I often get asked what type of “healer” I am and why I started the national Holistic Chamber of Commerce (HCC)…

This pre-supposes that 'holistic' refers only to healers. From my point-of-view, there are holistic ways of doing business as well as holistic health and wellness experts. Given the state of today's world, I want an attorney with holistic attitudes as much as I want a massage therapist to keep my body in tune. I prefer a bookkeeper with similar values just as I prefer healthy eating and exercise for staying fit.

Unless you consider encouraging and promoting holistic professionals and practitioners a form of healing, I'm not healer.

As a business woman who once worked in the chaos of a high rise office building in downtown L.A., I started the HCC because my body didn’t respond well to most Western medicines. Fortunately for me, I found the therapeutic and healing powers of holistic products and services. The thing that was most challenging was to find quality holistic practitioners when I needed them. That’s understandable. After all, most practitioners start their business because they want to help others using the techniques that helped them; not because they want to develop a business plan, learn about bookkeeping…or marketing…or (gasp!) sales.

Often, it’s the first, seemingly simple, question that throws us for a loop: So, what do you do?

Holistic types seem to fall into one of three categories: (a) they are so quiet and shy that they rarely talk about their skills and expertise, (b) they are so passionate about what they do that they over-talk their business, or (c) they have training in so many modalities that they don’t know where to start.

Without an effective answer to this basic question, it’s tough for you to find an audience and tough for those who need (and want) you to get the help that they need.

The West LA chapter of the HCC arose from the desire to assist local holistically-oriented businesses of all types in the aspects of business-building separate from their core specialty or particular area of expertise. After the West LA chapter was successfully off the ground, I realized that the need for help promoting holistic products and services reached far beyond our local area. After all, the U.S. is barely averting disaster in the health care arena.

Still, healthy and eco-friendly solutions aren’t on the national agenda and most mainstream consumers don’t view our more-or-less esoteric suggestions worthy of consideration. Why is that? How do we get the word out? More importantly, how can we bring our valuable insights to a world in crisis?

By taking ourselves seriously in a professional membership organization, we can blend holistic values with the realities of doing business in the “real world.” We can collaborate with each other and have a unified voice which reaches more people. This helps us in our individual businesses and ultimately it will benefit the world as a whole.

Over the past three years, I have conversed and commiserated with professionals and practitioners of all kinds - from attorneys and bookkeepers to reiki healers and yoga instructors.  A common concern among them involves finding the right balance of short-term results with long-term consequences for maximum sustainability. “I don’t want to spend time on the computer. How do I get the word out anyway?” “I can’t afford what everyone is recommending. How do I get from today’s budget to a bigger budget?” “Do I really need a blog or a Facebook Fan Page?”…and on and on…The goal of the HCC is to assist holistic professionals with these pesky questions and get the word out to a broader audience.

 

This article can be re-printed in your ezine or website if you include the following information: Camille Leon represents holistic and eco-friendly professionals and practitioners through The Holistic Chamber of Commerce, an emerging national organization. For more info, visit http://TheHolisticChamberOfCommerce.com or call 310-490-6862.