Elisa is the co-author of an Amazon #1 New Release in Political Advocacy, Road Map for Revolutionaries: Resistance, Activism, and Advocacy for All.
While the book #RoadMap4Revs is a handy guidebook to help people become more effective everyday activists on behalf of the causes they care most about, it's also a detailed look into how systems across the country work (or don't) for each of us.
Prior to writing @RoadMap4Revs, Elisa was the co-founder and COO of BlogHer, Inc., which was a groundbreaking digital media company serving women writers and influencers and was one of the less than 3% of companies funded by VCs led by an all-female team.
BlogHer is where she and I met. Among hundreds of women bloggers who were determined to have our voices heard in an industry that routinely ignored or neglected what we had to say and what we were accomplishing.
As a serial entrepreneur and one who understands the concept and process and need for reinvention, Elisa comes to the idea of reinventing who you are - or perhaps discovering who you are - from the perspective of recognizing opportunity in the form of, "I could do that. I might have to start at the bottom, but I can learn it and work my way to the top, why not?"
I especially like our part of the discussion around that way of thinking - not shying away from something that seems intimidating, or just too new to be tried.
As we talked, Elisa shared her thoughts on the ups and downs of a gig economy. She considers her work-life to be a "portfolio career" - something to showcase her diversity. At eight minutes in, we share our thoughts on this - and Elisa is spot on when she talks about the gig economy not necessarily being enough - someone who is a dog walker, for instance - is in the gig economy but that might be a poor way to support oneself, unless you're the owner of the dog walking business. Your walkers might work for you and two other companies, just to make ends meet.
Which made me sit up and think differently about things - looking at gig economy work such as driving an Uber car or being a dog walker and how it is not conducive to making a living wage. Unless you're the company that owns Uber and the dog walking business.
For me, a gig economy is different. It's a recognition that you can be your own boss. You can "freelance" to put it in easy terms we're familiar with. That doesn't mean you'll make a living wage, either - unless you hustle. But, I always hustled and I was most happy when I was freelancing. I did the Mary Kay thing a long time ago, so I get it. Mary Kay did not put much money in my bank account. My decision to work as my own boss in my own business, without the bigger company umbrella, was how I finally made a success of who I am.
We didn't talk about Elisa's book, to my dismay, after I reviewed our show.
The book carries an important message for today's everyday revolutionary - those of us who advocate for equal pay, and equal treatment under the law. One of my favorite parts is in Chapter 4 Getting Into (and out of) the Government. On page 101, we read about Erin Vilardi, founder of VoteRunLead, an organization dedicated to training women to run for office at any level.
While I am not a candidate to take her training, I think some of you might be. Or, you know someone who is a good candidate. That makes Elisa's book something you need to get, and read.
Elisa is a board member of NanoSTEAM Foundation and the Our Hen House animal rights media organization, as well as an advisor for Astia, The What, and SXSW Interactive. Elisa’s guiding principle is Innovation+Empathy is greater than Innovation+Efficiency.
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