Ming the Mechanic:
Weaving Business

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Weaving Business2003-09-12 20:03
picture by Flemming Funch

I feel inspired to explore the subject of wealth and business. I'm both interested in unearthing the seedy channels that money flows through when we dig down a little bit. And I'm interested in discovering more integruous, but practical, ways that good people can have access to the wealth needed to live meaningful lives.

See, it still seems like most people are either wage slaves, who do things they wouldn't do otherwise, for people who make much more out of it than they do. Or they're the people who exploit the wage slaves, getting them to do as much as possible for as little as possible. Or people are self-employed or small business owners, who work harder than either wage slaves or big business owners, for more uncertain rewards. Or you're somebody who has found a way of exploiting the system, particularly if you're in a socialized country where you can get social security. Or, you've found you own niche where you've made some kind of deal or investment in the past, or you happened to have been married to the right person, and now can live off the fruits of that. Or you're one of the somewhat few and lucky people who actually are doing exactly what you want to do, and people voluntarily reward you for it.

I personally usually have ended up either being somebody's wage slave, or an indepenent contractor that works very hard, or sometimes I'm lucky that I'm rewarded for things I've done and enjoyed. And I've realized by now that it doesn't work well for me at all to try to act as an unscrupulous business person who sells useless stuff and buys things for too little. Or as a stock market gambler who buys and sells stocks based on numbers, rather than on whether they're good companies or not. Or an MLM guru who signs people up into questionable pyramid schemes by enthusiastic BS sales talk. Neither am I somebody who even sells myself well. What works for me has been to be very pure and integruous about doing the stuff I really care about, whether it pays or not, and then to take work where it is offered, even if it doesn't exactly match the stuff I really care about.

But the third possibility is to be instrumental in generating more true wealth in ways I actually can defend morally. Which for me points towards either helping people realize their dreams individually or creating networks that help them do so, maybe by doing business with each other. And to do so in a way that is actually viable, for them and for me.

It seems quite obvious that a sufficiently large network of motivated and skilled human beings can do great things together, if they each get clear on what they have to offer, and what they need, and they share some resources, knowledge and infrastructure.

Sofar I've been most into creating network facilities for purposes that are far removed from the idea of doing business together. It wasn't exactly intentional, but it is at least a reflection of my own distaste for phoney and blatant commercialism. The result is, however, that I mostly have managed to create spaces for stimulating human interaction and discussion, with not much grounding in tangible shared projects. But really I have nothing against facilitating that people do honest business with each other. And I have nothing against loads of money in my hands.

And there's the thought that *business* is a natural key point. Doesn't even have to be commercial business to make money. It might be putting together a non-profit organization. But there's something that happens when people go into business, where some real resources have to be committed, and there's something at stake, and a tangible outcome in sight.

And, not to complain about my friends, but it seems like most people I know aren't much into that. They're great and warm and interesting people, and interesting discussions can happen. But mostly they're not potential business partners. They have jobs, or they don't need jobs, or they have businesses but never tell me about them, or they have causes to promote.

Anyway, I'm just thinking aloud and considering that there's a way I can more actively pursue business opportunities, without selling my soul, and where I can explore the potential wealth of networks.

So, I will be exploring what is out there, and direct some of my energy towards a different kind of networking than I normally do.

A keyword is "Free Agent". Somebody who's neither an employee nor an employer, but who has some resources and skill, and a keen eye towards the resources of skills of others, and who's able to network them all well, so that the least possible effort gets the most result, and he/she is both well supported in life and free to pursue his interests, and others are too.

Another word would be "Weaver". Somebody who notices opportunities for something good to happen which isn't already. And who then helps some threads to be woven together, for the benefit of all involved.

It is still a conversation, but it is a conversation directed somewhere. Towards the realization of projects that are not only good and desirable, but also viable.

So, a key is to reframe business from being about cheating people to being about making activities be viable, finding the greatest good for all involved, and activating untapped potentials for greater synergy and leverage.

That becomes much easier if there is a supportive network, of knowledge and resources and tools, and people who're ready to play with others.

There are already lots of business people in the world, who already know well how to do their craft. I guess I'm mostly casting an eye towards the folks who're still stuck in jobs that don't serve them, who might be better off as free agents and entrepreneurs. People like myself who somehow can't quite figure out how to effortlessly generate the wealth to support their lives without selling their souls to those who do know how.

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12 Sep 2003 @ 21:47 by vibrani : maybe

13 Sep 2003 @ 00:40 by shawa : Ah...
THAT´s the point : NOT selling one´s soul! ;-)  

15 Sep 2003 @ 18:00 by maxtobin : An Answer Here?
"...So, a key is to reframe business from being about cheating people to being about making activities be viable, finding the greatest good for all involved, and activating untapped potentials for greater synergy and leverage. "
I know that you are on to the right track Flemming. The move to France has bought up a number of issues for you!! Spirit moves us all in wonderous (not always comfortable) ways. I sense there is a deeper resolve working its way out through the "community" as we share our common unity and come to sense our common needs in these times. The answer to the question you are grappling with is in the discovery of a new and wider sense of community. I feel that you are a catalyst and the work you have done with NCN and x-pert web and all of the group facilitation 'tools' is a key to that which is e-merging. "don't fight it it's bigger than any of us", and WE have the answers, they appear through our becoming aware that we need something else. The universe is divinely co-operative and will give us exactly what we believe or expect. So lets expect to find new and empowering ways to interact both locally and globally, and to follow our passion. Through the heart we will be guided to the new civilization. I have been busy with a local focus and not had much time to dwell in these 'hallowed halls of communion'. Maybe a new work group to explore a deeper sensing of what the future may hold (in terms of developing these ideas you are seeding?) if we are bold and claim our sacred parts (includes the hearts).  

21 Sep 2003 @ 23:38 by ov : Drum Therapy
Greetings Fleming, long time no see, er talk, but anyway glad to see the site is still flourishing. Just got back from an Autumn Equinox drumming circle, which doesn't actually happen until tomorrow night, but the Sunday night is when we usually meet anyway. It was great, and the message delivered by the myth goddess through the drum song was that things are coming together really nicely and everything is going to work out great. Last time we had this big a shift there was a millenium to do it in, but this time it's going to be compressed into a decade. WooHoo the mother of all simultaneous equations.

Bringing this back on topic. Here in Vancouver our health care and almost everything else is in the process of being privatized, which isn't that great for the average citizen. Rather than fighting this however I've been thinking of ways to direct the government grants into small business rather than large corporations. One area that is going to be cut is the adolescent treatment centers for troubled kids. I think that drumming circles, with a drum instructer and counselors, that travels around to drop in centers and schools would be more therapeutic than the current institutional drug based therapy, or at least for a sizable majority of these kids. Establishing drumming therapy as legitimate, and then getting some of the government grants that will become available once the institutions are closed down will not only provide a lot of child care counselors with work, (and drummers too), and do good for the community, but I might actually be able to land a job as a counselor for myself. I've got a couple years and a few connections.


22 Sep 2003 @ 04:59 by Earl Mardle @ : Weavers and Travellers
I found your piece within a couple of minutes of a piece by Gerry McGovern getting wound up about choosing words carefully. Your personal thoughts mirror his business communication ones, your journey to "make a living" mirrors mine and you use a word that isn't in any dictionary that I know, and therefore breaks the McGovern rule, yet makes perfect sense. I like integruous

Weavers is great, I'll borrow it, I use "travellers". Keep it up and have a great time in France.  

22 Sep 2003 @ 10:19 by Andrius Kulikauskas @ : Monkey Business
Flemming, it was good chatting, and I'm taking very seriously the idea to incubate you (and also Bala Pillai [link] and others who might be interested) as a social entrepreneur running an ASP to facilitate best use of marginal Internet access. I have written up the details on my blog, the fractal movement is much in spirit with what you write here, and you can go straight to the ASP details:
So I hope I might include you, please let me know of any obstacles. I have structured this so that it is for social entrepreneurs who have a serious interest to run such a business, so at this point no firmer commitment is necessary. This is all due on September 30th, we find out by December 1st. Any help you can give to critique and promote this would help us find partners, co-funding and related work. Also, I want to apply for EUREKA funding for commercialization of scientific research, namely working out a language of instructions that expresses our participation in Internet society, like "post to my blog", "update this Wiki", etc. May I include you as our partner in France? Let's think up a proposal, if you are interested. Peace and Hi!  

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