Have you noticed anything about social media lately? Apart from a lot of nonsense coming over twitter from POTUS, have you noticed that the sentiment of what people are talking about is changing?
For me, when Facebook, Twitter and Linked-in first emerged the conversation seemed to be a lot different. I’ve noticed a big shift in sentiment – away from talking about what people are doing to invent new products and services and making money, to why people are doing things. The new high search phrases are ‘purpose’ and ‘social enterprise’. Now I could be biased given my business supports people who are choosing to change careers, but its not just the online chatter that I think is shifting in sentiment.
Corporations are talking about it too. And moving their business models towards it. What I’m talking about is meaning.
I think it has a lot to do with the collective rise in consciousness we are now experiencing. We are undeniably becoming more sophisticated at converging data, information, technology, people, ideas and knowledge to rapidly create and build new ways of living and connecting each other across frontiers. Why are we doing this? What changed other than the exponential growth of technology? One theory is that its our collective desire for something different, the fundamental recognition that things need to change and we need to be the generation that does it. So we are shifting from a state of acceptance to a desire for something greater. David Hawkins back in 2012 mapped stages of consciousness people go through. From shame, guilt, apathy, grief, fear, desire, anger, pride – to a trigger point of – courage, neutrality, willingness, acceptance, reason, love, joy, peace, and enlightenment. The general sentiment is that we are all on the rise.
As we progress through life, create our personal journey of learning, we also mature what we want and need from work. And this is having a big impact on what is happening in business. Business leaders are no longer striving to just make money. They know that will no longer cut it in a war for creative led and purpose hungry talent. They have gone beyond the stage of courage, and are now accepting that to be successful they need to make a business that has a meaning that people can connect with.
An outcome of this, is that many of us are now shifting what we aspire to. Success is no longer solely about being cash rich (although having money definitely brings more choices), but about being rich in time and in choices. Amy Nauiokas, an ex colleague of mine who has reinvented herself from CEO of a Stockbroking firm to Film Producer, wrote recently about ‘the new luxury’ – how people who once aspired to buy luxury brands are now aspiring for meaningful experiences, and buying products and services with authenticity and stories of meaning. And people are acting on their beliefs.
Companies like Warby Parker (I had the pleasure recently of meeting the founder Dave Gilboa) is a company dedicated to not only disrupting the eyewear market with breakthrough product design (tick) but also gifting a % of their profit to those in the developing world to buy eye tests and cheap glasses.
Then there is Cindy Gallop – a hardened Wall St advertising executive who has shifted her talents to gender equality (amongst other things) – and is a passionate and outspoken advocate for women in the creative industries to have the confidence to find happiness in their work. Her views are not for the faint hearted, but she is someone who is championing the need for more consciousness towards equality and challenging what meaning a category has, without it.
Sheryl Sandberg is another woman I admire who talks about finding her personal voice. “Figuring out what’s important to you and being willing to use your voice for that purpose is incredibly valuable”, she says. She is a role-model to many for continuously shifting your consciousness and your meaning about what you do each day, until you finally find your “rocket ship”.
Every day I am fortunate in my work here in New Zealand, to meet super talented people who are making the shift. Brave people who are hitting the ‘courage’ stage of consciousness or the ‘acceptance’ stage – that for them, it’s no longer good enough just to make a buck. They need to make a buck that makes them happy.
I left corporate life three years ago to pursue my meaning. Helping people take chances and learn how to pivot in their careers. I’ve never earned less money (I’m in start-up mode!), or been more happy. I hope one day my business will afford me once again luxury experiences, but I’m glad I’ve finally got things the right way around.
Think about where you are at with your consciousness, and if you have hit the courage stage, get in touch – here at START Now we love helping people pivot into work that brings them next level happiness.