Picture the slick-haired, money-grabbing man in a fitted suit, or the lady who won’t stop hounding you about which products to buy.
These are the sort of images that many of us associate with corporations, CEOs and business people.
In contrast, when many of us think of consciousness or mindfulness we envisage people in loose-fitted clothing, sipping green juice and humming to unfamiliar melodies.
Typically, the worlds of enterprise and consciousness rarely intermingle.
But things are changing, and fast. There’s a new era of entrepreneurs, CEOs and business people who are shaking things up and doing them in a way that’s making an impact in the lives of their customers, staff, local communities and the world at large.
Referred to in the business realm as conscious capitalists, these people are paving the way for business to be done in a way that completely opposes many traditional business practices.
In a conscious business, the bottom line isn’t the focus, customers, your environment and relationships are.
So that begs the question, as a startup owner or someone who’s thinking about starting a business, should you consider starting up in a conscious way?
What does that entail? Read on.
Purpose-driven organizations out-perform.
Companies such as TOMS and Virgin have experienced exponential growth in large part due to the fact that customers strongly relate them with causes that make a difference in the world. For instance, Virgin is renowned for it’s endless work in using business and enterprise as a tool for positively changing the world, raising awareness of important causes and helping people in developing countries to start businesses of their own.
In doing so, they’ve been profiled in hundreds of media publications, have attracted morally-aware customers and have paved the way for ethical enterprise.
Purpose-driven companies are also able to differentiate themselves from competitors because they have the freedom to innovate and turn traditional business practices upside down.
2. It offers new ways of measuring achievements.
The success of a conscious startup isn’t measured purely on their quarterly revenue review or annual turnover analysis. Instead, success is measured through a variety of metrics such as customer satisfaction and retention, word of mouth referrals, awards and social media engagement.
It might seem strange to assess a startup’s success in this way, but the benefit is that it allows us to focus on whether customers/clients like the product or service and whether it provides them with value.
This results in the creation of a business that leaves a long term mark.
3. Build a team that’s fully engaged.
If you’ve ever worked for a company or organization, you’ll probably recall at least one moment when you were completely checked out for an entire day. Your mind was quite simply elsewhere and being at work just felt like a drain.
If you’ve ever felt this way you’re not alone. In fact, according to Gallup Studies, 2013, 7 out of 10 workers have “checked out” or are “actively disengaged” at their jobs.
If your startup is a team or at least one (other) staff member, it’s essential that they are fully engaged in their work. Incorporating conscious principles and practices like mindfulness can be a great way to not only attract and retain high quality staff.
People who work for conscious or purpose-driven companies are more likely to bring their creativity, positivity and innovative thinking to work which means that ideas between staff members flow more cohesively and they contribute more effectively to the growth and maintenance of the company.
So there you have it, three reasons why it pays to start your business in a way that’s conscious, ethical and purpose-driven.
In what ways could you make your next endeavour conscious or ethical?
Share your ideas by leaving a comment below.
Author: Victoria Olubi
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: markusspiske at Flickr