Last summer, I was talking with a client whose normally successful business was experiencing a slump. Sales were down. Product returns were up.
She knows her work is valuable. She knows her business makes a tremendous contribution to her clients and customers. She knows this slump is temporary.
And yet, she’s frustrated, and scared.
“What’s going on?” she asks.
As I tune into her energy field, I see the inner stories that are swirling around and through her right now.
Stories of Not-Enough. Stories of Do-This! and Don’t-Do-That! Or Else!
Stories that she is alone. That she can rely on no-one but herself. Not Enough collides head-on with Have To and Must and Should.
I’ve been there. Chances are, so have you.
When business is flowing like a sparkling stream of champagne, and the mouths of the Not Enoughs are so full of scrumptiousness – Cake! Chocolate! Chocolate cake! – that they can’t wail out their warnings of doom, we forget that they’re there.
We forget that they believe their stories. Those stories they hunch over like a sack of stones slung across their painfully bent backs.
Stories of lack and not-enoughness hurt your heart. They swirl a smoke-screen of fear around you, so you can’t see the light of your soul.
And the world sees your fear. It sees your heartache and self-doubt. It feels your urgency, and responds by staying away from you, from your business.
You may think you’re hiding these things, but you cannot hide the truth of your being.
It shows up in your life. It shows up in your business.
So, what do you do?
My client – who is brilliant, and creative – was temporarily hijacked by her Not-Enoughs and Have-To’s. They wailed in frustration.
“I’m doing everything right,” they/she said. “I’m taking care of myself. I finally recognize that taking care of my body comes first. When I do that, my business thrives. Except – it’s not working!”
Of course it’s not working.
Her Not-Enough is afraid that her needs won’t be met. And her fear overrides her love, so her relationship with her body changes from one of love, unity and tenderness to something colder, more transactional.
Not: “I take care of you because I love you. Because I want you to flourish and be your best and happiest self.”
But, rather: “I’ll take care of you so that my business will flourish. I’ll take care of you so that this slump will end. Sales will go up again.”
It’s a bit like being in bed with your beloved, who turns to you with love, passion and delight, and breathes into your ear: “I love you. Let’s make love.”
And you say, with a worried frown: “Yeah, okay. Maybe it’ll help relieve my stress.”
It may indeed relieve your stress; but it will almost certainly cause problems in your relationship.
Your relationship with your body and your inner being is the foundation for all your relationships.
When your relationship with your body is transactional – I’ll give you this so you can get me that – then your relationships with your clients and customers will be transactional too.
Not: “I offer this, knowing it will benefit you and bring you into greater wholeness and coherency within yourself. And – because Wholeness benefits everyone – by serving you with integrity and love, I will also serve myself and my business. The same Wholeness that brings you benefit and blessing will also bring me what I need.”
But: “I offer this because I’m scared that my needs won’t be met. I need you to buy this because if you don’t, I’ll be homeless, or at least, I won’t have enough chocolate cake.”
The difference may appear to be subtle.
When you place the source of your sustenance out there, you hand over your power, and responsibility for your survival, to someone else. Then, you have to manipulate and control them to get them to give you the sustenance you need.
It makes for poor relationships. And it’s not good for business.
Traditional marketing advice invariably goes something like this:
1. Address people’s pain. Where are they hurting?
2. Talk about the benefits. How will your products and services help them?
However: if you’re addressing your clients’ and customers’ pain because you’re afraid you won’t survive if they don’t buy from you, then the message that goes out over the subtle energy airwaves is one of lack and manipulation.
It will draw to you clients and customers who believe in Not Enough, and are manipulated by their fears. You’ll perpetuate the pain you’re in, by extending it out into the world of your business.
If you want to change the pattern, create a new story.
1. Begin by acknowledging – with tenderness and compassion – the story you’ve been living.
2. Feel the pain it causes you; forgive yourself; release the story.
3. Attune to the qualities you want to bring into your life and your world.
4. Shape your new story, with these qualities at its heart.
Which stories are you summoning now? Which ones do you want to release? What stands in your way?