My Feminist Business: An Ongoing Experiment
I’m enthusiastic to share that this experiment has been the very thing that gave me the renewed hope; the clear lens to synthesize decades of experience; and the fire that clears the path towards better alignment with my heart’s longings and values. I’m overjoyed, creatively overflowing, and petrified. That tracks. :)
My feminism is inclusive but it’s not North America-centric.
I’m using these Feminist Business Principles* as ongoing reference:
- Equality: we accord all people, regardless, of their specific features, the same values, rights, autonomy, responsibility, and opportunity.
- Agency: we assert that all human beings can determine their own actions as they represent themselves, care for others, and change the world around them.
- Whole Humanness: we acknowledge and encourage the qualities of, and differences in human beings' bodies, minds, hearts, relationships, cycles, and development.
- Interindependence: we believe that individuals depend on strong communities and communities depend on strong individuals, and neither can succeed without the other. There is no community without the individual, no individual without the community.
- Generativity: we support the human need to create, to create conditions, that invite growth, and to care for things outside of ourselves.
(*Learn more about these principles in “Feminism: A Key Idea for Business and Society”, CV. Harquail, 2020. Thanks so much CV!)
Here's how I’ve been trying to integrate them in my life and business
(With heartfelt thanks to feminist business coach, Kelly Diels whose business practices CONSIDERABLY inspired mine.)
Marketing & Communications
- I strive for transparency towards authentic (informed) consent. I display my prices, use neither shaming nor judgments in any way, and actively interrogate my language to be more responsible and inclusive.
- Coaching is often more of a want rather than a need (i.e.: accessible mental health care). It’s engaged often for a specific goal of behavior change with personalized support and accountability baked in. Nobody needs “fixing” or to “always be working on themselves”.
- I share testimonials carefully to divest from mentally triggering sales tactics. It is meant so that potential clients/subscribers can have some transparent information of the kind of coaching container they can co-create with me. We’re all complex humans; there are no cookie-cutter results.
- Registration schedules and program rounds are essential for me to provide quality services and maintain a sustainable feminist business. I don’t use a fake-scarcity tactic; you can sign-up and get coached at a time that feels right for you.
Hiring and Money
- I pay everyone - domestic helpers, consultants, artists, etc - according to the minimum living wage applicable in my country and theirs. When I’m unable to (like at the moment), I’d offer a fair trade of services or payment by installment.
- If people are collaborating with me on a full-time basis to launch a program, I revenue-share with them.
- I’m committed to investing more in my own community, and prioritize the hiring of people with non-dominant identities.
- I calculate my pricing by taking into account personal and collective sustainability and growth, professional standards, accessibility, gender pay gap, and fair labor practices.
- Like many during this global pandemic, my siblings, parents, extended family, and I are also experiencing year-long unemployment, small business struggles and depletion of savings and resources. I’m paying tuition, building a business, living with chronic malaise, and largely contributing to my family’s finances. I need to earn a lot of money, and I do it unapologetically. (Thanks, Kelly Diels!)
- There are currently TWO ways to co-create with me:
- Dedicatedly: by signing-up to my 12-week online coaching programs; and/or
- Intermittently: by becoming a subscriber to my Lush Letters, and accessing coaching through Turn-On Sessions by donating what-you-can to select social and reproductive justice organizations from around the world.
- Every month, there are TWO slots of Turn-On Sessions (2-hour long each) dedicated to my subscribers. Bookings for these sessions are prioritized for non-ongoing clients to ensure fairer access.
- I also offer monthly payment plans (without extra fees) for my four-figure 16-week program plus fee-reduction support upon request.
- Potential clients for my programs can also book a 2-hour Discovery Session by donating what-you-can to the same non-profits. (Learn more about my ‘booking by donating to non-profits’ scheme below.)
I’m also pretty good at receiving for my self.
Love my work and want to support it?
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Solidarity and Culture-Making
- I pledge to refuse speaking engagements and collaborations if there are no involvement of individuals whose lives are the subject matter.
- I pledge to refuse collaboration with any organizations or businesses that are pushing an agenda, product, and/or service that are questionable and/or harmful to human thriving and reproductive justice, especially those that reinforces unrealistic beauty and sexual thriving standards. (e.g.: skin-whitening products, vaginal douches, etc.)
- I design the subscriber-only Turn-On Sessions with donate-what-you-can scheme so my subscribers, clients, and myself could share our resources towards collective succulence.
- I select the three social justice organizations from Indonesia, India, and US respectively as recipients of this scheme. They are chosen for their credible work towards reproductive and social justice goals, especially for non-dominant identities. It is also my way of sharing resources with cultures and peoples that I’ve continued to greatly benefit from.
- I also redistribute 10% of my income to organizations and individuals. For 2021, my personal donation will be directed to Indonesian organizations who are leading the movement to push for the passing of the Bill for the Elimination of Sexual Violence.
- In my work, I critique patterns, not people. It’s all about contributing to peoples’ thriving and systemic changes. I’m NOT here to build myself and brand by tearing others down. Any attempt to recruit me into such harmful nonsense will usually be met with deafening silence (I won’t be spending ANY energy on it).
- I practice citation as a way to signal boost and share the work of people that influence me. There’s so much joy and brilliance, and I fully celebrate it!
Ongoing Action Plan
- My 2023 goals are getting my business off the ground, paying tuition/debts, and getting myself and family to a more financially secure place.
- Also, to joyfully coach and connect with my clients and subscribers: writing and refining my offerings. OH. YEAH. :)
- My next goal is to invest in more inclusive education in coaching (courses with the Feminist Coach Academy); sex, love, and relationship (Esther Perel, Afrosexology, and Zoya Amirin); and feminist entrepreneurship (courses with Kelly Diels and CV. Harquail).