Lately I’ve notice a ton a negative connotations with the term ‘heart-centered’ business. From the idea that businesses with heart can’t fundamentally make any money to the misconceptions that these types of businesses only operate in spiritual industries, these are damaging untruths that can hold you back from achieving the high level of success that you desire in your business.
What is a Heart-Centered Business?
The meaning of a heart-centered does not involve working for free, donating all of your profits or using only woo-woo methods to make strategic business decisions. It’s all about aligning the three P’s of Heart-Centred Entrepreneurship – your passion and purpose with the profit structure of your business. With these three elements working harmoniously, achieving business happiness and success is all but guaranteed.
So this Valentine’s Day (and any day for that matter), I challenge you to find the heart in your business and place it at the centre of everything you do. Money, influence and success will follow, but your heart has to be in the right place.
Beyond simply loving what you do, there are four key concepts for bringing more heart into your business:
1) Cultivating and connecting with the deep belief that what you’re doing in your business is making the world a better place
Take some time to really explore the reasons that you are drawn to what you do. There are a million choices that each of us can make in applying our gifts to our work – what made you choose your path? Play the 5-year old why game with yourself and peel back the layers until you’ve reached your core motivations.
In order to strengthen your connection to this deep belief, spend 5 to 10 minutes at the beginning of your work day to meditate or free write on your why and purpose of your business. Another trick is to insert reminders of this purpose in places where you can easily see or access them while working or in moments of doubt.
2) Using your business as an opportunity to express and unveil yourself
Your business is never going to be aligned with your purpose and passion if there isn’t any YOU in it. Don’t think that you have to be, sound or look like anyone else in order to have success in your business. People connect with people – not facades or personas.
Put yourself into everything that you put out into the world. Write, speak and share as the real you and you’ll not only reach and help more people, but you’ll also get a lot more personal satisfaction and fulfillment from doing so.
3) Remembering that it’s your job to get in front of the people who need what you offer
Many entrepreneurs, women in particular, can feel a lack of confidence in promoting their businesses, whether they consider their businesses to be heart-centered or not. When you believe that what you’re doing is making the world a better place and improving the lives of your customers, you have a duty to find and connect with people who will benefit from your services or products.
Our society is oversaturated with information and notifications grabbing for our attention. Spend some time brainstorming and then executing strategies that cut through clutter and draw in the customers who need you and your business. A perfect recipe for this is: Location (Where your customers are online or physically) + Message (How your products/services will improve their lives) + Package (Professional design that stands out and engages) + You (Your voice, passion and personality).
4) Creating real relationships with your customers and community and over-delivering on value every time.
The most important part of running a heart-centered business involves redefining the traditional definition of business success. Instead of only including the traditional metrics (numbers of sales, amount of profit, etc.), include qualitative reviews of relationships you’ve formed with customers, your community and members of your own and adjacent industries.
There are two sure-fire methods to building quality relationships. First, have meaningful conversations and interactions that focus on them. Two, provide free value. Think about it: When you care about people, you want to give for the sake of helping or making a difference. I’m not saying that you should give away the farm for free. But go above and beyond to provide free value that compliments or enhances your products or services.
Only pursuing transactional relationships with your customers and community will severely limit the satisfaction you get from working in your business. It can also be detrimental to your bottom line because customers are much more likely to buy from real people who they like and who have demonstrated their ability to provide real value.