For those of you out there that love capitalism, I have a message for you : it’s time to wake up to the next evolution of new business opportunities presented by Capitalism 2.0 – the evolution of Capitalism.
There’s a lot of people angry at capitalism right now and their numbers are growing. Don’t worry – I’m not one of them, so please read this with an open mind – I am on your side!
Also, please leave me your thoughts – this project is about joining and starting conversations. I’m No Expert, this is just my opinion and I’d like to learn yours.
Remember – I’m on your side.
Congratulations are likely in order!
If you’re a fan of Capitalism, I’m guessing it’s the system as it is today that you love – what I refer to on this site as Capitalism 1.0. Assuming that’s the case, let me also assume that the current system is working fairly well for you. You’re making money, supporting yourself and perhaps a family too. You likely have a good health care package, a good car, a nice tv, and likely enjoy your job. If this is all true, I hope you appreciate that you’re among a tiny minority of people on earth. I mean this genuinely – you should feel proud of yourself. Many people wish they could be where you are.
If you are successful because of your parents, an inheritance or some other external means, then as well as fortunate, you’ve also been lucky. Just think, fate could have could put your soul in a different body!
Now, if you’ve earned your stature through your own diligence and hard work, then you deserve even more praise. Many people haven’t been able to do what you have accomplished – mind you, many have never been given the chance to try, but many have and many have failed. Congratulations on your successes. You are in an even smaller minority of people here on earth.
So why the wake up call?
I’d like you to think about your friends for a moment. Are they as successful as you? If they are, are they old friends or ones you’ve made since your success arrived? If the latter, are they friends you’ve made because of your success? I don’t mean people that are riding your coat tails or friending you for hand outs (I suspect you’re smarter than that). I mean, are they friends you’ve met at your new golf club, or a new influential social circle, or some other group of people you couldn’t have known before you “made it”? If yes, could you have known them before you we’re successful? (assuming you had access to meet them, that is.) No answers needed, just something to contemplate…
Very often successful people only befriend others they view as successful – and then, often only those seen as successful as themselves.
If you’re fortunate enough that you’ve had your friends since before your success, has your success changed the friendships? Are you still able to be as open and candid as you were in your “old” life? More often than not, success changes people – and that changes their friends. You are very lucky if you can still be as open and honest with your old friends now as you were “back then”.
What the hell am I getting to?
Simply this. Capitalism 1.0 is about earning profits above everything else. Very often ethics, friendships and even family are the everything else. How does that make you feel? (You don’t have to answer that, just reflect on it.) Would you agree with that statement, honestly?
As we climb the economic (and social) ladder, we are often forced to make hard choices about “what matters”. Do I go to that dinner party or do I meet that deadline? Do I invest in that ethical low-growth fund or “for now” go with the high-growth tech company? As we become more and more successful we must deal with jealousy and envy from friends and colleagues. We suddenly find ourselves defending our choices. We start to choose wealthy clients over “good” clients because growth becomes more important than relationships.
Given the choice between growth and friendships; wealth and charity; personal gain and passionate joy, the choices remain clear. After all, to become successful, we must be successful. Profit and growth must be the priority.
So here’s the wake-up call
The evolution that is coming – the migration from Capitalism 1.0 to Capitalism 2.0 – isn’t about not being successful; it’s not about becoming a socialist; and it certainly isn’t about not turning a profit.
Capitalism 2.0 is about doing all the things you are currently doing but without sacrificing family, ethics, friendships or integrity to do so, and new business opportunities are available because of it.
It’s about finding a balance between your definition of success (whether you’ve reached it or not) while also making choices that serve others. Simply put, it’s about moving profit from the first priority to the third priority. Please recognize, profit is still a priority. (It wouldn’t be Capitalism otherwise!)
What are the first two priorities? That’s up to you. For me, the future of this planet for my children is #1 (I.e. Peace and a healthy ecosystem). #2 depends on the situation.
By the way, if you already have success and a happy family and great old friends and a great job then chances are you’re already practicing Capitalism 2.0! You may not even know it! (I’d love to hear from you if this is the case.)
Shit – I re-read this section and the wake up call is still a bit vague so here goes:
If you love the system as it is today, and if you’re already successful, your wake-up call is this: you are a leader and it’s time for YOU to lead us in a new direction. You know as well as I do that the path we are on leads to more scarcity for the masses, more climate change, more pollution, more war. The solutions to these problems are huge new business opportunities for people like you. Your skills and leadership are needed on the front lines. Proft-above-all is now eating it’s own tail – it’s unsustainable and you know it. Those that cling to this old model will be left behind by new innovations, new technologies and new ideas. You could be leading the charge to our brighter future. You have proven your abilities, and we will listen to you if your message is right. It’s time to get off the current track and lead us down a new one.
Now, if you love the system as it is today but are still working your way to the top, your wake-up call is this: when you finally get to the top you’re going to find you are on the wrong mountain! All over the world sustainable energy, social enterprises, co-operatives and young entrepreneurs are reaching scale and will soon be crowding out the dinosaurs. If you are successfully navigating today’s business and economic challenges then you have what it takes to understand these new business opportunities and can lead by example. The Capitalism 2.0 world is the new Wild West and it needs brave navigators. You don’t have to give up your beliefs or desires for wealth, you just need to show us how to balance those interests with your other priorities. We will watch, learn and listen. Don’t follow in the footsteps of the group that the masses are moving against. While the Pitchforks are being sharpened you have the opportunity (and some would say, responsibility) to calm the crowds and lead them to safety. There is an uprising coming – which side will you be on? Trailing the dinosaurs or leading the explorers?
Finding a Life/Work Balance creates business opportunities
The new movement isn’t the enemy of capitalists – it’s an opportunity. Not one to exploit, but one to explore and be challenged by. Balancing sustainable growth and profits with a happy home life, a healthy planet and an ethical integrity is the kind of challenge that, when put in the right context, is exactly the reason you started your enterprise in the first place. You enjoy being challenged, you know how to make a difference, you want to support your family, and you know how to lead.
For all our children’s sake, I implore all of you to wake-up to see that this shift is an opportunity, not a threat. It’s time to apply your skills to the greatest adventure mankind has ever embarked on. We are the smartest people this planet has ever seen, and you have what it takes to be in front. Please step forward and count!