4 Practices for Building Soulful, Successful Businesses and Organizations
Historically, trying to be the open, vulnerable version of myself while also making money and serving the folks I care about compromised my physical, mental and emotional health. However, adding motherhood to my “wife/CEO” identity meant I needed to figure out how to be healthy AND financially resourced - and I needed to figure it out quickly.
I began a series of inquiries:
How can I do the necessary transactional work of running a business in a way that feels relationship-based?
How can I attract financial abundance without manipulating (in a bad way) the people around me?
What about "success" was so triggering to me - really? What fear of myself was I was projecting on others?
How did my spiritual practice and my business ambition relate? How could they serve each other?
These inquiries led me to practices that intentionally weave together profit, service and relationship. I've maintained and grown a six figure business, my profit margins, and self care. I have up-leveled most things in my life. I’ve seen and experienced the profound impact these type of practices can have on organizational/business culture. (In other words - my child is the best business coach ever. ;)
Strategy #1: Love my audience. For real.
When I'm designing avatars and feeling into my target audience, I'm asking, "who do I love?" Who do I care about so much that I want to listen to their fears, doubts and pain and help them help themselves?
Strategy #2: Use their problems as an exercise in empathy and humility.
Connecting to my target audience's problems is an exercise in empathy. It’s a small miracle every time someone shares their experience with me over social media, in email or in conversation, and continued gratitude for these exchanges is an exercise in humility. I can also serve more deeply and honestly if I seek their experiences within myself. I’m not “helping them” because they “need me”. I’m putting myself in a position of service to our collective needs.
Strategy #3: My products and services treat them as they would treat themselves at their best.
My solution or "product" is something my life coach calls "The Platinum Approach” (versus the Golden Rule). It's "treat others as they would treat themselves at their best." While the Golden Rule only requires us to know our own experience (treating others as we would treat ourselves), the Platinum Approach encourages us to imagine and serve the best within others. I have experienced great joy designing services this way. Constantly reminding myself of the best within others also helps my mental health overall, especially when I read the news!
Strategy #4: Grace and self-reflection are the first steps to financial success.
When I offer my best, it's appropriate to seek the vortex of reciprocal value: I provide value and value is provided back to me. However, expecting and feeling entitled to return can lead to an inability to see my own culpability when money isn't flowing. I can easily slip into blaming outside forces - “People just don’t understand my vision; Why is it so hard for women entrepreneurs?; Why is it so hard for black entrepreneurs?”
The key to sustaining great relationships is first asking, “What can I do to make this better?” If I’m experiencing financial stress in my business, I can return to love for my audience, empathy with their experience, and humility with their willingness to engage me about it. Collectively, this is an experience of grace. The questions then become: where am I resisting grace? Where is the experience of love, empathy and humility too potentially challenging for me, and I’m thus not leaning in? How can I resource myself so I have the stamina to connect more deeply?
Implementing these strategies in my business has led to increased material success, yes. Personally, they have also become a way for me to embody my spiritual practice through my business. They’ve given me deeper access to my health and soul as a leader. They’ve allowed me to build a strong, caring team. They’ve increased my ability to separate my ego from my service.
Here’s to the “love + empathy + humility = grace” equation working for our health, leadership, and community building.
Interested in using these strategies to build resiliency in your teams, organizational culture, or between external stakeholders? Schedule a free consultation to work with us in your business or organization.