The Way of Zing

Dr. William S. Silver, Dean, School of Business and Economics
Mark Gregory Nelson, Former SSU Entrepreneur in Residence

While most of us spent our summer relaxing and enjoying the sunshine, Dean William Silver and Sonoma State University Entrepreneur in Residence Mark Gregory Nelson have been busy getting ready to launch their newest endeavor. We caught up with the authors of Way of Zing to find out more about their new book.

Q: How did Way of Zing come about?
A: Our lives collided many years ago at a business accelerator near SSU. We were both volunteering our time, and over a casual lunch conversation, we discovered that we held many common values, ideas, feelings, and beliefs. And, we had quite a few that were vastly different. We ignited and forged a deep connection over time. As we explored the world of work and the workings of the world, we discovered a shared curiosity. We wondered why no one has created a practical work/life guide that combines external relevance and internal purpose. Why don't any of these great business doers and philosophical thinkers provide direction for creating an integrated work/life that aligns passion and purpose with the economic practicalities and realities of the world?
We learned that the answer to our question is rather straightforward--because it is difficult to do. It is difficult to talk about un-manifested energies, very personal inner passions and purpose, and give guidance on how to apply them. It is even more difficult to explain how to align those energies with practical steps in real life. Our journey together to create such a guide became both the compilation of the Way of Zing, and an example of the results of the Way.


Q: When someone feels stuck in that place where they are just trying to make ends meet but long to create the life of their dreams, where should they begin?
A: Zing is the radiant energy of human vitality, the energy of stars aligning, when life feels in unquestionable congruence. In the book, we describe a Fourfold Path of awareness, alignment, action, and actualization as the Way to Zing. So it begins with awareness, the origin of a two-directional journey, a journey inside yourself, and out into the external world.
Awareness is a deep exploration of the essential "you"--your fundamental values, ideas, feelings, and beliefs. As you understand yourself at your inner core, it becomes possible to follow a work/life path that fulfills and matters. Awareness empowers you to identify clearly the passionate energies that provoke you.
It is also a comprehensive survey of your present "location"--the circumstances in which you currently find yourself. As you broaden your understanding of what is happening to you and around you, you can take the steps to make any necessary course corrections, and to pursue new possibilities.zing_logo_5.jpg

Q: Can you share some tools for finding Zing when someone is busy juggling the demands of school or family and work? 
A: The Zing Compass is a reflection and direction tool to guide you on your work/life journey. The Pursuits are quadrants on the Zing Compass, helping you understand where you are, and where you need to go. They tell you where to focus your time and energy given your inner passions and external circumstances.

The Zing Compass can provide the answers for why you are taking a certain path, and which other paths you should consider. Why should you choose a particular course of action? Will you be doing this to prosper, to discover, to connect, and/or to create meaning? If the answer to "Why?" does not fall into one (or more) of the four quadrants, you should ask "Why?" again. And again. And if you do not know why and decide to do it anyway, you are certain to discover.
Zing multiplies on those paths that take you simultaneously toward all Four Pursuits.
Q: Are there specific practices that you recommend to help people maintain (or regain) their energy and vitality for life?
A: The Way of Zing offers 16 Zing Pathways - practices to help be more vital and relevant. The overarching practice is to live your life as a Venture of One. Your Venture of One is the application of the Way of Zing to your work/life, the conscious synthesis of everything you are actualizing in your unique and personal journey. Your Venture encompasses the work you are doing and the intrinsic and extrinsic wealth you generate. It flourishes with the skills that you are learning, embraces the people you are meeting and cherishes the relationships you build. Ultimately, your Venture of One manifests in the impact you are having on the world.

By formulating a work/life vision of who you really are, aligned with what the world really needs, you are empowered to become who you really need to be. You thoughtfully chart a strategic map of your journey among and through the Four Pursuits.
• Pursuing prosperity to build value and exchange with the world: to thrive.
• Pursuing discovery to nurture talents, expand knowledge, and evolve wisdom: to grow.
• Pursuing connection to build community, and cultivate deep and meaningful relationships: to give.
• Pursuing meaning to actualize what matters to you and to others: to serve.

Q: Can you tell me more about the Quadruple Bottom Line?
A: Self-directed, success looks much different when living as a Venture of One. Successful ventures are measured by a quadruple bottom line, each Pursuit offering perspective on your relevance and purpose. The Four Pursuits are a set of reference metrics to assess progress and make course corrections. Your quadruple bottom line grows when your inner energies align with external opportunities.

Ready to Learn More? If you are ready to add some Zing to your life, you can check out the facebook page or log onto their website. Become part of the Zing community and stay tuned for their big launch which is scheduled for Labor Day Weekend.




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