Business should be a force for good. We've found that the majority of entrepreneurial companies are conscious. There are actually four types of conscious entrepreneurs who are driven by two factors: meaning and impact.
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There has been a lot of debate about whether businesses should be a force for good, or simply exist to make money for shareholders.
Most entrepreneurs find this debate humorous because we started our businesses to make a living while doing work we are passionate about.
My hypothesis is that the majority of entrepreneurial companies are conscious, primarily because the elements that make a business conscious are the foundation of good business practices.
As entrepreneurs, we are the primary ‘shareholder’ and we certainly want to make money, but we know it’s just good business to serve customers, take care of our employees and make a positive impact in our community in order to make money.
My grandfather, who was my first entrepreneurial mentor, taught me, “Profit is the tip your customers give you when you serve them well.”
This golden rule of business is the basis of conscious entrepreneurship. We earn money making the world better: for customers, employees and the community at large.
Ironically, most conscious entrepreneurs don’t even realize they are a conscious business. They just love what they do, and are eager to make a bigger impact through their business.
Through research, I’ve found that there are four types of conscious entrepreneurs who are equally driven by two factors: meaning and impact. “Meaning” describes how the work feels to us, and “impact” means how the work influences others.
The Four Types of Conscious Entrepreneurs
Purpose-preneurs: Most conscious entrepreneurs started with a business idea that was about the work itself. “I love to do this type of work, and I want my work to matter.” This type of conscious entrepreneur wants to do work he or she enjoys and is passionate about.
Heart-centered-preneurs: Through their passionate work, some conscious entrepreneurs find a particular community or group they want to serve, either in the local community or a community segment (such as homeless, children, or seniors). The meaning is in both the work, as well as the people served through the work.
Social-Impact Ventures: These are conscious entrepreneurs who shift their work to make a macro impact, collaborating to shift industry and society in some meaningful way. The focus is somewhat on meaning, but predominantly on impact.
Mission-Driven Brands: These are conscious entrepreneurs who want to broaden their impact and shift industry and society through work they enjoy. The meaning is certainly the work, but meaning has evolved to the people who are being served through the work, and making an impact is now equally as important.
Consciousness is an inner game; it’s the heart and soul of the entrepreneur. What truly defines a conscious entrepreneur are the values with which they lead their business, as well as the reasons they went into business – which usually has to do with meaning, impact, or both.
Although not all entrepreneurs could be considered a conscious business, I believe that many are, and are eagerly looking for ways to connect and expand their business to make a bigger impact.
Conscious entrepreneurship requires shifting two things:
Business Evolution: Purposeful businesses evolve WITH the entrepreneur, more than grow independent of the entrepreneur.
Marketing: Traditional marketing strategies are incongruent with conscious entrepreneurship. Potential customers who are aligned with your business purpose are rarely attracted by advertising and other traditional lead generation methods. Most importantly, what works for one conscious entrepreneur doesn’t necessarily work for another. Over the last decade, we’ve tested and developed an Authentic Demand Generation™methodology to show entrepreneurs how to authentically grow purposeful businesses based on who they are, from their unique passion and purpose.
A truly purposeful business will take you on a personal journey while you grow and evolve your business. You will not only face your fears but also find soulful perseverance. This is less about will power and more about alignment and connection to the best parts of yourself. It’s more about the journey to who you are becoming, than it is about the growth of the business.
I am curating a group of conscious entrepreneurial leaders to be a driving force in this movement. Let me know if you want to be a part of creating lasting business change. Reach out and let’s chat.
With the soulfulness of Wayne Dyer and the entrepreneurial spirit of Richard Branson, Terri is a world-class business growth expert, social impact investor, and serial entrepreneur whose purpose is to inspire potential. With her own money, Terri built a portfolio of purposeful companies, Share On Purpose, Inc., and now invests in and creates mission-driven start-ups.
In a career that spans more than 25 years, Terri has launched, owned, sold, rebranded or turned around more than 40 companies. She is known for her game-changing business models and personal transformation frameworks.
Everything she built came directly from a wellspring of perseverance and soulful resiliency, which she openly shares through her first purposeful brand, Succeed On Purpose.
What makes the chase for success even more challenging is when we go about it in the wrong way, and in some cases, for the wrong reasons. The result is feeling defeated. There is a better way to think about achieving success.
Growing a conscious business is very different from growing a traditional business. As entrepreneurs, we prioritize serving customers, taking care of our employees and making a positive impact in our community, IN ORDER TO make money.