Showing Up

We just completed a one-week Radical Brilliance Laboratory near Freiburg in Germany. It was an astoundingly beautiful location on the grounds of a monastery built in 1150. It is now one of the world centers for Rudolf Steiner Education. We went through all of the phases of the brilliant cycle (find out more at and we finished on the last day in the quadrant we call 3 to 6, which is the journey from intention to accomplishment. This is the domain of the cycle where we get things done. We meet deadlines, we honor budgets, we are constrained by contracts and agreements.

The people attending this one-week laboratory were all in the helping professions: psychiatrist, nurse, coaches, teachers. For people dedicated to uplifting the spirit and fostering brilliance, 3 to 6 is mostly about letting people know that you are there. This is a domain of activity, commonly referred to as “marketing.” We discovered together that more than any other phase of activity, this one needs a thoroughly fresh look. It needs rebuilding from the ground up, because so many people who want to make a difference feel confused and disempowered about how to effectively connect with the people they can help.

They frequently turn to online marketing courses to bridge the gap. There are many courses like this available online, which follow more or less the same format. First of all, they are all very expensive and promote the “lifestyle” of a seven-figure income and the very best of everything that luxury can offer. The formula to success is very much the same. Identify your target market, and then identify their “pain point.” What is it that is causing those people frustration, anxiety, and unfulfilled desire? Then try to talk with them in a way which empathizes with their pain and makes it unambiguously clear that you have the answer to their problems. For some people, this can work quite well in terms of creating revenue. For many, it does not. As we sat together in Germany, the difficulty that the participants in this laboratory spoke of was that it does not feel right. It leaves people with a sense of compromise and being manipulative.

There is a completely different approach to connecting with the people to whom you can make a difference. We decided to scrap the word “marketing” from our vocabulary completely and instead use the terms “showing up.”

I asked everyone in the laboratory to think back to clients with whom they have made a huge difference. Who are the top ten people to whom you have made a huge contribution? How did those people find you? When I think back to how people tell me they have made the connection, it was rarely, and perhaps never, because I anticipated their “pain point” and wrote convincing ad copy to persuade them that I could make it all better. Almost always, it was just because I showed up. The people who I have been able to serve the most saw a video on YouTube or Facebook, or read a blog post like this one, or heard me speak somewhere and just felt a “click,” a resonance. It is much the same way that you make new friendships and connections with anybody. You resonate. There is something about that person’s values, the way they speak, even their “energy” that feels like a fit for you. Then you feel that you want to connect more deeply. Often people tell me, “I did not even know why I wanted to connect with you, or the scope of the work we would do together. I just felt the resonance and I knew I had to connect.”

When you look at things in this way, they become incredibly simple, direct, and honest. It is very easy to click the button on your phone to go live on Facebook or Linkedin for a few minutes, and to talk about the things you are excited about. This blog took me less than 10 minutes to write. It is not difficult to talk about and write about the things that create passion in you, the ways you want to make a difference. All that is necessary to connect with the people whom you can help is to show up with energy, with enthusiasm, with optimism, with generosity, and let yourself be seen. You do not need expensive “online marketing courses” for this. You just need the courage to hit the “record now” button, day, after day, after day.

What are your thoughts about this?


  1. Linda Hilliker October 19, 2018 at 5:22 am - Reply

    Dear Arjuna,
    I find this article balm for my soul. I feel soothed and validated, having read words of honesty and authenticity, grounded in care. In the past, I have fallen for the “get rich schemes”, They are present in multi-level marketing where people spend inordinate amounts of time together fantasizing about big boats and stuff. The connections feel superficial. Even predatory. That is not me. I felt my self esteem lower, continually feeling inadequate. But what motivated me to go was a certain desperation to have hope for a better life. Sure, I felt pumped up at first. But actually, I don’t want that big stuff. I just want to make a positive, lasting, loving impact in this world and have a feeling of security that my needs will be met. Healing in your words, I remember how precious it is to feel true presence and care with another person, and strive to give this.

  2. Claudia October 19, 2018 at 8:09 am - Reply

    Thank you Arjuna!! Excellent post that literally makes my heart dance 🙂

  3. Antonia Sachtleben May 25, 2019 at 7:40 am - Reply

    Thank you. It’s so encouraging.

    • Arjuna Ardagh June 2, 2019 at 6:23 pm - Reply

      thanks, Antonia love to you

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