By Steve Vierra
For almost five years, I have owned and operated a privately held staffing and recruiting firm with three partners, who are also close friends of mine. In a nutshell, we search for and find people who fit the job requirements given to us by companies that retain our services. Some might call us “Headhunters.” We often joke that we hate working so much, that all we do is sit around all day and find other people jobs. I am grateful that two of my partners are on the shamanic path and have shamanic practices, while the third, and newest partner is new to the concept, but respects it nonetheless. Our business has done well over the years, but without the cultivation of a strong shamanic practice, I don’t know that we would be as well equipped to handle the kind of journey that we have undertaken. We are still embarking on this journey every day, and we continue to learn how to intertwine shamanic teachings into our everyday way of doing business. One of the most prominent teachings that we have learned to utilize is how to “bid for power.”
A bid for power is when an individual, or in our case a group of individuals, make a conscious decision to acquire more power by taking on a challenge or risk that stretches the current possibilities. We all make bids for power in one way another throughout our entire lives. As children, we bid for power when we try to take our first steps, or when we attempted to take off on a bicycle without training wheels for the first time. As adults, we make bids for power by venturing out into the world to make a friend, by asking someone on a date, when we interview for a job, or when we decide to get married and have kids. A bid for power does not always have to be visible or external either. It can be invisible, and internal such as a change in perspective, or a change in an old pattern of thinking. In our case, my friend and I began discussing the possibility of starting our own company. We were band mates in our free time, but my friend came from the staffing industry and had an accounting and finance education and I came from a sales background with an education in Psychology. We decided to form our own staffing company in which he would “headhunt” the candidates and I would sell our services to companies. With that, the two of us made a bid for power in a garage with our laptop computers on top of TV dinner stands.
As is the case with most things in life, timing is everything. Anyone can bid for power at any time, but the key is internally knowing when you are ready, and being willing to accept the consequences that come with potential failure. The larger the bid for power, the more there is to be gained, but in turn, the more there is to lose. A bid for power will always come at a price, as something must be given up for something to be gained. These may also appear as tests, as though the universe is checking to see if you are serious. In our case, we had to give up a steady paycheck, and the comfort of a secure job, so we could devote the time necessary to get the business off the ground. We weren’t living on much, and we had no guarantee of when payday would be. However, when a bid for power is made at the right time, the support you need tends to show up. After a couple of months, we brought on another friend. We really needed the help, and the moral support, and he came just when we needed him. We couldn’t afford to pay him, so like us, he was living and dying by the deal. I don’t think we closed our first deal until 4 months after we had started the company, but eventually we started closing deals and gaining some ground. Commitment is an essential part of making a bid for power. When you decide to make a bid for power, you attack it like a lion goes after its prey. If the lion doesn’t give it everything it has, it goes home hungry. We worked day and night to make our dream a reality, and there was no way we were going to go home hungry. We infused shamanic wisdom into our approach to business even going so far as to perform drumming ceremonies for our candidates while they interviewed. We participated in shamanic ceremonies to keep our energy clean and to keep us in line with our intentions, we cultivated personal shamanic practices, and we constantly checked in with each other to make sure we were creating our business from a place of integrity. Soon enough, our container was starting to grow and expand. Eventually, we had enough money to bring on our first actual paid employee.
We closed more deals, hired more employees, and we were continually tested along the way to make sure we were truly committed. As we continued to grow, we faced all kinds of unimaginable situations with our employees, candidates, clients, vendors, etc. As a young company we were so vulnerable that it felt like one major misstep or mistake would be fatal. We were tested with frivolous lawsuits, conspiring adversaries, and personal tragedies that emanated through the company. In all of these instances, there were times where I didn’t think we would survive. But, no matter how hectic things got, we always came together as a team and tried to look beyond the present circumstances. We did a lot of work on ourselves in order to see the results we wanted to manifest with our company. Rather than running ourselves ragged by reacting to every up and down that our business experienced, we kept one another in check and tried our best to remain neutral, working on ourselves and our perceptions instead. We encouraged the same personal awareness in our employees, encouraging them to empower themselves by taking care of their minds, bodies, and spirits. The results of doing business this way have done wonders for my partners, my employees and for myself.
Our company has grown roughly over 300% every year since our inception, and we are on track to be on the Forbes list of the 100 fastest growing companies in the US next year if we keep up our pace. We have two successful branches with a total of 20 internal employees, and almost 200 external employees and counting. We continue to make new bids for power, and the formula is always the same. We identify when we are ready with practical discussions, intuition, trust and patience. We continually work on ourselves, and check each other to assure that we are prepared to take on the responsibility of our actions and intentions. Then we go after our bid for power with everything that we have, and without hesitation, remembering that there is a price to achieve power, and that sacrifices must be made. When was the last time you made a bid for power, and what was the result? Were you ready? No matter how big, or how small, it is important to expand your horizons by bidding for power. What do you dream of creating? Remember, before making a bid for power there are four things that you must assess:
1. Make sure you are completely ready – Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Make sure it is something you are ready for, and remember that you can take steps to bidding for more power as you are ready. There is no hurry.
2. Make sure you are able to identify when you are ready – This doesn’t mean that you have the perfect conditions, or that you have no fear. It means that you are willing to see it through, roll with the punches, and adapt to the rules as they change. Once you commit to the chase, you must ready to go wherever it takes you, or else go home hungry.
3. Make sure you are prepared psychologically, physically, emotionally, and spiritually – You must be ready to endure the stress and the fight of bidding for power. You must be prepared to deal with the defeat, or the success, and ultimately, get to a state of not being attached to either outcome.
4. You must act without hesitation – Once you decide you are committed to making the bid for power, you must attack it with everything you have. You must commit completely and fully.
So, what kind of bid for power do you want to make?
Stephen Vierra is an entrepreneur, and co-founder of SkillSet Group, a Staffing and Recruiting Firm out of San Clemente, CA. He has a strong background in Psychology, Sales, and Customer Service. Stephen is the newest member of CSEE, and hopes to bring his leadership qualities and people connecting abilities to help support the mission and values. Stephen is a musician and song writer and has been studying and practicing shamanism for many years and ha enjoyed spending time with the Shipibo in Peru. Stephen hopes to be a vital part of CSEE’s mission in helping to educate, and connect people of all cultures.