How is entrepreneurship similar to a psychedelic journey? How can we build strength and resiliency as an entrepreneur while also doing our psychedelic healing work? In my experience, entrepreneurship feels like being on a long, deep, and intense psychedelic journey that never seems to end. I want to share how you can use this metaphor to tap into the energy of your higher self and expand to the next level of your life and your business.
(FYI, if you’re interested in starting or growing a transformational business, check out my free training and guidebook to learn the first steps to get clarity, get clients, and grow a psychedelic or spiritual business you love).
Dealing with Imposter Syndrome
So let’s start with a story. This story is about a friend of mine who is also involved in the psychedelic industry and also has a podcast. Said friend reached out to me for an exploratory call about potentially becoming a client. I was surprised because, from what I saw on social media, he seemed to have a successful business, and a loyal following of his public profile.
During our call, he confided in me that he was actually afraid to promote himself or his work, and he didn’t feel comfortable asking for money. He shared his fear of being seen as pushy or sleazy.
I dug a little deeper with him to get to the root of his fears and doubts. I asked him a few questions like “How do you feel when you share your work?” and “What specifically are you afraid of?”. He responded with a fear that MANY of my clients and people in the entrepreneurial space feel: imposter syndrome.
When your mind is filled with limiting beliefs and doubts that make you question yourself, you might find your brain in a loop of thinking thoughts like, “Who am I to do this?”, “I only have X number of years experience…”, etc.
I was challenging him to reframe his thoughts and observe his inaction from a different perspective. I had explained how these thoughts were keeping him from progressing and preventing him from sharing his work with people, which is actually a disservice. If he has an offer that can truly help people, why NOT spread the word and let it be known that he can help? What about all those people out there who need your help?
Now let’s compare this to a psychedelic journey. If you have experience with psychedelic medicines, you would know that very often, your journey can take you into some super scary and uncomfortable places. You can feel overwhelmed or overpowered by the experience. You might even go “dark” and have what some might call “a bad trip”. But you ca’t really escape it — you have to learn to sit through the discomfort in order to experience the growth of the challenging experience from the psychedelic medicines.
In a psychedelic experience as well as in building a business, you will have your deepest, darkest inner fears brought to the surface. You will be tested and challenged mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Whatever doubts about yourself you’ve been pushing to the back of your mind will be revealed, and your deepest fears about survival will show themselves, and whether or not you trust yourself (and trust in Life itself) will repeatedly be put to the ultimate test.
Challenging Limiting Beliefs
It’s not uncommon to think, “Who am I to do this?” and “What will people think of me?”. You’ll doubt whether you’re good enough, worthy enough, trained enough, and so on. That’s generally the imposter syndrome that a lot of new clients come to me feeling.
When it comes to being seen, you might fear what your friends and family will think of you and your ambitions. You don’t want to be judged or teased for following a path you feel strongly about. These fears can make you scared to take action because you’re afraid of the consequences. What if you lose your friends? Or what if you become too successful and aren’t prepared to handle it?
Then there are all the concerns about actually starting and running the business. You might wonder, “How do I start?”, “What is a Psychedelic Entrepreneur?” and “How do I get clarity about what I’m doing?”.
Let me clear something up before I continue because there’s a lot of confusion and misguided information out there. When you buy into the idea that you “need” to have an amazing website, a successful podcast, a best-selling book, 10,000 training hours, etc., you’re feeding into the idea that you’re not good enough as you are.
This is all coming from a deeper sense of not being good enough or not being worthy enough, or not being “fill out the blank” enough.
In the end, following the path of entrepreneurship can bring up a lot of inner fear, doubt, and limiting beliefs that hinder your progress. These blocks can stop you from achieving the life and business you desire. This is often the case with many of my clients who join my group mastermind, intensives, or other programs.
How Psychedelics Can Help Your Business (maybe not what you think it is)
But here’s what I believe:
People who have experience working with psychedelics and/or sacred plant medicines may have an advantage in dealing with these challenges. Starting a new business can be uncomfortable and painful, similar to the challenging and uncomfortable experiences often associated with psychedelic journeys.
One of the biggest benefits of doing psychedelics or sitting with ayahuasca is to create a path for true healing and working through the darkness, fears, and shadows we find ourselves struggling against. When we bring the shadows to the surface, we can begin to work on them, heal ourselves, and become a better version of ourselves.
This is the same process that happens in your business, and it’s the only way to become successful in your business. If you’re feeling called to be a coach, a healer, or some kind of a psychedelic leader or integration coach, this inner work is what will make or break your business.
One reason I LOVE helping my clients who have worked with sacred plant medicines or psychedelics is that they tend to be more willing and able to sit in the pains and discomfort of the earlier stages of entrepreneurship (which is my speciality!)
If you’re not willing to do the often quite challenging inner work, you will not be able to move forward in the “outer“, and you’ll remain stuck. That’s why it’s so valuable to work with a coach or join a group business coaching program where you are guided and supported through your process. Working with someone who understands your struggles and has gone through a similar journey, along with other people who are facing similar challenges, creates a safe and supportive environment where it is easier to overcome doubts, limiting beliefs, and difficult emotions. Facing all of this on your own can be much harder.
Become the Observer of Your Thoughts
I’ve been here multiple times throughout my entrepreneurial journey, as this is my third business, and I’ve gone through these processes with every business. Every time I up-level, I go through it in a slightly different way, and I’m also reminded of this natural occurrence in the universe: the concept of contraction and expansion. Each time we expand, we’re met with these two forces. Before you go to expand, there must be a contraction. It’s just like the breath: in and out.
Let’s look at this example. Say you’ve just started a business as a coach or healer, and you decide to work with someone like me, a Spiritual and Psychedelic-Informed Business Coach. You’ve developed your first offer and this whole program to help others. You start to implement my methodology of sharing your own unique medicine, and suddenly, your body starts shaking, you get scared, and you think, “Wow, I’m about to share this with the world and start talking about it. I’ll be doing live workshops, recording content, working on collaborations, starting an email list, etc.”
You hesitate because all the fears and doubts start to surface, but the only way to get past this obstacle is to go through it…you can’t just ignore it. It’s not possible to have a successful online business if you don’t let anybody know about what you’re offering! Yes, you have to put yourself out there, so the world knows what you’re offering and they can decide if they want to invest in what you offer. If you avoid sharing what you do with others, how do you expect get clients?
As an entrepreneur, you have to learn how to take a step back and become the observer of your thoughts. For me, meditation, chanting, visualization, and journaling are helpful tools to engage the observer within us. By separating our mind from ourselves, we can connect with our higher self and observe our path from the outside.
Facing Your Fears Head-On
One of my scariest experiences ever, where I really thought I would never touch psychedelic medicines again in my life, was about 6 years ago on a dieta with ayahuasca. I remember being pushed to my limits — to the deepest, darkest parts of my psyche and soul, and wondering if I just had a bad batch of medicine despite being with the same person I had sat with for many, many years.
After internally freaking the h out for a while, and declaring that I was done drinking any medicine on the dieta… I had this epiphany where I realized the cause of the suffering was (1) my mind, (2), that I was trying to RUN from the suffering, and that (3) I was contributing to and making my own suffering worse by trying to avoid it and perpetuate it with my thoughts about how bad the suffering was. It’s a downward spiral, looping over and over and over. In Buddhism, there is a story about the double arrow that explains how when we experience trauma, the initial pain is like the first arrow that hits us. However, as humans, we tend to add MORE suffering by shooting a second arrow into that same spot, by trying to run from it, dwelling in it, being a victim, etc… making the pain even worse.
Our minds have a tendency to create more suffering for ourselves than we really need. This realization taught me that the only way to move forward was to face the pain head-on. The following night, when I had to take medicine again, I considered quitting altogether. However, I knew deep down that I needed to confront my discomfort and sit with it.
Interestingly, that next night, some ancestral intergenerational trauma that I’d done plenty of work on was still showing up and letting me know that it wasn’t “healed”. I remember being annoyed that I had to revisit it when I thought I’d put it all behind me. I didn’t want to see it again, but I was forced to sit with it. To just BE in the pain…to sit still in the discomfort. And not only sit in the pain, but go INTO the pain.
This process happens in business, too. There will always be triggering events or situations that can bring up the doubts and fears you thought you’d healed or contained long ago. The reality is that there will be things you can’t control as you run your business.
You might receive bad feedback from clients or negative comments on social media platforms, and these events will test your limits and your mindset. The only way to combat it is to build your strength, resilience, and self-love so you can endure the discomfort that comes with building a business.
Learn to Build New Stories for Yourself
Instead of trying to repress and ignore the negative talk, practice reframing and reshaping the thoughts that come up. Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re feeling self-doubt creep in when you’ve gotten multiple potential clients in a row saying “no” to your offer. While it might sting, there are still billions of people on the planet, and you only need a handful of them to say “yes” to build the business of your dreams.
It will definitely feel scary to continue to put yourself out there, but when you remind yourself that a lot of your fear and judgment is coming from your own mind, you’ll be able to push through and replace negative thoughts with positive ones and get your offer in front of the people who want what you provide. That’s the higher self path.
When you develop your ability to be the observer of your thoughts, and you learn to approach your thoughts with curiosity, you’ll gain more control of your journey and develop an awareness that is necessary for finding success in your path as a human and as a business owner. It’s crucial to stay connected to the possibility of what the future holds and where we want to be in the next six months, one year, or two years. That’s the way forward.
If you need support, I have a wonderful group business coaching mastermind program of like-minded individuals who are on the spiritually-centered or psychedelic medicine path, called to transformational entrepreneurship. People who are called to create businesses that make a difference in the world. My mastermind is always open, and you can join (almost) at any time. Additionally, I offer 1-1 Private Business and Leadership Coaching, I have a Group Intensive Business Coaching Program that is open for enrollment once or twice a year, and I offer various other programs and courses. I’d love to see you in one of my programs working towards building your transformational dream business.