I remember when I was pursuing my master’s degree while working at my full-time career. My studies often came up in casual conversation and I was frequently asked what I was majoring in. When I shared that I was studying Holistic Health Education, I heard a variety of responses ranging from, “You’re doing what?” to “Wow! That’s awesome.” When I told my family what I wanted to do, they smiled and exclaimed, “What are you going to do with a degree in that?”
There was an expectation from many in my circle that I would continue to build on my business management degree with an MBA. Majoring in a holistic studies field was a foreign concept to most people I spoke with.
As I started sharing more about holistic health with clients, friends, and family, I learned that a lot of people have their own ideas about the meaning of the term ‘holistic.’ Words like alternative, “Woo Woo”, natural, unscientific, untested, and new age are some common interpretations.
I was surprised to find the number of people who didn’t have much exposure to holistic concepts and practices – even here in California.
Much of the thinking around the term holistic seemingly came from a limited number of sources, some with a bias that doesn’t always give holistic practices and practitioners the credit they deserve. This mindset can also cause potential clients to hesitate when thinking about adding holistic practices to their daily routine or frequenting a holistic business.
What exactly is this idea of holistic? How do you describe being a holistic business owner or practitioner to potential clients?
I decided to go to the source - my trusty Google Dictionary, which defines the term holistic as “Characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.” In other words, everything is connected.
A holistic approach embraces the idea of wholeness. It goes beyond the physical body, understanding that emotional, mental, social, and spiritual aspects play a role in just about everything from health and wellness to sales, marketing, and even business operations.
Every aspect of who we are has potential to impact – for better or worse – many different aspects of our personal and professional lives. A holistic perspective opens possibilities beyond those supplied by a strictly one-dimensional business focus. When we approach our lives and businesses in a way that creates harmony with the whole of ourselves and the world around us, we increase health, reduce stress, and live with a renewed vitality.
So, what did I ‘do’ with that holistic health education degree anyway?
As I put my degree to work over the ensuing years – a holistic perspective has brought me a great deal of success - in corporate environments, leadership roles, and in my own life practices and business, I found an incredible opportunity to break down barriers through a holistic approach to entrepreneurship.
My holistic background allows me to contribute in new ways that brings a diverse set of ideas to the corporate teams I work with. It has also changed the way I think and act when collaborating within group projects and has made me a stronger and better leader.
In my business, I get to work hand in hand with holistic business owners, holistic practitioners, solopreneurs, and those wanting to bring a holistic approach to their business ventures. I strive to contribute to the growth of a holistic paradigm that helps others realize success in their dream businesses.
There can be pitfalls along the way for any business owner – mindset traps, old money stories, and being torn between a hesitation and a desire to play on a bigger stage. For those in holistic fields, some of these challenges can be amplified. Bringing a holistic approach to your personal and business practices can help you get unstuck and put you in position to scale your business to new levels.
If you are a holistic business owner or are seeking to start your holistic business, I would love to hear from you, as I continue to build content designed to answer your questions.
As a holistic business coach, I want to know: What are your biggest challenges? What do you wish you could accomplish in the next year? What one thing did you wish you knew when starting out? What one thing do you want to know today?
Keep visiting my website – new content will be arriving weekly and our 30-day Perfecting the Pivot holistic business coaching course is releasing in June of this year. I look forward to continuing the conversation with you as you build and grow your holistic business.