I believe that empowerment is a collective practice and a collective outcome; empowerment is not when one exceptional women gets financially successful but an oppressive system stays in place (that’s empowermyth!). Please note, however, that I’m 100% committed to building all of our livelihoods, because we deserve to thrive.
I am dreaming of a world where all bodies are cherished, so I enthusiastically support Black Lives Matter and the movement to dismantle white supremacy.
I know that gender is a social construct and I am in solidarity with my trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming siblings. That means I do not work with TERFs.
Fatphobia and Diet Culture are social justice issues, so I also do not work with people or companies promoting diet culture, weight loss and fat phobia.
I believe that we are all culture makers and that we can use our culture making power deliberately, to create new realities for ourselves and our world.
Here are a few of the ways I try to do that in my own LIFE AND BUSINESS
Hiring + Money
- I pay everyone — nanny, research assistant etc — a MINIMUM of a living wage or at least $30 an hour. (That’s the floor.)
- If people are collaborating with me on a full-time basis to launch a program, I revenue-share with them
- I believe in investing in our community which means I hire and contract from within our community, first, and prioritize the hiring of people with non-dominant identities
- When I look for guidance or coaching in my own life I look to my clients and community first; I often hire my own former clients
- I have a LOT of financial responsibilities — children, elders, extended family — so I need to earn a lot of money. I do this unapologetically
- There are many low-cost options for working with me or learning from me, including live monthly workshops that are $100 each (You might also get a lot out of my free weekly Love Letter)
- 20% of the spots in my programs are scholarship, trade or pay-what-you-can arrangements
- For every four full-price 1:1 coaching clients, I take on one coaching client for free
- When all of my needs are met, I coach for free. In January through April of 2019, for example, I had a organizational contract that met my financial needs, so I offered free mentoring sessions to anyone who wanted them
- I tithe or redistribute 20% of my income to charities, causes or individuals
- I sometimes run sales or special offers where I donate 50% or more of my gross revenue to an urgent cause
- I offer payment plans; I believe payment plans are a form of financial accessibility AND they’re good for my own personal income stability (h/t Bear Hebert, Toi Smith)
- Currently I don’t charge any extra fees or interest for accessing payment plans to work with me; before 2019 I charged between 8-10%, which was a number based on the actual costs for software, time and processing fees it took for me to administer payment plans
- I have pledged not to speak at events or on podcasts where the speakers are or have been disproportionately white and encouraged other leaders to do the same
- I believe in signal-boosting and sharing the work of the people influencing me (Citation is a feminist practice; I’ve even footnoted a sales page!). There is so much brilliance in our community and it’s a joy to be part of it.
- I strive to use apps and software that are made by companies founded by feminists and women and BIPOC (and, and, and)
- I do not to use mental/social triggers in high-risk sales situations
- I do not engage in money-shaming as a marketing tactic (or any kind of tactic!)
- When I’m critiquing, I name patterns, not people, because
- This is about systemic change, not changing out individual "bad apples". I want to keep the focus on policies, practices, norms and institutions
- I’m not here to destroy anyone’s livelihood or build my brand by tearing other people down
- We are all in the water so we are all wet
- For the most part, I don't comment on online controversies nor do I participate in "public humiliation spectacles"*. (Again: I keep my focus on patterns, not people.) I especially do not enter a live fray when I don't possess a highly specific, detailed understanding of the events (I'm looking for timelines and facts, not editorializing or rhetoric). I'm also not convinced that online call-outs are an effective tool of justice. A lot of the time, they end up being bad-faith trashings or "media misinformation campaigns"* that are punitive and coercive rather than healing and transformative. Good-faith call-ins and call-outs, on the other hand, are processes that most appropriately take place in real relationship and IRL community -- not as flame wars or digital take-downs. In other words: I'm not going to be co-opted or weaponized.
- My thanks to Dr.Christine Marie for the language of "public humiliation spectacle" and "media misinformation/misrepresentation campaigns"
- Please never substitute my judgement for your own. We don't have to agree or even like each other to respect each other's work.
- I value critique and feedback and will take the time to process it, learn from it, and integrate it (thank you!!!)
- I won’t tolerate attempts to erase me or my work nor will I accept intellectually dishonest or personally malicious “arguments”. I believe in my body of work and I will protect it, and myself. That’s part of being a culture-maker.