As a business owner, it can feel troublesome to keep working with your business when the world is hurting and burning.
This summer, we’ve witnessed devastation in many parts of the world. Floods in Europe and China. Famine in Madagascar. The earthquake in Haiti. The Taliban’s quick takeover in Afghanistan. After a year of the pandemic and social justice outrage, it’s difficult to stand on the sidelines. And it can feel even more difficult to take consistent action in your business.
So, how can you keep working towards your goals, without feeling like you’re burying your head in the sand?
To stay consistent in your business in the midst of what’s happening in the world you need to have a sustainable, conscious foundation. That foundation should reflect your values and the impact your business has in the world.
Making sure that you’re focusing on what matters most to you and to the world, in all aspects of your business, will help you move forward.
Your business foundation should also include self-care practices – for yourself and your employees (if you have any). Creating a sustainable business culture, where you care for yourself and others, will allow you to more easily keep working through a crisis.
First, you can ask yourself: What can I do now?
Here are a few things you can do right away:
- Donate to humanitarian organizations that are delivering emergency aid to the most vulnerable. Here’s a post I wrote about the current situation in Afghanistan.
- Ask other small business owners what they are doing. Start conversations that can help you as you build your foundation, and can inspire others to redefine their impact.
- Schedule time in your calendar to work on the foundation of your business. Know that you will invest time to ensure that you’re running a sustainable and conscious business.
- Breathe. What we’re experiencing is a kind of collective trauma. Make sure that you have an established self-care practice that helps you quiet your mind and heal this trauma. This will help you be the best person and entrepreneur you can be. Need help? Here’s a guided meditation from the Center for Mind-Body Medicine developed by Dr. James Gordon.
The impact that you want to make in the world needs to be embedded into your business.
You don’t have to run a Tom’s Shoes-type social enterprise to be a conscious entrepreneur. However, to be a conscious entrepreneur today, you need a social and climate impact vision for your business. Otherwise you are burying your head in the sand.
Your mission and your vision statements should include the impact that you want to have in the world. This impact goes beyond the clients and customers you serve.
It isn’t about having an ugly sales trick to profit off of what’s happening in the world. It’s actually about being conscious about your business and understanding its power to impact others.
Here are a few things to examine in your business:
- Impact and power – What’s the impact of your business in the world? How can you increase the positive impact your business has for human rights and the climate?
- Business culture – Are you conscious about gender equality, racism and mental health? How do you mitigate stress and overwhelm in your business culture? What can you do to make your business culture more positive?
- Hiring process – Are you giving everyone a fair chance and reaching as many people as possible, who may be suited for the job? Do you need help to make sure your hiring procedures are as fair and inclusive as possible?
- Supply chain – What’s the climate and human impact of your supply chain? How can you improve the transparency of your supply chain? Learn more about how to future proof your business through the SME Climate hub.
- Responsibility and investments – How can you go above and beyond to take responsibility for and invest in the future of our world?
Take some time to review your business and the spillover effects it has on the world.
When all of the above aspects are ingrained in your business, you’ll know that your business has an important part to play in the future of our world.
Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises have an important role for sustainable development.
The United Nations recognizes the importance that Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises have to meet all 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Think about that.
Not only is your business important for your clients, it’s important for the sustainable development of our world. The world needs you and your business.
With a strong, sustainable and conscious foundation for your business, you’ll know that working in your business and taking consistent action is one of the best things you can do. Even in times of crisis.
Do you want help to build a sustainable, conscious foundation for your business? Join our 5 Week Foundation Program!
Cover photo credit: Greg & Lois Nunes.