By Belinda Mendoza
I love working with businesses large or small as they all have their own unique challenges. I am a problem solver. As a Regional Sales Manager for a billion dollar medical device company for 15 yrs., I was always on my feet working with customers, sales reps, or managers to get the best sales results. Even in my own early years as a sales rep I was known for turning lagging businesses around. Today, I do this as a feng shui consultant and advisor to businesses. My research shows that business owners want to do well so they can be happy and lead a good life.
Just as in medicine I believe in using everything available. Eastern and Western methods that have been proven to work, when used together can create dynamic results. This is where my fascination with feng shui came in. I was working for my company and not really seeing the results I felt I should for the work and effort I was exerting at the time.
Once I found out about feng shui and implemented some of its techniques, my career skyrocketed. I just had to learn more.
Now I help others . One case where East met West was at West Tennessee Express Inc., an over-the-road trucking firm based in Jackson, TN. Owner Michael, who employs 100 drivers, was worried that the atmosphere at his business didn’t feel right.
“In the trucking business there’s a lot of intensity,” he says. “There’s a lot of chaos, pressure and demands here.”
“I want a more pleasant atmosphere, a more inviting atmosphere,” he said. “I think it has an effect on everybody’s psyche and their underlying attitudes. Negatives or positives are created by what people see around them.”
So, Michael turned to my advice on how to use the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui (pronounced fung shway) to improve his business environment. He had heard of its benefits.
I suggested Michael needed plants to offset all the metal in his workspace and an aquarium to make the entrance more welcoming. “Fish are a prosperity symbol,” I told him regarding the purpose of the aquarium. “Furthermore, placing water at the entrance represents flow, which for a business is money.” Other feng shui enhancers like money frogs, gold coins, and mirrors, also work well.
I also noted that the dispatch area was “very loud and stressful — a big, sterile room with everybody out in the open.” Placing plants in the corners would create a circle, or harmony, in the room. It’s good for the health of the employees”. Lucky bamboo on their desks would add to their longevity at his business.
The advice suited the business owner’s purpose. “I’m trying to help the type of people I employ slow down and stay where they are,” he said. “It’s no secret a lot of truck drivers just won’t stay in one place, no matter what. They’re very transient in nature. I’m trying to make an impact on that.”
In the drivers’ room, upon my suggestion, Michael placed a logo of the company above the window where drivers talk to dispatchers, and he plans to hang a picture of a red tractor on a wall that used to be a jumble of bulletins. “We have real pretty equipment,” he says. On another wall, he plans to put pictures of the drivers of the month. He hopes these changes will symbolize stability to his employees. Adding red energizes an area so coins with red tassles, red dragons, red wealth buddhas, all work well to boost recognition. Adding crystals whether round-faceted or natural can help to stabilize an area. He added some to the area and ordered some red round-faceted ones for this truck drivers to hang in their trucks to remind them of prosperity.
As soon as I walked in to this area where the truckers congregate, I felt the impermanence of the room. I told him he needed to have this room be more welcoming and that he needed to include a symbol of his business (what it was he wanted the world to know about his business). He really liked that. He said it made a lot of sense. I asked him to write Intentions for what he Really wants for his business and to place in a lucky red envelope. He could put some money it in and keep on his desk or in his wallet. Writing things down will help to attract to you what you desire.
This is what is so appealing about Feng Shui, which means wind and water. It takes into consideration how physical surroundings affect people’s mental and emotional health. In Feng Shui, areas of life including wealth, health, knowledge, fame, career, children, travel, love and marriage are all charted on the “Ba-gua Map,” which relates important aspects of one’s life to physical spaces that range from public buildings to homes, to offices, to desks and even to table tops. This map can be found in any feng shui book or on google.
Interior designers say,”Good Feng Shui is synonymous with good design.” One of its tenets, for instance, is to position beds and desks so that a clear view of doors is available. Facing the door makes common sense. That way, there are no surprises. You’re saying you command your space.
Feng Shui also gives you a feeling of empowerment over your environment. Everyone actually does some version of it without realizing it. It’s design that has a good feeling, good flow and no clutter.
Eliminating clutter and organizing what’s left is essential. The six “Clear the Way” questions in Feng Shui are:
1. Do I love it?
2. Do I need it?
3. Does it support who I am now in my life?
4. What positive and/or negative thoughts, memories or emotions do I associate with it?
5. Does it need to be fixed or repaired? If so, and am I willing to do so now?
6. If it’s time to let it go, am I going to sell, lend or give it away, and if so, when?
Feng Shui refers to vital energy (called ch’i) that is present in everything. It becomes significant in interior design because in objects in our work/living space are alive with our thoughts and feelings. Their proper arrangement allows for good flow of chi. For example, merely owning a sofa covered with designer fabric won’t change your life, but moving it to face the entrance of your living room will. You’ll be more comfortable because you will feel more in command and be more open to the flow of energy in the room. There is no magic to it but miracles can happen because you open yourself up to them.
Mendoza, once Southeastern Sales Leader for a billion dollar company selling medical devices, became fascinated with Feng Shui in 1996 which led her to train in China with top masters. She credits the philosophy with her success in the sales field. Eventually, she quit her job to make Feng Shui her full-time occupation in 2000. She does assessments for businesses of any size. She lives in Austin, Tx. and can be reached at www.designforenergy.com or 512/740-1251. She offers a Free 30 minute phone assessment for anyone interested in expanding their business to lead a happier life. She is author of “Feng Shui For The Loss of a Pet, Restoring Balance During Grief and Loss”.
Mary Singer of Commercial Realty Group/CRESA used some of Mendoza’s suggestions when she was renovating her business in East Memphis. “I was out in California at a real estate convention, and they were talking about balance and harmony and what [Feng Shui] techniques they were using,” Singer says. “It was just so typical in California. They wouldn’t begin to put a building on a parcel of land without making sure it fit on the land and that it was in harmony and balance. I thought it was interesting and intriguing. I felt like it had a little connection with Native American culture, which I so admire.”
She asked Mendoza to give her advice about “things that clutter our lives.” She added, “I wanted to make sure we weren’t blocking any important areas of my building.” She wanted the entrance to her office to be “very inviting, warm and welcoming.” The effort has gotten results. She reports that many times when people come in, they will be standing or sitting there, and suddenly they’ll look over at her and say, “This space really feels good.” Her business is flourishing still today.