Why I love working with conscious entrepreneurs is because they are willing to be uncomfortable, take risks, fail, find their voice, and innovate ways to impact their communities and beyond.
As conscious entrepreneurs, you have an opportunity here to demonstrate real leadership in the face of the chaos.
The last two weeks I've been deep diving into learning about the Black Lives Matter movement. Being silent in my business was not a message I was willing to convey.
The entrepreneur traits of being willing to be uncomfortable, take risks, fail, and find their voice are what's needed to lead the way in supporting the Black Lives Matters Movement.
Here are 4 entrepreneurial principles you can use to support #BlackLivesMatter:
1. Commit to taking a stand.
What are you committed to? What's your why? How does engaging with the Black Lives Matter movement align with your values in your life and business?
For me, my mission is to empower the next generation of leaders to cause a tipping point in humanity's consciousness. I cannot do that if such a large majority of humans in my country and neighborhoods are getting shot because the color of their skin. I also cannot do that if there are scared folks committing the acts of violence. A change of consciousness must first happen.
I committed to showing support and taking a stand (literally!) by attending a peaceful protest (outdoors with masks staying 6 feet apart).
I was petrified to go out for many reasons: Would it be dangerous for my son? Would there be too many people not adhering to 6 feet apart? How would I be judged?
Feeling the fear and going anyway, I came away empowered in unity with mostly white people showing support for black lives and native lives. It was moving, encouraging, and what had me find courage to continue engaging to the next step.
2. Listen to who you're serving.
For me, this was understanding the world of African Americans sharing their stories of what it's like to be black in America. For others, it might be helping facilitate conversations with privileged people who feel shame and are stuck.
Rather then get stuck in the echo chamber of my head of shame and guilt for not knowing, not having taken action earlier, or defending myself--I started learning and listening to those most impacted.
I came across Cory Buckner, a black medic and former cop in Kentucky who had a viral post (166,000 shares!) and after looking him up was inspired by his wisdom when I white friend asked "What can we do about this?" and he simply responded, "Listen to listen, not listen to respond."
Inspired by this simple yet powerful act to listen, I created this post Listening is our most powerful access to peace highlighting his voice.
I researched how black people are dealing with this, reading news articles of a black man going behind the line of armed police giving out hugs. Or how when a white cop got separated out from this group, a group of black men protected him from the mob just because it was the right thing to do.
This led me to want to engage more actively.
3. Implement the learning.
I needed to orient where I was in the big picture of racism.
So I took a white privilege checklist to find out (I'm Asian American yet often feel white growing up in all white communities). My husband is a white man and my son is mixed. I scored a 6/20 points, my husband 20/20 and my son 18/20.
I then took an overall privilege test (covering race, gender, religious freedom, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation) which scored higher at 51/100, my husband at 87/100. This provided me a baseline to realize what privilege I do have that I can use to support the Black Lives Matters Movement.
Now we are listening to these 3-5 minute poignant, moving stories by Amber Ruffin, Comedian, Actress, Writer and the first African American woman to write for the Seth Meyers late night show. So enlightening. Now our family watches them each night (after vetting out age appropriate stories for my son) and share learnings at the end.
Learnings thus far
*Being silent on the matter communicates "institutionalized racism is ok" and certain lives don't matter
*I am overall privileged and can use that for good by simply listening to listen, not listening to respond
*This is another historical moment in history distinct from the 1960's protests where what used to be ok and ignore no longer is ok or being ignored, and real change is actually happening as long as the momentum of what's happening (murders of black people for being black who often are innocent bystanders, in their own homes being treated as if they are thugs, etc.)
4. Go public sharing what you’ve learned.
You have an opportunity to find your voice by sharing your learnings.
After the peaceful protest, I felt good as a mother and as a community member. But then went through another roller coaster of emotions of whether to post about it.
I asked permission to post the picture from my fellow conscious entrepreneurs who attended the protest, crafted the post, then clicked "publish."
I conquered my fears that the post might be ridiculed, torn apart, or trolled and posted it anyway with love. The response was overwhelming in support.
Feeling more confident, I then posted publicly on the privilege checklist findings (another moment of truth in being out there) knowing it could trigger folks. Instead, I conquered another fear head one resulting in the most delightful dialogue ensue thereafter on race that opened up many more hearts and minds.
I've discovered my part in the black lives matter movement: to "listen just to listen, not listen to respond" and to foster real dialogue where all voices can be heard with love and respect.
As a conscious entrepreneur, you can integrate business principles to make a difference in the Black Lives Matter movement.
Commit and take the leap. Do your research by listening and asking questions to the needs of those impacted, implement your learnings, then go public sharing what you’ve learned.
I've been moved by fellow entrepreneurs the last two weeks who have been willing to take consistent action with their values around Black Lives Matters.
I hope you will join me in standing publicly for your values, respecting those who believe otherwise, and continuing to demonstrate support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Together, we can elevate humanity's consciousness one conversation at a time.
Anna S. Choi, Conscious Business Coach, empowers the next generation of global leaders to focus their energy and find peace in chaos. By age 25, Anna was able to triple her net income and gross six figures but was totally burned out. Now she helps business leaders grow in flow, igniting a Presence Movement to elevate humanity’s consciousness. If you're interested in gaining focus, clarity, accountability in a like-minded community, learn more at www.annasunchoi.com
Anna Sun Choi