What is a Zentrepreneur? It’s an inside-out executive who remains calm under every circumstance while adding value to the world and achieving impossible goals.
In the words of Ron Rubin, owner of The Republic of Tea (founded by the same executives behind The Banana Republic), “While an entrepreneur creates a business, a Zentrepreneur creates a business and a life.”
“While an entrepreneur pretends to know what’s next, a Zentrepreneur imagines what’s next and believes in it deeply,” he said in an interview with Awareness Magazine. “Believe. There is no bigger word. None.”
The Republic of Tea is an example of Zentrepreneurship in action. With revenues of $25MM in 2015, as reported by Forbes, the company could be worth as much as $125MM, but like our own company, Fishbowl, has no desire to sell. Rubin would rather create a company that is sustainable for multiple generations. Like us, he avoids unwarranted debt and is more intent on maintaining happy customer relationships than relentlessly searching for new.
“A true Zentrepreneur believes in their right to live the life they imagine,” Rubin has said. “They adhere to the mantra that the positive force of a pliant attitude is the most powerful source of energy available, allowing to adapt to circumstance and attend to things that can be controlled — your thoughts, your emotions, the self-directness that gives you the endurance to act, excel and succeed.”
It sounds like a great set of business ideals. To learn more about this emerging breed of executive, I spoke this week with a Zentrepreneur in our own community, Randy Scott. Randy is a business and personal empowerment coach who has transitioned from a career of corporate leadership to create his own new company, Zenpowerment, in which he coaches and counsels other entrepreneurs.
Scott has always been an executive who marched to his own kind of drum. In his role as a PR marketing and executive he was known to conduct the majority of his work in lotus position, seated on a yoga mat and facing the sun. He prefers his motorcycle to any luxury vehicle, and has lived through accidents most humans would never endure, determined to “suck the marrow from every minute of life.”
Here’s how Scott describes what it means to be a Zentrepreneur: “Zentrepreneurs have a strong sense of self and of purpose. They are poised and centered. They have discovered their ‘why’ (per Simon Sinek), which allows their ‘what’ to carry the greatest impact that it possibly can.”
“Zentrepreneurs have a strong sense of authenticity and individuality. They realize that many of life’s past decisions have come from ‘programming’ and ‘artificial rules,’ which makes them quick to dismiss any kind of rules or authority that are not based on principles they can uphold.” (Asking a Zentrepreneur to mislead customers or investors, then, would be an inadvisable plan.)
“They believe fervently that ‘your vibe attracts your tribe,’” he says, and the principle applies to both employees and clients. “People buy into purpose.”
“They are believers in karma, as well, knowing that all service to others benefits the whole, including the self. Additionally, they believe that the journey is more important than the goal or destination, because it’s in the journey that growth occurs.”
How can you become more “zen” as an entrepreneur? Scott suggests entrepreneurs build time into their schedules for thinking, meditating and investing in themselves holistically to achieve spiritual, mental, financial, relationship, physical and emotional growth and most importantly, balance. Zentrepreneurs make great leaders and great hires, he believes. Since they are very centered and know their purpose, Zentrepreneurs handle stress extremely well because they keep things in proper perspective.
They value people, relationships and meaningful conversation, and understand that true communication involves both giving and receiving words and intent. They are more effective and efficient than most, as part of their life philosophy involves essentialism and minimalism, which applies to both material items and also to the way time is spent. As we discuss Scott’s philosophy, I realize that Zentrepreneurship is an area in which I would like to improve.
Scott’s own Zenpowerment principles include the following:
- Always coming from a place of love. This is a balance of love for self and love for others
- The power of choice and meaning. This helps us stand in our power and accept responsibility for our choices
- Power in the present, living in the here and now
- Understanding and eliminating unworthy filters and programming
- Emptying the cup / unlearning
- Essentialism / minimalism
- Energy and oneness
Anyone interested in learning more about Scott’s principles of Zenpowerment growth can reach out to him directly through MyZenpowerment.com. And while yoga poses and meditation are optional aspects of the Zenpowerment model, perhaps all of us, in every stage of business, could benefit from being a little more zen.