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Last Updated on October 12, 2022
Are you ready for some fresh perspectives on what ‘smash the patriarchy’ really means? Learn how you can become a feminist leader in your own business, and how we can create a more equitable landscape for all people–in the workplace and beyond.
We’ve talked a lot about the patriarchy here, and today, we’re continuing the conversation with three powerhouse feminist business leaders.
As a quick refresher, or if you’re new here, you might be asking: what is the patriarchy?
The patriarchy is a cultural system that centralizes and keeps power in the hands of a small group of white men. In modern patriarchy, some men hold more power (and privilege) by virtue of the position of authority, and this hierarchy of power (and privilege) is considered acceptable.
Businesses can be effective, profitable, AND feminist–all at the same time. It’s true! But the great majority of our business development tools (as they exist now) reinforce masculine models of thinking and patriarchal operating by design.
Building a business, as a feminist, means that you get to create your own economic destiny built on principles that you think are fair, humanistic, and sustainable. Some examples include*:
How does that sound?! If you’re ready to learn how to smash the patriarchy and create a feminist business, you’re going to love today’s episode!
(*These examples all come from The Feminist Agenda by Rachel Wynn)
Our incredible panel today includes:
Through her work in the fields of psychology and self-improvement, Amée Quiriconi brings a thought-provoking harmony of practical strategies together with the underlying drives that affect women and their business success. Her second book, The Fearless Woman’s Guide to Starting a Business: What Every Woman Needs to Know to be a Courageous, Authentic, and Unstoppable Entrepreneur, is her firm step forward towards helping other women learn how to unlock their real, life-changing potential.
Melanie Childers is a Master Coach for feminist entrepreneurs who are committed to changing the world for women. She helps women disrupt their internalized patriarchy so they can scale successful businesses that support themselves and their communities without burning out.
Rachel Wynn is a multi-passionate creative entrepreneur and founder of both Starlight Social, a digital marketing company, and Feminist Founder, where she coaches feminist entrepreneurs on the topics of setting and maintaining client boundaries, the importance of delegation, invisible labor in the home, and much more! She currently lives in a co-op near Malcolm X Park with her partner, David, and dog-child Rufus on unceded Piscataway native land in Washington, DC.
Thanks so much for joining me this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!
If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post.
Also, please leave an honest review for The Success with Soul Podcast on Apple Podcasts so we can improve and better serve you in the future. Plus, you could be featured on a future episode during our listener spotlights. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and I read each and every one of them.
And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts to get automatic updates. My goal for this podcast is to inspire those who seek flexibility and freedom in their lives by making something happen with holistic, soulful, step-by-step strategies from me and other experts.
The patriarchy is a cultural system that centralizes and keeps power in the hands of a small group of white men. It’s not about individual men or hating men, but rather speaks to a system of control that oppresses the majority of people. In modern patriarchy, some men hold more power (and privilege) by virtue of the position of authority, and this hierarchy of power (and privilege) is considered acceptable.
Invisible labor is a term that comes from a 1987 article about “invisible work” by sociologist Arlene Daniels. It refers to unpaid work that goes unnoticed, unacknowledged, and thus, unregulated. In recent years, “invisible labor” has become defined as the household maintenance and child-rearing activities that women, primarily in cisgender, heterosexual relationships, find themselves bearing the brunt of. These tasks require time and effort, but you don’t get paid–or, in many cases, even recognized–for them.
Kate Kordsmeier 0:00
Welcome back to the Success with Soul podcast. I'm your host, Kate Kordsmeier. And today's episode is so freaking juicy. Oh my gosh. So we're doing something different. Today we're having a live roundtable and I have three incredible women here with me today. I cannot wait to introduce you to them. We are talking all about smashing the patriarchy. Now this isn't necessarily a new topic on the podcast, we had Dr. Valerie rain on episode 26 talking about patriarchy stress disorder. I had a solo episode recently, Episode 59, all about my why of my business, which is about dismantling the patriarchy. We've talked about it and you know, and many other episodes, even if they weren't fully dedicated to that. And recently, we also had Lauren Elizabeth on episode 64, talking about opting out of patriarchy and capitalism and embracing feminist business practices. So this isn't a new topic, but it is still very relevant, very important. And these three women are giving us some fresh perspectives on what the patriarchy really means, what it's like to be a feminist business owner, how we can create a more equitable landscape for all people, and ultimately, why we're even still talking about things like the patriarchy and feminism and equal rights. When technically, technically, there are a lot of equal rights legislation that has been passed. Women can you know, as I've said many times before, women can vote we can drive we can even open our own bank accounts. Now without a male cosigner. Shouldn't that be enough? Well, just because progress has been made doesn't mean that we can stop fighting the fight, similar to racism and how it did not cease to exist in 1965 with the passage of the Civil Rights Act, nor has the patriarchy and the oppression of women cease to exist after other legislative actions have been passed as well. So we still have work to do. And I am so grateful that Rachel when Melanie Childers and UmmI query Kony have joined me today to help us do the work. Ladies, let's take it away. You're listening to the Success with Soul podcast with Kate Kordsmeier x journalists turn CEO of a multi six figure blog and online business. But it wasn't that long ago that Kate was a struggling entrepreneur who lacked confidence, clarity, and let's be honest money. But all those failures, experiments and lessons learned helped Kate create a thriving business that impacts 1000s and brings freedom, flexibility and fulfillment to her life. If you're ready to do the same and make something happen with holistic, soulful, step by step strategies from Kate and other experts, you're in the right place. here's your host, writer, educator, Mom, recovering perfectionist, bookworm and sushi connoisseur, Kate Kordsmeier. Wow, we have a group of powerhouse women here with us today on the podcast. I'm so excited for this conversation. I'm going to start things off by just having everyone go around and give like your two minute elevator pitch of who you are, what you do, and just introducing yourself to everybody. So let's start with Amée Quiriconi.
Amée Quiriconi 3:20
Oh good, I get to kick it all off. I'm Amée Quiriconi. And I'm actually an author and a business consultant. I work with organizations and business leaders to bridge their business strategy with their hiring their employee engagement and creating basically toxic free cultures. And my emphasis is on trauma informed practices. I have a lot of experience with addressing, you know, trauma in our lives and things like that. And I'm also the author of a book called the fearless Woman's Guide to starting a business what every woman needs to know to be a courageous, authentic and unstoppable entrepreneur. And it's a basically a trauma informed look at women and our roles with entrepreneurship and business. And so that's me and my two minute nutshell.
Kate Kordsmeier 4:01
Love it. Thanks to me. How about you, Rachel?
Rachel Wynn 4:04
Thanks, Yeah, my name is Rachel Lynn, and I am based out of Washington, DC. I have a company called starlight social and social media company. And I also have a new coaching practice, where I help them and as entrepreneurs really learn how to build and balance and scale ethical businesses. So I'm really excited to be joining you all today.
Kate Kordsmeier 4:25
Yay. Okay, and Melanie?
Melanie Childers 4:29
I am Melanie Childers. And I am also a feminist entrepreneur coach, helping women that be bad bitches in their business and take up all the space and make smart, scalable, powerful business decisions that help them create this sustainable growth that they want for the life of their business without hustling or burning out.
Kate Kordsmeier 4:54
So good, just from the quick intros and like this is going to be such a juicy conversation. So, one thing that I noticed is that none of you described yourself as a girl boss, or a femme printer, or she-EO. Why is that? Who wants to start?
Amée Quiriconi 5:11
Well, so, I mean, I throw this out there, you know, I don't have an issue when people do use that in the attach that label to it. So I want to make sure that you know, my choices to not use it aren't, you know, in any way shaming anybody that actually does, I have worked in male dominated fields for like half of my career in blue collar industries, and then also worked in pink collar careers. And I know that sometimes there can be a stigma because, uh, you know, the word, you know, adding the shear the her the whatever to it, like, it can make it feel like that it's somehow it's a unicorn, you know, and I think all of us here have enough experience in business in our in our, you know, what we're trying to do in business is to make sure that women who succeed are not just unicorns, but are in the same, you know, same dynamic, same playing field is everybody else there. And so, that's why I just don't attach it. Although I do focus on women. I focus on women being successful in the larger fields of business and entrepreneurship, rather than just in the nice field of being the sheep runner, the whatever word you want to attach on to it. So that's my two cents on it.
Kate Kordsmeier 6:16
Anyone else want to? Yeah, Rachel?
Rachel Wynn 6:19
Sure. So yeah, I personally really don't like the the terms like girlboss. Because I think that using gender qualifiers really kind of negates the power that women has when they're business owners, and I just really, you know, I mean, it's just kind of like, have you ever heard of like a boy boss? I mean, no. So I personally really don't like those terms and hope that it seems as though there is a shift in this kind of Bali bathe and girl boss kind of industry that they are starting to shift away from that language. And I just hope that we continue to make those steps because it just, it just feels very, I don't know, patronizing. I feel like I mean, if someone wants to identify as such, you know, that's their personal choice, but it's something that I am really not into.
Melanie Childers 7:06
I'm the same, like, I feel like it's a little bit diminutive. It's like, Oh, that's so cute. Look at her being a girl boss. And it's like, there's nothing cute about me over here. I mean, yes, I'm cute. But like, what I am doing is not cute. Growing a multiple million dollar business is not cute. Yeah, it's, it feels patronizing. And at the same time, I'm like, if that's the hashtag that you want to use, go for it. If that's what you identify with, go for it. It's just not for me.
Kate Kordsmeier 7:37
Yeah, I find it interesting. Because most of the people that use those terms are women. It's not usually men going, Oh, look at that girl boss over there. It's like, even when I am hiring. So many of the applications that come in, we asked, you know, like, why do you want to work for Kate Kordsmeier the company? And people always say, Oh, I'm just so inspired. But what a girl boss she is. I mean, I get so many that and like, I know you're saying it as a compliment. And you do. But it's it's interesting that it's like it's the women that are upholding this patronizing terms. So I think this leads us to our next topic, which is really the overarching topic of this entire panel. What does smashing the patriarchy mean? I know this is a mission of all of ours. And so I have some specific questions for each of you kind of with regards to smashing the patriarchy. So, Melanie, let's start with you, because you specifically help women disrupt their internalized patriarchy. So what does that mean?
Melanie Childers 8:40
So what that really means to me is that the external culture has created like all of these norms that we're supposed to live by, that don't be too loud or too smart, or too sexy or not sexy enough, and like, there's this perfect little box that you're supposed to fit in. And then we absorb all of that just from growing up with it in the culture, from media from magazine covers, commercials, people that we see portrayed in TV and film. And so we think we're just accidentally by default, this is what brains do is they absorb the culture that we're in. And so we have suddenly have all of these thoughts about who we're supposed to be and how we're supposed to look and how we're supposed to operate. And what I find that that happens for most of my clients is that we tend to keep ourselves small to not bust out of this box because there's punishment involved, you will be criticized, you will be slandered, you will be raked over the coals, you will be judged. And that is like the number one fear of most humans is that we don't want to, we don't want that light to be shining on us and to feel the humiliation and shame of when you step out of the box. And so my work really is we have to mess up all of that and start Really standing in your power on your own confidence in your own belief in yourself no matter what the world has to say.
Kate Kordsmeier 10:07
Yeah, so true. And this reminds me and kind of leads me to immediate the question that I have for you, because you've talked about how it's your achievements that make you a valuable and knowledgeable teacher. It's not your achievements, sorry, that make you valuable. It's, it's your failures. And you said that you learned that you were the architect behind your self sabotage, which I have a feeling is similar to what Melanie just shared, talk about that, and how this realization in itself is kind of an act against the patriarchy?
Amée Quiriconi 10:40
Well, the biggest thing was, you know, as Melanie points out, you know, we do absorb a lot. And some of it actually, our parents also absorbed the messages and the, in the traditions and the stereotypes. And as I was going through my own life, and you know, running my own companies, and then finding myself at the bottom of the, you know, the next wave crashing down, realizing that I was replicating in a lot of different ways, these messages and belief systems, and what was interesting was outwardly being like, you know, you can see me now like tattoos, short hair, nose ring, I've been like this for 20, some years running my own companies, and you know, kind of bucking the system. And so I never had this belief that I was in the trap. And it was only after seeing the results of it have financial problems, relationship problems, picking bad business partner problems, I was replaying some of these systems in my head at a subconscious level. And that was the the waking up to that of like, sometimes you need a coach or a book or you know, a slap in the face to let you see really what's going on. And it's easy to blame the system. But the system is us as well, until we know we're in the system playing by those rules and enforcing those rules. And, you know, like Melanie said, when we do keep ourselves contained, because we fear the micro aggressions and the backlash, and some of it's very real, you know, women do see a reduction in their value in terms of their salary, their compensation, their promotions, bonuses, all of that if they don't play in the box. And, you know, in many ways, that's what drove me to become an entrepreneur was I got to create my box, and I thought I had but then found that even then I was still in a box and still playing that role. And that's what was causing me again, to come down at the bottom of a wave, and then have to rebuild back all over again. You know, we as as women, I'd say we have a lot of hurdles against us, but it's they're not insurmountable. But there is this balance between, I'm going to hold myself accountable for this, you know, I can't keep saying that men are a holes and whatever, like, you know, whatever the problem actually is, you know, gender gap. That's what the problem is. And that's why I don't make enough money. I mean, there's an accountability on all of our shoulders to actually see it, and then change it, and do something about it and get really angry about it enough to want to be able to change it for ourselves, because we are kind of delaying a future that we're all entitled to have. We just have never been told that we're entitled to that future. So that's, you know, where my passion is. And,
Kate Kordsmeier 13:10
yeah, so I have some follow up questions for that. But before we get there, I know, Rachel, I want to ask you to you specifically help women become feminist founders. So what does that mean? And what does feminism mean to you in 2021? I think this is a term that is often misunderstood. And sometimes like saying you're a feminist can have a very negative connotation to a lot of people. And the word itself, I think, has changed meaning over the last few decades, so I'd love to hear what a feminist founder means to you.
Rachel Wynn 13:43
Yeah, to me, it really, it's really all about understanding that feminism is, it's actually not as much as identity, but like kind of an ongoing learning process. And I think that what's really important about today's feminism is that it, of course, includes men. One thing that does kind of surprise me though, and I've talked to a lot of different feminist entrepreneurs trying to actually find men in business who identify as feminists and I so far, I've only found one, which is pretty crazy. But I think that what's really important about feminism today, and especially incorporating it into your business is ensuring that the way that you're running a business is done in an ethical way that that's really focused on not just the Hustle, Hustle, Hustle, you know, profit worshipping and is instead making an impact in some way. I actually have on my website, feministfounder.com/myfeministagenda, I actually have a whole long list of what it means to be a feminist founder. And I think that a lot of that has really been my ongoing process of learning. What that really means. It took me a while to try to identify like, what does my feminism means to me? Of course, it's a it's a choice for everybody. But for me, it's taking my political identity And incorporating that into my work. I'm a democratic socialist. And I, of course, I'm someone who really cares about equality for all, you know, I believe in health care for all, etc. But I think that it's taking action steps that are beyond kind of the norm. So it's making your website accessible. It's making your content accessible. It's believing that you don't have to compromise your life for for the sake of your business. I think that a lot of business owners and I did this myself, they in the beginning, they're really hustling, hustling, hustling, hustling, and then all of a sudden, you're exhausted. And it's just like, What is all this for? I became an entrepreneur because Well, for me, I became an entrepreneur, because I wanted to have freedom, I wanted to be able to have control over my day and to really be able to be untied and untethered from a computer. But it's so easy to kind of fall into that nine to five trap, because that's what we've been sort of taught. So I think for me, feminism is really making sure that, you know, understanding that capitalism, I think that's what's really interesting, too, about being a feminist entrepreneur, and I'm sure Melanie Can, can probably agree is that, especially for me, like I'm a feminist, I'm a democratic socialist. But technically, I'm a capitalist. And that's, you know, really interesting kind of identity, to navigate. And I think it's really identifying what that means and breaking free from a lot of those pre prescribed notions of what it means to be a woman in business, especially if I'm missing business. And one resource, I actually wanted to shout out that's been really helpful for helping helpful in guiding me to this kind of understanding of who I am and how I incorporate my business. There's a company called Sister and it's by Jennifer Armbrust, and she has an amazing diagram of the feminine economy. She has a diagram that shows the masculine economy, which is, you know, typically like based on kind of masculine energy principles, that male but like masculine energy, so hustle, focusing on profits, that kind of thing. And then she offers an alternative, which is the feminine economy. And that's been so helpful for me to to learn and understand because it's more based on sort of feminine energy, again, not female or woman based, but flow, collaboration, nurturing, and it's just really shifted how I run my business, as well as how I see myself as a business owner. Yeah, okay, that's awesome. We'll link that in the show notes. So anybody listening can go check out the diagram, I feel like visuals are always really helpful to be like, Oh, that's what you mean.
Kate Kordsmeier 17:32
So you each shared so many things that I'm like, if this was an individual episode, I would have a million follow up questions right away for y'all. But I'm going to kind of bounce around here a little bit so that we can get to some of the other topics, and we're going to come back to some of the things you eat shared. So something that came up for me though, as all of you were talking is that there's often I think, this misconception and I've heard it from people who I know support women and equity, and still are kind of critical or skeptical of, you know, or even triggered by words like the patriarchy, people who are skeptical of patriarchy, or other systems of oppression, or discrimination, even if they can acknowledge that, yeah, those things exist. Sometimes people seem to feel like dwelling on it is gonna make you a victim. And we all just need to, like pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, and do our best and system be damned. What would you say to those kinds of skeptics?
Amée Quiriconi 18:32
This is something that I actually do touch on. And I've talked about with other people. And, you know, again, this is why my lens is the trauma informed perspective. Because you know, when those words are triggering, you know, there's a story underneath that's worth examining. And I think that when we don't open ourselves up to hearing the other side, maybe all these changes require listening on everybody's heart, right. And that means that when you and I've had this conversation, I'll say this, particularly with men especially it started to erupt a lot when the me to movement happened a couple of years ago. And I started getting feedback through my show and through personal messages for men that felt like they wanted to hear really, what they've been missing all along, when it came to assault and aggression, you know, towards women, you know, the comments, you know, oh, air quote this for the listeners, you know, the jokes about in the locker room talk and things like that, like, they didn't know where they were going wrong, but they felt unsafe with being able to raise those questions in a public dialogue, or even in a meeting to discuss it. Because when you've been victimized by something, it's easy to want to push back against your perpetrator and to easily bucket everybody into that role, you know, white males, all that. And so when we simplify messages down to and distill them down to just buckets of categories of people, and we throw in too many people that really aren't in there or don't belong in there, but they're too Afraid just like we were talking about, like women in general, like it's too afraid to pull out of the box. And so we keep ourselves contained in that box, because we don't have enough psychological safety. And so when we're addressing things like this, that's why again, I come back to, it's important for all of us to understand where those beliefs may come from. And sometimes we have to have those reflective conversations with ourselves, you know, why is that word triggering for me? Why does it bother me to be accused? That you know, of behaving patriarchy, you know, by patriarchy, like, anybody want to correct me on the pronunciation? You know, why do I feel conflicted and triggered and uncomfortable, you know, with that, and sometimes a person who's been victimized by the system, I think, has to sit there and give some safety for that person to be able to say, like, Listen, I, I feel like this word bothers me. Because, and let them be vulnerable in return. And I think that's how you begin to make that headway. And so, you know, we have big challenges ahead of us, you know, not just in the patriarchy, but also in racism and and with gender bias, and how do we rewrite these rules, and it's too scary sometimes to challenge our belief systems, especially if we didn't mean any harm. And I think that's the biggest thing is by you know, our human nature is not to hurt each other, it's to connect with one another. And if we find that dissonance that we have actually hurt somebody through our lack of information, or our behaviors and our actions, and we didn't mean to, we all become frightened children. I didn't mean to do that, I'm sorry, I didn't do that. And whatever our survival mechanism drilled into us that we know what it is, is what we end up seeing. And we end up really basically fighting against each other's fearful inner child, you know, and that's not woowoo. That's just really the way you know, the neuro behavior and the neuroscience comes comes down to so I don't want to gobble up too much time because I want to hear Melanie and Rachel to be able to talk to it. But like I said, That's why I niched myself into one area, which is if you're having difficulties with that, let's let's take the trauma informed Look at that. Let's understand what our histories and experiences are that have contributed to all of us playing the role in it, and how we can all safely break that rule and allow others to safely break out of their role. I mean, I think that's the other part of this is as well as if we're going to make our changes, we have to also have willingness and grace to let other people do it in a way that they have to be able to do it. And that's authentic to them.
Kate Kordsmeier 22:18
Yeah, so true. And I got chills a couple times when you were speaking. And I just, I think there's, I mean, this is also patriarchal thinking of black or white, and that it either it's, it's one extreme or the other, and you're either an outright misogynist, like Trump, or you are innocent, completely. And it's like, there's so much nuance and gray area in between. And it's the same thing, I think that we saw, especially this last year with racism and feeling like you're either in the KKK, or you're not racist, and there's no middle ground. And now that we're dealing with the nuance, and nuance is really hard, because good people can uphold systems that don't serve everybody and maybe don't even serve themselves. And I do think it's been really hard for a lot of us to really look at our role in that.
Amée Quiriconi 23:07
Absolutely well, and you mean, we haven't been taught those nuances. To me, that's one of the first steps of learning the nuance is, again, it comes down to safety, our default function is to protect ourselves and survive. That's it, right? Like we will stop eating, we will stop doing lots of things, if it means we have to have all of the resources available to survive this. And then once we're in a safe zone, then our next default is to connect, whew, you know, to actually energetically empathetically and relationally connect with other people. And if you can't get to the safe zone first and to recognize safety is to recognize what we all truly fear. And it's not just one thing, it's multiple things that you know, cause fear and anxiety in all of us that make us feel like and if you have more trauma, which about half of us do have fear systems based on traumatic experiences as children, whether they were neglect or abuse, or just, you know, a working mom who was never home, and we had to take care of ourselves, you know, all those things actually contribute to that. And so we don't have models of learning how to do that. And I think to me that that's the big shift that we're seeing is we're recognizing how much gray area that really is. And we all need to start learning how to do that. And so then we need educators willing to be able to show and teach people how to start to do that, so that we can include it into place today. teach it to our children, and then they can teach it to their children, and so on and so forth.
Kate Kordsmeier 24:28
Yeah. Melanie, Rachel, anything to add? Yeah,
Rachel Wynn 24:31
I just wanted to comment on the whole, like, pull yourself up by the bootstraps, we don't need to look at it. Because if we do, we'll be a victim of it. And that's kind of like saying, you know, I know that, you know, the matrix exists, and we're in it, but you know, let's just power through. And it comes back to what Amy was saying is that like, this is internal. And we have to do things externally, because this is a broader system. It's not just a belief pattern. It's also that belief pattern shows up in the way that people get hired in the way that people are given money for their businesses or whether or not they apply for business for business loans, shows up literally everywhere. And we can look at elections, we can look at real estate, and redlining and all of this, like, it's literally in everything. And so you can't just power through, you have to change what's happening inside your brain inside yourself. And you have to work to change what's happening outside. So that, like, we have to be outside of the matrix in order to bring it down. Right? Yeah, I
Kate Kordsmeier 25:37
think a lot of people feel like, there's been so much progress in a lot of these areas. And so okay, we're done. Things are better. So stop whining. Yeah. And there's like, the sense that, again, I think it does come back to that kind of either or, or extreme thinking of black and white have, you know, like, well, there's some women that have been successful. So if they could do it, then all women should be able to do it. And so, you know, sexism doesn't really exist, and the patriarchy isn't real. And I go back to Amy's point of like, why are you so triggered by this? Why is this so hard for you to look at? There's probably something deeper there. And it's not really that you think
Amée Quiriconi 26:18
everything's gravy? Yeah, well, and you know, and the thing is, is that when people have been able to achieve some levels of success, again, we have to go back to where they fortified in other ways, you know, were they fortified with being taught resilience, and being able to overcome, you know, were they fortified with a support system around them in a network that financially helped them or, you know, emotionally, you know, help them, there's a lot of evidence for people that when they are able to achieve success, they didn't just do it alone. And it wasn't just a fluke, that there are contributors that help achieve success. And then there are also you know, some of those things that help achieve success can be very unfair to somebody else. And so, you know, you can't just say one person made it, therefore, everybody else should be able to make it. I mean, again, that's that lack of that nuance of understanding that, what it's gonna take for each of us to get to the pinnacle that we seek is going to be highly dependent on who we are, what we're working with in terms of our toolbox, and the skills that we need to be able to, you know, evolve and develop in ourselves. And, and also make sure that again, like Melanie said, that the system isn't already maligned against us, you know, that we don't have bigger hurdles to have to jump over. And in some cases, with women, I think women are driven to entrepreneurship only because they're, they're sick and tired of the hurdles that exist in the system. So it's just like screw the hurdles, I'm just going to get out of it all together. And that's the leap out, and to building up your own business and your own economy, because you're able to say, Listen, if I can't make it work inside this company that I'm at, or this this industry, then I'm just going to throw it all away and just start over. And I think that that's beautiful and brilliant, you know, to just say I'm just I'm not, I'm not going to accept it anymore. I'm just going to do it myself. Yeah.
Kate Kordsmeier 27:57
Well, one of those hurdles that I think all women deal with is something that Rachel you talk about, which is the invisible labor. And that's whether you're working in corporate or you're an entrepreneur, or you're a stay at home mom, or whatever it could be in between. So can you tell us a little bit about what is invisible labor and kind of how we can cross that hurdle?
Rachel Wynn 28:17
Sure, and I want to clarify, first, there's two different terms kind of floating around right now, which is emotional labor and invisible labor. So I always like to distinguish that those are actually two very different things. emotional labor was a term coined by arlie Hochschild, and she was describing that as the management of feelings and kind of expectations. So think more about back in the day, like, you know, the the smiling bank teller or the polite stewardess kind of managing the feelings of their patrons. So it's kind of what she was talking about. Invisible labor is really different, because it's the, it's basically the endless to do lists that run in the back of your head to run a household or to raise a family. So a lot of the intangible things that happen in a household, so for example, it's not cleaning the toilet, it's remembering that the toilet needs to be clean, it's making sure that there's a toilet cleaner, etc, etc. It's like all the kind of like mini steps that are invisible to get things done. And I think the reason why it's such a problem is that it's, it's been systemically falling on women. And it's just really unfortunate, especially for women in business, or women who are entrepreneurs, you know, working women, because they're kind of expected to come home from work and then do this kind of second shift of all the kind of household and child rearing because by default, it's been put on women. One thing that I like to point out, especially since we're in a global pandemic, where women are being pushed and shoved out of the workplace, especially due to childcare, is that in 1943, so actually a little bit of context. So in World War Two, you know, men were going overseas to fight and that left women back at home with kids, but you know, States needed people working in factories and things like that. So women were expected to work. So then the big question was, Well, what do we do with these kids. And so in 1940, something called the Lanham Act passed. And it's really mind blowing. But basically, back then, a woman could go to work, take her kids to a free childcare, and at the end of her shift, pick up her kids pick up a bag of groceries that they had prepared, and then go home, make dinner and be with her family. So to me, it's really insane. Because, of course, you know, that ended once the war was over. But it's just an example that the government completely has the power to make, being a working woman, or non binary person possible. They just choose not to, because they want to, it's all about, you know, the patriarchy when it comes down to it. And in my view, is the oppression of women and denying them access to power. And I think that's just a really good example of how there is the capacity to take off some of the pressure of being a working parent. But you know, that's just not something that's talked about Nowadays, there is something called a Marshall Plan for moms that's been going around where there's a petition to basically have an emergency kind of situation that help parents and families in this pandemic, but I just, it just makes me really sad that there's not more aggressive legislation going forward to make this problem better. I mean, the invisible labor is something that even on a smaller scale. So for example, I have a partner and he worked full time at a nonprofit. And because I'm an entreprenuer, making less money than he is, I tend to fall and this is very common, I tend to fall into this trap of Oh, well, he's bringing in more income. So I should do more around the house. But you know, that's something that is really kind of insidious, because it's downplaying your power as a business owner. It's just it's, it's equally important to be spending my time working, and generating revenue and making change and helping people then, you know, doing laundry during the day. So, of course, it's pandemic has thrown everything up in the air and working from home and whatnot. But I think what's really important is to ensure that there's an equal division of labor in the home. And that includes all these kind of smaller micro steps. Because if there's any parents out there listening, you know, that if you sign your sign, sign your child up, like your daughter set up for ballet, it's not just like, sign up for ballet, you know, there's a ton of other things associated with that, you need to find the registration forms, check the schedule to see what fits in your schedule, by the ballet outfit, and the ballet shoes, maybe try to meet the teacher, make sure it's a good fit, and figure out like a carpool situation or transportation. I mean, there's just so many steps involved in so many kind of like chores, that just really aren't seen. And so therefore, they're not measured, and it just really falls on the, on the shoulders of women.
Kate Kordsmeier 32:48
Yeah. And it's such like a self fulfilling prophecy, particularly for entrepreneurs, I've had so many friends who have started a business, and then, you know, they'll say, Well, my husband's making more money. And so I'm gonna, you know, it doesn't make sense for me to take time to work on the weekends, because or, you know, whatever it might be, because he's making more money. And so he needs me to be with the kids. I'm like, Well, you know, your business is never gonna make more money. If you continue to say, Well, I can't work on it, because it's not making enough money. And so it's just this vicious cycle that we get trapped in. If for those listening, who do have a partner, how can we ensure the division of household and invisible labor is equitable?
Rachel Wynn 33:33
Yeah, that's a really great question. And I think that it kind of depends on the dynamic of the relationship. And whether there's someone who really likes lists. I'm someone who, who loves lists, and spreadsheets and things like that. So this might sound a little extreme, but basically, what I, so I do consulting on this topic, so I work with couples and individuals who want to learn more about invisible labor, I do events around this. And ultimately, what I recommend is making a master list of all the chores you can think of that are specific to your household, and include the invisible, invisible labor type items in that list. And then basically, this is the funny part, I think, and I think what's really made it work is to go through make a copy of that list. So there's two versions, and then with your separately from your partner, you go through and you rank each item, as I hate this, I don't mind this chore. And I really love this chore. And then you come back together and you compare and then you divvy it up based on what naturally makes sense. So for example, for me, my partner doesn't mind taking out the trash. I hate taking out the trash so I haven't been on my relationship for however many years it's been I have not taken a single bag of trash out. He has not folded a single piece of laundry. And that works for us because I love folding laundry. And so my house I really well I like folding it but picking it up and taking it to the closet is like another step. But I think that it's really trying to find those natural fits and then For the things where you both hated having a discussion about whether you want to rotate it, or if you have the privilege to outsource outsourcing it. So one thing that has been really helpful for us is that, so that here's an example, back when we were living in like a 450 square foot apartment, I mean, I live in DC. And we actually, I don't want to, okay, I'm not placing any shame or blame. But because I don't like cleaning the toilet, that was my partner's job. I noticed it wasn't as clean as I was hoping you could clean it. And I noticed some kind of cut corners and things like that. And so I was like, You know what, let's see if we can find, you know, someone who's already coming to our building that's doing cleaning work for other families, and see if they'll just come and just clean our toilet, which is sounds kind of ridiculous. You know, it ended up being like the whole bathroom, but we paid $40 for someone who was already coming to our building, and he was happy to just stop by and do that one task. And it really, really helped our relationship like it was just one less fight that we had to deal with. And you know, that's a huge privilege to be able to outsource to do things like meal subscriptions and to have, you know, a cleaning team come and help you out. But if you do have the ability to afford it, I think that some of those things can really actually help your relationship if there's something you're constantly fighting over. Yeah.
Kate Kordsmeier 36:29
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I love that you share you know about the micro tasks because even something like meal subscriptions, which my family and I take advantage of quite often. But it's not just oh meals just showed up. It's like, I'm the one that every week I'm getting the email, it comes to my email, I'm getting the email and I'm having to decide, are we going to do it this week or not, then I'm going to have to pick the recipes or the meals that I want. You know, I have to make sure that the payment is all set. Like there's so many little things that go into just something that on the outside looks like you got a meal kit delivered like congratulations on a trophy. And it's like, well, yeah, because it was so much work and all these little things. But something else you brought up and I'd be curious to hear some of the other ladies to what you think about this because this is something that my friends and I have talked a lot about when it comes to having that equal division of labor. A lot of times we'll do something similar, like let's go through a master list of chores or even something a little less official, like let's just have a conversation about something that needs to get done that we're struggling with. And what's come up a lot is that and this is a generalization. Women care more about how things are done than men do. And your example of like, the toilets is such a good example of that. I've had friends where they, you know, well, I want to send certain kinds of food to school with our kids for them to eat and the husband's like, just give him money, and he can eat at the cafeteria. But because she cares more than she's like, so it should fall on you, because I'm fine to just send him here. Have y'all experienced that? Yeah,
Amée Quiriconi 40:24
I think so. I, you know, I, there's not a proud feature of my life, but I've been married a few times. And there has been some consistency in some of that. And I think it comes back to, you know, it comes back to our grooming, or social grooming and our gender grooming when we were children, is we're witnessing that as an expected behavior as an expected outcome. We're taught that it's our responsibility to do that. And if we were daughters in the family, sometimes we learned by being many mothers on how to be able to do that. Whereas boys are sent out to the yard and they grow up into men who that they have a lower expectation for it. So then when it becomes something, and I would say, and I agree with you, it's an overgeneralization because there are some men who really love to have clean bathrooms and clean toilets, because it's disgusting, right. But the of the overall sense of priority establishment to something like a household duty comes back to, again, the modeling, in the end, what we've been taught, it's not like some biological difference between us, it's simply what we've been told. And if men have not been shown to take pride in household duties and the outcomes, and that there's a responsibility on their shoulders as well, to do that, it's just it's not as important to them is the other things that they were told to really give a crap about, which could be their cars. I mean, I'm just gonna throw out all the gender norms, you know, the yard work for every guy that I know that, you know, couldn't clean a toilet, he was hyper vigilant about how well the lawn was cut. I mean, that's the trade off right there. Right. So yeah, and I think it's it, you know, it's less again, the biology and more of like, what are we teaching? You know, why is it important today to teach our sons daughters, non binary children, that, you know, gender is not associated with what needs to be done in the house, to get, you know, to get us up in the morning to get us food on the table and to get out the door and do whatever we want to do with our lives?
Rachel Wynn 42:09
Yeah, I call it a learned helplessness. And it's, it's something that's interesting, because sometimes we can potentially blame our partners, because maybe they just don't make an effort. But maybe they just really have never had the experience or know to do something. So like, for example, I remember. It was like, the one time I got really frustrated with my partner, I asked him to clean out the fridge. And to me that like, is very straightforward. Like, you know, and so he's like, Well, what do you mean by that? I'm like, Oh, okay. I was like, take everything out, wipe down all the shells, and then put everything back in, throw out anything that's bad or old. I mean, it's like, Okay, and so I'm like, working at my computer. Again, this is my small, my older, smaller partner. So I was like, in the corner, and he was in the kitchen. And so it was working, working, working. He's like, what do I use to clean the shells? And I was like, the, the cleaning spray, and paper towels would be fine. He's like, Okay, I'm like, Okay, great. working, working, working. Like I'm like typing the podcast, I'm like, typing with my, my fingers in the air. And then he asked me again, he's like, you want me to take everything out of the fridge? And I was like, Yes, everything. And he's like, Okay, and so then I'm like, back to work. I mean, it's like, How do I know something is bad? And I was like, I like, freaked out. I was like, use your nose? Like, are you serious? Like why? And I think this is a really good example. Because it's the kind of situation where someone, like, I might just decide, you know what, I'm going to be in charge to clean the fridge From now on, because obviously, you don't know how to do it. But you know, when I talked to him about it, he had never cleaned out a fridge before. And that's something that I learned when I was probably like, I don't know, eight or nine when I was a quote, unquote, mother's helper, where I was taught how to clean out a fridge. And so it's interesting, because sometimes they are culpable. But sometimes they really just don't know. And it's part of that invisible labor. You know, how is the fridge always been cleaned all the time? You know, you know what I mean? And so I think that varies, right? So, exactly. So I think there's just a really good example that sometimes we do need to be because we've been gender because we are referring to women and heterosexual relationships have been gendered to be the caretakers and to be the ones with their eyes open always looking for, you know, things to pick up or clean, we've been gender to do that. A lot of men haven't. And that creates a problem because it seems like they have this kind of like blinders on. Or like they're blind to certain things. And so it's kind of unfortunately up to us to gently guide them into the future and and to show them how to do things. And then the big thing that I argue in my invisible labor work is to then this is the hardest thing to do. But let them do the task and be okay with it. Like when my partner started emptying out the dishwasher and putting dishes haphazardly, everywhere. You know, the forks and spoons, just kind of like that. Every everything I kind of freaked out. But then I was like, well, would I rather spend my time doing that, or just have it his way. And I was like, you know what I'd rather just not care. And so I think it's releasing control. Because, again, in heterosexual relationships, sometimes women do need to kind of release, well, any relationship, release the control and let their partner do it their way. And just be okay with that, because at least it's not taking up your time. Yeah,
Melanie Childers 45:24
I was gonna say, like, this is a big thing that I helped a lot of my clients with is like, because we're, when we're bringing this back to our business and a lot of us are working from home, is that we have to establish boundaries in our mind, that are like, okay, during my work hours are, you know, nine to five, or 10, to sex or whatever, and I'm not doing laundry during work time. And if he does laundry, it's okay for him to do it his way. And so it's like creating boundaries, and then sticking to your own boundaries, and allowing whatever happens to be okay. It's like, if he, like if he puts the dishes everywhere, okay. Like, I think there's an element of like, releasing control and letting go of whatever happens happens, and we'll deal with it. But like, when you're bringing your brain to your business every day, and setting those boundaries with the person that you love and the person that you live with. It's so important to be able to have those in your mind and know, okay, I know that laundry needs to get done. I know that grocery shopping has to happen. But I'm at work. And I'm going to work on my work, right here. And this time, and it's okay, if he does it. It's okay, if he does it wrong. It's okay, if he has thoughts and opinions about the fact that I'm working. This is my work time and my business is important. And valuing your time and your mental space as much as you value everyone else's, is like one of the keys to like your business growth and having the business that you want to have. Yeah,
Kate Kordsmeier 46:56
totally. And I think there's something to the learned helplessness of so the first time that he unloaded the dishwasher, everything was all over the place, because he's never done it before. And he doesn't even know to care. But I bet if you continue to let him do it without intervention for a few months, all of a sudden, he's gonna start to be like, Well, you know, it doesn't really make sense to load the dishwasher this way. Because actually, what I've seen, now that I've done it is bowls don't go face up, that makes no sense. You know, like, there's things like that, that we think will he'll never learn if I don't step in and tell him how to do it right, or criticize how he's doing it or show him the light in my way. But actually, it is like, don't let them continue being helpless, like let them learn the lessons that we learned because we didn't come out of the box, knowing how to load and unload the dishwasher. It was something we learned by doing. And I think you know, the pandemic has changed this dynamic about working from home for a lot of people, because now so many men who have and women who have been used to working in office were forced to be at home. But I can remember when I first started working from home, which was now like 11 years ago, at the time, my husband, boyfriend at the time now husband, he would come home and be like, well, you are home today, why are there dishes in the sink? Or why didn't the laundry get done? And I think it's exactly what you're saying, Melanie of like, because there I hadn't establish those boundaries, like yes, I was home, but I wasn't home twiddling my thumbs or I wasn't home to do housework. I was home working. And I had to really set those boundaries in the beginning. And it's hard because I think we're so taught, especially as women, well, you give everything of yourself to away, and you know, at the expense of your own self. And it was like I was never going to create a successful business. If I was stuck in that paradigm of thinking, Well, I'm the woman and I'm at home. So I need to be taking care of this stuff. Instead of doing my, my actual work.
Melanie Childers 48:50
Yeah, and I just want to say that I feel like a lot of the time we put a ton of pressure on ourselves. Like I remember, I invited over my partner's relatives, and on a Friday night for dinner, and we had gone to their house for like Russia Shauna. So I'm used to like seeing them in this big kind of feast context. And so then, the day before, the mom was like, Hey, can we bring hollow bread? It's Shabbat. She gets up every Friday like our daughter gets every Friday. I like freaked out. I was like, Oh my god, wait, Shabbat dinner. Like what exactly does that mean? What do I need to do? And I made this like, elaborate feast and like, was literally dripping with sweat by the time they got home and my partner had worked late. So when he came in, I was like a dragon like screaming at him because I had done all this work. And like, maybe during Yeah, during the dinner, the dad was like, oh, wow, this is like so nice. Like that done. He's like, we would have been happy with pizza. I was just like, smile grimacing, like, Why? Why did I do that? I think it's just that remembering that we don't need to be perfect. We don't need to put as much pressure on ourselves that we do. And I think that that's kind of a part of undoing some of what we've learned is just not getting so worked up to be kind of showing off this perfect household or this perfect dinner. Like I think we put a lot of pressure on ourselves, because that's what society has told us to do. Like, when my friends come over, I like freak out. And I'm like cleaning. And it's just like, why? And it's just like, Oh, well, I don't want them to think that we're just complete slobs. And also I know that deep down, if they were going to judge someone for a messy home, it would be neat. Not that they necessarily would. But just because you know, the house is the is the woman's domain, you know, so just want to kind of point that out.
Kate Kordsmeier 50:32
Yeah, it just reminds me of Mother's Day, just passed last month, and my husband has a mother. And she's my mother in law. And but I also have a mother and I was like, I'm going to do my mom, Mother's Day, you're going to do your mom's Mother's Day gift. And you know, lo and behold, it's Mother's Day. I'm like, What did you do for your mom's like, I haven't done anything yet. Like, this reflects poorly on me. This look, now your mother is going to say Kate didn't get her shit together to get this, you know, and I'm like, it's even women doing it to each other. But it is like when you just said, deep down, we feel like it's a reflection on us. Not on the couple as a whole not on the family. And yeah, it is there's still so much of that pressure placed on us. And I want to go back, Melanie, to what you shared about setting and maintaining boundaries. And I think this goes hand in hand with kind of how do we have success without overworking and boundaries setting being a big piece of that. Can you talk both? I know now, we've talked kind of about boundaries at home, but how about boundaries in our business, and what kind of boundaries we can set to protect our own energy and time and selves and all that?
Melanie Childers 51:46
Well, the way that I sort of think about it is like I establish at the beginning of the week, like or even sometimes monthly because I have a lot of projects going on, like how much time am I going to give a variety of things. And then I always plan my free time first. So that I know, I'm going down, that's part of my reward. The way that I think about it is like, but but I don't mean just the weekend. I also mean, I'm taking a free 30 minutes today to take myself for a walk, or to go get myself a coffee, or to just go take a nap. And so I think like, to me, hustle is not just the activities that we do in our business, it's a mindset, it's coming from anxiety and pressure to go faster, and do more. And what I actually tell people to do is do less and constrain with more confidence. And so when we're thinking about like creating boundaries in your business, like I establish ahead of time, you know, what am I working on this week? Or this month? How much time am I willing to give it? And how much you know, what are my red flags, like if I'm working over 60 hours, that's a giant red flag, like, oh, something has to change here. And I have to give myself the equivalent rest time if I worked too much. And so maybe that looks like if this week, I'm intentionally working 60 hours. Because I'm working on a project next week, I have to take the equivalent time off that I took over, just to get because your body needs rest your brain needs rest, like the business that I say like you are the asset of the business that doesn't run without you. If you aren't taking care of it, if you aren't maintaining your own boundaries, everything can fall apart really quickly. And you can find yourself exhausted and adrenal fatigue and like middle fingers up. So the whole thing is, it's like that, that starts with the way that you're thinking about your time and about your energy and about success. And are you in a big hurry to get there? Are you doing a lot of busy work that will actually help you get there. And like once you start looking through your calendar and your to do list and projects and priorities is like we need to make sure that the first things that are happening, are you taking care of yourself and the money making activities?
Kate Kordsmeier 54:09
Yeah. Why do you think rest and leisure time is an act of act of defiance towards the patriarchy. Lord? Do you? I do. I do I have so much to say about in jump into? Yeah, absolutely. I
Melanie Childers 54:29
mean, what we have been trained to believe is that our work is proof of our worth. So if we want to be worth more and to make more, we must work harder and work more. And that's why I see so many clients come to me who are like, yeah, sure, I want to make a million dollars. But that's going to be a lot of work. That's going to take a lot out of me. And what they don't realize is actually the opposite is true that constraining and creating a sustainable way to work is the way to make a lot more money and simplify But yeah, I mean, I think that the whole system is like a get, especially for entrepreneurs, like I've seen this mean, that's like, haha, you thought entrepreneurship would mean more freedom, you just didn't realize that meant like, every now and then you're going to be working till 3am every day, every night. And it's like, no, it doesn't have to be that way. But we are trained in this culture, that that's what it's supposed to look like in order to be successful. And so prioritizing rest, and prioritizing yourself and your body as an asset is an act of resistance in the face of that, because I just don't think that the cultural norm is that we should rest the cultural norm is no, no, you're supposed to get it, you're supposed to work harder you're supposed to, and then glorify the hell out of how hard you work in spite of it all. And I was successful, you know, in spite of everybody who thought I couldn't be because I work so hard. It's like, but to what is you we're not here to create a business to work yourself until you die. That was not the point of what are we doing?
Kate Kordsmeier 56:05
Right at the expense of ourselves? Exactly. I mean, I have to stop myself even sometimes now and say, Why are you doing this? What do you really want, you know, like, if what you want is a certain lifestyle, then push your deadlines back, take time to rest, like nothing is as urgent as we are taught to believe. I mean, everything is an emergency and patriarchy. And it's like, you have to do it now. And you really had to do it yesterday. And so now you're behind, and you got to hustle, hustle, hustle. And I think I'd love to ask you this to me, because you focus so much on starting businesses. And I think I struggled with this when I was first starting my business too. And you know that you are not your business, it does not define your worth. But when you're just getting started, maybe you haven't even made any money yet. And I really was like, Wow, well, I'm worth zero, because my business is making zero. And it was really, really hard. Especially if you go from like, I used to make x, you know, I used to have this successful career working for somebody else. And now I'm nothing, huh? Yeah. Well,
Amée Quiriconi 57:11
and, you know, it's so all the feelings that come with all of that, right? Because you're like, Okay, I need to I need to pay bills, I need to make sure that you know, I'm not sinking here financially, I began to detach value from the dollars in the bank account with the, you know, am I am I living with the purpose? Am I pursuing something that has meaning Am I is there do I feel like my best gifts and talents are being utilized, because it doesn't matter how much money you make, if it doesn't have any fulfillment for you, and you don't feel like you're actually doing something that makes you feel good, you can be paid a million dollars to do a really lousy job and still feel like you're worthless, and, and valuable. But patience is really hard. And I know, I've seen this also, you know, some of the group stuff that you know, we do together on Facebook and stuff where scarcity really does drive mindsets in the beginning, because sometimes we were attracted to the field of entrepreneurship, because we're trying to solve a pain in our life. You know, I mentioned that entrepreneurship can be a way of getting around the hurdles that exists for us professionally, which is why some women go into it, but then a lot of women also and then I want to say this, people will just use the people word to be inclusive here, you know, a lot of people then feel a pinch, you know, a pain, a lack of resource, a lack of time, whatever it may be, and they think that entrepreneurship tomorrow is going to deliver them to the glory land. And, and so then when they don't achieve it by tomorrow, or next week, or in six months, that just overwhelming feels of failure, you know, you'll land on top of them. And entrepreneurship is a patient game. It's not an instantaneous, it's, you know, it's like winning the lottery, you know, that just doesn't it's one in a million or whatever statistic you want to look at. Hitting a homerun at your first at bat also never happens. You know, occasionally somebody pulls it all off. But if you don't understand what's really driving you to reach out for your own self employment in this own life that you see. And, and if it's not, because you want to do something that gives you freedom and peace, but you're trying to solve scarcity and fear. You know, it's going to be very frightening, especially when you can't solve that. And that's why I speak to that inner world first, which I know you know, Melanie and Rachel, you know, we we talked about that, you know, with people that we work with that you have to feel very again, come back to safety, you have to feel safe. And if you feel like you're starting an entrepreneurship because you're in an unsafe place, and you're trying to get safety entrepreneurship is not going to make you safe. Entrepreneurship is frightening. It's scary. its ups and downs. It's a roller coaster. It's amazing. If you love roller coasters, it's sickening if you hate them, you know and sometimes Oh, right. Right, right. So if you're going to go into the field of entrepreneurship safety is the first thing you have to establish whether that's emotional support safety, or if it's financial safety. And because the the the work itself is going to feel very unsafe for a while, and that's where you know, the resilience comes in, it's worth saving money ahead of time before you get started. So that you can handle not having, you know, the income. And, and one of the challenges that some people have, and in particular women do have statistically shown, is not feeling comfortable with money to begin with. And if you're going to go into entrepreneurship, and you can't get comfortable with every dollar and cent coming in and out of your household, and that's one of those household labors that actually sometimes doesn't fall on women, but actually falls on men and relationships, paying the bills, running the money, having the bank account, asking for the money to pay the bills that need to be paid, not worrying about whether or not the insurance is being paid, or the audio insurance or any of that other stuff. And that's got to be one of the first things that you really get a grasp on and be okay with. Because if you're not okay with your, with your relationship with money and finances, you're going to be deferring those benefits, because that's part of the mindset of like, well, I'm just not making enough. So therefore, I'm not going to put enough energy into it, you, you don't have a good relationship with money to begin with. You have given it no value in your life, and you haven't seen the possibilities, the potential for you. And I think that in the in the early stages, that's the first love affair that you have to have with the idea and the and the purpose you're going for. You have to love making money. And if you don't love making money, figure out why you don't love making money first, because you'll never make it, you'll push it off, you'll delay it, you'll sabotage everything that you could be doing to get to it. Until you understand that. Yeah. I mean,
Kate Kordsmeier 1:01:42
yes, there's and there's so many students even I know, you've seen as a member of the six figure blogger Academy that really struggle with that piece. I mean, we all struggle with the patient's piece and, you know, scarcity mindset, but I think there's a lot of women in my group in particular, that their husbands gave them permission to buy the course, and our you know, maybe even have them on some type of allowance, or some way of like, this is what you're allowed to spend on your business. And they're kind of in the driver's seat. And, yeah, it's really painful to watch. And, you know, it's like, I don't want to, I'm not gonna step into your marriage and try to try to work this out for you. But it does feel like there's a lot of money mindset stuff. And I think it comes again, back to what we've shared already of what are women taught, women are not taught how to manage their finances, that is not something, you know, like, that's just not something that we're raised.
Amée Quiriconi 1:02:39
Doing. So it's the patriarchy right there. That's the patriot act right there. And that was one of the things that even as a business owner, myself, I still played into that I had a business partner, who I liked. And I'd say aloud, that convinced me I shouldn't be making the most money in the company, even though I was the CEO. And then I had a husband for a period of time when I started my own company, and he, I let him run the books for my business. And I never received a salary. And it was used as a manipulative tool, like, well, the business is making this money, but we don't have enough to pay you. And so then it put me in and I have like, in my personal history, you know, with the, with the relationships, you know, financial abuse, from being taught at a very early age, that the work I did for the family was what I was supposed to do. And when I asked for an allowance, it wasn't allowed, we don't have money for that we can't afford that you just need to work anyways and not get paid. And believe it or not, people can start companies and still never believe that they're worth anything. And they should be getting a paycheck for any of the work that they do, especially women more so women because of that messaging. And like I said, you can be a woman who can start and you know, a nationwide distributed manufacturing business and run it for 10 years, and not get as much as what you should be because of playing out the patriarchy in your head. And then having that end up leading you to financial ruin really honestly.
Kate Kordsmeier 1:04:03
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So on the topic of money, I know Rachel, this is something that you talk about your feminist agenda. And I think toxic capitalism is something that we've really started to see a lot of. And Rachel, you started the episode self identifying as a democratic socialist, and talking about how it's hard for these, you're also a capitalist, though, and how do these identities coexist? And maybe it comes back again to like, because there's not black and white thinking? And it's not either or, but can you share some of the most like important tenants from this? And how, how can we be both a socialist feminist or even a conscious capitalist?
Rachel Wynn 1:06:27
Definitely, I think that one of the biggest things when it really comes down to is understanding that in our country, we worship capitalism, unfortunately, it's basically a religion. And I think that we have to remember that millionaires, billionaires, it's near impossible to get to that point, without the exploitation of others. And that's a huge problem. So I think that one of the biggest things that I focus on in my own business is that I treat my team members as if they were team members, as if they're people, they have children, they have hobbies, they have lives. And I ask them about those things. And I know their birthdays and their anniversaries, and I treat them like humans. And that has made us a stronger team. Because of that, I think it's also really important to be paying your team members, employees or contractors, ethically, making sure if you're using overseas labor, that you're paying an ethical wage, for example, I think that it's just really important to remember that capitalism relies on the exploitation of others. And that's something that democratic socialists are vehemently against. So I think it's just really important to really make sure you're running your business in an ethical way that isn't going to be oppressing other people. So I think that's what for me, what it really comes down to is treating the people I work with, like, like actual humans, you know, for example, a company that's not doing that Amazon, for example. And, and just making sure that they're being paid appropriately and for their worth. And one thing that I would just like a kind of random business tip that's sort of related to this topic is one thing I learned really quickly when I started out, I'm a service based entrepreneur, is that hourly work, in my opinion, depending on the type of industry you're in, punishes efficiency. And so one of the things that I did in my business that really stabilize my finances was I stopped charging hourly, and instead, I started charging monthly packages. And further than that, I made a pretty clear boundary that I need, if you want to pay by cheque or whatever you need to pay by this date. Otherwise, I have very, very strict, I think it's like three 3% of the total amount per per late day, which is very aggressive. But you know, freelancers in America owed millions and millions of dollars. And I was like, I refuse to have that happen to me. So I said, push all of my clients to do automatic billing, which is something that as a business owner, you can legally do, and get their credit card information, their bank information, obviously, securely. And you can have, take control over making sure you're getting paid. So just kind of to kind of tie all these topics together. We're talking about boundaries and things like that. For service based entrepreneurs. It's so important to have like a welcome packet, for example, that outlines your boundaries like your your work hours, like, No, I don't do texting, you can email me, you can schedule calls. But one of the biggest things that really made an impact on my business financially was automatic billing. And I had a client who I think for three months in a row, they were late, it was actually a corporate hotel. So I don't know what was going on with that. And people that can never be made that are like really come on, right so I let them do checks because I wasn't as worried because I knew that they had money. But for the third month in a row, they were late and I was finally like okay, well it's time to pull up my contract and start charging late fees and so I ended up charging them camber how many days late it was it's a total of $800 in late fees. And so after they had finally I finally gotten that check, I sent them an invoice and was like, oh, here's the charge for the late fees since you know it was X number of days late and they're like what, but I'm like Yeah, it's in my contract. You know, I did two months of grace with, you know, reminders about our policy. And so what happened after that, they paid that. And then they immediately switched a credit card, which they somehow weren't able to do before, but now they could. And but that's interesting to that. So I think a lot of women, myself included, would be afraid that if I send this, they're going to leave and they're not like, that will be the last bill they
ever. That was not pace. Yeah, it's a really, I mean, it was, obviously for me personally, it was terrifying move. I was like, What if they're mad, like, what if, but then I was just like, no, they signed a contract with these terms. And I need to to push my authority, like, it's a huge boss, we have to charge late fees. And I feel like as women, it's something that's really hard, you know, like, obviously, it's situational. Like, if someone's having life circumstances, you know, obviously be flexible to that. But if you know, they have the money, and they're just kind of being lazy, or just not setting up your schedule, right, then you need to kind of make sure that you're getting paid on time. But ultimately, charging automatically just made it possible for me to actually have income I could depend on. And that really stabilized my business and helped me to flourish and get to my first 100,000 in revenue. So I think it's just really important to remember that sometimes maybe hourly work makes sense. But to me, that punishes how quickly you're working in a service based industry. Love it. Y'all want to share any thoughts you have about capitalism? And
Melanie Childers 1:11:25
yeah, like, it's an it's an important topic. But I also think, like, a lot of women are so afraid to charge their worth and so afraid to charge for their services. And so they tend to give a lot of things away for free, and think, well, but other people can't afford it. And I want to serve everybody. And I think like we forget that, yes, unfortunately, we live in this society where money is power. And that just is the way that it is right now. And if we want to change that, we have to make money and be able to give it away. Like we can't just give from an empty cup. Like I have a lot of clients come to me and they're like, okay, but what about the people who can't afford my services, and I'm like, okay, so always have something that you give for free, that's already created that you can hand them. But you can't serve the masses, at a big, highest super high level and give a lot of weight to the masses for free, if you are also taking care of you and your company and your team. And so, yeah, we tend to think like, Oh, well, I don't want to make money, it's not okay for me to make money, I don't want to charge too much for my things, because then a lot of people can't afford it. And it's like, hold on, let's, let's streamline that, you know, let's talk to the people who can afford it, charge what you need to charge in order to build your business and in order to pay yourself. And in order to pay your team and in order to be able then to give back to the community that you love and want to get back to and serve.
Kate Kordsmeier 1:12:54
Yeah, seems like the definition of patriarchy in this context is like under charge and over deliver at that's what I see so many women in my groups doing and, yeah, it's just unlearning that that's we deserve to be paid for our work. And that's going
Amée Quiriconi 1:13:12
to be hard, because it's going to be deep, deep rooted. A again, it's the it's the grooming from day one, you know, of kindness, compassion, collaboration, you know, those are not bad things, right? But they are, they are what we were taught to do to give to our family first, right. And we spent the first several years of our life giving that to the family. And you know, and playing that role. So it becomes it's a deep rut in our brain in our thinking and our mindset that is very hard to overcome. And that fear of being rejected is the fear of, if you stood up in your family as the daughter or the girl and said something about it, how were you treated in response to it, and likely, a woman with confidence, who doesn't have that fear of being able to be assertive? hasn't had the blowback blow up in her face? So that's not lady like boys aren't gonna like you, if you talk that way. You know, no, you know, you have to, like, this is what we do. This is how women behave. Whereas boys are never given those messages. You know, and it allows them to just feel more entitled to everything because they've been told that they are, you know, and so, you know, it's, you know, we still have we have these two feet, right? Like, you guys are helping address the fact that the system, we all learned it. So we're all playing the role in the system. We're all actors in the theater in the movie that we all hate right now. But we don't know how to stop that. So we have to realize that the system needs that awareness and then each individual inside of it needs to walk off the stage, you know, and move on with it. But it won't be easy. I mean, to me, for a person who has that, like who's been through financial abuse, who's grown up with all of these, you know, these messages and stuff, being aware I was replicating it, even though I didn't want to. It's a daily conscious effort. I'm terrified every time I have to say something when somebody asked me yesterday, what's your fee for half day, the first thing I felt was in my chest to shutter Oh my God, if I give him the wrong answer, he won't hire me. And I know better. But the fear is such a deep root, that it's just, it's going to be there for a while until the practice happens. And that there, you realize there are communities like, you know, what Melanie does, there are people that will pay you for that, you have to believe you belong in that community with them, you know, and that it's not your job to take care of the world, even though somebody told you that was your job when you were little.
Rachel Wynn 1:15:26
And to my point that you made earlier about paying yourself, it's so so important to do that. And maybe in the beginning, you don't actually have the funds to pay yourself, like you're just making ends meet. But once you're profitable, you have to prioritize paying yourself first. And, you know, I've been in business since 2015. It was only in I think it was like September, October of last year, I was talking to a colleague, I was I was talking to her about my finances. My name is actually Maggie, and she runs a company called pep talk her, then she's just like, so lovely. And she, she was like you're making how much a month. She's like, you need to double your salary. And I was like, What? And she's like, you need to double your salary starting next month. And I was like, Oh, okay. Because I had sort of a scarcity mindset. And I was like, Oh, I need to, like leave a lot of money in my bit in my business accounts in case something happened. But you know, something happened, and I lose clients. And then I would have to, you know, let go of team members. Like, it'd be like a ripple effect, it wouldn't be this big disaster. And so what I did is I doubled my salary. And what that enabled me to do is finally little embarrassing at 31. Finally, max out my Roth IRA for the first time, and to actually be able to set aside money for household savings for future family like it, suddenly, it made me appreciate my business a lot more, because it was suddenly paying me what I was worth. And it's just like crazy. Because like, it's my own company, you know, so just don't be a martyr to your business. Make sure that you're paying yourself first and taking care of your needs. Once you're profitable. Oh, yes. You're clapping and cheering, like, yes. Yeah, don't be a martyr to your own business. I sadly, was that exactly for several years and had this same experience. And it's like, I was paying everybody else. I was taking care of everybody else. And then in the, you know, I'm doing all these income reports about what my business is making to show other women what's possible, but then not what nobody saw is, but what was I taking home, it was like, minimum wage, you know, and then that's, again, going back to Melanie's point earlier, like, why am I doing this, if not, to take care of myself and create a life that works for me. So I did the same thing and finally doubled my salary and was like, Okay, I'm gonna pay myself a legitimate living wage and, and stop like, because if you start resenting people, even though it's your choice, like it was my choice to pay my team instead of paying myself, but then I was resenting them and like, you know, and it was such a toxic environment, then. Mm hmm.
Melanie Childers 1:17:58
Well, I think that's why it's so important that we, as women have to talk about making money, and talk about having money, and talk about how much we're making and how much we that because that was why we went into this to begin with, you know, like, yes, the freedom but also to make money. And like, for me, it's to make money and to be able to give back to the political causes that I care so much about the nonprofits and the politicians, and, like, I want to be able to move that needle on a national level. And so yeah, we're talking about making a lot of money, because we're talking about making a big difference. But if we have shame about it, or if we're doing things that make us then resent our business, what why are we creating a business that we that we resent, or that we don't like working in or that we have negative feelings about? That was not? Right.
Kate Kordsmeier 1:18:45
Yeah. And that's a mantra for almost all of the last few years I've had to tell myself on a daily basis is, the more money I make, the more good I can do in the world. Because I think we're so conditioned to feel like, wanting money is selfish and greedy. And all the other negative things. Yeah. So we kind of just touched on team and I know we're coming up on the end here, but I'd love to just go a little bit deeper with building a team through this lens, you know, how do we do it differently in this more feminist, equitable, inclusive way, anybody have some practical tips they want to share?
Amée Quiriconi 1:19:23
Well, so building a team in a, you know, in an inclusive way, like I, one of the things that I did, as a business consultant, you know, just kind of, you know, out of, you know, out of the range there is, you know, we have so many unique experiences, but we also have so many unique behaviors and drives. And I think that going with intention of being able to align people to fit the role and the responsibility that you actually want. And that's another part of like a strategy, that if you, you know, go back to this, a lot of entrepreneurs didn't go to business school. We earned our experience by working in a field In an industry being, you know, being exposed to it from the ground up and learning as we go, you know, you've Kate journalism, right? Like, that's where you came from. And so we do miss out on that there are some strategic things that we can do from, you know, a business perspective. And one of them would be to think about, like, what does your organization look like? What is the outcome in a strategy you want this organization to do? Like, what are the services or the products you're giving out to it, and what kind of people will it take to be able to do that at the at the magnitude that you want, and you know, there are tools out there, you know, that's one of the things that I work with companies on is then you decide like, are you understand what kind of person is going to thrive in that seat, because that's one of the things that we have to understand about ourselves is that, you know, I'm a person who's big on visions, I can deal with changing situations, but you know, give me a task list of a lot of detailed work to do, and I want to poke my eyes out, while some people are really good at that. And then when you put them in ambiguous situations, they panic and freak and anxiety levels crop up. And so when you start to see that, like, my team needs people that can do this type of work, and I need people that can do this type of work. And then you go out with intention to recruit and attract the people that are going to fit into their seats the best, believe it or not, you actually end up with the strength of the team that's able to achieve the strategy that you want. And part of that is is, you know, is understanding that we are all different human beings, we all have different experiences, we all have different skills, and we all have different drives and needs that we are driven to do on a day to day basis. And I know that doesn't sound super sexy, or anything like that. But we tend to organize companies, especially as we're building them as we go without really thinking about whether or not the person who needs to do this work, like the social media coordinator, actually is going to be the person who's going to feel really good day in and day out about doing posts and content development and, and engaging, you know, and collaborating with people through the medium. We take it on ourselves, maybe because we have to, and then we don't think about the next person who needs to fill that role. And again, that level of strategic thinking early on, and you maybe you don't have all the answers, that's the other part of entrepreneurship, right? day one, you have no idea, you're gonna you're feeling your way through it, you know, I call it swashbuckling. You know, we're just kind of guys. But at some point, you have to be able to sit yourself down, and you have to be able to sit there and think like, I'm ready to take this next level. That's where coaches are wonderful for that, you know, to be able to help get that alignment. And to sit there and go, Okay, now we're going to start thinking like a mogul, you know, we're going to get out of our side, hustle, hobby hobby mindset here, and we're right now we're going to put our mobile cap on, and we're really going to crush this. And, and not everybody knows how to do that, and has learned how to do that. But it's vital to be able to take that next step before you bring on other people so that it has so much intention and power. And you can align everybody in the right role at the right time.
Kate Kordsmeier 1:22:50
Rachel Wynn 1:22:50
definitely. I think that one thing that I personally think is really important to understand about entrepreneurship is that if you want to grow and scale, you cannot do it alone. Like it's I don't know, I don't know if I've heard of anyone who's been able to do it completely alone and get to a certain point. And at some point, you will have to give up some control and to figure out what you can delegate. And I'm a personal believer that anything that doesn't require your your face or your brain or your specific skill set needs to be taken off your plate. And I think that one of the important things in building a team, like I mean, saying is that when you are hiring people to make sure that they're really a good fit for the type of work. One thing I do with my team is I check in maybe like once a quarter, or at least a few times a year and just say hey, like, you know, how are you feeling about your tasks about your workload, first off? And then how are you feeling about the tasks you're doing? Are there any that you're just really not into anymore, and just kind of like shuffling things around to make sure that everyone's happy with the work that they're doing. Because as an entrepreneur, and as the boss, you have the power to do that. So I think that it's really critical to remember and this is what I help folks with through coaching is figuring out like, when does it make sense to have that first hire? What can I afford? And then how do I delegate because delegating is hard, especially if you're like a type a perfectionist, who has a hard time releasing control. I know a lot of people identify with that. So I think it's just really critical to have someone to help guide you if you're really not sure I kind of just laggard my way through it. But you don't have to do it alone. You are able to find resources like working with Melanie or myself to help you really figure out you know, how do I grow this business in a sustainable way that's going to allow me to still have the lifestyle I want. One of the decisions that I made pretty consciously is that I value kind of freedom in my day. And so I delegated the vast majority of all of my work to my team members, I made the conscious choice to make less money so that I would actually have more freedom in my day because that's what I wanted. I want to have a family and when I do I think I want to be a full time mom and be working as well because I don't want I live in DC I don't want to pay $2,000 a month for someone else to watch my infant And I think that, you know, being able to know what what's important to you in life is really critical. You know, for some, maybe it is getting to millionaire status, or it's being able to go on vacations with your family, it's figuring out what do you value and then building your business around that to support that lifestyle. And I think that's really important. Yeah.
Melanie Childers 1:25:22
Well, and I'm in that place where next year, I'll be hiring my own team. And right now I'm working with contractors. But I think, you know, when I'm thinking about my business, I'm always looking for people who don't look like me, who don't have the same perspective as me. Like, I love my white hetero friends, but I'm not gonna necessarily hire them. Because like, I want a wide range of perspectives and feedback to make sure that, you know, I'm staying in my lane and being the person I actually want to be in my business and having the impact that I actually want to have. And I can't do that in the silo of people who look like me and who are just like me. And I think that you know, what you both said about delegating is so vital, because that is the one thing that we're like, wait, but I know exactly how to do this exactly the way that I want it done. If I hand it to somebody else, they'll do it wrong. And part of our work as we're scaling and growing as entrepreneurs is to streamline our activities to exactly what Rachel just said, like, if it doesn't need your face or your brain, you have to hand it to somebody else. And that might mean the discomfort of allowing that other person to make mistakes. And coming back in just like with the dishwasher. Like, sometimes we have to teach them how to do how we want it done, or hand them some sort of manual for like, here's how I would like it done and allow them the space to make mistakes, and treat them like a human being. And ultimately, what I teach my clients like right at the beginning is like, that has to start with the relationship that you have with yourself. Because if you are mean to yourself and your own mind, if you are harshly judging yourself all the time, if you are, you know, beating yourself, you know, to get to a goal you're going to that's going to flow out into everybody that works for you. It's just part of the mindset. And so your relationship with yourself, and being on your own team and being a good boss to you, is so absolutely vital, because it will dictate all the relationships that come after that. Yeah, one of my coaches recently just posted this training on on building a team and she's like, step one, go to therapy.
Kate Kordsmeier 1:27:32
Yes, that is so true. I feel like I've had so much therapy, just working on my own shit, because I'm going to project it onto everybody else that works for me.
Amée Quiriconi 1:27:42
Well, entrepreneurship is audacity, you know, I mean, to be honest with you to you know, you, you know, we all woke up and said, I can do this, I've got a better way of doing this, like, and so I'm gonna, I'm going to do this right. And that audacity to, you know, to take that first step, and to decide that you're going to be your own boss, you're going to start your own company, you know, whatever it is, is also then, you know, our greatest strength, but it also can't be our greatest weakness because that audacity then means that I only know how to do it my way, I don't need anybody else to do it, no one can possibly see this vision as well as I do, and why, you know, entrepreneurs tend to, and I'm not making this a men or women thing. I mean, it's a it's an entrepreneurial skill, that makes it hard to bring in the help to do it, because you know, you have it, I'll just say that you got this little thing, and he was like, what somebody else could have done it, they would have done it already. And they didn't. And that's why I'm doing it. So obviously, you know, I know. And you have to get in touch with that voice. Because that voices, you know, is amazing, right? Because we need those voices out there of people that have the audacity to think that they can bring something new and fresh to the world that's needed out there. But the fear of bringing in the extra help, and the the dopamine hit that we need, we feel like we need to get the ego boost that we need to get that is that inner world part. And the balance really is is to learn how to be that person. Because you want to be not because you need to be. And that was one of the first things that I learned through therapy is sometimes we feel like we need to be on top because of survival. And through some sort of reinforcement, you know, we needed to show that we could do those things to in order to show our value to the world. So that's how we got our you know, we received it. But when you can say that I want to be this person who's able to bring this company to life in these gifts to life and I want to bring in the money to be able to pursue this even more. It's a it's liberating, because you're not, you're not becoming more meek, you know, you're not toning down. And if people want to tell you to tone down, you're not toning yourself down, but you're definitely doing it in a way that feels more holistic, and feel like in a more powerful space rather than trying to receive the affirmations from the world because you still feel inside of you. There's something missing, you know, and that's a that's a powerful mindset shift to go from hustling to it, and then
Kate Kordsmeier 1:30:00
what a good note to end on. This has been so amazing. I feel like I could have this panel all day and never run out of things to talk about. But before we go, I'd like everybody to go around. We can start with you, Melanie, and tell people where they can find you and how they could work with you.
Melanie Childers 1:30:18
Yeah, absolutely. So my website is Melaniechilders.com. And I also just recently launched a podcast called the bad bitch entrepreneur that you can find on Apple, Google and Spotify. Love it, Rachel. Yeah, so
Rachel Wynn 1:30:33
my website is feministfounder.com, and I can be found @feministwynn, w-y as in yellow, n-n as in Nancy, on social media, it's my last name. And I'll be working on I'm going to have a landing page set up by the time this goes live to have kind of like a Success with Soul kind of bonus of being able to work with me on a sliding scale level. Accessibility is really important to me and my business. And I'd love to be able to, you know, do a session with someone who was interested in something I said on the podcast, or just would like some guidance with a feminist framework. So it will be feministfounder.com/SuccesswithSoul. Awesome, thank you so much.
Amée Quiriconi 1:31:18
Yep. And so my website, you can find me as a me queer Kony calm, and I'm sure it's in the notes here. And then you can actually go to any retailer for books bookshop.org, where you can support a local bookstore or you can go to the major online retailers and get the fearless Woman's Guide to starting a business and even if you're in business already, I know Melanie's had a chance to, to read the book. It This isn't a you know how to build a business plan and how to come up with social media marketing. This is you know, everything I wish I'd learned and wish I knew when I started business that was going to matter most in success. And so that's an easy way of, you know, getting into my inner world and what I can do to help people. So Oh, and I also have a podcast, I have a couple but one broken mom is on all the podcast platforms. That's my mental health podcast. That's where I talk a lot about trauma, and I interview experts and authors. And then I have the fearless Woman's Guide to business podcast where I'm highlighting women that are great examples for other women to learn from it on their journey and stuff. So find me there,
Kate Kordsmeier 1:32:18
and I've been on that podcast. So that was a new house and Melanie. So Rachel Yeah. Yeah, yep. All right. Thank you ladies so much.
Wait a minute. I know I know. You're eager to get back to your life. But before you turn off this episode, I want to share something super quick with you. I know you're probably sick of hearing other podcasters ask you to leave reviews. But here's the deal. If you like a podcast, and you want them to be able to continue delivering you free episodes every week, we need your support. If you subscribe on the apple podcast, Google podcast, app, Spotify, or wherever you listen, it makes it possible for me to continue to provide free helpful content and bring you amazing guests. And if you take it one step further by giving us a rating and review with your honest feedback, we can improve better serve you in the future. And you could even be featured on a future episode during our listener spotlights. Because if we don't get the reviews, we don't get the rankings and it makes it a lot harder to continue justifying the cost and time expense of producing a podcast every week and convincing amazing guests to come on the show. And of course your reviews are super helpful and motivating to me personally and I love hearing from you
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