Ep #44: The Interview with Heather Dominick, Founder of the Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur Movement
Kris talks with Heather Dominick, the founder and leader of the Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur® movement.
Can you be highly successful in business and highly spiritual at the same time. Let’s take this question a step further. Is there a direct relationship between your spirituality and great success?
Heather Dominick is a woman who is impressively successful, and highly spiritual. She is a former high school drama teacher who collaborated with none other than Bette Midler. She is a graduate of NYU where she received her first coach training. Heather is the winner of the 2015 Best of Manhattan Coaching Award and creator of the 2014 Stevie Award winning virtual event A Course In Business Miracles®: 21-Day Discovery Series that attracted close to 6,000 official registrants from all around the world including: Iceland, Nigeria, Russia, Asia, South America, Australia, Europe and the U.S.
She has appeared on Lifetime Television and has been published in numerous books including Stepping Stones to Success alongside Deepak Chopra
An exceptional facilitator and teacher, Heather is known for creating a safe, sacred community for true transformation whether she is teaching a Business Miracles® Class, delivering training online or in-person or mentoring members of her Business Miracles Community in her various Mentoring Programs. She has helped thousands of HSE®s release life-long limiting beliefs, overcome fears and learn how to build their business in a way that actually feels so good that they can’t help but create solid, sustainable, high level financial success.
Heather is also the founder and leader of the Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur® movement.
What you’ll find in this episode:
- Key characteristics of an HSE – Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur.
- Top three HSE shadows and top three HSE strengths.
- Three HSE Coping Mechanisms.
- How “shame” fits into the life of an HSE.
- Why the thought of hiring and managing people is overwhelming to HSEs.
- How to recognize when you’re in the coping cycle and how to shift from coping into creating.
- The importance of the “element of community.”
- The key practices Heather has in place, as a leader, that help her lead and also stay in integrity with who she is.
Featured on the Show and Other Notes:
- Ali Brown’s Glambition Radio podcast.
- Dr. Elaine Aron – the founding researcher of What It Means to Be a Highly Sensitive Person.
- Heather’s website
- Facebook business page
- Private Facebook group
- HSE Quiz
- Go here to schedule an appointment with me.
- Reach out to me by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Haven’t joined my email subscribers list? You can do that here.
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Kris: Hey everyone, I’m Kris Plachy and this is How to Lead for female entrepreneurs and founders, because the best way to grow a business is to grow the person who’s running it. Let’s go ahead and get started. Hello everyone, and welcome to the podcast today. I’m Kris Plachy. I’m so glad you’re here. Today is the final podcast of 2019. Holy smokes. How did we get here? What a year it’s been.
Kris: I’m excited to cap it off with a final interview that I did in 2019 also, which is with Heather Dominick. She is the creator of businessmiracles.com and the founder and leader of the Highly Sensitive Entrepreneurs Movement. And while I could embellish a lot of that here in the intro, I really just want to share a couple of things and then let the podcast in the conversation she and I had really speak for itself.
Kris: I heard Heather on Ali Brown’s Glambition Radio podcast a while ago and then her organization reached out to us to invite her to come on my podcast. And I was really excited about sort of the synchronicity [kizmitness] of that. Because when I heard Heather on her podcast, on Ali’s podcast, I kind of felt like I was being introduced to a color that I had always known existed, but I didn’t know what it was. And personally, I would tell you that for years and years I’ve described myself probably as sensitive and empathic.
Kris: I’ve always believed and known that I can sort of sense and feel other people’s feelings and have taken a lot of responsibility for other people’s feelings as a result, which when I was a brand new manager was incredibly hard. I didn’t know how to have personal, energetic and real boundaries. So I was just plagued all the time with believing I was doing it wrong and hurting people. So I really did struggle for years and I know so many people do.
Kris: So when she introduced the concept of the highly sensitive entrepreneur, which actually introduced the whole concept of the highly sensitive person, I sort of was like, oh my gosh, this is a thing. And it actually was then very helpful for even members of my family who I would say also sort of fall into this sensitive space and how that has positive and challenging implications.
Kris: So I wanted to bring her message to you because I think a lot of the women who are interested in my work, and even the men, frankly, I know there’s guys out there listening, I think you’re attracted to what I do in many cases because you struggle with how to wear your leadership role and your management role in a way that aligns with who you feel like you are on the inside. So I’m looking forward to sharing Heather’s work with you and her thoughts. There’s so many powerful insights here that I know will be useful to you as you plan and think about what you want to do in the coming year.
Kris: So, without further ado, let’s kick it off and chat with Heather. Okay, Heather, well, I’m so glad that you are spending some time with me today and sharing your wonderful wisdom with our listeners. So before we get to a whole lot, I would love for them just to hear a little bit about you from you. So why don’t you let us know who you are and why you do what you do and how you got there, all that fun stuff.
Heather: Yes, sure. So happy to. I’m so happy to be here. I’m so happy to be talking to you, Kris, and always just such a joy to be sharing the message of what it means to be a highly sensitive entrepreneur for those who need it. So always about how to tell your own story in the most attractive soundbite as possible.
Kris: Get it down to a sentence.
Heather: I think probably what’s most important for our conversation today is that I, myself, am a highly sensitive entrepreneur. I’ve been self employed for 15 years. Before being self employed, I was actually a high school drama teacher. So I knew nothing about being self employed. And also at that time I did not know that I was highly sensitive. So I stepped into my business, my first business as a nutrition and wellness coach with just a great big dose of ignorance and a great big dose of enthusiasm and also a dose of coming off of living through 9/11, just about a mile from ground zero, a real dose of now or never.
Heather: And that really propelled me probably into like the first five years, but when I brought my business across the million dollar mark for the first time, I really have to say it was not an enjoyable experience. It was not celebratory. There were not streamers coming down from the sky. Times Square was not all a fire about what I had done and created.
Kris: It didn’t all of a sudden just get really easy and simple?
Heather: I actually felt really, really tired and super, super overwhelmed.
Kris: It’s more like you’re crawling over, right? Like where’s the last $5 to make the million?
Heather: It was a real eye opening moment because in addition to being tired and overwhelmed, I also had my lowest net that year. And if there’s anything that’s kind of get my attention, that was for sure it, in addition to like my low physical sense of peace and vitality. So I really went into a dark night of the soul and I really started questioning everything that I was doing and if this is what it takes to be successful and self-employed, I’m not so sure I want this, but if it’s not this, then what? And it was really one of those deep inquiry times.
Heather: And it was that time that actually I was led to Dr. Elaine Aron, who is the founding researcher of what it means to be a highly sensitive person. I had never heard the term before at that time, but when I heard it and understood what it meant, it didn’t surprise me so much that I was highly sensitive, but what surprised me was how highly sensitive I was.
Heather: And because I’ve always been a believer and teacher in the foundational principle that your ideal client is a version of you, I took one of Dr. Aron’s assessments into a team, excuse me, a group of 25 women entrepreneurs that I was working with at the time. [inaudible] then I’ll take the assessment. No surprise. They were all highly sensitive. But what was surprising there is not one woman wanted to be.
Heather: So that really was the big eyeopener and awakener and I thought to myself, okay, this is really, really important. They were all very, very talented, all very high purposeful, driven women. And if we’re going to succeed in business for the longterm, then we have to be willing to approach what it means to be in business differently and in a way that honors who we are rather than works against us. And that was really the beginning of the Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur Movement.
Heather: And since then, I’ve really just really delved into an extensive amount of continued research and development of my own teaching and tools that expands upon Dr. Elaine Aron with a real commitment serving all of the HSEs and the Business Miracles community and it’s been almost 10 years now and here we are.
Kris: Here we are. So good. So why don’t you, for the listeners who don’t really know what that means, highly sensitive entrepreneur, what are some of the most common or key characteristics that you would shout out that could make people go, oh?
Heather: Absolutely. Well, first I think is just to really just describe what that phrase, highly sensitive means, per Dr. Aron’s work. So first of all, this is something that is a biological and it basically means that your nervous system is wired differently than someone who is not highly sensitive and it’s wired differently in the way that your nervous system interprets input at a much higher level than someone, again, who is not highly sensitive. And that input can be in all of the primary senses, sight, smell, sound, et cetera, also in regards to information and also in regards to energy.
Heather: One of the things I always like to say is that, this is not something that your parents did to you and you didn’t pick it up on the playground in elementary school and it’s not cause that weird drink you had in college or anything else. It is literally how you were brought into this world that can either work against you or for you. Now, where my work comes in is when a highly sensitive person decides to be self-employed and to be an entrepreneur. I have identified what I refer to as a 12 top HSE Shadows, and 12 top HSE Strengths. So I’ll speak to just a few of those.
Kris: Yeah, that’s right.
Heather: Yeah, when you don’t understand how to have your nervous system working for you, it’s really going to show up in the shadow tendency. So one of the top HSE Shadows is overwhelmed. As a highly sensitive, we definitely have the tendency to get overwhelmed that much more easily and that much more quickly than someone who isn’t. It might just even be overwhelmed from loud noise on the street, out in the world, at a party, at a concert, or it could be overwhelmed from the amount of information that’s coming to you, or the way that information is being delivered or if there’s multiple tasks that need to be addressed and taken care of at one time.
Heather: There’s also the HSE Shadows of over-responsibility. So this is when your nervous system is working against you. You can really easily interpret energetically what others need. When you’re in your shadow, you believe, just because you can interpret what someone needs without them telling you that it’s your responsibility to take care of it for that person.
Heather: And I’ll speak to just one more, which is the HSE Shadow of over-protection. This really comes from as Dr. Elaine Aron says that most highly sensitives aren’t even so much afraid of being overwhelmed. They’re afraid of even the possibility of maybe being overwhelmed. When you’re in the HSE Shadow of over-protection, you are going above and beyond to try to protect yourself from being overwhelmed or even being found out as highly sensitive or even just being seen as different.
Heather: So hopefully, as folks are listening, you can probably get a sense that when you’re operating from those shadows in your business, that will make things very, very difficult, massively challenging. And if you want, I can speak to the flip side in terms of the HSE Strengths, or we can come to that later and you can just let me know.
Kris: I think I told you before we started this podcast, like I heard your interview with Ali Brown a few … It was probably at least a year ago now.
Heather: Yeah, more than that I think.
Kris: And I was listening to you like, oh my gosh, that’s me. I felt so heard just as you shared these three shadows, and I think about the clients I work with who are at that point where their businesses reached the scaling level where they have to add bodies to the team in order to be able to deliver more to their clients, whatever that is that they do. These three are so common, and maybe not everybody’s in HSE, but just the notion of overwhelm, over-responsibility and over-protection, I can see that in so many of the women that I coach and I believe in work of what I call the thought model, which is that the feelings that you feel trigger the behaviors that you take.
Kris: So if I’m feeling overwhelmed, which is what a lot of my clients feel, that triggers my behavior, and in most cases, it triggers total avoidance of the thing, whatever it is that we think it is that we’re overwhelmed by. In some cases, that can be our business, or in some cases it’s our employees. And just this week I’ve been coaching several women on what I would call over-responsibility, which is, I can read, I can tell my employees aren’t happy, I can tell that they’re really struggling and they assume all this responsibility, not just for their work, but for the employee’s emotional state.
Kris: Which, of course, is a zero sum game. I can’t assume responsibility for somebody else’s emotions. Otherwise, I’m … It’s hard enough just to assume responsibility for my own, let alone somebody else. So I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of people listening to you who are saying yeah, I get that, I get that. So let’s talk about some of the strengths.
Heather: Sure. Absolutely.
Kris: Let’s suck up that too.
Heather: Yeah. I think the one thing that I’ll say, just to piggyback off of what you shared before we go into the strengths, is that absolutely anyone, whether they’re highly sensitive or not, can absolutely experience elements of these shadows that I just described. However, what’s really important is to recognize when you are an HSE is that most likely you’re experiencing those shadows at a much deeper level than someone who is not.
Heather: And because of that, just the intellectual only understanding of how these shadows operate isn’t really enough to actualize the change. And part of that is because so many of us who are highly sensitive, we spent most of our lives not knowing that we were. So we developed what I refer to as coping mechanisms, and I’ve identified three HSE Coping Mechanisms, which contribute to what I have also created and identified as the HSE Coping Cycle.
Heather: That can be difficult to untangle because coping with these shadows has gotten you to where you are and there’s a real sense of “safety” when you’re coping. And those coping mechanisms, just quickly, are you tend to either push, you’re a pusher or you tend to hide, you’re a hider, or you tend to be what I refer to as a combo platter, where you flip flop back and forth between the two, which I also like to say is the HSE definition of insanity, because you literally drive yourself crazy.
Heather: So the process of really untangling yourself from the coping mechanism is so, so imperative when it comes to those shadows. And when you do, then it really gives you access to creating, which is the other side of the coping coin. And I wanted to speak to that one because that is really where we are meant to be as entrepreneurs. And again, coping will get you so far, but it won’t absolutely bring you to that scalable place that you were speaking of before. So I think it’s helpful to have that info before we start looking at what the strengths are.
Kris: Right. Well, and what I’m going to ask you, ’cause a coping mechanism is a very unconscious access. So if I’ve always been this way, if I’ve always felt overwhelmed by my environment or by the fact that I can always know what people are feeling in the room, I have to figure out how to manage that. So there’s this unconsciousness to coping, which I love about what you’re saying. And then I’m curious where shame fits in here because it seems to me … ‘Cause I know for me, I’m totally identifying as an HSE and I did as soon as I took your quiz, I realized I always just thought there was something like wrong with me. Like why can I not be more like them, whoever they are. And really internalizing even, which compounds it.
Heather: Yes, absolutely. It’s so true. And most of us, as HSEs, have that exact experience. I’ve heard those words that you just said one time, I’ve heard them more times than I can even possibly count. There is secret that each HSE is carrying around and has been carrying around for a long time. There’s nothing wrong with me. There’s a reason why I can’t operate like, I refer to them as the other 80% because Dr. Aron’s research shows that there’s 20% of us in the world who are born highly sensitive, why can’t I operate like the other 80%.
Heather: So that is where, right there from that initial thought, whenever it landed, four years old, 14 years old, what have you, right from that thought is where the coping mechanism then began to drive. I can at least survive in this world. But of course, both you and I know and anyone who’s listening, is that as an entrepreneur you must learn how to go beyond survive and into thrive.
Kris: Absolutely. Let me ask you one more questions before we move into strengths. Because my guests, again, this is of my hypothesis, is that this is why so many women who do get to a point like you. You’ve hit the million dollar mark, you want to grow the business, but you’re exhausted, you’re going through any number of the shadows that you talk about. And then the idea of hiring people and having to “manage” them, it’s paralyzing-
Kris: … because it’s like, I can hardly manage what’s happening here myself. I don’t want to be responsible for other people. I don’t want to take on other people’s energy. I don’t want to have to tell people they’re not doing a good job. That’s mortifying.
Heather: Right. And now there’s even more people that I’m going to have to hide from.
Kris: Why would I do that on purpose? Yeah.
Heather: [inaudible] for like this weird freak.
Kris: And to me, I think it probably comes out like … I just wrote an article today that says, I just don’t want to manage anybody. I’m just not good at it.
Heather: Right, right.
Kris: And that’s just an easy way to sort of dismiss and justify why I don’t scale.
Heather: Yes. So shame really is a big part of it. And I love that you brought that up because I lead two in-person training retreats a year and I’m getting ready for one of them. And that focus for this training retreat coming up is on what I refer to as shame shields, which comes out of a study from the Stone Institute at Wellesley College, and how to be able to shift those shame shields so that you can move into open financial flow. So I’m really excited.
Kris: Yeah, that sounds fascinating.
Heather: Right, dive into that material and support and provide that teaching for an HSE attendance.
Kris: So good.
Heather: Do when you are able to start to disentangle your HSE coping mechanism and begin to recognize when you are in the coping cycle. And as I said, you’re able to begin to shift from coping into creating. And a big part of that is to be able to access your HSE Strengths. So in the same way that I just talked to three of the 12 of the shadows, I’ll just talk to three of the strengths of the 12.
Heather: I would say probably the first strength is intuition. And that when we are able to, again, disentangle from coping, we’re able to step away from the fear, which includes fear of being found out, fear of being found out as a fraud, then that gives you access to one, just more physical energy and two, to really one of our primary HSE Strengths, which is intuition, which is an awesome strength to be able to access and intentionally utilize in your business, whether that be in marketing, selling, operations, service, you name it.
Heather: Two of the other top strengths that we possess as highly sensitive entrepreneurs is we definitely have the top strength of empathy. And so when that’s really working for you as a strength rather than a shadow, that you can really easily be able to put yourself in another’s shoes and then therefore really effectively be able to speak to them. And again, very, very effective when it comes to marketing, to your ideal client, to selling to your ideal client. Also really effective when it comes to operating, including with team.
Kris: Yeah. Leading. It’s essential.
Heather: Yes, absolutely. And there’s also the HSE Strength of deep listening. And I would add on to that is we have the ability to deeply listen. We also have the ability to deeply feel and deeply think. That deep listening is massively imperative to really be able to make a connection with those that you are here to serve to be able to, what I like to refer to as hear between the lines. So sometimes you, when you’re really working from the HSE Strength you will most likely receive the feedback of, oh my gosh, someone will say to you, “How did you realize that’s what I was thinking?”
Heather: Because they don’t realize that they actually said it because you were able to hear more deeply beyond the surface words that they deliver verbally. There are massive, massive strengths and massively available to support you and really, really be absolutely used as superpowers. However, again, the key is, is that those strengths are barely accessible when you’re operating from the shadows and when you’re in the coping cycle and in your coping mechanism.
Kris: Well, I would imagine that even though, again, I’ll just use myself as an example. If I’m experiencing overwhelm or over-responsibility just to use your two shadows, I dismiss intuition. I don’t trust it. That’s what I’m imagining happens. So even if I am all in, I get that I’m very intuitive. But if I’m in overwhelm, then I got no compass, ’cause I actually use intuition as a compass until I can’t, that I don’t trust myself.
Heather: Great point. Absolutely.
Kris: I’ve seen a lot of women who I coach, when you can clear the path for them, it’s like everything is so obvious, it’s all so clear to them. But if they’re shrouded in overwhelm or they’re shirking, like they’re completely avoiding everything, they can’t tap into it.
Heather: Yes, absolutely.
Kris: So I love all of that. It’s such great … What I love about your work is, and I should say, you also have a Facebook page, right? Tell me what it is. I’m all over it. I just had a minute.
Heather: Yeah, that’s okay. So we have a Facebook business page, which is Business Miracles. And we also have a private group, free Facebook group for highly sensitive entrepreneurs.
Kris: Okay. Yeah. So if I go to the Business Miracles page, I will find the private group info, right?
Kris: Okay. Good. The reason I’m saying that is I think for anyone who’s listening, it’s just a great place to go and kind of see what other people are talking about and experiencing. And you can kind of know … It’s just always nice when you find a tribe of people, like, oh, there’s other people like me.
Heather: Absolutely. Yeah. I so appreciate that you spoke to that because that’s actually one of the three key elements that I’ve identified that’s really important for HSEs, and that is the element of community. As HSEs are just as highly sensitives it’s interesting because we tend to shy away from community. It’s like a community, that’s going to be super overwhelming, there’s going to be a lot of people.
Kris: Yeah, I have to participate.
Heather: Yeah. And I will say that, especially even on the Facebook group versus other Facebook groups, it’s often quiet cause there’s lots of watching happening. That’s fine. But within the Business Miracles community and the Business Miracles mentoring programs, community is so, so effective. One, because it’s aligned. And when you’re in aligned community with others who really get you and support you for who you are, there’s an acceleration that happens and definitely I’ve seen, especially for HSEs, because we’re so used to being the odd one out. Suddenly when we’re not, it’s like this wealth of energy becomes available to us and through that, that also really plugs into one of our additional HSE Strengths, which is the ability to learn without realizing we’re learning.
Heather: So when you clear those shadows out of the way, then again, there’s this openness where you’re able to really take in what others in the community are experiencing, what they’re learning, and it’s like others are doing the lessons for you, it really shortens the learning curve, which I think is massively powerful.
Kris: That’s wonderful. Yeah. I love that. Yeah. That’s part of, even with the coach, some of the … I have a coaching group for women who are working on their human capital, part of their business. But we have a similar experience where you don’t even have to be getting any of the coaching, but because there’s such alignment in the unique challenges that we face, it’s like just getting the cliff notes and then you’re able to … in my experience, women who lead successful businesses are wicked smart and crazy … And have a crazy ability of integrating and making things happen very quickly once they have what they need to make it happen.
Heather: I would agree for sure.
Kris: I want to talk about you a little bit, and what you’ve learned as an HSE who also was leading a multimillion dollar successful business with a team. So what have you learned as … What would you say are the key practices you have in place then as a leader to help you lead and also stay integrity with who you are?
Heather: Yeah, absolutely. Such an important point. I would say first and foremost, it’s so important to know yourself as a highly sensitive entrepreneur and the end is really important here, to fully embrace it. So to really put down the fight. And that is releasing those coping mechanisms. So that really requires an immense amount of due diligence and commitment to what I refer to as the real work, where the work must go beyond the intellect and you must be willing to engage consistently in untangling those coping mechanisms that have been built up over years and years and years. So to know yourself and to embrace it.
Kris: I want to pause you just for a second, because you just said something that I loved and you said the work must go beyond the intellect.
Kris: And for anybody listening to this, I just want you to take a minute because this … I know I talk about this, I tell myself this and I tell my clients this, like don’t just read the book, do the book. Don’t just listen to the podcast, do the podcast. Because consuming knowledge and then not doing anything with it is wasteful. And I realize that there are different phases and seasons of our lives as entrepreneurs. There’s when we’re just grinding and hustling to get something off the ground, which we all have to go through that, I don’t care who you are.
Kris: And then as we evolved, I always think about it as sort of like the entrepreneurs have Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the bottom line, the base, and then we keep moving up. But then as we grow, I also think we have to have discipline about what we give attention to and what we feed ourselves and then … Because if we try and over consume learning, we don’t take action at all, we don’t integrate. So I just love that you said that because I think it’s …
Kris: A common thing I notice is a lot of people who run their own businesses are consumers of content and aren’t really appliers of essential insights. It doesn’t take much, right? It’s just like we said, I could hear you coach one person. But I’ve heard you on a podcast and it was like an immediate light for me, like, oh. And so then I dug deep into that one space and it was so powerful for me.
Heather: Yes, for sure.
Kris: So good.
Heather: Yeah, absolutely, I appreciate that you highlighted that, and it’s the reason why I’ve designed all of the Business Miracles mentoring programs and the way that I have. So, for example, the training retreat that I was speaking to earlier, the only HSEs that are allowed in the room at one of the two training retreats I lead a year are HSEs who are already in a Business Miracles mentoring program. So not only is a work that we do at those training retreats experiential. It is not only information based, it is experiential and you know that you have a container to continue into post that in depth in person time together for exactly this reason.
Heather: Because again, it’s a process to really know yourself. And it’s absolutely a process to embrace who you really discover, as I like to refer to, is your HSE essential self. And then the other element that I’ll add is it takes a whole bunch of courage because most likely there’s a whole bunch of people in your life who are really dependent on you staying on your-
Kris: Yes, absolutely. And employees. Employees especially. When I start working with women, and not necessarily from an HSE perspective, but just some of the women who … The woman I was just recently talking to, she has an entire business of people who are so emotionally dependent on her. So we’re setting up structures and accountability and things that she’s never had in place before and they’re freaking out. These employees are like, what are you doing? You’re supposed to indulge all of my nonsense.
Heather: Right, you’re supposed to be my mother.
Kris: We don’t do that anymore here. But yeah, it’s like she’s feeling all this friction and they’re feeling all this friction.
Heather: Right. Yeah.
Kris: Some people have quit.
Heather: Yes. Yes. So that makes sense. Absolutely.
Kris: Very painful. Okay. What else you got for leading?
Heather: Yeah, so from there, the knowing and embracing who you are, then I would say the next point is to really be able to what I refer to as own your no, so that you can own your yes.
Kris: Love it.
Heather: And that really has a lot to do with learning how to set boundaries. And part of those boundaries is about who and who is not allowed onto your team. And based on who is or who is not allowed onto your team is also with clear, clear, clear, clear, deep knowing about what you need in regards to what you’re not meant to be doing. And that’s pretty common when it comes to entrepreneurialship.
Heather: However, it is really different when it is an HSE because how it is that you are meant to, for example, structure your day is going to most likely look 1,000% different than any stereotypical entrepreneurial training or book that you are going to read out there and you have to really be willing to, again, claim that, to set boundaries around it and to have others on the team who really join you in that approach and they thrive as well by a clear understanding of what is and is not expected and accepted in regards to your structure of your business, in regards to what’s needed for you as a highly sensitive entrepreneur.
Kris: Love it. Yeah. That’s always a key tenant that I start every client off with, is expectations. And we tend to think about what we want from other people, absolutely. And I also talk about something I call an employee niche, who are the people that really, really align with the kind of business that you want to be running, not just from a skills perspective, but how people vibe in your company and how you’re consciously creating culture versus just-
Kris: … attracting talent. And I love that you said own your no so you can own your yes. Because I tell my entrepreneurs, because all of them are visionaries, “You should be saying no more than you’re saying, frankly. It should actually come out of your mouth more frequently than the other.” And the last piece that I love about what you talked about is even how people run their schedules. I have several clients who feel compelled to be at work business hours because their employees are there. But they really would rather, I want to go to yoga, I want to do this, I want …
Kris: And they know they can be … And I actually kind of like working from 9:00 to 11:00 in the evening because that’s when I can think or whatever. They all have their own … But they feel this tremendous sense of guilt because they’re not present when their team is present. So whether they’re in HSE or not, I think … What I love about what you said is this is your business. You actually get to design it to be exactly how you want it to be. And let’s do it without feeling guilty about how you choose to spend your day versus how other people might need to spend their day to get the work done also.
Heather: Absolutely. But again, that’s really where that deep inner work comes in, the willingness to step into doing the real work and to be taking a courageous act. And I know that risks are talked about a lot in the entrepreneurial world and HSEs usually tend to like draw back from that cause they’re like, oh, risk, but risk for an HSE tends to look and feel very different risk for a non-HSE.
Heather: So for example, risk as an HSE and connection to what we’re talking about, it’s the risk of letting go of another HSE Shadow, which is people pleasing. Let go of that shadow and to truly, deeply believe that this company, this business will run that much more effectively without me operating as a people pleaser and with my choosing to have others on my team who are very self-efficient, who really owned their own role and who simultaneously can take direction. And whether I’m there, using the example that you’re giving, or not.
Heather: You’re not gonna find a lot of other businesses to look at to see, oh, that’s how so and so is doing it. Because again, you are of the 20%. So the majority of businesses are being run by the 80% and that is not you. So you are going to need to be willing to do it differently. And I would say that would be really the third element that I would speak to in regards to leading. So again, the first is really know yourself, embrace yourself as an HSE. Two, own your no so you can own your yes. And three, be willing to do it differently.
Heather: That’s your element of risk. And that doesn’t mean sinking thousands of dollars into a gamble, again, as an 80%-er, I might do, but it literally might just need to be willing to say, as I do, that my schedule, I don’t talk to anyone, whether it be on a podcast or a client or what have you, I don’t talk to anyone before noon. That doesn’t mean that I’m not working, but I’m not talking. The training recruits that I’ve already to spoken to once, we don’t start until 10:00.
Heather: So there’s all different ways that I have realized in terms of what I need to be able to operate at my best to be able to be of best service to those that I serve. And it is absolutely going to look different than the business next door.
Kris: I love that you’re giving this value and validity because, I say to my clients all the time, they’ll ask me, “Well, is it okay if I,” whatever they say. It’s your business. I think it’s your name on the door. Here’s what I know, you can design it to be whatever you want. The key is whatever you decide, then you have to be very clear about your expectations and then you have to be very clear about your boundaries.
Kris: That’s the other side of it. You can’t just wish for something, not tell anybody and hope that they all just know. Don’t talk to me ’till noon.
Heather: For sure. Because what part of that is that I also teach too, is what I refer to as the difficult conversation. You have to be willing to have difficult conversations. Now, if you haven’t really, again, done the work to know yourself as an HSE and to be operating from your strengths, even the idea of a difficult conversation is enough to just have you just back under the covers totally because you’re going to have to face your tendency to go into over-responsibility. You’re going to have to face your tendency to go into over-protection or face the possibility of being overwhelmed by emotion as part of-
Kris: And not pleasing someone.
Heather: Right. And the more you step into it, and the more that you step into it with support around you as you do, then the more that muscle builds and then the happier you are, the greater sense of peace you have, definitely more productive and prosperous. But ultimately what I really see is that for those of us who are highly sensitive, who have chosen to be entrepreneurs, what I like to say is that our businesses are our portal for healing. So every highly sensitive is absolutely on a path of healing. As Dr. Elaine Aron says, “Our shared purpose as highly sensitives on this planet is to experience liberation.”
Heather: And what she’s really speaking to is liberation from the own shackles that we have created for ourselves out of shame, out of guilt, out of fear of being found out, to be free, to just be who we are unapologetically, and that requires process. And if you’re in business, your business will give you every single lesson you need to be-
Kris: You don’t like difficult conversations, here you go. You’re avoiding them your whole life with everybody in your family, here you go, here’s four employees that you’re going to have to deal with that.
Heather: Exactly. Exactly. But I can honestly say like, this is my experience and I just feel so grateful and so privileged to work the way that I work, to live the way that I live, and I am on my knees grateful every single day and I have worked for it and I continue to work for it. Again, not in the 80%-er way, but in the way to be willing to continue to show up to the healing that my businesses here to provide for me.
Kris: So good. What I love, there’s so much about what you’ve said that I love, and I think at the heart of what you’re saying, whether someone’s an HSE or not, it applies, which is in order to have a business that you love and that you can relish in and experience with joy, you have to do your own work. It’s what I say in the very beginning of this podcast, which is in order to grow the business, you have to grow the woman who’s running it. You have to do this work.
Kris: You’re an incredible model for that because you have taken all your own tools and integrated them and built this beautiful business that now of course, is supporting and feeding and nurturing so many other women like you. So it’s very inspiring. I’m so glad you’ve joined me today and you gave us all a little window into a world that I’m sure there will be listeners who didn’t even know existed, and they’re going to be jumping for joy. So where should people go when they’re done listening to this podcast to get to know more about you?
Heather: Yeah, for sure. And to do the podcast.
Kris: And to do the podcast. Perfectly said.
Heather: I would recommend that, as you’ve been listening, you’re having any kind of sense of inkling, like, oh my gosh, this might be me, or even this might be someone on my team. I recommend that you go to hsequiz.com-
Heather: What you’ll find there is an assessment. It’s really more of an assessment than a quiz, and at the end of the assessment, you will be clear if you are a somewhat HSE or a super HSE, or if you’re like me, you’re a super uber HSE, and then depending on where you fall in the spectrum, you’ll receive a free HSE success guide that is tailored to somewhat super or super uber that will guide you and support you with how to begin to work with this element about yourself so that it is supporting you in your business.
Kris: Wonderful. It’s a great tool. I went through it when I listened to you on the first podcast, so I can’t emphasize enough how much great insight you’re going to get about yourself. So please take some time to do that. And thank you again, Heather, so much for joining me today and sharing everything. It’s been such a pleasure to chat with you.
Heather: Thank you Kris. I loved our conversation. I feel like I can keep talking-
Kris: I know. I was looking at the time. I’m like, oh, we got to go. We could talk for a couple more hours, but thanks a lot.
Heather: Thank you.
Kris: Hey, don’t miss a thing. Make sure you join my community at krisplachy.com/connect. Once you join, you’ll get all the information on exclusive and private experiences that I’m offering to my clients. I can’t wait to see you there.