I believe the new world of work is one of ANDs. Impact and passion and sustainability and joy and flexibility and structure and freedom. A world in which you stand out because you have found artful ways to combine all your skills sets.
In which your work benefits you, your clients and Mama Earth.
Of course business is supposed to be fun. We spend so much time working that it shouldn’t just not be dreadful and look good on our CVs or be a great opportunity for development. Business should be a joy, personally enriching, it should have an impact - somehow, somewhere on someone and that impact should be felt, by you and others. Business should be so joy-drenched that you cannot believe you are paid for it. Speaking of payment.
Of course business is about money. We live in a material world where rather than exchanging goats for chocolate (I am still undecided which of the two I’d prefer to trade for), we use a handy little tool called money. Some people are scared of money because they don’t have enough of it, are scared to become dependent on it, feel that too much money is used to do bad things or that money is inherently bad. Others don’t believe that doing good and making money can go together, that making money equals supporting the predominant capitalistic, exploitative, patriarchal consumption structures. But not playing the game doesn’t change the game, so I believe in making loads of cash and then investing in what you believe in.
Of course business is about having an impact. I don’t know anyone who is motivated by the concept of hurting, exploiting or ignoring others - others being people, communities, gender expressions, citizens of entire countries or Mama Earth. I know a lot of people who want to play a role in doing good. And doing good is a wide concept that can manifest in many way.
Good encompasses a smile on someone’s face as they contemplate a piece of art.
Good is a fairtrade organic bright red lipstick that makes someone hold their head a little higher. Good is a good organic cheesecake. Good is a startup for fair pay. Good is empowering artisans from rural communities through design. Good is healing. Good is teaching others how to heal. Good is creating a platform for female artists in North Africa. Doing good comes in all shapes, sizes and expressions and of course every and any intervention leaves a footprint and sometimes it’s hard to control every aspect of your business.
Of course business is about continuously reinventing yourself. As you go deeper you’ll discover new layers and valleys and savanna’s within yourself. You will reach wider, have more influence. You’ll be able and invited to examine the way you do business, from your supply chain to your employees.
Of course you can change your mind. Of course you can rebrand your business. Of course you can bring all your facets together in an expression of whoever you want to be right now.
Of course you can be a tattooed nurse, bungee-jumping yogi, a meat-eating vegetarian chef or a facial harmony practitioner who does botox. Of course you can change your mind again.
Of course it’s supposed to be easy. Of course you can say that “doing good isn’t always easy”. But isn’t it easy to climb a mountain to see a sunset? That kind of easy. The well-worth, feels right, so good, right place, right time kind of easy.
Of course everything is connected. Body, mind, soul, you and that annoying experience with the bus driver. You cannot deliver the same level of work when something else is going on. Of course business is personal. Of course you will be high on hormones when you are madly in love and of course an email you write will have a different vibe than when you are mad at the internet connection. Of course what you put into your system (food, environment, people, information, products) affects how the system works and what comes back out.