The 9 Essential Characteristics of the Soul Based Business Owner

A soul based business owner…

  1. Is SOUL-ution oriented. Soul based business owners strive to stay true to their soul when making decisions, seeking solutions, and dealing with crises. Though they aren’t always perfect at this, they do always come back to what they know is true.
  2. Allows only positive aspects to shine. Soul based business owners don’t focus on the negative aspects of what’s happening. They know that in any situation there are always positive aspects and positive possibilities. They deliberately choose to focus on the positive aspects so that they are magnified and attract even more positivity.
  3. Adores and attracts happy, inspired people. You won’t find this type of owner hanging out with a bunch of grumps. In fact, they’ll usually be a part of the most interesting people around. While they do this on purpose, it also happens naturally because they, themselves, are happy and inspired, so they can’t help but attract the same. They know that by surrounding themselves with happy, inspired people, they are creating an environment that automatically uplifts them.
  4. Promotes the light and love in others’ hearts. Soul based business owners know that light and love are the most important elements of the universe, including business. They amplify this in their own heart, but also promote it in others because they know it makes business – and the world – better for all of us.
  5. Leads from the heart. Sometimes hard to do when things get rough. But the true soul oriented owner uses the heart as their touchstone; simultaneously grounding them and helping them rise above the fray. They make choices and decisions from their hearts, knowing that that will serve them – and others – best in the long run.
  6. Asks the Universe for more. The soul based business owner is clear that they deserve everything they desire. They know what they want, they ask for more, and they vibrate in alignment with what they want. Soul based business owners know that too much of anything can be marvelous!
  7. Knows connection to the soul is the answer to all life’s questions. Hard work, struggle, and suffering are never the answer for the soul based business owner. They know that being grounded and connected to their sense of spirit will always guide them in the right direction. Even when faced with a crisis, the soul based business owner connects with their soul for guidance.
  8. Appreciates the freedom and magic of dollars. Successful soul based business owners love the energy of money. They know that money is magical, freeing, and fun! Because they know this completely, they easily attract money and opportunities that are a match for their interests and integrity.
  9. Chooses ease & happiness. While effort or struggle may be present, suffering about it is a choice. Soul based business owners notice what is happening, and then choose their response. They know that each time they choose ease and happiness, struggle is alleviated and new solutions appear quickly.

Rediscovering the Corporate Soul

Certain organizations show passion, commitment and the ability to achieve sustained success. Their people are consistently excited by their work, intensely focused, and extremely energetic. Unfortunately, too many companies seem disorganized, unfocused and unproductive. Their people are overwhelmed, stressed and frustrated. What makes some companies positive and effective while others are negative and ineffective?

There are a number of conventional wisdoms about what makes a company great. But everything about positive companies is tightly grounded to a set of core beliefs that represent the essence of the company’s existence. Interestingly, upper management does not regularly articulate these core beliefs. Instead, these beliefs are simply “understood” and people are expected to behave consistently with them. We call these core beliefs the company’s “corporate soul.”

Why should you care about having a corporate soul? Simply put, corporate soulfulness correlates with long-term financial success. Research shows that soulful companies are more successful companies. Is this some kind of new wave business psychology? Hardly, but it is a new way to think about organizational performance. The dictionary defines soul as:

An entity which is regarded as being an immortal or spiritual part of the person and, though having no physical or material reality, is credited with the functions of thinking and willing, hence determining all behavior.

Based on this definition, can a corporation have a soul? Can this definition be applied to an organization rather than a person? The evidence overwhelmingly says, “Yes.” The top performers in these organizations always reference a profound mental model of their objectives, rather than the typical corporate statements, as the guiding force for their decisions and behaviors. Both findings suggest the existence of some powerful underlying foundation of success – in other words, a “soul.”

How to Tell When An Organization Has “Soul”

Perhaps the best indicator of the existence of a corporate soul is your own personal experience. Think about some recent experiences that you have had as a customer. Was there a recognizable difference that you could “feel” when you dealt with some companies? Have you ever had this feeling about a company as soon as you walked in the door that it was a really good company? Why did you feel this way? Conversely, have you ever visited another company recently and immediately perceived that it was a stressed, unhappy environment? If so, it is likely you sensed some characteristic in the people, the presentation, or something else that caused you to develop an immediate emotional response.

People seem to quickly sense, through largely emotional means, if a company is positive or negative at its core. Are these feelings a result of the company having or lacking a corporate soul? Admittedly, it is a leap from people having feelings and perceptions about a company, many of which could be explained by tangible factors such as the d├ęcor of the building, to the notion of a corporate soul. However, the overall

feelings created seem to be so much more than the sum of the parts.

Soulfulness Adherence to a set of success-based core beliefs

The organization has a consistent set of core beliefs that are at the root of everything they do. These core beliefs are positive and drive the organization to success.

o People actively demonstrate a consistent set of value driven behaviors.

o Everyone in the organization, at some profound personal level, shares the core beliefs.

o Language that is highly altruistic and about making life better for their customers is always used when people articulate the beliefs.

o Conversations center around how things can be done, rather than why they can’t be done.

o The organization actively listens to the emotional interpretation of the core beliefs as articulated by the top customer-contact personnel (primarily sales and service).

o There are leaders who are self-effacing, while being completely committed to the core beliefs. They are determined to ensure everyone else’s commitment

Constant and profound selflessness

Every person in the organization views himself or herself as part of a larger organization, and behaves in a highly selfless way towards the customers, their colleagues and the organization. These people seem to be part of the organization because they deeply care about others’ success, not their own.

o You always hear “we,” never “I” in conversations about the organization’s successes and failures.

o People never consider putting themselves before the good of the company.

o Every person believes they are making a significant contribution to the good of the company and others.

o Everyone believes that everyone else is completely committed to the good of the company so they trust others’ decision-making even if ultimately the decision is wrong. We call this the “rule of good intentions.”

A pervasive “culture of the sensible”

The organization tends to focus on quick, reasonable decisions and testing, avoiding extreme or slow responses.

o There is a balance between analysis and action, with a preference for action. We characterize this as a decision rule that states, “A reasonably good decision now is much better than a great decision too late.”

o The organization actively listens to the emotional interpretation of the core beliefs as articulated by the top performers who actively converse with customers (primarily sales and service).

o The organization, and each person in it, always tries to do the “right” thing

Keepers of the Corporate Soul

Who best exemplifies the corporate soul? Most textbooks, as well as many popular business books will tell you that it’s the chief executive officer or company founder. We’re not going to say that the CEO has no part to play in establishing the corporate soul. When a CEO acts in a soulful way, he/she has an impact on everyone else’s behavior. Conversely, it is difficult for an organization to overcome a completely soulless CEO.

However, the organization’s top performers have a disproportionate role in establishing and propagating the corporate soul. Their soulful behaviors can energize the organization even when the corporation itself

has few of the soulful indicators and many of the soulless indicators. Top performers tend to be soulful in spite of pressures to behave otherwise. In fact, the top performers in most companies seem to be the long-term keepers of the corporate soul.

Top performers’ soulful qualities are consistently visible in their mental models of goals and objectives. These models are deeply and passionately held, highly altruistic, completely selfless and the basis for all their decisions and behaviors. The top performers’ mental models are the operational manifestation of the corporate soul. For example, in one pharmacy chain, the top performers in the field organization thought of themselves as being a “critical part of the family emergency response system.” They saw themselves, and behaved, as though they were altruistically and selflessly helping others in times of need.

In sharp contrast, several groups at their corporate office, particularly a training group within Human Resources, saw the company’s primary focus as “selling prescriptions.” Just selling prescriptions is hardly a soulful view of the world and is in sharp contrast to the socially powerful perspective of helping families in distress. Similarly, in a manufacturing environment, the top performing engineers envisioned themselves as “treating each machine with respect for its sophistication and complexity.” Less effective engineers thought of their primary focus as “servicing machines when they broke down.” These two examples are indicative of the many companies that we’ve worked with.

The top performers embody the corporate soul of any organization. Part of what makes top performers so extraordinarily successful is that they define themselves in a way that enables them to meet each new pressure and redirection by continuously reconnecting themselves to a core set of beliefs. Thus, we have seen that top-performing managers of a large retail chain can quickly absorb changes to any of their departments because they always ground to the idea of “making life great for their customers.” The soul forms the basis of integration, which enables substantially greater productivity. Not surprisingly, the respect accorded these top performers in many organizations is almost akin to worship. People refer to the top performers with awe, saying such things as, “There goes Jim. He invented the …” or “I got to meet with Debbie. She knows so much about… [widgets]…that I was just amazed.”

Most people in the organization intuitively recognize and respond to the intangible, soulful qualities of the top performers. When someone in the organization positively, absolutely has to get something done, more often than not, they rely on the top performers because these people, in addition to their knowledge and experience, embody the “can do” attitude and altruistic nature required. In short, they have soul both for themselves and as representatives of their organizations.

In sum, there are certain organizations have an almost spiritual quality of faith in their goodness and individuals within the organization behave consistent with that faith. They embrace a holistic approach that is almost entirely positive in nature. They express themselves using positive language, even when things are not going as well as they would like. Even though they can only rarely articulate what makes them soulful, these organizations almost always act with soulfulness.

Honor the Streams of Your Soul: Express More of Who You Are in Life and Business

What are the streams of my soul that call out for expression?

How will I share these soul streams with the world?

The best way to build a life and business that you love is to come from a place of purpose and authenticity. The best way to do that is to bring forward those streams of your soul that are most true to who you are and that the world needs more of. So, it’s important to ensure that you are fully honoring the deep streams of your soul that make you who you are and allow you to express your true self in the world.

Here’s how you can do that:

  1. Write down spark words and phrases that represent the streams of your soul on strips of colored paper. Or use colorful markers and add doodles!
  2. Create or choose a container where you can keep these reminders to honor the streams of your soul. I created a special “Seeds of Inspiration” box to hold my reminders of the streams of my soul. I would encourage you to decorate a special box or receptacle. Or you can use a mug or jar.
  3. Once a day, choose one of these reminders from your special container and consider the questions below. Set aside just five minutes a day for this exercise and watch how much more fun you naturally bring into your life and business.
  4. Finally, choose a simple action to take today. Or take 10 and meditate or give thanks for how this stream of your soul is active in your life. Be present to this stream of your soul throughout the day and celebrate who you are!

Is this stream flowing freely in my life and business?

How is it flowing?

How can I follow the flow of this particular

stream of who I am today?

The streams of MY soul are ART, HEALING and FAITH. These are the things that matter most to me and they are pathways to the greater expression of my purpose in the world. What are the streams of YOUR soul? Think about it. What is really important to you? What feeds your spirit and makes you who you are?

If you want to do some exploration around the streams of your soul and express them more fully in your life and business, you may want to consider a Soul Streams Strategy Session and discover your Momentum Action Pathways with a custom M.A.P.

The Mind, Body and Soul of Your Business

We hear a lot about mind, body and soul and how important it is to connect all three. It has definitely been a prominent life lesson for me and others on a personal level. But what about the mind, body and soul of your business? Most entrepreneurs tend to rely primarily on their intellect. Yes, even the most soulful service providers tend to default to the intellect when it comes to matters of business. I am here to challenge the status quo and invite you to fully and authentically connect who you really are with what you do or provide for your clients.

People Do not Understand What I Do

More often than not the business strategies we are taught are not necessarily in alignment with how we genuinely want the relationships with our clients to unfold. This puts us in a place of incongruence. We have something of great value we know will help, or possibly even provide, a transformational experience for our clients. Yet, the methods to which they find us, and the words we use to describe our products and service, are not an adequate reflection of the benefits available to them through a relationship with us.

Get Out of Your Head and Into the Heart of Your Business

Lead With Your Heart

Expand your circle of influence. I’m not talking about just making more contacts with customers and clients. I’m talking about expanding the awareness of your heart. Your heart is a magnificent center of intelligence with a magnetic resonance 5000 times greater than your brain! Your heart is receiving energetic information from your surroundings (and beyond) long before your brain (intellect) begins its processing and sorting duties. When you can passionately and purposefully support your clients from your heart first, then the words or marketing materials you share with others will automatically be an authentic expression of who you really are. Because honestly, nobody really cares about how much you know until they know how much you care.

Sometimes it Takes More Than One Brain

I know you are passionate about what you do. You wouldn’t be a soul-o-preneur if you weren’t. And if you are reading this, I can assume that you also have a desire to help a lot of people, make a difference in your community or even the world. You also want to contribute financially to your family and your own personal growth and expression. Although your organization may be small-maybe just you-I want you to know that just because you are a solo entrepreneur doesn’t mean you have to build your business alone.

Highly successful entrepreneurs have 3 very important things in common when it comes to growing their business:

1. They seek professional help from a mentor or coach who has their best interest at heart.
2. They create a sustainable plan.
3. They Master Mind with others who provide accountability and a call to action.

Here’s the missing ingredient that most small business owners do not even realize is missing! They already feel like they are in ACTION-they are so busy doing it all (by themselves) that they cannot imagine adding one more thing to their overloaded to-do list.

Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect-Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

You do not have to be perfect to begin. Truthfully, nobody is perfect, nor do we need to be. However, you may have heard the expression, “Do the first thing first.” Well, I’d like to add that not only do you need to do the “first thing first”; you need to do the “first thing right!” First of all, some of us do not exactly know what the “first thing is.” Some of us are doing the right things in the wrong way and some of us are doing the wrong things really, really well!

Aaargh! It is exhausting, frustrating, overwhelming, and doesn’t save us time or make us money.

Speaking of Money…

– Do you LOVE money? I mean, truly, deeply, madly love money? Hmmm.
– Do you feel that money is a necessary evil?
– Do you wish you could just provide your service and never have to charge anyone or ask for money?
– Do you believe that most people do not have enough money or cannot afford your service or your product?

Let me ask you this, do you LOVE your children? How about your dog, partner, husband, wife, parents, best friend, boyfriend, God, chocolate, horses, disco music, soccer, making love, the ocean… yourself? “Well,” you might argue, “money is different. We need money to survive; I do not like having to need or rely on money to survive.”

And I will respond, “Yes, I understand your independent nature-that is why you are an entrepreneur!” And then I will lovingly point out that money is merely a method of exchange, an exchange of energy, of giving and receiving.

It is All About Relationship

When you can be in a relationship with money the same way you can be in a relationship with anyone or anything else that you LOVE-you will experience the flow. The ease and grace of attracting and providing for the perfect clients that love to pay you for the benefits you love to provide.

Step Into The Next Highest Version of Your Business

Wherever you are on the path to merging the mind, body and soul of your business-BEGIN-NOW with doing the “first things right.” Connect with the mentor or program that is going to serve your highest and best interest and get your message heard!

There’s no point in being a best kept secret!

Business Not As Usual

In a recent article by Mitch Axelrod he writes, “Millions of people who built their success on the sand of GOAL instead of the bedrock of SOUL and ROLE are now suffering. They embraced getting, going and having as the formula for success. What happens when the getting, going and having stop?”

German Billionaire commits suicide in the wake of financial disaster was the essence of a Yahoo headline just a day or two ago. Sound familiar? If you’re old enough to remember the leaping from windows during the Great Depression this is what happens when your success in business and in life are based on the teetering foundation of reaching for only financial goals at all cost.

Mitch goes on to describe how the new paradigm must be putting soul before setting goals. In my recent blog post, A New Year Family Tradition, I write about how our family sets goals and lists desires for both things we wish to let go of as well as emotional, spiritual and material things we would like to manifest, create, have or experience. What’s driving our goal setting in this family tradition is heart-based, it’s soul-based.

The same driving force must come into the business model. Both CEO and employee have the opportunity to come together to create a service, or product that is created from the bedrock foundation of soul, spirit or love, whichever concept works for you as should be happening in the home amongst family members.

I was having this discussion of bringing spirituality into business with a friend a few weeks ago. He is a small business owner and very committed to supporting his employees in their personal growth. His experience however of bringing spirit into his business was not that positive because it caused people to question their life and why they were working for him and then some of them decided to leave and work elsewhere! In essence he was saying business owners can’t afford to bring the soul energy into the office – keeping people “dumbed-down” keep them in their seats eyes focused on what you are paying them to do!

But growth is an inherent quality of being human. Within our spiritual programming is the desire to become more, achieve more, know more, love more. Business owners will always deal with turnaround and the cost of retraining. So why not create company policies and procedures that are driven by the core principals of personal advancement, integrity, growing prosperity and the like. I know that if I was looking to be an employee of a company that stood for my personal advancement in all areas of my life I would want to be a part of that company for as long as they could take me where I wanted to go!

Life is about results. Life will mirror back to us what our inner reality is based on. The large business world has been based on profit, greed, lack of integrity, corruption and now we see the results of these systems crumbling, crying out for financial aid unwilling to accept their failure and be accountable for the results they have produced.

If you are a business owner you have an opportunity, right now, to take inventory of what is the driving force behind your business. Is it profit at all cost? Are you providing a service or product that enhances the well being of both employees and customers/clients? Do you respect and promote the advancement of consciousness within your company? Are you as CEO or president/owner living an honest, honorable, soulful life with spouse and children or has your business taken you away from connecting with family from the heart.

This global business meltdown is a closing of one door so that a new one can open. Whether you are an employee or business owner you get to choose what is your driving force behind who you are being in the world and the choices you make. Is it the doing and having that drives your life or are you ready to lead, choose, communicate, hire/fire from the heart.

Now is the time to bring soul into the business world and build brick by brick a new foundation from which millions may flourish and thrive because you had the courage to live from your heart.