Rise of the Innerpreneur
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Trying To Solve Gender Imbalance From “The Other Side Of The Table”

Gender

This article is written by Ezequiel Djeredjian, a male member of the Athena team. Ezequiel and Athena are doing great work to solve the gender imbalance in business, through programming empowering women to grow themselves, and their dreams of entrepreneurship. Their work is a beautiful reflection of Innerpreneurship, and the collective value it creates. Similarly, I am becoming increasingly more aware of our gender imbalance, and my need to seek solutions. Sharing Ezequiel’s perspective with you is a step in this direction, a symbol of my growing dedication to solving this problem — together, we’re adding to the solution by becoming (more) aware of the problem.

“Are we sure that I am not going into the lion’s den? Do you think it’s okay for me to talk about gender imbalance openly?”

It was April and I was working on our communication and media strategy with Adèle, and was starting to get nervous about how I should start to reach out to people about our entrepreneurship boot camp for women. You know, being a man and all…

“I guess I can focus on the entrepreneurship and technology side of the program. That way we can avoid any possible negative reaction.”

What approach should I take when I talk to organizations and women involved in this cause? Why me, a member of “the other side”, was working for it? How could I justify the fact that our team is mostly male if somebody inquired?

Over the last couple of months I’ve been reading a lot about gender imbalance, lack of women in technology and entrepreneurship, and sex inequality. The truth is that, as a man helping to build our Athena program, I was a little bit afraid, not to say terrified. And the more I read, the more confused I was and the more doubts I had.

I just felt out of place. I could see all of the messages accusing me or Exosphere of personal interests, trying to hop on a wave for marketing purposes, looking to put myself into a role that did not correspond to me or a place where I was not wanted.

Nonetheless, I was confident in the reasons why we are doing it. And if I had to receive some of these accusations, just to try to reach people interested in our work, I was willing to do so…

It’s been more than 2 months since we started communicating Athena to journalists, bloggers, organizations and other influencers. Up to the moment I probably contacted over 150 of them.

If you are someone that has tried to launch a service or program and was looking to get any traction and coverage you know how hard it is to get responses. Most of the mails I sent were probably ignored, but others were answered.

And guess what… There were no accusations. No hate mail responses. All of the answers I got were very positive. Congratulating us on attempting to do something like what we are doing, offering their help, ways to collaborate, or to be involved in any way, even if it was just a retweet.

I felt happy.

If there is one thing that working on this program and on its communication has showed me, it is that this problem is not only a female problem. And when we attempt to make a real change it should be all sides working together to do so. In any possible way they can.

I know there will still be people not happy with what we are doing, that will say this is not our place and we should not be an obstacle to their fight. We will let them be.

We are not trying to get ourselves to the forefront nor try to lead the way. We just want to offer a place where more women can get together to explore new and different possibilities, and find a place to inspire themselves and get the necessary self-confidence to take that important first step.

We hope we are on the right track.

Ezequiel Djeredjian originally published this article on Athena’s Medium page.

Getting What You Want Without Knowing What You Need

photo credit: Thomas Brault

In our Modern culture, we are encouraged to be unbalanced in our doing, in our esteem. We’re taught to believe we have the right, and the entitlement, to do and have whatever we want. Yet we lack the love to know what we truly need, and how to get it. And so we find ourselves exerting our power, our esteem towards our Self, onto others, in hopes that we will get what we want, without having to do the work to know what we need.

When did our wants become so important? Perhaps it was when we, as a collective, fulfilled our most basic survival needs. With our drive to survive less pressing, with our most basic needs met, we’ve gotten a bit lost in our purpose. With our physical needs met, we think we’ve been granted free reign to focus on our wants. The truth is though, we have far more needs to fulfill beyond the physical ones. Our work is not over, in fact, it has only begun.

Each of us has been honoured with this lifetime, this unique culture, where we have the abundance to explore beyond our most basic needs and to fulfill ourselves on a deeper level. The wealth of our times affords us this ability. Collectively, we’ve reached this place of abundance and opportunity together. It seems a waste to simply focus on our wants, when we’re being offered the opportunity to explore the richness of our deeper needs. This abundance is a gift, giving us the ability to reach further and farther. Its purpose is to expand us, and to support us in expanding ourselves. We need to use it consciously. For there is not much value in getting what we want when we don’t know what we need.

photo credit: Thomas Brault

Hello! I’m Tara, a wizard of less obvious things. I love hearing from you, so please feel free to connect with me.

I deeply appreciate your support of my work—through allowing it to grow in your imagination, through sharing it with others, and through your financial support.

It’s Not What Happens, It’s How You Handle It

Handle

Life happens… Things you can’t control… People you can’t avoid… Stuff happens just beyond your reach, and it affects you.

I used to think it was my responsibility to control the things that happened in Life. I strived to minimize the bad and to maximize the good. I watched and I stood prepared. I let in only what passed my vigorous tests.

As Life continued, and continued to happen, I began to see the illusion of control I felt I had. Despite my best efforts, I could not manage and shape Life into being exactly as I wanted it to be. I could not make it more convenient for me.

This left me considering, perhaps I’d been misunderstanding my job. Perhaps, it wasn’t my job to control Life. Perhaps instead, it was my job to manage how I handled it. Perhaps, it’s not what’s happening that matters, but rather how I’m handling it.

I can’t stop Life from happening but I can work to know, and trust, I’m handling Life as best I can. In working on this confidence, I receive clarity around what I am truly responsible to in Life — to myself and to you. I must handle you and I, and what happens between us, with care. I must handle Life and all it brings (the good, the bad, and the in-between) with respect, and with honesty.

Handling things as best I can, however, does not necessarily mean you will recognize this. You may not see the truth of my actions and you may not mirror this back to me. You may feel I’m not doing a good enough job handling things. When this is the case, it’s time again for me to practice my confidence, checking in with my Self and determining if I’m handling things as best I can, and if so, continuing to. The truth of my actions will reveal itself.

No matter what comes my way, Life only provides me with what I can handle. In doing my best with these circumstances, I free myself from the chaos of Life’s happenings.

photo credit: Ias

Hello! I’m Tara, a wizard of less obvious things. I love hearing from you, so please feel free to connect with me.

I deeply appreciate your support of my work—through allowing it to grow in your imagination, through sharing it with others, and through your financial support.