|SPIRITUAL LIFE = veDik LIFESTYLE.....KNOWING YOURSELF, YOUR aatmaa (SOUL) AND YOUR CREATOR bRHmH....LIFE THEN JUST BECOMES A PIECE OF CAKE OF HAPPINES|
Posted by Vishva News Reporter on March 26, 2003
Like many entrepreneurs, the president and CEO of Calgary-based S.i. Systems
Ltd. had a schedule that kept him in perpetual motion. Eighty-hour workweeks
were standard. When he wasn't at work, he was thinking about it. Stress was his
only state of mind and, despite good intentions, his kids and vacations were a
low priority. "I was stuck. I was a workaholic. I wasn't spending any time with
my family and I wasn't making any money," recalls Bullen. "My company was just
How does such a workaholic find balance? Through SRDDHDHaa (faith) and
aaDHyaatmaa (spirituality), says Bullen. He's developed an awareness of who he
is, his purpose in life, his place in the world and, ultimately, his
relationship with God. Such clarity has helped Bullen re-evaluate his life and
find passion, confidence and inner peace in both his work and home life. He's
proof positive that you can have it all.....
To learn more about how of the above is quite doable.... learn ved every day
with the learning and sharing of veD
on this PVAF web site's
TODAY'S CALENDAR, TODAY'S PRAYER, TODAY'S veD LESSON
and postings on veD Page, sNskrut GLOSSARY
and AASHRAM NEWS..
..for the western thinking on the subject matter please click on the next
line... to read about how this CEO Derek Bullen works just 40 hours a week and
takes two months' vacation, and still runs one of Canada's Fastest-Growing
Companies. Here's how he found the best of both worlds ......
Derek Bullen works just 40 hours a week and
takes two months' vacation, and still runs one of Canada's
Fastest-Growing Companies. Here's how he found the best of both
By Jacqueline Louie @
February / March 2003
Work is life. That used to be Derek Bullen's motto. Like many
entrepreneurs, the president and CEO of Calgary-based S.i. Systems
Ltd. had a schedule that kept him in perpetual motion. Eighty-hour
workweeks were standard. When he wasn't at work, he was thinking
about it. Stress was his only state of mind and, despite good
intentions, his kids and vacations were a low priority. "I was
stuck. I was a workaholic. I wasn't spending any time with my family
and I wasn't making any money," recalls Bullen. "My company was just
Fast-forward eight years. Today, Bullen is a changed man — and so
is his business. He's relaxed, quick to laugh and, while still
intensely focused, the 40-year-old lives in the moment. "I go about
my life with a lot of faith," he says. "I'm driven by where I want
to go, not by what I'm afraid of." He works just 40 hours a week,
and spends more than two months a year traveling. S.i. Systems is
flourishing, too. From its launch in 1991, the firm has grown to 300
employees in four offices. Last year revenue reached $22.5 million,
up from $2 million in 1996 — good for 116th spot on the PROFIT 100.
How does such a workaholic find balance? Through faith and
spirituality, says Bullen. He's developed an awareness of who he is,
his purpose in life, his place in the world and, ultimately, his
relationship with God. Such clarity has helped Bullen re-evaluate
his life and find passion, confidence and inner peace in both his
work and home life. He's proof positive that you can have it all.
A former computer programmer, Bullen founded S.i. Systems to provide
contract IT workers to high-tech companies. The fledgling company
soon occupied much of his time, but his effort never produced the
desired results. Predictably, his business and home life suffered.
"You sit and spin on your problems all the time," says Bullen. "I
thought I was responsible for everybody." By 1993, Bullen knew
things had to change: "I knew I wanted a bigger life."
He started the process with the help of business mentor and coach
Doug Bouey, president of Catalyst Strategic Consultants in Calgary.
Bullen plotted strategic goals for the company, and eventually
replaced unproductive staff. As part of the change process, Bouey
suggested Bullen undertake a "vision quest" — a native tradition
whereby an individual embarks on a spiritual retreat to seek meaning
and guidance on how to move forward in their life. Under the
supervision of natives from Southern Alberta's Blood Tribe, Bullen
spent four days camped at the foot of the Rocky Mountains alone and
without food or water. The experience proved rewarding. "Everybody
comes out the other end better, sharper and clearer than when they
went in," he enthuses. "You are crystal clear about what the most
important thing is for you to do in your life right now." Bullen
came away with two revelations: he needed to connect with his
children and to take more personal time.
Meeting those goals meant Bullen had to alter his mindset radically.
Like many CEOs, Bullen says he was afraid to delegate and take time
off. Still, he was willing to do anything to change. "The toughest
thing when you change yourself is to let go of your fears. You have
to have a little faith to let go," says Bullen. So he jumped right
in, taking two weeks off. He had to force himself the next month to
take off a Friday and Monday.
Despite the support of family, friends and employees, giving himself
permission to take time off was hard. Bullen found inspiration in a
book called The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher
Creativity, by American journalist and filmmaker Julia Cameron.
Part workbook, part journal, the book gives readers specific
activities designed to boost inner awareness and creativity. The
book includes general writing assignments (three pages in a journal
every morning) and specific projects ("List five things you're not
allowed to do."). Meanwhile, Bullen bought a condo in Canmore,
Alta., which he declared a work-free zone. Bullen, his wife Susan
and their three children retreat there for weekend family time.
Bullen discovered that time off exposed him to new ideas. "Every
once in a while you have to give yourself a chance to stop, to empty
out," he says. "Taking time off allows you space to let the big
ideas in." S.i. didn't stumble, either.
Still, Bullen admits, his absences forced him to keep the company in
shape with strong team players, clear accountability and a
well-defined operating strategy. "We have a simple business model.
We don't keep people that are mediocre, and we don't keep people
that don't perform. We usually weed them out in the first three
months," says Bullen. "We're left with very functional,
team-oriented contributors — even on the senior management team."
With his corporate house in order, Bullen travels more. In 1999,
Bullen and Bouey embarked on a seven-day walking trek across
northern Spain to a cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, where James
the Apostle is said to be buried. Another significant journey last
May was a trip to Vellore, India, where Bullen celebrated his 40th
birthday. Instead of a party, he spent the day helping to feed 3,000
people and giving local kids gifts he'd brought from Canada. And
each summer, the whole family lives for a month in a different
place. So far, they've visited Australia, France and India, plus New
York and Vancouver.
Spirituality informs everything he does, says Bullen. He's aware of
those less fortunate and generously donates his time and money. He
prays every morning, whether for a venture at work, or for family or
friends in need. Each month Bullen attends prayer ceremonies in a
variety of faiths. Twice a month he meets with an informal men's
group to discuss personal growth. But being spiritual is not just
about trying to be nice. "You also do your daily duty as a
businessperson," says Bullen. "Your duty includes beating your
competitors, making as much money as you can, being good to your
people and not tolerating people or processes that don't belong in
Bullen believes if he hadn't grown personally, his firm would not
have prospered. And he's bullish on the future. His goal: to reach
sales of $100 million in five years. He'll do that by moving forward
and facing his fears. "Everybody has fears," says Bullen. "Whether
you act on them, or whether you act on your higher purpose, makes
the difference between each person and the kind of life they lead."
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