The new conscious startup manifesto

by Calvin on February 24, 2014

Here’s a draft of a new manifesto that I wrote on the plane flying back from Wisdom 2.0 last week. It hasn’t been copy-edited, but I really wanted to share it with you.

I believe…

  • That incarnation is real, and a choice. We exist eternally as soul, which is in turn part of the one universal consciousness. We chose to incarnate on this planet at this time for a specific purpose. It could be to work through specific issues or stories with other members of our soul family, to learn, to teach, to share, to have fun, to play, to experiment, or just to enjoy the magnificent creation called life on Planet Earth.
  • That when we’re born, we forget what this purpose is, and that a big part of our job in this life is to rediscover why we chose to come here through clues given to us by our feelings. The more aware of and in touch with we are of our life purpose, the easier and more powerful our lives become.
  • That entrepreneurship is or can be a work of art, where the artistic creation is a living, breathing, functioning, thriving, profitable business that brings joy and love and life and flow and things of need to all the people it touches, whether they be customers, employees, suppliers, founders, owners, the communities within which the business operates, or any other stakeholder or onlooker.
  • That if you’re going to spend your limited time creating a business, it damn well better be aligned with your life purpose. For two reasons: First, because if it’s your life purpose, you really want to get on with it, and entrepreneurship takes a lot of effort. Second, because when your business is aligned with your life purpose, you’re guaranteed to be successful, because you’ll keep going until you are, one way or another. On the contrary, a business that’s not aligned with the life purpose of the founder is very likely to fail, because the founder at some point will feel called to find and follow his or her purpose, especially if things start to get difficult in the business.
  • That the business being created has its own spirit, which is being expressed and manifested through the founders, using them as the vessel. When you feel that inspiration, that is the soul of the business or project touching you. You may choose to serve that spirit, or you may choose to ignore it, in which case it will go find someone else who will bring it to life. This goes for any work of art, be it a book, a poem, a song, a painting, a non-profit organization, a business, a great product, a child, etc.
  • That through our intuition and our feelings, we may sense this spirit, what it wants to become, what it needs from us, and how we may best serve it. It will likely require us to grow and change, and most certainly that we set aside our ego, so that we may fully show up for this energy.
  • The business gets shaped by the founders and other team members as it flows through them. Each member of the team will sense something slightly different, depending on their unique characteristics, personality, history, culture, and experience, and will hence help shape the manifested business accordingly.
  • The spirit of the business is like a flowing river. We may choose to step into it and allow ourselves to be carried by the flow of the river, or we may choose to resist and struggle and fight the flow. Each time we experience challenges or we feel stuck, it’s because we’re resisting the flow, and the remedy is to allow the loving light of consciousness to dissolve the block by its presence.
  • That the reason most acquisitions go wrong is that the souls of the two businesses are incompatible, and there’s no clear path for how they may inform each other or merge into a single larger energy. This, unless there’s a really good match, or they’re simply allowed to live on as separate souls under the same roof, as in the case of Zappos and Amazon, one will end up dying, and the other will continue to live on, and there will have been almost zero benefit to the acquisition.
  • That once we get going with the business, we tend to get so get carried away by all the things that happen, by the input and advice we get, and by the day-to-day operations, that we lose touch with the original spirit of the business or project. In that case, it’s important to go back and reconnect with the spirit of the business, for example by remembering and feeling in the body what it was like to receive the inspiration for this business. That can be a gateway to being able to sense the spirit of the business again, and you can start to explore it once again, at a deeper level than before. Each time we grow and learn, we’re able to grasp new aspects of the spirit of the business.
  • That when we’re in touch with the spirit of the business, our communications are infused with an aliveness and energy that cannot be faked, and that others immediately feel and respond to. This is what great leaders do, and this is what energizes a team to all move in the same direction.
  • That when we lose touch with the spirit of the business, things become just words, devoid of spirit, connection, heart. They may speak to our left brains, but we don’t really feel it, we don’t “get” it, and we don’t believe it in the same way. If it’s not there, we’ll feel like something’s missing that we can’t quite put our finger on.
  • That if we create our business from this energy, then we cannot fail. Sure, things may happen so that a particular company must cease to exist, but the spirit will still be there, and our life purpose is still going to be there, and we will continue to work to find the right way to make this business manifest in the world until we die or we succeed.
  • That as more and more people discover and align themselves with their own life purpose, with the aliveness within them, and surrender the “flow of the river”, and allows Life to use them as they were meant to, things work beautifully & elegantly, just like nature, when left to its own devices, does, just like a wound naturally heals itself, without our intervention.
  • That a life purpose most likely doesn’t show up as “sell shoes online”. It’s more likely to be “show the world that you can create great businesses by creating a space for people to be themselves and play and have fun”.
  • That our life purpose ultimately is to be present to and follow the flow of life in each moment, as it unfolds, without needing to understand or control.

Let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from you!

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