B&N Audiobooks Subscription = SAVINGS. Sign Up Today for a Free Book!
The Business of Being: Soul Purpose In and Out of the Workplace

The Business of Being: Soul Purpose In and Out of the Workplace

by Laurie Buchanan, PhD


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Wednesday, July 6


This book isn’t just about being in business; it’s about the business of being. But when you stop to think about it, each of us is like a small business. Successful business owners implement strategies that improve their prospects for success. Similarly, as human beings, it serves us well to implement guiding principles that inspire us to live our purpose and reach our goals.

The rich ganache filling that flows through the center of this book is the story of La Mandarine Bleue, a delicious depiction of how nine individuals used twelve steps of a business plan to find their vocation and undergo a transformation (with some French recipes thrown in for good measure).

From a business plan and metrics to mission and goals with everything between—investors, clients and customers, marketing strategies, and goodwill development—this book clearly maps how to create personal transformation at the intersection of business and spirituality. Merging the language of business and self-help, The Business of Being will teach you how to enhance “profitability”—body, mind, and spirit.

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631523953
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publication date: 07/10/2018
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Board Certified with the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, Laurie Buchanan is a holistic health practitioner, transformational life coach, speaker, and author. Her areas of interest include energy medicine, inner alchemy, and spiritual awareness. Embracing the belief that life is an expression of the choices we make, she’s a teacher and student of purposeful living. She enjoys yoga, long walks, bicycling, and photographing the great outdoors. She loves laughter, red licorice, and all things Idaho. A minimalist by intent, she lives a beautiful life with few things—simple, yet full. Her previous book, Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth has received six literary honors, including the coveted Foreword INDIES Book of the Year (2016).

Read an Excerpt


Business Plan

* * *

"Everything I do, and everything Pixar does is based on a simple rule: Quality is the best business plan, period."

— JOHN LASSETER, animator, Chief Creative Officer of Pixar Animation Studios, Principal Creative Advisor for Walt Disney Imagineering, and film director

Personal or business, planning is about results.

Survival in the business world is dependent upon a business plan — a powerful declaration of goals and intentions, a written summary of what we aim to accomplish and an overview of how we intend to organize our resources to attain these goals.

Whether financial assistance is obtained to start a business or not, it's imperative to have a comprehensive business plan. Not static, a business plan is a living document that's regularly monitored, evaluated, and revised. It's comprised of several elements:

* Mission and Vision

* Core Values

* Goals and Objectives

* Market Segmentation and Targeting

* Competitive Environment

* Definition of Off ering

* Market Positioning and Strategy

* Marketing and Selling Model

* Product Launch

* Operations and Organization

* Financial Analysis

A business plan is a roadmap for success in business. It typically projects three to five years out and details the route a company intends to take to increase revenues. It's also a management tool that helps you evaluate progress and points to areas that need attention.

An interactive document, a business plan provides clarity, sets the tone for the business, and can serve as a benchmarking tool. It also fosters alignment. Doreen Bloch of Poshly Inc. says, "Writing a business plan is an ideal way to make sure that everyone on your team is aligned with the current and future plans for the business."

A well-written business plan ensures flow, which is the opposite of stagnation — the death knell of business.

One of the most frightening things a writer can encounter is writer's block — the opposite of flow. Sitting down to create an article or essay, we fully expect original thoughts and creative ideas to flow down from our brain, through our arms, out our fingertips, and onto the keyboard. If this doesn't happen, the result can be white-knuckling fear and paralysis.

This is true in many areas of life:

* Whether it's family or friends, we expect flow in our daily encounters with other people.

* Whether it's with coworkers or the task at hand, we expect flow in the workplace — and flow in our commute to get there and back again.

* Whether it's at the bank, the post office, or making travel arrangements, we expect flow when conducting business transactions.

You've heard the saying "in the zone." Personally or professionally, it's a good place to be — it's flow. It happens when what we're doing is going well; it feels effortless, and even exciting. We become so immersed in the moment that we lose track of time; it seems to stand still.

An athlete is in the flow when they're performing at their best. A musician is in the flow when they're creating beautiful music. A dancer is in the flow when their movements are flawless. A business is in the flow when it is acting out its mission statement, when objectives are being met and goals achieved.

Flow is dynamic: moving and changing. The image that comes to mind when I think of flow is running water — like a river — and being carried along in a kayak or a canoe. It's immensely enjoyable, practically effortless, yet full of energy. When we encounter anything other than flow, something's amiss. It indicates blockage or even stagnation.

A healthy business plan exhibits vim, vigor, and vitality — characteristics of flow. The individual components work in harmony causing everything to flow in the same direction. Sometimes the flow pushes against obstacles along the way. In so doing, new behaviors, patterns, or limits emerge, giving birth to inspiration — the driving force behind every creative person and great organization.

"If it really was a no-brainer to make it on your own in business, there'd be millions of no-brained, harebrained, and otherwise dubiously brained individuals quitting their day jobs and hanging out their own shingles. Nobody would be left to round out the workforce and execute the business plan."

— BILL RANCIC, American entrepreneur


La Mandarine Bleue

* * *

"Don't aspire to make a living, aspire to make a diff erence."

— CRISTETA COMERFORD, the first female ever to be selected as the White House Executive Chef

When my husband and I moved to Boise from the greater Chicagoland area, we were amazed to discover that Boise, Idaho, has a food scene that rivals many larger cities. From drinks to desserts, Boise has it covered.

No matter the geographic location, foodies tend to congregate. Such was the case with a particular group of friends, four couples and a single woman, who met in the Basque District, became fast friends, and have since become successful business partners: owners of La Mandarine Bleue, a French restaurant.

Ranging in age from early fifties to midseventies, they live within five miles of each other. Th ere are nine historic preservation districts in Boise: East End, North End, Hays Street, Warm Springs Avenue, Harrison Boulevard, Hyde Park, Old Boise, South Eighth Street, and Spaulding.

Sally is a successful marketing executive who has lived in Hyde Park for eight years. In a city neighborhood, eight years would have earned her dinosaur status, but small towns operate under an altered sense of time, which drops her firmly into the midrange category. Not quite new, yet not a long-time resident.

Hyde Park is described as "a thriving commercial district from the turn of the century, providing two barbers, a pharmacy, meat market, bicycle shop, hotel, shoe shop, milliner, dyer, dairy, post office, bakery, plumber, and lumber yard. Streetcar service supported the district, connecting it to the surrounding neighborhood and downtown."

Long-time residents of Hyde Park, Larry and his younger partner Dwayne occupy a house two blocks from Sally. They moved there ages ago after a blow from Larry's San Francisco boss put him into early retirement from his upper-management career in the manufacturing industry. Although he'd received the news of his dismissal only a few months before his sixtieth birthday Larry felt short-changed and poured himself into everything French, from learning the language to making its cuisine.

Writing under the pseudonym Scarlett (like Cher, no last name required), Dwayne is a prolific writer who — much to his publisher's delight — produces award-winning novels that fly off bookstore shelves as if winged.

Larry and Dwayne entertain on a regular basis, and invitations to their impromptu get-togethers are coveted.

Trust-fund babies Sheila and Peter live in a mansion, rebuilt with an eye on historic authenticity, in the Warm Springs Avenue historic district. Dedicated to making the world a better place, they're politically active doing what they can to encourage others to vote, and they volunteer for causes they care deeply about.

And though he's not a sommelier, Peter's knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, wine borders on that of an expert. He loves to explain that wine isn't a simple beverage. It's a discovery. The aroma and origin are all a part of a grand story just waiting to be told.

Sheila's passion is literacy. A dedicated volunteer at the Idaho Commission for Libraries, she shares their goal of "getting books into the hands of youth unlikely to have many in their homes and those who often have challenges getting to library programs." She's also a proud steward of a Little Free Library box that she checks every day.

The Boise City website says that "the homes on Warm Springs Avenue are distinctive, grand, and designed in diverse architectural styles. The combination of stately homes and medians makes this area one of Boise's most historically significant local districts as well as one of the most unique in the western states."

Moroccan-born, Yousef and Amina are partners in love and work. Artists, they're known for their environmental works many of which are large-scale installations constructed in outdoor settings. And though their work is high-profile, they maintain a low-profile lifestyle in the North End where they live in a small bungalow.

The North End is described as "developed as a working and middleclass neighborhood, hence the preponderance of modest bungalows; but the area is also unique for the mixture of housing stock that can be found there."

An adjunct professor at Boise State University — go Broncos! — Southern California transplant Zoe teaches advanced courses in math. Weather permitting, she rides her bicycle to school. Never without a camera, she's a multi-time recipient of the Behind the Lens award.

Fifteen years her senior is Bill, a retired financial advisor who comes from a wealthy family but doesn't rest on old-money laurels. Active in the community, he's a volunteer on the supportive services team at the Interfaith Sanctuary, a shelter for men, women, and families with children. In this capacity, he helps people successfully transition out of homelessness. Zoe and Bill live on Harrison Boulevard.

On the Boise City website we read that "as Boise boomed in the first decades of the 20th Century, many of the city's most prominent citizens built their homes on Harrison Boulevard, resulting in a superb collection of architectural styles. With the addition of the median parkway and street lights in 1916, the City Engineer called it a 'model road.' This unique combination of stately homes and medians makes Harrison Boulevard one of Boise's most historic and beautiful neighborhoods."

With each having an 11.11 percent say (although Sally's is 11.12 percent because it was her idea), they agreed that a risk becomes palatable when divided equally between nine bright, tenacious, financially able, business savvy people.


Course One — Hors d'oeuvres

* * *

Pronounced "or-dervs," this is the appetizer course. Small portioned dishes served hot or cold before a meal, hors d'oeuvres may be served prior to seating, or at the table.

Sainte-Maure, Basil, and Fresh Herb Terrine Serves 8-10


7 tablespoons slightly salted butter, softened

Mix the butter, shallot, chives, walnut oil, and pepper in a bowl. Cut the cheese into four thick slices. Divide 34 The Business of Being the shallot, butter, and basil leaves among the slices and reassemble the cheese. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Pairing Note

Enjoy this course with Condrieu, a white wine from the Cotes du Rhone region of France.


Put Your Stake in the Ground

* * *

"The purpose of life is a life of purpose."

— ROBERT BYRNE, author

A personal business plan is a powerful motivational tool for staying on track and rejuvenating your life. Before we get down to the nitty-gritty of determining your purpose, mission, path, passion, and philosophy, work through the following questions to whet your appetite and get your mental juices flowing. Your answers are the personal counterpart to the business plan element located on the right-hand side of the question:

1. Where am I going? — mission and vision

2. What have I got to off er? — product or service

3. Who do I influence? — clients in the marketplace

4. How much time and effort am I willing to invest? — calculating the cost, financial analysis

5. Where am I now? Where do I want to be? — forecasting growth

6. What's at stake? — risk analysis

7. What are my personal standards? — ethics; not just what's legal, but what's right

8. What is my personal definition of success? By what measure will I know I'm successful? — the bottom line

9. What actions do I need to take to ensure success? — the overall plan

In Dan Buettner's TED talk on "How to Live to 100+," there are some surprising conclusions about the factors that create a long and healthy life. One of the most significant is ikigai. According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai: "a reason for being." Finding it requires a deep and often lengthy search of self, but taking internal inventory is well worth the effort because it leads to personal fulfillment and satisfaction. As shown below, ikigai lies at the center of interconnecting circles:


For a moment, think of yourself as a business. In our personal lives, determining our purpose is the counterpart to formulating a business plan in the business arena. To accomplish this, you must answer the question, Why am I here?

Not your geographic location but your life purpose. Knowing why we're here provides us with the most concrete and basic thing we can know about ourselves — that there's a particular reason for each of us being here.

Women, especially, have trouble answering this question. As mothers, workers, homemakers, artists, social networkers, lovers, chauffeurs, spiritual guides, etc., our purpose can get buried — lost — sometimes.

The bad news is, if you're waiting to find your life purpose, you can stop looking now because you're never going to find it.

The good news is, you don't find your purpose. You determine it. It's a choice, a conscious decision that you make. It's a stake you put in the ground.

Answer the following questions:

1. What is my mission? Your mission is the natural outcome of authentically living your purpose.

2. What is my path? Your path is the means by which you accomplish your purpose.

3. What is my passion? Your passion is the drive behind your purpose: the force, the enthusiasm. It's the internal oomph you apply to a person, place, thing, or experience — a tremendous mental and emotional investment.

4. What is my philosophy? Your philosophy is the precept by which you live.

If you're struggling to answer these questions, perhaps reading my answers will provide seed thoughts to get you started. As you'll see, the answers can be short and simple. Notice I don't say, "I hope to," "Maybe," or "I wish." Like Captain Jean-Luc Picard on the Starship USS Enterprise — "Make it so!"

Purpose — I am a mindful agent of heart-based change — body, mind, and spirit.

My purpose isn't bound by geographic location; it's totally portable and can be accomplished from any location. Additionally, I can be a mindful agent of heart-based change in any occupation: hair stylist, 38 The Business of Being landscaper, astronaut, accountant, dentist, mechanic, corporate executive.

There are no limits.

It's my opinion that knowing one's life purpose — and living it — is vital for dynamic participation in the world and experiencing joy.

Mission — I affect heart-based change.

Remember, our mission is the natural outcome when we live our purpose authentically.

Path — I practice excellence.

I choose to associate with people, places, things, events, and opportunities that are positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing.

Passion — I am fueled by compassion.

It's been said that "Love is an act of kindness and compassion is its companion." If love is an act of kindness then grace is divinity in action.

Beverly Engel, LMFT, author of the article "What Is Compassion and How Can It Improve My Life?" in Psychology Today defines compassion as "the ability to understand the emotional state of another person or oneself. Often confused with empathy, compassion has the added element of having a desire to alleviate or reduce the suffering of another."

The next time we see a person and think "There but for the grace of God go I," we have the opportunity to put our divinity into action and be the immediate presence of spirit for that individual; give them a smile, a word of encouragement, or lend them a helping hand.

Philosophy — Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.

Are you weighed down by an overpacked schedule or a demanding job you don't enjoy? Is carrying unhealthy pounds sapping your energy? Do you fail to keep your promises? Do you bite your fingernails? Do you tell falsehoods? Are you still smoking?

In a conversation with my friend and senior leadership coach Audrey Denecke, she observed, "And even though some circumstances in our life seem unchangeable, what we can change is our attitude toward the situation, circumstance. Sometimes it is our attitude that brings the pain in."


Excerpted from "The Business of Being"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Laurie Buchanan PhD.
Excerpted by permission of She Writes Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Foreword 15

Preface 17

Introduction 23

Section 1 Business Plan 27

La Mandarine Bleue 31

Course One-Hors d'oeuvres 35

Put Your Stake in the Ground 37

Section 2 Mission and Vision 45

La Mandarine Bleue 51

Course Two-Potage 55

The Banner You Fly 57

Section 3 Core Values 65

La Mandarine Bleue 75

Course Three-Poisson 79

The Heart of the Matter 81

Section 4 Goals and Objectives 91

La Mandarine Bleue 97

Course Four-Entrée 101

On Your Mark, Get Set, Goal! 103

Section 5 Market Segmentation and Targeting 111

La Mandarine Bleue 121

Course Five-Relève 125

You Are the Company You Keep 129

Section 6 Competitive Environment 135

La Mandarine Bleue 139

Course Six-Sorbet 145

Keeping Up With the Joneses 147

Section 7 Definition of Offering 155

La Mandarine Bleue 159

Course Seven-Rôti 165

Lay Your Cards on the Table 167

Section 8 Market Positioning and Strategy 175

La Mandarine Bleue 181

Course Eight-Légume 187

Do You See What I See? 189

Section 9 Marketing and Selling Model 197

La Mandarine Bleue 205

Course Nine-Entremet 211

Sis Boom Bah! 213

Section 10 Product Launch 221

La Mandarine Bleue 227

Course Ten-Savoureux 233

Me, Myself, and I 235

Section 11 Operations and Organization 245

La Mandarine Bleue 253

Course Eleven-Fromage 259

No Man Is an Island 261

Section 12 Financial Analysis 271

La Mandarine Bleue 279

Course Twelve-Café 283

Show Me the Money 285

Conclusion 291

Acknowledgments 295

Notes 297

Glossary 309

Bibliography and Images 313

About the Author 317

Customer Reviews