The saying “As you sow, so shall you reap,” is considered one of the best-known representations of the concept of “Karma.”
It got me thinking when it comes to work, how far can we caution ourselves about what we are “sowing” into our business (money, work, culture, decisions, conflicts, resolutions, etc.)? More importantly, how will we know if our dealings are in line with constructive evolution (the good side of the scale of karmic balance) or submerging us further into karma’s vicious cycle (the bad side of the scale of karmic balance)?
A rare tale of a leap of good faith
I still remember reading this inspiring news that made me smile with moist eyes. In 2015, Dan Price, the CEO of Gravity Payments, raised the minimum wage of all his employees to $70,000 a year. Dan had slashed his salary to $70,000 from $1.1 million to do so. Dan had once pronounced that he wishes to buy his dream car. To return the favor, 120 employees of Dan’s firm saved their one month’s salary and gifted him his dream car. It was Karma unfolding in its classic style.
Karma – the good, the bad, and the ugly
The notion of karma is comparable to a balance sheet, with the golden principle – debit in, credit out. You earn credit for all your debits. This credit will be good, bad, or ugly, depending on the debit you produce.
When you marry karma and business, you are bounded by the law –
A. Good karmic debits = Good Credit>input
B. Bad karmic debtis = Bad Credit >input
C. Ugly karmic debits = Ugly Credit >input
Where karmic debits are your intentions, the input is your action based on intentions, and credit is your output. In any way, your output is greater than the input. Therefore, rule A is what we all must aim.
After having set up several ventures, and mentoring start-up enthusiasts I’ve consolidated the five Sutras of Karmic Management, which I feel can be applied in almost all situations:
1. The Law of Growth
While starting a new project, venturing out to materialize an idea, or managing a team, hasten the course of inevitable failure and stop doing anything that is not working out. That way, you may fail fast but it will turn out better if you also learn fast, and can help you grow faster. Take a new path that promises to take you to your destination. The great Abraham Lincon lost elections eight times and failed in business twice. But, he quickly moved on by failing fast and recovering faster for success.
2. The Law of Synchronicity
You’re thinking of replacing your car while driving on a highway, and you drive past a billboard, which advertises a good exchange offer on a car. This phenomenon is called synchronicity. The law of synchronicity is looking out for signals or events in the external surroundings that can help us achieve our objectives. You’re attracted to such signals unconsciously; as you’re constantly thinking of your objective, you are linking everything around to it. Logically, the idea emanates from the bedrock of curiosity that makes one look for the answer in everything around. Therefore, you are more aware of the external world that attracts you to the desired answer quickly, just like the law of attraction.
3. The Law of Reflection
We reflect our surroundings, and our surroundings mirror us. When we carry positivity within, we also reflect the same in people around us. Resultant – you are appreciative of people’s efforts and become a source of motivation. On the contrary, when you’re always complaining and criticizing, it is a clarion call to look within and reignite the fire of positivity. Take someone like Mahatma Gandhi, who was filled with hope and selflessness. He invariably saw the same in everyone and inspired the whole world to lead the life of righteousness.
4. The Law of Focus
In the face of problems, if you tend to lose direction, you are giving way to insecurity and rage. Instead, the best way to rise above challenges is by seeing them as opportunities to focus on your goals. Despite hurdles and lawsuits, the great Nicolas Tesla never lost sight and created over 300 patents to his name. It is said that he once worked 84 hours straight.
5. The Law of Significance and Inspiration
Your good returns are the fruits of your energy and intent. Fair use of intelligence is to have positive intentions and to put your energy into fructifying them. Invest in improving your business conduct. Use the profits to thank, encourage, and improve the lives of those who helped you succeed. Humility is the best form of investment.
The Karmic Philosophy of Business Sustainability
The core objective of any business is sustainability. A good business Karma will ensure a long run for any organization. Let’s decode further. The business Karma consists of four key elements
- Strategy – Implementing decisions that are thought through and would reap long term benefits. For example, mergers and acquisitions or product diversification.
- Transparency – Acting per policies and communicating in all openness, honesty, and goodwill to employees and customers. For example, intimating clients in case of an operational-hiccup.
- Nurturing – Promoting a culture of care and empowering employees to grow in the system. For example, a manager guiding his/her team by sharing expertise and wisdom.
- Objectivity – Acting fair by ensuring pragmatic criteria to arrive at a decision. For example, eliminating personal biases when addressing employee grievances.
When actions comply with these four elements the good business karma is manifested in form of sustainability. On contrary, bad business karma will impact a business’s lifeline.