On Community and the Unspoken Politics of Small Business

October 5, 2023

Rochelle is a filipino woman talking into a microphone. Text says the “Politics and imposter syndrome in entrepreneurship" compassionate side hustle strategy the podcast

Description and Show Notes

Let's talk about imposter syndrome by understanding its potential roots in systemic, political issues. It's a hard topic to tackle, it will help you reconnect with your business's true purpose. Because it's not just about profits but creating real change in your community. Let's explore the concept that business is political and how embracing your values can lead to more meaningful connections with the communities you care about.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Imposter Syndrome: Feelings of inadequacy may stem from systemic issues. You're not alone in your desire to create change.

  2. Remember Your Mission: And don't get lost in the hustle. Make the effort to reconnect with your mission and the movement you're a part of. It's not just about sales, right?

  3. Embrace Your Values: Your business is political, whether you like it or not. Stand by your values, and you'll attract clients and collaborators who share your principles. Let values guide your decisions.

  4. Lead the Conversation: Addressing real-world issues brings people together. Engage with your audience on these matters, and seek partnerships that amplify your impact. Authenticity trumps superficial content.

Feelings of Isolation and Self-Doubt

You may be struggling with feelings of isolation and self-doubt in your entrepreneurial journey. You might often find yourself comparing your progress to others and questioning whether you have what it takes to succeed. These doubts can be overwhelming and hinder your confidence.

Resolution: You can start by acknowledging that you're not alone in these struggles. Recognize that societal pressures, imposter syndrome, and systemic factors can contribute to these feelings. Embrace the idea that you're part of a broader movement of individuals who are challenging the traditional norms and expectations of success. Reach out to peers who understand your challenges and consider joining communities that offer support, understanding, and resources tailored to your unique experiences.


Losing Sight of Your Mission and Purpose

You may have found yourself getting caught up in the day-to-day grind of your business, forgetting the core mission and purpose that drove you to start in the first place. Sales, marketing, and competition may have overshadowed the deeper meaning behind your work, leaving you feeling disconnected.

Resolution: Step back and remember why you started your business or pursued your mission. It's essential to reconnect with your deeper purpose and the positive impact you want to make in your community or industry. Understand that you're not just in competition with others but part of a larger movement for change. This shift in perspective can reignite your passion and help you create content and messaging that truly resonates with your audience.


Struggling to Align Your Business with Your Values

Aligning your business with your values and ethics can be challenging, especially in a world where politics, social issues, and values-driven decisions matter more than ever. You may feel torn between making a profit and staying true to your principles.

Resolution: Business is inherently political and your ideal clients and collaborators are likely to share your values. They care that you care. Embrace your values as a compass for your business decisions and messaging. Acknowledge that addressing the challenging issues of our time can bring people together rather than drive them apart. Take steps to engage with your audience on these issues and seek out partnerships with like-minded individuals or organizations who can help you make a more significant impact.

TRANSCRIPT (CLICK TO EXPAND)

This is Compassionate Side Hustle Strategy, hosted by me, Rochelle Sanchez. I help solopreneurs like you build good habits and compassionate systems that allow you to show up consistently and authentically in your business.

The end goal is to help you onboard a virtual assistant who is 100% aligned with your mission and within your budget, but there are a few things you should probably get in place first, right? That's why we're here.

You deserve to do what you love for a living. And I believe that you're closer than you think. So clear your schedule and let's get to work on the next best step for you on your business journey.

Hey friends. Welcome back to the podcast. This is Rochelle, and we're covering the third component of the definition of a self-compassion or in my case, the definition of compassion that I like to use for my own business for my clients businesses. Just for people in general who are trying to do something good, but also making a business out of it.

If you haven't already make sure that you listen to the previous two episodes so that you get the full definition and different ways to apply it to your own business so that you can be a more self-compassionate business owner.

Again, the components are kindness, which is kind of self-explanatory, but also is kind of deep. And then there's mindfulness. Which is a great way to make sure that you don't over-generalize and basically go into catastrophe mode when things aren't really going your way.

And then today we're working with the third component, which is feeling a sense of common humanity based on maybe the struggle you're going through the pain that you're feeling right now as a business owner. And, you know, just the things that are kind of difficult right now.

And by the way, of course the, these definitions are coming from the work of Dr. Kristin Neff. And I recommend you checking out her books and her work if you want to dive deeper into it.

So the spinal component of the definition of being compassionate, being a compassionate side hustler or entrepreneur is all about seeing how the struggle that you're going through actually connects you to other people.

Now I have a kind of a different take on this because I don't know about you, but personally, when I'm going through a hard time or when I'm struggling with something or when I'm coming up, anytime that I was coming up. On a certain struggle that was related to the phase or stage of life that I was going through at the time. Knowing that other people have gone through it too wasn't really that comforting for me.

And that applied whether I was you know, struggling at my first corporate job. Or even in college, when I was trying to figure out my major. Having people tell me that it's a common struggle and that you're not alone. And that everyone goes through this just didn't do much for me in the way of comfort.

And it basically translated in my overachiever straight- a former straight A's student brain, as you're not special. You know, this is not an issue. And you, you going through it doesn't actually mean anything.

And so obviously now I know that that's not the case and there is absolute power in knowing that there's a community out there that's struggling the same way you are. There's a community out there that cares about the things that you're going through, because they've gone through it themselves. That's a great way to look at it.

And so today I want to dive into just some ways to look at this from a different perspective, just because I think that it's fairly easy to recognize that you know, We as entrepreneurs, we all have very common struggles and there are all kinds of ways to deal with them. And of course surrounding yourself with good people is always a good idea.

So the first way that I like to check myself when it comes to being more self-compassionate and doing work that feels more compassionate is to just check in with myself as always. Check in with myself and see if there's an issue that I'm having when it comes to just over comparison.

So in the previous episode, I had talked about that struggle that you might have felt at the beginning of your journey, where you do your research and you find out that someone or some company with a ton of funding is doing the thing that you want to do already. And so like it already exists. And so should you continue doing it or should you not? And just going through that struggle of like, am I worthy enough?

Do I know enough? Is it even necessary for me to, to go through with this idea if it's already been done before. And so that for me, usually translates into some kind of issue where I'm comparing myself a little too much to other people.

So whether someone else has successfully done the thing that I want to do, or I'm seeing the work of someone else who is building the same thing that I am currently building. But they seem to be doing it in a way that I feel is superior to my method.

And so that's basically a case of imposter syndrome, right. Where we think that we're not good enough and that our efforts aren't enough, basically not "enoughness" to go around and justify why you're here and why you're doing this.

And unfortunately, I don't remember exactly where I heard about this, but I, I think that it. It was along the lines of. Is it really imposter syndrome. Or is it capitalism? Or is it systemic racism? Or is it some kind of built in system within your culture, especially here in the United States, where you think that you're not good enough because someone at some point decided that you're not good enough. Like literally, if you dig into the history, there are, you know, certain demographics of people who were told that they are less than others, right? People who were enslaved were legally written as you know being less than a whole person. And so that, while it might not specifically apply to you today.

And of course there are plenty of people who like to say. You know, that's that's in the past and everyone's equal now and whatever. Which isn't true, but like, you know, if it's, if it's still something on your mind, it's not in your head.

It's not just a made up thing. And so like just leaving room for yourself and knowing that you are building something within our capitalist culture where the general expectation is for people to serve some kind of higher power and that people have a monetary value on their bodies on their time and all of that stuff.

You know, that could be why you don't feel like you're up to the standard. Some unspoken standard that is expected of you just overall in general.

And so that was really powerful for me to hear that. And to just remember that like, yes. Technically we're all on a level playing field, but we also have to acknowledge that there are lots of internal struggles.

There are lots of generational suffering and trauma that we're dealing with. And so like, no, you don't actually, you're not actually all on the same playing field and some people really do have a hand up, you know? We know this.

And so knowing that and keeping that in mind, it seems to help me a little bit. Because not only am I connecting myself to other people, but I am seeing myself as part of a whole. I am seeing myself as part of, you know, this generation that wants to kind of get away from the slogging corporate, ladder climbing, type of, you know, burn yourself out until you can't even enjoy your retirement.

And even by then, you probably won't be able to fully retire anyway, because of inflation. So seeing myself as part of this movement to create money and create a career that's separate from that system that used to work, but doesn't anymore is really helpful.

And I think that it's worth it to see yourself as part of that too. It's not just you alone coming up with a small idea and hoping that you make it. It's you taking your place among the ranks of people who are like speaking out about this stuff. And living the, you know, just this embodied rejection of that expectation that, you know, certain people have to start from the very, very bottom, bottom, bottom, bottom, and work their way up.

And it's just like, well, maybe you can pave your own path and it won't take as long as it would to do it the corporate way where everything is kind of geared toward the success of a certain kind of person, at least here in the United States.

So checking on yourself and understanding that if it's any kind of feeling of imposter syndrome. Then maybe it's because someone somewhere at some point put in a practice, a rule, a guideline, a law that made it so that you feel like an imposter.

And understanding that, and then being aware of all the people who are just like you. Maybe aligning yourself with them getting more connected with them. Maybe even reaching out and seeing what kinds of resources are available to you as someone who is part of like a marginalized community. Because that, that can be game-changing for a lot of us. Okay.

So keep that in mind. Don't let yourself think that, you know, You don't deserve it or that you have to be a certain kind of person. I really think that every kind of person and every kind of idea can make it. You just have to have the kind of support and resources that are necessary to take you there.

Another way that I like to look at these, this concept of being part of a community or just having this common humanity with others is to always step back and remember why I'm doing what I'm doing.

It's really easy on the day-to-day basis to be like, okay, how many sales calls did I get? How many people have I had a coffee chat with? How many people have I reached out to and ask them to share my work or share my landing page or share this graphic. But let's just say that you're focusing on those tiny steps every day. And you're like still no sales. Still no sales. Still no sales.

And so like you start working on your mindset and you start, you know, looking up reading the right kinds of books and listening to the right kinds of podcasts and it's still not working. I always try to back up and remember why I'm doing what I'm doing.

I don't see small business right now, you know, in this era of 2023 and beyond as something where everyone is just trying to make their dollar. Everyone's just trying to get some cash so that they can you know, sell it for more cash. You know what I mean?

There are some people who do that. And I think that that's a completely different level of side hustling than I'm really interested in because I, personally, I don't see myself selling my business to make a profit and then moving onto the next one. Right? This is my work.

This is what it is. And I'm probably going to be in it until I don't want to be in it anymore. And at that point, I will assign the responsibilities and the ownership to someone new. Someone within the team who understands like the inner workings of everything.

This isn't completely applicable to people who are like, what's an easy side hustle. What's an easy thing to just do, and then I can sell it and then I can move to the next thing.

And if you're like me and you're in it kind of like for the long haul and you hope that what you're building will not be a a small thing that you sell so that you can make something slightly bigger that you can sell. So that you can make something, you know, bigger and sell. If you're working on something that you want to be part of for the long run and that you hope will influence the communities that you care about and really make help make change happen. Then I think that that's a little more helpful to think of yourself in the context of your mission and who you're here with.

And it also helps to take away that, that element of competition, right? Because a lot of people let's say like, just within the life coaching industry.

If you are a coach for teenagers. Right. If you're like re you really specialize in young people. But then there are so many other coaches and there are so many people that you're basically in competition with.

If you back up and you remember what it is that really matters about the work you do. Like not necessarily that it's you helping a teenager feel better in school or fit in a little bit better or manage their emotions a little better.

It's it's a little bit about that, but it's also about you creating this movement. Of teenagers, maybe being more accepting of each other or teenagers expressing themselves in new subjects. Or having access to additional resources.

Or figuring out what they want to do in their life that is meaningful to them so that they don't fall into the trap of like, I have to choose my college major and it has to be the one.

You know, those are all evidence of something really big within them and a movement that's coming together with you as part of it. But also just like the entire community of people who help young people in this country. Right?

You're not going to be like, you know, I don't, I only, I only care about teenagers and how they're doing in school with their emotional regulation, because there are all kinds of teenagers, right?

There are teenagers of different gender identities and ethnicities. Some teenagers are treated in a certain way. And you're going to have to you know, help them through that.

And, you know, it's just like these issues that are affecting our world right now. And the world that you have around you as a business owner. That's what you're preparing them for.

And so like, instead of seeing other coaches who also work with young people, as your competition or or even just, you know, as someone who does the same thing as you, you can see yourself in kind of a movement with them. Right?

So you are taking this foundational you know, inner knowledge and self-regulation and emotional coaching. And it's not just you rolling it up. Right. It's not just you pushing it forward. And hoping that it sticks for that one person.

It's you, you know, alongside all of the other coaches. Alongside all of those social workers alongside all of the, you know, disability activists. Alongside all of the politicians who are trying to, you know, enact change within the, you know, the laws that we have.

And it's all of you creating this change. And when you think of it that way, I mean for one, it makes content a lot easier. You know? You don't have to keep regurgitating what you're saying, but you get to actually plug in to the real world that we're all in. And you get to be more familiar with what people are dealing with, while your clients are dealing with and what influences their buying decisions.

And I think that the more aware you are of what they're going through, the like the better it is for all, everyone, you and the client. And all the people around you.

So seeing that you're part of a movement. And acknowledging that it's not just you and that you know, you're among your people who care about this kind of stuff, it can really help you to not feel as isolated.

And it gives you something maybe a little more specific to talk about or to kind of raise your hand and say, I'm struggling with this today. Would anyone be willing to like, sit with me? And just hear me out?

Because there, there are so many people who relate to all of the struggles that you have, but when you're willing to voice it in the words that people understand. Not just, not just your ideal clients, but even, you know, your peers. And other entrepreneurs that like, get what you're going through. If you're able to voice it and say, would anyone be willing to like, sit with me? Like on a zoom call for 15 minutes and just you know, talk about this without any intention to sell each other or change your mind or completely comfort you or anything like that. I think that's way more powerful than you sitting down and trying to like batch out a bunch of social media content.

And I guess that brings me to like, just this overarching thing that I, I really live by. And especially since 2020 and some of the things I've seen. You know, Seemingly good people. I mean, they're still good, but like, It became a very clear values driven issue for me when certain people were not willing to acknowledge, you know, the black lives matter movement, if not the actual organization than like, you know, the messaging behind it and just acknowledging that pain. And acknowledging everything.

You know, that really opened things up for me where I was like, oh wait, my ideal clients, my ideal collaborators are a certain kind of person. And I think that it really digs deep into like what actually matters as you're working on your business and you're putting your mission out there when you know what you stand for.

And you know that you have that in common with the people that you're trying to find. Whether it's, you know, to, to buy your services or to collaborate with you in some way. Just remembering that business is political. You can't expect someone to give up their money for some kind of premium service or even not premium. And ignore the things that they're dealing with on a day-to-day basis, as a result of like how our country is run. And I think that we just need more people to be aware of that and to not you know, love and light it away. I think. And also to understand that that brings us together, like talking about the hard things is a way that. Brings people together because. It unites us in our struggle. And it also helps us focus on the things that actually matter rather than like taking each other out, if that makes sense.

I know that that's a heavy topic to consider, but I think that once we get on board with it and just acknowledge that some people have it a lot harder than we do and that some people are dealing with issues and generational problems and setbacks. And just acknowledging it. And being willing to help those people in addition to the ones that, maybe in comparison, have things a little bit easier.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. If you'd like to send me an email and talk about, you know, the ways that you've found it comforting to see yourself as part of a community, send me an email, send it to my team at T E A M at rochelle sanchez dot com. It'll get to me eventually.

But you know, I appreciate you thinking about this stuff. It really does make a difference. And it'll make a difference for you because you'll, you will see that you're actually putting compassion into action. Right? It's not just fluffy words on an engraved plate on the fancy staircase or whatever, where, you know, they talk about your values.

It's you actually understanding what the world is like for a lot of people and how you want to help.

Thanks for listening and I will see you in the next one.

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