Change is not born from silence. The business world is not immune to the racism, misogyny, fear of imperfection, impostor syndrome, conformity, and withholding of access, information and resources, as seen in so many other aspects of life. We know these evils are cultivated in business at scale, yet most of us talk about them quietly, never out loud or in public. We stay silent, complicit. Blindfolds and earmuffs of society, meet JinJa Birkenbeuel, the fearless host of The Honest Field Guide™ podcast.
“Authenticity is important. Many people can’t look themselves in the mirror and be honest about what’s really going on,” says Birkenbeuel. “I have authentic conversations and ask questions my guests have never been asked before. I am interested in small businesses, entrepreneurs, futurists and optimists who want to talk about challenges they have faced that shaped their successes, and about what they are creating to make an impact. We strive for unvarnished conversations, backed by grace, laughter and dignity.”
In Episode 41, Birkenbeuel interviews Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen, who speaks of the emotional residue from being separated from his family as a 4-year-old Vietnemese refugee in the United States, the impact of entrepreneurship on his writing, anti-Blackness in the Asian community, and fighting back against industry racism and media misrepresentation.
“I welcome stories from people who understand what it takes to thrive as a non-white-male independent creator. Many of us have lost significant ground due to COVID-19, when there was already a drought of actionable resources for small businesses,” Birkenbeuel says. “People are denied seats at the table based on first glances. I want to amplify people’s voices and dig deeper into their experiences. How can we effect change if we can’t talk about the problem? How can we compete against industry Goliaths, or can we not? How are we dealing with the racial and gender barriers that prevent our financial independence and wealth building? Let’s get honest!”
Listen to The Honest Field Guide™, where Birkenbeuel covers topics most don’t or won’t talk about, shining a bright and sometimes not-so-flattering light on the journey to the American Dream. The Honest Field Guide™ is available on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher.