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  • Writer's pictureMike Brown

Moments of Awe

“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.”

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

I spent the first week of 2023 traveling with my family and friends in Sedona, AZ. It is easily one of the favorite trips of my life!

The week was packed with moments of awe, which I define as visuals, information, or experiences that take your breath away and open your eyes, filling you with positivity and optimism. It's the moments where you feel small in all the best ways.

Those moments of awe usually come from nature -- beautiful red rock scenery, a majestic giant sequoia tree grove, a sunset over the ocean, or a clear night of stargazing.

Recently, I've been experiencing moments of awe in the business world.

Say what!? Beautiful, breathtaking business practices?

I was in awe when I saw Patagonia's owner transfer his ownership, valued at $3 billion, to a trust to fight climate change.

I was in awe when I learned about and switched to Ecosia, a search engine competing against Google while planting 166 million trees and counting!

I was in awe when Nespresso sent me a year-end summary that informed me the 990 coffee capsules I recycled via their program were converted to 33.49 lbs of nutrient-rich topsoil and 58.81 oz of aluminum.

I was in awe to see and purchase as a Christmas gift for our daughter Mattel's newest product, The Barbie Eco-Leadership Team, which showcases representation of a diverse set of women in business leadership roles such as Chief Sustainability Officer and Renewable Energy Engineer.

These are not purely altruistic efforts by Patagonia, Ecosia, Nespresso, and Mattel. These are strategic and intelligent moves by for-profit enterprises that align with their values and mission and are a primary reason they attract many customers and talented workers while others struggle.

People want to buy from and work for companies that are doing good work for society and the environment. The marketing efforts of these causes and profits make those enterprises more competitive and attractive in the marketplace.

I predict we are just at the beginning of this movement. Companies that choose to practice a triple-bottom-line business model of people, planet, and profit will reap significant benefits. Those who don't will increasingly struggle, and may go out of business as they lose talent and customers to their more purposeful competitors that are creating moments of awe.

What can you do that will awe your customers, your employees, and yourself? Don't hold yourself back from your potential to make a positive impact. It's easy to say, "well, we're not Patagonia or Nespresso. How much of a difference can my company make?" A LOT! Your company will benefit, too!

As Marcus Aurelius would say, "watch the stars, and see yourself running with them."

When you need help, reach out to me. I'd love to help your company move towards the awesome. Let's work on a positive impact project together.


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