Running a business is a spiritual awakening. I’ve been saying this for a while now, and the more TCP grows and expands, the more I feel the truth in this. But, what is a spiritual awakening?
Let’s normalize this and make this phrase/terminology more accessible for everyone. Because, whether you are spiritual or not, I can promise you that you’ve gone through some sort of awakening in your life – some sort of revelatory moments, or phases – existential crisis moments are similar if not related, if not rooted in the same. And I want to be able to use this phrase in a way that is not intimidating or a put-off for the quote non-spiritual, non-religious, non-woowoo or even like atheistic or agnostic human – and especially for the pesimmist, or shall I say, realist?
A spiritual awakening – I had to google it, of course – so as not to completely re-write the foundation of this phrase. A spiritual awakening is (according to yourdictionary.com)
“A realization or inspiration about the connection with an entity or entities beyond the immediate and physical world, of “God” or other intangible, sacred spirit.”
OKAY YES. ANNNNND, it’s a phrase that is thrown around quite a lot and I don’t think that everyone who uses it literally means that they have met or connected with God. According to Mind Body Green, Spiritual awakening is also known as enlightenment, nirvana, bliss – but that a spiritual awakening begins the moment a person can step back and awake to their life with a new sense of being in this world.
And THAT is what I want to capture and identify as what I refer to when I say spiritual awakening. Because – perhaps the end result IS a meeting with spirit, or enlightenment itself. I’m not here to convince you of one thing or another (though if you listen to this podcast you do already know that I believe in awakening the soul of business but thats neither here nor there). What I am here to talk about are those beginning moments – the stepping back and awakening or seeing life with a sense of being in this world. Because, I very believe that becoming an entrepreneur, building a business among so many other things, IS stepping back and awakening to a new sense of being in this world. Particularly, of being in LEADERSHIP in this world. And leading, even more so than building a business, requires awakening.
A little over a year ago, I was going through a deep spiritual awakening (in the literal sense) in my personal life. In truth, it was this awakening, the realizations and epiphany moments that came from it, that ultimately became the roots for my business. And then as I started TCP, it felt – in truth – like week after week I was awakening all over again. It was like awakening, after awakening, after awakening – what do I mean by this?
I mean, it was massive learning and realization and growth, followed by massive learning and realization and growth. And I mean everything felt like a mountain to climb. And climbing a mountain BTW is also a spiritual experience – have you ever done it??
My experience in running business has always been at scale – because the majority of my experience is based in Microsoft land. Where, as a business program manager, I see and work in large budgets, with hundreds or even thousands of people factored in, and many many moving parts. My role in much of this work has almost always been relatively high level (directing or program managing or orchestrating other people to be in the nitty gritty – not that I have not been in the nitty gritty). It’s a beautiful thing because when you work in a company, you have a big support system for learning even the basics of your job. Right? Even if your training isn’t great, you still have training and you still have people you can call on when you have questions or things dont add up or when you need help and support. There are teams and experts and leaders who you can look to to know what to do, how to be, whats appropriate or not. And even if you dont agree with all of it or want to fall in line with all of it, you have it. And this is something that non-entrepreneurs take for granted.
When you start a business, on the other hand – everything single thing you do comes back down to YOU. To what you want. To what you think is appropriate. To what works best for you. To optimizing your own preferences and ways of being and working. To answer all of your own questions or to PAY people to answer them, support you, and consult with you or coach you. And even then, it’s still all up to you. You are always the one driving and no one can climb your mountain for you – so there is no faking it or avoiding it in your own business. And there is where I will bring back the mountain.
Let me tell you about a time that I literally climbed a mountain. I’m not a mountain climber – but I used to dabble. And around 6 years ago I went to Chile and I climbed this mountain, I think it’s called Cerro Toco – it’s actually known as a hill there being that it’s a small guy at 18,500 feet above sea level. For reference, it’s taller than any mountain in the lower 50 of the US and at 18,000 feet the saturation of oxygen in the air drops to 80 percent. And oh yeah, I didn’t really train for this. I just kind of went and the opportunity arose to climb, and so naturally, I said yes.
When we started rising on this mountain, we were only walking for the majority of this climb. But, My relationship with my body, with what I thought I knew, with how I was experiencing reality, all shifted and slowed. Things that would normally be easy, became technical and complex. At some point I had to literally convince my legs to take one step by one step because I felt like I was dreaming. And by that I mean, in my brain I literally would say to myself “OK Marie, right leg. Just one step. You can do it.” for every single step. The smallest actions took the most amount of effort, and mindset, and compassion, and grace, and grit. When we got to the top, I was relieved, proud, exhausted, energized, fulfilled, scared to go down, and so much more.
I’m sharing this because this is how I feel on a weekly basis in running my own business. Relieved. Proud. Exhausted. Energized. Fulfilled. Scared. Scared AF. Excited. Moving at 1000 miles per hour without moving at all. Getting lost in the overwhelm, bringing myself back to taking only the one step right in front of me.
Everything is a trigger, an opportunity to grow, a forced learning or discomfort. And there is no one else who can do it for me. I mean – sure there are lots of other people who can do lots of things for me.
Dawning digital designed my branding and built my website – which, I directed.
Kate manages most all of my calendar now, client scheduling, process, policy, billing, reporting, financials, project management, programmatic scheduling, and probably more. But, I am still the director.
Jess manages all of my media – graphics, design, any extension on brand, video footage, podcast edits, teasers, media packets, newsletters and comms – but, I still write all of the copy, I still speak and record for every podcast. I am still the decision maker and the ultimate bottleneck when we are in the work together.
Tegan manages energetic balances and client healing + team healing + MY healing – to ensure that we all are supported and growing and safe and at ease. And yet, my healing is still my healing. My client work is still my client work.
And no matter how much I outsource, I am not removed. I am present. I am holding it all, even when there are others to support me. And actually, the more I outsource, the more I am responsible to heal and to hold. Because there are people who rely on me – not even just to get paid, but to do their jobs. But, to have the info they need, the support they need, probably most importantly the clarity they need.
What’s my point in all of this? It’s not at all that running a business is a lot of work – because you really can do it however you want to and it can truly be as fun or as challenging or as freeing or as difficult or as shallow or deep as you want it to be.
My point is that, when you run a business, it’s yours. Even co-creating with the soul of it, even co-creating with other individuals – you see things of yourself. You expose things of yourself. You become aware of so many things of and within yourself. And if you want to be successful, if you want your business to succeed and grow, if YOU want to grow and expand, you have to do something with it. There is no brushing it under the rug anymore.
Now, everything you do impacts your business and its growth. When you rise in your relationships, you business will rise. When you rise in your physical health, your business will rise. When you rise in your presence, in your wholeness, in your authenticity at home, at work, with clients, with family – your business will rise. When you grow, your work will grow – and i dont care what kind of work you do. You’ll do it better.
How we do one thing is how we do all things, and when you start a business, you are putting it all out there and now the world is able to see how you to do your one thing. And no one else can climb the mountain for you. Because it’s only yours to climb.
Working at Microsoft, I’ve had access to so many personal development trainings and tools and resources and I utilized every single one of them, by the way. I have always been one who wants to understand how I operate so that I can operate better, more productively, more gracefully, more kindly and compassionately, and empathic, and loving, more me – more authentically in a way that causes the least amount of harm but provides the most amount of impact. I used to think that personal development was how MS kept people like me happy. But I’ve come to realize that personal development is a REQUIREMENT in business. And when you work for someone else, you can bypass it to an extent. But when you’re in charge, you can’t anymore.
Running a business is a spiritual awakening because it has to be. And how fucking beautiful is that? How amazing is it that by building a business (whether you do it for yourself or someone else btw), you GET TO grow and expand and relate and connect with the world and others in a whole new way?
Which by the way – many of you now know that I am leaving my role at Microsoft and stepping fully into my business – The Corporate Psychic. I will come back to this as an episode of it’s own. But in the meantime, I do want to invite you into my latest offering.
My last day at Microsoft will be July 6th – it’s also my 7 year anniversary, and the day before my birthday. My last four weeks at Microsoft will be my last 4 weeks with TCP as my side hustle and I want you to join me in a 4 week series called The Quantum Leap. It’s inspired by my own quantum leap with TCP, of course – but it’s so much more. The tagline is “Side Hustle to Profitable, Soul-Aligned, Sustainable, and LIFE GIVING Business.” And we will cover topics like this one and how to navigate. But also
– Picking the thing & starting your biz
– Working for yourself & juggling your 9-5 (and the rest of your life)
– Talking to and co-creting with your idea/business
– Holding integrity in all aspects of your work and all forms of your life
– Running an ethical, soul-aligned business from start to scale (and how to get out of the hustle)
– Business best practices + tangibles like banks accounts, back ends, taxes, process, policy, etc.
– Money, money, money (and beyond)
– Outsourcing and scaling through hiring, distributing resources, and creative focus
– Staying in your zone of genius & letting go of perfection
– Planning and executing your 9-5 exit
I will be sharing everything that has developed me, from my own experience and from the experience and wisdom that so many leaders, teachers, coaches, mentors, colleagues and friends have so graciously shared with me. From now until April 30th, the early bird investment is a no-brainer investment of $555 (I mean – everything you need to know to start, run , optimize and scale your side hustle into a full time business // I would have paid that and so much more). On May 1, the investment goes up to $775.
Register. You will not regret it. And if you can’t make it to any of the live sessions, everything will be recorded and accessible to you for one full year. Seriously – if you feel even an inkling of desire or excitement, just sign up.
The moment you step back and realize a new way of being in the world, is not only a moment of awakening (to yourself, your power, your possibilities), but an opportunity to grow and step into your leadership. How are you doing that today? How can I support you in doing that?
*Note – this blog post is almost a verbatim transcription of The Spiritual 9-5 Podcast, Season 2, Episode 1. You can find it on all streaming platforms. <3