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Why our marketing agency stopped marketing. And what we're doing instead.

Kai Madrone
October 14, 2021



Dear Paradigm-shifting entrepreneur,

Does it seem that things are changing (in your business, life, the world) more quickly or significantly than before? Do you find yourself wanting to slow down so you can digest what's happening, catch your breath, and be present with what's showing up? The pace of change is swift right now and more is on the horizon. As the atmosphere keeps shifting my sense that we have no time to waste on anything less than what we're called to only continues to grow. Which is why this week's newsletter looks (and likely feels) a bit different—

We live in a culture and time where we're encouraged to dictate to our lives and businesses what they're to be about. We're taught to set goals, declare our mission, outline a vision, and implement the habits and strategies that will get us to our destination. And honestly, Michael and I LOVE to geek out on all of it. Every piece is important. But there's something missing from that picture as it's traditionally been presented. Without which, none of that clarity is as effective or fun as it could (and wants to) be.

The dominant paradigm is that humans are in charge and our minds run the show. But as you've likely noticed, that simply isn't the case.

If we pause to reflect, all of us have experiences where mindset work simply doesn't do the trick. We also have plenty of evidence that humans aren't actually in charge of the world (and tend to do a lot of damage when they believe they are). The good news is we aren't failing, the model is.

Humans don't run the planet and our minds aren't what's steering our businesses and lives. Life is infinitely wiser than that. And we can tune into that bigger wisdom for guidance that brings more ease and flow into our work. When we do, we often discover visions that are more fulfilling than what our minds--brilliant as they are--can come up with.

That's why Michael and I stopped marketing.

For a while. We don't know for how long. What we do know is that right now it's time to listen deeply and it's hard to listen when you're continually talking.

As paradoxical as it may seem for a marketing agency to pause their marketing there are two things that  clear to us 1.) The Paradigm Shift Project has a life and purpose of its own 2.) and right now it's time to pause our output so that we can receive the input of whatever it is that is trying to get our attention and unfurl into the world in a new way.

Would it surprise you if I told you we both recently returned from vacations? This is often what happens when one steps away from the day-to-day of business--you come back not only refreshed to get back to work, but with valuable new perspective about how that happens. While Michael and I have some good hints about what's next, it's not yet clear what shape that will take. What is clear is that it's time to let some things go so that the new can emerge.

One of the things we've let go is the format of this weekly newsletter. From the beginning, Michael and I wanted to have a heart-to-heart conversation with paradigm-shifting entrepreneurs. Heart-to-heart conversations are how we roll. It's who we are. But I, frankly, wasn't ready to do that here.

In our newsletter and blog I wanted to provide lots of value and in my mind that meant information and practical, actionable marketing tips. Which is a great mission and each week I've done my best to deliver exactly that. I hope it's been valuable for you. But in light of an autumn equinox vacation that re-arranged me from the inside-out I also recognize that I was doing what I thought I was supposed to do. I was doing what business-and-marketing experts tell us to do. I wasn't necessarily doing what is mine to do.

Thanks to great road trip conversations trekking across spacious Western landscapes with my beloved, I realized that what's mine to do is not only to show paradigm-shifting entrepreneurs how to do great marketing that grows their business, but also to help all of us shift from an old (and crumbling) paradigm of how business is done to a new one that is truly sustainable, deeply aligned with Life itself, and supports communities, businesses, and entrepreneurs to thrive.

I can't tell you what this new newsletter and blog format will look like. What I can tell you is that it's likely to be just as much a love letter and call-to-arms as a presentation of marketing tips. We're still all about practical and actionable, so tips and resources are likely to appear regularly. But I'm letting go of the old format. Michael and I look forward to discovering what emerges. I hope you'll join us for the journey.

Thanks for doing what you do in the world,

Kai & Michael

P.S. One essential antidote I see to the failing model of "Humans Are In Charge and Mind Runs the Show" is listening. Deep listening. In a world that tells you to decide what your business and life are about I'd like to invite us to another way—listening to see what your business and life wants to be.

One gem for this journey is Parker Palmer's Let Your Life Speak, Listening for the Voice of Vocation.Though it's been a quarter century since Ilast read it, the title has not stopped reverberated through my life. I consider this slim little book a classic. If you feel the tug of something trying to get your attention regarding your work in the world you may find this book speaks to you as well--

"The book's title is a time-honored Quaker admonition, usuallytaken to mean 'Let the highest truths and values guide everything youdo.' But Palmer reinterprets those words, drawing on his own search forselfhood. 'Before you tell your life what you intend to do with it,' hewrites, 'listen for what it intends to do with you. Before you tell yourlife what truths and values you have decided to live up to, let yourlife tell you what truths you embody, what values you represent.'

Vocation does not come from willfulness, no matter how nobleone's intentions. It comes from listening to and accepting 'true self'with its limits as well as its potentials. Sharing stories of frailtyand strength, of darkness and light, Palmer shows that vocation is not agoal to be achieved but a gift to be received."

Kai Madrone
Posted on
October 14, 2021



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