Lessons in Creating a Conscious Business.
Many in the business world believe that the financial interests of a company must come before any ethical or moral considerations. Laws, they would contend, are society’s moral structure, so to impose additional moral restraints will present a strategic disadvantage causing business to wither. This attitude is old-fashion and unsustainable.
Our society is growing increasingly supportive of businesses that place a premium on morals such as sustainability and socio-economic responsibility. What’s the point of maximizing the bottom line if our product is damaging the environment? How will I feel at the end of the day if I make a big paycheck and, as a result, my community suffers? Putting a system of morals and ethics as a first priority is what I call a “Conscious Business”.
I’ve helped initiate several conscious projects and businesses that have thrived due to their intentional approach, not in spite of it. Below are a few tips and suggestions to help you get started in creating your own conscious endeavor.
Also, I want to hear your ideas, I want to help support you in bringing your dreams into being. The world needs your creativity, your passion, and your ideas to blossom. If you’d like any help, advice, or support in creating a conscious project, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
t starts with an idea.
We are all full of good ideas... every one of us! Every person you’ve ever met has had at least one great idea that, if enacted wisely, could impact this planet in beautiful ways. The piece of the puzzle that few accomplish is not the having of the idea but in its implementation. It’s a huge feat to start one’s own business. The paperwork and accounting alone is enough to deter many from starting and that’s what’s needed before the job even begins!
The power of your idea can shift this planet. So take time to let your idea develop. Mind-map, brainstorm, write, meditate, breathe, live your idea. Let it form slowly and allow it to be malleable… especially in the beginning. With time your idea will take form and develop more solidity. But as you’re forming your business, be flexible, listen to other’s ideas and see if they blend well with yours and yours with theirs.
Form a Kula (Sanskrit for Tribe)
Whatever it is that you’re interested in creating, there are others who have the same dream. The old-fashion approach is to think of these people as competition, but I prefer to think of them as potential teammates or allies. Each one of us can achieve much more if we work in a team than by working alone. The skill set needed to create a project and emanate it to the world is massive and you are most likely missing a few of the needed skills. Think about all the various tasks that will be needed to fulfill your mission and create a team that can support you.
One of the early traps in the development of your idea is the belief that the idea is yours. When the ego mind takes possession of an idea it is hard to relinquish control. I’ve met many people who have had great ideas but won’t empower others to support them in their businesses. They suffer from, what I call, Gollum Syndrome. They cling to their idea with tight fists, unwilling to share the burden as they quietly whisper, “my precious”. The cure to Gollum Syndrome is to understand that the idea that you’ve had is not yours, it was gifted to you by Spirit (or source, or the collective unconsciousness).
I’ve also seen people take the step to hand over some control of their business, and in every case it’s created more space and time in their lives to allow new ideas to flourish. If you succeed in shifting your perception it will be easier to share ownership of the idea with the team you’re creating. This core team needs to feel the same ownership that you do, so giving them a percentage of the company is often wise.
Working in a team, especially in the beginning as you’re creating agreements, can drastically slow down the pace of emanation (the speed at which you can share your idea with the world). Don’t be discouraged. The slower pace means that your decisions will be more clear, deliberate and conscious. Creating a business is a marathon, not a sprint. The slower the pace in the creation phase, the more intention that will go into the structure and the more success you’ll have in the future. When the inevitable moments of frustration arise, take a pause and return to the idea that started you down this path. (More endurance in the future.)
Create a Mission, Vision and/or Purpose
Once you have defined your idea (still not set in stone) and formed your team, it’s time to tackle the Mission. This step is incredibly important and not to be rushed. When we created Kula Collective, a business I co-founded which facilitates Yoga Teacher Trainings and Transformational Retreats, it took us three days to create two sentences, one for the mission and one for the vision. It was frustrating for me at the time; I wanted to dive into the emanation phase. But with the guidance of a coach, we slowed down and took the time to get it right.
Many times since then, when faced with a particularly tough decision, we’ve been able to reexamine the mission and vision and ask which option is more in alignment. There are well-studied methods to arrive at a thoughtfully formed mission statements and I highly recommend getting professional support for this step.
Decide by unanimous consent (or almost unanimous)
In the formation of Kula Collective, one of the members of the team suggested that we make all of our decisions unanimously. While I listened to his idea patiently, inwardly I was laughing at the absurdity. I thought the idea would create stagnancy and inaction, two enemies of emanation. What would happen if we couldn’t agree? I asked. Eventually we decided to move forward with his plan to make ALL of our agreements unanimously, but with an additional mechanism to break an impasse. If we truly couldn’t find consensus, each side of the question would write out their arguments, which would then be submitted to a Board of Advisors who would vote democratically on the issue. Kula Collective has made many hundreds of decisions and agreements and has never used the Board of Advisors. Every single one of our decisions has been made unanimously.
It takes a lot more time and communication to find the compromises needed to make decisions unanimously, so why not just vote? We’ve implemented this rule precisely to create an environment that demands more communication, thoughtfulness and intention. Unanimity creates the conditions for integrity. If one person in our Kula feels that a policy may not be aligned with their system of integrity, then we don’t create the policy. Instead, we talk and adapt until we can find a compromise that makes everyone happy. It’s a laborious undertaking, especially in the formation process. But, there can be no hurry or impatience in creating a conscious business. Time is our friend. Slow down and trust that compromise is possible. There are no problems, only challenges and creative solutions.
Stay tuned. I have a lot more lessons to share, and I’m sure the rest of the Kula does as well. Subscribe (below) to our newsletter to stay up to date with blog posts, new offerings, meditations, videos, and more. Our Kula is made up of 8 incredible individuals who love to share their journey and lessons of life. We also love to hear from you. So, please write with any ideas or thoughts below to email@example.com.
Between each chapter of his story, he would always return to his Shamanic teacher in Peru for study and guidance. Coby’s deep rooted interest in Shamanism found its perfect complement when he married Yogini, CJ Ananda. Their combined passion is to find harmony in the combination of these two ancient healing traditions.
Together, Coby and Ananda founded Pura Vidya, whose mission is two fold... to make the ancient traditions of Yoga and Shamanism better understood and more accessible to the West. and to teach cleansing techniques in order to quiet the mind and deepen meditation, for by quieting the mind we will live in harmony with our soul's purpose. www.puravidya.com