Here's what I do when I have an idea: I sit with it. I let it sink. I don't do anything, in the strict sense of the word, except for not think about it. Why? Because the "not thinking" provides an excellent filter. When an idea comes back to me, unprompted, a few days, a few weeks after I first thought of it, when it comes back more often, when I catch myself thinking about it during my morning meditation, then I know that it's here to stay and that it's time to give in to that instinct of pursuing it.
Often, I don't know where that will lead me. I don't have a fixed product or concept in my head, but by now I can recognize this curiosity, this playfulness, the willingness to explore. It's nothing more. It's play.
I haven't experienced this sensation too often in the last year, but in the last two weeks (ever since this happened) an idea came back to me, over, and over, and over again.
Well, "an idea" sounds so specific, it was more a concept, a feeling, a few thoughts:
How can I combine activism and business?
How can I integrate my fight for equality into my work?
How do I do that without alienating my customers?
Is that even bad, alienating my customers, the customers who can't relate to these values?
Values is such a cliché word - is there a better word for it?
Maybe "building a business based on what matters to us"? Is that better?
How can I start, grow, create a business based on what matters to me? How have other people done it? How can I talk about it, heck, how can I teach about it, how can I integrate it both into my own businesses and into my coaching?
(You're welcome. This is how my brain works. And I even took out the really weird stuff.)
I feel like I'm at the beginning of yet another journey, a wonderful, probably exhausting one, into unknown territory. I look forward to reading more about how to run a business based on what matters to you, to speaking about it to people, to exploring, and changing the way I work slowly, but surely.
I don't know yet which results this will yield. It will probably make its way into my coaching, and my other businesses, and I will write about it.
In addition to that, there are a few concrete things I plan on doing:
#mymakersmonday - I am going to convert the #makersmonday posts I've published on Instagram in the last months into spotlights of people who inspire me on this quest. (You can find me over there as @hannaontheroad if you're curious.)
A blog series - I'd like to speak to other creatives who have found ways of marrying activism and values with their work. I'm particularly interested in really diverse ways of doing this (not everyone needs to pull a Hanna Lisa-like rant about nazis on their Youtube podcast to make their point).
Read - I've started to finish one of the last feminist books I ordered last year this time, and just ordered two more books that I hope can be starting points in this quest to finding companies and individuals who've been thinking about this as well.
And now, two questions for you:
Is there anyone who comes to your mind who's been (publicly) thinking about this as well and / or who you think is doing a kick-ass job at running a business based on what matters to them (even if they don't talk about it) who I should check out?
Do you have any reading recommendations? My starting points are a few old favorites, and "Let my people go surfing" by the founder of Patagonia, but I'd love to hear your book and blog recommendations, especially when written by womxn.