How A Tantra Teacher Taught Me My Most Valuable Business Lesson
“Umm… so what will I actually be *doing* today?” I asked nervously.
That was my subtle attempt to ask, “Do we do anything sexual in this workshop… or not?”
I’d never been to a tantric “anything” before. How was I supposed to know?
Yet, here I was, with seven other people packed into this tiny little bungalow on the beach in Thailand with no air conditioning.
Seven other… Tantra people? Tantrikas?
I don’t know what you call people who study tantra for a living. But everyone else seemed comfortable cuddling and laying half naked together.
I was clearly out of place.
I grew up in the cornfields of Iowa, riding four wheelers and having bon fires in the woods. That was my comfort zone. This was a foreign world to me. Literally and metaphorically.
We were learning to facilitate a deep breathing exercise between partners to “deepen the flow of love and connection.”
Does that sound like some new age hippism or what?
I can’t believe I’m actually writing this. Or how my life has evolved to end up here. But it has.
This workshop was designed to teach tantra teachers how to facilitate this practice.
I was there because I wanted to teach couples how to stop fighting with each other.
Libby and I used to fight a lot in our relationship. Then I learned this breathwork technique and we stopped fighting. (And started having more sex.)
Life sucks when you’re fighting with your partner. I wanted less fighting and more sex.
I want more couples to have that, too.
A year before this workshop, I met this teacher… we did an intensive for two months in Bali working every day on this breathwork practice.
I would come out of our sessions feeling like I was high. I remember coming home from one session. I was mesmerized for 25 minutes by watching a spider weave a web.
I watched it build the whole web from nothing. Then it moved to the center of the web and waited for it’s lunch to arrive. That was better than any Discovery Channel show I’d ever seen.
The breathwork had heightened my sensation to everything. (And it helped me and Libby fight a lot less.)
I wanted to understand how this ‘magic’ was happening. That’s how I ended up at this retreat in Thailand.
I didn’t realize I’d be getting a lesson in business, too…
Halfway through the workshop, I was in a dazed out bliss from all the breathwork and cuddling. (That tantra stuff is… awesome.)
Then the teacher started to reveal the methods to his madness…
– How to speak in a specific cadence that puts people into a relaxed trance while they hear your voice.
– How to give simple, clear directions that are baby steps so everyone knows exactly what they’re doing at all times.
– How to deal with nerves, anxiety and awkwardness when people are meeting for the first time and dropping into this space.
As he revealed each layer, people asked more specific questions about the tactics, getting into trivial details about each specific concept.
“What do I say when people first meet? How should people lay next to each other? What’s the first direction I should give them?”
I noticed his irritation growing and eventually he shouts, “STOP.”
Silence falls over the tiny bungalow. He has our full attention.
Then he proceeds to say something I’ll never forget…
“You don’t have to know every little detail. You simply have to care enough about people to figure it out as you go.”
I’ll say that again.
You don’t have to know every little detail. You simply have to care enough about people to figure it out as you go.
In life, there are some ideas, concepts or perspectives that shift everything. This is one of those.
For five years, I’ve been teaching entrepreneurs how to get started in business.
Constantly people ask tactical questions like, “How to I find email addresses of people to contact? What do I write in my email to them? How do I know if my idea is good or not”
Here’s their biggest problem: They want to build a business about themselves. Not a business for the customer.
They want to make money. Or get famous. Or gain freedom.
But they’re lacking the depth of care and compassion that fuels their ability to ask the hard questions, to fight through the challenge and to actually create something that impacts people’s lives.
Most people just want tactics and strategies so they can make more money.
But if you actually shift your focus to having more empathy and compassion for your customers (and get out of your own self-centered mind), you’ll find that answers naturally appear.
You’ll feel their pain. And that pain will guide you to potential solutions.
Care more deeply about your customers and that will fuel you to figure everything else out along the way.
To this day, it is the best piece of business advice I’ve ever received.
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