Entrepreneurship has always been a driving force in societal transformation. And I believe it will be the driving force in the shift towards a better way of doing business.
For most entrepreneurs, our business is an extension of our values. Therefore we prioritize serving customers, taking care of our employees and making a positive impact in our community, IN ORDER TO make money.
Today, these core entrepreneurial values are now being defined as a form of “conscious business.” Although most of us didn’t start a business to “be a conscious entrepreneur” we did start the business to have the freedom to do work that is aligned with our values. Many of us also started our companies to make the world better, while making money.
I am frequently asked if growing a conscious business is different from growing a traditional business, and the answer is always – “Yes, very much.”
Consciousness is an inner game; it’s the heart and soul of the entrepreneur. What truly defines a conscious entrepreneur are the values with which they lead their business.
Let me provide contrast:
Some entrepreneurs start a business thinking only about making money. “I can make money doing this,” or “This idea will make me rich.”
For example, when I started my first company in 2002, it was just after September 11th and I had been profoundly impacted by that event. Exhausted by corporate politics, I wanted to start a small consulting company to make money in my field of expertise – sales & marketing. I never thought to ask myself if I actually enjoyed the work, or if the work mattered. I only considered entrepreneurship as a way of making money.
Although that business employed over 40 consultants who helped grow some of the largest brands in the world, it wasn’t a conscious business. I made a lot of money yet wasn’t fulfilled by the work. I paid my staff well but didn’t invest in them the way I do today. In essence, my head was in the business, but not my heart and soul.
Conversely, conscious brands start much differently. The genesis of a conscious business is usually based on the founder’s passion (I love doing this) as well as their strengths (I am good at that). They simply want to make money doing what they love and leverage their strengths along the way. Because they love what they do, they are able to accept the risk of entrepreneurship.
Whether the entrepreneur realizes it or not, this is the hallmark of a conscious venture, because our purpose is based on our passions AND strengths. Purpose isn’t an esoteric woo-woo thing. It’s simply about alignment. Purpose is the reason WHY we love what we do.
During the process of building this type of business, entrepreneurs feel a connection to a deeper part of themselves, and their decisions become more mindful, or more conscious. They care deeply about their employees and customers. As they make money, they want to give back to their community in meaningful ways.
It’s an amazing feeling…there is nothing quite like it. Although this type of entrepreneurial path isn’t easier, it is a million times more meaningful.
Today, I have several consulting companies in our Share On Purpose portfolio (IGNITE On Purpose, Promote On Purpose, Talent On Purpose), yet unlike my first venture, I love the work and care deeply about each team member. Each employee is guided to find their purpose and mold and shape their role to one that is meaningful and fulfilling.
If you’re struggling to find meaning in your current role, it may be time for a change. Learn more about our available positions here.