As the purpose- and profit-driven business model becomes mainstream, your conscious business will need to focus on being more present as a measure for profitability. Why? In the last two years alone, sustainable, responsible and impact investing has become more mainstream where 26% or one out of every four dollars under professional management is now invested in SRI. The trend of SRI investing has also exponentially increased since 2012.
From a small business and conscious entrepreneur coach who once worked on Wall Street as an SRI advisor, here’s another piece of data to consider: In 2016, Morningstar, a company measuring a mutual fund’s risk-adjusted return, started integrating sustainability ratings based on a company’s ESG (environmental, social and governance) measures, alongside the traditional, profit-only performance indicators. Considering performance indicators that go beyond the bottom line is not a passing trend; it’s simply how business is now being done.
CEOs of nearly 200 companies recently shared a business roundtable statement saying that shareholder value is no longer their main objective. While their public commitment is commendable, and potentially a game-changer, continuing to track and measure the quadruple bottom line of people, planet, profit and presence will be critical in determining the future of business performance and success.
There have been several measures for the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit; however, in my experience, focusing just on those three bottom lines is unsustainable and can result in just a bunch of burned-out do-gooders. It’s critical to integrate a fourth bottom line of business: presence.
By integrating the fourth “P” of presence, your business has a shot at building an economy that lasts versus going bankrupt. How can you measure presence? First, ask yourself what presence means to you, both in your life and your business. Is it about well-being, being more self-aware, less toxicity and gossip or creating happier energy? Once you’ve answered that, you’ll have an easier time measuring success.
Three Ways You Can Measure Presence
1. Number of breaths per minute
With my clients, we measure presence by the number of breaths per minute. Just the exercise itself allows people to slow down, be in their body and pay attention to their breath, like a mini-meditation break. If after the one minute, there are still too many breaths being taken, that indicates a level of stress that won’t be as productive as energy that is more grounded.
2. Number of days offline, not working or on vacation
Like the seasons, you cannot expect a business to always be in spring and summer mode. It needs time to transition like fall and hibernate and reflect like winter. Despite knowing this intellectually, too many businesses try to outsmart nature through systems that never sleep. What you miss in the time off, is the ability to gain perspective on whether what you are doing is working or even relevant anymore, the ability to synthesize everything so far and more.
3. Scoring your energy state
You can take a free energy state quiz to get a baseline for how you are doing if you measure energy by health, happiness and peace of mind that corresponds to energy centers in your gut, heart and mind. This assessment will show you where you need to improve and what you are doing well at that you should maintain.
Measuring your breath, time off and energy state are just a few ways to measure presence. Depending on your definition of presence, there are other measures to experiment with as well — especially in the domain of happiness.
Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness Index includes a wholistic measure beyond subjective happiness that includes many facets of general well-being such as health, education and living standards.
Inspired by Bhutan, the Happiness Alliance is a nonprofit that has created a Happiness Index that incorporates western values on a basis of 13 domains from work, time balance and social support to the environment, government and education. The website shares an annual Happiness Impact Report, along with many free resources to utilize in creating measures for your business.
No matter how you choose to measure presence in your business, the first step is to start with you. Pick a measure to practice over a set period of time, observe and note the differences, then continue with the same measure for deeper practice or choose a new measure.
Committing to measuring presence will have far-reaching benefits beyond your profit, helping you connect with others and our planet and thereby creating a new normal, resilient global economy.
This article was originally published on Forbes.com.
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