I have little to say about the worst kept secret on earth: That decades of campaigning, of twisted rhetoric, of bigotry, of weaponizing religion, of riling up the worst aspects of our society, of an open playbook of minority rule enabled in part by the Electoral College and also by intentional voter suppression means that women no longer have rights to their own bodies.
I’ve had little to say since the decision leaked. Because if you are shocked and upset now, I don’t know where you’ve been. This was the explicit promise; the almost literal deal with the devil that evangelicals have made. To get this.
Newsletter editor Rachel here.
Have you ever thought about quitting your job, traveling around the world, and then starting your own million-dollar company?
I know I have. Maybe a little too often.
That’s why I can’t get over Vicky Tsai and her story. After quitting her job on Wall Street, Vicky went rogue on a quest to discover natural skin care products that would heal her acute dermatitis. She gave up the dream she had originally planned for herself to discover what she was passionate about.
After a life-changing encounter with a geisha, she wanted to bring her healing experience back to the U.S. So she launched her skincare company, Tatcha. Even though her company spent years on the brink of bankruptcy (forcing her to sell her possessions including her engagement ring!)– she persisted because she believed it was her life’s calling.
She says that for her, Tatcha is a blend of her passion and what she is good at–an idea captured by the Japanese concept of ikigai. Put simply, ikigai refers to a person’s reason for being alive, and it is found at the intersection of what you are good at, what you enjoy, and what the world has a need for.
In other words: your talent + your passion + the world’s needs = ikigai
She saw a need and then built an empire on nothing but belief and passion. Her grit eventually opened doors for her to do more than she ever thought possible.
In the years following her success she has been able to partner with Room to Read, a nonprofit organization focused on female education and empowerment. In 2014 Tatcha launched the Beautiful Faces, Beautiful Futures fund to encourage girls to stay in school through the Girl’s Education Program in Asia and Africa. Vicky has also worked to lift up the voices of other AAPI women in a predominantly white and male-dominated field.
If you are looking for more info on her, check out Behind Her Empire’s hour-long podcast that takes a deep dive into her journey.
There are a lot of reasons to be impressed by Vicky. She is bold, compassionate, and outspoken, and even in her wild success has found a way to stay focussed on what matters.
But the thing that stands out to me most is how she went out searching for her purpose, found it, and then clung to it like a liferaft in a storm. She is a relentless force for good. We need more relentless women. I hope to be one of them.
A note from Adimika Arthur…
Yesterday was Father’s Day in the United States but it also coincided with Juneteenth, a holiday that was little known to many people until a few years ago but one that I have celebrated my entire life.
My childhood summers were shaped by Juneteenth as the first celebration of the season before the street fairs and fireworks, the quintessential community barbeque that was before the summer solstice.
It was often called “freedom celebration” or marked by the “jubilee” service at church. The food defined the celebration. I have vivid memories of cakes and pies filled with first seasonal fruits of cherries and apples, juicy cobblers filled with stone fruit and hoppin’ john and maque choux made with the early ears of corn. I always heard of this celebration of this special day as a movement, one that “we” have been celebrating since “back when”.
A few weeks ago, I read the news that San Francisco is — again — the most childless city in the U.S. This was the case before I had kids. Before a whole wave of people who — like me — moved to San Francisco in the dot-com bubble, grew up, and started to have kids.
There was a collective sense that this generation of people would stay. Just like this was the generation of startups who had decided to stay in San Francisco versus settle down in Silicon Valley.
That latter promise came so true that the center of gravity of the money had to move north from Sand Hill Road, something that seemed unimaginable previously in the history of Silicon Valley. But kids sticking around SF — by both the numbers and my own anecdotal experience — have proved another matter.
Newsletter editor Lily here.
I can’t believe that’s the last time I’ll write that.
After almost five delightful years (and somewhere in the ball park of probably 1,200 newsletters), this is my last week with ChairmanMe! But fear not: The Dose is continuing with the lovely Rachel Cheney at the helm. She’s absolutely brilliant!
As for me, I leave the CM team with nothing but fond memories and wonderful things to say. I said this to Sarah when we started the off-boarding process a few weeks ago: Working with CM has been a freelancer’s dream gig. I got autonomy, a supportive workplace, lots of trust, good pay, and plenty of inspiration for my own life.
Well, I have had a rollercoaster of a spring so far.
I am unable to process or think about a lot of it (yet). But lemme talk about something light today: Pottery Barn Teen.
As many of you know, I have been spending my spare (haha) time since April redoing my Victorian in San Francisco, listing it on Airbnb, and unexpectedly booking out fully (almost!) until October. This is super exciting as someone who took the Boss Up Your Financial Game course, which inspired me to maximize my earning potential as I stare down not-so-great retirement funds after 11 years of building startups.
I’m crushin’ on two incredible women this week.
Sim and Sonya are best friends who were sick of investing being overly complicated and gatekept from women and minorities, so they decided to take matters into their own hands.
They started the podcast Girls That Invest, which quickly became the number-one podcast for women to learn about investing without all the jargon.
But they didn’t stop there. Simran Kaur wrote a book that immediately became a bestseller and she offers an investing masterclass. If that weren’t impressive enough, they have a hilarious and informative social media presence.
Last week, I went to a (before COVID) annual female power party in Silicon Valley. It felt a little like going back in time. I was filled with trepidation at first because seemingly everyone in SF has COVID right now and because I haven’t socialized with that many people in a long time!!!
It was so incredible for so many reasons, but a highlight was I got to meet Christine Blasey Ford. Talk about someone who lit her life on fire in order to try to help women in this country.
It’s not often I’m starstruck meeting someone. We talked about kids and about statistics and about, of course, being hated and threatened, although I’ve experienced 1% of what she has. And what I have experienced was pretty scary.
If you are a parent, how much time and money have you spent arranging your kids’ summer?
Especially now that they can do things?
I spent weeks begging to get them into a camp that I waited too late to register for and set an alarm to register for another one the second it went live. I found a soccer camp for Evie and a concurrent sewing and design camp for Eli.
And you know, it was all a mind-numbing thousands of dollars that I can’t really afford but…we all find ways to stretch for our kids, right?
Tomorrow evening, Paul is hosting a free Zoom about what the metaverse (really) is — and in particular, how writers should use it. It’s an amazing primer on everything you need to know about this strange and misunderstood technology, plus how it all relates to NFTs, crypto, and that other weirdness.
On our team call earlier, I asked if we were going to mention the Zoom in today’s newsletter. Paul joked, “It’s Woman Crush Wednesday. I defy you to find a good woman crush on the metaverse.”