There is a dynamic tension working in the intersection of wisdom and entrepreneurship. For the most part, the mindfulness and spiritual worlds tend to advise us to slow down and go inward.   And the entrepreneurial world tends to celebrate what’s fast and external (products, websites, money, etc).

These different norms around pace and focus are fine if you live in just one camp or the other.

But if you are a conscious entrepreneur who wants a business that’s both deep and has real momentum, there’s often a disconnect here.  A nagging question inside of “Is it even possible to do both?”

I Started With Slow and Deep

I’ve had the pleasure lately of spending a bunch of time with James Hanusa, who is the Director of New Initiatives at Burning Man as well as the Advisory Board Chair for Wisdompreneurs, and Alison Raby, Founder of Mariposa Search and Co-founder of Wisdompreneurs.    Wisdompreneurs has had an incredible experience of momentum that started only days after we launched our first website.

For example, we had to turn hundreds of people away from our breakout session on Wisdom and Entrepreneurship at Wisdom 2.0.   And we had to pause taking applications for our Wisdompreneurs Liaison Program within 48 hours after publicly announcing it because we were flooded with applications from around the world (Brazil, Denmark, Bali, Hong Kong, etc).   You can read more about these events in this post.

Now to understand the recalibration I’m experiencing, I want to share with you a little about my personal journey. In my mid-20’s, after graduating from a counseling program rooted in mindfulness, I left the East Coast where I’m from and moved to Northern New Mexico.   The Land of Enchantment.  The Land of Mañana.  A place where nature, art, and soul are what matter most.

For work, I was a social/community worker.  I worked in the rural, largely Hispanic villages and on many of the 8 Northern Pueblos (native reservations are called pueblos here).

Here’s a picture of Taos Pueblo, which at 1000+ years is the oldest continually inhabited building in North America.

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Credi: Flickr User Andy Smith

Both in my spiritual journey and in my career, my work was to slow down.  Listen.  Go deep.  Take time.  Embody expansiveness.

I walked that path through the end of my social work career and carried that same deep, slow vibe into the launch of my coaching business.   I earned a reputation of embodying Steady Loving Presence.   That became the foundation of my coaching.

 

Native Values Meets Burning Man and Silicon Valley

Every year in the Neveda desert, the Burning Man community sets up a city of 70,000, throws one of the biggest events in the world and then tears it down – all in the matter of weeks.  

It’s massive.  And it happens FAST.

In fact, when I was discussing the ideas of this post with an entrepreneur friend, he told me this story:

“Several years ago when I was there an incident happened where the MAN (the wooden sculpture that is burned in the central ritual of the event) was accidentally set on fire before scheduled.   The community mobilized and within 24 hours, we had built another one equally splendid.”

And while James is introducing the Burning Man vibe into my nervous system, Alison is bringing a mash up of 20+ years of meditation practice combined with the Silicon Valley way of moving in the world – her day job is as the owner of a conscious retained executive search firm in the Bay Area.

It didn’t take too long of me witnessing Alison and James move fast and get stuff done while still having time for mindfulness, self-care and FUN that I made a commitment to reevaluate that slow is the only way to be mindful.   I’m deeply grateful to you both Alison and James for helping me find my way into other possibilities.   (((Gratitude)))

5 Tips for Moving Fast Mindfully

  1. Know WHY fast is a fit.  The decision to move ahead quickly with Wisdompreneurs offerings wasn’t coming from the egos of our leadership.  It was coming from an intention of service to the community we loved. The members of our community had been expressing  a longing to evolve into something more than a Facebook group.  That desire was and continues to be our WHY.
  2. Borrow bigger roots.  When we decided to go fast, we created partnerships with organizations who had more developed roots than Wisdompreneurs has – such as  Digital Detox, Galvanize, and Urban Innovation Exchange.  These partners said yes because they resonated with our mission and values.   Their support has been extraordinary.   It was a significant part of the foundation we grew to this new level on.
  3. Support fast with the Power of the Pause.    Because of the connections we were making, I knew Wisdom 2.0 2015 was going to be an intense experience.   So, I did a 2.5 day retreat before the event and did an overnight “introvert recovery day” after.   Between these two bracketing pauses were 7 of the fullest and fastest days of my life.  Those built in Pauses were important to my being able to show up with Presence during a rapid acceleration time.
  4. Supercharge your support system.  The sustainable way to moving fast involves support people, preferably those who’ve done enough work to be centering presences and clear sounding boards.   In addition to Alison and James, I had regular check ins with Wisdompreneurs Publishing CEO Sasha Allenby, our Lead Liaison Rachel Alexandria as well as our Advisory Board members.   I was hugged, loved and brought chocolate.   🙂   If you’re a solopreneur, lean on your coach, mastermind buddy and/or supportive colleagues.
  5. Revisit boundaries and self-care.  When the work you love is gaining momentum, it common to condense our spiritual practice and self care time. That’s OK to a degree.  And then there’s a level where too much comprise can be a setup for burn out and suffering.   Mindfully explore what spiritual and self-care practices you can condense and which ones need to have strong boundaries around them to protect your well being.

 

What’s Your Experience With Fast and Mindful?

As I share in the post, this whole experiment with mindfully fast is a newer exploration for me.   I CERTAINLY don’t have all the answers.

Have you ever felt caught in a dichotomy of fast or mindful?  If so, which way do you tend to lean?   And what’s been your experience with trying a BOTH/AND approach to fast and mindful?   I’d love to hear your struggles, successes and tips in the form of a comment below!

Paul Zelizer
Paul Zelizer

Paul Zelizer is one of the first business and marketing coaches to focus on the needs of Wisdompreneurs – people who have a business is based on the principles of wisdom and spirituality. In addition to conscious entrepreneurship, Paul is passionate about just about anything you can do in the mountain high country, power yoga, dark chocolate, sustainable living, ecstatic poetry and deep centering breaths. He lives in a solar adobe home in the mountains near Santa Fe, New Mexico.