Alexandra is an acupuncturist and intuitive reader who helps people let go of what is not them, so they can identify understand and embrace what is them. We are all unique, and we each have both a physical and spiritual essence. The more you know about yours, the more you can live your way and the happier you will be. Read more about Alexandra’s work and sessions with clients here.
I want to share one of the biggest lessons I have learned as a holistic business owner and it’s not what we are told by most business coaches and big-name marketing gurus. It’s that the best way to build your business is YOUR way only. Your values. Your flavor. Your personality. And very importantly: with the marketing methods that are easy for you, and that spark and feed the healthy and willing parts of you.
Here’s a short version of my story as a holistic healer and business owner so far: As many of you can relate to, I chose my career path because 1) holistic healing felt like a natural calling to my soul and 2) I loved the idea of working for myself rather than a 9-5 for a company or a corporation. I can’t say that nobody warned me that once I graduated from school and was ready to practice, my business wasn’t going to be full immediately. I heard it 1,000 times but I still planned to build by business by word of mouth only and assumed that in a few months my practice would be full. The word “marketing” made my gag reflex activate and I refused to subscribe to the gimmicky marketing plans that my well-intended peers were paying hundreds or thousands of dollars to be coached in and were installing in their businesses.
After several months I was nowhere near satisfied with the number of people I was reaching with my work, the number of people in the community who knew about my work or my income from doing the work that I loved. Disheartened and with a lot of resistance, I started watching videos and reading books and articles about building a business. Some of the information I found in videos and books inspired me and taught me extremely valuable nuggets of information that I have used on my path. Most of the information felt distant from me and my experience, and totally in opposition to the energy that I wanted to build my business with. I started to get the feeling that I had to abandon some of my core values and who I really am in order to build my business. I was so determined to build my business at this point that I was willing to try putting my true self aside in order to do it, but the resistance was HUGE, the process was NOT ENJOYABLE and the results were NOT IMPRESSIVE. The methods that I tried didn’t feel good and they didn’t fit and I could feel it – but I thought, this is what highly successful healers DO! It wasn’t palatable but I hoped it would yield the promised magical results; Nope! Very. Little. Progress.
What I want to convey at this point is that I understand the feeling of being a new business owner and wanting to do the right thing to build my business. And I strongly want to convey that why most of us holistic business owners are motivated to build our businesses are for 1) financial stability (which we deserve) and 2) because we are so excited and hungry to offer our gift to the world and for it to be received and to impact those in need of what we can give. I feel strongly that in addition to food, shelter, security and acceptance – one of the highest human needs is to bring our gift into the world and to know that we are contributing. To feel and to know that the unique parts of ourselves that we were born with have a purpose that serves the greater community and world that we belong to.
The pain of being a new and ‘unknown’ holistic business owner, or having moved to a new location to start over, or being in a new phase of your business that isn’t recognized by the greater community yet, is real. It runs much deeper than most business and marketing coaches acknowledge and it brings me to the perspective that I really want to share with you today. It’s one of the biggest lessons (if not the biggest) that I’ve learned in my business-building journey. It’s that the gift that burns inside of us to share and to be seen is authentic and that the way we build our businesses can and must be just as authentic to us. We can take cues and advice from celebrity marketing coaches but they don’t know you. They don’t know your exact strengths and weaknesses, they don’t know your values and they don’t know your unique flavor of being. So I’m here to tell you that there’s no way to build your business but your way.
Can you relate with the experience of watching a business and marketing video or reading a book or article and feeling disheartened and small afterwards? Of hearing a marketing celebrity tell you the 12 steps to follow to build your 100k+ business in three months and feeling like you’ll have to compromise who you really are to do even attempt doing it their way – which they are selling as the right way? I tried a lot of these methods although I wasn’t excited about them and I didn’t feel good while I did them, and they didn’t work for me. Why? They weren’t true for me. They clashed with my authentic energy.
The only ways that I have learned to market myself that work for me also feed me and fuel me! They turn me on. They might be low on some marketing coaches’ lists for success but for me they are perfect.
I have still had to push myself past my comfort zone to market myself, but what has worked is when I’ve pushed myself past my comfort zone to do something that, though scared, I was actually really excited and interested to do. Such as, lead my first Meetup group, teach my first free workshop and join a professional network that requires me to public speak on a weekly basis. Before these, I pushed myself past my comfort zone to do things I didn’t even want to do – like social media marketing and writing inflated blogs or articles about myself and my work online – because I was told these are some of the most influential ways to market. Perhaps for some people – and I have colleagues who primarily have built their business through social media and loved the process – but for me these methods were never palatable and they were never successful
We live in a world inundated with the marketing messages, images and brands of everyone we know and multitudes of people we don’t know. Everyone wants to be seen in this world of loud social media and over-stimulation – and for good reason. We want to reach the people who need what we have to offer. We want to be recognized for the gift that we bring so that we can live it and thrive by it and help others thrive too. For many holistic business owners this desire is pure and strong, and yet when faced with marketing and all of the messages out there about the right way to do it, they feel overwhelmed. Defeated. Intimidated. Helpless. We get it.
If you are having a hard time finding marketing methods that you like and that are working really well for you, it doesn’t mean that owning a business isn’t for you!
It only means that you have to find the way that resonates for you and is in line with your energy and your values.
I built a practice without social media marketing. Without online product offerings. I consider myself “old-school” and “rootsy” – I wanted to build a business off of good old-fashioned referrals and face-to-face time with members of my community. And that’s what I did (after a lot of trying other methods because they were supposed to be the ‘fast-track’).
It only makes sense that how I grow my business reflects who I already am as a person and how I like to live. I am my business! How I operate is how my business operates. How I work best is how my business works best. My values are my business’s values. My preferences in life are my preferences in my business. The way I live my life is the way I run my business.
So, how do you translate your values and your way of personally thriving into results at something you’ve never done before – ie marketing and making a business? Locate your true values in life and in business. Locate marketing methods that match your values. Get clear on your fears and shadows in life, business and money and lovingly address them. Do this with lots of support.
We have built a community that holds individuals while they go through this exact process because we believe that doing this in community, with peers who get you and can cheer you on, can make all the difference.
We truly love to help you find you in the realm of business, and support you to create a business based on your love, your values, your preferred way of life.
I’m so glad that I finally found my way back to the truth that I knew all along; that I and you and each of us truly don’t have to do it any other way.
The HoloPreneurs program is a 9 or 12-month incubator in community to: Belong to a group of high-quality peers that can support you, cheer you on and provide valuable weekly feedback; receive 1:1 holistic business and financial coaching; explore your money and business wounds and shadows while being supported, so that you can truly move past them; discover the business and marketing methods that truly resonate with you and feel easy to do.