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On purpose, leadership, and culture in a psychedelic startup


Pascal Tremblay

November 12, 2021

4 min read

This article was an email sent as part of our monthly Nectara team community updates.

In the startup world, there’s a saying: “Startups are hard.” It’s pretty accurate, but there’s something else that’s even harder: getting out of the way of the heart and spirit guiding one’s work. At least it can be for me because part of my learning path in this life has been to bring my doing mode into the heart space instead of strategizing my way with the brain. I love my brain! But overthinking is tiring. And it doesn’t reflect the most profound and most essential aspects of my purpose. Pairing the brain with an attuned heart unlocks all the good stuff! In the past, I would often connect with my heart and purpose and then… off to the races in the brain to do, execute, and iterate. Too much yang, not enough yin.

With Nectara, my personal intention has been to flip that model around and not just lead with the heart, but stay there as much as possible when executing on vision. There’s a world of difference in the results when I pause, reflect, connect, and align myself with my heart and purpose first. That starting point not only creates more beautiful things, it also harmonizes my entire being and energy can flow more openly. From that place of personal connection to my heart, I can show up for myself and others better.

My goal with Nectara has been to support the nourishing of a culture and an expression of the medicine experiences that brought us together in the first place. On every surface, we touch. From our Slack channel to our team meetings, our relationships, and the resources and community spaces we’re creating. All are meaningful surfaces we interact with every day that communicate who we are on a profound level — not just as a brand but as individuals. Of course, it’s not perfect, but we do our best and keep learning.

The idea isn’t to reach “perfection” and levitate in cosmic perfection. The path, the challenges, and failing forward are the gifts waiting to be unpacked.

The medicines are speaking to us. If we listen carefully, everything we need to create better communities, businesses, and a harmonious world is right in front of us. Creating a culture that reflects those teachings is both a simple and complex practice to land entirely: how can we manifest heart, spirit, and intentionality in everything we touch? How do we scale that culture across time and growth in authentic ways? How do we blend the needs of a business with a higher consciousness purpose?

There’s a lot to unpack there, and I am far from having all the answers. But here are a few things I’ve learned along the way in co-creating the foundation of Nectara’s culture:

  • Creating safe spaces for growth: Every organization reflects the totality of every team member’s personal development, trauma, environment, and state of consciousness. In other words, it’s never “perfect,” and stuff will come up. Safe spaces of trust, gratitude, and compassion need to be held for challenges and differences to be expressed, be held, and resolved lovingly.
  • Ceremony: The leading practice that has helped me work from the heart first has been creating a daily morning ceremony of expressing gratitude and physically attuning to my heart. The way we’re attuned to ourselves makes a world of difference to everyone we relate to. This accountability around personal attunement can help change entire organizational futures, especially at such an early stage.
  • Get out of the way: Meaningful purpose is much bigger than any of us. Letting go of control and being okay with emergence is a vital aspect of a startup’s early life. We’ve been learning what and who Nectara is more every single day. This flexibility and openness to change have allowed us to be more agile and intuitive about our path forward.
  • Connect with the collective: Nectara wasn’t birthed from a few people’s minds only. When we came up with this idea of an ecosystem of support for integration, it wasn’t a novel idea. It came from a global tapestry of minds and energies putting out pulses of harmonious resonance around the purpose and mission. Everything all of us do is a co-creation. We keep our ears open and listen intently to people we speak to, what we read, see, and feel. What is being transmitted that wants to come to life?
  • Practice: Every day is a ceremony. That guiding philosophy has been a guiding light in integrating psychedelic experiences into my life. We try to apply the same at Nectara and treat every moment to reflect and practice our healing path. As a business, that includes giving people the space they need, focusing insisting on self-care, not overburdening people with to-do lists, and moving at the speed of intentionality and trust.
  • Foundation: The core of the team and the intentionality behind the actions needs to be foundational steel. There’s no faking your way forward. To help us do that, who we hired as our first team members were critical decisions. We hired people we’d work with for the next 10–15 years over having the “best.” Skills can be taught, not so much personalities. Setting our guiding principles was a key as well, and we’re really proud of them. They will help guide us forward. (See below)
  • Trust: It’s the glue that keeps the ship together!

How do you implement the teachings of your psychedelic experiences in your life? In your business? I’d love to hear from you at

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Psychedelics and the Meditative Mind
Watch: What is Psychedelic Integration?
What it means to hold space for people
Watch: Introduction to breath as medicine
The Benefits of working with a psychedelic integration guide
The four layers of emotional healing
Breathwork as a psychedelic integration practice
Ethical considerations for psychedelic businesses
Loving the journey of imperfection
The importance of ritual and ceremony
The essential role of psychedelic integration for lasting transformation
We are moving towards healing
Meditation as a foundational practice for psychedelic integration
Why Nectara came to life
Depth vs width and mindful psychedelic integration
Psychedelic Integration 101
On purpose, leadership, and culture in a psychedelic startup
Psychedelics and the continuous chase for healing
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