Supporting expert coaches,
consultants, helpers, and healers
distill their wisdom into
signature offers that last.
JOIN THE LIST! LISTENERS ALWAYS ARE THE FIRST TO KNOW ABOUT UPCOMING EVENTS, RETREATS, AND PODCAST-ONLY BONUSES!
Hey y’all! I wasn’t planning on recording this episode today, but as conflicts increase in Gaza and Israel, I wanted to share some of the things I’ve learned along the way when it comes to running your business during crisis. Especially some best practices I’ve employed for myself in case they’re helpful for you too!
In this episode, I’m diving into:
As I mentioned in this episode, I will make mistakes with my language, word-choice, and understanding, and I most certainly do not have all the answers, but my inbox is always open to sit with you as you rumble with your own.
Hey, hey, y’all! And welcome back to the show. We have a very important topic today, but like most things there are griefs and there are joys and before we get into the griefs today, I wanted to start of with some celebrations.
I am fresh back from an amazing retreat with Leslie Tagorda where I got to go hang out with her team, do a little business coaching & planning for 2024 for her and her next phase of growth while also wine tasting in Napa Valley, floating in hot springs in Calistoga, and having delicious meals every night!! It was glorious and definitely something we’re making a tradition out of.
We went to the same resort this time last year and mapped out her revised framework for her body of work and being able to go back a year later with almost all of it created was a powerful co-reflection for us both. It’s been a massive, massive achievement to see her give birth to her membership, her certification, and most importantly her certification pre-work for her AstroBrand® method this past year.
We’ve had several talks on her podcast about how we intentionally designed her membership to be a content creation container for her that would give rise to her certification so to see it all come to fruition has been a very powerful thing to witness.
If you’re not familiar with Leslie, she works with entrepreneurs and other changemakers to leverage their star powers to show up as their fullest expression in the world. As a brand astrologer, she also teaches others how to leverage their one of a kind astrology to highlight their strengths, clarify their soul customers, choose aligned color palettes and visual brand elements, and even hone their messaging all based on the stars.
She’s created Star Powered Position, which helps you clarify your position in the market, Star Powered Voice, which helps you clarify your messaging, tone, & language, and Star Powered Style, which helps you pull together an aligned visual brand, but also your unique way of marketing and running your business that’s aligned with your strengths, and finally she’s the founder of the AstroBrand® method, her unique approach to holistic branding that’s currently certifying its first cohort and walks practitioners through Leslie’s process when she’s working with clients as well as her ethical guideposts for delivering a decolonialized approach to interpreting charts and cosmic weather.
She’s a wealth of wisdom when it comes to astrology, branding, and leadership so to see all this knowledge + knowing be integrated into a cohesive framework has been just next level as her business coach.
If you follow Leslie, definitely stay tuned for all that she has coming up – especially 2024 in the Stars if you value astrological guidance and mentorship in your business and leadership!!
Leslie and I had several talks on our retreat about the Israeli-Hamas war and although I had a different episode planned for this week, I thought it was important to come speak to how we navigate our businesses and the world during times of humanitarian crisis. I spoke about this briefly in last week’s episode, but as the war intensifies – I have more to say so let’s dive in!
To start, please know I will get things wrong in this episode and I am always open to constructive feedback. I am never open to shame-based feedback. As an aside to this, especially to my white listeners, it’s imperative that we realize our level of fragility is directly tied to how we perceive feedback.
The more fragility we have, the more likely we are to perceive constructive feedback as shaming. And the opposite is also true. The less fragility we have, the less likely we are to perceive constructive feedback as shaming.
We also tend to receive feedback in DMs or email where it’s up to us to decipher someone’s tone and as someone who isn’t new to owning my white fragility, I usually read feedback out loud in several different tones to have the widest possible perspective. I also have colleagues I trust to run things by because we don’t have to interpret tone on our own.
It’s essential that when we use our voice to stand up for things that we have community around us to lean on because any feedback is going to come with emotional labor on both sides, right? Us who are receiving the feedback and definitely those who are offering the feedback. One big reason I think a lot of people choose to not speak up about horrific tragedies in the world or offer feedback when someone gets something wrong is because of the emotional labor that’s involved when life already feels full, heavy, or overwhelming.
It’s so essential we practice grace with each other and most definitely ourselves. And to be explicitly clear, that grace is offered to those who are seeking to understand, seeking to use their voice, seeking to create safety and healing for others. NOT those who are perpetuating hate, dehumanization, or “othering” of any kind.
The truth is there’s a very real risk of getting things wrong and causing more harm and it can also happen so quickly.
For example, word choice is especially important. We could say George Floyd died, George Floyd was killed, George Floyd was murdered and each of those words carries an explicitly different meaning. Word choice also tends to evolve and part of speaking up is staying engaged with how language evolves because the words we choose matter.
And I’m starting here because I think it’s important to follow the word-choice lead from people who have direct lived experience. When George Floyd was murdered, that word-choice lead came from American Black folks, specifically, who have endured generations of police brutality as a direct symptom of systemic racism.
When we’re speaking of the Israeli-Hamas war, that lived experience comes from Palestinians and Israelis who intimately know generations of ongoing conflict between these two countries, but also Muslims and Jews who have lived experience of Islamophobia, antisemitism, and generations of ancestral trauma due to religious persecution and genocide. And it’s especially important that we elevate their voices, their word choice because the language we use has the power to direct the narrative, tell the whole truth, and convey the harsh realities.
The last thing I’ll share on this before we dive into running a business during these horrific times is to know your position and your responsibility. Let’s talk about responsibility first. I’ve already seen the comments shaming others for not understanding hundreds of years of history when no one can be expected to know the history of the world for every single conflict that exists on this planet. We cannot be shamed for not knowing something, especially because there are plenty of pockets where whole groups of people are insulated from knowing the harsh realities in this world. That’s how White Supremacy and Colonialism, in particular, operate.
Many white people, especially, are raised with flat out lies or half truths that explain away or shove under the rug horrific acts of violence, persecution, xenophobia, and racism. History is white-washed and minimized, for example. You cannot know what you haven’t been exposed to AND there’s also a responsibility to learn what you have not been taught. You’re both late and right on time at the very same time.
In regards to position, this is not a time to compare this tragedy with any other event in history. This is not a time to center yourself. This is not a time to share ill-informed opinions when you’re not up to speed enough to understand the complexities current events demand. I am saying this explicitly to people like me who are white, have very little understanding of the nuance and complexities of current events. It’s okay to say you don’t know. It’s okay to take your time to do your research. It’s also okay to trust your knowing that the bombing, killing, kidnapping, and murdering of innocent people is never a forgivable act.
Hamas is a terrorist organization and terrorists are like cancer. You cannot snuff out cancer cells without also killing healthy cells. And the level of innocent life that is being lost is unbearable, unthinkable, and an atrocity to humanity. There are war crimes being committed. War, at its most basic level, bears witness to the most inhumane tragedies we will ever see or know.
I cannot with the innocent children & families who have already been lost in both Gaza and Israel. I cannot with Wadea Al Fayoume being stabbed to death as a hate crime committed against a 6-year old here on American soil. This hits especially close to home having two boys 5 and 7 and cannot even comprehend the mentality of a grown ass adult who could do that to a child. What the actual fuck? I hope he goes to prison for the rest of his fucking life. And my heart is with his mother. My heart is with every single person who is grieving, scared, infuriated, and feels helpless as this war wages on, especially those who are in Gaza and Israel.
I hate it. I hate it all! I hate that my Jewish friends are walking through this world right now feeling a heightened sense of unsafety. I hate that my Muslim friends are walking through this world right now feeling the same way as this war excites hate crimes and sentiments of islamophobia and antisemitism. It’s awful. Fucking awful! But the worst is seeing the dehumanization of people that is always the tactic to justify the killing of innocent lives. I denounce it with every fiber of my being.
So, I won’t go any further into my thoughts here, but please know my door is always open. I will never be the one who has it all figured out, but I will always sit in the room with you as you rumble with your own answers.
Now that we have some foundational pieces here together, how in the world do we lead our businesses through a humanitarian crisis? What’s the right protocol?
First off, there is no “right” anything. There will be people who pause their marketing because that feels right for them and sometimes that’s an appropriate response. There will be people who carry on as business as usual and not address current events because of a fear of getting it wrong.
What I’ll share is as business owners, we have three core responsibilities –
My first step during times like these is checking in with my clients. I open my coaching calls by asking how everyone is doing and affirming that I’m here for additional processing as my capacity allows. On my client intake form, there’s also a place where community members can add any specific identities that are important to them, which can help alert me to check in with them specifically.
One thing that stops a lot of us from bringing things into the room is the fear that we’ll open ourselves to discourse we’re not prepared to hold space for or by bringing something to the surface, it will open up something vulnerable when in reality, it’s naming a vulnerability that is already being felt.
When the grocery store shooting in Buffalo, NY happened, for instance, I made a post in my client community denouncing it and also normalizing this isn’t business as usual. I had a client whose black brother was just shopping in that store a week prior. She needed this to be named even though I didn’t have all the details of her lived experience and what she was personally going through with how close this hit to home.
When we’re going through severely traumatic events, it’s so important that our clients know it’s okay to feel that shift in their capacity. To have that witnessed. To give full permission to not put pressure on yourself to carry on, hold to timelines, etc when your felt safety has been activated, your capacity has been greatly impacted, and there needs to be time and space for grief.
When it comes to marketing – many of us can’t afford to stop selling, halt operations, or go quiet because it feels insensitive. We have this tendency to demonize money during times like these when money isn’t some luxury, some nice to have amenity. It’s a core need to support ourselves, our team, and generate money for aid.
It’s always interesting to me how our most ingrained beliefs around money tend to come out during times of crisis as if it’s greedy or self-serving to also be concerned with financial security. Businesses do not stop because crises happen in the world. Our team members don’t get a break in their bills and neither do we.
Does that mean we carry on as business as usual? Absolutely not. Naming, acknowledging, bringing attention to what’s going on communicates to your community your stance, your compassion, and your intent as you continue to market during crisis.
Communication is so important here. It could be as simple as including a statement in your marketing emails, making an announcement on social, creating a podcast episode, whatever that looks like for you. We’ve all seen people market during crises that are in bad taste, which is usually leveraging some horrific act to drive sales or creating a give-back as a window to keep selling.
I’m not saying creating a give-back is wrong, (obviously I encourage consistent, sustainable giving through the 2% pledge) but there’s a difference between regular giving and giving during times of crises and there’s a right and wrong way to do it. The right way, in my opinion, is donating 100% of proceeds to a cause. Not a percent. Otherwise, if you’re selling to increase revenue, sell for the sake of revenue and keep that intent clean. Otherwise, it’s so easy for the cause to feel secondary when crises deserve urgency and priority.
Leslie did such a great job at this recently with the Lahaina fires. She did a flash sale of one of her most raved about courses and donated 100% of revenue to humanitarian aid in Hawaii for families displaced.
And lastly, how we hold space for ourselves is key. Especially the pressure we put on ourselves to learn at hyper speed in order to form a well-informed opinion and stance. And trust me, that pressure is real. And also, we do not have to learn everything there is to know to call for a stop to hate. The desire to learn everything and form a well-informed opinion and stance can also toe the line of perfectionism which is a symptom of white supremacy. It delays action.
As a society, we are also so deeply connected to the rest of the world which means we’re flooded with images we don’t want to see, truths we don’t want to know, violence that makes us sick to our stomachs. And that’s simply by being on social media where many of us do commerce, community, and marketing. What I want you to be aware of is secondary traumatization is real and it sticks with you for a very long time. Sandy Hook still sits in my bones in a very felt way.
It’s so important to be mindful of how much you ingest and at what frequency. It’s easy to go down rabbit holes in your quest to learn and it’s also a lot for our nervous systems to take in decades and decades of historical trauma as we educate ourselves. Let alone the past 12 days of historic trauma we’re bearing witness to in Gaza and Israel.
You have to draw energetic boundaries, input boundaries, while also not completely disengaging. Take breaks. Tend to your nervous system. Lean on practices that restore, soften, and heal. Lean on people you trust to share your heartache. And find ways to give that transmute that heartache into action.
What I hope you take away from this episode is the knowing that you’re not alone as you figure out how to navigate running your businesses during crisis. We’re in this together. Find the people who are doing this in a way that feels safe and honoring. Find the people who have gone before you. You don’t have to figure this out on your own. Be open to feedback and also draw your boundaries around it. I’m sending you so much love as all our hearts are holding grief right now. We’ll get through this together.
Until next time, friends – thank you for joining me for an important episode. And like always, here’s to the courage to keep showing up even when clarity is still forming – knowing, trusting, believing the next right step is always on its way. See you soon!
Photos by Tandem Works
| Designed by Current Design Studio
©️ 2014 - 2023 Megan Hale, LLC. Mailing Address: PO Box 1084, Bellevue, NE 68005
Terms & Conditions