Women Wellpreneurs

Out of F*cks

As a “wellpreneur”, I’d love to write a lengthy perfectly penned article on gender and pay equality, but a girl doesn’t have that kinda time.

Women have been leading the way in wellness since the get-go, yet still seem to be under served, underpaid and undervalued. We “be the change”, yet often get bogged down and run-down. We are often working as independent providers. Therefore not only entrepreneurs while simultaneously doing the nitty gritty every day work, but also energetically holding space for clients with a full-time+ load to make sense financially. This devotion makes it difficult for us to walk our talk. Yet we make it happen as we must authentically represent a holistic lifestyle.

We are continually asked to always love what we do with no problem working 12-hour days eternally committed to our crafts. We are often highly qualified, bring immense value, yet do not work in the confines of traditional business such as a Registered Nurse whose position comes with a proper paycheck.

It can feel akin to being a single mother, but with necessary detachment. And single mothers who hold full-time jobs or who are entrepreneurs? I place you all on pedestals.

We watch as other folks take the teachings of yoga and morph them into something to make it more approachable to a different audience (ok with that - bring ’em in!), primarily male, without pulling in the women as support who have invested a lot of cash in said programs to expand their knowledge as well as reach. Women who have even mentored students in said program to be a part of something they strongly believe in, as well as living, breathing, teaching and coaching the same or similar goods for decades.

We listen to corporate clients tell us, versus communicate with us, what they plan to pay as if our given rates fall on deaf ears. We listen to a guy working in wellness speak down to us, insinuating we cannot afford his rate when we actually charge the same rate. We watch clients working within the corporate sector agree to pay a specific percentage for our hustle, then after cutting the check communicate they actually had to pay less “if that’s ok” given they decided to deduct their hefty plane ticket from our total after agreements were nailed down, cutting into our percentage earned. And yep, we not only brought them new work, but handed them a new growing corporate client on a silver platter. And this person coaches corporate companies on mindfulness. “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Twice? No, I don’t think so.

We learn, over decades, that sometimes no amount of money is worth the time stripped from our lives to go back to said client to capture fair and honest payment. We turn and walk away because we have learned the hard way that “Time is money, and money is time.” -MosDef. It is well known within the industry that we also must manage the energies (or better yet our own energy in response) of highly competitive inauthentic alpha wellpreneurs, men and women, working in ways that are not at all aligned with the core values of holistic health and wellness. Yep… walk away, friends, walk away.

As lifelong avid athletes and adventurers, we also watched one of the biggest ski resorts in the country vastly underpay the female competitors in a super fun competition this past winter. The comp was highly supported and joined by locals, jumping into one of the “sickest” in-bound couloirs in North America. We are so out of f*cks, we call it out on social media. I mean… the pay was $.37 on the dollar. No, not the normal $.70-something on the dollar, but $.37.

The competition was even organized by a female pro skier. But I can only imagine the environment she was attempting to find balance within. It took place early 2018 on the heels of a nation screaming about gender pay and equality. In the words of another social media follower’s comment, “Hint: This is NOT the year to blatantly and measurably disrespect women.” I mean the 23 year old who placed first only risked life and limb just like the guys. She hasn’t been graced with the physical power of a man, but she is damn close due to some serious grit and jumped like her life depended on it anyway because most might argue, it did. She entered and jumped by choice, of course, and we greatly recognize the privilege in this, but it all ripples out into the world. Then we watch as the local women (and a few good men) were ridiculed by everyone involved in creating the competition, from the corporation and its employees to the male athletes around town, for raising our voices.

Oh and you the yoga teacher, holistic health practitioner, former competitive athlete and wellpreneur supporting the resort with your hard-earned dollars for a couple decades — how dare you? Personally, I love a yoga teacher, male or female, who can scream “WTF”. I have so much respect for any woman or man, standing their ground versus bowing down to BS powers that be. No yoga teacher is your guru. Yoga teachers are not enlightened. Wellness professionals have never claimed to be perfect. They are all people, too. And as women wellpreneurs, working day-in and day-out to support people in finding tools and techniques to create a peaceful existence for themselves, their families, friends and all associates, they have every right to scream WTF because, hey thanks Mark Manson, at this point they are Out of F*cks.

While study after study proves hiring women is beneficial to your business, please do it and pay what you would pay your bros. Chances are, your business will not go down in flames, but flourish just fine with women equally at the helm. With personal, professional and human development and performance at the core of our industry, wellness, how could it not?