#102: Joseph Cole on Prayer and Meditation as a Business Strategy

If you’ve listened to episode 33, episode 34 or episode 66 of this podcast you already know that I consider myself to be a spiritual person.

I believe there’s a big spiritual component to succeeding in any endeavor. It’s not all about brute force, or persistence, or hard work and long hours.

At the end of the day, there’s only so much you can do. You can’t do it alone. And when you’re trying to go after something big, you need the help of a higher power (call it God, the Universe, the Divine or whatever you feel comfortable with) to help you get there.

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not talking about kicking back and visualizing good things, hoping that they’ll magically manifest themselves.

I’m talking about doing your part as best you can. But then turning the rest to a higher power.

I know this is a controversial subject. And I know that many of you disagree with me on this issue. I respect that.

If that’s you, you may want to skip this episode. This is NOT a religious episode. It’s more of a spiritual topic. But either way, my guest is not here to try and convince you otherwise. And I’m not doing this show to create controversy or heated discussions in the comments section.

However, if you believe that there’s a connection between the spiritual and the physical—even if you don’t fully understand it—then I urge you to give this a listen.

My guest is freelance copywriter Joseph Cole. Joseph is a former coaching client of mine, and he is a former pastor who stumbled into copywriting when he was looking for ways to raise money for his church.

Joseph has had some pretty impressive success with this strategy. In fact, I’ve always been amazed at how quickly Joseph has succeeded as a freelancer.

It’s very obvious to me that there’s no coincidence at play here. There really is something to what he’s doing (and how he’s approaching it).

If you’re willing to give it a listen, please keep an open mind.

The notes that follow are a very basic, unedited summary of the show. There’s a lot more detail in the audio version. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. Or you can subscribe in iTunes to get this show delivered straight to the Podcasts app on your smart phone, tablet or iPod.

Tell us about yourself

Joseph is a business writer in Dallas, Texas. He writes for companies that sell or serve nonprofits. He’s worked in the nonprofit sector for about 11 years.

Joseph started his career as a pastor. After graduating from bible school, he discovered that pastors are responsible for fundraising. So he learned how to raise money and how to write copy.

Three years ago, he started a copywriting business to help other non-profits.

How can we use prayer as a business strategy?

Prayer is communication between human beings and the divine. It’s a spiritual exercise.

Often, we departmentalize our religious and business lives. We don’t think about how the two relate to and support each other.

When he started his copywriting business, Joseph was surprised by how much people shared with him about their personal and business lives. People would talk to him about their current challenges, such as divorce, family illness and business problems.

He needed to find a way to remember these meaningful connections and find new, fresh ways to stay engaged with these prospects.

Eventually, he realized that prayer was a way to do it.

He was already tracking his prospects in a CRM, but it couldn’t capture the emotional connection.

A CRM can remind you of the facts, but it can’t maintain your empathy for prospects.

So Joseph would go down the prospect list in the CRM, say each prospect’s name and ask God to bless the prospect and his/her business.

Maintaining this emotional connection through prayer also helped him come up with fresh, authentic ways to re-connect with the prospects. He understood what would be meaningful to them. It helped him see prospects as multi-dimensional people, not just prospects.

Is this approach limited to people of faith?

No. Everyone can use it.

All religions of the world use prayer in some form. If your faith uses liturgical prayers, think about your clients and prospects as you go through the liturgy.

If you’re not religious, you can still send good thoughts to people. Meditate on their situation. Stop thinking about your needs and goals and start thinking about them.

Prayer and meditation help to remind you that your business is about serving others.

When you meditate on someone else, your needs don’t seem so important anymore. It decreases your anxiety. Your marketing communications become less greedy and desperate.

What are some of the changes you’ve seen as a result of this practice?

Most often, the changes Joseph has experienced have been within himself. And these changes impact the prospect and his interactions with the prospect. The prospect opens up. They build a deeper connection. The tone and energy of the conversation is more positive.

In addition, Joseph has found that when he prays for prospects, they’re more likely to get back to him. There’s an emotional connection.

He won’t always get the work, but the prospect senses his sincerity and willingness to walk away if the fit isn’t good.

In addition to praying for people, do you ever pray for a certain outcome? 

Joseph often prays for the best income, even if he doesn’t know what that is. He prays for business deals, projects and creativity.

Prayer is a two-way communication. After you ask, you have to listen. You have to give yourself space to think and hear.

A favorite quote (attribution uncertain): “When you pray, pray as if it all depends on God. But when you finish praying, act as if it all depends on you.”

In other words, you have to apply yourself.

When do you pray?

Joseph reads scripture in the morning and prays on it. In addition, he’ll pause throughout the day to pray.

He always prays before sales calls. Praying helps him approach the call with the right attitude. It helps him put the clients’ needs first and his needs second.

Is there a wrong/right way to pray?

If you’re a person of faith, check with your rabbi, cleric, pastor, etc.

Personally, Joseph speaks to God as he would speak to his father. He speaks naturally.

Where can people learn more about you?

Joseph’s copywriting site: freshideasolutions.com


Learn How to Land More White Paper Projects (and Get $500 – $900 More Per Gig)

Registration is closing soon for my brand-new online class with Gordon Graham:

How to Pocket an Extra $900 on Every White Paper — and Gain a Competitive Edge Over Other Writers

This class is for white paper writers at ALL levels (even for aspiring white paper writers).

Gordon is going to teach how to use white paper plans as a strategic tool for:

  • Landing more white paper projects
  • Becoming the “obvious choice” for the client
  • Pocketing an extra $500 – $900+ on every white paper gig

You’ll get detailed, step-by step instruction Gordon has never before revealed.

He’s even going to GIVE YOU his very own white paper plan template. Which you’re free to copy and use however you’d like!

All the details about the class are here.

We have no plans to do this again. (We may at some point, but Gordon and I haven’t even discussed that yet.)

So if this sounds interesting, I would jump on it now.