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the way people deal with disappointments
00:01
are going to
00:03
essentially determine their future right
00:07
and he would say like disappointments
00:09
are constant
00:10
disappointments are certain but
00:13
disappointments
00:13
can be conquered if you believe we can
00:16
change the narrative
00:17
if you believe we can change our
00:18
communities if you believe we can change
00:20
the outcomes
00:21
then we can change the world i'm rob
00:23
richardson
00:25
welcome to disruption now
00:28
welcome to disruption now i'm your host
00:30
of moderator rob richardson
00:31
it's an honor here to be on with cevitro
00:34
wilson who is uh
00:35
entrepreneur he's pretty much been an
00:37
entrepreneur since she got out of
00:38
college she knew what she wanted to do
00:39
she went right to it
00:40
and so she is definitely she definitely
00:42
fits the profile of like what we like to
00:44
have here on disruption she is she
00:46
doesn't fit into the narrative she
00:47
disrupts the narrative
00:49
and uh we're honored to have her on so
00:50
she's uh started resilia
00:52
uh which is a company that used to be uh
00:54
exempt me i believe that was the name
00:56
and it's and she said she saw early on
00:58
there was opportunity to scale it to
00:59
make it so
01:00
the services she was offering she could
01:02
help to really uh help non-profit scale
01:05
help them enterprise and she's raised up
01:07
they think over three million dollars
01:08
one of only 11 black women to do so
01:11
i believe the only one in new orleans to
01:13
do so i've actually had at least one of
01:15
those other black women on don dixon so
01:17
yeah ohio yeah so of course i'm out of
01:21
cincinnati
01:22
and so she's doing some amazing things
01:24
that you're going to learn about we're
01:25
going to talk about her journey
01:26
we're going to talk about how uh the
01:28
bumps along the road and how she's still
01:30
growing i'm sure there's it's not a
01:31
linear path and
01:32
we're just excited to have her on i got
01:34
a chance to actually learn about her
01:36
through a uh
01:36
i can't remember which magazine it was
01:38
but was talking about black women who
01:40
have become
01:40
millionaires and how they did it so uh
01:43
it's vitro we're just honored to have
01:44
you on how you doing
01:46
i'm doing great how are you i'm doing
01:48
well you know i forgot to mention that
01:49
she
01:50
is a member of the wonderful lovely
01:52
ladies of
01:53
alpha kappa alpha you know we love that
01:55
game yeah i don't know how i forgot that
01:57
you know but i just did but
01:59
i made sure to put it in ceviche so you
02:00
know thanks i appreciate that
02:03
how's it going for you in this uh kobe
02:06
craziness world uh
02:07
how how how's this adjustment been just
02:10
getting used to business in this
02:12
environment what's that been like
02:14
oh man it's been a challenge for sure i
02:17
think it's been a challenge for everyone
02:18
so sometimes i feel like when i talk
02:20
about it i'm preaching to the choir
02:22
i think that people have had different
02:24
challenges based on what you're doing
02:26
but
02:26
um we definitely did what everyone else
02:30
did
02:30
right shut down the office went home our
02:33
team is still working from home both
02:35
in our new york and new orleans office
02:37
and
02:38
although the office is open so they can
02:40
go in and out and so we do have some
02:41
team members who are going in and out
02:43
but you know when covet began to creep
02:46
up as far as new orleans it was in march
02:49
um
02:50
we essentially were in the process of
02:54
raising a series a
02:55
round oh wow so you can imagine that
02:58
right
02:58
time is so great right yeah what a great
03:00
time and i remember like the onset of
03:02
cover coming and i'm telling my attorney
03:04
like we need to go ahead and get this
03:05
round closed
03:06
and we were able to successfully get it
03:08
closed and so we raised another 8
03:10
million
03:10
um for the company um congratulations
03:13
awesome
03:14
so yeah and we were fortunate right
03:15
because it actually put us in a good
03:18
financial cash position to continue to
03:20
grow the company
03:22
during covet and so we've added um
03:25
a little over 15 employees since march
03:28
happened
03:29
and so it's really been a whole another
03:31
test
03:32
to try to um literally build a plane
03:35
while you're
03:36
um while you're flying while you're
03:37
flying right and so like a whole other
03:39
layer to that
03:41
yeah build the plane while you're flying
03:43
while there's a whole bunch of weather
03:44
you didn't expect
03:45
while you're flying the plane so yes i
03:48
mean across the board from the pandemic
03:50
to the last matter movement and murder
03:54
of george floyd adriana taylor
03:56
to unprecedented hurricanes here in the
03:59
gulf oh i forgot
04:00
yeah it's great it's been a crazy crazy
04:03
year and the election it's just it's
04:05
it's a lot
04:05
it's a lie this is the craziest ass
04:07
election we've seen in our lifetime uh
04:09
i know people talk about craziness in
04:11
the election and politics but this is
04:13
this is a whole new level of crazy uh
04:16
that we need to change very quickly yeah
04:18
that
04:18
i tell folks and this is not an
04:19
equivalent i saw on your twitter that
04:21
you talked about
04:22
you know kanye running for president i
04:24
actually love kanye too but he's just
04:25
been
04:25
man kanye was my favorite artist you
04:28
know what people don't understand
04:30
like too i don't understand like how
04:32
much i just like
04:34
you know after katrina out from new
04:36
orleans so after katrina he was the one
04:38
on stage
04:39
don't care about black i was like that's
04:41
my boy
04:43
man i reminisce and then he went to the
04:47
second place i don't know what happened
04:48
to the brother i think he's i think he's
04:50
a genius and i don't know how we got
04:51
here but just very quickly on this i
04:52
think he's i think he's a
04:54
i think he is a genius and you know i
04:56
just think he just lost his way and when
04:58
you
04:58
you know it just tells you that no
04:59
matter what uh no matter how talented
05:02
you are
05:02
people need support they need mental
05:04
support they need spiritual support they
05:06
need
05:06
they need that and when you don't have
05:08
an anchor around you and i do really
05:10
fundamentally fundamentally believe that
05:11
his mother passing
05:13
it would have us like i'm really close
05:14
to my mom right like yeah
05:16
i can see and understand how that can be
05:18
a life-changing event in your life and
05:20
if
05:21
if you're not if your foundation is not
05:23
right that can that can knock you off i
05:24
mean you remember
05:25
i lost my mother at 21 right wow
05:28
wow well and i tell people all the time
05:31
that i feel that people who do lose
05:33
their mother
05:34
um or their the person that's closest to
05:36
them um
05:38
as i say like the person that i knew for
05:40
sure 100 had my back
05:41
no matter what right um it's taken from
05:44
you
05:45
that you generally go two ways
05:48
right either you spiral which is what i
05:51
think kind of happened to kind of to
05:53
your point
05:54
um are you just like plowed forward
05:56
right and so i've just seen like a
05:57
combination of those based on
05:59
people who i've known who are super
06:01
close to their mothers and they lost
06:03
them
06:04
unexpectedly which is how i lost my
06:05
mother absolutely yeah i mean that's
06:08
first of all i'm sorry for your loss it
06:09
doesn't become i would say you learn how
06:11
to cope but it's never easy i i actually
06:13
lost my sister this year
06:15
and and we lost her at the beginning of
06:17
2020
06:18
and it was it's it's hard for a lot of
06:20
reasons and also just to see the pain in
06:22
my parents eyes has been tough but
06:23
i can't imagine losing my mother that
06:25
early and this is this brings me to a
06:27
good point of something i wanted to
06:28
discuss with you
06:29
particularly how your upbringing may
06:31
have
06:32
influenced who you are right now i
06:34
didn't know the story of your mother
06:36
but i did uh do some research and found
06:38
out the story of
06:40
of your father passing away and
06:43
um someone was i can't remember the
06:44
person was some his adopted sister who i
06:46
think was put in charge of his estate
06:48
and then she took all the money if i
06:52
remember right and your mother fought
06:53
her
06:54
and then lost a lot of money and went
06:55
into debt fighting her
06:57
and since this you talked about your
06:58
mother can you just talk about those
07:00
experiences and how maybe it didn't play
07:02
into it but if it just played into your
07:04
life personally you can talk about that
07:05
fine but if you see some way that it
07:07
played into your
07:09
journey in terms of uh making you
07:11
resilient
07:12
together 100 um
07:16
and yeah i mean it's played definitely a
07:18
personal and professional
07:20
um just it's held a personal
07:23
professional place
07:24
in my life from a personal side um you
07:27
know i felt that
07:29
my father had did what he was supposed
07:31
to do right
07:33
um as this um
07:36
male figure wanting to leave more for
07:38
his family right
07:39
than what was like left to him he had
07:41
built a successful company um
07:44
and he unexpectedly passed away from a
07:47
stroke
07:48
right and so because he didn't have um
07:51
a lot of of his ends like tied up when
07:54
he passed away
07:55
that was able to happen right so my aunt
07:58
um basically oversaw
08:02
all of his assets um and instead of
08:05
doing what she was supposed to do right
08:07
divided up between his kids
08:09
which i'm sure most people who pass away
08:13
unless they have some rift with their
08:15
family and children
08:16
are building this legacy building
08:18
something so that their kids can have
08:20
something
08:21
which i knew that was the case with my
08:22
father and so i do
08:24
feel fundamentally that i would be a
08:27
different
08:28
person though had i came into
08:31
money right had i not had
08:34
essentially lived a very very like
08:37
modest
08:38
first generation college student going
08:41
to college on full pail grant
08:43
you know scraping up money mom not being
08:45
able to afford this or afford that
08:47
working constantly um to ensure that we
08:49
had
08:51
things that we did have that i don't
08:53
think i would be like the entrepreneur i
08:55
am today i don't think i would be
08:56
like you don't think you can have the
08:57
same drive you don't think i don't i
08:59
don't think i would have i think i would
09:01
be probably
09:02
just a little bit more a lot more
09:04
comfortable and
09:05
for me my parents passing away at a
09:07
young age
09:08
it made me as with anyone very
09:11
uncomfortable
09:11
and you know when they kind of tell you
09:13
about like um immigrants who come over
09:15
to the u.s
09:16
and then they have these huge successes
09:18
so they found google or they found
09:20
you know of that company i think it's a
09:22
mindset that you just don't have
09:23
anything right like
09:25
and it's like you don't have anything
09:26
you look back you can't go back
09:28
um you can't build out of your parents
09:31
uh basement
09:32
um you know these things that generally
09:35
would comfort
09:36
or be your safety net is no longer there
09:39
and i think that that just definitely
09:41
propelled me to
09:42
um work as hard as i work and want
09:45
desire things that i want
09:47
and like to leave a legacy um as you may
09:51
be a substitute right for my parents not
09:52
being there
09:53
and not having the ability to give it to
09:55
them so i have to give it i have to give
09:56
it to someone i have to build something
09:58
for
09:59
whether it's my team or whoever else um
10:01
and so i definitely think that uh
10:04
the loss of my father in that way how
10:06
were you when you lost your father
10:08
so i was eight oh wow i lost my father
10:11
and i was 21 my mother passed away wow
10:14
that's incredible it's
10:16
i mean you it's as you talked about
10:19
earlier when we talked about
10:20
mental health i think it's it's i think
10:22
it is harder for people that don't have
10:24
that and
10:25
less people by the numbers just show
10:26
come out of those situations
10:28
but when you can come out of those
10:29
situations you come out stronger
10:32
you come out more determined and
10:34
certainly that's been the case for you
10:35
but
10:36
take me back to when you were younger
10:38
let's say eight
10:39
all right around that age that formative
10:42
age eight nine ten eleven twelve
10:43
whatever
10:44
what did you wanna be when you grew up
10:46
when you grew up and what do you want to
10:47
be now
10:48
so then i i wanted to be an attorney
10:52
um don't ask me why i just felt like
10:56
maybe the only
10:57
person in the neighbor the only person i
10:58
knew who
11:00
had something more was like an attorney
11:02
right right
11:03
um and but as i progressed in my teens i
11:07
actually
11:07
did want to be more like an entrepreneur
11:10
um and just from like a little bit i did
11:12
know from my older siblings about like
11:15
my father
11:16
um i kind of got like the entrepreneur
11:18
bug pretty early on
11:20
um i kind of think it is it does run
11:22
through your dna so
11:23
i feel like i agree that's in my dna
11:25
which is why i think you still would
11:26
have been
11:27
i think you still would have done it i
11:28
think you i think you underestimate
11:30
yourself i think you would have done it
11:31
and perhaps you would have been able to
11:33
start earlier
11:34
and maybe learn different lessons but we
11:35
can't go back in life there's no yeah
11:37
maybe my dad's company i don't know
11:40
and then help him and scale it like i
11:42
think it's in your i think it's part of
11:43
you right if you're in the right
11:45
environment it could be nurtured and you
11:46
had enough of it where it was nurtured
11:47
despite
11:48
despite the challenges right you it was
11:50
still nurtured where you can see the
11:52
possibilities
11:53
your dad died but you saw him do it that
11:55
does mean something when you see
11:56
your dad do it and maybe when you saw
11:58
your mother fight i mean you don't want
11:59
to be in that position but it
12:01
showed you to keep fighting through
12:02
because your mother still i mean i
12:04
still made it through that even though
12:05
it was a hard time you know yeah
12:07
it kind of takes me something to
12:09
something that my pastor
12:10
um said once and he was like the way
12:14
people deal with disappointments are
12:15
going to
12:16
essentially uh determine their future
12:19
right
12:20
um and he would say like disappointments
12:23
are constant
12:24
disappointments are certain but
12:26
disappointments
12:27
can be conquered right and that's why i
12:29
do feel like the way i've dealt with
12:30
disappointments in life
12:32
um and i'm definitely not a crowd with
12:34
spilled milk although people are
12:35
definitely bigger than spilled milk
12:37
but i do feel like okay i'm gonna say
12:38
that's pretty sick that's a lot yeah
12:40
yeah i was like but i'm a big person
12:42
like cry get it out figure out how
12:44
you're gonna deal with
12:45
it um how you're gonna grieve whatever
12:47
it is it doesn't have to be a loss of a
12:49
person it could be a loss
12:50
of something your business right uh
12:52
people
12:53
have uh are impacted um
12:56
significantly many different ways
12:58
doesn't have to be necessarily like a
12:59
loss a death of someone
13:01
and my friends who have um experienced
13:04
like divorces et cetera that's also like
13:06
a loss
13:07
um and you have like grief whatever it
13:09
is that you're losing and so i think
13:11
about
13:12
um that in that in that sentiment right
13:14
and all these things are like
13:16
disappointments let downs
13:17
um but most importantly it's like oh how
13:20
do you grieve and how do you
13:22
um figure out like how do you move
13:24
forward right
13:25
so a related point to that can you think
13:28
of a time
13:29
maybe in your in your business or
13:31
professional life i mean you've had
13:32
obviously personal loss and tragedy can
13:35
you think of time
13:35
about a time when you had a failure or a
13:37
setback and how
13:39
you see that now as a set up for
13:42
a future opportunity that that that not
13:45
going right or not going as you
13:47
expected actually help to form who you
13:50
are
13:50
as an entrepreneur yeah you know one of
13:53
the most humbling things and i think
13:55
anyone who
13:56
has started one business and went out to
13:58
ready to do a second business
14:00
that they've had to raise capital for
14:01
right
14:03
raising capital is a humbling process oh
14:05
it's so humbling
14:06
oh it's so humbling i'll tell you about
14:08
mine in a second go ahead and it's like
14:10
oh yeah i want to hear that
14:11
um it's like people were just like
14:14
punching you in the gut right
14:18
and then i talk about like how
14:20
particularly for
14:21
us black uh founders it's like they keep
14:23
moving the finish line so you get them
14:25
what they need and they move finish line
14:26
father
14:27
it's always something right and so i
14:30
think that the failures that i
14:31
experienced in raising capital
14:33
um definitely made me an entrepreneur
14:35
that i am
14:36
in my tech company and why i have
14:40
purposely kept an office
14:42
um and remain in new orleans because
14:45
once i raised the capital i could have
14:46
been like
14:47
i'm out right i'm out i'm gonna go to
14:49
another place where there's more tech
14:51
founders more of this more debt
14:53
but i really felt that it was important
14:55
to like build something where i was so
14:57
that
14:58
we can have not just me being the only
15:01
black female that raised x y and z
15:03
capital in louisiana um and so now
15:06
i've raised more venture capital not
15:08
only of any black female founder
15:10
but of any female founder ever go ahead
15:13
we gotta have the
15:14
applause for that daddy that's awesome
15:16
you know it's applause but it's also sad
15:19
it is sad actually it is sad yeah it's
15:20
sad but you are breaking the narrative
15:22
because you're gonna you're helping to
15:23
change that which i respect that you're
15:24
staying
15:25
in in the israel state in ohio too i
15:27
respect that you're staying in the
15:28
ecosystem and helping to build
15:30
yeah and i think it took a lot of just
15:32
like
15:34
gut checks along the way a lot of
15:35
failures along the way
15:37
for me to still want to do that right
15:40
and so
15:41
i think that a lot of times we could
15:42
look at it and we're like okay
15:44
shoot when i have the opportunity to
15:45
leave i'm leaving i'm going to
15:47
san francisco i'm going to la i'm going
15:50
to new york whatever and we
15:52
open the office in new york but the
15:54
reason why we opened up the office in
15:55
new york
15:56
was so that we could send resources back
15:58
to new orleans
15:59
right and so now my new york team can
16:03
essentially um school my new orleans
16:06
team
16:06
on stuff that they never experienced
16:07
because they don't have the depth of
16:09
tech um you know they don't have the
16:11
depth of the tech ecosystem there
16:13
the way they do in new york and so it's
16:15
all about like how do you bring
16:16
resources to
16:17
where you're from to your community to
16:19
your people amen
16:21
and something you know we'll talk about
16:23
offline is you know
16:24
the goal of really disruption now where
16:26
we're starting a
16:27
platform to do that and really connect
16:29
just black and brown entrepreneurs just
16:30
that
16:31
and and help not only raise money but
16:33
help connect us because there's enough
16:35
there's a good amount of us but there's
16:37
not enough to where we can at least
16:39
make sure that we are connecting know
16:40
about each other and grow and build and
16:43
and that's how we're going that's how
16:44
we're going to take it to the next level
16:45
and we can do that
16:46
in person but we can also do that
16:47
digitally as well but i want to tell you
16:49
about my
16:50
my my quick story about raising money
16:52
and it hasn't been with
16:53
as a founder yet but that that's my next
16:56
that's my next venture
16:57
but i ran for office and i ran for uh
16:59
treasure in the state of ohio
17:00
uh actually got over 2 million votes
17:03
lost the race right but uh
17:04
it was a humbling experience running for
17:07
off i assumed
17:08
that all the contacts and uh i had would
17:11
make it easy to run for uh to raise
17:12
it was not easy i raised about two and a
17:14
half million dollars but it was taxing
17:16
it was it was the it was it's a hard
17:17
experience you know it's a
17:19
90 nose that's an accomplishment like
17:22
too many people
17:23
check the box like that's i mean what
17:25
you've done that's like
17:26
historical for a treasurer race like
17:28
like people running for governor stuff
17:29
like that so but
17:30
it was and what i learned is that have
17:32
you ever seen the wolf of wall street
17:34
i have yeah okay i haven't seen it but
17:36
there's this one line that that just
17:38
just keeps coming back to me he just
17:40
says like he said look your girlfriend
17:41
doesn't like you good
17:42
pick up the phone and start dialing you
17:44
can't pay the bill good pick up the
17:46
phone and start dialing like
17:47
i want you to handle your problems by
17:48
getting rich and what he was saying was
17:50
right like it's just
17:51
it's the sure persistence it is hard
17:53
though right i mean i can't tell you
17:54
the amount of times i would go and go i
17:56
i remember there was one contact i was
17:58
trying to get to give some money i must
18:00
have called this contact
18:01
50 times you would never return my call
18:03
he said you got to keep calling oh my
18:04
god
18:05
you never return a call but one day you
18:06
get 12 thousand dollars
18:08
right so it's one of those things that
18:09
you know you sometimes don't see it is
18:11
over months and months but you just got
18:13
to keep
18:13
you got to have a good product too i
18:15
mean i had a good but beyond that you
18:17
got to keep moving forward so
18:18
that's true though because it's kind of
18:20
like you got to just be persistent
18:21
because you think that person's not
18:23
seeing it but they are
18:24
and they're like man this person that's
18:26
what i'm saying
18:28
he has he has he he deserved this check
18:31
you know
18:31
like he doesn't work for this every
18:33
dollar of this [ __ ] and i think about
18:35
that when i
18:37
invest or like donate i think about that
18:39
like dang like this person deserves
18:41
every dollar of his effort
18:44
and so now that i'm putting this forward
18:46
it's made it easier people know my work
18:48
ethic right and they also know like okay
18:50
i have to tell them no or invest cause
18:51
like he's gonna keep
18:52
i'm not gonna stop working so people
18:54
know that and it's helped
18:56
but it was a the process part of it
18:58
though it's only the procedure like this
18:59
the process is like 98
19:01
and that's the part that people don't
19:02
understand it's just and it's grueling
19:04
it was very lonely it was very
19:06
challenging sitting in front of a desk
19:07
and just calling people for four hours
19:09
in a row sounds like it's easy but it is
19:10
not
19:11
so it is but it's uh but it taught me
19:14
because nothing's been harder than that
19:15
uh but let's go back to your when you
19:18
think solid ground
19:19
innovations was your first uh company is
19:20
that that corrects the future
19:24
take me back to that point and tell me
19:27
what you would tell your younger self
19:28
now what advice what advice would you
19:31
give your younger self
19:32
and then the second part of this
19:33
question what advice would you ignore
19:35
from others or maybe even from yourself
19:38
so shoot this may be like a double
19:41
answer
19:43
that's all right a good friend of mine
19:45
he's now
19:46
on like inc 500 companies he's also in
19:49
new orleans one of the top like events
19:51
pr
19:51
communications um company here and
19:55
we both have built our strategic
19:57
communications agencies
19:58
to like multi-million dollar companies
20:00
and we sit around
20:02
and we call ourselves like oh this is my
20:04
accountability partner
20:05
and you know same right here and one
20:08
thing that we said
20:09
that if we could do it again we would
20:11
have went in and worked for another
20:13
agency first
20:15
interesting that that's something most
20:17
people tell me tell me why
20:18
yeah to like learn what we didn't know
20:21
like it was so much we didn't know
20:22
because we were so he ended up starting
20:24
his agency because
20:26
he was bringing in all these sales for
20:29
um
20:30
another company not an agency but
20:32
another company right um
20:34
i believe like pharmaceuticals and he
20:36
didn't get a promotion that he had
20:37
passed up for
20:38
uh he got passed up for a promotion and
20:40
he was like what
20:41
like i've brought in more cells than
20:42
anybody here i'm leaving and he quit and
20:45
started his business like
20:46
within a matter of weeks for me i was
20:49
coming out
20:49
of um lsu um
20:53
i had built a rapport like in the
20:56
community and so i started doing like
20:58
strategic communications for non-profits
21:00
first
21:00
um then i started doing getting to
21:03
politics so i know the hustle too
21:05
oh yeah yeah you know i ran
21:06
communications for the first
21:08
uh black female mayor of baton rouge
21:10
louisiana um
21:11
and so i was doing that work but
21:15
we just talked about all the missteps
21:17
that we made just because we didn't know
21:19
what we didn't know
21:20
right right you know how to properly
21:23
price how to properly build
21:24
et cetera that is an art i'm learning
21:26
i'm look i'm i have an agency too that
21:28
does content marketing i
21:30
advise politics so we're very similar
21:31
there i looked at your record we hit we
21:33
have a lot in common here so
21:35
it is it's tricky learning how to price
21:37
right unless you know there's like
21:39
formulas and processes to do that you're
21:41
right
21:41
and so many processes about even like
21:43
starting a business and ensuring that
21:45
you have
21:46
your tax um liabilities uh set up and
21:49
particularly when you start hiring
21:50
people
21:51
because one thing that we did was that
21:54
the world we live now
21:55
more in this connected world where you
21:57
can find these contractors and
21:59
consultants that help you
22:00
drive your business then we were hiring
22:02
people like w-2 employees
22:05
you know as soon as we had the
22:06
opportunity oh yeah yeah um and building
22:08
like that and so we just
22:10
didn't know what we didn't know um and
22:12
fortunately
22:14
our companies we were able to get
22:16
through it right
22:17
right um and we were able to like still
22:19
build our companies and do x
22:21
y and z but you know we had a lot of
22:23
trials and tribulations along the way
22:25
um so it sounds like some advice you
22:27
ignore is to not not start a business
22:29
right
22:30
say well maybe i should ignore that that
22:33
my advice
22:34
and say no girl you just go out there
22:37
and
22:38
you just fake it till you make it but
22:40
you got to make it though right
22:42
yeah i can't tell like i've looked
22:44
because you know i started my my whole
22:46
career has been in public service before
22:47
this
22:48
for the most part it wasn't really a
22:49
career i mean i was a i was a lawyer and
22:51
did other stuff but i was always aiming
22:52
towards
22:54
uh being in public office in iran for
22:55
statewide office in ohio that's why i
22:57
did not prepare for that moment really
22:58
for the last 20 years
23:00
and then it obviously didn't turn out
23:02
the way i thought it would
23:03
uh but but all of that experience did
23:06
prepare me to do this so it's not like i
23:07
went right out and started a business
23:10
but you know i look at it and then
23:11
you're kind of helping me feel better
23:13
about it i was like well maybe i should
23:14
have started business earlier because
23:15
this is
23:15
something i could clearly do but you
23:16
know maybe i wouldn't be the person i
23:18
was unless i went through that
23:19
experience so
23:20
you know thank you for that you've given
23:22
me some motivation today yes
23:25
um so you had a um so
23:28
originally when you did the business uh
23:30
when you were looking at helping
23:31
nonprofits
23:32
you real you came to a point where you
23:34
realized that this can be
23:36
a software as a service this can be i
23:39
can use technology
23:40
uh to really um take this product and
23:43
scale it to the next level
23:45
but you're not a tech person right so
23:48
walk through the process because i think
23:49
people have to be
23:50
i think people going to go into business
23:53
and say well i'm not a tech person i
23:55
can't do that but i tell everybody if
23:57
they're in business you know you you are
23:58
two things no matter what you are
24:00
if you're an accountant you are a tech
24:02
company and you're a media company
24:04
if you're no matter what you are if
24:05
you're a non-profit you're still a tech
24:07
in your media because you have to know
24:09
these things
24:10
and do these things but take take us
24:12
through the fact that some people when
24:13
they when they think about
24:15
tech they just get into a you know their
24:17
they go against the wall
24:18
and figure i can't do tech i'm not a
24:19
tech person i just don't know that
24:22
talk to those people from a person for
24:24
you you're not a tech person
24:25
so on and so forth but you have a tech
24:27
company and you've raised now i don't
24:28
know how much you've raised now is it
24:30
eight or nine ten million dollars
24:31
however much you raised
24:32
you went from being quote unquote not a
24:34
tech person to running a tech company
24:36
take people through
24:37
that process and let them overcome that
24:41
barrier in their mind
24:42
that makes sense ah i think there's two
24:44
ways to get it as well so the first that
24:46
i always tell people
24:47
if you're out there and you're working
24:48
you're looking for a marketing job or a
24:50
sales job
24:51
sometimes people will not look at tech
24:53
companies because they think they have
24:53
to be technical too to join a tech
24:55
company
24:56
but there are so many roles inside of
24:58
tech companies where
24:59
you can fit right that you don't have to
25:01
have technical backgrounds to work at a
25:03
tech company
25:04
secondly starting a tech company um i
25:06
think back to something that my friend
25:08
shirelle dorsey said
25:09
um is coming on the show in a few weeks
25:12
it's all a small world this all this
25:14
this is a really small
25:15
scene um terrell had wrote about
25:18
our raise our series a raise and in the
25:21
article
25:22
she called me like the anti-thesis to
25:24
force
25:25
up for a text founder right so i'm black
25:29
i'm i'm woman i'm from the south i'm
25:32
non-technical and i'm a solo founder
25:34
so i'm like everything that they say you
25:37
should not be if you start a tech
25:39
tech company and so for me
25:42
my first company um solid ground
25:44
innovations we were communications um
25:47
and management agency
25:48
um but we had an arm called sgi cares
25:52
that essentially sold to non-profit
25:54
organizations
25:55
uh we were essentially providing
25:56
technical assistance our support
25:59
to their back office right in lieu of
26:00
full-time employees right and then we
26:02
were helping large
26:03
enterprise customers like grant makers
26:05
like your kellogg foundations your four
26:07
foundations your end of better health
26:09
your community coffees
26:10
devise not only how they gave their
26:12
money but who they gave it to
26:13
and then also helping them manage um
26:17
the success of those initiatives and
26:19
programs right so those awards
26:22
and as we began to grow as a company
26:25
we realized that we could no longer help
26:27
the smallest nonprofits
26:29
as a agency because we just didn't have
26:31
enough time to do everything that we
26:33
needed
26:33
um to do with organizations and
26:36
definitely not
26:37
based on their budgets right um we would
26:39
go under
26:40
right we would have went under so much
26:42
faster um than any
26:44
company could imagine if you're working
26:45
with different sectors
26:47
um and so we started to think about how
26:50
we could essentially productize
26:52
the service and deliver through a
26:54
software solution
26:55
and so in november 2016 i was talking to
26:59
my marketing director and he was like
27:01
hey
27:01
he was i was telling him about the idea
27:04
um and he was like hey i went to
27:06
stanford
27:07
i got a buddy he's a software engineer
27:09
he could probably help you think through
27:10
this idea that you have
27:12
um for a tech company and then it was we
27:14
were even calling a tech company a
27:15
product
27:16
um so i went out to the bay i sat down i
27:19
met with ishmael
27:20
who would stay on board for a very long
27:22
time and is still advisor to the company
27:24
um and he created a 30-page
27:27
specifications deck
27:28
with wireframes for exam for essentially
27:32
what will become exempt me now first and
27:33
we then
27:34
rebrand to resilia um and so i came back
27:37
to louisiana sat on it for a while
27:39
then began to look for an engineering
27:42
team
27:43
now one hiccup that i face that many
27:47
others can avoid is that because i
27:49
wasn't technical
27:50
when i went out to higher engineering
27:52
team it was hard to
27:53
manage them right i couldn't imagine
27:55
that they have one up on
27:56
you because you can't read you can't see
27:58
if they are doing their sprints when
28:00
they're supposed to or delivering and
28:01
they're giving you excuses
28:03
for missing deadlines and you're like
28:04
well shoot this is legitimate or not
28:06
because
28:06
you're not technical one thing that
28:08
helped me
28:09
greatly was going back to ishmael and
28:12
hiring him as a technical consultant
28:15
to oversee my engineers and so because
28:18
he was essential he was on my side right
28:22
and so
28:22
he ensured that these were accountable
28:25
that they stayed on track
28:26
he reported back to me and he helped me
28:28
a lot to
28:30
bring up my lingo right and
28:32
understanding of the tech side
28:34
of tech right right um but for me
28:38
i was like okay i'm about to take this
28:40
service i'm about to productize it and
28:42
deliver it through a software solution
28:43
because we are seeing
28:45
every sector that we could imagine
28:46
getting disrupted by technology
28:48
so either i'm gonna be a disruptor or
28:50
i'll be disrupted by it so let me pick
28:52
my
28:52
you know pick which one i want uh to do
28:55
and i wanted to be a disrupter
28:57
and you know the rest
29:00
is history um but for me it definitely
29:04
was
29:04
this thinking around okay how can i
29:07
utilize technology to solve the problems
29:09
that i was seeing in our industry that
29:11
were very
29:12
antiquated what we were using was
29:13
antiquated and dated um
29:16
and how could i democratize the
29:17
nonprofit philanthropy state space in
29:19
the process
29:21
and so what i feel like for sas i think
29:24
that's going to be
29:24
very common so for anyone that's like oh
29:26
i'm not technical
29:28
how can i start a tech company you're
29:30
going to see more and more and you
29:31
are people who are industry experts in
29:33
their space
29:34
who don't have a technical background
29:36
but understand the problems that exist
29:38
in their sector yeah jewel burke solomon
29:42
who
29:42
i'm sure you know uh with uh google
29:44
startups was on the show and she had a
29:46
really great line about
29:48
looking at uh as an entrepreneur solving
29:51
a problem she said you know fall in love
29:52
with the problem not the solution
29:54
yeah and really understanding is so
29:57
looking at it from the technical
29:58
background to
29:59
further expound on what you said it's
30:01
really you don't need to know
30:03
c plus or whatever code you want to say
30:05
or some code or html or whatever or you
30:07
don't need to know
30:08
artificial intelligence what's more
30:10
important but what is the real issue is
30:13
what problem are you trying to solve
30:15
what's the journey for your ideal person
30:17
customer
30:18
what are the barriers that they're
30:19
having what are the issues really
30:21
following falling
30:22
falling in love with figuring out all
30:24
the problems and the journey that that
30:26
target ideal customer is once you know
30:29
that
30:29
you'll the right solution will come
30:31
about you know that's that's not me
30:32
that's from dual works oliver
30:33
yeah if you're good at building teams
30:35
right you're good good at like putting
30:36
together people
30:38
um and that's why i felt that i was
30:40
really good at
30:41
executing an idea yes
30:45
so um but you but but you built you were
30:47
able to get
30:48
get this and have some money through
30:50
actually already having a business so
30:53
talk about the process do you think it's
30:55
still more important before you raise
30:56
money to have some money
30:58
first or how would you go about advising
31:01
overall the best approach to raising
31:03
money because you've obviously been
31:04
successful
31:06
so having money first do you mean
31:08
putting your own money into your company
31:10
first
31:10
and then so my friend harold and i
31:14
harold who's um he's your accountability
31:16
partner
31:17
well i think that
31:21
we're just like founders in the struggle
31:23
right i think everybody's like found us
31:25
in the struggle
31:26
um and we were having this conversation
31:28
um on clubhouse
31:30
and via a separate chat in which we were
31:34
he was saying no don't use your own
31:36
money don't use your own money
31:37
and i'm like harold so you invested in
31:40
startups where you don't where the
31:41
founders don't have any skin in the game
31:42
like none he was all right when you say
31:45
it like that
31:46
but i think because founders that don't
31:49
look like us
31:50
white founders go out and they don't
31:52
have to do it any of their money
31:54
into their companies right and they go
31:56
out and essentially
31:57
raise money off ideas i don't think we
32:00
have that luxury
32:01
and even with this newfound wave of
32:03
optimism around black founders
32:06
we'll see i'm skeptical but go ahead
32:09
they're still not going to be giving us
32:11
money off of no idea so
32:13
you kind of don't have a choice um
32:16
but to put money something
32:19
into your startup to get it off the
32:21
ground um particularly if you're not
32:23
technical right because who's gonna
32:25
actually
32:25
build it if it's software um and so i'm
32:28
still a believer that yeah you should be
32:30
like the first
32:31
your first investment into your company
32:33
now looking back
32:35
would i have invested as much as i've
32:36
invested
32:38
maybe maybe not right um and then
32:41
harrisburg like he was dipping into like
32:43
his 401k
32:44
he was pulling money off here he sold
32:45
the house he used the the earnest
32:47
house and put it into the tech company
32:49
and so that's exactly what rodney
32:51
williams did too i'm not sure if i'd do
32:52
that either like
32:53
yeah just go yeah and so that's this is
32:55
what we were doing right
32:56
and so if looking back would i have done
32:59
that again
33:00
maybe because i'm here now and i've been
33:02
able to like recoup it
33:04
but if i had failed i would have been
33:07
hurt
33:09
i mean it's easy to say because it went
33:10
because it went well but you know that
33:13
because it went well it's like yeah you
33:16
took the shot and you made it but
33:17
if you're like uh lebron james you pass
33:19
it danny green missing you don't make it
33:20
to the
33:21
you know you don't win the finals and
33:22
everybody's saying that i wasn't the
33:23
right shot who knows
33:24
yeah i think that there's something to
33:26
say about being persistent
33:28
um and continuously on in
33:32
the realm of means right um and so
33:35
i think that we have to and we have
33:38
become more creative right
33:40
donned going um crowdfunding like going
33:43
that route
33:44
and so there are more there are just way
33:46
more options today than there was when i
33:48
was
33:48
uh oh yeah yeah that's definitely true
33:50
yeah you made it it's amazing
33:52
that you came to this point because
33:53
there were a whole lot less options then
33:55
that's that that's that's certainly
33:56
that's certainly the case and then it
33:58
was only like five years ago it's kind
33:59
of crazy
34:00
yeah five years is a hell a year ago
34:03
look at 2019 2020 i mean
34:08
it moves at an exponential rate um
34:11
so when you see founders because you're
34:13
also an investor right
34:15
i am i would consider myself a angel
34:17
operator
34:18
okay so when you from what you've seen
34:22
and from your experience from raising
34:23
money uh
34:25
what do founders do wrong most often
34:28
when they go about raising money
34:30
um they think they know it all and they
34:33
don't
34:34
right right and i say that because i was
34:36
listening into a founder to talk about
34:38
how they wanted to raise capital and how
34:40
they didn't want for investors to like
34:42
draw them alone how they were sending
34:43
them these updates et cetera
34:45
but i told that person i was like well
34:48
include me on your updates i'll give you
34:49
some feedback
34:50
and they sent me their update and i'm
34:52
like
34:54
no investor is going to take this update
34:56
seriously just because
34:58
it wasn't in a traditional format it was
35:01
it was very
35:02
like vague um he was trying to have like
35:04
conversation updates and that's not how
35:06
you know you send out updates it's like
35:08
here's what we're doing here's some
35:09
bullet points here's some metrics
35:11
here's some updates or wish you could
35:13
help like you keep it simple short
35:15
and it seems like that because he had no
35:16
idea that his
35:18
update could be like literally shooting
35:20
him in the foot right
35:22
um and so i think it's a lot about
35:25
not knowing thinking that we're actually
35:28
like killing it
35:29
but maybe not so much right maybe
35:33
maybe we need to send this around to a
35:35
couple other founders
35:37
who have um some insights around
35:40
they don't even have to raise a lot of
35:41
money maybe they won one pitch
35:43
competition maybe
35:44
they know how to put together a deck you
35:46
know you can google some of the stuff
35:48
as well or follow like first round um
35:51
or y combinator and they have a lot of
35:52
these resources on their website
35:54
um and so i do feel that sometimes some
35:57
of the biggest mistakes that we make
35:58
are in just ensuring that we run like a
36:02
tight
36:03
ship when we're fundraising and then
36:06
also
36:06
having together like your deal room like
36:09
people die
36:10
because of their deal room on the grave
36:12
vine we're trying to raise capital
36:14
because investors what do you mean by
36:15
deal room so
36:17
your deal room is basically your where
36:19
your due diligence is so when people ask
36:21
about where your financials are can you
36:23
send over your financials can you send
36:25
over your go to market strategy can you
36:26
send over your team bios can you send
36:28
over this this and that right
36:30
that go all of that information all
36:31
those files go inside of your deal room
36:34
um and that's the due diligence that is
36:37
going to be done
36:38
on your company to see if it's viable
36:39
for investment and so sometimes
36:42
like you know i'll be looking at
36:44
something and if i'm like oh i'm
36:45
interested
36:46
i heard that you do some investing um
36:49
here's my deck
36:50
right and so they're like oh i got this
36:51
deck and i was like oh well can you
36:53
share x y and z with me
36:55
and then i don't hear from ever again
36:58
right uh because they they didn't think
37:00
about oh crap well people might ask for
37:02
other stuff
37:03
and so you definitely have to have a
37:04
tight deal room and i do feel that if
37:07
you have a tight deal room
37:08
um it's going to get you at least
37:10
further in the investment process
37:12
got it sometimes investors that's how
37:14
they weed you out they'll ask for
37:15
something like okay let's see
37:16
that makes sense i mean yeah that makes
37:19
sense okay that's that that's
37:20
that's good advice um so
37:23
what do you think is the most important
37:25
in building a team or
37:26
bringing on a co-founder you don't have
37:28
a co-founder but you do build a team
37:30
so what do you look for what's most
37:32
important alignment with the mission
37:35
character or some some skill set that is
37:38
missing
37:38
yeah so we always look heavy for culture
37:41
fit
37:42
um like cultures first get along with
37:44
others on our team
37:45
do they embody like the mission of what
37:47
we're building are they excited about
37:49
what we're building
37:50
um and then from there we actually look
37:53
at
37:53
everything else right and so so how do
37:55
you evaluate the cultural fit to help
37:57
walk me through that seems like a
37:58
process that
37:59
has a lot of intangibles but maybe you
38:00
have a process to how you figure out
38:02
culture fit how do you go about that
38:04
i mean it could be something as simple
38:05
as like oh we believe that black lives
38:07
matter
38:08
right you're probably not a culture fit
38:12
i'm not you know you're probably not a
38:14
culture fan if you don't believe that
38:16
for us
38:17
um but it's also like you believe that
38:20
technology should be accessible for
38:21
everyone right irregardless of like
38:23
handicaps irregardless of
38:25
um you know other key things that may be
38:29
um prohibiting someone to access say
38:32
our website or something like that
38:34
nature right um you believe
38:36
that we can essentially democratize our
38:39
space
38:40
um in a way that brings more
38:42
transparency and oversight and equitable
38:44
practices
38:45
for organizations led by brown and black
38:48
people
38:49
by um lgbtqtq
38:52
community so whatever that may be right
38:54
and so these are things that we're
38:56
looking for
38:57
in the makeup of people who are coming
39:00
into our company
39:01
just because if you are stalch like
39:04
pro-trump
39:04
running around with flag outside you're
39:06
probably not going to figure it
39:08
out you're not a fit with us either so
39:09
don't feel bad yeah
39:11
i remember my team member one of my team
39:13
members and she was african-american
39:16
and she had worked in other tech
39:17
companies before and
39:19
the week after george floyd
39:22
was murdered i gave a talk right on our
39:25
all hands
39:26
about my me growing up in the south
39:29
right and dealing with racism
39:30
etc and she said that she just like
39:32
clutch like she was just like cringing
39:34
because she was like how are people
39:36
going to take this right
39:37
like if they're going to like back like
39:39
i'm like
39:40
first of all take what say what like
39:43
you know if you have a problem with what
39:46
i said this is probably not
39:47
the turn down for what there you go i
39:49
like it there you go yeah
39:50
and i was like this is why more black
39:53
founders need to be in position
39:54
to build companies because the fact that
39:57
she like was scared
39:58
right she didn't know how people were
39:59
going to receive it because you're so
40:01
used to like a white man getting in and
40:03
saying like whatever
40:04
the pr person scripted him to say which
40:06
they would have told you
40:07
well you shouldn't say this you know
40:08
that this guy yeah like we're not
40:09
dealing with that like coin um
40:11
basic there's like we're not talking
40:13
about this in our our
40:15
uh in our company right and so that's
40:17
the he's they're building that culture
40:19
that oh we don't talk about politics we
40:21
don't talk about social issues with
40:23
inside of our company right that's a
40:24
culture
40:25
that right they're now building around
40:27
that although he also
40:29
two months after george floyd made a
40:31
whole point i don't even think that
40:32
that's really like
40:33
this is what this is what makes me uh
40:35
what irritates me on that
40:37
because i think when i i've talked to
40:40
some of my
40:40
white colleagues about this that you
40:42
associate politics with my humanity this
40:44
is an issue like we're not
40:46
black lives matter is not political to
40:47
me no it's about
40:49
do you believe like we're not talking
40:50
about cutting taxes that's not that's
40:52
not that's not the discussion here so
40:54
right and so if we if we were like okay
40:56
like i get that like i don't think i
40:58
don't think if somebody has the view
40:59
that we should get more in taxes less in
41:01
taxes that
41:01
right right but if someone is someone
41:04
has a view on understanding
41:06
uh equality humanity and they don't
41:08
understand that we
41:09
if we're not having that discussion then
41:11
by default we're gonna have a
41:14
we're gonna have an environment that's
41:14
gonna be less inclusive and you're
41:16
saying that's okay
41:17
and see that's the problem i get into is
41:18
not when they tie everything that's
41:21
dealing with
41:21
our issues when we're talking about just
41:23
not being killed by police that's not
41:24
political
41:25
no like equal pay like how did how does
41:28
equal pay
41:29
political like me wanting to
41:35
have equivalent pay to my counterpart
41:37
who does the same job what
41:39
how is this even political how did we
41:42
make
41:42
covenanting political like like wearing
41:45
a mask
41:45
like data is suddenly suddenly political
41:47
so yeah yeah crazy it's crazy
41:50
it is crazy but it is where we are
41:51
because
41:53
this is why disruption is about two
41:54
things and the platform's about two
41:56
things but we're about disrupting
41:58
common narratives and constructs because
41:59
the narratives reinforce
42:01
the constructs what you just said when
42:03
people talk about politics
42:04
and they equate us talking about equity
42:07
and equality
42:08
those are not political that's about our
42:09
existence and that's why i i pushed back
42:12
hard when people
42:13
i had one show called white christians
42:15
and privilege with
42:16
with a pastor to get him to understand
42:19
like listen like
42:20
this is i don't care what your politics
42:22
is if you're a republican
42:23
libertarian none of you should be okay
42:26
with the president that can't denounce
42:27
white supremacy like this is
42:28
don't i don't i don't i don't understand
42:30
what you don't understand like this is
42:32
not a
42:33
and so louisiana they didn't vote for
42:36
david duke
42:37
because they were like all right all
42:38
right all right all right he might get
42:40
elected now
42:41
shoot maybe no they voted for him at the
42:44
state level but they were like okay we
42:45
can't send this man to congress we can't
42:47
they're like so we're going to vote for
42:48
the crook because we're not going to
42:49
vote for the racist
42:51
i think a crook over racism
42:55
but the thing is people people
42:57
understand right they'll let you know
42:58
that people they understand
43:02
exactly there are differences here
43:05
exactly so let's talk a little bit about
43:07
leadership development and
43:08
self-awareness so
43:10
one of my statements is that you know
43:12
part of being self-aware is
43:14
having people around you those
43:15
accountability partners that wound you
43:17
with the truth from time the truth that
43:18
you may not want to hear
43:20
uh can you think of the last time that
43:22
happened and what that truth might have
43:23
been
43:25
the last time that that has happened um
43:30
so i would probably say
43:34
shoot my investor's always trying to
43:37
send me
43:37
like double rounds of truth right um
43:40
but yeah so i'll use that as an example
43:43
and
43:44
that was primarily around like um
43:48
how we were hiring like they want us to
43:49
hire from
43:51
the top down but were like oh you should
43:53
hire a vp
43:54
instead of this um operations role that
43:57
was much higher so like ahead
43:59
and i was like okay but we find someone
44:01
that admits then they meet the bill
44:03
etc but that was like one of those hard
44:05
facts where
44:06
my investor this particular investor
44:09
just like his mechanics around hiring i
44:12
was like okay
44:13
i get it i get it now so this is like
44:15
that definitely was like a hard truth
44:18
around
44:18
just kind of sitting back and like
44:20
running the full process
44:22
and then taking in consideration of like
44:24
what
44:25
he was thinking around who we should
44:27
hire and what that person should look
44:28
like and what
44:29
it shouldn't look like um and so i feel
44:31
like i always face like hard truths with
44:34
my investors related to like business or
44:36
what i'm looking at
44:38
um in general um i'm trying to think of
44:40
like a personal like hard truth
44:45
i'm trying to say let's talk somebody
44:46
warned you with the truth i'll ask a
44:47
different version of kind of this
44:48
question
44:50
what's an important truth you have that
44:53
a lot of people disagree with you on
44:55
so i actually believe that
44:59
people should have the right to express
45:02
how they feel
45:04
okay um i think about this and
45:07
i'm not sure if you're on a club
45:09
clubhouse i'm not yet you can give me
45:11
there i haven't been there
45:11
i've heard about it i'll invite you on
45:14
particularly because of what you're
45:15
doing here
45:16
um so i'll hustle some invites because
45:19
you know it's still a hustle game
45:20
so one controversial conversation on
45:23
clubhouse which is an audio platform
45:26
um social media platform was that
45:29
essentially they should ban people right
45:31
so they should ban people
45:33
from talking about specific things right
45:35
and so that could be like jews and
45:37
blacks
45:37
and then it escalates into things that
45:39
become anti-semitic and i agree with
45:42
that like yeah if you going down that
45:43
hole you might you probably need to get
45:45
shut down before you go down that hole
45:46
right
45:47
but i don't believe in like muting
45:50
people
45:51
um unless it's like going to do
45:54
some physical damage um because i want
45:58
to know i want to know who across the
45:59
street from me
46:00
that's exactly how i feel like what what
46:03
tell me more tell me more of how you
46:06
really feel
46:06
right and so i feel that we are in a
46:09
time
46:09
where it's like oh that person was
46:13
i think it becomes dangerous when it's
46:14
like oh well that person was accused of
46:16
x y and z they can't get on this
46:17
platform
46:18
i'm like how are you not allowed to get
46:20
on a public platform
46:21
can they not use google i mean it just
46:23
it's not gonna be terrible
46:25
to me um and that was like russell
46:27
simmons came onto the platform oh my god
46:29
it was like
46:30
oh they're probably like oh yeah i can i
46:33
can see how that could cause contrast
46:34
and so i got it and i got it like i
46:36
completely understood like the whole
46:38
sentiment behind it
46:39
but i'm like man this is interesting
46:40
because it creates
46:42
a it's a conversation right of like what
46:45
is allowable and what's not um and it's
46:48
such a hard
46:50
it's such a hard thing to actually align
46:53
to walk because
46:55
it's like yeah definitely like that's
46:57
triggering that's like triggering for a
46:58
lot of people
46:59
um but then someone else might do
47:02
something like thing they
47:03
may have actually not knew that that was
47:05
triggering
47:06
um but they learned today right and so
47:08
you can learn today
47:10
and so it might be a very good learning
47:13
opportunity for someone um but we're
47:15
just such a like call out culture where
47:17
people want to like ruin
47:18
you that people can't learn publicly
47:21
um you can't learn those type of lessons
47:24
right
47:24
in in the public um even if it wasn't
47:27
intentional that you were trying to
47:29
learn that lesson
47:30
in the public eyes um and so
47:33
yeah i think that that's probably
47:34
something that most people
47:36
don't necessarily i actually agree with
47:37
you too i've had someone say i want to
47:39
say will hayes said something similar
47:41
like this
47:42
and you know people are naturally or
47:45
like people think they're
47:46
it's actually natural to be irrational
47:47
how else can you explain i don't know
47:49
all of human history
47:50
trump is president i don't know here
47:51
here and there i mean there is
47:54
people well i think i had robert greene
47:56
on the show and he had um
47:58
his latest book was the laws of human
48:00
nature and and the second rule
48:01
talks about irrationality he said the
48:03
first rule of
48:04
uh to be rational was to first
48:06
understand that you are irrational
48:08
so i think trying to just take people
48:10
out
48:11
because they have these beliefs i mean i
48:13
think it's also more important there's
48:14
some people that are just now they're
48:15
just going out here trying to cause
48:17
trouble whatever then i think you're
48:18
those people but if some people have
48:19
these beliefs because of something
48:22
that's triggering in their background
48:23
we have to understand this because it's
48:24
not like we can just we still gotta live
48:26
with these people they still they're
48:27
still next door
48:28
right they're still there and so
48:30
figuring that out
48:32
i mean i chat like i know some people
48:34
that are trump supporters
48:36
and i say very plainly trump is racist
48:38
and they say and a guy got offended with
48:40
me for all these reasons say well you
48:41
know i feel like you call me a racist
48:42
said this is what i said i said trump is
48:44
racist
48:44
and i said i got all these reasons and i
48:46
have all these facts yes
48:48
you can choose to accept them or not but
48:50
this is what it is
48:51
and so that that not a deal breaker for
48:54
you it's not but
48:56
don't get offended if i tell you what i
48:58
believe is a fact
48:59
based upon what i've seen and what i've
49:01
heard absolutely
49:03
right and i so i have these
49:04
conversations and i'm but i'm not afraid
49:06
and i think
49:07
people on the progressive side on the
49:08
left like i will have a conversation
49:09
with
49:10
i have a conversation with a racist for
49:11
this reason like i want to embarrass him
49:14
or her for their beliefs and i'll have
49:16
that public exchange
49:17
to show you why everything they believe
49:20
is without
49:21
any type of substance and it's something
49:23
you shouldn't believe and i can do that
49:25
without
49:26
canceling their voice i'll cancel their
49:27
voice through my persuasion and argument
49:29
that's how i think we got to be
49:31
yeah i agree with that i think that's
49:32
not particularly if you're on clubhouse
49:34
it's like if there was a trump room oh
49:36
man they would try to get it shut down
49:37
but there should be a trump rule if
49:39
there's one i want to hear
49:41
[Laughter]
49:43
hey it's it what do you mean
49:46
oh this is why supremacist room yeah
49:48
probably but
49:49
he's still the president of the united
49:51
states and
49:52
millions of people voted for him and
49:54
even when prayerfully he's going to lose
49:56
40 to 45 percent of the country is
49:58
voting for him
50:00
that's a fact right and you can't mute
50:03
those people so
50:04
that's probably something i i believe
50:07
that i held that yeah you should meet
50:09
those people
50:10
and i'm an ohio this is i think this uh
50:12
uh cevitra
50:13
i think this is because where you're
50:14
from you're in louisiana like
50:16
i'm i'm in cincinnati if i muted every
50:19
person like that like
50:21
i probably couldn't do business like
50:22
just a lot of people like that you gotta
50:23
you have to learn how to deal
50:25
and communicate and i say shut down
50:26
their points in a way without without
50:29
without muting them just mute them
50:31
through
50:32
beating them in the argument like that's
50:34
what we got to do exactly i was like
50:35
that's why
50:36
you know trump won is because of that
50:38
because of that right that mentality
50:40
around
50:41
um just like oh they don't exist you
50:43
know muting them
50:45
not ignoring i'm like okay that's how
50:46
trump won the first time
50:48
yeah we're not going we're not going to
50:49
pretend here we're not going to live in
50:50
a bubble
50:52
we were like well yeah i'm in cincinnati
50:56
which by the way is as far as you can go
50:57
in the north and still be in the south
50:59
like
50:59
i wasn't one of those people that was
51:01
like surprised and
51:02
if you don't pay attention and you stay
51:04
in your own bubble we can also do the
51:06
same thing we can just
51:07
keep reinforcing things that we believe
51:09
to be true
51:11
like these people are are the outliers
51:13
they're not we got to figure out how to
51:15
engage them
51:15
uh as we wrap up a couple more questions
51:18
uh you have a committee of three living
51:20
or dead to advise you
51:21
on business or life who are these three
51:23
people and why
51:25
um my mother melody hopson
51:29
and oh she'd be a good one um
51:32
maybe like bill gates because he's like
51:34
the king of philanthropy
51:36
okay uh final question you have a
51:39
billboard or google ad that
51:41
summarizes or states your beliefs what
51:44
is that statement
51:46
why um get out of your own way
51:50
get out of your own way yeah hopefully
51:52
self-explanatory
51:53
yeah that is that is uh i do have one
51:56
final question to um
51:57
you you you said when you first started
51:59
that you when you started the business
52:01
you wanted to
52:02
you felt like you can make change and be
52:04
in charge of doing it all at the same
52:05
time
52:06
you still feel that way um i do
52:09
i do i'm still hopeful
52:11
[Laughter]
52:13
ceviche wilson is a pleasure having you
52:15
on thanks so much thank you

HOSTED BY

ROB RICHARDSON

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“She Founded 2 Companies!”

Sevetri Wilson is the founder of Solid Ground Innovations, LLC (SGI), a strategic communications and management firm with offices in Baton Rouge and New Orleans that she founded in 2009. Sevetri possesses expertise in strategic communications, brand marketing, technology, public affairs and project management. In her role at Resilia , Sevetri sets the vision for the company, builds and manages the team, and leads the company’s execution against its strategy. Additionally, Sevetri provides strategic oversight for client project execution while facilitating new market entry and client cultivation. Her technical strengths include business development, communications strategy, market analytics and trends, advocacy and community outreach, team building and coaching, process analysis and project management.  

Some of Sevetri’s clientele over the years have included Fortune 100 and 500 companies, small businesses, government agencies, political figures, and not for profit organizations. Her work and that of her clients has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times and CNN. In 2010, Sevetri received the National Nobel Prize for Public Service, The Jefferson Award for advocacy and community outreach for the curriculum design she created for a nonprofit and was featured in the Senate’s report to the White House on volunteerism in the country. In the same year, Sevetri received a proclamation from New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, and was further recognized by former U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu. In 2013, Sevetri received Business Woman of the Year from the Louisiana Legislative Women’s Caucus.  

SGI, the company Sevetri founded in 2009, has received dozens of accolades and awards and has been named to the LSU 100: Fastest Growing Tiger Businesses in the world by the university’s Stephenson Entrepreneurship Institute(SEI) for three consecutive years.  

In 2016, Sevetri was appointed to Governor John Bel Edwards’ Economic Development Transition team where she worked with 16 other business leaders from across the state to create recommendations for economic growth in the state of Louisiana. In 2017, Sevetri was appointed to Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome’s transition staff after leading communications in a successful campaign bid for Mayor-President of East Baton Rouge Parish.

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Rob Richardson

Entrepreneur & Keynote Speaker

Rob Richardson is the host of disruption Now Podcast and the owner of DN Media Agency, a full-service digital marketing and research company. He has appeared on MSNBC, America this Week, and is a weekly contributor to Roland Martin Unfiltered.

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