Be a Noble Consumer, and Pay

No more frugality.

‘Free’ has been completely devalued: “Free” never is, so don’t ask

Join me instead, in my movement toward Noble Consumerism.

Value your community of preferred providers, if you want them in your ‘Imi ola (best possible life, a life you create by your chosen design). You need them to survive and flourish.

Pay for what you want more of. Think of it as the support you give.

Let’s change the language surrounding ‘profit’

“Wow, you’re very passionate about this, aren’t you.”

“I think of it as the optimistic resourcefulness of Ho‘ohana, and yeah, it feels terrific to get that passion back. Now tell me, how do we move this discussion into the arena of social entrepreneurship? Why can’t it be profitable too?”

We (me and a small group of managers) were talking about financial literacy within for-profit business models, specifically the OIB (Managing with Aloha ‘Ohana in Business model) and I made a statement which surprised them at first. I’d said that I don’t consider non-profits to be admirable business models, and would never create one — not without radically reinventing them first.

I wasn’t picking on any non-profit in particular, and the causes they champion, however noble, weren’t relevant to our discussion. I take issue with their basic premise: By definition, a non-profit is ‘not for profit.’ The businesses that I prefer to champion, don’t consider ‘profit’ to be a dirty word: We strive for profit, for the financial currency it can be.

Without earnings, there is no energy of gainful employment, is there. There’s no further financing of mission and vision.

Money isn’t evil: It’s a means to an end. What you do with it, after you have earned it, is another way you assign worth and priority to whatever you personally value. Same goes for a business for profit. MWA, for example, values Ho‘ohana earnings, and Sense of Place investments instead of ‘charities.’

An example of the ‘financial literacy’ and economic sensibility in our MWA OIB for-profit business model, is that everyone is paid for their Ho‘ohana (as it translates into their deliverable into our business), and no volunteers are needed. We feel it’s duplicitous to pay non-profit executives, and compensate a board of directors in kind, while expecting others to work for free. We compensate everyone fairly, and expect to pay full price. We don’t ask others for donations, or for their “pro bono” services: “without charge for the public good” makes no sense to me. The way I see it, equitable payment for any goods and services provided is what actually defines ‘the public good.’

There’s this coaching we’ve always used in Managing with Aloha workplaces connected to the One Minute Manager concept of catching people doing something right:

Reward the behavior you want repeated.
Correct everything else, with Aloha.

Business models are yet another example of the wisdom in that coaching. Good business models are aligned with good values, and they add value to our communities.

It feels great to be back on track

I admit to you that I stumbled with this over the past few years too, dodging all the rubble of our Great Recession. Just ask my family: They had no choice but to newly adopt frugality with me. Yuck.

I allowed my clients to renegotiate my pricing, and as a result, I devalued my services. In my speaking, I granted honorariums, lulled by the guise of honor in that word, despite the sinking feeling it actually gave me, a chisel to my self worth, and to the credibility of the MWA movement. Double, triple Yuck.

At the time, it felt like something we were supposed to do, until the day my husband said something which hit me like a ton of bricks: “How do you figure, that if the whole world suffers, we have to suffer along with them?”

My daughter chipped in, “Yeah mom, what happened to showing everyone the better way?” It was the winter of 2009 and we were Christmas shopping. My son added his 2 cents, saying, “Yeah! Down with Ebenezer Scrooge!”

Such a smart family.

It got me thinking again, about why I’ve always loved working within the art and science of business. Business enterprise, and smart business models, have always represented freedom and creative possibility to me. We are able to corral our resources, whatever they may be, and Ho‘o — make things happen.

So no more back-sliding, even if we fall into another recession tomorrow. The talk-story I had the other day with those managers reminded me to write this up so I could print it out, and paste it on this inspiration wall I have, never to be forgotten again.

A Noble Consumer’s Manifesto

No more frugality. Downsizing is cool, but frugality represents a scarcity mentality.
Palena ‘ole reminds us of our abundance instead: We humans are creative, inventive and resourceful.
Life is meant to be enjoyed to our fullest Aloha capacity.

‘Free’ has been completely devalued, and I won’t be party to that trend of disrespect.
I will gladly pay all fair and equitable pricing, compensate people well, and thereby encourage them to create more of what adds greatest value to our world.

I refuse to devalue anyone’s creation (their product innovation).
I refuse to devalue anyone’s time and intellectual property (their service to me).
The financial support I give others, will be Ho‘ohana support for their exceptional work, and future learning.

I will proudly continue my Managing with Aloha ‘Ohana in Business movement.
I will champion Noble Consumerism, understanding it as support of our working communities.
I won’t be an irresponsible or wasteful consumer, and my money will go toward the better motivations of others, rewarding what has a good and positive effect on our world.
I will live modestly, within my means, and valuing the right things (what is Pono for me and my family).

Join me?

Archive Aloha of Related Posts:

  1. Prepping for Ho‘ohana with Financial Literacy: Have you heard this before? “Do what you love, and the money will follow.”
  2. Money isn’t evil: Being ‘broke’ is a mistake, not a failure
  3. Values are the Bedrock of Hard Reality: “Soft and fuzzy” has taken a severe hit with our recent economic tumbles. You know what I mean; those workplace humanity concepts which fall beyond the bottom line.
  4. Wealth is a Value: If asked, “What’s the value of more money to you?” would you and your staff answer in the same way, even if I asked you to keep your answers in the context of the business?
  5. Drive well: Pay People Enough: The post-recessionary economy is driving compensation levels down, down, down, and business owners, we must pay people well, fully understanding how it will affect their motivation, and thus the job/work they do for you, and with you.


  1. Anne says

    As I’m getting older, I’ve become more cognizant of the need to buy local and not so much “big box”…to help support the “Mom & Pop” stores who are hurting when the bigger named stores go in. It helps them and it helps me b/c I buy less fluff/stuff that I don’t really need anyways. I try to go to the local coffee places instead of *bx. And try to find what I’m looking for in “gently used” shops.

    Rosa, I like your reminder that we humans ARE creative, inventive, resourceful…that life is meant to be enjoyed!