“Feelings are much like waves, we can’t stop them from coming but we can choose which one to surf.”
~ Jonatan Martensson
In this piece, I want to talk about the one thing I can’t teach you in relation to growing a sustainable business.
Let me start by sharing what I can teach you.
I can teach you what to do in your business to bring about more growth. A huge part of how you apply this is, however, out of my control.
The part I can’t teach you about achieving business success is how to feel in your business.
Let me break down what I mean by how to feel in your business.
I’m talking about a few things, the energy you bring to your work, your attitude, the intentions you set (consciously or not), the mindset you have and so much more. It’s the intangible part of running a business and as many of you (as coaches and healers) will know, it’s what makes the difference between getting the results we desire and not getting them.
This is precisely why I never promise results in my marketing and why you shouldn’t trust anyone who does.
It’s why I could work with two clients and teach them the exact same strategies and whilst client A will succeed, client B won’t gain any traction.
How a person feels and shows up in their business has a HUGE bearing on how well they will do in business.
Now whilst this isn’t something I teach primarily, I do cover this in my work with clients. Not as extensively as a Mindset Coach or healer might, but it’s impossible not to come up against this when trying to apply business strategy.
Allow me to share some of what I’ve learned in this area over the past 10 years of working for myself and coaching hundreds of clients.
Your energy is everything.
One of the biggest issues I see when it comes to business is the energy the business owner brings to the work. In the early days of business when money and clients aren’t yet flowing, it can be easy to fall into a “grasping” energy. This is when you might feel so desperate to get the next client that as you put out your content and marketing and connect with potential clients, you unwittingly give off a desperate and grasping energy.
This is where I lose people sometimes because it’s a bit woo. But stay with me.
In my world energy is everything. It’s not something we can see or touch but it’s why you can get a bad or a good feeling about someone you’ve just met.
It’s how I chose the construction company for our house reno. Despite not having the biggest team or the most experience, the head builder we went with has good energy and I felt it the moment I met him. Within minutes of speaking with him (even in a second language!) I instantly knew that he would care for our home just as he would his own. It wasn’t anything he said, I could just feel it. And I was right, he’s been hands down the best part of this whole process. This is what I mean when I talk about energy.
Sometimes if we’re not careful and we’re not feeling especially confident about our work we can put out an energy that feels off. That’s why when we show up to our work desperate to get the next client, we may be subconsciously sabotaging our strategic efforts.
Something my first business coach taught me when doing gift sessions, was that whilst I might need a new client, I didn’t necessarily need this particular person to become that next client, allowing me to release all neediness and simply focus on being of service.
You may have experienced this, perhaps you’ve done a discovery call or gift session with someone and they expressed some interest in potentially working with you, but then they go quiet, as a result, you obsess over them, checking your email constantly to see if they’ve been in touch, counting the hours or days until you can message them again just to “check in” or follow up.
Even if you don’t actually tell the other person that you desperately want them to become your next client, your energy may well be sending that message. Nobody wants to hire a needy practitioner, so this is a really important one to watch out for.
Your attitude matters.
What’s your attitude like around business? Do you have a good attitude about the work or a bad one? I’m aware that terms like ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are crude, but bear with me.
If you constantly sit down to your work with an internal narrative that says: this will never work, this is hopeless or when creating content to market yourself, continuously hear a voice muttering what’s the point, no one is ever going to read this, then it follows that you’re going to have problems.
A negative attitude permeates everything (not least your energy!). When we feel and think negatively about our business, our subconscious looks for evidence to prove our point of view.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not one to tell you to suck it up and think positively and all will be well, but I have found that the more I focus on the positive, the more I feel grateful for the small wins, the better I feel and the clearer my energy is for my work.
This undoubtedly helps me to make better connections with potential clients, spot more opportunities for collaborations and just makes me a nicer person to be around.
The mindset piece.
Closely linked to attitude but not quite the same. Mindset for me falls into one of two camps. We usually operate from a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. I’ve written a whole piece about this before which you can read here.
To illustrate the point, I’ll use the words of Carol Dweck, Author of the book Mindset:
“When we have a “growth mindset,” we believe that our intelligence, creative abilities, and character are things that we can improve in meaningful ways. We can always learn and get better at what we do.”
By contrast, a fixed mindset describes people “who believe their intelligence, talents and personalities are fixed traits that cannot grow. They believe we are born with a certain level of ability (or special skills) and we are unable to improve our level abilities over time.” (From the Big Life Journal)
If you have a fixed mindset when it comes to your business skills, you will inevitably miss out on the many opportunities there are to improve your skills.
I hear people talking from a fixed mindset all the time. Often using sentences that start with the words “I’m just not someone who can…” and ending with things like: create content on demand, stick to a schedule, use spreadsheets, get to grips with technology, write web copy and so on and so on.
If you can shift from a fixed to a growth mindset, I have no doubt that it will benefit your business immensely.
Check your intention.
Something I see often is people getting tripped up by the intentions they hold as they put their work out into the world. In my work, I talk a lot about holding an intention to serve because I believe that when people feel truly served, they are more likely to buy from you. I also love this intention because for myself, and the types of business owners I work with, being of service is the main reason we’re doing this!
However, due to the need to make money sometimes this intention can get muddied. When we sit down to write a piece of content, rather than hold the intention that what we create truly helps our audience to overcome their struggles, we write from a place of hoping it makes them want to work with us or that it gets enough ‘likes’.
Or when we offer a gift session to someone, rather than holding the intention to serve and come from a place of generosity, we fall into the trap of focusing on the outcome of making the sale.
Of course, this is all perfectly natural and you’ll find no judgement here.
Holding an intention to serve has been a practice for me since day one. In the early days of my business when I was just starting out as a coach and it was easy to get caught up in wanting to impress the other person or come across as a good coach, I used to meditate before sessions so that I could get my ego out of the way just long enough to make my intention about the other person and not about me! My best sessions were always when I forgot about my “performance”.
How to improve how we feel in our business.
Having shared a few of the places that how we feel can derail our strategic efforts, I feel a bit bad about not giving you my best advice on how to work on this side of things, but here’s the issue.
There is no one way to improve how we feel about our business.
Personally, my journey with this has been long and complex. Over the years I’ve seen a myriad of therapists, coaches and healers.
Lately with all the external “stuff” going on in my world, feeling good both inside and outside of my business has been hard.
When this happens to me, I don’t hesitate to call in support. I book sessions with my most trusted healers, Laura Perkins and Megan Caper, I use my EFT sessions with Liesel Teversham to work on what’s coming up for me.
I lean on my favourite mindfulness practices like morning pages and taking walks in nature and most recently I jumped at the opportunity to get a customised flower essence made for me by the wonderful Tracy O'Meara Smith | Holistic Therapist.
I’m aware that not everyone might have the resources to hire help but that needn’t stop you. Some of the resources I mentioned above have come about from exchanges, i.e. swapping my business coaching skills in exchange for someone else’s skills.
In short, I do what I can to get back to a place of feeling centred and grounded and good in my mind, body and spirit. The effect this has on my bottom line is undeniable.
Your journey might look totally different, as it should do.
The point I’m trying to make here is that you can’t build a sustainable business without spending some time on the emotional and spiritual side of doing so.
I hope what I’ve shared here is useful to you, let me know what comes up for you in the comments.
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