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EPISODE 11
Sustainable Visibility® with Mai-kee Tsang

Mai-kee Tsang (she/her) is The Sustainable Visibility® Mentor, ICF Certified Trauma-Conscious Leadership Coach, Podcast Guesting Strategy Trainer & Founder of The Coworking Cove™.

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Discussed this episode:

  • Mai-kee’s relationship with feminism
  • How visibility is a privilege
  • Why acknowledging identity and privilege is so important
  • What visibility is as it relates to business owners
  • The role safety plays in managing visibility efforts
  • Where most people go wrong in defining their visibility goals
  • A safety-first, strategy-second approach to getting visible
  • The lessons Mai-kee learned from pitching herself to 100 podcasts in 1 month
  • Advice for introverts (hint: depth over breadth is key)
  • Leading from the back can be as powerful as leading from the front
  • How having her trauma triggered helped Mai-kee unlearn her beliefs about how visibility should look
  • Using intuition in guiding your choices about visibility
  • Managing the scary feelings of speaking up and doing business differently
  • How being a trauma-conscious coach changes Mai-kee’s approach to her work—and the difference that makes for her clients
  • Mai-kee’s business boundaries and how they help her run a values-aligned business
  • Mai-kee’s growth edge and her big exciting vision for the future of her business
  • The little ways Mai-kee is doing business differently that you can probably implement in your own business 

Resources mentioned:

Learn more about accountability coaching with host Becky Mollenkamp at https://beckymollenkamp.com

Becky Mollenkamp:

Hi, Mai-kee, thank you for joining me.

 

Mai-kee Tsang (pronounced May-Kay Sang):

Thank you so much for having me, Becky.

 

Becky Mollenkamp:

I’m excited to talk about visibility. I think it’s something that all of us hear that we need to do, feel the pressure to do, but then for a lot of us, it’s overwhelming and scary and doesn’t feel good. So I’m really excited to hear how we can make it feel better. But before we dive in, the same question I ask everyone, which is what’s your relationship with the word feminist or feminism, your relationship with that concept?

 

Mai-kee Tsang (pronounced May-Kay Sang):

I feel like I almost always need to decode it when someone asks me about feminism because obviously with the word itself, you don’t see equality straight away, just from the spelling of the word, right? And so that’s why I need to kind of take a step back, like, oh wait, no, no, no, it’s actually about the equality amongst the sexes, right? And it’s something that… I have an ongoing relationship about learning and unlearning, what it means, at least for me and for those around me. And so it’s a conscious practice just to really take it in, if I have to answer your question.

 

Becky Mollenkamp:

I think it’s important to talk about it because every person’s understanding is different. There have been people who’ve been harmed by people who are presenting themselves as feminists. So I think it’s really important for us to all sort of contemplate what is our relationship with that or is there another term you like better? So thank you for sharing that you’re still on that journey as am I, as I think are most people that are listening. So well, okay, let’s talk visibility because one of my favorite things I saw on your website is that it says visibility is a privilege. So talk to me about how so. What is it about visibility that’s a privilege?

 

Mai-kee Tsang (pronounced May-Kay Sang):

I think what’s missing from the mainstream narratives and the mainstream advice about visibility, to always put yourself out there or just be consistent, as if it’s that simple, it doesn’t take into account who really benefits from doing that right from the get-go. And it also fails to acknowledge the potential danger and genuine harm that can come across to those of us who are not in so close proximity to privileged identities, and can actually receive so much backlash and it can really escalate depending on the nature of what it is that you’re trying to be visible about.

 

Becky Mollenkamp:

On your website, you also lead really clearly front and center with your identities, both of the where you have that proximity to privilege and then also where there’s marginalization with your identities. And I know that you say it’s so important for people to acknowledging their identities, their proximity and privilege, all of that. Why does that feel so important to you when you’re thinking about visibility?

 

Mai-kee Tsang (pronounced May-Kay Sang):

It’s really important to me because I’ve historically when I’ve hired mentors, when they’ve given me their advice, I actually had to look back in retrospect and realize that a lot of their advice was a projection of their own success blueprint. And because they didn’t acknowledge their proximity to privilege, their access to resources, that I didn’t see the same results in the same timeframes and things like that. And obviously, of course, I appreciate there are factors outside of both parties’ controls that would feed into the result, but also the lack of awareness or the lack of acknowledgement oversimplified a lot of the advice and left me feeling like it was all my fault. But then when I actually took a step back and realized that oh, it actually may have been a projection that they probably don’t even realize themselves, right? And when you don’t realize it, that’s typically a sign that you are in a position of privilege because you don’t have to think about it, right? And so the reason why I share mine, both my proximity to privilege and both my degrees of marginalization, is because I do think it’s important to be open about that. And I will be honest, for the longest of times, it felt genuinely unsafe for me to talk about the fact I’m on the LGBTQIAP plus spectrum. Because historically in my life, I have been publicly shamed and ostracized from various parts of my community because of this fact of life for me. And so that’s why, that’s when I say visibility without protection can be dangerous and your proximity to privilege will really inform how safe it is for you to talk about certain things or not.

 

Becky Mollenkamp:

Safety is something we’ll definitely talk a lot about because I think it’s so important. I think, I feel like I probably should have stopped at the beginning and said, how do you define visibility? What does that even mean? Like we hear the term so much in the business world, but what does that mean? For some people, I think the idea of it, it sounds so naked, so revealing, right, so vulnerable. What does it mean to you when you talk about visibility as a business owner, a founder?

 

Mai-kee Tsang (pronounced May-Kay Sang):

It means being seen, heard, acknowledged, not exposed.

 

Becky Mollenkamp:

Isn’t it interesting? Because I think fundamentally the thing that all humans want is to be seen and heard and loved. We don’t necessarily have to expect love when we’re being visible, but we all fundamentally want to be seen and heard. But we want to be seen and heard for our true selves, right? We want to be acknowledged for our reality. And is it the masking that so many people have felt compelled to do, and often need to do for safety, is that some of what keeps people from wanting to be visible because they aren’t able to be seen for who they really are or they feel they can’t be seen for who they really are?

 

Mai-kee Tsang (pronounced May-Kay Sang):

I cannot speak for the human race, but I can offer a perspective here and that there is a worry about not being able to handle the response that people have to us when we are showing up, when we’re being visible, whether it’s good or bad, because there have been folks in my community who went viral and they hated it. It’s because they realized, oh, okay, that… I actually don’t… want this. I don’t want this influx of people who I don’t know because that activates their nervous system like for many of them, and they just feel genuinely unsafe to be seen by so many people. So actually even if it’s a quote unquote ideal slash good response when people actually love what you have to say so much that it’s just been spread like wildfire, that can actually cause quite a reaction from the person themselves, and actually would cause that sense of retreat. And so that’s why it’s essential to determine what success with disability looks like for you, what safety means like for you, and having the appropriate boundaries in place so that you don’t feel that sense of overwhelm when, like if that happens, like if you rapidly grow, and on the flip side. A big fear around being visible is being counseled, you know, being sent hate mail, because a lot of my community members have been like under that. They’ve had that experience or they know someone else who has had that experience where someone got really canceled and they just shut everything down because they couldn’t handle it. They didn’t have the access to resources or support networks to work through this. And so it’s a lot of unknown and a lot of responsibility that comes out either way as a result of being visible.

 

Becky Mollenkamp:

There are so many pieces to it. And I think the unknown is what scares us and so much and holds us back in a lot of things where we’re just afraid of what might be. But I think that piece of thinking through what you want it to look like. I don’t think a lot of people that I’ve seen, I’ve seen very often people don’t do that. They just do what they’ve been told they’re supposed to do, quote unquote, supposed to do what they should do, the best practices. And they just do these things and think that they should want millions of followers or a video to go viral or to be on the Today Show or whatever the big thing is, right? Like, I think people think that’s what they’re supposed to want, so that’s what they need to do. And I think part of it is just even somehow giving yourself that permission, and I love that it sounds like you’re doing that with people, the permission to say, I don’t want that. And it’s OK not to want that. And that my visibility efforts can look very different. The results I hope to achieve can be very different. So tell me a little bit about how you help people with that — coming to that definition of success.

 

Mai-kee Tsang (pronounced May-Kay Sang):

That’s actually such a good question because when I run workshops around sustainable visibility, one of the first things I do is ask them, what comes up for you when you see this? Just like how the starting question of this whole conversation was, what’s your relationship with the word feminist? I pretty much do the same thing with the word visibility. Is it something that you’re genuinely excited about or if it’s something like, I don’t want to need it, but I kind of do? That kind of thing, right, because that will immediately give you insight into the relationship you have with the word. And there is a disconnect between what you say you want and how you actually feel, and so that’s where I come in to kind of like find that sweet spot where you do honor what you actually want and honor how you get it, right. Because I think what people need to realize is that visibility is not actually what they want. It’s the results that come from being visible that they really want, right. And because they have often been told so many different ways that just don’t align with them, and they haven’t often been given the space to critically think about what was resonating for them, what’s within their capacity, what aligned with their values, unless they have the space to percolate on that and kind of like have a co-creative role in how their strategy is going to be, that’s when you take on other people’s projections as your own, and then you find yourself in a not wonderful space when it comes to showing up.

 

Becky Mollenkamp:

In the age of Internet, social media celebrities and influencers, I hear you on what you want is the results. I think the disconnect that can happen sometimes is there’s this, there are a whole group of people who want the visibility. That’s their definition of success, right? Is I just want to be famous for being famous sake. And that starts to, I think, make the waters murky for everyone and gets things confused because then we start to think that’s what the model is supposed to look like. I should want to be an influencer. I should want to have this huge following. And so for people who struggle with visibility or feel like have some sort of tension around it, remembering that you get to define success. And I love that piece of what’s the outcome you want. What’s the outcome, not just the process, although I’m also gonna guess the process is important. It needs to feel good being visible or you won’t wanna do it consistently. And your business and where you show up is sustainable visibility. Because I’m gonna guess that a big problem you see is people put themselves out there, get overwhelmed and retreat, recoup, and then wash, rinse, repeat. They just keep doing that process, right? So what does it mean for you about sustainable visibility?

 

Mai-kee Tsang (pronounced May-Kay Sang):

First and foremost, it takes a safety first, strategy second approach. So what you just described about people show up like a big amount and then they kind of want to retreat, hide under a rock, go into their cave, I have definitely done that in the past when I have bitten off way more than I could chew, my capacity was completely overrided by my commitments and I just couldn’t sustain it. And so safety-first is key because if you don’t feel safe to show up, then you are actually showing up from a place of survival. And because I’m certified in trauma conscious leadership, something that I’ve learned about the trauma brain is that when someone feels unsafe, they only operate from their, they call it the lizard brain, which is the survival part, right, and it actually means that it shuts down the logical reasoning senses as well as the emotional processing senses. And why would you want to lead from a place like that, which is kind of like your last resort? You know, it’s kind of like your last-resort energy. That would not bring about your unique ideas allowing you to articulate your thoughts and stories clearly, if you are operating from that state. So, the reason why I start off with the question, what’s your relationship to visibility is because it’s naturally gonna give them insight into what they love and or what they don’t love about it. And then when you go further into what you don’t love about it, that’s going to give you even further insight on what’s safe enough for you to share in various spaces and which details are actually best set for your inner circle. So the whole approach to the sustainable visibility model is very much about having that combination between your sense of safety, your signature body of work and your strategy.

 

Becky Mollenkamp:

And I’m going to guess how that’s different than a lot of traditional approaches to PR and pitching and being visible is that safety piece. The other ones are focusing on your body of work and your strategy. When they’re at best, often, sometimes it’s just your body of work and there’s not even a strategy. But most good PR people out there are doing, right, they’re doing strategy and your body of work. That piece of adding in the safety is what makes it something that you can sustain over time without punishing yourself. I know that you pitched 100 plus podcasts in a month and landed like a third of them. And I think that was sort of your like, you made a big splash and it was really great. But I’m curious, since you bring this approach around sustainable visibility, did that inform your new approach or did you just learn a lot of lessons from that or was that actually sustainable for you? Because that sounds overwhelming.

 

Mai-kee Tsang (pronounced May-Kay Sang):

Okay, I’m so glad that you brought this up because yes to the first two things, like yes I learnt a lot and two it 100% informed my current approach to visibility now because that was like at the time I didn’t really have much to lose because I was in a position where I needed to experiment to see what could work, right? And so I had the time to research to pitch a lot because like none of these were copy and paste by the way, all of them were personalized and I did my stuff, right? And so that was a huge reason why I did land a 33% booking rate. And it was from the, it was actually like, from all of those folks who said yes to me, I asked them why they said yes. I distilled all of their answers, and so now my approach to podcast guesting, which is my personal first choice when it comes to something that’s sustainably visible for me, like it was co-created with the insights of industry-leading podcasters, which is awesome. And because I know that, I’ve distilled it into a framework, I teach it DIY, and I also do like a done-with-you VIP spotlight week kind of thing with my clients who want that more personalized help. But I digress. Um, so by doing that challenge, I learned very quickly what not to do. And I don’t mean the strategy itself, but I mean, or yes, the strategy itself, but also how to approach an ongoing way of showing up and placing myself out there. I actually, I do believe in the importance of language and just a simple shift between saying put yourself out there versus place yourself out there. I find the word placing to be a lot more driven by your needs versus a force, like a blunt force kind of push. You know?

 

Becky Mollenkamp:

I’ve never been a fan of push yourself for anything, you know, pushing through or pushing. None of that feels loving. And I do think language matters a lot. So one of your core beliefs I saw on your website is that ‘you don’t have to be the loudest person in the room in order to be heard.’ And so I wonder, have you discovered, or was this true for you, a belief that the people who get to be visible are the ones who are loud? And as a hardcore introvert, I happen to be an outgoing introvert, but I am deeply introverted, I have had that feeling of the loudest people are the ones who get ahead. The loudest people are the ones who end up in getting all the attention or getting the leadership roles or whatever it is. And that can feel a bit debilitating where either I have in the past, I felt this need to put on that mask and show up as the person who can be loud, or I have felt like I have to sort of miss out, right? Is that something that you felt as well? And what is your message to people who maybe don’t feel like the loudest person in the room?

 

Mai-kee Tsang (pronounced May-Kay Sang):

This is for all of the introverts, all of the people who have felt that they’ve had to be somebody else in order to matter. Like, yes, I have had that conditioning projected onto me that I took in at the time when I was just starting out in my business. And to be honest, it’s only been the last two to three years I’ve really rewrote this narrative in my brain. And yes, the people who are louder may get the initial attention. for those that they reach because they’re able to do it faster and they’re able to kind of cover more ground because of how much of their energy reserves that they have or how much support they have, how loud they, are and that can work if they can sustain it. I know I cannot sustain that both actually doing it and receiving from that volume. I know that I can’t sustain that, so I’m I’ve made my peace knowing that I don’t need to be that person and as a hopefully an insight that will support those of you who are listening right now who are a bit more introverted or like you don’t have that quote unquote main character energy. You probably have that side character energy that people love more than the main character. I believe in focusing in depth over breadth.

 

Becky Mollenkamp:

When you think about your strategy piece of the visibility, you know, those three things, how does the depth over breadth affect the way that you are pitching yourself or the way you’re showing up?

 

Mai-kee Tsang (pronounced May-Kay Sang):

So by focusing on depth over breadth, I get to honor the fact that I love intimate relationships. I don’t need a ton of relationships to be happy and I don’t need a ton of relationships to help my business grow either. And so I’ve let go of the responsibility, I guess, to reach every single person by myself. Right? Because if you focus on breadth, right, then you are counting on you being the first person that people see in order to like come into your orbit, come into your world. But when I focus on depth, that means I get to count on and lean on and collaborate with peers who want to share my work. So they’re helping me get the word out without me having to be at the front all the time. There is a, I think there is a thing in nature with horse herds. There is the mare, which I believe is the female horse, and she leads from behind, actually. So her herd is actually in front of her, and she occasionally goes to the front, but every now and then she will treat to the back to check in on everyone and see if they’re okay. But they can still lead with her from behind. And I’m just really taking that in right now that there are times where you may need to lead from the front, but you can also lead from the back as well and still be just as powerful.

 

Becky Mollenkamp:

I love that and I want to like learn more about that and I feel like it’s speaking to me. It feels like the difference between patriarchal and matriarchal societies and matriarchal and patriarchal structures, right? Because patriarchal structures are very much about the top down, the front of that pack, the person who’s the loudest, right? All of that. Whereas a matriarchal system is more of this like collaborative, you know, beautiful sort of thing where there is times where someone, you know, someone steps up, but it’s not about just how can I be the loudest or be the one who gets to rise the ranks, but it’s how do I make sure we’re all moving forward? Right? It is how do we all move forward? That is so beautiful. So thank you for sharing it because I’d never heard that and I love it. I want to go back really quickly to something you said because you said two or three years is how long you have sort of been able to, it was only that long ago that you figured out how to work through that yourself about not having to be the loudest person or that the loudest people are the ones who win. What were the things that helped you with that? Because it’s a very difficult thing to unlearn.

 

Mai-kee Tsang (pronounced May-Kay Sang):

Yes, oh gosh, where do I start? I think it’s when I had to learn to not take my mentor’s advice without regard for my own well being because I think in the past I thought, well, if I’m paying them this much, they obviously know what they’re doing, I obviously hired them for a reason, so I used to kind of like ignore my instincts or ignore my kind of cues from my body or from my higher self, like I would ignore all of that, you know, because to me that was actually a form of respect, that’s how I showed respect to those who I hired as my coaches and mentors, right, and that’s also something I had to unpack in therapy, kind of like, you know, re-examining my relationship with authority figures, so I won’t lie, I, you know, and I’m very proud of the fact that I have worked with a therapist, she has helped me a ton in my life so if you’re interested in that modality, I highly recommend it. But I think it had to also do with the fact that when I did kind of follow a mentor’s advice and it actually created more harm for me than it did help me, that is also when I had to learn the hard way that oh okay. So earlier when I mentioned about when I would listen to a mentor and they probably weren’t aware of the fact that acknowledging their identities and how that helped them, because I was, you know, that information was absent. I didn’t think otherwise at the time. But then when I followed their advice, thinking that it would help me, because their advice was pretty much like, put yourself out there, anywhere and everywhere. Right. And so as you can see, that completely overrides the acknowledgement of need of safety. And so what happened was that I was open about my story in a misaligned space and then I received a sexually inappropriate DM, and to me that’s my trigger point. So you can probably gather that that is where my trauma is, and so receiving unwanted attention from someone who means nothing but malice or hate for me, that is a true activation of a trauma wound. And that took me a long time to recover from. And so that’s why to me, the cost was way too much for being the loudest, for being the most seen, regardless of who’s in the audience. That’s why I’ve had to take a step back and be a lot more mindful about being in aligned spaces. So there is a kind of, um, there’s a lot of discernment that, a lot of discernment processes that I go through before I say yes to collaborating with someone or even speaking to someone for the first time, I need to be aware of their intentions. And if that is unavailable to me or they’re not open to it before saying yes to something, then to me that is like, okay, no, that’s a no-no for me. So yeah, I’ve really had to learn the hard way about not acknowledging my need for safety and that really caused a long-term harm that I’m honestly still recovering from.

 

Becky Mollenkamp:

It brings a whole bunch of other questions and I’m not sure where to go next because it touched on so many things that I want to get to. But I’m going to start with the piece around intuition of not trusting your intuition and instead listening to what a mentor, someone you think you should respect is telling you and doing that as women or anyone who holds an identity that doesn’t have that oppressor or privilege inside of it is so used to having been indoctrinated into the belief that we are supposed to respect the people at the top of the chain, the food chain, right? Those people at the front of the pack, we’re supposed to respect them. So many of us don’t learn that respect is earned and not just something that we blindly give. And so we are blindly giving this respect. And I question the word respect because is it respect if it’s not earned? But we are giving this deference to these people. And we just are so conditioned into that, that we do that without question and we get used to that. And through that process, we learn to silence our intuition. We learn not to trust it, not to believe it. We’ve been so gaslit into believing that what we know to be true isn’t true, even when we know it to be true. And that becomes just the way we show up. And I think so many people can relate to that feeling of like, if I had, I saw, there were red flags. I saw them. I felt it. There was that little voice inside me that said, don’t do this. And we quieted it and we quieted it. And then we are harmed. You were harmed because of that, right? I know you now, because I saw it in some of the stuff I’ve seen and you sharing in other places, and I think on your website, that you advocate for using your intuition to make your decisions. And it sounds like you’re doing that more too. How does that apply to visibility? When you think about pitching yourself, putting yourself out there, how does intuition guide you? How can others start to think about using their intuition in that process?

 

Mai-kee Tsang (pronounced May-Kay Sang):

I do need to say that I am not an expert with intuition readings or anything like that. I can only share from my own lived experience here. But I love this question and I think what’s really important for me to first say is that my intuition is correct like almost all the time for me when I make decisions, when I’m thinking about things. And what I’ve had to learn the hard way is that it doesn’t have to make sense why it’s showing up. in a certain way. Because I think it’s so easy for us to dismiss that voice, because it doesn’t seem to make sense. We’re like, oh, but I should want this. But I listen to this person. So why is my intuition conflicting with what I think I want? Right? But I’ve had to know myself, like, it doesn’t have to make sense. It will make sense later on. And it may not make sense to my brain, but it makes sense to my heart, though. And the thing is, I feel… I feel when something’s off. When something is off, the texture and the color that I imagine is like a thick black tar that’s sticky and it’s all across my chest and it’s almost like it’s infiltrating the purity of my spirit. That’s honestly how it feels when something is really bad. But when something, it just feels, it’s a bit off. It actually makes that sound in my body. It’s kind of like, hmm not sure about that, kind of like a questioning kind of pitch, you know? I’m not sure if this is answering your question, but I think what’s really important for everybody who may be interested in leaning on their intuition more is just really acknowledging how your body is responding because your body has this literal language. We say body language, right? And we normally use it in the context of like, oh if you have an open body language, then that shows that you’re, you know, you’re expansive. If you’re kind of more concave and kind of shrunken, it’s kind of like that. I would basically lean into that. Like how was my body actually responding? Am I actually shrinking in without me realizing, or is that, or is my body open? Um, something that I had to practice in person when I first trained as a public speaker back in 2016, oh gosh, so long ago. Um, one of the practices that our mentors taught us was being able to openly receive. So when, you know when people stand up and give you standing ovation or applause after you finish your speech? So they forced us to be uncomfortable with receiving and how that looked like was literally standing with hip width apart and having your arms open, literally like that while people are standing there clapping for you. And that felt incredibly uncomfortable and our mentors were like laughing but in the not at us, with us kind of way they’re kind of like it was almost painful to watch each and every one of you feel so uncomfortable with that. But I remember that memory and the reason why it is so um why it’s connected to what I’m speaking about is because if you were to actually open your arms and that you still feel safe to stay in this shape I guess or stay in this state, that shows you this actually feels safe because the your chest area, your solar plexus, your center is a very vulnerable space, just like your back, just like your neck. Right. And so it’s a, it’s a reason why, like, if you are sparring, if you’re fighting, so I do Japanese Jujitsu. So when we spar, you’re, you instinctively protect your center. It’s because it’s the most vulnerable part and actually along the body, your nose, your throat, your solar plexus, your chest, and your private regions. It’s all down your center. And it’s because that is the most vulnerable. That’s why you protect it. It’s why you stand offset. You don’t stand square to an opponent. You kind of lean to a side and kind of face them diagonally. There’s a reason for that. Right. It’s actually all about central protection. And so if we are to kind of like take that back a notch and ask yourself, how do you lean into your intuition? I would invite you to first consider your body language. I’m gonna stop there, Becky, because I know I just said a lot, so let’s see what you have. Yeah.

 

Becky Mollenkamp:

I have a puppy so my brain is around dogs. But when dogs trust you, like a way you can learn if a dog trusts you is if it’s willing to roll on its back to you and expose its stomach to you, right? You can give it those wonderful tummy rubs, but that means a dog trusts you because it’s a very vulnerable position for that dog to get in. And that’s their way of saying, we’re OK. You know, you and I, we’re good. I trust you. We’re going to be OK. I hadn’t really thought about that in the in the human experience, but I love thinking about like when I think about this offer, this collaboration, this thing, right? Could I stand there with my arms spread wide and just like receive that? Or does standing there like that in front of this thing, even if I’m imagining that, does that make me feel too exposed and not safe? And do I feel that need to like sort of retreat back into myself? Because I think from my experience, as somebody who’s been very disconnected from her body for most of her life, for all the reasons that so many of us have been, trauma around our bodies. I found it very difficult when I was starting to go on that journey of reconnecting to my body, of being able to hear my intuition, because I agree, it comes from our bodies speaking to us. And if we have shut them off, disconnected from them, it’s hard to get reconnected. And looking for exercises that can help you with that is difficult and that’s a beautiful exercise. So thank you for sharing it. And I love that. And it brings me to what I want to talk about around safe spaces. Because I think there is a lot of, there are a lot of thoughts in the world around the idea of quote unquote safe spaces, safer spaces, brave spaces, like welcoming space, all the different terms because ‘safe space’ can be a hot button sort of term. But I know you talked about visibility without can be harmful to ourselves and to those that we’re impacting. And it sounds like that comes from a very personal experience for you from being harmed. So how do you, and I think we just talked about it a little bit, but I’d love for you to expand more. How do you identify that safety for getting visible? I heard some things around boundaries, around who you allow yourself to meet with. But give me some specifics. What does that look like? You and I didn’t know each other until we met before this. You know, we had a mutual acquaintance. I’m gonna guess that might be a piece of it for you, but what are some of the things that allow you to say, I’m willing to go there?

 

Mai-kee Tsang (pronounced May-Kay Sang):

I mean like to be honest with you, I trust our mutual connection, so shout out to Danielle Tucker who connected us. That was a piece, and I also knew of you anyway. Like we hadn’t really, at least to my memory, which is already very much like Dory from Finding Nemo, it’s already a very short-term memory. But I already knew of you anyway. And then I was like, I was looking at the page that you showed me about what this podcast was about, and I thought to myself, is there a sense of alignment already here? And then I will seek like backup sources to kind of confirm that, right? And so what I would do is I would check out like your social media, I’d check out your website and this goes for anybody who I’m collaborating with by the way, I don’t say an instant yes unless I already know them really well and what they’re asking of me, right? So that’s the first part. Then the second part is assessing their openness to insights and feedback. So for example, I’d ask them if they’re open to ensuring that they have captions or transcripts whenever we have some sort of communications, or if they are setting the expectations and if they’re not, if I proactively ask, how do they respond to that? So I’m very curious about their responsiveness when I may throw a curveball their way, not to throw them off, but to really see like are they open to these new ways of thinking about things, are they open to new practices or to even challenge their own kind of perspective and are they open to that because it’s very hard for me to connect to someone who’s very stagnant and is not open minded at all because the nature of my work requires challenging the status quo. And that is scary. It can be controversial at times, depending on how deep I’m going. But I really have to assess their openness to kind of be responsive, not reactive to me.

 

Becky Mollenkamp:

What I hear inside of that is a really strong commitment to your values, right? That you know what’s important to you and how you show up and that you are making sure that those that you’re going to work with reflect that. The piece that was really interesting to me too, because I think for our listeners, they’re trying to do things differently. You said that, you know, you are values led, you are trying to disrupt, you’re doing things differently within your industry. So many people who are listening to this, I hope, are in that same boat. They want to do things differently. They don’t want to do business the way it’s always been done. But when you’re showing up that way, it can be scary. It can be hard. Safety becomes, I think, even a bigger issue because you walk into spaces where people are rooted in these traditional sorts of approaches. And when you come in differently, you don’t know how you’ll be met. And I’m just wondering what comes up for you when I talk about that, because I think that that’s a really common issue for people who might be listening to this. And when they think about showing up in spaces, about speaking about things in a way that other people aren’t, it can feel scary. What helps you with that?

 

Mai-kee Tsang (pronounced May-Kay Sang):

It helps having a diversified support network. So something that I’ve learned about myself is that I am a manifestors in terms of my Human Design. And we all have like different sort of assessments that help us see how we show up in the world. And I find personally that Human Design has been like a true godsend because it’s helped me understand why I’ve always thought a certain way and why my voice had to be stifled a lot when I was a child because I was actually quite an outspoken child, but my conditioning from my family, they basically for manifestors, we can be very intense. And for people who don’t know how to handle our energy, their instinct is to shut us down through silencing or telling us to shush or to stop talking about something. And I had that absolutely in my childhood. And it makes complete sense why my business is all about showing up in a way that honors you, is all about expressing your true voice, all of that stuff. It’s very much kind of like what I didn’t have as a child, basically. But back to your question. The reason why I mentioned the whole manifestors thing is because my aura type as a manifestors is that we are very intense because we are the people who blaze the trails. We are the people who are on the edge of innovation. We see things differently and are often the first to talk about it before the rest of the world has caught on. And that naturally can be very isolating. It can cause a huge spiral of self-doubt. I get caught in that spiral all the time. And what helps me not downward spiral is the fact I need to tell people what I’m thinking as it’s kind of happening and be okay with it not being perfectly polished. So that, it was kind of like an invitation for me to share things when they’re uncurated, unpolished because every time I share something, it’s always of immense value. And I basically, it’s kind of like, I’m giving them a raw diamond. I’m like, look, it’s not polished yet. Like how you would see in a jewelry store, but this is the raw of it, and it has immense value if you know how to wield it, if you know how to use it and how you see its beauty. And so for me, I actually have like mini masterminds and they’re all they’re actually all peer-led right now. And one of them was very organic, but it turns out we were all manifestors and we didn’t know that ahead of time. And so whenever I have a new creative urge, they tend to be the first people I talk about it because they get it. So surrounding yourself with people who get your ideas, or even if they don’t understand them, but they’re still open to holding that space for you to express yourself without needing to be a certain way, I found that to be incredibly helpful. So I have different pockets of support networks. Sometimes it’s one-on-one relationships, which are incredible as well. I know when to lean on my life partner as well for certain things. And when it’s business-orientated, I have a business-orientated peer mastermind. So I think I’ve just diversified my support network a lot, and that’s helped me be okay with not knowing where I’m leading from, or rather not knowing where I’m leading towards, I should say. It’s a bit more accurate.

 

Becky Mollenkamp:

It’s funny, I have a few peer masterminds and one of them has a Human Design expert inside of it. And so she gave us all readings, which was awesome. And all but one of us are manifesting generators. So it’s very interesting. Maybe you are attracting people who are like you and you don’t even realize it. There’s just a, and I think you know, it’s that like little spark you feel with someone where you think you get me and I get you. And I don’t know, you know, Human Design or whatever the thing is, but finding those people, I agree, like I think even for somebody who’s as deeply introverted as I am, community, having other people you can turn to is so important. And that goes, I think, a little bit back to those safe spaces piece again, and I don’t want to go too, you know, keep asking you the same sort of thing around safe spaces, but I just think it’s really important to talk about safety. And I know that you’re a trauma trauma conscious coach. And I saw, I think, a testimonial on your website that says ‘for Mai-kee to be a trauma sensitive mentor is a game changer because I didn’t know I had invisible layers that were hindering me from being truly visible.’ So I’m just wondering like, and I know you have CPTSD and which I think you’re you talk about so hopefully I’m not saying anything there that I wasn’t supposed to, and I’m wondering how does trauma, which so many of us have in so many ways, how does that like show up with the clients you work with when it comes to visibility? Because I don’t know, I think for some people they may not immediately draw that link, but I clearly see from your testimonials that it’s resonating with people. So how is that affecting some of your clients and how they’re showing up or how they shift the ways they think about showing up?

 

Mai-kee Tsang (pronounced May-Kay Sang):

So first and foremost, I think it’s really important to note here that my trauma consciousness, my scope of practice doesn’t include holding the space where we work through the trauma together because that is what a trauma-informed or trauma-trained professional would do. So I’m more at the awareness stage, and awareness of the impact of trauma and holding that space for people to kind of for those things to kind of rise to the surface to know when to bring it to someone outside of my scope. And that was really important for me to share with people before I even invited them into my programs or into my one-on-one coaching. It’s because they needed to know, hey, I am not your end-all, be-all when it comes to this. Because it’s very likely that if you do have trauma that is gonna be coming up, you need to know that you can kind of articulate what that is. And then you need to like, it’s a requirement for me, it’s like, you need to have access or at least willing to find external modalities outside of this coaching space where you can address that. Because this is a place to be aware of it but not to address it, right? So because they knew that, they knew what they could count on me for and which things are outside of my scope of practice and they are required to take elsewhere. Normally a therapist’s office, but yeah, so that definitely came into play. And it also, the kind of folks who have come into my spaces, knowing that this is one of my specialties, is that they know that they are not going to be dismissed or invalidated if they say they’re not doing something. Because it’s so easy to shame someone, like, oh, you haven’t done it yet? We’ve been talking about the same goal for like every single week, why have you not done it yet? It could be so  easy to kind of like have that judgment be placed upon you or placing your own judgment on yourself. And my space, I’ve always been like, no, not necessarily. Is there anything that we can talk about to kind of like pinpoint why you feel that this is a recurring thing, a recurring theme that keeps coming up during our hot-seat sessions? It’s a very, very different space. And I think the best way I can articulate it It’s where people don’t feel like they’re making excuses, but the space I hold is for them to find their explanations.

 

Becky Mollenkamp:

I think it’s so important because blame and shame are so prevalent in coaching. And it’s something that for years now I have been railing against and trying to certainly that’s not how I want to show up as a coach and I want to help educate other coaches as well. I try to find that compassion to say if it is something that’s showing up for you as a coach where you are, you know, using why language, why did you do this? Right? projecting your own feelings onto that or judgments. I want to honor you in saying that it’s something that a lot of us instinctually or that we’ve been conditioned into doing, we have to unlearn it. So if you haven’t unlearned it, okay, but if you recognize it in yourself, now’s the time to unlearn it because it’s causing harm. That’s perpetuating harm unto other people. We have to learn how to hold space for everyone’s lived experience. And often that won’t be our own. In fact, it never will be exactly our own. We only have our own lived experience and everyone’s is hyper unique. And so we have to be able to hold space for that and honor that. And that includes not casting judgment. And I think sometimes coaches may not realize that saying, why didn’t you do that is in fact judgmental, right? That is in fact casting a judgment. It is blaming and shaming. And I love that you’re showing up that way with the way you are working with people. What difference have you noticed that that makes with your clients? Because I know I’ve heard from mine. I’ve been burned by coaches in the past, same experience you’ve had, I’ve had coaches cause me harm. And it’s a very different experience for them. And it feels different. So what have you heard from your clients about how it feels for them to show up in that kind of space?

 

Mai-kee Tsang (pronounced May-Kay Sang):

One of the most kind of amazing things I’ve ever heard from a client of mine is when she said, ‘in your space, I don’t feel like I have to hold myself. I get to be held here.’ And to help illustrate that point, she told me how in other masterminds that she’s been in, she’s felt like it’s almost like she has to safeguard herself and be kind of selective with the things she shares out of fear of not being validated or fear of being dismissed or things like that. And ultimately she felt like she is basically, you know, the body language stuff that we talked about before, it’s basically that she could be there in open arms. And that was such, I can’t even put it into words of how meaningful that was to me. But it’s everything that I wanted for my clients to feel. And the best way that I can envision it is if you think of a circle of people, people who are sitting in a circle, traditionally, if you don’t feel held, you literally have your arms crossed over your body, right? But when you feel held and you have your arms open, you can be support for other people inside of the room as well. And it’s a lot more collaborative and it’s a lot more of a collective energy as opposed to individualized competitive energy. And I think because of the nature of my work and the nature of my personality, I guess, I don’t know, it allows for that sense of feeling of being held and being open and having more capacity to be able to support others as well, because you’re not using that capacity to defend yourself.

 

Becky Mollenkamp:

That is a gift to hear that from a client and a gift to be able to give that to a client. And that collective experience is part of what I think is the feminist experience of doing our work. That for it to be really feminist, it needs to be transformative and collective. And I wonder when you think about how you’re running your business, we’ve talked a lot about the ways you’re delivering your services and the ways that you’re showing up with visibility. But how are you, when you think about how you’re running your business, how are you doing that work in a way that feels aligned with these feminist values?

 

Mai-kee Tsang (pronounced May-Kay Sang):

Such a good question, and I don’t think I’ve ever been asked it this way before, so that’s interesting. I’m curious what comes out. So I find that people naturally, and they tell me, so I’m not assuming this, they get inspired just from the way that I communicate my boundaries. So for example, I have an auto responder for my emails and I basically say, like, hey, your message has been received, let me set some expectations of when you can expect to receive a response. Because, yeah, I just like setting expectations, right? And I make it clear, I do not respond in a certain timeframe because most autoresponders will say, hey, I’m in my office between Mondays to Fridays at this time to this time. I do not operate on that schedule. I never have and never will. And so I say, hey, I respond based on energetic capacity, not a timeframe. But of course, if you do wanna make sure that your email is read, please do follow up. I welcome follow ups. They’re not a nuisance to me, so please do that. But in the meantime, and then in my PSs, it’s like, you know, just like links to how we can work together and my offerings, all that kind of stuff. So to me, it’s really, it’s very much about just being, I don’t want to say unapologetic, it is unapologetic. But I don’t think that’s the most representative word. But I think it’s because I’m unfazed by being open to communicating how I operate in the world and how I operate as a business. And I have received so much feedback on, and actually a lot of people have modified their auto responders after seeing mine. In fact, I think there was a head of a coaching school who was like, oh, you have some beautiful language in your auto responder. And then the next time I saw their auto responder, lo and behold, it’s pretty much mirrored the language that I use, but it’s not word for word, but they did tell me that they were going to do it. So that’s okay. But yeah, I think, I think I just stand my ground. but not in a way that is in. I think this really goes back to how I developed my Quiet Rebels movement as well. So that was a terminology that I came up with when I first started branding myself as the name of my podcast, the Quiet Rebels podcast. And that’s all about being interested and curious about what exists outside of the status quo. So we don’t rebel just for the sake of it. We don’t do it to bulldoze over other people’s belief systems. We’re just curious about what else could work. And that’s exactly how I operate in my business. I’m just curious what else could work instead. So I, I was the first that I knew anyway, who had a auto responder that was capacity-driven and not time-driven. And then people loved it because I set the expectation. And I think, to be honest, most of the backlash or resistance or conflict we receive in communications with our clients, community, peers, etc., is when expectations aren’t set, so they don’t know what’s happening. And a natural response to the unknown is fear. And when you’re in a fear state, you don’t normally operate from your best, right? You’re not normally the most compassionate because you’re defending yourself, you’re safeguarding yourself. And so for me, sharing expectations in multiple touch points ahead of time is what has really helped me to stay true to my values and to run my business this way.

 

Becky Mollenkamp:

And speaking of your podcast, another boundary I noticed is on your podcast page, you clearly say like, I don’t accept unsolicited guest pitches. These are by invitation only, by people I know and through my network. And so that’s another place where there’s a boundary that I noticed. And I’m curious about your social media because I noticed on Instagram, you’re doing the nine grid. If people don’t know what that is, it’s sort of nine. images that create this comprehensive look and each of the captions speak to a part of your business or something like that. Is that also part of your boundaries? What are your boundaries around social media?

 

Mai-kee Tsang (pronounced May-Kay Sang):

Ooh, good one. Alright, so, um, first of all I want to give a shout out to Kristin Oxiger, founder of Going Ultraviolet, who was the person I learned from for the 9 grid strategy, and for me, that wasn’t so much a, I guess it could be a boundary, but I guess it’s not how I see it. I think because I’ve noticed that so much of my capacity was being sucked into this black hole when I was trying to come up with new content all the time in order to feel like I was still relevant, all that kind of stuff. So it was kind of keeping me on this hamster wheel as they call it, and I didn’t I didn’t love that. And so when I had a when I put this nine-grid together I felt an immediate sense of calm, freedom and, because I had freed up capacity that’s no longer being sucked into this black hole, I had room to be present elsewhere. I had more capacity to speak in DMs, I had more capacity to take time off because I wasn’t constantly on this content churn. And so I guess it was a boundary, but I think I just don’t, that’s not the first thing I think of when I think of my nine grid. To me, it was a way to liberate myself from the hamster wheel and to just really be more present in areas of my life that are both impactful for me personally as a human, but also effective for my business because when I’m really present with my peers, when I’m present with my clients, present with my community members, they really feel that, and that really feeds back into the whole depth over breadth thing because when I’m able to be so much more present I deepen that depth, right? And then people trust me more and I’m leaning more into having affiliate partnerships moving forward, right? And literally just yesterday someone sent out a promo email and they brought like nearly 10 people straight in, like after that one promo email. And to me that’s new ground because I’ve never really had affiliate partners before. So I was like, oh, this is a beautiful representation of the depth over breadth. They’re helping me reach new people because of the relationship I have with this person that has been genuine. It’s been built on trust. There’s mutual respect and alignment in how we run our businesses.

 

Becky Mollenkamp:

I’ve been thinking about switching to a nine grid as well and I love that it goes back to body language. Your body is telling you if it’s the right thing for you and if you feel that immediate relief then it’s obviously the right thing for you. So that’s amazing that you’re doing that and that it felt good. And I see that as a boundary and if nothing else, it certainly feels like another way that you’re honoring your capacity, and I think that’s a big part of showing up as a feminist founder, which is prioritizing yourself over profits or productivity or hustle and all the things that we have been conditioned into believing. And so that is to me another really fine example of the ways that you’re showing up in this aligned with your values. What are your growth edges? 

 

Mai-kee Tsang (pronounced May-Kay Sang):

So, something, this is this hasn’t started yet, but it will start from this place. So I created it was an ideation from my manifesto creative urges back in March, when I ideated the Coworking Cove, which is my digital co-working space for entrepreneurs who want to do their deep work with quiet company, ie, no one talks, but we’re all just there sharing the space and I facilitate right. And because it’s all ocean themed, it’s called the Coworking Cove. The pods are named after arctic dolphins and our whales. And I didn’t pick them at random, by the way. So I’m just going to quickly gush for a second. I didn’t pick them at random. I actually picked unique and rare species in the ocean and where their migration patterns are and where they originate from. So I went that deep into that detail. But anyway, so I wanted to infuse a part called Global Giving and it was about donating a portion of proceeds towards charities and conservation projects to protect marine wildlife, right? And that’s something that means the world to me because I’ve always had such an affinity to the ocean and its ability to heal and to calm, and I’ve found along the way that there are many other ocean lovers in my community that I wasn’t aware of. But here was where my boundary was. I said, once we have the first founding 50 members, that is when we’ll start doing that. And I made it clear, I believe in, I need the first 50 folks as a financial anchor for me to keep sustaining this. And I think that was really hard for me to kind of like place out there at first because I’m like, oh, I quote unquote, should give straight away to look like a good person. But to me. I also made it clear that you cannot give from an empty cup, you need to give from a place on overflow. And so I put that boundary out there. And you know, we’ve yet to reach, I think we’ve got 18 members so far. And it’s been a very slow growth. But to be honest, I love the people in it. So I love actually like facilitating, I love doing it. But I would love to actually get to that point where, can I share a vision with you actually about this, Becky?

 

Becky Mollenkamp:

Of course, I love a vision.

 

Mai-kee Tsang (pronounced May-Kay Sang):

So a big vision that I have with the Coworking Cove isn’t necessarily to be the biggest or anything like that. But what I would love to get to a point is that we contribute so much to a certain charity or conservation project that the leaders of that project or charity would invite me and a handful of people who would like to volunteer to come over and actually contribute to the project itself, as in like doing a beach clean up or doing snorkel dives to pick up trash from the ocean or whatever it is, to actually have that in-person experience. I would love to do that and it would have come from a very sustainable place and it was a very co-creative, communal contribution from the collective and so that’s where I see, that’s what I would love to get to. Not quite there yet, but I’m holding that vision because I want to do it.

 

Becky Mollenkamp:

I’ll share the information in the story notes or show notes for people to be able to look up because it’s a great offer and incredibly reasonable for what you get price wise. But one of the two things I noticed within that, that I think also sort of align with just like the little ways that I can see you are showing up and being thoughtful, being conscious about how do I do business differently? How do I say no to all of the things that we’ve learned? How do I change things up? One is that you offer two times, like you’re offering that coworking at two different times to address both hemispheres of the world, right? To say, I wanna be able to speak to all people to make this global. So often that doesn’t happen. And I’ve been very guilty of that being in the US and being very US centric. And also I have to honor my capacity in my time zones and having a child, but I think it is beautiful that you’re doing that. And secondly, I noticed the times change every month. And you said that was very intentional based on, I think it was maybe the moon or the oceans or something, but anyway, to like say, based on energy. And I think that’s another beautiful thing where it’s like we have all these ideas around time and productivity and the way we have to show up. It doesn’t have to be that way. So I just wanna honor you for those, like it’s these little things so when I ask how are you doing your business differently, I think sometimes when we are in it, we forget that those little things matter. And those little things are examples of how you’re showing up differently. So thank you for those things. And I love holding the vision because we all need to hold these visions for what’s possible. And I want to share those things because I think it’s so important for people listening like even in the small things you’re doing, ask yourself, why do I think it has to be this way? Could it be different? What could be different? And just see how that feels because often in that answer, you may start to get to that’s where we can do some of that unlearning and plumb some new depths of saying, I don’t have to do it the way it’s always been done. And why am I thinking that it always has to be on the first Tuesday of the month at 10 a.m.? Why couldn’t it be at different times? So I love that you’re doing that.

 

Mai-kee Tsang (pronounced May-Kay Sang):

Thank you. I really appreciate just that you’ve noticed because it is one of those things that is not so normalized yet in our industry to having dual time zones. And I do have to say, I know it does help the fact that I’m based in the UK, so it’s probably to a degree easier for me to offer different time zones. But I will say the reason why I’ve chosen to cycle the times, and that they’re not on like the same Tuesday or same Thursday every single month, is one, I am honoring the cycles and also I’m off, I’m honoring cycles that people don’t realize that I’m honoring because I haven’t shared it. The moon cycle is a collective experience that we have but what people don’t know, until now, those who listened to this episode, is that I’m also honoring my manifestor cycle, which is primarily comprised of rest, And I’m also honoring my menstrual cycle because I’m, unfortunately, I am quite prone to developing iron deficiency anemia. And I developed, like, quite a very, very, very scary sort of experience with that last month, and I’m in no position to hold space for anyone if I’m like that. So I have to be mindful of where my energy dips and where it ebbs and flows. That’s also a reason why, but also because of the mood cycles. And there is a third practice that actually is quite a feminist practice as well, which I think is noteworthy for this conversation. Specifically on the Coworking Cove, there are a lot of people who actually helped contribute to the idea or they contributed to certain elements on there. And so, you know, in books or in research papers, you see these little citations of like little mini numbers. And then in the reference part, at the end of the book or the end of the report, you see where the reference comes from. So if you looked on the Coworking Cove page, you’ll see these little citation marks and then towards the bottom, I attribute to all of the people who helped make it, whether they realized it or not. And there are five people in particular who contributed directly to the copy or an idea or something like that. And then there are another group of people who also helped shape the idea without, some of them don’t know that they’re on that list. But I also, so a hat tip to Kelly Diels, who said that citations is, sorry, no giving credit where it’s due is a feminist practice. And to me, I really wanted to do that. No one’s ever done that before that I’ve seen personally. Some people have given shout outs and stuff, but not in the way that I’ve done it with the citations and like a reference area. But I think that’s just a beautiful way to honor the people who helped contribute to the idea. because this whole offering about the Coworking Cove is very collective. We do together, we do a lot more together than we do apart. So yeah, just wanted to say that. Ha ha ha ha.

 

Becky Mollenkamp:

And Kelly has been on the show, so you can listen to her episode as well. And I love that you do that. I have a page on my website where I acknowledge the people I learned from because I think it’s so important for us to exactly that credit the people that we’re learning from, because it is such a colonial sort of practice to just take and not credit people, and to that end you have a thing on your Instagram. So if anyone goes and follows you on Instagram, this will be the last thing I’m going to like show that I’ve stalked you thoroughly before this interview, but…

 

Mai-kee Tsang (pronounced May-Kay Sang):

I see you’ve done your research. I appreciate it.

 

Becky Mollenkamp:

Well, my background is journalism, that’s what I do. But you have your, let me look at the exact what it’s called because it’s 30 days of acknowledgement or 30 days of something, 30 days of advocacy. So they’re saved on your stories people can go look at them. But it’s a similar sort of thing of like no one knew you were going to do it. You said like, I haven’t told these people in advance. And for 30 days straight, I can tell you like a challenge, you like a good challenge mentality because you also did that with your podcast pitching. But for 30 days straight, you just shared things or people that have been important to you, who’ve taught you or who have helped you in some way. And I thought it was such a beautiful gift and something that I may well steal with credit because I think it’s such a beautiful thing to do. And I agree that that to me, is again, it’s these small ways, but they’re powerful, of showing your feminist values or however you, whatever term you wanna use for them, that you care about the collective. Because that is, going back to that beautiful horse reference, that is the horse who’s in the back. You know, she’s leading, but she’s leading by saying, I’m gonna take us all together. It’s not about me getting in front of the pack so I get to the finish line first. Ugh. It’s about how do we all get to the finish line? How do I play a role making sure that we all get there? And that brings tears to my eyes because I think that’s a beautiful way of showing up. So thank you for doing that in the little ways. And I hope that you honor those little ways for yourself. And for people listening, it doesn’t always have to be the big sweeping things. Those are important too. But sometimes we can get overwhelmed with the systems and think, I can’t change these systems. What can I do? But these are the little ways that we chip at it in our neck of the woods, right? And you’re doing that. So I love it. Okay, let’s finish by having you share a resource. It can be a book, an educator, a podcast, but something that’s either been really transformative for you or just that you really like and wanna share because I love a good resource.

 

Mai-kee Tsang (pronounced May-Kay Sang):

So I have to give a shout out to Blair Imani who is the creator of this mini series on Instagram called Smarter in Seconds and her book is Read This to Get Smarter about race, class, gender, disability and more and I kid you not with these topics that can be incredibly nuanced and there can be like such tender topics for us especially for those of us who are learning and we can often fear about getting it wrong like quote unquote wrong. And I feel like this was such a well researched resource that allows you to self-examine, but not from a place of shame, but a willingness to do differently, to do better, to support these groups. And I just think it’s incredible. And I know that kind of like a follow on question to this is like, what is the organization you care about? But to be honest, I learned that Blair is actually the head of education at the, the handle on Instagram is called Feminist. So I think it’s actually perfect to kind of like direct folks towards there because all of the resources that I’ve seen them create have been like so insightful. And again, it comes from a place of willingness to do differently, willingness to learn better, to kind of do better after we’ve learned, you know, and not make it about us, not centralizing ourselves and being performative allies, but actually literally like willing students.

 

Becky Mollenkamp:

Yeah, and Blair’s a great follow on Instagram or TikTok. If you’re on TikTok, I also consume everything there. And so I will be sure to share that in the show notes. I don’t know what their business structure is, whether it’s a nonprofit or for profit, but there is a way to contribute and support the amazing efforts that they have like their, the Instagram is amazing. They share, I reshare content from Feminists all the time because they’re sharing such great resources. And there is a place on there to send a contribution. So I will send one to thank you for your time today. And I definitely wanna encourage everyone listening that if you got anything from this conversation that you would also go and make that contribution to the link in the show notes for feminists. And I think the website just says a $5 contribution. What a small gift to say thank you for so much that you’ve given us today. And also don’t forget to go check out everything that Mai-kee does on our website and our Instagram, which all of that will be shared in the show notes as well. So thank you so much for your time today. Is there anything else that you wanted to make sure that we talked about that we didn’t or that you wanna share?

 

Mai-kee Tsang (pronounced May-Kay Sang):

Well, to be honest, you have really blown my mind wide open with the kind of questions that you’ve asked. I don’t think, like I’ve been on like a lot of podcasts and I’m so grateful for all the opportunities. And I think it’s particularly through the feminist lens I’ve never been asked about before. So I just want to say thank you for inviting me on to be a part of this. And, you know, I’d never thought of myself as a feminist founder. It’s one of those kind of, to me, it’s, it’s kind of like how, you know how you want to be seen as an ethical person. You want to be seen as someone who values diversity, equity, inclusion. But when you say that you are, sometimes it can take away from the power of it at times. So I think for me, it’s like, feminist is actually one of those values that I didn’t realize that I held so dearly. But when you actually reflected back a lot of the practices that I’ve done that may or may not have contributed directly to my bottom line straight away, they’ve all mattered and I just want to say thank you for doing your research or Internet stalking because you, I don’t think you realize what you’ve done for me actually just by being here. You’ve helped me feel so seen for all of those efforts that I thought no one noticed.

 

Becky Mollenkamp:

Well, that really means a lot to me. So thank you. That’s awesome. And you know, I’m a fan of alliteration. I just always have been. So Feminist Founders has such a nice ring to it. But really, it’s about equity-centered founders, womanist founders. It’s people who care about humanity. people who care about prioritizing people and planet above profits. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t all make money, yes, but it’s about how do we do that in a way that’s equity-driven? And so whatever that word is for you, for me, it’s feminist for someone else it’s something different, I hope that, you know, this show is helping a lot of people feel seen and giving them ideas. And I think you’ve given a lot of ideas today. So thank you so much, Mai-kee.

 

Mai-kee Tsang (pronounced May-Kay Sang):

Thank you.

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