It’s easy to say that you want diversity in business, but it’s much harder to put it into actual practice.
That’s why this week on the #PrettyAwkward Entrepreneur Podcast, I’m chatting with Business Mentor and Copywriter Aleise Kay all about how you can implement true diversity and inclusion in your business moving forward. This is a really open and honest conversation that I know so many of us can learn and grow from, especially in the current climate.
But before we dive on in, let me introduce myself. My name is Megan Yelaney, and I have built two six-figure businesses and one multi-six-figure business by fully embracing my authentic self and not trying to hide the quirks that make me, ME. Meanwhile, Aleise Kay helps coaches profit with purpose and as a copywriter, turns words into wealth.
So if you’re a female entrepreneur looking to learn, grow your business strategies and mindset, and scale your biz to multiple six figures while having fun doing it…you’re in the right place, girl! Because I made this podcast exactly for YOU!
And today, we’re talking ALL about how you can actually put diversity in business into practice.
Aleise has been in the online space since October of 2018, but started out as a money coach and transitioned into different roles along the way. She can honestly say that a month ago, she did not see herself as some type of diversity expert, but she’s grateful people are now coming to her and using her as a resource. But outside of the diversity stuff, Aleise is a business mentor and copywriter. She especially focuses on helping coaches find purpose behind their business because so many can feel trapped in just working for money or not feeling passionate about their work. On a related note, Aleise also believes that understanding one’s mission and passion is key to being a good copywriter and writer in general. Because if you’re not passionate about what you’re writing, high-quality copy is going to be harder to produce.
Which brings us to discussing Aleise’s observations of copy related to diversity and the Black Lives Matters movement. She believes that a lot of people really don’t know how to articulate their feelings clearly in writing. However, a lot of other people are just copying and pasting captions or re-sharing viral quotes or graphics because they feel pressured to do so.
So how can you approach your content in a way that really feels good to you and your values, compared to posting or sharing out of guilt?
Well, Aleise suggests being open about feeling guilty, if that’s how you are feeling. Or even just write about how you don’t know what to say, because that shows more integrity than posting stuff you really don’t care about but feel like you should. Owning up to your own feelings, confusion or lack of words is more genuine. You can also admit that you’re learning. And the more you learn, the more confident you will be.
This podcast was created with YOU in mind. The female entrepreneur looking to learn, and grow your business strategies and mindset, to get your business off the ground and scale to multiple six figures and have fun doing it. To inspire and empower you to take the required action you’ve been putting off to create products and make sales.
Each week we will be covering topics that will help you start, grow and scale your business. Some topics that you can expect to be covered include:
I can’t wait to hear about what you learn, what makes you laugh, and what tips allow you to grow your business and brand as your authentic self.
One thing we wanted to get into talking about is how to not just have diverse and inclusive values for your business but to actually serve a diverse audience. And to be honest, when I actually take a look, I don’t have a lot of Black women in my programs. I want to, but I don’t know how to make it happen. And again, I want to emphasize that answering this question is NOT Aleise’s job. But she is gracious enough to be here, and here are some of her thoughts:
First of all, when Aleise first got into the online space and into her first mastermind, she was the only Black student. But she didn’t even notice it right away because it had been like that her whole life. And honestly, just because you have Black students doesn’t mean you’re a diverse business. Instead you have to answer hard questions like:
Because what really attracts diversity in your business is you actively being able to cultivate those relationships with those people of color and not just because you want them to be a client. You need to be intentional about making sure that you are surrounding yourself with all different kinds of people. You have to intentionally work to actually have the business that represents the value of diversity that you’re saying that you have. And you have to prove it 100 percent.
And I think Aleise hit the nail on the head by pointing out the importance of intentionality and authentically wanting to have a diverse business. Because you can’t just value diversity when people are looking. What are you going to do when nobody can see you? And once you live and breathe that intentionality, you will know how to make your program more inclusive and you will get to know the people that you want in your program. And part of getting to know them is speaking up when a family member makes an inappropriate comment or having deep conversations with friends. Will this be uncomfortable? Yes. But that’s what happens when you change.
So how can you actually start connecting with people of all different races and backgrounds and making them feel comfortable with you? One big first step to take is to think before you speak or write.
Aleise personally is very open when she reads people’s copy or programs, but she knows of many things that are offensive to a lot of other Black women. For example, when White women use sayings and phrases that are known to be used by Black women, like “lit,” “boo,” “hey girl,” or “hey queen.” So the program’s copy uses language that came from Black women but Black women aren’t actually represented in the program being promoted. Most people don’t realize those terms originated in the Black community and use them unintentionally, but it’s important to be aware of those phrases’ roots. And if you want to use those phrases, be sure to cultivate relationships with the same women that those phrases are supposed to represent and attract.
This also illustrates how important it is to get to know people of diverse backgrounds. After all, if you’re copywriting for someone and you use language that doesn’t actually represent how they speak, potential customers of theirs will notice that disconnect.
But also know this: if you’re not from the Black community and you’re feeling nervous and scared about what you say or write right now, first of all, remember this movement is not about you. So calm down. But also realize that if you’re really being genuine and intentional, it’s OK to mess up. But you have to admit that you’ve messed up. You have to accept when someone corrects you instead of getting defensive. Just say, “Oh, my gosh, I’m so sorry. I will do better.” Or, “Thank you for telling me that.” And some might say that Aleise’s attitude toward people messing up is too soft or kind, but she’s being herself. And the whole point of this movement is for us to be treated equally for who we are, how we look, etc.
It’s also important to realize that many Black people, especially those who grew up in a White neighborhood, went to college and worked in corporate America, had to learn White culture to be accepted and to understand what was happening. And right now, the roles are switching. So the non-Black community will have to put in time and a lot of effort into getting to know the Black community.
Three Rock- Solid, Step – By- Step Plans for Confidently Launching Your Programs And Cashing In Big Time
Your 12-Week Fast Track For Getting More Clients
Who Love Ya, Pay Ya, And Keep Coming Back For More
Connect, grow, and scale your business to 6-Figures. Awkwardly.
When Aleise looks back on this week, one of the biggest things she’s learned is just how many White people were actually interested in changing, but genuinely either never took the time to learn or just really had no idea how. For a long time, she thinks White and Black people accepted the status quo, but now more people have realized that they need to do better. Her biggest fear with everything that’s happening is that we’re just going to forget all about it and any progress will be lost. But she also thinks this has been a wakeup call for Whites to realize how much power their voice holds because, for so long, the Black voice was not respected or heard. So Whites choosing to speak up is what people are going to hear and act upon, whether people want to believe it or not.
And to end today’s episode, Aleise discussed an important question from one of the #PrettyAwkward community members: “I realize that only a few guests on my podcast have been Black women. I have a running list of women I wanted to pitch, a few of whom were Black, and I want to reach out to them now. But I worry it’ll feel like I’m trying to tick the box and that Black women will take offense at being reached out right now by White women. Is this a genuine concern or me overthinking?”
Now, Aleise does know some Black women who don’t like that they’re being pitched to at the moment, but she also has friends who don’t feel that way. Aleise recommends cultivating a relationship with speakers first, if you can. But if not, you could reach out and know that you will likely get mixed responses.
It’s also important to realize that just because you’re looking to diversify doesn’t mean you’re going to mesh with every single Black coach or interviewee or expert that’s out there, because you’re not. So it’s a good idea to check out a person’s feed and get an idea of who they are and if you vibe with them before reaching out to connect with them.
A little bit of the light during the dark of this time for both Aleise and me has been getting to know incredible people we hadn’t been exposed to before. I feel like I’ve already learned so much from finding people like Aleise, and it’s been a really cool growing experience. And I look forward to seeing where being more intentional about diversity and inclusion will take all of us and all of our businesses.
And as always, stay safe, stay healthy and stay #PrettyAwkward!
hank you so much for taking the time to check out the #PrettyAwkward Entrepreneur Podcast. I would LOVE to have the opportunity to connect with you, check out my #prettyawkward Female Entrepreneurs Create Impactful Passive Income free group on Facebook!
I have helped HUNDREDS of women get their unique coaching voice and find their soulmate (clients that is!)
Because I’ve been there too. I went from wanting to be a health and fitness coach...trying to take awkward booty pooping selfies, to embracing my #prettyawkward style and scaling my coaching business past six figures.