When I decided to take the leap from dabbling in freelancing to a full-blown business owner, I was terrified. I wondered if there was a place for a woman like me (intuitive and sensitive) in the patriarchal world of business. I gathered up my cheerleaders (aka my close friends) and set out on the journey. Reminding myself at every turn that I do in fact have something valuable to offer the world, I took the daring steps to market myself and find clients.
As I talked with more female business owners and listened to more podcasts and talks given by women I learned something. Those I admired as leaders didn’t follow paradigms of growth for growth's sake, or producing new products and content at all possible costs and yet, they had something I wanted. More than monetary success, though they do have that, they have an inner trust in their work and a deep belief that they offer something of value to the world. They are continuously committed to rooting into this truth and creating offerings from a space of trust.
I realized there is a space for me and my wild sensitive heart in this world of business, but it would require my constant willingness to be different from the normative paradigm and to continue to show up anyway to create something different.
In the many conversations I’ve had with women I notice a common theme of trying to fit our heart-centered work into an unsustainable paradigm of success that has us at war with ourselves. We want to write a book, create a channel, or offer a juicy product. But the business paradigms in place have set up rules for doing so that feel incongruent with who we are and what we offer. It was this awareness of potential internal war that had me scared to start a business. I am not willing to do the work that I love if it means I have to offer it in ways that feel yucky and oppressive. Now, I’m an advocate for throwing that to the wind and looking inward for the next right step instead. Business embracing the unusual, one might say.
Recently I was talking with a client about launching her upcoming course and creating a marketing strategy. As the phone call was coming to a close she took a deep breath and said “I love that you never force me into anything, if something feels wrong to me, you don’t question it and we just drop it”
“Absolutely” I replied. I was touched to receive this feedback, to know she felt supported in trusting her gut.
The key difference in how I work is discerning between the fear of getting out of our comfort zone, and knowing when something feels wrong despite all other voices saying it’s right. That's where I’m a wing woman for my clients, friends, and myself. I facilitate the discernment between those edges and encourage my clients to trust their gut. I am an ally for untangling ourselves from all voices that yell “should” and taking an inward approach instead.
This method of business is intuitive. It allows us to operate in new ways; marketing sustainability, embracing community, seeing others in the field as valuable contributors who have something equal but different to bring to the table.
We need not continue the paradigm of growth for growth's sake, doing tasks that are supposed to be the next right step. Our gut knows when it’s time to add another offering, scale back, take time off, or market until the cows come home. We can trust this knowing.
It’s a radical act to become quiet and listen for what the next right step is. To operate our business from our internal senses, instead of external input.
When something feels too big, hard, or scary, call your friends and question that. It might just be the growth edge you need to lean into. But when something feels just plain wrong I like to encourage the women around me to tune in and trust ourselves.
What is possible out of a place of spaciousness?
I believe in you.