Next steps

Eight days ago I recorded a FB Live that went unexpectedly “viral.” The video is called Marie Forleo and the good white liberal response. It has been viewed 148,000 times on Facebook and 364,000 times on Instagram. Had I known the video would be seen by so many, I might have put on some lip gloss and a bra. I kid, I kid. Of course I couldn’t have and wouldn’t have done that because I was so enraged and full of sadness at the time of recording. 

Rage and sadness are normal everyday emotions for Black people like me.

We face systemic racism daily in the form of having trouble getting a mortgage even though I own a highly profitable 7-figure business, getting kicked out of a mastermind for the vague reason of being “unethical” with zero evidence to back it up, and getting terrorized by a police office for no reason other than I’m Black

I recorded that video to amplify the voices of Black women who were being ignored and to express my rage and sadness about the state of our world and the consistently lukewarm responses from white people. 

I have received thousands of messages from people who were awakened by this video. One of my clients sent it to a friend she had been trying to explain the realities of racism to for years and told me that my video finally woke her up. Entrepreneurs, coaches, employees at various workplaces … many have messaged me to say “thank you for calling me out.” 

People have shared this video with their parents, their offices, their friends and their clients. 

Well known authors, coaches and influencers are making big public commitments to how they will do business going forward. Clients are voting with their feet and their dollars. As I said in my article on how to create diversity in your online business that  I wrote a year ago, “if your business is not becoming more diverse, it is becoming less relevant.” Those words have never been truer than they are today. 

We will see many companies become less known, less profitable and possibly bankrupt because of continued lack of commitment to creating an antiracist organization. And that is exactly how it should be. We can’t build anew if we don’t tear down the old. 

I’m cautiously optimistic to see the traction that the movement has gained over the last two weeks since George Floyd died at the hands of a murderous police officer. And I am glad that the video I recorded to express my anger and anguish has played a small part. 

But here is the key question that we all must ask ourselves: what’s next?

As a leader, I have to ask myself what else will I do? Yes, I have called out big business owners that refused to acknowledge Black Lives Matter while collecting plenty of money from Black clients. But I can’t call everyone out single handedly. And I can’t spend all my time raging on social media. There has to be some meat on this bone. 

What I know for sure is that we cannot ever go back to business as usual. Not ever. We must commit to using our influence, our resources and our power as small business owners to build a better world. Otherwise, what is the point? Money is nice but it matters not when your work has a shitty impact and you live in a shitty world. 

I talk a lot about money, friends. But some things are so much more important than money. 

I have decided to host a town hall for the small business community this Wednesday called Reimagining Small Business. We will come together as a community to listen, learn and commit to building antiracist companies that can have a tremendously positive impact on the world. 

I have asked DEI consultant and expert on racial equity, Ericka Hines and Certified Master Life Coach, Susan Hyatt to join me in organizing this event. We will also have several special guests including Nathan Barry of ConvertKit and Robert Hartwell of the Broadway Collective. Together we will present a plan for small businesses who are committed to building antiracist organizations. We will ask you to take the pledge and commit to building a bright future for all of us, which means it must include those of us who are Black. 

You can register for this free event right here. Please share it widely and tell all of your friends. We can change the world, let’s do it together and let’s start with this town hall as a tangible next step. 

In case this post hasn’t made it abundantly clear to you, Black Lives Matter. They have always mattered. And they will always matter. My Black children, and my Black husband and myself, we matter. My Black neighbors, and my Black friends, and my Black family, and my Black colleagues, they matter. If you don’t believe that with all your heart, then please leave my website, remove yourself from my space and do not return until you wake the fuck up.

In solidarity, 

R

PS: Are you following me on Instagram? Don’t miss the relevant content or conversation that I am leading there.  

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212-597-9200
Jessica@shpny.com

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The next email goes out on: July 12, 2020