You’ll get an idea of the values and principles of how I work at the Joy of Business from reading the blogs, recipes and guides on the rest of the site. This part of the site is where I make my values more explicit and demonstrate some of the ways I live by those principles.
What I believe in
I firmly believe that the move towards people running their own businesses, and building those businesses into solid sustainable companies is one part of the move towards a peaceful and more abundant world. I believe that it’s important for individuals to have control over their own creativity, work and lives, and that running your own business is a good way to do that. I also believe that global trade, if done fairly, is a force for peace – history shows that we’re less likely to go to war with people we do business with.
I also believe that there’s enough money in the world for all 7 billion of us to have everything we need. There’s no reason for anyone to go to bed hungry in this world, or to have to work more than 35 hours a week. My little contribution to equalising the wealth across the world is to help people with small businesses to develop the skills and knowledge they need to be able to become financially secure, and to help people develop businesses which create a decent income for the owners and the employees.
You might want to know about some of the things I do to make sure that I’m running my business on ethical grounds. Some of these are pretty obvious, but they’re still worth making explicit here.
Paying my bills
I pay my suppliers within at least 30 days, and usually as soon as they give me the invoice.
Where my money lives
I’ve had my Co-operative Bank business account for years, but as they’ve gone all unethical now, plus inefficient, I’ll be moving it to the least worst option I can find.
I don’t fly for work. I believe flying is one of the most detrimental activities for the environment, so I try not to do it. I turn opportunities that require flying into train journeys or Skype calls, or turn them down. I do fly for personal travel, but limit this to one holiday a year at the most, and offset this.
I travel to work by bike, or bus. I use the city car club to travel out to the wilds of Sussex for work.
Companies I don’t work with
Feel free to disagree, but these are my values. I don’t work with suppliers to the arms trade or military, tobacco, gambling, manufacturers or importers of “tat” that will last 5 minutes.
I don’t use very much paper, and what I do use is recycled paper which gets recycled by those nice guys at Magpie/Paper Round who do it properly. I recycle electronics when they break, drink Grumpy Mule coffee (black), and eat a lot of chocolate from Montezuma’s who have an ethical sourcing policy as well as delicious flavours to help me through the day.
Yes, I pay lots of that too, and not just because I don’t have the same lawyers as Starbucks.
I don’t employ anyone directly right now, but use a variety of different assistants to help me run the Joy of Business. I support and have campaigned for the UK Living Wage, and I’ve never knowingly paid anyone less than £10 per hour, even if they’re outside of the UK.
Here’s a video of me in the sunshine talking more about my philosophy in business.