Having a Soul in Business

cubesI never wanted to work in the business world. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but professor, writer, bartender — all seemed more appealing than “Marketing Manager.” And yet, here I am, managing social media marketing projects (and loving my work, incidentally).

So what was the fear anyway?  Well, it still exists. I am still reluctant to be here and often think the saving grace is that I am my own boss. Meaning I don’t HAVE to take a bad client — a mean person or one with a terrible agenda — and this way I am able to preserve a piece of myself I was afraid I would lose to business.

I think the reluctance came because I always knew, there is just no soul in most of the business world. It is, now more than ever, about spinning up, growing huge and selling off. Little thought is given to what’s being offered.  It’s mostly irrelevant. I hate the soul-lessness of that.

But I think I also value the creative life and we all live it. Creating something, anything, from a place of passion is essential to living a meaningful life.

I was wrong to think one can’t do that in the business world.  Just because it’s not the current paradigm, doesn’t mean it’s not possible.

And it’s certainly easier as an entrepreneur , but that’s not necessary either.  Every day and in small ways we can all tap into the creative energy that keeps us ALIVE.  Like, not just on earth to pay bills, but alive and connected to other people who need and want what we have to offer.

The world of business used to be about giving people things they needed and wanted.  Things that held value to people for a reason. Thanks to the proliferation of marketing (guilty) this is now often replaced by a false sense of consumptive desire.  We have learned, in marketing and business, how open to suggestion people can be and we exploit it.

Is the answer to reform business? Less Laissez Faire from the soul-less empires we’ve come to worship? I don’t think so. I have enough faith in humanity to believe we can collectively change our own circumstances.

I think we need to take personal responsibility about what we consume and then the soul-less “they” will simply stop selling what we are not buying. Tired of people marketing to children?  Buy your children less things.  Don’t eat at places that package toys with food. Live soulfully, live with value and be the change you want to see.

And before you claim that “The Masses” couldn’t possibly take care of themselves in this regard, stop overestimating yourself.  If you can stop buying bottled water and SUVs, the single mother of three can stop buying Happy Meals. We all have tough choices to make if we want to live more genuinely.

Business can have a soul. It, like art, is a reflection of the people within it and the people who need it. I shouldn’t have been so down on a career in business.  I forgot that it’s made up of people with souls.  Bring your life force, your creative energy, and your best to your work and “it” will become a reflection of the value you bring.

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