Oh! that we who declare against wars, and acknowledge our trust to be in God only, may walk in the light, and therein examine our foundation and motives in holding great estates! May we look upon our treasures, and the furniture of our houses, and the garments in which we array ourselves, and try whether the seeds of war have nourishment in these our possessions, or not. Holding treasures in the self-pleasing spirit is a strong plant, the fruit whereof ripens fast.
~John Woolman, from “A Plea for the Poor”
Are you a Non-violent Entrepreneur? It was so easy to put forth this term in my earlier writing, yet when I set myself to some deeper thinking a little later that evening, I realized this would mean some pondering and writing of more layers than just the surface I had scratched. Take Woolman’s commentary for just one example.
We’ve established that the beginnings of non-violent entrepreneurship might be spurning the methods laid before you that seem rather like those of the tent-preachers of yore. Instead the Non-violent Entrepreneur chooses to go inward, to listen first to that still inner voice and to move slowly, steadily toward the felt calling.
Now I’m asking you, have you examined the trappings of your business to see if they are in alignment with your values? “Do the seeds of war take nourishment in these our possessions?” This is not an easy task of discernment.
Just after I had finished writing my post the other day, the phone rang and it was a company offering to help me to put together my website for me. They promised to put me in the top three search choices for Google and a host of other search engines for an unbelievably low cost of $300 per month. They promised me the top keyword choices and at least ten additional calls per month from their work. Throw in a free website.
What is the cost of this relationship? Not in dollars and cents, my Friends, but in my sellout to the organizational model? Is this work I cannot do myself? Is this work I want to do myself? Do I want ten random calls from who knows where per month for my coaching business? Can these people bring me the type of work I want to be doing or not?
You see I’m not interested in random coaching about anything. I want to work with people who are interested in Coaching for Peace. I want people who are working towards the same values and spiritual discernment I am. Ten customers a month who distract me from being attracted to and attracting to coaching clients who are seeking real meaning in their life gets me nowhere.
My clients are people who are seeking to do grief work, addictions work, who are spiritual seekers, seeking a deep life change and who above all are focused on listening to that still small inner voice in their lives. I don’t have the answer to this question yet: Can a big ad company help me to find these people through keyword searches? Can they do it better than I can?
I’m concerned that a Nonviolent Entrepreneur is one whose life reflects the principles of nonviolence, inside and out. One layer is that one’s business does not sow seeds of violence, aggression or enmity in the process of building the business.