May 27, 2020
(updated May 27, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
A personal overview of the podcast focus and direction while seeking your topic suggestions, feedback, and guest recommendations. I provide my personal WHY this is so important to me and hope you will find inspiration and insights to grow as an LGBTQ professional, entrepreneur, and organization. Subscribe to the podcasts and join us on www.OutBuro.com
We’ll chat with LGBTQ entrepreneurs about their inspiration, strategy, startup journey, successes balanced with insights from lessons learned.
We will be exploring way to launch, grow and expand your business from many perspectives.
OutBüro – Be inspired. Let’s chat, share, learn, and grow together. In each episode, we’ll have casual and informative conversations with interesting LGBTQ professionals spanning a wide range of fields.
Non-profits are a huge part of our community so we will chat with non-profit leaders about their organizations, their focus, and goals, successes, operational effectiveness, needs, and challenges.
We’ll also talk with leaders in Diversity and Inclusion consultants on creating safe and welcoming workplaces from an outside best practices view as well as corporate HR and D&I directors highlighting Successes and opportunities in their workplace for LGBTQ employees along with customers and clients.
Wil also have chats community allies across many sectors who strive to work with and promote the values of diversity.
Let’s learn, grow, and empower each other. Listen to the podcasts on OutBuro.com. Better yet subscribe via your favorite audio platform. Spotify Apple Podcasts Breaker Castbox Google Podcasts Overcast Pocket Casts RadioPublic
If you have topic ideas, would like to recommend future guests or to become a guest on the show please visit OutBuro.com, under the More menu Select Contact Us and submit your topic request or potential guest information.
You also can do more than just listen.
Join the online LGBTQ professional an entrepreneur community at www.OutBuro.com.
Add your profile. Indicate if you are open to being a mentor or would like a mentor. Find each other via member search.
Indicate if you are an entrepreneur or would like to be. And so much more.
Join or start a group – industry, topic, or geographically focused.
Host your LGBTQ employee resource group there.
Share great content you find from across the web, publish articles, upload your portfolio to your profile to showcase your work.
Make new connections, reach out via the site’s messaging to explore new opportunities. Rate current or former employers as an employee, contractor, or intern.
Rate organization even as a volunteer.
tout how great they are to work for or areas they could improve on.
Rate business or organization as a customer or client.
Help build a full picture so prospective LGBTQ job seekers and consumers can make informed choices
You make the difference. Your voice matters. Be where you belong. OutBuro.com.
I look forward to your feedback as we take this journey together.
May 27, 2020
(updated May 27, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
OutBüro – Let’s chat, share, learn, grow, and be inspired together. In each episode, we’ll have casual and informative conversations with interesting LGBTQ professionals. We’ll chat with LGBTQ entrepreneurs about their inspiration, strategy, startup journey, successes balanced with insights from lessons learned. We’ll also talk with leaders in Diversity and Inclusion and community allies across many sectors. Please subscribe to the podcast and join the online community at www.OutBuro.com.
May 24, 2020
(updated May 24, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
LOS ANGELES, May 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — A new study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders finds that eating disorder patients who identify as LGBT have more severe eating disorder symptoms, higher rates of trauma history, and longer delays between diagnosis and treatment than heterosexual, cisgender patients.
“While we know there is a higher prevalence of eating disorders among LGBTQ folks, particularly trans and non-binary folks (with rates estimated to be anywhere from 40% to 70%), our field is in its infancy with researching this health disparity, so I believe research like ours is especially important,” said clinical psychologist Jennifer Henretty PhD, CEDS, one of the study’s co-authors who serves as the Executive Director of Clinical Outcomes for Discovery Behavioral Health, Center For Discovery.
Eating disorders are a serious mental health concern: At least 30 million people—of all ages, sexual orientations, and gender-identities—experience an eating disorder in the U.S. alone, and every 62 minutes at least one person dies as a direct result of an eating disorder. In fact, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. (Source: National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Eating Disorders)
The most common eating disorders are binge eating disorder, where people regularly eat a large amount in a short period of time; bulimia nervosa, where people regularly eat a large amount in a short period of time and then try to offset the food using harmful behaviors (like vomiting); and anorexia nervosa, where people regularly eat too little due to a fear of gaining weight and thus are malnourished. The causes of eating disorders are not clear but both biological and environmental factors are thought to play a role. Eating disorders typically begin in adolescence but it appears that the rate of the disorder may be on the rise in middle-aged and even older adults.
The peer-reviewed academic study analyzed data from 2,818 individuals treated in residential (RTC), partial hospitalization (PHP), and/or intensive outpatient (IOP) levels-of-care at a large eating disorder treatment organization; 471 (17%) of the participants identified as LGBT. The facilities were operated by Center for Discovery, a U.S. healthcare provider specializing in the treatment of eating disorders.
Research shows that individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or other non-heterosexual/non-cisgender identities have significantly higher rates of mental and physical health conditions compared to their heterosexual, cisgender peers.
“LGBT individuals are more likely to experience housing and employment discrimination, and to struggle with multiple mental health challenges related to minority stress; this perfect storm of barriers means eating behaviors are often overlooked,” said Vaughn Darst, RD, who serves as Operations Advisor for Discovery Behavioral Health, Center For Discovery and who also discussed in a TedX talk the complex issue at the intersection of gender, body image, food and identity.
Center For Discovery, which opened in 1997, is a leading provider of eating disorder treatment in the U.S. Weekly residential programming includes two to three individual sessions; one to two family sessions; dietary, medical, and psychiatric sessions; and between 35 and 40 therapeutic groups. Modalities such as Exposure Response Prevention, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and a Family Systems Approach are utilized. Importantly, Center For Discovery is trans/gender-affirming and trauma informed.
The study found a full 12-month delay in treatment for LGBT patients compared to non-LGBT patients. “Delays in accessing treatment are especially widespread for transgender and nonbinary individuals with eating disorders. Some of the causes include delayed diagnosis by providers who fail to assess non-cisgender female patients for disordered eating, as well as limited access to trans-affirming treatment options, particularly at the residential level of care” said Darst. Center For Discovery hopes to reduce this delay by being a trans-affirming treatment center and by providing trainings for staff and community providers on best practices for addressing eating concerns within LGBT communities.
Discovery Behavioral Health is a leading, in-network, U.S. healthcare provider delivering accessible, evidence-based community care for substance use, eating disorders, and behavioral health. Discovery’s programs include residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient care for teens and adults. The company was established in 1997 and is headquartered in Orange County, California. More: https://discoverybehavioralhealth.com
But the point here is – you not only deserve to stop for a bit now and then, you need to. We need you around and while you may not hear it or see it or feel it – you are an incredibly valuable resource to humanity right now.
May 24, 2020
(updated May 24, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco | Comments: 1
LGBTQ Loyalty Holdings, Inc. (OTC PINK: LFAP) (“LGBTQ Loyalty” or “the Company”), a diversity and inclusion driven financial methodology company that quantifies corporate equality alignment with the LGBTQ community and minority interest groups, is pleased to announce that the Company has executed a term sheet for a $10,000,000 equity line of credit (“ELOC”) with Cavalry Fund I LP (“Cavalry”). “We believe that the ELOC will (i) provide the necessary funding to assist the Company in creating diversity and inclusion thematic preference Indices and becoming a niche ETF Sponsor, and (ii) create recognition for the Company as a leader in the LGBTQ equality and environmental, social, governance (“EGS”) marketplace,” said CEO Bobby Blair.
The term sheet provides that the Company may not sell shares of its common stock below an agreed-upon price, which was included with the goal of preventing excessive dilution to our shareholders. The term sheet also provides that certain principal shareholders of LGBTQ Loyalty agree to a lock-up of their shares, with a length of time to be determined and provided in the definitive ELOC transaction documents.
LGBTQ Loyalty CEO Bobby Blair said, “We are pleased as a company over the past 7 months with the launch and listing of the LGBTQ100 ESG Index on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the effectiveness of registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission with respect to the LGBTQ100 ESG ETF, and the assembly of our proprietary quantifiable data analytic reports. We feel it’s a wonderful opportunity and appropriate time for our LGBTQ community leaders to be aligned and engaged with us in our pursuit of Advancing Equality.”
“As we continue to attempt to scale our business, Cavalry provides us with not only capital, but also strategic experience in our quest to become the leading global index platform to advance equality, maximize impact, and deliver performance for investors and the community globally.”
Since officially listing the LGBTQ100 ESG Index on the NYSE in October 2019, LGBTQ Loyalty’s index has out-performed the S&P 500 Index benchmark by over 2.0%.
About LGBTQ Loyalty Holdings, Inc.
LGBTQ Loyalty is a diversity and inclusion driven financial methodology company that quantifies corporate equality alignment with the LGBTQ community and minority interest groups. The Company has benchmarked the first-ever U.S. Loyalty Preference Index which the Company believes empowers the LGBTQ community to express their preferences for the nation’s high performing corporations most dedicated to advancing equality. The Loyalty Preference Index, branded as LGBTQ100 ESG Index, is an ESG Index, offering an added perspective for those seeking to align with equality-driven ESG responsible corporations. LGBTQ Loyalty’s leadership includes seasoned authorities in the financial industry and the LGBTQ community. www.lgbtqloyalty.com
About Cavalry Fund I LP Cavalry Fund I LP is a privately held investment fund with a flexible and creative approach to investing in emerging growth companies. Cavalry Fund identifies investment opportunities with asymmetric risk/reward profiles by focusing on the underserved small cap market. Cavalry provides capital solutions to companies unable to access traditional funding sources.
CONTACT: LGBTQ Loyalty Holdings, Inc. 750 N San Vicente Boulevard Suite 800 West West Hollywood, CA 90069 [email protected].com 1-310-870-9661
May 23, 2020
(updated May 25, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
Being an entrepreneur is challenging. The LGBTQ entrepreneur can face additional challenges that our couterparts likely won’t face such as biased limitations to captial funding to launch or grow your business, access to business mentors, hurdles to reach revenue growth due to biases, lack of strong suplier diversity practices, and so much more. This can lead to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer business owner to still in today’s time hide their true self causing yet other stresses.
Happiness is important. There are some LGBTQ entrepreneurs who have sacrificed their health, sanity, happiness, life balance, and personal relationships in pursuit of success. Like all professionals, LGBTQ entrepreneurs who are authentically happy, are those who have found a way to balance all of the various facets of their life.
Happiness matters, more than you might realize. It’s important to your physical and mental health and in your resiliency in the face of challenges and crises. Additionally, your happiness is important to the happiness of those close to you, the community at large, and the success of your business.
Are You Happy?
Do you feel you are working on supporting your big “why” that sparked your passion that sparked the idea of your startup in the beginning?
Do you feel you have quality time with your life-partner, family, and friends?
Are you taking the time to focus on your physical health – taking care of yourself?
Are you “out” in your professional life?
Would You Change?
It is often said that no one on their death bed wishes they spent more time at the office, more time marketing and pursuing customers or more time perfecting the fundraising pitch deck. Most say they wish they spent more time being present physically and mentally with those they care about.
Take a moment, now or schedule it. Take a walk and really think about this. Are you happy in all facets of your full life and if not why?
What small changes can you make to work on that? We’d love for you to comment and begin a discussion of the struggles, opportunities, strategies, and success – in happiness you have encountered. Are you putting on your busy calendar time for yourself and time with others? If not, give yourself permission to just do it.
As we are going through the COVID-19 it has added a whole other level of stresses. Things to consider putting on our calender as you can while still being safe:
Once a month catch up call with a long distant relative or friend.
Weekly or bi-weekly special date night with your life-partner – doing something that makes the day or evening special quality time to stay deeply connected. Share some ideas in the comments.
Do you have kids? Consider a board game night or other unplugged activities that allow interaction, discussion, and fun. What other ideas do you have?
Consider some alone time too – maybe that is walking around your neighborhood or parks. While walking listen to the birds and crickets, relaxing music, or even podcasts on topics you enjoy. Maybe your alone time is starting or rekindling a meditation practice. What activities work for you that you could recommend to others?
Are you involved in any local charities? If not, consider volunteering a few hours a month.
Get and stay fit. Exercising releases happy mood endorphins. With COVID-19 you might be stuck in-home workouts, but luckily there are tons of free instructional videos on YouTube with both male and female instructors.
Due to COVID-19 are you in or near financial ruin? Have you considered bankruptcy? How are you dealing with that?
If not out as a business owner, would you like to talk to others and to get their stories and support?
What resources would you recommend to others? What has been working well for you? What areas would you like to find support in?
Please share those in the comments.
Consider joining the private Out:Startups group here on OutBüro to connect with other business owners, share ideas, methods, and all tactics in a safe space where you can be yourself.
May 23, 2020
(updated May 23, 2020)
Published by Jack Mizel | Comments: 1
“It was back in the early 90’s that I started working with the LGBT+ community as one of the owners of Pride Magazine. Back then when I approached potential sponsors, I would usually be met with hostility and dismissiveness, hearing often that they “couldn’t possibly advertise in a Gay title because of the negative brand association.”
Fast forward 25 years, how things have changed! Now seemingly every major company on earth loves to associate with the LGBTQ community and even have team members in Human Resources and Marketing that focus specifically on it. Has our society suddenly become caring and enlightened? Or is this newfound attitude a cynical attempt by many companies to appease their stakeholders and sell more products or services attempting to pander to the LGBTQ with no depth or authenticity?
My view is that as a community and as consumers there should be more tools made available that show which businesses are sincere in their support as opposed to those that are not.
Often times businesses turn up at Pride events draped in all manner of Rainbow accouterments and profess their love and respect for the LGBTQ community only to disappear until the next Pride event on their schedule.
In a recent conversation between myself, the CEO of Pride 365, and Dennis Velco, the inspiration and driving force behind the OutBüro, we found that we were in total agreement that the following 3 points need to be in place for a company to be considered truly authentic supporters and worthy of the ongoing support, loyalty, and customers from the LGBTQ community.
Does the organization treat its own LGBT+ staff with the same dignity and respect as everyone else?
What is the quality of the organization’s product and customer care?
How does the organization market to and communicate with the LGBTQ community?
At Pride365, we have developed a mechanism by which these corporate attitudes, beliefs, and strategies can be measured. The Pride365 Certification is conferred on companies who demonstrate these attitudes, allowing consumers to see clearly at a glance and have confidence in, which companies can be relied upon to value and support the LGBT+ community.
OutBüro compliments this work perfectly in that its platform enables staff to review their place of work using real-life experience to shine a light on what would otherwise be unseen with the intent that employers strive to improve.
Tools such as these are beginning to be increasingly available. What we need now is for each of us to spread the word so that we can mobilize as a community to give our loyalty to those businesses that are genuine in their support to their LGBTQ employees, customers, and clients 365 days of the year.”
May 22, 2020
(updated May 25, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
Brucecy Marketing Group is a high-spirited and creative event management and planning firm based in northern New Jersey specializing in promoting brands at existing consumer events such as a legacy of innovation at engaging pride event attendees. Founded by Tom Legan, an out LGBT entrepreneur, with a remarkable history in television marketing leadership and a keen focus on end to end project execution. Under Legan’s leadership, Brucecy has been instrumental in bringing non-profit Pride organizations top-notch sponsors year after year. Legan understands how to make a brand stand out at Pride and how important the financial support of sponsors is in enabling Pride to happen. Not only does that support affect the Pride non-profit’s ability to put on a great event, but it also has a direct and indirect impact on the local community. We’ll discuss a little background and how Legan got involved in supporting the Pride ecosystem. We’ll also chat about some of the challenges that the COVID-19 virus forced upon the Pride festivals and opportunities it also created.
OutBüro-Q – How long has your marketing agency been involved with Pride festivals?
I started doing pride festivals through my first national marketing agency called Legan Promotions Inc. in 2003. Prior to that, I worked for Showtime Networks for six years and headed up National Promotions and Events where I had the amazing opportunity to promote all Showtime Original Series including the premiere of the groundbreaking hit series Queer As Folk in 2000. I started the LGBTQ outreach area at the network and sponsored over 100 pride events during my time there. Along with Queer As Folk, later I also promoted The L Word at pride festivals. When I left Showtime in 2003 to form Legan Promotions, Showtime became my first client! Other clients included ABC (Dancing With The Stars), TLC, Lifetime, IFC, Ovation, Macy’s, and Wolfgang Puck.
In 2011, I closed Legan Promotions as an incredible opportunity came my way from AMC Networks to be the Director of Activation, Promotions, and Licensing for their original series, many of which were favorites of mine. From 2011 to 2014, I got to promote major hit series like The Walking Dead, Mad Men and Breaking Bad, to general audiences – a very exciting period!
By 2014, several past TV network clients from Legan Promotions had been reaching out to see if I could help them promote at gay pride festivals again, so it was at that time I made the tough decision to leave AMC and form Brucecy Marketing Group, my current agency which is basically “Legan Promotions 2.0”. The name of the agency comes from the first names of my mom and dad – Bruce and Cecy – who always valued diversity and supported me in every way. Since then, our agency has worked with global brands like SKYY Vodka and 2(X)IST underwear and networks such as Freeform, Game Show Network, Amazon Prime Video, and more.
OutBüro-Q – What has been the traditional role of your agency with Pride festivals?
Our agency connects brands, TV networks, and movie studios directly to the LGBTQ community through a presence at Pride festivals, parades, gay film festivals, and related events to promote brand awareness, new series premieres for networks, and new movie releases for studios. We handle everything from start to finish for our clients making it all turnkey for them. This includes recommending the best Prides based on what they are promoting (the premiere of a new series or the launch of a new brand product, for example) followed by planning each activation and negotiating directly with each pride organization on the sponsorship details.
Then we manage the activation onsite for each client with our trained brand ambassadors and provide a complete summary recap after each event to the client. Through our long-standing relationships with the Pride organizations, our clients typically get exclusive added value benefits they can’t get by going direct, so many return to our agency year after year. Plus we’ve received many compliments from clients on how our agency has some of the best-personalized customer service they’ve encountered, better than with agencies ten times our size, so we’re proud of that!
HGTV was a client of ours for four consecutive years and we managed over 80 Prides for them. One of the main things they loved about our agency was how turnkey everything was for them and how easy it was to reach us anytime.
OutBüro-Q – How has that changed this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic?
This year is unprecedented in terms of how we celebrate pride and how our agency does business. As there are no plans for physical pride events until at least September, Pride organizations, especially those who normally host prides March through June, have had to get very creative to still find ways to celebrate pride. Pride festivals are a big source of revenue for many pride organizations, most of which are non-profit entities, so it was critical Prides find a way to still celebrate but also raise critical funds for their local LGBTQ communities.
In addition to Global Virtual Pride on June 27 which I’ll talk more about, several larger Prides like NYC Pride, San Francisco Pride, Denver Pride, Washington DC Capital Pride, and several others will be having their own virtual Pride festivals where everyone can still celebrate pride from the comfort of their home and brands can still sponsor these virtual events and support the community.
OutBüro-Q – What new challenges has the concept of a Virtual Global Pride brought and how have you and the team addressed and potentially capitalized upon those?
Virtual Prides, in general, have been a tough sell for our clients who are used to traditional event marketing at large Pride festivals where attendees can experience the brand activation firsthand and interact directly with brands. We’ve been bringing our clients up to speed on how virtual Prides will work and how they still can connect to the LGBTQ community in a personal and quality way.
As much as we’d love to promote movies like JUDY starring Renee Zellweger as we did at Prides last year for our client Roadside Attractions studios, where Judy Garland drag queens posed with pride attendees as they walked along a VIP red carpet area, that’s just not feasible in these times. But we can still get creative with how to connect to the community while still being far apart.
OutBüro-Q – What new opportunities, maybe unexpected, has this created?
The number of people virtual Prides has the potential to attract is far greater than physical attendance at regular pride events as anyone can watch the pride celebration online. This is exciting for our clients as they consider sponsorships. Also, with all 50 states reopening in at least some way as of this week, brands can sponsor virtual Prides to support the community but also use the opportunity to promote they are back in business. This is especially applicable to the hard-hit travel and tourism industry like cruise lines, hotels, airlines, restaurants, movie theaters, theme parks, and similar companies. It seems to make a lot of sense in the next few weeks for these types of brands to tell millions of loyal consumers eager to get out of their homes that they are back (and at a very low cost to do so too!)
OutBüro-Q – Has past Pride corporate and community sponsors embraced this necessary new approach? Is sponsorship steady, increased, lower?
We’re still speaking with all clients and potential clients about virtual Pride sponsorships and participation. Normally by March every year (usually earlier), we would have locked in clients for regular physical pride campaigns for the entire year especially those occurring in June as many of those Prides sell out of space and sponsorship options early. This year, everything has shifted later as Prides had to scramble to come up with another option to celebrate (virtual Prides) when the crisis hit the US in March. So we are all working fast and furiously to introduce clients to this new concept but timing is very tight. Therefore we do expect fewer clients to sponsor virtual Prides, at least those Prides occurring in June.
OutBüro-Q – Naturally, attending a Pride Festival in person has its emersion experience and loads of people watching. How will the Virtual Pride engage attendees to participate and feel a part of it
We have a lot of fun and creative ideas we’ve been discussing with clients and with the various virtual Prides. There are many ways to engage consumers from their homes as they watch Pride celebrations online so they still feel a part of this community experience. The biggest obstacle we have to deal with is time since all virtual Prides really just came together in the past few weeks. Putting together a sponsorship or campaign for clients in a matter of weeks versus months is challenging.
OutBüro-Q – Are there new technologies and/or new media partnerships being leveraged? If so, what and how will they create the vision of Global Virtual Pride?
Global Virtual Pride’s goal is to allow as many people as possible to watch the 24-hour stream all around the world, so there will be several platforms on which people will be able to view the festivities. Some countries block access to platforms we use here in the US everyday like YouTube and Facebook, so we’re working on ways to be sure everyone who wants access to Global Pride can get access.
OutBüro-Q – Will attendees need to download apps to participate – if so, what are they? Let’s get ready.
Yes, these are some of the ideas and concepts we have been discussing such as:
Participation through an app or through social media
Getting a physical object of some sort in people’s hands before they watch the stream on June 27
Asking them to submit photos or videos of what pride means to them and incorporating those into the broadcast and so many more ideas.
It will just be a matter of seeing what can be done in the short amount of time before the broadcast as we’re just five weeks away now.
OutBüro-Q – Since the date is set, can people already register to join the virtual party, and if so where and how?
Details will be forthcoming! It’s a new and exciting time for all of us, so stay tuned!
As soon as additional details are available to OutBüro we’ll update it here and likely also post a fresh new announcement article.
May 21, 2020
(updated May 21, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
Disruptive Technologists mission is to inspire, guide, advise, teach, change, and create disrupters. Their in-person New York City meetings draw a weekly impressive crowd of 300 with standing room only. It is graciously hosted by Microsoft in their NYC building auditorium. Their communication distribution reaches over 20,000 developers, founders, investors, hackers, startup teams, professors, students, journalists, other media, vendors, corporations, and entrepreneurs.
Each week the panel of regulars and guests discuss pressing issues of the day and how technology can be positively leveraged as well as issues such as security and privacy. The May 20th discussion revolved around the COVID-19 pandemic. This week, Dennis Velco of OutBüro was invited to be a panelist bringing an LGBTQ perspective to the discussion.
The full panelist line up:
Esther Dyson, Executive Founder at Wellville & Angel Investor
Q1: New York Cities’ poorest are dying at more than twice the rate of more affluent neighborhoods. Is this just to be expected in Modern America? – Poorer areas lack adequate medical care.- Diabetes and Hypertension are more prevalent in low-income communities.- 94,327 US Deaths. – What could we do better?
Q2: The Apple/Google contact tracing app update was released today. Is it too little, too late? – Combined Market Cap over $2 Trillion Dollars.- First Chinese cases December, US cases in February. – Only for Bluetooth enabled smartphones.- What are the better solutions?
Q3: Amazon has called itself ‘The New Red Cross’. Without useful Government assistance, is this the new reality? – A workforce of 270,000 in the US and 800,000 globally. – Vast majority working in warehouses at $15 per hour. – During this talk Jeff Bezos made an additional $9 Million dollars.
There are more important things than living and that’s saving this country.
Dan Patrick – Lt. Governor of Texas – March 31, 2020
Who is your: Hero of the week and villain of the week What technology or Diversity & Inclusion approaches do you like right now?
To learn more about Disruptive Technologies find them on their many soical media chennels listed below:
May 21, 2020
(updated May 21, 2020)
Published by Dennis Velco
The first step to any budding LGBTQ entrepreneur no matter what startup’s business may focus on it is understanding your “why”. It is important to have, acknowledge, and understand your “why.” Why is this important to you? This is vital because if you have your “why” that you believe in you are in a better position. You can push yourself through and over the hurdles that will inevitably arise. Being an entrepreneur is tough, risky, high pressure, challenging, and can often feel lonely. Your “why” becomes your mission, your passion, and your drive.
It likely will shape the products or services you offer. It can become a core part of your marketing. All great marketing is rooted in “why” and leveraging that to tell the story and connect the client/consumer with the brand and its products/services. An authentic “why” can help get others on board in the early stages to support your business venture. It becomes a tool for measuring your own definition of success and helps to keep you focused.
“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.”
Your “why” might strike you all a sudden or it may develop over time. It could be that something inspired you from your childhood. Maby you see a problem in the world and aim to be a part of creating a solution. Your “why” may have been inspired in a countless number of ways.
Questions to Ask to Get to the Heart the “Why” of Your Business
Why do I do what I do? Or Why do I want to do this?
What does it mean to me, my family, my life, the community, others?
What is the purpose for me, my family, my life, the community, others?
How can it help me, my family, my life, the community, others?
How can will it make a difference for me, my family, my life, the community, others?
How will it support me, my family, my life, the community, others? In what ways?
How will make me feel fulfilled and happy?
What are there gaps that it might be able to be a part of filling and why does that matter?
“Why” and Your Story
Your “why” can become of your company origin story being the foundation of your mission, driving your vision, and demonstrating your commitment. It can lead customers to identify with it, fall in love, and become brand champions. With businesses and consumers being overwhelmed with social media, emails, text, and more your well-crafted message has the challenge and opportunity to stand out as authentic. If your target audience sees and feels your passion, they are more likely to appreciate it, connect with it and do more than become a client/customer to becoming a valued brand champion sharing it with all they know.
Your “Why” is Not Money
Well, technically it could be money, such as the desire to help LGBTQ people with their personal finances like my buddies at The Dept Free Guys. Their branding has their “why” message clearly throughout. John and David were $50,000 in dept. They made a plan and became debt-free. They want to help others do the same.
A true “why” is not “I want to get rich“. Businesses rarely make profits right away, so the dream of money alone will not be reason enough to see it through. Could your “why” lead to financial gain, comfort, and success as you define it? Sure. Amazing if it does. Naturally, as you build your business plan and start executing on making it a reality you’ll set targets.
On a pure financial front, maybe your “way” is simply so that you can support yourself and your family while being your own boss. That is perfectly fine. There are lots of entrepreneur ventures matched with your skills than can if well executed fulfill that worthy “why”. Maybe a franchise would be a good fit with a business model, suppliers, and marketing pretty much done for you. But if its a mindset of only greed and to hell with anyone or anything else, you will likely live a miserable life doing crap you really don’t enjoy and feel zero personal satisfaction doing it regardless of the money. Money cannot buy true happiness.
Surround Yourself with Support
It is often said, and I wholeheartedly believe, that no matter if you are an entrepreneur or building your professional career, you must surround yourself with likeminded people who support your vision and lift you up even if they don’t totally understand it right now. That support can be in person or even online. Ideally, you will have also have one or more mentors who can guide you as well as hold you accountable to reach the heights of what your “why” can contribute to yourself, the community, and those your serve.
Having your immediate and extended family support can be helpful. As LGBTQ persons sometimes that is not a reality due to homophia and learned biases. But if you are one of the lucky ones that you being LGBTQ does not negatively affect your personal family relationship, they also can support you in your entrepreneur startup vision. This support might be that they just lend an ear when you need to talk or it could be that they are the first finanical investors in your business.
I and most industry leaders believe that having a life partner who supports your entrepreneurial interests is vital to your potential success. You are taking a huge risk, will have sleepless nights, likely work long hours, and may have financial ups and downs. If your life-partner doesn’t fully support you, it WILL strain the relationship. As early as appropriate, start the dialog with your life-partner about your ideas. Does that person support you and have as best as possible an understanding of all the risks, challenges, and commitment involved? If so, GREAT! Be sure along your journey that you keep the lines of communication open so they are part of your journey and sense when you need that extra effort from them.
A personal Note
My ex-husband was not very supportive of my entrepreneurial drive. He was more comfortable with the illusion of stability working for someone else, commuting every day to an office, and sitting in a cubicle. We got into many heated discussions over the topic. He had a difficult time understanding that my entrepreneurial drive is at the foundation of who I am. The best years of our relationship were when I did business travel 50-80% but was also miserable due to that. So, for many reasons after 17 years we parted ways and divorced – now 3 years ago. I’ve been single since and hope to eventually stumble upon a life-partner that supports, challenges, balances, and compliments me – and me him.
Friends – Supportive, Negotiate and Edit
This also goes for people you consider friends. As you start and work to grow our business, as mentioned you may be working long and irregular hours. You’ll likely often be stressed out. You may have financial struggles. Are your friends really your friends? Are they there for you as best they can be or are they superficial who will complain when you are no longer as accessible or don’t have the time or funds to join them all the time for activities like you might have before? If you value that person, at the first sign of them being frankly clueless and/or selfish, schedule a time to have an honest conversation. Then time will tell if they are a supportive friend or not. If need be for those that prove to be superficial as quickly and kindly as possible either edit them out completely or move them to the occasional acquaintance category.
It is perfectly fine if a friend doesn’t understand your business or why you work so much. But a good friend will strive to understand that it is important to you and be there when you are able to hit the beach, go out dancing, go on a hike or bike ride, and also lend an ear when you need someone to talk to.
Seek Out Other Entrepreneurs
As an entrepreneur it is a great idea to build a network other entrepreneurs who do get you and what you are going through. They might also be a great resource to bounce ideas off of. They could be a good barter partner for services your business needs and referral source. They can be a great business and community resources. They can become great personal friends. And who knows, if the timing is right a mutual attraction, who knows maybe become a life partner. Who better to understand your and your entrepreneur’s journey than another entrepreneur?
Your “Why” Is Your Strength
When you boil down to your “why” it will give you strength. When you whole-heartedly believe in your message and your mission it’s easy to stop feeling self-conscious and just do it! You, like me, have something more important than your own insecurities to share. Your audience, customers, clients, constituents, employees, members, life-partner, family, friends, and the community, need you to shake away the clutter, identify and live your why and be as awesome, amazing, inspiring, and as kick-ass as you can be. They deserve it. You deserve it. You have the potential to be a great LGBTQ entrepreneur but they’ll never know it if you don’t step up, own it, and grow into your “why’s” potential. Plan don’t get stifled in thinking perfection is needed before starting. Most entrepreneurs, if honest, learn as they grow, and grow as they learn. Your first step is “why”.