This post is part of a series outlining the 11 principles detailed in David’s book, Heed Your Call, which helps modern-day heroes (entrepreneurs) integrate their business and spiritual lives.
My grandfather, who was not a traditionally educated guy, once said to me that genius in business was “nothing more than knowing what a consumer wants 10 minutes before they know they want it.” At Meriwether Group, we encourage our clients and entrepreneurs to tap into and trust this type of intuition.
When we examine the businesses we work with, most of the brands were born from a place of trust and surrender—from the founder’s gut. A lot of them are not MBAs or really hard-core trained entrepreneurs who have conducted deep-dive analyses or developed 60-page business plans. We’ve seen those businesses, and they don’t tend to be that successful.
Business genius is nothing more than knowing what a consumer wants 10 minutes before they know they want it.Tweet This Quote
Instead, truly successful ventures tend to come from founders who simply have a relentless need to birth innovation. It comes from trusting their gut, intuition and ability to tap into the collective consciousness of society.
Of course, trusting your gut isn’t enough. At some point, you have to bring in that analytical left-brain logic. But in our experience, if you start with left-brain analysis and try to add in the right brain intuition later on, then it often doesn’t work. A great business idea generally starts from a place of passion, trust and surrender.
For example, Oregon Chai was a company founded from my wife Heather’s desire to have a great cup of chai and her frustration when she couldn’t find one in the United States.
A great business idea generally starts from a place of passion, trust and surrender.Tweet This Quote
At the time in the mid-90s, we were watching Starbucks revolutionize how coffee was consumed, while also building a culture and community at the same time. However, if you wanted tea, you were still relegated to a mug of hot water and a bag of earl gray or chamomile—it just wasn’t as fun.
Heather trusted herself and from that desire to disrupt the status quo, she started a little business in our kitchen. Almost immediately, the product generated an evangelical consumer base. Over nine years, Oregon Chai grew from our kitchen to a $40 million high margin business that was also one of the first fair-trade and certified organic companies.
As the company grew, we had to institute organizational structure and strategy. But it would never have taken off without Heather’s initial trust in her passion. It became something that transcended a spreadsheet or a business plan.
Truly successful ventures tend to come from founders who simply have a relentless need to birth innovation.Tweet This Quote
In order to start operating from this place of intuition, these are three questions we continuously ask our clients, entrepreneurs, and ourselves at Meriwether Group:
- Am I having fun?
- Am I seeing results?
- Is it easy?
If you can’t answer yes to all three, then take a step back. Try and reconfigure the model, the team and the strategy, then give it another go. After that, if you still can’t answer yes to all three, then do something else.
If you feel a desire to birth newness into the world, and it comes from a place of passion, listen to it.Tweet This Quote
Now don’t be misled—the words “easy” and “fun” don’t mean you can be lazy or not show up. It’s not necessarily about choosing something because it is easy; it’s about making sure what you have chosen is in alignment with your natural talents, interests and gifts. Then, it feels easy.
When Heather and I were building Oregon Chai, we worked our asses off. We saw results, it was easy in the sense that it was working, and we were having fun.
The message here is this: if you feel a burning desire to birth newness into the world, and it comes from a place of passion and alignment, then it’s something you should really listen to. The left-brain best practices will guide you later.