Energy Work for Solopreneurs
LEARN TO MASTER YOUR ENERGY TO CREATE A BUSINESS THAT ALIGNS WITH YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF
Solopreneur life can be isolating and confronting—which creates the perfect storm for self-sabotage. Especially in the early stages, solopreneurship fast-tracks the surfacing of our limiting beliefs, and if you’re not aware, self-defeating behaviors take the driver’s seat. Maybe you have a good day where you get some marketing ideas circulating, and brainstorm your next project, but somehow in the next moment, you’re on the couch numbing yourself with Netflix because procrastinating feels more tolerable than dealing with the overwhelm.
Starting a business on your own can feel like one of the hardest things you’ll ever do.
But the feeling doesn’t have to bring you to the point of paralysis.
Often the solutions that circulate the business coaching community at this stage are to work on your mindset and develop strategies to get to where you want to go. However, the self-introspection is somewhat surface level and the majority of the focus quickly shifts to achieving external results.
It goes like this: Create the vision. Set the goals. Learn a few strategies to achieve them. Then look at what beliefs you hold that are preventing you from taking action. Maybe try a different strategy. Adjust as necessary.
However, if your business is in the spiritual or personal development realm, there’s a layer of complexity to these steps because your business is inextricably tied to your personal growth. It becomes just as much, if not more, about your personal expansion than your bank account’s. The solopreneur (or soulpreneur, if you will) pursuit is fundamentally connected to who you are, and every step you take becomes deeply personal.
And when stuff gets deep, our subconscious defense mechanisms flare up like nobody’s business. Our egos do not like the changes that are afoot when we confront our fear of failure, our fear of what others think of us, and ironically, our fear of success. It’s at this stage, when all our inner turmoil bubbles up as we consider what the true, most authentically aligned path forward for ourselves is, that we enter what I call the Phoenix phase of the journey.
Because ego-death is imminent and it can feel like we’re about to burn up into a pile of ash. But if we charge ahead, and try to skip the phase of embracing and working with fear, inevitably what we’ve ignored will come knocking on our door…and we’ll miss the whole “being reborn and rising from the ash” thing.
For example, I’ve seen this pattern in the coaching community:
A coach is told to find a market niche. So they find a market niche, and learn to create killer content to attract their target client. They do well for a while, and tout 10k or 25k months or however much they’ve sold.
* CRASH * BANG * BOOM *
It’s like a fight scene from the original batman series. Only instead of men in tights throwing awkward fake punches, it’s a bunch of the coach’s internalized cognitive dissonance wreaking havoc in their subconscious and getting into fisticuffs with itself.
All the feelings they ignored when they created their offering, when perhaps they knew it didn’t feel authentic, or it didn’t align with their values, smack them in the face. So they burn out. And take breaks or pivot or quit because whatever they created started to feel yucky
Enter more numbing with Netflix and days spent on the couch. Now you may be asking yourself, “Mmk, Julia, how do you know this pattern so well?” Ok fine, yes, I speak from experience. A similar but different experience.
When I was at wit’s end with creating my intuitive healing and coaching business, and flailing around trying to figure out my next steps, I hired a business coach. And even though this coach was well-versed in how fear shows up in entrepreneurs, the focus was largely external. Which makes sense. It was business coaching, after all. We would do some introspection but the emphasis was on strategy and getting clients.
In hindsight, what I really needed at the time was space to simply work with this intense fear-based energy that was arising within me as I started to expand my business. Because even after years of personal development work, the fear that came up when I thought of taking the leap into full-on entrepreneur life was too overwhelming. I would shut down at the idea of marketing myself and I couldn’t implement any of the strategies my coach was offering.
And then it dawned on me, as my work with the coach was winding down...Why the @#&% wasn’t I taking my own advice that I give my clients?!
I was literally helping women through fear-based overwhelm throughout the entire year in my energy work sessions, but because I had made this big investment into business coaching that I wanted to stay accountable to, I wasn’t taking as much time and space to address my energetic state. If I could go back, I would have given myself permission to work on embracing my fear for a couple of months. I would have taken ample time to apply my energy practices to get into a more regulated state and to get my energy flowing.
I eventually did. I finally found a permanent place to live (I had been bouncing around vacation rentals after moving to a new city) and I put the biz stuff on hold.
I found an amazing acupuncturist, I did yoga daily, I dove deep into my meditation practice, I hung out alone in the forest, and salsa danced whenever I could. I nurtured the shit out of my personal energy by doing things I love to do, and by taking things slow and focusing inward. I started to feel my energy come alive again, and I felt myself evolving beyond the fear I had associated with solopreneur life.
I found a fervour for my life and my business that I hadn’t felt before. And after the flame had been burning for about a month, I created my first group program. The concept and sales seemed to just happen. Not without effort, of course, but the process didn’t feel as terrifying as it would have before. It felt surprisingly easeful, actually. I approached it from a place of feeling grounded and solid in myself—because I was.
So what are the energy work practices that helped me get to a place of groundedness and ease?
Well, first let’s start with an Energy Work 101.
I take a fairly liberal stance and I consider Energy Work to be an umbrella term. You may have heard of Reiki, or other energy healing modalities, or breathwork. Other practices that I would put under the umbrella include acupuncture, yoga, tai chi, chi gong, some forms of meditation, and even intuitive or psychic work. These practices focus on creating an optimal flow of energy within our energetic fields, either through physically working with the body, as is the case with acupuncture, movement practices, and breathwork, or through the power of conscious intention, as is the case with some intuitive healing practices. The idea with the latter is that we can influence the flow of our vital energy via our intentions, or I what I would term “a combination of a very potent thought and feeling”.
One definition of intuition is “to read energy data in the present moment” (that insight comes from Caroline Myss, a famous Medical Intuitive, if you’re curious). If you’ve ever been to a psychic, what I believe they’re doing is tapping into your energetic field via conscious awareness and reading the “energy data.” This is what I do in my own work and I believe that anyone is capable of doing this. In fact, I think we are constantly reading energy data subconsciously and we’re just not aware of it.
When we set an intention to receive information that will help increase optimal energy flow, we can tap into life experiences that have created energy “gaps” or “blocks” in the energy field. These gaps can influence our physical, mental, and emotional health. However, when we bring conscious awareness to our experiences that have not been processed emotionally (and ultimately, energetically), we are then priming the energy to shift. What’s needed next is to apply compassionate awareness and other energy work practices. In my practice, I work with breath and movement, and train clients in how to work with the energy of compassion to embrace and shift stagnant energies within their systems.
Information that comes up in my sessions also pertains to what a person needs to do in order to get their energy flowing again. Like, for fun.
I realized after several sessions with clients that this was my forte, so to speak. I can see what a client’s artistic and creative aptitudes are, and what they need to do to feel authentically expressed.
You see, hobbies aren’t just hobbies, they’re life-force-amplifiers. Self-expression is soul food. When we express ourselves, we get an energetic enhancement that takes us to the next best thing in life. Our personal passions are like little battery packs, and when we plug in, they give us fuel for life and keep our energy healthy. Engaging with our passions brings out parts of our energy that are ready to be uncovered and amplified.
So anyway, I took a couple months to “tap into” my energy daily, ask what it needed to get flowing, and then I went out and did those things.
This naturally helped my fear subside, and eventually ideas started flowing for programs I wanted to create, funnily enough, by not focusing on my business at all.
If you’re an aspiring or early-stage solopreneur, I highly recommend taking time for yourself first, right at the stage of when you’re brainstorming what you want your business to look like and starting to feel overwhelmed. Because another Energy Work 101 tidbit is that “where attention goes, energy flows,” and if we charge ahead with focusing a ton on our businesses, while shrugging off the fear and self-worth issues that arise, we’re sending a lot of fear-based energy outward into our creations within our business.
If I were to create a list for the steps to take at this stage of solopreneurship, this would be it:
Acknowledge that a transition phase is needed. If you put a lot of financial pressure on your business, fear is going to ramp up in your energy field—which is super no bueno. Either keep your 9-5 for a little longer (while shifting most of your focus on yourself, you probably won’t get in line for a promotion but at least you’ll have an income), or get a part-time job that you might not be thrilled about but will pay bills, or budget for a few months if you have savings. Our financial stability is extremely important for our energetic health.
Learn to cultivate compassionate energy from within. This is the most important step. Practice “Metta” meditations or loving-kindness meditations. These are Buddhist meditations that teach us to send ourselves and others feelings of kindness and open-heartedness. Without our ability to be kind to ourselves, we cannot see our shadows, or the energies that feel uncomfortable. Our subconscious minds have powerful defense mechanisms that will prevent us from becoming aware if we’re wrestling with ourselves. Compassion opens our awareness.
Begin working with your energy daily. Put the biz tasks down. Practice meditations, particularly body scan meditations and learn to sense your personal energy. Where do you feel tension or feelings of unease? Ask these areas of your body what’s needed to help it feel lighter. Do you need to move? Dance? Get into the forest? Breath? Send it love? All of the above?
Acknowledge what you love to do. This can be hard at first, especially when we realize how long we’ve been ignoring our passions. If feelings of guilt or anger arise, work on accepting those emotions with kindness (bring on the Metta meditations!). Then go out and do the things you love. This helps us dance with our fear, by the way. Because at the core, it’s fear that prevented us from doing what we love in the first place. On days when you feel drained, and can’t muster the energy to do what you’re passionate about, again, send yourself kindness and love, even if it’s from the couch watching Netflix.
With enough focused attention on these steps, even after a few weeks, your energy will start to flow again. You’ll feel more creative and joyful, and it will naturally start to bleed into your business. Your business won’t feel like a chore anymore, and if it starts to again, then you know what you need to do to shift out of it.
My journey with solopreneurship taught me invaluable lessons, with the main one being to always focus inward first when life doesn’t feel like it's flowing, and to give my inner world a ton of compassionate attention.
When we put down expectations, and the