A Foundation for Conscious Business
6 years ago I quit my successful corporate career to 'go it alone'. I had no plan, but I did have the belief that there had to be a better way to do business. After 8 years working for some of the biggest names in the fashion retail sector, I was disillusioned with how I saw business being done.
You see, in the words of Fred Kofman - "Success in business requires dealing with human beings, which is to say conscious beings". A fact that seemed to be very much forgotten in the world I was working in.
To be conscious means to be awake. Instead of mindlessly going about our business, to live consciously means being open to the world around us and making choices that are aligned with our values and goals. And more and more people are waking up.
We're seeing it reflected in current politics - the collective is rising up, no longer willing to accept patriarchal policies, simply because that's how it's always been done.
And we are seeing it in business too.
Customers, consumers, are becoming more conscious about the brands they choose to align with. Gone are the days where the big brands could dictate our spending patterns. More than ever before, we are choosing to work with and purchase from businesses that are good, ethical, sustainable and caring.
But what really gets me excited is the rise of the conscious entrepreneur. Small businesses are appearing at a rapid level, making a difference and contributing to a better world. Never before have we had such an abundance of resources and support, to help us follow our heart and create our vision - to build something aligned with our values.
So what makes a conscious business?
1. Your business is a healing force for the planet and its people
Conscious business is not simply about making profit, or selling to people who don't really need what you have to offer. That's not to say that money is bad - far from it, I love money. I have big financial goals in my business because it allows me to contribute and give more. But money isn't the driving force of my business.
I feel super grateful every day to be part of a community of women entrepreneurs who are rising up to build businesses that heal and serve others - coaches, therapists, creatives, wellness entrepreneurs...the list goes on - all of whom make it their work to educate, empower and heal others.
2. Collaboration over competition
Conscious business builds community, knowing that it has the power to transform. Instead of focusing on personal gain, conscious businesses come together for the collective good. They provide an opportunity for people with common values to gather and invest in the things they care about.
I've never subscribed to the lack mentality some entrepreneurs have about the growth in online businesses. Sure, there are a lot of other coaches out there, but I see that as a great thing - it leads to greater healing.
When we rise, we lift others with us.
3. Live from YOUR zone of genius
I see so many online business owners struggling because they get taken in by what everyone else is doing, and, truthfully, I've been guilty of it too. When I first started my business I thought I needed to offer the same things or use the same wording as the other coaches out there. But you know what happened? I looked like yet another cookie-cutter coach, and I didn't get any clients.
My business truly began to 'take off' when I stripped back all the things I thought I 'should' do and tuned into my specific zone of genius.
You have something unique to offer - your talent, your perspective, and hiding that away by trying to be like everyone else is doing a disservice to those who need to hear from YOU.
4. Cultivate Gratitude
Cultivating gratitude is a practice of shifting your focus from “what’s not right” to “what is right?”
One of the biggest challenges with negativity is that it constantly pulls our attention out of the present moment. When this occurs, we lose focus. Our energy gets directed in unproductive ways. And we lose sight of the bigger picture.
Making gratitude part of the culture of your business helps to avoid getting stuck in fear and lack mentality. It improves our wellbeing and it opens the door to receiving
5. Your business is a blueprint for your vision for the world.
What is it you really care about? What do you think is broken in this world? How can you use your business as a vision for a better world?
When we create a business that aligns with our vision for the world, it has a ripple effect - from the way we nurture our customers to the marketing strategies we employ. Our business is an example for how things can be done differently.
6. Long-term thinking over short-term gain
Conscious business is about crafting a legacy and leaving this planet better than we found it. I'm sick and tired of the many Facebook ads that pop up in my feed promising overnight success in online business.
I hate to break it to you but....there is no magic formula.
And I'm done with the false promises.
Sure, there are some people who make a 6-figure income quickly but in most cases, it's not sustainable. Conscious business encourages organic growth that builds a solid foundation for longer-term success, which ultimately means greater benefit for everyone.
7. Nurture a values-based culture
Your core values underpin the way you behave, act and live your life. The same goes for your business. Creating a value-driven strategy enables you to easily make decisions and take aligned action to drive your business forward.
And it goes deeper - when we identify and effectively communicate our values, we attract others who share them.
8. Create experiences that enrich
There is a new trend appearing amongst consumers, they are favouring experiences over things. In short, we are happier spending our money on living, not having.
As a business owner, I make it my mission to continually provide my tribe with experiences that enrich their lives in some way. Whether it's creating a beautiful, cosy environment to teach my essential oils workshops or pouring love into my weekly newsletters, providing a valuable experience for my peeps is at the forefront.
9. Lead mindfully
I'll let you into a little secret, it's only been recently that I've started to look at myself as a leader, it just wasn't a concept I identified with. But the truth is that we are all leaders - each of us who is forging our own path is shining a light for others to find their own way. And that my friends, is what leadership is all about.
What with that comes responsibility. We need to be mindful about how we show up in this world. I see far too many entrepreneurs who are acting out of integrity, either due to fear or lack of clarity around their own values.
Let me put it this way: we are an example for the world we want to create. Do you want to help others sort out their money story? Sort out your own first. Do you want to support people to up level their health? You've gotta walk your talk.
Think about how you show up on social media - are you filtering your truth to fit in with what everyone else is doing?
10. We are all in this together
I genuinely believe that we have entered a new era - one where people are awakening to what's inside of themselves rather than focusing on external influences. We are moving away from an age dominated by hierarchy and power, and instead we are rising up in unity and integrity.
And we're all in it together, figuring out our path one step at a time. Stumbling, straying and course correcting as we navigate a life based on following our intuition and values.
This is a new way to do life and business.
I'd love to know your thoughts! How do you feel about the rise of conscious business?