Bringing joy back into business, author, entrepreneur and worldwide coordinator of Access Consciousness, Simone Milasas mentors business owners around the globe to create greater wealth and happiness through tools and techniques that counter their perceived limitations in business.
Much in the way that mindfulness can change neural pathways that have developed from years of negative self-talk, applying the Joy of Business tools can alter your thinking around business, allowing you to operate from a place of joy and openness rather than limitation and stress.
Using these tools Simone went from $187,000 in debt to having thriving businesses and being debt-free. Her book -Joy of Business,' documents this journey and her learnings along the way.
Question: Why did you decide to create Joy of Business?
Simone Milasas: It's a funny thing, because my point of view originally was that I would much rather be actually creating business than talking to people about creating business… but I realised one day that I had a really different point of view, and that the tools and techniques I talked about were really helping people to change their lives and making a huge difference to what people could create in their lives, in their business and in other people's lives, and it matched the energy of what I really desired to create in the world. For me, business is one of the most creative and joyful things that you can do, and when people get the information and tools that allow them to have that for themselves, whatever business they are part of, I know it is creating something different for people and business all over the globe.
Question: How did you own debt inspire Access Consciousness?
Simone Milasas: One of the biggest thing was it was the perfect playground for me to apply the tools of Access Consciousness that I had noticed were already changing other areas of my life. I was able to look at where I had cut off what I could receive in regards to money and how that had limited what I could create in business. I also realised that I had become comfortable with debt, and I had to be willing to have that uncomfortable feeling of actually having money, and then creating money beyond that. It's funny, but lots of people are actually way more comfortable being in debt than out of it, because it's familiar, it's what they have always known. When you start to have a different situation, it can feel strange and tempting to go back to the -comfort zone'. I also became aware that being willing to have money truly expands the choices you have to create with in business – and that joy follows money, not the other way around!
Question: What is Access Consciousness?
Simone Milasas: Access Consciousness is a set of really pragmatic tools, questions and processes that you can use to change what isn't working in your life, your business, your relationships, anything. And they just go so well with business, because it is really about creating beyond the limitations you have put on yourself. It's also about following what you know, and not what anybody else says or does. It's about using all the information you have available and then trusting that you know and following that to create business in a way that works for you. Every person is different, and every person has something to offer that no one else can, and the tools of Access allow you to tap into that with way more ease.
Question: Does Joy of Business talk about all aspects of your business journey?
Simone Milasas: The book? Well, yes it does in that I talk about the tools that I started using and still use every day to create and expand business with. And my story is just one example to illustrate how things can change when you are willing to look at things from a different point of view. I love hearing all the stories and feedback from people who have read my book or come to a class, because they discover for themselves the joy of what creating business is for them. For me, there really is no separation between my life and my business journey, they are all part of creating a joyful living. Your life is your business, and so when you are creating a different possibility with business, you are really allowing all aspects of your life to expand and change also.
Question: What are your top five tips for females to get out for debt?
Simone Milasas: Put 10% of every bit of money that comes in aside as an honouring of you (either cash or bank account) and don't touch it. It's called -tithing to the church of you'. When you start to be willing to have money, and not just spend it, your financial world will begin to change.
Buy things that have instrinsic wealth, by that I mean that by nature of what they are, they have value. For example, gold, silver, antique jewellery will hold their value and increase over time. I bought a necklace made from mabe pearls. They are now pretty much priceless because the oceans are not producing mabe pearls any longer. You don't have to spend a lot of money to start building intrinsic wealth – buying antique spoons made of stirling silver, or a silver jug could be a great place to start – and when you buy things like that, you are also bringing beautiful things into your life, which adds to creating a sense of wealth in your life.
Carry around an amount of cash in your purse that you think a rich person would carry. If you don't want a big wad of cash in your purse, you can buy a gold coin and carry that around. Again, it's really about giving yourself a greater sense of wealth in your daily life.
Start educating yourself on what is valuable. What would be fun for you to invest in? What could you do with your money to create more money?
Start to become aware of your points of view about money? Do you like it or hate it? Do you prefer spending it, or having it? We have so many weird points of view about money that keep us rejecting having joy and fun with money. When I did business in India, I used to exchange my Australian dollars for millions of rupees and I would have bags full of these really old, filthy notes. After a while I realised I had developed this point of view that I didn't want to touch money because it was so dirty! With that point of view going on, how much was I cutting off the money I could receive? Lots. If you are willing to be aware of the points of view that are uninviting money in your life, and you are willing to change it, more money can begin to show up!
Question: How do you ensure you bring the -joy' back into business?
Simone Milasas: What do you love to do? What brings you joy? What's easy and fun for you that you think has no value, or anyone can do it? That's usually the thing you can make lots of money doing, you just think it has no value because it's easy for you to do! You also have to give up functioning from the necessity of business and realise you have choice with everything. Ask questions like 'what choices do I have here that I hadn't considered?" If there are parts of your business you don't like doing, who could you invite into your business to handle that and free you up to do the things you like doing?
Question: Can you talk about the tools and techniques you use to better business?
Simone Milasas: I ask lots of questions every day!
Question: How does negative self-talk affect our businesses?
Simone Milasas: Basically, any judgment you come to is the quickest way you can kill your business. Any time you judge yourself, your business, any time you come to any conclusion or decision, you kill the possibilities and you cut off your awareness of what can expand things. Judgments disempower, questions empower. Anytime you believe you are wrong, or something has gone wrong, you have to turn it around and ask 'what is right about me I am not getting? What is right about this I am not getting?" What if no choice you ever made was wrong? It's really just your point of view that makes it wrong. If you could see what was right about it, you will see the possibilities that your choice created, which you can't see if you are judging it as wrong.
Question: Is it possible to have fun and make money in business?
Simone Milasas: My point of view is that money actually follows joy, not the other way around – so not only is it possible to have fun and make money, the money comes much easier when you are willing to have fun with business! You can do it the hard way if you want to. But what creates more, inspiration or perspiration? Get out of being vested in the outcome and give up trying to find the answer, or the right formula and instead function from continuous curiosity and question. Invite the joy and fun back into your business. From there the money can begin to show up in unexpected ways.
Question: What are the five questions that will help grow our business?
Simone Milasas: What else is possible here that I haven't considered?
How does it get any better than this?
Who or what requires my attention today?
What's right about this/me I am not getting?
What can I add to my life today that will expand my business?
Question: What are some of the tools you teach online?
Simone Milasas: Set up an account to honour YOU first. Put 10% of your income away in an account that you can't touch, to honour yourself first. Pay yourself before everything else including your bills. A lot of people reject this idea, thinking that they need to pay bills and so on, but when you do this you are honouring your bills first. If you honour your bills first, these are what you'll create more of. I ask people to just try it for 3 months and see what changes.
Ask questions. Whenever you make a sale and whenever you don't, ask a question like -How does it get any better than this?' or -what else is possible?'. When you go into the space of -oh, I had no sales this week,' rather than looking for ways to create more, you end up limiting yourself. Embrace change and look at what you can do differently.
Budding entrepreneurs - Just start. I work with so many people who come up with a million reasons why they aren't ready; They don't have the money or they don't have a website etc. Ask what would it look like if you just started today?
Let go of control. A good Director or CEO needs to be willing to adapt the idea of what their business looks like. Often the businesses that fail are destroyed by their creators because they have an idea of what their business should look like and are closed off to possibilities and contributions from those around them. I used to micromanage my staff, wanting to control every small part of my business, but when you empower your staff to take control, your business will have much greater potential.
For further information please visit www.accessjoyofbusiness.com
Interview by Brooke Hunter