Reflection: F-Bombs Over Nashville
Other than money, what stops me from getting the systems and people in place to give me adequate freedom to scale my company?
The mighty, mighty F Bomb! Fear.
Fear of failure.
I am a self-proclaimed overachiever. While it is true that I have met every “well that didn’t work out the way I planned” in my life with triumphant re-framing, the idea of failure at such a large scale and in such public sight is petrifying and paralyzing. (You read right, self-sabotage 101 folks!)
Fear of exposing others to my "potential mess."
Self-defamation at it's finest, right? I don't involve others in my mess. Upon examination of those moments in life when I wasn't operating at my best (i.e. Erika was with the dumb stuff and enjoying the ride) I made sure to keep those who I care about most on the periphery. Even unconsciously, my protective instinct invokes my cloak of invisibility to shield those around me from the potential anguish and emotional roller coaster of whatever theme park I am currently enjoying an all-inclusive pass to! Most of the time, this is embodied in the form of a toxic relationship or habit I'm indulging, but every once in awhile this is also reflected in my wildly ambitious aspirations as well.
Fear of the unknown.
While soliciting the time, talent and treasures of community stakeholders, I would often explain that the youth we served, marginalized minorities, many of whom have for generations lived in poverty, attended low performing schools, often just don't know what they don't know! Meaning, we can not expect for them to aspire, to dream, and to achieve more and different if there are evident voids in their exposure, experience, and frame of reference.
The same applies for me. What would scaling my business look like legally? How will I maintain the healthcare I need for my chronic disease? If I hire other people, how will I ensure the quality of my services? If my relationship with my work changes, how will that impact my personal relationships and the communities I've built?
Fear of sustainability during the process.
Over 54% of Millennial women live paycheck-to-paycheck. Black women are the primary or sole breadwinners across the vast majority of their households (72% of us wave this banner last time I checked). The median net worth for a single Black woman is $5. To sum it up, as a collective we are underpaid, overworked, underemployed and overextended.
These patterns are
…systemic. Y’all do remember we were property & considered 3/5 a person like...3 family tree branches ago right?
…institutional. We make 63 cents to every $1 a white man makes.
…interpersonal. Our wise seasoned baby boomers correlating stability with clocking in and clocking out.
…and intra-perpetuated. I would note "fees are negotiable" at the top of my proposals for clients that I didn't expect to pay my already under market rate fee. As one author put it: "there’s still overwhelming silence surrounding the importance of including race and other intersectional identities into the conversation about money." We should talk about this more.