Last Friday I didn’t get around to blogging on this site as is my custom because I was in London for two days with members of the 7 Graces community. Last week we completed the pilot run of our Foundations of Ethical Marketing course, with a group of 14 participants. The course culminated in the participants delivering final presentations that shared their journey throughout the course and their vision for the future of their businesses.
While the process of co-designing and delivering the course was an interesting and educational experience, what was most interesting for me was to witness (in the final presentations) what the participants said about the impact the course had had on them. I had thought this course was about ethical marketing (which of course, it is), but apparently there was much more to it.
At a practical level, many of the ‘natural creatives’ had come to the course with lots of business ideas. Some had been fuzzy about the focus of their business, or unclear about their primary audience. For them, the most valuable thing they gained was clarity about their business priorities and the direction in which they wished to go from here.
But apart from that, more than half the group openly expressed that the course had made a profound emotional impact on them. They said it had brought them into a deeper, more meaningful relationship with their business, and how it fit within the bigger picture of the world.
This emotional impact was a genuine surprise to me. When designing the course with my colleagues, I was frequently worried that people would want more ‘how to’ stuff. I continually looked for ‘doing’ exercises in which they could experience the 7 Graces at a practical, marketing level. But interestingly, what I seemed to forget was the tremendous power already imbued within the 7 Graces themselves. I had lived with them for so long, I forgot how significant it was to ‘meet’ them for the first time. Perhaps I had under-rated how meaningful it was simply to experience being with the 7 Graces.
This realisation had a big impact on me, too. Since the presentations, I’ve come back to ‘being with’ the 7 Graces on my own. I’ve come to re-examine and re-explore what it means to create a ‘new paradigm’ for business and marketing.
Is the ‘new paradigm’ really just about changing the way we do things in business? Activists, big businesses and politicians talk a lot about ‘corporate social responsibility’, thinking this is the way forward in our wish to redefine ethics in business. And while looking at the issues and redefining the parameters of our behaviour are surely important, unless there is a fundamental ideological shift inside of us, rules and regulations will never change the world in any lasting, meaningful way. ‘Ethics’ is not merely a theoretical or academic discussion of human behaviour, but rather a vibrant, dynamic and joyful code for living.
Over the past few days, I’ve slowed down, stepped back and stopped ‘doing’ stuff long enough for me to see what’s actually going on in my businesses–including our social enterprise the 7 Graces Project CIC. I asked each of the 7 Graces in turn to tell me what THEY think about the Project. What I found was not only interesting, but useful in helping me understand myself and my direction. By giving a voice to each Grace, I started to see what it really means to be a new paradigm business:
- They told me that nothing is ever ‘won’ so long as we engage in a battle between who is right and who is wrong.
- They told me that Directness is not really about saying what’s on your mind, but knowing your mind and motivations.
- They told me that being Truthful can be terrifying, but it is always the best choice.
- They told me that when we do not operate from Abundance, we will always be fighting for our ‘little corner’ of the world.
- They told me that the most important ingredient in Abundance is emotional balance.
- They told me that true Collaboration is rare, and that without Trust it will never manifest.
- They told me that the only way for the world of commerce to heal is for us to re-enter our businesses, and breathe life into the world through them.
The 7 Graces are not a new set of rules; they’re a new energy. They are guides for leaning into Truth and finding the stillness we need to made decisions. The New Paradigm that can evolve from that stillness is not about what we do, but who we are as business owners and as human beings. When we become the walking, breathing, living embodiment of the 7 Graces (or whatever set of values you embrace), the ‘doing’ part will come naturally.
This New Paradigm belongs to all of us, and is our joint creation. I welcome your thoughts, reflections and feelings in the comments below, and invite you to subscribe to this blog so we can continue the dialogue.
30th July 2013
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The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sell, by Lynn Serafinn, where you can learn how the 7 Deadly Sins and the 7 Graces impact the world through media and marketing.
Brit Writers Awards Finalist
eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian & Ecological Social Issues
Tweep-e-licious: 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically, by Lynn Serafinn, which can help you learn how to create meaningful collaborations through Twitter and other social media.
eLit Book Awards Bronze Medal in Business and Sales
Get instant access to a free 90-minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com
LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She also received the eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs, as well as the Bronze Medal in Business and Sales.
Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project CIC, a not-for-profit social enterprise created to train, support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their business ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.
(not just for Londoners, as we meet also on Skype)