The first question when you are doing anything in life is, “What’s the point?” That is a very spiritual question. What are you doing with your one and precious life? You’ve been given a gift of consciousness and wisdom and now you have this resource for a fairly limited time. What are you going to do with it?
In business you start from the same place. We ask, “What are you doing? What is the point of what you are doing? What are you trying to accomplish? Why is that important to you?” At the same time, to accomplish something in business, unless you want to be a criminal, you have to also value what would further the purpose of other people’s lives. That’s how you are going to get them to buy your product or service: by giving them something that they find valuable. The source of value is that it is congruent with their life’s purpose.
Becoming aware of what is meaningful to you and what is meaningful to those around you is the beginning of every successful enterprise. The moment you lose touch with that you are going to go down in flames. Maybe the words are too spiritual, but this is like basic Business 101. What’s your value proposition? Why would anybody want to buy your product or service?
Source: A Conversation with Fred Kofman: http://www.integralleadershipreview.com/archives/2003/2003_03_kofman.html
There are those who see the free market as an enemy. But the market is an invaluable instrument for human development. Every act of commerce is an act of mutual service. Even though it can be motivated by personal interest, the market system channels that selfish energy towards assisting others.
Source: Business-sattva: The Business Bodhisattva: http://www.axialent.com/eng/white_papers_details.asp?codigo=15
"I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we who know the work which the fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling. Our proudest moment is to save lives. Under the impulse of such thoughts, the nobility of the occupation thrills us and stimulates us to deeds of daring, even of supreme sacrifice."
"Firemen are going to get killed. When they join the department they face that fact. When a man becomes a fireman his greatest act of bravery has been accomplished. What he does after that is all in the line of duty. They were not thinking of getting killed when they went where death lurked. They went there to put the fire out, and got killed. Firefighters do not regard themselves as heroes because they do what the business requires."