What is Conscious Entrepreneurship?
Although a fairly recent phenomenon, conscious entrepreneurship is based on principles from conscious business and social entrepreneurship. Not only does it have huge potential to influence and change our individual lives for the better, but also those of the collective, as well as transform the planet as a whole.
By embracing the philosophy of ‘Free Enterprise Capitalism’, both individuals & companies mutually benefit when they voluntarily exchange goods and services. Guided by a higher purpose, and with the intention of fulfilling needs, solving problem or satisfying desires, through creativity and innovation, conscious entrepreneurs come up with and manifest products and solutions which have never existed before.
Key Principles & Guidelines
As an entrepreneur, running a conscious business based on passion, purpose (both personal & social), not only benefits you, society and the environment, but can also positively impact your bottom line! As a result, new concepts such as conscious capitalism and social entrepreneurship have been evolving over the past twenty years or so. Based on several key pillars listed below, this new way of thinking, acting and doing business promises to not only be beneficial to those who follow its principles, but also holds the potential to radically and positively transform the world!
Conscious capitalists & social entrepreneurs live and do business according to philosophies such as:
- Conscious Relationships
- Do No Harm
- Triple Bottom Line
- Tithing & Charity
- Mission & Vision
When you shift your focus from ‘serving rather than selling‘ you are then able to effect positive change, not just for yourself and your customers, but also your staff, suppliers, shareholders and investors.
An Holistic Approach
A conscious entrepreneur is committed to being authentic. When you are living authentically you are truly aligned to your uniqueness and values. If one part of your life is out of alignment the other areas suffer as a consequence.
Being conscious is living a life aligned to your higher purpose – Fred Kofman, Conscious Business
Thus, it is important that what you do in life reflects your life purpose, passions, talents, gifts and abilities while at the same time honoring all levels of your being through: a good work-life balance, a healthy body & mind, harmonious relationships, honest communication and fulfilling work or service.
The microcosm of your life is also reflected on a larger scale in the macrocosm of the world, whereas if any aspect of humanity or the environment is not right, the rest can’t function or be in balance as it should. This can be illustrated in the tradition of the African philosophy of Ubuntu.
Unless everyone benefits and is happy, no one can benefit and be happy. I am, because of you!
A Long History of Unconsciousness
Maybe since the industrial revolution, business in general has been conducted where money, profit, power and prestige are the prime motivations, as a result it has been all too easy for greed, selfishness and short-term thinking to take hold. There’s no need to explain what effects this can have as we’ve all seen how such influences have corrupted some big corporations, banks & governments. Plus, we all know how society and the environment have been negatively impacted in so many detrimental ways.
Similarly, from an individual level, most people have just towed the line, followed the status-quo without really questioning why they do what they do and how it effects not only themselves but also everyone else. For so many around the world the unconsciously engrained social and political mantra resembles something like this “Do what you’re told, go to school, get educated, get a job, commute everyday, work hard, get married, buy a house, consume, seek pleasure, avoid pain, save for your retirement”
Such a systemized approach to living would all be fine and good if it made people happy and did no harm, unfortunately it has now come to light, and public unrest has reinforced the notion of ‘crony capitalism’, a system perpetuated over time by those in control to primarily protect their own interests and achieve their own aims while neglecting the majority’s best interests as well as ignoring the many socially and environmentally damaging effects.
An Age of Change, Altruism & Opportunities
Thanks to the Internet and other innovations which have allowed for global communication and the instant dissemination of information, alternative viewpoints and progressive ideas, people are beginning to awaken to the possibility of being able to live in an entirely different way, free of dogma and corrupted agendas. These same online technological advancements now also enable almost anyone to speak their truth, express their opinions, share their knowledge as well as provide the opportunity to have their own business online which can be a true reflection of their deepest purpose and passions.
The information economy paved the way for the purpose economy – Aaron Hurst
Never in modern history have such developments offered so many opportunities or so much potential to the average person wanting to follow a path of purposeful entrepreneurship and take charge of their own life & destiny! As explained in Aaron Hursts’ book ‘The Purpose Economy: How Your Desire for Impact, Personal Growth and Community Is Changing the World‘, both planet earth, its environment and the economy have changed dramatically in recent years. Old ways of living and doing business no longer work in this new age, where for many, living purposefully and sustainably now outshines just making money!
A New Way of Doing Business
If you do what has always been done, you will get what has always been got!
Thankfully, however, there is now a shift taking place, a movement towards more conscious, sustainable and visionary practices. Many individuals and business leaders realize that it’s up to them to change in order for things to improve, not just in their own lives, but also in the greater scheme of things.
By embracing a ‘virtuous circle‘ whereby you not only do good ,not just in terms of yourself, but also your customers, employees and other stakeholders, win-win-win outcomes are possible for all involved, and everyone truly benefits!
As conscious ideals and practices become the norm, and not the exception, each and every one of us on this beautiful planet earth can all look forward to a more equitable, prosperous, and happier society. Not to mention a cleaner, greener environment thanks to these more heart-centered, responsible, sustainable ways of making money as well as living and being! Conscious entrepreneurship is the future!