I knew the understanding of energy management and the impact of personal energy on goal setting was widely accepted in the entrepreneurial world, but I didn’t realize it had become the global norm until I attended the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a global leadership conference. Hosted in Washington, DC, I met hundreds of business owners from several countries. As the introductions went; name, where you are from, and type of business, I had the most fun stating “I have a candle factory in the Detroit area where I make intentional candles that help your focus your energy to manifest your goals.” Every entrepreneur replied with a variation of “I believe in that! I have my own spiritual practice.”
I was not expecting to hear from multi-million-dollar business owners, from construction to finance and IT backgrounds, about their energy management techniques and how their attention to health, spirit, and compassion was the key to growing their business. No longer the outlier in my philosophy, I was smack dab in the middle of like-minded people. How did that happen? How did I not notice this change was happening in the mainstream everywhere, taking root and transforming the world? Entrepreneurs have always been the risk-takers, innovators, and change-makers, of course, they would be the group who normalizes the management of energy, spirit, and emotions in the business world.
As a retailer, you are seeing the growing trends of astrology, crystals, personal energy management, energy healing, and all the tools that go along with that. There is a growing trend of magic and witch culture as I see the shelves of indie stores stocking up with unique makers of items that support these trends.
I am also seeing business owners feel the stress of the past two years of market turmoil. You may think your stress is a secret, but your family, friends, staff, and customers feel it. Their responses will probably reflect that stress back to you and now the energy loop is complete. Stress reflects stress, and burnout follows. To break this energy loop of stress and burnout, energy healing for your business is needed and that starts with you. When my business gets rocky and the circumstances around me are pushing me towards burnout, it’s time to look at my roots. Checking my energetic foundation to make sure all is well there before I take on a more high-level approach ensures that I am working from a solid base and that my success will have fewer personal obstacles.
As a leader, when you balance and heal your energy, you are affecting the energy and culture of your business. Owner or a manager, you are the change-maker, for good or bad, and have an influence on the health of your company.
The team will take their energy cues from you, most specifically the negative ones. If you are not paying attention to your energy management, no one else will, or worse yet, the ones that are paying attention will leave your business for a healthier work environment. When you are modeling healthy energy management through personal balance, it is easier to balance the energy in your company. Finding the leaks, blocks, weaknesses, and strengths that are keeping your business from being the ideal vision you have for it becomes a natural part of managing the energy.
First, The Foundation
The four-energy foundations for manifesting your goals are the elements of creation: air, water, fire, and earth. They align with the natural part of your process of going from idea to reality, as they follow:
When they are out of balance, your path to manifesting is disrupted. When you are on the path to burnout your weakest element will break down first and will cause you the greatest frustration.
Air/Ideas – Ideas are critical to getting things rolling. Without the seed of an idea, there is nothing to plant or act on. Ideas live in the ether and have no substance. It takes a special person to pluck an idea from nothing and communicate it in a way that is understandable to others. Communication within a business is as important as breathing. Information comes in and out, exchanged between you and your customers, between you and your team, and between staff members. Stopping the flow of communication quickly suffocates an area of your business.
Yet, we cannot live on air alone. We all have met the idea person. They are quick with inspiration, new ideas, and answers to problems. They seem like a natural leader, speak up quickly, and have a seemingly unending source of answers in their pocket but if you can’t connect (water) with your customer base or people, you can feel like a complete failure.
Water/Emotions – Having feelings about the idea (air) is the next step toward manifesting. Ideas must inspire feelings, or they will poof into nothingness. The seed of your idea needs water’s instinctive reaction of emotion to germinate into something more. It’s this emotional connection that will allow your idea and communication to flow to the wider world. Emotions are the engine of manifesting your goals. They are the critical bridge between the ether and the earth.
Admiration, love, delight, anger, envy, or disappointment, either side of the emotional spectrum can be used as the engine and once you start in either direction it’s near impossible to change. This is also where setting the intent for your goal can take a wrong turn. Rather than the logic of air setting a clear intent, emotions that are unclear or hidden can disrupt the flow of manifesting. The balance of air and water is needed for a clear and powerful intent. Emotions unbalanced run the risk of drowning you and the heat of instinct and future vision of fire.
Fire/Vision – Fire and water are often confused due to powerful emotions like passion and anger. Intuition is part of the foundation of fire as it opens up visions of the future that propels future action. Fire’s transformation is where you can begin to see your idea’s potential of coming into being. Without the vision of what can be and the desire to strive for something greater, your idea cannot come to fruition. It won’t have enough fuel to make it through the hard work of action.
The foundation of the fire element brings potential and possibility and is present when you dream about your future and build your strategy. Yet you can also burn out here too. Burning the torch of the future brightly and not taking the action (earth) needed to see your vision through to the end. Planning without action gets you stuck in potential and that is an idea unfulfilled.
Earth/Action – This is where the hard work lives, the sweat equity. This work needs the fuel of fire to keep moving forward to completion with the engine of the emotions that are driving you forward. The final cornerstone needed to create the foundation for your idea to manifest is earth. This is where many of the doers and scrapers of the world stay, in the place of hard work. If they are not working hard and everyone around them working as hard as they are, then success will never be. This is also the element where most put the definition of success, financially, yet as you see, that is only a quarter of the story. There can be financial success coupled with a hard physical burnout from working too many hours and not asking for help.
The elements in balance create a smooth path to manifesting. The idea is connected to the emotional engine and fueled by the future vision so action can be taken to manifest the idea in full. Any one of those elements out of balance can stall or even stop the process.
Looking at the leading causes of employee burnout, they quickly align with these elemental foundations. The top factors in burnout are:
- Unfair treatment at work – water element unbalanced
- Unmanageable workload – earth element unbalanced
- Lack of role clarity – air element unbalanced
- Lack of communication and support from manager – air element unbalanced
- Unreasonable time pressure – earth element unbalanced
- Workload – earth element unbalanced
- Perceived lack of control – air element unbalanced
- Reward – earth element unbalanced
- Community – water element unbalanced
- Fairness – water element unbalanced
- Values mismatch – fire element unbalanced
Look at where you see your own and your business’s weaknesses or elemental needs. A good old SWOT analysis is a solid place to start. Quarter a page and put in the four quadrants: Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats. As you list them, think about how they align with the elements. You may find that an element rules a quadrant in your SWOT analysis. Any element heavy in one quadrant runs the risk of burning out, even the element you are strongest in. Look for patterns and learn a bit about your elemental makeup and what may be slowing down your manifesting process and contributing to your unbalanced energy and potential burnout.
Energy Balancing = Energy Management
Balancing your own elements can be fast-tracked through energy healing and then anchored by actions you take in your daily life. Not everyone has an energy healer at the ready for this process and you can start this on your own by how you are spending your energy in your daily life. Looking at your SWOT analysis, there will be a few red flags that you will want to start managing. You have time to wrangle all of this and do not need to fix everything at the same time. Just like you don’t clean every room in your house at the same time, you can’t fix every issue at once. It can be overwhelming to take too big of a step in this journey. Focus on the smaller steps that will motivate you or break down the big overwhelming steps into smaller steps that have a common goal. That is a perfect example of energy management.
An article published on Entrepreneur identifies seven ways to get from burnout to balance that speak directly to balancing the foundation of your elements:
- Find your ‘balance’ (all elements) – This is not a teeter-totter of balance, but more of a soundboard. Sometimes you need more bass or sometimes more treble, depending on the song or the goal you are going for. Your balance will change as your life circumstances change.
- True answers (water element) – Check your energetic bandwidth. If there is any hesitation or “maybe” energy, the answer really is no. Only say yes to the “hell, yes” moments of the world.
- Manage your time (earth element) – How are you spending your energy? Are you going to every meeting, fielding every question, dealing with every random thing that pops up? Managing your calendar and time better (remember saying no?), knowing what is really urgent for you, and empowering others to deal with the smaller issues will allow you to focus on the important task at hand. Delegating is part of the secret sauce here.
- Start your day with intention, not emails (air element) – You have a rough idea of what your demands of the day will be before you open your inbox. Set your intention and goals for the day before the urgency and stuff from others totally derails your energy. Doing this gives you the power of choice as the day progresses.
- Draw a line (water element) – Boundaries, although flexible, help you keep your energy intact and available for your use when needed. When you blend or break those boundaries too much, your energy is used up on things you were not intending. Discernment is key here, as sometimes you choose to spend that energy in an unexpected direction and it’s worthy.
- Turn off devices (fire element) – I put this as a fire element as it will steal your energy, intuition, passion, and focus faster than any distraction in history. The calls, texts, and notifications can destroy the intention you set for yourself that day. If you can’t set it down, manage the notifications and make it work for you and not the other way around.
- Self-care to avoid burnout symptoms (water & earth elements) – This is a combination element as it takes both to accomplish self-care, the emotion, and the action. This is not a one-and-done. Self-care is a practice and commitment. Start small, if need be, like once-a-week lunch on your own to collect your thoughts, or a massage once a month, maybe 30-minutes of quiet time before you start your day for gratitude and contemplation.
Go through your own list of needs and think about your own energy management technique you want to use. Two of mine are to say good morning to everyone in the factory and light my personal candles every day. These help me connect (water) with my team and take a moment to think about my future (fire). As you balance your elemental energy, you will start to see the subtle ways you can balance the energy in your business, creating the work environment that not only feeds your soul but the soul of your team and customers as well.
Energy healing is no longer the sole domain of the shaman and spiritual healers. It can be part of your daily life and bring ease and balance to your journey. You will also be amazed at how fast your goal manifest when you pay attention to what element is lacking in the journey and bring that back into balance.