Business as a living, breathing organism

What makes an organism a perfect system? The simple answer: Every cell has access to all information and there is clear and complete communication happening all the time, at every level. 

Every cell understands the worthy and magical mission it supports: The experience of life. This makes a natural organism the most efficient value creation machine in the universe. Everything is in a constant and total flow, and nothing that is unnatural to it can trouble this flow. Because of this, the body is complete and holistic. There is no need to add other organs or to pervert them into taking on roles that are unnatural to the entire system. It is completely self-sufficient in its operations and adapts perfectly to changing circumstances without jeopardizing its central objective. 

If only our businesses were built this way. Even though “leaders” will use the analogy of an organism in entrepreneurship, almost every aspect of an organism is being ignored. Our organizations fail to develop a worthy plan that is shared with every cell within the system. In our transactional business culture, the only thing the departments know is that the system exists to make money. 

Every department has to support this goal by decreasing costs and overhead all in the name of increased profitability. The great idea that holds every piece together is a financial equation, which is not the kind of information organs can run on. It kills the flow because it is not something cells, or people, care enough about to engage in. Without a worthy human mission under your belt, it is clear that the glue that is supposed to make organs work in tandem starts to crack and fall apart. 

Friction increases and departments start to fight their own war, the lack of a clear purpose is replaced with pointless productivity. The blame for missed revenue targets gets passed around, but victories are claimed by the specific departments that close the deal. Whatever happens, there is never a true sense of unity, because the reason that brought people together is an inhuman one.

No one will stand up and support or fight for such an organism because the only thing they can identify with is a paycheck, and they can get that at another company. If a cell stands in the deepest interrelation with the body it is a part of, the modern worker is only a visitor benefitting from momentary circumstances awarded by the business she or he is a part of. 

Such a business is a sick laboratory experiment at best. It has a pulse, but no heart. It has a brain, but no mind. A transactional business is the Frankenstein of all value entities. It might be growing and present itself with impressive numbers, but inside it is dead and hollow, plagued by relentless fluctuation, poor loyalty and interdepartmental friction excesses. 

We keep these businesses alive and try to extend their life, by injecting them with booster shots: Influencer marketing, PR stunts, corporate social responsibility campaigns, fundraisers, social equality promises, chief spiritual officers, ethics seminars, free yoga sessions and mental health counseling services and so on… all these first aid efforts are signs that we are trying to “heal” a body that is sick at the cell level rather than investing in building entities that have all these things naturally built in them because they run on a human-based, meaningful premise. 

A healthy system doesn’t need to rectify its culture and learn about ethics, it doesn’t need to beautify its mission statement, it doesn’t need to recruit cultural watchdogs and teach its employees how to behave correctly. It doesn’t need to win in court, fight unionizing or seek incentives to attract talent. 

All these things come naturally in a system that is set up to create meaningful human value as its mission. Value that people align with, that people agree with, where people don’t think in silos but in a common effort that is beautiful and important. 

In such a system, departments are value contributors who understand that they need each others’ support to complete the full picture. And because everybody has access to all the information, the value that unites them all, communication becomes effortless as egos diminish. 

This leads to even better value deployment and stronger relationships with the people the organization touches until all the moving parts melt into one living, breathing organism experiencing the magic of life through a business. 

P.S. Thanks for reading. Remember, if you ever want to talk about the topics I discuss or come up to our Lake Arrowhead entrepreneurship gatherings, email or call me at olivier@why-story.com; 213-310-6207.

A cluttered home is a cluttered mind

Our surroundings have such an impact on our mindset. If your environment is cluttered with STUFF, you don’t give yourself the space to BE. 

We had the opportunity to chat with Rose Lounsbury this week. Her message on simplicity and minimalism is life-changing. 

About Rose Lounsbury: She is a keynote speaker, Amazon bestselling author, and simplicity coach who helps people stop trying to balance it all and start letting it go. After struggling to balance a teaching career and 2-year-old triplets, Rose was introduced to minimalism in 2012 and her life changed. Today, she dedicates herself to helping others create happier and more fulfilling lives without all the stuff.  

We recommend decluttering your desk while you listen to this episode for a more interactive podcast experience. NOT JOKING.

Listen now:

Apple: https://apple.co/3uARPQy

Spotify: https://spoti.fi/34mxC6E

As always, please feel free to share your thoughts with me. 

Human Value Entrepreneurship

If you follow us on social media, you already know that I just launched a new podcast with my partner, Vira Egli. On the show, we go on a deep dive on how we can tap into work that makes us happy, wealthy and impactful. The kind of work we can all do.

The first episode explores the current work reality we’re in, and asks the questions: why are so many of us doing sad work? And why do we have such a destructive definition of what work is about? 

Join us and have a listen! It might very well reignite that old feeling in you that “things could be different.”

Apple: https://apple.co/3rN8EXl
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3oAkRwn

As always, please feel free to share your thoughts with me. 

We are all creative

I’ve talked to you about creativity before, and I want to restate once more that we are ALL creative beings. Creativity is a state in which we have full access to the powers within us to create new pathways towards solutions. What is critical is having the ability to see ourselves in that light, and give ourselves permission to access our pools of creativity. 

Creativity is the exploration of thinking outside the box, of taking whatever little information is available and leveraging it to create something that was not previously visible to the naked eye. 

It is a resting power that lies dormant in every single one of us. There are as many creative janitors as there are creative airline pilots. There are as many creative sales people as there are creative architects.  

But, it is not always simple for us to access creativity. Writer, Seth Godin, cites our reptilian brain, or “Lizard Brain,” as the main obstacle for people to get a job done. He believes it is the single biggest reason why people don’t ship their products (aka start a business, finish a launch, write a book) on time: the reptilian brain will keep interfering with delivering results because it keeps seeing issues. 

The reptilian brain- the oldest part of our brain- is key to our own survival. It helps us recognize imminent danger. It is there to protect us and to make sure that we procreate and exist. Naturally, such a system acts as a defense mechanism against dark forces. But in a world where the imminent threats of the past (being attacked by a sabre-toothed tiger just outside our cave, for example) have largely disappeared (although sadly, way too many people still have to rely on their survival instincts), this inadequate fight or flight response is not helpful in accessing our full potential of creativity. 

Creativity challenges the status quo of safety and comfort. The essence of creativity is connecting dots that were previously unconnected. It’s risky, but there is a reason why we were given creativity at the time of our birth: to use it.  

If we keep giving fear and doubt the right of way, if fearful thinking is at the heart of our mindset, our emotions and our reality will always be tainted and dominated by such thoughts. It will be impossible to access our creativity and to use it for work that creates human value in new ways the world needs.  

Creativity is a wonderful tool that turns our human value offering into an experience, not a product, that allows people to find joy and happiness. As human value entrepreneurs, we work hard to help people overcome limiting obstacles by providing them with human value. Creativity supercharges human value to become an engaging experience that creates a bond of trust and the emotionality of joy and happiness.  

Creativity is not some nebulous thing that is suspended in thin air. It’s not something that some of us were denied. We are all creative. But, you can’t be creative when you don’t operate out of love and in awareness of your potential. Creativity requires you to know. It requires the context of your inner knowledge for it to make an impact that matters to you and your people.  

Keep it connected to your loving heart. Because love creates limitlessness. Creativity in a fearful mind is like a seed that dreams of growth but is afraid of breaking through the soil. It doesn’t work. We are not reptiles fending for our lives. We are boundless creative beings that need to use our full potential to shine our amazing light into the world.

Setting intentions in 2022

2022 has arrived, and with it many concepts and ideas about resetting/reframing what we all call “resolutions.” While I welcome this principle, there are a few things we need to consider in order to make resolutions really work for us.  The idea of reframing needs to happen within a frame, just as the word implies. If we decide to go after things that are not helpful to us, or that mean nothing to us in the long run, we set ourselves up for failure. But the exercise of resetting ourselves is not about failing or succeeding, it’s about doing what’s good for us. Some of us will set goals because we feel we had some shortcomings last year; we feel a lack of something.

This presents us with a huge opportunity: to address what it is that we actually need. And this is a big fork in the path ahead of us. What are the things that we consider important enough to go after in the new year? Typically, the answer has to do with material things or physical appearance goals. The issue being that we set goals without investigating what lies at the heart of our desire. What made us consider these things? Do we feel poor, unhealthy, not taken care of? Once we determine what lies at the root, we have a chance to address the very cause of it.  It may turn out that it has nothing to do with us not going to the gym enough, or that we don’t make enough money. The reason for dissatisfaction is almost always a thought pattern that prevents us from doing the thing that is good for us. If we just change what we do, we don’t address the cause of our doing. And so, come March, we will fall back into the very same patterns because our thinking has not changed. We will feel exactly the same by mid-year, as we felt on new year’s eve.  What I am addressing here is the massive difference between doing and thinking- or activism (not the political kind) and being.

When we set goals that reflect an expectation, we are stuck in the doing process. Anything we do will be cosmetic in nature. It scratches the surface of the issue because doing is transitory. If, however, we set goals that are based on an intention, we move into the thinking process. Now our thoughts are challenged to move into a new direction which will reshape our actions. Consider this: “I want to lose 30lbs by the end of the year.” This is a goal that is deeply rooted in activism. It is what I call “object-oriented,” as it requires actions that will lead to that number decreasing. This is outside of your control because you don’t know if you will be able to lose those 30lbs. What if you get sick, what if the gym closes, what if you can’t afford the membership anymore or you sustain an injury that makes it impossible for you to work out? This is why expectation-based goal setting carries with it the principle of failing. It causes stress, and eventually, disappointment. 

If, however, we base our goal on an intention, we don’t focus on mundane numbers but on a feeling that emerges from a change in thinking. We now express ourselves like this: “My intention is to do everything I can to feel good in my body,” or “I will take care of myself” – Do you see what happens then? You open yourself up to an abundance of possibilities that are reshaped anew every day. As long as you follow your intention the best you can, no matter what limitations or obstacles you encounter, you will be truthful to your promise. This will reinforce the power of change and inch you closer towards healthier thoughts, and thus, happier emotions.

If you’d like guidance on how to set your intentions, listen to our latest episode on the Human Value Entrepreneurship Podcast. Links are below. 

Apple: https://apple.co/3rN8EXl
Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3oAkRwn

Intention, Self-Leadership, Self-Love and Happiness

Many of us have to find a way back to our true self in adulthood. Leisis Stevenson RN, of Angels and Allies, works with young kids, teaching them principles of self-leadership, self-love and happiness, so that they live in their truth from the start. I hope you enjoy our conversation.

The most important thing you can do

We live in artificial environments, and every day we create more of them. Our work environments have also become a reflection of something that is far from natural.

Observe a tree, a flower or the wind, how they freely express that which is innate to them. They can’t but celebrate the true nature that beats and thrives within them. They are truly free to only play the game that they carry within.  

We are great at creating our reality. Our thoughts and emotions bring out that which we ultimately consider to be true. But our thoughts are so infected by energy that is far from our own nature (a nature that is driven by love, abundance and enoughness) that we create a reality where stress, competition and scarcity reign. We believe that we must fight hard for our place in this reality and get our piece of the pie.

In nature, there is no such sentiment. Nature embraces belonging at any given moment. Nature self heals and cleanses permanently. Any form of energy that does not serve the achievement of total self expression, the manifestation of potential as a fruit, seed or blossom, has no place there.  

Our own nature is aligned with this. It yearns to express that which lives within. Whether you call it your spirit, your light or other essence it doesn’t matter. Words are mere details. What matters is finding your way back to awareness of the self, where you realize that you have an obligation to follow your own potential too. And that once you are conscious of it, you are free to create from it.

How are you ever going to create work that matters if the source of your work is artificial and dishonest? How can you expect your work’s impact to be meaningful and eternal, if it comes from a desire that is not your own? If you work for money, status, success – you work for things that are rooted in a made up world. Your work will be made up too. 

We are all artists in our own way, we are all creative geniuses- just like every plant is a creative genius capable of solving hundreds of complex problems at once. Our potential lies at our fingertips, and it’s our job to grab it. Embracing potential is a thing of awareness. It’s effortless, except that it requires us to shift our mind away from that which limits us towards that which makes us limitless- our innate potential, our true nature.

Your true nature is waiting. It’s very patient. It lies under every rock, behind every tree, in the solace of a beach or a cool forest. The first step to finding back to your potential is to actively remove yourself from the noise and go into silence. If you don’t allow for those inner burning questions to be heard, how are you ever going to be able to recognize your own voice?  

You know the voice. Sometimes, it gets loud, but you let the noise of your current reality become louder so that you drown it out – the demands of a job, or stressful obligations you have learned to prioritize that may not actually be that important. But, it is still there, waiting patiently for you. Waiting for you to be done living someone else’s narrative.  

There is nothing more important than finding your own true nature.

Why chasing success makes us sick

When we look around us, we see a lot of people and businesses that we deem successful. We do this because we have acquired a metric that measures the level of success according to a certain belief. In the world of business, this is typically the “profit and growth” rate. 

When someone makes a decent return, or their organization grows at a rate that is above average, we think they deserve the badge of success. The current beliefs that infuse our lives with success-yardsticks are what makes us miserable. As with most irrelevant measurements, they always extend into infinity. According to these measurements: no success is ever enough if we believe that money and market growth are indicators for it.

In nature, there is no concept of absolute growth. There is no belief that a tree needs to give a certain amount of apples or grow at a certain rate per year in order to be a successful tree. Unnatural concepts create unnatural realities. Realities that are born from fear and that create pain.

Think about it, the concept of success and growth was instilled into most of us at a young age at school or by our parents. When the belief that competition against others, and against ourselves, became normalized, we invited in the disastrous idea that “we have to constantly make more for the sake of making more.” If you learn this at a young age, that idea later develops into a full-fledged lifestyle that is celebrated and passed on to others, inflicting pain on humanity. 

I would like to state that our teachers and parents did not teach us their definition of success in order to harm us. Not at all. They just passed down what they were taught. Unfortunately, the most common and long-held definition of success is drenched in fear and scarcity. So, it is critical that we break the chain to stop passing this down to others. 

Our current and future success definition must be one that is born from love and abundance. In nature, everything thrives on abundance. Nothing starts a new day with fear in its heart. Everything embraces the present moment and applies itself 100% to the present moment.

And that is the greatest success one can find: “The awareness to apply oneself entirely in the present moment.” As business owners and leaders, this means that all we need to do is to create a love-based ecosystem within which we create as much human value as possible. 

Since this is our nature, we just need to keep pushing ourselves at doing a better job at providing the world with our magic- our value proposition. Once we are flowing and providing our people and the world with that which we were born to create, we cannot be, orfeel, unsuccessful. And with each day that passes, we become better at creating more value in more efficient ways, our connection to our own self grows, and with it, our natural idea of success.

The beauty of such a success definition is that it is completely disconnected from outside factors. We have control over it, because we choose to create our own success.

If we keep believing that success is an amalgamation of transactional metrics as they relate to the current market climate, we will keep bouncing around in the eternal tides of greed. We will willfully enslave ourselves to whatever the current metric trend or latest fashion is. 

We will feel broken when we don’t hit that number, and we feel encouraged when we get to drive a car that symbolizes the current standard of success. This is fleeting and futile. Success is not like this. Success stays. Success is innate, natural and connected with the self, not the greed of man.

Make it your duty to foster success, on your own terms, by measuring it based on how much you apply your true self in the service of others. Happiness and fulfillment will follow automatically.

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