If you’ve followed me at all, you’ll know a big issue for me are notions of ‘conscious wealth‘ and ‘abundance’ and the ways these notions have been hijacked by capitalism to justify mindless consumption. This powerful video is a great example of marketing for social change and may just blow your mind on issues of wealth inequality in America. Please watch and share.
Here’s a video from my other life of improv comedy that we filmed last year with Rapid Fire Theatre in Edmonton and it’s finally come out.
Funny and useful! Tips to ace your next job interview!
His program is called: The Sacred Business Intensive – How to Walk Your Unique Spiritual Path and Pay Your Bills On Time: 5 Free Webinars to Integrate Your Relationship with Money, Life Purpose, and Meaningful Work – From March 27th thru April 4th.
You’ve spoken about how you have noticed that conscious entrepreneurs often feel “overwhelmed, hopeless, unappreciated, hurt, and as if no one sees who [they] truly are or what [they] are here to give.” What’s underneath that? Why do you think they feel that way? Is this them playing victim or something else? Why do we get stuck here?
To understand why we get stuck, we need to see clearly how life really is, and, for a moment, let go of how we would like it be. What are the values that mainstream western culture supports and respects? Economic and career success, material wealth, social status, and the power to control resources.
The dominant culture is not organized around values of appreciating each individual’s talents and gifts. We have the Gross National Product, while Bhutan, for example, has the Gross National Happiness Index. It doesn’t foster healthy community relationships that empower us to feel safe being ourselves (as opposed to wearing social masks).
Our culture has stripped away the sense that we have what we need and can enjoy a simple sense of contentment. Contentment grows out of a strong connection to self, resilient family and community ties, and an engaged relationship with spirituality (our sense of meaning and purpose). Instead, our culture stimulates our sense of neediness (which is what drives our economy), and tells us we will be satiated by unhealthy foods, material goods, money, and the image of success. This life pattern conditions us towards dependency and addition.
The truth is, we are needy. But, at the root of our neediness is a longing for authentic relationship – relationship with self, community, nature, and spirit.
The root word for culture is the same as cultivate, so our culture is the soil in which we grow, and the soil is quite depleted of nourishment. We can go back 10,000 years to see the overall pattern of human civilization as being engaged in power struggles for control of resources. Generation after generation of this life experience engenders our psychological, emotional and neurological systems with a pattern of dependency.
So, on a cultural level, we have been conditioned to feel the feelings that I’ve mentioned – “overwhelmed, hopeless, unappreciated, hurt, and as if no one sees who [they] truly are or what [they] are here to give.”
A lot of coaches, healers, and teachers talk about “transforming limiting beliefs,” but an essential element that is usually left out is the awareness that our beliefs are like roots of a tree – they go deep into the soil of our being.
We get stuck because our bodies “remember” these traumas, and are expressed as subconscious beliefs, which show up when we want to express ourselves in our businesses. To access the self-respect, love, joy, and empowerment necessary to stand up as leaders in our businesses, we need to transform our conditioned value and belief systems by going on a journey to heal our ancestral wounds.
I went through a years-long process of healing the fear of being persecuted for my spiritual beliefs because my ancestors were persecuted – villages destroyed, families torn apart. I had memories of being burned at the stake that I had to heal.
These kinds of traumas are passed down through our ancestral memories and our bodies. I didn’t think that I was literally in danger of physical harm, but it showed up as fear of being rejected or people not taking me seriously in my business if I really spoke my truth. So, I needed to heal the roots of those beliefs in order to stand powerfully in my entrepreneurial purpose and mission.
You speak about how, “we don’t just want to “be successful,” we want to sing our own unique song.” Can you spell out the difference you see between the two? And why do you think more of the people we work with haven’t found this yet? Is it fear? Is it them trying to fit into a box? What prevents us from finding that song?
Have you ever heard of Chiron? He was a figure in Greek mythology who exemplifies the archetype of the wounded healer.
The path towards true service requires you to go on your own healing journey. And, on this path of healing, there aren’t any shortcuts, you have to confront the wounds and do the work.
This is is not something that we’re used to in our culture. We’re used to shortcuts and getting the results that we think we want as quickly and effortlessly as possible. The problem with this, as our current economic and environmental crisis demonstrates, is that taking shortcuts actually brings us further away from what would truly nourish us.
So, “being successful” is about looking the part – getting the clients, making the money, being the respected expert in your field. From here, people who are feeling needy for those things are attracted to the image of power and success that you have built.
Singing our song is about freedom. Freedom can not be faked. Freedom is a qualitative expression of spiritual growth and development. Freedom requires self-awareness, trust, faith, courage, compassion, intelligence, and an open-hearted love that is willing to give itself fully for what it believes. It takes practice to develop these qualities – that’s why we call it spiritual practice.
Martin Luther King Jr. was free. Gandhi was free. Malcolm X was free. And, Nelson Mandela was free, even though he spent 27 years in prison. They found freedom through their connection to their life purpose, mission, and relationship with self, other, and spirituality.
You don’t need to be a political or social change leader in order to have the courage to be free. Start with your own healing journey. Start by being honest with yourself.
The most powerful act of courage is to give yourself permission to articulate what you really want, what would really make you come alive and feel joyful, as opposed to the image of what “being successful” tells you what you want. Movement towards your authentic vision gives you many opportunities to heal and move closer to freedom.
The main thing that can prevents you from singing your song is that you create a culturally acceptable version of your vision – basically a compromise – and then pretend to be excited about it. External results of “success” can give us a rush for a few years, but its like a sugar rush, it isn’t a solid foundation on which to build a life or business.
You speak about:
“why am I here on this planet at this time? What am I here to do and be? Who am I, underneath my social conditioning in a culture that has a habit of only looking at the surface of things. And, who am I an in an era that is coming to an end, and in a new one that is emerging as we speak? What is my role? What is my responsibility? How can I imagine a vision for myself that feels free and joyful when there is so much suffering going on around me?”
Why do these questions matter to a conscious entrepreneur? What do you see as the connection between the kind of deep personal growth you’re talking about and right livelihood? I can imagine a lot of people might say, ‘That’s nice and important, but I have to pay the bills. I don’t have time for this.’
Going back to where I left off in the last question, its about integrity. I’m not only talking about being aligned with your truth. I’m talking about structural integrity.
When you build a house without pouring the concrete foundation its just not going to last. You could look at these questions as the foundation for a solid business and life.
These questions are the roots of a powerful vision, and therefore, a solid foundation for a conscious business. When you ask yourself “why am I here at this time?” it cuts to the core of your sense of purpose. Your connection to purpose gives you access to a quality of inner resources that are otherwise completely unavailable.
To make it simple, these questions can be distilled into one simple question: what motivates you to get up in the morning?
Your motivation dictates the manner in which you engage your goals. If you are motivated by the socially approved of treasures – wealth, status, power – than you may just get that. But, these treasures do not guarantee fulfillment, joy, healthy relationships, and experience a sense of deep meaning in the work that you do. In fact, the statistics show the exact opposite. America, the richest country in the world, is also the most depressed. Americans consume more anti-depressants than any other people in the world.
If you are motivated by a desire to grow into a person who embodies the attributes taught about by world spiritual traditions, then joy, meaning, fulfillment are assured to you. Why? Because you are focused on cultivating internal qualities, which you do have control over, as opposed to external results, which you, ultimately, don’t have control over.
Results in business are essential. But, your perspective and motivation changes your relationship which getting results, which is at the core of what I am talking about.
By integrating your deepest sense of meaning and purpose into your business, you begin to emphasize action that genuinely cultivates your mission, as opposed to looking for the best way to get recognized, find clients, and just “get yourself out there.”
Its an issue of focus and perspective that may seem subtle, but over the course of the development of a business, and your life as a whole, that foundation builds a whole different house, so to speak.
A major (often valid) criticism of people engaged in a spiritual, healing or holistic business is that they’re flakey. Lofty visions, big concepts etc. but little application and little ability to ‘pay the bills on time.’ What do you think that’s about and what do these people most need? What’s missing for them here? When you work with them how do you help with that?
Its true. People engaged in spiritual, healing or holistic businesses do have lofty visions. I would also add people in the creative arts, like film-making, writing, musicians, and visual artists. I should know, I’m one of them.
Most of the time, your greatest gift is also your greatest weakness, and this is definitely the case here. All human beings have the same basic structure – 2 arms, 2 legs, 2 eyes, a nose, mouth, etc. – and that hasn’t changed for thousands of years. But, your individual nature is very unique. The nature of people who create, heal, and connect naturally to a sense of spirituality is that we literally have one foot in two worlds. Now, taken at face value, in this materialistic culture, it can be a setback to be “in the world, but not of it.” But, in other cultural systems, this is highly revered and respected human quality. One of the meanings for the word “shaman”is literally “the one who dreams it into being” – “it” meaning their vision.
So, the first mistake that most people make is to hide their natural gift, which is their most precious asset in a business. They need to honor themselves and their gift.
From here there is a “reality check” that probably needs to happen. You need to get real with what it is that you’re ignoring – in terms of practical business and professional skills. Go out and get the training you need. I had to do that, and through our work together, my clients learn to engage practically with the vision that they care most about. I’m talking about skills like presenting yourself respectfully, clear communication, time management, time lines, goal setting and follow through – in general, being a professional and taking yourself seriously.
So, the second mistake is that intuitive/creative professionals think that their intuition and visionary nature will carry them through life without having to do any heavy lifting.
But, once you move through those two issues, you have the ability to channel the power of your creativity into a clear structure or form that strikes a nerve with people, and is much more powerful, attractive, and magnetic than “successful” business-owners who have perfected the skill of looking the part, but don’t have the root and life force flowing through their copy, programs and services.
I’ll give you an example to demonstrate these two points. Dean Adams, who will be speaking with me in the 5th Webinar in the Sacred Business Intensive, was a free-lance news film-maker/journalist in Thailand, struggling to catch the next story, when I met him. He was behind on his bills and stress was mounting in his relationship with his wife.
Where to start in such a challenging situation? We began with the inspiring vision that makes Dean come alive. For many years Dean has felt a yearning to use story-telling through film as a vehicle for inspiration, empowerment, healing, and growing the new, life-affirming culture. This is what we tapped into.
My intention was to get Dean to feel how important that vision was in his life. It was a struggle.
When you can’t see a pathway to your vision, your tendency is to stop looking, because it hurts too much.
But, Dean and I built a relationship rooted in trust, safety, and acceptance where it was not only ok to feel the pain, but I actually supported him to do so. As we created more space for the pain to be felt, there was more space for other emotions as well – excitement, inspiration, and the desire to make his vision a reality.
But, we didn’t float off into “vision-land” and “get high.” Instead, we used the vision as a container within which to engage the practical realities of his life. His sense of empowerment awakened. He went out and got a job teaching film-making at a school. No, that wasn’t the ultimate goal, but that was the necessary stepping-stone, in that moment. And, now that his ultimate vision was strong, he was able to give himself fully to the practical task at hand.
From here, he continued to look for new work opportunities, and through skillful networking (a crucial business skill), was offered a job as Deputy Editor in Chief for Documentaries at Qatar TV, a news television station, where he is currently earning a healthy income while building the professional skills and relationships that are making his vision for his own film-production company truly realistic. He is currently in the process of putting together a team of staff and investors to support his film-production company called 10 Hope Films.
You can get more info here.
Lev Natan helps entrepreneurs & creative professionals weave their unique spiritual path into meaningful work through Life Purpose / Business Coaching & Sound Healing. He is the founder of The Medicine Tree Center, and is committed to a path of practical spirituality that is rooted in purposeful work, meaningful relationships, and vibrant, joyful health.
Lev’s work is rooted in the principles and practical wisdom of ancient mystical and shamanic traditions. A musician his whole life, Lev awakened to the healing power of sound through spiritual and musical traditions from cultures around the world, including the Chasidic Tradition of Judaism, Indigenous Healing Traditions of Brazil and Peru, Tuvan Throat Singing, and Native American spiritual traditions.
Lev is Certified as an Empowerment Life Coach, and has been serving clients since 2008. He has a background in addiction treatment counseling and rites of passage work. He graduated from Boston University Cum Laude with a degree in Human Ecology, is Certified as Agent of Conscious Evolution through Barbara Marx Hubbard’s training with the Shift Network, apprenticed with Native American Shaman and Elder, Hawksbrother, for six years, has been studying Tai Chi & Qi Gong for 8 years, and is currently enrolled in the Sound and Music Institute’s Practitioner Certification Training.
If you’d like more info or to sign up for Lev’s free offer, just click here.
Coming up with a name for your business can be tricky. If you’re retail it’s easier to go random, there are so many businesses with names that may or may not have any meaning to the customer (even if there’s a story behind it). I can think of the Black Dog Public House, White Dog Cafe, the Pig and Whistle, Elephant and Castle etc. You might just pick something random and be known for that. But, if you’re a service based professional, I don’t think that’s the best way to go.
And there are so many terrible names: General Electric, Universal Solutions, Leaders International etc. All vague and give you both no idea what it is and evoke no curiousity to know more.
I believe your business name should, ideally, be simple, memorable and if it’s not crystal clear what it is, then to at least evoke curiousity.
As far as I can see it, you’ve got seven major options:
Option #1: Business Your Personal Name: There are absolutely worse options than simply going for www.tadhargrave.com. Just have your URL and business name be your name. If you’re genuinely stuck, this is a fine place to start. If you pick a specific business name and then change it – you have to rebrand, re-educate people etc. But you’re unlikely to change your own name. So, even if you eventually name your business something else – people will at least know your name. And there’s a powerful argument to be made in making yourself the brand as Peter Montoya lays out in his brilliant book The Personal Branding Phenomenon.
Option #2: Make Up A Word (or use a foreign word): Sometimes you can’t find a simple way to say what you do without using dozens of words. You might consider picking a simple word from another language, or even your own or . . . make one up! Think of etsy.com. It’s a place you can buy amazing products made from crafters world wide. Etsy isn’t actually a word! But it is now. The Otesha Project takes young people on empowering bike trips around Canada. The word came from a Kenyan word meaning ‘hope’ which got to the heart of what they’re about. Simple words like this make for easy to remember URL’s too.
Option #3: Speak to the Result: This one can be really powerful. When you think about the ultimate result you offer your clients – could you sum that up into a few words? Here are a few I’ve seen that give you an immediate sense of what they offer: www.soldoutseminars.com, www.getknownnow.com, www.buildyourpractice.com, www.DoubleYourDating.com, Fill Your Workshops With Ease! or ‘Get the Girl!’. My dear friend Erica Ross named her business after the result in a more evocative way with www.danceourwayhome.com. I also heard someone use this the other day as a joke but I think it’s a great URL themostrelaxingmassagever.com
Option #4: Speak to their Current Situation: A client of mine who helps injured yogi’s recover decided on the name ‘Broken Yogi’. Another one is http://recoveringyogi.com/. A friend of mine who’s a dating coach launched a product called, ‘She’s Only Six Steps Away’ speaking the feeling many men have when seeing a woman they’re interested in but being too terrified to approach her and thinking to themselves, ‘Come on man! She’s only six steps away!’.
Option #5: Use an OxyMoron: I’ve written a lot about this in another post but the basic idea is to see if you can create your name out of wedding two seemingly conflicting ideas. Marketing + Hippies? Those don’t seem to go together. Buddhist + Bootcamp? The fact that they are contrasting makes the name more interesting and exciting for people.
Option #6: Name the Boat: I speak a lot about your ‘boat‘ when I speak of the journey we take people on from on Island to another. Naming the boat isn’t always the most compelling thing – bu tit’s a legitimate way to go. You could go with www.EdmontonMassage.com which would certainly rank you high in google for local searches. And if you’re offering a specialty product or service that few others are offering, you could go with a name like, www.Ecowalls.ca or www.nonviolentcommunicationedmonton.com. Those names don’t say anything about the problems you solve or the results you offer, they’re not compelling like an oxymoron would be but they’re pretty clear and easy to understand at a basic level.
Option #7: Name it After Your Niche: If you have a product or service with a tonne of applications that you’re wanting to apply to a specific niche why not name your business after that? e.g. singlemommassage.com or massageformusicians.com. Broken Yogi and Recovering Yogi also work here.
If you can think of any other examples or ideas, I’d love to hear them.
by Shilpa Jain of www.yesworld.org
10. Impact Investing: What’s the point of funding good social justice and environmental change projects when your investments are tied up in the very companies and industries that are at the root of the problem? Impact investors are helping companies and foundations bring their investments in line with their values, for BIG impact.
9. Collaborative Consumption: What’s mine is yours and what’s yours is mine…? At least that’s what new businesses like Air BnB, CarShare, SnapGoods, and others are propagating. Rather than buying more or renting from a big company, borrow my [house][car][tools], etc. You get the benefit of a lower rate or unique experience or test-drive, and I get a little cash in my pocket.
8. Time Banking: The age-old question of time vs. money is answered by these folks who are making time THE currency of choice. Everyone’s hour is worth the same, whether it’s an hour spent accounting, babysitting, or gardening. Bank and spend hours, get your needs met, and in the process, get to know your own gifts and talents and those within your community.
7. Worker-Owned Business: Karl Marx’s dream come true – without the loss of spirit and community. Gone are the days when CEOs sit in the corner office and workers toil on the ground. In these new businesses, the workers are the owners and they are making decisions together, to share in the profits and losses, and figure out ways to sustain or grow their businesses.
6. Gift Economy: Beyond barter, this is the Pay It Forward movement. You receive a service or product as a gift from someone (often anonymously) and you contribute what you can to provide for the next person. The Karma Cafés, where your meal is already paid for and your tip provides the meal for the next hungry soul, are leading the way with this model.
5. Freecycling: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure… Another off-shoot of the gift economy, freecycling includes everything from Clothing Exchanges, to Crop Swaps, to Book Trades, to more! It’s Craig’s List to the next level. By clearing out of what we don’t need or use, and getting it into the hands of those who could put it to good use, we decrease clutter, hoarding and consumerism, for great environmental, aesthetic and social justice impact.
4, Community Currency: Big banks always seem to need bailing out, and cash spent at corporations leaves the community almost instantly. What if we had local money that served local businesses, circulated amongst the community, and celebrated the uniqueness of the places we live in? Instead of disappearing into fictional derivatives, folks are generating script that serves to strengthen and uplift their neighborhoods and keeps the wealth flow at home.
3. Gross National Happiness: If GDP goes up with every typhoon, divorce, and war, clearly we need a new measure of success. Inspired by Bhutan, people are leading the charge for a new measure of personal, communal and national success — one that takes into account our health, well-being, safety, and, most of all, our happiness.
2. Small Is Beautiful: Tired of the isolation, anonymity, and lack of accountability, people are supporting the local and small movement: moving their money to small cooperative banks; frequenting local businesses; and buying food at farmers’ markets.
1. Social Entrepreneurs: It’s time for the quadruple bottom line: purpose, people, planet and profit. New business makers are not settling for less than enterprises that rebuild the community, heal social relationships, feed their souls, and support their livelihoods. Great innovation is the result.
If you want to hang out with these top 10 movers and shakers who are growing this new economy, come to the Evolving + Emerging Economies Jam! It will be held outside of San Francisco, CA, from April 3-7, 2013. Hosted by a dynamic group of young changemakers working in this field, they are eager to JAM with you – to connect, deepen their learning, and figure out the coolest new synergies that are going to take this economy to the next level!
Learn more and apply on-line at http://www.yesworld.org/
by Brad Morris of www.CowabungaVisionQuest.com
15 Months Ago I had a Vision while in the Mountains of Peru…
My Vision was to create ‘Something’ that helped people Meditate and Celebrate their lives every single day so that they too could know the joy that comes from accessing a connected state of Presence that I have come to Know over the years through my daily practice. At the time I had no idea what this ‘offering’ would be but I was committed to figuring it out. I remember sitting above the Temple of the Moon in the mountains of Peru praying to be guided to what this offering would be. Days and weeks went on and everyday I would get a tiny little piece of the puzzle in my Meditations and through other magical synchronicities. The first piece was that I KNEW it would be 40 Days long because of the magic & mythology behind 40 days as a powerful number for Self Transformation.
This was the beginning of the Cowabunga Vision Quest and that was in November 2011. Now as I sit here writing many amazing months later, I JUST activated the new website for this amazing 40 day journey, I have shared it with 162 people from 7 countries and the results participants are getting from the Cowabunga Meditations I teach are even surprising me a bit. And just this I week I celebrate the 50 or so potential Joint Venture partners I have extended my invitation to, to participate in expanding the ripple of this program to the rest of the world over the coming months … YAY!
Some of My Greatest Lessons from Creating the Cowabunga Vision Quest program…
My purpose for this article is to share some of the greatest life lessons I have learned this last year and a half of working on this program so that you can take away the tid-bits of wisdom and apply what resonates to creating your greatest vision for your Life! Truly ALL of us are on our on Vision Quests right now of stepping into our pure potential and learning to live our purpose through every breath we take and I hope you take away something potent that activates a grounded new perspective within you from reading this….
Work on One Thing at a Time…
Though I’m not ADHD I used to joke that I was because I would think a zillion thoughts and have a bajillion things on the go at once.
This was my first pattern of self sabotage, which caused me to never get anything done and when I did finish a project it wouldn’t be to my greatest potential because my energy was so scattered throughout the creative process. At the beginning of 2012 I committed to just one project and that was to create the best Meditation Program I possibly could. I ended up cancelling all of my Cowabunga Retreats for the year and putting all of my focus into this ONE thing, the Cowabunga Vision Quest.
It became an inspiring art project of harnessing my greatest life lessons, most transformational Cowabunga techniques and compiling all of it into a real-life tangible experience that would support people to embody this information in a life-changing way. And WOW – I thank God that this was the only thing I created because I put ALL the love, care, attention to detail, money and time into this project that I used to put into 10 projects and I gotta say, I can notice the difference!
Double the Listening to Action Taking
You have two eyes, two ears and one mouth which means you should be listening and observing twice as much as you are taking action.
For a guy like me who is borderline obsessive compulsive with my need to get shit done, this has been a very challenging dosage of medicine to swallow BUT at the same time, I know it’s the Truth. Connecting to your God Self or Whole Self is the ONLY way to rock your life with your highest, clearest potential of Creativity. Trying to create from just your head is painstakingly a waste of time because if you’d just Meditate and learn to embody your full Presence, you would have way more fun, be way more efficient and your brilliance from accessing that state of Being would completely shine through in all that you create! Take time to pray and listen to your Higher Self so you stop wasting your valuable Life-Force and time.
Your Prayers will Move Mountains and Create Miracles
Prayer is talking to God and Meditation is listening to God.
A few years ago I took a year long Prayer course in Affirmative Prayer, which was an incredible gift to my Soul. I now Know how to connect to the particles of Creation and command changes to occur within my life by Being the God Presence I pray to, rather than asking some imaginary figure to save me. Prayer is not about asking the bearded dude in the clouds to give you something that you don’t have … NO … Prayer is activating your Whole Self into the state of Being of already having what it is you are praying for. Instead of praying out of lack, pray from the state of Being that you already ARE everything you want, need and are calling into existence.
For example, to transform the frequency of your prayers into a Powerful command, change your words from “Please give me or Please help me…” to “Thank you, I give Thanks.” That’s a good start!
Only Always Do What you Love
Malcolm Gladwell in his book ‘Tipping Point’ talks about how it takes 10,000 hours to become a Master at something. So lets just say you are working a job you hate 8 hours per day, 40 hours per week it would take you exactly 4.8 years to become a Master at hating your life and then probably another 2.5 years to unwind your mental and emotional patterns caused from doing the thing you know you shouldn’t do everyday, which is to keep doing the stuff that makes you miserable. Okay, now lets go to our happy place!
My mission is to be a MASTER at having the most fun possible doing exactly what I love and to make my money by Being me. That was a goal I set 5 years ago (yup, I wrote it down) and four years ago I started Cowabunga Life, which is a lifestyle company that supports me to teach workshops around the world sharing Life skills (I love it), I get to go on epic spiritual adventures to epic places with the coolest people (which I also love doing) AND I get to be a creative genius writing, creating videos and making wicked programs that change people’s lives like the Cowabunga Vision Quest.
Sure I was totally broke when I started and it took me about 3 years and a couple hundred workshops to gain some stability with my income but to me that was paid education on my journey to Mastery. I couldn’t expect to be paid a masters wage when I was just a beginner. I couldn’t have asked for a more fun experience of having no money than the one I endured over the years because I was living MY DREAM not someone else’s. What I learned from dropping out of college in 2005 to start my own business was way more than I would’ve received from many thousands of dollars in tuition and 4 years of school. Now, years later, I am well on my way to fulfilling my 10,000 hours of experience at being a Master of Loving Life! What do you wanna master (write it down, your 10,000 hours starts NOW)?
When your Vision is Greater than You, Miracles Happen
Pretty much everyone wants to make a difference and when you can open yourself up to a dream that is bigger than you it is astonishing all the people who will show up in your life to support your vision. By taking your first steps and then the next steps after that, you Open yourself to the creative powers and magic of the Universe and miracles really do happen. But here’s the thing, we can’t wait for the miracles to happen and then take action, we must take bold action, which is the thing that creates the miracles.
Your Limiting Beliefs aren’t a Good Excuse Anymore
You are a living, breathing miracle of the Universe. Before you were born you were the eternal breath of life, floating through all of Creation. You are a particle of Star Dust and an extension of Source Energy (AKA: God). Petty excuses of not having enough money or not being strong enough or that some person hurt you earlier in life or whatever it is that someone with a Victim mentality says to the world as a way to get out of living, serving and activating their fullest potential and purpose in the world just isn’t enough.
Let go of the old, ‘poor me’ story and STEP INTO YOUR POWER by being your boldest, most amazing, loving, whole-hearted, beautiful self. If you don’t know what to do, just start with the first step… If life really is the shits,which I know all about, then activate yourself to a higher state. Celebrate the tough challenges like it’s a new adventure where you’ll get to learn all sorts of amazing, wonderful things about yourself, life, the Universe and what magical super powers you posses!
Patience and Persistence = Good times
What’s the rush? Enjoy the ride. You’re here til ya die so why not enjoy the ride!? Seriously, whatever you set out to create it is going to be an equal balance of Inner and Outer Work, especially if you’re committed to it being a masterpiece! So when things aren’t coming together in the outer world, explore the inner world and remove the block or gain the insight. When life ain’t flowing inside, take a time out to honor your process instead of pushing forward like a drunken Rhino. Life is all about the stories and all about the Journey, this I know 10000% in all my cells from personal experience of living my life to the fullest and only always following my Hearts’ greatest calling.
Learn Anything Valuable?
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Begin your own Personal Vision Quest: www.CowabungaVisionQuest.com
I wonder if any of us ever see each other clearly.
About an hour ago, while walking home with groceries and new supplies for magic tricks, I got an email on my iPhone from my dear friend Ocean Robbins telling me that Debbie Ford had passed away of cancer.
I met Debbie ten years ago or so when my friend Justin Hilton was running the Whole Life Expo and Debbie was helping them with their books and finances in a really profound way. I’d been hired to run youth activism workshops – which ended up being a bust of an idea because youth activists don’t go to the Whole Life Expo. But the upside was that it meant my workshops were often canceled or ran really short and I got to hang out with speakers and authors I’d been following for years. Deepak Chopra, Gregg Braden . . . and Debbie Ford.
I went to one of her workshops and sat there, amazed and inspired, as Debbie shared with the audience about her divorce. Most personal growth speakers follow a simple formula, ‘I used to struggle with _______ problem but then I learned this thing I’m about to teach you and life is perfect.’ But here was Debbie not pretending. Being real, transparent and authentic with her audience. Not leaning on them. Not using them. But sharing her humanity.
The day had ended and the workshops were done and all the presenters and organizers were invited to a house party locally. I can’t remember what city we were in as we never really went into town at these events. We’d land at the airport in some major American city, go to a hotel nearby and then show up at the convention center where everything was set up on the same floor plan as the last city. We often never even went into town. It’s hard to get to know anything from so far outside like that.
But, whatever city we were in, we were all hosted at this wonderful house party. I think it was the first kind of VIP party I’d ever been to.
I was excited to introduce Debbie to Gregg Braden that night as I’d just read his book Walking Between the Worlds where he spoke of the darker sides of life and had had a little bit of time to hang out with him during the convention and help him set up for his talks.
I made the appropriate introductions letting Gregg know about her work on the Shadow which I think he’d heard of and Gregg’s brilliance on looking at the sacredness of the darker polarities in life and then left them to speak with each other. I came back a bit later and the three of us nestled up into this little nook we called ‘The Womb Room’ and, being in my early twenties, I sat in amazement of the fact that I was ‘hanging out’ with these two legends in my mind. And experiencing them both as being so real and honest.
I recall at one moment Gregg spoke about how we go through our lives wanting others to see us in certain ways. I nodded as if to say, ‘Sure! Right. Those other people’ trying to posture myself and ‘in with them’ not like those poor people still obsessed with how other saw them. And then Gregg said, ‘Even us here, right now.’ And Debbie nodded. She felt it. She wasn’t trying to pretend it wasn’t true for her. She knew it was. I was the only one pretending. And I felt humbled by their humility.
The next day, I drove to the bank with Justin and Debbie and Debbie turned around to face me from the front seat and said, ‘I’m so stuck around my divorce. I feel so blind. Do you see anything?’
She was really asking me. She really wanted to know.
I felt overwhelmed. I didn’t know what to say. I wanted to offer her something profound but I was so caught up in being impressed with her and not grown up enough in who I was to see much of anything in that moment.
But she’d asked. She valued me.
She wasn’t pretending.
In an industry full of posturing and posing, Debbie Ford was the real deal.
We grabbed some food and went back to the expo hall. Justin and I were standing there mowing down on some food. And Debbie narrowed her eyes at us, ‘You know, you two say you’re so conscious about food and you’re not even sitting to eat or chewing.’
I felt embarrassed. She’d nailed me.
But I didn’t feel like she’d shamed me. She’d shared what she saw (with sass) but no enmity. No rank pulling. Just like a friend.
Debbie was, from what I could see, such a tenacious, loyal and open friend to people.
This world is so unspeakably richer to have had her in it. A portion of the world’s Shadows have been illumined.
I send my prayers to her family and my gratitude for every single person who helped spread her message along the way. Every colleague who gave her a stage. Her parents who raised her so perfectly. Her sister for her support. Her trainers for helping her work grow. Her editors for helping her craft and refine her message. Her publishers for the books. The videographers and editors of her videos. Her web designers. Her partners. Her friends.
Debbie, I would have so loved to see you again.
I would have told you what I saw that day but couldn’t recognize or say.
I saw a friend.
You can share your prayers and memories at: http://www.rememberingdebbieford.com/
Learning the new marketing paradigm of Twitter can present a steep learning curve for many business owners. Author and ethical marketing consultant Lynn Serafinn shares ideas from her book Tweep-e-licious! that can help lighten the journey. You can find the book on Amazon.com in both paperback and Kindle HERE.
There is an old adage that warns us not to judge a book by its cover. Nonetheless, many people take a cursory look at the surface appearance of Twitter and draw a hasty conclusion that it is just a stream of one-liners and headlines with little substance. It is true that if marketers use Twitter only to send out headlines that take their followers to sales pages, they are unlikely to reap much reward for their efforts. But I know there is much more to Twitter. In fact, it is my favourite social media platform. But before we can unlock the magic of Twitter, we need to enter into a new paradigm of marketing strategies. Instead of “advertising”, we need compelling informational content. Instead of talking “at” customers and avoiding “competitors”, we need to learn new rules for communication and business relationships. The Twitterverse is a brave new world where “old school” marketing methodologies are, frankly, dead as a doornail.
The learning curve for any new paradigm can be steep for many. I’ve watched many newbies on Twitter stumble around and hit wall after wall while they find their feet. Helping people through that learning curve is the main reason why I wrote Tweep-e-licious. To give you a feel of this new paradigm, I thought it would be good to take a look at five key mistakes I’ve repeatedly seen people make when attempting to use Twitter for marketing:
- Not taking time to build your Twitter tribe
- Not understanding the mechanics of an online marketing campaign
- Not knowing how to recognise and leverage your “inner circle”
- Not having enough diversity in your Tweets
- Not understanding what motivates your followers
Let’s explore each of these briefly.
MISTAKE 1: Not taking time to build your Twitter tribe
In traditional advertising (like television, for example) communication flows in one direction: from “one” (sponsor) to “the many”. But social media is a completely different communication model. It is between “the many” and “the many”, and the flow of communication goes both back and forth, and even sideways (as when Tweets are shared/ReTweeted). Because of this, there is a dynamic relationship between you and your Twitter audience that cannot possibly develop if you use old school marketing strategies. This dynamic relationship is best expressed through what many call your “Twitter tribe”.
One way to describe a ‘tribe’ is a group of people connected by a common desire to express their shared values. Thus, a “tribe” is different from your “target audience”. If you are using Twitter solely to “sell” to people, you are neither connecting with them nor demonstrating any shared value system with them. For people to feel like they are part of your tribe, they need to know who you are, what you stand for and what you bring the world. For that reason, I spend at least several months (hopefully a year) helping my clients build their Twitter tribe before we ever think about launching a book or project. If you move too quickly into marketing without this kind of care, you are apt to fail and you are likely to quit using Twitter. In Tweep-e-licious, I cover the core strategies for finding, establishing and cultivating your relationship with your tribe.
MISTAKE 2: Not understanding the mechanics of an online marketing campaign
For any marketing strategy to be effective, it needs ample care and planning. But trying to run a major marketing campaign on your own on Twitter is tedious, and successful marketing on Twitter is always a collaborative effort. The most effective use of Twitter for marketing comes when you coordinate a Joint Venture Partner (JVP) Campaign. Your JVPs, who come from your “tribe”, are your marketing partners. They will need care, coordination and support well in advance of and throughout your promotion. Having a good team to support them behind the scenes is also important. When you utilise Twitter for marketing in this way, it can be a tremendous driver in your success. The majority of my clients come to my company because they know our team are good at coordinating all the “moving parts” of Twitter promotions.
MISTAKE 3: Not knowing how to recognise and leverage your “inner circle”
Many people come to Twitter with a polarised vision: they evaluate everyone as either a potential customer (or not) or as a competitor. As a result, they “chase” the potential customers and avoid the perceived competition. What this vision prevents them from seeing is the vast sea of potential marketing partners that are probably within one of these two camps. Your so-called “competitors” are frequently your best collaborators, primarily because you might share a common vision, a common business ethic AND a common audience. Many (if not nearly all) of my best marketing partners are either online marketing consultants, people who work with authors, or authors themselves. These people are my “inner circle”. The two biggest mistakes I could ever make would to a) avoid them or b) try to “sell” to them. These people are like gold dust to me and my business, and they should be to you too. Stop looking at people on Twitter as if they were in only two camps (to be sold to or avoided). Find your inner circle. Build partnerships. Help others to grow and they will help you grow too.
MISTAKE 4: Not having enough diversity in your Tweets
Most people tend to write far too few Tweets for their promotions. Typically, I’ll see half a dozen Tweets with little punch and no diversity. You might be surprised (or shocked) to know that when I run a promotion, I typically compose hundreds of Tweets for my partners to use. I recommend putting this kind of care into composing Tweets for any of your marketing campaigns for these reasons:
- It increases the diversity of keywords, making them appear in more Twitter searches.
- Too much repetition can cause your Tweets to be filtered from Twitter search results.
- The diversity will appeal to different target audiences.
- Having a wide selection of diverse Tweets encourages your marketing partners to Tweet more frequently.
- It keeps your readers from getting bored or irritable due to being bombarded with the same thing over and over.
Making compelling and diverse Tweets is a vital part of your promotions. If you can’t imagine WHAT you could possibly say to fill a hundred or more Tweets, I recommend reading PART 6: Creating Effective Content in my book Tweep-e-licious for ideas and guidelines.
MISTAKE 5: Not understanding what motivates your followers
In Tweep-e-licious Tip 59, I talk about what I call the “Yeah…So What?” Test (YSW Test for short). The YSW Test is when you write a Tweet (or blog post or whatever) and ask yourself, “Yeah…So What?” before you send it to your audience. If nearly all your Tweets are about you and your company, they’ll fail this test. People will say to themselves, “Yeah, So what?” and not bother to click your link.
Supporting this idea is Tip 55: Give People What THEY Want, Not What You Want to Give Them. To write compelling Tweets, you have to understand the motivations of your followers. What are they looking for? Advice? Tips? Answers? To what? When you can answer these questions, you can see what would motivate them to click your link AND stay connected with you. While some people are motivated by regular information, others may seek community. Others may be motivated by “freebies” or bargains. All of these are legitimate doorways to connection, and your Tweets should be diverse enough to appeal to all these different motivators.
For any of these strategies to work at all, your Tweets must fulfil the most important criterion of all—RELEVANCE. If your content is not relevant to your audience, it doesn’t matter what else you do. Perform due diligence in defining what kinds of people would find your work most relevant to THEIR needs, and then deliver diverse, compelling, relevant content that fulfils a variety of motivations. Combine this activity with the conscious cultivation of your partnerships and other online relationships, and with time you will see the richness of the Twitterverse emerge.
The ideas in this article were adapted from the section on “Crowd Funding” in Lynn Serafinn’s new book Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically. Nearly 300 pages long, Tweep-e-licious is a substantive, practical manual of ethical marketing strategies for Twitter, from bare-bones basics to advanced user skills. When you buy the book, you’ll also find a “secret URL” where you can download a free 90-minute Twitter audio class plus a Twitter Resource Pack with links to over 100 useful Twitter resources. Tweep-e-licious! is available on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback.
Tweep-e-licious is also available on ALL other Amazon sites throughout the world.
Banksy is a world famous grafitti artist who has this to say about advertising . . .
A letter from Banksy.
People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small.
They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it.
They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you. You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity.
Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.
You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you.
They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs.
- the qualities you most want your clients to have are the qualities you need to be bringing to the table yourself
- the qualities you most want your clients to have are your responsibility: how can you make it easier and safer for those to show up when they work with you? Can you create programs to help them develop those qualities? Can you partner with someone whose passion it is to help people develop those qualities?
- our deepest fears about niching are often a doorway into the deepest fears of our ideal clients
- the qualities we love the most in our very favourite clients are often the qualities we are already bringing to the table and that our ideal clients love in us