As a leader, it’s natural to want to manage all aspects of your business, but as any great leader knows, delegation and is key. Gone are the days where leaders are touting that they wear every single hat in their business – because the wise ones know that their efforts alone won’t sustain their business long-term. According to Gary Douglas, there’s even more to understand about today’s business climate and employees, “The workforce today is not interested in being dictated to, giving absolute loyalty and working their way up to the top. They are empowered; restless; creative and clever. If you are a savvy business leader, you will recognize this and use it to your advantage.” Gary has decades of expertise in areas of business, conscious leadership, and benevolent capitalism. Gary is an internationally recognized thought leader, bestselling author, business innovator and founder of Access Consciousness®, a set of pragmatic tools and teachings transforming lives around the world. We had an opportunity to interview Gary and asked about his story, how he started his business and the future of Access Consciousness.
Tell us your story. Why did you start your business?
When I was little, people would ask me what I wanted to be and I would say I wanted to be happy. So I had been pursuing happiness my whole life. Access Consciousness was the element that finally gave me success in all areas of my life and happiness in all areas but prior to that I was looking for happiness from the time I was little. I did not see a reason to be unhappy; it did not make sense to me. At 50, I finally figured out the direction I needed to take to get where I really wanted to go.
How did you come up with your business name?
I actually came up with the name after I did my first class. I asked the participants, “what did you get out of this,” and lots of them said they were able to now access certain things and that’s how Access came to be. That was almost 28 years ago.
Tell us about your products and services. How do you help clients?
I help my clients by getting them to recognize what they know, not telling them what I know. When they recognize what they know, then they won’t give themselves away to someone else’s point of view.
What makes you unique? What is your unique selling proposition (USP)?
I ask questions, I don’t assume I have the answers. I will ask a question to see what else is possible. And as soon as someone realizes what is true for them, they will be able to create whatever they desire. Which is certainly different from every modality, psychology and psychotherapy that’s out there.
Where do you see your business in the next 3-5 years?
I do believe it will quadruple. We have more people involved than ever before and more people available. More and more things that we’ve been talking for years, are becoming reality as well. I actually just read an article that talks about how the most popular class in Harvard in their undergraduate degrees is about happiness and having happiness. 20 years I did a happiness course, and it had about 20 people in it worldwide. Now they have 1200 in one class in Harvard. I think this is because people have started realizing they’ve got to do something, they can’t expect somebody else to give them happiness. The key to finding happiness is recognizing what is true for you.
Any advice you would give to entrepreneurs and business owners?
Always be in question and always create and destroy your business every day, so that you’re in the creative edge with it always. Destroy everything that was yesterday especially your points of view and conclusions and wake up every day with generative energy of creating a new business. If you are willing to look at destroying what it was yesterday, then all you have is what it can be today. If you start looking for what it can be today, a different possibility shows up for you every day. Never assume you have to have the right answer.
What is your favorite business quote and why?
“The one thing you think everybody else can do, because it’s so easy for you, is the one thing you do that’s uniquely valuable” -Break Costin
Anything else additional you want to tell our readers?
Have you ever really failed, or have you only failed at the things you didn’t really want to do? Everything you truly want to do, you will succeed at.
What does it mean to you to be a Healthy CEO?
Being a healthy CEO means not communicating from the top down, it’s about being aware from the bottom up. Your clients are the people who communicate with the people at the front lines. Assume the front line gets a different point of view than you do. Talk to people on the front lines and they’ll give you a much better overview of what’s going on with your business, and your business will be much more successful.