I’m going to be brutally honest with you today. I’m really struggling to work on my business lately; the politics happening in our country are swirling around my head in a numbing, distracting way.
While I am focused on existing client projects (because those have clear scopes of work & timelines), I’m experiencing a severe struggle around my marketing efforts.
How can I continue to run my business as usual, talking about design & strategy & efficiency, when it feels like my country’s very soul is crumbling around me? What’s the point of working on a website when basic rights are threatened? I’m questioning my goals, my purpose, my raison d’être.
Most of all, I’m struggling with this: Am I showing my privilege just by the very fact that I have an online business that I can escape into, that I’m so easily able to avoid the terrible discrimination coming out of the White House?
But when I really stop to think about what I’m doing, I realize that it’s also important to keep pushing ahead in my business. Here’s why:
- So I can support my local economy, because when I’m working a lot, I need to support local businesses to keep myself sane … my childcare provider, my house cleaner and the falafel pace around the corner see more of me. Heck,even my chiropractor gets more business because I spend more time hunched over my keyboard.
- So I can help grow my wonderful clients’ businesses, which are making a strong & lasting difference in their communities, and most practically,
- So I can continue to contribute to our household income, because mortgages and car payments and toddlers ain’t cheap.
- So I can support causes that matter to me, because it’s the income from those websites I make that let me make meaningful donations.
For the past few months, I’ve been questioning how I can continue to run my business in a way that’s meaningful to me, and that expresses my political & social values in tangible ways.Exploring how to run my business in a way that expresses my political & social values.Click To Tweet
Here are two ways I’m doing that:
- Starting this January, I’ll be donating 10% of Casebolt Creative’s net income to progressive nonprofits that reflect my values. This includes:
- Small monthly donations to larger nonprofits like Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and Partners In Health (Because large orgs like this often have an influx of capital during times of crisis, but could use a more steady stream of regular income for operating expenses.)
- Quarterly donations, based on my business’ revenue, to smaller progressive nonprofits that come across my radar and need additional support.
I’ll freely admit that it’s a little scary & intimidating to include all this political information on my business website. I acknowledge that it might drive away visitors, subscribers & prospective business opportunities by showcasing the fact that I’m a “bleeding-heart liberal.”
But it’s more important for me right now to put my money where my mouth is, and I want to hire and be hired by others who share my values. And if that means that people self-select out of working with me, I want them to have that right to do so being fully informed of where I stand politically & socially.Trying to put my money where my mouth is, and hire and be hired by others who share my valuesClick To Tweet
In order to make sure business keeps running smoothly, I also made some operational changes to my business structure. Because it feels so difficult to continue talking about design & strategy in the midst of this discrimination cloud that has descended over our country (and the very thought of self-promotion in this environment makes me a little queasy), I’ve hired a professional to take over my social media management.
You will see posts from me about design and strategy in the coming weeks and months. But by outsourcing these tasks, I free up the energy I’ve been wasting feeling awkward and guilty about promoting business in this time of political turmoil to be more productive in my business or in political activism. I also help build up the business of another online entrepreneur so that she can support and contribute to the world in a meaningful way too.
TL;DR: I am personally doing what I can (supporting progressive nonprofits, calling local representatives, sharing what I believe to be helpful & well-researched articles), but I also need to find the balance of marketing my business in order to both support my family and be able fulfill those social & political goals.
Are you struggling with this same confusion & discomfort? Send me an e-mail or leave a comment below so we can stand in solidarity together around how to keep working on a successful business in an unstable political climate.