Never RUN a business. It's always personal. Enjoy and share your enterprise
It can be said about all types of aspirations that the over-arching force in the process must be joy. Any project that starts up without joy has laid its cornerstone for future self destruction.
I have had my enterprise for over twenty-five years and all along I witnessed this bearing element; the true enthusiasm for the truth and meaning in the endeavour. YES, I do make a difference and that way 'I' become 'we', because the initial aspiration that I found, makes sense universally, as my experience resonates with the people I meet.
Alfie Kohn proved the case for coexistence (see also my other blog) 50 years ago. Based in his findings I have been teaching 100 students, from all over the world, at Summer Academies in London, Bristol and Cambridge since 2016, while applying principles of a non-authoritarian approach. Every time seeing the 100 students naturally coexist and producing their own true expression, however noisy and lively, was evidence for me, and them, that we humans first of all prosper from our ability to coexist.
The medical doctor and philosopher Don Miguel Ruiz states again and again the importance of our choice of 'words', and this is the same as the well-known therapist and author Byron Katie. Two years ago I removed the word 'business' from my vocabulary. Nothing has ever been more pushed out there and been more untrue that the phrase: "It's not personal. It's business". Say it and listen to it. Is this a great way of living your life, immersed in a negative drive that has as its core the principle that "your loss is my gain"?
Then, put the two words together, 'run' and 'business', and think again of the relevance and what benefits there could possibly be from such an approach. You run an engine, not a business. If I 'ran' my business I would very quickly run out of fuel. I would become bored and my products and services would quickly become irrelevant. This counts for all branches of industry, especially the fossil fuel industry that not only causes its own demise but that of all of us, due to its complete lack of foresight and imagination.
Enjoy your enterprise…..
.....and share it. It is in the meeting with others that we know ourselves, and it is in the team work between enterprises and clients that valuable ideas and true prosperity is produced. Having been an innovator all my life, I recall all the people who inspired me and today I would not take ownership of any idea or project that came to being through me. The truth is that we all tap into the same mass of knowledge and this is why we see so many similar inventions all over the world, which is a wonderful thing.
Sharing your enterprise is difficult. I of all people struggled all the time to trust colleagues and enterprises that could be considered my competitors. I still sometimes find that I need to brace myself to see my scarry competitors as collaborators. We have lived for so long the lie that we are in a constant battle of interests and that the strongest competitor 'wins'. Wins what?
By seeking to become, and to remain, the 'strongest competitor' you start your enterprise with the idea that you do it to beat others out of the market place and so you become:
- somebody who base your life on a negative force
- focused on the battle, not your product
- subjugating to yourself and your employees
YES, it's always personal and NO, a 'business minded' approach has never made anybody truly happy or succesful in a sustainable way. Starting and operating an enterprise should be like 'Star Trek' or 'McDonnell's farm'. It should be a thrill, adventurous and rewarding in itself, no matter the volume of turnover and growth of profit. Balance and integrity is the key; in your enterprise, in your society, in your family and in your self.