Have you ever asked yourself what “Business” really means? What is a “Job”? What does “Work’’ mean? Ultimately what do people mean when they refer to, “my business, “my job”, “my personal life” and “my hobby?”
These questions stirred curiosity within me during my time in business school and throughout my banking career. In everyday interactions, I was always fascinated when I observed how people behaved in relation to the “business space.” I noticed how we all create a “persona” for each of these “parts of our lives.” We create silos. My job is separate from my personal life. My hobby is what I do in my “off” time. And so on. What I saw, is that most of the time we separated parts of ourselves to be able to adjust to the external world and be accepted. We constantly measure our achievements or the compensation we receive from these “different parts” in a monetary or emotional way.
I started to explore more by reviewing these definitions:
1. A person’s regular occupation, profession, or trade.
2. The practice of making one’s living by engaging in commerce.
1. A job is a regular activity performed in exchange for payment.
1. The effort applied to produce a deliverable or accomplish a task or goal.
1. Personal life is the course of an individual’s life, especially when viewed as the sum of personal choices contributing to one’s personal identity.
1. A hobby is a regular activity done for pleasure – typically during free time.
Aren’t these items all related to each other? Aren’t these items part of me and the activities I do day-to-day while I’m alive?
With the context of these definitions I kept thinking: What if it is possible to make a living from my “hobby”? Then does this “hobby” become a business? Then if the business pays me, will this be my job? With all of them I will give my effort to accomplish something, so then is it my “work?” And then, I’m the one (individual) making the choices here to contribute to my identity, so then this is it also my “personal life?”
It is all ONE. Business is part of me. It’s the life I have decided to have. I believe business is a natural creation, it comes from one place. ME! Or YOU!
Let me share a natural type of business model with you. Think about a family. When dad goes out to get a “job,” he needs to think how he will deliver his value. Then he figures out how much he will be compensated in a monetary way for delivering this value. Then he comes back home with a check (compensation) and decides how those funds will be spent within different categories within his family: food, education, retirement, entertainment, etc. And then if his plans for his family go well, he sees his family growing and expanding and producing great things for the community around them or even for him. Isn’t family a business then?
So, since my life is a business, it’s important I know my value. Then my job within my business (at a place of work or my own company) is to think how I create and deliver my value. I need to think about how I can get compensated for my value in any context (economic, social, cultural, etc). I need to think about how this effort will bring me joy. I contribute to my business (time, energy, resources, presence etc.) to achieve different goals at different stages of my life. These choices become a part of who I am, a part of my identity. I derive pleasure from these choices and my regular activity, so then all of it can be considered my hobby. There is no separation. There are no silos. It’s all ONE.
This discovery and exploration of how we see and define “business” lead me to the understanding, for my own life and benefit, that “business” is GOOD. “Business” is natural. How we choose to apply business, is what makes a difference. You are in business, whether you have a job in one company or a job in your own company, whether you are growing or building your family.
The impulse and wish to create (or build) a business is more than natural, however sometimes the perceptions we have about “business” stop or block us from our very own inclinations, wishes, and wants. We worry about how we will be compensated, narrowing our perception and view to money. When really there are many more considerations and measurements for success and fulfillment. The truth is we have the power to create the business we want, to define the ways in which that business is organized to compensate on many levels. When we identify our selves as the creator, seeing all aspects of our lives as integrated, we are able make choices from a place of wholeness, of oneness. Then, truly, nothing can stop us from creating exactly what we want in this world.