You are not a robot.
You don’t have on and off switches. You don’t exist simply to work.
And you don’t operate best on ‘overdrive.’
But it’s easy in this digital age to forget that.
And frankly, it’s understandable we might stop paying attention to the fact that we’re inherently part of the natural world.
The problem, of course, is that overlooking this key detail about ourselves and our businesses is exactly what leads us to burnout: feeling exhausted, disconnected, crappy, and tired.
But around here, we’re all about ditching the robotic rules. And replacing them with an approach that is much more, ahem, natural.
Because when you truly tune into who you are and what you want, and when you pay attention to the natural cycles that guide you and everything else….THAT’S WHEN your business becomes joyful, focused, and aligned. And, that’s also when you have more time to chill and enjoy your life.
I’m Julie Wolk—and I’ve done it the other way; the robot way. And it wasn’t pretty. That’s what led me to develop this natural business philosophy—one that takes a holistic approach to creating order and prosperity in your business, responding to each person and their unique ecosystem.
The best, non-robotic part? The whole shebang is guided by principles, not rules.
Speaking of principles, here’s a glimpse of the key principles of running a natural business:
Everything Grows from a Seed
(Don’t Skip the Basics)
Our tendency is to skip over the essential foundations, or roots, of our business—we get sucked into fancy marketing tactics before we know exactly what we’re doing, who we’re doing it for, and how and why we’re doing it (and this does not apply only to biz newbies). So our businesses feel chaotic, which contributes to inefficiency, confusion, and exhaustion (blah). But when your roots are clear and aligned with who you are, the seed of your vision can take root and sprout up an inspired business that’s strong, streamlined, and successful.
Structure Actually Creates Freedom
(Get your biz organized)
Nature is full of systems and patterns—the ‘mother’ of organization, really. Similarly, the right systems and structures help guide the flow of your business so it can manifest in the world. And when done well, they don’t constrict, they set free. (Think about river and its banks. River needs the banks to guide it or else it’s just a big ol’ puddle.)
(Let go of perfection)
Just as there are cycles in nature, there are cycles in our businesses. This means that we need to avoid getting rootbound in thinking mode and get our butts moving. Your business actually grows faster and smarter when you let go of perfection and muster up the courage to take action and get your imperfect offering out there. This natural evolution is the true beauty – and fun – of creating and growing your own business: It grows and changes as you do.
To Everything There is a Season
(Find your natural ebb and flow)
Too often, we forget about the ebb part of this whole thing. Meaning we forget we aren’t robots and stay in constant “doing” and productivity mode which undoubtedly leads to burnout (not hard to do when you live in a society that’s all about having more/doing more/being more). But the truth is that you need to refuel—because embracing the ebb allows you to really thrive and flow (check fancy diagram below).
The Natural Business Cycle
So Where Did All This Come From?
These nature epiphanies were born from a pretty epic burnout several years ago when I was running a successful non-profit that I had co-founded. At the time, I was living in California, having recently left the world of politics as a professional activist for an environmental group, itching to slow down and escape that rat race. Co-founding and co-directing this nonprofit filled me with a deep sense of purpose. I mean, our org was dedicated to reconnecting people to the earth, and for this lifelong nature freak (and environmental studies major) with a penchant for organizing, it was a perfect fit.
Until it wasn’t.
We were growing, growing, growing, getting more and more funding, and really experiencing success. But with that came endless pressure, more spreadsheets, more people to manage, more to do—more, more MORE. All bolstered by the belief that I had to be super-productive and “do it all.”
And BAM, it was just too much. I burnt out.
I had to leave this organization I had loved and poured my heart and soul into. I quit my job and went to… Hawaii (cue: ‘ocean waves lapping’ soundtrack) for a sabbatical. I spent days on the beach, nights under the stars, sleeping in a tree house, and making passion fruit smoothies from the tree outside my door (not too shabby!).
I truly. Slowed. Down.
And then the epiphany came.
I found my inspiration: I was going to start a new business. But this time, it would be different. I would combine my natural gift—and 15 years of experience—for turning vision to reality with my deep love for and study of nature and how we humans connect to it.
It was only natural that my work would focus on entrepreneurs like me. Because, fam, we lean just a liiiiitle on the over-working side. I wanted to help people grow successful, sustainable business using their gifts, GUIDED BY THE CYCLES of NATURE… without burning out.
And that’s what I’ve been doing since 2014.
My vision is that each of us can slow down and take a step back, discover and offer our unique gifts to the world, build a thriving business guided by nature and in service to the world, and be paid well for it.
Not only have I witnessed countless clients experience this shift, but I myself have had to relearn these lessons throughout the process of running my own business. (Being hit with a chronic illness will certainly strongarm you into slowing down and taking care of yourself.)
And that’s what I’m up to now… healing, thriving, and always finding new ways to streamline my business so that it doesn’t take over my life, plus teaching my clients how to be more and more efficient with their time so they can also build sustainable businesses that they love—and that love them back (in the form of cash monies).
So… join me?
Through our work together you’ll learn how to embrace a whole new way of doing business that doesn’t fit into so-called proven systems and cookie cutter business models.
One that doesn’t force you to be a robot.
One that actually feels good for you and your clients.
Want in on the action?
Check out how I do the things I do—and how you can join me.
My Creds, Influences and Other Interesting Tidbits
- Credentialed Plant Geek (Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources)
- Coaching certification from the Coaches Training Institute (2013)
- 10 years as a professional advocate, organizer, media spokesperson, and activist in Washington, DC and San Francisco working on issues from toxic waste cleanup to protecting rainforests and indigenous rights
- One year public relations for social change groups like Moveon.org and Vote for Change (trying to elect John Kerry ☹)
- 7 years as co-founder and co-Executive Director of Wilderness Torah, an organization dedicated to reconnecting Judaism to its ancient earth-based roots and getting people outdoors and connected with the earth (I was the business manager, you suprised?)
- 20+ major community festivals + intimate retreats designed and implemented to bring people into connection with themselves, one another and the earth
- Participation in a whole bunch of cool trainings/programs including an Eco-therapy Skills Training with the EarthBody Institute, the Ecology of Leadership, the Art of Mentoring, the Women’s Wilderness Skills Immersion (I learned how to tan sheep hides and make acorn food!), a Vision Quest in the White Mountains, the Racial Justice Leadership Institute, Yoga Teacher Certification, the Rockwood Leadership Program, and Essential Facilitation at the Interaction Institute for Social Change
- Hiker, yogi, meditator, amateur watercolor artist, traveler, crafter, and botany geek living with her partner in the gorgeous, rolling hills of Oakland, CA, near dear family and friends.
And finally, my deep thanks to the people and organizations who have so deeply influenced my life that their teachings are woven inextricably into everything I offer: Lynne Twist (Soul of Money), Jon Young (8 Shields Institute), Tad Hargrave (Marketing for Hippies), Mike Bodkin & Renee Sweezey (Rites of Passage), and David Whyte, even though I don’t know him a lick.