004: Lifestyle Design for Sensitive Entrepreneurs with Bevin Niemann

Bevin Niemann

Bevin Niemann is a co-founder of the Empowered Sensitive Leaders community, which helps lightworkers, empaths and mystics craft a lifestyle and career that nurtures your sensitivity. Making small tweaks and big leaps to create a life you donโ€™t need a vacation from.

She also provides done-for-you branding and marketing services for spiritual entrepreneurs.

๐Ÿ’ Key Takeaways

  • What is Lifestyle Design for Perceptive Souls?
  • When you create a vision for ALL aspects of your life and take ONE small step after another to shift into greater resonance.
  • Most highly sensitive people have been conditioned to look outside of ourselves for cues as to how to live our lives. When we were young, our parents and caregivers passed on their values – about careers, relationships, health, and hobbies.
  • Then, we went out into the world as adults and were subject to pressures from our peers, the media, and employers. This is what ‘adulting’ looks like, here is how ‘work’ is to be defined, here is the relationship box you must fit into.
  • It’s a radical act to follow your own unique life path. To release external expectations and pursue with bold trust that which resonates. Are you ready to make small, or major shifts in your daily existence?

๐Ÿ”— Where You Can Find Bevin

๐Ÿ“– Transcript

[00:00:00] Rose Cox: Hey, it’s Rose. And welcome to another episode of the Sensitive CEO Show. In today’s episode, I have the pleasure of talking with Bevin Neiman. Bevin is a co-founder of the Empowered Sensitive Leaders Community, which helps light workers, empaths and mystics craft a lifestyle and career that nurtures their sensitivity and Bevin also provides done for you branding and marketing services for spiritual entrepreneurs.

[00:02:06] So welcome Bevin. It’s always so lovely to talk with you.

[00:02:11] Bevin Niemann: Thank you so much. Rose. I’m so honored to be here and looking forward to our conversation.

[00:02:17] Rose Cox: Me too, and I love your topic, Lifestyle Design for Sensitive Entrepreneurs. But before we dive into that, I’d love you to share a little bit about your background and a bit more about what it is that you do.

[00:02:32] Bevin Niemann: Sure. Absolutely. I guess it’s been almost a decade since I found out that I was a highly sensitive person. Of course, I think like most people, it was life changing to recognize that this is just a temperament trait and it’s normal for 25% of the human population. And after I did that, I felt really called to reach out and connect with other HSPs.

[00:02:59] And so I started a meetup group in my living room. I had people come. And I taught classes. I was learning about the trait myself and then also teaching as I went. And people began to come up to me after those monthly gatherings and asked me questions, advice, and that’s how I decided to become a coach.

[00:03:21] I went to coach training and and dove in full time in my business in 2016. And I really feel like, Rose, this is my calling to really help, highly sensitive, intuitive people, empathic people like myself, feel empowered, feel confident. Know that we can step into leadership. Right?

[00:03:45] And so I think there’s a lot of misconceptions of what it means to be highly sensitive, but we make great leaders. And so part of what I feel is my sole mission is to spread that message far and wide as far as I can. And that’s how I really got into it. And community has always been a big part of what I’ve done.

[00:04:07] First I had a local community in Dallas, Texas in the United States, and then I took my communities online and now my community serves members from six different continents. And it’s just wonderful to bring people together. We need to gather with other sensitive people who understand what it means to perceive the world in this way.

[00:04:28] And feel relieved that other people get it, other people understand our way of being.

[00:04:35] Rose Cox: I love everything about what you said, and I love how you said that we make great leaders. Can you dive into a little bit about that? Why you believe we make great leaders as highly sensitive people.

[00:04:49] Bevin Niemann: Highly sensitive people are very attuned to what’s happening in the group, whether that’s working in the corporate world, running your own business and collaborating with other people or volunteering for organization and being a part of working on a cause that you’re passionate about.

[00:05:09] We just can sense and see, because we process everything so deeply and we’re really attuned, especially those who, who resonate and identify as empaths. We can see what people need. We can sense what people need and we’re really not in leadership for it to be all about me. As a matter of fact, most HSPs and empaths don’t really want it to be all about me. I don’t wanna be in the spotlight. But we do it very well. We are usually great effective communicators. We tend to have emotional intelligence. We can understand and hold compassion for what people are going through, whether that’s someone reporting to us directly, or a colleague or a friend or a family member.

[00:05:56] And our goal I think, is to have everyone succeed. So we’ve seen examples, Rose, of leadership, where it’s all about the leader. It’s all about all the people underneath that person. Making them successful, make, putting them in the spotlight, making them wealthy, whatever that may be.

[00:06:14] But I think that sensitive leaders approach this differently. We actually want everyone to be successful. We want everyone to be healthy, happy, fulfilled in their work and sometimes it can be a challenge, of course leadership when there’s conflicts and, things like that.

[00:06:32] But I think that our ability to look ahead in the future and predict, if you will. If we go down this particular path and make these decisions, here’s how it will impact people and clients and customers in our environment. We’re really good at all of these kinds of things, looking at things from a very holistic viewpoint and a lot of HSPs and empaths are also highly intuitive. So we use that gift of being able to use pattern recognition and gather all the data, whether that’s consciously or subconsciously. And then we get these insights that lead us or feelings, that lead us to take a particular action or make particular choices that are going to be more beneficial to everyone who’s involved.

[00:07:20] So that’s what I’ve noticed in leadership.

[00:07:23] Rose Cox: I got a beautiful visual of an HSP leader, pulling people up to be by their side rather than I guess a lot of leaders or not a lot, but some leaders as you alluded to, it’s all about them kind of being at the top. But for us we want others to join us and we want to help them.

[00:07:47] That’s such a big part. Isn’t it?

[00:07:48] Bevin Niemann: It is. I think that we tend to be drawn towards collaboration more than competition. We don’t see it as if I win another person loses or vice versa. We see it like, how do we how do we rise all the boats? As they say, like a rising tide, lifts all the boats. That’s what we want.

[00:08:10] We want everyone to be successful and happy and fulfilled. And that’s the unique part of what we bring to the table.

[00:08:19] Rose Cox: absolutely. And there’s plenty for everybody isn’t there. So I’d love you to talk about lifestyle design for perceptive souls. Tell us a bit about that.

[00:08:34] Bevin Niemann: Absolutely. I think recently I’ve realized that a lot of my clients, even though they weren’t using the term lifestyle design specifically, that’s what they were talking about. And I began to read about this several years ago. And when I did, I realized this is what I’ve been doing on my own personal journey, as a sensitive person, as a leader, as a spiritual mentor, I have been making, sometimes small tweaks and sometimes really large leaps in my life to adjust things, to actually nurture my sensitivity rather than work against it. So, as you know, we live in a culture, and of course everyone, depending on what country they’re listening from their culture could be a little different, but many cultures today are too loud, too fast, too high pressured.

[00:09:31] All of those things that we can struggle with that can get us into that state of overwhelm and over stimulation. And yet at no other time in human history do many people, not all people, but many people have the opportunity to make choices about what kind of career that they want and reinventing.

[00:09:52] You and I are sitting here, talking on this podcast. If you had told us a decade ago, that people could make a living having a podcast and doing interviews. We probably would’ve thought, what are you talking about? But there’s so many different ways to develop your career and also your life so that it supports the kind of schedule that you wanna have every day. The kind of relationships and the people you want to surround yourself with. How you care for your physical body and your health, your wellbeing, whether that’s exercise or diet or hydration or sleep or meditation or yoga, we can choose a set of of lifestyle aspects, if you will, that are perfect for them. So it there’s no template necessarily, to say, okay my lifestyle needs to look like Rose Cox’s lifestyle.

[00:10:52] You are going to develop your own parameters of what that looks like, and I’m gonna develop mine and maybe some of those have an overlap. But maybe I have some unique ways that I do. It’s everything from honoring your circadian rhythms. Like when do you like to go to sleep? When does your body want to wake up? When are you most productive? When do you need to have rest and downtime? Some HSPs and empaths are extroverts, so they might need a different type of schedule or a level of socialization than introverted sensitives might.

[00:11:26] What I love about it is customizable. Your lifestyle design is yours and mine is mine and it changes over time. Because what I needed five or 10 years ago may be different than what I need now. And it, and three or four years from now, I may need something different and that’s okay.

[00:11:47] You can always change it. This is what I love. And we really started focusing on this inside of our community to really help people look at all these different aspects of their life and be empowered to make those conscious choices for themselves to have less and less overwhelm and, overstimulation and more wonderful nurturing relationships. A career, a job, a business that really supports them, health that works for what their body needs and so on and so forth.

[00:12:22] Rose Cox: I love that. I love the holistic approach that you take to that because there are so many facets to our lives and it’s not just about one thing, is it?

[00:12:33] Bevin Niemann: that’s right. If you think about it, when we were children, obviously each person grew up in a different family system, but we definitely received messages about what was the norm. What was the norm for your schedule? What was the norm for the kinds of careers that you might pursue?

[00:12:50] What was the norm for, how you eat food? Every aspect of our lives. When you sleep, when you wake up, what kind of media you consume? We were very influenced by our early caregivers. And then of course, we went out into the world when we were young adults and we were influenced by our peers.

[00:13:11] We were influenced if we, went to college or studied somewhere by the employers that we might have worked for. But it really is being more discerning, asking questions. Just because this is the way I’ve always known it or always done it, or this is the societal expectation or my parents’ expectation or my peers expectations is does that work for me?

[00:13:35] Giving ourselves permission without guilt to make the changes that really work for us, that help us to have the lifestyle and the career. And for some people that maybe, if they’re retired, that may be something like, the causes they volunteer for, with what they’re involved in projects and or creativity or whatever that may be.

[00:13:58] But, really creating something that works for you. And being unapologetic about making those choices for yourself.

[00:14:08] Rose Cox: I love that because growing up we are very conditioned by many people around us, into how we should go into our jobs, even our relationships and to take our own unique paths is just such a gift. If we can actually do that. How would you recommend someone who’s not really sure where to start, what would your advice be Bevin?

[00:14:42] Bevin Niemann: Right. So when we think about lifestyle design, we might assume that we have to change everything and then that would be really overwhelming, right? Because it’s just not possible. Like there’s only so much change that we can, any individual can So what I would recommend is what is most challenging, pick one thing that’s just not working. Whether that’s the job that you’re in, the way you’re running your business, the way that you’ve been caring for your body or the food you’ve been eating, or it can be very small.

[00:15:16] It could be your, just your daily routine. Your daily routine changing that up just a little bit and only do one thing at a time. Only choose one thing if you decide, okay, I wanna work on having better relationships. That is just a huge aspect of our life all by itself.

[00:15:35] So if you worked on that that could take a year.

[00:15:39] It could take two years. It is a lifelong journey, as I was saying it’s gonna be a continuous process of assessing what it is that we need. Probably until the end of our life. And so it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon and we could take it slow bit by bit making one change. Setting one healthy boundary, applying for something different.

[00:16:05] That would be more interesting taking one class to gain a skill so that you could transition to a different career field. Just pick one thing, whatever is causing you the most struggle, the most challenge, the most pain right now. Let’s focus on that because when that gets better, then you actually have the bandwidth, the energy to work on other things.

[00:16:28] And you don’t have to change something if it’s actually working for you. If it’s this is great. I like this part of my life. I’m gonna keep that. But I think that people when they think of lifestyle design, they’re like I have to sit down and map out everything and change it all. No.

[00:16:44] Rose Cox: That would be very overwhelming.

[00:16:45] Bevin Niemann: They’d probably stop.

[00:16:47] Rose Cox: Definitely. I love that you say to start with one area and I guess you can start with the area that you’re most uncomfortable in and work on that. And then once you’ve got that sort of dialed in, then move on to the next one.

[00:17:01] Bevin Niemann: And it’s okay to take a break too, and to say, you know what? I just want time to integrate. I’ve made some big changes. Maybe I moved to a different location. Maybe I took on a different role at work, whatever that is. And I just need some time when I’m not gonna change anything. I’m just gonna settle in with this before I decide to choose something else.

[00:17:24] So I know one of the things that sensitive people can really struggle with, and I’ve been there, myself is perfectionism. Like I have to get this life like completely perfect, all balanced, everything aligned. It may never happen completely. There’s probably always going to be something that we’re working on.

[00:17:44] And so how do you do this in a way that’s life affirming rather than pushing and critical of yourself. I think that’s a really important point to.

[00:17:55] Rose Cox: I love that. And it, something I just thought of with when you’re changing various parts of your lifestyle, say for example, if one of them is bringing more meditation into your daily routine, that’s gonna have ripple effects isn’t it on the other areas as well.

[00:18:14] Bevin Niemann: Oh, yeah. Everything is interrelated. So whatever work you do on any aspect, it will probably show up and benefit other places and parts of your life. The same thing with health. You’re like, okay, I wanna, I just wanna get out and I wanna walk a little bit every single day. Because you’re going to be working with your body, partnering with your body getting more physically fit, feeling more energized that will probably have a positive impact on your business, on your relationships. It’s all interrelated.

[00:18:48] Rose Cox: In the beginning, if it feels really overwhelming for people to know that once you start making these small changes, it gets less and less overwhelming because the other areas of your life that you can make changes in will definitely impact the other ones that you want to work on next.

[00:19:13] absolutely. And I do wanna mention that, with some of this, the changes may be really easy, it’s okay, I’m gonna, I’m gonna cut out this particular food. I don’t mean that’s necessarily easy. I’m working on cutting out sugar right now. And it’s much more challenging than I thought it would be.

[00:19:30] If you’re making a minor change and you’re like, okay, that was pretty easy. It was pretty easy for me to integrate, but there are some parts of lifestyle design where for example, I’ve had this happen in my own experience and then with my clients is, gosh I realized that this relationship I’m in is not working for me at all.

[00:19:51] And that can take some time to come to terms with, and that can be a difficult decision process to. Especially for someone who feels so deeply for other people so I would say that in my experience, the relationship sector can be one of the most challenging places to make changes.

[00:20:13] Especially for example, if you’ve never really set boundaries in that relationship before, and now you start doing that and it brings up conflict I think we just need to be gentle with ourselves. I’m considering moving. Possibly even to another country, that is a huge change.

[00:20:31] And so I’m really not making changes in anything else because of that. I’m just like, this is enough to take it one step at a time and not try to rush. So the bigger, the changes, the slower you have to go in the process. And the more time I think that we need to integrate.

[00:20:51] Rose Cox: That’s that’s massive. What country are you thinking of moving to Bevin?

[00:20:57] Bevin Niemann: My partner and I are considering moving from the United States to Mexico.

[00:21:01] That would involve a lot of paperwork. learning new cultural traditions. I’m practicing Spanish. Just a lot of things, the different currency understanding what the legalities are, the place that we live.

[00:21:15] So every day, what I’m doing is just watching some YouTube videos or doing a little bit of research and educating myself a little bit at a time. I have an app on my phone and I’m practicing Spanish for about 30 minutes a day. Even if it’s a giant change, a huge change.

[00:21:35] I know that’s how it felt for me when I left the corporate world and I started my own company. I did that over a period of years. I worked for someone else. And then I did this work on the weekends and in the evenings. And then I went to a part-time job. So I still had some financial stability.

[00:21:53] And then I grew my business to be part-time and then eventually but I didn’t do it overnight and there’s nothing wrong with making a huge change overnight. I just think for sensitive people, we could get very overwhelmed in the moment. It might feel. But later I think it will all hit us. how much just shifted and then it will catch up with us.

[00:22:15] So that’s my personal recommendation from making many career changes, moving quite a bit. Having different relationships, I think take it at a sustainable pace.

[00:22:28] Rose Cox: I couldn’t agree more. I know I’ve moved countries three times myself, but I was actually in my twenties. And I think when you get older, I think it is harder to have big major changes. So I love that you are doing small steps every day. That makes so much sense.

[00:22:48] Bevin Niemann: Yeah. It’s about six months out and it may even be farther depending on how long it takes to do the paperwork. So I’m just looking ahead and it’s not something I’m trying to do overnight, but there’s other things that I could do. Making a change to a daily habit is something I could do right now.

[00:23:06] And I could work on that and be present to that and cognizant of that every day. So it depends on what it is.

[00:23:13] Rose Cox: I would love for you changing gears a tiny bit here in the introduction I shared that you help people with branding and marketing. And I would love for you to share a little bit about that please, Bevin.

[00:23:30] Bevin Niemann: absolutely. I am university trained in the arts and design and consider myself a digital artist. I do digital paintings and I’ve also done all of the visuals, all the branding and marketing for my own business for the last six years. And I’ve recently had some people coming to me and saying, I really don’t have time for this whether it’s a new entrepreneur or someone who’s wanting to really shift that branding and marketing and take it to the next level.

[00:24:05] I can do everything from create visuals to write for landing pages, websites, blog posts. I like to focus on more evergreen type of things that people can use over and over. One of the things that I’m going to be offering in my online community coming up in the next couple of months, is an opportunity for people to get on zoom and one of the key the key branding attributes that almost every entrepreneur should have is an introductory video where they’re introducing themselves and describing their work. So for example, I’m going to have people get on. They will have a small audience of whoever’s on the zoom call and then we’ll record it and I’ll do a light edit and people can use that as a takeaway.

[00:24:52] I love to do that work. I love to write. I’m a published author and I’ve written four eBooks in addition to that. So I’ve just, is starting to branch out into this other area of really helping people who are a little overwhelmed with all that part. I think a lot of people go into healing work, intuitive work, coaching, therapy and when they first get in, they think, okay, I’m gonna spend, 80% of my time serving clients.

[00:25:19] And I would love that would be the case, but what I found for myself,q and I’d love to hear your perspective on this Rose, is that we actually spend about 80% of our time when we’re a new entrepreneur marketing ourselves and building an audience and, really trying to understand what exactly it is that we are we’re offering and what solutions we’re offering to clients.

[00:25:40] And we spend a lot more time doing that than actually the service. And that can be frustrating for people sometimes. I know it was for me. And then I just realized I’m just going to accept that that’s true. And I’m going to see my marketing as service, not just when I’m sitting down in a one-to-one session or a group program, but I’m going to see my blog posts that I put out there.

[00:26:03] My newsletter that I send out, my website as serving people, educating them, advocating, some people may never become a paid client, but they’re still getting a benefit from what I’m doing. So when we start to change our mentality about that we have less resentment about the marketing piece.

[00:26:23] Rose Cox: Yeah. I love the angle that you put on that because you are absolutely right. It is around 80% of the time building, building the systems as well in your business and the marketing. But when you when you put the angle on it, that the marketing is actually a service and you’re providing value to people and whether or not they become a paying client. It’s about providing the value. Isn’t it. And then if people want to know more or work further with you, then there other avenues to do that.

[00:26:55] Bevin Niemann: Exactly.

[00:26:57] Rose Cox: This has been wonderful, Bevin, and I could talk to you for so much longer. I know that we are keeping these episodes to around 30 minutes, but I have one question that I would love to ask before we wrap up, when you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?

[00:27:19] Bevin Niemann: Yeah. I was thinking a little bit about this and one of the things I do is really tune into my body. So in addition to being an HSP, I’m also an INFJ in the Myers Briggs, and my least dominant awareness, trait, whatever you wanna call it is being in touch with being present right here right now.

[00:27:44] And sometimes I just float around in my head and I forget I even have a body. And I found that my body is a really powerful antenna and it’s telling me something. So when I’m getting confused, when I wander around and I can’t decide what I’m supposed to do, or if I go into a room and I forget why I went there, or I just feel some energy rising up in my stomach, is a lot of where it is, or I feel my shoulders tensing up and pulling up towards my ears.

[00:28:15] I realize. Okay. I’ve reached my stimulation level. Like I need to stop. And what I try to do generally speaking first I try to breathe and I acknowledge that this is what’s happening to me. I used to make myself wrong for being over stimulated until I realized that this is just how my nervous system is built.

[00:28:37] And it still happens to me and it happens, gosh, probably on a daily basis. I’m not a weekly basis. Even though I’ve been doing this work and teaching about this for so long. So the breathing part helps, acknowledging it helps. And then the second part is I like to go into nature and I like to take my shoes and my socks off.

[00:28:57] And I like to put my feet on a stone on a piece of wood on, in the earth sand, wherever it is and just. Breathe and feel connected, right? So I can return to center. One of the things I teach about is what I call the personal energetic baseline, which is our energetic vibration, right? Each person has a unique frequency, a unique vibration. And sometimes we spike up above that vibration. If we get angry or fearful or whatever that may be really intense emotion, it spikes up and we lose that center line, that center frequency. And sometimes we drop below where we feel exhausted, drained, tired, unfocused, and I’m realizing as I see where these extremes are. Okay. What is it I need to do to pull myself back to the center. What do I need to do to pull my energy back into my body? Be really present right here, feeling my breath, going in and out, feeling my toes, contacting the natural world underneath them a and just going okay.

[00:30:08] I need to refocus myself. I need to come back in and reclaim my bandwidth, my energy . And that really helps for me. And sometimes I’ll even say to the people in my life, because most of them are HSPs or they know cause I’m very open about this. I’m feeling really overwhelmed right now, or I’m feeling triggered right now and I just need to take a break and that really helps to be able to just vocalize it.

[00:30:36] To say, this is what’s happening for me because otherwise I used to think why am I angry right now? Or why am I sad right now? Or, and now I just go, oh, I’m acknowledging that this is what’s happening. And it’s okay. It happens to every sensitive person and even people that are less sensitive at a certain point.

[00:30:55] So I think reducing the shame about it, acknowledging it. And then for me getting into nature is the key.

[00:31:02] Rose Cox: Beautiful. I love that. Love that so much. Thank you so much, Bevin, and I will be popping all of your links into the show notes so people can come and find you. Thank you again.

[00:31:16] Bevin Niemann: Oh, thank you so much. This was lovely to have this conversation, and I just appreciate all of the sensitive CEOs out there. Really own that. Really own your leadership, your wisdom know that we bring something really important to the leadership table in this world. And I hope that whatever you’re doing, you are fulfilled and joyous.

[00:31:39] And in making those small tweaks to your life to nurture your sensitivity.

[00:31:45] Rose Cox: Thank you, Bevin. And thanks everyone for listening.

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