Gary Douglas believes it’s not only possible, but easy, to run a business that increases your wealth and contributes to society at the same time. Welcome to Benevolent Capitalism. Today Gary owns and operates several successful companies, including Access Consciousness, a multi-million dollar business. His business principles are practiced in 173 countries around the world.
1. Gary, at one point you were surviving on cornflakes and milk. Describe the pivotal moment where you figured out how to create wealth?
Being at the bottom just meant I had to start over. Realize there is no such thing as a bottom. Ask yourself, “Where do I need to go today?” Get up in the morning and just start from that and then you can create anything you desire.
2. You went bankrupt 3 times. Most people would have quit. What made you keep going?
I had a family that was counting on me and that I had to provide for. The premise I live by is, “Never give up, never give in, never quit.”
3. If someone is broke, unemployed, hungry, would you still tell them to just change their attitude?
Yes I would tell them to change their attitude.
“How does it get even better than this?” is a question that if you put it out to the universe will show you how it gets better. A question opens the door to greater possibility.
One story I can share is a woman who had come to one of my seminars in New York and when she walked out of the seminar she found a dime on the floor. She said, “How does it get even better than this?” She took the elevator downstairs and found a $10 bill lying there. She said, “How does it get even better than this?” Because she found a ten-dollar bill, she took a taxi home that day instead of the subway.
The taxi dropped her off at her front door, instead of the back where she normally would have entered. As she got out of the taxi, she spotted a diamond bracelet glittering in the gutter! Instead of asking how it gets any better, at that point she exclaimed, “It doesn’t get any better than that!” And that’s when her “luck” stopped!
You never know what can happen and what the universe may have in store for you until you ask the question. By asking how it gets even better your mind opens up possibilities and you see opportunities you never saw before.
4. “Money isn’t the problem – we are.” What did you mean by that?
We create all the limitation in our life. If you say, I can’t have that or I can’t be that – then you can’t. If you say, “How do I do it?” or “What else can I achieve?” then everything becomes possible.
Money is never the problem. Your attitude determines what you can achieve. It is always about what you are willing to create, generate or choose in life. My point is, if you really want to achieve something, you ask, where can I find the money.
5. How can someone raised with a “scarcity” mentality learn to have a “prosperity” outlook?
It doesn’t matter where you go, people who have $10 or $10 million dollars still have the same point of view about scarcity and money, that is why I say “money Isn’t the problem, you are.”
It is your point of view that creates it. First of all, if you want to create a prosperity outlook you have to look around and see how you want to live.
I have had rich and poor friends, and they are both concerned about a better lifestyle. Look at what you really want to create in your life, that is how you will create the future that will give you everything you desire.
The first thing I tell everyone to do is to start putting away 10% of everything that you make that comes into your life and don’t spend it. Within 6 months to a year, this starts to change your whole financial reality.
6. What is “benevolent capitalism” and why is it important?
“Benevolent” comes from ancient Latin and means “to wish well.” “Capitalism” originally meant organic growth of existing wealth –which could be money, resources, or even people. With benevolent capitalism, the other person benefits too as we generate wealth ourselves.
If we did things from the point of view of doing the best we could for everybody, a greater world would occur.
7. Can you give an example of how a successful company is practicing benevolent capitalism?
There is a company called Smarkets that is a great example. He is trying to let people be responsible for their creation. They get paid based on their creation. This is true Benevolent Capitalism, as you get rewarded for your ability to create and not for showing for up for 8 hours per day. If we start to function from the place where it is not the number of hours you do but the job you do that counts, people will become more responsible for creating their own reality and in so doing create a better world.
Businesses must measure their success not only by their financial performance but also on how they are being a contribution to society and the world, as well as by the impact on the environment and on the society in which they operate.
8. Can you really win at business if you’re trying to help others? Doesn’t it hurt the bottom line?
It doesn’t hurt the bottom line because one of the things Benevolent Capitalism would do is to look for the greatest cause of consciousness. If people become more consciousness, they take less time off. They need less time off. They produce more and use half the amount of effort to create twice the results. If they were paid equal to their production the end result is you might pay the person twice as much, but you would get twice the amount or more in production. Also the need to take sick days is less as their work is more fulfilling and enjoyable.
9. What are some tips to starting a benevolent capitalism philosophy?
Ask yourself some questions: what can I do today that will create a different outcome immediately? What can I do to make life better for myself and others? What is the good in what I am doing?
10. How do you hire the right people for the job?
I have them co-create their own job. I do this by giving them a list of 5 things that need to be done and ask them which ones they’d like to do. The idea being that if you give people a chance to create their own job, they are more productive.
About 90% of people are looking for a job so they can make money. When you give them a task to do they always fail at the things they don’t want to do, however they all say they will do it. I discovered, it is more important for people to work on tasks they like, and in turn they do a better job.
11. How do you encourage innovation?
Asking questions. When you ask a question, your mind empowers the universe to give you an answer.
When you come up with an answer all you can do is prove your rightness of your point of view by taking in the information that matches your answer. No additional information is added to an answer. All additional information and possibilities are created by a question.
A question opens the door to greater possibility.
12. Much of the BizNOW audience is new entrepreneurs. Best advice for new entrepreneurs?
Never give up, never give in and never quit! And ask, “What can I do or how can I be different today that will change everything right away?”
Interview by Charlotte Hofer