I’ve been noticing something lately in the world of Do Gooding entrepreneurs. Something big. Something angry. Something tender. Something done.
I’ve been seeing more and more exhaustion. Burnt out-ness. Loneliness. Frustration. Hopelessness. Disheartedness with “how things are supposed to be done.”
I’ve been feeling the loss of heart. Of soul. Of path. Of power.
And watching as you give your power to others whom you may not even deeply trust.
Deep in my heart of hearts and soul of souls, I want it to end. I want to scream that it doesn’t have to be that way. I want to whisper that your soul knows more than you’re seeing right now.
I want to share how stunning it can be to walk with grace and ease. To build your business and life standing firmly in your Self. To know that you are not alone. To know that there are ways to do it all with integrity, with love, with the world in your heart.
I awoke this morning at 2am with a song in my head that I had to share. It’s for my Do Gooders trying to build a business in industries that lack higher conscience….at the same time as not losing their minds, hearts and souls:
From Mumford & Sons, “Awake my Soul”….
How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes
I struggle to find any truth in your lies
And now my heart stumbles on things I don’t know
My weakness I feel I must finally show
Lend me your hand and we’ll conquer them all
But lend me your heart and I’ll just let you fall
Lend me your eyes I can change what you see
But your soul you must keep, totally free
awake my soul…
awake my soul…
In these bodies we will live,
in these bodies we will die
Where you invest your love,
you invest your life
I have seen people invest all their resources (time, energy, money) into quick fix strategies that only leave them feeling alone and like a failure. Myself included.
It’s time to look for the truth, not outside of yourself, but within. It’s also time to allow your truth to be seen, as vulnerable as it can be, even while you are still exploring it.
Hold tight your heart and allow it to guide you. Free your soul from all the shoulds that only bind you into a box you can’t bear. Hold each others’ hands and know that this work and this world will be built in community. Hold mine as I myself step more and more into this very space.
Know that this is your one life. Your chance to live and die by your love. To choose a path that lights your life and the lives of others through all you do.
And deeply, truly, wholly…we will conquer it all.
With love, admiration, support and hope for you and your work.
This song is worth having in your head. It ignites what you know, love and hold dear…and asks you to follow it with all your heart and soul.
Image courtesy of Creative Commons and…Read more
Guest Post: Shilpa Jain, executive director of YES! World
The Top 10 Coolest Ways People Are Changing the Economy
(in my humble opinion, and in no particular order)
10. Impact Investing: What’s the point of funding good social justice and environmental change projects when your investments are tied up in the very companies and industries that are at the root of the problem? Impact investors are helping companies and foundations bring their investments in line with their values, for BIG impact.
9. Collaborative Consumption: What’s mine is yours and what’s yours is mine…? At least that’s what new businesses like Air BnB, CarShare, SnapGoods, and others are propagating. Rather than buying more or renting from a big company, borrow my [house][car][tools], etc. You get the benefit of a lower rate or unique experience or test-drive, and I get a little cash in my pocket.
8. Time Banking: The age-old question of time vs. money is answered by these folks who are making time THE currency of choice. Everyone’s hour is worth the same, whether it’s an hour spent accounting, babysitting, or gardening. Bank and spend hours, get your needs met, and in the process, get to know your own gifts and talents and those within your community.
7. Worker-Owned Business: Karl Marx’s dream come true – without the loss of spirit and community. Gone are the days when CEOs sit in the corner office and workers toil on the ground. In these new businesses, the workers are the owners and they are making decisions together, to share in the profits and losses, and figure out ways to sustain or grow their businesses.
6. Gift Economy: Beyond barter, this is the Pay It Forward movement. You receive a service or product as a gift from someone (often anonymously) and you contribute what you can to provide for the next person. The Karma Cafés, where your meal is already paid for and your tip provides the meal for the next hungry soul, are leading the way with this model.
5. Freecycling: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure… Another off-shoot of the gift economy, freecycling includes everything from Clothing Exchanges, to Crop Swaps, to Book Trades, to more! It’s Craig’s List to the next level. By clearing out of what we don’t need or use, and getting it into the hands of those who could put it to good use, we decrease clutter, hoarding and consumerism, for great environmental, aesthetic and social justice impact.
4. Community Currency: Big banks always seem to need bailing out, and cash spent at corporations leaves the community almost instantly. What if we had local money that served local businesses, circulated amongst the community, and celebrated the uniqueness of the places we live in? Instead of disappearing into fictional derivatives, folks are generating script that serves to strengthen and uplift their neighborhoods and keeps the wealth flow at home.
3. Gross National Happiness: If GDP goes up with every typhoon, divorce, and war, clearly we need a new measure of success. Inspired by Bhutan, people are leading the charge for a new measure of personal, communal and national success — one that takes into account our health, well-being, safety, and, most of all, our happiness.
2. Small Is Beautiful: Tired of the isolation, anonymity, and lack of accountability, people are supporting the local and small movement: moving their money to small cooperative banks; frequenting local businesses; and buying food at farmers’ markets.
1. Social Entrepreneurs: It’s time for the quadruple bottom line: purpose, people, planet and profit. New business makers are not settling for less than enterprises that rebuild the community, heal social relationships, feed their souls, and support their livelihoods. Great innovation is the result.
If you want to hang out with Do Gooders and Change Makers rocking these strategies and growing this new economy, you’re officially invited to the Evolving + Emerging Economies Jam! It will be held outside of San Francisco, CA, from April 3-7, 2013. Hosted by a dynamic group of young changemakers working in this field, they are eager to JAM with you – to connect, deepen their learning, and figure out the coolest new synergies that are going to take this economy to the next level! Learn more and apply on-line at www.yesworld.org/evolving-emerging-economies-jam
Just attended the amazing World Domination Summit in Portland and amidst the raving reviews, I am hearing a low level grumble. So then I spent some time with my network and could hear more of those same grumblings…And it’s time it got addressed.
The big thing I hear is frustration. Frustration coming from being ultra inspired to Change the World at the same time as not knowing what the next small step should be.
Hearing all of this tells me that people aren’t tapped into 2 very important things:
#1 The outcome of their personal World Domination and
#2 Their own path to attain it.
Let’s play, one at a time….
#1- The outcome of your World Domination. What the hell will happen in the world if you are 100% victorious? If your vision becomes reality? If you Dominate the World?
Do you know? Are you clear about it? Does it light your engine to even think about it?!
If you’re feeling lost and frustrated, then perhaps a World Domination tune up is in order…
Spend some time alone and write. Or with somebody you trust implicitly who can hear you (either method works). And now, spill.
Spill about what the world will be like when you are the World Dominator, best possible scenario. Spill about what the lives of those you serve will look like. About how the world will be changed and be a better place because of you and your work.
This is no time to play small…this is the time to dream BIG. To make a play for World Peace. To lay all your cards (and your heart) on the table. This is your perfect world….no judgement, no erasing.
Whew…Are you feelin’ less frustrated being tapped into your World Domination Vision? Yes? Then go out and start rocking. No? Then read on, my friend.
#2- Now here’s the big piece….The business itself doesn’t matter as much as How you run it.
You read that right.
Everybody is so inspired to change the world (which I love!!), but so many only think it will happen because of What their business does.
Chris Brogan said something that has been spinning through my head…”It’s not what you say, but what you do.” And I have to say that he got it only partially right.
It’s not what you say, but what you do…
AND it’s not what you do, but how you do it.
It’s How you run your business, not What the business does, that will create change. Stop thinking that you need to start a charity in order to do good or give up the work you’ve already done in the business you have.
Yes, you can be a graphic designer AND change the world!
Need some examples of the How that creates the change in the world you’re after?
How about donating time and services to a non-profit that floats your spiritual boat. Or consciously using fewer and more sustainable resources (Local. So hot right now). What about making sure your gift certificates never expire, ever. And choosing partnerships based on the values you share and the value they provide rather than just a fit of services.
Once you start looking at your business operations through the 4xP lens (purpose+people+planet=prosperity), you’ll be able to find new ways to continually serve your people in a way that creates fundamental change.
This may be the less sexy How that people lose sight of when setting out to change the world because the What of the business feels all-consuming. If you’ve got a hot purpose to your business, great…that’s whipped cream in addition to hot fudge on your ice cream.
But you don’t need to create an entire business based around doing good in order to Do Good.
It’s How you do that thing you do that really and truly matters.Read more
How Far Will You Go?
You say you really want It. You tell me that having It will change your life, the lives of all those around you, the world. You say you’re doing everything you could possibly do to get it.
But, is that true?
Imagine It is literally behind a locked door. It is waiting for you. What are your options to get through that door? Have you really, truly, gut-ly done everything?
Your vision for what the world will be like because of you and your business is on the other side of that door.
It is waiting. It is humming. It is doing Its nails.
What will you do to get in there?
And, if you truly believe that you’ve done everything possible…
If you can’t even sit down and brainstorm…
If you won’t get some help to create your plan…
If the blinders are on that say you’ve done all you can…
Well then, throw in the towel. Sorry to say, but you’re screwed.Read more
Control versus Power
For all y’all believers that know the Universe is waiting to knock your socks off, I’ve got a little memo…The Universe gets a little tired when you spend all your time trying to exert control over the outcome of a situation.
(Well, the Universe actually thinks it is quite quaint, but is just getting tired of holding on to the hot sauce it has in store for you…so wants you to friggin stop it.)
You have no control. You do not get to decide or plan your way into abundance and awesome-ness.
What you do have is power. Unlimited, gorgeous, bountiful, golden power. You have it up your sleeves and in your mouth. In your introductions and in your silence.
You have all the power you will ever need to do anything you can dream of.
You just don’t have control in how you’ll get there.
So…if you find yourself bitching at the Universe because it isn’t delivering on the awesome-sauce, then sit back and notice if you’re trying to control the delivery.
Also notice that you taking up the bitch flag means you’ve put down your get-shit-done shovel (which happens to be the main implementor of Power.)
Letting go of your control is a Being thing…You have to feel it inside, live it, practice it. It’s a faith walk.
Holding on to your power is a Doing thing…You have to grasp it, see it, believe it and ACT as if nothing could ever hold you back….
Because in fact, the only thing that will truly hold you back are your control issues.Read more
Building Your Biz With Buds
(And no, I am not talking about beer).
Let’s talk a little bit about relationships. Sure, the old adage that “Business is all about relationships” could apply, but I won’t throw cliches at you today.
I want to talk about building the “right” relationships.
And those “right relationships” are the ones that can boost your business beyond where it currently is in a way that feels hella good and unicorn-y.
They’re the ones where you love the person, love what they offer and can’t wait to share it with the world…and vice versa.
AND, here’s my favorite part, so pay attention:
You can serve your people WAY better with friends than if you pretend you’re the end-all be-all.
Think about it…You’re a friggin genius in certain areas. That’s a great foundation. But, in order to get your clients from A-Z (where they BIG PICTURE want to be), you simply cannot rock all 26 steps.
Maybe you rock C-G. So, in order to truly serve them, start making relationships with the A-C’ers and the G-Z’ers.
(I rec starting with the A-C’ers….then they’re ready for your service that much quicker. Just a thought.)
So, the To-Do:
Make a list of services your clients need to have gone through before they can get to you and your services. (I’m not talking names of people, just the services).
Then make a list of services they need either concurrently or after they have worked with you.
These are the stars you want to have perky ears about and reach out and connect with. If there’s a fit on all levels, then see where the relationship will take you and your business!
Now go forth and love some people up in the name of your business.Read more
You are Your Own Best Strategy
Still looking for a magic pill that’ll sprout your business into a tree in about 3 months?
Spending tons of time looking at other people’s business and trying to figure out how exactly they put it all together?
Are you looking around thinking, “Does anyone else think like me?”
Well, allow me to let you in on a little secret that the rockin-est business leaders know…
You are your own best strategy. You are your own road map.
You are, in fact, a mad scientist who believes in something and will science-it-up until it has been created.
Let’s look at this a little more…
As a rock star do-gooder, I’m sure you’ve noticed that there aren’t too many people out there doing things the way you want them to be done.
Perhaps the lack of soul is a little glaring? Maybe your gag-reflex for all the “blueprints” and “maps” is getting triggered a bit too much….
Chances are great that you’ve tried on a few other “3 step systems” only to find that what worked for them doesn’t necessarily work for you…nor does it feel like a fit. And certainly not a friggin glove. (Well, maybe a boxing glove that is kicking your butt…)
Anyways, the thing about all the tidy systems, maps, blueprints and what not is that they aren’t a one size fits all kinda thing. Often, they work for a few people who are madly aligned with the person doing the teaching, but not for everyone else….
Why is that?
Let me tell you why (so you don’t have to keep scratching your head….)
Because you are totally, 100%, hot-sauce, hella unique.
I can’t even tell you how unique you are. How did you like your 5th grade gym class? What’s your favorite author? What do you do in your down time that curls your toes with glee? What was your last job that you hated? And what makes you go ape-sh** when you think about your industry?
Every single person answers those questions differently…and yes, the answers all play out in your business. By embracing them all. By making them a part of the plan, you are setting yourself up for a business that cannot be replicated.
That can lead instead of follow.
But, in order to do that, you have to try some things out. And I’m not talking dipping toes here. I’m talking jump in, see what temperature the water is and then re-calibrate.
I’m talking, if you want your business to truly have an effect on your people, your industry, your world, then you’ve got to make some waves.
You’ve got to do the un-done. Write the song. Create your own effin’ map.
Otherwise, you’re just following in the footsteps towards an end point that might not even fit you once you get there. And having one hell of a crappy time doing it.
So, how do you do it?
By recognizing that your business is your petri dish (going with the mad scientist theme…)
For it to be a successful petri dish (ie teeming with life), you’ve got to be willing to get messy and juicy and ALIVE.
To get cultured and nourished and resurrected beyond expectations when sh** has gone south.
To tenderly love the hell out of it by feeding it what it wants, craves, and needs.
And this isn’t always a pretty process. There will be a few spills, and few wrong turns….BUT in the end, if you keep at it and pay attention, you’re gonna have one over-flowing, gorgeous petri dish and you’ll feel like one very proud mad scientist.
Nobel prizes await.
As do people craving your awesome-sauce.
Now get out there and play in your own petri dish.
“It’s not a process…It’s a decision.” Andrea J Lee
This has to be one of my favorite take away’s from my latest trips. There are so many places and times in my life where I expected things to get easier, to become more clear, of their own accord.
Like I could just wait it out and voila…no more frustration, no more struggle.
And while not all things should be forced, there were many times I played too small and too safe because I believed that something would happen to make it all easier…and I see this wayyyyy too often with my people.
Well, 92.96% of the time, waiting for the process means that nothing happens.
Nothing can make things easier. Nothing makes things more clear. Nothing moves. Which also means, you’re in neutral, or worse, sliding backwards down that hill.
How much time are you willing to spend in that space….waiting for the perfect moment?
In reality, that perfect moment is here, now, at all times.
It starts with a decision. As soon as you decide just one thing, moving forward becomes a breeze, a pleasure. The next step after that decision becomes clear….but only if you take the first step.
Where are you waiting for the process to unfold, when instead a decision is what is being asked for?
What will you decide?
Cause I’ll tell ya, the only “easy” you’ll get is the path after you make that first decision.Read more
”Are you asking for the business?”
I remember the first time one of my mentors asked me this question two years ago. My response? “Of course I’m asking for it….They know I do coaching. They know I have the Square 1 Rules webinar running. They can find out about the Happy Hours. It’s all on my website. Why would I have to shove it in their face?”
Then, once my defensive, “I hate marketing” session ended, it dawned on me…Oh my god. I wasn’t asking. No wonder my sales were sucking and I couldn’t get a steady stream of income. I hadn’t even been asking for the business.
And, I’m willing to bet that you’re not asking either….
Let’s get into a metaphor…and of course it shall be food related.
Imagine you’re in an amazing restaurant. You know you love the food and are super hungry for just about anything. You read the menu and are salivating because you know whatever you order will hit the spot perfectly. You even know what you want to order…but then the server never comes around to ask what you’d like.
Seriously? Would you stay sitting there, twiddling your thumbs, waiting for somebody to even ask you what you want?
Hells no. Who wants bad service? Who wants to be teased?! Your gorgeous potential customers and clients didn’t sign on to your list to get teased, and they certainly didn’t get on board for bad service.
“But, how the hell do you ask?” you may say.
Well, it’s not that different than the server in the restaurant…”What would you like to order?” Simple enough, right?
Allow them to let you know they’re hungry. Allow them to tell you exactly what they want.
And, just as in restaurants, you might have a special of the day…something you LOVE making and would love to sell more of, because you know your guests will love it. That might sound like, “I’ve got this fabulous new program I think would be perfect for you, would you like to try it?”
Not painful, right?
You can ask via email. Your newsletter. Send a post card. Heck, you could even pick up the phone and ask them personally.
Just make sure that you’re asking for it!
Caption from photo=”After a few hours this fellow had this jam cleared up just by moving a few key logs.”
For the love of your business…Do both of these gracefully.
The Flow=The things you LOVE doing
Letting Go=The things you can’t wait to hand off (but need to do now, because there’s nobody to hand them to)
Make a list of both. All of the things you do in your biz go under one or the other. Write ‘em out.
Things I love:
Things I don’t love but commit to do because I love my business:
Now, how do you buck up and get things done when they’re on your “Things I don’t love…” list?
What are your best hours of work?
Take that time when you can bust anything out and schedule time for both categories. Even split. Give your best hours to one OR the other. NO multi-tasking (cause, who are you kiddin’? That just means you’re doing both half-ass.)
Now, what happens when you have a major log jam? When your best hours won’t get the Letting Go items DONE?
1) Buck up and get it done (not pretty, nor inspired, but sometimes the way it goes).
2) Buck up and pay somebody else to do it for you.
Those are the options. Or else, you’ll be stuck there for ages.