This month marks the 2-year anniversary of the release of the book The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sell.
As a book, The 7 Graces of Marketing did very well. During its launch, it became an international #1 bestseller in ethics, and sales/marketing. Later, it went on to become a 2012 finalist in the Brit Writers Award, and a Silver Medallist in ‘social and humanitarian issues’ in the 2013 eLit Book Awards.
But the true success of the book has been how the 7 Graces themselves have evolved at a social level. In June 2012, we held the first 7 Graces Global Conference in London, which was live-streamed to participants all over the world. Almost immediately, a highly active Facebook community sprang up, which is now nearly 900 members strong – all through word of mouth.
In March 2013, we established the 7 Graces Project CIC (or 7GP for short), a non-profit social enterprise created to train, mentor and support business owners in ethical marketing philosophy and practice. In July 2013, we completed the first pilot run of our ‘Foundations of Ethical Marketing’ course, which we will launch to the general public in the spring of 2014. Now, in December 2013, we are delivering the first run of our 7 Graces certification programme, which is entitled ‘Applications of Ethical Marketing’ (AEM), to a small group of UK and US business owners we have lovingly dubbed the ‘Super-Pod’. Those who complete AEM will be entitled to the accolade ‘Certified 7 Graces Ethical Marketer’, and use of the 7 Graces kite mark.
My Co-Director at the Project, Nancy Goodyear, and I now meet every morning to discuss our business visions, goals and plans for 7GP. Just as much as we want this work to change other people’s lives, it is changing our lives as well. We are learning exactly what it means to grow an ethical business, from vision to minute, practical details. But most of all, with every activity and challenge we take on, we are deepening our own understanding and practice of the 7 Graces – and learning that they are not so much about business and marketing per se, but about people, planet, relationships and Self.
So what I thought it would be nice to do, during our 2-year anniversary month (which also coincides with the holiday season), is to lighten the tone of the next 7 blog posts from now through the New Year, so we can take a look at each of the 7 Graces in turn – not only from the perspective of marketing, but from a broader perspective of life in general.
Today, we start with the first of the 7 Graces – The Grace of Connection.
Connection – The Wellspring from which all the Other Graces Come
Connection is the cornerstone of a ‘grace-full’ way of being. Without Connection, everything else falls apart. I think of Connection as the fundamental ‘glue’ of the Universe. Just as atoms need positive and negative charges to stay together, so we – as human beings – require Connection to feel whole and make sense of who we are.
There is no way to run an ethical business, or be an ethical marketer, unless we first feel connected to Self. To feel connected means to know who we are and what we value most. But it also means that we are able to express and communicate that sense of Self, and those innermost values, freely and jubilantly. If we are business owners, this joyful expression will inevitably become a part of our business.
If, on the other hand, our personal identity is subdued, repressed or denied, we will tread the world in fear and insecurity. When we are in fear, we cannot create mindfully (or soulfully). When our business comes from need or logic rather than from our own mindful, soulful creativity, we will eventually feel disconnected from it. When this happens, there is no way our values will be able to speak through our business, because there is nothing linking them together. And if our values cannot speak through our businesses, they will certainly not speak (in any authentic way) through our marketing.
If we are disconnected from Self, surely we will also be disconnected from Source. When humankind loses that Connection, they will see Nature as a possession – an object – which can be exploited at will. When exploitation of Source becomes rampant, the Natural System breaks down. The ecological balance of the planet becomes fragile. Our health and natural immunity become compromised. Without Connection to Source, we lose the strength and security that is our birthright as human beings.
If we are disconnected from Self and Source, we will undoubtedly be disconnected from Others – whether people in general or our customers in particular. And just as we seek to exploit our Natural World, we will also seek to exploit our fellow human beings. We will manipulate things and emotions for our own gain. And when this happens, there is no chance of operating an ethical business or marketing in an ethical manner. Because we live in a state of isolation and fear, we will seek to defend, compete and protect ourselves against a world we perceive as being ‘outside of ourselves’ rather than recognise, and work with, the gifts and assets that are always at our disposal.
Shifting Our Own Perspective to Create a More Connected Business World
We could become cynical and complain about the fact that, these days, the world seems to be filled with millions of value-devoid businesses.
We might complain that these value-less companies are wreaking havoc upon our economy, our planet and our society.
We might complain that value-less marketing campaigns are exploiting feelings of disconnection to create false needs, generate feelings of scarcity and incite overspending.
But this kind of ‘us-and-them’ thinking will do us no good at all, as it will only increase the amount of Disconnection that caused the problem in the first place.
Rather, it is worth our while to take a moment to consider that – at its core – the tragedy we see around us is but a reflection of our own lack of Connection as a society. Therefore, the solution can only come from reinstating and fostering the many layers of Connection that have been misplaced over the past century.
If we wish to create a more ‘connected’ world of business and marketing, we need to cultivate the Grace of Connection. Our first duty is to cultivate this Grace within ourselves for, as we have seen, without this foundation, the other layers of Connection become more tenuous. From this place, we may then extend our influence to cultivate the Grace of Connection within a new generation of entrepreneurs (whether children or adults), so they may create, build and operate their businesses from a place of values. With values as the ‘glue’ holding the business sector together, marketing will certainly change, as a matter of course, from an exploitative and ‘targeted’ activity to a communicative and connective one.
These are my own thoughts about the Grace of Connection and how it fits within the ‘bigger picture’. It would be a great gift for me if you would help us celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the 7 Graces ‘movement’ by sharing your own thoughts and reflections about the Grace of Connection by leaving a comment below.
Coming Up Next Time
Next time, I’ll share my reflections on Grace #2 – The Grace of Inspiration – which is all about ‘breathing life into’ (rather than sucking the life out of) our customers and the world in general. I hope you’ll subscribe to this blog so you can be sure you will receive it.
And if you would like to connect with others in our ever-growing 7 Graces community, and be the first to know about our courses as they become available in 2014, drop on by our Facebook group at http://facebook.com/groups/7GracesGlobalGarden
10th December 2013
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Looking for a Tribe?
Come join our 7 Graces group on Facebook, and join us at our monthly meetings. They’re free to attend and we have them both in person and online, so you can participate from anywhere in the world. This is NOT a “business group” but an active community where people actually know and support each other.
Find out more about how changing the paradigm can help make the world a better place:
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)