Making Money from Mindfulness


The best trends are often the ones where you can “double-dip”—that is take advantage of them as a consumer and as an entrepreneur. Mindfulness is one of those trends—and everyone is buzzing about it right now.

If you’re wondering what it means, according to the new book, Mindfulness at Work For Dummies, mindfulness is about becoming “more aware of your thoughts, feelings and sensations in a way that suspends judgment and self-criticism.” Sounds very Zen, right?

It’s easy to mock, but actually being mindful can make your staff more productive, make you a better leader and improve the overall attitude and output at your small business. And it de-stresses everyone.

When you cut through some of the mumbo-jumbo, being mindful merely means being self-aware. Shamash Alidina and Juliet Adams, the authors of Mindfulness at Work For Dummies, say this gives you the ability to see what is happening in the moment, so you can immediately respond to business situations. Some studies have shown doing meditation and other similar exercises in the workplace can actually shift negative employee attitudes.

Global marketing communication giant JWT named mindfulness one of its Future 100: Trends and Change to Watch in 2015. According to the annual report, “Meditation and mindfulness are getting mass appreciation for benefits not just in well-being, but also in work success—and being embraced by young urban audiences from Silicon Valley to Manhattan.”

A busy entrepreneurial friend of mine claims that “guided meditation” is what enables her to withstand entrepreneurial stress and launch a second business while still growing her first. Until a few years ago, meditation was considered by many to be the province of hippies and Buddhists, but last year The Los Angeles Times declared meditation was becoming more secularized and “moving to the mainstream.”

And that’s where the entrepreneurial opportunities come in. Inspired by the concept and success of Dry Bar, “spiritual entrepreneur” and former magazine editor Suze Yalof Schwartz opened unplug, a guided mediation studio in Los Angeles. Across the country in New York City, Dina Kaplan, a former television reporter, founded the Path, a meditation studio The New York Times calls “a downtown hub for technology and fashion entrepreneurs.”

Of course, being mindful is not just about meditating. In a post on Medium, “The Cult of Busy,” Kaplan implored entrepreneurs to “set reasonable goals for each day, then head directly towards them...If you’re in charge of a company, it’s lazy not to think about processes to make work less busy. Spend time setting up processes that make sense, rather than simply working more hours.”

While these businesses were launched in the nations two largest cities, these types of secular meditation studios could work in most urban and suburban environments where there’s seemingly a continual supply of stressed out consumers and commuters.

You might think mindfulness is yet another passing fad. But JWT believes the trend has legs because “Silicon Valley buy-in” is spreading the word and touting its benefits to both businesses and individuals.

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at rieva@smallbizdaily.com, follow her on Google+, and visit her website,SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.