Wow, what a week. I am finally back in Portland after spending the last week out in the woods in West Virginia. Why did I do that? Because it felt like the next right step and after having been there I can say: Fuck yes, it was the right step.
Now you are probably wondering what I did in the West Virginian woods. You might remember an article that I posted a while back about wanting to go to Sex Geek Summer Camp. Well, the 2015 edition of this amazing workshop happened last week in said woods. And in this post I am sharing some really cool stuff that came out of camp with you. If you are looking for something deeply educational, you will probably not find it in this article (try the “Things I Wish Had Been Told About Sex” or the “Read The Fucking Manual” posts if that is what you are looking for right now).
So what is Sex Geek Summer Camp? Reid Mihalko from reidaboutsex.com organized a workshop for sex educators to learn about the business aspects of what they do best. Because his big struggle when he got started was that he could not make a living doing what he was passionate about. Out of this struggle came a long phase of learning business for him and now he has compiled the best of the things he learned about as well as the things that work for him, packaged it for sex educators (with great examples) and teaches it to others that go through the same struggles.
For most people that are in the “healing arts” field there is a huge disconnect between what they do and making a living off it. I came across the same disconnect in massage school. People were delivering amazing bodywork but couldn’t ask for money. During my coaching program I ran into it again: People are great coaches but have a hard time charging for it. And I saw it again with the sex educators that I met at camp. And to a degree I am still struggling with that.
I believe the background for a lot of the struggles is what can be called “Impostor Syndrome”. The believe that we are not good enough, not credible enough, not known enough to charge for what we do. The believe we aren’t educated enough ourselves or that we have nothing to teach. Yes, I can relate to my peers experiencing that because I had a bad case of it myself. In a time where all the knowledge is out there somewhere in some form in videos, books, podcasts or whatever medium you can think of that is free, why would anybody pay me for the things I learned. What makes me better than them. And that was basically what camp was about: Recognizing our own worth and how to use it to actually make a living.
One the first day we launched into defining our target market and then being okay with what we defined. That was something immensely useful for me. You see, the person that I understand best is me 5 or 10 years ago. I know how that person thinks, feels and behaves. And I can help that person best because I received help and helped myself. But me 10 years ago is a very privileged individual: cisgendered, able bodied, white, male. Saying that this is my ideal client felt like crap, especially living in a time where we are told we need to be all inclusive. And I am saying that I won’t turn the people away that don’t fall into this category. I am just saying that I know this “niche” best. And through camp I could release a lot of shame that I held around this topic.