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Tammeca Rochester: Navigating the Ultimate Entrepreneurial Pivot | 193

Tammeca Rochester: Navigating the Ultimate Entrepreneurial Pivot | 193

Here are 3  takeaways from today's conversation with Tammeca Rochester of Harlem Cycle:
1. No matter your college degree, you can create the life you want. 
2. No career is absolute. At any point you can pivot and change direction 
3. To open a business you don't need to be the expert but you need to surround yourself with those that are

Our featured guest today is Tammeca Rochester.

Tammeca Rochester is owner and founder of Harlem Cycle, Harlem's 1st and only indoor cycling studio. She has three academic degrees (Mathematics- Spelman College, Mechanical Engineering- The Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA from the Stern Business School, New York University), multiple professional certifications, and several awards and honors. In 2016, she decided to turn her passion for fitness and open Harlem's 1st and only indoor cycling studio.

My ask today is that you’d help share this episode. If you're posting to social, please tag @tbpod and use the hashtag #TrailblazersFM

 

KEY POINTS FROM TAMMECA:

  • I’m very grateful for my clients who keep coming back and rooting for the business and are willing to extend themselves without being asked.
  • I wanted to get back to the happy place of my childhood, and for me it was always about riding my bike.
  • I wanted to create the same downtown experience uptown with the uptown feel, music and culture.
  • As a new entrepreneur, you have no idea that it will, but everything comes at you in the first year.  
  • I wish I had the courage to make the leap, but I was pushed.
  • Talking about the decisive moment:  “The signs were on the wall for me, but when you realize that you are physically unable to keep up with that schedule, you need to make the leap.”
  • Since I made the leap, we’ve grown exponentially.  I was holding the business back living in two worlds, trying to hold on to my 9-5.”
  • Telling us the secret to the success of Harlem Cycle.  “I’ve always been someone who’s open for input, knowing that I wasn’t the expert.”
  • Lessons of an entrepreneur:  Always look at your numbers and have a little financial cushion for the bad days.
  • Lessons of an entrepreneur:  #1. Negative numbers are real numbers, and they have to come from somewhere.
  • Lessons of an entrepreneur:  #2. Pulling from my current 9 – 5 helped make payroll and keep us afloat the first year.
  • Lessons of an entrepreneur:  #3. Hire slowly.  Fire quickly.
  • Talking about the retention of her high-quality team:  “I couldn’t find the quality of trainer that I wanted, so I created a training program to cultivate the quality that I needed.”
  • Lessons of an entrepreneur:  #4. Remember that you are not the smartest person in the room, and I have had to learn that several times.  Listen to your team.
  • The Harlem Renaissance started in New York and it spread around the world, and so will Harlem Cycle.
  • There’s a manual for everything.  I want this brand to stay the same no matter where I go.
  • We’re making sure we stay true to the brand by putting a couple processes in place, to make sure we always stay the same — the product and experience.
  • Working out is just 50% of the model.  For us the other 50% is all customer service and creating a complete experience from the moment you step in the doors to the moment you get back on that sidewalk.  For us it’s all about the experience. 

 

ONE ACTION

  • Sit down and do a SWOT analysis of yourself.  I think the best thing to blaze your trail is to understand who your are as a person, where your weaknesses and strengths are, and then work from there.

THIS EPISODE WAS SPONSORED BY:

The Campaign for Black Male Achievement. Join, support and invest in this movement to help improve the life outcomes of our black men and boys.

DID YOU ENJOY THIS PODCAST?

If you're listening on Apple Podcasts, help us reach more trailblazers like you by leaving us a 5 star review! Ratings, reviews and subscribes are extremely helpful to expanding our reach within the Apple community.

 

Eric Thomas: Why You’re Not Where You’re Supposed To Be | 192

Eric Thomas: Why You’re Not Where You’re Supposed To Be | 192

“The version of you that you are right now is keeping you from being everything you should be. Who you are right now is responsible for why you're not where you supposed to be…. who you are is keeping you from being who you should be and your dreams though, are the only thing that's telling you “Come on. Let's go!” Your dreams are the only thing that's telling “You can do more. You can have more. You can be more! Come on, come on, come on! Don’t be comfortable. Don’t sit. DON’T SETTLE!”

Our featured guest today is Eric Thomas, aka E.T. The Hip Hop Preacher.

My ask today is that you’d help share this episode. If you're posting to social, please tag @tbpod and use the hashtag #TrailblazersFM

 

KEY POINTS FROM ERIC:

  • I’m honored to meet the people who are responsible for me being number one in the world.
  • I’m most grateful for God telling me to go from inspirational speaker to a businessman.
  • It was an unexpected blessing for me in the form of a conversation  that has changed my life and prayerfully will change other people’s lives.
  • Who is ET? I was very angry and defiant  … just wandering; then a pastor came in my life and mentored me, and I went from wandering to exploring.
  • I realized in college that while I may not have been the best speaker on campus, I knew I had a lane that was unique to me that nobody else was in at that time. 
  • The version of you that is you right now is keeping you from everything that you should be. Who you are right now is responsible for why youre not where you’re supposed to be.
  • Who you are longs for you to be comfortable. Who you are is stopping you from being daring.  Who you are is telling you, Don’t do that! …Don’t take risks! …”
  • Who you are is keeping you from who you should be, and your dreams though are the only thing that keep telling you, Come on!  Let’s go!”
  • ‘Wild thoughts' are so important because they are the ones that tell us to “Come into the deep. You can do it!”
  • Step 1 to enacting the change that’s needed is to just be authentic.
  • So many people are just living everybody else’s dream for them, worried about what other people think about their life.
  • You can only be successful being YOU!
  • Be authentically you, and then do it for a long time so people know thats really you.
  • Take pride in your craft. Too many people are skilled but not enough of them are in the will.
  • The areas that are your weaknesses or the things that youre not comfortable with, the gaps, that’s what will take you to the next level. 
  • Im in schools telling kids to find out what you like, what you’re gifted at, what you’re good at, and know the theory of it. 
  • The natural gift is a blessing, but the theory is where you make money in capitalism.  The theory is where people pay you.
  • Im having an insatiable desire to create companies to employ people.  That’s been my thing this year — finding a way to create jobs for minorities, people who are really the new majority.
  • There was a time when I had opportunities but I didnt have the money to invest in those opportunities, and so I want to be able to do that for others.  I want them to taste what financial freedom is like.
  • I want to give people meaningful work and put them in a position where this is just one of the 6 streams of income that theyre going to get because it’s going to take 7 streams to become a multi-millionaire.
  • People are willing to work hard when they see that their leader works hard.  Im the oldest but nobody outworks me.
  • If people are willing, theres not a place I can’t take you.
  • Dont crumble, climb!  There are somethings you can’t get for free.
  • Its not strength or weakness, it’s overuse or underuse – balance.

 

ONE ACTION

  • Don’t focus on what you want but focus on all the activities that it takes to get there.  Don’t make the goal, the goal.

THIS EPISODE WAS SPONSORED BY:

The Campaign for Black Male Achievement. Join, support and invest in this movement to help improve the life outcomes of our black men and boys.

DID YOU ENJOY THIS PODCAST?

If you're listening on Apple Podcasts, help us reach more trailblazers like you by leaving us a 5 star review! Ratings, reviews and subscribes are extremely helpful to expanding our reach within the Apple community.

 

Anthony Smith: Keeping Young Black Men and Boys Safe, Healthy and Hopeful | 190

Anthony Smith: Keeping Young Black Men and Boys Safe, Healthy and Hopeful | 190

Cities United works to support the network of Mayors who are concerned with the issue of keeping young Black men and boys and their families safe, healthy and hopeful. Cities United partners with these leaders in the quest to reduce the homicide of Black men and boys by 50% by the year 2025.

Our featured guest today is Anthony Smith, CEO of Cities United.

My ask today is that you’d help share this episode. If you're posting to social, please tag @tbpod and use the hashtag #TrailblazersFM

KEY POINTS FROM ANTHONY:

  • I’m grateful for the time and space created at the convening to reconnect with our ancestors and recognize the 400th year since the first enslaved African came to the shores of America.
  • Cities United works to support the network of Mayors who are concerned with the issue of keeping young Black men and boys and their families safe, healthy and hopeful.
  • Cities United partners with these leaders in the quest to reduce the homicide of Black men and boys by 50% by the year 2025.
  • @CitiesUnited: Our goal is not only to keep Black men and boys alive but to help them thrive, with better educational and employment outcomes.
  • @CitiesUnited:  We work with cities to create a two-pronged approach to balance and prevention: (1) how do you keep young people, those who are in harm’s way, alive today; and (2) how do you create agendas and policies that break the cycle, so that we don’t have young men and women and girls in harm’s way.
  • We help cities design a comprehensive public safety plan, reimagining what public safety is, how it is defined, and how it’s funded.
  • Public safety is access to quality education, access to great housing, and access to jobs.
  • If young people are in harm’s way or in trouble, their parents are most likely in trouble, too.
  • We look at a two-generational approach — not just the youth in front of you, but who they go home to, and who supports them along the way.
  • Homicide is a national epidemic, but it happens in cities.  If we can help the cities with good strategies, we can help reduce that number.
  • Do your work in a way that it can be owned by the community, and no matter who is in office, the community is going to demand that this work continues.
  • Black male achievement highlights the fact that Black men and boys have always been able to achieve even with the disadvantage of racism and certain policies.
  • On Black male achievement, we consider how to celebrate those who are achieving, and how to create space for those who are struggling, and how to make sure that this is not about some of us but all of us.
  • We have to help young people find their purpose and then live in that purpose; we have to create space for them to do that.
  • If young Black men and boys are growing up in communities where they see themselves, where they know they can connect and thrive, we won’t have as many homicides and shootings, because they see other options and other ways out.
  • What we’re dealing with today is the remnants of all the bad policies — from redlining to urban renewal — all of the things that have kept our communities cut out of opportunities.
  • It doesn’t matter who is in office, because nobody is paying attention to the root causes of why we’re dealing with these issues.
  • Everybody wants to be tough on crime, but nobody wants to deal with the issue of why crime is produced.
  • Mayors are central to the strategy for creating the change we want to see; they have convening power with the ability to bring people to the table.
  • We’re about coaching and preparing the current generation of leaders and making sure that we create space for others.

 

 

ONE ACTION

  • Find your purpose — what you’re supposed to be doing — and stay true to that. 

THIS EPISODE WAS SPONSORED BY:

The Campaign for Black Male Achievement. Join, support and invest in this movement to help improve the life outcomes of our black men and boys.

DID YOU ENJOY THIS PODCAST?

If you're listening on Apple Podcasts, help us reach more trailblazers like you by leaving us a 5 star review! Ratings, reviews and subscribes are extremely helpful to expanding our reach within the Apple community.

 

A Nicole Campbell: The Power of Being Relational | 189

A Nicole Campbell: The Power of Being Relational | 189

Being relational drives business. Your brand/business must be about more than just transactions in order for it to thrive. The beauty happens in between the transactions/deals. When you are relational, you step into the spaces between transactions, so to speak, and that step-in is what makes clients come back, makes them choose you, makes colleagues recommend you, and makes people want to work with you.

Our featured guest today is A. Nicole Campbell.

Nicole (Nic) is a mom first, and everything else falls into place because of it. She's an MIT graduate and an attorney who has served in senior leadership positions for two billionaire hedge fund giants. 

Nic recently transitioned to a new role, having founded Build Up Advisory Group (February, 2019). Her firm specializes in designing and building systems to help nonprofits, philanthropies, social entrepreneurs, and philanthropists thrive. She's working to scale it to create the kind of workplace she's always wanted to work in.

Build Up, Inc. is a boutique capacity builder that holistically supports leaders of color and projects and nonprofits led by people of color that serve under-resourced communities. Probably the first of its kind, and hopefully it can serve as a model for other fiscal sponsors.

My ask today is that you’d help share this episode. If you're posting to social, please tag @tbpod and use the hashtag #TrailblazersFM

KEY POINTS FROM NIC:

  • I really am so thankful and grateful to have my two little girls.  They have really aligned my priorities and my life.  I used to ask myself the question of ‘what could I be?’ and they’ve made me change that to ‘how good can I become?'
  • My mom instilled in us that education is important, and this is how you can achieve anything.  It’s the one thing that no one can take away from you. 
  • With an education and a strong foundation, you can pretty much do anything.
  • My education at MIT set me up to be a problem solver that comes to problems with different levels of expertise and experience to bear on how I then solve that problem.
  • I’m no longer a lawyer that comes to the problem and gives you my legal opinion; but I am a problem solver that happens to have legal experience and expertise.
  • Build Up Advisory Group specializes in infrastructure design.  We focus on building out the organizational infrastructure of philanthropists and non-profits.  We spend a lot of time with leaders of these organizations, helping them set up the foundation, so that they can deliver on their mission and make sure that their programmatic work is supported.
  • We serve these organizations through the lens of governance, grant making, and organizational design.
  • If an organization is doing good programmatic work, and you strengthen their infrastructure, they will do outstanding work.
  • Black Male Achievement means the celebration of Black boys and men, recognizing how amazing they are, and putting that at the forefront of the conversation we are having about society and how we can improve.
  • If there is Black Male Achievement, then everyone is achieving.
  • Being relational drives business.  In service-based professions, we tend to move on a transaction-by-transaction basis, but there are spaces in between those transactions.
  • In between those transactions, in those spaces, are where your client and the organization are most vulnerable; that’s where they have the need.
  • If you’re not asking questions about what’s happening in between transactions and providing a level of support in between those transactions, you’re missing out on a huge part of the relationship with your client and a huge part of the service that you can provide to your client.
  • People keep coming back to you because of how you relate to them and how they relate to you.
  • They will keep picking you, want to work with you, and refer you to other people, because they feel supported, and they feel that you are a resource.  You can only get there, if you are relational.
  • While you might be able to provide transaction-level support, you’re not able to provide the holistic support that your client will benefit from, without expertise.
  • If you’re a grant-making organization, put organizations that are focused on under-resourced communities — particularly those that are led by people of colour —  on your radar; and allow them to tell their own stories rather than you or the organization stepping in to tell their story for them, thinking that you’re doing it better.
  • Build Up, Inc. helps to create or build the capacity of leaders of colour and projects and organizations that are supporting under-resourced communities.

 

ONE ACTION (+ A LIL EXTRA)

  • Lean in to you! In the morning, affirm “I believe in me.  I believe in my capabilities.  I believe in my abilities. I believe in who I am.”
  • Once you leave your home, your cocoon, your safety net, and you go out into the world, there is going to be so many things that are trying to tear you down from that and pull you down from that.  So, if you start your day with this affirmation, it goes a very long way when you fail in something and need to recover.
  • When you come back home, reflect and assess, “How did I lean into me day?  Where did I show up? When did you shy away?  When did you step away? and Why?”

THIS EPISODE WAS SPONSORED BY:

The Campaign for Black Male Achievement. Join, support and invest in this movement to help improve the life outcomes of our black men and boys.

DID YOU ENJOY THIS PODCAST?

If you're listening on Apple Podcasts, help us reach more trailblazers like you by leaving us a 5 star review! Ratings, reviews and subscribes are extremely helpful to expanding our reach within the Apple community.

 

Jim Shelton: The Opportunity and Risk of Black Male Achievement | 188

Jim Shelton: The Opportunity and Risk of Black Male Achievement | 188

When Black males start to achieve, the mobility rates for our community will pick up exponentially.  That is the opportunity for us, but it is also the risk, if we don’t.

Our featured guest today is Jim Shelton.

James “Jim” Shelton is Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Blue Meridian Partners.

In this role, Jim is investigating new areas where significant focused capital can help solve problems at scale and advising Blue Meridian. Jim is also a founding partner of Amandla Enterprises, Senior Advisor for Education at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and non-resident fellow at the Brookings Institute.

Prior to this, he served as President and Chief Impact Officer of 2U, Inc. and was deputy secretary at the US Department of Education (and head of its office of innovation and improvement) under President Obama. There, he served as the Executive Director of the President’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative and served on and led multiple interagency efforts focused on poverty reduction, economic development, entrepreneurship, and increased opportunity, such as the Investing in Innovation Fund, Promise Neighborhoods, and ConnectED. He has served as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company advising CEOS and other for-profit and non-profit executives and has experience as a growth investor, education entrepreneur and program lead for the Gates Foundation. He began his career developing computer systems.

Jim holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Morehouse College and master’s degrees in both business administration and education from Stanford University.

My ask today is that you’d help share this episode. If you're posting to social, please tag @tbpod and use the hashtag #TrailblazersFM

KEY POINTS FROM JIM:

  • I’m much grateful for my family being back in DC, my son starting off school right, and my wife feeling happy about it all.
  • I am just an ordinary man who had extraordinary opportunities.
  • All young people need the same kinds of things adapted their different contexts.
  • If we start at birth, everybody is born with the same potential to excel; however, our experiences, relationships and environments shape how much of our potential is actually realized.
  • We want to stack the kind of relationships and environment that is going to help a young person thrive.
  • We need to get in the business of designing pathways for young people that look like that from the time that they are born until they become thriving adults.
  • We’ve got to have the kind of training and resources for teachers, so they know how young people actually develop and learn, and the kind of experiences they create in classrooms actually meet the needs of the kids they have in front of them.
  • The vast majority of what determines a young person’s success starts before they get to school everyday.
  • Key questions for determining the wellness and preparedness of young people:  Are their basic mental and physical health needs met? Are they socially and emotionally stable and developed enough to form healthy relationships? Do they have a sense of identity?
  • These are shaped by many, many factors outside of school, but they have a huge impact on the academic and cognitive development that the child has in school.
  • @JIMSEDU on Black Male Achievement:  We’ve created these environments that expect little, provide little and therefore the results match, and we seem surprised.
  • The major factors that impede progress (exposure to violence or exposure to the criminal justice system) and get in the way of many of our best and brightest young men actually achieving across the spectrum from the earliest age into adulthood.
  • For those who are not impeded by these systems, we often forget about these Black men, and begin our conversations talking about their deficits and not their assets.  So, our young men who are high performing are often ignored, without us creating the kind of opportunities that let them continue to excel.
  • The question is, ‘How do we create the kind of relationships, experiences and environments that allow our young people to express their full potential?'
  • Recognizing that the injustices and barriers won’t disappear overnight, how do we as a community surround our young people and insulate them from the impacts of them as much as possible, so that they can actually look into the future and see their potential, see that other people believe in them, and keep pushing?
  • For the Black community, our overall success is now in the hands of what happens for Black males.
  • When Black males start to achieve, the mobility rates for our community will pick up exponentially.  That is the opportunity for us, but it is also the risk, if we don’t.
  • People believe most in people who look like them to be able to solve problems.
  • The challenge for African Americans is getting over the hurdle of not being like the other kind of folks that investors encounter, to instill the confidence in them that you’re someone they should bet on.
  • @JIMSEDU on African Americans potential vying for the attention of investors — It’s a higher bar.  It’s not a fair bar, but that’s the game that we have to play.
  • Consider who that one person is, who could help you with whatever your mission is — that person you’ve procrastinated on calling — and make the call.

 

THIS EPISODE WAS SPONSORED BY:

The Campaign for Black Male Achievement. Join, support and invest in this movement to help improve the life outcomes of our black men and boys.

DID YOU ENJOY THIS PODCAST?

If you're listening on Apple Podcasts, help us reach more trailblazers like you by leaving us a 5 star review! Ratings, reviews and subscribes are extremely helpful to expanding our reach within the Apple community.