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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: Category: careers
Sep 11, 2017

We have heard guest after guest, talk about the importance of getting outside your comfort zone and taking immediate action.  This August, I forced myself to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, so that I could put a check mark next to some big goals I had for 2017, including delivering my first public talk at Podcast Movement 2017.

In today's conversation, I share three practical steps that helped me [and can help you too if you apply them] to organize my thoughts, deliver a confident and fun talk, that impacted my audience and has been generating tons of positive engagement almost 3 weeks after.

Sep 4, 2017

Michael Alexander Blake is a young and rising politician. He currently serves as both a New York Assemblyman from the 79th district and a Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee.

In today's conversation, we discussed the biggest changes in political campaigning, why he's serving in the DNC today and he shares some mission fuel for what the democratic community and other young politicians should begin doing today.

Some of the questions I asked Michael:

  • When did you first discover that politics was what you were meant to do with your life?
  • How'd you go about sculpting yourself into someone that Barack Obama would later want as part of his administrion?
  • What are the biggest differences in political campaigning now from when you started your career?
  • Why were you inspired to serve in the Democratic National Committee at this stage in your career?
  • What are you hearing from the democratic community that is most challenging to put in place?
  • What's your best advice to young politicians looking to establish themselves?
Aug 21, 2017

Why is it so important to empower and uplift others around you?

Today's featured guest is Terra Winston is the ringleader of inTerractions and Principal of inTerract Consulting.

Terra has dedicated her life to helping her clients unleash the potential of each employee. She is a leadership consultant and executive coach with 20 years of internal and external business consulting experience. Terra has a flexible style that has driven results in boardrooms and on plant floors, for Fortune 100 companies and small start-ups, alike.

In today's conversation, we discussed the common mistakes that derail good people from reaching their full trailblazer potential and Terra shares some wisdom on what we can begin doing to blaze our trail.
 

SOME OF THE QUESTIONS I ASKED TERRA:

  • How do you cultivate gratitude in your life?
  • What drives you today in the work you're doing?
  • What's the most challenging experience you've had in your walk as a consultant/coach and what did you learn about yourself through that experience?
  • One of your favorite sayings is “Good people do great things”. Terra, what exactly does that mean to you?
  • But why is it so important to empower and uplift others around you?
  • What are common mistakes that derail good people from reaching their full “Trailblazer potential”?
  • What are some keys to getting started for our aspiring trailblazers?
  • What does black girl magic mean to you?

CONNECT WITH TERRA:

THANKS FOR LISTENING!

I appreciate you visiting our site today and for listening to this episode.

If you're listening through the Apple Podcast App, please help us by partnering with us to grow this movement. The first step to helping us reach more trailblazers is to leave us a 5 star review for The Trailblazers Podcast! (Please click the link from your cell phone, then click the REVIEWS tab). Ratings, reviews and subscribes are extremely helpful to expanding our reach within the Apple community.

Aug 7, 2017

What are some of the foundation pieces new entrepreneurs need to put in place to have a successful startup?

Ericka Dotson, Indique Hair co-founder and creative director, was inspired by clients to fill the void in the hair extension industry with a premium, knowledgeable and customer orientated business.

In this conversation, Ericka and I discuss how she got into the hair extension business. She shares how she went counter to the advice of her instructors and went straight into startup mode right out of cosmetology school. We talk about her morning rituals and her approach to attract, nurture and empower new talent. She shares how she gets her team on board with her vision and her crazy creative campaigns. Lastly, she gives some wisdom to all our new entrepreneurs on what we can do to help us succeed with our startups.

Some of the questions I asked Ericka:

  • 04:55 What got you into the hair extension business?
  • 29:00 What's one of the most challenging experiences you faced in business and what did you learn from that experience?
  • 32:40 What are some of your consistent morning rituals that set you up to win everyday?
  • 33:50 How are you able to attract, nurture and empower new talent within your company?
  • 35:20 As Creative Director, how do you get your team on board with your crazy vision and campaigns?
  • 37:20 What are some of the foundation pieces new entrepreneurs need to put in place to have a successful startup?

Ericka Dotson's Bio

Ericka Dotson, Indique Hair co-founder and creative director, was inspired by clients to fill the void in the hair extension industry with a premium, knowledgeable and customer orientated business.

In the onset of her career, Dotson focused on a more traditional office profession. While working in a corporate environment in Austin, Texas, she rekindled her love of hairstyling and began to sharpen her skills in hair extensions. Dotson began specializing in this growing aspect of the hair industry and worked heavily with women experiencing hair loss diseases.

Her time as a stylist led her down many creative paths. Dotson has had a great deal of experience in creating hairpieces and designing different looks. Her innovative style has been sought after in numerous fashion shoots and runways.

Ultimately, it was the frustration Dotson’s clients expressed when purchasing hair extensions that sparked the idea of creating a company. Her drive and passion for ensuring the highest quality hair for her clients morphed into Dotson’s partnership with Krishan Jhalani and the founding of Indique Hair.

Dotson is the creative force of Indique Hair. She spearheads the innovative pieces in all the collections and branding methods. With Dotson’s vision and experience, Indique is focused on providing exclusively premium virgin hair extensions. Ericka strives to ensure exhaustive and comprehensive quality assurance for Indique, while continuing to improve and find additional methods to maintain or increase the quality and service.

Dotson is an alum of Howard University. She currently resides in Austin, Texas, and has a daughter.

Thanks for Listening!

I appreciate you visiting our site today and for listening to this episode.

If you're listening through the Apple Podcast App, please help us by partnering with us to grow this movement. The first step to helping us reach more trailblazers is to leave us a 5 star review for The Trailblazers Podcast! (Please click the link from your cell phone, then click the REVIEWS tab). Ratings, reviews and subscribes are extremely helpful to expanding our reach within the Apple community.

May 29, 2017
Dr Rosemarie Ingleton is often referred to as the dermatologist to the stars. She's the go-to authority on all-things dermatology in the media, as well as in New York City social circles and industries such as fashion, beauty, music, and the arts. She is featured regularly on television shows such as Good Morning America, Dr. Oz, The Today Show and The Doctors, and in magazines such as Glamour, Vogue, People Style Watch, InStyle, Elle, Essence, Town and Country and Real Simple. 

In today's interview, we discussed her journey from her early years growing up in Jamaica, through her migration to the United States and how she lived out an impossible dream of becoming a dermatologist and business owner in Manhattan.
 

A few of the questions I asked Dr. Ingleton

  • Let's talk about the challenges you had starting your business... as I understood it, you had no money, no formal business plan and no business training?
  • What were the necessary foundation pieces for your success back then?
  • I'd love to understand your day to day and what you're doing today that helps to set you apart and continues to fuel this success you're experiencing?
  • Could you talk about some good processes or practices for us to follow while we navigate our 'rough' years?
  • Why living a healthy lifestyle and taking care of your skin is so important to you?

Thanks for Listening!

I appreciate you visiting our site today and for listening to this episode.

If you're listening through the Apple Podcast App, please help us by partnering with us to grow this movement. The first step to helping us reach more trailblazers is to leave us a 5 star review for The Trailblazers Podcast! (Please click the link from your cell phone, then click the REVIEWS tab). Ratings, reviews and subscribes are extremely helpful to expanding our reach within the Apple community.

May 22, 2017

Lauren Bealore is the Corporate Relations and Events Manager for the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, a national political lobbying organization that focuses on protecting conservation issues by holding elected officials accountable. Lauren is also an appointed and elected official, serving as a City Commissioner for the City of Southfield’s Total Living Commission and Precinct Delegate for Precinct 19 of the City of Southfield.

In today's interview, we discussed the shifts that are happening that seem to be stifling the voice of black women in politics.  We also discussed the impact that race, gender and ethnicity might play in politics as we look out a decade from now.

May 15, 2017

Today I talked with Dr. Myiesha Taylor and her daughter Haley Taylor Schlitz. Dr. Taylor is a board certified emergency medicine physician. She's the founder of the Artemis Medical Society, an organization of over 3,700 women of color physicians. Haley is a 14 year old college student majoring in Chemistry, with a goal of obtaining a medical degree like her mom. 

In today's interview, we discussed why awareness is so important for women of color in medicine, Dr. Taylor shared advice on informing and educating our children, and also discussed the secret to the investment they made in Haley that propelled her to now succeed in college at 14 years old.

May 8, 2017
The media, especially celebrities on reality shows, downplay the value of marriages. Society today would have you prioritize self before all else.  But I'm feeling a calling on my heart today to remind everyone listening, including myself, that nothing is more important in a marriage than the relationship between husband and wife. 
 
For today's episode I wanted to highlight the impact and the importance that a healthy marriage plays in blazing new trails.
Sep 5, 2016

Alvin Irby, an elementary teacher turned comedian / social entrepreneur, is a southern transplant living in New York City. In 2013, Irby founded Reading Holiday Project Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit literacy organization, and created Barbershop Books, a nationally recognized literacy program that places child-friendly reading spaces in barbershops. This innovative program has been featured on NBC, CBS, Black Enterprise Magazine and CNN. In addition to performing stand up and managing Barbershop Books, Irby gives motivational talks to middle and high school students and delivers keynote talks about cultural competency, early literacy, Black Male Achievement, and social entrepreneurship at national conferences across America.

 

In this episode, I asked Alvin:

  • 02:45 Was being a teacher your dream as a child?
  • 03:40 What inspired your desire to teach?
  • 06:00 What inspired Barbershop Books?
  • 08:45 Where do you turn to for mentorship, coaching and support?
  • 10:00 Was the transition from your full time as a teacher to Barbershop Books a long process?
  • 13:45 What have been the biggest lessons you've learned about yourself through this transition from teacher to founder of the Reading Holiday Project?
  • 15:30 What do you do to get out of your own head with fears when the fear begins to creep in?
  • 18:00 What advice would you give to a teacher who has an entrepreneurial idea?
  • 22:30 How do you define success?
  • 23:30 What are you most grateful for right now?
  • 24:45 What is on your vision board for Barbershop Books for the next 5 years and beyond?

Links and resources:

Alvin Irby's Bio

Alvin is the Founder of Reading Holiday Project, Inc. and Chief Reading Inspirer at Barbershop Books
 
Barbershop Books is a community-based literacy program that creates child-friendly reading spaces in barbershops for boys ages 4-8. Alvin and the Barbershop Books brand look to leverage the cultural significance of barbershops in Black communities to help black boys identify as readers. This innovative approach connects black men and families to black boys’ early reading experiences. It also improves boys’ access to culturally relevant, age appropriate, and gender responsive children’s books, while increasing the amount of time boys read for fun.
 
Reading Holiday Project, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that works to close the reading achievement gap for black boys. Barbershop Books is the organization’s first program.
 
Alvin Irby, an elementary teacher turned comedian / social entrepreneur, is a southern transplant living in New York City. As the middle child of three rambunctious kids, he quickly discovered his gift for making people laugh. Irby’s smart brand of comedy draws on his eclectic educational, professional, and life experiences. Since moving to New York City in 2007, Irby has completed two Masters degrees, performed at comedy clubs, festivals, and colleges throughout the United States, taught kindergarten and 1st grade, and served as Education Director at the Boys Club of New York.
 
In 2013, Irby founded Reading Holiday Project Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit literacy organization, and created Barbershop Books, a nationally recognized literacy program that places child-friendly reading spaces in barbershops. This innovative program has been featured on NBC, CBS, Black Enterprise Magazine and CNN. In addition to performing stand up and managing Barbershop Books, Irby gives motivational talks to middle and high school students and delivers keynote talks about cultural competency, early literacy, Black Male Achievement, and social entrepreneurship at national conferences across America.
Irby was one of nine national finalists (out of more than 600 comedians) selected by NBC to perform in the 2015 StandUp NBC Finale Showcase at the Hollywood Improv in Los Angeles, CA. Irby’s clever social commentary and hilarious observations have made him one of comedy’s freshest new voices. Alvin Irby fuses education, comedy, public speaking, and social entrepreneurship to make people laugh and to help create transformative learning experiences for underserved children.

Thanks for Listening!

We appreciate you visiting our site today and for helping to bring awareness to the Trailblazers.FM podcast. Please leave an honest review for The Trailblazers Podcast on iTunes & Stitcher! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show.

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