My Values + Feminist Business Practices

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My Values +

Culture-Making 

Business Practices

I hold a systemic analysis and my praxis is inclusive and about equity (no white feminism, thankyouverymuch).

I’m here for

love and JUSTICE

not love and light.

I’m more excited about building and sharing power + resources than I am about “empowerment“.

KD – Floral Letters-39

believe...

I believe that empowerment is a personal AND collective strategy that aims to change a collective reality; empowerment is not when one exceptional women gets financially successful but a dehumanizing system stays in place (that’s empowermyth!).

Please note, however, that I’m 100% committed to building all of our livelihoods RIGHT NOW, because we deserve to thrive.

I am dreaming of a world where all bodies are cherished, so I enthusiastically support Black Lives Matter and social movements that promote liberation and human flourishing.

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

line-down

Hiring + Money

  • I have a LOT of financial responsibilities — children, elders, extended family — so I need to earn a lot of money. I do this unapologetically
  • 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
  • If people are collaborating with me on a full-time basis to launch a program, I revenue-share with them

Economic Justice

How (and When) I Offer Critique

When I’m critiquing, I strive to 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

If I do critique a person, I will do it in order to document a larger pattern; it will be because they are a mainstream cultural figure who wields significant power in the world; and my critique will take place in long-form (essays, newsletters, blog posts or future books).

Here my guidelines for Critiquing Live People:

  • No gossip. I'm not repeating hearsay or wondering about their childhood wounds or interested in their personal lives (for example). I'm critiquing their public work, platforms, marketing strategies and their social impact
  • I will NOT discuss off-the-record remarks, private correspondence or recordings of private conversations
  • Must have more than 1,000,000 social media followers; have mainstream name recognition; or be the leader of an institution or company whose policies or messaging impact millions of people's lives
    • I'm taking these as indicators of cultural impact. At this level of reach (and, presumably, revenue), this person is likely to be significant, culturally, and therefore an appropriate topic for cultural consideration
  • I must disclose any apparent conflicts of interest

Because my focus is on patterns, not people, I will not comment on online controversies nor will I participate in "public humiliation spectacles"* on social media.

  • 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 not going to allow myself to be co-opted or weaponized because I lack full information

* My thanks to Dr.Christine Marie for the language of "public humiliation spectacle" and "media misinformation/misrepresentation campaigns"

How I Respond to Tragedies, Wars & World Events

  • When there are mass tragedies, my first efforts are direct and relational, which means they're often publicly invisible. I strive to offer my time, support, care and resources behind the scenes the people in my spaces who are most impacted by events. Just because something isn't visible on social media doesn't mean it is not happening
  • When there is a crisis that is outside my zone of leadership & expertise -- which means I don't have useful analysis to contribute -- I deliberately get quiet so that I do not contribute noise that can obscure valuable signals from actual experts. In cases like this, my form of contribution is to signal-boost those experts rather than strive to overlay my voice or platform onto the situation (I'm not here to build clout off tragedy)
  • I strive to only comment on events where I have leadership to offer AND, importantly, 'skin in the game'. To me, skin in the game is RISK. Is there a risk to me for getting involved? That's when I SHOULD get involved. If not, there's a risk of posturing, performing, or virtue-signalling and generating noise that obscures the voices we actually need to hear from
  • I'm Canadian, so I usually don't have 'skin in the game' to comment on US politics. By that I mean there's no risk to me for comment and only reputational upside (clout). Armchair commentary on something where I have no analysis or risk, I get the reputational benefits of looking virtuous and righteous at no actual cost to me. And often, when Canadians comment on US culture/politics, we often end up acting smug and erasing our own failings from view. And, no. Once again, I'm not here to build clout off tragedies, signal the appearance of change or simulate change; I'm here to be effective in the places where I can actually be effective
  • I am not a newspaper. I do not have the expertise, resources, bandwidth, or team to publish regular updates and commentary on the ever-intensifying crises impacting our world and communities
  • I do not issue statements or position papers on international events or wars because (a) that is outside my zone of expertise & analysis and (b) because I am not an institution, Prime Minister, President or an elected government representative. I don't have the ability to directly intervene in world events -- but they do and it is literally their job to represent our will. That's the most effective place to direct our change-making energy: Let's call them. Email them. Write letters to them. They have a responsibility to legislate in our interests. Let's make sure they do that
  • I do NOT stop selling during social crises because bills don't stop coming. It is not reasonable to expect indie providers with the least access to capital to stop their livelihoods in times when we need them most
  • I specifically don't comment on mass shootings in the US because
    1. Again, I have no skin in the game
    2. Because I'm not a citizen, I have no ability to influence US legislators
    3. Research shows that the more media attention the massacre gets, the higher the likelihood that there will be a copycat shooting within 7 days. My silence is an attempt at harm-reduction

Solidarity, Self-Preservation,
and Culture-Making

  • I have pledged not to speak at events or on podcasts where the speakers are or have been disproportionately white and encourage other leaders to do the same
  • I believe in signal-boosting and sharing the work of the people influencing me (Citation is a culture-making 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!)
  • If I cite or mention someone's work, it does not mean we know each other. It doesn't mean they even know I exist nor does it mean that they like me or approve of my work. Nor does it mean I endorse them unequivocally or that they endorse me. It means that there's a particular cultural thing that I'm trying to talk about and an idea or project of their's is relevant and I want to give credit where credit is due
  • If I quote an idea from someone you object to, I am not obliged to respond to attempts to discipline me or silence me. If your concern is that there's been a call-out of this person, or you are responding to generalized claims of harm and are worried that I don't know about it: I probably do. I may have access to different information than you have or have come to a different conclusion than you have. We need to be able to tolerate differences in perspective rather than aiming for homogeneity and purity (neither of which have ever been liberatory)
  • 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 do value good-faith critique and feedback from my co-travellers and will take the time to process it, learn from it, and integrate it (thank you!!!)
    • If we know each other, I welcome your critique, feedback and correction. Call me! Email me! Text me! (If we know each other, you have my deets)
    • If we don't know each other and you feel compelled to discipline me or sabotage  my work, that's weird. I reserve the right to treat that as the unwelcome behaviour of an intrusive stranger and take protective measures. Instead, if my work is not for you, I invite you to unfollow me
  • 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.

Want to integrate more of your principles into your marketing & business practices?

Check out

Copywriting for Culture Makers

Every week, I send you a

Sunday Love Letter

I write them so that…

  1. You remember your culture-making power
  2. You have the inspiration + tools you need to grow a future in which we all flourish
Are you in?

I’ve written before that business can inadvertently be a spiritual/self-development journey.⁠⠀⁠
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But it can be even MORE than that.⁠⠀⁠
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For culture-makers and people with social justice commitments, growing a business can (inadvertently) be a LIBERATION practice.⠀⁠
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Why?⁠⠀⁠
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Because you have to unlearn all the capitalist myths and norms that are in your bones; heal them; and build alternative, justice-centered business practices into your platform, practice & business model.⁠⠀⁠
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When you have a business, for example, you have to set prices & ask for money -- and if you belong to a group that is NOT supposed to have access to financial resources (people with racialized identities and women and queer folks and people with disabilities, AND, AND, AND) -- that can be viscerally uncomfortable. ⁠
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It can become a roadblock that you have to deal with in order to move forward in your business development.⁠⠀⁠
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That means in the course of doing business, it is GUARANTEED that you’ll have to explicitly confront and DISSOLVE your internalized oppression around money. ⁠
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Hello, Liberation. Meet your friend, Business Growth.⁠⠀⁠
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Same with internalized sexism. In our culture, women are supposed to be decorative. We’re not supposed to advocate for our ideas or take up too much space. ⁠
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But a successful online business REQUIRES visibility; thought leadership requires IDEAS. ⁠
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So once again, in order to make their platforms and businesses work, women entrepreneurs have to confront & dissovle internalized gender oppression making them “play small”. ⁠
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That’s why for some of us – culture makers, feminists, social justice advocates -- business CAN be a healing, liberation process.⁠⠀⁠
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Hello, Liberation. Meet your friend, Business Growth. Let’s flourish, together.⁠⠀⁠
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___________⁠⠀⁠
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I’m Kelly Diels and I’m a business development consultant for culture-making entrepreneurs. ⁠
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In partnership with Danielle Cohen, I lead an intimate 4-month #mastermind for coaches, leaders, healers, & culture-makers called BESPOKE that helps you build a thriving business that makes money AND meaning⁠
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link in profile @kelly.diels to learn more
I always feel a bit weird about these 'last-call' posts.⁠⁠
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Please know this isn't 'fake scarcity' or fake pressure to get you to sign up (I wholeheartedly OPPOSE those tactics). ⁠⁠
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Instead, this is a real deadline: ⁠⁠
the first live group call for We Are The Culture Makers 2024 is TOMORROW (Jan 25)...⁠⁠
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...so if you've been thinking you want to join, this is your loving reminder that today is the day :)⁠⁠
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***⁠⁠
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Here's what you get in We Are The Culture Makers 2024:⁠⁠
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🔥 Learn my self-coaching tool for getting out of shame and into your power -- on the spot, wherever you are⁠⁠
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🔥Monthly group-coaching calls⁠ -- drop in at either 9am PST or 4pm PST (or both!) on the 3rd Thursday of each month⁠
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🔥3 video lessons each month on how to create new realities for yourself (and all of us!) around fraught issues like Power, Time, Money, Body, Likeability, Care, Work, Leadership and more⁠⁠
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🔥Regular Co-Working Sessions⁠ so you have time set aside in your schedule to watch your course lessons or work on projects that truly matter to you⁠⁠
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🔥Monthly Guided Meditation sessions to calm your central nervous system and bolster your spirit, taught by yoga breathing & meditation teacher Ntathu Allen⁠ (Find Ntathu at https://www.yogainspires.co.uk and @yogainspiresyou⁠)⁠⁠
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All in all, it's a year of radical encouragement meant to help you⁠⁠
(1) unlearn the social conditioning keeping us in self-doubt ⁠⁠
(2) learn the power-building habits that can help you rise -- personally, and collectively.⁠⁠
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In other words: this is about getting out of shame and into power.⁠⁠
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If that sounds like a fit for you, I invite you to sign up with the link in bio @kelly.diels -- and thank you!⁠⁠
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love + justice,⁠⁠
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Kelly⁠⁠
My theme for 2024 is BODY OF WORK.⁠
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I'm personally doubling down on putting out my work in a bigger, more potent and more coherent way.⁠
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If you're also going all-in expanding your reach and platform this year -- and building out your body of work -- and would like my eyes and feedback on what you've already built, I'm offering PLATFORM AUDITS this month.⁠
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I use a 40-point framework to assess your website and social channels. ⁠
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I review:⁠
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⚡️Whether or not it is clear, from the outside looking in, who your ideal client is⁠
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⚡️If your positioning aligns with your ideal client's needs and the way they like to work and buy (if not, I give very practical, do-able suggestions for what to do and say, instead)⁠
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⚡️Your messaging & copy and what you can do to make it even more clear and compelling to your right client⁠
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⚡️Your visuals, social channels and social profile -- what's working, what's not⁠
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⚡️What you can do on your About page to inspire trust⁠
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⚡️What you can do on your website (and social) to convert more readers into subscribers⁠
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⚡️Your offers and sales pages -- are they on point for your client? What might need to change to invite more sales?⁠
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⚡️Your job title, differentiators, and unique value proposition and provide suggestions for how to make them even more potent⁠
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⚡️Any places the Female Lifestyle Empowerment Brand might be sneaking in :)⁠
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After that, I send you a loom video and walk you through everything I see on your site and socials and what you might want to do to make your platform even more powerful.⁠
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This audit is $300 USD and I complete it within 10 business days (usually, a lot faster than that).⁠
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It's specifically designed for people building online, traffic-based businesses, selling 1:1 services and/or courses.⁠
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If this audit sounds like the right way to start your year, I encourage you to check it out using the link in bio @kelly.diels -- and thank you!⁠
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love + justice,⁠
Kelly⁠
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PS The audit is here https://kellydiels.thrivecart.com/audit/
I want you to win.⁠
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That's it. That's the post. ⁠
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 #WinAndHelpWin⁠
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love + justice,⁠
Kelly⁠
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photo by @daniellecohenphotography