What does tantric sex have to do with being an entrepreneur? My friend and colleague, Aprille Trupiano, explained it to me. She is an international expert on business and leadership and she's really passionate, in both life and work. So when she explained how sexy building your business can be, her analogy of tantric sex with entrepreneurialism made perfect sense.
We have to start with what "tantric" actually means. It's a Sanskrit word that revolves around the concept of weaving and expansion. It's a derivative of the word "tan" which means to expand, spin out and weave.
Free Dictionary explains it as "concerned with powerful ritual acts of body, speech and mind."
Isn't that what our businesses are all about?
As entrepreneurs, our business is a reflection of who we are, how we think, what we say, and how we behave. Here are the basic tenets and how they weave into being a Tantric Entrepreneur.
1. Honor what's sacred
Your business is an extension of who you are; both as a human being and as a contributor to the world. But too often, entrepreneurs run their businesses as if they are an employee. An employee who is in constantly trying not to get fired - by our clients, by our vendors, and by our landlord. We have to understand the areas in which our business is sacred. In other words, know the values upon which you built your business. The values of your business drive everything.
When you know the values of your business, you treat your time as sacred and stop wasting it on things that aren't productive, don't generate revenue or don't fire up your passion. When you honor what's sacred in your business, you stay true to the heart of your business goals, objectives, mission and vision, rather than changing course every time a client or customer wants something that isn't the core of what you provide in your business.
In tantric sex, you pay close attention to your breathing and get really in tune with how you're engaging with your partner. In business, Aprille says "how you do anything is how you do everything." It's critical to notice how you're doing things -- even the most basic things that are like the act of "breathing" in your business. When you notice how you're "breathing" in your business (as in sex) you stop and think before you make your next move.
In business, you have to think first and reflect on your actual plan. This is a critical step to assessing where you are, how it's going, what your original intentions or goals were and then to pace yourself. Finally, you can "true up' the course when you find yourself off track. But you can never do that, unless you were paying attention in the first place.
3. Vary position
Obvious right? Well, maybe during sex, but in business, it's not so obvious. Entrepreneurs tend to do things the same way over and over - even when it's not working. Sometimes it's because we fear knowing the truth and where we really stand. (And don't we all want to think we're the world's best lover...ehem, business owner?) Sometimes it's because we don't know how to do it any other way. (Who wants to admit that? -- whether in the bedroom or the board room.)
Consider this. Doing things the same way all the time leaves little room for exploration and play. Entrepreneurs don't like to get bored. When you take calculated risks, varying your position, your practices, your strategies or your methodologies, you see quantum growth. This is what happens when you have an intimate knowledge of your clients, customers, industry, business financials and business capacity.
The tantric tenet of varying position also assumes that when we do what brings us most pleasure and build on that, we make our partners happy too. The same thing applies in your business. When you do things that fuel your passion, like working with clients you love, doing the things you love and delegating the rest, not only do you have more fun, your partners, team members, customers, and clients also have more fun.
4. Make sound
Yeah, it's getting a little weird, right? Wouldn't you love it if your customers and clients had that "satisfied ruckus" after experiencing your products and services? And then if they told everyone else about it? It's all about making some noise. Noise is communication to your customers and clients as well as your prospects. In fact, Aprille says you should be focused on three things:
a) letting your prospects know you're here, you understand, and you can fulfill their needs;
b) letting your partners (prospects, clients, and team members) know you're engaged with them and that you welcome open dialogue; and
c) letting your partners (both internal and external) know you're enjoying them by celebrating, acknowledging and rewarding them.
5. Pay attention
In tantric sex you always maintain direct eye contact. It creates a deep connection that intensifies the experience and makes it memorable, so your partner can't wait to have that again with you. That's what you want between you and your customers and clients, too. You want them to think of you as the "best they've ever had," right?
To have this kind of tantric entrepreneurial experience between you and your clients, visit Aprille's website for five secrets to tantric entrepreneurialism.
Too often, we believe that business has to be boring, stuffy and confined to the daytime, so we can spend our evenings doing what we are really passionate about. As Aprille showed us, your business can be filled with the same passion and excitement as a good old-fashioned roll in the hay.