227 Heather Dominick: The Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur
Heather Dominick is a transformational leader who believes there’s a correlation between spiritual and business growth. Creator of the award-winning “A Course In Business Miracles”, Heather is helping “highly sensitive entrepreneurs” (HSEs) leveraging their intuitive strengths and find ways around the circumtances that leave many in overwhelm or burnout.
Melinda Wittstock: Heather, welcome to Wings.
Heather Dominick: Thank you so much, I’m so happy to be here with you.
Melinda Wittstock: I know. I’m so excited to talk to you because I’m really intrigued by what it means to be sensitive in business.
Heather Dominick: Yes. I think to really speak to that, the place to start is just really to the well defined, as well as created definition, of highly sensitive, which comes from Dr. Elaine Aron and her research that she really began in the mid 1990s. Through her research, what she discovered is that there are 20% of us who are born into the world highly sensitive. What that means, basically in a nutshell, is that for those of us who are highly sensitive, our nervous system is wired differently. It’s wired differently in a way that we process stimulation at a much higher level than someone who is not highly sensitive. That stimulation can come in all forms through all senses, so that would mean for example that you maybe hear things at a deeper level, or sounds effect you more than someone who isn’t highly sensitive. Same for smells, same for sights, but also, same for information, and because we take in this stimulation at a much, again, higher, deeper level, it can really create an impact on how it is that we relate with the outside world.
For my work, where my research and the development of my body of great work has continued on Dr. Aron’s, is what does this mean when you are a person who is called to be self employed? How do you work with that high sensitivity? I’m sure we’ll go into more of it in our conversation, but basically I’ve really come to identify what I refer to as 12 Top HSE Shadows. That’s when your highly sensitive ability, your highly sensitive traits are working against you, and then also HSE strengths, and that’s when you have it all working for you. It absolutely is manageable, but it really does take an element of understanding yourself, because if there are 20% of us, it makes sense that the rest of the world is pretty much designed for the other 80%. So, if you are a person who’s highly sensitive, most likely you’ve had the experience of feeling like, “Oh, I don’t really think I belong here.” That really needs to be worked with, managed, and learned how to channel again so that it’s working for you in your business.
Melinda Wittstock: This is so fascinating to me because when you think of entrepreneurship and how any business owner needs to be able to manage so much change, and conflict, and competition, so many of these things. How does one show up in that, managing all the ups and downs if you’re very sensitive? I mean, for instance, empathetic, introverted, all of these sorts of things, it’s quite a path to navigate, right?
Heather Dominick: Yes, it is. Absolutely. So much so, that you could be having a moment where you’re like, “What was I think? Why am I doing this?” But what I’ll say is that the very short answer of, “How?”, is “Differently.” You absolutely must go about being in business, differently, differently than the other 80%. That means that the majority of the training and teachings that are out there in terms of marketing and selling, really aren’t designed for those of us who are highly sensitive. That’s where my work comes in. I think also what’s really important to understand, is that being highly sensitive doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with you. Now, it does mean, again, that you’re going to process stimulation, information, differently, but when you really learn how to do that, then you can really have your highly sensitive nature working for you. So much so, that it really becomes more of what I like to refer to as a super power.
What’s interesting also, about highly sensitive entrepreneurs, and again though I was joking, where you might ask yourself the question as a highly sensitive, like, “Oh my gosh, what was I thinking going into business?” But the truth of it is, and according to Dr. Aron’s work, is that because of our highly sensitive nature, we are literally coded, we are designed to be what Dr. Aron refers to as the royal advisors to society. Where this is showing up in entrepreneurialism right now, is that we are excellent coaches, we are excellent healing practitioners, we are excellent therapists, we are excellent lawyers, we are excellent teachers of any kind. I could go on and on, but we are really awesomely designed to be service based business owners. It just requires a willingness to understand who you are and then go about, again, being in business in a different way than the other 80%.
Melinda Wittstock: How does it correlate with being introverted? I know so many business owners who are surprisingly introverted, myself included. All of us have learned to be able to go out and communicate very well, but by introverted I mean, you really get your energy from yourself, like you’ve been stimulated or whatever and you need to go recover. So, it’s not to confuse introversion with shyness, ’cause I’m not shy and I communicate, and speak, and do all those things, but I am introverted. Is there a correlation?
Heather Dominick: Well, yes, understood in terms of everything you’re saying about introversion, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that because you’re an introvert, you’re highly sensitive, or because you’re highly sensitive that you’re an introvert. They don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. Although, there are qualities and characteristics that can be overlapped, but it’s a bit more complex than just an equal one-for-one equation.
Melinda Wittstock: This is interesting. What about empathy? I see so many women in business who come into business wanting to make money, but more than that, really wanting to make an impact, looking for ways that they can help other people and help society as a whole. Not to say that men don’t do that and are not motivated that way, but women tend to pick those sorts of businesses. Is this an archetypal feminine trait in the way that women, we tend to rely a little bit more on our intuition and on things like empathy?
Heather Dominick: Well, it’s so interesting because you definitely hit on two of the keywords. Two of the top HSE strengths that I’ve identified are empathy and intuition. I would say in terms of being highly sensitive, that definitely is not only for those of us who are women, there are absolutely men who are highly sensitive, it tends to be a bit more of a process for a man who’s highly sensitive to come into that space to be able to embrace his HSE self. I think that’s just because there’s so much cultural stigmatism about being highly sensitive or just sensitive in general. As women, we can come into it a bit more easily, quickly, than men can, but again, empathy is absolutely one of our top HSE strengths. Really, what that’s about is that you really have the ability to be able to really connect with, put yourself in the shoes of, if you will, another person, another human being.
As highly sensitive, because we are able to, again, process information, stimulation, at such a deeper level, it really helps us to be able to pick up on subtleties of body language, movement, environment, we’re able to attune to another person’s thoughts, feelings, that much more easily and quickly than someone who’s not highly sensitive. When you really understand how to have that empathy working for you, it is absolutely an HSE strength. When you don’t understand how to have it working for you, then it pretty much flips into the top HSE shadow, which is overwhelm. A lot of that comes from because you are taking in the stimulation, the information, often in the form of energy from another person, other people, and because you don’t know how to work with it, it’s flooding your system. It’s flooding your highly sensitive nervous system and you feel overwhelmed, or again, it might be in the form of simply information.
As you were mentioning earlier, with being an entrepreneur you have conflict, you have decisions to make, so that’s where you need to again, really be able to understand how to work with your highly sensitive nervous system, so that you can access that strength of empathy rather than being pulled down into the shadow of overwhelm.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s interesting, ’cause with all positive traits, as you say, there’s a shadow. So, really getting in line with actually understanding who you are, what are the strengths, and how to leverage those strengths in a really powerful and positive way, I guess is the trick here. It’s so interesting ’cause you think of the positive side of being sensitive, growing a team. This is so, so important for entrepreneurs. Solopreneurs, you can get so far but you can’t really create any scale, or it’s very difficult to create a replicable business because it’s just you, you can’t step away from it. So, having a team is really critical, so I could see those skills being absolutely vital for being a genius at managing, and motivating, and inspiring a team. And yet, on the shadow side, it could show up in all kinds of ways, like people pleasing, or just being overwhelmed, or being too easily hurt. I guess, if someone says something you don’t like, play that out a little bit on the team side, because in particular, there are so many women who listen to this podcast, and we all talk about this, how we tend to do two things, get overwhelmed, and not be able to ask for help of people, and people please.
Heather Dominick: Yeah, for sure. Absolutely.
Melinda Wittstock: So, the positive, and the negative there, of being an HSE, when it comes to managing a team.
Heather Dominick: Yeah, for sure. Well, again, first and foremost, it goes back to really understanding that you are highly sensitive, and really being committed to working with that first and foremost, before you venture into a team.
However, with that said, I’ll say a lot of the HSEs who come to me in my mentoring programs, they’re far in it, right? They’re been in business 10 years, 15 years, 25 years, and they’ve just set it up in a way that’s not working, and they’re at a place where they’re about to implode, burn out, give up.
So, the key really is, understanding I would say two things particularly, when it comes to working with team. But, I’ll also say when working with clients, right? It goes hand-in-hand, because we’re talking about working with people. So first and foremost is that, though you have as a highly sensitive entrepreneur, the quality of being able to be empathic, and you also have the strengths of deep thinking, and deep feeling, and deep listening, that to work effectively with a team, doesn’t mean you take those qualities, and interpret it into being nice.
Melinda Wittstock: Ah, we’re all trained to be nice girls, right?
Heather Dominick: Right, so that is where that HSE shadow of people pleasing comes in, or what I refer to as over-responsibility. So, where you think, and believe that, if you take enough care of those people who are around you, whether a team, or clients, that you will then be liked, which means that you will then be successful. What’s being missed there, is how to again, be able to use the strengths in a way where you’re using say, that empathy, that intuition, that deep thinking, that deep feeling, rather than to try to figure out what your team, or clients want and need, and then give it to them. To use it instead, to be able to see a bit of the bigger picture, which as HSEs, we also have the strength of being visionary.
Then, be willing to break it down into doable steps, and when it comes to team, to use your empathy and intuition to support you in identifying who on the team is best to take on which of the doable steps.
Melinda Wittstock: Right.
Heather Dominick: Right, so hopefully everyone listening could hear the subtlety, and the shift of how you’re directing those strengths. So again, I’m not going to use my intuition to be like, oh, Sally really needs to have everything organized for her, so I’m going to do that. Instead, it’s, oh, Sally seems to need to have everything organized for her. What steps can be taken, so that she’s showing up at every meeting organized? For example, what direction can I give her, so that she takes that on?
Again, a bit more of a complex subject, but I’m hoping that, that answer starts at least a process within the mind, of how to go about it differently.
Melinda Wittstock: Yes, I can see one of the other really positive aspects of being highly sensitive is that, you can see opportunities where other people can’t, like actually seeing the dynamics in a situation between people, but it also extends to seeing gaps in the marketplace, or seeing problems that need to be solved, having different solutions to those problems than the other 80%
Does it tend to correlate with innovators in the entrepreneurial space, people who are little bit more on the systems thinking side, people who are really good at connecting the dots, and seeing patterns in things? Is there a correlation there?
Heather Dominick: Yes, if you’re in your strengths, for sure. If you’re not, and you’re in your shadows, and you haven’t again, really learned how to shadow that highly sensitive aspect of yourself, then you’ll be overwhelmed. You’ll be overwhelmed by the visions that you’re having, the dots that you’re connecting, overwhelmed by how to go about the delegation as we were just speaking about, or overwhelmed in regards to where do I start first? That often is enough to shut an HSE down, or to pull them back into a smaller space within their business, because again, there hasn’t yet been that training, to really learn how to take what they’re seeing, be able to interpret those patterns if you will, and then begin to again, chunk them down into those doable steps, and as part of those doable steps, even be able to delegate them out.
It really connects into the part of the conversation that we’re having here. It connects into one of my teachings that I refer to as taking personal responsibility, versus taking things personally.
Melinda Wittstock: Ah, gosh. That’s so important.
Heather Dominick: Yes, yes, and when you’re able to really take personal responsibility for your part, your role, your contribution, and not take a lot of the energy that might be coming at you personally, that equips you more, to be able to be in that higher visionary, pattern identifying space that you were speaking about earlier.
Melinda Wittstock: This is an interesting point. There’s several things that I want to pick up on from what we’ve just said, but the latter first, this idea of taking things personally. When we take things personally, and we make it about ourselves, we end up being victims. The problem, we cast out to be some sort of external thing, like you did something to me. As a sensitive person, I can easily see how that happens, right?
Heather Dominick: Right.
Melinda Wittstock: However, we lose our power when we do that, because most of … I believe anyway, most of what we’re manifesting is actually deep inside us. So, I’m curious about your thoughts on this, because when we get triggered, at least I’ve learned, that whenever I’m triggered, at this point now in my life, I’m like, “Oh great, what an amazing opportunity to figure out what kind of beliefs, or what kind of memories, or limiting kind of thoughts, or whatever, do I have from my experience, that I’ve assigned some sort of meaning to, which may not even be there?”
Because, I find that when I’ve ever been triggered, or when most people are triggered, it’s usually some underlying thing that needs to be surrendered, or let go of.
Heather Dominick: Yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: So, how does the highly sensitive person emerge through that, without years of deep therapy, or an Ayahuasca experience in the jungle, or something like that? No, I mean I’m really serious, right?
Heather Dominick: I know [crosstalk 00:28:13]
Melinda Wittstock: I’ve got millions, and millions, and millions of those old beliefs, right?
Heather Dominick: Yes.
Melinda Wittstock: To let go of. It’s a lot of work.
Heather Dominick: For sure, it’s so, so true, yeah. As I’m listening to you, I’m just nodding my head, because you’re absolutely spot-on. So, I would say what this really speaks to, two pieces actually, in terms of my work that I’ve developed. The first is, what I refer to as the HSE coping cycle. There’s a cycle that we get tossed into when we’re triggered as you said, that leads us into what I’ve identified as our coping mechanism. As HSEs, we tend towards one of three coping mechanisms. We tend to either be what I refer to as a pusher, or a hider, or a combo platter.
Just briefly, so a pusher, that coping mechanism shows up where when an HSE is triggered, they will be able to really push themselves, to be able to accomplish what another 80%er can accomplish, but the accomplishment, and the process of accomplishing will come at a very high cost, typically leaving the pusher not only exhausted, not only overwhelmed, but also typically smack up against some type of major health issue, or-
Melinda Wittstock: Like adrenal burnout, for instance.
Heather Dominick: For sure.
Melinda Wittstock: So many women have that. By the time they get into their 40s and 50s, if they’ve just been motoring really, in their masculine energy, and whatnot, this is very prevalent.
Heather Dominick: For sure, absolutely.
Melinda Wittstock: I see it everywhere. Yeah.
Heather Dominick: Yeah, so again, in someone who’s an 80%er, they’re just clipping along, right? They’re accomplishing, and they’re like “This is great, and I’m totally energized, and fulfilled.” And the HSE is in a puddle on the floor, which is definitely my experience in my business in the first five years, which is what led me to understanding that I was highly sensitive, which led me to doing this work.
The coping mechanism of hiding is that, the HSE will get triggered. They will see that they have the potential to become overwhelmed for example, and they will suddenly find everything, and anything else to do, except the tasks that are needed in their [crosstalk 00:30:53]
Melinda Wittstock: Ah, procrastination.
Heather Dominick: Right, so the hider is taking care of the neighbor’s hamster, getting all of the laundry done, creating the most beautiful website, but not having selling conversations for example.
Then the combo platter, vacillates back and forth between the two, which is what I refer to as the HSE definition of insanity.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh my God, I think I’m insane.
Heather Dominick: Yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh no.
Heather Dominick: Yeah, [crosstalk 00:31:23]
Melinda Wittstock: But seriously, I recognized myself in these little bits, you know? And things that I have worked on in my life, so how interesting, this thing of going like … So, the combo platter is intriguing to me, because you push, push, push, until you’re exhausted, and then you’re so exhausted that you have to go into hiding, right?
Heather Dominick: Yeah, and you’re like, “Oh my God.” It’s kind of like I refer to it as you have your foot on the gas, and then on the brake, your foot on the gas, and then on the brake, and like with a car, it’s like jolting back and forth. It literally is like crazy making.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, it’s really, really true, and I think I see this in my younger self, as a serial entrepreneur, and as a journalist, and someone who’s done all these kind of big things out in the world, I’ve always had these times of hiding, and it peaks, and troughs, right? This is so intriguing to put it into that kind of paradigm. It really helps to understand.
Heather Dominick: Right.
Melinda Wittstock: The only thing that ultimate worked for me, was really picking up yoga. I’m doing a dedicated practice, meditation, gratitude, and putting time in my calendar, just to be on my own, without stimulation, or walk in the woods, or whatever. As it happens, I have my best ideas for how I grow my business in those moments, where I’m working on my business, instead of in it.
Heather Dominick: Right.
Melinda Wittstock: And at this stage now, I don’t feel that this troubles me in the way that I can recognize this in earlier iterations of me.
Heather Dominick: Exactly, right.
Melinda Wittstock: For sure.
Heather Dominick: Yeah, so what I’m hearing is, that it’s really obvious that you have gone through the process of understanding more about who you are, how you work, and again, really accepting, and embracing that. That’s really what the coping cycle is about, is that you go through the coping cycle, and you can then begin to catch yourself. By understanding what the coping cycle process is, you can begin to catch yourself that much more early on, so rather than it just being like this automatic reactive and trained behavior that you’ve been going through so much, throughout so much of your life, really just to keep yourself well, to keep yourself in some kind of sense of safety, that’s what coping is. But, that will work against you as an entrepreneur, because we need to be more than just coping. We need to be creating.
That’s what I hear you speaking to when you have come to understand your rhythm, and what’s needed, so that you can have access to that creative idea, income generating space. That’s what the coping cycle does, so that’s what keeps us from having to go out into the jungle, and do séance for years, and years.
Melinda Wittstock: Well you know, whatever works, right? You got to do something, find something that works for you. But, this is so interesting.
So, the other piece of this, when I think about entrepreneurs, and female entrepreneurs, and some of the patterns that I see, in terms of what is holding women back from success, again, asking for things. So, whether it’s asking a team member to do something, or even asking for help in any way, or asking for the sale, just being able to get beyond the perfectionism of thinking you have to do it all, to have it all …
Heather Dominick: Right.
Melinda Wittstock: I’m curious how this manifests in sales, because I think sales is really terrifying to a lot of people, for a lot of reasons, whether they’re sensitive or not, because there is this fear of rejection, the fear of the no, and so then the avoidance to even asking for the sale.
Then, if you’re already sensitive, and are likely to take things personally, sales must be really even more terrifying, so how does someone who’s sensitive be good at sales, as you have to be if you’re a founder, or at least have someone on your founding team who’s good at it.
Heather Dominick: Absolutely, totally. One of my favorite, favorite subjects. So, I would say first and foremost, as I’ve mentioned already is, you need a willingness to go about sales differently. So, the way that sales training has been developed over the years, and the previous century, worked for the other 80%, who the majority of that time, those happened to be men, and now, it’s about approaching it differently. So, I have designed a different approach to sales, which really is about using those HSE strengths, so that the sales conversation is not based on fear. It’s not based on pressure, but it’s based on understanding the psychological decision process that any basic human being goes through, using your HSE strengths, to really be able to tune into that process, as well as to tune into the person that you’re having the conversation with, and then be able to guide them through the decision making process, from a place that is really service-based.
I would say that this is an aspect of my work that I am absolutely not only most proud of, but most passionate about. One, because for the HSE, it’s a very empowering experience, to be able to use again, your traits, your skills, to support another person, and being able to step into a service that’s going to help improve, change their life in some way, and to be able to do it in a way that just feels not only so good to you, but so good to the other person.
Also as part of that, then as an HSE, you experience being compensated, and being compensated well if you’ve done the work around my Money Mindset training, to be able to not only offer these natural traits, abilities, skills, gifts to the world, but be able to take care of yourself, as part of that service that you’re providing. So, I am again, super, super passionate about this, but it does require a willingness to step into doing it differently.
I just have so, so many stories of HSEs who come to the Business Miracle Mentoring Programs, and they’re at their wit’s end. They just can’t seem to enroll clients. Then, they begin to be able to enroll clients, but what’s so great about that is, then they’re so fulfilled, because they’re actually able to do that work, right? To do the work that they’re here to do, whether it is as a coach, or a healing practitioner, or a lawyer, or a real estate broker. We have HSEs in all different types of service-based businesses, but that’s what’s so awesome. Then, you’re out there, right? You’re here. You’re in the world. You are experiencing your purpose, and that’s really just what it comes back to. That’s what the selling conversation is, it’s an opportunity to be of service. You just need to again, be willing to go about doing it in a way that’s more of a match for your design.
Melinda Wittstock: So Heather, that’s just so beautifully said, and I think one of the things that women often forget, and men too, is their own value. When you’re an entrepreneur, you’re not taking anything from anybody. You’re creating. You’re creating value. You’ve spot an opportunity; you spot a service or a product, or something that’s solving people’s problems. So, to not share it, to not accept your own value, in having created this thing that’s going to improve the lives of so many people, oh my goodness. So, when can get into that mindset around the sale, revolutionary, you’re not pushing things on people, you’re not taking from people.
Heather Dominick: Right.
Melinda Wittstock: Right?
Heather Dominick: Yes, exactly. And, as part of that, to be willing to accept, and even lean into that though people want their lives to be different, they want their lives to be improved, they will naturally resist it, because that’s just where fear comes in.
But, what I like to say is that the cure for fear is curiosity. As highly sensitive entrepreneurs, we’re really excellent at being curious. So, when you’re having a selling conversation, and someone’s fear comes up, and they get resistant, rather than taking it personally, you take personal responsibility, you shift into your strengths, you get curious, you ask more questions, you stay with the person calmly and in a grounded way, to be able to again guide them through that process, rather than just because someone feels afraid, or someone feels resistant doesn’t mean that it’s about you, or that you’re doing anything wrong to them. The best thing that you can do is, put your royal advisor hat on and support them through the process.
Melinda Wittstock: I love that. One of my mentors helped me with sales some years back, where he just said to me, “I want you to go out, and get as many no’s as possible. In fact, you will about succeeding if you get a lot of nos.” I was like scratching my head for a little bit and then he said, “I mean if you’re getting no’s, it means you’re at least asking-
Heather Dominick: Right, right, yes.
Melinda Wittstock: … you’re asking for the sale.” Right?
Then, it really just got me with that as an objective, that was a success objective. With that now as a success objective, it took away a lot of the fear for me, right?
Heather Dominick: Yes.
Melinda Wittstock: You know, this is all fascinating to me, about the sales conversation. One of my mentors, a few years back, suggested to me that, what I should do … and I had a business that involved a very consultative sale, over a long lead sales time, so a major company, so it was a very complicated sale. I had a lot of hoops to jump through, and a lot of different people to get buy in from along the way.
If you’re doing B2B software sales, that’s what that’s like. I was very much out of my comfort zone. Every other business I’d ever done had been much more direct to consumer. He helped me get over my fear, by asking me to go out and get as many no’s as possible.
Heather Dominick: I love it.
Melinda Wittstock: Literally, by getting no’s, I had to be asking.
Heather Dominick: Right.
Melinda Wittstock: I had to be asking questions like, “Hey, is there any reason why you wouldn’t do this?” I had to be open to hearing objections, in fact, understanding that objections were a wonderful thing, because they gave me the kind of feedback I needed.
Heather Dominick: Right.
Melinda Wittstock: Once that paradigm could shift, and I could come back, and it was a success metric, to have a lot of no’s, a lot shifted for me in that sort of a sales environment.
Heather Dominick: Yes, I love it, because it gave you permission to be in the conversation, which is awesome. Exactly, because-
Melinda Wittstock: And also yes, and leveraging the curiosity that you talk about. I love that, right? When you’re facing … the cure for fear is curiosity. I think that’s a beautiful statement.
Heather Dominick: Thank you. Thank you so much, exactly.
Melinda Wittstock: So Heather, talk to me a little bit about your journey as an entrepreneur, and how you first diagnosed that this was what was going on with you. How did it show up in your life personally? And then, what were the steps that you took? Because now, you’re helping so many people with this thing that you solved for yourself, clearly.
Heather Dominick: Yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: Talk to me a little bit about how all that happened.
Heather Dominick: Yeah, absolutely, for sure. Well, I guess maybe as many great things in the world; it definitely came out of a very dark night of the soul. I had been self-employed … I’ve been self-employed for about 15 years now, and at the time that I came to understand that I was highly sensitive was probably around year five, year six in my business.
I had brought my business across the million dollar mark for the first time, and I was absolutely overwhelmed, over exhausted, overworked, and whenever I’m talking about this, I always emphasize that, that experience did not come from the amount of income that I had generated, but it came from the way that I had gone about it.
I had been working with a mentor who was really a pushed and like, get out there, and get the sale, and get it done. As a truly HSE coping mechanism recovering pusher, that really triggered me, and I went into my pushing mode, and really felt the dark results, and experience of it.
So what I did is, I first of all was spun into this questioning place, and space of what am I doing? If this is what it means to be successfully self-employed, I’m not this is for me. So, I really just withdrew from a lot of … just a lot of outer actions, except to pour my love into the clients that I was serving at the time.
Through that experience, and that process, I was brought into connection with Dr. Elaine Aron, and discovered that I was highly sensitive. I had never heard the term before at the time, but once I heard it, and understood what it meant, it didn’t surprise me so much that I was highly sensitive. But, what really, really surprised me was, how highly sensitive I was, that I was off the charts, highly sensitive.
Because I’ve long-time been a believer in one of my foundational principles that I teach is, that your ideal client is a version of you, I thought this is interesting. So, I brought one of Dr. Aron’s assessments into a group of 25 women, entrepreneurs that I was working with in person at the time, and I had them all take the assessment. Low and behold, every single woman in the room was highly sensitive. Which again, didn’t surprise me so much, because knowing that your ideal client is a version of you.
But, what surprised me about that was, that there was not one woman in the room who wanted to be highly sensitive. Every single woman in that room really saw it as a detriment, saw it as a negative label. That was what really brought my attention into a heightened awareness of something very, very important is going on here. If there are those of us who are highly sensitive, who are called to be self-employed, then it’s going to be very, very important that we go about the process differently.
That’s really where the work that I do with highly sensitive entrepreneurs dovetails with the name of my business and mentoring programs, which is of course, In Business Miracles. That really comes from over 30 years of being a student of the psychological, and spiritual teaching of a course in miracles. And in that work, a miracle is defined as a shift in perception. That’s what I got really clear about is, that’s what’s needed for those of us who are highly sensitive to be successfully self-employed, we must be willing to have a shift in perception, a shift in perception in terms of how we look at ourselves, a shift in perception in terms of how we look at business, a shift in perception in terms of how we look at, and approach all aspects of business, marketing, selling, operations. That’s really where the work was born from. That’s where it all began.
Melinda Wittstock: So, what a beautiful, and inspiring story, Heather. It’s so interesting for anyone, and woman, or man listening to this right now, that spots any of these characteristics in themselves, to realize that business growth is personal growth. They are one in the same.
Heather Dominick: Yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: Excuse me. And, all of the things that we get triggered by along the way, where we’re coping with constant change and conflict, where we began the conversation, these are all opportunities for our growth, and to really find our path. So, thank you so much for helping to light the way.
Heather Dominick: Thank you, I so appreciate that insight. Thank you so much.
Melinda Wittstock: So, as you think forward to your big vision, where you’re taking this business next, where you see the most opportunities for growth, speaking to you as a fellow entrepreneur, where do you see that is? Is this a very large market? Does everybody need this?
Heather Dominick: Well, it’s so interesting because technically, percentage-wise, probably not, right? There are 20% of us who are highly sensitive, and I don’t know the exact stats, but an even smaller percentage of us who are called to be self-employed. However, with that said, I will say that there are many HSEs who are meant to be experiencing their business differently. There’s really about … I would say three categories that of HSEs who are attracted to Business Miracles Mentoring Programs, and it’s the highly sensitive person who’s just starting out in business, and they can get clear from the get-go, that they have to go about this differently.
There’s the highly sensitive who has been trying so hard, to create business success from the other 80%. They’re at their wit’s end. Business Miracles is a last ditch effort.
Then, there’s the highly sensitive who has been able to really build up an already successful business, but they’re about ready to lose it, and realize they have to go about it differently, otherwise they won’t be able to continue to go.
So, I’m really passionate when you ask about where this work is going next. I truly believe that, the more HSEs who are financially successful, then therefore empowered through their business, and their work, that we really are the change that the planet is asking for.
Business has been done by the other 80% for the last however many centuries, but definitely within the 20th century, and now it’s time for it to be done in a different way. It’s what the planet is longing for. It’s what the planet is calling for, that there are those of us who can bring to the business arena, sensitive qualities, such as empathy, and intuition, and deep thinking, and deep feeling, and it is truly us, through the path of business, that we have the opportunity to affect the world.
So for me, my next space of growth, is to be able to reach as many HSEs as possible, no matter which of those three categories they fall into. That’s my contribution to shifting this planet to the right, to the direction of healing that again, is so very clearly needed at this time. You can look around you. You can open any newspaper, read any magazine, focus on any blog. We’re suffering. We’re calling out. The planet is creaking beneath us, and HSEs have a role to play.
My part is, to make sure that they’re equipped to be able to do it.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh gosh, I have hairs standing up on the back of my neck. I really do believe that entrepreneurs have all the power to be a real force for good in this world, and it’s one of the reasons why I’m such a big believer in conscious capitalism models, or do good social models, evolved enterprise. There’s a lot of different … triple bottom line. There’s a lot of different ways to term these businesses, and women are particularly attracted to them.
I happen to think that entrepreneurship though, is also the most efficient way to bring about real change that we want to see. I think there’s a real role for women in particular, to step up into that really … I call it authentic feminine power.
Heather Dominick: Yes, exactly.
Melinda Wittstock: But, leveraging that sensitivity in a new way. I think that’s so, so beautiful. It’s just a evolving consciousness that I think many of us feel, that is accelerating on the planet.
I just think of the type of conversations that I have now, that would have been considered way out there, woo-woo, even a year, to 18 months ago.
Heather Dominick: Absolutely, absolutely, and that’s why I just love your podcast so much, and the work that you’re doing, and that phrase that you coined, the entre-pioneer, because, I think that really does sum it up, and I really am right with you. I believe we absolutely, we have the power in the palm of our hands, to affect this change, through being entrepreneurs.
Melinda Wittstock: Beautiful. Well, I want to encourage everybody to take you up Heather, on your free gift, to take the quiz, to find out where you rank on this scale, if you’re part of that 20%. So, how can people go do that?
Heather Dominick: Yes, of course. So absolutely, if you’ve been listening, and starting to think, I wonder if this is me? I would say, go to hsequiz.com, and again, hsequiz.com. You’ll find the quiz there, which is really a self-assessment process, and at the end, you’ll find out if you’re somewhat, or super, or as I like to say, like me, super uber HSE, and then you’ll receive a free success guide, that will support you in learning how to best begin to work with this new understanding about who you are, and how you’re meant to be here, and of service to the world.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s wonderful, and I’ll make sure that, that’s in the show notes, along with all of the different ways people can find you, and work with you. Remind everybody, where is the best place, on social media, or elsewhere, that you like to interact with people?
Heather Dominick: Oh, well you can find me on Instagram, and you can find me on Facebook. I personally find Twitter overwhelming, surprise, surprise, as an HSE, but always feel free to reach out through any of those channels, or send an email as well, and I’m happy to be in connection, and in conversation.
Melinda Wittstock: Wonderful. Well Heather, thank you so much for putting on your wings, and flying today. I loved our conversation.
Heather Dominick: Thank you so much Melinda, I just so, so appreciate your podcast, and the work that you’re doing. I’m really just so thrilled to have been a part of it. Thank you.