Step 3: Check Your Privilege


Realize that if you think you’re able to do this, you’re probably privileged.

Maybe you’ve freed yourself from self-imposed debt, but remember there are those who are locked in a system of intentional debt from birth.

Maybe you grew up feeling just a little pinch of not-getting-what you want, but remember that you always got what you needed.

Maybe you’ve had your share of hardship and loss, but you’ve never suffered from a cycle of abuse, or true poverty, or bigotry.

Maybe things haven’t always been easy, but you’re well-adjusted enough to be functional in this society.

Maybe you’ve always been a little different somehow, but you’ve never been assaulted, or unjustly imprisoned, or denied healthcare because of things about yourself you cannot change.

You’re standing on the shoulders of someone: enslaved persons, displaced indigenous persons, intentional immigrants who were sold stories of success and immediately treated as less-thans upon arrival. Stories of abject desperation sold as indomitable spirit.

But maybe, just maybe, you’re one of the amazing few, who have beaten those cycles to succeed. And if so, I’ve got no advice for you; you’ve already won the game.

But if you’re like me (and aren’t there so many?), a thirty-something white woman living in suburbia and sitting here in yoga pants… find ways to give back. Maybe you have the smarts and the guts to write a grant and do your thing non-profit style. Maybe you pledge a portion of your profit (if and when that ever happens) to a cause or two. Maybe it’s as simple as divesting your banking from the Big Oil family. But don’t just put it in your business plan because it sounds good. You’re planning on making money at this, right? Put your money where your love is, baby - you’re doing all this for a reason, right? Is it just for you or is it to help change the system? To fight against the big-box-ness of it all or just to become The Man (™) yourself?

For a business plan you’ll have to come up with mission statements and the like. Maybe you have one for the investors and make one for yourself: the real one, the one you’ll check in with in six months or a year and see if you’re living up to it. Hold yourself accountable.

And if anyone has any ideas on how to do this part better, I’m all ears.


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