American philosopher Ken Wilber developed the Integral Theory. (See his book A Theory of Everything: An Integral Vision for Business, Politics, Science, and Spirituality) It was his way of integrating knowledge from a variety of fields. The theory, often referred to as AQAL (All Quadrants, All Levels) suggests that all knowledge and experience can be understood by using the grid below.
By using the quadrants of Integral Theory, aspiring solopreneurs can evaluate their business idea to ensure that it will be just right for them as they develop their Business Plan. Alternatively, established solo enterprises can be evaluated to determine where additional attention may be needed.
Here are some coaching questions that show how this evaluation might work:
I Quadrant – Why did you decide to create this business? What are your thoughts about this business? How should a Solopreneur feel? Does/Can this business feed your soul? Are you internally happy doing this work? What are your fears about this business? What skills and knowledge are required for success? What are your intentions? What excites you about this business?
It Quadrant – What are the business objectives? How much money does this business need to generate? What strategies and tactics will be used? What specific activities will be conducted? What measures will be used to determine the performance of this business?
We Quadrant – What business, political, community values will guide this business? What relationships need to be developed? How do you define success for yourself and your business? How are integrity, honesty and trust maintained? How will the balance be maintained between business and personal roles?
Its Quadrant –What systems (technology, web, financial, time management) need to be in place? In what business networks will this business engage? What government regulations apply to this work? What marketing activates need to be in place? How does the business fit in this environment? What impact will this business have on the natural environment?
Monday morning is a great time to take a look at your business from this Integral perspective. Is your business in good shape? Is there anything missing? Now decide on one or two areas to place some focus this week. You’ll be glad you did!