Announcing: The Evergreen Mentoring Program

I can’t stop thinking about Harvey Weinstein. And as soon as I think of him, I remember all of the times I’ve been intimidated, harassed, undermined, or overlooked because I am a woman. With a deep breath, here are a couple of those experiences.

When I was a graduate student, another (married, Saudi Arabian, male) graduate student tried to pressure me into sleeping with him. It was preposterous and also gross and inappropriate. I told our mutual (male, American, white) advisor, who simply said “ok, thanks for letting me know.” The next day, when I saw my advisor, he looked me up and down and said “damn, look at you. I’d hit on you, too.” Nothing else was ever done. I was still expected to attend class and work on projects outside of class with the student and graduate under the advisor.

I was joining a podcast via Skype. My audio was connecting before my video was connecting. So I could hear the host and a guest discussing how hot I am. Then one of them said “oh, she’s joining.” And I was expected to have an equal and intellectual discussion with them at that point.

Post workshop but pre-getting-the-invoice-paid, I went to dinner with the head of the company who then invited me to his apartment to “see a view of the city.”

These are incredibly minor compared to what other women experience but I’m quite willing to bet that many woman are nodding their heads and thinking #metoo as they read. It sucks. It makes white women have to work twice as hard to get half as far and double that (or more) if you are a woman of color.

Men, circle up and take care of your own.

Women, I invite you to consider applying for the Evergreen Mentoring Program. Please read all the way through this description to see if this is right for you.

I am launching the Evergreen Mentoring Program to give women a safe, harassment-free zone to grow and develop a business under the guidance of someone who has done it well (um, me) among a very small group of other women.

Tomorrow is my birthday. I’ll be 38. I knew one day I’d want to turn to mentoring but I thought I needed to wait until I was in my 50s because who younger than that has anything to say? But people ask me for business advice so much and there are so many disgusting men that the need for mentoring is now. Let’s do this.

What it will involve

A 1-year commitment, starting March 1, 2018.

Regular communication (meaning daily, weekly) on Slack (I’ll show you how to set up) around a new topic each month. The exact agenda will be set based upon the needs and interests of the women selected for the program. Right now, the agenda includes: figuring out your focus, knowing what to charge, branding, marketing, all the dirty behind the scenes details of running a business, centering your ethics, choosing clients, and what to wear.

Really brutally honest conversation. You’ll need to be comfortable sharing private details like your hourly rate, for example. Likewise, strict confidentiality is absolutely non-negotiable.

Quarterly virtual group conversations on Skype. I don’t have time to waste and neither do you so it won’t be a bunch of chit-chat on Skype, it’ll be critical check-ins where we discuss recent monthly topics, how you are progressing in these areas, and how business-building is going.

A $20 per month financial commitment. This isn’t so you pay my bills. This is so you have a little skin in the game and are more likely to make the commitment to participate regularly.

Scripts, email templates, and other forms of support to set you up for success (based off of the very same things my mentors gave to me).

Who should apply

You identify as female and are in the early stages of starting a business. You should have more than a dream of starting a business. You should be on the ground, running it, or ready to do within the very near future. It doesn’t have to be your full time job.

You should be interested in learning how to run a successful business. I WILL NOT teach you how to do data visualization. That’s not what this is about at all. Your business does not have to be related to data visualization whatsoever. You do not necessarily have to be a running the business by yourself. This does not have to be your first career. I don’t care how old you are.

You can commit to regularly asking questions, doing a bit of homework, and responding to others. Perhaps up to 30 minutes a week.

How to apply

Send me an email, in which you tell me:

A little about you, your background, your identity

The stage of your business (there are not hard definitions around this, so just describe where you’re at)

Why you want to be a part of this

That you can commit to the time and financial expense I’m laying out here

Email it all to me by February 14.

Then what

I’ll select 4 women by February 28. Everyone will get a reply from me no matter what.

The 5 of us dive in on March 1.

With gratitude for the mentors who have come before me and with hope that we can build a better world,


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