It all began because of some unhappy people.
I started out, like most of us, as an employee. Then I became an entrepreneur and soon a business educator and business consultant.
I consulted with large corporations like Apple, Fujitsu America, and Pacific Bell (just before the feds broke up Ma Bell), but I found my greatest satisfaction working with individuals and small ventures.
Providing them with practical advice was, and still is, rewarding to me, but I started to see a troubling pattern: an awful lot of my clients—and colleagues and friends—were unhappy in their work.
I wanted to help.
Drawing on my longtime interest in personal growth strategies, Eastern philosophies, and educational theory, I spent several years developing a system I call Good Work Guidance™ that I have now provided to more than 500 individuals (and some couples in business together).
Good Work Guidance™ consists of this simple four-step process:
- Step 1. We focus on your personal life purpose and the goals and objectives implied by that purpose.
- Step 2. We clarify your challenges and opportunities and uncover your personal strengths and weaknesses.
- Step 3. We develop a plan of action that uses your strengths and compensates for your weaknesses to overcome your challenges and make the most of your opportunities.
- Step 4. You lay the foundation for ongoing right livelihood through the practice of:
- Simple living
- Service to your community
Throughout, you receive:
- Ongoing coaching guidance
- Consulting or technical advice as needed
- Handouts as needed, including:
- Practice exercises
- Tip sheets and checklists
- Bonus articles and essays
Right Livelihood, Simple Living, Mindfulness
Almost four decades ago, I started introducing the concepts of right livelihood, simple living, and mindfulness to my small business clients as a way to share what I was learning through my own professional growth process.
I now pursue my personal “right livelihood” as a writer, teacher, and advisor to employees and entrepreneurs who want a more meaningful work life.
(Simple explanations of “right livelihood,” “simple living,” and “mindfulness” are here.)
Three seminal experiences have profoundly impacted my approach to Good Work Guidance™ and Good Business Advice™:
I am the longtime coordinator of The Briarpatch, a global network of several hundred right-livelihood businesses.
In this volunteer role, I have provided guidance and support to hundreds of creative, cause-driven, or entrepreneurial individuals who share my values of collaboration, integrity, and mindfulness.
I was a founding board member and chief financial officer of The Apprentice Alliance, a non-profit that was active in the 1980s and 90s matching eager learners with experienced artists, artisans, craftspersons, and makers, as well as experts in the trades and business.
This work greatly expanded my notion of how people can move toward more meaningful work.
I was a founding board member and chief financial officer of Compumentor (now TechSoup), an agency that matches tech experts with non-profits that need low-cost technical support.
This is where I learned that technology can be THE great equalizer for small ventures.
I’ve reported my own learnings in three print books and dozens of ebooks about right livelihood, meaningful work, and information technology.
My three print books are:
Running a One-Person Business: Business as Lifestyle (Ten Speed Press. 60,000 copies in print).
In the Company of Others: Making Community in the Modern World (Tarcher/Putnam. 10,000 copies in print).
Mindfulness and Meaningful Work: Explorations in Right Livelihood (Parallax Press. 23,000 copies in print).