What Is A Heartful Business?

ALT="Soulati, heartfulness in business"What the heck is a heartful business? I’ve been using it consistently ever since we launched our podcast, The Heart of Marketing. We = John Gregory Olson and moi, in case you didn’t know.

What I love about this word is that it’s always indicated as misspelled on Microsoft Word and the blog posts I write everywhere. This means it’s not a mainstream word and thus isn’t trendy…so let’s create a new trend in the way of thinking, OK?

Let’s be strategic about your business, and let’s have a discussion about what being heartful is all about.

Here goes…

We’ve been running a series on the workplace on The Heart of Marketing podcast. I’m providing the links to our very popular three so far right here. When you click, you’ll get to our website, GetHeartMarketing.com, and you can listen from there. These discussions between John and I are very popular, and I like talking about workplace culture, too.

Who Cares About Culture in the Workplace?

How Workplace Culture Aligns Inside and Outside

Marketing Consultant: Should You or Should You Not?

What is a Heartful Business

When I think of a marketing department within a company, I think of the leadership in that department. What kind of leader are you? I don’t mean which type (A for aggressive) or which psychoanalyst letter (S, P, J), either.

What I mean is whether you live with a loving heart. This is not woo woo, folks. This is the real deal. My teenager, even before she was a teenager, has been told daily to live with a loving heart. Focus outward, help the poor and weak, be helpful, have compassion, and empathy; be sincere and be genuinely sincere.

Does any of this resonate with you?

When you’re running a marketing department how genuinely sincere are you to your reports, peers, clients, prospects, folks on Twitter, pro bono clients, and other stakeholders? Or, are you merely making the bottom line sing on steroids without concern for emotions anywhere?

I suggest that being heartful may be a sign of maturity. When you’re starting out on a career path, there’s not much helpfulness happening. I recall distinctly how competitive the Chicago agencies were in which I worked. Each of us was out for numero uno to get the boss’s nod. I also remember how ugly that was; a complete power trip.

As I moved up the ranks, it became apparent I liked to teach, and the firm I owned, Soulati Media Relations, hired kids out of college. It was grueling, but I knew, even at my own young age of 30-years-old, that I wanted to pay it forward.

Now, much later in life and still on a professional trajectory, I see things differently in business. Helpfulness and educating others are part of my client service; some call this servant leadership that comes from a world of faith, as I’m told.

And so, in a heartful business, others come first before the dollar. Yes, yes, profit is critical as it pays the salaries of all who contribute; however, the emotional foundation and health of humanity in the workplace begets the strength of the dollar for your bottom line. I know this because there are studies galore about happy wife, happy life…heh. I mean, happy employee, lots of productivity.

In fact, today’s Wall Street Journal kindly shared a story with data I can use to prove my point:

In the April 20, 2016 edition of the Wall Street Journal, “Job satisfaction hit its highest level – 88% — in a decade, says a report.”

The Society for Human Resources Management survey of 600 full-time and part-time workers “found that the biggest contributor to job satisfaction was ‘respectful treatment of all employees at all levels,’ which 67% of respondents cited as critical to their happiness on the job.”

What great fodder in support of my heartfulness theory!

Heartfulness begins with the CEO, entrepreneur, founder, president, business owner; you know that gal in the corner office or only office! Even if you are a solo, you can exhibit heartfulness to your peers, vendors and clients. It’s highly discernible; trust me, as I try to live that culture every day as a solopreneur.

If you have a small team of say, five folks, for sure there’s someone at the helm, and the culture you create for your team is embodied throughout your team and the network you create to conduct business. Respect has a lot to do with it. Employees know when and if an employer respects them, and they govern themselves accordingly!

We spoke on The Heart of Marketing about Zenefits, a startup in the HR sector that allowed alcohol at work every day and fun was the tone. What happened was sex in the stairwell and an out-of-control workplace all because the leadership permitted that party atmosphere in the first place. Check out one of the above links to learn more about that!

Charitable giving and rewards for performance are helpful ways to be heartful in business; yet, there’s a fine line. No leadership team wants to be taken advantage of by employees or for employees to have an expectation that financial gifts are commonplace and not earned.

At the end of the day, every single person on this planet must develop heartfulness on his or her journey, and it comes with intent. You don’t awake one morning to say, “I want to be more heartful today.”

You awake over the course of 10 years of mornings, after a particularly challenging stretch of your journey, and you say, “It’s time to make an attitude adjustment. I am ready to be more loving, caring, helpful, emotionally connected with my fellow man, in tune and perceptive of those in need, aware so I can lend a hand on occasion, sensitive to those less able, and cognizant of my own productivity and contribution to our green Earth.”

Consumer Buying Habits Still Challenge Retailers

ALT="Jayme Soulati Christmas Tree 2015"Consumer buying habits remain a mystery to retailers, apparently.

Yesterday, I was at a holiday party with my tennis groupies in an affluent home with several Christmas trees and many lovely decorations admired by all. The conversation launched into the fact that there were no more cool ornaments in stores, and the selection of holiday decorating accessories is limited.

We talked about Target and Pier One as places to go on the hunt while others preferred to wait until after Christmas for the deals. Wait! We all agreed there are no more after-Christmas deals for decorating goodies; if you see them before Christmas, you have to snap them up. That is so sad. We used to be able to get really cool ornaments and now retailers are not stocking shelves. Who wants to buy ornaments online, anyway? You have to touch them already.
The fact that retailers began to limit holiday selections is not new. I noticed this trend about 2009-2010 during the last recession when no one was buying that stuff. [Read more…]

Tips For #ReturnOnOptimism

ALT="Jayme Soulati, Mini Cooper"In the face of adversity, there is only optimism. In a survey YOU can take by Xerox called #ReturnOnOptimism, it helps you find your return on optimism score so you can work on finding and feeling optimistic in spite of world affairs.

This sponsored post is really intriguing because optimism is a trend right now. Have you noticed that everywhere you read, another story is being written on the topic? What Xerox has done is create a website, with a neat and graphically pleasing quiz to score your optimistic emotions. I’m generally optimistic; however, everyone needs a push now and again. (I share personal tips on how I get through negative vibes below.) Once you find your score, you can stick around the site and find tips and resources the experts suggest on bettering your emotional quotient. It’s pretty cool.

The differentiator for this story, though, is that you can take the quiz to see just how optimistic you are at work. Maybe you need to do a bit of work on boosting the happy vibes?

Read on and see what I did to get through a very trying time… [Read more…]

Tap Small Business Resources To Improve Success

ALT="Work In Progress, Jayme Soulati"A long time ago, I had an idea for a small-business website. It would be oriented to the backbone of the business, the inside. Much like a blog’s backend, a business has one, too. It’s the toughest thing about being an entrepreneur; yet, it’s the most important.

By now, I’ve been out of the actual formal workforce longer than I’ve been employed inside a company. That trend is happening more and more with the onset of more small businesses vying for self-employment and successful companies. How you ensure that success depends greatly on the resources you tap for the how-to knowledge you need.

I’m going to share a few of those resources in this sponsored post for Cox Blue. It has published a bevy of small-business essentials to keep your SMB growing. I hadn’t known how in-depth Cox Media Group was with its helpfulness for SMBs until I started perusing its site and blog.  Its website functions much like a walking encyclopedia of business resources. You can access any of those right here at Cox Blue. [Read more…]

May Is For Small Business, Soldiers And Graduation

The grad kissed the pig! via soulati

The grad kissed the pig! via soulati

May is the month for Memorial Day, graduation from school, and a week to commemorate small businesses. What’s the common thread among these three?

Everyone knows someone in school. Every American knows someone protecting our country. Small business owners are so prolific and growing daily by the minute.

Entrepreneurs Are A Necessity

So often we small business owners get short shrift for what we accomplish as the engines of prosperity in America. There are days I feel that way, too, alongside the 600 brothers and sisters in small businesses surveyed and reported by Cox Media in the 2014 Small Business Barometer.

Cox Blue is a proponent of small businesses; you can see that theme throughout its website. In this sponsored post, I want to share some results of its study that hit home with me.

Cox Blue 2014 Small Business Barometer

[Read more…]