I spent over 20 years in marketing, pushing myself at a burnout levels to achieve what I thought I wanted but later realized was just societal programming. Big title, big clients, big pay.

But at the top of my career I burned out because I had stopped working for people I wanted to succeed and marketing became a soulless endeavor that I no longer enjoyed.

I got into marketing originally because of its fast pace and cool technology but after dozens of clients in as many industries, I know all too well the pressures and challenges that come with a career in marketing. And by that point, I was feeling all of them.

Despite achieving relative success, I found myself irritated with clients for their unrealistic demands and with the teams I worked with for having lost their creative spark. Marketing felt dead and uninspiring.

Eventually I reached my boiling point and shifted from dreaming about doing something else to taking action. But it wasn’t until I made the radical decision to not just leave my job, like so many times before, but to leave the industry and move to Mexico, that I realized the just how out of control, and unsustainable, this lifestyle had been.

Instead of just running to some haven for digital nomads like everyone else, I took the opportunity to undergo a more significant transformation. For my wife and I, our long term goal for moving to Mexico is to build a homestead, to spend more time in nature, and to dedicate more time to spirituality and self-development.

While we hunted for, and acquired land, and began the several year long project of getting permits and building, I spent the rest of my time immersed in the study of shamanism and various mindfulness modalities; something I’d been interested in for a long time but had not had the time and space to pursue.

This study lead me to undergo an intensive six month training in shamanic energy medicine, with Dr. Alberto Villodo’s well-regarded Four Winds Institute. At the end of this training, I launched my own energy healing practice and started seeing clients. And I still do.

Between what I’ve learned working with clients, and on my own healing journey during training, I was able to identify and address many of the underlying issues which had caused me so much frustration before and lead to burnout.

These experiences, and the resulting realizations that followed, dramatically changed my perspective on marketing, business, and the pursuit of wealth and happiness.

The Power Of Mindset

Whether you believe that you can accomplish something or not, you’re usually right. Beliefs can make the impossible, possible, or turn minor inconveniences into immovable obstacles. And when beliefs about ourselves are repeated by us (or to us) enough times they become a part of our identity and very difficult to shake.

I used to believe that the only way I could be successful was by working really, really hard (all the time). But I found that it wasn’t necessity driving me to overextend myself, it was my own limiting framework of mind.

Changing my life only required changing my mind(set).

It’s like hacking a computer and rewriting the code. You can’t just issue a new command and expect the system to behave differently, you have to reverse engineer your beliefs and reprogram all your behaviors from the ground up.

But when you do, you will actually, truly believe something different -in a way that empowers you to boldly take action that might give you pause today.

How I Reprogramed My Mindset

Through my shamanic training, my own healing, and the work I’ve done with clients, I’ve come to understand the vital role that mindfulness techniques and other so-called “woo woo” practices have in the world of entrepreneurialism.

If you think about it, the journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur is one of self-transformation. To win you have to grow, both in business and personally: in capacity, character, and constitution.

Mindfulness practices are designed to aid people in self-discovery and self-improvement. Though they’re often packaged to mainstream audiences as “self-care” routines, their underlying value is to strip away distraction and pretense and to help us be truly present as we live our lives.

When you can filter out the noise -of your emotions and your trauma, of society’s influence, of other people’s projections, and so on- you gain clarity of mind to focus all your energy on your chosen purpose. And, perhaps most importantly, you gain a clear view of why you’re on your path and what the end result is going to be.

These practices have been instrumental in my own re-education and have helped me reprogram my mindset and rekindle my passion for marketing in a new, more mindful way.

For me, that meant coming to terms with my issues surrounding scarcity and the envy that I felt for people who were achieving more than I was because they lacked the self-critical and self-limiting conditions I was experiencing.

After gradually reprogramming my mindset over the last three years I finally experienced, what I’ll describe as, a major shift -or realignment– in my perspective on business.

When I left marketing I felt like the entire industry was fake, predicated on false promises and underdelivering; and mostly trying to compel people to buy things they didn’t want or need.

As I relaunch my career under a new marketing agency brand, my mission is to support small business owners and fellow marketers in launching their own agencies and following their passions, just as I have.

Working for soulless tech startups trying to squeeze 20x growth and a quick exit from half-baked ideas didn’t scratch the itch for me. Neither did working with some big corporate conglomerate that was only working with me so they could downsize their internal team.

Back then no one actually cared about the work I was doing. Not internal stakeholders, not my team, and certainly not our clients’ end consumers.

But working with small business owners and entrepreneurs that are passionate about their offering, and the vision of the world that their offering makes possible, is a completely different scenario.

Their passion and their dreams are the fuel for my own. I love helping people achieve their big goals and to remake their world in a way that excites and fulfills them -and this provides me the same fulfillment.

And as a result I’ve realigned my mindset so that I win when I help others transform their lives and achieve their goals. So I want to win on a deep and emotional level. I want my clients to win. And they see that passion and authenticity and can tell it’s genuine.

Mindfulness Techniques That Create Better Entrepreneurs

By incorporating mindfulness into our daily lives, the benefits permeate our minds, bodies, and spirits, of course, but also our relationships and therefore our businesses, and other endeavors.

Through deceptively simple practices, repeated as close to daily as possible, we can rewire our belief systems and how we receive, process, and interpret the world around us –and everything that happens to us.

In this article, I’ll share nine mindfulness techniques that have been essential in my own journey and have helped my friends and clients overcome their own fears and self-limiting beliefs.

From breathwork to tapping exercises, and more, these practices are easy to integrate into your busy schedule and will make a significant difference in your mental and emotional well-being almost right away.

Breathwork

Breathwork, also known as mindful breathing or pranayama, is a set of simple yet powerful techniques that can help you calm your mind, reduce stress, and unlock various spiritual benefits (but I’ll let you discover these on your own).

Here’s how you can get started with some of the most immediately beneficial breathwork techniques:

  • Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit.
  • Close your eyes and take a deep breath in through your nose.
  • Exhale slowly through your mouth.
  • Focus on the sensation of your breath entering and leaving your body.
  • Continue for 5-10 minutes.

Think of this as the starting place for breathwork.

Sitting still and breathing and keeping your attention on your breath for 10 minutes -or even just 5 minutes honestly- is incredibly difficult for most people. Our lives move so quickly and we’re so used to constant stimuli that the sensory deprivation of 5 minutes of meditation is unnerving at first.

Eventually you’ll get past that strange antsy feeling in your body. Then maybe you can sit still for 5-10 minutes.

Next you’ll realize that, in your whole life, you’ve never not had a thought for 5 minutes. Ever. And it’s a lot harder to do than you might think.

This is where most people get frustrated with meditation and drop the habit. But this is actually the beneficial part of the process –this is the work. The practice of meditation slows you down and, in so doing, allows you to create space for new perspectives.

To get over this initial hump I highly recommend using Headspace, the popular meditation app. It has many guided meditations or simple breathing exercises that can help you get into the habit if you’re new to it.

You can also use a simple technique like counting as you breathe to help you meditate: inhale: one, exhale: two, inhale: three, exhale: four; and so on until ten. Then just start over again at one.

This gives you just enough to focus on not to be distracted but not enough to lose the benefits of the meditative practice.

After you’ve mastered just sitting still and focusing on your breathing, you can move on to experimenting with visualizations and somatic awareness.

Body Scan Meditation

Body scan meditation involves bringing awareness to each part of your body, from your toes to the top of your head. It can help you release tension and promote relaxation.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Lie down in a comfortable position.
  • Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
  • Start with your toes, mentally scanning each part of your body.
  • Notice any tension or discomfort and consciously relax those areas.
  • Move your way up to the top of your head.

This is typically how I begin my meditation sessions, and I probably picked that up from using Headspace early on, because I remember it being pretty popular in their guided meditations.

It’s a great place to start because by focusing on one part of your body at a time you are both tuning out of the chaos in your mind and into the body; increasing your awareness of your body at a subconscious level. This is important for health but also for intuition which tends to manifest as feelings in the body.

Visualization

Visualization is another word for imagination. You can simply sit and imagine a setting around you by creating a mental image of a peaceful or calming place. If you struggle with the “visual” details, that’s fine. You can also simply imagine a feeling.

Meditating on a visualization for five to ten minutes can help you relax and reduce stress.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Sit or lie down comfortably.
  • Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
  • Imagine you are sitting in a peaceful place (e.g., a beach, forest, or mountain).
  • Try to add detail and experience the scene with all your senses for 5-10 minutes.

Most of my visualizations start with me sitting around a campfire in the jungle. I visualize myself standing up and walking down a path in the jungle that eventually descends to a cenote (a pool fed by the depths of watery Mayan underworld Xibalba).

Rising from the water is a massive ceiba tree whose roots reach down into the Underworld and whose branches rise to the heavens. It’s a beautiful, serene image in itself, and I can simply “sit” in that space and meditate but this is also the perfect setup for more active visualizations.

If you get good at this practice it can open the doors to much more powerful techniques like shamanic journeying that allow you to directly tap into the collective unconscious for answers to your questions.

Vagal Breathing

Vagal breathing exercises are designed to stimulate the vagus nerve, which plays a key role in the body’s relaxation response. There are two techniques you can try…

Diaphragmatic Breathing:

  • Sit or lie down comfortably.
  • Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen.
  • Breathe in deeply through your nose, allowing your abdomen to rise.
  • Exhale slowly through your mouth, feeling your abdomen fall.
  • Repeat for a few minutes.

Extended Exhalation (this is my go-to technique!):

  • Inhale deeply for a count of 4.
  • Pause
  • Exhale slowly for a count of 7.
  • Pause and repeat for a few minutes.

I use vagal breathing to enter into meditative states when I’ve been going a million miles an hour working on stuff for my business or running errands, etc. and it works like a charm.

This should be your go-to technique for relieving anxiety and stress symptoms, clearing your head, and entering into a state of mind where you can make important decisions.

A Gratitude Practice

The last few years have been a wild journey. Building a house in the jungle has me way outside of my natural comfort zone. This is by design of course, but still, when you’re dealing with big scary problems that you have no experience with, it’s easy to feel like I’m in over my head.

An adventure of this size and complexity requires a lot of grace from the universe and more than a little luck to succeed. It can’t be all up me. If it was it would have screwed it up already.

Along the way I’ve had many opportunities to fail and been saved by uncannily good fortunes. The kind that leave you shaken and feeling like you’ve got a lot to be grateful for…

So I made it a habit to express that gratitude on a daily basis, ritually each morning. And this simple practice has unlocked more prosperity and opportunity in my life than anything else I’ve ever done.

No amount of hard work and grinding can replace what a little “wind in your sails” can provide, and gratitude is the key to manifesting this good fortune.

My own gratitude practice looks a bit more like prayer but if you’d prefer something more tangible, I suggest gratitude journaling.

Gratitude journaling is the practice of writing down things you are thankful for each day. It can help shift your focus to the positive aspects of your life and cultivate a sense of appreciation for life.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Set aside 5-10 minutes each day.
  • Write down 3-5 things you are grateful for.
  • Reflect on why you are grateful for these things.
  • Notice the positive impact on your mood and mindset.

Again, this sounds deceptively simple but don’t underestimate it. Focusing on the positive things in your life will bring more positive things into your life. It doesn’t need to be complicated to be effective!

The Emotion Code

For a more advanced technique that can move emotional / spiritual mountains for you, we have to discuss the fascinating system for emotional balancing known as “The Emotion Code”.

The Emotion Code is a technique developed by Dr. Bradley Nelson that involves identifying and releasing trapped emotions using muscle testing and a magnet. This is worth researching on your own in detail, and I recommend you start with this YouTube video by Dr. Nelson about The Emotion Code.

The basic idea is that you use a technique called “muscle testing” to identify trapped emotional energy using a simple chart.

Here’s a simplified version of the process:

  • Identify Trapped Emotions:
    • Focus on specific events or feelings where you suspect emotions are trapped.
    • Use muscle testing to identify trapped emotions using The Emotion Code chart. First ask if there is a trapped emotion ready to be released. Then ask if it is in column A (if it’s not A, it’s B). Then go row by row, and then emotion by emotion, testing for a “strong” muscle response.
  • Release Trapped Emotions:
    • Use a magnet (e.g., a refrigerator magnet) and run it over your governing meridian (from forehead to the back of the neck).
    • Intend to release the trapped emotion while performing the motion.
    • Repeat the process for each identified trapped emotion.

As a practicing shamanic healer, I’ve found The Emotion Code to be very similar in nature to some of the ritual techniques that I learned from my teachers. But, for many people, it’s pseudo-scientific packaging makes it more palatable to the modern Western mind.

Grounding (Earthing)

One of the biggest reasons I left the city and moved to the jungle was to get closer to nature and, of course, my shamanic studies have centered around a love for Mother Earth.

But even from the perspective of science, the practice of grounding (aka earthing) is widely recognized for its mental and physical health benefits.

The idea is simple, you connect with the Earth’s natural energy by walking barefoot or using grounding equipment. It reduces inflammation, improves sleep, and promote a sense of calm.

Here are a few ways to practice grounding:

  • Direct Contact: Walk barefoot on grass, sand, or soil for at least 30 minutes daily.
  • Grounding Equipment: Use grounding mats, sheets, or patches while sleeping or working.
  • Visualization: Visualize roots extending from your feet into the Earth, anchoring and drawing up energy.
  • Salt / Ocean Water: Stand, swim, or float in salt water for a few minutes to quickly release energy.

I rarely wear shoes and much prefer to walk barefoot on the earth. And when I do wear shoes they’re typically sandals. I think it helps me feel more centered and balanced by releasing energy through the feet.

Tapping (EFT – Emotional Freedom Techniques)

This technique I haven’t used much myself but other people swear by it. Tapping, also known as Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), is a method that involves tapping on specific meridian points while focusing on a specific issue or emotion.

It can help reduce stress, anxiety, and negative emotions. Here’s how to do it:

  • Identify the Issue: Focus on a specific problem or feeling.
  • Set-Up Phrase: Create a set-up phrase acknowledging the problem and affirming self-acceptance (e.g., “Even though I feel anxious, I deeply and completely accept myself”).
  • Tapping Sequence: Tap on specific meridian points while repeating the set-up phrase:
  • Reassess: After a few rounds, rate the intensity of the issue and repeat if necessary.

Tapping pattern:

  • Top of the head
  • Eyebrow
  • Side of the eye
  • Under the eye
  • Under the nose
  • Chin
  • Collarbone
  • Under the arm

It helps to have a bag of tricks because different situations will call for different approaches and will resonate with different people. This method hasn’t been a big one for me but it’s simple, reproducible, and might fit better in your situation.

Heart Coherence Technique

My wife swears by this method. And she’s still married to me, so it must be working…

The Heart Coherence Technique, developed by the HeartMath Institute, involves focusing on positive emotions and synchronizing your breath with your heartbeat. It can help reduce stress, improve cognitive function, and promote emotional well-being.

This method will pull you into a heart-centered place -a place of acceptance and gratitude.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Heart-Focused Breathing:
    • Focus your attention on your heart area.
    • Breathe in and out slowly, imagining the breath flowing in and out through your heart.
  • Activate a Positive Feeling:
    • Recall a positive experience or a feeling of appreciation, care, or love.
    • Maintain this feeling while continuing heart-focused breathing.
  • Sustain the Practice:
    • Practice for 5-15 minutes daily to build coherence.

If my experiences as a shamanic healer have taught me anything worth sharing it’s the importance of connecting with my heart and cultivating positive emotions. The Heart Coherence Technique has been a valuable tool in my marriage, and in my business, helping me stay grounded and emotionally resilient.

Why Mindfulness Matters In Entrepreneurship

As entrepreneurs, we face countless challenges and stressors on a daily basis. By incorporating mindfulness techniques into our routines, we can better manage stress, improve focus, and enhance our overall well-being.

The nine techniques covered in this article – the breathwork techniques and visualizations, gratitude journaling, the Emotion Code, grounding, tapping, and the Heart Coherence Technique – have been instrumental in my own journey from burned-out marketing executive to shamanic healer and mindful entrepreneur.

I encourage you to start with one or two techniques that resonate with you and gradually incorporate more into your daily routine.

Remember, mindfulness is a practice, not a destination. It’s about showing up for yourself each day and prioritizing your mental and emotional health.

The most important thing is to take that first step and commit to your well-being, and the improvements you need to make to become the most successful version of yourself.

If you’re pursuing your passions like I am, and running your own business, join me in prioritizing physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual, health. Subscribe to my newsletter for more mindfulness content like this (and a lot of marketing content too!) and to my channel on YouTube.

Remember, taking care of yourself is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. By investing time and energy into your well-being, you’ll be better prepared to handle the challenges of entrepreneurship and to create the life you dream about and business the supports it.

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About the Author

Nathan Binford

Creator & Digital Marketer

“The Mindful Marketer” 🧘‍♂️ I help people achieve freedom through marketing and mindfulness. | Develop the skills and mindset for success. Join for free at NathanBinford.com/subscribe.

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