Elisa Camahort Page co-founded BlogHer, later became the CCO at SheKnows Media after they acquired BlogHer, and is now a writer and consultant. Entrepreneur, speaker, conference leader, and blogger, Elisa has the type of bird’s-eye view of work the rest of us can only dream of. Laurie and Elisa talk about the disconnected workforce, the gig economy, and the rise of those brave souls who are daring to be their whole selves at work.
In this episode:
-Elisa has a unique view of why work is broken. Have you ever noticed that the higher up someone gets in the management chain, the more disconnected they become from what they did before? That disconnect turns into a fundamental lack of empathy. But here’s the kicker – that lack of empathy goes in BOTH directions. Elisa has been at the top of the management chain, and she approached the problem of empathy directly.
-If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur who is looking for a partner or co-founder, you know it isn’t easy. Elisa has some very practical advice for finding the right person: date them. Not romantically, but work on a project together before you launch a company. You’ll thank her later. She shares the story of how she and someone she barely knew founded BlogHer.
-Many of the issues we’re discussing in this day and age (wage gaps, family leave, etc.) were front and center for BlogHer in 2008 – a decade ago. That fact alone makes the idea of change seem like a lost cause. But is it? Elisa shares what is disappointing for her, but also, where she has hope for the future. The first one might surprise you: working from home.
-Then, there’s the gig economy. With so many people working from home as contractors, what about benefits? How is automation affecting jobs? Why is wealth being concentrated in the hands of so few? Is it possible to outsource and globalize yourself out of having a workforce that is engaged? Elisa and Laurie pick apart what the future of work looks like.
-At BlogHer, Elisa and her crew were looking at how women can be fairly compensated and fairly heard in the workplace, and she brings some happy news. As side hustles become main hustles, there’s a lot more hope for marginalized groups to earn what they deserve. And there’s a hidden benefit to this as the gig economy allows us to bring our WHOLE selves to work, not the version of us that corporations want.
-Have you ever heard of a ‘work-life advocate?’ These people are coming from a place of not being politically engaged or familiar with social issues, but in recent years, they’ve become galvanized. To do what? Elisa explains what work-life advocates are… are you one of them? This is one of those cases where it might do a later generation well to learn from the younger ones.
-There are some companies out there who are doing it right. Take, for example, the company who makes WordPress. They don’t even have a headquarters; they meet regularly, but everything they do is remote. People who can’t work in traditional settings flock to companies like this, and the flexibility they provide is incredible.
-We’ve covered the ideas of living wages, dividends, and universal basic income. Like many of our other guests, Elisa doesn’t see another option, especially with automation and globalism. Alaskans get a dividend from oil, but have you thought about the tech industry doing something similar? With automation and outsourcing, there ARE no jobs.
-In closing, Elisa tells the story of a boss who told her she needed to lower the expectations of her employees when they were upset they didn’t have the time or resources to do their jobs well. As you can imagine, that didn’t go over well with Elisa. You have to hear what she asked HIM to do instead. And the point of the story is this: do you understand the difference between satisfaction and happiness?