We had the good fortune of connecting with Michelle Suzanne Snyder and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michelle Suzanne, what role has risk played in your life or career?
When most people talk about risk – especially as it pertains to business, they talk about security. Security is nice, but it doesn’t reflect the whole picture. From my perspective as an entrepreneur, writer, artist, and activist – I see a need for a different sort of conversation. What we should be talking about is power.
Every professional environment has its own internal system that is dictated by aspects of power and control. Power and control can shift how the vision, values and mission develop and affect those in the environment. Power can shape the entire dynamic of an organization. That’s why having a conversation about power several years ago, encouraged me to make the decision to redirect my career and realign with my core values.
In the fall of 2019, after more than 10 years in the nonprofit space I started a couple small businesses. The first is, “DreamOut People’s Project” and next came, “Compa Connect.” Choosing to face new frontiers of possibility seemed right and as a new entrepreneur, risk-taking was just one more way my vision and values had shapeshifted. Even though I knew that many first-time entrepreneurs experience a larger number of disappointments than most professionals, my previous participation with dozens of nonprofits, NGOs and other civic-minded organizations offered influential lessons.
We may have heard the tale of the lonely entrepreneur, (which in 2022 is actually a myth). It’s the tale of the inspired person working by themself in some garage chasing an ambitious idea, alone. Sure, there are examples of successful entrepreneurs pursuing their ventures independently. But without trusted mentors, colleagues, supporters, and collaborators by your side the risks are even greater.
As a small business owner, I am not trying to replace one set of hierarchal systems with another, but instead – reimagining and redesigning the way in which the individual and community matters. That’s where power lives. This vested interest in change directly benefits others like me who are creating a world that unlocks the power of the community. Among my favorite takeaways of this journey so far, has been the significance of not only working IN a community, but working WITH a community. Never underestimate the power of community.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live in Long Beach. I would take them to the local farmer’s market at Bixby Park and we could enjoy a nice day in the sun. Then we would go to the beach, and go kayaking.
Instagram: m_s_s belle (personal) & dreamout_peoples_project (business )
photo credits for portait of Michelle Suzanne Snyder: Alexis Rhone Fancher