Standing Out In a Noisy World

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We live in a busy world. A world with a chronic case of distraction-itis.

It’s harder than ever before to get people’s attention in this busy world. Multi-tasking (really, task switching) is the new norm. Scrolling through the newsfeed in the checkout line. Answering emails while waiting in the car line. It’s no longer enough to do one thing. The necessary conclusion to this culturally acceptable practice is that it’s no longer enough to just “be present.”

In case you think I’m here to finger wag, let me assure you, I’m just as guilty as the next person.

As a yogini and yoga-minded business owner, the state of this chronic distraction means two things: job security (kidding…sort of) and the visceral understanding that how we spend our attention matters.

In the age of the constant connection it behooves us to remember this simple truth: attention is our greatest gift.

I’m all for leveraging the power of technology for the sake of a better world. (Now where did I put my digital meditation timer?) The interconnection we experience on a daily basis is a beautiful part of living in the 21st century. Our collective digital network is filled with possibility: connecting with old acquaintances, participating in faraway family members’ lives, developing new friends through social media, staying inspired by people we admire.

But sustained attention is the price we’ve paid for possibility.

True connection is the price we’ve paid for 24/7 availability.

As a business owner, I understand the necessity of incessant connection. If you’re reading this, you likely also have a purpose-fueled business and probably receive weekly updates from me landing in your email inbox (if not, subscribe below —I promise to guard your attention like the precious gift it is). Chances are, you also see my Facebook posts, Instagram posts, and Twitter updates.

Which brings us to the second simple truth of the age of constant connection: the world is noisy.

If you want to get in front of the right people —the people you are meant to serve, the tribe you are meant to lead —you have to show up in the noisy world.

I’ve never been a fan of noise. I’ll take silence over nearly everything else. (back to my meditation cave I go) But I also believe that I have gifts to share and that your gifts matter. My purpose is empowering you to stand in the power of your purpose. That’s why I support conscious (creative) women entrpreneurs in mastering the practical (and magical) business, marketing and self-care supports necessary to build a more sustainable business.

Developing a more sustainable business requires figuring out how to stand out in this very noisy world.

How do we do that in a highly distracted and distractible world? By making it easy for our perfect-fit clients to recognize that we are the perfect-for-them provider. In a noisy world, that means being diamond-clear on your mission and developing must-have free samples of your work —because people are busy and distracted, remember?

Whether you’re creating custom jewelry, offering herbal healing or teaching private yoga classes, there is a tribe of perfect-fit clients waiting for you. But you have to sweeten the pot a little because 1) attention is a precious gift and 2) the world is noisy. Once you are diamond-clear on your mission, adding free samples of your work to potential clients lessens the “expense” of spending their attention on you (or your website).

These “free samples” of your work can take any shape that resonates with how you like to work: video trainings, audio teachings / podcasts, worksheets, challenges, blog tours, and more. The best part? These free samples allow you to stand out in a very noisy crowd and they provide an opportunity for you to nurture your potential clients before you ever connect!

And that? That’s how you stand out in a noisy world.

Want more practical support on creating awesome free samples* that your community will love? Join the Conscious Entrepreneurs kula —we talk authentic marketing, whole health, wise wealth + balanced business all day everyday.

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*See* you in the kula!

xo,

 

KA_Signature

 

*A free sample is also known as an opt-in. It’s a little incentive that folks get when they join your email list…and it’s the first step in growing your community. Here’s one example.

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Grow Your Community, Grow Your Business

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The New Moon is a day to reflect, re-vision and renew. I spent most of yesterday’s New Moon aligning with intentions and renewing my commitment to bringing more elegance, ease and purpose into my business —and life.

One of the great lessons of entrepreneurship is that it takes time to nurture the seeds you plant —but that doesn’t mean those seeds aren’t taking root.

It’s called growing a business for a reason. Since the business you end up with depends on the seeds you plant, it’s a good idea to begin with the right seeds. So where do you get those seeds?

You create those seeds of intention based on your business mission, your values, your sacred gifts, and your community’s needs.

The savvy business woman spends time aligning business (and life) with values, gifts, and lifestyle before planting seeds of intentions. Once you set your intentions, and nurture those seeds, you are ready to take the actions necessary for growth.

Align.

Resolve.

Act.

Grow.

Growth is one metric of business success. We can measure business growth in terms of income, influence, clients, email subscribers, connections, social media engagement, traffic to our website / business location or office supplies (ok, maybe not that last one).
Let’s face it: many of us in the conscious creative community aren’t in business for the money. We’re in business for the meaning.

One way to measure meaning is to look at influence —how many people are you reaching and inspiring with your message?

In other words, look to your community.

If you aren’t reaching the *right* people, your business won’t grow in influence or income: which is why growing your community is essential for growing a business. Whatever business you are in, you need customers, clients, raving fans and referrals. You also need feedback —from actual, real people who a) have bought things from you or b) may someday buy something from you. Whether you’re selling intuitive readings, private yoga sessions, custom jewelry or Ayurvedic herbs, you won’t be in business for long if you don’t find the Dream Clients who want (and need) what you offer.

So how do you find these real, actual people who may someday buy something from you?

You attract them with a little practical magic.

Begin by asking these powerful questions:
1)  What are my sacred gifts and how do I like to share them in my business?

2)  What does my community (the tribe of Dream Clients I am meant to serve) need?

3) What does my community want?

4)  What problems does my community have?

5)  What are my unique solutions to those problems?

Once you answer the above, wrap everything together in a free offer* that is a gift to your community for remaining in touch with you. A free offer is a small, helpful thing / product / course / treat that you create for your community of Dream Clients. Ideally, the free offer features your sacred gifts (1), it is valuable to your community because they both need and want it (2 + 3), it proposes a unique solution to a problem they have (4 + 5).

So get busy answering the questions above and crafting your free offer. Plant those seeds, and watch your community grow!

Grow your community. Grow your influence. Grow your business.

Also: Be helpful and make folks happy.

It’s a win-win.

*Here’s my free offer: a helpful resource that can actually move you forward in your business —day or night.

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Join the Conscious Entrepreneurs kula right here.

Hope to *see* you there!

Love,

KA_Signature

 

 

 

 

 

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Align to Expand

Align to Expand

Work-life balance.

What do you feel in your body when you read those words? What is the resounding thought that echoes through your mind? For many people, the idea of work-life balance is something that is nearly impossible to achieve. Foreign. A mythical fairy tale, even.

Since the Like a Yogi series, I’ve been obsessed with the idea of work-life balance and I have asked myself a lot of questions about it. Is there such a thing? What does it look like? How can it be achieved (if at all)?

Nigel Marsh’s TED Talk on the subject provides a poignant look at this very question —with a provocative answer (spoiler alert: the small things matter).

Work and life are constantly shifting so perhaps the better discussion is less about balance and more about alignment.

:: Alignment keeps the wheels spinning smoothly.

:: Alignment refines our transitions.

In yoga, before we transition, expand or deepen, we first align. Whether it’s a step to the front of the mat, deepening a posture or taking a vinyasa, alignment allows us to find the inner support necessary for more stability & ease.

Inner and outer alignment are how we move through the world with authenticity, openness & grace on the mat and in our life.

Alignment in business comes when we harmonize our deeper purpose and the effective use of our sacred gifts.

Just as in a physical posture, alignment is a powerful when present.

We feel the absence of alignment even more strongly. Misalignment throws everything off, as we’ve all experienced in a yoga posture or a life situation.

Sometimes you get to a point in your life (or your business) and know deep in your bones that it’s time for a new direction. Trouble is, the course isn’t clear and you’re feeling unstable.

In mindfulness trainings and retreats, I teach that it’s here we rely on our deep wisdom. Intuition is a muscle we strengthen when we are aligned and strengthening the muscle of intuition and integrating embodied wisdom is our birthright.

We all have access to a deep well of wisdom when we choose to listen.

The easiest access point to this wisdom that I’ve found is the body. Physical shapes, and simple movement, encourage a deep awareness of the intricacy of the physical form and it’s many layers. Learning how to use physical postures, embodied practices and mindfulness techniques allows us to discern truths in the small whispers.

In yogic philosophy, the physical form is only one layer of our multivalent existence. These layers are called koshas and are likened to Russian nesting dolls, encasing one another and together forming the sheath of the soul. From the inner to the outer, we have the Bliss Body, Wisdom Body, Mental Body, Energy Body, and Physical Body.

The health of one layer affects the health of all the layers.

Now, back to the Like A Yogi series. If you caught the series, remember Elsie Escobar’s insight on the digital world as another kosha (another layer)?

That’s the idea that I can’t shake.

Your Business is a kosha. Your Home Life is a kosha. Your Relationships are a kosha. Your Community is a kosha.

Everything ripples out (and in) from these juxtaposed layers and through the process of restoring harmony these layers, we bring everything into balance.

Body. Business. Mind. Life. Aligned.

I’ve been working through my own embodied insights over the last few months and many of these realizations were processed over endless cups of tea, deep conversations, tarot spreads and insight journaling.

Finally, when I came out of the proverbial cave, I heard a familiar whisper:

Offer up…

I closed my wellness coaching practice well over 2 years ago and with it, my one-off coaching sessions focused on wellness, mindfulness and lifestyle supports. I actually grieved for those sessions because I love working with women on the “messy bits” of life —self-care, behavior change, transitions and shadow work are my specialty. I still do this work, but I keep it behind the curtain over at TheWisdomMethod.com (in trainings and lifestyle retreats).

It’s time to share.

I’m committed to integrating wellness, yoga, business, lifestyle —because at the core, it’s all your life. Your one, precious, wild life. And alignment is divine.

:: Transformation is messy.
:: Alignment is divine.

Embodied business, lifestyle design, and 100% integrative soulwork: that’s where we begin. Unapologetically integrative, working with me blurs the lines between integrative wellness, life coaching and business coaching. Because, really, there are no lines. Only you —whole, balanced, divine and free.

Align to expand.

xo,

KA_Signature

 

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Powerful Questions to Get to the Heart of Your Work

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Discovering the heart of our work as yoga teachers, healers and coaches is the key to attracting perfect-for-us clients. Uncovering the essence behind what we share isn’t an easy process, but it is worth it.

Once we narrow down our message creating products, services and promotions that attract the best-fit clients becomes effortless.

We no longer have to labor over the “right” way to talk about what we do. We easily identify who we are meant to serve and how we best serve them.

The process begins with a little reflection: first, let’s create the space for intuition to be our guide.

Grab your favorite journal and be prepared to tune in.

Now ask yourself these questions:

  • Why did you get into your field (teaching yoga, sharing wellness, inspiring change)?
  • What inspires you to keep showing up / to keep teaching, day after day?
  • What is the deeper motivation behind sharing your passion in this way?
  • If you had 5 minutes of fame to reach the ENTIRE PLANET, what message would you share?
  • What question defines your life?
  • What legacy do you want to leave?
  • Why is this your work?
  • What about your past and the ups and downs of your story that calls you to do this work?

Once you can shut out the inner and outer influences impinging on your intuition, you will be one step closer to tuning in to the next direction.

The truth is, no one can tell you what to do with your one wild and precious life.

Only you know the way.

Others can support you in the practical steps toward creating that life, but only you know the truth of your inner direction. Laying out a plan to get there is the *sorta* easy part —and that’s exactly what I do! Let’s discover your path to prosperity together.

Discover your Path to Prosperity

 

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Opening a Yoga Studio? Let’s think through this.

Kellie Teaching FCYThe yoga studio owner certainly seems like one of the industry’s most glamorous career paths.

Studio owners have their own space, they manage teachers, they are the incubators of the yoga community. It all seems so official—and it is! But for every studio that’s thriving, there are 5 more struggling to make it work. There is a lot of competition.  There are a lot of operating costs. And there is a lot more to do than just teaching yoga.

I don’t say any of this to deter you. I too once had a dream of owning a yoga studio. I pursued it and when it no longer served me, I let it go. I have no regrets, because I learned so many valuable lessons about life and about business during that time— lessons that I now get to share with you.

I want to support you in your dream of opening a yoga studio (if that is, in fact, your dream) and part of support is asking the tough questions.

Are you ready to spend long hours at the studio to get it up and running? We’re not talking about 10 hour shifts here. We’re talking about all hours of the day and night.

Are you ready to be the accountant, the marketing manager, the toilet scrubber and the yoga teacher? If you’re not ready to be all things to all people, you do need to be ready to put up the dollars it’s going to cost you to hire help.

Are you ready to truly be the boss? Sure, being girl boss is super glam, but it doesn’t feel that way when you have to cut someone’s class (or fire someone all together).

I hear from a lot of aspiring studio owners who want to open studios because they want to teach more classes and they want to make a living from yoga. The studio model seems like the quickest way to do this.

Building a studio is anything but quick. It takes years of persistence.

Persistence may actually be the single most important secret to becoming a successful studio owner. I do, however, strongly suggest that you work on some other very important skills like…

  •     Being extroverted
  •     Business & marketing (or an investment in business coaching or a partner who can handle the business side of things)
  •     Discipline
  •     Organization

I’ve seen so many talented yoga educators go into the process of building a studio without truly understanding the scope of what they are undertaking. Most of the time there’s a lot more paperwork and fire extinguishing than actual yoga. This can quickly become disenchanting—especially when there’s not enough money coming in.

The cost of rent is going up, but the cost of yoga is not. Studio owners everywhere are turning to teacher training programs to help drive revenue so that they can keep their doors open and their teachers paid. Here’s a truth bomb for you: Owning a studio and being a teacher trainer are two different career paths that require two different skill sets. While I’ve met many studio owners who balance the two roles with grace, they do so with a lot of help. If you can’t afford help, adding a teacher training program is not the answer.

But there are answers.

Be strategic before you put down roots.

If you want a successful studio, you have to plan for it. The “field of dreams” approach to business planning doesn’t work out. You can build it, but they may not come. Market research is crucial to understand where there is a need for a studio. Future studio owners need to do more than assume there’s a need for a studio simply because there is no studio already there. Look into who lives in the area, where they spend their time and whether or not yoga is enough of a priority for them that they will pay for it. Without this information, you’ll be building your business on a wing and a prayer.

Streamline the simple things. 

Simplify, simplify, and simplify some more. Instead of selling per-class packages only, set up auto-debit memberships: they increase revenue significantly. This is why you won’t find a gym in town pushing single sessions or month-to-month memberships. Not only does auto-debit ensure that there is money in the studio’s pocket, but it also encourages students to commit to their practice. Everyone wins.

Get creative

Your creativity is your friend, dear future Studio Owner. Think broad, diverse and interesting. Bring in retail.  Rent out the studio space on weekend afternoons for Kid’s Yoga Birthday parties. Offer series courses on Meditation, Tai Chi, Adult Ballet, Green Cleaning, Aromatherapy, or Wellness. Offer an upgraded membership that allows students to use the space for personal practice (or Mysore) during certain time slots. Offer small group privates. Rent your space to studio-less teacher trainings— these are all options that drive revenue without creating a ton of work for yourself. Because the last thing you’re going to need as a studio owner is more work.

Finally, you can do everything right and still suffer from the scourge of small business ownership: overworking and under-earning. Which is why it’s so important to know your BIG WHY.

Why do you want to own a studio?

After you answer that question, dig a little deeper and ask yourself why one or two more times. We are looking for the deep down reasons, the reasons that will drive you to just keep putting one foot in front of the other, even when it feels like you’re not moving forward.

If you know your WHY and you’re motivated by more than just the perks of being the boss, setting the rules and being a local celebri-yogi, your chances of survival are high.

Do you have a dream of owning a studio— or any kind of yoga biz, for that matter? Head over and sign up for the Like a Yogi interview series. Hear from yoga professionals who are living their dreams and find out just how they got there.

 

 

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Year of the Goat : A Year of Radical Union

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I’m finally ready to share my annual plan, just in time for Chinese New Year.

It’s the year of the goat.

This is a yang year, meaning kindness, benevolence and auspiciousness is in our future and I suspect that this auspiciousness will take on a very different form for me than it has in years past.

Usually my New Year process of intention setting followed by sacred goal alignment results in a fiery word or an active verb like

RADIATE (2009)

EXPAND (2010)

GROW (2011)

A quality that requires bravery like

AUTHENTICITY (2012)

Or a shield-carrying and sword-wielding word like

COURAGE (2013)

FAIL (2014) (there’s a story to this one)

There’s a definite trend. I tend toward fiery and airy words that require me to be always on…always transforming (Fire) or always expanding (Air).

That is a good thing when you’re growing a business (and as a Pitta-Vata doshic type, this doesn’t surprise me), but this year’s intuitive intention took me quite by surprise.

Intuition shrieked at me to get centered, to nurture and to yoke.

RADICAL UNION (2015)

To draw in instead of expanding outward. To nurture instead of achieving and pioneering. To feather the nest instead of flying into the heady expanse of freedom.

In a figurative sense, I scratched my head and thought “What?”

Then, I balked. Because my comfort zone is expansion, change and growth. I’m not always comfortable with ease. The more I investigated, though, the trend began to emerge (see above).

Everything cycles, everything changes, and everything that lives must honor those inevitable cycles —including my ambition and my annual focus.

This year, I’m craving the solitude of introspection, the stark black and white of words on page, the quietude of the creative cave, the intimacy of deeper work, and the harmony of retreat.

Obviously, this is a departure from my current business model.

And I can’t just pick up and walk away from my life.

There is a back story to this all—I’ll give you the Cliff’s Notes.

During my birthday month (November), I get a little more woo-woo than usual because I like the ritual of connecting to sacred during the anniversary of my trips around the sun.

Last year, I chose an intuitive reading with a dear friend and colleague —I needed some healing and intuitive guidance and this was the perfect choice.

This year, I again chose an intuitive reading.

Each time, the themes of creating through writing were present…

…as were the boundary issues.

Here’s a quick summary of the recurring themes:

  • A need for protection and to strengthen / fortify my barrier.
  • A need for a practice to find strength in my mystical lineage.
  • A history of silencing my voice
  • A message to give voice (create, share, write) now
  • Lifetimes-long connections to the wisdom traditions
  • This life, mystical. And messy.
  • Meta-themes for this life: Intuitive, Healer, Mystic, Empath.

In each case, I was both certain and resentful…have you ever felt this way when you got a dose of the Truth?

Because in each case, I was ready to step away from my “dharma” of sharing yoga and mindfulness and into the numinous realm of creative possibility. It seemed this was pulling me back in.

I love teaching and sharing yoga. I light up inside when I see the spark of understanding in students. The reality of teaching yoga —and yoga therapy education— is a struggle.

My soft animal body craves rest. Deep quietude. The sanctity of the creative cave. Time to create, reflect and write.

Mystical exploration and philosophical inquiry, yes. Sharing what I know and empowering others as a guide and healer, yes.

The life of a traveling celebri-yogi, no.

Yet as a trained performer and empathic introvert, I understand what The Show Must Go On truly means.

It means, keep going even when you really need to re-charge. It means, show up when you’d really prefer to hibernate in the creative cave and not speak for days. It means, layer up on the gemstones, mantras, mudras and oils to form a protective shield from the endless onslaught of others’ energy. (As an empath, I feel it all: good and bad)

It means, don’t schedule anything the day after teaching an intensive because it will take at least a full day to find your center and recover your energy.

So I took a hard look at the business model I had created for myself (again). One founded on being “on,” performing and leading.

I call it (fondly), the Edutainment Industry.

And I realized it no longer worked for me.

I love crafting curriculum but now I am writing a book.

I love leading transformative, long-term trainings but how I do that is shifting (less certification focused, more experience driven).

I adore seeing the light of understanding in others’ eyes and I will continue to do so (like this).

I adore leading the small, immersive experiences and will continue to do so (like this).

I am freakishly excited about helping other yoga entrepreneurs develop their own teacher trainings, lead Retreats, and craft high value services (see here and here).

This year, I am radically uniting what I teach on the mat —embodied energy, sacred form —with all my business coaching. This year, I’m drawing in around a small and sacred circle, who are ready to shine their light in a much bigger way —and in a way that aligns with their purpose and personality.

Embodied experience, practical magic, intentional business design and sacred self-care.

Radical Union.

So tell me, lovely, what is your (Chinese) New Year focus? Tell me in the comments below!

xo

KA_Signature

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in blog, conscious business, Inspire & Grow, Motivation | 2 Responses

The M Word | Make Money in Your Mindful Business

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Last week in the Finding Flow Challenge, I went there. I talked about the M word.

Money.

I admit that in the past, I was put off by certain business coaches because their brands were way more money-focused than heart-centered. If you’re feeling that way because I brought up the M word, I invite you to take a deep breath and recognize this simple truth: if your business isn’t making money, your work is not reaching the right people.

You didn’t set out to inspire at your expense, did you you?

Let’s face it: our business needs to earn money. If our business is not earning enough, it becomes a costly, time-intensive hobby.

In other words, a serious energy drain.

If you’re joining us from the Finding Flow challenge, we recently talked about how to keep the money energy flowing—the right way—in our business.

Hint: it all starts with energy management.

Part of managing our energy is being able to rest easy knowing that we are being appropriately compensated for all of the time and energy we are expending. But it’s more common than not in the purpose-fueled business world to overwork and under-earn.

We have to take care of ourselves—especially if our work in the world is to give to others.

The most straight forward way of figuring out just how much we need to be making in order to merit this kind of energy investment is the financial ease formula.

Oh yes, the Financial Ease Formula

Financial Ease = the dollar amount you / your business need to earn in order to spend appropriately, get out of debt, save at least 10% or more annually and live your Ideal Life

Here’s what it looks like…

*Financial Ease = the dollar amount you / your business need to earn in order to spend appropriately, get out of debt, save / invest / donate enough annually and live your Ideal Life

  • What are your estimated monthly business expenses?  ->> find that and multiply by 12
  • How much would you like to pay yourself / earn in salary each month? ->> discover that and multiply by 12
  • How much would you like to save / invest / donate each month? ->> discover that amount and multiply by 12
  • What profit margin would you like to see each year? ->> if you don’t know, choose a healthy percentage :)
  • How much do you want to set aside for vacation, time off or other large expenditures (including getting out of debt)? ->> decide on that then add it to the above figures

So, now what?

These are the actions that I assigned to the Finding Flow group last week:

  1. Define your financial ease amount.
  2. Take a look at your business financials, including profit and loss (income and expenses).

But I’ve got an extra action item for you—a little gift for tuning into the blog and investing in your business development.

On Tuesday, February 3, I’ll be sharing a digital workshop on how to bring more money – and more meaning – into your business. Register for the Purposeful Profit Webinar and you’ll learn the secret every successful business owner knows.

More money and more meaning in your purpose-driven work? Sweet!

Leave your details in the form below to register – I’ll *see* you on February 3!

Purposeful Profit

 

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Redefine Success

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It’s mid-January which means your resolutions are either going well…or falling by the wayside. With all the New Year! New You! New Business! hype, I’m sure you have a list of goals, To-Do’s and annual intentions for your business this year. You probably also have your Big Vision and a Big Holy Amazing Goal.

But I’d like to interrupt our regular programming this week and ask:

What is your definition of success?

Instead of sketching out a list of goals and To-Do’s, milestones and objectives, consider defining success for yourself: in life and in business.

Defining success on our own terms is key to building a profitable business we love; one that is founded on our passions and our purpose.

Success is a loaded word, with different meanings to different people. How we define success points toward our own implicit, internalized and influenced belief patterns. What does culture tell us is successful? What have we been taught about success? What are our own un-investigated beliefs about success?

 \\ Success is a realization. Intentional? Karmic? Divine? (You decide.)

\\ Success is the result of hard work.

\\ Success is the natural counterpoint to failure.  

\\ Success is equivalent to freedom: financial and otherwise.

Yet we have another choice when it comes to defining success. Success can be an expression of our meaningful work in the world. We can choose to articulate a personalized definition of success as a culmination of our purpose —the endpoint of self-realization. Success then becomes an outer manifestation of a life well-lived.

And those of us on passion and purpose-driven businesses crave more than outer elements of success: we yearn for sacred success.

Sacred success is ultimately about harmony of inner and outer.

  • Inner conditions and qualities like state of mind, beliefs, core values, aligning actions with intentions, committing to an inner experience that fuels specific outer expressions.
  • Outer conditions and qualities like arranging our life around our values, remaining productive with our time and harmonizing the outer energy (money, time, business vision/ goals) with our inner intentions.

In a counter-intuitive shift, creating a personalized definition of success in this way, becomes less about us individually and more about claiming our rightful place in the world.

Today, I’m asking you to take a moment to tune out cultural messages and your own mental chatter and tune in to your own inner wisdom —in service to redefining success on your own terms.

If you’re in business now—or heading into business —chasing someone else’s definition of success, stop now.

Define success on your own terms: it may (or may not) be X amount of money each year, or your name in lights, or opening a Yoga Studio or having a full coaching practice.

Dare I say: until you define sacred success for yourself—you’re still stuck on the hamster wheel of turning your passsion-and-purpose driven business into a J-O-B.

And because this single exercise alone could make the difference between building a sustainable business you love and financial (emotional, physical) suffering — I’m adding an incentive.

Answer the powerful question below and share it with me on Instagram — tag @kellie_adkins and use hashtag #SacredStrategy. I’m giving away 3 Sacred Strategy sessions —to help you align with your sacred definition of a successful business —and you could win one!

*not on Instagram (gasp!)? Hit me up on Google+ instead.

Powerful Question:

\\ What is your personal definition of success: in business and in life?

Prompt: What does it mean for you to be successful? Is it related to …. 

(check all that apply and give details) …

  • an amount of money in the bank?
  • an impact in the world?
  • a feeling in your heart?
  • a state of being?
  • outer aspects like house / car / possessions / lifestyle / travel / fame or recognition?
  • inner aspects like freedom / choice / time / healing / fulfillment?

Go ahead, put it out into the world. Head on over to Instagram and tell me your success story.

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Finding Flow | A Happiness Challenge for your Business

answerthesilentcall-01

You are driven to do sacred, creative, healing work in the world: but you’d also love more abundance, ease and flow.

In short: you want it all. Prosperity and purpose. Ambition and ease. Vision and freedom. Engagement and embodied intuition.

I hear you….and no, it isn’t too much to ask!

That’s exactly why I created the Finding Flow: A Happiness Challenge for your Business. (It started Sunday!) If you join us now, it will be a breeze to catch up.

I designed this with the purpose-driven conscious creative in mind. Before we get wrapped up in the challenge, there’s something we need to explore.

What exactly is flow?

What does flow have to do with happiness – in life and in business?

And, the Million Dollar Question:

How can I bring more flow and more happiness into my business and life?

These are questions that became the origin of the Finding Flow challenge.

Bear with me for a moment as we take a jaunt down Learning Lane to look at the characteristics of flow, as detailed by the pioneer in the field of psychology dedicated to this study, Mihaly Csikszetmihalyi (say that 5 times fast!)

Characteristics of Flow (Engagement)

  1. There are clear goals every step of the way
  2. There is immediate feedback to ones actions
  3. There is a balance between challenges & skills
  4. Action & awareness are merged
  5. Distractions are excluded from consciousness
  6. There is no worry of failure
  7. Self-consciousness disappears
  8. The sense of time becomes distorted
  9. The activity becomes autotelic

-from Flow: The Psychology of Optimum Experience, by Mihaly Csikszetmihalyi* (Harper Perennial 1990)

But the flow state – as optimum as it may be – is only part of the story of a life lived with more meaning and mastery.

Even Csikszetmihalyi recognizes that flow is not enough. Consider this quote:

“The flow experience is … Is good only in that is has the potential to make life more rich, intense, and meaningful; it is good because it increases the strength and complexity of the self.” (ibid.).

Martin Seligman’s current work on flourishing lends a depth to the quest by detailing the cornerstones of a life well-lived. Flourishing, Seligman says, includes all the following characteristics: flow experience, positive emotion (like happiness, serenity, contentment, savoring, gratitude), positive relationships, meaning / purpose, and achievement (PERMA for short).

  • Positive emotion
  • Engagement (flow)
  • Relationships
  • Meaning (purpose)
  • Achievement

-from Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being, by Martin Seligman*

The fleshing out of “happiness” into “a life well-lived” is good news for those of us in purpose-driven businesses that reflect our sacred work in the world.

Artists, creatives, helpers and transformational healers of all kinds are drawn to their work because of passion, purpose, and native strengths: all of which are necessary to experience more engagement (more flow), positive emotion, and meaning in one’s life. Further, when we can design our life and business around an optimal experience and environment to share our gifts, we attract the people who value what we have to share (relationships). Lastly, building a purpose-driven and profitable business means we are bolstered by milestones and achievements.

Want to join us?

Join yourself and share the challenge with a struggling solopreneur or a friend who’s aching to turn their passion into a purpose-driven career—Send them right over here to get the welcome goodies.

*Just so you know, the links to the books are above are affiliate links – which means if you happen to buy the book, Amazon will give me a little kick-back: which, of course feeds my reading habit :) P.S. I only recommend books that I have read, that I adore and that I am certain will change your life for the better.

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Self Care is a Business Strategy

SelfCare Biz Strategy
Self care is one of the topics I’m most passionate about. As a healer or helper, you hold the space for healing and transformation on a daily basis. The energy of holding that space takes a toll. If you aren’t filling your own self-care tank, overwhelm begins to take its toll and burnout is sure to follow.

And, as if providing the space for your healing work were not enough, you also have the business-side of things to manage.

It’s a heavy energetic load…especially if you are high on the sensitivity scale.

My best advice?

Practice sacred energy management.

Sacred energy management is brahmacharya for you and for your business. It is learning to manage your energy at all levels, including the energy of your business.

Sounds simple enough, until you start to seek that balance.

Balancing your time, business activity and finances is a juggling act, especially when paired with your actual healing or helping work. But there are a few simple remembrances that can help to keep you in the flow.

First: Remember that YOU are the heart of your business.

This means time for precious self-care is non-negotiable. Committing to your restorative practices shows commitment to your business success. Nourishment and rejuvenation are essential.

Go ahead, eat something nourishing, sweetie.

Or put your feet up. Take a savasana. Your business (and your ever-expanding to-do list) will be there in 10 minutes. And the more you nourish yourself, the better off your business will be.

Practice this Restorative sequence for a treat at the end of your day or to unwind before bed.

Second: Money is energy. Accept it. Start treating it as any other energy source.

More in, less out is a positive energy balance. If you’re close to overwhelm (or burned out —again), then it’s time to heal some energy leaks. If you’re in a service-based profession, time is money, so let’s start with what hurts: money. If your current financial situation is resulting in overwhelm or anxiety, get out your last 3 bank and credit card statements and see where your money is actually going.

Get on a budget.

Eat at home more often.

Skip the $5 mega-drink from the coffee shop and instead commit to brewing your coffee at home.

Invest in business support to up your strategy and income.

Take a look around at the places money energy is “leaking out” and stop the leaks! Then decide how much money you ACTUALLY do need to remain in financial ease (Here’s the Financial Ease formula.)

Once you know that, it’s easier to….

Third: Remember that time is the only thing you truly own.

Your time is sacred, precious and finite —use it effectively by truly staying focused on the services, offerings, tasks, hobbies and causes that light your heart fire.

Anyone who has time to bingewatch [insert your favorite series] on Netflix has time to build a sustainable business.

Don’t believe me? Ask me about Prison Break (and pregnancy) [spoiler: I’ve watched the full series four times.]

Seriously, though, get strategic about how you are using your time —in business and in life.

Could you sacrifice that weekly group yoga class that is draining your energy (and doesn’t pay very well) and use the time you save to develop a higher value service: like an online program or signature workshop series? Absolutely.

Could you give up one night of television every week to spend a couple hours working on that book?  Sure.

The thing is that you do really have the time: it’s a matter of shifting the focus to the tasks and goals that will leverage your business success. But if you burn through productive hours or busy-busy weeks without a measure of thoughtfulness, you will continue to end up frustrated, overworked, and overwhelmed.

Building a sustainable business is a supreme act of self-care because it allows you to be mindful and attentive to where you spend your vital energy. It allows you to manage energy at all levels: subtle, financial and physical.

With a few simple shifts in your business and self-care practices you will find a path to prosperity —that allows you to take precious care of YOU.

Discover your path to prosperity right here.

Discover your Path to Prosperity

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