Episode #010 - Inclusivity in the Entrepreneurial Space: A Panel Discussion

Aug 05, 2021

Finishing the season with a bang! 💥  Katy Prince, Business and Sales Coach, talks with an incredible group of business owners and service providers about 'inclusion' within the entrepreneurial space. The episode features Jenny Jay, Alana Simpson and Sudduf Wyne, who each bring a unique and insightful take on the topic.

In their juicy chat, the panel covers:

  • Being a neurodivergent business owner
  • Appropriation of culture and language
  • The problem with 'tech-bros' and privileged decision makers
  • Hosting an inclusive and accessible event
  • Letting go of harmful narratives

Jenny Jay: https://www.jennyjay.ca/chapters @justaskjenny

Alana Simpson: alanasimpson.com @itsalanasimpson

Sudduf Wyne: intention.mykajabi.com @salamsudduf

Remember to tag us @squirmfreeschoolofbusiness as you're listening so we can give you a virtual high five 🎉

 

Thank you so much for joining us for Season 1 of Study Notes, it's been a blast. Season 2 will be dropping in soon.... until then, #KeepItSquirmFree!

Click here to apply for Squirm-Free Sales Masters.

 


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Katie Prince:
Welcome to the Study Notes Podcast, the podcast for all things, sales, service, and strategy for ethical entrepreneurs, brought to you by the Squirm-Free School of Business. I'm your host, Katie Prince, and I am obsessed with helping creatives, business owners and freelancers make money and reach their goals without the outdated business tactics that make us squirm. On this show, we are all about being inclusive, building confidence, being honest and fun. So, if you want to level up your business, but maybe you don't see yourself fitting within the traditional entrepreneurial mold, then pull up a seat, you are definitely in the right place.

Katie Prince:
Alrighty, let's get it going. I am so excited about this episode as we have the opportunity to speak today with not one but three, three incredible humans, to discuss the extremely important topic of being inclusive as a business owner, because whilst that is this one hefty topic, it definitely deserves a team effort. It needs to be a team effort. Today we are joined by PR mentor. Alana Simpson. A PR mentor strategy expert and textile fanatic. Alana guides entrepreneurs through public relations and helps them nurture their storytelling skills so that they can dive into doing PR for themselves and fill up the as seen in section of their website. Welcome Alana.

Katie Prince:
Next we have Muslim Business Coach Sudduf Wyne, who is not only the most in demand business coach in the Muslim women in business space, and seen in publications across Canada, but she is also a materials engineer with an Ivey MBA, and a mother of triplets. I mean, wow. Last but certainly not least. We have Jenny Jay. She is an award-winning cinematographer photographer writer, storytelling coach, and activist. She is the founder and owner of The Double Jay Collective, a photography and videography studio based out of Toronto Canada, where she helps brands create engaging, heartfelt and sales driven content.

Katie Prince:
Welcome to the Study Notes Podcast, everyone. I am so thrilled you're here. I'm going to be starting to guide today's conversation shortly with a few little starters for turn, but I'm also super excited or new questions and new directions to pop up within today's chat and steer us towards whichever direction we need to go in. We've already done your official intros, but let's kick off by getting each of you to introduce yourself to our listeners, to the folks tuning in, in your own words, please. Let us know who you are. Any ways that you like to identify and how you help people. Jenny, do you want to kick us off?

Jenny Jay:
Absolutely. Hi listeners. My name is Jenny Jay. I go by she, her pronouns, and I am an ethical storytelling coach. I am a full-time digital creator, and I am an educator. I'm very passionate about multimedia storytelling and doing it from a place that not only feels good to who we are, but also starts to shift narratives and create new ones in a world that so desperately needs it.

Katie Prince:
Amazing. Jenny, welcome. I'm so glad you're here. Sudduf, do you want to introduce yourself next?

Sudduf Wyne:
Hello, everyone. Thanks for having me here. My name is Sudduf Wyne, and I have a membership called Intention Membership, where I help Muslim women entrepreneurs lead their businesses with intention towards their God-given purpose. It's really rewarding and I've been doing it for a few years now. I also do some mentoring and coaching. I'm from Toronto and I'm a mom of almost four-year-old triplets. It's crazy, but so pumped to be here.

Katie Prince:
Yes. Oh my goodness. I don't know how you do it all. And Alana, welcome.

Alana Simpson:
Hey everyone. So my name is Alana Simpson. I go by she, her pronouns, and I am a peer mentor. What that means is I work with folks and I help them fill out the as seen in section of their websites and help them show and utilize, and just understand the power of what public relations can do for your business, and help them do it themselves. That just lights me up. I also go on all of the hikes and then I make all of the PR puns about all of the hikes.

Katie Prince:
We love a good pun.

Alana Simpson:
Exactly.

Katie Prince:
We love a good pun. Alrighty. I want to just kind of re-preface this convo by reiterating that yeah, if you've listened to any of our episodes so far, hopefully you're getting a feel by now that we like to create an inclusive space. It's something that's super important to me personally. In fact, the sort of whole reason that the Squirm-Free School of Business came to be was that, back in the days when I was first starting out as an entrepreneur myself, I never really felt comfortable within any of the existing options for communities that were on the table.

Katie Prince:
They were either too tech Bowie. Then the flip side, this sort of women empowerment conventions made me squirm as the empowerment on offer felt like it was reserved for a certain type of woman, for one type of woman. I'd even feel uncomfortable right down to the details of what should I wear to this thing to look like I fit in. That is with the lived experience of a white cisgender, straight passing, able-bodied woman married to a cis white man. I'm speaking from a place of immense privilege here.

Katie Prince:
I'm not going to pretend for a moment that we can possibly hope to discuss everything we need to, as it relates to inclusion in the entrepreneurial space in 60 minutes and with four voices. However, as you're listening to this, as you're tuning in, I want you to treat today as a conversation starter. A conversation starter, and we very much encourage you to continue that conversation with us over on Instagram with us @squirmfreeschoolofbusiness and with our amazing guests today. Let's get stuck in. I would love to start by asking each of you, what is most important to you about inclusion in the entrepreneurial space? Sudduf, would you be happy to kick us off?

Sudduf Wyne:
Yeah, for sure. And thank you for sharing a bit about your journey as well, because it helps when you hear others went through the same sort of thing regardless of how different we are. For me, inclusion is about creating communities and spaces where everyone is not just welcome, but everyone can see themselves in it. I can only speak from my own experiences and what I'm working on now, but for me, with my membership, we make sure that we're trying to actively ensure that people see themselves in this community before we put out our marketing and before we write our copy, and just ensuring that me, as like a brown woman who wears hijab, I'm not the only one who is making decisions here.

Sudduf Wyne:
Making sure there's other people on board chiming in, and then just making sure the community actually isn't inclusive, like asking them, and then taking a look around and seeing like, am I doing what I'm saying I'm doing? I've had my own experiences. I didn't wear a hijab. Seven years ago was when I started wearing hijab. Before that, my life was vastly different. I know what life was like before and what it was like after. Specifically to our community, as well as making sure that women who are Muslim and they don't cover their head feel just as welcome as women who do cover their head.

Sudduf Wyne:
It's an interesting sort of time that we're living in where this is kind of coming to the forefront. But for me, this was always something that I was trying to do and trying to build within our own community.

Katie Prince:
I love that. Thank you so much. The nugget I'm really putting for from this is, not only about the decision-making and involving lots of people in decision making. I think that's so important, but also, you say everyone needs to be able to see themselves, and I'm just scrolling down my notes here, because that is such like, oh, that really, really resonates, and is something to always return to and come back to. Thank you so much for that.

Sudduf Wyne:
Yeah, you're welcome. They have to see themselves, not just like with my team members and the people I hire, but within the actual community themselves, and it's really the only way.

Katie Prince:
100%. Alana, I would love to throw it over to you at this point. What is most important to you when you think about inclusion in the entrepreneurial space?

Alana Simpson:
I mean, when I was thinking about this question before, the biggest thing that came up for me was the idea of hustle culture, which is ironic because that's how we like really met, in terms of going to your anti-hustle retreat. But as someone who lives with ADHD, so for anyone listening who doesn't know what that is, that's attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, the hustle culture is really difficult for me, because one of the things that folks with ADHD suffer from is something called executive dysfunction.

Alana Simpson:
I'm not going to go into that because it's a huge thing, but the way that I experience it is I know I have a massive to-do list to do every single day, and I know that part of being successful in my business, especially as someone whose business is relationships, is like, it's so easy to just constantly be caught up in that. But the executive dysfunction basically causes me to freeze when I look at a to-do list, because it's really hard to conceptualize what a lot of those tasks look like.

Alana Simpson:
For someone hearing a lot of the time in hustle culture of like, you just got to go and you just got to do it, and you just got to keep hustling, that doesn't work for me, and it's extremely stressful and it's extremely demoralizing for someone who wants to build a wildly successful PR mentorship business to just not have that, as Sudduf was saying, visibility. Because I mean, obviously diversity comes in all shapes and forms and there's a lot of invisible visibility ironically, around ADHD because it's up here, like it's in your head rather ...

Alana Simpson:
Or the term neurodiversity is talking about how your brain is different than someone who's neuro-typical. That's, I think, the biggest piece for me, because I know that I don't fit in that hustle culture because it hurts, and I'm getting emotional talking about it.

Katie Prince:
Thank you so much, Alana. If you're listening to this and you're thinking like, oh, what is executive dysfunction? What is ADHD? What is neurodiversity? It's time to hop on Google and get curious, right? Sorry, you continue.

Alana Simpson:
I also want to say ADHD often presents differently in women. If you are someone who identifies as female, then I would recommend doing, if you're searching in Google, specifically search ADHD in women, because that's where the information is going to come up that's much more relevant to you, because I never identified with the visual of a hyperactive young white boy who couldn't pay attention in school. That was never me. I was always the inattentive ADHD in terms of I daydreamed and I couldn't focus on things in a different way. Just a little tidbit for folks who are interested in doing some research.

Katie Prince:
Thank you for that. That is so vulnerable. What's coming up for me when I'm listening to you right now is, it's so important for us to be mindful in our messaging, because yeah, without even realizing, by enforcing this hustle culture messaging, it is excluding people. On the surface, you may not realize, however, something beneath the surface that you can't see on site, is ... Yeah, thank you for that. Jenny, can I throw it over to you now? What's most important to you when you think about inclusion in the entrepreneurial space?

Jenny Jay:
I just think instantly of how much I'm ready for it to be bigger than all of our identities. I feel like we are in this space right now, where we have to focus on the experiences that we have and those realities, and we can't even get to the point where we're just treated in the same way with the same approach because we're not even respected or humanized to begin with. Something that I think of, like one of the many moments, but a very pivotal moment, that I was very conscious of this was, say in a past life, I was a co-founder for a startup company.

Jenny Jay:
We were pitching to a room full of investors that we had got an access to. I really wish I could tell you a different story, but it was a room full of older, well-off white men, who didn't, at all, understand what the heck these two women of color were telling them in front of them. We have this whole page, we deliver it, like I was shaking the whole time. At the end of it, one of them was like, "Well, I'm just curious, you're coming to us with this idea with all of this and you want this money, whatever, have you done a friends and family round yet?"

Jenny Jay:
I just remember looking at him and just being like, wow, you live in a world where it's just so obvious and so accessible for there even to be a friends and family rounds. That was just this huge thing. We ended up going out to Y Combinator out in Silicon Valley, like very, very tech bro startup culture spaces, being almost always like the only two women of color in a room, and just really, and truly noticing and realizing how much that was the first thing that everyone paused at and never even looked even further, or that completely disregarded our experiences and what we had access to as a result of our identities.

Jenny Jay:
It was so, so frustrating. I was in these accelerated programs getting funding and very like Ivey Business School, kind of spaces and just realizing how much none of it applied and all of it was ridiculous. That just isn't how business works. I just want to get to a point, like when we're talking about inclusion in business, that we can think beyond what we've been told our entire lives of what business owners look like, how we operate and build corporations and companies look like, and that it can really be different and tailored to all of our experiences, and that there is no one way just because one way has marketed for a very long time. I think of all of that, I think of all the frustrating rooms I've been in, I think of all the very ... I'm trying not to swear, I don't know [crosstalk 00:17:19].

Katie Prince:
You can do a swear.

Jenny Jay:
Just all the stupid like, ugh, things that are set up against us, and all the times that I've had to hold my tongue and filter also what I have to share and filter, and explain, and really almost explain and justify my experiences and humanity to even be taken seriously for a seconds. If we have to explain things for like 45 minutes, then we've got time on the clock. Five minutes left to do all the rest where everyone else gets like 50 minutes from the very beginning, it just doesn't work. It's not helpful, so that's what I think about.

Katie Prince:
100%. Yeah, like you say, if all of this extra time and energy and effort is being constantly funneled into just being in a position where you can be listened to, where you can be heard, then that's not right. That's not right. Sudduf, I see you kind of chuckling when Jenny mentions Ivey, because you have experienced there, right?

Sudduf Wyne:
Yeah. I won't name the school. It might've already been named, but yeah. I was like nodding my head vigorously because I went there, and when I was there, I didn't wear a hijab, but I still have the same faith and the same values and beliefs. I mean, I don't typically even shake hands with men. I don't drink, so I was left out of everything from the beginning. I asked someone who has gone on to be very successful in the entrepreneurial world. I distinctly remember being left out of the publications, of any of the opportunities that came along, any of the events where they would invite students, I was never invited. This isn't just the other students, this is the staff doing this. I remember complaining to my husband saying like, "I don't know why they always overlook me."

Sudduf Wyne:
And at the time, I thought, well, no, it can't be. It can't be because I'm brown. It can't be because I'm Muslim. Now I know better. And now I'm confident in my own skin, and 100% I know that's why I was left out of these opportunities. I'm still not recognized in their materials, and nobody follows up with me. Nobody checks in, whereas I see some of my counterparts who are not as successful as me, are always featured. They are like the star students. I finally, just maybe a year ago, or two years ago, realized that, wait a second. I was right.

Sudduf Wyne:
I was being left out because I'm, different, and it's not cool. It's not cool at all. Does it leave a bad taste in my mouth? 100%. Can they make it better? Yes. Maybe they'll listen to this. I'm right here. But yeah, it's tough. The tech bros that you mentioned, yeah, I lived through all of that as well, and I wasn't confident enough at the time to speak up or say anything. And I'm just so happy. I'm so happy now to have people that feel these things and are going to speak up against it, and we're making new spaces for women like us.

Katie Prince:
100%. Thank you so much. It goes back to what you were saying a moment ago about what happens when all the decision-makers look the same. All of the decision-makers deciding whether Jenny is going to get this funding or not, all of these decision-makers deciding whether someone's going to follow up with you, whether you're going to be invited, whether you're going to be featured in the publication, and you're right, it's not cool. How do we go about bringing in more decision makers? How do we, as change makers in our business, how do we get to sort of lead the way in terms of shaping that and building groups of decision-makers who do bring different ideas and who do bring different experience?

Katie Prince:
Alana, can I throw it over to you? You're in touch with sort of editors and people who are making these decisions a lot of the times, so I'm really curious what you think.

Alana Simpson:
Yeah. I mean, for those who are not aware, Twitter is a place to be in the PR world. It's where a lot of journalists live and search for people to speak about, but it's also where a lot of them sort of speak about the struggles. I mean, in Canadian media specifically, there's been a huge, huge change over the past year. People have been laid off. I would say a couple of times a year over the past five years, there's been a huge, huge change. There have been a lot of circumstances, over the past couple of years, where I like, I'm not going to name the company, but there was a company a couple of months ago that did a huge round of layoffs, and most of the folks who were laid off were women and most of them were women of color.

Alana Simpson:
I think there is change happening in terms of folks making these new spaces as we've been talking about, but in terms of media, I think the change is slow because there's not a lot of money in it, and so they're just trying to figure out how to make more money. They're not focused on how to make things more accessible, even though they say they are. But the stories that come out of the media space is just, it's heart wrenching. I mean, we all know the story of CBC and Q, and the host that shall not be named from a couple of years ago. That's not news to a lot of people, which is ironic, because it is the news, but it's not actual news.

Katie Prince:
Yeah, 100%. I think you hit on something so powerful and heart-wrenching, to use your words there is, profitability is a huge driver. I think so much, I do believe that there are lots of folks in the entrepreneurial space in this small business solopreneur environment where we sort of hang out and navigate and exist. Perhaps they would be more inclusive or perhaps they would be more diverse if it was more profitable for them, and the reality is that so much of what's happening in the online business world is trend-driven. We're rewarded for trending on Instagram, we're rewarded for going viral.

Katie Prince:
That can be profitable for us. It can allow folks to open up another revenue stream. I do think that trends have a lot to answer for. Something that I've always been very vocal about has been the sort of heavily gendered trends, sort of the trend that everyone's a babe. We're calling everyone girl, and it's just never something that's really resonated with me. I don't really put a label on my gender identity, but I do know that I have clear boundaries about being addressed with like hyper feminine language.

Katie Prince:
It's a trend that really gets under my skin personally and perpetuates the exclusion of folks on the gender spectrum or women who maybe don't feel particularly femme or what-have-you. I'm curious, what trends get under skin, get on your wig, make you squirm the most. Is anyone brave enough to share?

Alana Simpson:
I can go first because I have a list. I mean, I think the first one which I've already spoken about is the hustle culture. Just because I don't think it's accessible. I think there are a lot of barriers to being able to hustle because there are folks who can't just quit their job to be able to hustle all day every day. There are people who have mental health issues who are only able to work when they have the energy, or the spoons, or whatever. There's neurodiversity in the sense of dealing with executive dysfunction, which we spoke about before.

Alana Simpson:
The idea of hustle culture, I think, is really harmful because you have to do what works for you and what fits within the life that you're living. I think there's been a really wonderful discussion happening in the space that I'm in on social. I'm sure, I mean, we're all kind of in the same space. I mean, Vivian K. posted that tweet about like her entrepreneurial journey and how she's gotten to be where she is today, and basically saying like do you.

Alana Simpson:
I think that, that's been really powerful and I know she's ruffled a lot of feathers around that, because it is important to do you, and you can't fight the system without understanding ... Well, no, it's not on you to fight the system, but you can only do what you have access to. Right. That's a big one. Then, specifically around ADHD, the thing that really just rattles my change is when everyone says, oh, I'm a little ADHD, I can't focus. Or, oh, I'm a little OCD, I need to organize things specifically.

Alana Simpson:
That minimizes the experience of people who actually live with those things a lot. I feel like I'm sounding very aggressive in that, but considering that I recently found out that I have ADHD after living 27 years not knowing, and having to basically re ... What's the word I'm looking for? Reprocess my entire life. Hearing someone say, oh, I can't focus, so I'm a little ADHD. It's fine. That really bothers me. It's not okay. And if you have trouble focusing, cool, that's fine, but don't equate that to someone else's lived experience that is a barrier in a lot of ways.

Katie Prince:
100%, and you have every right to feel that way and I'm really glad that you're vocalizing it. Yeah, though this, it's sort of like this trend of picking up labels and just popping them on for a bit and then putting them back down, lovely, like that spreads into kind of other areas a lot. Jenny, what trends irk you, I want to know. I'm sure you have a list too.

Jenny Jay:
A list. I will start off with one on behalf of my mother that drives her up a wall. I think she will just appreciate this being out there, but the overuse and incorrect use of very deeply spiritual language, especially from like South Asian culture, religion practices, tradition. If I see guru or avatar on someone else's business something one more time, I, on behalf of my mother, and also on behalf of me, will revolt. There is, especially in like the life coaching space and the very manifestation heavy space, there is just such a taking and picking and choosing from very deep spirituality that's in the east.

Jenny Jay:
And then commodifying it, selling it, and being the people who end up profiting while the very same people from those cultures, traditions, religions are still not even treated as equals.

Katie Prince:
That's not cute.

Jenny Jay:
It's not cute. It's just not a good look for anyone. It's not helpful. And the other thing is actually in relation to something Alana brought up earlier and what we were talking about earlier, is the profitability of inclusion. I want to be careful with how I say this, but I think it is such a huge misconception that it is not profitable to be inclusive of communities, but the profitability shouldn't be what drives you. But let me tell you, if you were inclusive, the profitability is incredible, but I think companies and organizations who have only ever drawn in a certain type of community, there is a stage in which trust needs to be built.

Jenny Jay:
There is an awkward growing out stage, as you will, like you use the example of growing out a buzz cut. That stage is when the community is calling you into question. When they are asking, do I really trust you? You haven't shown me that you care about me in the past. Why should I give you my money? And in that stage, there isn't profitability, but it takes crossing it to get to the okay, we are here, we want to support you, we want to give you our money. We have the money resources to ... Listen, if you knew how much South Asian folks spends on weddings, you would know that there are entire communities that have money to spend.

Jenny Jay:
But we just assume that they don't and we assume the marginalized experience and the racialized experience has to always be paired with low socioeconomic status. While that is true, to some degree, based on the way systems are set up, it is not always the full truth and it is such a harmful approach that a lot of companies, organizations, business owners still think. You're like, well, boss babies is what makes money. Other people don't buy our ticket. Yeah, we don't buy her ticket because we don't want to give you our money because we're not going to get anything out of it. I don't know if we're supposed to also be naming companies, but yeah.

Katie Prince:
I mean, that's up to you. I have a feeling that we are thinking of the exact same conference by a prominent person in the self-development space. Yeah, what happens when you invite along token black and brown people to sit in your front row for the photos?

Jenny Jay:
I think-

Katie Prince:
We'll just leave a pause there, and folks, you can fill in your own blank on that. Sudduf, I'm really keen to throw it over to you at this point, because a moment ago, Jenny was talking about the appropriation of spiritual language, and I know that this is what your community is built around. So, what's your take? What's your experience?

Sudduf Wyne:
Yeah, and I wasn't sure if I would bring it up, but Jenny kind of said it, so I'm going to go with it. But it's something that is really a pet peeve is the way the word manifest is used, and the way it's become a trend and kind of this all encompassing word that you use for whatever it is you want, and then you kind of give yourself the accolades or the recognition for achieving whatever it was you achieve. The reason why it bothers me is because for us, like everything we do, has a very spiritual purpose and intention, and we know that there is God helping us through this task.

Sudduf Wyne:
Whether it's the universe or whether it's something else, it's not just you, it's not just a result of the action you took. There's so many other things. It could even be like the help of your support community or your coach. But it bothers me when people say and sell this idea of manifestation as, just as simple as that. as like, you manifest it and then it's going to happen, when it's almost offensive because that's not what's happening at all and you're taking all the credit for it. It makes me sad. It makes me sad that you're losing the spiritual aspect of ... And where this even comes from.

Sudduf Wyne:
I mean, even if you go to that book the secret or whatever, wherever it came from, it is about other things that are helping you get there. For us, it is very much, it's God helping you get there. He has a plan for you and you're kind of just walking into his plan. As a spiritual Muslim woman, that really, really bothers me. I haven't actually, this is the first time I'm talking about it, because I didn't want to step on any toes, but that's the truth. That's the truth of how I feel and how I wish people knew that, that using it was detracting Muslim women from using a service or communicating with them.

Katie Prince:
100%. It's not Amazon next day delivery here. Yeah, it's really like heavily, heavily used. I think I've definitely noticed myself picking up the habit of using that word because it is everywhere, and so thank you so much for the reminder and for putting that into further context. I know that a lot of people who are listening to this, it will ... You choosing to share that, Sudduf, will have a positive ripple effect. I invite you, if you're listening to this, to not to be affronted, but to be questioning and be curious, huh, why have I chosen to use that word when promoting my service? Why have I chosen to position my services in this way?

Katie Prince:
Does that idea belong to me? Does that belief, does that practice belong to me or am I doing it because someone told me that it would be profitable? Am I doing it because I saw someone else who seems to be doing rather well doing it and so better follow them? It's this curiosity, it's this willingness to question and to have different angle shown to us that ultimately is going to allow us to build more inclusive businesses, right?

Katie Prince:
Oh my goodness. I am so grateful for this conversation. I would love to know if any of you have, because yes, for every ... There were probably, for every 10 people who are grossly sort of misusing or following trends that are perpetuating problems, there are some really fantastic individuals and companies out there who are altering the usual narrative and who are doing a fantastic job of upholding inclusive practices. Does anyone have like a good example of a company doing that, that they'd be willing to share? Jenny, do you have someone in mind?

Jenny Jay:
Am I allowed to say the Squirm-Free School of Business?

Katie Prince:
Aw, I'm not paying her to say that, folks.

Jenny Jay:
But genuinely, I think, I don't think I've actually told you this, but I sent a lot of people your way to be like, if you want to understand how you can truly set up a coaching business especially, in a way that is not performative, not just based off of what's happening on social media and how people are perceiving you online, but truly at all its levels taking in inclusion and also being so open to growing and learning all the time, I think our business has actually done it really well. I think there is a structure and a format that you do have to taking in new information and being able to be with it and figure out, how do we sustain and we implement this in a way that everyone feels included?

Jenny Jay:
It's not without its hard moments. But I mean, the only other example that I have is Ben and Jerry's. Honestly though, Alana, she knows, they've got great PR statements part. I don't know. I don't know the full extent of how they put their money, where they put their money, and I'm pretty sure they do put their money where their say they do, but Ben and Jerry's has actually been something whose copy, at least in what they've written and what they've put out in their content, wow, just it's great.

Alana Simpson:
And their founders go to protests like Ben and Jerry's is just like ... I mean, ice cream is wonderful and is just like a way of life, but also, I was so impressed when I was researching the company, because you're right, they have great PR, and so I was like, ooh, learning. I was so impressed to see that the founders weren't just doing this for profitability, which obviously we've talked about multiple times. It's like they do, to the extent we don't know, but they do put their money where their mouth is. So, yes, thank you so much for bringing them up.

Sudduf Wyne:
I wanted to second ...

Katie Prince:
Oh, good. I was going to invite you in, Sudduf.

Sudduf Wyne:
Yeah, I was going to second what Jenny was saying in terms of you Katie, and there was a specific experience I had with you before I joined your coaching program that I've adopted as well. I don't know if you even remember this, but I'm sure you still do it, but I contacted you to be the speaker at a conference I was holding. At the end of our chat, we went through what topics and whatnot. You said, "Okay, I just have a few more questions before I can make my decision." And I said, okay. You asked me what I was doing to ensure that the event space was accessible. Nobody had asked me that before. Honestly, I did think about it kind of when I was choosing between a space with an elevator and stairs, but I wasn't even thinking about accessibility.

Sudduf Wyne:
I was thinking more of people walking up the stairs and getting tired. But when you said that, I was like, wow, why is this not part of my checklist? Then you asked me in terms of that, and then you also asked how I made it accessible for people who wouldn't be able to necessarily pay the full ticket price or whatnot. Luckily, we had scholarships set up, so I was like, okay, I'm doing something right. Then you asked how I was ensuring that the other speakers were also representative of who was attending and diverse.

Sudduf Wyne:
Luckily, I had done that work, and I made sure we did have a nice lineup, but you were the only one who asked me that. Ever since that day, anytime I've been invited to a panel or to speak, I ask who the other speakers are, and if they're doing, especially if it's a Muslim event, I ask if there's any black Muslims or current converts, just making sure there's a representative group. If they don't have one, I give up my spot, and I say, I want you to take my spot and give it to someone who is a black Muslim or a revert, or someone who's not brown or Arab, like the majority of Muslims who are on these panels.

Sudduf Wyne:
Not the actual majority of Muslims, just the ones they invite to the panels. A couple of people have come back saying like, well, give us suggestions. For the most part, they will not be able to find someone, or they're like, can you please just take the spot? And I'm just like a hard, no. I can't do this. This goes against it. It goes back to like, the question you asked us earlier is, how do we make these inclusive communities? Sometimes it means like saying no, and being like, until you do better, I don't want to be part of this.

Sudduf Wyne:
And it is hard because I want to, like I want to do those things, but you can't make change unless you say no sometimes and you let them know that you're not just going to go along business as usual. You don't stand for that. Yeah.

Katie Prince:
Thank you so much. I do remember that conversation. I mean, it was what? Nearly two years ago now, I think. I even sort of hesitated, because as a white woman, I was like, oh, should I even be asking this right now? I'm really grateful that you shared that because yeah, sometimes we do have to say no. I guess the tricky thing is, is that every time we say no, that perhaps someone is someone who has a similar level of privilege to ourselves or more so, waiting in the wings who's happy to say yes. Yeah, it's challenging.

Katie Prince:
I would love us to shift the conversation in a moment to sort of other things that we can all start doing and actions we can start taking, but it's not easy to say no, and also, it's challenging when there's a very real opportunity on the table to justify letting that go too. My personal view is like asking the questions really can create impact on its own and is definitely a great step that anyone who's listening or tuning into this can think about implementing, but I would love to know from your ... Jenny, you have something to add.

Jenny Jay:
Something I've just been thinking about a lot recently, especially in a post 2020 world, is that, before the year of 2020, I don't think there was a lot of space or openness for some of these harder conversations, that if we were to have voiced or shared, we would have been so quickly dismissed. It's not to say that we're not dismissed still, but there is almost like more pressure on the table for it to be taken more seriously, and there is just like so much validity in the concerns that we can bring up that wasn't there before.

Jenny Jay:
I think there's a level of forgiveness, especially if you are marginalized, especially if you have said yes to those things in the past, because you just needed the opportunity and you knew it was going to go to someone else who probably had even more privilege if you said no to that. I think there can be a level of forgiveness for why we had to operate in the world before, and also an understanding of this is how we actually can operate in the world now.

Jenny Jay:
Although that's really scary because it's a huge shift in our behavior, and especially if you are from a marginalized background or experience, if you've lived your whole life just being told you had to take things because otherwise you weren't going to get anything and you're going to be the last one in the running so you just take what you can get, it's a very different way of behaving. So, just want to offer the space for that as well.

Katie Prince:
Thank you. As you say, it's like a new behavior. I don't think new behaviors is ... It's really scary. Let's be real. It's really scary. What do you think we can all start, and when I say all, I mean both ourselves as a community here and also our wider community of folks who are listening, what and how can we start behaving differently and introducing those new behaviors within our own businesses within the way that we operate as individuals to help drive that change towards a more inclusive environment for everyone? We've spoken about asking information about other speakers and events and asking for criteria before we say yes. What else can we do, do you think? Alana, do you want to jump in?

Alana Simpson:
Yes. Once again, I have a list. Mine are really big because I recognize like my experience as a white woman is different, and I'm speaking only from a position of neurodiversity. The first thing I think that is really big is this like fluffy phrase, like learn about yourself. Because up until I was 27 years old, I didn't know that I had this thing that, or I lived with this form of neurodiversity that really impacted the way that I processed life.

Alana Simpson:
Another thing about ADHD is I process time very differently than most people. It's either now or not now, that I don't have anything else. For example, for this recording, I was on Instagram, as one is, and I was lucky that I realized what time it was, because the reminder I had set was not close enough to the recording, that it was very easy for me because I wasn't looking at a clock. It's really easy for me to not realize what time it is. Something that's really prevalent in PR agencies, for example, is you have to track your time.

Alana Simpson:
That's very, very difficult for me because it's either now or not now. I was always so frustrated about the fact that I couldn't articulate why doing tasks was hard. I was so frustrated articulating why I was late for things, and it's not because I am lazy and it's not because I don't care. It's because I perceive life differently than other people. Now that I've learned about myself and I now have taken the time to learn about myself, I can articulate that in a way that I couldn't before. I think I'm inviting folks who have the time and the ability, because I know that not everybody has access to that. I totally respect that, but if you're able to, I invite you to.

Alana Simpson:
Because not only that, but folks with ADHD often have trouble cutting people off. I know that, that, especially as a white woman, I know that my voice carries a certain power that cutting a person off is a very powerful act and could hurt a lot of people. So, now, knowing that, that's something that I have difficulty with, I'm very aware of that, and I can use that to help make sure that I am not harming someone because of that. That's really important. I could talk about other things too, but I also want to make space for other folks to talk about other things, so we can come back to other parts of my list after other folks have spoken.

Katie Prince:
Thank you, Alana, and yeah, learn about yourself. I've written it down in capital letters in my notebook. And yes, first on your to-do list, folks, go and learn about yourself for real. I'm so grateful for that point. Jenny, what would you add? What else can we start doing?

Jenny Jay:
I think I have a little example, a little metaphor, if I may. I think we really have to get in the practice of letting go. When I say letting go, I mean, letting go of the narratives that have existed for so long, because I feel like we just feel so attached to them. The example I want to bring up is Harry Potter. I grew up reading Harry Potter. I grew up in the world of Harry Potter. I thoroughly imagined myself as a Hermione, even though apparently, I'm a Ravenclaw. I thoroughly detest that I am a Ravenclaw. I self proclaim to be a Gryffindor.

Jenny Jay:
I just grew up so attached to the words that J. K. Rowling wrote. Even when I went to university, I took English literature classes, and one of them that I took was understanding the impact of Harry Potter in our literature, and took an entire course, a university level education course on analyzing the stories and the world of Harry Potter. And then two years ago, three years ago, J. K. Rowling started to share some pretty horrible views, some very transphobic trans-exclusionary views. For anyone who's been a part of the Harry Potter world, Harry Potter is something that is huge and also identity building and forming, especially even in the queer community.

Jenny Jay:
I feel like it's this whole subculture of the queer community to be really seen and felt like they belonged in the world of Harry Potter. So, to have the creator of these narratives suddenly be someone who was transphobic and held very dangerous, but very well articulated, dangerous views was very heartbreaking. So, you have an entire generation of people who grow up who might have Harry Potter tattoos, or might have heavily associated with the words that brought them so much joy and safety when they didn't have that safety in their own homes, and then you have to let go of it.

Jenny Jay:
You have to let go of an entire narrative that no longer fits in your current world, and it's really painful. I think that's actually like the reckoning that continues to happen is this huge realization that yes, these narratives that have existed provided a lot of safety for a lot of people, a lot of support, a lot of reassurance, whatever the narratives are, be it that you can do anything and meritocracy is real, or whatever it is, that Boss Baby is empowering. For a time and a space, they could have been really healing for people and really supportive.

Jenny Jay:
But there is now the time to let it go, and that's hard, and we can have compassion, but it is violent to keep holding onto them as well. And there needs to be that understanding, and probably if you have access to it, therapy that you book in between it all to [inaudible 00:54:05] process it, or community members that you can lean on, but I think that's a huge part because we can have the checklist of things we can do. There are checklists of things you can do. But you also have to have that shift in your mind and understanding why instead of just doing it because someone's told you, here's a checklist and you should do it.

Katie Prince:
Oof, thank you so much. And yes, therapy for the win. Therapy for the win, and thank you so much for that. Yeah, I think that's going to stay with a lot of people, and I guess as you're processing and thinking to yourself after you've digested this episode, and definitely do go back and digest it a couple of times, because there's a lot in here, and I invite you to yeah, start to investigate that self discovery. What narratives do I need to let go of and what's causing me to hold on to them? Why am I afraid to let go of them? There's so much there. Thank you, Jenny. Sudduf if I could throw it over to you just to sort of take us home with, what other actions can we start to do from today to help us move towards a more inclusive environment for everyone?

Sudduf Wyne:
Yeah, for sure. Jenny, I totally resonated with that just before I share my points. My J. K. Rowling was a male white coach from just last year who, he shall not be named, but he taught me a lot about memberships and it was a really hard pill for me to swallow when I realized that our values were incredibly misaligned and it was really toxic, and it is tough, so I resonate with what you were saying. A couple of things that I recommend doing and that I've been doing is one really easy one, is follow people on Instagram who don't look like you, who don't necessarily share the same values and beliefs. I got a DM from someone today who said, "Hey, I noticed you started following me, and I'm so embarrassed to say that I've actually never seen a Muslim entrepreneur coach, so can I ask you a couple of questions and talk to you?" And I appreciate it.

Sudduf Wyne:
She just wanted to open this dialogue. And I realized that, by us following people who don't look like us, we are opening up that dialogue too. That's something easy you can do, and you can extend it into the books you're reading, the podcasts you're listening to, like ensuring the authors are diverse, that they don't look like you. Then if you have kids, reading them books that have kids that either do look like them or don't look like them, like a mix of everything. I know we're trying really hard with our kids to do that, and they love it. They love it so much. They love seeing that. The final thing that I'm doing now is I'm reading a book called Me And White Supremacy.

Sudduf Wyne:
I believe it's by Layla Saad. She has really good journaling points at the end of each chapter, so it's not just a book you read, you actually get to do the work at your own pace at the end, and I'm not done going through the entire thing, but I found it really helpful as a Pakistani woman who looks kind of white and Arab, and before I wore hijab, I was passed as like white, so I'm finding myself really unpacking a lot just with that book. Those are just a couple of things that I think would be really helpful for all of us to be more inclusive.

Katie Prince:
Fantastic. Thank you so much. As we're coming to the end of our episode, hopefully you're seeing why I said this was just the beginning of the conversation. We could not possibly hash out the whole thing now, could we? If only. As you're digesting everything that we've discussed today you know, treat this as the start of a conversation, a conversation with us, with the Squirm-Free School of Business and with our amazing panelists today, a conversation with those around you, a conversation with your clients, a conversation with your peers, a conversation with your team, and a conversation with yourself most importantly.

Katie Prince:
I'm so, so grateful to all of you for your time, for sharing your experiences and being so generous in this conversation. I really, really value that. Before we wrap things up, I know that everyone who has connected with you over the last sort of 45 minutes or so is definitely going to want to connect with you further. Let's do a quick whip round and let the listeners know where to find you if they want to hear more from you, or they want to follow your content, they think your services could be handy. Give us all the links. We're going to put them all in the show notes, but I want to hear where we can find you. Alana.

Alana Simpson:
Sure. So, you can find me on Instagram. My handle is itsalanasimpson. I spell my name, A-L-A-N, as in Nancy, A, because I know there are so many variations of it. And you can find a lot more on my website, which is also alanasimpson.com. If you're not sure how to spell Simpson, it's like the cartoon. That's what I say to everybody.

Katie Prince:
Brilliant. Thank you. Sudduf, where can people go to connect with you?

Sudduf Wyne:
You can find me on Instagram at @salamsudduf. I will spell the entire thing for you because there's no fun way to remember it. Salam is S-A-L-A-M, and Sudduf is S-U-D-D-U F. You can also check out my website at www.salamsudduf.com, and I'd love, love, love to hear from you if you're listening to this episode and want to chat, I'd love to chat.

Katie Prince:
Thank you. And Jenny, well, tell the people where to go.

Jenny Jay:
They can find me on Instagram. That's mostly where I live, and my Instagram handle is @justaskjenny. So, J-U-S-T-A-S-K-J-E-N-N-Y. And if you're listening to this episode, send me a DM and tell me that you are, because I want to know where you came from in my corner of the internet. And the website is jennyjay.ca, so Jay like Bluejay.

Katie Prince:
Fantastic. Thank you so much. And definitely do go and connect with our panelists today. Thank you so much for joining me in this conversation. I am beyond grateful for everything that you've shared, and we'll see you soon, connect with you soon.

Katie Prince:
Well, it is with an enormously heavy heart that I say this is the end of the Study Notes Podcast season one, but wow, what an amazing episode to finish on. Wow, I'm so grateful for everyone who has tuned in, supported this podcast, who has participated, who has tagged us on Instagram, who has shown up and shared what you thought as you were making your very own study notes. I am already itching with excitement to get going on season two. We've got so much more juicy content in mind to help you navigate the world of sales, implementing great service, and strategy in an ethical way inside your business.

Katie Prince:
Keep your eyes and ears peeled. And if you have enjoyed any of what we've spoken about over the past 10 episodes and you want to learn how you and your business specifically can start getting more sales in a non icky way, whilst also being held throughout the entire process, then you are invited to apply to join our Squirm-Free Sales Masters community. So, Squirm-Free Sales Masters is the signature program brought to you by the Squirm-Free School of Business, and it is designed to help entrepreneurs build their skillset across three core areas of selling.

Katie Prince:
So, you get access to all of the detailed trainings our clients have used to bring in anywhere from 1,000 to 40,000 in revenue each month. We provide you with a locker of templates and scripts for every stage of the sales process, access to weekly coaching, and practice calls with myself and our coaching team. We, oh my gosh, we do you weekly content critiques so that we can get our eyes and brains on everything that you're working on inside the program, as well as welcoming you into an incredibly empowering and inclusive community of other business owners, just like Jenny, Sudduf and Alana.

Katie Prince:
Head on over to squirmfreesales.com/apply. To find out more, submit your application today and get involved. As always, the link will be in the show notes. Do go ahead and follow us @squirmfreeschoolofbusiness on Instagram so that you can stay in touch so that you can access sales tips during our season hiatus. Do tag us in your stories and let us know your biggest takeaway from today's episode, or whatever your win was this week, so that we can celebrate with you. And, if you've enjoyed this season at all, please, please do leave us a review on Apple Podcasts.

Katie Prince:
Let us know your thoughts. It really does mean so much, and it ... We're in this algorithm life now, and it really helps other people discover the podcast. All right, over and out, folks. I will see you in the next season. Remember to keep it squirm-free.

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