What does spirituality have to do with business? EVERYTHING, argues Taz Thornton.
In some ways, it feels as though this article has been a long time coming. In others, it feels as though I’m stating the obvious.
Whichever way I choose to look at this, one thing I know is that these words need to spill out of my heart, via my head, and onto this page.
If you’ve been consuming my content for a while, if you’ve paid attention to what really makes me tick, this will come as no surprise at all. If you’ve come here to learn purely about personal branding, visibility and all things business confidence, it might come as a bit of a shock.
Did you notice that?
Two of those first paragraphs spoke of polar opposites. No middle ground. No bridge. Black or white. Left or right.
And that is precisely what I believe to be wrong, not only in the business world, but in society at large.
It’s all very Lord Of The Flies. Tribalism at its worst.
We file ourselves into camps, stick rigidly to our ‘argument’ and never waver. Or, at least, never in plain sight.
Want to get your algorithm up on social media? Pick any one of those ridiculously polarising topics, write a bit of juicy content, then light the blue touch paper and stand back. Tattoos. Politics. Covid vaccinations…
…and the topic I’m writing about today: spirituality and business.
I’ve been skirting around it for years.
I’m a Reiki master, I spent a decade or so learning from shamans and medicine people, I do ‘readings’, I created my own divination set, I drum, rattle, smudge, and I’m trained in the arts of shamanic healing, soul retrievals and extractions, building ‘clearance’ (of the energetic variety, not furniture removals) and mediumship, and I was the weird kid who seemed to be able to see, sense and ‘know’ things I ‘shouldn’t’ have been able to see, sense or know.
I’ve been running The Big One — my 13 month spiritual empowerment programme — for more than a decade, as well as a three year spiritual development programme, monthly meditation evenings and occasional basic training courses to teach people the fundamentals of shamanism, animism and journey work. I used to teach people to make their own drums, rattles and ‘medicine tools’ as well.
I’m also a former journalist, editor, publishing director, PR and marketing specialist, as well as an author, business owner, NLP practitioner, coach, speaker and trainer.
Being able to help someone with their story and offering, grow their tribe, build their personal brand and show up power-fully and authentically comes really easily to me
Being able to help someone with their story and offering, grow their tribe, build their personal brand and show up power-fully and authentically comes really easily to me — as does helping people to create their programmes and packages, connect with the right people and learn to sell without being ‘salesy’.
The same goes for working with people to build their visibility, which might bring with it guidance on smashing it on their social channels, creating content plans and learning to speak, from the heart, like a pro — regardless of whether they want to present in the boardroom, get on radio or bag their first TED talk.
Guess which set of skills I speak about more readily — especially on LinkedIn…
I’ve gone full circle.
In the early days of self-employment, I felt so burned out by corporate life and culture, I focused the majority of my efforts on my ‘spiritual’ work. Everything was done under the brand of Firechild Shamanism (there’s still an old website kicking around, as well as an occasionally updated Facebook page).
That was all well and good, except I knew there was more.
My soul was pulling me to bring some of that work into the corporate sector, to show the power of joining those two ‘worlds’ together and so, when people started asking me to work some of my ‘magic’ in the business community, I readily agreed.
I was so clear. For me, the link between all things spiritual (or ‘universal’ or ‘energetic’ if that feels more palatable for you) and business is so, so obvious.
If we don’t know who we are, if we don’t fully understand what makes us tick, what our ‘soul mission’ is, it’s so much harder to make a success of our lives and businesses.
Those medicine teachers really drilled the importance of self-responsibility, gratitude and clean, clear intentions home to me, and they remain integral to my message and my work.
When we’ve really been willing to peel back the layers, to get to the truth of who we are (who we *were* before society moulded us out of our natural shape), it’s easier for us to speak with warmth, truth and clarity — and the energy we exude, from that place, is like a giant magnet!
When we’re operating from that place of our highest potential and soul-deep knowledge and integrity, all kinds of opportunities open up.
When we understand our deepest selves, we can create our business lives and careers accordingly…
What’s more, when we understand our deepest selves, we can create our business lives and careers accordingly; if we’re self-employed, this is massively important — we can align our business to our calling, from a place of truth, heart, determination and energetic flow.
It’s one of the reasons I’m not interested in coaching people to build businesses that aren’t in alignment, or that have the primary focus of ego and material gain. I’m not up for coaching anyone to build castles on cardboard foundations.
I choose to work with people who have a *real calling* to do/create/achieve something special — people who are inspirational, or have an inspirational mission for the world. People who are in business for all the right reasons and want to leave every place they touch more beautiful than they found it.
Balanced Business Success
In my mind, my heart, my soul, I have always so clearly seen the thread between the spiritual paths people walk, integrity, self-responsibility and awareness and building balanced business success. Everything comes back to those core values, and they flow into branding, message, speaking, marketing, storytelling, PR, audience growth, everything!
Gradually, though, as my own business grew, something shifted.
I stopped being featured in Kindred Spirit magazine, Spirit and Destiny, Soul and Spirit. I stopped being headline speaker, and teaching, at some of the major mind/body/spirit events and ‘pagan’ festivals.
In place of that came opportunities for more mainstream media: Huff Post, Metro, Daily Mail, BBC, ITV, and talks for business events and conferences all over the world, as well as those three TEDx talks.
Oh, the irony!
None of that ‘shift’ was planned. It all just unfolded that way and, honestly, I didn’t even realise I’d fallen into that trap…
None of that ‘shift’ was planned. It all just unfolded that way and, honestly, I didn’t even realise I’d fallen into that trap for a long time.
In my heart, nothing had changed.
Business was growing — booming, even — and I was genuinely loving life and my work.
Nothing filled me up like positively changing lives, whether that was in 1–1 or group coaching, or speaking on a stage. It didn’t really matter that I was being asked to speak more and more about personal brand and marketing, did it? I mean, I always brought it back to integrity and the power of self belief, courage and manifestation.
It wasn’t until lockdown that I realised how much I’d become known for my more logical ‘left-brain’ skillset, and how much people didn’t realise what underpinned the deep intuition that always comes into my coaching work.
I think I dove so deeply into helping business owners survive that horrible time, focussed so much on coaching them on business and brand development, client creation, visibility et all, that I barely spoke about my deep spiritual connections and all the wonder they brought to my work.
It’s been rammed home even further of late, when people have enthusiastically told me they’ve bought my book. “Ooh! Thank you! Which one?” I ask… and that’s when people look blank and ask if there’s another.
A year before Unleash Your Awesome came out, there was Whispers From The Earth — a far more spiritual book, which was floating around Amazon’s bestseller ranks in its categories for years — certainly for much longer than Unleash.
Whispers attracted beautiful reviews, with one likening the stories within to the writings of Rudyard Kipling, and many more saying they’ll read it again and again.
Who is Taz Thornton?
That’s not counting all the other books I’ve contributed to over the years. If you have Alexa, ask her: “Who is Taz Thornton?” and listen to her response.
Why am I speaking up about this now? Why am I coming out of the spiritual closet all over again?
Well, firstly, I didn’t realise I’d shuffled back in. My toe’s always been sticking out, but I’d definitely stopped banging the drum.
Secondly, I’m feeling a really, deeply power-full pull to step further into that space.
Thirdly, I had a really huge, beautiful ‘download’ moment in the car, only this morning — visions of blending those two worlds, re-seeing the ‘impact’ some of my more spiritual work has created for clients who’ve previously seen themselves as all business. It was one of those moments where I felt filled with the most awesome energy — crying and laughing at the same time. The closest I could describe it to one of my coaching groups was a spiritual orgasm; they then dared me to use that phrase in this article, so there it is!
I already took a big step earlier this year, when I added ‘The Super Soul Coach’ to my social profiles, and I’m already writing another book — Breaking The Woo Taboo (which is where the headline for this came from).
Walkers between the worlds
It’s not unusual to hear traditional shamans being referred to as ‘walkers between the worlds’ — one foot in the land of the living, another in the world of spirit.
Far be it from me to ever call myself a shaman (shamanista, perhaps; shamanic practitioner, certainly), but it seems that part of my calling IS to be a walker between the worlds of spirituality and business.
To bring us full circle, I genuinely believe we’ve created far too much tribalism and division in the world — we’re either seen as really left-brain and don’t believe a thing unless we can see it or feel it, or so far into the right hemisphere that we can’t get out of bed without wafting a bit of sage and tinging our Thai bells.
I believe there’s a raft of awesome possibility and potential to tap into, right down the middle, and we’re all too busy looking the other way to see it.
This is where, I believe, we’re missing something. I believe there’s a raft of awesome possibility and potential to tap into, right down the middle, and we’re all too busy looking the other way to see it.
And so, here I am. Building a bridge.
I’m a former corporate business director. I’m a powerhouse of a business speaker, coach and trainer. What you might see as my deep ‘intuition’, I might understand to be communication, messages and silent ‘nudges’ from some of the unseen ‘guides’ I’ve spent years building connections with, as well as whispers from the natural world that most of us don’t even bother to listen out for.
I’ve coached everyone from business leaders, to scientists to former special forces personnel, as well as celebrities and two BBC Dragons.
I’ve spoken on some of the biggest business stages, worked with household name brands, campaigned hard for businesses through lockdown, and regularly get featured in mainstream media, speaking on everything from business development to mental health.
I also drum, ‘journey’, meditate and check my aura is intact and my chakras are balanced fairly regularly. And yes, sometimes I see — and speak to — dead people.
I don’t wear jumpers knitted from lentils and goji berries and I don’t fart angel cards.
I’m still the same Taz. Nothing has changed, except, perhaps, being even truer to myself — I’m calling that a bit of an upgrade.
What are your feelings on the connections between spirituality and business? And are you being true to yourself enough?
Thanks so much for reading — I know this has been a long one!
Taz Thornton is the creator of Awesome Sauce — a free, weekly positive life and business round-up, with good news stories, positivity tips and visibility hacks for your brand. In a few minutes each week, you get a dose of optimism and some awesome advice to get seen and stay happy.
Taz is a best-selling author, inspirational business speaker and multiple TEDx speaker, consultant on confidence, personal brand and visibility, and an award-winning coach (UK’s Best Female Coach 2018 — Best Business Woman Awards, Female Professional Of The Year, Central England, 2020, Most Influential Woman In Business And Visibility coaching, 2021, World’s 10 Most Influential Business Leaders, 2021). She is also the creator of the #UnleashYourAwesome, #ProjectArtemis and #TheBigOne personal and business development and spiritual empowerment programmes, as well as exclusive #HeartOfSpeaking speaker training retreats.
For those on a budget, Taz is also behind #UNLEASHED — an affordable confidence, content and cashflow building programme for coaches, healers and therapists.
Taz has been featured on BBC, ITV, in HuffPost, Diva, Metro, The Daily Mail and countless other newspapers, magazines and podcasts. Taz is also a regular columnist for the America Out Loud talkshow network. In 2019, she was named as one of the most inspirational businesswomen in the UK and, in 2020, she was named as one of the world’s top 50 women in marketing to follow.