Entrepreneurs should be disruptive. Disruption is all about risk-taking & trusting your intuition.” (Richard Branson)

It is safe to say that more and more often that the concept of holistic living is becoming more and more mainstream. News reports now regularly share stories about yoga room installed for travelers at the San Francisco airport, therapeutic touch being used in hospital settings, lawyers who are shifting to collaborative methods of dispute resolution, and the concept of taking vitamins no longer elicits disparaging comments that the individual in question is a health nut. That being said, holistically-oriented businesses that are catering to this increasing consumer demographic are proliferating at a fast clip. While the majority of us are familiar with the more obvious aspects of cultivating a business presence that caters to body, mind and/or spirit, the less tangible aspects of operating a business holistically are just as critical to creating success in the marketplace that feels authentic and aligned to who you really are. There are three key issues that you must actively address to get to this point:

[Know yourself]
You are well on your way or you have decided that your work has to be some expression of who you are in the world. A cursory glance at Richard Branson’s quote (or a review of any aspect of his success as the head of some 400+ companies) clearly demonstrates that there is nothing about him that suggests that following the crowd is on his list of things to do. He is a visionary and you in your capacity as a holistic entrepreneur are one as well. It is fine and well to be clear about what you are not (a holistic venture by definition tweaks the status quo in some shape or form which has many categorizing many of them as “alternative” or in the words of Branson, “disruptive”), but successfully launching and sustaining your holistic entrepreneurial ventures will require an equally clear understanding in your mind about who you are. What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? How can either be leveraged or minimized to grow your holistic ventures so you can fully be of service in a way that honors who your path?

[Know your client]
Just as your unique life path has provided its own host of lessons, being familiar with the ins and outs of the individuals you wish to serve has its own value in your efforts to operate holistically. What unique challenges are your clients facing? How do they tend to look at the world- what are their values, their concerns or dreams? These type of questions must go beyond the usual ones that would show up in a marketing plan for a specific age or cultural demographic. By looking a bit deeper than what the information that these traditional analytics would offer you create a distinctive opportunity to connect with prospective clients/customers on a deeper level. You can only speak someone else’s language when you make it a priority to become familiar with it. Anyone who has spent any time in a foreign culture knows the sincere appreciation a native resident has when someone makes a sincere effort to connect with them.

[Know your brand]
Celebrity chef Mario Batali said it best when he stated that one’s brand was “your own truth expressed consistently.” In other words, knowing yourself relates to how you shape your holistic venture in your mind, your brand (or your truth) is relates to how this knowledge translates in the market place. Say you have clearly identified yourself as an animal lover and you are making decisions about your efforts to select product inventory for your day spa, your brand may involve taking a stand against using products in your business that have been tested on animals. Congruence is the desirable result of your mind, body and spirit operating in harmony with one another. This state of being and operation can only reflect positively (and successfully) in the marketplace. Your customers know where you stand and what to expect- it just doesn’t get any better than that.

Your decision to operate a holistic business was undoubtedly one that came about after much contemplation and soul searching. And wherever your business interests lead you to pitch your proverbial tent, the cognitive processes that would guide mainstream business practice must be adjusted to accommodate the unique challenges that holistic entrepreneurship present. The successful operation of a business that values the mind, body and spirit in the marketplace must be preceded by valuing the same in the mind, body and spirit of the entrepreneur.

Author's Bio: 

Idara E. Bassey is a lawyer and intuitive business coach whose practice OneLightMessenger, specializes in assisting women holistic business owners achieve authentic success during the critical first five years of operation.