From the heart

I went to a local Chamber of Commerce event this past week. I loved that I got to meet so many people running small-sized, heart-based businesses. It seems as if more than ever before, this is what entrepreneurs are doing. 

What do I mean by heart-based? 

Businesses that are profit-based exist to deliver needed products or services to customers. These products or services earn a profit for the business owners and the share holders. Money is their main driver.

There are of course non-profit or not for profit businesses that provide products and services for those who can’t afford them. Non-profits are generally heart-based businesses.

Then there are businesses that are profit-based but bring something else to the table. These are often small, run by maybe one or two people, and are looking to do more. They want to make an impact on the world in a positive way, so they are working from a higher purpose, whether spiritual, environmental, ethical, or social.

A heart-based entrepreneur has a personal goal: to inspire, help and improve the lives of others through their passion and creativity. The income from their business helps them to do that.

How are they able to do it?

Have you ever wondered how some entrepreneurs live so well and yet find a way to truly enjoy the work they do? They work hard but don’t burn out. They take long vacations. They take pleasure from their work. And they inspire others to live a life of purpose.

Heart-based entrepreneurs have passion. They think outside the box, don’t follow in the footsteps of others, but find their own way.

Like building a dream (house)

I recently began watching a TV program that seems to fit the analogy of how passion, imagination and motivation leads to creation. 

This program, accessible through Netflix, is called “Grand Designs.” Each episode is a mini-story. In these mini-stories, a person, or a couple, has a dream and that dream is having a home that is built custom, just for them.

Now, many people can’t afford to build a custom home. But not each of the featured dreamers are necessarily rich. Some are simply selling an existing home, while some were given grants, and others simply saved up for most of their life and are using their life savings. 

What is so impressive about this show is that the main characters each have these things in common:

  • They have a dream that they are absolutely passionate about
  • They don’t let anything stand in the way of their dream, no matter how big the obstacle appears to be, and plowing ahead in the face of enormous challenges
  • They absolutely do not compromise on their dream and won’t change their vision
  • They go about things in a very unorthodox way, using unorthodox building methods and practices, materials, sources and resources.

While building a home might not seem like a noble endeavor, it is an artistic expression. A business is also an artistic expression, especially when it comes from the heart, from a place of passion.

This is where I see the similarities between the home builders on the show and heart-based entrepreneurs. They have a passionate vision, they don’t let anything stand in the way, they don’t compromise on their vision, and they do things their OWN way, not how others would do it.  

How this inspires

I have to say that I get more inspired watching people being their best selves than by anything else I can imagine. When I see someone being truly genuine, and loving and giving and whole-heartedly expressing themselves and doing it really well, I just want to be in their presence. I want some of that “gold” to rub off on me. 

That’s powerful to me. I see spirit in that. 

I believe what I’m seeing in my neck of the woods is that the gold is rubbing off. The movement towards heart-based business is growing because it is ultimately inspirational. 

As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
— Marianne Williamson