Don’t Run Your Business Like A Feral Capitalist

Mariko O. Gordon, CFA
2 min readOct 17, 2021


Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs Trailer, Public Domain, 1958

Joy. A feeling of great happiness and pleasure.

Three letters. Simple concept. Impossible to teach, hard to cultivate. Or maybe it’s just me. I was not descended from the fun-loving, folk-dancing, and awamori-drinking Okinawans. My people were Nichiren Buddhists who prayed twice a day, were teetotalers, and worked hard on their pig farm.

I don’t think they knew how to have fun, the gateway to joy.

You do. Life is too short not to have fun running your business. If you make it all about hustle, productivity, and extracting the “maximum value” from your “targets,” you will forget that you are a human and that your customers are too.

Capitalism does not have to be feral, exploitative, or extractive.

There is no joy to be found in those strip-mined places. Profits and return on your invested capital (dollars or energy) can be the result of a balanced exchange of goods and services that honor each other’s needs.

You can be wildly successful while being true to yourself and acting with integrity. Your business operates in a literal ecosystem. What kind of a steward are you, not just of your customers, but of your community and our planet’s resources?

Discover what you stand for, and let it permeate every aspect of your business. How you do anything is how you do everything.

Your business is a work of art. It is the full flowering of your creative expression. Make it a loving, fun-filled, and joyful one.

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Mariko O. Gordon, CFA

Built $2.5B money mgmt biz from scratch. Coaching badass women to build & love their businesses, manage their finances, and make sure the thrill is never gone.