Subverting Capitalism in Small Business with Stephanie Najjar

Queer witch, life coach, and former PhD candidate Stephanie Najjar incisively critiques capitalism and explains how its origins are colonial, racist, and gendered. Stephanie breaks down how capitalist ideology impacts small business owners, and what you can do in your business to subvert harmful paradigms and build a better future.
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Capitalist ideology loves to promote the idea of business and entrepreneurship. Capitalist logic says, if your idea is innovative enough, if you work hard enough, if you discover all the right strategies—you’ll make it big. You’ll be rich.

But when things aren’t quite so simple, you start questioning yourself. Your ideas, your products, your work ethic, your intelligence, even your morality.

This disconnect has serious consequences. There are very real reasons rooted in capitalism’s colonial, racist, and gendered origins that explain why so many small business owners—especially those who aren’t white, straight, cis men—don’t see the kind of straightforward visibility and wealth promised by capitalism, even if they do everything “right.”

And capitalism doesn’t just affect your work life. It’s embedded in how you see your self-worth, your relationship to essential human needs like rest and leisure, and maybe even in how you were raised and educated from a young age, creating deeply entrenched beliefs about yourself and the world around you.

So is there anything you can do to subvert capitalism, especially when you’re a small business owner who needs to make money in order to survive?

Yes! And you can find your own version of success while doing it.

In this episode, holistic business coach and strategist Sarah M. Chappell talks with Stephanie Najjar, a queer witch, life coach, and former PhD candidate in political theory at Johns Hopkins University. After quitting academia last summer because of burnout, racism, and toxic masculinity, Stephanie began a life coaching business rooted in decolonial values, witchcraft, and the esoteric tool of Human Design.

Stephanie’s specialty is the theory of capitalism and colonization. She uses her expertise to explain the basics of capitalism, going back to its roots and why it has such a powerful effect on us today. She breaks down dangerous narratives that capitalism promotes about business and entrepreneurship, debunks money myths, and critiques toxic spiritual spaces.

Stephanie and Sarah also discuss the critical importance of rest and leisure, ways to heal from capitalism-inflicted wounds, recovering from burnout, and how small businesses can become liberatory spaces that subvert a harmful paradigm.

You won’t want to miss this episode. Tune in for an information-packed hour of critique grounded in solid theory, as well as actionable insights on how you can use your small business to imagine and build a better future.

CONNECT WITH STEPHANIE

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Holistic Business Podcast listeners can get 15% off their first booking of any offer. Connect with Stephanie by email to get the discount!

If you’re a member of the Holistic Business Academy, you have access to Stephanie’s 90-minute bonus training and reading list on the Social Theory of Capitalism for free. Not a member yet? Join our waitlist!

TIME STAMPS:

4:36—What is capitalism and why does it matter?
14:19—How capitalist logic affects small business owners
23:13—Labor and worth in the context of entrepreneurship
30:15—The generative power of rest
32:59—The myth of meritocracy
42:17—The liberatory potential of spiritual practices

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