Yes, I’m a blogger. And yes, a lot of my work can be, and is, done through e-mail. But I think it’s so important to take some extra time to build genuine relationships with the brands I’m working with. E-mail can be so impersonal and makes my work feel distant. For the majority of the brands I work with I make the extra time to have an actual conversation. If the brand is local to where I’m living (or have lived) I meet with the founder in person. If the brand is not local, I chat with the founder or a team member over the phone.
Trust me, it’s not a walk in the park for me. For some reason my anxiety makes me anxious when I’m getting ready to talk to new people or chat on the phone. BUT I think it is so important to do, so I push past my fear and chat with new people just about everyday! And I always love it! Hearing the journeys of other change makers is so inspiring and important.
Why is it important to actually speak to people?
Know who you’re working with and Make Sure Their Values Match Your Ethics Too
If we’re advocating for brand transparency and social justice, I think we need to do our best to make sure our collaborating partners are transparent. If I could, I would love to visit every single brand I partner with, but unfortunately that isn’t financially reasonable for me. So by talking to a founder or team member in person (or by phone) I’m able to ask detailed questions to better understand their mission and confirm their ethics to the best of my ability.
Conscious Consumerism and Social Impact Are a Team Effort.
These relationships we’re building are so important because together we can cultivate a greater change. By speaking to someone and working to create a genuine relationship this allows you the opportunity to engage. Engage by asking questions, dreaming up collaborations, starting a movement, and learning how you can work together to make a greater impact. Together we can make a difference!
You Never Know What You Might Learn
I think one of my favorite parts of talking to founders is learning about a wide range of industries. I learn about the corruption going on and the social change happening in a variety of fields. So far I’ve learned about the chocolate industry, the diamond industry, fashion industry, and SO much more. There are so many things I am unaware of and by taking the time to talk, ask questions, and engage, this allows me to further my knowledge in the conscious space and be more aware of multiple industries. Sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know until we pick up the phone and talk to somebody in that space.
Everyone has a Unique Journey
I also love asking founders what inspired them to start their socially responsible businesses. I think hearing the stories and journeys of others is a lot of fun. When a founder is inspired by something personal this allows me to better understand the vision and mission of their business. I think sharing stories allows us as humans to better understand each other too.
Learn How You can Help Each Other
Once you have a relationship with another ethical business you can help each other out! That’s the beauty! Like I said, it’s a team effort! Use your skills to help out another conscious business and work together. This can create a chain reaction of kindness and start a movement. By engaging in conversation this allows you to brainstorm ideas and problem solve those entrepreneurial challenges.