Hear from social entrepreneur experts—including Amanda Kathryn Roman—and several other insightful panelists at Wellspring this October. For tickets and more information, click here.
Conscious capitalism. We’ve heard the term, but what does it actually mean? Running an ethical business requires intention, attention, and time. And while the benefits are certainly worth the work, that does mean that those running ethical businesses are more inclined to burnout.
Amanda Kathryn Roman (who works for a company literally named Conscious Capitalism) is a woman who knows what it’s like to effectively balance life and work. In her role at Conscious Capitalism, Amanda is the Innovation Lead, a role that requires constant strategic and creative thinking. For her, proper fueling and self-care are essential to making her career, relationships, and health flourish. We chatted with Amanda to share her insight and tricks and tips with us.
On Work and Conscious Capitalism
Wanderlust (WL): What exactly is Conscious Capitalism and what is your role?
Amanda Kathryn Roman (AKR): Leaders and entrepreneurs around the world are reimagining business as a vehicle of service for the uplifting of humanity rather than as a way to make as much money as possible. Conscious Capitalism is a philosophy along with a set of guiding principles and best practices based on a simple idea that business is about more than making a profit. It’s an approach to business built on the fundamental universal truth that people aspire to more—more meaning and purpose, more flourishing and fulfillment.
It does not hold the notion of profit in contempt, it provides an alternative approach that emphasizes ideas like trust, collaboration and compassion. It says business is good, even heroic, because it creates prosperity and can do so much more to elevate humanity. The powerful combination of good business practices and the four principles of Conscious Capitalism elevates business to a greater operational success and makes them agents of societal flourishing. What makes Conscious Capitalists different than other business leaders is how they operationalize the four tenets of the Conscious Capitalism philosophy.
My role is to drive innovation throughout Conscious Capitalism to harness idea development, grow the network, and develop processes to support the practice of the Conscious Capitalism philosophy. I lead the strategic alignment of our offerings by identifying opportunities and strategies in an effort to develop conscious leadership capacities, design integrated partnerships, and create holistic models to support those opportunities while driving growth for the organization and our global movement.
WL: What are some trends you’re seeing in business right now?
AKR: Business and capitalism are evolving—we are living in an extraordinary time for social entrepreneurs! The landscape of capitalism and business is shifting. Consumers are demanding more than variety and low prices, they are prioritizing purpose-driven brands and companies in their daily choices. Negative news spreads rapidly over social media, making corporate reputations more fragile than ever. Talented employees are looking for more than a steady paycheck, they desire a sense of purpose in their work. Investors are searching for opportunities that create impact and take care of all stakeholders to get ahead of these trends.
Conscious Capitalism is framework rooted in a way of thinking about business that recognizes these trends and elegantly reflects where we are in the human journey, the state of our society, and the innate potential of business to make a positive impact on the world.
WL: There is so much pressure for a new business to cut corners in order to provide products at a lower cost. Why is it important to resist this temptation, and how can we encourage this behavior without being militant?
AKR: The framework of Conscious Capitalism is actually a fantastic way to support social entrepreneurs who face this challenge. Conscious businesses are galvanized by higher purposes that serve, align, and integrate the interests of all their major stakeholders. It’s an approach to business built on the fundamental universal truth that people aspire to more—more meaning and purpose, more flourishing and fulfillment. Conscious Capitalists do not hold the notion of profit in contempt, rather they take an alternative approach that emphasizes ideas like trust, collaboration, and compassion.
The Conscious Capitalist Credo says business is good, even heroic, because it creates prosperity and can do so much more to elevate humanity. When that is your lens for making decisions in your business, the results are vastly different than when you are just focusing on maximizing profits for shareholders.
WL: What is your biggest piece of advice to someone looking to get involved in social entrepreneurship?
AKR: My biggest piece of advice to someone looking to become a social entrepreneur is to dig deep into your WHY. Yes, your business should address a problem and create value in the world… but do you know why you are passionate about it? Do you wake up every morning thinking about it? Does it connect with your core values and beliefs? Are you in a place that you simply cannot imagine doing anything else other than birthing this new business? That’s when you know you have to dive into WHY!
A number of years ago, I learned a simple exercise that has been a gamechanger for me and the organizations and clients that I have had the pleasure of working with: The Why 5X Exercise. When you ask yourself why 5 times in a row and use the answer from the previous why as the basis for the next why, you will reveal the root answer.
If you apply this to exercise to asking yourself why you want to launch a conscious company, you will eventually reveal your root answer. When you get down to level 5, stop and ask yourself if that resonates as a calling for you, as your higher purpose. If not, I would recommend reflecting on why not, and notice if any other passions were reveled throughout the exercise to which you feel much more deeply drawn. If so, repeat the exercise in that area where you are feeling called until you discover a deep resonance and then you can begin the journey to expressing your business leadership as it relates to your higher purpose.
On Day-to-Day Life
WL: What is a normal day like for you?
AKR: Honestly, I don’t have a normal day… And I like it like that! I thrive in fast-paced, high impact, growth-oriented environments that encourage innovation. At my core, I am a creator. In my current role as the Innovation Lead at Conscious Capitalism, Inc. I am honored to serve a global community of amazing business leaders through the skills I have carefully honed over the past three decades when it comes to the art of the invitation; the science of creating transformational spaces that catalyze growth and community; the dance of facilitating innovation; and the joy of making connections for others that support their unique gifts and bring light and love into the rest of our world.
WL: How do you take care of yourself with such a busy schedule?
AKR: Oh, I have a huge list.
- Journal about who and what I am grateful for.
- Practice yoga every damn day.
- Drink A LOT of water.
- Eat a plant-based diet.
- Schedule time-off after long periods of time on the road to spend quality time with my family.
- Schedule time to create new memories with my close friends.
- Give myself grace in how I accept the ups and downs.
- Commit to challenges.
- Schedule runs so that I have time to condition my mind, body, and soul.
- Set challenging physical goals for myself. I am training to run my second marathon this year as a member of a charity race team, raising money for Team RWB, a veterans service organization that uses an amazing evidence-based methodology to connect our veterans with fitness and fun in their communities.
- Travel to experience other cultures first-hand. It rejuvenates me and reminds me of the beauty of the human race and Mother Earth.
- Go on adventures. In my backyard, in an airport, in a new country, in the grocery store, in a city that I know well, you get the idea. I am always looking for new ways to learn and new perspectives to see the world. I honor the wisdom in diversity and seek it out, diversity is the spice of life.
- Ask questions—I have been super curious since I was a young child. I believe that my curiosity about the way systems and people work has supported my growth and professional work over the years.
- Try new things.
- Laughing, dancing and enjoying a good meal with those I love.
- Celebrate small wins—with so much on my plate, it would be easy to forget to savor the small wins that lead to big impact and culture shirts. Every single step matters and when I am able to recognize the pebbles and the boulders, it strengthens my gratitude practice.
- And perhaps most importantly: Appreciate and recognize others. Unfortunately, this is not the norm for our society and so I am always looking for ways to show my appreciation of how others make a positive impact on my life and recognize them for their efforts and successes—life is much more fun when you spend all day celebrating with others!
WL: What is your biggest piece of advice for someone looking to cultivate work/life balance?
AKR: Know your higher purpose and share your passion widely—the world needs you and your gifts! Know your needs and be resourceful in taking care of those needs. Know your limits and understand that awareness around them will also allow you to see opportunities to learn and grow.
Learn how to say no when it doesn’t fit your priorities and plans. Learn how to ask for what you need and ask often—trust me, we want to support you and asking for help makes it easier for others to ask for what they need! Learn who brings positive energy into your life and make sure they are a part of it often.
Practice kindness wherever and whenever you can. Practice gratitude all day and all night—it makes life SO much sweeter! Practice appreciation for yourself, for others, and for experiences. It’s all about discovering your own rhythm, developing an understanding of the seasons of your life while creating a personal practice that includes rituals and routines that you consistently practice.
Amanda Kathryn Roman has been called a cultural translator, a catalyst for creativity, an innovative designer, a dynamic high-energy speaker, a rockstar facilitator, a maven network-builder, and a transformational coach. She is a wanderlust woman who travels the world training, speaking, and connecting leaders from a variety of sectors for sustainable impact in their field; an adventure-seeking wife that has enjoyed living on both coasts with her husband and countless joyful road trips; and a fierce momma of three who schedules dance parties and road-trips with her magical children.