Apr 24, 2009

Communicating with Spirit: Working from the Inside Out

Yesterday’s breaking news at the American newswire, Associated Press, focused on credit card companies and their current business strategy: President Barack Obama, after meeting with chief executives from the credit lending industry, held a news conference in the afternoon that outlined the White House administration’s proposal for consumer protection—the main thrust of which is a “credit card bill of rights” that would limit banks and credit card companies from inordinately raising their customers’ interest rates. After years of public criticism over the industry’s practice of targeting college students (and, worse, doing little to educate those new, young customers about how to use their credit cards wisely), companies are now pushing many of their customers out the door—or trying to—by sometimes doubling interest rates and penalties with no warning.

“Consumer protection” is a hot topic today that goes beyond the banking and credit card industries. It’s also key to staying in business: Now more than any other time in history, corporate greed is a major focus in both politics and policy—and especially in the press. Good public image is the cornerstone of marketing. The finger-pointing of the recession era seems to go every which way—particularly to bigger companies and bubble-bursting industries like the auto, banking, and housing markets.

Conversely, there are number of smaller and/or start-up companies—and even individuals—who operate from a more personal plane, where message seems to trump money.

Around the turn of the millennium, the phrase “Cultural Creatives” had a bit of buzz to it. The term, coined by spiritual authors and Ph.D.s Sherry Anderson and Paul Ray, applied to (according to its inventors) the more than 100 million adult professionals through the U.S. and Europe who were dually concerned with their inner selves and their social passions. Such forward-thinkers were looking to the future and finding creative ways to reinvent society, marrying interior ideals with external goals.

Last year, author Ron Rentel coined a new name for such peculiar people who further blend their inner and outer passions with capitalistic motivations: “innerpreneurs.” These are visionary entrepreneurs who shape the face of business in this upside-down economy by working inside-out to find personal fulfillment—creatively, emotionally, and even spiritually—as they create social change, hopefully for the better, both long- and short-term.

Innerpreneurs garner criticism just like anyone else in the world: Just ask Alexandre Barouzdin, co-founder of France’s Tecktonik movement. His above-the-influence-of-drugs lifestyle has its own fashion look, its own dance, its own energy drink, and of course, its very own (very legal) brand. He laughs at French critics who have started a knock-off brand in protest, noting that they are helping to publicize Tecktonik (via the old, negative standard) while simultaneously furthering his social goals of keeping the night club scene drug-free—of course, the main reason Barouzdin and his partner, Cryil Blanc, started Tecktonik to begin with.

Where do you rank on the Cultural Creatives scale? If you can call yourself an innerpreneur—or if you want to get in on the ground floor (or the mezzanine at least) of this global phenomenon, consider how you not only view, but communicate with the world around you. A communications coach who knows how to commune with the world and speak with true spirit may help you meet and marry your inner and outer ideals. Contact me or one of my colleagues to discuss this further. Talk about moving beyond talk!

(c) KiKi Productions, Inc. 2009

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