I gotta admit…I was nervous ahead of this talk. As I sat in the audience on Day 2 at the Conscious Entrepreneur Summit, I felt a sense of anticipation. The topic for the session was “The Consciousness of Money,” and the speakers were Lopa van der Mersch, CEO of Rasa, and Anna Gudmundson, CEO of Sensate. Both are pioneers in their respective fields, and their conversation promised to be a deep dive into the often complex relationship between money, values, and business.
The Power and Complexity of Money
Anna kicked off the conversation by acknowledging the dual nature of money—it’s both a powerful force in our world and a subject rife with unconscious beliefs. She emphasized how money isn’t just a piece of paper; it’s a cultural, personal, and ancestral concept that influences our behavior. Anna’s background in exponential technology fields like robotics, mobile technology, and AI has given her a unique perspective on how technology can either accelerate good or bad in society, depending on our level of consciousness.
The Journey of Conscious Entrepreneurship
Lopa, the founder and co-CEO of Rasa, shared her journey of creating a business that aims to benefit the world without compromising values. She talked about the different set of rules that often apply in business transactions compared to personal interactions. Lopa’s company, Rasa, offers herbal coffee alternatives, and she’s been on a quest to bring values and awareness into business practices. She candidly discussed the challenges of making hard choices that sometimes involve compromising values for the sake of business survival.
The Struggle with Scarcity Mindset
Both speakers opened up about their early struggles with a scarcity mindset. Lopa initially resisted taking investment because of past experiences where investors influenced a compromise of values. Anna, too, spoke about the constant negotiation on the growth side, especially when trying to reach people who are not already aligned with conscious values.
The Shift in Perspective
As the conversation evolved, it became clear that both entrepreneurs had undergone a shift in their perspectives about money. Lopa moved from a scarcity mindset to valuing her time and the idea behind her business, eventually leading her to take community investment. Anna emphasized the importance of aligning with value-conscious investors and mentioned how even traditional VC board meetings in her company start with meditation.
The audience questions added another layer of depth to the discussion. One question about personal beliefs around money led to a revealing conversation about how both speakers had to confront and change their underlying values to become more effective leaders. Another audience member highlighted the historical context of our beliefs about money, tracing it back to Adam Smith’s premise that humans are inherently lazy and need financial incentives to work.
The session ended on a powerful note, with both speakers advocating for a more conscious approach to money and business. Lopa mentioned her company’s structure as a public benefit corporation, which legally allows them to hold public benefit as co-equal to profit for shareholders. Anna urged the audience to welcome money as a force for good, emphasizing that conscious decisions about investment can change everything.
As I got up to introduce the next speaker, I felt a renewed sense of purpose. The conversation had not only shed light on the complexities of money but also offered a roadmap for navigating them. It was a reminder that the journey towards a more conscious relationship with money is both challenging and rewarding, and it’s a journey worth taking.