Just below are three contradictory thoughts that are part of the general zeitgeist we are all operating in. Let’s take a moment to examine where we are and how different we might benefit from making different choices than the conventional norm.
Among the tech zillionaire classes, a place to bug out in the event of an economic collapse, environmental disaster, or violent uprising became the thing to have.
Once you start, it’s hard to stop. Or, in Chouinard’s words, “living the examined life is a pain in the ass.”
Growth and development are about seeing more. The wider, deeper, and longer our perspective, the more variables we can consider — and the more capable we become. What Really Matters: Searching for Wisdom in America
The above thoughts and quotes stem from the 150 pages of research I did with a broad focus on my theory of the need for personal and societal coherence. Hopefully, much of that research will show here on this blog.
They are intended to highlight the schizophrenia we collectively wade through every day. Our society at large literally worships money and fame. In my opinion, our society values money over life. That is why tech zillionaires whose products are in many cases harmful to society are still worshipped like rock stars. It is fascinating that having a vision of writing a successful software product leads these folks to think they now know how to save the world. Can you say, ego work is needed? Why do folks believe someone whose ultimate plan involves bailing out of the system they unfairly profited from even as it was collapsing.
My old friend Yvon’s the founder of Patagonia gets at the heart of doing the right thing. It can be a pain in the ass and ultimately will have less to show for it.
The final thought gets to our point here. Innerwork=Coherence=Wisdom.
It leads to from a business point of view the ultimate question? How much is enough? What is wrong with us aspiring to middle-class wealth?
This leads to an interesting conversation we had here at Dog & Catmandu yesterday. Some time ago Jerry became friendly with an upstart food entrepreneur. He was impressed with what was described as the entrepreneurs deeply held values. While that entrepreneur fudged and cut corners on his values, he built a huge highly profitable company from which exited while probably not as a billionaire, it was certainly in the hundreds of millions of dollars in net personal wealth (Zillionaire in popular parlance). What prompted the conversation yesterday was a press release on his starting another new company. In our eyes, if you have enough money to be completely financially emancipated AND enough to generously live those forgotten values, why do you need more money? No answers here just important questions.
Let’s review; it might be best to not support zillionaires who are profiting off a collapsing system before they bug out. A deeply examined life is not easy, yet we hunger and yearn for more wisdom in our personal lives as well as society at large.
Let me tell a story that may draw together these disparate thoughts into a coherent whole.
Like happens to just about all of us my cell phone died. So, I ordered a new one from my values-aligned provider CREDO. Then the challenge began, I have a full-on case of dropsy and desperately needed a case to protect this expensive tool I had just purchased. Where to get it? I wanted something cheap, utilitarian, and easy to get. I hatched a plan. Target and Walmart are not far away. Shopping at chain big boxes absolutely offends my personals my personal values. Yet for some lazy reason, I was willing to overlook that for the sake of convenience. I tried Target first, no luck everything was expensive, ugly, and not compatible with my phone. No worries, Walmart will be better, NOT! Fortunately, I was saved by a phone call. It is hard to discuss buying a company while simultaneously not finding what you want. I am very proud to share that was only the third time ever I stepped inside a Walmart, the first time being sort of court-appointed. This time I got out with buying nothing.
So, when in doubt resort to the internet. Since I had the whole world at my fingertips, why not at least think big. I typed in sustainable cell phone cases. To my complete and very pleasant surprise up came several choices. After clicking around I settled on a company called Pela. The product was attractive, sustainable, and very affordable. Wow, I ordered it.
It was not until post-purchase I got an email that I realized Pela (Pela if you read this your website needs better B Corp branding) is a certified B Corp the same as Coherence Collaborative. Inadvertently I found my tribe. How we spend our prosperity is as vital as how we make it. Every time we spend money, we are voting for the kind of world we want. Being a B Corp says something important and valuable about a business.
With not much work, a little patience I was able to make a well-examined choice that supports wisdom in the marketplace. I freely admit I love the case. Such an innocuous little thing brings me a small jolt of joy each time I glance at it. Something I have become clearly aware of is convenience is often a path fraught with poor choices. Yet we are addicted to “easy”. In my story did I get lucky or was the universe guiding me to a better choice? You decide.
Somethings I know! I am not bailing (and no I am not a zillionaire, remember I shop in person at Walmart HA!). I actively spend each day trying to live an examined life that is infused with wisdom. Or I as I like to say coherence. I am very pleased my company is a B Corp.
Not bugging out, living an examined and seeking wisdom are choices.
In my opinion, the world is shifting dramatically. Your company’s future depends on the choices you make today. Choose wisely.