Here’s an interesting question for small business owners and entrepreneurs:
Is your focus on marketing really a diversion from your unwillingness to deal with the real thing that’s keeping money away from you and your business?
That’s one of the big questions addressed in this week’s episode of Getting Real TV with Heart Of Business founder, Mark Silver. Mark is an unusual guy, raised in the D.C. area, but now living out on the left coast, he’s simultaneously building a worldwide business consulting and training empire while pursuing his M. Div in Ministry and Sufi Studies, the mystical branch of Islam.
That may sound like a radical contradiction, but in fact, Mark’s made it his business to teach people how to marry a strong sense of spirituality with ethical yet hardcore entrepreneurship and business-building practices.
In this week’s show, we go deep into the relationship between business, money, spirituality and soul.
Want to learn more about Mark? Head on over to his website, HeartOfBusiness.com, sign up for his newsletter or, if you really want to dive in…
Check out Mark’s Money & Power Teleclass (no-charge) tonight, Weds, April 13th at 4pm EDT/1pm PST
Click here now to save a spot
(or get the download if you missed it)
Jonathan Fields: Hey, everybody. Jonathan Fields here, and I’m pretty excited to be here on another episode of getting real TV with a friend of mine a kind of really fascinating business visionary. He (inaudible) (0:00:11) in a radically different way than most people, does really well and helps a lot of people. Mark Silver, welcome to the show.
Mark Silver: Thanks. Glad to be here, Jonathan.
Jonathan Fields: So, Mark, I could probably butcher an explanation of who you are and what you actually do pretty badly. You are somebody that has this really unusual blend of deep, deep spirituality, a modern outlook and really strong business intelligence. When people ask you that question, how do you respond. You know, what do you do, what are you up to, who are you?
Mark Silver: Well, they can, you know, the short twitter version of course is that I’m a business tenderizer and I see the spiritual (inaudible). And the longer answer is that you know there is people that really — they want to make a difference in the world. I mean, how do most people end up self employed is that they want to make a difference in the world.
Even people that have been successful in corporate environments find that when they go self employ because they care so much about what they’re doing. The stakes are higher in a different way and they’re no longer able to perform at the level that they were able to perform in a different environment. And their need to access their heart, their need to access a deeper understanding and alignment between nitty gritty everyday business actions like marketing and sales and the truth of the heart, the deeper truth of the heart, those two worlds often seen in conflict when actually they aren’t or at least they don’t have to be.
Jonathan Fields: So how do you, I mean, so let me just ask a very direct question. How do you make a living merging sort of these two worlds?
Mark Silver: How do I make a living, is that what you said.
Jonathan Fields: Yeah. What do you actually do?
Mark Silver: What we actually do, we give training. You know, we do training and teaching in healing. You know we have a number of different courses that we teach. I work individually with a few clients we have, a team of practitioners that work with clients. I say practitioners instead of coach which people are really more familiar with because our people do, we do do coaching but we also do some healing work, spiritual healing work as well as just teaching and strategy. It’s not just about asking you questions its something different.
Jonathan Fields: Okay. So here’s the follow-up then. Right, so I’m an New York City guy, he’s also kind of like usually in touch with my spirituality.
Mark Silver: I know you d — .
Jonathan Fields: I know its buried deep inside. And I’m (inaudible) or I’ll decide to meet you. And I’m always certain when I have these conversations with people they go a layer deeper. You know, you can see the hackles whenever a hackle is I’m pretty sure you can see it go on the back of people’s necks.
You built up a real business around this merging of two worlds. Do you get a lot of push back from people when you sort of you start to share what you do and how you actually blend these two worlds or are people fascinated or I’m curious just about your experiences when you sort of when you share what you do with people.
Mark Silver: Right, I get zero push back at this point. I think when I was earlier and I had more self doubt in myself I would probably present a little bit of a quaver in my delivery and so there would be some push back. But now I just, I’m so clear in my own knowing the both the effectiveness of it and the truth of it in my own heart that I think people either self select to come towards me or they just you know step out of the way if it’s not right for them.
Jonathan Fields: Right. So let’s go a little bit deep here. You’re, we’re having a conversation and I kept the copy of what you said I just found it fascinating. And you said fear of where provision is coming from is the biggest obstacle to accessing wisdom, intuition and presence and power that makes an impact on people and in the marketplace. Break that down for me.
Mark Silver: Yeah. So, you know, my spiritual lineage is Sufism which is the mystical side of Islam if you want to make it even more challenging at the marketplace. But a friend of mine who is a Zen Buddhist priest as well, I mean, his path also agrees that the biggest block to spiritual progression is the fear of provision, meaning am I going to be okay. Am I going to be taken care of, is my next meal going to show up and am I going to have a roof over my head.
When you get dropped into survival fears whether it’s true or not it blocks our ability to access a larger reality to access a larger truth. And so we end up not accessing our own wisdom. You know if my own wisdom in my heart tells me something that’s a little might be it’s a little bit of a renegade idea then am I going to really trust it if I’m full of fear about whether I’m going to be able to eat or not. It’s kind of the essence of it.
Jonathan Fields: So the bigger version is, I mean, and you I’m sure, you and so your company I know. I’ve probably worked with hundreds of people across a wide variety of fields not to notice it in different levels now. In your experience with people has this been sort of like one of the first things that people come to you with. Or people in general not even aware that this is a thing for them.
Mark Silver: Well, you know, it gets masked. I mean, I talk about marketing as the biggest obstacle most business owners face and I talk about money as the biggest obstacle most business owners don’t fix. Because I think a lot of people just don’t want to look at the money issues because it’s in some ways it’s not as practical. There’s a lot of heavy emotional stuff that goes on in there. It can seem like it slows things down, you know, if you’re going to take some time to consult with your money issues and walk with it and get some healing there it doesn’t look very practical because you’re not actively working on marketing, you’re not actively working on strategy.
And so a lot of people find it easy to kind of sidestep it and not, you know, and not confront it directly. But the truth is that it’s a little bit of a short cut because if you can take the time to focus on that, to clear the cobwebs in your heart around your feelings of safety and connection is going to be a lot easier to make decisions rapidly. It’s going to be a lot easier to access your intuitions, it’s going to be a lot easier to make connections with influential people that can help your business without feeling worried about being judged could stand in your sovereignty and your strength (inaudible)
And all these things that they’re kind of the soft skills in business as well as the hard earned choices become more accessible. But you know because it’s not so fun to do sometimes although it can be incredibly freeing the process of it, you know, people tend to sidestep it.
Jonathan Fields: So but what’s interesting to me is when you talk about it you said money is the thing that people — what was the exact language again.
Mark Silver: Yeah, it’s the issue people don’t face, it’s the biggest obstacle business owners don’t face.
Jonathan Fields: Okay. And marketing is the big (inaudible) (0:07:43) that business owners do face but what my experience has been is that people try to face the money side of it by embracing marketing. And in their mind it seems I think most people see that as one and the same. Like marketing is the root to fix the money side of the equation. So you’re saying that’s not quite true though.
Mark Silver: I’m saying it’s not quite true I mean, how many people have you met who have done maybe a pretty good job marketing, they had the people would show up in their space. They have the conversation with the potential client and the person says, well, you know, I cant quite afford it. And so their price drops or they start giving themselves away or they say, well, let me think about it and they don’t — then they just, you know, their client disappears or they disappear and they just let it go. And there’s this sense of (inaudible) that happens for a long time with people.
And I find that this sense of working with money can help break through that what’s seems like that it’s a (inaudible) (0:08:49) like it can seem like its around a business trying to get out of a bubble and actually make connection with people who really needs you or want to take it from your (inaudible)
Jonathan Fields: Which is a really interesting perspective. Right, because what you’re saying is that the marketing has to be there. Intelligent marketing to bring people into you but once people are there if you haven’t dealt with the money side and I think you’re using the language of the money side but maybe we’re just using in shorthand but I think what you’re really saying is if you haven’t dealt with you and sort of stripped the way who you are and what you believe in and let — and start to exist and build products and solutions and serve in (inaudible) (0:09:26) from a place of who you really are and who you really need to be in the world people sense that even once you get them through the door and they respond to it by then not concentrating the deal while you’re sitting there trying to figure out what went wrong. Is that, am I off or is that kind of —
Mark Silver: I think that’s a very accurate way to describe it and I think it’s, you know, and I think that the trick can be you know there are people that are okay with money and they’re okay with earning a lot of money. You know but the way that money is done in this culture is a little bit off, if you don’t mind me saying it. You know, it’s like financially I’m not saying that getting rich is a sign of spiritual advancement because that’s insane. I mean, that’s not a reality at all.
And there are plenty of people who are rich that don’t have spiritual connection. What I mean is that for people who care for people who do have that spiritual connection who have a real desire to be in integrity there’s often a challenge in making these two things meet up in a way that feels good. Like how can I be in my heart and be the integrity and feel like I’m really caring for people and is it okay for me to get paid. Is it okay for me to receive also? And that’s the piece that often needs to be cleared up that’s one aspect of the money journey that needs to be cleared if your business is going to be successful and you’re going to be at peace with yourself.
Jonathan Fields: So let’s stop at that for a few minutes because that’s something when I (inaudible) (0:11:01) you understood (inaudible) and we had a big part of our company was, we had a large teacher training school. And we were and part that course always had a business element to it and when we got to it and like the day that I taught around the business which was designed to basically teach people how to go out into the world and earn a very respectable living as offering (inaudible).
It was literally like you know everyone in the room pulled back.
Mark Silver: Great.
Jonathan Fields: You know, because working there they came to us because they love the practice, they love the environment, they love the community, they love the notion of service and the notion of injecting money into the equation freaked the crap out of them.
Mark Silver: Right.
Jonathan Fields: And they start to deal with all these I’m not worthy type of things or I shouldn’t be doing this because it grew out of a tradition of sedicism and poverty. And I know how, I know what my response was during those conversations which would always come up and I knew how I worked with. I’m curious, talk to me a little bit about the conversation there.
Mark Silver: Yeah. So in that situation what I often say is that you know you’re thinking that you have to be bigger than, you have to somehow value yourself more, that you have to be bigger and you’re somehow after (inaudible) sense of integrity and you know that you’re being of service. But what’s actually true I find is that we need to deepen our humility. We need to be smaller in a certain way we don’t need to puff ourselves up and puff our ego up in order to earn.
What we need to do is we need to surrender and realize that we are actually part of the flow, part of what happens especially for a lot of spiritual people is that they take on a kind of and I’m, I’ve been guilty of this too. I’m not pointing any fingers but there’s kind of unconscious arrogance if you will that takes on that says you know what, I’m here to serve and I’m not part of the equation. I don’t need to receive. You know, and there is a place where in my language it’s almost like taking on God’s job of like I’m the giver and I don’t need anything. Whereas we’re human at the same time that we are expressions of the Divine.
And so I think anyone who is whether they are a yoga instructor or an accountant or what have you if you’re a, if you’re really doing the work of your heart you’ve probably experienced where a client has shown up and you’ve just been, it just come through you, the help is just come through you and like wow, where did that come from. I’m just being used to give to someone who needs. And that of course feels very good.
Now the truth is that we need to be human also and allow the client to be the face of the Divine for us. Like we’re the face of the Divine for the client well, the client is also an expression of the Divine and if we’re humble enough we can let them be the face of the Divine because where did they get what they have, where did they get their money. It’s all come through the flow and so to allow them to give to us requires that humility, requires that ability to open up to our own neediness and be comfortable with our own neediness in a healthy way to receive the provision that is sent by the Divine.
Jonathan Fields: And that’s really, I mean, it’s a really fascinating way of looking at it. So that you want to think on for a bit after this conversation. I’ll share with you sort of a more direct practical answer that I will also give with the in the conversation with, you know, (inaudible) which was the simple fact that if you feel you’re really here because you want to share this and it’s a blessing in your life and it’s a blessing in other people’s lives if you don’t charge enough to live comfortably in the world you won’t be able to do it anymore. And then this thing that you feel so compelled to be able to share with other people get’s shut down. And then you know what you’re not only not fulfilling what you feel you’re here to be doing you’re also not giving this gift, this blessing, this service to all the people who you know would really benefit from it.
So it’s almost like there is a strong compulsion for you to value your services on a level and charge for them on the level that allow you to keep doing them. But it’s a hard thing for people to digest and I think both of the arguments that we’ve both laid forth are not something where somebody just says, oh, yeah, sure, no problem, let me go do it.
Mark Silver: Right. It does, it does take some walking. I like what you’ve said and I agree with that. That’s something that I’ve spoken to people about as well and I find that sometimes people it’s like there is a mental leap that needs to be taken there and the thing that I like about the teaching that I’ve received from my teachers that I just shared with you is that it allows them to be in the same space that they love to give, to also receive. Like it doesn’t make it into a different thing. Oh, you need to be successful so you can do this other thing. It’s like the receiving and the giving is the same thing. It’s the same flow it’s the same action.
Jonathan Fields: Okay, so let’s kind of let’s go, I want to go a level deeper into this because I’m still curious of what your thoughts are on this one dynamic. When you get into that space where there is a give and receive especially if you’re in a personal service business where in some way you serve a client on an individual basis. There will be a number of clients you’re working with. Be they entrepreneurs, health and healing work, whatever your business may be where you just vibe with them you feel like you know you’re in the flow they’re in the flow things are just rocking.
Mark Silver: Right.
Jonathan Fields: And there will be other people where you feel like while you leave their office or home or whatever it may be it feels as if they just took a life force hypodermic stuck it into your heart and spent an hour sucking it out of your body. If you’re saying that —
Mark Silver: I wish you did not say that.
Jonathan Fields: But it’s happened. What you’re sort of like making me think about is how much of that is (inaudible) how much of that is me although we both say its all there. But you know if part of what you’re saying is you know is part of your job is to see within those other people the Divine how ever do you. And we’re not getting into searching whether its God or a person but you know that oneness that we all I think experience in some much way or form it seems like what you’re saying is those life sucking clients or the sensation of life sucking clients maybe more about you than them. Am I off there or because I got to tell you it really feels like they’re sucking the life out of me.
Mark Silver: It sure does, doesn’t it. Well, I think that there’s two different questions that are entangled in this together. And one of the questions is is this someone that you’re meant to serve. I think that that’s an honest question and I don’t think it’s not about protecting yourself from somebody who’s life sucking because everybody deserves help. We’ve all been there, we all have that sense of neediness deep in our heart. You know it’s all, it’s part of the human condition and so it’s a question of you know are we really meant to serve this person and if we don’t, if we’re not clear on our money issues we can make a choice out of the desire for survival rather than true guidance of whether we’re really meant to serve this person.
Because sometimes you confront these situations and it’s because you’re not supposed to be there that it feels that way and sometimes you need to walk through some things. Sometimes it’s actually something that’s going to strengthen you build you up working with that person. So that’s one of the questions, is are you willing then to serve this person. The second thing is this dynamic that I was just referring to is that okay, if they have some neediness, they have some legitimate neediness, there’s something that their heart is really thirsting for and they just don’t know how to direct it. Now they don’t know where to get fulfilled.
And so there is a way to be in surrender with someone like I don’t mean surrender to their ego but surrender in service to them that protects you. It protects you because what you’re doing is you’re opening up the same door of neediness in your own heart and letting the Divine flow through you to them. So that it’s not, they’re not sucking it from you they’re actually getting some sustenance.
Now that sounds a little (inaudible) I know as I explain it but I think that we’ll be hard pressed to find anyone involved in some kind of a creative endeavor who hasn’t felt that flow in their heart when they’re working with somebody they love. And the question is can you open that up no matter who you’re facing. You know and of course we all have limits. You know I’m making no claims to be enlightened, I mean, (inaudible) as someone you can probably do that with anybody or maybe my spiritual teacher can do that with me or anybody I can’t necessarily do that with everybody I meet.
Jonathan Fields: I can’t either.
Mark Silver: I know. But that’s the goal. I think in many ways a part of the goal of life is to be able to be in service and see the beauty in everyone. And I think part of being able to see it centered in ourselves and being able to access our own wisdom and not have it tangled up with survival fears is to be able to discern is this someone I really meant to help and is this too much for me to handle. Or is this something that can strengthen me and build my ability to be of service to more people. It stretches my (inaudible) (0:20:33) in the language that I use.
Jonathan Fields: And it really circles back to that one question that you shared a few minutes ago I think which is this the door I meant to walk through right now. And to really be able to answer that question it sounds like what you’re saying is one of the, you know, the one thing that you need to do may not necessarily to be a better business person or a better marketer but to understand how to open to your own intuition on a much deeper level set you get a more genuine answer to that question.
Mark Silver: Exactly. Exactly. Because there’s so much that gets tangled up in our hearts. You know I mean, I can when something that really matters to me and I’m attached to an outcome and I want things to look a certain way it can take me some time in prayer, meditation to relax and open and let go enough to really hear what my heart is saying as opposed to like hell, I want it this way or I want it that way. Or I wish it would turn out this way or you know and to have some freedom in your heart when you’re accessing those answers is a — its so beautiful and it’s so freeing and it’s so powerful for your business because then you can make these decisions and have this knowingness much more quickly.
And you know I was talking with another friend of mine Les McKeown who’s the bestselling author of “Predictable Success” and you know he was saying that as businesses become successful and they get more complicated I’m sure you’ve experienced this in your life because it’s something that I’ve been experiencing. What really bogs them down is that so much information is coming in that decisions become slower and slower, becomes harder and harder to make decisions. And to make quality decisions, make good decisions that consistently let your business succeed.
And you know wasting time with someone you’re not supposed to be serving is a good way to waste life energy and waste success potential in a business. And so I find that having this access to my heart enables the business to be more successful because I can make these decisions more easily.
Jonathan Fields: Yeah, and it’s interesting you know the book I just finished and it takes a lot of time looking at this question but from a very different standpoint and one of the things that I’ve explored in my own life in my own practices is the meditation or censored stilling practice. And I’ve done it in a lot of different ways and I’ve actually recommitted it a much stronger level for some completely unrelated reasons recently because I had to. And it’s amazing how it sort of seeps into the different parts of your life. And it creates a clarity that just being in constant (inaudible) (0:23:16) doesn’t ever allow you, that’s a pretty powerful thing.
Anyway I know we both have to jump. You and I could talk about this now for hours if not days. And I want to respect everybody’s time here. We’re certainly experimenting with different times on this show right now what people like. I know that after this conversation people would probably want to know more about you, what you do, and how they can access you, how they can learn from you.
Well, tell people two things. One, how can they find you and what do you have going on you know upcoming, are there, do you do courses, do you do just sort of say how people can reach out to you.
Mark Silver: Well, you can find us at heartofbusiness.com and you know I love to have people join our newsletter and I share articles in a weekly and also share minutes from the heart that I don’t share on the blog. Kind of sharings from my own personal journey about insights spiritually that helped to walk through different issues that come up. And then our next course is the Heart of Money Transformational Journey which is you know right on topic with this.
And while we were talking (inaudible) but it’s a eight week course, it starts May 3rd. I’m doing a free call on Wednesday, April 13th, I’m not sure when people will see this particular interview but its recording will be available afterwards if you don’t see it. You can find that link on the blog. And it’s really on a spiritual course, we do a lot of really nitty gritty stuff around marketing and business and strategy all linked from a spiritual perspective. This is really about what we’ve been talking about today, clearing out that sense of survival and fear and anxiety that 3:00 am money panic that grips people and then it like disconnects people from their own power. And at the end of the eight weeks people have reported such incredible freedom that lasts years. People years later have been saying, wow, that course was really, it’s still sticking with me.
So I just want to invite. So check it out.
Jonathan Fields: Awesome. Well, big great conversation and we really enjoyed it. And I always wanted to say how much (inaudible) conversations. So I appreciate it, I appreciate your time, your energy and everybody go check out Mark and learn what he’s up to and (inaudible) check up while I sign up for the (inaudible).
[FTC Disclosure – You should always assume that pretty much every link on this blog is an affiliate link and that if you click it, find something you like and buy it, I’m gonna make some serious money. Now, understand this, I’m not talking chump change, I’m talking huge windfall in commissions, bling up the wazoo and all sorts of other free stuff. I may even be given a mansion and a yacht, though honestly I’d settle most of the time for some organic dark chocolate and clean socks. Oh, and if I mention a book or some other product, just assume I got a review copy of it gratis and that me getting it has completely biased everything I say. Because, books and products are like a drug to me, put one in my hand and you own my ass. Ethics be damned! K, you’ve been warned. Huggies and butterflies. ]
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