You may know that I started learning the tarot a few months ago. Since then, I have acquired a few decks and I’ve spent some time getting to know more about each of the individual cards.
I am fascinated by many, and there is one card in particular that got me thinking about today’s topic: the Devil.
I was learning about this card, and how it lets you know that you are caught in an unhealthy, unproductive situation. Look for yourself.
It made me think about all the times I’ve felt trapped in my business, all the times I have helped my own clients break free from their own traps in their businesses, and how frequent it is that we end up building prisons for ourselves or getting chained to our own version of the devil (like accepting unwanted situations, being caught up in appearances/comparisonitis, operating within a narrow range, doubting, fears, etc)
This card made me think about this concept of “selling your soul to the devil” in the business context.
Looking back at the wonderful women whom I’ve worked with so far, I see a pattern: none of them wants to build a business the conventional (aka mainstream) way. Whatever form that individually showed up for them, there was a deep sense of no-no, I’m not doing it THAT way (pointing at big corporations, marketing gurus, etc). In my own words, they feel something is out of integrity and they can’t do it.
Marketing, reaching out to get more clients, selling, and all those things that are inevitable to grow one’s business and yet are close to being dirty words for many – all of which seems to belong to the “I’m not doing THAT” bucket. Many conscious and forward-thinking women entrepreneurs I know feel as if marketing and sales are dirty, pushy and/or manipulative tactics. The consequence is that they tend to avoid them and as a consequence, they really struggle doing any of those activities because they feel as if they were selling their soul to the devil. The result is poor results, like inconsistent stream of clients, inconsistent stream of income, a feeling of “business is so hard” or “I hate doing this”, or even “I can’t be myself in my business – business is such a serious thing”, resentment for not being able to do more of the work you are meant to do in the world, bitterness for not earning enough, etc. This may sound familiar to you and if so, you are so not alone.
There are reasons why we associate marketing and sales to manipulative, pushy, inauthentic practices. It’s a well-deserved reputation, imho. By pushing back, you are probably trying to protect yourself and those you care about (like your potential clients) from having to experience what you are rejecting, more or less consciously.
However, you are harming yourself by buying into this belief that there is only the proper way to do business/marketing/sales (and that is a manipulative or pushy way, or that it has to look like something serious or proper).
Something that stood up for me in the Devil’s card is the scene depicted at the bottom: “At the foot of the Devil stand a man and a woman, both naked and chained to the podium on which the Devil sits. They appear to be held here, against their will, but on closer observation, the chains around their necks are loose and could be easily removed. This symbolizes that bondage to the Devil is ultimately a voluntary matter which consciousness can release.” (Biddy Tarot)
This is the message I wanted to share with you today. You don’t have to sell your soul to the devil and keep perpetuating practices that feel out of integrity to you, be it marketing or anything else. Know that the chains are loose enough to break free anytime you choose to, it’s a matter of mindset. And like for everything to change, you first need to be aware of it.
HOW TO CHANGE YOUR MINDSET
I recently came across the Work of Byron Katie. It’s very simple to use yet very powerful to become aware of and change beliefs/mindsets, when you are by yourself. I’m going to outline the process for you if you want to work on your beliefs concerning marketing (or sales, or anything else that is getting in your way at the moment). The starting point is a specific belief/thought (like “I believe marketing is manipulative” or “growing my business is hard” – I’ll use the latter to illustrate the Work below)
The Work starts with 4 questions and ends with a turnaround:
- Is this true (yes or no)
- Can you absolutely know it’s true? (yes or no)
Erm, not really, but it certainly feels hard.
- How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
I procrastinate, it takes me forever to do things I know I need to do like writing my blog post, or creating this workshop because it’s going to be so hard to get people to sign up for it, I don’t go to networking events because what’s the point anyway, etc. As a result, I don’t have many clients, I keep thinking about how much I hate doing this and I feel resentful because I feel like I could do so much wore and help so many more people, what a waste. I feel sorry for myself, and
4. Who would you be without the thought? (The key to question 4 is really trying to imagine what things would be like without that mindset or belief.)
Mh. I would probably be more spontaneous, have more fun, try more things, be less serious about all of it, take myself less seriously also (organizing a workshop and having just one person or even 2 the first time around is not going to kill me after all)
Then turn around this thought or mindset:
- Describe possible turnarounds to the opposite
Growing my business is fun. Or: Growing my biz is not hard, I make it hard
Note, all these turnarounds are possibilities. They are not affirmations. They are alternate realities.
- Ask if the turnarounds are as true or truer than the original mindset or belief.
Yes, growing my biz can be fun. This sounds true.
7. Write some examples of how this turnaround is true.
I remember this time when I asked for help to promote a workshop and it helped me reach out to more people and have 3 sign ups just by asking that colleague to talk about my workshop in her newsletter! That was easy and fun!
- Finally, write down any actions that would be consistent with this turnaround.
I have a workshop I really want people to know about. I will finalize the few bits and pieces that are missing. Then I can ask people I trust if they can think of any way I can promote this workshop, I can also ask them if they would be willing to refer people to my workshop. I only need 10 participants; it should be possible with their help or advice!
This is one method you can use to shift your mindset and see for yourself that you don’t have to sell your soul to the devil to grow your business.
In the comments below, tell me, when are times when you think you are selling your soul to the devil in your business?