Monday, December 29, 2008



Based on his research for the revolutionary book "Zentrepreneurism"- A 21st Century Guide To the New World of Business and after interviewing hundreds of entrepreneurs, author Allan Holender has defined the nine key distinctions of Enlightened Zentrepreneurs. Here are his suggestions on what you need to know to survive life and business in 2009 during chaotic financial and stressful times.

1. Force vs. Power

When you are forcing something, you are pushing and shoving to get things to work out the way you want. There is a great deal of effort involved, and usually struggle. Power, on the other hand, implies a strength that goes beyond what you might be able to exert. You experience power when you align your inner energies, beliefs, and emotions with your outer actions. This will propel you forward towards your goals with much less effort and fewer toes being stepped on. So people talk about this as "flow!”

2. Accomplish vs. Attain

Accomplishment has a sense of finality, an end point, and refers more to a task. Accomplishments often feel meaningless once you've accomplished them. Have you ever worked hard in order to get something, and then once you had it, it didn't seem so important or meaningful anymore? There was a bit of a letdown.

Attainment, on the other hand, has no end. It is based in a spiritual or inspired knowing that what you are doing is meaningful at a level that goes far beyond just you or your company. Enlightened Zentrepreneurs indicate that when they made the shift to attainment, it expanded their capacity to create the life they wanted.

3. Gaining information vs. Using

While it might seem obvious that to simply gain information is not sufficient for producing incredible, enlightened success, there are a lot of business people out there reading and acquiring information without really putting it into practice. Until you use what you learn, you haven't really learned it. You've just expanded your storehouse of information.

4. Segmented vs. Enlightened Zentrepreneurs

Enlightened Zentrepreneurs say that before they became incredibly successful, they thought of their lives in compartmentalized segments. Even within their businesses they had a segmented approach to their services, products, and even their efforts.

The shift for them came when they created a synergy by integrating their work and their lives. When you have an integrated approach, activity in one area directly benefits goals in another area. This is part of how you can move three paces ahead with only one step.

5. Working Hard vs. Working Joyfully

Working hard brings with it all the “must do’s” and “to do’s,” plus all the heaviness that those lists entail. Working joyfully, on the other hand, brings with it ease, fun, inspiration, and a light, powerful sense. When you work joyfully, you are working in tandem with spirit, in tandem with your true desires, whereas when you work hard you are usually pushing against something (See Force vs. Power).

Enlightened Zentrepreneurs often learned this the hard way. They spent years working hard, only to see their goals slipping away – along with their health and their energy. Often they “hit bottom” before they decided to try it a different way. When they did make the shift to working joyfully, they found themselves thinking, “Is it really this easy?” or “Wow, this is great! I can have fun, make money, and make a difference!”

6. Structure vs. Environments

Structure is a good thing. You need some structure in order to get things done – even if your structure looks vastly different from someone else’s. Structure is focused on tasks and specific outcomes.

Environments, on the other hand, go beyond structure to setting up entire systems of support that enable you to continue making progress without even “working” at it.

The distinction is that an environment works for you, while a structure requires you to do the work. An environment makes the structure YOURS. Enlightened Zentrepreneurs say this is one of the most important distinctions. When they could transform their structures – or lack of structure – into environmental supports, they were able to consistently move ahead with far less effort.

7. Behaviour Change vs. Shift

A behaviour change is just what it sounds like. You either stop doing or start doing something. It can be simple, and may or may not be lasting. A shift, on the other hand, is powerful. It usually comes as the result of an experience of some sort (perhaps from the behaviour change), and results in a deep, cellular change in how you approach things. It is often accompanied by an identify shift as well.

Think of those “a-ha!” moments and epiphanies you have had – the times when you all of a sudden “got it.” That is a shift. You can try to go back to the old way of doing things, but there is a part of you that always knows you’re not participating at your full potential.

For example, once you realize that what you think about and focus on affects your results, you cannot pretend it isn’t so. You might temporarily think less than helpful thoughts, but your internal set point has changed and you will be inspired to go back to what you know to be the truth. In order to get to this shift point; however, you might have to practice it as behaviour change until you get the evidence of how it works.

8. Pessimism vs. Optimism

This distinction seems obvious. What’s not always so obvious to people is WHEN they are being pessimistic. People who are struggling with their businesses often describe themselves as being “realistic,” seeing what’s really going on. The truth is they are only looking at a portion of what’s going on, and chances are they are making that worse than it really is.

Optimism is not just a state of mind or an approach. It is a commitment to looking for what’s working, looking for the good in a situation, and building on that. It is based on spiritual and scientific principles that when we focus on what’s working and looking with vision and passion toward what we want, that we are actually more resourceful and creative.

Enlightened Zentrepreneurs have MASTERED this distinction!

9. Focusing on the Gap vs. Honoring Where You Are

While wanting more is not a bad thing, when most people talk about what they want, what they are really doing is focusing on the gap between what they want and what they have. By doing this, they actually activate the “not having” more than the “having,” so it sets up a bit of a catch-22.

Honoring where you are is being fully present, loving each moment, knowing that each moment is already full and perfect, regardless of whether you have accomplished or attained. It is tapping in to the power of NOW.

Honoring where you are doesn’t discount that you might have dreams and desires, but in really honoring, you activate trust, celebration, and good feelings that allow in more of what you want.

As you’ve noticed, these key distinctions of Enlightened Zentrepreneurs are grounded in inner and outer attitudes, beliefs, and actions. They require a spiritual shift as well as an external, or action, shift.

By applying these key distinctions you will have begun the journey towards becoming a zentrepreneur. While an entrepreneur creates a business, a zentrepreneur creates a business and a life.

By Allan Holender, Author of “Zentrepreneurism”- A 21st Century Guide to the New World of Business. Allan is also Founder & CEO of The Centre for Zentrepreneurism, dedicated to instilling passion, purpose and profits with integrity in North American business. Their website is

This article is the property of Allan M. Holender. It may not be reproduced in part or in whole without the express written consent of Allan Holender

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