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You may have noticed that I’ve been talking about the idea of being a conscious business owner a lot lately.
If I’m being candid, I sometimes get uncomfortable sharing about how I run my business in new spaces because I know others run their businesses and lives fundamentally differently.
As an empath, I’ve felt the gamut of other people’s projections over the years, from their judgment and criticism to the particularly uncomfortable “must be nice” side comments.
Heck, I’ve ended my long standing participation with organizations I’ve loved in the past because they haven’t felt aligned in terms of work-life balance.
And in the 24/7 online world that we live in these days, the “norms” continue to get LOUDER.
The expectation of being constantly available….
The practice of sharing your whole life and vacation on social media…
The social proof that is often gained from being a hustler…
The workaholic tendencies that are often seen as desirable in the contractors we hire and partner with…
When I tell you, it can be challenging to be and do things differently, I really mean it.
Over the past couple of years of transitioning into a mostly remote work environment worldwide, I have noticed those norms become even louder.
And it makes sense if you think about it.
When your dining room table becomes your office and when your laundry room becomes your lunch break, the boundaries get a little grayer and grayer and grayer…
Here’s the thing.
When your nervous system is operating at a frenetic pace, it can become harder to discern when something is happening to you versus when something is happening for you.
I asked the community members in my UNBOUNDED Mastermind recently, “What is your experience of being a creator of your life rather than a reactor to it?”
Here’s some of the responses that were shared for being a creator, “Relaxed, spacious, effortless, powerful, certain, calm, grounded, energized and unruffled.”
Sounds pretty dreamy, right?
I imagine most of us would choose to create and experience life in this way, if we had a choice…
And that’s entirely my point.
We always have a choice about how we run our business and life. The key is that we’re not always present to it.
In my experience, being a conscious business owner means that we create the spaciousness and alignment in our own lives, so that we can more intentionally implement the boundaries, lifestyles and business practices that are in full alignment with who we want to be and how we want to show up and scale.
So I imagine you may be curious what being a conscious business owner looks like for me?
Here are some of my Standard Operating Procedures if you’re interested in applying them to your life or business:
I live and breathe my Ideal Schedule. I work on my business on Mondays and I work in my business Tuesday – Thursday. More specifically, Mondays are my CEO day and the day in which I schedule consults and virtual coffees. I see clients Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Fridays are my Self-Care day. I don’t operate this way as a rule, but any exceptions to this schedule are just that, exceptions rather than the norm.
In any single calendar month, I see clients the first 3 weeks of each month. The 4th (and 5th in the months in which there are 5) weeks of each month is an implementation week for my clients as well as for me. And before you even do the math, yes, this technically means that I have 16-ish weeks of no client calls each year. It’s not to say I don’t work at all during those weeks, I’ll often work on business strategy priorities, writing projects, or other creative pursuits. And often I’ll take entire weeks off as well.
I relate to money as energy and believe that what you focus on grows, so I practice being generous with money on purpose. When I funded the publishing of my first book through a crowdfunding campaign, I was blown away not only by the bravery it took me to ask my community for their support but equally by the widespread support I received. Since then, I’ve practiced donating money when asked by people I care about. It feels great being generous with others and it’s a practice for me in abundance, reciprocity and receiving. I also contribute monthly to funds I believe in.
In the past year or so, I’ve really niched down the clients I work with and discovered that I most love working with HSPs and empathic entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurial mindset is a growth mindset and I’ve found that the degree to which we grow is the degree to which we succeed. So for me, being a conscious entrepreneur means I’m committed to doing my own work. I’m in my 5th year of working with my coach, continually doing my own mindset work, and it’s one of the aspects of my work with clients that I often get acknowledged for. I don’t just talk the talk, I really walk the walk. And I find that my willingness to be vulnerable and share my own humanity and struggles can often be as impactful for clients as my uncanny ability to speak to the heart of their BS.
For me, being a conscious business owner also means having a willingness to depend on my community and ask for support. I will admit this has been a VERY hard-learned lesson for me. It has never been easy for me to ask for support and put down the notion that I don’t need anyone else’s help. I am extremely well practiced in being self-reliant and doing things on my own, but I’ve realized over the years that that’s not the game I’m committed to playing. We live and breathe in community not self-isolation. Having the willingness to ask clients and colleagues for referrals has been a practice I’ve committed to over the years because it has been a path for me to expand my worthy threshold (i.e. my love-ability) and for me to grow my business with more ease and flow. It’s also a way to model reciprocity and thanking generously with gifts (my love language!) when referrals becomes clients.
Honoring my boundaries is something I’ve become well-known for in my family and among my clients. I’m the daughter who goes home and tells her fellow early-riser Dad, she’s not available to chat in the morning until she’s finished journaling, meditating and reading. In fact, I love boundaries so much I created a new free course that I’ll be sharing with you all soon, so stay tuned for that!
Managing my connectedness to email, social media, iPhone, and Laptop is another HUGE element for me of being a conscious business owner and human being. It is entirely too easy to be connected all the time and staring at a screen when by myself or with loved ones. I close my laptop and office door at the end of the day and do my best to not think about business matters until the next business day morning. I set screen time goals and downtime limits on my iPhone that has my phone “go to sleep” at 7pm and not “wake up” until 8am. This social media boundary has been a game changer for me!
Generosity is really important to me. For me, being generous as a conscious business owner means being human, i.e. treating other business owners with dignity and respect. For me, this looks like taking the time to refer prospects to colleagues when they’re not a great fit for my practice and consistently looking through the lens of how can I contribute or be of service to this human being. And even offering feedback to the marketing spam email from time to time….
In my line of work, being present is pretty much my biggest job responsibility. It is fundamentally impossible for me to do my work without being conscious. I’ve written recently about the gift of slowing down to speed up and I will say that my sacred morning routine has made the biggest difference for me in this regard. People tend to not believe me anymore when I share that I used to start my day running to get to work and had no sense of a morning routine or daily physical activity. I legit used to speak with a client based in Bangkok at 6am ET, followed by a client in Sydney, Australia at 7am ET. The days you’ll see me on a phone call before 10am or a client call before 11am are long gone! And here’s the thing about that, my clients actually get the best of me this way because I’ve been able to give myself what I need first to be able to show up fully for them.
Consider that the best quality of a leader is someone who models self-leadership.
If you’re not doing the work to be the best conscious version of yourself in business, how will your team members, family members and children be able to follow in your footsteps?
If today’s post resonated for you, I’d love to hear what you’re taking with you. Hit reply and share with me what SOP you will add to your entrepreneurial job description!
All potential registrants are interviewed and spots are filled on a first registered and first paid basis. Maximum of 10 participants per cohort.
UNBOUNDED provides for a rich and transformative Mastermind and Group Coaching experience that has many exclusive benefits to participants. Benefits of the program include an invaluable community with lifelong business relationships and partnership opportunities; mindset growth work required to truly grow and scale your business; and a business systems framework to uplevel your experience of becoming the master of your business versus being mastered by it.
Catherine is a Master Certified Coach and bestselling author of Belonging: Overcome Your Inner Critic and Reclaim Your Joy.