Today, we’re taking a little bit of a different tact than we normally have in this conversation. In this podcast episode, we’re going to be talking with Heather Dominick about what she calls a Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur.
Heather Dominick is a woman who is impressively successful, and highly spiritual. A former high school drama teacher who collaborated with none other than Bette Midler. 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.
In today’s episode you’ll learn:
- What is Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur?
- How did you know you were one?
- What are some of the greatest challenges to being an HSE?
- What are the HSE Coping Mechanisms and why is it important to understand these if you’re an HSE?
- How do the Coping Mechanisms relate to the HSE Coping Cycle?
Narrator: Welcome to The Sustainable Business Radio Show podcast where you’ll learn not only how to create a sustainable business but you’ll also learn the secrets of creating extraordinary value within your business and your life. In The Sustainable Business, we focus on what it’s going to take for you to take your successful business and make it economically and personally successful. Your host, Josh Patrick, is going to help us through finding great thought leaders as well as providing insights he’s learned through his 40 years of owning, running, planning and thinking about what it takes to make a successful business sustainable.
Josh: Hey, this is Josh Patrick and you’re at The Sustainable Business podcast. Today, we’re taking a little bit of a different tact than we normally have in this conversation. Today, we’re going to be talking with Heather Dominick. And we’re going to be talking with her about what she calls a highly sensitive entrepreneur.
And from what I understand – and I may be wrong about this, so I’m wrong, Heather will I’m sure correct me, is that her work is with highly sensitive entrepreneurs is based on the Course in Miracles. I’ve read through the course several years ago. I’m not sure I’m a great practitioner. I tend to be worshipping at the pew of stoics these days. But, at any rate, we’re going to let Heather talk about a highly sensitive entrepreneur is and how it relates with the Course in Miracles and why you need to be paying attention to this so you can run a more conscious business which I am in favor of. So let’s bring Heather in.
Hey, Heather, how are you today?
Heather: I’m great. Thank you. So happy to be here with you.
Josh: I’m glad to have you. So do you like my wandering on conversation about you?
Heather: Yes [laughs].
Josh: [laughs] So, you know, I mean, this is a very, very different topic than I normally get into on the Sustainable Business.
Josh: And I’m kind of looking forward to it because I’ve been attracted to Course in Miracles for years. I have found it to be quite useful in my life. But, as I did mention, I’m kind of doing my meditations around stoicism these days instead of The Course in Miracles because it kind of fits where I am in my life. But at any rate, what is a highly sensitive entrepreneur? And what is the Course in Miracles? Because I’m going to bet that our listeners today are not clear on either.
Heather: Okay. Great. A fantastic place to start.
So I’ll speak to the Course first which is a psychological and spiritual curriculum and teaching that was basically downloaded by a research professor at Columbia University. And that was in the late-70s, early-80s. And I’ve been a student of the Course for over 30 years now, And I was really brought to Course in Miracles with the early passing of my mother when I was 14 years old. And the Course has really served as such a foundation for so many aspects in my life.
And a highly sensitive entrepreneur, the short answer is that is a person who’s highly sensitive, who feels called to be an entrepreneur. But let me go into that just a little bit more. So a highly sensitive person is a term that was coined by researcher and psychologist Dr. Elaine Aron in the mid-90s of the last century. And what she’s found through her research is that there’s actually 20% of us who are born into the world highly sensitive.
And what that basically means is that our nervous system, and nervous system brain, registers stimulation at a higher level than someone who is not highly sensitive. So that could be anything from processing information to taking in energy, to really just working with environmental stimulations like noises, smells, et cetera.
So what that means is that, first and foremost, this is not something that happened to you. If you are highly sensitive, it’s not something that your parents did to you. It’s not something that you picked up on the playground in kindergarten or because of that weird purple drink you had in college.
Heather: You’re literally born into a world this way.
So, when a person who’s highly sensitive feels called to be an entrepreneur, it makes sense because this person tends to be very service oriented via the strengths that I’ve identified. And yet most who are highly sensitive tend to operate from what I refer to as their shadows. So being in business as a highly sensitive must be done differently. And that’s where a Course in Miracles dovetails with the Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur Movement because according to the course, the definition of a miracle is a shift in perception.
And in order for a highly sensitive to be a highly successful entrepreneur, they must be willing to have a shift in perception, first and foremost, about how they see themselves. Second, about how they see business and then, therefore, approach business. And, finally, how they operate within their business – everything from marketing to selling and overall operations. That’s the long answer.
Josh: My question is, what you just described as a highly sensitive entrepreneur, not 100% but about 85% to 90% seems to dovetail with what a description of an introvert is.
Heather: That is a great observation. I’m so happy to talk to that when you’re ready,
Josh: So why don’t we talk about that a little bit because it just seems to be something that – I am an introvert and introverts live in a world differently than extroverts do.
Heather: Mm-hmm, absolutely. Yes.
Josh: And actually, most of us are sort of an omnivert of some sort or other but that’s a different conversation.
Josh: So, are highly sensitive entrepreneurs introverts? Could they be an extrovert? I mean, where does all of this fit in?
Heather: Absolutely. So being highly sensitive doesn’t mean that you’re automatically introverted although the two definitely often dovetail together. But the real simplistic definition of the difference between the two is an introvert is someone who does not receive energy or motivation from being around people though they most likely or perhaps may or may not love being around people. There is often a period of recuperation that’s needed. And introverts do very well on their own.
A highly sensitive is just about the way stimulation is processed. So for the other 80% who are not highly sensitive, they might find something maybe slightly stimulating or not so stimulating at all. I always like to use a rock concert as an example. And a highly sensitive will find that either extremely stimulating or even like bull them over or shut-their-system-down-stimulating. An introvert might have a preference to not be at a rock concert but doesn’t necessarily mean that their nervous system brain is going be processing the stimulation at the same level that a person who’s highly sensitive would.
So as you said yourself, you know, really we’re learning more and more that there isn’t necessarily just a black and white between introvert and extrovert. So you can definitely have highly sensitives who are introverted. You can have highly sensitives who are also extroverted. And it really just comes back to processing of stimulation and “Do you feel energized from the activity or energies? Or do you feel that you actually need to experience a process of recuperation?”
Josh: One of my favorite methods of managing is what I call leading from the back where you’re not in the front of the room leading but you can be very effective as a leader by adding appropriate comments at the right time. So would a highly sensitive entrepreneur be one who leads from the back, or do they lead from the front, or does it not matter?
Heather: That’s a great question. I would say it probably doesn’t matter. And it’s really about the individual.
Josh: Okay. So are highly sensitive entrepreneurs always born or are they occasionally made through life experiences as time goes on?
Heather: Also, a great question. So, again, according to Dr. Aron’s research, we as highly sensitives, are born into the world this way. However, any type of traumatic experience that the highly sensitive may or may not had as part of their growing up et cetera will or can exacerbate, right, the highly sensitive nature. So a lot of the work that I do is very much an inner and an outer approach because though a highly sensitive me feel called to be an entrepreneur, typically they haven’t learned how to really manage their highly sensitive nature so that it’s really working for them from their strengths. And, again, that goes back to a time when that highly sensitive nature most likely was exacerbated based on some type of socialization experience.
Josh: So I’m a highly sensitive entrepreneur. I’m not sure if I am or not. But, I mean, the reason I ask that was because I specifically went from being arguably as bad a manager and leader as you possibly could be—
Josh: –to being one that got to be pretty good. And it was through some life experiences and workshops I took and things along that nature. So I’m not really quite sure where I would put myself with your descriptions. But what would be— you know, somebody who is a highly sensitive entrepreneur, how would they be different in running their company versus somebody who’s not?
Well, I would say probably and always – let me speak to some specific examples. So, first of all, there’s a retraining process that is of much value to a highly sensitive which is, again, the work that I do where you really are learning how to view yourself and your highly sensitive abilities as strengths and really be able to use them as strengths. And sometimes I like to even refer to them as superpowers.
So, for example, some of our strengths as a highly sensitive is that we are very intuitive. We’re very empathic. We are very deep listeners, deep thinkers, deep feelers. And so, when you learn how to use those strengths to support you with your marketing, to support you with your selling, to support how you go about operating your business, it’s a real 180 if looks and then therefore feels very different than the majority of what’s taught in traditional business training.
We can take sales for an example and—
Heather: –typical sales is really about, you know, get it done, close it down. Often, there’s a scarcity mindset that’s, you know, really emphasized in being able to close the sale. And the sales process that I teach is a real flip-the-switch version of that. It’s slower. It allows the HSE to really be able to access their intuition, to really be able to use that deep listening and come at the entire selling conversation in a way that is more expansive. And even the feedback that I got from my community members is that it’s often a very spiritual experience for both the HSE and the prospect. So that’s just one example.
Josh: One of the things that I really am very fond of is a thing called the challenger sale. And what a challenger sale is is that the salesperson doesn’t go in to necessarily build rapport, what they really go into is challenge the belief system of the purchaser and challenge them to think about a particular issue that they’re talking about in a way that it’s different than what they may have thought about the problem when they first started talking. And then, you have to obviously have to have a solution for that. So would that be a type of sale that you would see a HSE do? Or would that be just what the other 80% of the world do?
Heather: Well, what I appreciate about that approach – I’ve never heard that term before, honestly, but it makes a lot of sense, is that it’s about challenging the belief system. So I would say that would definitely be a valuable approach for an HSE but probably the way an HSE would go about that would look very different than an 80-percenter would go about doing that same type of approach.
Josh: Now, you have a tool that helps people figure out whether they’re an HSE or not, correct?
Heather: Yes, that is correct.
Josh: How do they find that tool, before I go down to my next rabbit hole?
Heather: Okay. Okay.
Yes. So that’s really, really helpful because as you’re listening, you might either (a) be thinking, “Wow, this is like the craziest conversation I’ve ever heard,” or (b) “Oh, my gosh, that’s so interesting. I think I might actually be an HSE.” And so, I definitely recommend taking the quiz that I provide. And you can find that at HSEQuiz.com. And you’ll take that quiz and it will let you know if you are either somewhat of an HSE, a super HSE, or if you’re like me and you’re a super-uber HSE.
Josh: [laughs] An uber HSE, that’ll be fun [laughs].
So if I’m a manager or I’m a leader and I like to lead by asking questions, would that be a sign that you’re an HSE?
Heather: Possibly. One, I would say it’s a sign that you’re a great leader [laughs]. I actually just read a Harvard research article that was all about learning how to, not only lead with questions but to create brainstorm opportunities with your right leader teams from a question perspective rather than a solution perspective. So I love that you brought that up.
What I would say more likely would demonstrate if the leader was a highly sensitive or not would be, what do they do with the answers or responses that are given to the questions? Do they deeply listen and really take in and integrate, and then are able to, you know, sift through that response information, again, if they’re operating from their strengths? Or do they not really take it all in and they kind of just pull over and they move on to the next question and it doesn’t necessarily matter what the responses given? So I would say that would probably be more of the possible indicator if a leader’s highly sensitive.
Josh: Okay. So here’s my next stupid question.
Heather: [laughs] Not stupid at all. I’m loving these questions.
Josh: In most successful companies, there is a person who has the role of the visionary and there is also a person who has the role of the implementer. This is especially true when you get companies over 50 employees. It’s hard to get those two roles really well delineated in smaller companies. But in larger companies, they definitely exist. You know, for example, at Apple, Steve Jobs was the visionary. Steve Wozniak was the implementer.
Heather: Right, yes.
Josh: You always see there’s like, you know, at Facebook you’ve got Sherly Sandberg who’s the implementer. Although it’s hard to tell who’s the implementor and visionary at Facebook because I think that Sheryl Sandberg and Zuckerberg probably change roles a fair amount.
Heather: Mmm, interesting.
Josh: But would an HSE more likely be the visionary or the implementer in a company?
Heather: Yes, they would more likely be the visionary.
Heather: And that is one of the HSE strengths that I’ve identified. And so, the implementer aspect needs to be taught. Especially when an HSE is called to be a solopreneur, they really need to be able to learn how to step into that active consistency to implement.
Josh: So, on a bigger company– and this is with the audiences for this show, for a bigger company then, if you’re an HSE, you should stay away from the implementer role and probably hire someone to be your implementer and stay in the role of visionary where you get to use your intuition, you get to be the innovator probably, or do innovative stuff, and think about the business in a different way than other folks do. And then you have to have a way of selling that vision to people who are probably more linear than you are.
Heather: Yes, that would definitely be the ideal. But again, the key would be that the highly sensitive has learned to operate from their strengths and they’re not caught up in the shadow side of the highly sensitive nature.
Josh: Well, that would true with everybody who runs a business. Hopefully, that if you get 50 employees and you’re not running from unique ability, you’re going to have problems with your business. That’s all there is to it.
Heather: That’s true, yes.
Josh: You know, so that’s basically true with all businesses. So that’s sort of my viewpoint around these things.
So businesses that are led by HSEs, do they tend to be more successful than businesses that are not led by HSEs?
Heather: I would say it would probably most likely depend on the type of business. And, again, how aware of being highly sensitive is the highly sensitive entrepreneur. I know, for the first seven years, in my own business, I was not aware that I was highly sensitive. And so, my highly sensitive abilities were really working against me rather than for me because I didn’t know how to use them and I really got caught in what I’ve come to identify as the HSE coping mechanisms. And one of the coping mechanisms is that you are what I refer to as a pusher. So you’ll get done, what the other 80% gets done but it comes at a high cost for you. And that was definitely what happened for me.
Josh: Ah, well, Heather, we are almost out of time so I would think I would love to have you let people know where they can find your quiz and any other information that people might want if they wanted to contact you about the work you do.
And if you happen to be listening and you think you might be a highly sensitive entrepreneur or just curious who you are, I highly recommend you do the quiz. I love these quizzes. I do them all time. And I even sometimes learn something from them.
So where will we find you? Well, we got the quiz URL. You can repeat that. But also, do you have an email address or a phone number or something that people might want to use?
Heather: Sure. Yes, absolutely.
So, again, the quiz is at HSEquiz.com. And once you take the quiz in addition to knowing if you’re somewhat super or superuber HSE, you’ll be given a free success guide that will allow you to— or I should say, support you to begin working with this new information and how to really implement it so it makes a difference for you. And other than that, you can also find the quiz as well as a lot of information including all contact info at BusinessMiracles.com.
I also have an offer for you. I have just— well, I didn’t just publish, it was actually January that we released my book.
Heather: Ah, exciting.
Josh: And there’s my elephark.
Josh: It’s supposed to be an aardvark—
Heather: How fantastic.
Josh: –but it’s actually an elephark.
Josh: And it’s a parable. It’s called Sustainable: A Fable About Creating a Personally and Economically Sustainable Business. It’s a nice story about a very dysfunctional business family. And I can promise you that the hero in this book is not an HSE.
Heather: Aha, ooh.
Josh: He’s your typical control freak.
You can find this book either at Amazon where we have a Kindle version and a physical version. Or you can get it off my website, my book website, which is www.sustainablethebook.com. And if you buy it off the website, what you’re going to get is you’re going to get a 37-page implementation guide for Sustainable and you’ll also get a free 20-minute conversation with me about something that’s bothering you or an opportunity you’re not taking advantage of. And I can pretty much promise you that, after our 20 minutes, you’re going to walk away with something that’s actionable that will make your business and your life better.
Josh: This is Josh Patrick. You’ve been at the Sustainable Business. Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope to see you back here really soon.
Narrator: You’ve been listening to The Sustainable Business podcast where we ask the question, “What would it take for your business to still be around a hundred years from now?” If you like what you’ve heard and want more information, please contact Josh Patrick at 802-846-1264 ext 2, or visit us on our website at www.askjoshpatrick.com, or you can send Josh an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for listening. We hope to see you at The Sustainable Business in the near future.