Are you like me, tired of the greed centered economy? and longing for something new, more human and humane?
In the first chapter of my career I was an auditor. I saw deceit, lack of professionalism and fraud. They were everywhere. In other words, I saw the worst of the greed and deceit economy. That experience made me develop an eye for strategic inconsistencies, toxic corporate environments, weak processes and more.
Even if I stopped being an auditor decades ago, I still have that skill of seeing beyond what a business is showing to me. Indeed I saw 99% darkness. It was my job to report on points for improvement. Yet, I also saw the 1% of commitment, innovation, and most remarkable compassion.
From corporate world to the entrepreneurial jungle
Longing for this 1% of greatness, I left the corporate world and ventured into entrepreneurship. Most certainly, this life change was monumental. I left a 2 decades successful career for the unknown. My entire life was up in the air.
Triggered by my coach’s question: what’s your life purpose? I had a dream. (Did I tell you that hiring a coach is a life changing decision? It is!) An authoritative voice told me: You are meant to heal the fear of the builders of the heart centered economy.
I dreamed that in 2009 and I’m writing this in 2019. It has taken me 10 years to have answers and the courage to write about the heart centered economy and its builders. When I had this dream I was mainly surrounded by greed centered people. Now my tribe if Heart Centered people. They have given me the inspiration and the demand to write this. So, here you have my hypothesis and even a framework.
The Heart Centered Economy Framework
As you can see in the image to your right, the Heart Centered Economy framework is a 2x2 matrix. The horizontal axis denotes success, money and impact. This is all material expressions of success. On the other hand, the vertical axis expresses happiness, meaning and love. This is all spiritual expressions of success.
This framework can be applicable to individuals, companies and societies. We start surviving, without much meaning or impact. We are in the Survival Economy. At some point this becomes boring and we want more in material terms. We move to the Greed Economy. As having more loses its charm, we desire to have more meaning and less material attachments. We move to the Bohemian Economy. The most enlightened quadrant is the Heart Centered economy, where we optimize both desires. We combine the spiritual with the material. We make business a force for good.
In the video below I give you an 8 minutes summary of this framework. If you want to dig deeper on the subject. I've written more below.
The Power of the Heart with Howard Martin
In this quadrant you find 87% of employees. They are all the disengaged and actively disengaged employees according to the most recent Gallup survey.
These are the people who go to work to pay for things to impress people they don’t even like. Here you find people and companies who do business like a hamster runs in an infinite wheel. The words purpose or values are just that: words. There is no passion, joy or ambition.
Here you find poverty. The people in this quadrant believe riches are impossible for them: they don’t deserve it, rich people are corrupt or criminal, the system is rigged and more. These thoughts keep them poor and unhappy.
Being in a hamster wheel is boring and exhausting. Some employees and companies manage to leave the Survival Economy by putting more emphasis in results. Their ambition is centered in the material: in our well known bottom line. This is the one and only motivation in this quadrant.
Here we find companies that are very efficient in
- creating highly polluting products, or
- testing products on animals, or
- selling very risky products, or
- destroying the environment, or
- generating burnout in their employees
Here you find people with a lot of money in their bank accounts, many shoes in their closet, but a broken heart. They don’t truly love their work. Their health and relationships are broken. (Gosh! I've been here! It hurts)
Here you have all the people and companies who have escaped the Survival Economy and the Greed Economy. Here you find many of the people who after a burnout have quit the corporate rat race. They take a course in coaching, healing, mindfulness and are caught into the "good intentions woods". They dream of changing the world, but resentment towards the greed economy keeps them stuck.
Their money mindset sounds like,
- Starving makes me a better person
- Money is evil and certainly not spiritual
- I shouldn’t charge too much for my work.
Fear and anxiety leads them to poor choices and worst outcomes. They feel an obligation to save the planet and humanity from destruction. However their money mindset is not yet in order. They perceive that giving for free their products or services help others.
Heart Centered Economy
In this quadrant you will find the 1% of greatness I was talking about at the beginning of the blog. Here you have the superheroes who will bring the solutions to our current problems. You’ll also find the source of inspiration and growth for future generations. They are the conscious entrepreneurs.
In this quadrant, you cannot find employees, boredom, solo stars or burnout. Here you find people who take their own responsibility. Each one of them is leader of his/her own life and career. They choose to fulfill their potential and be of the greatest service.
Here you’ll find the conscious entrepreneurs. Think about those ones listed in the book: Small Giants by Bo Burlingham. These are maverick companies that consciously forgot of the growth obsession. Instead they are focused on greatness. They have chosen a certain set of values that guide them and they truly walk their talk.
Don’t think that heart-centeredness implies working for free, donating all profits or using only your intuition to make strategic business decisions. It’s all about aligning the three P’s of Heart-Centered Entrepreneurship:
- Passion, what you are good at and love
- Purpose, what the world needs from you
- Profit, your offering and packaging
The Heart Centered Economy is real
I see this economy growing and rapidly. There is a growing number of people tired of superficial changes who are ready to create real impact. Think about the existence of these powerful ideas and theories,
- Circular Economy
- U theory
- Value Based Selling
- Conscious Selling
- Servant Leadership
- Appreciative inquiry
- Growth mindset theory
- Innovation Through Cooperation
- Non Violent Communication
Are they signs heralding the emergence of the Heart Centered Economy? I do believe so.
The money mindset in this quadrant is abundant and compassionate. It’s based on the idea of sufficiency and contentment. This is the very thing that will actually end poverty for good. Expanding this mindset is what will get SDG #1 (United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #1 End Poverty in All its forms Everywhere) achieved. We can end poverty, when the poor get out of helplessness and fear.
How to accelerate the emergence of the Heart Centered Economy
Yes, I know this is huge and scary. It implies to stick our neck out in a big way. Our way of life, our planet, the future of our children is a stake.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.
You could be part of that small group. To do so you have to start small. Start, as mega inspiring Jordan Peterson says, by cleaning your room. Begin with the most immediate. Make your first step with something that you understand and it’s very close to your life.
A couple of years ago I was tremendously inspired by the story of Virginia Elena Raggi, mayor of Rome at that time. She was a lawyer just concentrated in her practice when motherhood surprised her. She chose to dedicate some months to be with her child. In these months, she walked around her neighborhood with her pram. While doing so, she discovered many practical and specific local problems. So she decided to “clean her room”. She contacted the government, organized her neighbors and used all her legal knowledge and passion to make changes. The outcomes where so positive that she made the project bigger and bigger. It went so far that she ended up running for mayor and become the first female mayor in her city.
Start Small | Start Where You Are
If you are called to be a conscious entrepreneur, I offer you the following actions for you to consider,
- Identify that which call you to be BIG, real BIG. What would you give your life for?
- Envision how that purpose could be translated into a business
- Develop a healthy and abundant money mindset
- Create real relationships with your customers and community
- Learn and apply brain and heart coherence methods to ease decision making and business design in this complex historical moment
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Back to YOU
Do you also see this trend? Do you also see hope in the future of the heart centered economy?
How are you accelerating it? Share with us your good news! We are tired of more evidence of greed and deceit. Share with us stories of compassion and success. Go to the comments below and share with us evidence of the raise in human consciousness starting to touch business. Let's make visible how business is becoming a force for good.
Thank you for reading, sharing, commenting!
Most importantly thank you for accelerating this hopeful trend.
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