What I’ve Learned About Being Highly Sensitive in Business
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About three years ago, I was a couple of years into my coaching business. I had what you might call success (but who really knows, right?).
It looked like:
Fully booked coaching clients, with a waitlist.
Launching my first eCourse with 30 sign ups.
Travelling to New York City with my coaching friends.
Living each day on my schedule (quiet mornings, coffee coworking sessions, work on my terms)
I literally had done exactly what I set out to do 2 years previously when I had left my career in television to start my own business.
And I didn’t have a funnel, or a marketing strategy or any of that stuff (I still don’t know how I did it).
But I was starting to feel that familiar exhaustion.
My clients were great but I wasn’t sure how I could increase my income without completely running out of energy.
I literally slammed the breaks on my business to go and help my partner start his business.
At the time, I didn’t realise it, but I was running away. I was hiding. I was afraid that I wasn’t going to be able to keep this up and so I took a huge step back.
I’ve been on a huge personal and business journey since then, so here are a few things I’ve learnt about being a highly sensitive person in business.
1. Hindsight is everything
Don’t get me wrong. I have learnt SO much in the past couple of years about running a business that I never would have if I hadn’t taken this detour.
Building a 7 figure bricks and mortar business, managing staff, managing 200+ members across three locations.
It has been the most challenging and eye opening adventure we have ever been on.
I also realised that my energy and burnout were going to keep following me, no matter what I did or who I hid behind. This led me to an 18-month journey becoming an Energy and Soul Medicine practitioner to truly understand energy.
This changed everything for me.
The last year or so has supercharged my soul work.
I could not have anticipated the business experience AND the energy knowledge I gained stepping away from my business so that I could be fully equipped to return and really expand into this work.
Sometimes decisions or situations don’t make sense, but there is always something to learn and grow from. We get to choose if we put our energy into the ‘mistakes’ we made or the challenges we faced. Or we can put it into what we learnt and how we grew.
We can get caught up in our heads, but sometimes things don’t make sense until later on.
What if we could learn to take confusion and frustration and the vast array of emotions moving through us in any given moment and TRUST that it will make sense eventually even if that feels impossible to do.
Related Post: What the F*** Am I Doing With My Life
2. Your Energy Is Your Biggest Asset
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always inadvertently worried about getting too tired, too drained, too exhausted in certain situations. There’s always felt like a lack of energy (and, as a result, a lack of everything else too – time, money, you name it)
The more time I’ve put into my energy, the more I’ve come to realise just how powerful it can be to creating a business that’s fully aligned with me.
In the past few months, I’ve been using this to even greater effect, creating a sacred container for my business to exist within so that it doesn’t drain or exhaust me.
I immediately saw the changes of this in my own energy. I stopped overthinking everything and just started doing things that felt right. And in the response I started to receive from blog posts, newsletters, or social media posts I was writing, through to people immediately signing up to work with me.
I’ve been teaching this to my clients as well and they’ve been getting similar results.
(Pssst… I created an activation and PDF so you can start playing with your soul work energy straight away, get it for free by clicking on the image below):
3. Success Is Yours To Decide
I have always felt that we’ve been sold a version of success that we believe we should want.
But it’s just not remotely true.
We get so caught up watching what everyone else is doing and saying and striving for that our nervous system can go into complete shut down with what we ‘should’ want or ‘should’ be doing.
Then we start to play by other people’s rules, we buy all the things we think we need to learn in order to become truly successful.
But we know what that is.
We know what we need to do and we know what we want. But for some reason, we constantly tune out the voice that knows the answers in favour of all the external noise going on.
YOU get to decide what success looks like to you and YOU get to make choices that feel right instead of blindly following someone else.
Knowing what we’re playing for is so important to staying on mission. Our sensitive energy can be swayed and infiltrated by others if we’re not mindfully looking after it and we can sometimes find ourselves distracted by a life that isn’t what we really want.
Always having something bigger to come back to, to hold us in the moments when we’re not sure what to do next or what we really want can be such a relief (check out the soul work activation because it will really help you tap into this!!)
4. It’s A Lot – But It’s Not Everything
When you’re highly sensitive, every day can feel like a rollercoaster of emotions. And the deeper you go, I’m sorry to say, the more intense it can get.
I’ve gone through some deep, dark inner work over the past 6 months or so, but nothing that I wasn’t fully ready to dive into.
The most important thing that I’ve learnt is the duality between everything.
Can I hold the intensity of the emotions moving through me (especially if it’s sadness, confusion, rage, frustration) AND be entirely grateful, expanded to new possibilities, open to knowing that it will pass?
The answer is yes.
Emotions are energy in motion. And for our whole lives just about we’ve been taught that it’s not okay for us to be emotional beings. But we are.
We can be so deep in it, we can be in pain. It can feel like a lot. But it’s not everything. It’s not all that we are. And it’s definitely not our entire experience in that very moment.
Allowing ourselves to feel the feels AND surrender to them, knowing that they aren’t permanent and we are more than the emotions is a game changer.
You can be highly sensitive and introverted or shy or scared about putting yourself out there in your business AND share your work.
It’s okay to be unsure what to do next AND get make money today.
You can be so deep in your personal shit AND turn up on a call and hold the most beautiful space for your client.
It just takes practise.
5. Creating a Business Aligned With Your Sensitive Superpowers IS Possible
The thing I’ve noticed the most about myself and building my business AND that of my clients and fellow sensitive souls is that we can take so long to get started. We can get so caught up with what we’re NOT, overthinking every idea and plan, what all our friends and peers are doing, that we forget to factor ourselves into the equation.
What do you need in your life (and, therefore, your business)? What’s the energy of your business? What are your superpowers, your skills and expertise? And what are you SO passionate about that you never get tired of talking about it?
How can you bring it all together to create the foundation of your business and your message? How can you make your own rules and do it your way? What do you need to keep moving forward, building momentum in a way that suits you?
These are things that are so important to be aware of and to infuse into your business. There’s no point in creating a business that suits someone else’s energy or strengths.
What matters is that your business is perfect for YOU.
But I see highly sensitive souls falling into this trap all the time (I did too, no judgement!)
Pay attention to what you love, what drains and exhausts you, the business ideas and models that light you up (and those that don’t). If you’re looking externally at anyone else’s stuff (it’s best not to, but also totally human), be discerning, ask these questions and remember that you’re always seeing the highlights.
I have so much more that I’ve learnt in the past few years about being a quiet, sensitive person in business. But hopefully this gives you a good starting point, even just to know that you’re not alone!
I’m bringing together a super transformative group program over the next few weeks that’s centred completely around being a highly sensitive person to get some real depth into your sensitivity and get some momentum in your business and your ideas.
The biggest thing I see is super sensitive, creative souls getting so caught up in their heads, so afraid of being seen and heard (OR ignored altogether), and doing course after course without ever getting anything OUT into the world.
If you’d like some more information, please email info(at)katherinemackenziesmith(dot)com and let’s chat!