PART OF THE REASON someone starts a business is because they want to be free of corporate work.

That’s wonderful, but then you find that you’re even MORE constrained by what it means to run a company. And, of course, you’re the last one to get paid.

Here’s the funny thing: the freedom is all in your own mind. How so?

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SOME DAYS YOU WONDER if it’s even worth getting out of bed.

Yes, frustration happens. Customer problems. Employee problems. Inventory screwups. The bank called. That lovely notice from the IRS.

This kind of stuff can send you into a serious tailspin. For weeks.

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WE’D LIKE TO THINK that planning takes away all the risk. But as soon as I say that, you know it’s not true.

The world is changing. People are unpredictable. And … stuff happens.

So, while planning is useful and necessary, it doesn’t remove all the risk. So why bother?

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WHEN YOU THANK SOMEONE, you’re doing a great service. They feel better, they relate to you more as a wonderful person, and it build the relationship.

That’s fantastic. But gratitude is also something you give to yourself.

How so?

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IT STARTED WITH A WORLD backpacking trip.

Newlyweds Kelly Belknap and Matilda Sandström discovered the joy of generosity when they filled their pack at a local market, then passed out food as they met needy people during the day.

So they decided to launch a company!

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Check out this great discussion I had with Debbi Sluys and Jess Dewell about leadership from a position of authenticity, integrity, and example! It’s available either in audio or video form.

Here’s all the information!

RECENTLY, THE US DEPARTMENT OF LABOR issued guidance about investing retirement plans in socially responsible companies. In what appeared to be a reversal of the previous administration’s guidance, DOL stated that investments based on environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria aren’t always a “prudent choice” and that such factors shouldn’t “too readily” be considered as economically relevant.

There’s some truth to this, but it’s really no different from saying that non-financial criteria ANYWHERE might cloud your view in making purely financial decisions.

Here’s the problem: This is taking a very narrow and short-term view of investing.

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YOU’RE DEDICATED TO YOUR CAUSE of making the world a better place to live. So much, in fact, that you’ve built it into your business model. You have favored charities. You actively promote certain causes.

So now it comes your marketing, and you get stalled.

It feels like you’re bragging. Are you?

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A FEW YEARS AGO, Simon Sinek explained a framework he called Why-How-What. He was drawing a distinction between the way we usually market to customers, and a much more effective method of capturing the emotion and inspiration first.

I have a link to his TED talk at the end; it’s quite good.

I’ve noticed that the same process works remarkably well with engaging and inspiring employees.

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AS I WAS DRIVING DOWN THE STREET YESTERDAY, I saw a business proudly displaying a sign out front:

“We care about our customers and what’s best for them”

This kind of thing just drives me crazy. Seriously, somebody thought this would be an effective marketing strategy?

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