Make your business a work of art
In last week's Temple Letter, I shared that I would be opening up enrolment to the second round of the Wild Mystic Women's Circle today.
I was getting all the pieces ready and in place for the launch, however, something wasn't feeling right.
In the past, I would have pushed through this niggling feeling - focusing instead on wanting to bring in income or convincing myself that it was just self-sabotage. My ego (I call her my SHEgo ;)) would have screamed at me: “See! You’re doing it again! You’re screwing things up again!”
However, my Inner Wild Mystic Woman would not let me do that. She asked me instead to slow down and pay attention to what was going on. She asked me to get honest about what I was really feeling about the launch.
When I tuned in, I discovered some interesting and uncomfortable truths.
Here are a few of them. I felt that the launch was…
1. Being done too soon (especially straight off the back of the new website and podcast launch. I'd barely had time to celebrate and catch my breath, before I was running to the next thing.)
2. Being rushed to get other people’s approval (because I thought other people had expectations that I needed to launch an offering... or that if I didn't launch something, people would lose interest in me. Ouch.)
3. Not giving me enough white space time to evolve the Circle (I really wanted to make some upgrades to improve the Circle experience. I started to realise that this Circle was a key part of my work and I wanted to give it my all. More on this below.)
4. Not allowing me to feel my Core Desired Feelings (especially a sense of Expansive Grace because things were so rushed, and Sacred Connection because I was going for speed over depth.)
5. Not giving me the space to connect to my inner wisdom (again because it was so rushed, it felt like I was operating from a place of simply ticking off tasks, rather than intuitive creation.)
6. Prioritizing my business over the other areas of my life (particularly my mind-body-soul well-being. And not having any quality time with my husband and our children. The launch felt all-consuming and more like a prison than a playground.)
Can you hear the unworthiness and fear here? Can you feel the misalignment? Can you see how I was setting myself up for achievement, but not Sovereign Success?
I share this all with you because I want you to know that sometimes we procrastinate or delay things not because we are afraid, but because there is an internal wisdom that is trying to speak to us.
Sometimes we are so caught in the Doing, that we become disconnected from our Being.
And when that happens, our Being will always try to warn us by giving us niggling feelings, warning signs and sometimes even crises to get us back into alignment.
Now, there is definitely MUCH to be said about taking action before you are ready and diving in before everything is perfect.
In fact when I launched the first round of the Circle back in October, I had never run a women's circle before and I had only decided I wanted to do it 2 weeks before I launched. I put perfectionism and overthinking aside, because I knew I just needed to start somewhere.
I put something together that felt really resonant and exciting to me, and I put an extremely low price tag on it so that I could experiment with allowing the art to become what it wanted to be, instead of trying to make it into a money-maker straight out the bat.
And I'm so glad I did because it turned out to be one of my favourite experiences of 2016.
And because of it, I was able to really support some incredible women, gain confidence in myself as a spiritual mentor, and find out that I freaking LOVE this work.
But now as we go into the second round of the Circle, I'm realising that this offering is not just a women's circle or a group program.
It’s not just a ‘thing’ to ‘launch’.
It is my art.
I had forgotten that. I had forgotten that my whole business is my art.
When I originally started Wild Mystic Woman in 2016, the idea of ‘Business As Art’ was a huge part of my drive.
I was tired of trying to become this idea of what a coach should be like. I was already busting through a lot of the ‘rules’, but in many ways I still felt beholden to them.
What I was really craving was a place for authentic and full self-expression. A place where I could feel like an artist, rather than an expert or problem-solver.
A place where I could experiment and make mistakes and create beauty and build an empowering legacy of work.
A place where it wasn't about creating formulas for success, but instead a place to empower myself and other women to break all of the rules of business and life, and create true art.
I no longer wanted to be seen as smart or wise or successful by other people’s standards. I just wanted to fulfill my own heart with this art, and encourage others to do the same for themselves.
It’s why I chose to build my website myself instead of hiring it out. It’s why I am constantly sharing my truthful writings on Instagram and Facebook. It’s why I will be writing a book. It’s why I started the Wild Mystic Woman Podcast.
ALL of it is my art.
It’s not a marketing system or a branding technique or a way to convince you that you should buy from me.
It’s all just art that lights my heart up.
And the amazing thing about treating your business as art, is that when you do, you release any need to please, manipulate, convince, formulize, compare or plead.
You drop the desperate energy of pushing and hustling, and call in the heart-expanding energy of inviting and evoking.
Your kindred clients and community members want to be around you and buy from you because they love your art and they love seeing just how much fun you are having with it.
They love that what you are creating is a truthful and powerful expression of who you are and what you believe, and that it resonates so deeply with who they are and what they believe.
This isn’t just true for me. I have seen it with my business mentoring clients too.
Maggie, who is a business and marketing strategist, went from having a business that was highly effective but quite generic in it’s branding and offerings… to a business that is overflowing with her geeky, cheeky, colourful personality and imagination.
Now, instead of naming her programs things like ‘Digital Strategy Sessions’, she has offerings called The Content Quest, Slay Your Strategy and Battle Plan.
As you can tell, Maggie is fairly obsessed with video games and Lord Of The Rings!
But it wasn’t until she started pouring that passion into her business, that her business became a true work of art. Not only is it inspiring and exciting to her to create offerings which are totally unique, but it’s inspiring and exciting to the clients who are now flooding in to work with her.
Maggie said to me today, “I am working my butt off, BUT I LOVE this brand and positioning, and I’m being myself.”
She then confessed, “Can I tell you something? I’ve made more money in the first ten days of 2017 than in the first six MONTHS of 2016!”
YES. That’s what happens when your business becomes your art.
When we first worked together, I asked Maggie what she was passionate about, and she told me she loved video games. I suggested that it would be amazing if she could bring that into her work and make all of it a big game. To be honest, I think at first she thought I was crazy. I mean, what does digital strategy have to do with video games, right?
But guess what? Right now, Maggie is working on her Dragon Slayer’s Circle launch, which is a 4-month mastermind all about combining business strategy with video games.
A R T.
And what about my business bestie and past client, Rachel Shillcock?
Rachel is a website developer and brand designer (among many other creative things). She was the genius behind my LaylaSaad.com brand. Rachel has always been incredible at what she does, and yet she felt that she wasn’t expressing her full creativity in her business.
Like Maggie, Rachel is also a #proudgeek, but she felt like she had to hide that part of herself, so that she could be taken more seriously and (much like me) grow a successful business according to other people’s standards.
Our work together helped unleash Rachel’s creativity (and geekiness!) into the world.
And now she is an unstoppable force.
In addition to evolving her brand aesthetic to be even more creative, she has also launched her own Mandala Colouring book, designed her own fonts and is currently working on launching a Creative Market shop which will feature all sorts of design resources including digital mandalas, hand-drawn textures, watercolour textures, photo textures, stock photos and more.
I should also mention that by the end of 2016, Rachel was already fully booked out with client work until the end of March 2017 - designing brands, websites and books that allow her to flex her full creativity.
A R T.
As I reflect on why I wasn’t feeling comfortable with opening enrolment for the next round of the Circle today, I realized that it’s because I haven’t been treating this next round as art.
I was staying where it was comfortable, and doing what I had already done instead of taking the time to develop into something even more impactful.
Some people might say: If it worked the first time and it was a success, why do you need to change it?
But this is what artists do.
We don’t just stay where it is safe and known. Every time we come to create something new, we dare ourselves to step out of our comfort zones and create something that neither we nor the world has ever seen before.
We take risks.
We cut things up and rearrange them.
We get rid of what feels stagnant, and bring in fresh and new elements.
We challenge ourselves to express ourselves in even more true, deep and evocative ways than ever before.
We do this not because what we created before wasn’t working. But because we know - there’s even more where that came from.
I heard a quote by Todd Henry, author of Accidental Creative a few days ago that said: “Building a body of work you can be proud of takes time.”
I couldn’t agree with this more.
You’re not here to just create offerings that look like those of other people.
You’re not here to just throw idea after idea out onto the internet, and hope for the best.
And you’re not here to settle for mediocrity or the comfort zone.
Sister, you are here to be an artist.
Your work is here to evoke hearts.
For your heart and for ours: Make your business a work of art.
P.S. If you’re wondering when the next round of the Circle will open for enrolment, I’m now shooting for the next full moon, which is around February 10th. In this time, I’m going to be diving deep into making beautiful, heart-bursting art out of this offering. I can’t wait to share it with you!
P.P.S. In the meantime, if you'd like to work with me 1:1 to support you on your spiritual-entrepreneurial journey, I am currently taking in clients for The Sovereign Sessions. Click here to find out more and book your free 30-minute Discovery Call.