Note: This blog piece was written January 11 2016 but has been migrated onto a new site.
Entrepreneurs are often a labeled as aggressive, stubborn types who let nothing and no one stand in the way of their vision. I have no qualms with this type of entrepreneur. They have given us Facebook, intuitive tech and software, and agency to customize our daily experiences from apps that track our monthly cycle (down to our eating and pooping habits) to adjusting to our music tastes to give us only what we desire. But I am finding another type. They have existed for a long time but their space is opening up in a more integrated and interdisciplinary way. These people I am going to call “Mindful Entrepreneurs” and as it happens, my clients so far all fall into this category and it’s exhilarating.
These are some traits I have found these people to possess in various combinations:
- Holistic in their approach
- Their mission involves contributing to a social good
- They desire a “tribe” and often feel lonely or disconnected in traditional friendships
- Their inspiration can reach the heights of Everest but just as quickly they can get caught up in a web of existential worry about their own worth.
- They’ve undergone at least one major transformation if not more
- They have not always known exactly what they wanted to do but they had a pretty good sense of they wanted to feel about what they do
So why do we need to pay attention to these people? They are going to be the ones who connect the two seemingly disparate paths of our desire for the simplicity of the past and the drunken lust with which we stumble to our complex futures. When I talk about the past I mean our dreamy vision of “simpler” times where language was less important than spirituality and storytellers played the roles of healers and magicians. I also mean our own simpler pasts as children. The time where we felt an inherent connection to the dirt beneath our feet and freedom felt like outside.
So now that we understand these types a little better let’s talk about their typical business challenges and is often what brings them to me:
- How to monetize (this being the biggest and most difficult challenge)
- How to balance maintaining professional relationships without comprising their natural desire to connect deeply with people on a truly personal level
- What to call themselves (job title, position etc.)
- How to make a sustainable business out of doing but also teaching others how to do
- How to make a living doing what they love without losing the love by making it about money
- When to protect their ideas and when to share them with anyone who will listen
An unexpected calling that has revealed itself to me this year has been to understand these challenges and find solutions for them that resonate with the mindful. Second to that, I feel a strong need to curate these ideas and solutions into a larger vision for the world to start seeing how valuable these people will continue to become.
I’m not one for New Year resolutions since my feeling of renewal and the need for freshness only came Jan. 8th after an impromptu night out with my tribe. That aside, I am on a clear path to deep dive into these topics and challenges. Because I believe that we do not need to be afraid of business. We do not need to feel like a cop out. We just have to pay attention to what we are offering in the exchange between us and a client or a customer. Because while money is a necessity of modern life, we are all capable of more meaningful exchanges and one does not erase the need for the other.