I do well and you do well.

In the business world today ‘I do well and you do well’ seems like such an alien concept. A lot of businesses appear to be obsessed with gaining more and more money, working longer and longer hours, and all of it in a bid to out-do and beat the competition.

However, more now than ever, people are beginning to realise that the old business methods are harmful, not just to our economy, but the planet, and to our health, and in some cases these methods are failing altogether. We all know about the financial crisis, we hear about big companies, banks and shops, closing up and down the country. We have all heard about the thousands of jobs that have been cut, and we all know about the financial crises happening all over the world.

Our capitalist economy demands that we spend and spend, but all that spending is consuming more and more resources. The government encourage this spending in order to help businesses grow, but is this really going to work for the long term future? It might be a quick fix for the present, but what about the future? What about our great grandchildren?

The bottom line is, in order to have customers, those customers need to be doing financially well themselves. If they’re not doing well, they wont have the money to spend on the products businesses are trying to sell, and if those businesses can’t get enough profit, then it is our jobs that are in danger as a direct result. Every person who has a job no matter what it is, is directly dependent on the success of others around them in order to have their job.

However we have a problem, everything seems to be getting so much more expensive. The price of our items, even chocolate, seems to be growing faster than our own wages. Poorer people seem to be getting poorer and the richer people seem to be getting richer. On top of that, the world’s resources are being used so quickly, we’re faced with the real threat of running out. That means no resources to make everything, clothes, petrol, even our smartphones and laptops. If we can’t make things, especially fuel to run our cars and the wires which give us electricity. Then the capitalist economy will come to a stand still. There simply won’t be anything people can do, and this spend, spend, spend mentality will eventually fail us all.

So what can we do about it? Firstly we can take the time to think about and distinguish between what we truly need and what we want. Can we hold on to our smartphones for five? ten? twenty years? or do we really need to replace them every year? If we could use less things, or make things last longer then this would help the environment. I know what you’re going to say, ‘but if we don’t buy them, then surely those businesses will suffer and jobs will be cut, and thousands of people will end up worse off?’ This could be true, and this is why businesses need to re-address their responsibilities too. It is no longer enough just to push for the biggest profits and beat down the competition. The business owners need to look at how their business affects the world; Where do their products come from? How were they made?  What components are required to be mined in order to make their products? What are the impacts of the mining on the society surrounding and working in those mines? What are the impacts on the environment and world?  How can we improve the conditions for everyone, not for just those who work in the mines, but for everyone every step of the way, from the product being made, to being transported, to arriving at the office and then being sold on to the customers? And finally, how can some of our profits be used to help the people who are not involved in our business? Because at the end of the day, they are our potential new customers.

The human population will continue to grow and there is no need for anyone to suffer. There needs to be a balance between helping all businesses grow and looking after our planet. There is no way we can swing from one extreme to the other, and if we did, it would probably be disastrous if we did it too quickly. Hence there needs to be a combined effort on everyone’s part, big businesses need to stop being so greedy, and all businesses need to re-address their responsibilities. We as the customer need to be more selective and not so compulsive, we do not need to run out the house and spend money needlessly. If we have something that works, it doesn’t need replacing just because the next model happens to be slimmer, or a little bit faster, or it has some variation of wireless technology that our old one doesn’t. Stop and think about what you’re spending and why, do you really need it? Stop and think about where your product comes from, who pulls your food out of the field? who mines the minerals and metals that make up our wires and circuit boards? who pulls up our fuel which heats our homes, cooks our food, and provides us with electricity? Are those people happy? And are there any alternatives, could we save some money aside and use it to be more renewable and reduce our carbon foot print? Could we use our money to help those working in terrible conditions? Could we turn the spot light on those big companies that are exploiting cheap labour? Are we going to stand for it, are we going to allow our fellow human beings to be treated in such ways? Because If they don’t do well, then we won’t do well.

Our society would like to tell you there are no alternatives, but there are. Even planting a tree in your garden (away from houses of course) can help reverse the pollution in our world. Yes you’re only one person, but imagine if hundreds, thousands, no millions of people all did the same? Individually we must change.

There are already businesses out there who are taking small and big measures in order to help people and the world. The shoe company and brand TOMS, ‘each pair of shoes you purchase = a pair of shoes for children in need’. There are many, many more, you can check out some B Corporations here http://www.forbes.com/sites/annefield/2014/03/19/new-list-reveals-92-b-corps-with-the-most-impact/. There really is no excuse, we can all do better, businesses can help the world and make profits at the same time.

So the next time you see someone who seems to be unhappy, ask yourself if there is anything you could do to help them? The next time you go looking for a new smartphone? Ask yourself, who are all those people responsible for getting this phone to you, to this store, right now? Are they happy? If you’re a business owner, I implore you to help people, your employees, the people who bring you your products, and even those people who have nothing to do with your business. If you help people and other businesses, you are helping yourself too. I do well and you do well, make this your motto.

– Thank you for reading.

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You Are Lucky!

Yes, you. I’m writing for you. You are lucky.

You don’t believe me do you? Your initial reaction was to laugh humourlessly? shake your head slightly? Roll your eyes? There’s even that small voice at the back of your mind telling you that I’m wrong. That same voice is telling you, ‘you’re not lucky, you’ve never been lucky in your life’.

Well I’m here to tell you that I’m not wrong, that little voice is lying to you.

I’m going to explain it to you as best as I can, it’s a matter of nudging your perspective, are you up for the challenge?

Most people are lucky every single day of their lives, they just don’t realise it. It is how we define luck which is the real problem here. So what is luck? Is the child of a famous person with all their millions, lucky? Is the winner of the lottery jackpot, lucky? Is that friend of yours with the really hot partner, lucky? Is that teenager who gets straight A’s without really trying, lucky? Is that near miss you had in your car last week, lucky?

The dictionary defines luck as ‘success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions.’ However, I immediately have to disagree with this statement, luck is a mixture of chance and design. Why? Because all of the decisions we have ever made and all of the decisions our ancestors have ever made, have all led to this moment right now. You. Therefore, success and failure at this moment in time, is not completely chance, it can never be completely chance, and never was.

Our days go by relatively smoothly, sometimes we’re a bit late when we’re dropping the kids off at school, or the traffic is bad going to and from work, or sometimes the boiler breaks, or the car has a problem, or your outfit gets ruined, or you knock your shin on that really annoying corner of the coffee table, or you forget an appointment, miss a deadline, and so on… but even then, we’re still lucky. ‘But… none of those things are lucky’ your inner voice is saying, ‘those things are all unlucky‘. Nope, even if you had a day where all these problems occurred, you would still be lucky, because an unlucky day is when something beyond the norm happens.

An unlucky day, is when something so negative happens that is shocks you from your normal routine. Like all of those negative events you see in the media. An unlucky day for most people would most likely be one of the following things, an unexpected death in the family, an accident where you or someone else is seriously hurt or even killed, a freak fire burning down your home and claiming all of your possessions. Anything so extremely negative, that it has a massive impact on your life, literally throwing you from your normal life for an extended period of time, or even forever. These are truly unlucky events, and any day without such events can be called lucky days.

Our days are relatively ordinary, boring, we don’t really remember these lucky days, but we do remember the unlucky days. You are lucky, because your day to day life is fairly smooth despite the minor hiccups and annoyances. You are lucky because you have friends and family who care and who will support you, whereas some people have no one. You’re lucky if  you are not the person caught up in those negative events shown by the media.

So, when you’re living your day to day life remember, every ordinary, boring, normal day, is a lucky day. You are lucky.

– Thank you for reading.