People often think of spirituality and entrepreneurship as polar opposites. Spirituality typically has to do with religious, or intangible experiences fostered in churches, temples, mosques, or other sacred sites. On the other hand, entrepreneurship seems exclusively linked to objective realities, such as labour, profits, and supply and demand. While spirituality’s goals have to do with happiness and fulfillment in another life, the goals of entrepreneurship are fixed on the here and now: you have to move products, you have to make money, and you have to stay competitive.
But is there common ground between these two opposite ideas? Is it really so strange to nurture a spiritual side in the interest of leading a business? It is my view that the answer to those two questions is yes—and marrying your spirituality to your entrepreneurship may be the best thing you can do for yourself, as well as others in your organization.
What Kind of Spiritual Awakening Do You Need?
For an entrepreneur, perhaps the best kind of spiritual awakening is the kind that sparks a higher awareness of yourself, your purpose, your talents, the community that matters to you, and any higher power or ideal that you believe in.
All of these have to do with what you hold ‘sacred’. Of course, these vary from person to person; the belief may be in a deity, a corporeal reality like the environment, a tradition, or a pursuit like artistry. Contrary to what traditional business acumen leads you to think, all of these things can, and actually should,find their way into your entrepreneurial life. They’re a powerful force that you can wield to change your personal destiny, as well as that of others.
Some people become more attuned to their spiritual side as a result of a “rude” awakening. Two common examples of this are: 1. a past trauma that led a person to work for better circumstances, either for themselves or for others who are similarly vulnerable, and 2.the euphoria of a pilgrimage or other life-changing experience that led a person outside of their comfort zone. Such awakenings are comparable to a blazing fire that ignites everything around it.
You, too, may one day experience such a “rude” awakening in your life. But there’s also the possibility that you’ll encounter something less drastic—a gentle shift in your perspective that leads to a permanent opening-up of your mind and your heart. In this sense, nurturing your spiritual side is less like letting a huge fire engulf everything around it, but rather like adding kindling to a small, steady flame.
5 Ways to Nurture Your Spiritual Side
Start with enriching your own personal spirituality before bringing it to your business. Here are 5 tips to enable you to do so.
Keep each day from looking the same.
You wake up, you go to work, and then you go to sleep—lather, rinse, repeat. When your workdays become this mechanical, it’s easy to lose touch with your spiritual side. To keep this from happening, try to do the following: pause, process each day, think about what made this day different from the one before, and think about what’s animating you to see each day into the next. Don’t forget to be grateful and to count your blessings.
Find your way back to the things that give you pleasure and purpose.
Often, entrepreneurial life gets so busy that you’re forced to give up a sport, a hobby, or a pastime that you love. If that’s been the case, look for a way to reintroduce those things into your life, even for a brief moment in the day or in the week. These will help you rest and decompress, and they’ll also foster a very human joy within you that you can pass on to others.
Connect with others.
If you need a little more external help in accessing your spiritual side, get some from your friends, your family members, or your spiritual mentors. They might be able to give you the perspective you need on maintaining healthy spirituality.
Get out of your comfort zone.
Though staying there isn’t wrong per se, your comfort zone may be preventing you from sharing your soul to others. Strive to do things that are outside of your daily habit, such as hiking outdoors or meeting new people. Such acts may inspire creativity, some deeper insight on your life, and foster a connection between yourself and the world around you.
Emotional baggage may be keeping you from giving things your best, in the leadership of your business and other aspects of your life. See which of it you can let go of: release grudges and resolve to either mend or permanently sever relationship ties, whichever one will inspire healing.
4 Ways to Connect Your Spiritual Side with Your Entrepreneurial Ambitions
Once you’ve built up your spiritual side and derived personal strength from it, it will be time to share all of that in the work that you do. Here are just 4 out of the many ways you can channel your spirituality into your entrepreneurial work.
Align your business practices with your higher ideals.
There are several ways that you can do this, from the relatively small (such as going zero-waste to respect Mother Nature) to the impactful (dedicating part of your income stream to a charity as part of your personal ministry). Start with what’s feasible in your immediate situation.
Foster a space of openness and compassion with your coworkers.
How would you like to articulate your spiritual side to others? Would you like your coworkers to think of you as a pinnacle of faith in your own way? In this sense, following the Golden Rule is still a good way of channeling your spirituality: demonstrate the openness, compassion, and dedication to an ideal that you want to see mirrored by others around you.
Make room in your company for everyone else’s spirituality, as well as your own.
Afford everyone a time for rest, safe spaces for people of different denominations to pray, and company-wide opportunities to attend talks, seminars, or other activities on spiritual wellness. It may mean changing the company culture, but it’s a good investment to make for the group’s diverse spirituality as well as your own spiritual health.
Expand your company’s vision to include more than profits and client expansion. Link it to a higher purpose, such as environmental or social impact. Though you can’t expect to change the business overnight, you’ll be taking valuable steps to orient it towards a lasting good.
In truth, spirituality and entrepreneurship aren’t as incompatible as they’d initially seem. In many ways, they can even inform each other. Spirituality can add another dimension to entrepreneurial work that isn’t just concerned with profit; in turn, the concrete work that’s done by an entrepreneur is the perfect way to manifest spiritual ideals.
Are you excited to bring your spiritual side to your day-to-day entrepreneurial work? In what ways do you think it will change the world around you?