You’ve been mundane and interchangeable when looking from your customer’s perspective. For them, buying from you means comparing apples to apples; it all looks the same. You’ve just entered the commoditization trap! Discouragement sets in motion. Your customers want the price they want, they know what they need, and you have few options but to play their game. Margins are slim despite your intent to remain profitable. What’s the offset? Value Creation.
All value creations starts with self-knowledge. If you asked your 10 best clients why they work with you and refer you, it’s because you have a personal gift. You have a domain of efficacy that as business became demanding and complex, went to the back-seat. You started spending your time on everything other than activities commensurate with this domain. The consequences include a loss of energy, enthusiasm, and creativity. You’re too busy with innovation-killing time traps that suck you dry like a vampire. It’s time to come back home to yourself, and be who you are. The weirdo in you needs salvation!
All industries have a lifecycle that moves decaying business forms and models out, and emerging and innovative businesses forms in. A new means of production or organization replaces an old one. This process of creative destruction is a term coined by Joseph Schumpeter, an enlightened economist in the early 20th century. Innovations cause old inventories, ideas, technologies, skills, and equipment to become obsolete. The question is not “how capitalism administers existing structures, … [but] how it creates and destroys them.” This creative destruction, he believed, causes continuous progress and improves the standards of living for everyone.
Schumpeter was among the first to lay out a clear concept of entrepreneurship. He distinguished inventions from the entrepreneur’s innovations. Schumpeter pointed out that entrepreneurs innovate not just by figuring out how to use inventions, but also by introducing new means of production, new products, and new forms of organization. These innovations, he argued, take just as much skill and daring as does the process of invention.
Invention is going through a radical transformation. Today, innovation is not without the reverence for the whole. Sustainability has become a primary force in “going green,” as consumers now favor commerce that is combined with spirituality. The new goal is to build a “prosperous enterprise” which suggests that the two can co-exist and maximize prosperity by respecting planet Earth as business growth increases.
To become true to this sensitivity, entrepreneurs are seeking self-knowledge and mindfulness as vehicles to help them become more of who they truly are, while still remaining competitive. The collective process of competition and collaboration starts with letting go of judgment, cynicism, and fear, like old skin giving way to something new. What’s involved is an authenticity, courage, and boldness to move from the head (left hemisphere of the brain), to the heart (the right side of the brain).
The right side of the brain is associated with all the creative aspects—design, big-picture, connecting separate parts together, and dimensional thinking. Context, space, texture, tones, frequencies and patterns all give rise to a new use of human intelligence from which the wholeness is reclaimed by the individual. The entrepreneurs who thrive are the ones who are focusing on their own humanity while tapping into incredible potential.
They are able to pre-sense emerging future possibilities on the way in, and operate by taking meaningful leaps into uncertainty, until their creations come into life. It is with this obedience to what has heart and meaning that replaces individualism with a sense of coherence and community consciousness.
Weirdoes are those who choose to foster the honesty of their self-expression. They see method and system, something they already know as a potential limitation. They see the present moment, listening generously, and showing up as the source from which they’re touched by a readying future. Authentication isn’t self-made, rather, the power of self lies in the collective voice by which the entrepreneur senses what stands in need of him, and doing what he absolutely has to do.
The leader begins to walk with a sacred project in his step, one that is unfolding the path out of the mystery ahead. As he walks, volatility yields vision, uncertainty yields understanding, complexity yields clarity, and ambiguity yields agility. He walks the mystery path with practical feet, knowing that everything the future needs is given to him at this moment. He creates the future, instead of predicting it.
When ideas, beliefs, and rules are disrupting what held the entrepreneur to his past, he’s released into a new frontier of his essential self. What awaits him there is his true work and purpose, as he incorporates the collective voice of the community into his heart, and operates from that place of service. He has embodied himself as a weirdo—taking his cues from what matters to him.
Being more of yourself takes courage. There may be disapproval, but selling your soul to avoid isolation isn’t worth the invitation. The weirdo learns to bring his entire self to life, the good, bad, and ugly. He knows not to wait, that acting instantly gives him information faster, from which he can better see the future emerging, rising, and assembling as he walks into it openly.
All the data around him is a source of defining features from which his leadership is composed. The truth is his ally, as it makes him resourceful. The reason why he does his work is the reason why others want to be led by him. It is the center of his brand to become more of himself. The point of all that he does shapes all of the behaviors in his business travels, decisions, actions, and communications, from which an essential story is narrated to him that replaces what was trending in the past. The past is something he cannot complete, yet he completes it by accepting its incompleteness.
So the salvation of the weirdo is a process of letting go, and letting come, a quality in your awareness that is reverent to your cause. You are creating a cause, not a company. You are born out of a community with dangers, opportunities, and strengths from which your truest work and best self are called forward.
It’s not hard to find this path, in fact it’s been right where you are—you are not living an unlived life! Everything is up for grabs right now for you to rethink what really does matter to you, not what should. Take stock of what has heart and meaning for you right now, and you’ll bring the weirdo to the surface. Then voice what matters. This voice is your homecoming back to your own heart.
Copyright 2014 John Davidson