This week I’m talking about how to be a conscious entrepreneur, and I chose this topic based on the votes of my Instagram story where the majority of people wanted this to be the topic. If you’re not already following me on Instagram be sure to head over to @wellbeingweekly and give me a follow so that I can connect with you and keep you updated on all the latest info. Also if you’re new to the podcast/blog or returning and you haven’t yet subscribed or left a review it would mean so so much to be if you could hit the subscribe button and leave me a review if you’ve found any of my episodes helpful for you.
So conscious entrepreneurship is only something I’ve come across more recently. I’ve heard a lot about conscious parenting and I thought well why can’t we also be conscious in our businesses? As I learnt more about conscious entrepreneurship, I realised that it’s actually something I’ve been adopting over the last four years of building my own business and Wellbeing Weekly. Just a side note, I talk about my business throughout the podcast and blog in vague terms because my intention with Wellbeing Weekly isn’t to cross promote or build the profile of my main business, but to focus on supporting and connecting with women in business and providing a platform on its own merit. So this might change as things move forward but for right now that’s where I’m at and I hope that you can see that my intentions are in the right place with this choice.
So I’m going to cover 7 ways that you can become a more conscious entrepreneur and I think you’ll find that integrating these into your business and life will support your own development and growth and the same for your business.
Let’s first look at what a conscious entrepreneur actually is. Being conscious in a general sense is having an awareness of your thoughts, emotions, beliefs, actions, inner experiences and values. So by using this sense of consciousness in your business, you essentially run your business in line with these values, intuitive nudges, beliefs and so on. This then also means that every business has its own unique opportunity and place in the world based on the conscious intentions of the business owner and also why its important not to compare yourself to closely to competitors and to focus on what you can create.
Before I go over the 7 ways to become more of a conscious entrepreneur, I want to cover Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This might be something you’ve heard of before and was something I learnt about in the early days of my psychology degree. Essentially, Maslow outlines a hierarchy of 5 needs that humans have the opportunity to move through. Maslow suggests that we’re not able to move up the hierarchy until the current level of needs are met in a general sense, however not every single aspect of a level needs to be met before integrating aspects of the next level – so there can be some crossover. So the first level are all of the basis needs of human survival such as food, water, shelter, sex and money/income. If we are in a position in our lives where these areas are fulfilled, then we are able to focus on the next level which is safety. We have an innate need to be protected and safe and this is why even irrational fears can be such a huge barrier to us moving forward in life and further up the hierarchy. If we generally feel safe in our lives we can move on to the third level which is the need for love and belonging. If our physiological and safety needs are met, we are in a position to open ourselves to loving connections and interactions. The next level is self esteem and centres around the need for belief in ourselves, confidence, willingness to try new things and continue to develop our sense of self and identity. The fifth and final level is self actualisation and refers to the need to continue to better ourselves, to develop a growth mindset and work towards actualising our goals and desires in life, or specifically following our sense of purpose. When we’re looking at conscious entrepreneurship, this top level of self-actualisation is the main drive and working towards an integration of our business with our sense of purpose, vision, values and personal goals.
According to Maslow, if someone was currently in debt and struggling to put food on the table, they’re not really going to be feeling very safe, let alone in a position to focus too much on loving connections, positive self esteem or fulfilling their purpose. I’ll give you an example from my own life, late last year I was struggling with prioritising my wellbeing and showing myself love and acceptance and I was also feeling isolated and like I didn’t have any women to connect with about business highs and lows. So I wasn’t really kicking goals in the love and belonging level, which then impacted my mindset and esteem and didn’t leave me in a head space to be able to pursue goals or my sense of purpose in self-actualisation. As I started integrating mindset shifts and prioritising my wellbeing across many areas of my life (sticking to my exercise, giving space for emotions to rise, connecting with my higher self, meditation, journaling etc), I was able to build on that self love and developed a sense of belonging with myself. Which might sound a bit weird or crazy but it was, and still is, a feeling of being content with myself where I am at and that as long as I love and accept myself and take care of myself then that’s the connection I truly need to then be able to move up the hierarchy. This is what then led me to rebuild my esteem and push through fears to create Wellbeing Weekly and move towards actualising my sense of purpose in supporting & connecting with women in business.
So keeping self actualisation in mind, lets go through the 7 ways that you can be more conscious in your business.
Becoming a Conscious Person – Understanding Yourself
As I mentioned earlier, the very essence of being conscious is to have any understanding and awareness of yourself. Your thoughts, beliefs, actions, intuition, values, goals, desires, purpose as well as your outer experiences. Understanding yourself is the key to being a conscious entrepreneur as it lays the foundation of what it is that you want to build and work in alignment with as a business owner. Being open to developing your awareness of yourself can be confronting, but it is never as difficult as you think and you’ll actually be better off for having gone through it. I feel like I’ve really only been open to being more aware of myself in the past year and I think that coming towards the end of my 20s something clicked in me that made me want to understand myself better and work through the shadows and just become a better version of myself.
There are many ways to start tuning inwards and learning more about yourself, your strengths, weaknesses, emotional pain, motivations, limiting beliefs, boundaries and more. You could start by spending some time meditating each morning and tuning in to whatever arises without judgement. You could also do some journaling and just write whatever comes to mind as a way to encourage new information to rise. I’ve actually developed a free worksheet with some journaling prompts that can help you to get started on your path to being more conscious and you can download it by clicking here.
Developing A Purpose Driven Business (or Purpose Driven Tasks)
Once you have a better understanding of yourself and are feeling a higher sense of awareness and motivation towards self actualisation, you’re able to get more clarity on what you want your business to look like, the values it upholds and the purpose that you have for it. As you become more conscious, you may find that your business goals or audience changes to better align with your sense of purpose. A conscious entrepreneur is one that is working in a purpose driven business. If you’re not quite sure what your sense of purpose is, then I recommend continuing to journal about this and start with what feels most comfortable and right for you currently. As I said, your direction might change as you grow and develop more clarity in what you want to achieve.
With Wellbeing Weekly I’m so clear on my purpose of providing wellbeing and mindset coaching for women in business that I constantly feel conscious of that and embody it in my content, or at least I feel like I am. If you’re not in a position currently to feel fully in your purpose with your business, then I suggest looking at what roles or tasks in the business do give you a sense of purpose and alignment. Perhaps you’re a really creative person, so developing content or social media posts is your sweet spot vs doing the accounting. See if there are ways that you can focus more time and effort on the areas that are purposeful for you, and whether you can delegate, hire or create systems for the tasks that drain you or feel forced.
Prioritising Self Care and Wellbeing
Obviously as a wellbeing and mindset podcast for women in business, I can’t not have this one in here. I truly believe that having the right mindset is your number one tool in business and then lays the foundation to prioritise your health and wellbeing to further fuel and benefit your business. If you’re stressed, overworked, unhappy or feeling victim to the day to day of your business then this isn’t a helpful space for business or personal growth. This was me last year and it was just a crappy headspace to be in and I knew that I was capable of giving so much more to myself, my relationships and my business and just had to get real and start working out what I really needed to be that best version of myself.
Creating a sense of balance with work and play, or doing and being can be really useful. It might feel unproductive or taking time from your business, but the value that you actually get from it is worthwhile. This space allows you to tap into where you’re at, what your inner experience is and actually be more conscious of yourself. I recommend developing a morning routine, and I talked about morning routines in episode 18 so check that out, but having a morning routine will support you to have a clear timeframe each day for you to do things that fill your cup, allow you to tune in to yourself and more likely to move into a space of flow. The more time you spend prioritising yourself, the more you can give back to your business in a conscious way.
Aligning or Filtering all Decisions Through Your Values
This builds on from some of the earlier points and supports the alignment of your business. Once you have a better understanding of yourself and your values for business and life, you then need to be consciously integrating that into your day to day. When making big decisions in your business, such as signing new clients or taking on new work or developing a marketing campaign, or posting on social media – stop to consider whether these decisions are in alignment with your values, purpose, message and goals and whether they are building on all of these to propel your business forward and keep what you’re doing feeling aligned. So with my social media posts or podcast & blog content, I try to think about my audience and what they might be looking for and then try to address that in a way that will resonate with them. This moves me into my next point which is…
Taking Responsibility of your Business
When you’re clear and conscious of what you want out of yourself and your business, and are making decisions in alignment with that, you also need to be willing to take responsibility for those decisions. Being a conscious entrepreneur involves having the insight and willingness to own up to how you and your business are developing and unfolding into the world and being accountable for that. Blaming clients, time, the stock market, the algorithms, the money, the competitors isn’t helpful for your business growth. This has been my work over the past 12 months or so. I have a bit of perfectionism going on so making mistakes has always been a tough one for me and I can be quick to blame others as a way of making myself feel less shame or doubt in my abilities.
But as I’ve been working on this, I’ve actually found that its more empowering for me to stay accountable for my decisions and take responsibility even if it wasn’t entirely my fault, because it gives me the element of control to do something about it and empowers me to learn from it, problem solve it and move forward, which is so much better than feeling overwhelmed, helpless and disempowered. Owning your decisions as a business and working on what you can do to rectify mistakes, learn new skills, or move closer in alignment is in your hands and the more you are open to this mindset, the more conscious you’ll be able to be.
Treats Others with Equal Respect, Kindness and Appreciation
Another part of being a conscious entrepreneur is to also consider your treatment of clients, customers, employees and society and the environment on the whole. Being mindful to treat everyone with equal respect, kindness and appreciation for their contribution to your business or growth. The key word here is equal aswell, so trying not to treat particular people in your business world as more important than others. This can link in to the laws of the universe that I talked about in episode 20 and episode 21, where what you are putting out into the world also effects you and is a mirror of your internal world. So if you’re overly critical or judgemental, then this could be more of a reflection on yourself than others and might worth some introspection – again its about getting conscious of all aspects of yourself.
I also mentioned society and the environment because it can be easy to forget that our businesses are actually part of society and the world and impact them in their own unique way, so its important to consider whether that impact is positive or harmful. Are there ways that you could be more socially conscious in your business, such as incorporating a way to give back or is there ways that you could improve your environmental footprint and make some changes such as switching to a paperless office. Making considerations outside of your own self and goals, supports you to demonstrate conscious entrepreneurship on a wider scale and be recognised for these efforts.
Presence, Mindfulness and Gratitude
These three kind of relate to each other and that’s why I’ve bundled them together. Part of being conscious is also about having the ability to remain mindful and present and to also take stock of where things are currently at and practise gratitude for that. Developing practises to keep you present or grateful each day is really useful for not only reducing stress or anxiety, but also allowing you to reflect on the status of your business and how you might like to move forward. So I’ve said this in other episodes, but one thing I do each evening before I fall asleep is to go through what happened that day that moved me closer to my goals (however small) and list three things I’m grateful for – one that was good or expected, one that was not so good or expected but supported my learning or growth, one that I am manifesting into being for the future. You might like to try something similar or even just journal about where things are at in your business and life and what you can gain from those experiences to move forward in line with your goals and values.
So those are 7 of the ways that you can become more of a conscious entrepreneur and align your business with your values, purpose, message and goals. This does take some time and is a process of refinement and testing so don’t be too hard on yourself if there are aspects of your business that you don’t feel are aligned. These might need to be changed slightly or even discarded if they are not serving you or your business effectively. There will always be mistakes that come with running a business but as a conscious entrepreneur you become more aware of them and their impact on yourself and others and are then able to take that awareness and information and work with it in a way that benefits you.
So make sure to check out the journal question prompts in this free worksheet and let me know how you go. Also feel free to comment to let me know any additional tips that you have or let me know if there were any key takeaways for you.