Skip to main content

In this Episode, Susan interviews the author of the number 1 international best-seller Compassionate Capitalism: A Journey to the Soul of Business, Blaine Bartlett.  He talked about his belief that is not just about making money. It’s so important to focus on what you do best and turn it into something people need, want or deserve! If your company helps uplift lives by providing goods and services, the consumers will beat a path straight towards YOUR door.

Raw and Real Entrepreneurship with Blaine Bartlett

Topics covered in the interview

Blaine’s first business
Founder success
The purpose of business
Guiding principles and values

Blaine Bartlett’s Bio

Blaine Bartlett consults, advises and coaches worldwide with leaders, executives, companies, and governments. He has personally delivered programs to more than 300,000 individuals and has directly impacted more than one million people worldwide. 

Blaine is a co-host of Office Hours with David Meltzer on Bloomberg TV, hosts the Soul of Business podcast and is featured in the TV series World’s Greatest Motivators, the movie and book Think and Grow Rich: The Legacy as well as three TEDx talks and numerous podcasts. As CEO of Avatar Resources, a global leadership consultancy he founded in 1987, he’s worked with entrepreneurs and leaders in many of the largest companies and organizations on the planet to change the way leadership is used to foster Compassionate Capitalism. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Beijing University, Managing Director of the Global Coaching Alliance, a longtime member of the Transformational Leadership Council and serves as a member of the teaching faculty of the American Association for Physician Leadership. Blaine sits on numerous Boards including the Board of Directors of the World Business Academy and the Unstoppable Foundation. In 2012, he was formally invested as a Knight of the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem Knights of Malta, the world’s oldest humanitarian organization.

Blaine is the author of five books – the #1 international best-seller Compassionate Capitalism: A Journey to the Soul of Business; his first book Discover Your Inner Strength written in collaboration with Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard and Brian Tracy; the best-selling Three-Dimensional Coaching: Moving Passion into Performance; and Tapping into the Soul of Business: The Key to Employee Engagement. His newest book is The Leadership Mindset Weekly.

Follow Blaine Bartlett

Show Notes

Read Full Transcript

Speaker 00:00
Welcome to Raw and Real Entrepreneurship, the show that dares to bring the no nonsense insight to those who have the courage to start, grow, and scale a business. Here's your host, entrepreneur, investor, and best selling author, Susan Sly.

Susan Sly 00:15
Well hey, what's up? Wherever you are in the world, I hope you're having an amazing day. And I want to give a shout out to a new country that hit our top 10 listeners. I have actually, I've been to, I think 34, 35 countries in the world, I have never been to Spain. So I want to give mad love to the people of Spain. I love that you're in the top 10, and our top 10 is growing. So make sure you are following us on @rawandrealentrepreneurship on Twitter, on Instagram, and go to Susansly.com and all the latest shows are up there and the show notes. So if we talk about anything in the show, we will absolutely put a link in the show notes. And I just want to say that before we got into today's show, and I always am having a conversation with the guest, I think we, I had to remind myself oh, wait a minute, you've got to do a show because we were finding out Oh, we know this person in common, that person in common. I'm just so excited he's here. And the question I have for you, and whether you're driving in the car, and hello to your kids, a lot of you write in saying, my kids are in the car, thank you for having a clean show. So shout out to the future entrepreneurs. I have a question for you that I want you to think about as we go into today's show. Can you be a highly successful, high conscious entrepreneur? Because there's a lot of belief out there that in order to build a unicorn level company, that you have to do something where you're stepping over people, or you're taking advantage of people, and my guest today is the, he's absolutely amazing. His bio is spectacular. And I'm actually going to start in reverse because I have this book. He is the author of the number one international bestseller Compassionate Capitalism: A Journey To The Soul Of Business. We're gonna talk about this topic. He consults, advises, and coaches worldwide with leaders, executives, companies and governments. And he has personally delivered programs to more than 300,000 individuals and directly impacted more than 1 million people worldwide. I actually think it's more. In addition to being the co host of Office Hours with our dear friend, David Meltzer, on Bloomberg TV. He hosts the Soul Of Business podcast, he's been featured on TV including world's greatest motivators. He's also done three TEDx talks, and numerous podcasts. He's the CEO of Avatar resources, and he sits on numerous philanthropic boards. But here's the fun one that I started to Google. In 2012, he was formally invested as a Knight of the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem Knights of Malta, which is the world's oldest humanitarian organization, along with his wife and also our dear friend Jack Canfield. So, Blaine Bartlett, welcome to the show. I'm so excited to talk to you.

Blaine Bartlett 00:26
Susan, it is an absolute joy to be on your show. I've been looking forward as I mentioned prior to going live here, been looking forward to this for some time. So let's just have fun. Let's rock and roll.

Susan Sly 03:21
We are going to have fun. And for those of you who heard Edgar Blazona's podcast where he sings the theme song from his childhood business. I can't get that theme song out of my head. So if you didn't check out that episode, Edgar was dropped out of high school and then he built a massive furniture business that was acquired, but his first business was selling watermelon as a kid. And so Blaine, what was your first business that you ever had?

Blaine Bartlett 03:46
The first business I ever had. I mean, this is a Horatio Alger sort of thing. But it was paper, paper rock. I grew up in rural Oregon and local newspaper, I had a paper route and built it up. So it was kind of like, this is kind of how I learned. Yeah, I had to buy the papers. And then I would sell them and I mean all the other stuff that kind of goes into that. So the thing that I remembered most about that, it wasn't the money that I was making as a budding entrepreneur there. But it was, there was a contest to go to enroll new subscribers, and the winners got to take a charter salmon fishing trip off of the coast of Oregon. And I was I think probably nine years old, 10 years old, something like that at that time. But that got me inspired. I love to fish, I love being outdoors and I won the contest and the rest as they say is history. I haven't stopped fishing since.

Susan Sly 04:50
Well, and as a fellow person who had a paper route as well, those were different times. We didn't drive the car and throw the paper. We were like little kids with, you know, in the weekend edition, oh, my gosh. I think I still have scoliosis from the weekend edition of the paper. They were, they were. So I, you know, it's we were talking before the show about this concept of this, you know, like, high conscious, this beautiful sort of persona or archetype of a person who could be high conscious, who could be spiritual as opposed to dogmatic. And then we started to have this conversation about do successful entrepreneurs have to be gurus these days, right. And so, I'd love to get your take on that. Just thinking about like Elon Musk, Mark Cuban. So we see these leaders, these founder leaders, Jeff Bezos, who have these larger than life personalities, they do one tweet and suddenly a cryptocurrency goes up, in your opinion to be successful as a founder, do you have to be a celebrity these days?

Blaine Bartlett 06:07
Absolutely not. I think the availability of media and the access that we have to, you know, these personalities, kind of skews the idea of what it actually means to be a leader, to be a successful entrepreneur. Yeah, I honestly believe, Susan, that business approached appropriately business is a spiritual discipline, because it will bring out either the best or the worst in somebody. And if I'm looking for fame as the mechanism by which I actually can leverage my company's success, I'm, I'm pointing in the wrong direction. Because fame is elusive. Transitory fame is subject to the whims of all kinds of things that are out of my control. If I'm looking at how I define success, and I think that's a really key question, how do I define success? The purpose of business, and this may seem kind of tangential here and circuitous, but the purpose of business is not to make, you know, not to make money. You know, I mean, Milton Friedman got that all wrong. The purpose of business is to uplift the experience of being alive on this planet. That's the purpose of business. And if the businesses that you're operating, the businesses that you're running, then the product and service that you're offering out into the consuming public will actually uplift the experience of being alive, in the consumers' life, they will beat a path to your door, you won't have to worry about making money. The purpose of business is to uplift the experience of being alive on this planet, not just for individuals, for everything on this planet. So there's the whole ecosphere that comes into play. So I think business leaders that can begin to take that mantle on will find themselves right up real quickly against our very hard choices, very hard decisions that will require them to go inside and look at just, what am I bringing to the table? It's the 'who I am' that makes the difference in what I do. So that's why I say your business is a spiritual discipline, it's probably the most pressure intensive cauldron that I could find myself in because I've got so many constituencies that are pressing on me. And I've got to make decisions that are in service of a bigger purpose, but also in service of making sure the business is viable. So how do I dance that dance? I've got to make choices. People that live a spiritual life are not wimps. I mean, they are some of the greatest warriors that have ever lived. And if you approach business from that perspective, I think you don't have to be concerned about being a celebrity.

Susan Sly 09:10
That's beautiful. I wrote that down. Business is a spiritual discipline, and to that point, that experience of being in the zone, right? And being in the zone, not when things are going well, a bunch of money just came in and you know, your customer, you have more customers than you have time. But being in the zone, this is to me, true spirituality or true faith, is being in the zone, even when things aren't going well and making that decision of saying, You know what, I am going to be the calm in the storm, regardless. And even at Radius, in my leadership role in the C suite, that's always one of the things, is like, Am I being that calm in the storm? So if the employees, one of the employees said well, Susan, you know, what about the recession? And I said, I have to be that calm in the storm. So I walked that person through, you know, these are the verticals we focus on, let's take a look at what happened in the last recession. Those verticals still did well. And I would say to any founder listening or person who wants to start a business, can you be spiritually disciplined enough to be the calm in the storm? So beautifully said. Begs the question, Who do you think is doing this well? Like if we look at founders out there, if we look at C suite people who are in leadership roles, and people whose names people might, you know, recognize? Is there anyone you can say, They seem to be doing a good job of it.

Blaine Bartlett 10:44
Hmm. Gary Ridge, comes to mind now, Gary's just retiring this month. And I've mentioned him. I've had him on my show a couple of times, the solar business, Gary was the CEO. And I say it was just because he is retiring, the CEO of the CEO of a company called WD 40.

Susan Sly 11:05
Thank God for WD 40. How many times has that saved, You know.

Blaine Bartlett 11:11
WD 40 is a fascinating company. And Gary approaches it, the running of the business as a spiritual discipline. And he and I've had conversations about this. Their employee engagement scores are off the charts. I mean, they're consistently in the 90 plus percentage. Yeah. And, I mean, I can go down that rabbit hole real quick here, but I'm just using that as a metric. His idea of employee engagement is predicated on the purpose of business is to uplift the experience of being alive on this planet. That's how he takes care of his people. And WD 40 has been around since the 1950s. It got its basic start, you know, when NASA was being born, and they were a lubricant, or actually a water repellent that was used in the early rockets. They were, but they're global in nature. They're a multibillion dollar company. Most people have never heard of Gary Ridge. They, he's kind of you know, flies low on the radar. He's written a couple of books, he wrote one book with Ken Blanchard. Ken's great. But he just does the work. And he, his idea is if I'm not growing, I'm not doing something right. And he doesn't mean growing in the sense of the company necessarily growing, although that's important. Himself growing, if my people aren't growing, if they're not excelling, if they don't have access to something that they would love to be doing, something's off. And when you get people that are looking through the lens of, what would I love to be doing? Energy shows up, passion shows up, commitment shows up, creativity shows up, innovation is in place, and you don't have to dictate it. It just comes through. The human spirit wants to soar. It absolutely wants to soar. Most organizations have got a cap on that process. Yeah, for me, you know, one of the models I work with, you know mindset is a large part of this. But for me, imagination is the gateway to the soul. Imagination is the threshold. And it's a liminal space. It's a space where things can kind of percolate and move. But if you can use imagination well, you actually tap into what the spirit of the organization, the spirit of the individual wants to have happen next. Life wants to move. Life wants to express. We don't want to put a governor on that. But most organizations have enormous constraints on imagination. And that's where I think things get really kind of screwed up, which is why if it's a spiritual discipline, imagination is fostered.

Susan Sly 14:15
Through that lens, Blaine, too. I started laughing with the concept of the governor because we don't have you know, you have a governor for speed. And if you're listening from a different country, what this means is there's a governor that you can only drive your vehicle so quickly because there's a, you can't exceed a certain amount of speed in that vehicle. But I'm thinking lately with the price of gas, there's a governor on how much you can even, you know, fill your car, right? But through that lens, in terms of Gary Ridge, there are a couple of people that come to mind. So when I think it's C suite, Brian Cornell at Target, employee retention. You have cashiers who've been there for 30 years and he just announced at National Retail Federation this past January, he said, we are investing in financial literacy for our employees. And if you look at Target and how much they invest back into the employees, it's huge, right? And Brian said, Listen, we don't want to just pay the money and not even care what they do with it, we're boosting the retirement, we're teaching them what to do with money. And another one that comes to mind is QuikTrip. So Chester, the original founder, and now his son runs the company, had this philosophy that every employee is a superstar. And if you look at best places to work, they have some of the highest retention in the United States. And they have truck drivers that are millionaires. So they invest in their people. And they are, you know, it's an amazing culture. So there are a lot of them, when I think about gold standard, how to do it, right. And then I asked you, if you were fine with having a discussion about perhaps when the founder decides that they're a guru, and that it becomes much more like a dogma. And we started to talk about Adam Newman, and WeWork. And so I know that some of you may have watched on Netflix, We crashed, I watched that, it was absolutely fascinating. And, you know, kudos to Adam and Rebecca Newman, I mean, they became billionaires. And they, they had an interesting concept, and he clearly knows how to sell. But what is your take, Adam just raised a bunch of money for a new startup. He wants to disrupt residential living. But what's your take on Adam and what he's doing?

Blaine Bartlett 16:43
Well, first of all, just you know, the caveat is, I don't know, Adam, I haven't met him. So anything that I'm going to be speaking about is related to the public persona that I have access to. So that being said, anytime I think a leader, and this is kind of a paradox, I think highly successful business entrepreneurs need to have a healthy ego, because there are so many things that can knock us sideways. And if I don't have a healthy ego sense of self, I can, I can get collapsed pretty quickly. So a healthy ego is really, I think, ecumenical to success in any domain of life. That being said, when the ego gets in front of everything I'm doing, that's where I've got a problem, because I am not my ego. I am not that persona, that's just a facade. And you know, the facade can be used to sell. I mean, that's part and parcel of the whole thing. So this in taking Adam as an example on this, I mean, his persona, I mean, I've been around people like him, you know, most of my business, I mean, these, these, you know, they're charismatic, Steve Jobs with the distortion reality field, or the reality distortion field, that sort of thing. You can get sucked in with the gas. It's just kind of like, Whoa, you got to be careful with that. You know, when you start, when you start consuming your own material, that's where it starts to get kinda off course. So I don't know what Adam is going to do with this. I saw an article, just I mean, literally today. I think it was an Ink Magazine. That was saying, we'll see what Adam has learned. I mean, that was kind of the the byline. Yeah, we'll see what Adam has learned in this next enterprise. Did he learn anything from We Crash? So I hope he did. I mean, I love the energy, I saw the movie. Just the idea that was presented. Yeah, we worked as a spiritual enterprising, the intent was to uplift the experience of being in a collaborative environment. And you gotta, there's a business to deliver that idea. And if the business gets in front of the mission, then you got some problems in most organizations find the business getting in front of the mission.

Susan Sly 19:10
Yeah, and it can, it can happen. The same money doesn't change who you are. It only amplifies what's already there. And with Adam, and I do not know, Adam at all. But I think, whether it's Adam, or Sophia Amoruso with Nasty Gal, and then that business imploded, and then she raised a bunch of more money. It's interesting in the United States, how Silicon Valley just seems to love that persona, and they will throw money at that type of Persona. It's that, I actually, I know someone Blaine, who all they have to do, there's a massive technology company that has a venture cap fund, and the last time that fund wrote them a multimillion dollar check, they literally went in with a napkin, because they just keep going out there and going out there. And there's, it's that hungry fighter persona and the you know, can you be spiritual and hungry fighter and without getting drunk on your own ether? And as Wayne Dyer who you know, I believe you knew and I knew. Wayne used to say, you know, ego stands for edging God out.

Blaine Bartlett 20:21
Yeah, yep. And that's exactly what happens. When we let our, and everybody needs an ego. I mean on this physical plane in which we exist an ego is absolutely crucial to being able to function effectively but it's not who I am. You know, the who that I am is a spiritual being. I mean spirit moves to and through me. And I'm not talking God in that sense. I'm talking about the lifeforce that emanates and actually mobilizes me, but it also energizes and mobilizes my company. My company has a soul. The name of my company Avatar Resources. Avatar, a Sanskrit word means idea in physical form. That's, that's the meaning of this. So when when you think about this, Buddha was an avatar, and Jesus was an avatar. My company is an avatar, I am avatar. I'm an idea in physical form. Yeah, you're an idea in physical form. And that idea is what looks to be manifested as fully as it can be possibly expressed. And for your listeners, your kids are ideas, not your ideas, they are their ideas in physical form, looking to be manifested in unique, powerful ways. And when they get captured by their ego, they think that that's, that's the who that I am. It's not the who that I am. Now, when I say I love you, I really want to be questioning who's the "I" that I'm speaking about? And who's the you that I'm speaking about? When I love my company, who's the I and who's the you? That, that question causes a pause. If it's egocentric, we're going to have an interesting dance. If it's something more spiritually oriented, and I you know, again, I say spiritually, not in a religious sense, I'm talking about lifeforce looking to be expressed fully. That's, that's a fascinating concept to leverage.

Susan Sly 22:30
And to your point, I wrote what you said, you know, every company has a soul. So this, the combined consciousness of employees, as an example, it really starts from the top down. And Mark Divine is a dear friend. And Mark has been on the show a couple of times. And you know, he had SEALFIT, five New York Times bestsellers, and Mark, and I've had a lot of conversations about consciousness. And sometimes, as your company goes to one level, the people that take you to one level are not the people that take you to the next level. And there's either one of two things happening, if I had to step back, and Blaine and I are very likely going to be getting together and having this whole conversation in person, because I remember I was trained in muscle testing by Dr. David Hawkins in person back in the day.

Susan Sly 23:23
So like I'm talking, OG like, muscle testing. And, and thinking about that combined consciousness and the scale of consciousness. And so one of the conversations I want to get your take on this Blaine, that Mark and I had is that, can you have a high conscious company that is really working to serve humanity without having a high conscious CEO? And when do you decide what form of consciousness you want to have at different levels of C suite? And some of you listening are like, Susan, what the heck are you talking about? And I'll just bring it into an example. And then I'm going to, you know, give the baton to you, Blaine. So as you were speaking, I was thinking about Blockbuster. So Blockbuster, I've spoken about on the show as a case study so my listeners know, I spent the last three years studying executive education at MIT. So we had a lot of case studies and don't mind talking about companies that went defunct from the vantage point of loving the process, and not being critical, because it's a learning opportunity. So I want to disclaim that. So thinking about Blockbuster, the issue they had was that ego centric ether piece, which was people will love, the CEO was quoted as saying people will still want to come in for the popcorn. He did say that. And what he wasn't seeing is that to really serve people was about meeting them where they were at. It's the same thing with autonomous checkout. It's not the best interest of the customer to have to scan all their own items and wait for someone to come and you know, help them and do the process. That's making your customers do more work. And so even at Radius with our AI that we use, it's like, how do we help humans enjoy this process more? Right? So thinking about that, thinking about the, you know, at what point is it in an organizational evolution that an organization is going to fail? It's one of two things- that the, what the organization is doing has dropped in consciousness, and that it no longer serves that group or that the organization is ascending. And that C team isn't ascending with them. Like we're either growing together, or we're growing apart. So let me ask you just based on this dialogue, because I know you're like chomping at the bit to get in there. When you think of, we talked about individuals, but when you think of a corporation that is doing it right and growing in a very value driven, high conscious way, what companies might come to mind for you?

Blaine Bartlett 23:23
Oh, my Gosh. Yeah.

Blaine Bartlett 25:59
Well, one that I did, I spent 12 years with, as a consultant, external consultant, Nokia. Nokia, when I started working with them, was shortly after the Soviet Union had collapsed. And Nokia is a Finnish based company. And when the Soviet Union collapsed, about 80% of Finland's GDP just disappeared overnight. I mean, just the market, just evaporated. And so the then CEO of Nokia committed suicide. And then they brought in a fella by the name of you, Jorma Ollila. Jorma came over from Citibank. And Jorma you know, kind of looked around and said, you know, we've got this underutilized asset, and we're gonna bet the farm on it. Now, this was a very truncated history, but we're going to bet the farm on it. Nokia is about 140 years old as a company, you know, they've gone through rebirth cycles a number of different times. But at that point in time, and this was about 1984, I believe it was, Jorma said, you know, we've got this small little to polyphony division. Let's leverage it. And Nokia, along with Ericsson had invented the GSM standard that's used globally today for mobile phones. And they weren't leveraging it, it was developed primarily for use in the Nordic areas, where spaces were very large and analog communication was difficult. So this GSM standard came into play. So long story short, Jorma imbued the organization with this can do attitude, but also very, very uniquely finish with humility, can do with humility. And, you know, Nokia was a fifth tier player at that point in time. I started doing work with them about 1986. '85, '86, right about that time. And they were in the midst of divesting, because at that point of time, they had a rubber, you know, they were selling rubber boots. They were selling tires, they were selling farming implements, they were selling TV sets, I mean, they were a conglomerate, in that sense. They started divesting everything, and I was part of that whole process and worked a little bit with them around that whole divesting strategy as a setup to leveraging the telephony. Now, where this is going is the idea of connecting people. This was the mantra and this was what became became the soul of Nokia, this idea of connecting people through the use of telephony. And 1986, sorry, 1996, I got my decades wrong here. 1994 is when this happened. 1996 is about when I started working with them. And by 2000, actually, by 1999, they were the number one player in the space. They were the, they had overtaken Motorola, they had bypassed Ericsson. Nokia was the mobile phone giant in the world. They were also the largest seller of cameras in the world. They had eclipsed Nikon, they had eclipsed Sony, all of this stuff, because the phones were embedded, cameras were embedded. Now where I'm going with this is they were hugely successful. And I you know, co led a major initiative, their leadership initiative for about 12 years working with their emerging leaders in how do you, number one, get to number one. And then number two, how do you stay in number one? Yeah, because because to your point, it's different. Yeah. Growing is different than building and building and holding is different than emerge, I mean all of that stuff kind of came into play. So the mindset conversation was very crucial. What held it in place, were 4 values and they 4 very distinct values. And I cannot remember a time in 12 years when I was in a meeting with any Nokia group, where these four values weren't front and center as part of the conversation, particularly if decisions were being made. Any decision and it didn't, it could have been a small one or a large one, they were run through these four values. Now, they didn't look for perfect fit, but they wanted to be sure that they were being vetted and that people were aware of how these values came into play in these decisions that are going to be operationalized in the business, because these four values are our guiding principles. And this keeps us connected to our soul. That was the intent, they keep us connected to our soul. So leadership changes, Jorma ended up retiring, moved into a chairman position, they brought a couple of other folks in and this was

Blaine Bartlett 30:57
early 2000s when things kind of start getting really funky. And they lost connection. They started the values conversations, and this was the tipping point. The value conversation was not being held. So how do you keep connection to a soul? You keep it through the use, the disciplined use of value structures, not espoused values, but values in practice. And there's a big, big difference between those two. Yeah, my wife runs the, founded and runs the Unstoppable Foundation, and they've got their value Corp, and every week, they have meetings with the entire organization, and somebody in the organization, their job in that meeting is to make a presentation about something that they've done, or a decision that the organization is faced with, relative to how does it impact one of our values? Or how do our values impact that decision? It's constant, constantly in front of people. And that's how it stays connected.

Susan Sly 32:02
Yeah, and that's, that is so powerful. I love the Nokia story, because I remember having the Nokia phone and, and to your point when the company loses, that the values, that is a big problem. And there, there are companies I'm sort of watching right now that are going through some challenges, because it's, they they either too fast, so the values just were put off to the side, or they had a big restructure, and the people who came in don't align with those values that were, that perhaps they should, or they're in the process of figuring out what their values are. As you shared that story, a little story that we're, at Radius, so we have this new team, it's about six weeks old, and they're just on fire. They design everything that we put together in a pitch. And for Radius, when we're going out and we're doing customer facing presentations, they're all with enterprise level customers, so I bring the team together. And I said, there's only two questions. You can design whatever you want, just answer the two questions. And they're like, oh, okay, what are the questions? I said, Does this build trust? Does it lead to wow? And so when the engineer said to me, she said, You mean, that's all? That's it? I can do whatever I want? I said, yeah. But if it doesn't answer both of those as yes, then you need to make it, figure it out. You know, how to shift that. And so even, you know, in our meeting yesterday, we're having the meeting. And she's like, Should I do this? I said, trust and wow, trust and wow, that's it. And one of our engineers, he was formerly with GoDaddy. And they, what they used to ask at GoDaddy, before Bob Parsons sold the company for I think, I don't know how many billion was, Does this build trust? Is this easy to use? And I think that Blaine, to your point, founders, companies, you've got to figure out what those guiding questions and those guiding values are. And if every employee isn't living into it, it is going to be destroyed. I'm so curious about this. So you consulted these massive companies, governments, you're doing a show with David, you've got your own show, and you're running a business. So how do you, how do you navigate working in your business and working on your business? Because that's something I struggle with honestly.

Blaine Bartlett 34:36
Working in and working on, you know, honestly, the bottleneck here is, this is why I'm having difficulty with the question that I don't work. What I do is an expression of who I am, and that takes a lot of different forms. Working, so working, what's the activity? Dave and I have long, we've had long conversations about this. I'm not busy, I'm active. And there's a difference there. Because busy, you know, there's some kind of, language creates reality, and it's also a reflection of reality. So I'm very intentional about the language I use in my head and my self talk. How do I talk to myself? Am I working in the business? Am I working on the business? Yeah, that's not work. You know, it's kind of like, what am I paying attention to right now? And what needs attending to? That, that simple shift in linguistics takes the , you know, what needs attending to right now? And this, you know, when I get questions around, is it urgent or is it critical? You know, those two things. So that helps with my priority, prioritization. But, yeah, yeah, I want to, I want to, that whole value conversation, that comes into play as well for me. And one of the things David Whyte, this is a paraphrase, David White's a poet, lives there, not too far from me here. And he writes some amazing poetry, but one of the things that he said in one of his poets, or one of his poems, and I'm paraphrasing here, because I kind of bastardized it, in a sense of my own, is, when you lose your values, the world can't find you. And for an entrepreneur, that I mean, his original phraseology was when you lose your vision, the world can't find you. I think it's more than that. It really is about the values. When you, when you lose your values, the world can't find you. And you're actually isolated, you're stranded, because values cause, they are the the filters for behavior. And if I'm looking to make a difference, I have to have values and make a difference. So to your you know, the two questions. Does it engender trust? And does it cause Wow? That's the purpose of business. Uplift the experience of being alive on this planet. Do people trust that you're able to do that? And then they will go, wow. And then they will pay money for that.

Susan Sly 37:14
Yeah. And I think that the big piece around in what you just said, I wrote that down as well, when you lose your values, the world can't find you. Because as entrepreneurs, working in the business, on the business, there are different things that have different levels of La joie de vivre, right? So I'll give you an example. So for me, I love when I have that time to create. So write a blog or do the show and then I might finish doing this show and then I'm in an accounting meeting or a meeting with attorneys or something like that. And we're, I was going with that line of questioning was, and what I'm hearing from you is if we can continue to keep the values, whether it's four values that Nokia had, or whether it's two questions or whatever it is, in anything we're doing, then it no longer delineates working in, working on, because we're always coming from that high conscious place. And that's, I think that's what makes this, it's why you're so successful. It's what makes the messaging not only powerful, but needed, because I think if anything, what we're seeing right now, is this, that the people have stopped looking through the lens of values at times and they're looking through the lens of ego and the latter is never going to get someone to where they want to be. So final question Blaine for you. Harvey Mackay who's obviously good friends with Ken Blanchard, he is a you know, a dear friend, I was talking to Harvey the other, and he's actually my personal mentor. I don't make business decisions without Harvey. And so Harvey is always challenging me to update my bucket list and to constantly you know, being that person who is asking more of herself so she can be more for the people she serves. So you've accomplished so much in your career. And my question for you is if there's something that you could achieve that you haven't achieved, and of course you can achieve it, just for all those the listeners, because they will look at you, and as they Google you and look at your website, they're gonna be like, he's so amazing, you know. What is something you haven't done yet but you'd love to experience in your career?

Blaine Bartlett 39:39
In my career. Compassionate capitalism. If business leaders, and this would, this would be what I would love to accomplish, is business leaders realizing that they have a moral, it literally is a moral obligation, and a moral responsibility, and a moral opportunity to take responsibility for the quality of the whole. Every decision I make as a business leader has ripple effects. It's not just the quarterly. I scuba dive, I fly, I'm an aerobatic pilot. I mean, I've done all kinds of stuff. Rainwater today has forever chemicals in it, you cannot find rainwater on this planet that doesn't have forever chemicals in it. In the bottom of the Mariana Trench, you will find microplastics. These are the consequence of people making decisions in businesses. And this isn't a pejorative, I mean, it's just not conscious. Compassion is impossible without the experience of connection. I want people, and this is, this is my dream is I want business leaders to feel connected to the whole. And that informs the decisions that they make, they will behave compassionately in the decisions that they're making, because they know it has consequences. There are ripple effects. And this is why it's a spiritual discipline, it forces me into making some very hard choices. And I say hard choices in the sense of a trade off. For profit is an easy one to make. I can make that choice all day long. A trade off, a decision where I sacrifice massive gain for incremental gain, because the incremental gain has a long term benefit, that's a big deal. I think every business leader should take the Hippocratic Oath. First, do no harm. We do that, I mean, that would be my dream. That's what, that's what I'm striving for. That, I haven't accomplished it. And that's yeah, I'm on the road.

Susan Sly 41:53
Well, that compassionate capitalism, it is, it is possible. And it's needed. We are, there's no question. That's not a political statement. There's no question that we're in a very changing world, very changing economy. And if, and to all of the small business owners or if you're thinking of starting a small business, really think about Blaine's words today and follow him on social media, follow him on Facebook, on Twitter on Instagram, he's an avid tweeter, which like I was just made my little heart happy. I I have a team that runs all of it, but I'm my own Twitter. I love Twitter. So that whole aspect of starting a business, launching your business, scaling your business, what are the values you're living into? Who are the people you're serving? What is the change you're gonna make in the world? And if you focus on those, the right things, the profit takes care of itself.

Blaine Bartlett 42:53
Takes care of itself. Yeah, I grew up in nature, I grew up on a farm. And one of the things that I've learned, nature is my biggest teacher, there is nothing in nature that has the purpose of accumulation as its primary marching orders. Everything nature serves as a center of distribution in some way, shape, or form. And I think when business leaders, when business owners, when business people, and when consumers see themselves as centers of distribution, not as centers of accumulation, that's the leverage point. We see ourselves as there's a distribution, what can I give? What can I give? What can I accumulate?

Blaine Bartlett 43:33
Life looks for flow, if it's not flowing, it's stagnating.

Susan Sly 43:38
Blaine, so beautiful. I hope everyone feels like I do, that, this is one of the shows that you just listen to you and you just feel better. It's like, you know, the, it's like, you've had eight and a half hours of sleep, and you're adaptogens, and you're just like, oh. And I'll, just candidly you know, in talking just knowing like Mark Victor Hansen and Crystal who've been on the show in common and other people in common and talking to you today, it elicits the same sense of this beautiful consciousness, that is experienced by not just myself by listeners, but you know, with with Wayne or John Demartini was on the show and, and that's why, that's why business leaders like yourself, are so important to really remind us all that when we get off course, when we get out of alignment, it's that time to go within self and ask ourselves why we're doing what we're doing.

Blaine Bartlett 44:36
There's nobody and nothing out there except me. Everything is a reflection of my internal dialogue, my internal conversation, and my internal reality. I want to manifest out there deliberately and intentionally what I would love to be experiencing in here and there's a reciprocity with that.

Susan Sly 44:57
Well, Blaine, we're gonna have to do a part two. So when I come to Bellevue, listeners, maybe Blaine and I'll just do a show and just talk about all sorts of stuff, you never know. Those are my favorite shows. So Blaine, thank you so much for being here.

Blaine Bartlett 45:14
It has met every expectation I thought I was gonna have. Thank you.

Susan Sly 45:17
Thanks for that. Well, wherever you are in the world, if this show has uplifted your soul today, please tag Blaine and I on social media, all of his social handles are in this show notes on Susansly.com. And by all means, we would love a great review. And just as a reminder, if I read your review on the show, we are going to send you a gift card. Like how cool is that? So don't forget to leave a great review and check out other episodes of Raw and Real Entrepreneurship. And with that, God bless, go rock your day, and I will see you in the next episode.

Follow Susan Sly

Check on previous episodes

Susan Sly

Author Susan Sly

Susan Sly is the CEO and Founder of Step Into Your Power Inc., the Co-CEO of RadiusAI, keynote speaker, best-selling author, and tech investor. Susan has been featured on CNN, CNBC, Fox, Lifetime, ABC Family, and quoted in Forbes Online, Marketwatch, Yahoo Finance, and more. She is the mother of five and has been working in human potential for over two decades.

More posts by Susan Sly