Frequently Asked Questions
1) I do not think I’m capable of running a small business even if it’s based on sex!
Most people would like to work for positive change but they are frustrated with the lack of options. In fact, there are many ways to change society. All the methods of creating change have their drawbacks and advantages and various degrees of effectiveness.
- You can demonstrate. However, is hard to change the system by simply demonstrating. Demonstrations work only as long as people are willing to give up their time and energy to demonstrate. Of course you can have success. Just look at what demonstrations did in the so called ‘Arab Spring’. However, many brave demonstrators died in the Arab Countries and many of the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement were beaten and dispersed.
- You can work through the political process. This can be very effective but it is very slow and it is necessary to have resources to sustain the long battles necessary to change the system from the inside.
- You can try to make change through revolution. This is one reason why true democracy has major advantages. In other systems if you really want change you often have to fight for a revolution. Witness Syria and Libya. Side effects – possible death.
- You can be a Volunteer. This is a great way to make change and a fantastic way to learn up close about an issue you are passionate about. However, in today’s economic climate it is difficult to volunteer for social or environmental change because people are too busy simply trying to feed themselves and their family.
A problem with so many ways to effect change is that they are not sustainable. They require a constant commitment of time, money and resources, none of which are readily available. However, if you are being ‘paid’ to create change with a social enterprise your expenditures are often tax deductible!
2) I have a ‘normal’ job which gives me stability but I want to live according to my ideals. Is this possible?
Normal Jobs and Ideals. Instead of living according to their ideals most people choose regularity and stability for their lives in the form of ‘jobs’. They work in the banks, fly the airplanes and drive the buses. However, many do not necessarily want to live with ‘ just a job’. They want to be creative and artistic; they want to make the world a better place. But they often just don’t know how or don’t feel that they are capable.
A “normal” job that is just that . . . a job! Now you can love your job and we are fine with that. The problem is that many people are unsatisfied with their jobs. Unless a really cool career choice has been made with a values oriented company it is often hard for people to be enthusiastic about their work. A job is what most people do simply to survive on this planet. You work to pay the bills, and if you are a “nice” person you might give some of your hard earned cash to a charity that represents your values.
Many people will work for years in jobs they dislike and then give money to charity. In other words, their values and work life, which most people spend at least eight hours a day on, are not in alignment. This is a recipe for long term personal angst. With this model, every now and then an individual might look in the mirror and ask “Is that all there is? Is this why I was born?”
Social enterprise is a creative solution for the idealists and artists who ‘want to make a difference’. However, we do not want to change those who like stability and regularity or for whatever reason feel they are not ‘cut out’ to be a business person. If you still want to make a difference then pursue a career that allows for that possibility. An ‘eco-architect’ or a feminist lawyer are professions of idealism. However, a secretary or bank teller can also make a difference by working within the system.
4) I do yoga! I am a feminist! I am green! Can I be a business person doing sex work?
Yoga is a harmony between mind, body and spirit. Yoga devotees enjoy their practice on a personal level. But it is very hard to go beyond the personal. We often see yoga practitioners who struggle with their ideals and simply paying the rent. They want serenity on the inside and serenity on the general.
There is nothing in that definition about destroying the Earth mother or exploiting one’s workers for greedy ends. Environmental destruction and worker exploitation are symptoms of different problems: disregard for sustainability and the lack of a moral compass. When one engages with the capitalism model in a positive, sustainable way, a whole new picture of Capitalism’s potential emerges. Because sustainability is critical in the Positive Capitalism model, workers must needs be treated fairly and the environment demands protection of its own accord.
All too often progressive, new age, feminist and other ‘left’ oriented people see business as CAPITALISM; a ruthless exploitative system that consumes the planet and the people in it. Businesses tend to concentrate on profit. They do not address the larger issues that surround business activity.
Most yoga adepts do not like to think of themselves as actual or potential business people. However, most yoga teachers’ classification as a “Private Contractor” in the West means that they are already business people!
Harmony within and harmony without. That is a principal teaching in yoga. Not only to be selfishly concerned with one’s own development but also about the people and nature that surround you. One of the most practical ways to ‘be the change’ is to create a business that makes the change.
Most people would actually like to work at a job or a business that helps to make the world a little bit better. However, many progressive and caring people see business and capitalism as part of the problem rather than part of the solution to the world’s myriad problems. We would beg to differ!
Capitalism and business do not have to be predatory and ‘dog eat dog’ style. Instead you can make a living and make a difference! Over the past few years a new phrase has come into existence, ‘social enterprise’. Social Enterprises are defined as economically viable businesses that also address social or environmental needs.
5) What are the advantages of being an Ethical Erotic EcoFeminist Entrepreneur?
- Innate Morality with Social Enterprise: You are doing something good if it really either reduces pain or increases sustainable pleasure in the world.
- Nothing to fear: Cannot be blackmailed by dishonest characters when you operate an ethical business enterprise.
- Personal Autonomy and the reduction of stress! As a business you can make decisions. You have a great degree of control. Stress is what happens to people when they don’t feel in control. Business allows you a way around that. We strongly believe that this focus on profit and short term gain is a result of business school economics.
- Holistic Philosophy. Business based on social enterprise is is actually more effective because it sees itself as part of an ecosystem. It looks at the bigger picture and sees the connections there are between happy workers, clean environment, improving the world and sustainable profits.
- The Ethical and Eco and Business Lobby: With business income you can now be part of the political lobbying process! No more Big Oil! Now Big Good!
- Workers with a Cause: attracts like minded volunteers, workers, interns, managers and friends who are attracted to the social or environmental good that your business project is addressing.
- Social Enterprise Business Community: As a result you have a different way of looking at business because your customers and workers will often share the goals and values of your social enterprise they can often become friends!
- Building trust: When your business is based on doing something morally good and with the highest ethical and eco practices that creates trust, repeat customers and references.
- Social Activist Business. Some people really want to challenge the system. Some are content taking baby steps. Even if you do a more activist social enterprise you can confront the system in a relatively sustainable way as long as you are able to maintain your business income.
- Benefits of Good Credit Rating. When you are honest in your accounting and maintain ‘good books’ you enjoy many of the benefits of an excellent credit rating such as much lower interest rates and easier rental options. For Americans you also enjoy generous air miles travel with your business credit card!
- Morality with Taxes. Once you see the benefits and accept the ‘morality’ of paying fair taxes then you pay them. This creates relative ease with dealing with tax department and entitles you to demand more from the government for your social enterprise as you are a tax payer.
- Ethical Accounting: Of course some business matters have to be private. But as much as possible transparency is good business. When you have honest books it is easier to spot dishonesty among clients, suppliers or employees!
- Moral Business Relations and Customer Service: When you have ethical business practices you are also able to hold other businesses and even the government to those standards. This is especially true when dealing with the Customer Service Departments of business suppliers.
- A Good Night’s Sleep! When you make an income from doing good you sleep better at night! It’s that simple. You are not looking over your shoulder.