By Annie Schuessler
I really didn’t know I could be a progressive feminist and an entrepreneur at the same time. I held a mindset that wealth equals abuse of power and poverty equals righteousness.
Spoiler alert: I’m a progressive feminist and an entrepreneur, and I love profit!
Let’s go back about 10-15 years. My old mindset kept me from growing my therapy business to the point where I could make a profit. I kept my fees very low. I didn’t market actively. Along with my wife’s salary, my business provided me just enough to pay my bills and scrape by in the San Francisco Bay Area.
I didn’t even realize I was carrying around this mindset. If you’d asked me, I would have said that, of course, it’s possible to be progressive and make a good living. But I knew I needed help with my money issues, and that I had some kind of money mindset block.
I worked hard to get to the bottom of my money stuff. I read self-help books, hired business coaches and even worked with an energy healer specializing in money.
It was with the energy healer that I hit my money mindset block.
I discovered that I had made an internal, silent, unconscious promise when I was in my late teens: I would never make more money than I needed.
In this way, I would keep myself in the struggle for justice. I would hold on to my identity as an intersectional feminist at any cost.
As soon as I discovered my well-meaning, idealistic and totally pointless promise, I was ready to let it go. I now know that the more money I make, the more I can make an impact in every way I want to, including politically.
The first thing I changed was my relationship to marketing. I had always felt uncomfortable when I created my website, networked, or in any way marketed my services. Now I gave myself permission to speak honestly about my services. Marketing is just a conversation with people who need my help. It’s no big deal, and it can even be fun.
I also found other progressive entrepreneurs who are driven to make a profit and make an impact at the same time. Every time I talk with these folks, I become a smarter business owner. We support each other in growing our businesses and challenge each other to play bigger. My feelings and behaviors around charging money have changed a lot since I dropped that old promise.
Charging enough for my services is part of taking care of myself and my family. If I didn’t take good care of us, I’d be resentful and I’d burn out.
I wouldn’t be able to take time off or seek out my own healing when I need it. That wouldn’t help my clients. It would actually harm them. The more money I make, the more choices I have and the more people I can help.