding an immense amount of energy, time and sacrifice. Without partnership, it can be a very isolating journey. With partnership, it can be even more testing. If your desire is simply to wear that outer coat, your idea, your business likely won’t stand the test of time. At least not in the joyous way it could. If your idea already exists in some form, follow the breadcrumbs and open yourself to the possibilities and positions of power you can give voice to through avenues that are already established.
Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. We need community, collaboration and connection to create positive change; we can’t do it all on our own. Nor will that fulfil us, in the end. Yet if your idea is unmet and pulsating with potential, consider this...
Is it worth it? Is it needed? Is it time?
Business is woven by the fabric of two worlds: your deepest notions of identity and the very tangible, material mirror of that self into society. To understand your business, you must first understand yourself.
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
― C.G. Jung
You will find an anchoring point of purpose and meaning, once you clearly define the why your business exists, what value it is going to give to the world, how it may benefit others. Doing good, is a feeling of service that will keep you on the path of integrity. Never compromise your integrity, not for partnership, collaboration or endeavour that doesn’t feel right. Competition is the sister of capitalism in business and with that approach you will only ever find exhaustion and feelings of not doing enough. So be authentic, truly authentic. Express your vulnerability, your personality; let people know who you are. People don’t buy things they buy beliefs and stories, so find your voice and understand your focus. Your vision, your values, your goals. Create a vision board or book & place it on your altar. True sustainability and ethics are not a clear and defined, they are a personal journey in constant flux as much as they are requirements of practice that can be measured in certifications. It is incredibly difficult to achieve a genuine, full bodied self title of sustainability; particularly in the beginning phases. For I believe true sustainability in context to the current state of world crisis must go beyond conscious material choice and recycled paper, it must give back. Understanding this means accepting limitations, but always working to go beyond them. There are no obstacles only opportunities, so develop trust and always try to gain a higher perspective in the face of adversity you will find that everything will work out in the way it needs to; letting go of expectations and allow space for change. Cultivate patience, recognise that business is a path of sacrifice, of complex freedoms and like all of life there is a rhythm of highs and lows. Slow is sustainable, don’t give in to fast growth or fast money. Be discerning with who you choose to represent your brand, your story. Choose people who share your values and believe in your creations, don’t sell out to big influencers or models who don’t reflect the integrity your business is cultivating. Do it from the heart & honour feeling as an essential element of growth and learning. Where the capitalist model tells us to leave feeling at the door, we must bring our whole selves to work and learn to cultivate healthy relationships so there is Trust and everything is out in the open. Learn to communicate rawly, constantly and vulnerable with those you work with, don’t take anything personally, be open to seeing your shortcomings as well as honouring your worth. Rest in discomfort, don’t numb or run away from the hard times are always moments of great leaps and great learnings. Do less and do it well, quality is the key to surviving the economic crisis and honouring the earth. Be aware and up to date on the state of the world, the possibilities of unforeseen crisis and how that may affect your business & how your business may support others in times of need. Use your voice. Become a constant learner, buy books, attend business events; keep your fire burning. Celebrate every small triumph, become unattached and open to the possibilities of change and above all… believe in yourself.