Soma Miller has been challenging the status quo since he was in diapers. This man was born with a mission to question the “normal” and seek out the missing links to establishing a consciousness driven ideology of world order that is whole-hearted and relationship-centric.
His current aim is facilitating the development of the visionary leaders of the future, training them in integral skillsets for leading us out of planetary collapse and towards a symbiotic and ecological future. His claim, “the sacred toolbox”, a phrase he coined, has the potential to alter our collective destiny, for the good of all sentient and non-sentient beings. The tools that he practices with and teaches through his business, The Essential Man are helping to redefine misguided concepts of masculinity.
Emotional IQ, biohacking, spiritual leadership, flow state cultivation, entrepreneurial activism, mindfulness, ritual and building resilience through relationships, to name a few. These tools, he says are designed to get men out of the “man-box” and into an experience and expression of their true nature, which is the key to that unlocks our “divine gifts”.
His systems thinking intellect and lofty goals for cultural change have led him to study a diversity of cutting edge and ancient practices with master teachers; including ecological design methodologies, yoga, martial arts, sacred sexuality, meditation, music, integrative nutrition, and shamanism, making him a creative renaissance man, that’s sometimes difficult to pin down. He’s known for his stubborn persistence, crass sense of humour, penetrating depth and sincere desire to awaken the genius in everyman. Soma’s multi-disciplinary approach to coaching weaves together a path of integrated leadership and masculinity in balance.
Hey Soma, can you introduce yourself to us?
I learned 20 years ago what I was meant to do with my life and I’ve spent the past 20 years, through trial and error, fumbling my way towards making that a reality. My life has always been about transformation. I spent a long time focusing on outward transformation before I realised the change I wanted to happen on the outside, began with an inward process.
I’m an integral leadership coach that works primarily with men. The word integral which shares the same root as integrity is an understanding that all parts affect the whole. I work with whole human experience, the body, the mind, the emotions, the spirit. When a person is living with integrity, the choices, communications, and actions they are making are in full alignment with their core values and purpose.
Many approaches to coaching are solely focused on the destination and can miss vital parts of the whole being that are required to explore in order to get where one might desire to go in life. With an integrative approach, we leave no stone unturned, because when we are aligned in this way have access to more creativity, focus, energy, and fulfilment.
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
I struggled quite a bit growing up. I was kind of the black sheep of the family. Highly sensitive and aware of the family dynamics that were incongruent. This carried through to my experience in school with my peers. I never really fit into social status hierarchies and early on as a teenager, I chose to rebel against them. Kind of a punk rock kid.
Through the use of entheogenic substances in my early teens I was opened up to an expansive spiritual view of reality. This eventually led to a period of deep depression later on as a teen because this vision I was given, clashed with what I had to interface with on a daily basis. I started to seek answers that were not available in the conservative East Coast, white, middle-class community, where I am up. I headed West and found myself in the liberal consciousness driven a culture of San Francisco. My mind was kind of blown by the freedom of expression and creativity there. I went to Burning Man, got turned on to yoga, organic foods nutrition, sustainable living skills, oriental medicine, and personal development work.
The holistic paradigm of living completely reoriented my perspectives about the standard American lifestyle and the human potential that existed if I were to start making healthier choices. Something was missing though. I still felt lonely and my relationships skills with women were underdeveloped, to say the least. I was also really craving an experience of being connected to a like-minded community that shared similar values.
That led me to eventually get involved in some of my first men’s groups. Here I found both a sense of belonging and a validation for both my pain, my gifts and the beauty I saw possible for my life and the world. Within the container of these groups of men, I found mentorship. I learned to be comfortable in my own skin and with my own masculinity. I learned how to navigate relationships with women skilfully. I learned how to be with my own difficult emotions like grief, shame, and anger and find healthy ways to both express and process them. I learned to stop playing the victim and to take full responsibility for my life. After doing this deep work for over 15 years, I had finally come to a place where I felt grounded in a knowledge of how I could help others.
I wanted to create an experience for men to feel supported, to be held accountable to manifest their dreams, to have a space to express their vulnerability and their triumphs, men helping men evolve into the greatest version of themselves. From this intention came The Essential Man. Women give birth to boys, men are born from other men.
How much research did you do on the market prior to getting started and what were your findings?
I did very little research. I found a mentor that was successfully doing the kind of work I wanted to be doing and I realised it was possible.
How is your business funded, is it bootstrapped, self-funded etc?
I’m still bootstrapping my business to where I want it to be! Everything I make is being reinvested! I am actually still managing my other business as an ecological landscape designer and contractor and funnelling profits towards The Essential Man, which is really the cornerstone of my life’s work.
Can you tell us more about the brand DNA and ethos of The Essential Man and how you are standing out from the crowd?
The Essential Man is about men making contact with their essence, that aspect of their soul, their deepest self, or whatever you might call it and translating that soul-speak into a tangible outward manifestation that the world gets to enjoy, such as a business or a project. It’s my belief that this wisdom, is inherently alive in all of us and it is our divine responsibility to make it real and make it accessible.
The Essential Man is also about conscious masculine leadership. We have seen the effects of unconscious leadership. The planet is in crisis as a result. Conscious leadership is all about relationship. We cannot lead well in intimate or business relationships unless there is a foundation of connection, presence and an implicit desire to for all parties to get their needs met.
Can you give us highlight 3 ways we can find the confidence to pursue a purposeful life and how are you using your platform to educate us?
- Confidence to pursue a purposeful life comes from slowing down and the patience of listening to the things we often most avoid. Once we are willing to confront these “shadows” which is often some of the most courageous work a man can do, we then develop the courage to face almost anything.
- Take action. We can’t wait to someday feel ready for something. That readiness comes the moment we do the things we are most afraid to do.
- You need to surround yourself by mentors and colleagues that both inspire you and support you by celebrating your successes and challenging you to get past your comfort zones.
Where can you see yourself within the next 3-5 years?
I see myself inspiring a movement, comprised of an international tribe of conscious warriors that have infiltrated into all domains of the “mainstream” culture; media, corporate business, politics, the arts, health care, finance and from the side out, are dismantling outdated systems and ways of being that no longer serve the health and prosperity of the people and the planet.
What are the key tools that you use for your trade?
I’m a minimalist at heart. I like to keep it pretty simple and I’m always looking for ways to streamline my process. I can appreciate technology and what it can do but also can get overwhelmed by it. I’ve got my mac laptop, Zoom conferencing software for calls, Mailchimp, I’ve been experimenting using Hootsuite as a social media blasting tool.
What outlets do use to market The Essential Man?
I’ve mostly been focusing on Facebook and Instagram, doing both organic posts as well as paid advertising. To me, social media is the best way to create human connections and artfully display the personality and essence of the work and brand.
What or who inspires and motivates you?
I’m inspired by the underdogs mostly. I don’t really follow too many big names out there. In fact, I intentionally steer away from anyone that has too much hype behind them. What inspires me is authenticity and humility. I respect and admire people that are not there to stroke their own egos or accumulate excessive amounts of wealth. I’m inspired by people that are about serving a real need in the world, that is not simultaneously depleting another resource, which is the case in a lot of big business.
What is the number 1 critical business lesson you have learned so far?
Don’t try to figure it out on my own. I’ve invested so much time and money sorting my way through the maze of marketing strategies. Investing in expertise and mentoring to guide me has saved me so much frustration, time and money.
A highlight in your career so far?
The highlight for me so far was really the beginning. The first time I led a men’s group coaching experience. Having held the intention to begin this work many years prior and finally mustering the courage to put myself out there and see the impact on the men, that were so hungry for the work, was humbling and deeply moving.
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
I feel most satisfied when I get to give my gifts. When I’m working one on one with a man and helping him to uncover his gold and the things that have been holding him back. It just feels like I am doing what I was put here on the planet to do.
What challenges have you seen to have been presented during the growth of your business?
The biggest challenge I’ve faced honestly was self-doubt. Experiencing impostor syndrome. And maybe this is good because it keeps my ego in check. I don’t ever want to get into a position of power or authority where I’m tempted to take advantage of others.
Which other leading entrepreneurs and pioneering game changers do you also admire and why?
I appreciate how Tim Ferris is doing the work to cull from successful individuals, tools, and strategies that can help the masses up-level their approach to life and business.
Elon Musk is such a great example of a man that is willing to go out on a limb and do the impossible. It seems his intentions are really for the collective good of the planet, as he continues to invest in alternative energy technologies.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
‘How To Break Up With Your Phone.’
Top 3 go-to Podcast channels?
- ‘Tim Ferris Show.’
- ‘The Smart Couple.’
- Joe Rogan.
How do you define your own success?
Creating a livelihood by inspiring positive change in the world, while living a lifestyle that is aligned with my core values.
What does #BEYOUROWNMAN mean to you?
To mean it means taking ownership of where we have been, where we are and where we want to be. That 100% responsibility is the only way to sustainably build a passion and lifestyle driven business.
Finally, what are you working on throughout 2019?
I’m continuing to network with people and organisations around the world. I’m a collaborator. My creativity is stimulated through relationship. I’m looking for synergistic relationships. Ones where my skillsets support someone else’s and vice versa. To me, that’s ideal. Then we don’t have to wear too many hats and we get to relax into our zone of genius.