By Camille Leon
Warning: If you believe, along with French Philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, that we are “spiritual beings having a human experience,” then this article may help you create a better life for yourself and the people around you.
Have you ever had to “check your values at the door” in order to pay your bills? Is it stressful for you to work at the type of company that seems to talk about values-based business but not really do anything about it? Is integrity important to you? More importantly, are there ways to be financially sustainable and maintain your values while on the job?
Whether you are working for yourself or someone else, these are increasingly important questions. If we think we can’t make money while doing good, then people will continue to disconnect work from income. More and more companies, from Method Products and Starbucks to Gravity Payments, are finding ways to apply holistic values to the way they do business. This is good for everyone from employees to management and owners. It just takes an awareness of which companies are a fit for you and your values.
When considering ways to better blend your career / business with your values, start with these questions:
1.What are your values? Do you consider yourself holistic… in your approach to health, lifestyle and even business? Are you concerned about sustainability for the planet and the economy?
2.Does the company take a balanced approach to making decisions, considering both long-term consequences and short-term results?
3. Many companies now have Social Responsibility policies and contribute to the causes that are important to them and their employees. Where does your company (whether you own it or just work there) stand in this arena?
4. Does the company (or you as the business owner) evaluate the impact of decisions on others and the environment?
5. Is it fair to everyone involved? This includes you as well as your staff (or boss), customers and vendors. Some companies in today’s landscape are known for negotiating so agreements that do not leave room for overhead expenses. Is that fair?
The good news is that a growing number of companies are known for commitment to their causes. Many states have even opened up for a new Mutual Benefit Corporation (B-Corp) status to allow for creating a balance between making money and making a difference. Patagonia, based in California, is just one example of a company applying their values to the way they conduct business.
Likewise, organizations like the Holistic Chamber of Commerce (HCC) and American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) are becoming leaders in making connections, communicating with power players and offering networks of support both locally and online.
At the end of the day, we are all better off when we can stay in alignment with mind, body, spirit, business, budget and planet. That’s the holistic way!
Camille Leon is the Founder and Executive Director of The Holistic Chamber of Commerce (HolisticChamberOfCommerce.com), Co-Author of “Taking Your Leap of Faith” (on DailyOm.com) and Author of False Starts: The Misadventures of Transformation. Finding solutions to today’s challenges and making it easier to choose the best ones is her passion and her business. Available for speaking, events and coaching, she can be reached at 310-490-6862 or at Camille@HolisticChamberOfCommerce.com.