Business Strategy Community Customers Heart-Centered Business

What it means to run a Heart-Centered Business…and how you can leverage it to create long-term success.

what-it-means-to-run-a-heart-centered-business-strategy-sarahlouisebidmead-customers-community

A human being can only survive a few minutes without a heartbeat. How long do you think a business can survive without one?

Let’s be honest, you can run a completely soulless, heartless business and do exceptionally well. Does it feel good? Does it make an impact on the world in a positive way? Does it last? Probably not.

You, gorgeous Heart-Centered Boss you – you do not run a business like that.

You run a Heart-Centered Business. 

You want to make an impact. You want your business to mean something. You want to create change and help others. You want your customers to feel happy to buy from you and stay connected to you and your vision.

You have amazing Heart-Centered intentions!

I hear you.

But are those intentions reflected in your business?

Which is the basis for this article:

What it means to run a Heart-Centered Business – and how you can leverage it to create long-term success.

Over the last 13 years of working in marketing, communications and sales for B2B and B2C businesses, online and offline companies, startups and large corporates – at all stages of growth and development – one truth stands above all others for me;

If a business has no heart, a business has no future.

Some business run on a little heart, missing out on massive opportunities but getting by.

Some businesses miss out all together and wonder where it all went wrong.

Some leverage their Heart-Centered intentions and completely own their market being so closely aligned to their purpose, their values and their customers that you can’t help but take notice at how full and rich and alive their business is – and that is the kind of success we’re aiming for.

Coming up in this article you’re going to be guided through the following six points:

  • What is means to run a Heart-Centered Business
  • When you work from your heart and guess what happens?
  • Connect your Heart-Center you must connect to your customer center
  • Can you run a Heart-Centered Business  and still make a profit?
  • Putting the heart into your business = putting the hard work back into your business
  • Your heart will not be everyone’s heart and why that’s OK.

So let’s get started!

heart-centered-business-strategy-sarah-louise-bidmead-marketing-communityWhat does a “Heart-Centered Business” actually mean?

Definitions of Heart-Centered Business are vast and varied because our hearts are all different. We feel things different, we process things differently, we have different intentions and dreams and hopes for our business. And that’s just fine!

So when it comes to explaining what a Heart-Centered Business actually means, I’ve found a few that really resonate with me, and I’m sure they’ll resonate with you:

In the 50’s Thomas Watson, Sr said: “To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart.”

Gala Darling says: I’d define a heart-centered business as one with a central mission of doing good.”

Hannah Coker from Whole Hearted Business Consulting says: “The way I define a heart-centered business is it is a business that has a heart-centered mission in addition to the objective of being financially sustainable or profitable.”

My personal definition of a Heart-Centered Business, is this:

“A Heart-Centered Business is one in which each essential business element is deeply rooted in truth and positive intention”.

“Truth” meaning authenticity, ethical standards, honesty and integrity.

“Positive Intention” meaning you want your business, in some way, to create, fuel and promote positivity and goodness in the world.

Sounds pretty awesome right? And it is!

The beauty of Heart-Centered Business is that you can be a photographer, a wellness coach, a website designer, own a yoga studio or have started an ecommerce store. You might run a lifestyle blog or a charity or a large multi-national or a little shop around the corner – any business can become Heart-Centered, as long as each essential business element is truthful, intentional and positive you’re on the right track.

To live into what your Heart-Centered Business looks and feels like, here’s a few examples:

  • It feels positive, joyful and light (not only to you but for your customers)
  • It’s creating positive change for your customers
  • It’s contributing goodness and greatness to the world
  • It’s helping your customers with a specific problem and providing a valuable solution for them
  • It’s community is thriving and excited to learn more and engage more
  • Revenue can easily be created into the business
  • Customers take centre stage (because they really are the lifeblood of the business) (link to customer experience article) and your strategies are based around what’s going to add layers to your customer’s experience.
  • Each essential element of the business is using Heart-Centered strategies that feel good for you and your customers 

Some people may think that “Heart-Centered Business” is a ‘wishy washy’ term.

To these people I’d like to say this: It’s not at all!

Heart-Centered Business is an ideology to live into when planning and strategizing your business goals. It’s a way to centre all your intentions into kick ass plans that allow you to build the business and lifestyle of your dreams whilst helping others and creating positive change in the world.

It does not mean being led purely from your feelings, working for free, being emotional and vulnerable at all times, being weak, being soppy or romantic.

If you believe as I do, that we need more successful Heart-Centered Businesses in the world and a Heart-Centered Business Owner you would rather work with and connect with other likeminded Heart-Centered Business Owners and Customers in your community, don’t be afraid to tell people that you run a Heart-Centered Business and what that means to you.

what-it-means-to-run-a-heart-centered-business-sarah-louise-bidmead-strategist-community-customersWhen you work from your Heart, guess what happens?

When you approach each element in your business from your heart-center, your intentions are good, your energy is positive, you’re living your truth, you’re closer to your joy – and guess what….

  • Your content becomes easier to create because you’re dialled in to what matters to your customers.
  • Your messages are crafted with intent because you super clear on what your business stands for, and what you have to contribute to your community.
  • The actions you’re asking your customers to take are direct, make sense and are in context because you know they need what you are offering.
  • Your attraction strategies are effective because it’s extremely targeted.
  • Your conversion rates improve because you are super connected to your customers.
  • Your retention rates increase because your community is waiting for you to release more…more content, more product, more of everything!
  • You can maintain and grow your revenue base!
  • You stand out as an expert in your field and extend your influence in your niche.

Guess what else happens when you start showing your heart? Your customers notice. Maybe not in an obvious way…it would be rather strange for a customer to see all the little background actions you do each day and think “Wow, she’s really running her business from a heartfelt and soulful place”.

However, your customers are saying exactly that with every buying decision they make, each subscription decision they make, each comment on your blog, and each email they open, because on a subconscious level they are loving your vibe.

And this is why knowing your ideal audience is OH-SO-IMPORTANT. Then every action the business takes can be aligned to your ideal audience, and your mission is centered around providing them with the best possible experience.

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Connect to your Heart-Center and you will connect to your Customer-Center

Meg Hollar, Owner of Bumblewood says: “For me heart-centered means people-centered!  it’s about making my customers feel that they not only can trust me and my product, but that we have a personal relationship and they feel loved and heard in my service to them”.

You know that saying ‘like attracts like’. Well we see it each day in every new facebook like, subscriber and paying customer who joins our Heart-Centered Business community.

Each step of their customer experience needs to be crafted for the best possible results – for them. In turn these become your best possible results because your success lies in them joining you, connecting with you, buying from you and continuing to buy with you.

When you connect to your heart-center and your customer base, you’re on point with your content, you’re creating things your customers actually need, want and appreciate – you’re showing your customers love and they show it back to you!

Ashley Mackey Cox from SproutHR says:

“I believe that running a heart-centered business means to care deeply about the people I’m serving and it shows through the quality of the content I create and the services I provide. I believe it’s how I show up daily, by being genuine, giving, and gracious, wherever I’m doing business, whether in real life or online.”

So by creating a customer focused business and really thinking about what is best for your customer at each stage of their journey with you, your Heart-Centered Business becomes aligned completely to the very people who are helping to grow your business.

what-it-means-to-run-a-heart-centered-business-sarah-louise-bidmead-strategist-community-customers

Can you still make money if you run a Heart-Centered Business?

Nelson Mandela said: “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”

Ain’t that the truth!

Let’s be real, we’re in business to make a living and continue to grow our revenue. That’s the goal right!?

A successful business is usually a profitable one – and ‘profit’ is not a dirty word. Profit means we can invest even more into our business, it means we can live into the lifestyle we desire, maybe even invest and create other businesses – profit gives you choices.

Basically, a business is designed to not only give to its customers, but give back to its creators, and running a profitable business does not mean you need to be aggressive, pushy, demanding, salesy or ‘must’ use negative marketing tactics.

I’ll let you in on a secret…

There are other (more lovely, honest and beautiful ways) to create a profitable business.

Susan Steinbrecher, Leadership Author, Speaker and CEO says: “By acknowledging and honoring the human element, heart-centered leaders possess the wisdom and capacity to positively transform any organization and run extremely successful and profitable businesses.”

So you can be heart-centered and strategic at the same time. In fact, the two are a match made in heaven.

And the great news is, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a marketing coach, a social media strategist, a spiritual advisor, a florist, a cafe owner – when you add the heart into your message and your business – you’re humanising it. You’re making it a safe and feel-good place for your customers.

When your customers feel good and they are connected to you emotionally they buy from you. Customers = Growth and Growth = Profit.

See how everything comes back to customers? Hhmmmm. When you create customer-focused solutions, designed to do good, then you guarantee a Heart-Centered Business. Each moment leads to growth and expansion.

Hailey Dale from Trunked Creative says it brilliantly: “The meaning of a heart-centered does not involve working for free, donating all of your profits or using only woo-woo methods to make strategic business decisions.”

what-it-means-to-run-a-heart-centered-business-sarah-louise-bidmead-strategist-community-customersPutting the Heart into your business = putting the hard work back into your business.

Betty Bender says: “When people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home.”

When you’re operating from your Heart-Centered intentions you become a super productive business maverick. Why so?

Well, I’m glad you asked – simply, when ‘stuff’ feels right in your heart, it feels right in your head, and you can get from Place A. to Place B a lot faster.

When your are attracting, converting and retaining more customers and your business is growing as a result, because the work you’re churning out is completely in line with your Heart-Centered intentions, the reward system in your brain kicks in and you’re even more inclined to keep up the hard work because you’re getting the return you need and you’re feeling good about it.

When you’re in growth and your business is expanding, you’re attracting excellent customers who you love to work with, collaboration and press opportunities are a constant flow – because results are hard to ignore – and it fuels you even more!

When you feel ‘in the zone’, you feel you’re on the right path, your results are demonstrable, you feel your work is meaningful, valid and valuable… you just can’t get enough of it…your heart is telling you; “yes, keep going, this is awesome, this feels good – do more of this” and that is a strong soul call.

Alternatively, if you’re feeling a little off, lazy, unproductive and unmotivated – there is probably a good reason why. Your instincts are telling you; “this doesn’t feel good, I’m not enjoying this, i’m not doing my best work, so why do it?”

If this is you right now, listen to your intuition – it’s telling you that you need to refocus and re-strategize to become completely realigned to your Heart-Centered intentions.

To put the hard work in you have to do the work. There’s no magic pill for success, it comes with getting stuck in and getting it done! The hard work leads to amazing results that are oh so beautiful.

If you don’t know where to start, refresh yourself on your ideal audience, what they need right now, how you can provide it to them, and what’s going to be the best, fastest way to achieve that. You can also turn your attention to The 7 Heart-Centered Business Essentials and up your game even more.

Violeta from The Copy Concierge says:  “Yes, running a business is also for making a living, but without heart, it’s just another job. My business helps others build a business that lets them live the life they want. I work with other heart-centered business owners because they also focus on bringing joy and happiness to others with what they do. And, the more happy and freed people there are out there, the more positive our future can become.”

what-it-means-to-run-a-heart-centered-business-sarah-louise-bidmead-strategist-community-customersYour Heart is NOT going to be everyone’s heart – and that’s ok.

Putting your heart out there can be scary. You can start to think “What if no one gets me?”

Heart-Centered powerhouse Leonie Dawson says it perfectly: “You are not going to be universally liked. Some people are going to think you are a ridiculous asshat. Some people are going to think you’re the greatest thing ever invented.”

So when you operate your business from your heart and your truth – your good and sweet intentions you will attract the right customers – the customers that ‘get’ you – that can see your goodness and feel automatic alignment and kinship to you.

They are the beautiful, wonderful customers that make all the hard work so rewarding!

It’s ok that you’re not going to attract everyone. And although not everyone will buy from you –  you don’t need everyone to buy from you. You only need your ‘like’ to buy.

Take this article for example…

Is everyone going to read it? No.

Will every business owner in the world commit to running a Heart-Centered Business? No.

However – YOU – special one that is reading the article thinking “Yes I need this”….

You are the difference. You are my like.

We have attracted each other and I bet we could learn a lot from each other because chances are if we feel the same way about the heart needing to be front and center in business, we probably feel the same way about a lot of other things (for example, are you a tea lover who gets creativity rushes late at night and can quote whole episodes of Friends? I thought so.)

Let go of any fears around “they won’t like me, they won’t get me, they won’t buy from me” and know your truth and your purpose so well that it becomes your shiny shield, deflecting any negativity away from you and protecting your own heart in the process.

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A Final Note

One of my favourite definitions of what a Heart-Centered Business means to business owner comes from Linda Ruel Flynn, Owner, www.flora-ly.com. Linda says:

“For me a Heart-Centered Business means always leading with my heart open. I really am deeply honored when someone chooses my artisan flower preservation service. They are asking me to join in their celebration. I approach each keepsake with love and kindness because I am creating something that will mean so much to them for years to come. I truly believe what hangs in their home needs to be imbued with love, peace and joy.”

God love business owners like Linda!

By knowing without a doubt that your business has as much heart as possible (because you have lovingly poured your soul into it) helps you feel more connected to not only your business and customers, but to your life purpose, your intentions and those big goals you have!

This is your business. You’ve created it, you’ve built it – be proud of it!

 

 

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Ashley Cox
    November 17, 2016 at 7:41 PM

    Thank you so much for including me in your beautifully written post, Sarah!! I meant to comment on it when you first published it, but I failed to do so. I’m so sorry. A friend of mine came across it today (and she LOVED it btw) and mentioned that she saw my quote. You truly did an outstanding job of defining what a heart-centered business means…and that it’s different for each of us!! <3 I'm sharing on my FB feed tomorrow!!

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