Like a lot of people my age I was raised to believe there’s certain things you just don’t talk about; especially not in the workplace.
Specifically, those things are money, politics, race and religion.
My quiet “don’t rock the boat” parents taught me to work hard, keep my head down and don’t get involved. If I could get through the 50+ years of my career following that philosophy, I’d come out fine in the end. Maybe even on top.
And I know for a lot of people, and a lot of companies, that mindset still feels true today. With social media and the rise of solopreneurship, more people than ever have a ‘personal brand’ to worry about, and as a result, find themselves sticking hard to how they were raised.
But, with social media, comes a global community that is more involved and “woke” than ever before. The idea that sometimes you just have to grit your teeth and quietly work with people you disagree with, is becoming a distant memory - especially for the aforementioned solopreneurs.
We get to choose who we do and don’t work with. That’s the pure beauty of being in it alone.
Which begs the question of why so many influencers, entrepreneurs, small businesses and freelancers have remained silent throughout all the bullshit 2020 has thrown at us?
These days I don’t think there’s a single excuse to not be or become informed about what’s happening in the world. It’s so easy to be educated about anything and everything; Google is literally right at our fingertips.
Increasingly, the brands and the influencers that have remained silent are sticking out like a sore thumb. I’m paying attention and I’m an extremely privileged white person. So imagine how many other people, people who may be part of their target audience, are also paying attention?
The silence from some corners is absolutely deafening.
I know that a lot of people are saying nothing because they're taking the time to educate themselves first; I hope that's true and I hope those people remember that having the opportunity to learn instead of experience is a privilege.
I also know that there are heaps of brands out there just posting about the issues performatively, without actually taking any action. Believe me, people are paying attention to that too. You have to walk the walk.
I’m not saying you have to comment on every single issue… and I’m definitely not saying you should be posting just for the sake of appearing in the know. Stick to just the ones that actually mean something to you; speak from a place of passion and learning. Anything less is performative and dishonest. For me, that happens to be intersectional feminism and environmentalism, and those happen to be very pressing issues right now.
But say something. Is there really nothing you care about besides your brand?
If your content plan and your business values don’t allow you the flexibility to speak about the things that truly matter to you, then are you really being your true self? And if there’s parts of you you’re hiding, then are you really showing up with the “honesty” and “authenticity” so many of you are claiming to have?
Until next time, look after yourself!