Sep 12, 2023 | Your Business, Your Self

Catherine Wood

Entrepreneurship Tips for Empaths: Embracing Being and Doing

I recall one of my early training days as a coach back in 2014. We sat in a u-shaped formation with two easels holding large post-it pads, each displaying two ominous words at the top. We were invited to define them, and these words have perplexed me ever since.

These two words form the essence of my life’s work and the core of my journey of healing, growth, and transformation.

What does ‘Being and Doing’ mean?

Being and Doing represent the two fundamental modes of operation or ways of being for us all. In Leader as Healer: A New Paradigm for 21st-Century Leadership, Nicholas Janni explains,

Being arises from our receptive, emotional and sensing self, while doing describes action directed from the rational, analytical, strategic mind. These two distinct modes have their own unique capacities and competencies, yet are deeply complementary. In an ideal world, we would utilize being and doing in tandem, and each mode would have equal influence on our perceptual and behavioral processes.

When Doing overpowers the Being and Doing balance

In my experience, this duality between doing versus being highlights an existential problem we currently face. We are so hyper-focused on solving problems, ticking items off our to-do lists, and overly-identifying with our own individual achievements that our strategic minds have taken over, collectively resulting in an entrepreneurial and corporate environment where doing dominates being.

Through this hyper-focus on doing, we have become largely detached as a society from our emotional and sensing selves, thus limiting ourselves by half of our innate intelligence as well as the strengths and internal resources we bring to our work, our businesses and our leadership capacities. Janni adds,

This constricts our access to a wider field of information and inhibits our capacity to clearly sense and effectively respond to ourselves, one another and the work of our organizations in these times of ever-growing complexity and turbulence. By utilizing only one part of our processing power, it is as if we navigate the world with one hand tied behind our backs, in what I call a ‘narrow bandwidth.’ We think, think, think, and all too rarely feel, sense or intuit.

The Hyper-Focus on ‘Doing’ in Entrepreneurship

If you read my newsletter and it resonates, it’s likely you identify as an ambitious empath. In my experience, this hyper-focus on doing over being affects us even more viscerally. As Judith Orloff explains in The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People, we have an extremely reactive neurological system and research indicates that high sensitivity affects approximately 20 percent of the population.

Meaning, that we have an innate predisposition to sense, reflect and intuit on a deeper level than 80 percent of the population.

As a result of succumbing to grind culture and hustle mentality and our own internalized capitalism, we have become disconnected, disassociated and disembodied from our most powerful strengths  in our businesses, our leadership, and I’d assert in our relationships as well.

Online marketers exploit this, using hype marketing techniques and manipulative tactics that leverage behavioral economics and persuasive language to sell their systems, courses, and strategies. This culture promotes the idea that purchasing and simply following what the experts suggest and doing more will lead to success.

Naturally, it’s disheartening to see and it was certainly my experience getting started as well. I fell for one marketing tactic after the next and spent tens of thousands of dollars investing in other people’s “knowledge” and trying to perfect how to do what they were telling me would make all the difference.

And not surprisingly, it didn’t because I was relying on doing over being in business and trusting other individual’s knowledge more than my own or more than the knowledge of others who shared the same values as me.

I was also defaulting to my learned habits of working harder, longer, trying to ‘solve the problem’ and constantly wrestling with my own fear and sense of feeling unsafe, unsettled and ungrounded. Janni reminds us that:

Fear has never blocked us. What blocks us is our inability to actually feel the fear. The Leader as Healer knows that by simply acknowledging and meeting emotions without condition a profound alchemy of relaxation and connection can occur. 

Balancing Being and Doing in Entrepreneurship

I often joke with colleagues that entrepreneurship is the greatest transformational journey that we never knew we signed up for when we became our own boss.

Entrepreneurship, as a transformational journey, becomes more manageable when we balance being and doing. When we ground into our being and process through the limiting thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations that disconnect us from our deeper wisdom and intuitive knowing, we can take action from a fundamentally different place.

Grounding ourselves in being allows us to tap into our creative self-expression and full potential. By recognizing the wisdom within, we save time, effort, and resources. I realized this when I embraced my empathic nature.

I recognize that I would have saved myself countless hours of hustling and endless business investments gone awry if I had leaned into the innate superpowers of being a prosperous empath sooner.

This realization led to the creation of the Emerge Mastermind, where we emphasize the power of being in entrepreneurship. In a supportive community, we offer personalized coaching, access to resources, accountability, and transformational growth.

If you seek a community and experience to grow your business intuitively and authentically, consider joining us. Empathic entrepreneurship isn’t just about business; it’s a way of life—a conscious choice to create, contribute, and live authentically. And it’s essential for early entrepreneurs to embody this.

In a world often dominated by competition and isolation, a new era of empathic entrepreneurship is emerging.

The Emerge Mastermind embodies these principles.

You’ll receive:

  1. Personalized Coaching: Refine your leadership skills and crystallize your business vision with personalized coaching from myself  and UNBOUNDED Co-Coach Laura Kline-Taylor Roethel
  2. Empathic Community: Join like-minded entrepreneurs committed to growth, authenticity, and impact.
  3. Access to Resources: Gain exclusive access to tools, training, and experts to refine your business strategies.
  4. Accountability and Support: Benefit from a close-knit community that holds you accountable and celebrates your achievements.
  5. Transformational Growth: Over 6 months, experience profound personal and professional transformation alongside conscious creators.

Get the Essential Reading List for Ambitious Empaths

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Exploring Sensitive Leadership with Nina Khoo

On this week’s episode of the Prosperous Empath®, we’ll explore how to effectively lead as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), mitigate challenges, and work with your strengths. I’m thrilled to sit down with Nina Khoo, a Sensitive Leadership Coach and a Master NLP Coach who helps HSPs understand and embrace their unique wiring so they can become confident and empathetic leaders. It’s common for Highly Sensitive People to believe that they’re not capable of effective leadership and struggle with overwhelm, perfectionism, and second-guessing. Nina and I uncover how our greatest strengths can sometimes be the traits we feel most self-conscious about and pose a central question: How does a Highly Sensitive Person protect their gifts as a leader? As an empath and an HSP, your brain is physiologically wired to take more information in and process it more deeply, which can be an incredibly powerful leadership skill. Yet, it can also lead to overwhelm and self-criticism. Through our conversation, you’ll learn how to approach leadership in a more sensitive, empathetic, and compassionate way so you can own your gifts and make a bigger difference in the world  

Visit this episode’s show notes page here.

The Prosperous Empath® Podcast is produced by Heart Centered Podcasting.

Check out this episode!


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