By Terri Maxwell
COVID-19 revealed what many conscious businesses already knew…there are inherent conflicts between economic priorities, human rights, and societal well-being.
In 2019, a group called the Business Roundtable (181 CEO’s of America’s largest brands representing 30% of market capitalization) stated officially that a company needs a purpose beyond just profit.
They said business should DO GOOD. That business should care about people.
Then COVID hit, and companies of all sizes were asked to dig deep. Most conscious brands stepped up efforts to “care about people” even when it meant LOSING money. For conscious leaders, purpose isn’t something we do when it’s easy, it’s who we are.
Purpose sounds great, as long as it’s convenient. But when it becomes difficult to live by the “golden rule,” some revert to making decisions based solely on the bottom line.
A recent McKinsey study noted that small businesses account for a disproportionate share of the vulnerable jobs; 54 percent (~30 million) of the most vulnerable jobs are connected to small companies.
However, conscious entrepreneurs continue to serve employees, contractors and our community, even though we are struggling. Most have donated time, products, services and resources to help those in need.
This doesn’t mean that we don’t lay off staff, or struggle to pay bills. Conscious brands are simply guided by core values AS we make difficult decisions. Period.
As our world struggles with a global pandemic, coupled with an economic recession of epic proportion that is exacerbated by long overdue social unrest, it’s clearly time to reprioritize and do business differently.
As Conscious Entrepreneurs, It’s Time to Step Forward And Add Our Voices To This Debate
Entrepreneurship has always been a driving force in societal transformation. And I believe it will be THE driving force in this movement.
Most of us didn’t start our business to “be a conscious entrepreneur.” We started our brands to make the world better while making money.
Most of us didn’t even realize we were a conscious entrepreneur. But once we found others like us, we quickly realized that collaboration fuels growth and purpose can lead to profit when we serve rather than sell.
Purposeful entrepreneurship is not easy. Each day you have to trade-off paying your mortgage while trying to do good.
Each week you re-evaluate how to price a product designed to make the world better, asking yourself incessantly… how much profit is good or fair?
You have to focus on making a sale AND making a difference. Marketing strategies are different. The way you lead is different.
Conscious Entrepreneurship Is Challenging Yet Worth It
And after a decade of failures, pivotal mistakes and some success along the way, here’s what I know.
Conscious Entrepreneurship is different from traditional entrepreneurship in 3 ways:
- Purposeful Businesses evolve as much as they grow. There are three stages to evolve a start-up to $1M in annual revenue, and a total of six stages to go from a start-up to over $10M in annual revenue. After 10 years of testing, we developed theConscious Business Growth Platform™ to guide entrepreneurs through these stages.
- Traditional marketing strategies are incongruent with conscious entrepreneurship. Potential customers who are aligned with your business purpose are not going to be attracted by the old ways of discounting, 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 anAuthentic Demand Generation™ methodology to teach entrepreneurs how to authentically grow purposeful businesses based on who they are, from their unique passion and purpose.
- Conscious entrepreneurs transform from the inside out as they grow their You can’t “fake it until you make it.”
A truly purposeful business will take you grow and evolve your business. You will not only face your fears but also find soulful perseverance. It’s more about the journey to who you are becoming, as it is about the growth of the business.
We are on the cusp of the biggest shift in cultural and business values since the Industrial Revolution. We are at the proverbial tipping point.
And I believe it will be conscious entrepreneurs who ignite the revolution and power it to the next level.
If you want to join the movement, and not just talk about values but BECOME a community-driven by conscious values, attend any of our upcoming Shift/Co events.
Terri is President and CEO of Share on Purpose, a business cultivator that launches game-changing brands and then mentors emerging leaders to run them
She is the author of Succeed on Purpose: Everything Happens for a Reason, and the co-author of The New World of Work: From the Cube to the Cloud.
Terri’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Success Magazine, and on FOX and CBS. She was named Small Business Mentor of the Year by NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners), which highlights how her strengths (business growth) have been married with a passion for serving others.
“If you want something better, you have to be willing to DO something different.”. Terri Maxwell