Everyone knows that love is incredibly powerful, and some may argue it's the most potent emotion possible. For Jennifer Noel Taylor, this realization came to her after working her first job as a software engineer at a San Diego company. While there, she sank into a deep depression, wrought by the pressures and dissatisfaction she felt at the company. She only worked there to pay the bills, and not because she was passionate about what she was doing.
To cope with the despondency she felt from work, Taylor began exploring bodywork and alternative healing. She attended the International Professional School of Bodywork, and became fascinated by energy healing and its various modalities. She then met Richard Gordon, the founder of Quantum-Touch, and claimed to immediately receive a clear message from the Universe that her truly calling was energy healing.
She then took a leap of faith, quit her job, and took over as CEO of Quantum-Touch in June 2002.
She continues to promote optimal wellness by helping people connect more deeply to their love. One of the ways in which she does so is in her book Love Incorporated, The Business of Doing What You Love, in which she reveals four key insights into how to pursue your true calling successfully. The goal of the book is to help you connect with your own wisdom, thereby transforming your life into a true expression of your purpose. "Your heart is a powerful compass that will guide you toward your greatest joy and highest service," Taylor instructs.
Love Incorporated: The Business of Doing What You Love
1. What inspired you to write this book?
The book just came to me one day while I was working in my garden. As Elizabeth Gilbert talks about in her book Big Magic, the spirit of creativity graced me with the wisdom and inspiration in my book; the information came through me and I wrote it down - I was merely the facilitator!
2. What would you say to female entrepreneurs trying to pave their way in a male-dominated business industry?
Although the business world appears to be dominated by the masculine mindset, the feminine energy will, in my opinion, usher in a new paradigm of business, characterized by heart-centered leadership. We can progress the current business perspective by owning the gifts that are considered more “feminine” in nature, such as cooperation, intuition, balance, and love. From my perspective, the consumer is becoming very wary of greedy, pushy advertising, and other disempowering business practices. So I believe the feminine energy will balance out (what feels to me) an overly masculine business environment. Therefore my advice is to own your gifts, your truth, your authentic self as a way to help elevate the current business climate into a higher place. Be a business goddess trail blazer!
3. Have you heard back from any entrepreneurs who have read your book? Can you provide an instance where the book helped to change someone’s business perspective?
I’ve heard from multiple people that my book helped them tap into their innate wisdom. One businessowner wrote: “We brought it for a quick read, but it was so much more! It was well-written, captivating, and made so much sense to me. The answers that I have received since reading this book are so powerful, that I am almost scared to continue because it has been overwhelming to me. But I will be ready, and when I am, watch out! There are only a few books that have really influenced my life, and this is one of them. Mahalo, and wishing you all the best in everything you do!”
Jennifer Noel Taylor
4. How long did it take you to write the book?
The book took about one year to write.
5. What was the process of getting this book published like – did you face any challenges?
For this book, I self-published, which, from my perspective is a wonderful way to go. There are a lot of companies out there that will help you self-publish or you can just publish on Amazon using createspace.com - which is what I did. The biggest hurdle perhaps is doing a layout that conforms to self-publishing guidelines set forth by the publisher. I would recommend hiring a professional editor and graphic designer.
6. Have you seen any gender inequalities in the writing industry?
From my perspective, I have not encountered any gender inequalities in the writing industry. However, my field of interest is personal growth and spiritual development, which happens to be (at the moment) dominated by females. However, even this is changing as we progress into a higher level of consciousness on a global scale.
7. How did you overcome the financial hardships you talked about in your book?
Financial hardships is a topic that from my perspective has a lot of layers to it. On one level, it’s very simple – we need to spend less than we earn. Yet, this simple concept becomes complex when we apply the idea to the real world. For example, most people have a hard time losing weight even though, in theory, losing weight is a simple concept of eating less and exercising more - yet so many people struggle with this. Why is this? Along the same vein, the majority of people spend more than they earn – why is this?
I delve into the topic of financial hardship at great length in a new book I’m writing called, “Spiritual and Broke: A Practical Guide to the Energy of Money.” First of all, we must come from a place of empowerment to overcome financial hardship (as well as other challenges).
If we feel like a victim to our circumstances, to Trump, to our spouse, to God (or Goddess), children, or taxes, then we are giving our power away.So the key here is to take full responsibility of our situation and know that we can turn around any financial situation, no matter how bleak it may look. Another important key is to cut back on spending until you are consistently living below your means. It’s always great to focus on increasing revenue but for many people, cutting spending has the immediate benefit of removing the financial pressure to earn more. Cutting spending doesn’t have to be a painful process of suffering at all. In my new book, I talk about how people can cut expenses naturally without feeling deprived. In my case, I cut my expenses while improving my lifestyle and I surprised myself! I turned my finances around from a massive amount of debt into no debt (not even a car payment) and a decent-sized savings account.
8. There are a lot of pictures included in your book -- was there a reason you wanted to include the pictures?
Tapping into your own authentic self and your own innate wisdom is, from my perspective, the most effective business practice we can employ. However, this process is not a linear, mathematical process; it requires people to connect to their heart, their feelings, their inner- child and the playful side that many of us shut down as adults. So I felt guided to use pictures as a way to help the reader reconnect to their heart and feelings – the doorway to their own innate wisdom.
9. What is your number one tip for someone trying to start a business, but is discouraged?
If someone is discouraged about starting a business, I would first look to understand the source of their discouragement – is it fear of failure? Concerns about money? To alleviate concerns about money, I would suggest that people have a significant amount of money saved before quitting their job. Or start their new business on the side until the business starts earning enough money to stand on its own. Savings is fundamental; always have enough backup funding for the ebbs and flows of business. Unlike a steady job, business income will fluctuate; so in addition to savings, have ways built into your business and lifestyle that can adjust for fluctuating income. For example, stay out of debt, pay taxes, and minimize your monthly liabilities so that you can adjust for variances in your income. Build profit into your business model with everything that you do so you have the space to compensate for fluctuating sales.
"When you are following your heart, doors will open almost magically."
If people are concerned about failure, I say to that: embrace your fear because at some point, we all “fail.” It’s time to reframe the whole idea of failure. We are all doing our best to make the soundest decisions but we all have learning edges - areas where we need to grow. I’ve made very bad business decisions in my life because I just didn’t understand, at the time, the consequences of my decisions. Now I’ve learned from my so-called mistakes and now I continue to make more empowered choices.
10. If you had to summarize the biggest takeaway from the book, what would it be?
Readers have told me that they walk away from my book with a greater ability to connect with their innate wisdom. Oprah talks about the power of authenticity: “I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become. If I had, I’d have done it a lot earlier.”
11. How has your life changed since writing this book?
Well, speaking about the authentic self, I had a fear of public speaking before writing my book. After I released the book, I was interviewed on a lot of radio shows and even TV. I was really nervous at first but then I found my authentic voice on the air and now I enjoy being on air. So my book helped me more fully embrace my authentic self – which is exactly what I talk about in the book.
Women in the workplace have always experienced a certain degree of discrimination from male colleagues, and according to new studies, it appears that it is becoming even more difficult for women to get acclimated to modern day work environments, in wake of the #MeToo Movement.
In a recent study conducted by LeanIn.org, in partnership with SurveyMonkey, 60% of male managers confessed to feeling uncomfortable engaging in social situations with women in and outside of the workplace. This includes interactions such as mentorships, meetings, and basic work activities. This statistic comes as a shocking 32% rise from 2018.
What appears the be the crux of the matter is that men are afraid of being accused of sexual harassment. While it is impossible to discredit this fear as incidents of wrongful accusations have taken place, the extent to which it has burgeoned is unacceptable. The #MeToo movement was never a movement against men, but an empowering opportunity for women to speak up about their experiences as victims of sexual harassment. Not only were women supporting one another in sharing to the public that these incidents do occur, and are often swept under the rug, but offered men insight into behaviors and conversations that are typically deemed unwelcomed and unwarranted.
Restricting interaction with women in the workplace is not a solution, but a mere attempt at deflecting from the core issue. Resorting to isolation and exclusion relays the message that if men can't treat women how they want, then they rather not deal with them at all. Educating both men and women on what behaviors are unacceptable while also creating a work environment where men and women are held accountable for their actions would be the ideal scenario. However, the impact of denying women opportunities of mentorship and productive one-on-one meetings hinders growth within their careers and professional networks.
Women, particularly women of color, have always had far fewer opportunities for mentorship which makes it impossible to achieve growth within their careers without them. If women are given limited opportunities to network in and outside of a work environment, then men must limit those opportunities amongst each other, as well. At the most basic level, men should be approaching female colleagues as they would approach their male colleagues. Striving to achieve gender equality within the workplace is essential towards creating a safer environment.
While restricted communication and interaction may diminish the possibility of men being wrongfully accused of sexual harassment, it creates a hostile
environment that perpetuates women-shaming and victim-blaming. Creating distance between men and women only prompts women to believe that male colleagues who avoid them will look away from or entirely discredit sexual harassment they experience from other men in the workplace. This creates an unsafe working environment for both parties where the problem at hand is not solved, but overlooked.
According to LeanIn's study, only 85% of women said they feel safe on the job, a 5% drop from 2018. In the report, Jillesa Gebhardt wrote, "Media coverage that is intended to hold aggressors accountable also seems to create a sense of threat, and people don't seem to feel like aggressors are held accountable." Unfortunately, only 16% of workers believed that harassers holding high positions are held accountable for their actions which inevitably puts victims in difficult, and quite possibly dangerous, situations. 50% of workers also believe that there are more repercussions for the victims than harassers when speaking up.
In a research poll conducted by Edison Research in 2018, 30% of women agreed that their employers did not handle harassment situations properly while 53% percent of men agreed that they did. Often times, male harassers hold a significant amount of power within their careers that gives them a sense of security and freedom to go forward with sexual misconduct. This can be seen in cases such as that of Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby and R. Kelly. Men in power seemingly have little to no fear that they will face punishment for their actions.
Source-Alex Brandon, AP
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook executive and founder of LeanIn.org., believes that in order for there to be positive changes within work environments, more women should be in higher positions. In an interview with CNBC's Julia Boorstin, Sandberg stated, "you know where the least sexual harassment is? Organizations that have more women in senior leadership roles. And so, we need to mentor women, we need to sponsor women, we need to have one-on-one conversations with them that get them promoted." Fortunately, the number of women in leadership positions are slowly increasing which means the prospect of gender equality and safer work environments are looking up.
Despite these concerning statistics, Sandberg does not believe that movements such as the Times Up and Me Too movements, have been responsible for the hardship women have been experiencing in the workplace. "I don't believe they've had negative implications. I believe they're overwhelmingly positive. Because half of women have been sexually harassed. But the thing is it is not enough. It is really important not to harass anyone. But that's pretty basic. We also need to not be ignored," she stated. While men may be feeling uncomfortable, putting an unrealistic amount of distance between themselves and female coworkers is more harmful to all parties than it is beneficial. Men cannot avoid working with women and vice versa. Creating such a hostile environment is also detrimental to any business as productivity and communication will significantly decrease.
The fear or being wrongfully accused of sexual harassment is a legitimate fear that deserves recognition and understanding. However, restricting interactions with women in the workplace is not a sensible solution as it can have negatively impact a woman's career. Companies are in need of proper training and resources to help both men and women understand what is appropriate workplace behavior. Refraining from physical interactions, commenting on physical appearance, making lewd or sexist jokes and inquiring about personal information are also beneficial steps towards respecting your colleagues' personal space. There is still much work to be done in order to create safe work environments, but with more and more women speaking up and taking on higher positions, women can feel safer and hopefully have less contributions to make to the #MeToo movement.