This time of year, things often get a little noisy with all the prescriptions for what a conscious business owner should be doing to get ready for the new year. In the past week or so, I’ve seen posts on social media telling me I should:
- Go on a business retreat
- Develop a revenue plan
- Create a vision board
- Tap (using EFT) on my fears about growing my business
- Design a marketing calender
- Plan my programs for the next 12-24 months
- and I could go on ….
In the past, I often felt like I was going through the motions when I did practices like these. As a conscious business owner you’re SUPPOSED to do something meaningful as the new year approaches, right? Yet the reality was that the calls to do this practice or that one landed like a noisy flock of cranes in my nervous system and drove my behavior.
A Simple and Effective Conscious Business Practice
Over the past few years, I’ve gotten better (less co-dependent?) about not getting distracted by the “you should dos” and have found a end of year conscious business practice that really works for me. It’s simple, powerful and effective. I’ve shared it with clients and colleagues, and many of them have also been quite impressed with the results.
The practice I do is a variation on the One Word Practice developed by Jon Gordon, Dan Britton and Jimmy Page. It wasn’t created specifically as a conscious business practice. Still, it works better than anything I’ve yet come across.
Here are the 6 simple steps I do:
1) Take a moment to get centered with 3 centering breaths. As you take each breath, let your attention keep coming more and more into this present moment.
2) Let your awareness come to a set of challenges in your business or a way of being you’ve been wanting to learn but it hasn’t been coming easy. Let yourself go past any particular technical challenges or modality questions. As if you were looking out an airplane window as it rises after take off, let yourself see the bigger picture.
3) Play with some words that describe what you noticed in a rich and poignant way. It takes 40 gallons of sap from the maple tree to get 1 gallon of delicious maple syrup we buy in the store. Stay with it and don’t rush to grab the first word that comes to mind – you are going to go deep with this word for a whole year. Choose it mindfully!
4) Run your possibilities by your support system. Let the people who know you and your business know you’ll be doing this practice. Then, share your ideas for words you are considering. Ask for loving and honest feedback about what word might be a meaningful conscious business journey for you over the next year.
5) Choose your word and go on a year long deep dive. Once you pick your word, I encourage you to do things like:
- Post the word in a visible spot in your workspace
- Let the people who support you know about it
- See what books attract your attention on the topic
- Find a blogger or two who writes about it and
- Notice when it shows up in conversation and when it does, listen deeply.
6) At the end of the year, reflect on what you’ve learned and what changes you have made as a result of this inquiry. I encourage you to share what you’ve learned with those around you.
Examples of The Practice in Conscious Business
2015 will be the 6th year I’ve worked with this practice. And each year, I’m surprised by the depth and the scope of the changes it leads to. You’d think I would have learned by now.
Here are some examples of applying this practice in a conscious business context:
Completion. A client’s word for 2014 was COMPLETION. During the year, she finished a book she had been working on for over 10 years. In the past, she kept picking it up and putting it down without ever finishing. She also completed a significant rebranding process and then launched a website based on the new brand. It was one of the most productive years she ever had in her business.
Leverage. My word for 2014 has been LEVERAGE. At the end of 2013, I noticed my schedule was more maxed out than I wanted and my income per hour worked wasn’t optimized. For years, I had heard people talk about “leveraging your time”, but I knew my understanding was very surface. After a year long deep dive, I have many new systems in my business like online scheduling, multiple synched up online calenders, a more effective billing system, a new marketing calender and much more. It’s been a great year in my business and I’m much more mindful of my time and my income earned per hour worked.
Visibility. Several clients over the past 5 years have worked with the word VISIBILITY. All have reported a heightened awareness in the first 6 months of the year regarding issues that were getting in the way of a comfortable relationship with increased visibility. And, in the second half of the year, all of them saw significant increases in their marketing momentum that continued well beyond the year of doing the One Word Practice using the world VISIBILITY.
Some other words clients and colleagues have worked with in this practice:
What’s Your Favorite Conscious Business Practice?
Rumi said: “There are many ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” Just because the One Word Practice works for me and many of my clients doesn’t mean it’s the best fit for your conscious business journey. What practices have you gain traction as a conscious entrepreneur? What questions do you have to see if the One Word Practice might be helpful to you? What is your favorite holiday celebration food?
I’d love to hear your questions and your experiences with conscious business practices in the form of a comment below!
PS: HAPPY HOLIDAYS!