The Aloha Philosophy as applied to Business
Business with Aloha is all about . . . doing business with aloha! Alignment with, and Understanding the Spirit of Aloha is good business. These are a simple yet powerful set of teachings derived from the spiritual practices of the ancient Hawaiians.
A – ala watchful, alertness. In evolution, it is the animal that is watchful and alert that survives and prospers. It is the animal that can adapt to changes that survives. This concept also applies in business.
L – lokahi, working with unity. A social enterprise is part of the general ecosystem. When you work in unity with people and the planet, you are stronger in the long term than the short term gains of simply working solely for profit.
O – oia’i’o, truthful honesty. When your business is transparent and honest, you don’t have any skeletons in the closet to come back and bite you!
H – ha’aha’a, humility. Though you may want to change everything in the world, be humble. Understand that your enterprise is just one of many. Also be realistic in the goals you set for your social enterprise.
A – ahonui, patient perseverance. You will be challenged on every front. When it comes to a new enterprise, life will throw every obstacle at you. However, keep your eye on the ball and be patient. When you persevere and see things in perspective you will eventually prosper. At the very least you will reduce your stress levels!
HARMONY AND HIGH INTENTIONS
- When a business is run according to the spirit of aloha, it is not only good for the people and planet, it is also simply good business.
- By always trying to aspire to the highest codes of morality a social enterprise can become almost spiritual. When a social enterprise is truly making a difference in the world it provides you with an income, friends, partners, and the satisfaction that comes from working towards a better planet!
COOPERATION OVER COMPETITION: Everyone Working Together for a Better World
Traditionally in business the “competition” is seen as a negative but when you are all trying to help the world there is no competition, only allies. As a matter of fact, the more fringe your idea is, the more helpful it is to have others to work alongside you.
Once you have an idea for a product or service for your social enterprise, you may then decide upon your leadership model. Sole Proprietorship provides AUTONOMY: Being Your Own Boss. However, you are also fully responsible for all business operations. There are benefits and drawbacks to running your own business, partnership, non-profit or other social enterprise models.
Decide which form of activist employment you feel would be most effective and well suited to you.
- Social Entrepreneur: An economically viable business that also addresses social or environmental needs.
- Activist Entrepreneur: An organization that uses commercial methods, products or services to actively promote social or environmental change through the local, national or political process.
- EcoSexual Entrepreneur: A business that works with human sexuality to achieve a more liberal, therapeutic and progressive approach to sex in the modern world.
- Nonprofit Enterprise: An organization that does not earn profits for its owners, the profit that is earned or donated is used solely to accomplish the businesses mission.
- Principled Professional: Some people are just not cut out for business! We understand that! So you might end up choosing a profession that also satisfies your need to make a difference such as an EPA inspector, forest ranger or feminist lawyer. The key aspect of our teaching is that you make a living from creating the change you want to see in the world. Whether you do that by business, being a politician or having a cause related profession is up to you! In fact, you can even use your profession as a training so that at some point in the future, you can set up a social enterprise with ‘insider knowledge’!
What about corporations? Aren’t they the epitome of ‘evil business power’?
Many large corporations and government offices are also interested in working for positive change. They realize their organizations have clout and are continually searching for ideas on how to deliver their goods or services in ways that are more efficient and that promote ‘human’ values. So, as a result, employees who are interested and dedicated are rewarded if they engage in certain idealistic pursuits.
Also large corporations are open to consumer campaigns and boycotts. In fact, one could argue that a corporation is more vulnerable to a boycott than a politician. Many big corporations have become increasingly responsive to public pressure, so our argument would be to keep up the pressure to make corporations behave in ways that are more sensitive to people and the planet.
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