5 Things I Wish Holistic Business Owners Did Better

Nearly every holistic practitioner I know either lives at the poverty line or requires a second earner (spouse, roommate, family member, etc.) to live independently. Quite often, they teach about manifesting abundance. Or they renounce capitalism while also complaining about the poor attendance at their workshop, class, or community event. 

Here is what I wish you knew:

1. You are a business.

If you are offering something in exchange for energy (money, food, lodging, etc) and you are dependent on this exchange to live, then you are running a business. It doesn’t matter if you are a yoga instructor, teach a healing modality, or access the Akashic records – you are running a business. 

2. You should learn how to run a business.

Even if you are the only person in your business, you should learn a few fundamentals. You need to understand social marketing, market segmentation, who attends your business, how to build and manage a budget, how to grow a business, financial record keeping and allowable expenses and tax deductions.

3. Posting events all over Facebook is not enough 

Social marketing is powerful. Knowing how to use Facebook advertising can get you exposed to people who may not know you. But passive event posting will not get you the numbers you want. It might be ok for low cost or free introductory sessions but you will not sell out a $1000 per person retreat or an 8 week workshop series this way. A deeper commitment from your market requires a long term business model. Most holistic practitioners think in one-off interactions instead of how to build a stable revenue model. 

4. Learning about business IS manifesting abundance

The law of attraction says you need to be energetically in alignment with your intent. If your vision is about a stable personal income, you need to know enough to be energetically aligned with a stable source or sources of income.

5. Your market probably wants you to be in a business partnership

The most successful holistic businesses today are established practices with unique add ons. You are probably the add on. The profitable businesses are covered by insurance: naturopath, yoga (sometimes), massage therapy, chiropractor, etc. These businesses can access a stable market and often co-locate with other practitioners to have offices, community presence, and workshop space. They then rent to you as an add on, so they make more money. 

Or someone runs a festival and invites you to run a session, promising you exposure and maybe a small fee. They are charging for registration, sponsors and sellers. They will walk away with 5 digit earnings and you probably made $200 or less. 

If you partnered, what could you do? 

I am so frustrated by these things I am thinking of running small workshops and coaching for people who see this in their own pattern. If you are interested, let me know. (So I can understand my market!)

If At First You Don’t Succeed

I was watching Queen to Play yesterday, which is a movie about a woman who learns to play chess – but the chess game is a metaphor for her awakening of her true self. I play chess, and I do not play it the way I want to. My dad taught me but he did not teach me strategy – he taught me defense. So I play a very long drawn out defensive game of chess, but I become so involved in defending myself that I never implement an offense. I essentially play a game of risk mitigation.Chess-king

My job in the past has been a leader in charge of HR and Finance, both of which are risk mitigation functions in a business. I am better than most, in that I will assume a higher level of risk if it aligns with the business strategy. But it is still my role to identify and mitigate risk for the business. This can be ironic, because I am also a strong strategist and often serve as a change agent for organizations. To me, being a change agent is just living in integrity with a new future that is possible and helping every one who is committed to that new possibility to live in alignment with that possibility as well.

I have wanted to run my own business for many years. I have especially wanted to run my own management consulting business. It is my dream. From the first time I met the staff at Harris Consulting, I knew I wanted to run my own practice. I loved their offices, their culture…and Russel May (past president) and Alan Thorlackson both invested in mentoring me. I had an opportunity with an EAP I managed to help build an HR Consulting practice, which was a good learning ground. Then when I was on maternity leave, I consultingdabbled in my own practice. I say dabbled because in many ways it was what I did when I was not watching my child. It did not get my full attention. And I still made as much if not more money than I do now. But it felt like that happened by accident, to be honest.

Then I had my ultimate failure: Rejuvenation Journey. I have a vision for a spiritual spa, a place where people go for spiritual insight, renewal, healing, and wholeness that is not part of a church or a place where you already have to be “in the practice” to feel ok. There are some great spiritual communities, but they can be intimidating and need a commitment. Noorish, Center For Spiritual Living, Prana Yoga…these are amazing communities, full of support and wisdom, but they are not easy doors to walk through if you don’t know someone in that community. I envision a main stream place, where you can go for yoga with a friend, or a tarot reading, or a massage, or a reiki treatment, or whatever a la carte combination of things your soul is calling for in that moment, just like you would if you booked a mani/pedi and massage with facial at your favorite spa. I pulled together a group of friends who might be interested, and began a process to bring it to life. And failed big time. It failed for lots of reasons, most of which are related to me, my level of consciousness at the time, my relationships with Bhikku and the Magus, not being true to my own vision, and using the spa as a way to hide from my unhappiness at work.

Now I am considering my own management consulting business. And I find myself approaching it like my chess game: trying to get all the variables right, and working towards risk mitigation. I need to make spiritual spaenough money, I need to develop my brand, my client base, my marketing approach. As I watch my mind, I know I am not using my best business knowledge in what I am doing. And I most certainly am not using my best spiritual consciousness.

I am afraid of failing. I know better. People who are successful are also good at failing. “You might never fail on the scale I did,” says J K Rowling. “But it is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all—in which case, you fail by default.” The measure of success can be shown by how many times someone keeps going despite hearing only no.

And of course, my metaphysical practice has been hitting me over the head with support. This week, Bhikku has offered to vision with me. One of my closest friends wants to support me this week with a visioning and creation session. The Magus is gently challenging me when I express fears about my business. A girlfriend I am reconnecting with has offered me her support energetically. And people I do not know, who only know me through this blog, have been offering me support. These beautiful souls are speaking to me on behalf of the universe, on behalf of Divine Consciousness, in the clearest possible language.believe1

This week, I am going to move forward, not by DOING. No more appointments with web developers, or leasing companies for space. This week, I am going to start at the beginning, with my vision and the support being presented to me. I am going to put the HOW on my Magical To Do List, and just know that this is my moment! This is the time I have been waiting for, and it is going to be awesome.