Therese Skelly, the author of Love-Based Mission: How to Create a Business That Serves Your Soul, is here today with the first of a 2-part article to give you a sneak peek of her book. Take it away Therese!
One way to think of a love-based philosophy is this:
When you love what you’re doing, your customers love doing business with you (and keep coming back for more). Your team and partners love working with you. It’s easier to sell a product or service you love.
And perhaps best of all, your business supports a life you love.
So, let’s figure out a good definition of this concept, shall we?
I thought I’d do a bit of research around what generally comes to mind for people when they hear terms like “conscious business owner,” or “heart-centered entrepreneur.” So, I posted those questions on Facebook.
And wowza, the responses I got were quite surprising!
It turns out that the connotation of being “heart-centered” is pretty negative!
My FB friends had the sense that, if you are heart centered, you are:
- Too “woo woo.”
- Not interested in practical things.
- Missing your left brain.
- Afraid to do the real work.
- Not grounded.
- Afraid of charging and earning money.
- Chasing ideas that are unsustainable and unmarketable.
- Following shiny objects.
- Magical thinkers.
- Dreamers who can’t implement.
If all this were true, who in the world would want to be heart centered?!
Yet, for all the less-than-positive connotations those words carry thanks to an overly saturated market with people in the industry who have used and manipulated the meaning, what I know heart-centered biz owners bring to the table is a focus on caring deeply about others as well as the planet. They desire for all things to be whole and want others to feel empowered and loved. They do not put profits over people, and that’s quite admirable.
I know that “conscious business owner,” or “heart-centered entrepreneur,” refers to a shift from the old “me first” way of doing business to one that uses a person’s skills and service to do good.
It’s a shift toward creating more win-win partnerships … a movement toward connecting to the whole and contributing to making this world a better place.
This definition of “heart centered” is in direct alignment with one’s soul purpose. But sadly, the marketing and coaching industry seems to have bastardized some of these concepts.
My belief is that the mind and heart are subordinate to our soul’s knowing and to our intuition. The soul provides the ideas or purpose, and then the mind and body work to bring it to fruition.
Getting in alignment with this concept is key.
A love-based business owner is wise. She uses discernment, and while she can lead with her heart, she is also very practical and has a strong sense of self. She is deeply grounded in a personal code that she honors and has a very strong sense of self. This leads to a solid set of behaviors, positive habits, and the ability to get stuff done and work implemented. Far from being “airy-fairy,” she knows how to make very solid decisions for herself and her business.
Because of her deep understanding of her soul-based mission, she knows that following her purpose creates behaviors that allow her to succeed.
What I want you to see is that the “old” definition of the heart-centered business owner smacked of codependent, selfless, not-so-positive patterns, so most of us tend to run away from that way of being if that is our template.
But the new way of looking at this “conscious” or “mission-driven” or “love-based” business owner is quite positive. It blends the best of showing up with a heart to serve, a mission to lead and make a difference, and grounded and practical business practices.
It’s about letting love make the decisions, and learning how to find where fear is encroaching, so you don’t let fear drive you.
Sounds pretty awesome, right?
The first step to having a love-based mission is to see who you’re being in the world.
Maybe right now, you’re thinking …
“Ok, Therese. I understand what you mean by ‘love-based business owner.’ But how does being love based show up in business?”
Basically, being a love-based business owner is about choosing love over fear.
Now, we all dance with fear at some point, right?
Think about when you first become a business owner. Fear is the driver of all things, isn’t it? Fear of not being enough. Fear of looking like a fraud or not attracting the right clients. Fear of things not working out or of losing money.
Fear, fear, fear.
And sadly, fear is often used to manipulate. Who among us hasn’t been at least seduced into buying (or seriously considering) that program that plays on our deepest fears of not being able to take care of ourselves or our family?
Old school marketing is about finding the fear or pain point, agitating the heck out of it, and then offering your solution as the only thing that will work to eliminate that fear or pain. (And let’s not forget the sleazy salespeople who tell you if you don’t buy, then clearly, you don’t want it badly enough … which just pushes more fear/shame into the space.)
Ugh. No more!
Check out Part 2 where I share some very tangible examples of how the love-based concept plays out in business. (And guess what? You may be doing some of these things already, but have never really “noticed” how they are different … or that you are already one of us!)
(If you just can’t wait for the next post, and/or you’d like to learn more, check out my book, Love-Based Mission: How to Have a Business That Serves Your Life.)