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Enlighten Me

One entrepreneur brings business--and spirituality--to new heights.

By Mark Henricks

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Marc Lesser is a Zen priest as well as founder and former CEO ofBrush Dance, a San Rafael, California-based greeting card companywith 15 employees and $2.5 million in annual sales. He is alsoauthor of the recently released book Z.B.A.: Zen of Business Administration--How Zen PracticeCan Transform Your Work and Your Life, which connects21st-century entrepreneurs to ancient Eastern spirituality.

Lesser, 52, left Brush Dance in 2004 to start ZBA Associates,a Mill Valley, California, coaching and consulting firm, but hestill uses tales of his tenure as CEO of Brush Dance to makepoints. For example, when he faced the dreaded task of laying offmost of his employees in one day, he remained sensitive toemployees' needs. They appreciated it, and he rehired some ofthem when conditions improved. Says Lesser, "There'salways a kind of gift in situations that we'd do anything toavoid."

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