Let’s go ahead and get this out in the open: my recent slowdown of output on this site has been pretty unfair. I mean, here you are having found the most compelling, insightful, reliable bit of diversion on the entire internet, and then I go ahead and pull the rug out from under you by reducing the stream of new content to a trickle. And for what? Staving off my own starvation? Selfish…
(One thing never changes, at least: my jokes – hilarious.)
Yes, I have indeed been keeping busy – “nose to the grindstone”, and all those idioms about discipline in pursuit of a goal. Having a big, red, blinking (if figurative) timer counting down the days until I’m on the street has a funny way of creating urgency to stay on task… I’m kidding, though, because the truth is that this is anything but a labor of fear.
Sure, there may be a timer looming over me, but in a lot of ways it’s the farthest thing from my mind. That’s partly because I still don’t feel the weight of the prospect of failure – though I might acknowledge and consciously understand it, it’s a possibility that still registers as purely academic. A bit like how there are millions of people inhabiting parts of the earth that might just…sorta…fall into the ocean, if a big earthquake were to hit. I could choose to worry about it, or I could choose to go about my life – foolishly or not.
It’s also partly because this has quickly become a labor of hopeless obsession, utter fascination and, yes, love. What started out as a here-goes-nothing crack at crafting a more meaningful livelihood has quickly taken on the character of something much grander: for the first time in my ‘working’ life (single quotes because I’m not sure the qualifier was necessary), I feel a true sense of purpose.
But I digress. I’m not going to gush to you about how much I love this new puppy I got. Yeah, she’s adorable, and even the way she chews my slippers to shreds is heartwarming, but you have a day to get on with, and I respect that. I’m writing because I had previously signaled my intention to share – since I keep alluding to it on this blog – the specific nature of my business venture, once I was able to do so.
So I present to you…ChangeWealth.
As anybody who’s talked to me in the last few weeks will attest to, I could talk for hours about the vision for my new puppy – er, company. Its value to customers, its value to staff, its value to the community. Not to mention its value to me, as a means of devoting my energy to a livelihood that is, in a certain way, the absolute antithesis of white-collar purgatory. How poetic.
The product on offer is actually fairly arbitrary: I mean, sure, financial-advisory services are perhaps one of the only things I’m qualified to provide (though I do make a mean grilled-cheese sandwich); what I’m saying is that the significance of my venture does not lie in the product/service that it aims to deliver. And in some ways, it doesn’t even lie in the fact that its purpose is to do as much good for its surrounding community as possible.
The significance of this business venture (in my grandiose, pie-in-the-sky vision) is that, if I do this right, it will be a bona fide business – looks like a regular company, smells like a regular company – that happens to wield total alignment of the interests of all of its stakeholders.
I repeat: total alignment of the interests of all of its stakeholders.
Too see that this is no small thing, imagine any private enterprise (or public one, for that matter) and consider the various interests of customers, staff, management, ownership and the community. In the typical scenario, each of those groups may have an agenda that conflicts – to some degree, at least – with the agenda of any other. But what happens if the people at the helm aren’t trying to maximize their profits?…Well, such a company can offer its customers an honest product in a sincere and transparent way, can invest in a work environment that its staff can thrive in and – don’t look now – even enjoy, and can task its management with being stewards of the interests of those latter two constituencies. And if the whole thing is being done for the purpose of making the world a better place – to whatever modest extent possible – then I suggest that such alignment of all parties (including the community in which the company makes its home) is not only possible, but likely.
No more corporate fibs about a “challenging cost environment” in order to ram new service fees down the customer’s throat. No more spinning a yarn about the company having “fallen short of targets” (that it set for itself), to justify salary freezes while executives take home fat bonus cheques. No more photo ops in front of a local charity – practised smile bigger than the novelty cheque being proudly displayed – while unflinchingly spewing millions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
None of this has anything to do with my particular business venture. But it has everything to do with the idea behind it.
ChangeWealth’s tagline is ‘For the Better.‘ Grandiose, on the surface – I initially balked when it came to mind. But the more I thought about it, the more it really represents my guiding philosophy in its pursuit. Whatever this company can do to deliver positive outcomes (of any kind or significance) to its clients, its staff and its community – it will do. Any measurable outcome is, at this point, only aspiration. The philosophy, though – and the practical approach it will inform – is a promise.
Like I’ve said, I won’t spend much time on this site advertising the business itself, but if you’re interested, do feel free to take a tour around its website and stay tuned as I work to make this effusive dream an honest-to-goodness reality…