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Do You Get Paid to Plerk?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Cool new word: Plerk. The combo of play and work. Reminds me of my definition of work : Problems as playthings or Having fun playing with problems.

I saw the words at Zaadz

Plerk is closely related to Plervice, or the pleasure of being in service.

"I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy." - Rabindranath Tagore

Plerk and Plervice are underpinnings of Servant Entrepreneurship and are no doubt the antidote to offshoring and othersourcing.

Topics: Servant Entrepreneur

The Secret to Coaching Success: Servant Entrepreneurs Unite!

Posted by Julia Stewart

Thomas LeonardI've been playing with the concept of the Servant Entrepreneur, a phrase that I coined when looking for the entrepreneurial equivalent of Servant Leader (http://www.greenleaf.org/). I'll be speaking about it at a new seminar titled, THE SERVANT ENTREPRENEUR: How to Become Irresistibly Attractive to Money, Opportunities and People.

In a previous post in the Coaching Blog, I wrote that the Servant Entrepreneur was probably the only business model that will bring sustainable success to coaches.

What is the Servant Entrepreneur business model?


1. Do service for others.
2. Leverage that service (and everything else) to grow your business and create value for your clients, yourself and the world.

In that order.

Simple, huh? Maybe you're already doing it. But maybe not.

Most coaches start out with this as their purpose, more or less, but it gets lost, easily. Especially while you're getting hyped by marketing programs that tell you how to make lots of money as a coach.

Are you making lots of money, yet?

If you're not, then you may be focusing on the wrong step. Most coaches either focus on doing service and leave out the leveraging piece, or they focus on the leveraging piece and only do service as an after thought, which comes across as manipulative to savvy potential clients. Or they flip back and forth, which doesn't work, either. Do you see yourself in here?

How do you consistently do service first and leverage second and become enormously successful (like say, Oprah Winfrey or Thomas Leonard)?

I don't pretend to have all the answers and yet, I've seen it in action and it works and I've seen coaches who don't get it, even "top" coaches, crash and burn.

Here's the tricky part: The Ego and the Greater Self need to kiss and make up.

If you've done your personal development, you know what I'm talking about. (If not, get to work!)

However, most PD programs encourage you to live only from the greater self and get the ego out of the picture. The ego is what has driven humankind for tens of thousands of years. Now some folks are giving it the boot; calling it "pathological" or "dysfunctional". Maybe it's neither. Maybe the greater self is just an upgrade, like from DOS to WindowsXP.

Ego is a source of energy, expensive energy maybe, like foreign oil, but useful at least for now. The Self runs cleaner, but it can use a boost in order to get things done in the temporal world - the one where business occurs. The ego can be placed in service of the greater self and visa versa, kind of like hybrid cars use two different energy sources and produce cleaner running cars. You're probably already doing that to some degree: It feels better to come from the Self and the ego likes to feel good, so it's willing to go there, right? That's why doing service feels good.

Why not let the Self support the ego, too? Having a greater voice in the world, having the power and money to do great good - wouldn't that serve the Self? So why not let the ego succeed at the things it wants, when those things can also serve the Self? For example, why not let the ego have all the money and success that it craves - as long as it's doing service?

If you ever visited thomasleonard.com while he was still alive (You can still go there by going to www.waybackmachine.org and typing in thomasleonard.com and choose the dates that you want to look at. Currently his URL just goes to a memorial site.), you know that his tagline was, "Ego is good." Ever wonder what he meant by that? He'd already discovered that ego can place the Self in service of the world. Without it, you may as well retire to your cave and meditate for the rest of your life. Not a bad thing, but if you're an entrepreneur, it's not your thing.

Thomas made SE work.

How can you start putting SE to work for you (and the world)?

Topics: coaching success, Thomas Leonard, Servant Entrepreneur, Servant Entrepreneurs, Servant Entrepreneuship

Servant Entrepreneur

Posted by Julia Stewart

We need a new definition of entrepreneurship: The Servant Entrepreneur, someone who always places service above profits. Like the Servant Leader, this is someone who is not in it for the perqs, but for the honor of doing service. Not for the ego rush, but the fulfillment of purpose.

When I say, "someone who always places service above profits", I don't mean that the Servant Entrepreneur is any less savvy as a business person; He/she's still and entrepreneur. But service is first.

Thomas Leonard was a Servant Entrepreneur (He also had a big ego that sometimes got in the way, so there's hope for us all!) Thomas doubled the value of Coach U every year without raising the price. He added value to Coachville members for the sheer joy of it - and he made a small fortune!

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the Servant Entrepreneur may be the only business model that will deliver high-quality coaching and a profitable business, at the same time.

How can we become Servant Entrepreneurs? I believe it takes discipline to do it consistently. It may not always feel good. It may mean forgoing the intoxicating moments for the joy of fulfillment. And that means knowing the difference between the two, becoming aware of how each feels to you.

For me, spiritual fulfillment is a subtle inner knowingness, a joy that connects me to the whole world. Intoxication is that excited little buzz I feel that causes me to check my email at 7 AM on a Sunday morning!

Becoming a Servant Entrepreneur also may require asking yourself throughout your day, "What is motivating you? Who's in charge, your ego or your Self?" And not judging, if it's your ego, but choosing to put your ego in service of the world. This may mean shifting the way you think about your projects away from money-generating products toward value-generating products.

Instead of asking ourselves, "What do I want to do?", we may want to ask, "What does the world want or need that I'm excited to give?"

I believe that this discipline requires that we do not try to go it alone. Precisely because it is so easy to slip into ego-based desire without even knowing it. We need mentors who have mastered this (I'm not sure any have) or friends who are closely aligned with this value to hold us accountable, or spiritual teachers who know us very well.

We need to practice Servant Entrepreneurship, not just light a candle and hope for the best!

This is a big shift for most of us to make. Subtle but big. I'm attempting to orient myself around it, as an operating system. Please let me know if you think I'm missing the mark.

Copyright, Julia Stewart, 2005

Topics: Thomas Leonard, Servant Entrepreneur, Mattison Grey, Coachville

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