Wisdom from the Spiritual Entrepreneur

by Sonja van den Bosch

Wisdom from the Spiritual Entrepreneur

Why are we here?

We are here to create and recreate the next best versions of ourselves (and our business) and experience our lives with richness, abundance and joy.

Sounds to good to be true? Please keep reading…

What I love most about this statement is that it brings excitement into everything we do at every stage of life. It gives us permission to change, experiment, create and evolve, every year, month, week, day, hour, moment and constantly become a better version of ourselves, both in our personal as in our business life.  

Yesterday I was clever, I wanted to change the world; today I am wise, I am changing myself. – Rumi

I recently had the opportunity to experience the energy & wisdom from Pauline Nguyen, owner of Red Lantern and a successful entrepreneur, who is sharing her life lessons to elevate others and expand their thinking. She is inspiration with substance.

The lessons Pauline shared were too good to not pass on. So here are my top take-aways and how I feel they are aligned with quality marketing, business & life.

The quality of our thoughts creates the quality of our life

An optimistic brain is far more useful to us than a brain that is stuck in fear, blame and excuses. Naturally, we can’t be feeling inner peace 24/7, we need to experience inner turmoil as well. Both are helpful to us, for example inner turmoil gives us the energy and drive to innovate, create and recalibrate. If you look at it from this perspective, it becomes a powerful force for change and growth. As Pauline says: ‘How we respond to obstacles is what defines us. Obstacles can be a great springboard to success.’

To uplift the quality of our thoughts, we have to focus on the big picture and not sweat the small stuff. This means living our lives deliberately and not by default. It is about stepping out of our comfort zone, being open to change and keeping an open mind. It is all about challenging ourselves to look at things from different angles.

We don’t climb mountains so that other people can see us. We climb mountains so that we can see the world – Pauline Nguyen

Starting with the big picture and looking at things from different perspectives (from the customer, from the business, from the staff members etc.), and using challenges as growth opportunities is exactly what I love so much about the strategic marketing work my team and I get to do every day with our clients. When you do this, you are pro-actively creating your company’s future instead of the world creating your business’s future for you.

Live your truth and become unshakable

Live your truth so that thankfulness and gratitude fill your heart, energise your body and clarify your mind each and every day. How do you know if you are living your truth? If what you do is not bringing you joy, it is not your truth.

Pauline talks about ‘understanding yourself so deeply that you become unshakable and not bothered by the ignorant opinions of others.’

We most likely first have to do some work to get there…We first have to sit in the fire, the discomfort, where we challenge our limiting beliefs (we all have them) and look fear in the eye (which is scary in itself), it is a raging war inside ourselves between our hearts and our heads. Personal development can not happen without personal disruption first.

The reward is sweet though. ‘When we combine quality thinking with elevated emotions, we will raise our energy vibration and all that is not in alignment will fall away.’ Says Pauline.  

The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away – Pablo Picasso

The effect we have on others is the most valuable currency we have. We should use it wisely. This is also the true meaning of success. We are healthy, we are wealthy, and everything has meaning, which is enduring. Happiness is a fleeting emotion, that fades away, whereas meaning is enduring.

I personally find that when our inner world is elevated, the external world will follow and all the right things start happening, you know that feeling of feeling 100% yourself and being in the flow?! That’s why for a business the internal environment and culture is so key. When working with clients and developing their marketing function, we always start with educating & supporting the internal customers (the staff members) as that energy will be reflected onto the external customers.

We thrive at the intersection of growth and gratitude

Growth is exciting; however it can also be painful. Often it is the deepest pain that empowers us to grow into our highest & best self. Pain is inevitable, but transformation is by conscious choice.

We first have to say goodbye to certain aspects of ourselves and our business, before we can make space for new things to arrive. The holding on and not letting go is often where we’ll feel the most pain (I am talking from experience). This is always so clear in hindsight. Never underestimate the power of making a decision and taking the first small step…it only takes 10 seconds of courage.

Growth without gratitude is empty and doesn’t mean anything. I learned this lesson very early on in my career. In my early days as the Benelux marketing manager for Life Fitness, I was talking to my colleague Jenny, the UK marketing manager, who was a bit more experienced and wiser than I was at that stage, about how exhausted I was from climbing the mountain (setting up the marketing team) and feeling that I still had such a long way to go. Jenny simply said to me: ‘never forget to stop on your climb and look back and be grateful for everything that you’ve already accomplished.’

I often think back to that moment, as it was a defining moment in my career, that I am very grateful for. I am still using this lesson when mentoring enthusiastic marketing managers or talking to driven CEOs and business owners.  

I’ll leave you with a quote from Pauline’s book, THE WAY OF THE SPIRITUAL ENTREPRENEUR, that sums it up for me:

To be successful you have to have your heart in your business and your business in your heart – Thomas J Watson Jr

I hope that you enjoyed reading this article, as much as I enjoyed writing it. As always, feel free to drop me a line, as I would love to hear your thoughts.

Tags: , , , , ,


  1. Tom Redden says:

    What a great article Sonja.. It really resonated with me, a deep, thoughtful powerful piece of writing. Thanks for sharing..

  2. Hi Tom, I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed this article and that it resonated with you. People like you make CUB a very special place!

  3. Joanne Cox says:

    Great to review and recap the wonderful luncheon with Pauline. Some great light bulb moments just reading through your story. I’m off to climb my mountain 🙂

  4. Enjoy the climb and the views Joanne!

  5. Great article Sonja – love the insights around understanding how alignment can really empower and escalate results. Thanks!

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


Inspirational marketing is about being true to yourself, being aligned with your core values and doing something you truly believe in and are passionate about. It is about creating meaningful relationships with everyone you encounter. It is about thoughts from the heart.

Receive the Latest Marketing Insights

Explore More Stories