Category Archives: Business

Anything related to business.

Becoming a caring source to others

 Find your internal source, it will ripple change into the world.

I like to be close to water when I need to think.  This water source and its bridge in Colchester was an inspiration for the Liberated Way logo.

I sit close to running water when I need to think. This water source and its bridge in Colchester was an inspiration for the Liberated Way logo.

I share Celtic reverence for sources of water, springs that erupt out of the ground, or sources of the great British rivers.   My ancient ancestors considered water sources as sacred: the ancient neolithic structures such as Stonehenge cluster around the source of the River Avon; the cave paintings of Chauvet focus upon a vulva-like cave opening from which a spring emerges with a stampede of painted animals on the walls, born out of the source into the world; Colchester’s Balkerne Gate springs once had a temple to the three Roman mothers; near Colchester at St Osyth is a memory of an ancient female spirit of a spring transformed into a Christian saint.

Sources of water to my ancient ancestors was the source of all things, all the animals the hunter gatherers hunted came from this source, and returned to it.  Prosperity (health, happiness, abundance) came forth from that symbolised as the sources of water.  Water sources became the focus of legend, stories and reverence of nature spirits.  All things came from, then returned to this source. The Tao Te Ching (40) says:

“The movement of the Tao
By contraries proceeds;
And weakness marks the course
Of Tao’s mighty deeds.

All things under heaven sprang from It as existing (and named);
that existence sprang from It as non-existent (and not named).”

Until a few hundred years ago a major water source for Colchester ran between the Roman walls and the hill of St Johns Green known as the Lose Brook. Aptly for its name, this water source is lost. I plan to locate the centre of my business near to a water source like the Lose Brook. I will find such a water source, uncover it and bring it back into use. Just as I focus on caring for living things or business customers, so the source of the strength of the business is a social contract between society, nature and the business tied together and centered into an authentic tangible narrative of a spring. Out of this centre ripples all the business processes into the internet and the world. The ever-present spring at the heart of the business will remind me of my social contract with nature and society based on values such as sustainability and localism, and woe anyone who forgets it.

Each individual must find their own internal source, for it is the source of their strength. Personal and human prosperity or ruin revolves around the source, forgetful people will suffer only ruin, those that remember will have harmony. The Tao of the Tao Te Ting, or the Logos of Heraclitus is this source, symbolised by the spring, well or fountain. You must first find your internal source, merge with it, become governed by it, stay centered on it, then the ripples of positive change you make into the world will come out of it.

My view on charity giving

Sadly people are taking advantage of people’s good intentions.

The ancient workhouses of the UK were charities for the poor who were notorious for starving their "inmates" whilst the administrators grew fat on charitable donations.

The ancient workhouses of the UK were charities for the poor who were notorious for starving their “inmates” whilst the administrators grew fat on charitable donations.  Dickens Oliver Twist story exposed the scandal.

In the Colchester square the smiling face offers a leaflet, “for you!” he says.  I take the leaflet, but it is held tightly, wheeling me in to the grinning face like a fish.  The charity salesperson is selling a worthy charity called the World Wildlife Fund.

Welcome to cynical capitalism, salespeople as predators on the good intentions of human beings for emotive causes.  Should I donate to the charity via these salespeople they will keep 90% of the donation, the charity will get practically nothing.  I politely tell them I am not interested, I stay silent about where I would like to shove their leaflet, which they keep.

Anything of a charitable nature is via my business, which as its CEO I am the ultimate decision maker.  For legal and business reasons I have policies and processes in place to assist in the decision-making, activity and recording of charitable donations.  I have a localism policy which means the donation must relate to something in Colchester; the donation must benefit the business in some manner such as its brand or products; the donation must translate into a tangible result such as the planting of trees; the donation must meet values such as sustainability, liberty and opportunity policies.

One charity I might consider partnering with in the form of corporate sponsorship is the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), which has broadened its scope to dealing with other wildlife and the land.  The RSPB runs many nature reserves around the UK including a small nature reserve near Colchester. This potential charity donation ticks all the boxes such as localism, sustainability and branding, so this is where I might donate to.

I argue that people need to become wise to the fund-raising activities for charities, checking that donations are properly used and administrative costs are low.

The rise of localism

Globalism and central control is coming to an end.

Bees are localised, sustainable and self reliant, something humanity will learn the hard way.

Bees are localised, sustainable and self-reliant, something humanity will learn the hard way.

The first of a series of debates on Scottish independence from the UK took place yesterday, the vote for independence takes place next month.  The campaign for Scottish independence is part of a larger paradigm shift away from globalism to localism around the world.  Cornwall, Wales, Mercia, Yorkshire and Wessex are all campaigning for independence in the UK.  Even in my town of Colchester we want to take back control of highways from external authorities.

The European elections this year resulted in a surge in anti-EU nationalistic parties doing well.  UKIP which wants the UK to leave the EU was the clear winner in the UK in the European elections.  The UN is increasingly seen as ineffective in the face of international crisis, often used by a few powerful nations, and ignored by practically everyone.  Israel recently expressed the contempt nations now have for the UN by bombing UN schools in Gaza.

The USSR has broken up into small nations, as has Yugoslavia.  Sudan split into two and Georgia into three nations.  There is talk of California in the USA breaking into six states, and a growing but still small movements for other states breaking away from the Union altogether.  The fighting in East Ukraine is as much about local Russians wanting to determine their own future as the international games of chess between the superpowers.

Flanders is seeking to break from Belgium; Catalonia and the Basque Country want to break from Spain; the city of Venice wants to break from Italy; Quebec is looking to break from Canada; Kurdistan and many other Peoples are seeking to form their own nation states out of the chaos of Iraq, Syria and Libya.

New forms of local currency such as the Totnes pound and electronic currencies such as Bitcoin challenge the bankers. Until recently my local council Essex Council was talking about creating its own bank for local people.  Corporates such as Starbucks are considering creating their own currencies, in effect becoming their own banks.  Multiple non-banking payment systems such as PayPal are now part of internet commerce.  In the face of sanctions Russia has created their own version of VISA for citizens to pay their bills.

The internet has helped to break up the power of information monopolies where the citizen blogger is as effective as a journalist in the New York Times.  The internet places greater power in the hands of the individual on the local level.

Water, energy, food and debt are the four great forces now driving the world politically, economically and socially.  The many chasing a diminishing amount of resources drives people to fight or conserve their resources.  Huge growing public and private debt is destroying nation states, driving the momentum to think local rather than global.  The Greek economic crisis drove local people back to the land, to become self-sufficient, and create systems of trade outside of the global financial system.

I support localism, and I designed my business with localism in mind.  The growing international crisis will force people to become local, sustainable and self-reliant.  As the money runs out nations, communities and individuals will quickly learn that it is down to themselves to live or die.

Caring for living things

People forget that their activities impact living things.

This cat had an unhappy start to her life from uncaring people until she was rescued.  I captured a photo of Pebbles this week sleeping in happy contentment near me, a cat that is now cared for.

This cat had an unhappy start to her life from uncaring people until she was rescued. I captured a photo of Pebbles this week sleeping in happy contentment near me, a cat that is now cared for.

It seems to me every aspect of human society has forgotten something important – caring.  I felt enraged at the aftermath of the Malaysian plane crash in the Ukraine when everyone was too busy with propaganda, the victims and their families forgotten.  In another media report an US-based internet company Comcast treated a customer badly who wanted to leave them, the “retention specialist” treated the customer to a 20-minute harassing interrogation.  Then there was Southwest Airlines that ordered a customer off their aircraft unless they deleted a tweet about poor customer service.

All actions we take impacts a living thing.  If I discard a broken bottle to the pavement, the little boy I saw a few weeks ago happily running along barefoot would be injured.  If I littered the grass of Colchester Castle Park with glass, little children rolling down the grassy hill would be injured.  If I cast a plastic bag into the river a swan would choke to death on it.  No individual is an island, every action impacts another living entity, thus caring for living things is vital in our everyday activity.

When I care for a living thing such as my oak saplings I give full focus to their needs, so those oak saplings prosper.  Even though Pebbles is not my cat, I give her lots of attention so that the naïve little cat follows me around, she trusts I wont step on her, so that in caring for her I have to practice mindfulness of her presence.

If we all incorporate caring into our activities, we will develop responsibility for our actions, that all we do impacts something, even if we are unable to see it.  This week I have changed my company mission statement to one that involves “caring,” moving the focus from company to stakeholders such as the customer.  When I build information processes I know that one end of the process is a living entity such as a human being.

My office in nature

Mixing business with pleasure.

My office plants.

My office plants.

I am managing director of a corporate, my office at the center of this pillar of capitalism is a table in the garden.  The stereotypical office most people think of happens not to my thing, in front of me is Kevin, a spider, sitting patiently for dinner in the middle of a beautiful web.  The corporate director usually has the benefit of a secretary to keep blood sucking parasites at bay, I have Kevin, this spider is great against mosquitoes.

Instead of the sounds of fax machines, photocopiers and cellphones, I have Pebbles meowing for a treat.  Where there should be a drink vending machine is a bottle of water I share with this cat in her water bowl.

Every office has its romance, two pigeons in my office are doing it again in noisy fashion on top of the roof.  I do not think there has been anywhere these pigeons have not indulged in x-rated liaisons in the garden, it is most distracting as I file accounts ready for the tax people.

In any office at the center of corporate capitalism you get visitors all day long.  Amber the fox walks in, sniffs and then disappears into the bushes looking for a mouse.

Relating business to planet earth

Placing planet earth at the heart of a business.

My experiences in nature directly impacts how I run my business.  My relationship and treatment to planet earth is no different to that I have with my oak sapling.

My experiences in nature directly impacts how I run my business. My relationship and treatment of planet earth is no different to that I have with my oak saplings.

Summer, I camp a lot. I often evict wildlife from my tent, this morning it was a grasshopper. Sharing life intimately with wild creatures gives you a different outlook on life compared to most people.

In the garden I note my oak saplings are growing fast, needing larger pots.  I have cared for these oak saplings from acorns, of the original thirteen acorns, eight survived to grow into oak saplings. Caring for wild things changes your viewpoint.

I watched a video over the weekend about the relationship of the neolithic builders of Stonehenge and the River Avon, how they held the river as sacred, a source of all the animals which they hunted that came to the river to drink.  The reverence for water, the landscape, the animals of the Stonehenge builders is the same as that of the cave painters of Chauvet twenty-thousand years earlier who painted a stampede of animals coming out of a vulva-like water source in their cave.

I discover my values and personal insights from how I react to what I see and experience in the world around me. I reacted in anger at the greed and vanity of money investors in business ideas in the US reality television series Shark Tank on YouTube.  I reacted in dismay at the wasteful stupidity portrayed in a video on consumerism: people queuing for a week to get hold of the latest iPhone, whose only enhancement from the last was its colour; IKEA marketing telling consumers to throw out perfectly good possessions; Apple designing a new type of screw on its smartphones in order to prevent people repairing damaged phones, thus encouraging waste; the extensive scams brands go to called obsolescence to make objects the consumer buys break quickly increasing waste and needless replacement.  The contempt the modern economic paradigm has to this planet is at odds with our human ancestors, and at odds with my worldview.

I am part of a new business paradigm, where I can compete against rivals on equal terms with innovation and clever strategies, but where I care for the planet earth in the same manner as I cared for the grasshopper this morning and my oak saplings.  In thinking on these matters in the garden this morning, my garden fox Amber appeared, yawned, then went to sleep in the sun.

Invest rather than speculate

Investments based on blind faith are likely to ruin you.

Growing your own food is probably a sensible strategy rather than continuing to have blind faith in the buying power of paper currency that has nothing to support it but debt.

Growing your own food is probably a sensible strategy rather than continuing to have blind faith in the buying power of paper currency that has nothing to support it but debt.

I met activists from Green Peace recruiting members at an event today in Colchester.  I said to these activists I would have nothing to do with them because of the disaster where one of their staff speculated in casino types of speculation on money markets losing their members millions of pounds.  The activists were dishonest to me denying the staff member was gambling membership money, but then I checked the news sources again and found it was gambling that lost the charity its money.

It would seem that if we could send all the bankers on a one-way ticket to Mars  this world would reverse many of its challenges traced to the door of bankers and their greed, gambling and debt.

The world lives in a trap of dishonesty and fantasy, only valid whilst we all believe and participate in it.  The paper, base metal and numbers on a computer database we call money has no assets backing it, but pots of debt that the bankers move around the planet to maintain this vast illusion of nothingness.  If people stopped believing in paper currency the billionaires would see their piles of money rendered worthless overnight.

If you can see beyond the illusion, a jar of honey is worth more than a $1 million in paper currency.  A jar of honey is tangible, you can feed your body with it, but paper currency can only feed your body as a medium of exchange for a jar of honey if you have faith and opinion the paper is worth something, but in reality nothing but debt supports it.

Those with wisdom might foresee that the game of moving pots of money around the globe is coming to an end with serious consequences for everyone, which means anything valued on paper such as shares, currency or options will become worthless.  It is to tangible things that won’t vanish in value due to blind faith such as land, food, solar energy production, water and buildings that will ensure security if the economic situation changes for the worse.  You cannot eat paper money, but you can eat the potatoes you grow in the garden.