But put an Empath into a work situation that they are passionate about and that motivation and energy begins to flow naturally, and often in abundance. I spent years feeling like a constant disappointment because I wasn’t the bubbliest employee, I came into work tired all the time, and would frequently get overwhelmed with noise, constantly changing demands, and too many people.
Once I was pushed into having to make money for myself, something I was terrified at the thought of, I suddenly found energy and enthusiasm I didn’t know I was capable of. Being my own boss ended up being one the greatest things I’ve ever done. I could control how much sleep I got, I organised my clients around a schedule that suited me, and I was making four times my previous hourly rate, which meant I only had to work one long day a week to make the same I was making at my last job! So what better way to work in a way that’s made for us? By creating it ourselves!
2. When we’re highly emotionally invested in our work, we’re extremely committed to doing it properly
When you’re drained and struggling with long hours and a dissatisfying job role, it can be difficult to find the energy required to balance so many different things, and therefore burnout, mental and emotional, can leave us feeling too depleted to complete our work to the best possible standard. And either we know we’re not doing things to the best standard, which makes us feel like we’re failing, or we know we’re doing all we can manage and are frequently criticised for it not being enough. Either way, years of this can end up causing us to believe we’re not good employees or that we’re lacking in some way.
However, if we’re given the right environment, the right work, and enough resources to meet our needs, completing work to the best of our ability becomes a thousand times easier. I know that the first years being full-time self-employed I had a much better quality of life, more sleep, more time for exercise and cooking good meals, and my creativity and work quality shot through the roof. I was getting more referrals and was increasingly invited to collaborate on paid projects with other professionals. I felt like a completely different person and I began to see that I wasn’t a bad employee; I had just been in the wrong places.
3. The best leaders are the ones who don’t dream of being leaders
Being the owner of a business, even a one-person-band, wields a bit of power. You get to decide what values you’re bringing to your business, who you work with, and how you want to make a positive impact. And this applies to all businesses. Clients who vibe with you will massively appreciate what you’re doing for them and will see your values, integrity, and positive behaviour from a mile off, and those things have a lasting impact. Even years after closing my first business as a hair and makeup designer, I still have people talking positively about me and how I taught them to work with what they had and to feel good about themselves. I challenged people’s negative self-talk and invited them to start a new kind of relationship with themselves, and many of them still carry on practices now that I taught them all that time ago.
It doesn’t matter if there’s only you, or maybe you and a virtual assistant, or even a team of fifty; stepping into the shoes of who you’re meant to be is powerful. And Empaths are not typically ever thought of as leaders or influencers because we’re often accused of being too sensitive and often struggle with our own self-doubt because we’ve not been taught to see our sensitivity as powerful. I have yet to meet an Empath who’s stepped up to the plate and not taken their responsibility very seriously. Others might want leadership roles for financial or egotistical reasons, or just because they have a certain skillset that lends itself to leadership roles, but an Empath will find it difficult to be transactional; they’ll care about more than just the bottom line.
The first time I had a team was whilst managing a hostel in Perth, Western Australia, and I was a little tentative about how I would lead and what that would look like. At that point I had only seen a very wounded or toxic masculine style of managing, and I knew I wasn’t into that, and could never have emulated it anyway. The team I ended up with were so incredibly caring of one another and very bonded together. If someone had to hand their notice in, staff would often come up to me to let me know and we’d have a lovely conversation with only well-wishes on both sides. I valued their contributions and made sure to tell them regularly how skilled they were and what a difference they were making. And problem-solving was a team effort with no blame or shaming. It was a beautiful team and I still miss them all this time later. I never dreamt of being a team leader of any kind, but I took it seriously and still to this day have old staff contacting me telling me they wish their new managers were anything like me!
But I’m not an anomaly. The wonderful Empaths I’ve coached all have those traits in abundance and are so warm and full of light. I absolutely know without a doubt that Empaths can make incredible leaders, but it’s such a strange idea to many because our abilities are not typically valued, and we are often lacking in the guidance we need to reach our full potential.
4. Our emotional perceptiveness makes us indispensable to our clients
When working with clients we’re providing a service. But more than that, we’re connecting with another human being. Even if we’re selling a standard product, the needs and nuances of each client will impact how they utilise our offerings. Empaths are perfectly positioned to pick up on someone’s energy. I had a private hair client for about five years and saw her every six weeks for that entire time. She opened the door to me one day and whilst she was smiling and greeted me the way she always did, I knew something was up. I immediately asked her if she was okay because I could feel something was amiss and she ended up sharing with me what was going on. She hadn’t had anyone else to talk to and I was able to listen and empathise. By the time I left she felt a lot better, and I was pleased she hadn’t suffered on her own.
Another client had been trying for a second child for some years, and this particular morning I was due to see her, I woke up from a dream that she was pregnant. Knowing that she probably wouldn’t want to put hair colour on her scalp (some pregnant people are cautious about hair colour on the skin) I brought alternative supplies with me. And sure enough, as she opened her front door to me, I smiled at her knowingly and she smiled back, then confirmed she was pregnant. Empaths can often tune into the unspoken and it makes customer service truly magical!
Having said all of these highly positive things, I would like to temper my message with a little bit of realness. Do I believe in everyone’s potential to achieve these things? Absolutely, I do! However, in expanding and evolving it’s also important to get the kind of support and healing we need. Had I told an earlier version of myself from ten years ago that I could do all of these things I would have felt totally overwhelmed and intimidated. It’s taken a while to find the right resources, the right trauma practitioner, and the right coaches.
But you’re closer than you think! I had two Empath clients recently fly the nest and within just a matter of months they’re both in positions to start their own businesses, both doing things they love and using skills they already have. One of them withdrew from university officially just over a week ago because of how confident she’s become and how much better she is after we dealt with her PTSD. The other has made the leap of quitting her soul-sucking day job and spending more time with her kids. She’s also worked out that she could make back her salary just working one day a week in her own business. I see big things for both of them.
If you’re feeling drawn to this idea, or at the very least want to begin to build a better life for yourself all-round, I’ve put together my Align Your Life starter pack. With three lessons and three meditations, all things I use in my high-ticket coaching, it will give you the foundation you need to begin planning your new life, and making space for that to happen. If you want more help and are ready to get started sooner rather than later, you can also set up a call with me here. I’d be honoured to meet you.
To your success and happiness.