Many of my mentoring clients are creative and/or healing professionals who feel spiritually *called* to their work—it feels like their life’s purpose. They are drawn to me because they want to find a way to do their heart work while also making a good living.
Creative and healing professionals often have their craft at the forefront of their business radar—none would have considered opening their doors if they didn’t feel they offered a valuable service. In fact, the number one reason creative and healing professionals do not officially start their businesses is a fear that they are ‘not good enough, yet’.
These professionals spend an enormous amount of time making sure they have something of value to offer, and constantly improving those offerings.
What often takes a back seat to the honing of their craft or skill, though, is the actual Sales and Marketing for their business. It’s true. S&M (Sales and Marketing) are often viewed as torturous. Not only do these skills not come easy to these professionals, there are often a lot of bad-feeling stories and judgment wrapped around the idea of sales and marketing, as well as other essential business success functions like hiring a support team. I’m talking about the kind of bad-feeling stories and judgment that keeps people stuck where they are, never able to move forward.
When Our Stories And Judgments Hold Us In Limbo
Amy (name changed for privacy) feels called to her work as a massage therapist who incorporates sound healing, and often refers to it as her ‘heart work’. Performing her work fulfills her deeply and she cannot see herself NOT doing this work.
However, Amy has been struggling for the last few years to get her business off the ground and actually growing. See if you can tell from Amy’s stories why her business is not growing…
• “I hate having to sell or promote my business.”
• “UGH…Marketing feels like busy work—so much to do, for no results.”
• “No one can afford my fees—and I cannot afford to drop my fees any farther.”
• “It’s pretty much impossible to make a living doing my heart work!”
• “I highly doubt people making money doing this work are ethical. I don’t know how they can possibly be making any money!”
• “I’m not willing to be a sell-out like others, in order to be successful in my work.”
In addition to focusing on what she hates about her business, Amy has already decided people cannot afford her services, and she negatively judges others who manage to make money in her field.
These stories and judgments are woven into nearly every conversation Amy has, and despite understanding the power of energy, these are also woven into Amy’s own mental self-talk. In fact, her stories are now so embedded into her being (she’s been telling them so long), the minute she sees her business cards or equipment, she physically feels the negative impact in her body.
Professional colleagues who encounter Amy find themselves feeling drained after speaking with her, so they make excuses not to interact. No one is mentioning her business to potential clients.
Family and friends, who say they want to support Amy, instead, find themselves commiserating with just how *difficult* it must be to start and run a successful business. This only reinforces what Amy already believes to be true.
Creative and healing professionals who have both an inner calling to do their life’s work while simultaneously holding bad-feeling stories and judgments that prevent them from growing their business or being financially successful are their own worst enemies.
That disconnect between their calling and their stories/judgments that undermines their calling creates energetic resistance, keeping business growth and success forever at bay in a state of suspension. Never growing. Never thriving. Always pain-filled. Frustrating. Exhausting.
It Matters How You Start and Nurture Your Business
When I began working with Amy, I helped her see how she had actually started her business with the doubt, bad-feeling stories and judgments in place. Then, when her business began to reflect those stories and judgments back to her, she labeled what she observed as the ‘reality’ of her failing business.
Once she had observed and labeled the failure, she was never able to imagine something better because ‘reality’ (aka ‘what is’) was always staring her in the face. She literally set the groundwork for her business to fail before she started and then she nurtured the failure, not the success.
Whenever Amy had tried to set her observed ‘reality’ aside for a moment, to imagine something better for her business, she had plenty of people around her happy to remind her of ‘reality’. Her husband and parents, attempting to be helpful, were particularly relentless in suggesting that Amy give up on her dream, and just get a reliable 9-to-5 job. (For the record, not following your heart work is soul-crushing, and a fast-track to depression and loss of self-esteem.)
Abraham-Hicks often talks about the importance of only focusing on ‘what is’ if we ENJOY ‘what is’. Otherwise, they tell us we have to be willing to look beyond it in order to grow:
As others insist that you look at “reality,” they are influencing you to be rooted to this spot like a tree. As long as you are seeing only what-is, you cannot grow beyond it. You must be allowed to see what you want to see if you will ever attract what you want to see. Attention to what-is only creates more of what-is.
(excerpt, The Law of Attraction: The Basics of the Teachings of Abraham, pg 190)
Looking beyond ‘what-is’ is a skill well worth developing as a business owner. Successful business owners know this. Children practice this every day as they play using their imaginations. They suspend their disbelief that their playmate is not really a cowboy and they are not really a pirate. They toss a piece of fabric around their backs and call it a cape, and strike the Super Man pose with true conviction.
In that moment…they ARE what they imagine themselves to be. They FEEL the power of their imaginations, and they revel in the joy of it.
As adults, we can benefit greatly from brushing off our childhood skills of suspending disbelief and imagining something fun in our professional life.
Brain science has already proven that the subconscious mind does not know the difference between our real observations, our memories, or our imagination. The subconscious is moving forward, choosing opportunities and experiences based on how you feel. If you start a business with stories of doubt, fear, and judgment of those who are successful, the feeling is probably not very good—and neither will be the results.
Getting Help To Succeed
Amy hired me when she needed someone dedicated to seeing her succeed, willing to guide her through the maze to turn her business around from the ground up. First, she had to consciously choose to wipe the slate clean on her business, create her business anew from a better-feeling place while releasing her judgments. Then, she had to be willing to actively nurture her own success as one would lovingly tend a garden. As a result, Amy discovered a new-found interest in sales and marketing on her own terms, in a way that was fun and invigorating for her. The result is a thriving business with a lot less frustration, and a MUCH happier business owner!
What are you willing to do to grow your creative or healing business? Share your better-feeling stories in the comments below…