Why I do it

 A very bad hair day. I have the Costa Rican air to thank for that. But as someone once said, we should spend less time in the mirror and more time enjoying life. Photo courtesy of Heidi Hapanowicz (thank you Heidi, it was a blast!)

A very bad hair day. I have the Costa Rican air to thank for that. But as someone once said, we should spend less time in the mirror and more time enjoying life. Photo courtesy of Heidi Hapanowicz (thank you Heidi, it was a blast!)

Why I do it {Manifesto}

You and me...

We love free-spirited people who don’t conform to popular opinion.

We love visionaries who believe life is an adventure. Who believe that reinvention is part of our evolution.

We believe in our freedom to be different, to provoke change, and to rise above mainstream norms.

We believe anything is possible when you follow your own path. When you create genuine value for people who share your convictions.

Together we leap...

We’re committed to entrepreneurship as a platform for liberation. A way to spark our evolution - our radical act - our leap of faith - whatever it might be : )
— Shireen | Quiet Lion

How I do it

Back in 2005, those of us who had a website felt pretty slick.

Fluffing our peacock feathers, we went around flashing our shiny new business cards with our very own worldwide web address printed on them. But the novelty didn't last long.

In a few years, we were all scrambling to become experts in SEO + content marketing + Google analytics + forty social media platforms AKA a snowballing list of new learning curves… to avoid being lost in a sea of one billion websites (the real number by 2014).

Suddenly everyone was doing more marketing than the work they loved.

- Shout and wave your arms madly to build a massive social network / list / following so that 2% of these random strangers would buy in. Allegedly.

- Blast Facebook and Twitter with 3000 original and useful comments a day. Surely someone will take the bait.

Exhausting.

It never felt right to me. It felt forced and manipulative.

So I learned just enough to help out my clients, and otherwise ignored it. I just kept doing the work I loved, in my own way. (The goal was freedom and joy, and I refused to sacrifice that.)

The thing is, it worked. I didn't have an impressive online following (I didn't even have a Facebook page), but I was always booked in advance with absolutely lovely clients.

I think I know why. And here's where I can help you...

20 years of running a spa trained me to give every client the Right experience.

Like the hospitality industry, spas have always focused on how they make their guests feel...

A spa service is never just the massage or a facial treatment. It's the receptionist’s welcoming smile. It's the heating pad laid out to warm your feet. It's the tact and kindness of your therapist. It's the unexpected gift at the end of your treatment, the tea served in a quiet room while you transition back to reality.

It's the *entire experience* of whatever you're paying for.

The therapist who makes her clients feel extra special is the one who's always booked in advance. Not the best therapist, not the one with the most credentials, but the one who treats each client as if she was the most important client of all.

Long before CX Design became a new tactic, I listened to my clients for clues.

I listen intensely right from the start. (Something I did a lot of as a spa therapist because clearly, it wasn't about me, it was all about them. Even when I was on the verge of tears because I had to put my beloved cat of 18 years to sleep, it was my job to be there for my client fully.)

It's the way you make someone feel that touches them in the place that motivates them to be loyal to you, to pay you for what they want. And by feelings, I don't mean fluff and syrupy compliments, I mean creating the experience that speaks to them. The one where the real you and the real her connect.

Instead of focusing on what makes you look good, focus on what makes both of you feel good.

This feels so right to me. And I'm thinking maybe it does to you too.


Why I Love it

When I play Secret Shopper, I get to embark on a little adventure into the unknown. The explorer in me LOVES this. It’s like a virtual road trip.

My wheels spin in high gear as I envision what *could* be. I have this natural obsession with always wanting to make things better. More beautiful. More alive. When I'm analyzing, strategizing and designing, it's like there's a wild party going on inside my head and nothing will shut it down.

(Except maybe a good stiff glass of Paddy's {the best whisky EVER}. Shhh - I did not just type that out loud.)

I close my eyes to go to sleep at night, and there it is, on my mental screen. Ideas popping up like prairie dogs.

I used to think this was something I needed to fix. And then I realized... wait a minute. It happens because I love it that much.

Shireen Bawnlavery