In our Modern culture, we are encouraged to be unbalanced in our doing, in our esteem. We’re taught to believe we have the right, and the entitlement, to do and have whatever we want. Yet we lack the love to know what we truly need, and how to get it. And so we find ourselves exerting our power, our esteem towards our Self, onto others, in hopes that we will get what we want, without having to do the work to know what we need.
When did our wants become so important? Perhaps it was when we, as a collective, fulfilled our most basic survival needs. With our drive to survive less pressing, with our most basic needs met, we’ve gotten a bit lost in our purpose. With our physical needs met, we think we’ve been granted free reign to focus on our wants. The truth is though, we have far more needs to fulfill beyond the physical ones. Our work is not over, in fact, it has only begun.
Each of us has been honoured with this lifetime, this unique culture, where we have the abundance to explore beyond our most basic needs and to fulfill ourselves on a deeper level. The wealth of our times affords us this ability. Collectively, we’ve reached this place of abundance and opportunity together. It seems a waste to simply focus on our wants, when we’re being offered the opportunity to explore the richness of our deeper needs. This abundance is a gift, giving us the ability to reach further and farther. Its purpose is to expand us, and to support us in expanding ourselves. We need to use it consciously. For there is not much value in getting what we want when we don’t know what we need.
photo credit: Thomas Brault
I’m so intrigued by what I’m witnessing. With time, I’m learning of more and more business experimenting with not setting prices. Their individual approaches to doing so are wholly unique, with nuances tailored to meet their specific business needs. What is shared by each however, is their need to identify and communicate what exactly they are asking for their customer to do, if their customer is not paying a set price.
How exactly does the exchange work?
What are my needs as the seller and what role does the customer play in meeting them?
What does the buyer need and what role do I play in meeting them?
What is truly being exchanged and valued between us?
While their answers may change with experience, in order to sell now, these businesses need to determine what they are asking for their buyer to do, and how to communicate it clearly. For as the buyer, before I commit to make a purchase, I need to understand what I am giving in order to receive what you are selling. I need to understand my end of our agreement.
Whether I set prices or not as a business owner, I need to have clarity around the question, “What am I asking for in my business exchanges?” It fortifies my integrity (and my customer’s) to establish norms, accountability and disclosure around my system for giving and receiving with them. The closer I get to knowing what I need AND what I’ve been asking for, AND how they may differ, the closer I am to creating my most value-adding and harmonious business exchanges.
In every relationship, business or not, in order for it to be healthy and mutually beneficial, I need to be responsible to my needs by identifying and communicating them. It is of deep service to my Self and to the person I am in relationship with to do the work to recognize my needs and to share them compassionately. For in growing my own awareness, I create space for the other person’s needs to be recognized too — by them and by me. Only when both of our needs are recognized and fulfilled is our relationship a healthy and sustainable one. And one where we can both trust and grow wealthy in our exchange of giving and receiving.
In your own business, do you know what you’re asking for? Are you receiving what you need? If you find there’s a space in-between, please take note of it. The more you learn about and explore this space of lack, the closer you’ll be to whole-ing it. It’s from this place of responsibility (to your own needs and your customers) that you can and will grow harmoniously together.
photo credit: Fibonacci Blue
I make a difference by being what I am. I add value to my world by being the light I am, and by holding onto this light no matter what externally arrives to me.
To do this, I need to protect myself from the overwhelm of the external world. I need to protect who I truly am. I can not lose myself; and it’s important I acknowledge the force by which others may seem to want me to. I need ways to deal with the tension between taking care of my inner business and taking care of external affairs.
As a child, it could be hard to know what was right — the authority figure who wanted me to change, or the inner guru who knew I was as I needed to be. It was hard to know what defined my needs. Now as I grow, I am learning to better understand the contrast between my truth and the manufactured needs that keep me from it.
My truth is in my inner directive. My wisdom lies in staying connected to myself while pushing into the world. In holding my sense of self I have what I need to sense my way forward with confidence.
The wants of others used to matter to me.
I thought somehow they were mine to fulfill.
At some point I decided that while my wants didn’t matter too much, other people’s were of paramount importance.
I convinced myself I was being caring, or helpful, or altruistic, or some other adjective that bathed me in a golden light, in giving what they wanted.
I allowed other people’s wants, and the fulfillment of them, to become my concern.
And while I pretended to be okay with it, and even to enjoy it in the name of giving, what I really felt was how people were taking from me. And I from them.
I was being used, and I was using. I was using them to feel loved, valuable, helpful, and they were using me to get what they wanted.
Neither of us was considering what we needed, what was best for either of us, or our relationship.
Does it matter what you want when you don’t know what you need?
I, and they, were confusing our wants for our needs. I thought I needed to be helpful, and they thought they needed help, but we both simply just wanted it.
We both exerted our power, our esteem for our self, on each other, in hopes that we could get our wants fulfilled, avoiding the work of understanding what we actually needed.
We lacked the love to know what we truly needed — and how to get it. So we stayed focused on our feelings of entitlement to get what we wanted from the other.
We see what we want. But we can see so much more when we look into the truth of why we want things.
The needs of me.
It has taken me time and space to accept that it has always been up to me, and no one else, to obtain the things I need.
The wants of others, and myself, are nice to know but they don’t need matter. They aren’t helpful or hurtful — until they are attached to.
There is nothing wrong with having wants — it’s in the feeling of needing to fulfill them, or not, that my freedom, or my restriction, is born.
photo credit: ashley rose
Our Innerpreneur needs to:
- express our values as well as make a profit
- develop our business (doing) around our lives (being)
- evolve beyond traditional business values
- express our beliefs about life in our work
- achieve what we desire from life
photo credit: Denis Collette