For many entrepreneurs, the choice to start their own business was as much about quality of life as it was about financial empowerment. Being personally fulfilled—particularly where spirituality is concerned—is just as important to some entrepreneurs as the amount of money they earn each week or month.
For those entrepreneurs, let’s call them Spiritual Entrepreneurs, it’s not enough to exist and do well; they want more. They want to feel:
- connected to their work
- present in each moment
- that they are not just going though the required steps to attain an outside definition of success
Are spiritual entrepreneurs disillusioned about the prospect of being present in their work instead of presenting their work? I offer up a resolute NO to that question, and in addition, offer these “3 C’s of Spiritual Entrepreneurship” to help chart the course from presenting to being present; those 3 C’s are clarity, confidence, and compassion.
Many entrepreneurs start out following formulaic approaches to success. These approaches, though helpful to some, will not work for everyone.
Spiritual entrepreneurs need to adapt a philosophy that combines basic business knowledge with personal clarity. Getting clear on what you offer, how that offer lends value to your ideal client and what it takes to consistently convey that value is a more spiritually centered approach to business.
Instead of following the crowd, it’s often better to find the tribe. But first, spiritual entrepreneurs need to be able to discern between that crowd and their tribe.
The crowd consists of a massive Facebook friend list, plenty of Twitter followers, and the myriad other social media outlets used to promote business services. But if we assessed the conversion rates from friends and followers to paying customers, it’s easy to see that a crowd doesn’t equal customers.
Instead of constantly promoting their work, spiritual entrepreneurs need to build up the confidence to approach their tribe and ask questions. They should adopt a listening approach, meaning they listen more than they talk, and connect more than they call on people to buy what they sell.
Most people don’t recognize that it takes confidence to built authentic rapport. That confidence shows up in the willingness to be one’s self and to be willing to forego the thousands of hard-to-convert followers and risk expression among the ones who represent the people that your product or service was designed to serve.
The listening approach helps to create authentic community through shared interests, thereby offering the opportunity to bring followers and friends into a sales funnel where it’s much easier to convey what is being offered, with minimal noise and a higher chance of converting them to a paying client.
Right in line with the listening approach, and the clarity and confidence it takes to use it, comes the need for compassion. It may seem an odd addition to an article about entrepreneurship, but spiritual entrepreneurs need to be familiar with the power of compassionate business practices. Compassion includes:
- putting yourself in the shoes of your tribe, and committing to a more personalized approach to business.
- getting on the phone and calling a client to see how they’re enjoying your product.
- being willing to promote the products and services of your clients, instead of just nudging them to promote yours.
It takes great commitment to endure the emotional and financial rigors of entrepreneurship. But, for spiritual entrepreneurs, those confidence muscles need to be extended way past the initial commitment. With clarity, confidence, and compassion at the forefront, it becomes far easier to stay present, to address feelings, flow, and finances, and to create a body of work this is as personally fulfilling during the process, as it is when the end results are assessed.
About the author: Akilah S. Richards co-founded The Life Design Agency to help entrepreneurs discover, design and express their unique products and services. Akilah works primarily with women on the emotional and spiritual life components, while her husband, co-founder and Creative Brander, Kris Richards, offers branding packages to helps businesses express their brand’s message, with clarity, confidence, and creativity.