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Trailblazers.FM

Representation matters. The voice of successful black professionals makes a difference. Trailblazers.FM is an interview style podcast, where host Stephen A. Hart seeks out professionals of color in every possible venue, no matter how small. He is determined to find the best entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, creatives and business professionals, representing the most diverse viewpoints. Through these conversations, our listeners (the Blazer Nation) gain the know-how, confidence and mission fuel needed to blaze their own trail.
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Now displaying: March, 2018
Mar 26, 2018

Maxine Reyes is a super charged woman that wears multiple hats. When she’s not speaking at schools and mentoring teens, she is leading women’s groups teaching self care and resilience, and inspiring with her platform “Women leading their lives with courage and grace”.  She can also be found hosting couples retreats with her husband of 20 years, or volunteering at her daughter’s school. Did we mention that she recently retired in December 2017, after nearly 22 years of honorable service in the Air Force and Army respectively?

In a male dominated organization, as a young Captain, Maxine has lead a team of nearly 700, majority of which were men. She was also the commander of Orlando Army Recruiting from 2014-2016. Her leadership and work in the community earned her a Proclamation from the city, naming 14 July 2016 Captain Maxine Reyes Day in the City of Orlando.

If that doesn’t say enough, this woman is also a seasoned singer. She has graced stages with dignitaries at home and abroad to include a U.S. President, entertaining troops in the Middle East and NBA opening ceremonies including twice for the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center, the Lions soccer team at the Citrus Bowl, and the city’s Veterans Day Parade.

In this conversation, Maxine talks about military life, leadership and life skills, marriage and motherhood and shares some advice for the women, mothers and wives wanting to live their best lives now. You don't want to miss Maxine's ending to this episode, it was a first of its kind on the podcast.

 

Connect with Maxine:

Resources Mentioned:

 

Mar 19, 2018

Yendi Phillipps is doing it all! She blazed her trail by winning two national pageant titles for the island of Jamaica, but her accolades didn't stop there. Since then she's become an ambassador, mother, social media influencer, model and is also a creative entrepreneur who has found a way to live a life of purpose, while still monetizing her creative passions.

 

In this conversation, Yendi talks about how the experiences of being a beauty pageant contestant impacted her as a business woman, creative and mother today. She shares what's worked to cultivate her social media influence and grow her personal brand. Despite having nearly a million social media followers, she opens up about how she handles the negative sides of cyber bullying and what helps her to find inner happiness and stay present when there's so much happening around her.

 

 

Connect with Yendi:

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Mar 12, 2018

What holds most people back from sharing their story?

 

Cheryl Wood is an international motivational speaker, author, and master speaker development coach for women.  She is committed to empowering women globally to courageously share their unique voice, story, and perspective.  She equips new, emerging, and aspiring women speakers with strategies to MASTER and MONETIZE their message.  Cheryl’s compelling story of transitioning from a legal secretary and mother of three who was frantically challenged with creating work/life balance to building her own speaking empire generating over $1million inspires women to take bigger risks and play all out in life and business.

 

Cheryl has been featured on ABC, Radio One, Forbes Magazine, Huffington Post, ESSENCE, Good Morning Washington, and other media outlets.  She has delivered keynote presentations for a host of organizations including: Federal Bureau of Investigations, United States Department of Defense, United States Department of Agriculture, The United Nations, Federally Employed Women, Virginia Women in Public Finance, and Verizon Wireless.

 

In today's conversation, Cheryl and I discuss what holds people back from sharing their story. Cheryl shares what aspiring speakers need to know to get started and shares the four types of speaking engagements.

 

 

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Mar 5, 2018

"When building your network or social following, focus on quality not quantity" - Cameka Smith

Speaker, trainer and award-winning entrepreneur - these are just a few words that describe Cameka Smith, Founder of The BOSS Network, a community of professional and entrepreneurial women who support each other through conversation, online engagement and event-based networking. Working towards one simple goal, BOSS® is “Bringing Out Successful Sisters” to promote and encourage the small business spirit and professional development of women.

Under Cameka’s leadership, The BOSS Network has become one of the fastest-growing women business communities, garnering several accolades such as a Top 50 Website for Entrepreneurs (Inc. Magazine), 10 Best Career Sites for Women (Forbes.com) and one of 9 Twitter Accounts to Enhance Your College Experience (BlackEnterprise.com). In recognition of her achievements, Cameka was listed in Jet Magazine as a 40 under 40 Entrepreneur, named one of the Top 40 Chicago Game Changers by Ariel Investments, The Network Journal listed her one of their 2016, 40 under 40 Business Leaders, and she was presented with a Rising Brand Star award by the Adweek in 2017.

In today's conversation, Cameka and I discuss the power of networking and building relationships. She shares why she launched her business, and how she developed a business strategy to monetize her brand and grow her business.

Connect with Cameka:

 

Resources Mentioned:

 

A few of the questions I asked Cameka:

  • Who are some of the women in your life that you're grateful to have around you and those who have really inspired you?
  • What would people who you know today find surprising about you as a teenager growing up in Chicago?
  • What did you have to give up to glow up? Did you have to shift your mindset, let go of people?
  • What are some of the lessons you've learned about building relationships?
  • How important is networking and social media to building and nurturing these relationships and an individual's personal brand?

Key Points from Cameka:

  • I am grateful for my mom and those who came before us. Because of them we are who we are.
  • Our dreams and visions are tied to other people’s dreams and visions
  • Cameka Smith used the power of relationships and networking to build The BOSS Network, a community of professional and entrepreneurial women who support each other.
  • Find those who are looking for the same thing you’re looking for and build the solution
  • Cameka Smith talks about building the business strategy to monetize the brand and grow her business
  • Your business vision and desire to help people cannot be sustained without a forward-looking strategy
  • If you’re gonna be in business, you gotta know your “why?” or you’ll be very easily deterred and distracted by everything else that is going on around you.
  • The “why?” of The BOSS Network is to give women of color a platform to showcase their talents and their gifts and give them resources and opportunities to help them expose their brands.
  • You have to build relationships and not just your rolodex
  • BOSS stands for "Bringing Out Successful Sisters," and its mission is to promote and encourage the small business spirit in women
  • When building your network or social following, focus on quality not quantity
  • Here’s great networking advice from BOSS Network’s founder, Cameka Smith: Do your research before you get into the room, so you can drive the conversation and have something of substance to talk about.
  • We must be sure we are operating with good character in our professional relationships to build authentic connections
  • Social media is the great connector. It allows you to connect with an audience that you would have never otherwise met
  • Connect the dots on all your media platforms
  • Leadership does not always mean being out front, but it means serving in a capacity where your work impacts more than just yourself
  • I operate from a servant leadership standpoint: looking for ways to serve my clients, my tribe, and give women in my network access and resources
  • Great leaders are people who have crafted, molded and created their own table to have that conversation, then taking that information back to their communities
  • Collaboration is so key: you can reach new audiences by collaborating with people in your industry or even other industries

One Action To Blaze Your Trail:

Go out and serve other people. Serve someone who can't give you anything in return.  

Thanks for Listening!

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