One of the themes of the last fifteen to twenty years of my life has been finding a way to make money doing what I love. It has taken me many places (following my interest in psychotherapy, retreats to experience Christian spirituality, learning massage, learning to value my physicality, acupuncture and blogging) and I have learned much.
The difficult part of this journey has been being in business for myself and especially marketing. Most of the models of marketing I have been exposed to, it seems to me, are about exaggeration. They use words like “ultimate”, “instant” and “amazing”. The problem I have with this is that these words eventually just become noise. And the usual response is to then try and make a bigger noise – which leads to words like, “the most amazing ever”, “the instant and ultimate way to . . .”, and so on.
This kind of thing doesn’t sit well with me. My core concern is authenticity and this kind of thing didn’t fit for me. But there weren’t any other models that were fundamentally different. Even those marketers who valued relationships and people (and there are some) tended to do this as an add-on rather than working from a different base resulting in a fundamentally different way of doing things.
The usual way of doing marketing didn’t fit for me and I had no other models. (Many gave me advice – usually it amounted to “Well if you want the results you have to do it this way” – but it didn’t address the problem. There were also those who thought that if I wasn’t successful it must be due to either a lack of self-esteem or not believing that what I had to say was worthwhile. This was mostly untrue: I feel pretty good about who I am and think what I write stands up well.)
After all these years I think I have found an approach to business and marketing that fits for me. It is Mark Silver’s Unveiling the Heart of Your Business. It is a PDF about 300 pages long and with about 30 quite in depth exercises to do. I read and completed all the exercises (for the first time) within about 10 days of purchase. I am now going through the exercises again – not because I didn’t understand the first time (they are all clear) but because they open up stuff that can be returned to. For instance getting to know your business is something to return to. And refining your offer and other marketing materials can likewise be done repeatedly to great benefit.
Mark’s is a heart centred approach. He comes from the Sufi tradition but this didn’t bother me. Perhaps some kinds of Christian (and other) fundamentalists won’t be able to benefit but for most people this will be no bother. The processes Mark uses will accommodate a very wide variety of spiritualities.
The book begins with getting in touch with your heart and ends with how to make sales. Along the way it takes in developing your business, transforming your relationship to money, the three journeys of marketing and ending with ‘sacred sales’.
Many of the books I have read on the spirituality of business, I’m afraid to say, just add a spiritual gloss to standard business practises. Mark’s book is different. While he does deal with the nitty gritty details of assets, liabilities, marketing and sales, this is done from an authentically spiritual base. The spirituality affects how the copy is written, the relationship of the person and their business and even things like pricing.
I think Mark’s book is a very impressive achievement. It is what I have been looking for for many years – a way for me to have an approach to business and especially marketing that is authentic to who I am.
Mark’s website, where you can buy Unveiling the Heart of Your Busines, is Heart of Business. Where you will find his blog as well as his free report, Getting to the Core, which teaches the spiritual practise that he uses throughout Unveling the Heart of Your Business.
If you are looking for a different approach to business, especially if you are in alternative health or other healing modality, I recommend that you check out Unveiling the Heart of Your Business.
Would you like to feel less stressed?
Could you do with more joy in your life?
The answer is living authentically. Buy the book or sign up for the course now from my Living Authentically website.