Nov 14, 2009
“If after one year, you have not received a minimum of $1,000 value from reading these pages, I will personally refund the cost of this book!”
Jack Fecker

Becoming A Creative Entrepreneur

Contact Info
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For Bookings and Availability
Contact: Jane Bakken
Email: Huntress4Authors@comcast.net

Phone: (425) 333-5246

PostHeaderIcon Chapter 25

Business of the Future

The old way of doing business is falling apart at the seams before our very eyes. This same “falling away” is occurring on a large scale in the core structures and systems that make up our institutional religion, politics, education, medicine and judiciary. The good news: When a system falls apart, it will always tend to reorder itself on a higher level.

We are in a time in history when we can look forward to a new and creative way of doing business. We are positioned as entrepreneurs to play a significant role in creating a new vision and implementing the ideas of this new paradigm.

Given the fact that a large number of entrepreneurs are finding themselves in this down economy, this true-life story is a timely one illustrating the above truth.

Falling Apart

It was April 1991 in Seattle. My wife, Jane, and I, along with incredible partners and managers, had built up our Yonny Yonson’s healthy deli restaurant chain to six stores since 1977. Our largest store in the Columbia Center Building had been the first retail merchant there in 1984, and on our busy days, we were serving 700 customers per day our trademark chicken pot pies, cinnamon rolls, soups, sandwiches and yogurt.

Due to a series of breached agreements on the part of the former landlord, and the present management team of the new purchasing landlord, we were served with a ninety day eviction notice, after seven years.

As a result of their actions, and refusal to allow us to sell our space to another restaurant owner, we ended up losing everything, the new restaurant, our home, our credit, and our credibility in the marketplace. Established restaurateurs in Seattle, my colleagues for some thirty-five years in the business, shook their heads in disbelief at the chain of events occurring. We did discover much later down the road that the individual who made the decision was eventually terminated from his job. In the interim, during that period, he would start each day by asking, “Let’s see who can we get rid of in that building today.” We weren’t the only ones who were on the receiving end of his capricious ways.

We decided to forego investing any further energy into litigation, requiring large funding up front, and let it all fall apart. Being in financial survival mode at the time, Jane and I were walking through a field of landmines on a daily basis. Even the bank with which I had had a stellar relationship for more than twenty-five years turned its back.

After thirty-five years, my main identity as a successful restaurateur in the marketplace was falling apart.

Every day we would say to each other, “It can’t get any worse,” and every day it did. We were soon to be without a home, had nowhere to go, and many times, struggled to put food on the table for ourselves and our three-year old son.

The lowest point was on Valentine’s Day, in 1992, when due to some vendor slipping through the cracks of the bankruptcy, the King County Sheriff knocked on our door and took away a used truck I had bought to paint houses so we could eat. Due to the generosity of my father-in-law, Amos, he paid the $1,000, and allowed me to get back the truck so I could paint some more houses.

Everything was falling away, and little by little, we began making a conscious choice just to let it all fall apart. We were learning that if you hang on tightly to whatever is organically falling away, that it will take a terrific toll. Once we moved into a place of allowing the falling-apart to occur, life actually became easier. We eventually were making choices to live in the moment, to support and trust each other, and for the next six years, our priority was showing up and living life fully, one moment at a time to the best of our abilities.

We did observe a bit of “karma” in action with the management company that evicted us. They no longer wanted a restaurant on the second floor, and ended up being unable to lease that space for seven years. When they finally leased the space, it was for only one-half of the monies asked of us. Interesting.

Out of that emptiness and huge falling away came all that we have created today. We would not have the marriage we have created these past twenty-seven years. We would not have rented part of our friends’ home for more than a year, and would not have the friendship and memories with them.

We would not have purchased a piece of land and built the first strawbale home in King County, for $22,000, our only remaining asset.

I would not have written my first book, Freedom From Work. We would not have had all the 1000’s of incredible memories of helping others to build GREEN, joining other pioneers in this field. Out of that falling apart came not one, but two successful painting companies, and another new book soon to be released. The list is much longer than I can share here, but you get the idea.

And all that we learned about living in the moment, about letting fall apart what is already existing so it can reorder on a higher level, has also given us wisdom that can be applied to structures/systems in the marketplace and in any business.

With this fresh understanding, explore with me some of my vision for business in the future.

1. Telling the truth with unconditional acceptance/love.

We have now reached a point in our evolution where there is a new standard of transparency. In almost all business practices, there is a new demand that transparency exist from the top down, and duplicity be exposed. There also seems to be a critical mass emerging of awareness that we are all connected. This makes unconditional acceptance (love) a new priority.

2. Where every business owner is a visionary and is responsible for carrying the flame of that vision.

Each and every business will have a purpose and a mission that holds the focus of each individual working in that business. The business owner’s primary purpose will be to create a space where all are contributing to the energy of that vision, and where he/she is responsible for conveying the life of that vision to the team.

3. Creating alignment with the vision/mission of all participants in the organization.

Alignment is when the energy of each individual is moving in support of the agreed-upon vision. Without alignment with a core vision, it is impossible to keep up with this more intense energy on the planet.

4. Creativity in Business.

There will be an accelerated use of our right brains in experimenting with unlimited ideas for advancement in every field. There are never too many ideas. Scientists call their activities hypotheses, experiments, theories. They program in their daily structure permission to fail repeatedly until in the end, they create the results approving/disproving their hypotheses. In the business realm, we will begin to do the same allowing the evolution of structures/systems to occur similar to those in the scientific realm. We will make it okay to experiment with our ideas while creating the business of the future.

5. Storytelling Required.

For a business to grow and evolve into something greater, it is essential to know the “stories” of the individuals with whom we are working. This will require the funding of retreats and seminars and other forms of networking to support this.

6. Systemic Thinking.

This is the macro vision ~ seeing the whole picture and how your business affects other organizations, the environment and all those with whom you come in contact.

7. Bringing FUN into your Business.

FUN at the work place will be the norm, and clocks, a thing of the past. Business owners will create through right-brain thinking games, structures, systems and methods all designed for workers to have FUN at their jobs. This will be an integral part of even the physical structure of the work place.

8. Spirituality in Business.

Your purpose in life and core values, including those of the spirit, will be an integral part of the place where you work.

9. Acknowledgement.

Acknowledgement of yourself and all other workers for their contributions to the mission. The number one thing people value most in life, and at work, is to be acknowledged, for the essence of their contributions to be seen and heard.

10. Strengths.

All business owners and workers will be using their strengths and talents to 100% capacity. Presently, in most companies, it is more like 20%.

11. Leadership.

We will continually be moving from “boss” (this is the way it’s always been done) to “leaders” (I want your ideas on how we may innovate). Here are some specific characteristics defining the difference between a “boss” and a “leader.”

  1. A Boss tells what needs to be done.
         A Leader asks what needs to be done.

  2. A Boss always has the answer.
         A Leader wants to know what you think.

  3. A Boss is impatient.
         A Leader is willing to wait.

  4. A Boss makes decisions with no reasons given.
         A Leader gives reasons for any decision.

  5. A Boss cares primarily about him/herself.
         A Leader cares primarily for the workers.

  6. A Boss will not do menial work.
         A Leader is willing to do any job needed to support the workers.

  7. A Boss disregards boundaries.
         A Leader honors healthy boundaries.

  8. A Boss cannot handle criticism.
         A Leader uses criticism constructively and improves.

  9. A Boss always needs to be in control.
         A Leader is willing to give up control.

12. A Superior Learning Organization.

All company participants involved in their own personal growth ~ studying, going to classes and seminars. Having a coach, mentor or model to learn from and sharing what is learned.

Remember ~ “A learning organization is a place where people are continually discovering how they create their reality and how they can change it.” ~ Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline