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Being Mindful in Business

Ruthie: Welcome back! Shelly Brown of ROI Mindfulness is joining me again today to talk about how we can be more mindful in our lives and our businesses, and what it looks like when she helps her clients employ her techniques. Additionally, she’s going to be telling us about an update to her business. I can’t wait to share that with you! Let’s dive in. 

Business Metrics When It Comes to Wellbeing

Ruthie: In your experience, what sort of business metrics have you seen in terms of impact? I did some reading. I know that when a company invests in their employees’ wellness, you can see some of those metrics. Have you seen that type of improvement, or maybe something else? 

Shelley: First of all, I am going to say that wellness and wellbeing are two different things. You can have a wellness program that’s about nutrition; your employees work out, their blood pressure is good and things like that. 

But when we talk about wellbeing, it’s the whole being – the mind and the body. Obviously, in the corporate world it’s not so much about spirit. But wellbeing is a little different than wellness. When we think about just wellness, they’re like, “Oh, send them to HR. They’re the ones who do the chair massage stuff.” 

Ruthie: They need a chair massage! They look stressed out. 

Shelley: But when we talk about wellbeing, it’s about people being well, performing well, showing up well together. In terms of metrics, it’s the big companies that do a lot of studies because they can afford to see what the difference is with their absenteeism, how much cost reduction and employee retention and healthcare costs, etc. With a lot of smaller organizations that are not the big wigs, it’s a little bit subjective. But the biggest metrics have to do with being able to measure a leader’s perception when you get leadership buy-in. 

Ruthie: Right. And I think it’s probably easier to gather feedback with a smaller company, as opposed to somebody like Google. It would be really hard to try and get feedback from everybody, especially in a way that seems genuine. From my time in the army, I can’t tell you how many surveys I took. I usually tried to give good feedback, but I know plenty of people – on a scale of 1 to 5 – hit 3 all the way down and just hit submit. But the army is huge. 

How Do You Measure Your Success With Your Clients?

Shelley: I think the biggest measurement of success is when I can actually have a continuous relationship with my clients. Especially when they want to share with me how the practices that they’ve cultivated are going, and they’re ready to begin implementing additional practices. One client told me they had an optional 15-minute meditation before their sales meeting. 

Again, it’s not just about the meditation. It’s about how we are mindfully showing up in our meetings, how we are doing with mindful listening, how we are not multitasking on our cell phones, etc. After my clients decide they want to do a certain thing, all I can do is ask for their feedback, and whether they’re ready to implement more. 

Naked Mindfulness: Finding Our True Identity

Ruthie: You mentioned this in our pre-interview call, but you told me that you were getting ready to make some serious changes at ROI Mindfulness. Can you tell us a little bit about that? 

Shelley: Sure. So I am going to keep ROI Mindfulness, but there’s another area that I think is really important. It has to do with that notion of identity. I feel that mindfulness really helps us strip away the thoughts about who we think we are. 

So many of us go through life like the world is our identity clothing store. We’re shopping around the world to define who we are. This is very damaging and only sets us up for failure, because you can’t hold onto things that can be taken away. Just like I did with running, you may have made an identity of your time in the service. That thing can either end or get taken away. We’re not our jobs. 

We’re not our position. We’re not our titles. We’re not the money in our bank account. We’re not how many bedrooms we have. We’re not the partner that we’re with. We’re just who we are. And when we grab onto all these different things to make meaning of who we are, we suffer. We don’t need to suffer. 

Suffering is part of the human condition, but when we know that we’re not what we think, we’re not our emotions, and we’re not what we do, then we can suffer less. Under my umbrella, I also have a working title of Naked Mindfulness. It’s really not to be provocative. It’s about vulnerability and clearing these notions of attachment.