Each individual is responsible for securing their own freedom and prosperity. The best way to achieve this is by enlightened entrepreneurship.
Free enterprise is a system of governance and economics that protects all individuals in their right to buy, sell, and exchange as long as they are not harming others.
It is a system that eliminates, or at least minimizes, deception and coercion in the market place.
As good as free enterprise is, the system is not powerful in and of itself; what makes it powerful is people living Soul Purpose within the system.
This is what it means to be an Enlightened Entrepreneur: living your Soul Purpose and leveraging the Soul Purpose of others to synergistically create a better world.
Here are the concepts you must learn and apply to become an Enlightened Entrepreneur:
What Is Your Business?
Every Enlightened Entrepreneur is a business owner; their business is their purpose, regardless of their technical status. To be an Enlightened Entrepreneur, one must think and act like an entrepreneur, even if they are technically an employee in someone else’s business.
The first step is simply to take accountability for whatever happens in your business life, to never abdicate responsibility to a boss, to the market, or to “bad luck.”
Your business is your Human Life Value, and you are responsible for developing it.
If your current career is not the best environment to live your Soul Purpose, then you must take the necessary steps to provide that environment for yourself. It may take drastic changes. It may take small, incremental steps.
But whatever it takes, get into your Soul Purpose, let others live theirs and then synergize for increased productivity. Run your Soul Purpose as the business that it is and must be.
Increase Your Expenses
The traditional financial advice teaches us that one main key to wealth is to reduce our expenses.
As counter-intuitive as it may seem, the Enlightened Entrepreneur understands how in many cases it actually increases his productivity to increase his expenses.
The Enlightened Entrepreneur is very focused; he finds what he was born to do, discovers his strengths and talents, and then lets other people fill in the gaps of his weaknesses.
He’s not concerned with being “independently” wealthy; rather, he seeks interdependent wealth.
For example, consider a person that hates to mow their lawn. The traditional advice would say that they should do it themselves to “save” money. The Enlightened Entrepreneur model looks at the whole picture and considers it from every angle.
Let’s assume that this person can make $50 per hour in their particular Soul Purpose, and the price of having someone else take care of their lawn is $125 per month.
After purchasing a lawn mower, a weed eater, fertilizer, trimmers, etc., and then spending two hours per week taking care of the lawn, is this person actually saving money? Of course not.
They will save money by employing someone with a Soul Purpose of lawn maintenance who has the tools, expertise, and desire to do it well. They have increased their expenses, but by doing so they are able to devote more time to their Soul Purpose, which actually increases their productivity in the macro view.
What are the things you do on a daily basis that you don’t enjoy, that drain your energy and that keep you from focusing on your Soul Purpose? Find others who have those things as their Soul Purpose and pay them well so that you can focus on your strengths.
Is it wise advice to “live within your means?” Absolutely, but how many people consider ways to increase their “means,” as opposed to shrinking their expenses out of fear and scarcity?
Live within your means by living your Soul Purpose and increasing your productivity.
Stewards recognize that, materially speaking, they come to this earth with nothing, they leave with nothing, and everything in between is a gift and loan from God to be used wisely, and that must ultimately be accounted for.
They understand the direct connection between rights and responsibilities.
The Enlightened Entrepreneur understands that there is a prioritized order to stewardship, which is the following:
- Soul Purpose
- Other People
- Other Material Products and Resources
What most people fail to realize is that they, themselves, are their most important asset. Your Soul Purpose, your Human Life Value are infinitely more important than any of your property value resources.
Unless you are taking care of yourself, you have little or nothing to give to your family, to your Soul Purpose, or to your career.
Your spirit is the most powerful part of you; in fact, it is your very essence. When you raise your consciousness and nurture your spirit, you raise your voltage of power and are thus able to create greater value for others.
And by creating greater value, you naturally receive more abundance in return.
The Enlightened Entrepreneur understands that creating real value happens from the inside out, that the better his internal life is, the better his external world will be.
But it all starts from within, which is why the prioritized order of stewardship is so important. If a person can master the spiritual, mental, physical, and social domains, it’s natural for money to follow.
Scarcity-minded capitalism is all about win-lose, “cutthroat” competition. The capitalist in scarcity focuses on how to beat the competition and does everything in his power to put competitors out of business.
The Enlightened Entrepreneur, on the other hand, seeks to add value to the world, regardless of what his competition does. Although he understands that there definitely is a healthy aspect of competition, he also understands the value of cooperation.
Competition helps capitalists create more, better and cheaper products and services.
In a free market, if a business fails it was because the people in the business weren’t in their Soul Purpose, or they weren’t utilizing their gifts efficiently. Competition helps us to hone our skills, increase our effectiveness, and create more value.
However, we can also accomplish all of this through cooperation, through living our Soul Purpose and letting others live in theirs.
The Enlightened Entrepreneur, therefore, engages in both healthy competition and friendly cooperation; they compete without having a win-lose mindset, and they cooperate without sacrificing their Soul Purpose.
Sadly, many people stop producing because they’re worried someone else is going to take their ideas. Too many people try and hurt someone else’s progress because they fear the competition.
Does this mean that we should just give everything away? Absolutely not; the more profitable with our Soul Purpose the more able we are to increase and sustain our stewardships and add more value to the world. Yet we can do this without our end goal being to put others out of business.
Enlightened Entrepreneurs understand the power of win-win-win. You’ve heard of “win-win” transactions, yet coopetition takes us even further. Win-win-win transactions benefit your independent network, your community and yourself.
If you’re operating from Soul Purpose and transacting business with others who are doing the same, every transaction you enter into will be a win for everyone involved.
Furthermore, it can’t help but be a win for your community, as the products, services and ideas you develop within your network begin to serve others.
Backstage vs. Frontstage
In every business, there is a backstage, and a frontstage. The backstage aspects of business are the things that nobody sees unless something goes wrong. They are the systems and people that support the person, product, and/or service that end users actually experience in person.
Frontstage systems, obviously, are the people, products, and services that customers see, touch, hear, feel, taste, and experience.
Your backstage is what supports the frontstage of your Soul Purpose, and you can also serve others on their backstage in order that their Soul Purpose can become a frontstage product or service.
Imagine going to see the play “Les Miserables” and they don’t have their backstage systems functioning properly. They open the stage of Act 2 and an actor is stumbling across the stage with their gown half off, and there’s a guy swinging still trying to put up a prop.
If a play doesn’t have their backstage systems working well, the frontstage suffers tremendously. Backstage systems, therefore, are incredibly important to the Enlightened Entrepreneur.
Enlightened Entrepreneurs take pains to ensure that all of the people acting in their backstage are appreciated and taken care of. They don’t look down on their support crew as so many businessmen and women are prone to do; they realize that without good back-end support they are extremely limited in what they can provide to the market.
Furthermore, Enlightened Entrepreneurs are not concerned with the perceived glory and fame of frontstage work. They humbly work in the frontstage when it aligns with their Soul Purpose, yet they are also constantly working in the backstage of the Soul Purpose of others.
Your frontstage is largely a product of the backstage people who serve and support you in your Soul Purpose; the backstage of others is where you serve them to help them realize their Soul Purpose.
Free enterprise protects our right to seek happiness. The greatest happiness comes from developing, living, and sharing our Soul Purpose with others. Enlightened entrepreneurship is bringing our Soul Purpose to the market place to impact the greatest number of people possible.
We become an Enlightened Entrepreneur when we think and act like an entrepreneur, focus on our Soul Purpose and synergize with the Soul Purpose of others, being wise stewards of all our resources, and practicing “coopetition,” or the combination of competition and cooperation.
Steve D’Annunzio is the founder of the Soul Purpose Institute, the author of The Prosperity Paradigm, and a productivity trainer and life success coach to Fortune 100 executives, professional athletes, and high-performance entrepreneurs. For twenty years, he has been helping people identify their passion, develop it into a business idea, and deliver it to the world.
A member of the Transformational Leadership Council, Steve has shared the stage with world-changers like Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson, Jack Canfield, and Barbra-Marx Hubbard.
He uses principles of higher awareness to inspire others to be far greater versions of themselves than they ever knew to be possible. By combining scientific and spiritual truth, he co-creates inner transformations for people to experience more outer prosperity in their life.
He is an author and composer of many books, paradigms, and artistic projects that have the common theme of alleviating human suffering and enhancing joy.
Steve lives with his family in Rochester, New York.