In a world where freedom of expression is on the rise, we get to totally reimagine who we are, what we stand for, and how to connect and serve one another in ways that feel meaningful. That's where empathetic entrepreneurs thrive.
In this episode, Adam, Alysha and Jade kick off the show by diving into the benefits of the rise of the empathetic entrepreneur, how to deal with the highs and lows of the journey, and what to do next with YOUR gifts the world so desperately needs.
Learn from first-hand experiences how to navigate uncharted waters and insights on cultivating the future of business through mission-driven work. If you're just starting out and wondering 'how can I possibly use all my gifts and navigate all the challenging feelings to serve the world as an entrepreneur?' then this episode is for you!
Pull up a chair and learn how to thrive while challenging the status quo by using your light!
I feel like it's straightforward. If you hear like empathetic entrepreneur, you're like, okay, cool. But it's also elusive. It's like empathy refers to like soft skills kind of thing. Entrepreneurship is very like hard skill, like action, business, all of that. So I'd love to know from your perspective, Adam, what are the distinct like qualities of an empathetic entrepreneur, like in your own experience, but also that you've recognized in other people along your journey?Adam:
I feel. In our current world environment, there are a lot of people realizing just how empathetic they are because the amplification of the story of suffering is so strong that we like can't help but feel it. And so I feel like a lot of us are going, holy cow, I'm empathetic. What do I. But then when you apply that to the innovators, the people who feel as though how the backbone of our business culture is ready for reimagination, like the people who are reimagining how business operates within the communities, right? That's what an entrepreneur is. Creating systems of value is the core of what it means to be an entre. And so we also have, with the great resignation and a lot of people experiencing and questioning, oh man, is the traditional nine to five, the thing that I want to do. There's gotta be something more out there. And then the sort of rise of all the influencers like Gary V and all of these people who are saying, tri, being an entrepreneur, throw yourself at it. You're gonna learn, you're gonna grow. So we're seeing the rise of both entrepreneurial. As a culture and identifying as an empathetic being as a culture, like both of these are trending right now. And so the question becomes what if you're a part of the Venn diagram that is both? And so that's where your immediate question of what does it mean to be an empathetic entrepreneur and why are they important in the world? Being an empathetic entrepreneur is. Single most opportune experience to catalyze change than I think anything else. In our current world. And so I feel really inspired by that. But then the question that still remains to be answered is then why do empathetic entrepreneurs matter? They matter because they care. And so if we reimagine business and in our current business environment, we look at all the big businesses, generally speaking, I think we can agree that they're causing more harm than they are. I'm not gonna call out any names because I don't, that's not, that's besides the point. The concept, I think, is easy to understand and so empathetic entrepreneurs play a specific role because simultaneously as we as we, as a society are reimagining, who are we? What do we stand for? How do we interconnect with one another and serve one another and reimagine the systems that aren't serving us? That is growing and empathetic. Entrepreneurs can plug right into that and be on the ground actively finding solutions to problems that exist, right? Here and do the work that feels meaningful for us in a way that cares about the people around us genuinely. And that's the missing component I think, in a lot of the grander business conversations. And as an empathetic entrepreneur, when you agree that your needs, you as an individual outside of me as an individual, you getting your needs met, serves me. Because as an empathetic entrepreneur, I can feel that I can I can experience that. So your highest needs are automatically my highest needs. And you, like you. That is such a part of how we experience relationships and value contribution that. It creates win-win scenarios and in the business environment when you can create win-win scenarios that are of service to everybody when you can do that kind of thing, oh my gosh, the ripple effect of that is insurmountable. I can't help but feel so unbelievably hopeful because I see this cultural trend of empathy and this cultural trend of entrepreneurialism rising at the same time, and I see so many. Pure hearts beginning to ask questions oh my gosh, what is this? And how do we wanna rebuild it? And that's that's the empathetic entrepreneur, we're rebuilding, we're regener, we're regenerating.Alysha:
It's a people over profit kind of mentality. Which is the reverse of what we've all known so far. But it's such an exciting time. Yeah. I'd love to know what you think as well, Jade. What has. Your experience been like as well as just recognizing other empathetic entrepreneurs online too, and like really feeling the community sort of building up, even if we're not all directly being like, hi, I'm an empathetic entrepreneur too. Oh man.Jade:
I think that my experience of marrying the overwhelm of being an empath and awakening to the sensory overload of the world and marrying that with innovative action has taken place on a very intimate level for me in that. It starts with painting or writing or playing music and actually finding out a way to process those feelings and then sharing it with the world and discovering that I'm not alone. And that's what's so beautiful about the land of empathetic entrepreneurs is it takes. People on both sides of the spectrum. People who identify as an empath and maybe don't know how to cross over that bridge to okay, I feel all these feelings and I want to marry that with action that is of service to the world. But how? Because it's so vast and sometimes you don't feel like you have value and there's so much personal healing. At least for me, that's been necessary to get the gears grinding for my own. Contribution to the world that there's that side and then there's the entrepreneurs that I don't, I'm really more on the empath side and learning about entrepreneurship, but I imagine on the entrepreneur side, people who are very developed in their businesses and then discovering wait a second, I have all these feelings and I don't really know about this profit over people. Structure and I wanna make changes. And yeah, I think empathetic entrepreneurship is a great way to bring balance in the world and in people on a very intimate personal level and then onAlysha:
a global level as well is so beautiful. And something that you've mentioned before, Adam, which like has totally resonated and which I think. Totally relates to that is that you said, entrepreneurship is just personal development disguised as business, and I'd love to if you could just maybe elaborate on that a little bit more. Tell us a little bit about what the experience has been for you and then Yeah, I'd love to hear Jade, like what your experience has been as well, and then obviously have my own thoughts on this craziness.Adam:
I think both of those components are worthy of attention. That business component is worthy of attention, right? Because I know so many creative entrepreneurs who are out there doing the entrepreneurial thing, but they have no clue how to run a. They don't know how to organize their finances. They don't know how to draft agreements or contracts that are about the key components of the relationship. They're unclear how to service them, how to turn their values or their contributions into service. They're not a hundred percent sure about the process of sales or all of those sorts of things, and there's lots to talk about just in the skillset. of business, but, and I believe wholeheartedly that you can only ever take a business as far as you can take yourself. I mean by that, in order to serve the mission that you believe in so strongly, you have to get outta your own way. Like for example if your company grows in the direction of you being. A visionary talking to the people around you, giving speeches, having a team that you navigate. But right now on your personal growth journey, you're not very confident in how you use your voice. You're gonna have to bring loving attention to heal the things that are obstructing your ability to fully express yourself in order for that part of your mission to flourish. And so my perspective is that your brand is the thing that you believe in that is bigger than yourself. It's the thing that you believe in that is bigger than yourself, but taking care of yourself, ensuring you know how to optimize your attention, organizing yourself, all of that is a part of it because it's impossible to say that it is not inherently. Tied into the business part of the conversation because if you're an empathetic entrepreneur, we already know your business is an extension of yourself. Your business is an extension of your care for the world, for the things you see that deserve your loving attention, from your point of view and your vantageJade:
point, I would love to hear about the non-linear nature of the process. As you touched on how like we can often perceive growth as oh, I'm going up. I'm going up. And it never is that way or feels thatAdam:
way. And I have an interesting perspective on that because a lot of people don't know I was a math teacher, and I think there's a subtle effect that our mathematics system has on how we view the. Most of mathematics is taught in that linear sense, right? Most of mathematics is taught as fact memorization. It's taught when we study graphs, unless you get to the point where you're talking about trigonometry and calculus, which a lot of people don't, primarily lines look like this. And whenever we made graphs, lines looked like this. Very straight, very clean, very. However, so then when we think about personal growth, We're so used to seeing these linear lines that we somehow have accepted the narrative of the linear line of our human experience, which is get born, you're raised by a family, and eventually go to school. You graduate. You go to college and inherit a whole lot of debt unless you have family that helps provide for you, in which case, that's amazing. You graduate, you get a job. You serve at that job in such a way that you hope you invest into a 401k, and please start while you're young or you're not gonna be rich when you get older. You serve for decades and decades. Sometimes you're more fulfilled in your career. Sometimes you feel like you're just showing up to a routine day. And then eventually you reach a point where you get married, you have kids, you grow further on into the narrative and you retire. And then Yeha, you finally get to enjoy your life. And hotty dog enjoy. And it's this very like straight narrative. And so we are so comfortable with. We hear this the whole time, and chances are if you're somebody who's challenging that status quo, and it's likely that there is people in your life encouraging you to stay the linear path because culturally it is so accepted. So when you go against the linear path and experience, the other thing, which I'll explain here in a second, everybody is oh my God, what are you doing? Your whole life is at risk. Kid, like this is irresponsible. You better pick yourself up and get it going, and that can really negate people's sense of freedom. And so they're like if it's not linear, Adam, what is it? What is it if it's not linear? And that's more directly your question, Jade. And I think you the experience. Is nonlinear. What does nine nonlinear mean? It means that it is not a straight line. The experience is like, all right, I did, I had a conversation with Jade about this once, and I had a nice thing to like, Comedically draw and explain the sort of process. Now I don't have access to something to draw, but I'll use my finger here. It's you're experiencing and generally speaking, we're learning all the time and so we're like of going up and then. Eventually we experience a challenge, and so we have this like fall and then we realize that we falled and we observe and we see the sort of like experience that we have and we like try to learn from it. And then it's okay, we learn from it and then we go up and up and up, and then it's holy shit, there's another one. And it goes down again. And maybe it was the same challenge that you've experienced before. Maybe it was something new. If it's a challenge you've experienced before. Good, because that means you're more equipped for this particular challenge. You have that challenge and you like try to fucking wake up from the, and you're like, I'm in it. I'm in it. Oh, I remember. Okay. And then you come back up and then you grow a little bit further and then it's oh my God, that one was way harder than the last two. And you like fall way down. But it like was a revelation this time and it's fucking wow. You go way up. And so it's So many infinite potentials in so many different directions. And sometimes it's oh my God, I didn't expect this thing to happen. And it like, it just showed up in my doorstep and and so you start to develop an experience that isn't so step by step. And because it's not so step by step, you experience the moment and the moment is powerful. And then because you know it's non-linear and there are only two forces in life. There are growth and there is decay and both of those forces exist. Neither are good, neither are bad. They just are. So right now, am I in a moment of growth or am I in a moment of decay and there's room for both because it's a natural part of the process and then all of a sudden, Your emotions don't have so much weight and you give permission to them because you recognize that all of it is a part of the process. We're not arriving anywhere. We're not going someplace. You're not gonna arrive someday, and all of a sudden you're never gonna experience inner challenge. It's never gonna happen. So are you gonna get on the train of just process? Are you gonna resist? And I think resistance is the core of a lot of suffering. A huge amount of suffering. So nonlinear, fractals are everywhere. Fractals are the, there's two components of fractals simultaneously. If you look at a fractal in nature, it is both simultaneously hyper structured and totally chaos. Just like us,Jade:
I think it's so harmonious with the, the notion that we have this linear understanding of our reality that's laid out for us pretty much from the time that we're born. We go to school and it just,Alysha:
it's, we have soJade:
many, just an infinite amount of belief. Instilled in us. And when you take a path that's non-linear, when you take the path of an empathetic entrepreneur, I think it really harmon, it harmonizes with what you said about your business, your mission being an extension of your healing. Because when you take on that path, it's not. Clashing with the beliefs of the people around you. The people who raised you, the people who are closest, nearest and dearest in your life, but you're also waking up to all the beliefs that are within you that you didn't realize were there. And you might unconsciously act out in and make decisions through. And then realize wait a second, where did that come from? Is that even mine? Like that discovery process can be so intense and confusing that. It's easy to get deterred from that path and go to something that's more comfortable, but not really cuz it's not authentically you. Or maybe that's a little abstract, but what you said just really harmonizesAlysha:
with that. I can't help also, but be hopeful for this time. Especially because of the rise of entrepreneurship and us really leaning into the fact that. How like we, we are all fundamentally the same and we all fundamentally want to be healthy and express ourselves and really live into. , like I didn't come here just to work. You know what I mean? Like in something that I hate and hate my life, like there has to be something more. And I'm really hopeful in the sense that they'll teach entrepreneurship maybe more in school in the future and foster more creative genius geniuses for the future versus just pumping out more worker bees. You askAdam:
any teacher almost in the entire nation, You ask them, Hey, is our education system ripe for change? I bet you in the 90 percentile people would say, apps a fucking loot, Lee. Not only is it ripe, but it's decades past. Let's go. I think that's the general community of educators right now, and that's coming from someone who is a part of it. I was a teacher, but I think also there's something else that you brought up, Alicia, that fights a fire, lights a fire. That fire is that notion of yeah we have this common human experience and we all want health and we all want freedom of expression and we all wanna feel creative and loved and provided for and all of that. And I think that is so important because our cultural. Is, what do I stand against? I'm against this and I'm against that, and I'm against this. And we're doing a lot of finger pointing and we're getting a lot of what do I stand against? And I think we need to flip that conversation on its ass and ask, what do I stand for? What do I believe in? Because I think the truth is going to be agreed on by all fields of the sides of Separat. And it could bring very well, bring us together again.Alysha:
It's just so interesting to talk about every single business almost started as like somebody with a dream, right? I think we've talked about this a little bit before, but in, in our culture of like urgency and doing and linearness and like all of that, it can be really hard when you're. Basically doing business in the ditch of falling off the cliff and you're in that moment, how can you start to surrender and learn and trust and all of that kind of stuff without feeling like you're like doing nothing or falling behind. I feel like so many people I myself, have gotten so stuck in that, right? Not just like taking that time to actually just be like, What I'm actually learning in this time. Maybe this is important for me to experience versus I hate that I'm going through this. Like, when's the next win coming and all of that. Like, when's the peak or the ascension happening? So I'd love to know what you think of on that.Adam:
I'll say directly right away the ascension is already happening. Part of that is just acknowledging from the day you're born till the day you. There is already an ascension. An ascension naturally occurring. , it is natural. It is the byproduct of your very human experience. Fundamentally. I think that's something that we need to accept, but, and there's a lot of richness in the question that you asked you. You My, my response is going to be like comedically simple, and I think I. If we spent more time just accepting that, holy shit, I feel like I'm in a tunnel and it fucking sucks. Right now, I feel like I'm in a ditch and oh my gosh, I just accept that it sucks. I allow the anxiety. I allow the sort of oh my gosh, where's the next bill going to come? I don't try to fight it. I don't try to say, Hey, these feelings are wrong or bad, but I allow it. I journal about it. I accept. I give myself extra grace. I give myself extra rest. I think if we did that, the rest would speak for itself. Cuz so often the experience is, oh man, I hit the floor. I'm down on my knees right now, no money in the bank. I'm worried about it. And then our attention is actually judging on judging ourselves about the fact that I'm worried about it. I need to make sure my thoughts are accurate to manifest my life, and I need to make sure my feelings are pure, right? It's the narratives that we speak to ourselves, and so like it is totally against the grain to just go, eh, fucking sad. Nah, I'm just gonna mop around cuz I'm sad today and I'm gonna give myself full permission to just be fucking sad today. That's a, that's like somebody be like, what are you doing with your life? That's against the grain, but, and your emotions aren't everything. Your emotions aren't the center of your yourself. Your are more than an emotional. You have your emotions, you have your thinking, you have your action. All of those are of an important part of you. So if you're somebody who finds yourself habitually in that emotional experience so much that it is debilitating like regularly, and you're resting a lot and you're trying to take care of yourself and like nothing, it doesn't seem like there's any momentum. Oh, there's the key word, momentum. Start writing three things every day about what you're going to accomplish, even if they're tiny. I'm gonna meditate for one minute today. I'm going to write this one email. Make 'em tiny so that you can accomplish them and then accomplish them and start experiencing the nourishing food that momentum can provide. When we're momentum less, we feel stagnant. Imagine a pool of water just sitting there without any momentum to kid it. Moving forward, what happens? Growth happens. Maybe some like weird mold or foam oak show up. The water gets stagnant. If you have still water with fish in it, fish will die. The fish will die. There needs to be circulation to oxygenate the water. In order for life to be there. There needs to be momentum. So we need to experience momentum and there's all sorts of ways to experience momentum. But then the other thing is do feel in tune with something higher than yourself do. Is there, do you feel like you are a part of something? Than yourself. You can call that something, whatever the heck you want. I'm not even interested in labeling it. Do you feel that? Okay. Now a lot of people are really good at the contributing. Something higher than themselves to be of service to be engaging with and providing for to that something that is higher than ourselves. I think we have a lot to learn in the process of receiving and being provided for from that very same thing that is higher than yourself, and sometimes in those really dramatic moments where we feel really challeng. Gentle reminder of that very thing that you aim to serve, aims to provide wholly for you. Sometimes that itself is very easy, and then the question becomes, how can I receive, how can I open myself to receive all of those things? And you wanna know how you do that. You experience fully what you are experiencing right now. Which means you feel those emotions. Simple as that.Alysha:
Yeah. That can be one of the hardest things is to actually feel it cuz they're strong, right? As OnPath and as empathetic people, emotions are very strong. What's what's been, your experience or maybe perspective. Jade, like I can just imagine from my side, right? Like the powerful emotions on those days. What, oh, what? What do you think?Jade:
So I immediately think about the times that feel like failure when all of those beliefs that we have from growing up with the linear narrative feel validated, where you're like, oh, wait doubt. Just millions of doubtful thoughts storming around. And for me, something that. Has been very helpful. I can't say it's been consistent, but it's something that's gotten stronger over the years, like a lot of years of really cultivating this relationship with the thing that's higher. Whatever it is zooming out. . Even in moments when I don't believe in it, when I'm like mad at it and I'm like, why am I being dealt this hand? Why? What do I do? I feel so lost. I feel hopeless. I feel just in dark times, I feel heavy, totally disconnected from. Feelings of connection and being provided for, even in those moments, having the underlying faith that even the doubt is a part of it, and zooming out and being like, this is still a part of it that has saved me and kept my momentum going so many times.Adam:
There's a temporary nest that is helpful to remind ourselves. It's just the truth. Everything is temporary and there's nothing you can do about it, so you might as well release control.Alysha:
What about you, Alicia? I've definitely had experiences like that in regards to it just. Totally being in the thick of it and not being able to zoom out, being like, oh my gosh, I don't I can't possibly endure the day feeling this way. Like it's, but then it's like having just even that little moment of zooming out to like tomorrow to be like, maybe I'll feel better tomorrow. Like maybe it will be of use. And I found like my poetry has really been. Such a, I don't wanna say like crutch, but like a way, like a solace for me. And just like recording all of these deep, dark things because I've, as I've gotten through more and more days where I didn't think I would get through the day, it's sort been like I can't I can't be here for this to be. For it to be this sad all the time, like these, this intensity of emotion has to serve a purpose. Like maybe that is the superpower, right? And I think self-expression, like the rise of all of that, and especially like vulnerability and all of that on social media, it's not necessarily to. Just like word vomit on people or like emotionally dumb on people, but to know that others also feel the darkness and being able to put mine into words might not save anything, anyone or change anything, but it helps me save myself and change myself. That's just been my experience, especially. In being in the times of being in the ditch in the times when I really need to surrender , Jade: I resonate with that so deeply. For two reasons. The first thought that came to mind was about how in terms of vulnerability and sharing on social media, the times that I have really. Spared my soul on there where I'm literally shaking when I post something. Cause I'm like, ah, I don't know how this is gonna come across. Like I feel naked sometimes you don't get as many likes or hits or whatever, but the quality of the connection that you cultivate on there is different. Where you have engagement that is so meaningful and centered that it makes you cry. You're just like, oh my God, I'm not alone. Wow. Yeah. And then the second thing, That came to me was how powerful engaging with any kind of reflective, creative activity is, especially for me when I am having feelings that I want to avoid because yeah, an anxiety for me that I deal with. In every moment. It's it's a choice between do I accept what I'm feeling and engage in that in a way that's conscious and that it like faces it as it is. Or do I do something that's in the comfort zone and maybe a little distracting and like procrastinates and just lets that feeling build up until it's inevitable what has to come through and be processed in some way. And whenever I pick up, Either my journal or my guitar or a painting. It's like a feeling that can be so scary all of a sudden has this safe space where it's not so scary and I can feel it and transmute it, and I experience it on the receiving end as well. When somebody creates something that is of their healing, of their authenticity, that. What they go through in the process of creating that, like harmonizes with a process I need to go through. If I didn't know that I was feeling something and I hear a song that awakens something in me that I just didn't know was there, that's healing and when we process our emotions on that little micro level through just checking in with ourselves, that ripple effect is I think what makes the world go round, at least for me personally, especially in times where I don't feel connected to anything higher. TheAdam:
highest you can be of service to all of humanity is to be of service to yourself, right as you heal as. Understand as you discover, as you blossom like a flower would blossom, you are leading by example. What's possible, which is like a lighthouse, and in the current world, Boy is in lighthouse valuable.Alysha:
When Jade and I were talking earlier, she mentioned a post and voice and impact that said, art is how art is, how we hold space for humanity. I think that's exactly. It, right? It's to know it's almost like when you hear a song writer or you read something or discover an author where it's like they wrote this for me. It's such a powerful feeling. Like it's like nothing else. And like you were expressing Jade as well before you hit post on, one of your most vulnerable shares. Like I've written poetry that it's. Dark and I'm like, holy geez. Like I'm so scared to share this. And for people to be like, what the hell's up with this girl? Right. it. Totally great. Yeah. Send, I don't know, send someone send help. But it's, and it's it's never, that's what it's for. I love so much Almost like a reminder or an encouragement to create. Just to create, right? Like it doesn't always have to be a product. It doesn't always have to be shared. I know that you probably agree with that, Adam. Like you've definitely told me those sorts of things before as well, and I think that's like part of the beauty of being someone like this, right? It. First and foremost, it's for you to express yourself and to understand yourself. And once you're able to share it with the world and add value to the world and monetize it in the world, like that is the ultimate dream and sweet spot of empathetic entrepreneurship, which I think is just so unique in this time and so needed.Adam:
Yeah, I that makes me think of. One of the biggest lessons as an entrepreneur, one of the most important lessons as an entrepreneur is the intersection of that self-expression, intersection of that self-expression, like me, contributing in this way fuels me and value to the people around you value to problems that are being solved. If you can find that intersection, you are well equipped. As an entrepreneur to build something. And that's half the journey. is experimenting and discovering, oh, is that it? Oh, nope, that doesn't quite feel right yet. So let's finish that one up and discover what's next. And then eventually you kinda stumble upon it and then it's you'll know. And then it's here we go. That's important. That's an important part of the process that a lot of people don't talk about.Jade:
I love that you mentioned discovery because. When Alicia was explaining what she just said, reminded me of the dichotomy that is growth and is simultaneously giving and receiving. Like I can't tell you how many times that I have heard. A song that propels me into a whole new ether of my existence. Something that I find externally that leads me to a deeper internal part of myself. That's why it's so important to share, cuz it just we already covered this, but when you are the lighthouse that you're meant to be, people can find you and find parts of themselves that maybe they didn't know was there or are meant to explore on their.Adam:
And the cool thing about lighthouses is the more the merrier. , right? So it's like then you're also not on the competitive plane, right? You want everybody to be a lighthouse, so we could just fucking shine together. Woo. Isn't that a thrill?Alysha:
Yeah. Yeah. And it's not every empathetic person is an artist, but I feel like there is that general sense of. We are all creative. Every bone in your body is creative. I hate that. Like I don't have a creative bone in my body. It's every single bone in your body is creation. Like you existing is proof that you have creativity running through you in some sort of way. Wrapping it up a little bit, I know you talked about the biggest lesson, right? Is the intersection, Adam, but what I'd love to know from both of you like what is. a piece of advice maybe that you received or that you really believe in as an empathetic entrepreneur that helps you keep going inJade:
the hard times? I'll just say the first thing that came to mind, and it's the affirmation. I am enough exactly as I am. That's something that I have to affirm to myself daily and It can be a source of medicine in any area of the journey. Business, personal, emotional, social. I'm enough exactly as I am. There's no need to rush or be urgent. Everything's unfolding as it is. We are an expression of creation, even when we make mistakes, that's a natural, perfect thing andAlysha:
like it's allJade:
good. I'm enough. That's the advice that I've been given that has come in clutch recently. SoAdam:
your very being, your very natural expression of who you are without anything else attached to it, just your existence is a gift to the entire. All of it, you are a gift to mankind.Alysha:
The more we can, share our dreams for a better world authentically and express ourselves, the more we'll find people that share the same dreams and the same vision for theAdam:
world. Do what is yours to. Every day and the rest will take care of itself.