Sunday, December 10, 2006

More about I Am Designs Philosophy

I Am Designs has adopted an Organic Synergy model - a way of combining the energy of individuals into a system that is mutually beneficial to all. (see definitions below)

Pronunciation: or-'ga-nik
Function: adjective
4 a : forming an integral element of a whole : FUNDAMENTAL
b : having systematic coordination of parts : ORGANIZED
c : having the characteristics of an organism : developing in the manner of a living plant or animal

Function: noun Inflected Form(s): plural-gies Etymology: New Latin synergia, from Greek synergos working together
1 : SYNERGISM; broadly : combined action or operation
2 : a mutually advantageous conjunction or compatibility of distinct business participants or elements (as resources or efforts)

What's In It For Me?
A business based on the Organic Synergy model fits with the philosophy of sustainable living and voluntary simplicity. Together, we can create something greater than we could achieve alone. Each of the members of the team is a trained, certified and knowledgeable professional and together we have over 20 years of combined experience to offer. By organizing this way we can more effectively share resources, and have a team to brainstorm, network, and market with.
What does that mean to me?

It means you have one place to serve all your needs. I Am Designs now offers an expanded range of professional IT services for the same affordable rates you’ve come to expect. It means guaranteed, high quality work. Each team member is dedicated to developing and maintaining their particular skills and is very proficient at what they do. Because each person focuses on one area, s/he has the time and interest to keep up-to-date on the newest techniques and information available in their respective fields.It means that you will have great customer service. The success of our businesses depends on the satisfaction of our clients. There is no “middle-man”, you will always be dealing with the person who has the power to make decisions. We want you to tell your friends about us, so we’ll make sure you’re happy.

How are you able to charge such affordable rates?
The underlying philosophy of I Am Designs is to live sustainably, and practice voluntary simplicity. We don't define success by money alone; our triple bottom line philosophy includes People, Planet AND Profit. Because we don't need a huge disposable income, we are better able to focus on your needs (as opposed to your ability to pay big bucks), and help you meet them affordably and sustainably. We understand the Entrepreneurial need to pursue a living doing what you love; that is precisely what we are doing everyday. It’s hard to do a poor job of something you love.

At the same time I started the company, I was introduced to 2 concepts that changed my life. They are voluntary simplicity and sustainable living. These inter-twined concepts have changed my idea of how a career “looks” and have influenced how I chose to run my business. An explanation of the two concepts follows.

Voluntary Simplicity
Duane Elgin popularized the term “Voluntary Simplicity” in 1981. The term refers to adopting a simpler life-style by reducing our consumption in order to help conserve the earth's dwindling resources. Many feel that the simple life is less stressful and more fulfilling -- it's a way to reduce the number of hours spent working for pay and increase the time spent with children, friends, family or contributing to the community.

Some other ways to describe it are:
A way of life that is outwardly simple and inwardly rich. It is about evaluating how you spend your time, money and life energy, learning about what is “enough” for you and finding a balance. It’s about decreasing stress, clutter and busy-ness and focusing on what is really important and fulfilling. It’s about doing what you “want” to do, not what you “have” to do.

It’s about freedom to discover your life purpose and time to work towards it. Simple living is about living deliberately. Simple living is not about austerity, or frugality, or income level. It's about being fully aware of why you are living your particular life, and knowing that life is one you have chosen thoughtfully. Simple living is about designing our lives to coincide with our ideals. Simplicity means taking charge of a life that is too busy, too stressed, and too fragmented. An uncluttered simplicity means cutting back on trivial distractions, both material and non-material, and focusing on the essentials -- whatever those may be for each of our unique lives.

Sustainable Living
A sustainable society is one which satisfies its needs without diminishing the prospects of future generations. ---Lester Brown, Founder and President, Worldwatch InstituteOur personal lives are sustainable when we have time for rest, loving, and laughing. Our work lives are sustainable when we have adequate time and energy to do our tasks, be creative, make a live-able income, and contribute positively to the world around us. Our working and living are sustainable when we don't harm the Earth or other people through our daily actions. Living a sustainable life, then, means working and living in ways that are "life-giving." One way we do this is to learn how the natural systems of the Earth and other species work. By understanding that we are part of a larger life web that can teach us about sustainability, we can find new methods for transforming the ways we live and work.

Why would you want to incorporate these concepts into a business?
In my opinion, structuring a company as a single-person, home-based business allows one to live a simpler and more fulfilling life.

Have more, with less. you can reduce expenses if you no longer need to earn the money to pay for business clothes, hairdressers, makeup, transportation, parking and lunches. With lower expenses, you don’t need to earn as much money. Therefore you can charge less, and spend fewer hours working.

Have more free time. with a flexible schedule, you can spend more time with your family, or pursuing hobbies and doing community work. Go on a vacation when you want to, not when you are allowed time off. Participate in workshops and courses that fall in odd times of the day.

Be healthier. Many people have very high stress levels because of all the "things" they have to do. The amount of "busy-ness" also causes people to eat in ways that they know are not healthy, or have no time to exercise or get enough sleep. This can lead to frequent occurences of ailments like headaches, stomach aches or colds. It can also lead to more serious problems like high blood pressure and cholesterol which lead to a whole series of more serious problems. When you make your schedule you can decide to include time to take care of yourself and practice a healthier lifestyle.

Have better relationships having more freedom allows you to prioritize quality time with family, friends and yourself. When you take time to understand what you want and need, you are better prepared to be helpful to others. You can communicate better because you have time to listen. A flexible schedule also lets you be there when you are needed, for example during an illness or for a school play.

I would like to share some of the resources that have had an impact on me, and I think you’ll find them interesting. Have a look at the links on the side.