This article is written by Mark Silver, of Heart of Business, my first guest blogger! I am thrilled to share his writing with you. I’ve studied with Mark, and his teaching and writing are helping me transform my business to reflect my heart’s mission. Mark’s ability to effectively and lovingly combine spirituality with marketing and business have been powerful examples for me as I weave together the strands of spirituality in my own life and business.
The following insights and advice can help you reflect more of your true self in your business as well as in all of your relationships. Don’t forget to leave a comment and let us know your thoughts and experiences with this topic. Enjoy!
Spirituality in Your Business Without Scaring Clients
You’ve been deepening your spirituality, and it has seeped into everything you do, or is starting to. The thing is, will it freak your clients out if you go all woo-woo and bizarre on them?
Even if you’re already using spirituality strongly in your business, I’m guessing there are places you just don’t want to go, things that are too blatant or strong. You don’t want to evangelize, you’re not looking to convert anyone. But something’s missing.
At a workshop, I once met a well-known marketing guru who had a cadre of teachers, books, and a well-oiled system of effective marketing that he sold to thousands of clients. We were talking because, as he confessed to me, “I don’t include the spiritual work I do myself in what I teach, because I’m afraid my clients can’t handle it.”
He’s leaving out what he himself calls the most important ingredient, withholding it from his clients. Quite a quandary, eh? Do you withhold, and hope your clients somehow magically “get it”? Or do you go full-on punk rock gypsy priestess, as one of our clients calls herself, giving ‘em all four chords of your music, letting the cards fall where they may?
The Role of Spirituality in Your Business
You know that saying, “the customer is always right”? Well, it ain’t ‘zackly true. When we’re talking about spirituality, customers actually often have no idea what they really need, but they think they do.
Let me tell you a story. Some years ago, when I was starting out, I was working with dozens of clients who came wanting to work on their business, getting their marketing in place, making it work. So, we went to work.
And nothing got done. Arrgh!
As I learned more about spiritual healing and came to rest more deeply in my heart, I realized that while they were asking for business help, the real issue needing to be addressed was depletion. They were depleted emotionally and spiritually, and until that was remedied, fuhgeddabout the business.
Don’t get me wrong. Each and every one of them still needed the business stuff. But they couldn’t get there until the heart got what it needed.
For your clients, they need what you’re offering. But are you withholding the very thing that will keep them from really getting your best stuff?
It was scary for me to start using weird Sufi prayers and other energetic healing stuff with clients, but I did. And like a charm it worked.
People Forget Oneness All Too Easily
Spirituality is ultimately about remembering that Love, God, Oneness, the Divine is also there, wherever that point of struggle is. However you do it, whatever your method, tradition, lineage, or modality, it’s a path to return to Oneness, where everything is possible.
With this truth, you can add in all the practical stuff you do–the marketing, the accounting, the real estate, the textiles, the food in your restaurant, everything. But first, bring the love.
Of course, it’s a narrow ledge to skitter out on. If you’re too strong and too direct will you offend people? Will they get pissed off and run away? Will your business dry up as a result?
I’ve learned some lessons from this journey, so let me share them.
Keys to Amping Up Spirit in Your Business
All Streams Lead to the Ocean
A friend of mine who had done a lot of interfaith work once told me: “Interfaith works best when each person participating has a strong, deep conviction in their own path. Then they don’t have to convince anyone else to prove their own faith.”
There is a balance held between deeply trusting your own journey with Spirit and knowing that others may have a different journey ahead of them. Whatever language your path, lineage, journey, religion, or faith uses to express what you’re doing, it’s describing a universal truth that others have different language for, but not any real disagreement with.
Trusting this universality and standing strongly with your own faith means that you can speak strongly from your platform, and still allow others to find their way.
At the yoga studio I go to, YogaShala in Portland, they are really grounded in the traditions of Hinduism. They read from the sacred texts one day a week, they talk about yoga using traditional terms and descriptions for truth. The metaphors and stories they use are totally unfamiliar to me, and yet I can feel the truth of what they are saying.
Because they stand so strongly in their tradition, I get so much help and depth out of the yoga. I’m not changing my path from Sufism to Hinduism, but it still helps me tremendously.
Keep It In Context
When you are a student on a spiritual path, it’s easy (at least for me it is) to just love the path so much you unload an entire dump truck of teachings and practices, or whatever, onto your customers.
Before you share something spiritual ask this question: What’s the minimum they need in order to make progress toward the practical goal they are wanting to reach?
For instance, there are some very profound, and to me interesting, teachings about subsistence and poverty, entire books in fact. Yet I share just a snippet of those teachings with our clients. Maybe a single quote, or a single process or prayer, because I know that just a little taste will help them take the next step.
If someone really wants more of what you’re offering, they’ll ask.
State Your Platform
I never talk about my path in language that could be construed to mean, this is the only way. I never want to tell someone: This is the truth about how it works. If you do that, then the client is confronted with needing to step onto your path in order to accept the wisdom your giving.
By simply stating your platform, “The Sufis talk about subsistence in this way…” alludes to the universality of the truth being discussed, while at the same time acknowledging that there are other ways to talk about it.
Many people in this world are thirsting for a deeper connection to wholeness. If you’re using your connection with Spirit to make whatever you do in your life and your business work, then don’t withhold it from your clients.
If you keep it in context and state your platform, people won’t run screaming from you. Instead, you might be surprised to see how many more people come close to drink from your fountain
He is the author of seven different in-depth programs and a number of other smaller teachings and classes for entrepreneurs. Together they form a comprehensive entrepreneurial wisdom academy curriculum. Learn more about this work at HeartofBusiness.com