Recently, I was speaking at a conference attended by two
hundred and fifty inspiring, heart-centered and results-oriented women business
executives. These executives lead their
companies in many sectors: service, manufacturing, technology, marketing, legal,
and more. These women range in age from
their thirties to their sixties, of all races, from solo entrepreneurs to
corporate executives. They recounted
powerful stories of business successes and challenges, profits and loss
experiences, partnerships holding strong, partnerships that collapsed, new
innovations and more. I was uplifted by these conscious business owners who
know that success in business equates to doing good in the world, treating your
employees with dignity and care, providing vital solutions, products and
services that support their customers while protecting the earth.
There was a resounding non-negotiable commitment by the executives to ensure the “profits” of their businesses are greater than just net income; that they include a commitment to treating their employees with dignity and care, to providing quality services and products that meet real needs in ways that care for the environment. They were a joy to listen to and to be in community with.
At the same time as I heard these core values being expressed, I also became acutely aware of these women’s fatigue and lack of focus on their own self-care, both of which undoubtedly did or would show up in the level of their personal and business success. They demonstrated how easy it is to lose track of our responsibility to ourselves to stay whole and healthy as we are doing well by doing good.
Here are three tips that I found myself sharing with these inspiring conscious business leaders, owners and executives:
- Put down your phone: Plan periods of time, each day, when you put down your phone, turn off your tablet, and step away from your computer. Yes, these technologies are important for communication and doing business. However, so is knowing who and what you are and giving yourself time to tap into real wisdom, rather than falling into online rabbit holes.
For problem-solving, innovating, and envisioning new possibilities and realities, continually check in on the wisdom that comes from:
- Your internal genius, intuition, and spirit. Two examples of how one can tap into this genius is to take a couple of minutes once or twice each day to list the many people and things that are you are grateful for. When we are in gratitude, we are opening our hearts and minds to even more life-giving possibilities for ourselves and our businesses. A second method to draw on your genius that feels so effortless is to say before you go to sleep, “I am open to my internal wisdom messages in dreams”. Hint: keep paper and pencil on your bedside table so that you can jot down your messages, images and dreams.
- Mother Earth, nature, and the elements. You and your teams may find that when you feel stuck, circling on the same business question and unable to come up with possible solutions. This is a perfect time to pause and go outside alone or in pairs. Breathing in the fresh air, walking around the block and even just standing by a tree can allow you to release the blocks and become open to the rejuvenation that comes from our connection to nature and its beauty.
- Indigenous and non-indigenous wisdom keepers. As part of a daily practice allow yourself to read uplifting quotes and stories. These inspiring quotes or stories can be ageless observations from past and present philosophers, artists, and wisdom keepers from different cultural traditions. I often draw on the online newsletter with positive solutions called The Optimist Daily and White Bison Inc Elders Meditations.
- Practice presence through listening: To be a leader in your life, family, business, and community, you need to be present to what is happening inside and around you. Fundamentally, to be wise and act with discernment requires you to listen with the softest part of your ear and an expanding heart and mind. Listening requires becoming still: not speaking, actively listening with empathy to ourselves or to others. Try meditating for even 10 minutes each morning. Listening is vital to receiving insight from our inner self and from others.
- Meet your needs: It’s much easier to achieve your business goals and objectives, be creative, responsive to business environment, tap into wisdom and practice presence when you are not running on empty. Make a clear, conscious effort to make sure your essential physical needs are being met. Take care of what every human being needs to thrive: breath, rest, water, nutrition, and supportive community. As conscious business leaders, we, too, need supportive community to thrive. When we model the importance of meeting these fundamental human needs and actively value these for our employees, we can create successful business cultures where profits flow as people and the earth are cared for. Enjoy actively creating circles of mutual support, care, celebration, appreciation and joy for ourselves and for the people in our workplaces
Author Bio: Anita Sanchez, Ph.D., Aztec and Mexican-American, is a transformational leadership consultant, speaker, coach and author of the international bestselling book, “The Four Sacred Gifts: Indigenous Wisdom for Modern Times” (Simon & Schuster). She bridges indigenous teachings with the latest science to inspire and equip women and men to enjoy meaningful, empowered lives and careers. For more information and to download the free song that is based on the book, visit www.FourSacredGifts.com. For information on Anita’s diversity, inclusion, and unconscious bias training, see consulting website www.SanchezTennis.com.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.