This was a newsletter I sent out the end of July. It got amazing feedback, and I decided to post it here as well.
Afterall, when you are a values-based business, supporting other values-based businesses (who share your values/goals) is part of the mandate.
I've taken the summer off from writing these newsletters because I believe we all need a breather - and my business needed some time to breathe and grow a bit.
BUT, I am breaking my fast to share something that is really heavy on my heart right now. Over the past couple of weeks, I have been consistently disappointed by business owners I had put in the "conscious business" owner category. The ripple of shock and hurt through my inner circles has been as intense a one as we have ever felt. And it has left me spending many hours thinking about how important it is to support the people who ARE doing everything they can to make a difference.
I'm about to get real with you. There are a LOT of things in this world that we have no power to control or even effect. And there are a LOT of things that we do have the power to, at least, effect. And one way we can do that is by supporting the people who ARE trying to do things a better way.
One of the most disappointing times in my career as an entrepreneur was when I could not raise $1,000 through a GoFundMe to attend a conference I knew would change my life and my business. I was trying to raise $5,000 and I only raised $600 from my connections. Yes, I still went. I borrowed the money from family - who, honestly, did not have it to give. And I took out a high-interest business advance loan.I was right, the conference was a game-changer. In addition to the knowledge I gained, just being there led to being in Atlanta at a difference conference in June, which led to being part of a working group about the future of business, which led to remembering how much I love critical theory and research, which led to connecting with the B Academic Community, which led to someone who is a Ph.D.student studying the Political Economy & Globalization, which led to that Ph.D. program recruiting me to come and study with them at no cost to myself.
I have no idea if I'll go do a Ph.D., but I now have the chance to explore it - and I most likely would not have without attending that conference in April.
The thing that some of you don't know and some of you have forgotten is this:
It is so hard to start and/or run a business. And it is very expensive. And there is very little in the way of traditional funding for entrepreneurs and hyper-local businesses - particularly those who are just getting started.
We do this work (entrepreneurs, shop/restaurant owners, product creators, artists) because it's the only thing we CAN do:
some of us feel it in our souls,
some of us weren't successful in traditional employment,
some of us are spending our days with littles and nights hustling our dreams,
some of us want to provide something we needed/wanted and couldn't find in the marketplace,
and the list goes on.Our WHY might be different, but one thing is the same:We are all Dreamers & Doers. We all believe in a world that we are trying to help create. And, sometimes, we all need a little "help from our friends."If you see a business owner who has created a Kickstarter, GoFundMe, or Kiva loan, I urge you to support them - seriously - event $25 can make a massive difference in their campaign and give them the traction they need.
You don't have to understand why they need the money.
You don't have to understand what their business model is or what their goals are.
You don't even have to believe that they are truly in need of the money!A series of posts that went around Facebook this week shared how judgy we can all be when someone asks for help; the assumptions we make about "this being a scam" or "what did they do wrong to get here"... In the last part, a person retold the story of their dad giving $50 to a person who said he needed medicine for his kids. This person posting made that same comment many of us have made -- "You know he's probably going to spend the money on alcohol, right?"And their Dad said this: Whether he was lying or not says something about his character. Hearing someone is in need and doing nothing says something about mine.Support your community. Support the small businesses you know and love. DO GOOD RECKLESSLY.
Here are two things you can support today. I'm supporting both of them. You may not know these two people or their businesses, but I do. They are conscious people trying to create a better world. You should support them.
Sarbez! on GoFundMe. *There’s a good chance this GoFundMe is over by the time you are reading this. So I encourage you to find out of anyone in your community is raising money for anything and support them! Also, if you are in St. Augustine, FL (now or ever), go to Sarbez! and have an amazing grilled cheese and beer.
World for Good on Kickstarter. This campaign ends in 3 hours, so do it quick - and if you miss it, respond to this email, and I will let you know how you can support Jenn anyway. *Obviously, this campaign is over, but read my interview with Jenn, the founder, HERE. And be sure to follow her Instagram and purchase her bags!