Lessons From A Year Of Running Innate
It's officially been a year now, since Innate launched.
(sings 'happy birthday' in Alan Watts' voice, while waving palo-santo around gleefully)
Usually this is a "linkedin humble brag" moment –
where I'd now list all the cool stuff we've achieved, while also saying something like "when starting Innate, I'd never thought this might happen, and am so grateful..."
in an attempt to hide the brag.
Let's not do that.
It's a bit cringe.
Instead, I want to talk about my biggest learnings – in the hopes that you may learn from my pains, to better navigate your entrepreneurial & spiritual journeys.
Are you ready? Then let's begin...
Talking about spirituality has no correlation with people who are truly spiritual.
Many of the most present people I've met over the past year didn't wear crystals, do perfect handstand asanas, or chatter on about consciousness.
Instead, they simply lived from a place of expanded awareness.
Whether maui thai fans, meditation teachers, startup founders or sabbatical takers ...
to find those on the true spiritual path, trust in the actions they take and the energy they emanate. Ignore the rest.
Words are overrated. Vibes are underrated.
There is an energy underneath the conversations and interactions we have.
Your intuition already knows this.
The less you can be swept away by your thoughts, the faster you can tap into your intuition, and recognise this underlying energy.
From there, you can recognise whether the energy is 'upwards and expansionary' or 'downwards and contractionary'.
If there's a persistent downwards energy in a relationship ... call it out, or walk away. Even if logically you don't understand why it's there yet, your intuition is always right. Trust it.
Flow. Don't force.
This is such a big one for me, that it's now Innate's official slogan.
Once you begin feeling the energy under the surface of what's happening – you'll faster and faster begin to recognise if you're forcing something. Whether it's a relationship, career goal, or otherwise.
If you do feel forcing... let go of the interaction as soon as you practically can.
In doing so, you let go of clinging to something that isn't meant to be. Creating space within yourself. And what comes into that space might just be wonderful.
It's a superpower. And your path to recognising the energies underneath the surface of your thoughts, and other people's actions.
People have to suffer sometimes. And that's OK.
It's only through suffering enough that someone can recognise that a storyline they hold isn't working out for them. They can then begin the process of dropping that story. Allowing for a new, and hopefully more uplifting, story to take it's place.
You cannot stop someone's suffering. But you can invite them to snap out of it.
By living from a more uplifting story yourself, they can see you feeling more fulfilled and even catch some of your upward energies. "Show not tell"
We can also give them ripe surroundings for letting go of their current storyline. At Innate, we do that by surrounding people with real nature, kind people and a daily practice (breathwork, yoga, psychedelics, meditation, calisthenics etc).
Living from an uplifting story yourself, combined with uplifting surroundings, really does lead to lots beautiful breakthroughs : )
'Play' is probably the whole point of it all.
Simply doing something for the sake of doing it – this is play.
If we can give space to ourselves to play at least once per day –
whether it's through meditating, dance, listening to a song you love ...
then we'll become more playful in the rest of our day.
Experiencing life with more presence, joy and openness.
Nothing gets built alone. Embrace that.
Embrace building things alongside others.
It's scary at first because it involves opening up to what's really happening in your creation. But it's so much more fun.
And people will not only appreciate your openness & vulnerability, but will actively help you too. Creating a benevolent flywheel, where you're helping them, and their contribution is helping you ... which in turn helps them ... and so on.
Be bold in where you want to go. And honest in where you are now.
The boldness will excite people, drawing them to the purpose of creating something extraordinary.
But then you can be completely honest in where things are now.
Because the more honest you are, the more you'll attract people who are honest, and even relish the experimental nature of what you're doing now.
Be less professional. And more human.
You can talk to your 'customers' with honesty, kindness and playfulness. Admitting when you make mistakes, helping them out, and making win win agreements.
There's no need to hide behaviour that doesn't align with these values under the guise of 'it's just being professional'. It's all actions done by you, after-all.
Be tangible & clear on your big vision. But be fluid & flexible in how you'll get there.
Have clarity on what you'd like to create in the long-run. That tangible vision will resonate with the right people, drawing them towards you. And it will act as a 'north star' guiding your decision making.
But, then be as open-minded as possible over the short-term. It'll lead to you noticing opportunities you'd never otherwise expect. And those opportunities might just manifest your vision faster than you could imagine.
Innate is not a 'startup'. We are a community-driven brand.
We're told that we need to "move fast & break things" in the startup world. But who does this narrative really serve?
Usually it's the VCs, who will push your idea to breaking point in the pursuit of making as much money as possible – whether you burn out or not.
With Innate, it took me a while to admit that we're not building a startup.
I'm going to take my time in building the right team, healthy partnerships, and aligned people to join our colives.
Let's do this the right way, not the fast way.
The time for sharing has come
If the first year of Innate was about 'Harry's journey & hopes' ...
this second year will be about 'our community's journey & hopes'
Though I've had lots of help this first year, most stuff has been driven by me. That period of 'self ownership' is coming to an end now. The universe is making that abundantly clear, with these signs...
colives are filling up with ease
venues are reaching out to us
investment is being offered to us
enlightened teachers are joining us
Innate members are reaching out across tribes;
a community is growing around us.
Innate no longer belongs to me.
It's time to welcome others into owning the Innate story.
Uh oh. I ended with a 'humble brag', didn't I?
Ah well. I suppose there's a lesson in there.
*starts making another list for year 2*