Can I be Heart-Centred and still be successful?
“Heart-Centred” is a phrase that I use a lot when talking about my approach to business.
I first heard it at a time when I was struggling to define who I was in business and who I was here to serve. When I came across it I instantly felt: “That’s it! That’s me… and those are my clients!”.
That little phrase meant that suddenly everything clicked into place for me and I knew what I was all about in business – and I’ve used it ever since. I know that many of my ideal clients also really identify with it.
But here’s the thing:
Is it really possible to be genuinely heart-centred — *and* be successful in business?
Watch the video below or scroll down to read the blog to find out.
You see, while many of my clients resonate with the idea of being “heart-centred” they also identify with something else too — a thought pattern that goes a bit like this:
“I’m a good person and I want to be good to people – and fair, and respectful. But can I really be a good person and be successful in business? Isn’t it the very nature of business that I have to be manipulative, self-serving and tell untruths for my own personal gain?”
They have this belief deep down that they can’t be heart-centred and be successful. And that’s what I want to talk about today.
First I want to begin by defining this term “heart-centred business”… Because it is one of those slightly woolly terms that is interpreted differently by different people.
What is a heart-centred business?
Here is my own definition:
To me, a heart-centred business is one where the business owner has gone into business because they are primarily motivated by making a difference to others, to “do good in the world” or to pursue a passion. The business owner considers their values – these might be fairness, respect, service, love, kindness and collaboration – to be of higher priority than getting clients or making money at all costs.
A heart-centred business owner also wants a truly successful and sustainable business that serves him or her – yet without compromising those values in pursuit of it.
They want a great business, and they want to sleep well at night
BUT the thing is:
A heart-centred business is still a BUSINESS
The clue is in the word “business”. For it to be a business it needs to be making a profit — it’s that simple. If you are not getting clients and making money you simply don’t have a business and if you are not careful, you can end up with just an expensive hobby…
And to get clients you need to let people know you exist and you need to sell to them:
You have to “do sales and marketing”
I got a bit of a bee in my bonnet a little while ago when there was a bit of a trend for people in the “conscious business” space to reject traditional marketing approaches as if there is something inherently wicked and evil about marketing. But the thing is, marketing isn’t inherently anything, good or bad.
Marketing is simply letting people know you exist
What makes it “good” or “bad”, “ethical” or “unethical” all lies in how you go about it.
Deciding that, “I’m such a good person I’m not going to market my business at all because it’s such a not-good-person thing to do” doesn’t serve anyone – not you, not your clients.
Because if YOU don’t tell people confidently that you exist, what you do and the difference you can make to them, how will they ever know? How can you serve them and make a difference?
What I see very frequently is that it can be easy to use being “heart-centred” as an excuse to shy away from marketing, when the truth is you are just feeling uncomfortable about putting yourself out there and taking the action to get your business noticed.
So being heart-centred isn’t about avoiding sales and marketing.
Instead, it’s about making a decision that you’ll only do marketing and sales in ways that feel aligned to your sense of integrity.
You don’t have to be aggressive, “hypey”, tell blatant lies, use pointy red arrows or yellow highlighting, use subliminal messages or tell people their house will burn down if they don’t buy from you.
But you DO have to let people know you exist!
There are plenty of approaches to sales and marketing that are misleading, disingenuous, hypey and designed for obtaining the best outcome for the business owner rather than the customer.
But there are also plenty that come from a place of authenticity, honesty, and straightforwardness. A place of serving your clients from that space of a pure and loving intention.
So let me reassure you, yes you can create a genuinely successful business and make good money while remaining totally in alignment with your “heart-centred values”. I know because I’ve done it
You CAN make good money doing good work while being a good person.
Here are 6 steps to help you stay “heart-centred” even as you grow your business:
1. Get clear on your values at the outset
Do the work early on to get clear on your highest personal values. Mine include integrity, respect, fairness, honesty and authenticity. Make a decision that you won’t compromise those values in the name of business success for any reason — even if a mentor or “expert” tells you to. With so much advice out there and so many different types of people teaching how to do business, it’s important for you to be able to trust your own internal navigation system, and getting clear on your values upfront will help you to do that in times where you feel conflicted or could easy stray off the path.
2. Find methods of marketing and sales that feel in alignment with those values.
There are hypey, pushy ways of marketing your business and selling your services, but there are also authentic, supportive, encouraging ways of doing it. It’s still sales, it’s still marketing, but it’s about finding the way that’s right for you — because if a strategy doesn’t align with your values and makes your toes curl, you just won’t want to do it!
It’s worth remembering that the line is drawn in a slightly different place for each of us. That’s why this is about following your internal Sat nav, not blindly following what someone else tells you.
For example, a couple of years ago, a client on one of my group programmes was very excited about having brought on a new client. She had used a particular tactic that she felt very comfortable about (her sat nav said yes) but others in the same group said that their sat nav would have said no.
In my business, I’m very comfortable doing things that I believe are in the best interests of my client. This includes offering bonuses or discounts in return for a quick decision to buy one of my programmes — even though other people tell me they don’t feel so comfortable with this. Everything I do in my business feels of absolute integrity to me, even if you might look at it and think it wouldn’t feel comfortable for you. That’s why it’s important you know yourself so you can trust your own internal GPS.
But a word of warning:
Be aware of those times when you might say that something feels out of integrity to you but actually what’s really happening is that you simply feel uncomfortable or scared at doing something different or putting yourself out there.
3. Make sure your marketing is effective.
Beware of adopting marketing and sales approaches that “feel comfortable” but are not actually effective which is all too easy to do. You need to identify approaches that feel in alignment with you and are actually effective at bringing in clients to your business.
4. Ask yourself how you would feel.
I always check in with my values when considering a new approach or strategy. I also check in with how I would feel if I were the customer. So put yourself in the shoes of somebody who is genuinely interested in working with you and ask yourself, “If I was genuinely interested, would that follow up phone call feel pushy or would I appreciate being prompted?” or “Would a big red ‘Buy Now’ button on the sales page feel hypey to me or would I be grateful that it was easy to find?”
5. Choose your guides and mentors wisely.
As far as possible, work with mentors and teachers whose values match your own.
I have worked with some absolutely brilliant mentors and I know my business wouldn’t be where it is without them. But I used to find that I had to adapt a lot of what I learned in order to fit with my own values and feel aligned with my own sense of integrity. This was great for me as it helped me to shape my overall approach to business that I now teach others, but it did create some periods of great inner conflict and confusion. With my current mentor, I don’t have to do that — he’s a hugely successful business owner with a multi-million turnover. Which again just proves the point that you can be heart-centred and be successful.
6. Have an awareness of the energy behind your actions and behaviour
- Are you promoting your services out of personal gain or to serve others?
- Are you lying, hiding the full truth, or manipulating because you desparately need the money this week?
- Are you doing things that feel underhanded or where you are not being totally transparent?
If you come at everything you do from a place of service towards the client, you’re more likely to be much more effective in your sales and marketing. Then in turn, because what you’re doing feels good to you, not only are you more likely to step up and take action, but it is also more likely to feel good for your clients too – and what can be more heart-centred than that?
So to go back to the beginning, this video and blog today is to reassure you that it really is possible for you to market and sell your services from a place of service, not selfishness, from caring not coercion, and from love instead of lack. I know that because it’s what I do.
Join me for the BUSINESS FROM THE HEART Experience!
Starting on Monday 20th November I’m going to give you an actual EXPERIENCE of what it’s like to be inside my business membership over the course of a week. There’s no charge to attend. It’s a great opportunity for you to get my guidance on YOUR marketing and what tweaks you could be making to help it feel more aligned to your own heart and values.
And if you’re interested in joining the Business from the Heart membership it will be opening for enrolment from 24th – 29th November.