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.
Gender divisions in sports have primarily served to keep women out of what has always been believed to be a male domain. The idea of women participating alongside men has been regarded with contempt under the belief that women were made physically inferior.
Within their own division, women have reached new heights, received accolades for outstanding physical performance and endurance, and have proven themselves to be as capable of athletic excellence as men. In spite of women's collective fight to be recognized as equals to their male counterparts, female athletes must now prove their womanhood in order to compete alongside their own gender.
That has been the reality for Caster Semenya, a South African Olympic champion, who has been at the center of the latest gender discrimination debate across the world. After crushing her competition in the women's 800-meter dash in 2016, Semenya was subjected to scrutiny from her peers based upon her physical appearance, calling her gender into question. Despite setting a new national record for South Africa and attaining the title of fifth fastest woman in Olympic history, Semenya's success was quickly brushed aside as she became a spectacle for all the wrong reasons.
Semenya's gender became a hot topic among reporters as the Olympic champion was subjected to sex testing by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). According to Ruth Padawer from the New York Times, Semenya was forced to undergo relentless examination by gender experts to determine whether or not she was woman enough to compete as one. While the IAAF has never released the results of their testing, that did not stop the media from making irreverent speculations about the athlete's gender.
Moments after winning the Berlin World Athletics Championship in 2009, Semenya was faced with immediate backlash from fellow runners. Elisa Cusma who suffered a whopping defeat after finishing in sixth place, felt as though Semenya was too masculine to compete in a women's race. Cusma stated, "These kind of people should not run with us. For me, she is not a woman. She's a man." While her statement proved insensitive enough, her perspective was acknowledged and appeared to be a mutually belief among the other white female competitors.
Fast forward to 2018, the IAAF issued new Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification (Athlete with Differences of Sexual Development) that apply to events from 400m to the mile, including 400m hurdles races, 800m, and 1500m. The regulations created by the IAAF state that an athlete must be recognized at law as either female or intersex, she must reduce her testosterone level to below 5 nmol/L continuously for the duration of six months, and she must maintain her testosterone levels to remain below 5 nmol/L during and after competing so long as she wishes to be eligible to compete in any future events. It is believed that these new rules have been put into effect to specifically target Semenya given her history of being the most recent athlete to face this sort of discrimination.
With these regulations put into effect, in combination with the lack of information about whether or not Semenya is biologically a female of male, society has seemed to come to the conclusion that Semenya is intersex, meaning she was born with any variation of characteristics, chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals. After her initial testing, there had been alleged leaks to media outlets such as Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper which stated that Semenya's results proved that her testosterone levels were too high. This information, while not credible, has been widely accepted as fact. Whether or not Semenya is intersex, society appears to be missing the point that no one is entitled to this information. Running off their newfound acceptance that the Olympic champion is intersex, it calls into question whether her elevated levels of testosterone makes her a man.
The IAAF published a study concluding that higher levels of testosterone do, in fact, contribute to the level of performance in track and field. However, higher testosterone levels have never been the sole determining factor for sex or gender. There are conditions that affect women, such as PCOS, in which the ovaries produce extra amounts of testosterone. However, those women never have their womanhood called into question, nor should they—and neither should Semenya.
Every aspect of the issue surrounding Semenya's body has been deplorable, to say the least. However, there has not been enough recognition as to how invasive and degrading sex testing actually is. For any woman, at any age, to have her body forcibly examined and studied like a science project by "experts" is humiliating and unethical. Under no circumstances have Semenya's health or well-being been considered upon discovering that her body allegedly produces an excessive amount of testosterone. For the sake of an organization, for the comfort of white female athletes who felt as though Semenya's gender was an unfair advantage against them, Semenya and other women like her, must undergo hormone treatment to reduce their performance to that of which women are expected to perform at. Yet some women within the athletic community are unphased by this direct attempt to further prove women as inferior athletes.
As difficult as this global invasion of privacy has been for the athlete, the humiliation and sense of violation is felt by her people in South Africa. Writer and activist, Kari, reported that Semenya has had the country's undying support since her first global appearance in 2009. Even after the IAAF released their new regulations, South Africans have refuted their accusations. Kari stated, "The Minister of Sports and Recreation and the Africa National Congress, South Africa's ruling party labeled the decision as anti-sport, racist, and homophobic." It is no secret that the build and appearance of Black women have always been met with racist and sexist commentary. Because Black women have never managed to fit into the European standard of beauty catered to and in favor of white women, the accusations of Semenya appearing too masculine were unsurprising.
Despite the countless injustices Semenya has faced over the years, she remains as determined as ever to return to track and field and compete amongst women as the woman she is. Her fight against the IAAF's regulations continues as the Olympic champion has been receiving and outpour of support in wake of the Association's decision. Semenya is determined to run again, win again, and set new and inclusive standards for women's sports.