Hey everyone,

I am so beyond excited to bring you my first interview for the DIY Small Business podcast with the wonderful Elinor Predota! Elinor was also on the Daydreaming Wolves podcast and has such beautiful insights to share about what it means to build businesses that are aligned with our values. Here is what we talked about:

  • Building a small business against and beyond capitalism
  • Elinor’s background of working in cooperatives
  • The emotional labour involved in re-thinking our relationship to power and leadership
  • Ways of building sustainable and regenerative communities and how that is related to how we trade with each other
  • Personal freedom and collective liberation
  • Cycles and transformations in business instead of constant growth

Elinor supports people who long to make action for social justice an everyday part of their life and work, but who feel stuck, confused, or overwhelmed, to build their inner resources of resilience, awareness of self, society and environment, and confidence.

Elinor offers one to one, group and DIY programmes which are grounded in a long and wide-ranging background in activism, community development, spiritual counselling, ritual work, storytelling, and facilitation of learning. Elinor’s work is rooted in the magic of creativity, of relating across difference, and of becoming alive to all that is present, within and without us, here and now.

Here is the link to the Business Beyond Capitalism conversations Elinor is offering: httpss://elinorpredota.com/business-beyond-capitalism/

Here is Elinor’s website: httpss://elinorpredota.com/ and this is her Patreon: httpss://www.patreon.com/elinorpredota

Listen to the Embodied Business Podcast

on Apple Podcast // Spotify

 

⋒ Hi, my name is Yarrow.

My Embodied Business podcast explores what it means to build a livelihood with integrity, joy and anti capitalist values. I offer practical guidance on tech, strategy, ethical marketing, creativity and money and interview other small business owners who do things their own way.

You can learn more about my work, listen to other episodes or join my community at PinkWellStudio.com

You can also sign up for my newsletter - I offer free monthly Spark Sessions and share resources, ideas & new episodes about once per month over on Substack

Transcript

Hey, everyone, you’re listening to the DIY small business podcast and my name is Yarrow. Welcome back. And thank you so much for your patience with this next episode. I know it’s been a while, and I really missed podcasting. I had a lot going on in the last couple of weeks. And so I needed a little bit more of a break than I had expected. But I’m really excited to be back now. And I’m so welcoming your questions for future solo episodes as well. So as you might know, if you’ve been listening to the podcast, so far, I’ve been just kind of speaking by myself answering questions, which was really, really fun. And I’m now beginning to do interviews for this podcast as well. So if you know my other podcast, they do roles, you know that I’m also really into having conversations. And I’m so excited that this first one I’m sharing with you today is with my friend, Elena prodotta, who’s just so exciting and wonderful and has so much insight to share about what it means to build a business that is truly aligned with our values. So we talked about what it is like to work in cooperatives and the emotional labour involved and rethinking our relationship to power and leadership, which is really quite big. We talked about building a small business against and beyond capitalism. And we talked about ways of building sustainable and regenerative communities as well as personal and collective freedom. So yeah, have a listen, let us know what you think there’s some really exciting links to explore in the show notes as well. Eleonora is inviting people to have conversations about businesses beyond capitalism. And I’m going to have one of those for sure. And I would invite you to do same, some small updates from me. As promised, I’m going to be podcasting on both my shows more often in spring. I’m really excited for the equinox, which is now just two days away. And yeah, it feels like a fresh start, and really looking forward to see what is going to bloom. I have just redesigned Daydream rose comm this weekend, in case you’re interested in that side of my business, as well check that out. There’s lots of new things to explore. And there’s also new colours that feel like a better match for me now. The DIY Small Business School is really growing beautifully. And I love that everyone is over and mighty networks now exploring the course there and also connecting and sharing with each other. We’re still running live workshops every other week, the next couple of weeks. And I’m continuing that into the summer. Because I love meeting everyone. And it feels really good to be offering this low cost business training, that also has a group component and these live segments. So if you want to become a part of that be compared to $11 or more on my Patreon. And that gets you access to the community, the DIY, small business got lots and lots of tech and social media and marketing and self care trainings, and also the live workshops, and you’re supporting the podcast as well. So yeah, thank you so much, and wishing you a beautiful week. Hi, everyone, I’m so excited to treat you today to my first interview for this new business podcast, actually with someone who has also been on digital roles. And if you want to know more about my guest today, then it might be nice to check that episode out as well. But Elena is really cool, met on the internet. And we also met in real life two weeks ago, in Brighton, which was really special to me. And in the last interview on daily rules, we started talking about something that really impressed me like I just hadn’t heard or seen or thought about this phrase in this way before, which is building a business beyond and against capitalism. And I was like, Oh my God, we need to talk about this somewhere I really want to hear Yeah, what that means to different people and how they’re working with that. And yeah, Elena just felt like the perfect first guest to your open nice conversations with. So yeah, thank you so much for being here. I’m going to hand it over to you now. So you can introduce yourself. Yay.
Thank you so much for inviting me and, and yeah, it was amazing to meet you in person, I just feel an even stronger connection, you know. And so, about me, I guess I’ve been in business in various ways since my early 20s kind of on and off. And, and business that doesn’t fall into a capitalist model has, like the very first business I was involved in was a workers cooperative. So I’ve always held that kind of sense that I didn’t want to be kind of swallowed up into the capitalist mindset, just because I wanted to be in business in my mind. On a Yeah, but I feel like I’ve got a bit lost about what the introduction should should include.
I think it’s a fantastic idea to start with values. And I think that’s what we just did. So that’s amazing. Tell us a little bit more about what you’re offering within your business right now.
Right now, my business is mainly focused around supporting people who want to make social action for social justice part of their everyday life and work with the within a support, so I do that one to one through I have training in spiritual counselling and listening and relating skills. So I, I support people to work through whatever they fear the whatever their fears are, whatever they feel their blocks are around, taking action for social justice. And I also support people with knowledge and learning both about themselves and debate, issues through programmes. So I’m, I was offering standalone programmes. So last year, I had a programme called rooted which was for white people to connect with their ancestors, in a through it through a personal practice of reverence. And through that, to both become grounded in an authentic practice that wasn’t appropriating from other cultures that have been negatively impacted by colonialism. And as a way to face up to the personal inheritances of whiteness, white supremacy, colonialism, racism, through their their lineage. But I’ve, what I’m moving towards very slowly, is bringing that into a learning space. So it’s more accessible, both in terms of investment, both in terms of money, and in terms of the time required. And when people say there’s more flexibility with when people can take courses. So my business is actually in flux at the moment that the one to one work is solid. And the programme side of it is in flux. And then I’m also I also do storytelling. So I have support from patrons to develop various storytelling performances and projects. And I’m also I don’t know where it’s going to go. But I’m starting 100 conversations project where I want to talk to people about on the theme of business beyond cap beyond and against capitalism. And at the moment, it’s just a 30 minute conversation with anybody who’s interested about. So what’s your What are your thoughts and experiences, about capitalism and the way they do and don’t necessarily have to relate to each other and all that stuff? But yeah, yeah, I guess that’s me. But I think at the core of all of it, for me is the importance of the relationship between the inner and the outer, whether we call it spirituality, or personal practice, or, you know, that that sense of connection inward? Yeah, one another, for me is, is really vital. Not just in terms of taking action for social justice, but also in how we, how we operate in our businesses.
Yeah. And it’s so beautiful to really be in deep conversation about that, because what we’re doing, if the friend in some ways, and there isn’t like a blueprint, or like a script that we can follow. So I’m so glad to be talking to you. And I would love to circle back a little bit to what you said in the beginning of like the origin of when you were a person in the world, and you decided that you would like to work for yourself. And I wonder if you want to share a little bit about why you felt that way. Or maybe it was just more like an A decision against employment rather than one for working for yourself. I don’t know. I would love to read more about that.
It’s a bit of both. I mean, it. It was actually a very it was within a year of graduating from university, that I joined a workers cooperative. And it was it was I have this need to do work that was meaningful to me. And which did not contribute that that contributed positively to the world and did not contribute to systems of oppression. Yeah. So I was. And I graduated from university into a recession or 1992. So even though I had a really good degree from a really good university, I was doing temp jobs. That really didn’t require this skill, the range of skills that I had, for businesses that I had not only had no interest in, but was actually opposed to ethically. Yeah, and I think so many of us are in that position where we feel like our only survival option is, is to work for organisations that we disagree with, or within systems that we disagree with, in order to survive, and I know a lot of people, I feel like in many ways that’s got worse because
the,
of how the job market has changed and how precarious employment is.
So that
there’s, there’s the not wanting to work for, I suppose the 1960s term for it was the man.
But yeah, not wanting to work against my own interests in my own principles. Yeah. But also wanting, wanting and also wanting a degree of personal freedom. Because even in my early 20s, I already been living with a chronic illness for 10 years. And I, I did not have the capacity to work the way that employers wanted want people to work. I could do it for a certain length of time. But then I just needed to stop. And so I need that freed I need even then I needed it when my health was much better than it is now. Physically, and health wise that freedom is is necessary for me. And also creatively that freedom is necessary for me. I think on the one hand, there’s a lot to be said for being our own patrons. You have the capacity to and the capacity and the willingness to do a job where they spend 40 hours a week at work, they get a decent salary, they can support themselves, and have the energy and time to do art on site for them. I think that’s great for those people. But I’m not one of those people. You know, I? I can’t I certainly can’t work 40 hours a week, even if I don’t do anything else.
Yeah.
Sign so the the. And it’s also the freedom to express ideas and be heard, and actually make an impact on what he’s done and how it’s done. Which is a very rare thing within a mainstream workplace.
Oh, yes.
I’m just fundamentally underlying that, in fact that I value, everybody’s humanity. And everybody’s perspective is unique. And everybody’s perspective is important. And that was one of the amazing things for me about being in a workers cooperative. It was a very small workers cooperative. And we made all decisions by consensus. And one of the principles behind making decisions by consensus was that even if nine people in the room want one thing, and one person doesn’t, that one person, you know, by the logic of democracy, that one person just gets voted down by the logic of consensus that one person holds a perspective or knowledge or wisdom, or information that other people in the room don’t have access to? You know, it’s based on the idea that people aren’t wronged per se. They’re just bringing something different. And that needs to be paid attention to. Yeah. But yeah, so those are some of the things I value. And obviously, I work for myself now, rather than being involved with other people. But my ideal world would be to have a small worker’s comp
to you.
Because I think there is such that there’s an amazing freedom in working for oneself and putting one’s own ideas into practice. And it’s exhausting. And it’s lonely.
Oh, yeah. Yeah. As I’m feeling every single word of this, and it’s so beautiful to speak to you today, because it’s my fourth business birthday. Oh, happy birthday. Um, so I’ve been thinking about these things all day. And I resonate so deeply, what would what you said about the personal freedom that is both needed, and necessary and also feel so I don’t want to say luxurious, because it really really shouldn’t be a luxury, luxury, you know, but I am also in this awareness of it being very special, and I so really treasure it. And, and I also feel the challenges and the pain and the loneliness, of figuring all this out by yourself. And then also this, like sweetness of it being its own path of learning and development. And I don’t know what else I would have done with my life. To be honest, I really can’t imagine not. not running small businesses and, and thinking about what that means. And one thing that I was thinking about today, I was, as I was journaling about the last four years and kind of what’s next for me is that I felt, even if if this is all it is, it is really enough. And the sense of the naffness that we can create for ourselves is really important to me, like there still is that things I want, I still want to interview so many more people, I want to bring these stories to more people, I would love to have more space to be creative and noncommercial ways, which requires more income. And I would definitely love to have my living space right now because I live in a tiny house. But on the other hand, I feel like a really deep sense of contentment. And that’s something I’ve never felt within employment. And I think you’re right that this has so much to do with how precarious and anxiety inducing the workplace can often be and how disconnected we would come from the purpose of our work. Because we you know, so often work is so specialised in a specific task and really not being given a chance to connect with the greater picture or the long term vision of the organisation that they’re in. And I think that’s, yeah, like really one of the biggest, sad challenges of our time, if you will, yeah.
Yeah, definitely. And I think part of that is because people are regarded as a resource for the business, eventually to exploit even if the business is running in a human and humane way. fundament, fundamentally, if it’s running the standard on the standard model, which is the model then it’s everything is a resource exploited for the purpose of profit. Yeah, yeah. And it’s very hard to feel part of something you know, it’s like managers who want to do a good job the people and have a good flow of information can only go so far
because
because of the hierarchy, a the hierarchy involved and be the exploitation involved. And I know a lot of people actually they want to be in a hierarchy because they want to know exactly what their role is. make too many decisions. And that’s fair enough. But on the other hand, that I I believe that there are a lot of a lot more people than let on he’ll have a lot to give and aren’t given the scope to express that.
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I feel like I’m repeating myself in my resume. It’s a little bit but I, I think the thing I would love to pick up on and what you just said is this relationship to power, and how it’s okay to not want it, but also how it’s okay to, to want it at the same time, and how I think there’s so much to learn in, in, you know, which is a theoretical concept, obviously. But I think, in theory, it’s so powerful to be able to make free choices around how you position yourself to power to either say, you know, I think I, at this stage of my life, for whatever reason, I would like to just kind of be part of a small organisation and be told what to do and just really know my structures and my day and my routine and have clear expectations set. And I’m not necessarily super interested in participating in the process of decision making, or vision, building all of that. I’ve definitely felt that way. And then there’s been other times where I’ve really like revelled in this joy of like, I’m gonna decide and plan all these things. And I don’t have to report back to anyone. And that can come with its own exhaustion, I think. Yeah. But the point is that I have choice. And, you know, and how I relate to that, and how I prioritise that at different points in my life, and that that’s something I’m super grateful for. Yeah.
Yeah, I definitely. And I think a lot of it has to do with responsibility and accountability. And I’ve been thinking a lot recently about decision making about and about what’s required. Make a decision. And I’ve kind of I’ve kind of broken it down into three elements. There’s competence. That’s knowledge, skills, experience, aptitude, etc. There’s capacity, which is do you have the energy? Do you have the time? Do you have the resources? And then there’s willingness, which is, Do you want to? You know, and a lot of this is influenced by Gemma Kay. But a lot of it is also based in my own experiences over a lifetime of being in largely being in different working environments, and observing the way decision making structures work or don’t work and how people exercise power and abuse, power and avoid power. But yeah, it’s like, if, if, either for reasons of competence, or for reasons of capacity, or for reasons of willingness, we’re not in a place where we want to take responsibility and be held accountable for decisions in the workplace, then, probably running our own business is not a great thing.
Yeah. And that’s a cool thing to figure out, you know, we know.
And I think it’s really important to give ourselves permission, if that’s why we’re apt to be there. Yeah. Because, especially in the online business coaching world, the same, maybe not quite so much in the moment. But certainly, a couple of years ago, it was like, Job was a dirty word. And, you know, if you weren’t running your own Empire
Did anyone ever thought that was a cool word to use? I don’t know.
But, you know, if you weren’t running your own piano, if you didn’t have the title of CEO, and you weren’t running, if you didn’t have enormous goals, and then then you weren’t, you know, you weren’t living up to your potential, which is, you were a bad person. Yeah. And which is bullshit, because, you know, at different points in our lives, we need different things. We have different capacities, we have different willingness, and we have different competence. And I’m really lucky, I think that I’m, that I’ve, well, some, in some ways, it’s, it’s been a blessing. And in some ways, it’s been a curse that I’ve, I would always rather make decisions and take responsibility and be accountable in the workplace than see somebody else making decisions that I can see exactly how it’s going to go. I don’t like how it’s going to go and having no power to change it.
Yeah, yeah.
But, but I’ve also, you know, had times when there’s literally no way I could run my own business, for health or for mental capacity reasons or ageing to take care of other people or You know, sorts of reasons. Yeah, I
think in addition to what you said about those goals, and how ridiculous that is that we’re all meant to run our empires and have these huge goals of six figures. And I also feel like I really want to say it’s okay to not want to work at all. And, you know, it’s so valid, there’s so many good reasons for being at the point in your life where that’s just not an option or not a desire. And I think we really can do so much around appreciating different contributions that people make. And I think sometimes, someone’s contribution is that, that allowing other people’s space to support them are just so beautiful, like I really struggle with receiving support. And I would like to kind of remind myself, sometimes when I need to do that, that I’m not just this, like, empty vessel standing around doing nothing, and using up resources, but I’m also giving someone else space to experience themselves as a provider of something that is valuable, or maybe even like life giving to me, and that’s really beautiful. And, you know, that’s a dance and, and I think we don’t even need to be transactional with that. It doesn’t have to go both ways, or, like, be always the same thing over time. Sometimes, there might be a lifetime, where we’re just like, not doing very much, and that’s okay. You know? Absolutely.
Absolutely. And I think that, you know, that fits very much with this, this idea that we have to deserve things. There’s like, no, we’re, we’re alive. We have needs, we have things to offer. That’s deserving literally does not come into it. You know? So and I think a lot of I, you know, the times when I’ve needed other people’s support, I find it immensely frustrating because I have this desire to be independent, and part that is my personality, but a lot of it, I think, is is this kind of training we have, if you’re not capable of looking after you’re competent to look after yourself. And as an individual concept separate from all other individuals, then you have no worth and you don’t deserve anything. Yeah. And, and that again, that’s crap.
Yes, it is. And I also almost feel like on learning those things that we’ve just described as almost a bigger chunk of the work than learning the skills that we need to start a small business. Yeah. Another thing that I would love to touch on is like, this idea of expansion and contraction and how, under capitalism, like you said, there’s this idea that growth is really the only thing of value. And this is what we all should aim for at all times, at any cost. And I, this is something that’s come up in my business just now because Okay, I will share this, it is it, I just felt my body getting a bit edgy, but I think it’s really important to share. So as you know, I’ve built a Patreon this last year, and I’ve been really pleased at the end of last year of how I five come with that, and how it has changed my ability to make space for free offerings. I’ve run more than 20 workshops last year, free ones online, and running several low cost programmes that I really love. And that’s been amazing. And it’s really, you know, to lajpat been able to adapt because of Patreon. And in February, we’re talking now on the first of March, I’ve just really not been able to put much out there have not posted much on social media, I’ve not been podcasting a lot. I’ve done you know, I’ve met all my commitments that I’ve had two other people, but kind of only just about if I’m really honest. And and so there’s been a decrease in my Patreon, and I’ve also in both in January and February have not earned as much money as I spend. And I feel okay about what I spend, because I’ve met needs that I really had at a time and that were valid. And I know, I’m going to balance that out and it’s going to be okay. I think I just wanted to name that, that that, you know, last year has been a huge year of expansion for me. But this is not the whole story. My page has become a little bit smaller, I’m still incredibly grateful, but also as much as I spend and that’s just something that happens and I really accept that deeply as a part of the experience and as something that I can learn from and there’s something that’s in a way also unavoidable, I just don’t want to be in that story of only expansion is success and everything else is a deep failure or, you know, a flaw in my personality or anything like that. So yeah.
resonate really strongly with that. Because it’s, it is such a, you know, if you’re not growing, if you’re not expanding, it’s it’s such a it’s such an unhealthy mindset within our cultures that in relation to money, or possessions or property or profits, if you’re not constantly expanding. That’s, you know, you’re doing it wrong. And but yeah, life isn’t like that. The seasons aren’t like that. You and I both live in the Northern Hemisphere.
Oh, yeah. Yeah.
Yeah. And I think it’s not only in terms of money, but I think also in terms of effort, as us, I mean, I mean, the reason for your Patreon shrinking is that you weren’t able to put the energy in how to been? Which, if you think about it, as human beings as as animals, which we are, that’s perfectly reasonable. You don’t know animal in at this latitude? spends the whole year doing exactly the same things?
at the same level of energy? Yeah, yeah, totally.
Yeah. And I, I really resonate with that as well. Because this last month, February, I’ve I basically had to put all my marketing on hold. And I’m really speak because I’ve been supporting my partner through some medical treatment and having to do a lot of travelling and and I have a chronic illness to chronic illnesses, depending on how many
maybe more,
which means that I can’t keep doing everything. When things get added to my plate. Something else has to go. Yeah, I’ve been feeling so stressed out. Because I had this narrative, I should be marketing. Always be marketing, actually, that I felt so much better this week, because at the beginning of the week, I sat myself down, realised that what I was doing to myself, was very disruptive. I sat myself down and said, okay, make a decision. Are you going to keep marketing on your to do list while your partner is recovering? Or are you going to take it off, is always in that in between place, it’s really stressful. It was on my list, but I knew I couldn’t do it. You know, that place where it’s like, and it just stays on the list. And it gets more and more stressful and heavier and heavier every, every day. And every week, it gets transferred over to the next day’s to do list.
I’m just gonna cross it out and throw it away. And, yeah, I’ll review it every week just to see where
but I feel so much less stressed out. Not because I’m doing anything different. But because I’ve given myself permission. I’ve made that decision. Yeah, I’m not doing that. I’m not doing marketing at the moment. Stop. He’s just released all of that stress, because I was like, I shouldn’t be doing marketing, but I’m not doing marketing. Whereas now it’s like, it’s just, I’m not doing marketing. It’s been.
And there’s so much time and expansiveness and that as well, I feel. Yeah, like, I think the first step often for me is accepting seasonal, cyclical living, and, and contraction as part of that. And then also just remembering that this is a marathon and not a sprint. I don’t even know I really wish there was a better analogy for that, because I’m not a runner. Not to run. Right? Yes, totally. And like just to come back to this idea that, yes, there are practical things like you know, food needs to be on the table. And that’s a real I don’t want to deny that in any way. But it doesn’t always have to be the next big thing and you slowness is also such a luxury. And I’m trying to in my consumption as well remind myself that while there are things such as more living space, as I’ve already mentioned, that I would really like, and that’s, you know, it’s becoming a slightly more urgent desire at the moment. But I think, you know, there are these desires that I have. But also, oh, gosh, it’s so beautiful to have time and to not feel rushed. And to not feel like we have to reach these milestones that are conventionally understood to mark success. Yeah, no, it’s beautiful to live outside of that. And I really appreciate that,
that that just met, this may or may not be relevant to this, this podcast, but he just pinged in my head relationship anarchy phrase of escalator relationships. At this stage, we must have told each other that we like you, and at this stage, we should move in together. And at this stage, we should be having a joint bank account, and at this mid stage, we should have a hat, you know, by, you know, it’s like this, this ever progressing. Getting to quotes higher or quotes, deeper, level. And within. And that’s such an assumption. And it’s such an assumption with everything. Yeah. Not just relationships with business with finances with
everything. Yeah.
This this narrative of progress and myth of progress, that you start here. And your goal is to get to there, wherever there is. And it’s always better, where you’re going to the way you’ve been. And we mark that by these culturally normative, socially normative behaviours, or decisions or announcements. And I’m not quite a relationship anarchist, myself, but I really appreciate that perspective. Because it’s like, hang on, am I doing this? Because I actually want to, this is where my desire is, or am I doing it? Because this is what my culture has programmed me to think I should be doing next?
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And I can think of so many examples of how that translates into small business stuff. Like the six figures, for example, I think I just one of them. But it’s also often about building a team or like, do you want to have an assistant? Do you want to, gosh, I don’t know, like, have a separate office space that’s outside of your home? Or do you want to go to a certain number of conferences each year, and all of these things I’m so not interested in, I love working in my house, because it means I don’t have to leave it, you know. And, and I really liked the idea of working in a club. And that’s definitely something that I would love to be involved in at some point in my life. But if I’m completely honest, I think a part of me also recognises that I have experienced relational trauma. And, and you know, I don’t want to go into my childhood now. But we all live under capitalism, and it is difficult to relate to people in an authentic way. Always trying to say that I think a part of me is, is becoming a little bit anxious about the idea of really like, surrendering my livelihood into a group of people, and really deep into dependence. And so that part of me feels like I think, at least part of my work, I always feel like I want to be doing by myself, to some extent, because it’s scary, you know, very scary. But also Alyssa, say, I’ve never had a desire to become a big employer and have an assistant and a bookkeeper, and a designer, all these things I really actually enjoy doing most of my work myself. And I sometimes hire people or their perspectives or insights and bring them in for a specific project or some kind of like growth edge that I have. But I don’t have this conventional. Like, you know, to me, it isn’t a mark of a success to have a team necessarily, if that’s not who you are. Yeah, yes.
Yeah, absolutely. Is that we need to move. shift our perspective on what what success is. A lot of that the idea of business beyond capitalism, it’s not just the practical stuff. Like IE profit driven. Do you have investors who aren’t workers in the business? Who gets the profits? It’s also how do you relate to yourself and other people? What level of trust is possible? relationships and what level of trust of yourself is really deeper Personal and interpersonal things like that. Because I’ve been in I’ve been in two workers cooperatives, one of which was run by consensus, and one of which was run by one person, one vote. Democratic. And I’ve also been in the secondary cooperative, which is a cooperative whose members are worker in housing cooperatives. And I’ve been in various non hierarchical spiritual groups. And the thing that I found about all of it is that people People often say, you’ve tried those things that that doesn’t work. It’s not that it doesn’t work. It’s that we don’t have the skills, actually, that are our cultural conditioning. And within a capitalist system, trips us of this skills to be able to cooperate successfully.
Oh, yes. Yes, I love that. You just said that that kind of made a mental note earlier in our conversation about talking about this internal process, and how it’s its own kind of path of healing, almost not just all that is I think, and I think I said to you, when when we met in person that I’m really interested in facilitating, or like working with people in this transition. And I don’t see this as like, let me come and like, rescue from capitalism and show you the way to freedom. And this is all gonna be so great. But I just really love being on the station with people about power and independence, and interdependence, and agency and all these things and to see like what was coming up for us as we tried different things, outside of employment, and how is that its own spiritual journey? And how can we support each other in that? And how can we really recognise that it’s so much more about unlearning than acquiring new skills? Yes,
absolutely. And on the difficulty, yes to all of that. And I’m just reflecting the difficulty that I have observed, whether it’s independent, white, people trying to work with one another, in a, you know, in a cooperative way, keeping their own businesses, or whether it’s people within a collective or a workers cooperative, or housing cooperative or any other kind of group. It A lot of it comes back to power. Because a lot of us are attracted to non hierarchical and mutual uncooperative and non an anti capitalist ways of doing business, or working or relating. Because we see power being abused in the current current mainstream of the system. What that also often means is that we have personal issues with power, our own power and other people’s power, which really makes it difficult to make decisions with other people and work to get that result when that when that one of the ways that human beings deal with that is by instituting hierarchies. And not only dividing up work and responsibility, but also arranging it in in kind of a pyramid. Yeah.
And when you don’t have that a lot of us are like, Oh, I don’t know what to do.
Which shakes our foundations, which means that all of our issues with relating and with power, and with money, and with, you know, all the things, all the things and we end up being our trauma ends up interacting with other people’s trauma. And also relating with one another.
Oh, my God, I’m doing jazz hands over here. Yeah, yes. Yes. True. Yeah. And I think there’s also like something very, to me at the moment feels something sweet about surrendering into this idea that this is not something that we might experience in this lifetime, to be totally beyond this, working through the trauma and doing the unlearning. And yet that this is so important to do. And keep in mind and work towards that in that you know, that just being in it going in that direction is like such a freedom as well that we have the headspace to even have this conversation like that you and I on a Friday afternoon, can sit at our desk and just talk and think freely and speak to each other. That is so beautiful, I really want to be grateful for that, while also knowing that there’s so much here to do.
One of the things that I come across, in, in my work with people, and also just in the world in general, amongst good hearted people who want to do good things. Now, whatever that looks like for them, the idea that we need to be whole and healed. Before we can, you know, we need to have got there wherever there is.
thing,
rather than shifting that rain to the mindset, whereby doing the thing is the process is the process through which we engage with healing.
Yeah.
And that, I think, particularly in terms of relating with other people, as equal autonomous, sovereign beings. You can’t actually I might not be I could be completely wrong here. But it is my experience is that I can’t actually engage my healing in those areas without relating, doing the things that are difficult and scary.
Yeah. Again, just hands over here. Yes. Oh, gosh, yes, I was sitting on my bed, not on my buttons actually on someone. Anyway, I was sitting on a bed the other day doing a little cry with my friend. And we both said like, fog healing happens in relationships. Oh. What can it happen at home in my own little room where I don’t? Exactly under my weighted blanket? down that, yeah. Oh, gosh, I love our conversation. So so much, I would love to talk another couple of hours. But I want to respect people’s time and yours and our attention span. And also, I would love to speak to you again, I’m almost wishing like this could maybe be a seasonal thing or something. But I would love before we go and before you share what you’re currently offering and where people can find you. Is there maybe like a thing, that if there’s someone out there listening to this, and this person is kind of not sure whether they should start a business or not, or they feel you know, maybe they want to start something on the side or become an artist. Is that Is there like one or two things that you would want to tell them?
Yeah, first of all, is, don’t let how scary is put you off. And the second is, you don’t need to know exactly what you want to do what your goals are, before you start by doing things and trying things, that you discover that, yeah, you know, you have to go through lots and lots of iterations. And I work a lot with them the site action learning cycle, which is where you, you do a thing, you experience it, you reflect on the experience, and then you plan for your next thing. And that’s actually just a whole way of working. You know, you don’t have to have everything figured out. Because the step you’re taking is a learning step you’re taking is an opportunity to find out something new about your work about yourself about what you want. And that. Yeah, become friends with failure. Like, failure isn’t failure. It really isn’t. Failure is not failure. It’s iteration.
Yeah, yeah, that’s so true. And I think it’s also beautiful and good to share that journey with other people. I think there’s often like a story or an expectation to come out with this perfectly formed business and offering that you want to bring into the world. And I always encourage people to use the website Time Machine, g cooler that comes up and lets you see what someone’s website has looked like, like two or three or five years ago. I’m somewhat embarrassed about this. If I was if I wanted to help helpful, you know, we need to see these things. We need to see these processes and they are messy sometimes. And that’s cool, and it often leads to cool things. So yes, I’m just thinking about my first ever website now. Oh, postel purple. Anyway, I’m glad in a way that it changed you as a couple of times that those very first websites, you can’t find me anymore. But anyway. Anyway, yeah. What are you currently offering? And where can people find you? Okay, so
people can find me at Eleanor prodotta.com. You don’t need any W’s, it’s just an Oprah data.com. And my current offerings are working one to one with people. I, my name for that work is sanctuary sessions, because what what I hope to provide is a sanctuary where simply by being with somebody at asking appropriate questions, and keeping people accountable to themselves. And transformation happens in, you know, reaching, reaching goals or changing perspectives, or I’m aiming at the moment to work more with people who want to address the ways in which oppression and privilege work within their own lives. But I work I’ve worked, I work with people on, you know, kind of their own work with their clients, I work with people on connecting with their ancestors. I’ve worked with people on figuring out their art, I’ve worked with people on developing a personal practice, you know, the content doesn’t matter, it’s that it’s a container, the container that matters and does the work. I, my brain has come back. And I’m still looking for a few people to be early adopters and beta testers, for my group, programme learning space, that won’t actually kick off. It’s very, very early stages, and it won’t properly kick off with any content to test in profit, until probably late spring, early summer. If people are interested in doing that, it gives them free or low cost access to all of my programme materials in return for honest and as detailed as possible feedback on the content, the user interface, or things they can contact me about that via my website. I’ve also moved my storytelling patronage in haste to my own website, you just look under the storytelling tag in the menu, drop down with a become a patron being and that’s Yeah, I’ve got some exciting things happening with with connecting traditional stories, contemporary questions about gender, and what?
Oh, my God, my project.
And then finally, there’s the conversations I want to have, which is just like, there’s a tag on my website, which is business beyond capitalism, and the menu. Each of these, each of these four things has its own menu tab. So you can just find them on my list. Basically, that I want to talk to anybody who has any curiosity, even about what business could possibly look like, beyond capitalism. Yeah. And how we can get to something beyond capitalism, with business as part of the process of getting there.
Yeah, that’s beautiful. That was a bit of a ramble. But that was great. But in my head, it’s all connected, totally connected in my head as well. And it’s also going to be connected in the show notes. So that’s good. Thank you so much, Elena. This has been such a beautiful conversation. And I’m like, again, I feel like I make just the right choice, letting this be the first interview. I’m so grateful for everything that you shared, and I’m really, really excited and proud to share that with everyone else. So thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you.

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