Are you trading away your soul or are you a Soul Trader?
Every now and then you meet someone who blows you away and inspires you to raise your own game.
Earlier this week, that’s exactly what happened to me – I went to the book launch party for my friend Rasheed Ogunlaru‘s latest book.
Like me, Rasheed is a coach, author and inspirational speaker and though we have known of each other for years, we only recently connected face to face. And yesterday was the publication date of his new book – Soul Trader (Amazon USA /Amazon UK )
Soul Trader is one of those life changing books that any inspiring entrepreneur or indeed any established business person should read.
As Rasheed says, brutal business is sick and dying. And welcome to the era of the Soul Trader
Practical and motivational Soul Trader is a coach yourself companion, with insights, inspiration, tips and tools to help you and your business progress whatever your stage.
“Cut the cost & raise the impact of your business – by following your heart” – Rasheed Ogunlaru
The book highlights we’re sick of running and working for soul-less businesses that don’t care about customers just our cash – which is many are crumbling. It replaces mindless business with heart-centred entrepreneurship.
“The world is changing and so is what we want from businesses. Mindless businesses are dying and heart-led ones are being born. We’re sick of soul-less businesses that only care cash not their customers. We want and need fulfilling, sustainable, meaningful ones in balance with our lives – that make an impact in the lives and those they serve and in the world. ”
Follow your heart, utilise your network, build rich relationships and you’ll cut the financial and emotional costs of starting / growing a business in tough, changing times says Rasheed.
The book totally resonates with me and it is my great pleasure to interview Rasheed and introduce him to my readers:-
1. Rasheed, your story and your book is so inspiring! Thanks for creating such a wonderful book – it’s going to inspire a lot of people around the world. What inspires YOU?
I’m really just inspired by life, being alive and this magical gift of life. But beyond and within that I’ve always been passionate about people, their magic and their own possibilities when they do that.
In terms of people who have inspired me; my mother has been a great inspiration. She is one of life’s extra-ordinary, ordinary people.
The Gandhi’s and Mandela’s have inspired me too – all those who pointed us to our inter-connectedness, peace and compassion.
On a more every day level I’m inspired by nature, space and silence.
2. So many people are doing jobs they don’t enjoy – and are in businesses without soul. Why do you think that is?
It’s simply conditioning. From as soon as we can speak we are told who we are, what our background is, how we should be and what we should aspire to.
For a number of generations that has meant – usually for good intentions – that we are told that we should aspire to be something sensible – doctor, lawyer, office manager or whatever else. We are rarely told to follow our real passion and talents or to find our purpose and forge a career from these things. So we end up stuck in loveless jobs and all sorts of situation.
Thus it takes real courage and mindfulness to step back and ask ‘what feels true to me?’
Ask yourself – what will it take to live my best possible life?
However the economy, serial redundancy, job uncertainty and that voice from within – combined with the more holistic times we are in, are making more people ask that question.
3. What advise can you offer those people who just can’t change jobs?
I would say give yourself the space for a moment to step back and ask yourself:
- ‘Who am I?’
- ‘What’s really most important to me in life?’
- ‘Where am I at?’
- ‘What kind of job do I really want to do?’
It may be that if you feel that you can’t change jobs or if you feel that employment is no longer working for you that you may be wanting or needing to explore becoming your own boss.
This often happens when people feel stuck or they have reached a ceiling – or if they just have new dreams. Maybe intuition is whispering in their ear!
4. What’s the single one thing that you believe stops people from making the most of their life? What else?
Fighting life rather than embracing life.
I often say that there are only two ‘choices’ in life: to fight it or to embrace it.
When you fight life (and sometimes this is natural too) you will lose. When you embrace it you become one with life and you are lived. As you embrace (accept life) those barriers and fears tend to dissolve away and you flow.
There really isn’t anything else because everything else is within life and the embracing: fear, procrastination, motivation – these things are common complaints people bring to me but when you accept life you understand and appreciate fear.
You also realise that most things that are procrastinated over are things that are not really important or pressing to the true you below the ego. And when you embrace life you discover your true motivations so you are motivated.
5. What 3 tips can you offer for any young entrepreneur starting of on their life journey today so that that they too can create the business they really love?
1) Identify all your skills, passions, gifts and talents and build a business around that. If you are good at locating potentially free taxes and incentives for solar energy, then perhaps you should establish an alternative energy consultancy firm. Perhaps you have a tantalizing knack for culinary creations; if so, then maybe a restaurant would be opportunistic. It’s important that you know your magic, use your magic – and from that you can create magic.
2) Now it’s all about your customers – research, understand, talk and listen to them. Care about them – shape your business around them and you’ll have a business
3) Develop a rich network of people with different skills, styles and strengths who share your values. That means that whatever life throws at you – and presents you and your business, you will be able to respond because you will have a team. Everything is interconnected. Build rich connections and spot them.
6. Maybe not everyone wants to consciously lead a life of full service to others. But I do believe that everyone deep down wants to make a difference to others. What suggestions can you offer to those people who are reluctant to serve others in some way?
At least they are being honest! Or perhaps short-sighted.
It’s easy for us all to think we are all about serving when every act of service also is about serving ourselves. I am no different. Perhaps what is useful is first to accept that we are concerned with our immediate concerns. Honour that.
Honour your own desire to be safe & secure and to progress. But then the invitation of life is to realise that your progress – and certainly your peace and security – will be dependent on connection, care, compassion and co-operation with others. This is what the Soul Trader is really about
Compassion is the key. First be compassionate to yourself. As a result, through life’s own grace you will become compassionate to others. You will look to see how what you do can help not only yourself but others. That way your own fulfilment and that of others becomes more likely and not just remain a vague possibility.
7. There is a rapidly growing awareness about the need for change and equality in the world. What are your hopes for your future? How can my readers here approach work and business more soulfully?
We all ‘think’ the world needs to be changed. Funnily enough, sometimes there’s a level of ego.
We want the world to change so it works more in our favour! Gandhi was right – the only change that needs to happen is you – you must embody the change you want to see.
I would put it this way ‘It is not the world that needs to change – it’s our consciousness we need to raise’. The problems we see in the world are man-made and mind-made.
My hopes for the world and I guess you could say it’s my mission is for a world where people are more at peace with themselves and with each other – that will generate a peaceful world. It is very easy but it requires everyone to do their own bit by addressing the change in themselves not in the world.
This is important if you change your relationship to yourself you will be at peace with yourself and others and you will move from conflict to compassion.
- Step 1: First of all be at peace with the contents of your mind – make JOY your home.
- Step 2: As you accept the contents of your mind, your mind will become more at ease – more at peace.
- Step 3: As this happen, it is like the dust settling after sandstorm…you will be clearer, more peaceful, more tolerant and more grateful. You will naturally sing your song and allow others to sing their’s and there will be more harmony. You will create a business that is actually needed and that actually serves
8. Finally, what’s next for you? What new challenges do you intend to conquer now?
This lovely quote once came to me ‘the world is already yours – why try to conquer it’.
For me next is to be still and to be silent – which is funny for a motivational speaker and writer! To be grateful. And then just to continue the work and be true to what arises from the silence. This is the only way I can be true to myself and to hear what it is (if anything) I should be doing less.
It’s easy to get caught up in doing this and that and changing the world when all one needs to do is really appreciate it and to flow with it.
And Arvind, thank YOU for inspiring so many people through your blog and for your service that gives to the world.
Soul Trader cuts the complexity and cut-throat mentality out of business, introducing an easy, painless and economical way of being your own boss or building a business through seven chapters of ‘heart centred’ principles / steps: Clarity; Customers; Courage, Co-operation, Conversations, Creativity, Compassion…and a concluding principle; Change.
- Clarity: Know your mission, talents & values – let this passion propel you.
- Customers: See life through customers’ eyes to win their custom and loyalty
- Courage: Unleash your inspiration / wisdom and adopt an athlete’s attitude
- Co-operation: Punch over your weight; collaborate. Use / build your network.
- Conversations: Learn the art to connect, converse, create and convert leads.
- Creativity: Know when to work, rest and be at your best, (re)gain life balance.
- Compassion: Connect from the heart – be transformational not transactional