01 Oct Tapping Into Genius as an Entrepreneur
By Kalika Yap
When an good idea comes to you seemingly out of thin air, the Ancient Greeks called it Genius. Jill Willard, the writer of “Intuitive Being” says it’s intuition, an ability we all have, if we are willing to get quiet and begin the working of connecting within.
“You have to invite it in. You have to make sure there’s room in your closet, so if your head is full or your life is full… you’ve got to make room for that genius.”
I sat down with Willard last year for my Entrepreneurs Organization podcast, “Wonder.” Willard, who as a young girl envisioned herself as a stay-at-home mom, has found herself called into the life of an entrepreneur through her book about tapping into intuition and her companies that teach presence, which have been featured on Goop and in other well-known media. Her work has attracted the attention of venture capitalists, while her book has been a popular seller with readers who are looking to hone their ability to trust their inner vision for their life and what they have to bring into the world.
Like all entrepreneurs, Willard has a belief in being able to do things for ourselves, whether that’s start a business that the world hasn’t yet seen the likes of, or in her case, learning to get quiet on our own without turning our power over to gurus or even guided meditations.
“Our company is about empowering the human,” Willard said. She believes mindfulness is both a practice of being a teacher and being a student. While guided meditations may be a helpful way to begin a practice, eventually it’s important to being able to sit in silence without someone else’s voice in your head, so you can hear your own inner wisdom clearly. “How are you going to hear your voice if your listening to others?” Willard asks.
With that mission of helping people connect to their own intuition, Willard, through her website IMcommunity.com has created short meditations that guide people to begin meditating on short IM statements, such as “I am rooted,” or “I am powerful”, which are aimed at helping people get quiet and present and embody these qualities. She says as we come to live in transparent times, it’s no longer about faking it to make it, but being who we want to be. But that requires an ability to quiet the mind and get present.
“Chance favors a prepared mind,” she says. Preparation to Willard is being able to clear headspace to see your vision clearly.
“You have to have a goal and a vision for yourself and your family that’s your vision or your family’s vision,” she said. It’s also important that it contributes to the world.
For entrepreneurs who often have packed schedules and full lives, it can be at first quite challenging to slow down and get quiet. Yet, tapping into your genius, or intuition, requires just that.
“It’s hard for most people,” Willard says. “Maybe it’s a yoga class that is so slow that you’re bored.” Or a long walk where you have to be with what comes up.The important thing is to take that first step and slow down.
The initial work is challenging, requiring us to first face ourselves, then face our past to clear it out, or as she says: “Clear the root, connect to your gut, open your heart and intuition will follow.”
In her book, Willard’s dishes on her own experience with intuition. She begins with a story about being in her gynecologist’s office to find out the sex of her second baby, when her doctor said she was having a boy. She said she, without judgement, disagreed, knowing it was a girl. It was a girl.
Willard had intended to stay at home, and be a mom. But mentors and eventually a conversation at a 2014 beach party with friends, led her to take a turn into entrepreneurship. A friend at the party told her he didn’t like Transcendental Meditation and asked her for her guidance on meditating. IM was born out of that. She landed a book deal and “then it just exploded and I had to catch up,” she says.
Throughout writing her book and landing a publishing deal, she had a third baby. Her meditation practice helped her with both. “When we’re present, we know what we need.”
It’s that same practice that has guided her in launching her meditation business and that ultimately she wants to share with other entrepreneurs, children, parents, and beyond.
Being intuitive is being in a “very calm and relaxed… your body doesn’t react with nervous knots… I think intuition is all love and calm. I really do. It’s very neutral even if it’s information we don’t quote want to hear, it always benefits us and those around us if we follow through with it.”