Elevating Your Growth through Ancient Practices
By Suzanne Tulien, Principal Brand Architect, Founder
Don’t you just love the word ‘Zen’? It just feels good to say it. ZZZZEEEEEEENNNNNN – you almost automatically take a deep breath and relax. It’s just weird.
Anyway, the other day I came across this word again and started thinking about how it related to building a business brand. And started thinking about an Eastern philosophy—the Buddhists’ way-of-being and a powerful phrase I’ve heard many times in my life: ‘BE, DO, HAVE.’ Hmmm, what does that mean and how is it really different from what I was brought up to believe?
It is interesting when you juxtapose it to what traditionally we Westerners believe; ‘DO, HAVE, BE.’ I mean think about it. We often believe that we have to take action (DO) before something happens or before we can HAVE a thing, place, or experience and then we will be satisfied enough to then justify BE-ing. Right?
Taking the ZEN approach to business is an interesting and unconventional perspective. Think about it. Take a moment and stop ‘doing’ something in your business. Instead, just BE. For a moment…a moment longer….a bit longer…there, now what just happened? Maybe a little guilt popped up because you weren’t ‘productive’ as you could have been, or able to multi-task in those few seconds of stillness? I’ll admit, this may not be the easiest thing for entrepreneurs to do, as it is our nature to be ‘doing’ a lot. We like getting things done, don’t we?
I’ll ask you to trust the process and see what manifests for you. Here’s how you can apply the BE, DO, HAVE, ZEN approach for your brand’s success:
- First, stop and just just (BE)—reflect deeply into the soul of who you are as a brand,. This is critical to solidifying the authenticity in the delivery of what you do. Get to know your brand, unveil your brand’s key attributes—your Dimensional Nucleic Assets® (DNA) so you can enhance what you do uniquely.
- Second, define the desired brand attributes and develop (DO) actions, behaviors, and vocabulary that support who you say you are. Many entrepreneurs/business owners don’t take the quality time to think this through in detail so that it can be acted upon. Implement these into all your customer and employee touch-points, integrate them into your business processes and observe how these changes affect the way your customers and employees perceive and speak about your brand.
- Third, reap the benefits (HAVE) of your customers’ and employees’ positive experience with your brand—one that is consistent, authentic and truly reflects the differentiated nature of how you deliver on your products and services. Enjoy how your business grows organically through your existing customers who continue to come back again and again and who share the brand experience with others, generating you more referrals you ever imagined.
Stop working harder, start working smarter. There is a market for almost everything out there, including your product or service. Consider the BE, DO, HAVE philosophy for more than just a moment. Know that your brand is NOT universal, and that you have a specific audience to appeal to that will love and appreciate your services and products. Experience how that ‘knowing’ reveals more clarity, direction, and focus on your unique brand. Then share it with your employees to motivate and stir creativity in the DO-ing. Then celebrate the benefits of the HAVE-ing!
This practice is not conscious enough in the minds of Western entrepreneurs. With all the hats we wear, who has time to stop and reflect on who we really are? Let alone develop action plans to ‘show up’ that way. This ‘missing piece’ is predominant in the small business arena, and often the eye-opening strategy that turns a company around towards success by design, not by default.