There are things that are a certain way and we don’t question why.
One such thing is work and businesses.
It is normal that the main reason behind why we work and why businesses exist is money.
Money first and of the outmost importance. Everything else is secondary.
In these last few years we have started seeing a shift - one of consciousness, of world connectivity, of access to information.
We started waking up to the fact that the way we have been living our lives as a society not only is unsustainable, but actually we are harming the environment.
This is now the time to do things differently. To question some of the fundamental aspects of our lives.
To live and act more consciously. To see more wholisticly, from different perspectives and taking into account variables that weren’t on the forefront.
How can we make this change?
One way is by understanding that work and businesses primarily need to have a purpose, helping solve an issue or enhancing life.
Yes, money is important, and being able to have a sustainable or profitable business is key, because if not the business won’t survive. But if money comes before a purpose we might end up where we are now - with businesses harming the environment, animals or humans because they need to always make more money.
Once we have a purpose, we need to add values. Values that the business stands for and that in moments of making decisions, we can turn to to make the call.
Values are of vital importance to let us see whether to create a product or service.
As an example: if one of my company’s values is being a steward of the land, we couldn’t partake on the creation of a product that would pollute the water or the land even if that product would be extremely profitable. We would strive to find a sustainable way of achieving the same or similar product, even if it wouldn’t make as big a profit.
Another important aspect of a conscious business is taking into account everyone that comes in contact with us - from employees, to supplier, to costumers, and the community we are part of. And we could even go a step further and think of everyone that are connected to them like the family of employees.
Looking after everyone involve has a ripple effect much bigger than what some extra money for a board of directors can have.
There is the human aspect. The connections that we have with employees, co-workers and those linked to us. It is our responsibility to empower everyone.
The wellbeing of workers doesn’t have to be secondary. It is of the outmost importance.
A happy worker will perform much better than an unhappy one.
We can create an environment of trust, open and honest communication, so that people want to be doing this work - it’s not “just a job” to make money.
When workers are being taken care of, they will be able to be more productive and efficient - even working less hours.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we didn’t have to work such long hours, in jobs we don’t like or care for?
We might not be able to find such a workplace now, but with more and more conscious people creating change, we might be able to soon.
In the meantime, we can take responsibility for ourselves.
If we are starting a business or are running a business, knowing what is the purpose, what are the values, how are we caring for all stakeholders?
If we are working or trying to find a job, finding a purpose-led company that has similar values to us, that care about us and, at the same time taking responsibility to be proactive in changing the way that things are.
We can wake up everyday dreading to go to work or we can choose to make the most out of each day - being an agent of change for everyone we come into contact whether that is our co-workers, costumers or suppliers.
We can have a “good time” at work, because that is where we spend most of our waking hours.
This is a collective shift. We need to make the change towards more conscious businesses and demand that the rest do their best by voting with our dollars.
We can be the change we want to see in the world.
(This post was written for the Yoga Scene Today magazine after having hosted an event about Conscious Businesses with Conscious Action).