Teaming Up Together As A Team

This post is inspired by (and indeed, partially copied directly from) a discussion my team had on team building. I want this blog to be a personal blog, not a "business blog", but this is a very personal matter for me. And I also really want to launch this site and need some content. So, without further ado...

"Why I Want a Team", by the overly-earnest Marissa.

Even after I began selling Barefoot--in fact, even after a very dear friend signed up under me, without me doing anything at all really--I didn't want people under me. I didn't want "that kind" of business, the kind focused on what my friends can do for me, on meeting quotas, on going through the motions at the expense of authenticity and true relationships. But, by talking with my friend and my leader (who has become a friend, despite me not knowing her at all when I signed up under her), I had a complete mind shift. Building a team isn't about annoying (much less exploiting) my friends. Building a team is about offering people I love (or do not yet love) an opportunity to change this world in a very meaningful way, and then figuring out together how to do that.

 The best way to predict the future is to create it. I'm attempting to create the future by reading and selling Barefoot Books, and raising a better generation.

I love these books. I *believe* in these books. I still don't want "that kind" of business. The whole "leadership ladder", in and of itself, means very little to me. But I want every single child--and I do mean that, I'd translate these books into Farsi and Swahili and give them away worldwide if I could--to have these books in their lives. Representation and inclusion are so truly vital. I thought I understood that, having fallen deeply in love with "The Bluest Eye" as a teenager and having had conversation upon conversation about intersectional feminism and bi-invisibility and such...but watching it play out in my own children was so powerful.

 What do your children see in the books they read? Barefoot Books strives to represent all children.

I want everyone to have these books. I want every child to see themselves, their friends, and the completely unfamiliar presented in a "this is normal and great!" way.  I want special needs children to see themselves. I want the typical siblings of special needs children to see themselves and their brother or sister depicted as equally valuable and equally "normal". I want children who have two moms, or two moms and a dad, or just a dad, or a foster family, or, or, or...I want all of them to see their families and to see other families and to see that hey, children everywhere have the same emotions, regardless of what's triggering them. I want children of all races, ethnicities, religions, body sizes, abilities, all of it, to see themselves as important. As the central character in their own lives, not their lives as a support for the pretty, white, wealthy, heterosexual, neurotypical vaguely Christian "romantic lead" in YA books and film.

 The need to be seen, and to see others for who they are rather than relying on stereotypes.

And I can't do that alone. So I want a team, and I want to lead and inspire my team. I want people to join my team, and I want them to have people join their teams, until everyone is working together, teaching their children that all children matter. Because once empathy is deeply ingrained, I firmly believe that true equality will be inevitable.

 Atticus in The Barefoot Book of Children. "Children's books should reflect their readers and the world they live in. We live in a world full of all different kinds of people, and if we want to educate children meaningfully and completely, we have to be teaching them about all different kinds of people."