Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bringing Spiritual Concepts Into Entrepreneurial Careers

On the September 18th edition of The Frazzled Entrepreneur Program: The Author as Entrepreneur, I was interviewed by the show’s host, H. Les Brown—an entrepreneur, a Franklin Covey certified life coach, and author of the new book The Frazzled Entrepreneur's Guide to Having It All.

On the show, Les and I talked about how spirituality and business go hand in hand. He asked a question I have never been asked. What led you to get into theology and how have you incorporated that education with your career?

Turning a theology degree into a livelihood is a real challenge, but it can be done. Here’s how it happened for me.

It was during the time when my eyes were opened to see things going on with organized religion that I was not pleased with—mainly politics and religious abuse of power. People trust the clergy and the church and many times that trust is used against innocent members. It becomes a game of power and control. I had been a victim. I was hurt and had many misgivings about anyone who claimed to be a Christian, and I was ready to completely give up on everything ... on God or whatever had anything to do with church or religion.

I began exploring new paths and different types of belief systems and came to find the American Institute of Holistic Theology (AIHT). It looked really interesting and I knew I could learn something there to help me discover a new path that would perhaps better serve me. I signed up for the Bachelor of Science program and completed the courses for the degree within a few years.

Besides my spiritual redirection, a lot of things in my life changed at that time. I assessed several areas where I felt like what I was doing was not what I wanted to keep doing. During my study, I began to feel a sense of change on the horizon as far as my employment. I think it's part of what some call a mid-life crisis. I call it a mid-life opportunity because it's a time where people take a reflective glance backwards and say, “Okay, here's what I've done” and they look at the future and think, “How many years do I have left to do what I really want to do?” It can be depressing if you look at your life and you're not happy with where you are and you don't have a plan to do something different. So, I sat down and started thinking about where I wanted to be in five years and what I wanted to accomplish in this life. I started planning for positive change.

Setting goals brought forth the desire to leave my corporate job and move into a new career as a self-employed business owner. I was already using my writing skills as an administrative assistant. I was doing a lot of the correspondence and writing hundreds of emails to clients on a daily basis and I thought, “Why not do this as a freelancer and write for other clients?”

It has worked out well. It's been a learning process, for sure, and I can't say there haven't been any disappointing or discouraging moments. But, overall it's moved forward very fluidly, very cohesively, and in an enjoyable way that has caused me to depend more on my inner voice and inner spirit—that guidance we all have and so many times ignore. For me, it became a new goal and a new challenge to follow my guidance in dealing with family, relationships, belief systems, and my career.

My study with AIHT had a strong influence on me. I naturally began bringing the influence of metaphysical principles, holistic theology, and my new spiritual path into my business and into the books I write. And this has attracted a new clientele. I'd say 90 percent of the books I've ghosted, edited, formatted, or indexed have a spiritual theme or a healing component to them.

It is possible to use your intuition to blend business and spirituality. Following inner guidance is as natural as breathing, and I’m doing it without any religion telling me how, when, or where! And, I’m not the only one. Les mentioned that he and I are kindred spirits. We do have a lot of things in common. His Frazzled Entrepreneur program has gone through several series. The series of shows he did before The Author as Entrepreneur was about spirituality in the streets and how people bring their own spirituality into the workplace and into their entrepreneurial careers. His new show is about providing support and guidance for men and women in or approaching the midlife transition. He has a community called Midlife Mastery you can join at http://www.midlifemaster.org/.

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