241: Strategy and Spirituality
If you’re tired of following rigid and linear frameworks that promise business growth but leave you feeling empty and disconnected, this episode is for you. You’ll learn how to integrate spirituality and strategy in your business, so you can create a company that aligns with your values and fulfills your purpose.
In this episode, you will discover:
- How spirituality can help you navigate uncertainty and complexity in your business
- How to identify and align your business with your core values
- How to use challenges and setbacks as opportunities for growth and transformation
To learn more about the Authentic Marketing Workshop we discuss, click here. The workshop is included at no extra cost for members of Grow Smooth, which you can learn more about and join here.
Steve Haase 0:01
Welcome to the Superabound podcast with master coaches Erin Aquin and Steve Haase where business owners like you learn tools that help you clarify vision, clear up static and overcome challenges. You are listening to episode number 241: Strategy and Spirituality. Hello, everybody. Thanks for joining us. Today we're going to talk about two things that seem kind of like they don't go together. Strategy, business, how do you make money? How do you scale? How do you succeed? And spirituality? Tell me about things that you cannot see. Tell me about what means something to you? What do you see when you close your eyes? How do these two fit together? Very closely and very beautifully. And that's what we want to discuss today. I'm joined by my co host, and lovely partner, Erin Aquin. Welcome, Erin.
Erin Aquin 0:58
Hello. I'm very excited to be talking about this because I was in Greece last week with one of my masterminds full of some peers who I have a lot of love and respect for some of my very close friends. One of my clients is that was also there actually, who is a really dear friend. And we spent the whole time together coaching each other, talking about our lives, and our businesses fit into our lives. And I did something that it's I don't normally do this. For other people, some of my one on one clients have requested it. So I do it sometimes for them. But it was actually giving tarot and Oracle, sort of collaborative coaching, little mini sessions. And that was super fun. But it just for me solidify that there are so many people in this world who have businesses who feel very driven by a certain vision, or a wish to have deep impact in the world. And then often what happens is we get pushed into this little tiny box of like how business works, got air quotes going on. And when I say that, and we sort of lose the plot, or the purpose for why many of us started our businesses, because we get really kind of entrenched in the practical and tactical ways of doing business, which I don't think is bad, I think we absolutely need those things. But there aren't a lot of spaces that I have found outside of the ones that I've kind of been part of creating, where both your spirituality and your strategy are discussed, openly and used for business growth. So really happy to be talking about this with you.
Steve Haase 2:54
And the reason this matters is because so many business frameworks have a very reductionistic, mechanistic worldview, even in the language that they use, and these are some really strong systems. But when you spend your day talking about the rocks that you're going to achieve, or the engine that you're going to build the machine that you're creating, it gets easy to miss the magic, miss the mystery, think that somehow it's all figured out double and that you're just put the right pieces together, then it's all going to pop into you know, the blueprint, the blueprint will be there. It misses the soul, it misses the essence of why you're doing it. We often talk about the problems with following the experts or following the you know, the people who say this is how you do it. And it's because business is a spiritual practice. It's not a paint by numbers. And so when we talk about strategy, and spirituality, what we're talking about is, yes, make sure that the machine works. But don't spend your whole day obsessing about the machine. Use different metaphors so that you can actually tap into the aliveness of your business. And make sure that it actually is achieving the purpose that you want it to achieve. Like something is calling you to create this. And the more you can stay true to that and get your inspiration about what you're going to build and create Next, from that place, the more alive and impactful your business will be.
Erin Aquin 4:42
I think that's really beautifully said. And I know that for a lot of people. It's still kind of confusing because we are so used to following the experts getting sold on like paint by numbers, business systems, and thinking that if those things don't work For some reason for us, for our business, it must be something wrong with us and our business. So, in order to really talk about sound business strategy, and for you to really implement some kind of a strategic plan for how your business is going to grow and thrive, not just this quarter, not just this year, but for the for the whole lifetime of your business, including whatever way in which you think of spirituality within the ways that you practice or what you believe. letting that be part of the picture, not leaving it outside in the cold, is really important, because you, as the business owner, have to be involved in what it is you and your team are creating. And I will tell you, I've worked with enough entrepreneurs, businesses that have small teams to know that when the founder stops being inspired, the business usually fails. It is really, really hard to keep your team motivated, we talked about it last last episode on team morale, you are the heart of your business. So even if you don't have a particularly spiritual business, this is still important, you know, I want to really stress that we are not only talking to people who are coaches or guides or have like an overtly sort of spiritual lens through which they do business. I've worked with scientists and professionals in businesses that you might not like consider, quote, unquote, spiritual. And they are, they're very deeply spiritual people. And they have really interesting ways through which they experience the world. And they are open to magic. And because of that, have created something that's really special, even though it might just look very conventional to the world outside. So I just want to say, I've done this with accountants, you know, you might be a very deeply spiritual person, it doesn't mean that your business has to necessarily even talk about that. And I think
Steve Haase 7:23
this gets to a really big question, when you call something, strategy and spirituality, which is what are we talking about with spirituality. And in this case, that is up to you to define. Many people will say, if you're listening to this podcast, you probably don't fall into this camp. But there's a spectrum, right, a spectrum from like, I am so deeply spiritual, that's kind of the main thing that I see, right? And an enlightened person you might think, well, it's I first I see the spirituality and everything, and then I relate to the physical. And then on the other end of the spectrum is spirituality. What are you talking about? And we all kind of somewhere in between us that spectrum to just acknowledge your own values, things you care about that cannot be seen? I've worked with people who might not see themselves as explicitly spiritual, but then I say, Well, then why do you treat people? So well? What what is it about, you know, the way that you deal with your employees that you give them such respect? And they'll say, Well, I think people respond well, to respect. Okay, good and right, you're still kind of tying it back to the strategy. But they can also respond well to fear, they can respond well to intimidation and get the same results, you know, why would you choose something that is uplifting rather than demeaning? Like, well, that's the way I'd want to be treated. There, that can be your spirituality, right? It doesn't have to be something about entities or channeling or anything like that. It can be and that's super fun, too. But I want to invite you to see yourself in this conversation, wherever you find that source of meaning, that source of transcendent purpose in your life, even if it's showing up and doing a good job, creating a work environment where people can feel safe and inspired. How is that not spiritual, in a world where you could be doing anything. So I just invite you to acknowledge the specialness, the significance of your commitment to what matters in your life. We can call that spirituality as well.
Erin Aquin 9:37
Spirituality is that we're making it vague on purpose, because it really kind of comes from from whatever means that means to you. And now I want to maybe shift into talking a little bit about how spirituality and strategy go together. Because if you are a person who's defined yourself as spiritual, whether it's just in the way you treat people, or whether you have really specific spiritual practices and beliefs that you really love and are meaningful to you and make you feel like you have purpose in the world, then I hope that you found a way, even if it's a small way to let that inform how you show up in your business, I really think for entrepreneurs and business owners specifically and for and for leaders like me, even if you're leading a team in someone else's business, you have to have some kind of a visionary thread within you. There is something that says, I'm going to figure out what I do something that's never been done in this one particular way before. But when we talk about strategy and spirituality, it's actually letting your spiritual focus inform how you do business. So it's not simple. It's not simply holding just I want to treat people in a way I'd like to be treated, or I want to bring more love into the world. That is really beautiful as a philosophy. But a spiritual strategy is how you actually put that aspiration into practice. So for you, that means thinking about, how do I make sure I'm treating people on my team, in a way I would want to be treated
Steve Haase 11:30
totally. And there are so many practical ways that you can implement this from time off policies. making room for intuition in your meetings. One of the coolest practices I've been a part of has been a conscious energy creation, almost ritual at the beginning of a meeting. And the way that I saw this done where, where everyone felt welcome to it was using colors. And so it was, I invite everyone to experience the color yellow, the energy of yellow, let's just take some breaths, and we did some visualization around, you know, the breath, moving through the body, and then the color yellow coming up from deep down in our feet all the way up through the tops of our heads, and what might and what, what energy could that bring to the meeting. And these are ways to get people out of the norm out of the day to day out of their kind of regular way of seeing things and experience different parts of themselves. And so if that's part of your spirituality, let's say part of it is growth. One of my clients invests in coaching as part of their commitment to growth for themselves and for their team. And so that inner value looks like programs that are happening in their workplace they have on sight retreats, that are so engaging, so immersive. And so that's how you know that their desire to help people grow is not just deep in their hearts, that's not going to let be let out. But it's actually informing what their week to week, month to month schedule looks like, as a team.
Erin Aquin 13:23
Yes. And in our own business, you know, I am using tarot cards and oracle cards constantly. When I feel stuck with a problem. I use them for creative exploration as ways to just get nods from the universe to kind of nudge me in the direction that sometimes I'm not so sure about, you know, but that doesn't also mean that I'm pulling out tarot cards with every single one of my clients. It doesn't mean that the you know, we're not saying is that your spirituality has to become a strategy that you impose on other people. It's something that fuels you. And that can be public, that can be personal. But it's a really powerful way to stop compartmentalizing your life. As a business owner and a leader, which I think many of us have trouble with. We talk about I mean, how many people talk about the problem with like, work life balance. I feel like Steve and I, Steve, you and I have kind of solved this. We've solved work life balance the way and I grappled with it for a long time. The way that I've solved it is I stopped thinking about my business as something that was not part of my life. I stopped thinking of them as two separate things where I was work, Erin and home Erin, I swear a lot more at home. Not around my kids, but in general. I just stopped thinking of myself as two different people and like Having to button up for work. And instead, just let my business become an extension of my spiritual self, which is more than this life and this time, according to what I believe. So it's really a beautiful thing when you don't have to make everything so sterile and separate.
Steve Haase 15:27
It's so important. Erin, what you mentioned about not needing to be overt about it. Because it's true when the way we're talking about spirituality is not so much how your business is going to look. Like, you don't suddenly need a picture of all the chakras on your logo, as many people choose to do, but those tend to be the new age shops. So unless you're running one of those, you can, you know, keep the chakras in your meditation space. But when you are tapped in to your own source of connection to the universe, whatever, whatever words you use for that, right, that experience of attunement, that experience of connection, when that's where you're coming from, you're going to have not just more inspiration to motivate your team, but also more resilience when things don't go well, more curiosity around different ways that you can have that become real in the world. And that's one of the biggest challenges of entrepreneurship and leadership is getting through tough spots. And if you don't have a deep rooted connection to your own self, and where you're coming from, then those tough spots are going to feel even tougher, you might end up kind of faking your way through things that are really difficult. And you might think you're doing fine faking your way through but people are going to catch on, right? The fact that it's not real for you, is a parent.
Erin Aquin 17:09
You know, it just came to me it was an experience of this actually, with you, Steve. We had just I was right. It was way back when we had kind of solidified our vision statement. To help people realize the life the universe is dreaming for them. And then something happened I don't totally remember the experiment, but something happened and it like was a total flop. Like we tried to sell something and like nobody bought it, or it was just really just underwhelming. And I remember, I felt frustrated, I remember you were feeling frustrated. And we were having our sort of debrief meeting. And it's just kind of it kind of popped into my mind it was spiritual moment. But what popped into my mind was if we really believe that the universe has a life, it is dreaming for all people. We're here to help more people realize the life the universe is dreaming for them. That means the universe also has a dream for us. And if we believed that were true, even in this moment, where we both felt like, oh, we suck, oh, this sucked. This was terrible. What a waste of time. If we held our biggest spiritual vision as true, what would we make this mean instead? And I remember that actually helped us create a new experiment that was very successful. I remember that experiment, because that one was good. But that is also the way that spirituality can be part of your strategy. Because if you treat the things you believe, as true, then sometimes the things that don't work out the days where you think you suck, they have something to teach you and you can be available for that spiritual lesson. You can be available for the better thing that's underneath the thing that didn't work. So I know for me, spirituality is deeply part of how I strategize for things because I no longer sit around thinking about oh, what happens if I do this and fails? What happens if, you know I don't get the result? I'm gonna be so embarrassed, it's going to just destroy me. I'm like, No, this is a step on the path. I see a little bit more through deep time when I take up spiritual perspective. And it also means that I take my my own spiritual practices even more seriously because I know I can't make myself available by forcing myself to be I have to become available through meditation through A ritual through the practices that speak to me, that may not be right for other people, but really do allow me to be open to seeing what is there, even in the tough moments.
Steve Haase 20:12
And what strikes me as so interesting here is how much time and energy and just heart, we as entrepreneurs put into the strategy side of things, and how much attention we have on the mechanics of our business. And we're like, Well, I'm so busy, otherwise, I'd meditate more. And we just kind of let the spiritual side atrophy, maybe a little, maybe a lot. But we tend to over index towards the practical towards the real world. After all, I'm so responsible, right? It's, it's true, it's on your shoulders, to make payroll to make the sales to keep the customers happy. That's a big commitment that you are in the middle of as a leader. And with everything we've been talking about, for it to be more than just a grind more than just a job more than just money. But for it to actually be a meaningful part of your whole life. You need to take that time to tend to the spiritual as well, whatever that looks like to you. We were listening to a children's story yesterday, and they were talking about forest bathing. I was like, Man, I can't believe five year olds are learning about forest bathing now how fun. That might be part of your spiritual practice, walking slowly through the woods, being aware of all the sights and sounds and smells and experiences. But do you see that as integral to your success as a serious business person? Or do you see that as a nice to have, that you'll schedule when you have a moment, the shift we're inviting you to make in this conversation is that they need to be in harmony, that your spirituality is what empowers whole new worlds of strategy, and that your strategy and business can be a reflection and an amplification of your own deepest spiritual beliefs about yourself and about the world. And when those two are in dialogue in a powerful way, that's when you become a force, you just become a force of nature, because you aren't cutting yourself off from one of your deepest power sources, which is your connection with life, your connection with all that is,
Erin Aquin 22:38
I mean, I love that. And I realized that it can be maybe a little bit overwhelming if you already have a busy schedule and a busy life. And you're running the company, and you're feeling maybe the call to integrate a little bit more of your spirituality into not only your strategy, but just like its food, it's food for your being and you need to be fed or else you will not make it very far. So I recognize that that can be a challenge to just start to pick up a spiritual practice. Which is why we've created a lot of resources over the years for business owners who want to like have that magic, be present not only in their personal life, but in their business too. We have a few on demand classes that you could check out maybe you will be inspired to start using some of those practices within your own life and business. You can head over to besuperabound.com/classes for those and if you need something with a little bit more on it. We are reopening the doors to grow smooth which is our year long course and Superabound Coaching support program. This is going to be so much fun. Our next workshop is coming up in just a few weeks, and we're going to be talking about vision and value led marketing. By the end of that workshop, you will have a marketing strategy infused with your own spiritual values and vision for your business.
Steve Haase 24:25
This workshop is going to be available as part of the gross smooth program. So if you are called to join us for gross smooth, then it will be included for you at no extra charge. But if you just want to get a taste for what these workshops are like and what gross moves could do for your business, it's just $197 to join us for the vision and values led marketing workshop. Head over to besuperabound.com/workshop for more details. Join us there.
Erin Aquin 25:02
And if you're driving, don't try and write that down. Just head over to the show notes at besuperabound.com/podcast We will have everything there waiting for you. These classes will help you actually create a more spiritual strategy for your business so that you can show up and feel inspired as you create more positive impact in the world. We are so excited to share this all with you and we can't wait to see you there. Until next time, take care
Transcribed by https://otter.ai