I once officiated a wedding ceremony in Palo Alto. When I had finished, an older woman approached me with a group of friends. She was deeply touched by the ceremony and asked if I would marry her grandson. I explained that this was not my profession, and I would have to decline. She asked what I did for a living. I told her I was a venture capitalist. Her mouth fell open and her friends looked at me as if I had just levitated.
“What made my profession so shocking?” I thought. I then realized it stems from a commonly held view in our culture that business people have to forfeit their spiritual self-care to succeed and spiritual seekers have to forfeit worldly success to develop their consciousness.
We have no examples of how business can be a meaningful and effective spiritual path.
This view, however, flies in the face of my experience as both a long time meditator and a venture capitalist. I find the skills one uses to increase self-awareness are the same skills one uses to build value in a business. For example, asking hard questions, leaning into difficult issues, and deconstructing belief patterns are just a few of the skills that are deeply useful in both business and spiritual development.
When this realization dawned on me, I was struck with the recognition of how different my life would have been if I was shown that this duality of business and spirituality was a myth. I became inspired to not only share this realization with others, but to give them the tools that allowed me to deepen my self-awareness while increasing my ability to create a more beautiful world for myself and others.