Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Baruch HaLevi, co-founder of Soul Centered, located in Denver, CO, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Soul Centered is a center for spirituality, meaning, and healing founded by myself and my wife, Ariela, for anyone seeking to live with deeper meaning and greater purpose in their life. For over twenty years, I have been guiding people of all religions, faiths, and backgrounds, both as a Rabbi and now full-time Logotherapist (meaning-centered psychotherapy). Specifically, my area of expertise and passion is empowering people to consciously and purposefully navigate what I call "Life's T's," transitions, tests, trials, traumas, and tragedies.

My clients are successful human beings in so many ways and within so many areas of their life, and yet they when they come to one of these Life T's they know they need more, need help, and above all else, need to find meaning within the darkness and purpose within their struggle, suffering, and loss - and they can! I empower my clients to discover this meaning, find their direction, and fulfill their true purpose. My wife, Ariela, works with people as an alternative healer to heal past traumas, generational wounds, and emotional and spiritual blocks which create disease, disrupt lives and keep people from realizing their destiny.

Tell us about yourself

I spent many years as a rabbi, guiding people through all of life's most difficult and painful moments. What I discovered was that as long as we can discover a meaning in what we are facing, and have a purpose greater than ourselves we are working towards, we will not only survive but can thrive. We just need counsel, direction, and guidance. This is why I decided to become a Logotherapist, based on the philosophy and life example of Dr. Viktor Frankl, Holocaust survivor, author of "Man's Search For Meaning," and founder of Logotherapy. Dr. Frankl's message and example were simple, impactful, and inspiring - that there is always meaning in life and especially within life's suffering. It is up to us to face it, discover it, and transform it, and ourselves, on the journey. We can, and we will, do this when we take back our power, the only power we have, to choose to stop reacting to our circumstances and start responding to our life.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Soul Centered was an attempt to address the reality that old, religious models tend not to work anymore. People aren't interested in church or synagogue worship or experiences, as evidenced in the numbers of people leaving the religion of their birth or not affiliating with a house of worship. And yet, spirituality is on the rise and desired and needed, perhaps like never before. Ariela and I have worked very hard to create a place where the "spiritual not religious" from all backgrounds and traditions feel comfortable, are nourished spiritually but equally as nourished emotionally and intellectually - not an easy balance to achieve. We believe we have.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

I spent fifteen years in the non-profit world and found it perennially frustrating as I believe non-profits are a failed model. Our organizations and companies should be profitable, even if we're not in the business of making profits. It's simply about being responsible and sustainable, and that begins with economic viability. This is why I moved to the for-profit model and have been involved in seven startups, two of which I helped take public. And yet, all of them, including Soul Centered, have been committed to conscious capitalism. We can, and must, still do well while doing good in the world. It does not have to be all or nothing in either direction of all profit or non-profit. Finding and maintaining that balance is exceedingly difficult, but possible and necessary in my opinion, not only for the good of the world but the good of a business owner's soul.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

These are tips not simply on how to start and run a business but run a life. I see over and over business folks compartmentalizing their lives, living one way at work and another at home. So here are tips for simply living.

Actually it's one tip with three parts.

First, know your purpose, your reason for being or beginning your company knows your why. This idea doesn't come from author Simon Sinek but from the philosopher Fredriech Nietzsche, "He who has a why to live for can endure anyhow." It was also the mantra of Dr. Frankl during the Holocaust and what he attributes (other than luck which you needed in the camps as well as in business and life) to his not merely surviving the concentration camps but thriving upon his liberation. He or she who knows their why will figure out a way to endure and survive any and all of the difficult, painful even devastating hows.

Second, your why is not simply about business. You must have one, even if the language is a bit different, in your personal life. Over and over, I work with uber-successful business people who know the why of their business but not their marriage, their parenting, or their life. They then wonder why they end up succeeding professionally while floundering personally. They would never run a business without a why, yet somehow this is how they run their personal life!

Lastly, once you have your why, do not change it, modify it, or toss it out for anyone. Sure, it may change in time, although my experience has been that a real why hardly changes over time. But do not move your moral compass, do not mess with your inner guide, do not change your why based on circumstance or struggle or outside pressure of any kind or from anyone. If you do, you are on the pathway to hell, and in many ways, you are as good as dead.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

If there is one word I would stake my life on, it is this: responsibility. I don't care if you are talking about running a multi-billion dollar company or running a household or anything in between. Take responsibility for everything in your life. Yes, that means being accountable and truly the place where the buck stops. But at a deeper level, as Dr. Frankl teaches, it's about being response-able, able to stop reacting to your circumstances, and start responding to your life, your inner compass, your soul. If you have this, you are simply successful and authentically powerful. If you don't, you can be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company and have absolutely nothing but a title next to your name. As Dr. Frankl said, "Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness." So be responsible and be response-able.

Where can people find you and your business?


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