What Does Your Company Take a Stand For?

Thoughts and prayers are not enough

Written by Joanna Sapir

Over the several weeks we’ve seen a powerful show of support on social media for the Black Lives Matter movement.   

Eager to be seen, many companies, both big and small, blasted their email lists, their facebook pages, and their twitter feeds to announce their support for the #blacklivesmatter movement. 

Millions of dollars have been donated, and thousands of words have been written, claiming support for diversity, and an end to racism. 

We’ll see how many of those companies move forward after this initial charge of energy. Many have already been accused of simply paying lip service to the movement, but not actually doing anything – or worse, of having discriminatory and racist practices inside their companies that have not been addressed. 

As beauty industry giant L’Oreal Paris found out, for example, posting on twitter about an issue the week it happens to be trending, and consistently showing up to work against injustices are two totally different things. 

Coaching industry giant Marie Forleo was one of many big coaches that also claimed her support of anti-racism, and then tried to shut down her own clients that wanted to talk about their experiences with racism. 

Customers aren’t interested in companies who don’t mean what they say, or just go along with what they think people want to hear, without really meaning it. 

Ultimately, clients and customers want to support companies and leaders they believe in. 

They want to know who you are, what you stand for, and trust that your actions are congruent with your statements. 

I have always believed that your business is a vehicle for making the change in the world that you want to see, whether that’s to fight against climate change, and for the health of our planet; whether that’s fighting against racism, sexism, heterosexism, xenophobia, against any and all of the -isms and phobias, and for equity and equal rights; whether you want to see changes in our schools or in our medical system or our prisons or inside our families or your city or your neighborhood or simply at the individual level…

Your business is a vehicle for change.

My company purpose states that my company exists to “build a more just world.” There are some specific ways I have incorporated social justice work into my business until this point.

But now it’s time to go deeper.

Since I started my business, the bio on my website has said “I believe that Black Lives Matter”. I have attempted to do anti-racism work my entire adult life.

But now it’s time to go deeper.

And so the question I am asking now is this:

How can my business play an even stronger and deeper role in creating equity, dismantling oppression, and creating new practices for liberation? 

(And dang, that’s exciting!)

And you know what? Some people don’t want to hear about it. I’ve gotten plenty of unsubscribes from my email list over the past few weeks as I communicate my stance on the Black Live Matters movement and social justice work in general. And that’s fine with me. 

Don’t ever let your fears about what other people will think hold you back from being 100% authentic and real about your beliefs, values, and who you really are.

The right clients will appreciate your commitment to your values and ideals – and be attracted to because of your values and ideals. 

Stand up for what you believe, so that your audience, prospective clients, and clients will get to know who you are and what you stand for. This is exactly how you attract the right people for you, and repel the wrong ones. 

My call to action for you today is to:

  1. Think about what change you are trying to make in the world, and how exactly that is part of your business. Articulate this in your company’s Core Ideology (which is exactly what we do in the very first quarter of the Business (R)Evolution Academy!)
  1. Pay attention to the other businesses that you support with your money and time and make sure they are aligned with your own values and the change you want to see in the world.

Together, we rise. 

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Joanna Sapir is a business strategist and coach helping innovative wellness practitioners and coaches build more profitable and sustainable businesses. She's on a mission to build a movement of people creating a new vision and reality for our future as humans on earth.

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