6) The Fruits of your Labor
6b) PLAY & PLEASURE
Live Life and Enjoy the Ride: Sustainable Personal Relationships.
Many social enterprises and nonprofits work very hard to make the world a better place. However, they sometimes do so in a way that is so serious that it becomes dogmatic. Your social enterprise should have ‘fun’ somehow incorporated into its business operations. Both for owners and workers fanatic dedication to a ‘cause’ can be counterproductive. Better to relax a little, have fun and work with enthusiasm.
Sustainable Activist Enterprise and Friendships
Sustainable Enterprise and Loving Relationships
One of the biggest challenges in today’s world is to find and sustain meaningful relationships. Before the 1960’s, society was much more homogeneous and uniform. People shared the same value system because they also shared the same religions and beliefs. Traditional religions like Christianity and Islam are based on strict guidelines, as well as stressing lifelong marriage and monogamy as the pillars of a stable society.
Then came the social revolution of the sixties and attitudes began to change! People stopped allowing religion to play such a dominant role in their lives, and in turn, they began to explore their individual dreams, regardless of relationship status.
Business ideals can cause personal relationships to start, improve or end!
In our social enterprise community, we have noticed how the demographics and characteristics of our visitors have changed over the years. When Hedonisia Hawaii was just a budget hostel, we attracted people who were looking for a cheap place to stay. Many of our guests and volunteers during this time were wonderful but there were a number of visitors who were “criminally challenged!”
As our eco and social activist policies became a more prominent part of our business we found that the people who visited and stayed with us started to change. Lo and behold, we found that more and cooler intelligent, progressive and eco-friendly, idealistic and basically great people were attracted to what we were trying to do. We were no longer just a cheap hostel in Hawaii. The new people who were attracted to our idealistic businesses stayed longer at Hedonisia. They also worked hard and with honesty and integrity. Often when they left, they left as friends!
However, friendships also ended too. Some people did not think our social goals should be as prominent as the eco-tourist side of our community; things became confrontational and those friendships ended.
Regardless, the change was overwhelmingly positive. Now, when we go traveling we have friends to visit in the world. We have stayed with or visited friends from Hedonisia in Portland OR, Barcelona, Spain, London, UK, Copenhagen Denmark, and Amsterdam, Holland. One of the best ways to travel is to meet with a native that you are friends with and share common values.
As eco-business owners and travelers, our friends are often quite similar! In our community of individuals, we respect everyone’s choices insofar as they don’t impose on the community. This has resulted in a relaxed space where people debate ideas in a more positive manner. We don’t just complain. We look for sustainable solutions.
When people are working at a place with ideals they tend to meet other like-minded people! We have had two sets of Sustainable Community Managers meet and fall in love here. In August 2016 two of our serving interns got married on the island! Many volunteers and guests have also formed incredible friendships and loving relationships. This does tend to make for a happier morale and when people are happy they are more social, which makes for a great group dynamic!
On a personal note, putting my ideals into my business brought me love! My girlfriend and partner, Linda, applied to be an Intern at Hedonisia. As she related to me later, when she read the website she was attracted to the values we were working for which made her want to visit our little community. She did visit and ended up staying! We’ve now become loving business partners!