In my early 20’s, I had the best formal education experience in my life. I attended Lesley University and got a Masters in Counseling Psychology with a Holistic Emphasis. One of my favorite professors was Jim Grant who, in addition to holding a PhD in Counseling Psychology, had practiced many years in the Sufi tradition. Like many Sufi elders, Jim was a master at telling stories.
As we were nearing the end of our training, he shared a powerful story about how helpers often unintentionally scare off clients.
Spiritual Entrepreneurs Often Talk Too Much
One day, a highly esteemed Sufi master and Minister Jane, who had just completed her training, were walking down the street. A man approached the Master and said:
“Master, for many years I have heard of the deep inner peace and joy that Sufi practices can bring. Can you tell me how to achieve such joy and peace?”
The Master turned to Minister Jane, and said: “This is Minster Jane. She’s just completed years of training and is now empowered to teach. Let’s see what she has to say.”
Minister Jane took a deep breath. And then she went into a thorough explanation of the basic tenets and practices of Sufism and how these lead to a state of vibrancy and calm.
During the whole time Minister Jane spoke, the man often said “Ahhh” and nodded his head.
After about 15 minutes, Minister Jane finished. She asked if the man had any questions. He said: “No, you’ve explained it very thoroughly. I am deeply grateful. Thank you!”
The man shook both of their hands, repeated his gratitude and went on his way.
You’ll Never Hear From Them Again
“We’ll never hear from him again,” said the Master.
Minister Jane was concerned. Did she leave something essential out?
The Master said:
“When someone is new, they need us to cut a small slice of the apple and lay it gently on their tongue. You tried to cram the whole apple down his throat.”
A Loving Slice of Your Business Apple
Deep in your heart, you want to help people achieve a similar kind of vibrancy and peace. That’s why you’ve dedicated years to becoming a spiritual entrepreneur.
However, what many spiritual entrepreneurs haven’t done is chunk things down. Like Minister Jane, they try to cram the whole apple down the throat of anyone who approaches.
In business lingo, this process of creating love sized tastes of your work is called content marketing. The primary way I do it my business is through my blog. Video, podcasts and social media are also great ways to share your content. If you want help, my favorite content marketing resource on the web is Copyblogger.
What’s Your Experience?
Even with the wisdom of this story, I’ve still been guilty of many apple cramming episodes! 🙂 It’s been a process of learning for me and an area I have room to grow …
I’d love to hear your experience! Have you ever lost a prospective client through “apple cramming”? What helps you chunk down the BIGNESS of what you offer? How do you weave content marketing into your spiritual business? Please share in a comment below.