Feng Shui: Where Successful Business meets Chinese Metaphysics.

Feng Shui is probably one of the hardest things to sum up into a tidy, 5-minute elevator pitch. The terminology and seemingly abstract complexities of this 5,000 year old art and science can feel like cognitive whip lash to many Westerners. Intrigued by the success of Trump and other billionaires who use feng shui around the world, potential clients often have little idea of what feng shui actually is. They need to see "it" to believe it. They need concrete (pun intended) examples of how and why implementing authentic and time-tested feng shui principles will enhance their project's chances for success. How it can help protect their enormous investment of time and money and better predict a quality end result. They want to know how others like them have directly benefited from it.


For me, a picture is worth a thousand elevator pitches. So let's start with this one of a seaside villa drenched in sunshine.

What does this Mediterranean villa have to do with your business much less with Chinese metaphysics? Allow me break it down for you.

For starters, and details of which highlight why feng shui is so important to businesses, our villa has a unique "energetic composition" based on it's natural surroundings, it's added, man-made elements and even the people that run it, the employees. These factors combine to create the overall feng shui profile of a building or business, which are proven to impact people's behavior, buying habits and businesses' bottom line. The feng shui profile of a business is therefore directly linked to employee performance, client experience, brand recognition and profit potential.

Second, it was built during a specific period of time, creating a special energy stamp on the place. A time-energy stamp is determined through dating techniques known to advanced feng shui experts and denotes certain qualities and energetic attributes. Energy that impacts those living, working or spending any substantial amount of time in the space.

Think about the last place you spent a good chunk of change in, perhaps it was a hotel, a luxury retailer or restaurant. How did you feel walking in? Was anything obstructing your path? Did you get frustrated trying to find it or was there proper signage? Did you have to guess which door was the "front" door? Were street numbers properly displayed to seamlessly guide you in? Now, when you walked in, how was the air, the humidity, the quality of light- was is it too bright, too dim? Were you are able to move freely into and around the space or did you feel controlled or restricted. What was your eye drawn to first, was it the host/receptionist/bathroom/a blank wall? Was it memorable in a good way? Would you go back?

Now, try to describe to yourself what the overall "energy" of the place felt like. Feel free to use literal descriptives like; stale, fresh, calm, busy, loud, chaotic, soothing, cold, cramped, etc. Ball park the last time they likely updated the place or gave it a good cleaning. Did the environment work for you, nourish you, make you feel good about being there and the people that worked there? Did it add to your life and enhance your perception of that business?

You have just qualitatively assessed the feng shui of a space, which is the overall impression of a place, starting with the lot to the front door to the decor followed by the quality and balance of light, the way the floors were laid, how the doors and windows were aligned, how the entryway/sidewalk led you in, where the concierge or hostess was located and so on and so forth. These are the "big little" details that when one is off, can throw the whole business off. Achieving cohesive unity, or "tai chi," is the overarching goal in feng shui.

Feng shui is a holistic process. It requires knowing which elements need to be included (or left out) in order to positively impact the people buying, living, sleeping, healing and working in a space. Factors which directly impact a businesses bottom line whether it's a hotel, a spa, doctor's office, luxury retailer, finance related, entertainment venue or restaurant. Every business depends on people feeling and behaving in certain ways in order to achieve the highest, most ideal end result.

Feng Shui also acknowledges that the world and everything in it changes. You know the saying, a rolling stone grows no moss? Time element feng shui assesses the impact of the passing of time on the feel, look and overall energetic integrity ("chi") of built environments. In feng shui terms this means that while your space might work for you or your business right now, don't imagine it will work for you in exactly the same configuration five years from now.

With the passing of time, the "energy" of a space, along with the paint and throw pillows, must be reassessed and revitalized in order to stay fresh. This is the key for both businesses and homeowners to maintaining the "invisible luxury" of feng shui. Often you will see places that have been operating for some time slowly lose their initial energetic edge due to lack of proper care and investment (what I call "low energy" management.) Time element feng shui means that your feng shui requires regular investment of energy. It requires ongoing attention to the surroundings and all the ways seemingly little things, like entryways, paint colors and lighting, send subconscious signals (or alarms) to your clients' brains.

Back to our villa and how feng shui addresses these subconscious signals and triggers, which boil down to basic human survival instincts. Although perched on the edge of a mountainside, see how the mountains embrace the villa on either side and also provide a solid backing of support, like an armchair? Also supporting and protecting the structure are trees and rock formations on either side that embrace but do not completely block the breeze, access or views. Because the structure is well situated with a solid backing and protection on both sides, it will "feel" safe because it is positioned in a relatively safe location. Spending time there, you will feel protected, your guards will do down, you will be able to relax, you will shop at the gift shop and spend some cash.

The villa also has beautiful views of nature and the ocean, with access to water at the front of the building- Classic land form feng shui features. Being protected, living in harmony with nature and having access to beautiful views, gentle, refreshing breezes and fresh and abundant sources of water are the very basics of good feng shui. This in turn provides the most desirable, healthy lifestyle. No coincidence, of course. Good feng shui is good living and vice versa.

However, imagine the villa were built at the very top of the mountain. There it would be vulnerable to the many, varied and unpredictable forces of nature, specifically and most notable, wind (feng) and rain/water (shui). Unprotected and exposed to the elements you won't relax as well or enjoy your vacation as much, perhaps not even realizing why. In the future, you probably won't want to book the expensive suite at the villa perched on top of the cliff despite the fabulous views (and the breathtaking drop.) Sadly, the luxe villa at the top of the mountain would eventually go out of business. This is why feng shui matters to architects, builders, developers of hotels, businesses and restaurants (as well as people booking expensive trips).

I like to tell clients that feng shui is all the big and small ways people experience a space. These experiences are literally "built in" to a space. They are also often subconscious, taken in through the senses which skip the filter of our logical minds. In addition to the glaringly obvious ways we see and experience a space through our eyes and bodies and brains.

I could continue assessing and offer enhancements for our villa, for instance that it is a square shape, which in feng shui is related to the earth element (one of the Five Elements in feng shui, namely; water, wood, fire, earth and metal) and that it could use a little fire energy with such and such and in this way and with this color. However, these are the finer details of my art that I reserve for clients willing to invest in themselves by investing in me. To discuss your project and how Katherine Graham Feng Shui can take your project to the next level, contact me here: katherine@havenfengshui.com.