Too Much Stuff

Yesterday I spoke at the International Autumn Fair – which I was delighted to do in return for securing a stand for the lovely Amber Burge ‘The Queen of Gift Wrapping’ to showcase her gorgeous collections for people who LOVE giving gifts…

They had me listed to talk about ‘Identifying the next big opportunity’ which created a bit of inner turbulence as a) this is not one of my normal topics – so I had to create a whole new theme, and b) in my view the future is not about materialism

Tricky then, given that the whole show is about shifting ‘stuff’…

To ‘identify the next big opportunity’ first you have to understand what is happening within the market, which hinges on what is happening within society and within the world. 

We’ve all seen that the consumer boom of the past few decades is unsustainable.  Western economies are practically bankrupt – and much of the funding keeping them going is being derived from the Far East.  As one analyst I heard speak put it, if the West is the alcoholic then the East is the distillery.  

What’s more, none of the goodies has made us happy!  Practically everyone I know has too much debt than they feel comfortable with.  And the lucky few who are sitting on a pile of money are fearful of where to put it – with currencies, stock markets, banks – even whole economies – in danger of collapse.

We live on a planet where the oil is running out, the oceans are becoming empty and there’s far too much pollution…  I even read an article at the weekend that ‘space junk’ is reaching danger levels.

The planet is at breaking point – which means we are nearing a breakthrough.

If the 1980’s was about what you owned and the 1990’s was about what you experienced then the first decade of the 21st century has been about who you are – hence the boom in blogging & social media.

My take is that this decade is becoming all about where you BELONG – which tribe or tribes you are part of – and how that collective energy can influence change.  It’s the power of the Tribe which has seen whole governments fall as well as London burn in the past month or so.

It’s power from the people up – whether channelled for good or for evil – an end to ‘command and control’ government.

So the future is not about ‘stuff’ it’s about harnessing the energy of (or creating your own) tribe – a group of people operating from the heart and connected via a shared passion.

And if you happen to assemble a tribe to which you can then sell a customised T-shirt or a range of organic earthenware then so much the better!

That was my message to the people at the NEC.

Have a wonderful day.



7 thoughts on “Too Much Stuff

  1. I can match your inner turbulance with my divided loyalty! I have the duality of running a shop selling stuff but my heart belongs to up-cycling furniture! I have managed to balance both in the shop by selling furniture paint AND teaching how to transform old bits of “stuff”! I have a great relationship with my local charity store and if a customer buys paint I point them to there to look for great second hand furniture and vice versa if someone buys from them they send them to me for paint & advice! I am happy to share my knowledge and can sense the massive resurgence of interest in re-using what’s there. No one will be upcycling a Tesco shelf unit in 60 years time. There is a mass of great furniture out there, all beautifully made with integrity. My “tribe” take great pride in breathing new life into old wood!

  2. Hi Moira

    Wonderful! You’re not selling ‘stuff’ you’re selling your passion & knowledge – as well as transformation! Right at the top of the pyramid & exactly where the businesses of tomorrow are at.


  3. Rachel, I completely agree about our obsession with stuff that doesn’t make us happy, but poor. I’m not sure that business owners should feel bad about “selling stuff”, if they use the money wisely. The big question for me is what it will take for us as Western society to break through, changing our mindset and starting to recognise the value of old fashioned values like connection & love, and making a contribution to the world. Is a financial crisis, crippling debt, and a double-dip global recession (?) enough pain? I hope so!

  4. george soros says that democracy becomes corrupted by capitalist interests while james lovelock says we too dumb as a species to save ourselves

    time will tell

  5. Perhaps you could help me bring this irish ‘new age’ and ‘positive’ magazine to london, they are all over Ireland and would like to launch a london edition,I just need some seed capital.

    Could use it to advertise your new venture ?

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