I haven’t written much here lately because I’ve been busy with a number of great clients, and also because I’m taking some time to step back and re-think how I offer my services.
The people I most enjoy working with are doing amazing things… some of you are leading social profits (aka nonprofits) that are doing much-needed work; some of you are writers and artists; some of you are therapists and healers.
For many of us, these are challenging economic times. I’ve heard from a number of people who would like to work with me (or other consultants who offer similar services) but that money is limited right now. I really want to find a way to support you—so I’m researching some new ways to work together that will be more affordable.
Some of these new forms might be group learning and coaching events, as well as tools that you can download and work with at your own pace (articles, e-books, etc.)
Here’s where you come in: The Survey
I’d like to invite you to help me in this process. I’ve created a short survey to help me better understand the kinds of tools I could create that might serve you. You can find the survey here.
Thank you for your interest in Five Directions and this blog — I look forward to continuing to connect with you!
And a p.s.
By the way, one resource that I’ve found incredibly helpful as I re-think my own business is a course called the Empire Building Kit, developed by writer and entrepreneur Chris Guillebeau. (Chris is a pretty unique guy. His mission is to live his own life to the fullest—his goal is to travel to every country in the world by the time he’s 35—and to help others do so as well.)
Chris has put together a collection of detailed case studies (in video as well as on print) and 365 daily lessons designed to help people build successful online businesses. If this is something you’re interested in doing, I can’t recommend the Empire Building Kit highly enough – I’m learning so much from it. (Full disclosure: I am in Chris’ affiliate program so if you do end up purchasing the EBK or any of the other excellent products on that website, I’ll receive a portion of the sale.)
I just finished a white paper for the Fetzer Institute titled “Assessing the Current State of Contemplative Practices in the U.S.” This is a research area that I’ve been developing for the past eight years — the application of contemplative practices such as mindfulness meditation in non-religious settings, like business.
I thought you might be interested in this timeline that I created for the paper. It occurred to me that, over the past decade, there have been a number of programs, initiatives, and events involving meditation (or some other kind of practice) that have been designed in response to current events, such as the war in Iraq.
When I plotted them out on this timeline and color-coded like events (e.g. politics, science, technology), the relationship between historical events and “contemplative events” became more obvious.
Interesting, eh? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
By the way, the graphics may look a little fuzzy… just click on them and they should open in another window with better resolution. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to convert a drawing that I create in Word into a good graphic file for uploading to blogs. If you have any tips on how to do this, please let me know.
Posted in culture
Wow, it’s hard to believe we’re coming to the end of the first season of 2010. Here in northern New Mexico, we’ve been blessed (or cursed, depending on how you look at it) with lots and lots of snow this winter, which promises a gorgeous, green spring.
Spring is a time for new beginnings, and to help you dive into it in the most expansive, creative way, we want to share with you a wonderful free e-book called “What Matters Now” that came out at the end of last year. It’s a collection of insights and inspirations from some of the most interesting thinkers around… Seth Godin, Elizabeth Gilbert, Tom Peters, Martha Beck, Tony Hsieh, and many more.
All of them share what they’re thinking about and doing this year. Here’s something to whet your appetite:
Generosity (from Seth Godin)
When the economy tanks, it’s natural to think of yourself first. You have a family to feed a mortgage to pay. Getting more appears to be the order of business.
It turns out that the connected economy doesn’t respect this natural instinct. Instead, we’re rewarded for being generous. Generous with our time and money but most important generous with our art.
If you make a difference, people will gravitate to you. They want to engage, to interact and to get you more involved.
In a digital world, the gift I give you almost always benefits me more than it costs.
If you make a difference, you also make a connection. You interact with people who want to be interacted with and you make changes that people respect and yearn for.
Art can’t happen without someone who seeks to make a difference. This is your art, it’s what you do. You touch people or projects and change them for the better.
This year, you’ll certainly find that the more you give the more you get.