Speaker Spotlight: Davis

 CCON West 2013, Speaker Spotlight  Comments Off on Speaker Spotlight: Davis
Aug 122013
 

Davis is presenting  Top 10 Myths About Business (and the Truth). Check out Davis’s bio here.

 

davisHow do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

I work unconventionally in a traditionally conventional industry, the law. I have many unconventional clients, choose to office from a coworking space rather than a traditional office, and embrace a lot of innovative techniques in my practice, including flat fee monthly billing. All of this is hopefully helping to change the way people think about lawyers and the role than can play in the team of folks that help move a business to the next level.

Who or what was a catalyst for you?

My clients have always been my biggest catalysts for change. Ever since I began practicing on my own (a move which was inspired by the bravery of my clients who had often made a similar leap!), I have tried to listen to what my clients want and need, and to adopt those things as part of my business. This has led to expanding Sexquire from solely legal work to bookkeeping, tax preparation and other services, all in response to suggestions from clients.

What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges or concerns facing us in the field of sexuality right now?

Ourselves. Sure, there are lots of forces working to undermine or completely shut down any aspects of sexuality education or freedom, but I think the biggest challenges in this industry come from within, and generally from the smaller businesses. I have witnessed so much infighting, ridiculous attempts to stop so-called “competitors” from advancing new ideas and just general discord internally in the industry that sometimes I lose hope that we will ever find a way to all work together. However, there are always new folks getting into the industry, so maybe someone new will find a way to get everyone working together!

What do you feel are some of the most important/valuable positive changes that have been made in the world of sexuality in the past year?

I’m glad to see people continuing the fight against the stereotype that porn can not come from a feminist perspective, or that it’s inherently bad for women. It’s hard to believe we’re still having this conversation in 2013, but I’m glad intelligent folks are at the forefront of this decade’s defense of pornography.

Why do you feel it is important to bring this topic [the topic of your session] to CatalystCon West?

When starting (or running) a business in the field of sexuality, having professional service providers give you serious answers or work with you is often one of the biggest challenges. Whenever I have a chance to bring information I’ve amassed over a decade of involvement with sex-related businesses to those thinking of starting or currently running one, I think it’s important. Sometimes the best information from sessions like this one come from the audience and their experiences, so I like providing a place for those conversations as well.

Share one unknown (or little known) fact about yourself.

When I was 7 I scratched a lottery ticket and won $5000.

 

Learn more about all our amazing speakers here. Register for CatalystCon West here.

Speaker Spotlight: Amy Jo Goddard

 CCON East 2013, Speaker Spotlight  Comments Off on Speaker Spotlight: Amy Jo Goddard
Mar 052013
 

Amy Jo is presenting The Burned-Out Sexuality Professional. Check out Amy Jo’s bio here.

 

Amy Jo GoddardHow do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

I thrive on thinking outside of the box and challenging others to do so. I have been actively seeking and creating new models for working successfully in the sexuality field, with paychecks that match the gratification of doing the work. I have totally transformed my life and business through my pursuit of business knowledge, changing my business structure and my mindset around money. I launched SPECTRA because I am now committed to helping other professionals do the same for their sexuality work so that more of us can thrive and be in the abundance that is energetically aligned with sexuality, which is truly about expansion and evolution.

I still hear people talk from a place of  “there’s not enough” or from a place of competition and I know it doesn’t serve us and that it’s just false. I am here as an example of how there is enough, and sharing the knowledge of “how” is what will make our field stronger and more visible in the world, which means we truly get to serve in the way we desire to.

Who or what was a catalyst for you?

I’m so blessed to have so many amazing mentors—not just in the sexuality field but in all areas of my life. Watching many of my mentors, most of whom are women, struggle with money and not meeting their financial needs has been a huge catalyst for me. I knew there was something we were missing. I knew I could figure out what that was and that there is some piece of wisdom that I was not getting from my mentors, as much as I learned from each of them in many other ways. I actively sought out new mentors who I knew could help me get to the other side of the lack mentality that I had been steeped in so I could make the money I want to make AND do the valuable sexuality work I want to do. And now I am a mentor to others so they can have both.

What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges or concerns facing us in the field of sexuality right now?

I think far too many people come to the sexuality field embracing the idea that they are doing the work out of their passion and goodwill, and that they don’t need to be paid for it, or that they “shouldn’t” because their devotion to the cause should be enough. I really want to challenge that. Our work is valuable, and we need to believe and understand that value in order to effect real change.

When we value our work and ourselves as professionals, we raise the bar for the entire field in terms of the professionalism, public visibility and financial solvency we’re able to work with. This is an amazing time for us: our field is growing and we have an opportunity to create and develop it in the way that will sustain us and our businesses so that we can truly serve the world with our gifts, because the world sure needs them.

I also think we are far too steeped in our own shame and that we need to begin to look at how we shame each other for asking questions, for raising issues, or for not doing things they way we think it should be done. I have watched many educators, advocates and activists use shame as a way to point out how wrong a colleague is or how problematic someone’s approach/language/point-of-view is. If we do not address the way we shame each other, then we simply reproduce the same shame that we are ostensibly here to help people with.

Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, The Burned-Out Sexuality Professional, to CatalystCon East?

We must address burnout and how to take better care of ourselves. We will not survive if we keep running ourselves down to the bone and not getting the return on what we give. Sexuality professionals are notorious for not taking care of ourselves and for a high level of burnout because we give give give, and don’t allow ourselves to receive what we need for our work. The irony (and incongruency) is that we teach people about giving and receiving!

In my session, I’m not only going to address the personal care aspect of taking care of ourselves; I will also discuss how we need to structure and do business in order to sustain our work and provide quality services and products to our clients, students, customers and constituents. Whether you own your own business, do it on the side, work at a non-profit or in some other capacity, this workshop will address the key components required to thrive in this field for the long term. I’ve worked in it for nearly 20 years and I’ve seen many of the pitfalls and I know a thing or two about what it takes to do our work well.

Share one unknown (or little known) fact about yourself.

I am a novice surfer and I can stay in the ocean all day long and be the happiest girl on earth. I see surfing as such a metaphor for life: risk-taking, the power of thinking you can do it, and enjoying the ride. I’m currently relocating back to California to hopefully live the surf lifestyle I never got to! That’s self-care!

Learn more about all our amazing speakers here. Register for CatalystCon East here.

Speaker Spotlight: Francisco Ramirez

 CCON East 2013, Speaker Spotlight  Comments Off on Speaker Spotlight: Francisco Ramirez
Feb 222013
 

Francisco Ramirez, MPH is presenting Entrepreneurial IQ: 10 keys to designing an unconventional career in sexuality. Check out Francisco’s bio here.

 

Francisco RamirezHow do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

We are all radiant sexual beings with unlimited potential. Yet, society often steps on our sexual selves and quiets us unnecessarily. And perhaps just as often, we quiet ourselves and our own voices. I know I sometimes do. (In fact, I get scared all the time.) But when I’m feeling strong enough, I find the courage to say, “f— it,” and I push through whatever’s holding me back. I see part of my role in life to inspire others to identify whatever beliefs and fears might be holding them back from being their sexually fabulous selves, and to then say “f— it” as well.My team and I use various platforms–primarily television and online media, but also trainings, research, advocacy work, a mobile app, and chats with strangers on park benches in New York–to promote sexual well-being for all people. My core belief is that we all have a right to lead sexually healthy, fulfilling lives, however we choose to define them. And I will battle ’til the end to see this happen.

Who or what was a catalyst for you?

Sue Johanson–my inspiration for talking sex on TV! Margaret Cho. Dan Savage. UC Berkeley. Carol Queen. Good Vibes. The Rachel Maddow Show–that is how broadcast and hosting should be done! And everyone who comes to see me at Free Sex Advice in the park: these New Yorkers are constant proof to me that human beings are capable of taking great risks and finding even greater payoffs.

What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges or concerns facing us in the field of sexuality right now?

No hesitation on this one. That people in the US (and around the world) are still not in agreement that we should have gender equality as an agreed upon baseline. This is bananas. That some people believe that the lives and livelihood of some human beings are somehow more valuable, worthy than others astounds me. If we can’t agree that we all should be afforded the same rights how can we ever move forward?

What do you feel are some of the most important/valuable positive changes that have been made in the world of sexuality in the past year?

So many! I’m particularly encouraged by what I see at my work at the UN. In recent months, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution against extrajudicial executions inclusive of sexual orientation and, for the first time, gender identity. Also, the UN Human Rights Council passed the first resolution endorsing rights inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity.

And then, one year ago, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtxU9iOx348.

Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, Entrepreneurial IQ: 10 keys to designing an unconventional career in sexuality, to CatalystCon East?

So many of us sit on our dreams. But when you really want something, when you really have a dream, there’s a good reason why. If I can inspire just one person to create the next big thing in sexuality, I am elated.

Share one unknown (or little known) fact about yourself.

I start every morning at 4:00am, salsa dancing around the apartment in my pj’s while listening to Celia Cruz. ¡Azúcar!

Learn more about all our amazing speakers here. Register for CatalystCon East here.

Speaker Spotlight: Davis

 CCON East 2013, Speaker Spotlight  Comments Off on Speaker Spotlight: Davis
Feb 052013
 

Davis is presenting Getting In (Business) Bed With Buddies – Protect Yourself. Check out Davis’s bio here.

 

DavisHow do you see yourself as a catalyst for change?

As far as I’m aware, Sexquire is the first full-service business provider created specifically for the needs of folks in the adult/sex+ community. We’re trying to be a catalyst for change among other business professionals to realize sex-related businesses have the same needs as vanilla businesses, and among sex-related businesses to realize that they don’t have to accept mediocre service from professionals who are “willing to work with them” that they can demand folks who share their values.

Who or what was a catalyst for you?

Jennifer Pritchett and The Smitten Kitten. They’ve been customers and friends of Sexquire for years and have always been our biggest cheerleader among other sex-related businesses. But not only that, Jennifer has always been a leader in this industry at sticking by your values and proving that you can make a living without sacrificing what is important to you.

What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges or concerns facing us in the field of sexuality right now?

I think the biggest issue in this field right now is the whole “sex positivity vs. sex worker’s rights vs. trafficking, etc. etc.” I think self-identified sex positive folks need to take a look at how they are supporting sex workers and sex workers’ rights, which I think is the single most important issue. And I think we all need to be more vocal when these anti-trafficking advocates veer into anti-sex work and equate the two, because sex work, like freedom of choice, is an area where sexism and thinking women are unable to make decision for themselves run rampant. We should all look to actual folks working in the industry before we form our own opinions about matters from self-described “advocates.”

What do you feel are some of the most important/valuable positive changes that have been made in the world of sexuality in the past year?

Well I know a lot of people think it was ridiculous, but I think the rise of 50 Shades of Grey was a really good thing for sexual education and sexuality as a whole. It brought discussion of sex and kink (albeit pretty vanilla kink, but kink nonetheless) out into the open. People could talk about and read this book without shame. I think it opened some doors. And I know it boosted sales of BDSM equipment for a lot of our clients!

Why do you feel it is important to bring the topic of your session, Getting In (Business) Bed With Buddies – Protect Yourself, to CatalystCon East?

Many people go into business with friends. Even if they don’t start a full-fledged company, many more produce content, collaborate on writings and work together with folks they consider friends or family. And more often than not, that relationship doesn’t last forever. It’s hard to talk money and contracts with anyone, but especially friends, so I want to arm folks with ways to discuss this and get simple things in place to help guard against it blowing up or to lessen the damage when it does.

Share one unknown (or little known) fact about yourself.

One of my biggest wishes is to hold a chimpanzee. I have a 4 year old and a number of furry animals in my life, but none of them have satisfied this need I feel to hold a chimp.

Learn more about all our amazing speakers here. Register for CatalystCon East here.

%d bloggers like this: