Why the heck am I picking a fight with “Heart-Centered Business”? You may ask.
It’s not a stunt to offend people and get attention.
I am a sucker for words and I believe that words we use in our communication serve way more than getting the point through. Our choice of words can shape our thoughts – it’s a feedback system – as we hear ourselves use certain words, we further interpret what that means and use that as evidence to define our value, our perspective, our beliefs.
I care about the meaning behind words we use. Spoken, written or thought. I get really triggered when people throw around buzzwords, catch phrases and labels without carefully considering their meanings – in general and in that particular context.
Labels, when used indiscriminately and without clear intention, can limit our possibilities and become prison bars that define how we are supposed to behave.
“Heart-Centered Business” is one of those labels that trigger an allergic reaction in me. It has become a cliché marketing word that many people toss around without first clearly defining what it means for them.
I am not going to focus on how it’s being abused in the “marketing” context in this post. Instead, I want to unpack how the adoption of this term by coaches and service providers in certain industries or fields of expertise to describe their business is actually limiting their potential and possibilities, and may actually doing them a disservice.
I want to challenge you to think deeper, be more intentional.
Is It Too Unilaterally “Love and Light”?
The Heart wants to love. The Heart chases the light. It’s a beautiful thing.
It also has the tendency to avoid asking the hard questions – not a judgment of good or bad, it’s its job for being the Heart. The Heart wants to make people happy, so it doesn’t want to offend with hard-to-swallow truth.
Except for a very rare few, most people need to go deeper, darker before they can emerge with their Truth. Been there, done that. No rainbow and unicorn could have pulled that off for me.
“Love and light” is not bad, we need that. However, if we put focus solely on it (or sending that message through labeling the business as such), are we negating a big chunk of our human existence/condition? Is it overlooking a big part of us that if we keep buried or unacknowledged, will crop up unexpectedly and derail us from our purpose (like a sulking kid who misbehaves to seek attention)?
Is it grounded enough to make sh!t happen?
We have all lived our lives, have fallen and gotten back up, been bruised and hurt. Marks have been left, and if a wound or a darkness is not properly addressed, it will fester.
Has “Being of Service” Become a Handy Excuse?
Many people in the “helping industry” already have challenges with “sales” – pricing, asking for the sale, getting paid (on time, the full amount) etc. We don’t want the label of “being of service” to become a handy excuse for not holding healthy boundary, for becoming a martyr/victim, and for not having an empowered voice around money.
“Sacrificing” oneself for others and then becoming resentful when the deed is not acknowledged is a big challenge for the “Nurturers” archetype.
If they hide behind “being of service” so they feel OK about giving away services for free or constantly discounting, instead of facing their money mindset head on, they will get stuck in the hamster wheel of “sacrifice and resentment.” Not to mention the victim mentality stemmed from this cycle is not conducive to taking charge in business and in life.
Not just for the Nurturers, “being of service” can also become a handy excuse to not deal with our Fears of Inadequacy, of Not Being Worthy, of Lack and of Being Vulnerable – which all of us have. You be the judge if these self-talks are good for business:
- Fear of Not Enough – “I am not good enough, I don’t deserve to charge more” or “If I don’t charge a lot, maybe people won’t complain if my stuff is not up to par… because seeing evidence that I am indeed not good enough is very scary.”
- Fear of Not Being Worthy – “I have to put everyone else first, to prove that my existence actually matters” or “I cannot say no, or else I will be worthless to others.”
- Fear of Lack – “If I discount and get people to pay me, I get something which is better than nothing.”
- Fear of Being Vulnerable – “If I don’t charge a lot, I don’t have to live up to a high profile and risk being criticized.”
Is Singular Definition Negating Our Hearts’ Individual Expression?
When we name something, we put a definition on it. Are you working according to YOUR definition of a “Heart-Centered” business, or are you adopting other people’s concept of what it should look like?
One of my coaches is a hand-analysis expert, and once she asked us to consider our very own Heart Line and from there envision what our very own version of “heart-centered” business.
The possibilities are limitless – and different for everyone. There are four types of heart line and most of us have a combo of a few of them. The way they are combined also determines how they are expressed. Your interpretation of “heart-centered business” is likely to be very different from mine (if I use that term at all.)
If we just slap this buzzword on our communication without really thinking – what does it mean? You risk (1) stuffing yourself into other people’s definition/box, (2) denying yourself another layer of clarity because frankly, you are too lazy to figure it out for yourself, or (3) trying to “get by” with not being specific in the hope that people will bite because they think what they think (that I call sleazy.)
If we solely focus on the heart (even just the way we talk about it), What Parts of Us Are We Negating?
Heart – I heart the heart very much. Cœur (heart in French) is the root for Courage – something I aspire to and have a lot of respect for.
Heart – love, desire, life purpose, direction. It is our inner GPS that bridges the lower chakras with the upper chakras.
But… what about the other parts of our body? I want to have all of me in my business, don’t you?
The Root – being grounded and taking action on this 3-D plane to make sh!t happen.
The Sacral (womb) – creativity and life force energy that BIRTH ideas into reality.
The GUTS – the DARE, the intuition grounded within the body, the guiding system (“gut check”) for what is right for YOU.
The Solar plexus – this is the deepest, most expansive place for me that is also the seat of inner knowing and confidence. In Human Design, it’s called the Emotional Solar Plexus – and emotions are the language of the soul, so listen up!
The Throat – manifestation, self-expression, empowered voice. You want sh!t to happen, you want to work (or energetically clear) the throat.
And what about your thigh, your big toe, your shoulder? What messages are stored in there that can create a breakthrough for you? (Oh boy, I got sooo much wrapped up in that right shoulder!)
Please, respect the words you use. Use them with INTENTION. Stop saying apologetically that “it’s just semantics” – the way you say anything reflects your world view, your value, YOU.