Hi Friends, I hopped on the gram because I felt compelled to express why I feel so passionate about sharing my journey as a Black woman artist writer producer entrepreneur business owner. I wanted to make sure all of you hear the heartbeat behind the game plan for 2022! Following is the video and a transcript below. Please note the transcript has been heavily edited for clarity and length.
Hello friends! I am back in your feed today because I want to tell you a little bit more about this newsletter and the changes that I'm making.
So I have two newsletters. One is an anti racism newsletter. You can find that on substack. But the other one is a newsletter that's through Facebook, ie, meta. I am changing up that newsletter for 2022. I'm going to make that a place where I start talking about what it is like to be a business owner.
I'm going to change it because I love anti-racism work… BUT y'all, I spent all morning today looking at workers comp insurance companies. Okay!? That's how I spent my morning. And why did I spend my morning that way? Because when you have a whole business, when you're an entrepreneur, when you are looking at hiring, when you have like a million other things that you have to do to keep your business going, we be needing some help, maybe need some resources.
So I have decided to make the newsletter, through Facebook, the place where I come and share with you about being a creative- particularly in a black woman's body. And I want to tell you why this is so important to me.
I am big on research. I do not enjoy looking like I don't know what I'm talking about. So I will research to the point of paralyzation friends; I will research and then be so happy that I researched that I actually don’t do what I needed to do for the research in the first place. You know? (laughs) It can be a problem. So I spent all summer trying to find resources, a podcast, a book, an article, a webpage, a class-something that would help me as an entrepreneur.
Friends, here's just a smattering of what I found in the general #girlboss category. (PS; I changed everybody's name to Becky)
“Not having a degree didn't stop Becky. She couldn't go to school, she had to learn on the job. Learning on the job included being at one of the top five big accounting firms, selling money management services to pension funds, and being a senior executive. Those were her first three jobs. She finally enrolled in college and earned a degree in her 50s long after she had entered six figure territory. ‘How did you get all those jobs without a college degree?’ I asked an amazement. ‘I never brought it up. And they never brought it up either,’ she said laughing.
Friends, that ain't helpful. That is not helpful when you are a black woman. Okay, you're going to be asked all kinds of questions, authentication, and somebody’s going to go check to make sure you graduated from where you said you've graduated from.
“Becky was selling art supplies but had her heart set on becoming a broker for a premier brokerage firm. Granted, she hated math. She flunked the screening tests and they flatly rejected her application. But she was unwavering. I wanted to work there so much. ‘I fought my way in,’ she said. ‘I went to the branch manager's office before he showed up, sat in the chair in front of his desk and waited. When he came in. I said ‘No, I can do this. That made all the difference. He hired me.’”
I want to be clear. I think these stories are great if/when you can get it. If that's your story, that's wonderful. But you should not write it in any advice book for anybody who doesnt look like you.
Who is going to let me in the supervisor’s office after I have already been told I'm not getting the job? Who? Who is unlocking that door? Nobody.
Here's a different example. I was listening to a podcast about podcasts. I found this great podcast interviewing a woman who had a very creative podcast. I was so into it! At the end, the interviewer says to the woman, “So please tell me, what is your income structure? How are you generating revenue?” She responded, “Well, we have a number of investors and it will be another five years before we actually have to turn a profit.”
I had gotten so excited but then you tell me that you don't have to even think about turning a profit yet! That's not the life I am living, friends.
I listen to another podcast, this one with a white guy. And he says, “You know, I didn't know a whole lot about podcasting, but I wanted to strike out on my own. And I remember having met an investor and so I called him.”
Well, that's great. But I need you to know that if there are any investors in my life, they haven’t said a thing. They’ve been staying real quiet… real, real quiet! (laughing) Aint nobody said “Hey, Austin, you know I’m an investor right?” Ha!
I genuinely am not on here to shade anybody in these stories (hence why I didn’t cite the stories). I'm just trying to say that I have different problems.
All this to say, there might be some folks out there like me who can’t skip over the application who have to pass the test, or get the grant, or start at the bottom, and who can't afford a record... or who already has one. Okay?! There might be some of y'all like me, who don't know an investor. Maybe you, too, are out here trying to figure out workers comp on your own.
If that's you..
If you are trying to figure out how to hire people
If you have to figure out how to get your writing to make money,
If you have struggled with figuring out how much to charge people for the work that you produce,
If you have you have been fired from a job (points at myself and laughs)
If you must now figure out how to turn the thing that you are good at and passionate about into some monies, I hope you will come over.
Pull up a chair. Have a seat. I'm going to tell you what I know. And I'm going to start at the beginning. I’m going to start with having been fired. Because that's the beginning of this girl's story. That's my story.
Can I tell you one other thing that has really bothered me about a lot of these books on how to how to make it, particularly when they're geared at women? Many of the books I’ve read are very individualistic. They often talk about ignoring or laughing off racism, sexism, homophobia that’s directed at you. That advice doesn't work for me. Because I want the foundation of my business to be built on a sense of justice, on a sense of feminism, on a sense of anti racism, on a sense of inclusiveness.
Now, I cant promise that you’ll become a multi-millionaire… or even a “1 millionaire” (laughs) But I will tell you tell you how I managed. I will tell you about my journey.
Hopefully, this offers more background on why this particular change in the newsletter is so important to me. I want to make sure that this is another lane in which I am practicing my own anti-racism work. I want to be encouraging those who are on the margins to take what is a very scary leap- to design a life you love.
The fun begins on Monday, January 10th!