The 5 Elements of Business

by Ernie Boxall on October 4, 2014

Business Owner and Practitioner







I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by Doug Foresta; Host, The Coachzing Show; Host at Creating Change and Radio Host at Empower Radio, on the topic of “The 5 Elements of Business” (and once again my sincere thanks to Doug for the opportunity and his masterful hosting.)

I was introduced to the 5 Element Theory as a Shiatsu practitioner in 2002, as a means of connecting to the emotional and physical symptoms which a client may be unaware of as a cause of dis-comfort. It’s another tool in diagnosis.

As  a business owner though it struck me that the same theories could act as a tool for seeing where our businesses stand and how they are progressing, or not! So, whilst there are more detailed descriptions of the theory here is the outline of my article:

Remember 5 Element Theory goes in a circular not a linear direction so that after the final element Wood we return to the first element Fire and the circle begins again.

FIRE: The Spark, the energy, the new business idea. Controlled Fire draws a crowd and leads to communication..just what a new business idea requires.

EARTH: The support system that allows the business idea to take shape. It’s no good building a fire in a swamp if you want to attract a  crowd. Your partner (s), your staff, your clients and your networking members.

METAL: The cash needed to grow the business idea into an actual business, the precious metal of coinage to give in receipt of a service. Metal also gives us the potential for building fences or boundaries between ourselves and clients. How close or how far away or do we keep them? Or else our ethical boundaries, how far are we prepared to be honest in our dealings?

WATER: All running water flows forwards, but at different speed, and the speed of the flow influences the nature of the water’s effects. Water can flow smoothly from a trickle, through a stream into a river into the sea: It can meander in short or long turns, as if  in procrastination:It can actually cut itself off from the mainstream and become a stagnant pool: Or it can flood disastrously in a torrent               wiping away everything that’s been put in place.

WOOD:  Trees grow where all the elements are present, the Sun, water, earth and metals. Trees can provide us with direction, height, distance, width and depth. They are also a business plan, a blueprint. An acorn knows exactly what it is going to be, and it knows how long     it’s going to take to get there. Wood also provides the fuel for the next Fire, for the next business idea.

So there we are, the outline of 5 Elements of Business. For a more in depth follow me on or

Business Owner and Practitioner

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