HERdacious

Queen of Entrepreneurship

November 16, 2020 HERdacity Season 1 Episode 37
HERdacious
Queen of Entrepreneurship
Chapters
3:30
Challenges for female business owners
8:33
Solutions
12:30
Intersection of entrepreneurship and leadership
17:10
The Final Battle: ROI vs. ROE
20:19
Cultivating joy
23:23
Why it matters
32:25
Femme fact: The 1619 Project
HERdacious
Queen of Entrepreneurship
Nov 16, 2020 Season 1 Episode 37
HERdacity

Female Entrepreneurial Leadership

In this episode, herdacious host Lorelei chats with Lauren Fritsch about the intersecting path of entrepreneurship and leadership. Lauren brings her experience as a lifelong female entrepreneur to talk about the differing gender expectations, the challenges, the return on emotion, and much more. Whether you’re launching your first birdhouse venture as a budding 12-year-old or you’re a seasoned business owner who’s written more proposals than you care to share, Lauren spills the deets on moving forward in your business in bigger and more joyful ways.

Host: Lorelei Gonzalez
Co-host: Lauren Fritsch

Lauren Fritsch is a speaker, entrepreneur, artist and mom. After nearly two decades running her boutique management consulting firm, Lauren created and operates the Joy|Money Matrix and Magnetic Customer Experience. The Joy|Money Matrix and Magnetic CX teach leaders to build joyful organizations and use psychology-driven acquisition strategies to drive revenue and improve retention of both customers and employees. Lauren lives in the Dominican Republic while her team works out of their Millbrook, NY office in the Hudson Valley. Above all, Lauren believes that we are all more than enough, in the power of people to change, and that art and yoga could achieve world peace. You can find her at JoyMoneyMatrix.com, LaurenFritsch.com and MagnetismFactor.com 

Things you will learn in this episode (chapter markers available):  

  • Challenges for female business owners 3:30 
  • Solutions 8:33
  • Intersection of entrepreneurship and leadership 12:30 
  • The Final Battle: ROI vs. ROE 17:10 
  • Cultivating joy 20:19 
  • Why it matters 23:23
  • Femme fact: The 1619 Project 32:25 

Resources mentioned in this episode:  

Link to show transcript here. 

Episode sponsors:  

Looking for additional resources on this topic? Check out our blog post “The Ultimate Guide to Setting (and Achieving) Your Goals”

Loved what you heard on herdacious and want to share with friends? Tag us and connect with HERdacity on social media:
Twitter: @herdacity
Facebook: @HERdacity
Instagram: @herdacity
LinkedIn: HERdacity

For up to date information on HERdacity events, webinars, podcasts, and community activities, join our newsletter here

 

Disclaimer: While we appreciate our sponsors' support in making this show possible, herdacious content is curated with integrity and honesty.

Support the show (http://herdacity.org/donate/)

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Female Entrepreneurial Leadership

In this episode, herdacious host Lorelei chats with Lauren Fritsch about the intersecting path of entrepreneurship and leadership. Lauren brings her experience as a lifelong female entrepreneur to talk about the differing gender expectations, the challenges, the return on emotion, and much more. Whether you’re launching your first birdhouse venture as a budding 12-year-old or you’re a seasoned business owner who’s written more proposals than you care to share, Lauren spills the deets on moving forward in your business in bigger and more joyful ways.

Host: Lorelei Gonzalez
Co-host: Lauren Fritsch

Lauren Fritsch is a speaker, entrepreneur, artist and mom. After nearly two decades running her boutique management consulting firm, Lauren created and operates the Joy|Money Matrix and Magnetic Customer Experience. The Joy|Money Matrix and Magnetic CX teach leaders to build joyful organizations and use psychology-driven acquisition strategies to drive revenue and improve retention of both customers and employees. Lauren lives in the Dominican Republic while her team works out of their Millbrook, NY office in the Hudson Valley. Above all, Lauren believes that we are all more than enough, in the power of people to change, and that art and yoga could achieve world peace. You can find her at JoyMoneyMatrix.com, LaurenFritsch.com and MagnetismFactor.com 

Things you will learn in this episode (chapter markers available):  

  • Challenges for female business owners 3:30 
  • Solutions 8:33
  • Intersection of entrepreneurship and leadership 12:30 
  • The Final Battle: ROI vs. ROE 17:10 
  • Cultivating joy 20:19 
  • Why it matters 23:23
  • Femme fact: The 1619 Project 32:25 

Resources mentioned in this episode:  

Link to show transcript here. 

Episode sponsors:  

Looking for additional resources on this topic? Check out our blog post “The Ultimate Guide to Setting (and Achieving) Your Goals”

Loved what you heard on herdacious and want to share with friends? Tag us and connect with HERdacity on social media:
Twitter: @herdacity
Facebook: @HERdacity
Instagram: @herdacity
LinkedIn: HERdacity

For up to date information on HERdacity events, webinars, podcasts, and community activities, join our newsletter here

 

Disclaimer: While we appreciate our sponsors' support in making this show possible, herdacious content is curated with integrity and honesty.

Support the show (http://herdacity.org/donate/)

Sponsor

Today's episode is brought to you by HERdacity. HERdacity is a non-profit inspiring confidence in women to achieve their professional goals. For resources, networking opportunities, and a strong community of women, visit herdacity to learn more. 

 

Lorelei

Welcome to HERdacious, a podcast for audacious women. Welcome, welcome to you all, to HERdacious in the fall. I'm Lorelei, I'm super glad you decided to join us today because we're gonna be talking about female entrepreneurial leadership. And to help me, support me, join me in this conversation, I have a lifelong entrepreneur, the owner of a boutique consulting firm, the creator of The Joy|Money Matrix, and Magnetic CX, Lauren Fritsch. Hey, Lauren.

 

Lauren

It's super nice to be here.

 

Lorelei

I'm super glad to have you. Now, Lauren, to kick off our conversation, I want to know why you wanted to start a business...

 

Lauren

I've been an entrepreneur since I was in second grade. I started selling bird houses that we made at the end of our driveway, and fortunately we had a driveway that went on to a two-lane highway, and so we got lots of traffic, we learned early on the concept of being the only one in your market as well as location. And so that first day, I think we made about 25 bucks. Since then, I started my real business when I was 23 and knew very quickly within six months of graduating from college and having a job in New York City, I knew that I was not cut out for a nine to five job, nor was I cut out for having a boss.

 

Lorelei

You wanted to be your own boss? 

 

Lauren

Absolutely. 

 

Lorelei

Why? What about that appealed to you? 

 

Lauren

Well. I think the people who don't wanna have their own boss probably have a combination of childhood trauma, and there's also a concept that's uniquely American, I think, but wanting to be responsible for what you achieve, and I think everyone in my family has that characteristic, but also my dad is an entrepreneur, and everyone else in my family is in sales. I don't think that's an accident. I think that we have a trait that lends itself to being able to sell, which is how I got started in business, but also just the idea that when you're in sales or you start your own business, you get to achieve however much you want to achieve, I wanted to be more in charge of what am I achieving? And I wanted to be more in charge of, frankly, the schedule of my day-to-day life, and that has informed a lot of my choices regarding business, certainly as I've become a mom as well, at the time was probably a character flaw and hubris, and now I know that it's that I had an inkling very early about the way to be true to myself and support myself in a way that would not burn me out and that would take into account my unique strengths, but also my weaknesses, and entrepreneurship was the way to do that.

 

Lorelei

Share with us some of the challenges you've experienced along the way or have observed that you think specifically affect female business owners. So I wanna be clear here, because female business owners are awesome and brave, and the vast majority of my work with companies that are in the 10 million to a billion in revenue year, they literally have all been run by men. I have never gotten to work with a larger company run by a woman, so all of the contacts that I have regarding women business owners is small business owners under 10 million in annual revenue, and that alone is an important data point. And I'm gonna get to that. So number one, I think women business owners tend to be under-capitalized, for example, when a woman start the business, she basically starts selling whatever it is, she uses whatever money she has around, creates the service or the product, solves it and starts generating revenue immediately. Contrast that with how the average guy starts business. The average man who starts a business doesn't have validation, he has a deck and he goes to some people and get other people's money to then start the business and do the minimum viable product and get the market validation, no money has been made yet, but usually men get investments in the millions and more. I've known many men who have failed serially at tech startups, continue to get 10, 50, 100 million investment. I know, it's crazy. So the first thing is that women's businesses tend to be under-capitalized, and that can be both a blessing and a curse, it’s the reason that women's businesses are so often profitable from the get-go. It's also one of the reasons that they are not able to grow and scale as quickly, so under capitalization can make you super creative, it can make sure that you don't throw good money after bad because you've already got your market validation, which is amazing, but it can also be a crutch, certainly at certain inflection points in the growth cycle, so I just wanted to give you context on how that looks for women-owned businesses, and the other issue that women often run into, and this is related to under-capitalization, is that many women's businesses are required to also fund their lifestyle and that of their family immediately, and that is usually not the case for men's businesses. So I'll give you an example. I know a woman, she has a consulting firm, it's small, she has three children, her husband is a very high-powered CEO, and she is doing amazing work and getting paid for it. Her clients are super happy. Her clients are executives at all these Fortune 100s, basically, it's a legit business, and instead of allowing her to use that profit to reinvest in the company, that money is earmarked for private school tuition, even though the husband's salary more than covers it. In it’s seven-figure rate. 

 

Lorelei

Wow.

 

Lauren

That's just one example of how women's businesses are often required to fund family and lifestyle expenses again from the get-go, even without investment upfront, and then a third point on challenges for women business owners is that women frankly, still have more home and caregiver responsibilities whether it's elder care. Child care, pet care, neighbor care, whatever care. And that hasn't changed. Here we are, it's November 2020, and women are still bearing the brunt of covid shut downs with regard to school and elder care, and home care and caregiving activities require so much of women, and they don't have any monetary value attached to them. And the result is that women are not only being entrepreneurs and leaders in their businesses, but also they're required to really be leaders in the home, it's an unusual and quite frankly, rare situation when the other partner actually does a lot to support the entrepreneur, if the entrepreneur is a woman, and so I'd love to see more women with partners who are willing and able and do step up to the plate so that the business owner does not have to have a leadership role in both spheres.

 

Lorelei

Well, you actually just dove tail into my next question, what do you see as some of the antidote to the challenges that you just described to us?

 

Lauren

So a lot of it is personal. I think it has to start on the micro level in order to fix some of these challenges, let's start with the home, and because I think that's probably the one that hits home the most, and it's the one that we have, frankly, a lot of control over, but there are a bunch of books that have been written about balance and having it all, and certainly that was a big discussion some years ago, there is a book out, it's called Drop The Ball, which might be helpful for people to read, and it's certainly helpful for a woman to get comfortable delegating at home and delegation at home can be hard, but I'll give you an example too of someone, she is a client of mine. She is a licensee of the Joy|Money Matrix. Her name is Julie Abel, and she's a coach, and she did the Joy|Money Matrix, and as soon as she was done with it, she said, That's it. I'm not doing any more laundry, and she delegated laundry to her three children, have since taken over laundry, and it seems like such a small meaningless thing, but she was able to offload that in quite a few other items on her to-do list that in the past she had been taking the leadership role on, she was playing all-time quarterback, and so that's one thing that we have to start doing is get comfortable delegating, and that's hard and challenging, especially around the home, the other piece. Let's tie it back together, funding, lifestyle and family from your revenue and also being under-capitalized, I really think that women need to think bigger, and we're not always trained to think bigger, we're not encouraged to think bigger, and it seems like such a weird challenge.

 

 

Lorelei

Yeah, what do you mean? Think bigger?

 

Lorelei

Yeah, let me get specific. So let's go back to men with their pitch decks. When a guy rolls in with a deck, they're like, I'm gonna make this a billion dollar unicorn company. And the women are just like, I just wanna hit 100K. That's so different. And look, there is nothing wrong with having a business that has an annual revenue of 100K and maybe net 40 or 50 after taxes and expenses, that's a 50% profit margin. Super healthy, nothing wrong with that, but the fact is that there are guys who go out who have these business ideas and they're building things that are big, that are sustaining, employees that are sustaining market sectors in towns and cities around the US, and I think that women have exactly the same capacity to have that impact, if they start to think bigger, how do we do that? You have to be surrounded by people who also want to think bigger, it's hard to do it in a vacuum, so if you don't know someone who thinks big, then you need to go find someone who thinks big. It's a real challenge. It's weird, I guess, that we don't talk about it more, but it is a challenge. So I think that piece is crucial because if you don't go in with that idea of like, Wow, I can really do this, then it's hard to build to that.

 

Lorelei

Yeah, I appreciate your bringing that challenge and that perspective to the table, I think that's really powerful and empowering. Now, because I hear you stepping out in front of this issue, I hear you leading on this, so I wanna ask you, where do entrepreneurship and leadership intersect for you?

 

Lauren

So I think they are parallel and we need them to be in tandem together all the time, like yolks together, and I think that having worked with the CEOS, those companies have thousands or thousands or tens of dollars of employees, who again, are men, and seeing how they show up in lead. To me, if you are going to be an entrepreneur or entrepreneurial in your role in your job, then it is required, it is incumbent upon you to develop your leadership skills, and frankly, companies can be dysfunctional and there can be toxic situations, and what that tells me is that a lot of people aren't necessarily developing their leadership as they're developing their entrepreneurship, but I also believe that companies are as dysfunctional as they're most dysfunctional people, and so for us to be good leaders and to be the most impactful entrepreneurs we can be, we also have to develop ourselves and we have to develop our character, and it's not comfortable, it's hard, and I think that entrepreneurship is actually one of the paths that makes developing your leadership and your character so rich and fulfilling as a process. You can certainly be an entrepreneur and not care about your leadership skills and not care about becoming a better human. And you can be very successful. They're plenty, I have met them. Okay.

 

Lorelei

I can think of a few.

 

Lauren

Yeah, but I also think that there's this huge and beautiful opportunity for especially women who desire to be entrepreneurs who are already in that space, not to fall into the same tropes and cliches of entrepreneurship that are skewered in, I don't know, shows like Silicon Valley, for example, or Succession, if you watch any of those shows, but to be really amazing leaders with integrity who are trying to support the humans that they work with, the best they can.

 

Lorelei

Do you think this parallel path of entrepreneurship and leadership is slightly different for the female-identified person versus the male-identified person.

 

Lauren

I just think that those who identify as female are going to have a different experience of it, I really think it's important for women leaders to have other women leaders to look up to, I think it's equally as important to also have advisors and mentors who are men, I do think, however, that women entrepreneurs have some advantages in that process, I think sometimes women entrepreneurs can really navigate PR and media, really in a saavy way. Women are excellent storytellers, and I think that as you grow as a leader, you can really capitalize on that, because what is a story about. It's about sharing an experience that touches other people, it's about empathy. And so that someone else can say, Oh, I like that story. Women naturally tend to have that in a way that male leaders really have to work a lot harder on, and again, I say that with experience, it just... It's different, and I'm not trying to say, I'm not trying to gender leadership. Okay, 'cause I think that can sometimes be a sticky wicket, but women have a huge opportunity and find those women leaders, but don't forget to have some men in your corner.

 

Lorelei

Alright, well, I'm gonna take this opportunity to not forget our sponsor break, we'll be right back. 

 

Sponsor

Hi, Barbie here from Moonray, husband and wife indie-pop duo. If you enjoyed the intro music, we invite you to listen to our debut EP Honeymoon, streaming now on all platforms. Visit www.moonray-music.com for more.

 

Lorelei

And we're back with Lauren Fritsch talking about entrepreneurship and being a badass in general. Lauren, many folks listening and in general are familiar with the acronym ROI, return on investment. You use a different one. Tell us about that. 

 

Lauren

What I like to talk about too, in addition to ROI, is what I call ROE return on emotion, and I have been told by male CEOS that it is stupid as a concept, and I also have data that says that ROE is vital to ROI. And so what it really means: are we driving positive emotional impact from our work, and so... 

 

Lorelei

How is that stupid? That sounds incredibly important.

 

Lauren

It's so important, and I'm glad that we have started the process of companies embracing this concept, and I'll give you a couple of examples, of course, everybody's heard about Google's Chief Happiness Officer, that happened probably five plus years ago at this point, the company Vayner Media run by Gary Vaynerchuk hired, and I'm gonna not get this exactly right, but they hired not a Chief happiness officer. It could have been a chief joy officer, if I'm right, I don't know. But they hired someone and it was very important because they really needed someone who was gonna look after their internal teams. The other piece is that if you care about how your team is doing and whether they're deriving positive emotion and energy from the work they're doing, that has to then translate to how you care about your customers and vice versa. And it was very trendy, and I talk about customer experience in my work, companies would come in and they'd be like, We wanna do customer experience, we care about customer experience, and I'm like, Great, what are you doing for your employees because you can get a great customer experience, if you don't have great employee experience, you have to have the two together, they're the direct lender customer. Yeah, they didn't wanna hear that. Yes, 'cause CX is so trendy, you can't really do it without both, you have to have at the employees to have happy customers, and if you don't, you'll start to see the poll lines, so ROE became my acronym or a way that we can start to prioritize the emotions of the people who are involved in companies. Because that's the thing that we always forget. Companies, we talk about spreadsheets, and we have our product line up, and we have our sales team and we have our marketing, companies are not that. Companies are people, and if we don't take care of the hearts of our people, then we won't have a company

 

Lorelei

To continue the conversation on people specifically, in your opinion, what are we missing out on cultivating that could create better outcomes and not just for the businesses that we work for the businesses that we run, but in our lives.

 

Lauren

So I created something called the Joy|Money Matrix. And the main gist of it is that if we prioritize joy, money will follow, and it is really difficult, I think, to say here, blindly. Oh, let's prioritized joy. We have been cooped up for nine months, there has been incredible uncertainty, people have lost jobs, people have lost family members, people have lost their health, if they are still alive, we have no idea what is coming down the pike in the next 12 months, and here's this woman saying, just need more joy. That could be really hard to hear, so how do we approach that from a place of compassion, frankly being trauma-informed, and how do we say, this is still important, especially now, because it is. So there's lots of research that supports the concept that joy creates positive outcomes, I'm not gonna jump into the research, although I'm happy to provide data on that. I actually wanna go to a different place. I want to go to the places where people tend to experience joy, joy sometimes happens spontaneously in religious traditions, so when people are at church or singing or participating in some kind of ritual, joy happens when people are gathering together.

 

Again, it doesn't have to be within the context of religion. But within the context, perhaps, of Thanksgiving or a July 4th or what have you. So again, there's that concept of ritual, joy happens when we let go of suffering, there's this beautiful quote from a guy called Macon, and its “Joy is what happens when we stop fighting with our pain.” So he's not saying the pain goes away, he's saying, we stop our internal struggle with it, and again, that is something I don't say glibly, because I know that there has been significant experience of pain, especially during this time, and it's absolutely our relationship to it that can either block joy or allow it to flow. And I say that as someone who has experienced incredible hardship and sort of laughing because it's been ridiculous, but it's super important that we don't immediately say, Oh, Joy, Joy is not available to me right now because I'm experiencing hardship, joint can happen in tandem with hardship. There's that word again. That's interesting, it's sometimes harder to access at that time, but we can access it, and what does that have to do with our work lives? I actually think one of the best ways into joy at work is to access joy at home on your own.

 

Lorelei

Tell me more about why joy specifically matters. 

 

Lauren

Joy is important because it's not an emotionally happiness... So what's the difference? I mean, this is typically related to external circumstances, when we look at the historical experience of joy, when we look at ancient texts, when we look at the mystics that we've learned from, when we look at the philosophers, do is it actually an internal concept? It's not something that comes because I'm observing what's going on around me, it's something that arises often unbidden inside of you, and the reason I thought that that distinction was really important is because we don't want to rely on external circumstances to direct our emotional set point.

 

Lorelei

Right they become dependent on something, something not ourselves.

 

Lauren

Exactly, and again, if you were to go back and read some one historical context and use of the word joy, it's not something that is bestowed upon you, it's not achieved, it is internal, and so for that reason, it's very personal as well, and so whether it's a manager or an executive or an entrepreneur who's thinking, Okay, well, how do I start to prioritize joy, what does that even mean? I think the most important thing to start with is go back and it's all about data points, I love to reverse engineer stuff, go back and identify the times when you felt joyful, what was going on? What were you doing? Where were you, what was happening in your life at that time? What were you working on? And start to just get a bunch of data points, you're gonna have more than a few, right, because hopefully everybody's had some joy at some point in their lives and then start to see what's the story, what are the commonalities, what are the beats that seem to be coming up over and over again. What are you missing right now that you had at these various times in the past when you've experienced that inner spring of joy, then you can make a conscious decision to say, I'm going to go after this now, I'm going to prioritize this now, and it's often prioritization of things that seem so minute or teeny that you've stopped doing them, but then once you start cultivating again, that ritual of saying, This is important to me, I drive joy from it. It feels really good. I'm gonna keep doing this. That's when you start to see, Oh, wow. It usually doesn't cost that much money, it usually doesn't take that much time. And I feel so much better because I'm doing it. And again, the easiest way to go about it is to start with your personal life and then get into business.

 

Lorelei

What was a big tipping point for you leaning in to joy?

 

Lauren

When I first created the concept, I had postpartum depression. I was miserable, I was trying to figure out how to balance a baby and a business, many of you listening will have been there, and I knew that I wanted to make better decisions about my time, I just didn't know how. And so I sat down and sort of did my own version of the joy money matrix for the first time, and I've showed it to my husband, and when you do it, it's very visual, and I didn't actually show it to my husband, I put it on Instagram, I put it on Instagram. Two things happened that are phenomenal, and I'm gonna tell you the both because they're really important. The first thing that happened, if someone emailed me immediately and said, What did you just do? I have been, I just spent eight hours using what you just posted on Instagram to revamp my whole business in life, and I wanna do this with clients, I'm hosting retreat in a month. Can I do it? Can you license it to me, this was after a 60-second video on Instagram, so that happened. And it started the business model of licensure. Then, my husband comes home and he says, I had no idea that you would get so much joy out of ice skating. What can we do so that you can ice skate more regularly? Because it was visual, he saw it on this chart essentially, and he was like, Oh wow, that's really high joy for her, that's the highest joy thing she's got there. What can I do to support her to do that? Gosh, that makes me a little teary. Okay, so what happened? And I'm gonna tell you exactly what we did, 'cause this is important too, especially for women. We sat down and we said where can I ice state? What's the most convenient? It turns out there were two options near us, three in Manhattan, and we went with the one that was free because joy needs money to be sustainable. That's why I call it a Money Matrix. We're gonna go with the free one, but what it would require is that I needed a baby sitter in the morning so that I could leave the house early to go ice skate, so he could also go to work so that then I could come home and take over and the baby sitter could go on, not something that we would have ever sat down and done had I not created that concept and put ice skating so high up on my joy axis and it opened up also a new way of negotiating the challenges of Family and Child Care and what's important, but ultimately the reason it is in a mental model, X-Y axis is because I needed a way to make strategic decisions that express my own values, and like I said, money makes everything sustainable, that is the currency which are our current world uses, right. Yeah, and so we used that and then the joy piece was the piece that was so important and expressed the ineffable, if you will.

 

Lorelei

Thank you for sharing that. And just to wrap up our episode, share with us some resources that our listeners can start using today to find more joy in their lives and hopefully in their entrepreneurial journey.

 

Lauren

So I talk about this woman all the time, Lesley Austin, she's amazing, she is a woman business owner, she created a paper goods company years and years and years ago, and that's how I met her, and then she shifted to creating a member community. It is, I don't know how many years I've been involved, but it's called WisteriaSunshine.com, it's for women identifying folks, and it's about the simple pleasures of life, it's about just a way to live and run your business that is gentle and gorgeous. I'm also a... Well, a former club house member, because I'm not in New York City anymore, but there's a wonderful space for women business owners called Luminary, it is women run. She is a bootstrapped founder, and it's awesome, they have a robust online membership now that covid has taken place and events are fantastic, so luminary is amazing, and then finally... Especially because the holidays are coming up, I'm on the board of a company called My Social Canvas. It is women owned, and essentially what they do is they empower the next generation of girls and young women to design and create products that they then manufacture that are sold at Verizon stores, nation-wide, Target and Target.com.

 

They have a ton of amazing partnerships with a really cool brand that I can't talk about because they're on the way, and so for all your holiday gifting, if you've got women and girls in your life, I would highly recommend you go and check them out. And if you do know young women who have sort of an entrepreneurial bent, their whole concept is design the life you love, and that basically sums up why I became an entrepreneur in the first place, so you can see why I left being on their board, and I love working with their founder, Lisa and I especially love working with the young women who I get to meet who are the engine of My Social Canvas, so My Social Canvas, and you can follow them on Instagram. They're awesome. And certainly encourage all the young women and girls, do you know to check it out too. 

 

Lorelei 

Will do. We will definitely be linking them in our shows. To round out today's episode, our femme fact is going to discuss something that is cue scary music here, controversial. For your history buffs out there, 1619 was a massively notable year with many life-changing events unfolding around the globe, for instance, the first Democratically elected representative assembly in the American colonies was convened in Jamestown, called The House of the Burgesses. Additionally, the Treaty of Angouleme was signed, which ended the French civil war between Louis the 13th and his mother, Marie De Medici. Also in 1619, the 30 Years War had just kicked off and the Bohemian revolt was in full swing. That year, the Duchy of Bohemia had three different kings, Matthias the second, Fernand the second and Frederick the first. It’s a lot of change going on. But what many folks might not know is that 1619 is considered a focal point for officially documented slavery in the Americas, however, it is incredibly important for me to point out that slaves existed in the Americas far before this, going all the way back to the 1400s and Christopher Columbus’ time. In August of 1619, African slaves were brought to the English colony of Jamestown, aboard an English privateer ship called the White Lion.

 

It arrived at Point Comfort, Virginia. In the ship were in estimated 20 to 30 enslaved Africans, likely from the now named country of Angola, this was only a fraction that remained after the long journey and run in with pirates. As I mentioned previously, the historically documented landing in Jamestown has become a focal point for history, catapulting the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and future acknowledged crime against humanity, that was American slavery into the history books and our national psyche. In 2019, the New York Times magazine launch an initiative titled The 1619 Project, to recognize the 400th anniversary of the first official enslaved peoples in North America. In an effort to re-examine our country's history in a way that places the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of our national narrative. At its core, the 1619 project is an ongoing conglomerate of art and essays that examine our modern culture revealing the historical aftermath that slavery has had on all of us, in addition to the art and essays, the New York Times magazine will publish 17 literary works that are original compositions by Black writers who are asked to choose events from the past 400 years to write about via poetry or other fictional and artistic means. The poetry and fictional work is arranged in chronological order of historical occurrence, given the New York Times magazine's effort to explore the troubling origins of our country's founding, naturally, The 1619 Project has drawn some criticism from those who might claim that the project's goal undermines the integrity of our nation, attempting to rewrite our history and even accuses them of putting ideology before historical fact.

 

One of the New York Times own Op-Ed Columnist claimed at the 1619 Project was a failed attempt by the magazine to boldly claim that the origins of the country really began in 1619 with the introduction of slavery to what is now the United States, instead of our true founding in 1776, which was the declaration of independence. Despite criticism towards the 1619 Project, it is an initiative worth checking out for yourself to draw your own conclusions. We will link some of the essays already published in the show notes for those of you who are interested. Now, to me, the 1619 project is attempting to acknowledge more facets of our history from previously quieted perspectives, I assert that we must be responsible and conscious of confronting the reality of our predecessors actions, whether in the recent or distant past. It is in this reflection and responsibility that we are able to learn from our past mistakes. Moving forward, arming ourselves not with presumptions, hate, fear or any other type of weapon, but with information and empathy. When we reflect on our past actions as a nation, acknowledging our flaws, we learn from these faults as a group, allowing us to advance as one collective whole, as a United State of Americans.

 

Lauren from one American to a departing American. I thank you for your time and leadership in this episode today, and I wish you so much joy on your new journey in your new home.

 

Lauren

Thank you, thank you. Not coincidental, that we are going to where the Columbus made his first landing and the first established colony.

 

Lorelei

Which was?

 

Lauren

Santo Domingo. 

 

Lorelei

Alright. Best of luck to you and thank you for joining us again. 

 

Lauren

Thank you so much.

 

Lauren

If today's conversation brought you as much joy as it did for me, I ask you to please subscribe to our show and also share it with a friend who you think could need a little extra joy and career support in their lives. Until next time, I'm Lorelei, this is HERdacious. I'll see you next week. 

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