What Is Doing Business Differently & What Will You Get?
Doing Business Differently is a free and premium newsletter - with benefits! It’s the platform I use to share the journey of building a different kind of business, in a different kind of way.
But Wait, What Does Different(ly) Mean?
The vast majority of businesses prioritise profits over people, power over positive impact and control over trust. At my EdTech startup, Mission Equality, we don’t do that.
We do it differently in every which way needed and possible; we prioritise people over profits, positive impact over power and trust over control. But wait! What does that actually mean and look like in practice?
Here are a few things we’re doing differently:
We’ll always have a majority Black and Brown team.
We have a flat team structure with no C-suite team and the philosophy that we are all leaders of our own areas.
When we’re generating a sustainable income, we’ll pay Black and Brown people 30% more than white people on the team.
Everyone will be paid using the same equivalent hourly rate, irrespective of role.
We don’t believe in trademarking our ideas; they’re feely available to share and use (with attribution).
…and many more things we are and will be choosing to do, differently. I write about what we do, why we do it and the impact it has here.
What Is Mission Equality?
Mission Equality is an EdTech startup with a different kind of origin story. In June 2022, I resigned from my executive position as the COO of my former startup, an EdTech company based in the USA. We were a company deeply committed to diversity of all kinds and explicitly anti-racist.
…Until I resigned because my co-founder/CEO and a member of the board were racist towards me (not for the first time) and it no longer felt safe to stay and do my job.
And so - with no income to speak of - I quit and started Mission Equality.
The company is now 6-strong and our goal? To create equality for everyone by building a virtual university that teaches a Master of Equality leadership development program (think an "equality MBA"). Our ultimate goal is to replace the MBA with the ME.
We're also modelling a new and decolonised approach to work with the way we’re building the company - and that’s primarily what I write about here.
Most of the contents I share here charts how we’re navigating the journey of doing business differently and building a startup from the ground up.
As a free subscriber, you’ll get a monthly article that may prompt you to question the status quo and the way things are done currently.
As a paid subscriber, you’ll hear more about the WHY, WHAT and HOW of what we do at Mission Equality, as we do it. You’ll get:
A weekly ‘report’ on the nuts and bolts of what we’ve been doing to build our new startup each week.
The reasons and thought processes behind the strategic decisions and actions I make and take as the Co-Founder and Strategy & Vision Lead.
The lessons I learn as I flex and grow as a leader doing things differently.
I publish one weekly update for paying subscribers each week. This focuses on the week-to-week operational details of what we’ve done, what’s worked and what hasn’t and the lessons learned. I also include a weekly income update.
I publish a longer piece for paying subscribers at least once a month; this is a deeper dive into what’s going on, what’s in play and what my take as Strategy & Vision Lead is. Paying subscribers also have commenting privileges and access to the archives.
Why Pay To Read?
How much do you pay for business books every month? Every year? How much would it cost for coaching or mentoring from a successful entrepreneur?
How much would you pay to get into the mind of an executive leader doing things differently and get behind-the-scenes access to see a startup business being built from scratch?
The information and insights you’ll get from this newsletter are well worth the monthly subscription and if not, I know you’ll vote with the click of an ‘unsubscribe’ button.
And if you’re still wondering how you’ll benefit from being a paying subscriber, here’s what I know…
Doing things differently as an executive leader requires a different way of thinking and being.
This is often counter-intuitive and requires a commitment to yourself to stay true to your course; flying in the face of convention is hard and everyone needs support. You’ll find that here, in spades.
Who Am I?
I am Lea Jovy-Ford. I quit the corporate rat race - as a management consultant at Accenture - after my mum died in 2003 (2 weeks to ‘recover’ was NOT enough).
Since then I’ve run a variety of my own businesses. Among the numerous ideas (at one point, I had 200+ domain names registered!), the most notable, impactful and ‘successful’ have been:
Coining the term ‘location independent’ and leading a world-renowned blog/business, with the original online community of digital nomads, for over a decade while living and working in places like Panama, Grenada, Buenos Aires, Dubai, Thailand, South Africa, Turkey and more.
Founding an online tech school for women and leading an event to help 1,000 women get a WordPress website set up and running in one day, with sponsorship from leading names in the industry.
Setting up an EdTech company in the middle of the pandemic, as a co-founder and COO, which we grew from a valuation of $2.5m to $10m+ within 12 months, raised $1/2m in 8 weeks and which was founded firmly on the values of diversity, equity, belonging and anti-racism.
Sadly, I resigned from that last company in June 2022, due to racism from a board member and my co-founder/CEO. That’s the origin story of Mission Equality.
I’m married to my wife, Becky, and between us we have 4 children who we home educate; yes, alongside building a startup! This is business and life, differently!