Burning Man and Business. The two may not seem like a natural fit. In fact, the very culture of Burning Man is anti-establishment; branding, barter and bills are not allowed. Radical giving is the only true currency and the offerings are spectacular. Art exhibits that took months, even years, to construct. Temples built for ritual. Shrines built for celebration. Music, art and uninhibited self-expression abound. And despite the fact the more and more “business” influencers, tech titans and millionaire moguls are filing in, the energy is said to be without pretense. It is a culture that celebrates authenticity, generosity and creativity.
Authenticity. Generosity. Creativity. Aren’t these three of the greatest qualities we can have in our work? Perhaps the reason visionary leaders, entrepreneurs, and change agents pack up and head to Black Rock City is so they can spend a week untethered, stoking the fires of innovation, creative thinking, deep connection and charitable service. Perhaps, just perhaps, these are the very qualities that make them the visionaries they are.
In the spirit of Burning Man, I propose three things you can do right now to honor your innate Burner Spirit and infuse your work with more Authenticity, Generosity and Creativity.
Burn, baby, burn
We all have our “work personalities”. We’ve trained ourselves to operate in a certain way because it has worked well for us in the past. But, not all habits are worth keeping. Think about a work habit that blocks you from your true, authentic happiness. Maybe you rush your morning routine to be the first to the office. Maybe you multi-task on phone calls or during meetings, which distracts you from being fully present. Maybe you don’t take enough breaks to recharge. Whatever your bad habit, time to burn it, baby. Acknowledge it, write it down and burn it up. Literally. Give yourself permission to evolve out of bad habits that make life less enjoyable (and thus, make you less happy at work.)
Give it away
In the spirit of radical generosity, find something you do incredibly well – the thing you’re known for, the thing that gives you a competitive edge – and give it away freely and happily to someone who needs it. For me, it’s creative strategy. Big ideas, master plans. This is my jam. I love taking creative concepts and rough ideas and polishing them into dazzling action plans. So, to invoke the Burner Spirit this week, I’m offering 3, 30-minute phone consultations to the first three people who fill out this form and request a consultation. Just let me know what aspect of your marketing and communications plan you want to discuss, and I’ll give you my undivided attention and best advice.
Stimulate creativity with ‘shrooms
Stress and fatigue compromise creativity, so we often turn to caffeine to keep the engine going. But after a few cups, the caffeine high can leave us dizzy and further depleted. I recently discovered a truly remarkable substitute: Host Defense Cordychi, an organic mushroom supplement from Mycologist, Paul Stamets. (Not surprising, Dr. Stamets is currently at Burning Man, illuminating Black Rock City on the miracle of mushrooms.) This stress and fatigue fighter gives you a natural boost in energy without the buzzing high of coffee overload.
If you haven’t been to Burning Man, I leave you with this inspiring antidote. I had dinner with a friend last week who was heading off to Burning Man for the second year in a row. He said his only regret about going last year was that it was the first year he’d ever been. He noticed he was happier upon his return last year, and he remained happier ever since. There was a shift in consciousness that was sustainable. In work and in life, the goal is this – find what makes you happy, surrender to it, and continue to fan that flame.