The successful people I know all share one valuable lesson: failure. The first major professional failure experienced by anyone is terribly painful. I know because I’ve been there. As the President and one of the founders of Bionovo, a NASDAQ-listed biotech company with a mission to develop novel drugs derived from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), I was tasked with raising millions of dollars each year. I served on the executive management team for 10 years, a highly unusual experience for a founder, as most entrepreneurial scientist in my same position are pushed aside for more “seasoned” leadership. Following the financial crisis of 2008, my Board of Directors requested that all senior management begin executive coaching. My coach provided feedback on everything from my leadership style to the tailored suits and high-heeled shoes I wore during roadshows. Despite the coaching, I failed to raise sufficient capital to keep the promising science at Bionovo alive. In one day, I had to say goodbye to my entire dedicated staff. I lost my net worth, the friends who believed in my work lost money, and many people I never met before saw their investments disappear. Equally sad was the abrupt end to our scientific pursuit: proving that herbs used in TCM are effective medical solutions for a host of women’s health issues.
Executive coaching didn’t help me succeed during tough financial times, but developing my SQ, spiritual intelligence, through spirit coaching and a daily meditation practice changed my life. Although my deep commitment to spiritual growth and conscious awareness seemed to be a major departure from my “left brain” path as a medical doctor and scientist, the transformations I began to experience were quantifiable and dramatically improved every aspect of my life. Entrepreneurs can truly benefit from improving their SQ. A few of the many areas in which you will see significant growth include:
The movement to embrace SQ is swelling and it is cutting across all age groups, all religions and all professions. The Wisdom 2.0 Conference held this month in San Francisco brought together leaders in technology and mindfulness. Last year, the Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz told Wisdom 2.0 audiences he modeled his new software company, Asana, after lessons learned from his yoga practice. It will come as no surprise that Google offers a popular 7-week course called “Search Inside Yourself” but I was pleasantly surprised to hear more conventional American corporations such as Nike, Target and General Mills are encouraging their employees to clock in a few moments of silence.
You don’t need to sit in the lotus position on a rock hard zafu to join this movement. There are meditation apps and a wide diversity of meditation techniques that won’t make your feet fall asleep. To get started today, find a spirit coach and pick up one of many easy-to-read books such as The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle or Spirit Led Instead by Jenai Lane. Sign up for a meditation class and don’t be afraid to try many different methods. It took me 15 years to find the one that would finally stick with me.
Following the collapse of my company, it was through my meditation practice that I could see the deep connection between the healing arts, herbs as medicine and my life purpose. My intuition led me to see that I should continue to be passionate about developing safe and effective treatments for women’s health, whether as FDA-approved medications (via my old company) or as natural supplements (via my new one). Because of my spirit coaching and daily meditation practice, my new venture, Dr. Tagliaferri Formulas, was built on a vision that came from my highest true self. My intuition helped me find employees who are matched and aligned to carry out my mission. The SQ I have developed through my daily meditation practice is at the foundation of my new company and will be the cornerstone of any new endeavor because I’ve grown to appreciate SQ is the key to my success.
This guest post is courtesy of Mary Tagliaferri, MD, LAc of Dr. Tagliaferri Formulas.