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  • Thomson Dawson

Five culture shifts bringing extraordinary change to entrepreneurs.


Something extraordinary is taking place all around us. In conversations with my clients, I see five important shifts in the culture surrounding our personal and professional lives as entrepreneurs and business leaders.


I sense a shift in the world. Maybe you do too. I can’t define it specifically, but something extraordinary is taking place all around us. In conversation with my entrepreneur clients from different industries, I sense some interesting synchronicities in the environments surrounding their personal and professional lives as entrepreneurs and business leaders.


I’m compelled to articulate my own anecdotal perspective on what I think are five significant shifts going on around us right now, and few people realize what’s happening. For me this always evokes a sense of new opportunity around the corner.


How can you take advantage of these important changes in the culture to benefit your own personal and professional life? Here are five important ideas I would like to suggest you give some thought to:


The traditional employment model no longer works.


Many people that work in large organizations and corporations are burned out. I see it daily in the faces of the corporate people I work with. The pressures of the new economic realties in wake of the global financial crisis have pushed many corporate people to the brink. Many can no longer stand the pressure of their jobs. The lack of purpose they experience day in and day out in a soul-sucking environment starts to become desperate scream coming from the heart. Many want out! So many people are depressed in their jobs. So many more people are experiencing burnout much earlier in their careers.


Consequently, more and more people are breaking free of the traditional bonds of employment and becoming entrepreneurs and solo professionals. They are seeking more meaningful ways to create value and contribute something good to the world that fulfills their lives and provides economic prosperity.


If you’re an employer running a big organization, this might be something of a concern for you. Creating a culture that values the talent and quality of life of all who are a part of its success will not only be a significant factor in competitive advantage, but essential to attracting and retaining top talent to your organization.


The traditional entrepreneur model is changing.


Many of my clients are startup entrepreneurs seeking better ways to create and communicate their value to the investment community. The explosion of startup businesses of all kinds has seen many thousands of entrepreneurs innovating their billion dollar ideas.


But in the quest for capital, their energy and focus shifts to getting funded by an investor. With investor’s money in hand, it’s like winning the lottery. But what happens after these newly minted entrepreneurs get funded?

They find themselves as employees again.


Investors are not always emotionally aligned with your dream, that don’t give a shit about your higher purpose. They want a return on their investment as quickly as possible. Everything turns into money. The financial return starts to be the main driver of business strategy. Many entrepreneurs are suffering with this. Brilliant startups begin to fail because the model of chasing money never ends.


I see this old model rapidly changing. Its imperative your business must have a reason for being that goes beyond moneymaking.


More and more entrepreneurs are creating purpose-driven business creating new value rather than competing for the value created by others. Their businesses are growing and prospering on the creative plane rather than the competitive one. They are beginning to realize that “shared values” attracts the right investment, the right team and ultimately higher value customers.


Collaboration is on the rise.


The old paradigm of the lone wolf entrepreneur striking out alone is dying fast. Many entrepreneurs now realize the world moves too fast for one mind and they are seeking collaborators. No one can thrive alone in our digitally driven, globally interactive world with an “I can do it myself” mindset. The growing “sharing economy” is destroying conventional businesses. Think Uber and conventional taxi service, or AirBnB and conventional hotels. The rise of collaboration, sharing, helping, giving and getting united is an important trend and it’s rapidly becoming commonplace...


Forward thinking entrepreneurs and business leaders are building highly successful businesses that are based in collaboration and cooperation rather than top down, command and control.


We are finally beginning to understand the real power of the Internet.


Like Gutenberg’s printing press, the Internet has forever changed human beings and their societies. Only now, after nearly 20 years, do we finally understand the true nature of its power. Without question, the Internet has opened the world in profound ways.


In effect the Internet has become a virtual collective consciousness of human beings covering the planet. Barriers of all types are rapidly falling away. What separated us is ending. Transparency and trust are now the most valued currency in Internet interactions and transactions.


The Internet has removed mass control. The media no longer decides the news that’s fit to print. You can go after whatever information you want, you can relate to whoever you want. You can explore whatever you want, whenever you want. You are truly free to create value for people in exponential ways never before available in all of human history. With the Internet, the smallest have a voice. The anonymous become known. The weak are empowered. The world is getting more connected and the old status quo control systems are disintegrating.


This has unparalleled implications for creating a bigger future for your business.


The end of mindless consumption.


I have written about this issue before. For years , in our western societies, we have been manipulated and stimulated to mindlessly consume stuff–to have the newest car, the latest gadget, the best brands, lots of clothes, shoes, lots of everything. Is this sustainable amidst the growing populations of new consumers in developing countries? More and more people are beginning to realize mindless consumption makes absolutely no sense at all.

New movements in consumer culture are beginning to take hold all over the planet. Movements such as the slow life and farm to table food show us that we have economically organized ourselves in the most absurd way possible. People seem to be yearning for a more low tech existence in a high tech world.


The millennial generation is buying less of everything. They don’t have the economic power of their parents and grandparents. Consequently, people are trading clothes, donating, conserving, buying old things, sharing goods, sharing cars, apartments, and offices. The good news is many people are discovering the peace of mind that comes with the knowledge we actually need far less than the marketers are telling us we must have to be happy, content and fulfilled.


This emerging consciousness among global consumers will begin to breakdown any corporation that depends on the continued behavior of exaggerated consumption. Mother Earth will heal and the next generation will be the beneficiary from a global environmentally conscious decision to conserve more and consume less.


What’s does this mean for you?


It’s nearly the end of the mid-point of the second decade of the 21st century. These shifts and more are certain to bring change with greater force and speed. For those of us creating and growing sustainable businesses, these trends are certainly something to think about. I’m happy to say I believe things moving in the right direction. I’m confident more business leaders are getting out in front of this cultural parade. As a result they will grow extraordinary businesses that bring all of us greater good and prosperity.

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