Written by Terri Maxwell 


There has been a lot of debate about whether businesses should be a force for good, or should simply make money for shareholders.

Most entrepreneurs find this debate humorous because we simply started our business to make a living doing work we are passionate about. Although the average person might think that only outwardly altruistic brands are conscious, that is simply not true.

Shift/Co’s hypothesis is that the majority of entrepreneurial companies are conscious, primarily because it’s the foundation of good business.

For example, as entrepreneurs, we are the primary ‘shareholder’ and certainly want to MAKE money, but we know it’s just good business to also focus on serving customers, taking care of our employees, and making a positive impact in our community, IN ORDER TO make money.

“Profit is the tip your customers give you when you serve them well.”

(Terri Maxwell’s grandfather – her first entrepreneurial mentor)

This golden rule of business is the basis of conscious entrepreneurship. We earn money making the world better, for customers, employees, and the community at large.

Through our research, we’ve discovered that there are over 2 million conscious entrepreneurs globally, many of whom don’t realize they are a conscious business. Often times we feel isolated and frustrated that our business isn’t growing as quickly as we’d like, even though we know we’re destined to do what we are doing and to make the world better.

Although most conscious entrepreneurs don’t realize they are a conscious business, they do know they feel different. They love what they do, and are trying to figure out how to make a bigger impact without getting lost IN the business.

The Four Types of Conscious Entrepreneurs

There are four types of conscious entrepreneurs who are driven by two sets of drivers: meaning and impact. “Meaning” describes how the work feels to us, and “impact” means how the work influences others.

  1. Purpose-preneurs: Most conscious entrepreneurs started with a business idea that was about the work itself. “I love to do this type of work, and I want my work to matter.” These types of conscious entrepreneurs want to do work they enjoy and are passionate about.

  2. Heart-centered-preneurs: Through their passionate work, some conscious entrepreneurs find a particular community or group they want to serve, either in the local community or a community segment (such as homeless, children, or seniors). The meaning is in both the work, AND the people served through the work.

  3. Social-Impact Ventures: These are conscious entrepreneurs who shift their work to make a macro impact, collaborating to shift industry and society in some meaningful way. The focus is somewhat on meaning, but predominantly on impact.

  4. Mission-Driven Brands: These are conscious entrepreneurs who want to broaden their impact and shift industry and society through the work they enjoy. The meaning is certainly in the work, but the meaning has evolved to the people who are being served through the work, and making an impact is now equally as important.

types of conscious entrepreneurs

Consciousness is an inner game; it’s the heart and soul of the entrepreneur. What truly defines a conscious entrepreneur are the values with which they lead their business, as well as the reasons they went into business – which usually have to do with either meaning or impact, or both.

Although not all entrepreneurs could be considered a conscious business, I believe that many are, and are eagerly looking for ways to connect and expand their business to make a bigger impact.

Shift/Co is a community organization that uniquely blends powerful coaching and a supportive peer community to propel your growth and impact using methodologies that serve the interests of all stakeholders, aligning purpose and profits.

If you are inspired by the thought of connecting with the millions of conscious entrepreneurs globally, attend one of our free virtual events.

Take this quiz to find out if you're a conscious entrepreneur: CLICK HERE!




About Terri Maxwell

With the soulfulness of Wayne Dyer and the entrepreneurial spirit of Richard Branson, Terri is a world-class business growth expert, social impact investor, and serial entrepreneur whose purpose is to inspire potential. With her own money, Terri built a portfolio of purposeful companies, Share On Purpose, Inc., and now invests in and creates mission-driven start-ups.

In a career that spans more than 25 years, Terri has launched, owned, sold, rebranded or turned around more than 40 companies. She is known for her game-changing business models and personal transformation frameworks.

Everything she built came directly from a wellspring of perseverance and soulful resiliency, which she openly shares through her most recent purposeful brand, Shift/Co.

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