I believe that business can bring love into the world.
We're not there yet (by a long shot).
But I think the world will be a more beautiful and effective place if we move towards it, and I’m willing to spend my whole life figuring out how to make this real.
What is a business?
A business is when one group of people solves a problem for another group of people (which is an act of service), and the second group reciprocates with resources (which is gratitude).
So business, stripped of its cancerous growth and human folly, is an exchange of gift-giving and thanks.
And that's kind of awesome.
So awesome that I've designed my career around this idea that a more loving way of doing business can become practice, not just theory. My mission is to truly understand "good business," or how to make money & benefit everyone without sacrificing one for the other. And my life's education will be to uncover the best roadmap I can on how to build a good business.
Here are some of the questions that drive me.
- Can capitalism & money be channels for good?
- Can they make us happy and make others happy around us? Can a model of practicing business as a gift-giving act of service truly make everyone richer? And can this model become not just a bigger fad but a total paradigm shift? Can it scale?
- Will it ever be able to replace our current—and frankly parasitic—modus operandi in not only morality but in efficiency and productivity?
- Does a model of “do good and do well" fundamentally align with our human potential, the good I like to think is within us, though obscured by fear & misunderstanding—or are we just immoral/amoral utility-seeking beasts destined to live in constant conflict, theft, and exploitation?
- If enough individuals make key shifts within themselves to trigger a more loving way of relating, can we reach a critical mass so the collective as a whole can begin to think in terms of “we” and not “me”?
- Are there any personal practices that can consistently trigger this more loving and sustainable way of relating to self and other? Are these teachable? How do they spread? How can technology in the information age accelerate their transition to the mainstream?
These are the questions that drive everything I do.
They are big and ultimately unanswerable, but that’s how they need to be for me to keep moving.
And the way I reach for my “calling” is to continuously look at these questions in the context of my own skills, weaknesses, interests, and where I come from. I look at what piece of this puzzle I can be.
As it turns out, I’m by nature a business and marketing nerd.
I can’t turn my brain off when I step outside of my house and into the world: I look at stores, restaurants, advertisements, music, products and immediately think of the business behind it and start analyzing their choices, always thinking about why certain decisions were made and how they could have done it better and how it makes me feel about them. And what lessons I can take away.
My whole daily life is a practice in noticing, analyzing, and learning: about how to build a successful business through marketing, how to grow a following. The art of movement-building in capitalism, you could call it. The currency of sincerity, and its role in building a brand. And how the life of a brand can be sustained through scaled growth.
This just lights me up.
I love learning about marketing, because it helps me answer the question, How can mission-driven businesses spread their message and grow? How can they tactically and realistically build a following by communicating from their distinct personalities?
I love this stuff, and I’ll share it with anyone who will listen. And I figure if I can’t shut off this part of my thinking, I should probably just use it.
If you’re struggling to figure out what’s important to you, here are the steps that have helped me:
- Identify your model of the world now and your model of what you believe is the world should live in.
- Figure out what you believe needs to be done to close that gap (even if it’s just to inch closer to an unattainable ideal).
- Take the time to understand yourself. Learn in the process what piece you can play in that journey, and what piece you want to play. Find the overlap.
- Take action.
The Big Questions are what keep us moving.
They give us willpower and they satisfy our human desire to understand and to create. They’re always out of reach, which is perfect: you’re never totally done.
I think it’s deeply worthwhile to explore your own Big Questions. You may just uncover the why behind your why.