When I started in the healing arts as a young adult blindly following my nose (which led to some of the BEST discoveries) I had no idea what I was about to learn…
I opened my first business at 24 on a whim and just kept going.
Rebel, trailblazer, not really- just didn’t want to be in a corporate cubicle — ever!
Growing into my power and consciousness as an awake human being, I see how the practice of operating a business changed me more than I ever would have expected.
This healing art practice grew side-by-side with me through some of the worst and many of the best experiences of my life.
- It gave me a way to communicate with others even when I felt like an outsider.
- It made me show up for life like a grown-up.
- It shaped my deeper understanding of humanity.
Working in this field is a special job
It’s a weird calling- talking about poop and touching feet is not commonly fun (the normal person’s upper lip sneers ‘why?’).
But if you’ve had that calling and feel really good when listening and holding a healing space- then I think you get me.
The intimacy created in those spaces feels sacred.
It’s an honor.
I say that a lot. And people may take for granted that I mean it.
Because if a person opens their private information, shows their pain, their fears to me- then yes, I’m honored by their confidence.
And ‘selling’ that (not really the right word for it), but selling that CHALLENGES you.
Stepping up to serve
In the beginning when I was learning how to have a practice, I wasn’t super-uncomfortable with money…
I just wasn’t comfortable asking for it!
So I did what I always do when I’m at a loss…I studied how.
I went looking for people to help me to take better care of my practice and ask for an income that would keep it going.
And I hopped onto a whole new learning curve with a dark and a light side.
Learning to understand
I connect with people at the level of what I’d call spiritual equality.
This is recognizing we are all made of the same stuff underneath our circumstances. That’s easy.
The part where I got tripped up, was learning to speak to people so they could understand. Like explaining how a method works and the best way to use it.
I’d go directly into science-geek mode!
This would not make the best experiences for the patient. Sure, they’d go along with it, but no one likes to be talked at…
So when I put mindfulness toward my language, it helped me connect to people in a whole new way. And it enhanced my listening skills!
It was easy to feel inauthentic as I tried on these new ways of asking and explaining.
But with repetition, I found my own real voice in it. One that would also resonate with the people who it was intended for.
And in that process, a spark was ignited.
I had the epiphany that developing and marketing my practice was an act of love and service.
It’s been said that marketing is a conversation.
In its highest form, I believe this conversation can be authentic, relevant and no-force.
And at some point the topic of a transaction is going to take place.
In the early days, I’d feel so worried a patient might think I was trying to dupe them, I practically became apologetic for not working for free!
I wanted (and needed) to learn how to get comfortable with what felt right and fair and congruent with everything else I did.
So my learning curve continued.
Then I discovered people in marketing have a lot of opinions.
Just like there are many ways to speak, there are many ways to apply marketing techniques.
I’ve met a few instructors from whom I learned good sound basics from (and will always be grateful), I’ve also met some I did NOT see eye to eye with.
These practices would not be sustainable for me if the goal is to stay connected to my inner compass (and it is).
A few examples from the dark side:
- I’ve been told to tell stories that aren’t true. That’s not gonna happen.
- I’ve been told to 10X my income goal. I felt like a failure.
- And I’ve been encouraged to hustle to ‘make’ it happen. But control and force aren’t what I’m all about!
What is the point of being in business?
I wasn’t selling a gadget or a cruise — these were personal health issues. To me a sacred work. And getting to ‘6-figures in 90-days’ wasn’t the point.
I believe the point is to be effective and sustainable with enough income to put some aside.
The work itself is a reward and the benefits are more than just money.
I believe the biggest reward is that feeling of being clear and available.
And that became possible through my willingness to work through the ‘old stuff’. To get a little outside my comfort zone and try new things.
And that’s what I’ve heard from some other practitioners too; that being in business can kick you to the curb or be the opportunity to rise.
So what happened on that practice curve?
- I got better at speaking human to human in a language people can understand
- Became consistent with methods and systems that work for me
- Discovered facing fears is easier than running from them
-and low and behold-