“I actually think every individual is now an entrepreneur, whether they recognize it or not.” ~Reid Hoffman

Conscious Entrepreneur CollaborationI have been racking my brain lately. I am seeking a label, a simple phrase to describe something. That something is:

Entrepreneurs doing business sustainably, scalably, with integrity, and with the greater good in mind and at heart

I’ve seen others take a run at it with descriptors like “sacred commerce”, “spiritual business”, and “soulful trading”. The developers of these phrases probably even mean something close to what I have in mind but I am not convinced that people hear the intended meaning when presented with these labels, at least not without extensive additional commentary. To solve that problem, whole books have been written to define these labels. While I applaud that exposition along with the deeper meaning such books extoll, I am looking for something I can say with some expectation that it will be intuitively understood by anyone.

The problem is words have preexisting meanings. I suppose that is the point of words but it means you can’t just repurpose words or phrases and then expect people to understand you. Many folks have strong notions about words like “sacred” and “spiritual”. Alas, those notions are often quite narrow or worse, quite negative. These words have been co opted by persons with nefarious intentions and so some pretty awful associations have been made with these otherwise fine words and phrases. I would love to just take those words back from such misusers but it isn’t that simple in the short run.

Don’t get me wrong, I hear some beautiful voices out there in support of a new and better way of doing business, strong voices, eloquent and passionate. Many of them are talking about business in general which is fine but that is not quite what I intend to capture. I stand for not just the transacting of business, but for the creation of business. The creation of business is like the birthing of a child, not the subsequent having of a child.

Creating your business is an ongoing process. Some people like to call themselves the “founder” of their company. That is a fine thing but what have you done for your company lately? Business is an organic, ongoing process. It is a living thing and this too I intend to capture.

Finally, I stand for the application of sacred principles and spiritual foundations not just for life in general, but explicitly in the realm of commerce and business. Business is an essential and defining part of your life. It is not about preaching your religion at the office or placing iconography around your store. It is about the things that inform how you choose to conduct your business affairs.

So after much pondering, here is the concept that I intend to promote:

Life-sustaining entrepreneurship

It is self-descriptive and it contains no “loaded” words or phrases. It cannot be easily misunderstood or misdirected. It would be hard to have a bad motive about it.

I invite you to join the movement starting right now, for your own good. We have turned a corner. Business as usual has run its course. To survive, you will have to be part of what works for the greatest good.

“I am a life-sustaining entrepreneur.” click to tweet

What does life-sustaining entrepreneurship mean to you? Tell us about it by commenting below.

Photo credit: Jennie Armato

It Is Time For Life-Sustaining Entrepreneurship
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6 thoughts on “It Is Time For Life-Sustaining Entrepreneurship

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    What life sustaining entrepreneurship means to me is I don’t have to drink the koolaid that you have to be a bastard to make it in business. Does anybody like doing business with a person or a company they don’t trust and don’t like? Why did anybody ever think this is a model that would work? We all need to wake up and start doing business with people who show the kind of values we want to see in the business world – and stop doing business with the rest.

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      Can I get an amen? Oops, too religion-y maybe. 😉

      Look, we have a choice. Sometimes the choice is to refuse to do business with the only game in town but it is still a choice. It’s not just that we sell our souls, it’s that we settle for such a lousy price for it.

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    I’m starting a philanthrocapitalistic movement powered by a new means for sustainable organic agriculture right now called We Love.

    The brand is inclusive, aspirational and as defined simply by love. I believe it to be the most powerful way to say what you’re getting at above.

    Two core choices in life, from daily habits to crucial life changers – love or fear.

    What do we do? We Love. What do I choose? I love.

    Simple, powerful, universally meaningful and as a core driver for shaping the decisions that create and grow businesses and the people who operate within them. What could be better?

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      That sounds quite interesting. You might want to make the acquaintance of some friends of mine, Matthew and Terces Engelhart. They run Be Love Farm and the most amazing vegan restaurant, Cafe Gratitude. They are living and doing business in the way you describe.

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    Hi I look at myself as a Life Generating Entrepreneur. I’m a coach and workshop leader. In my spare time I switch to being the president of a NPO that gives hope to underprivileged children through education At our 14 schools in Africa and Asia.

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      Hi Shari:

      That’s a great phrase. The more richness we bring to this topic, the more people will understand it. “Generating” is an interesting addition.

      What you do in your spare time is also laudable but even without that someone can be a life-sustaining entrepreneur. Of course it’s not surprising that this way of approaching business would spill over into one’s avocations, relationships and health.


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