For Handshake 2.0:
A 1997 letter to Ms. Magazine, famous now to her fans, quotes Ani Difranco as writing, “I’m just a folksinger, not an entrepreneur.”
Ani Difranco’s team began the Buffalo, New York-based independent label Righteous Babe Records: “a small business that puts music before rock stardom and ideology before profit.”
Like many recent grads on the job hunt, I’m discovering just how important it is to me that I work for a company I can feel proud of. The decision of where to apply feels heavier than “Who do I want to work for,” as I also try to answer, “What will I represent?”
I should clarify: I do not consider “entrepreneur” a dirty word. In fact, it’s listed as part of the focus of one of my college majors- Business Management with a focus inEntrepreneurship, Innovation, and Technology. Ani’s impressive financial statistics (see letter), may not be self-satisfying, but she is satisfied by her ability to pay people to work for her and to “give stimulating business to local printers and manufacturers and to employ the services of independent distributors, promoters, booking agents and publicists.” And of course, the not so small bonus: “I was able to quit my day job and devote myself to what I love.”
Making a profit doing what a person loves is no crime, and I’m not going to work for a business that can’t afford to pay me. But marketing aside, what a business does with its profits will still determine what it stands for to the informed public. I do my best to vote with my dollar, and want to earn my paycheck with the same mindset – and consciousness.
Jessica Forrester has available two free tickets to see Ani DiFranco at Rams Head Live in Baltimore, MD on July 9.