Rise of the Innerpreneur
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Innerpreneuring and the Bigger Movement Afoot

Creative Commons License photo credit: Swambo

Creative Commons License photo credit: Swambo

Excitement Over the Creative Class

When I learned about innerpreneurship a few months back, I knew there was a bigger idea involved. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was exactly until I started paying closer attention.

Everywhere I went, I heard rumblings of the ‘creative economy’, of this ‘creative class’ whose importance was rising. I credit this to Richard Florida and his series of books on the topic. Bill Gates also spoke recently of the need for ‘creative capitalism’ as a solution to the world’s problems. It seemed to me, all of the sudden, the Western world was now in love with creative people.

The ideas these men keep circling around are purely economic. They believe that being creative and inventive will be the key to business success in the twenty-first century. That a country’s economic success will be determined by its ability to mobilize, attract and retain human creative talent. No wonder us ‘creatives’ are suddenly the belles of the ball. People’s priorities always seem to shift when money is involved.

What I noticed — as I listened to the echoes of businessmen praising and stroking the ‘creative class’ and the ideas we would bring — was that no one was addressing who we are as group and why we are so unique and valuable. I wondered why we were so damn important in shaping the twenty-first century world.

A week or so ago, I found out why.

You Say You Want a Revolution?

I learned that there is a revolution stirring, only it isn’t being fought with guns and brawn. It’s a cultural revolution and it has been taking shape under our noses for the last 40 odd years.

Think of ‘culture’ as the solutions to the problems and passions that people consider important in each time period.

You are A Cultural Creative

And I bet you’ve never heard of yourself.

That’s because there have been only two voices protruding from our mainstream culture – the modern voice telling us to pursue money and the traditional voice telling us to resist change.

But you don’t identify with either because you don’t see the world in black and white, do you? You see the world in many shades of grey.

And you have always felt different because of it.

Ask Yourself:

  • Do you agree with the emphasis modern culture has on success and making it, on consuming and being rich?
  • Do you care deeply about the environment and are willing to pay higher taxes and prices to improve the situation?
  • Do you place a lot of emphasis on developing and maintaining your relationships?
  • Do you give a lot of importance to helping people and developing their unique talents?
  • Do you demand authenticity – at home and work, from businesses and politicians?

Read a complete list of the qualities of a Cultural Creative

We Could Fill Russia

Would you believe me if I told you there were at least 100 million people throughout North America and Europe who identify with the above statements too?

Cultural Creatives are a real, identified and coherent subculture of the Western world. You can think of yourself, the innerpreneur, as simply a Cultural Creative who owns a business.

Since the 60’s, more and more people’s worldviews (what they believe is real), values (what they hold important) and ways of life (how they live) have been shifting away from the two traditional ways of thinking.

I was astonished to learn that millions of people live and think the way I do. It was especially surprising since I seemingly developed my ‘life truths’ all by myself and in the face of a culture that consistently insists that my thinking is wrong.

But we, as a group, have a big problem — we aren’t aware that we exist as a collective body — at least not yet.

The Two ‘Established’ Schools of Thought and the Third ‘Ignored’ Alternative

I’m sure you recognize the below two points of view.

Modern Values (or seeing the world in black)

  • Making and having a lot of money
  • Climbing the ladder of success
  • Being hip, stylish or trendy
  • Consuming
  • Having a lot of choices
  • Rejecting the values and concerns of the minority
  • Bigger is better; time is money

Modern culture is what many would call ‘normal culture’. It is comprised of the people who believe that the commercial urbanized world we live in is the obvious best way to live. It’s the culture you find in anything mainstream, from TV to newspapers to magazines. It is the standards and rules we live by daily.

Traditional Values (or seeing the world in white)

  • Men should dominate in family and in business
  • Family, church and community are where you belong
  • Conservative religious traditions must be upheld
  • Familiar ways of doing things are embraced
  • Freedom to carry arms is essential
  • Foreigners are not welcome

Traditional culture is what many would call ‘cultural conservatism’. It is the people who, by the most part, are caught up with just getting by in life. They thrive on shared values and familiar customs. The culture is not primarily about politics but rather about beliefs, ways of life and personal identity.

The above two ways of thinking are represented daily in our culture while the third alternative, the Cultural Creative way, has been ignored almost entirely.

Cultural Creative Values (or seeing the world in shades of gray)

  • Authenticity (your actions are consistent with what you believe and what you say)
  • Social activism
  • Idealism
  • Globalism and ecology (the big picture effects of our actions)
  • Consciousness (feeling empathy and sympathy for others, understanding different viewpoints, valuing personal experience)
  • Personal growth

We are simply a group of people who have discovered our own truth our own way. Each of us, independently, has made a shift away from established culture. We are not represented as a group because we do not realize we are thinking as a unit. We do not know that we are a million voices strong.

The Rise of the Cultural Creative

Visionaries and futurists have been predicting our emergence for over two decades. And in 2000, in the text, The Cultural Creative, our way of life was finally identified and labeled by a husband and wife psychology-sociology team. They studied us for thirteen years, coined the term ‘Cultural Creative’ and deemed us the leaders of the long-anticipated cultural movement.

So you see, this is why we are so important to the future of the world. We are the future because we look towards it and shape it. We don’t look behind like the traditionals or straight ahead like the moderns.

And now we find that our time has come. The modern model of thinking doesn’t seem to be working out quite as well as everyone expected.

What We Need Now

We need one thing – an awareness that we exist as a collective group, that ‘we’ are a part of an ‘us’. We need to stop feeling so alone. There are millions of us sharing a common goal and dream. Once we realize this, we will begin to understand how truly powerful our collective voices are.

We will change the world. Just ask Bill Gates.

Hello! I’m Tara, a wizard of less obvious things. I love hearing from you, so please feel free to connect with me.

I deeply appreciate your support of my work—through allowing it to grow in your imagination, through sharing it with others, and through your financial support.

Simply Entrepreneurs We Are Not

Saying we are entrepreneurs is not giving us enough credit. We are more than that. We are innerpreneurs and we are a whole other tribe.

We Aren’t All Business.

We do what we are. Our businesses have been started for our personal fulfillment. They are our means for expression and our avenue to make a difference. They were not started to for monetary reasons.

Life experience and exploration energize and inspire us. We do not want our businesses to consume our lives. We want to travel, learn and grow.

We are Idealists, Psychologically.

Our temperament, I believe, is what really makes us innerpreneurs. We are idealists naturally.

Dr. Keirsey defines idealists as people who:

  • are enthusiastic, trust our intuition, yearn for romance, seek our true selves, prize meaningful relationships, and dream of attaining wisdom.
  • pride ourself on being loving, kindhearted, and authentic.
  • are giving, trusting, spiritual, and focused on our personal journey and human potential.

Idealists have the iNtuative Feelers (or NF) aspects of their personality type.

I doubt that is true of every ‘entrepreneur’ you meet. We are unique and we are going to change the world.

The idealist temperment is just a theory. Let me know if it describes you.

Hello! I’m Tara, a wizard of less obvious things. I love hearing from you, so please feel free to connect with me.

I deeply appreciate your support of my work—through allowing it to grow in your imagination, through sharing it with others, and through your financial support.

Your Sustainable Business: Recycled vs. Certified Paper

Making your printing and marketing practices more sustainable or ‘green’ is an easy way for an innerpreneur to make a difference. The facts on the paper industry and its effects on global warming and the environment are horrifying.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the virtues of waterless printing. Today, I am going to speak on the types of sustainable paper stocks and which you should use.

The Different Types of Sustainable Paper Stocks

1. Recycled Paper

What’s it made of?
Recycled paper is composed of ‘some’ quanitity of waste paper — both from paper processing (pre-consumer) and from recycling bins (post-consumer).

2. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified Paper

What is it made of?
There are three types of FSC certified paper:

  • FSC Pure – All content in Pure products must come from an FSC certified forest. The paper contains no recycled material or any non-FSC fiber of any kind.
  • FSC Recycled – An FSC Recycled product means that a minimum of 85% of the wood fiber content is from post-consumer sources, with a maximum of 15% coming from post-industrial sources.
  • FSC Mixed – A blend of FSC Pure, Recycled and/or Controlled fiber. Controlled fiber is any wood fiber in an FSC product that isn’t from an FSC forest or recycled.

What You Need to Know About Recycled Paper

  • The amount of actual recycled paper in paper labeled ‘recycled’ can vary widely. Be sure to check how much of the content is actually recycled. Personally, I wouldn’t accept anything less than 50% recycled content but I always strive for 100%.
  • There is no one policing the placement of the recycled symbol on paper. Therefore, it could say it’s recycled and not be. Be sure your printer (or the place you are purchasing the paper from) is trustworthy and reliable. But even then, you can’t be sure.

What You Need to Know About FSC Certified Paper

The Forest Stewardship Council is a respected non-government organization that sets standards and carries out certifications to assure that forests and forest products are managed responsibly. The FSC ensures the sources in their paper aren’t contributing to any of the five most destructive practices in forestry:

  • Illegal logging
  • Natural forest conversion to other land uses
  • The liquidation of high conservation value forests
  • Civil rights violations
  • Genetic modification of forest species

Which Sustainable Paper Type Is Best?

Recycled FSC Certified Paper as it is the best of both worlds. It is guaranteed to be at least 85% recycled materials and the rest coming from certified paper sources.

Of course, using any of the above green paper types is better than regular paper stocks. Be sure to include the FSC or recycled logo on all materials you print. Let your customers know what you believe in.

Where to Find Recycled FSC Certified Paper

Search your country-specific FSC website for merchants and printers. For example,

Or ask your current retailer or printer. Most should have FSC paper available and if they don’t, it is time to switch service providers.

Hello! I’m Tara, a wizard of less obvious things. I love hearing from you, so please feel free to connect with me.

I deeply appreciate your support of my work—through allowing it to grow in your imagination, through sharing it with others, and through your financial support.

First Steps to Realizing Your Passion / Purpose

Before I decided to start my innerpreneurial business, Elastic Mind, I did some serious soul searching. I realized that the path I was taking wasn’t working for me and that I needed to find my passion in life. But I realized before I could do that, I needed to better understand who I was and what I needed.

The below steps helped me to find my passion and I hope they help you to find yours.

1. Understand Yourself

“Whatever the circumstances of your life, the understanding of type can make your perceptions clearer, your judgements sounder, and your life closer to your heart’s desire.” – Isabel Briggs Myers

Take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality test and figure out who you are.

The Myers-Briggs type indicator has been used since the 1940’s to help individuals identify the sort of jobs where they would be “most comfortable and effective”.

The indicator defines 16 possible psychological types which emulate your unique approach to the world, to information, to decisions, and to other people.

The test determines the following aspects (or dichotomies) of your personality:

Favorite world: Do you prefer to focus on the outer world [Extraversion (E)] or on your own inner world [Introversion (I)]?

Information: Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in [Sensing (S)] or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning [Intuition (N)]?

Decisions: When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency [Thinking (T)] or first look at the people and special circumstances [Feeling (F)]?

Structure: In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided [Judging (J)]or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options [Perceiving (P)]?

When you decide on your preference in each category, you have your own personality type, which can be expressed as a code with four letters. For example, I am an INFP (Introverted, Intuition, Feeling, Perceiving).

Take the Test Online

Tests recommended by the Myers Briggs Foundation
MBTI Complete –  (US $59.95)
CAPT – (US $150 – $175)

Free Tests
BBC Personality Survey
PersonalityType.com – website is owned by the author of Do What You Are
Personality Pathways

2. Understand what you need and want

Once you have determined your personality type, start researching it and doing some soul searching.

Take note of the special abilities your type has. Believe in yourself that these gifts are ones that you possess. Take note of the work style that would be most beneficial to you.

Ask yourself what you would do if you knew you couldn’t fail. If you had all the talent, support, resources, experience, etc. that you needed, what would you do to make a living?

Think about what you want from your life, what you want to accomplish, and what you want to leave behind.

Remember the activities you loved as a child. If it was fun then, it is likely still fun to you today.

3. Put It Together

Now you know what makes you unique and what has, and always will, energize and excite you. Don’t ignore this information as in it lies your purpose.

Hello! I’m Tara, a wizard of less obvious things. I love hearing from you, so please feel free to connect with me.

I deeply appreciate your support of my work—through allowing it to grow in your imagination, through sharing it with others, and through your financial support.