My Values + Feminist Business Practices

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My Values +


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


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


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
  • I pay everyone  a living wage -- AT A MINIMUM --and strive to pay everyone as much as is sustainable for the whole organization
  • 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"

Here are my Guidelines for Commenting on Tragic Events:

  • I am not a newspaper. I cannot publish or comment on all things and no one should be obliged to
  • I strive to only comment on events where I have 'skin in the game'. I'm Canadian, so I don't have 'skin in the game' to comment on US politics -- and often, when Canadians comment on US culture/politics, we often end up acting smug and erasing our own failings from view
  • 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

KD - Offer Icons CR-01

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A Marketing School 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?

Maybe long-term exploitation is why we feel anxious about money.⁠
No maybe about it.⁠
At the best of times, and always, there is a cultural expectation that women care. ⁠
That women care-give. ⁠
That women will lean in & help out & emotionally support & take care of everyone and everything.⁠
On the one hand, that's WONDERFUL. ⁠
Care is the glue that holds our societies, workplaces, families and relationships together. It is precious & ESSENTIAL and we should all be doing it (not just women). ⁠
Care &  caregiving is one of the most valuable skills anyone can possess and contribute.⁠
And a society, we devalue it. ⁠
We erase it from view. ⁠
We download it disproportionately onto the shoulders of women. ⁠
We make it a non-negotiable feature of being a woman. ⁠
Because this is a foundational belief of our society: that “Woman = uncompensated caregiver" and that women OWE their emotional labour and caregiving to the world.⁠
That belief is present all the time. It's especially intense during social crisis when the needs of others are multiplied.⁠
That's why we often see pushback on social media (and in our inboxes, ask me how I know) against women entrepreneurs --especially if you do care work like teaching or coaching -- who have the AUDACITY to promote their work or charge for their services *when people need them most*.⁠
How dare women ask for compensation when our collective unconscious belief about women dictates that they should be *volunteering* their care, time & services?! ⁠
If you are a women entrepreneur and receive that kind of pushback or outrage, please note that this is not actually about you, the quality of your work or your prices. ⁠
It is about the cultural mandate that women should care for free.⁠
And we get to reject it.⁠
image by @broobs.psd
Time to incubate an idea is essential for output…⁠
...and allowing yourself that time is NOT procrastination.⁠
And actual procrastination — as in, you have the idea fully cooked but do not want to sit your ass down and do it — might not always be a bad thing. ⁠
In fact, procrastination can be a source of good information. ⁠
In Antifragile, for example, Nassim Nicholas Taleb talks about the value of procrastination for a writer: ⁠
“If I defer writing a section, it must be eliminated. This is simple ethics: Why should I try to fool people by writing about a subject for which I feel no natural drive?”⁠
I’ve started using this as a point of discernment. ⁠
Sometimes I’ll outline a book or an essay…and then one chapter or section. Often it’s a topic I feel obliged to cover rather than excited to consider. ⁠
In those instances, maybe my procrastination is instructive. ⁠
Maybe if I don’t want to write about it, maybe it’s not for me to write. ⁠
Maybe it doesn’t really need to be written by me nor included in my essay/chapter/blog post/book. ⁠
Maybe I need to reclaim and honour my no. ⁠
** No maybe about it.**⁠
So now, if I’m procrastinating hard on a topic and it’s not fear of going into hard places but simple nope-don’t-wanna-do-it, I delete that section or chapter or letter and move on to what does interest me and what I DO want to write. ⁠
Because procrastination can be GREAT information. ⁠
Listen to it. Leverage it.⁠ ⁠
I'm Kelly Diels and I write about women, power and culture-making. Want weekly doses of radical encouragement + make-shit-happen advice? You can subscribe to my #SundayLoveLetter with the link in profile -- and thank you!⁠
#WeAreTheCultureMakers #bossmoves #makers #creatives #writersblock #procrastination #motivation #inspiration #perfectionism #artist #entrepreneur #writerslife #wrotetoday #amwriting #writer #writing #writersofinstagram
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