TE 24: Jodi-Tatiana Charles-Defining Who You Are

HELLO, CREATIVE REBELS!

The show opening for today’s podcast was the voice of Jordan’s sister, Morgan.

Morgan obtained her first job outside of family employment, after applying to work for Chick-Fil-A four times! The first time she applied, she was denied. The second time, Chick-Fil-A lost her application. The third time she applied, there was no response.

The fourth time Morgan applied, she messed up on three different applications, and after filling out the app for a fourth time, she became frustrated and didn’t want to turn it in. Jordan and Morgan’s mom encouraged her to turn it in and, now, Morgan has accomplished an item she placed on her bucket list just five days prior to applying – she’s working at Chick-Fil-A!

“Way to go, Morgan,” Jordan says, “I’m proud of you for taking action!”

PENCILS FOR PROMISE CAMPAIGN (2:00)

Jordan reminds the Creative Rebels to continue to help raise funds to build a school through Pencils for Promise. The purpose of the foundation is to build schools, train teachers and fund scholarships.

To date, since 2009, Pencils for Promise has built 242 schools, taught 29,000 students and provided more than 16 million hours of education.

Jordan says he and P4P founder, Adam Braun have lots in common, especially the desire to make a positive impact on the world, and believing that people should have access to an education.

The Teenage Entrepreneur goal is to raise $5,000 by October 1, 2014. To date, only $500 has been contributed, but, Jordan says, “I know we’ll reach our goal.”

You can contribute any amount, no matter how large or small, by visiting the TE fundraising page at http://www.teenpodcast.com/promise.

INTRODUCTION TO JODI-TATIANA CHARLES (4:20)

Jod-Tatiana Charles is the founder and brandographer of LaCapoise Galarie and Embargo List.

Her first company, LaCapoise Calarie, is a marketing and branding firm for non-profits, small businesses and entrepreneurs, to learn about marketing and branding their own company and their cultural brand.

Embargo List is a speakers bureau for high-impact, high-growth entrepreneurs. The company connects entrepreneurs with media contacts looking for entrepreneurs as sources for their various media properties.

LaCapoise Galarie is nearly five years old and has experienced continue growth over the years.

JODI’S BACK STORY (6:30)

Jodi is a first generational US-born child of Haitian immigrants. She says that she was the type of kid who would talk to everybody, wanting to know all about them. “I love to be engaged with my surroundings,” she says.

As an adult, she has been a teacher (2nd grade), radio producer, TV producer, Deputy Press Secretary for Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and an entrepreneur, founding two companies to date.

She says her childhood curiosity is what let to where she is now. Describing her curiosity as an adult, Jodi-Tatiana references two trips away from the US to describe her explorer’s spirit and how she has found herself separated from the group with which she was traveling on several occasions.

Teenage Entrpreneur host, Jordan Agolli refers to Jodi-Tatiana as someone like him, “a wanderer.”

TWINS (10:00)

Jodi says she “was happy they let me graduate” from high school. Describing the perfect social butterfly, she says she was a part of every group and organization on campus – “the person who brought people together.”

At graduation, she was allowed to invite whomever she wanted to a party at her home. She invited 300. “Jocks, druggies, techies… every single culture” attended her party.

“I never wanted to be part of just one group. I wanted to be part of everyone’s group, and it was great that I had friends in every single culture,” Jodi explains.

She says, “it didn’t make sense to me to be only with one set of people, and have one certain group of ideas. It’s not the way the world works, so why would I want to create friendships that way?”

Saying she “got by” her professors in high school, Jodi admits she was “definitely not” and “A” student. “I loved learning,” she says, describing herself as a sponge. But, she says, “I was not a book head. I had to read 3 or 4 times to be able to comprehend what I was reading.”

That didn’t make her a poor learner, however. She recalls wisdom gained from her dad, “make sure you have something you’ve learned, and that you will retain it forever.”

She says the teachers that took the time to find a way for her to learn, “I remember moments, the time spent, but the lessons – not really.”

When Jordan asks what she meant by “getting by,” Jodi responds, “It’s not pulling something over their eyes, but, they figured out who Jodi was and used all my skill sets” to learn forever.

Jordan and Jodi both wonder if they might be twins because their philosophies are so similar.

TO COLLEGE, OR NOT TO COLLEGE? (14:00)

Saying college was “not right for me” at the time she graduated high school, Jodi was told that she couldn’t stay at home and do nothing. So, she would take a few classes at school while she worked random jobs and save money for the purpose of traveling abroad.

Jodi says she travelled “a lot.”

But, “when I was ready, and I felt I had something to offer to my classes, I went back [to college],” she says.

Jodi eventually began work on a double major of Communications and Journalism, and Sociology at Suffolk University in Massachusetts.

During the time of her education, she began an internship in a popular Boston radio station. Then, about eight months into her internship, the station fired the producer and placed Jodi in the position. Jodi became the producer of the #1 morning radio show in Boston, “Matty in the Morning.”

She worked for the show a total of six years. “That job catapulted me into everything else I’ve done,” she says.

Prior to the radio producer’s job, she had been teaching 2nd graders. After her stint in radio, Jodi served as a Television producer and then was hired as a Deputy Press Secretary for then-governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney. “Teacher, producer, government,” she describes, “they were the perfect layers,” for what has become of the rest of her life so far.

Once she got the job in radio, “school was on the back burner… I was on my career,” she states. “I was given the opportunity to take on a  job that nobody was just being handed to,” she says, so she had to “make the decision to stay in school to learn how to do the job, or just take the job.”

After she took the job, she developed a 10-year plan to finish her undergraduate degree. While taking a few classes at a time, she says she was able to offer “real-world” advice to students and professors.

Some professors, however, would tell her that she was just lucky landing the radio job, saying “it will never happen again.” “Then,” Jodi states, “I got the TV job. They said I was ‘lucky again, and that it would never happen again.’ Then, I got the Press Secretary job, and they said, ‘you’re just different, you’re not like anyone else.’”

A LIFE ABROAD (18:30)

Jodi has traveled abroad most of her adult life. She says one of the benefits of being an international child living in America is that you are at home in two different cultures. She says “traveling instilled in us that you can not learn about people in books – you have to be there.”

When asked about advice for teen travelers, Jodi says, “be open to every opportunity,” and, she says,”don’t believe everything you see and read from this side of the ocean.”

ADVICE TO THOSE STRUGGLING ABOUT GOING TO COLLEGE OR WORKING (21:00)

Jodi says when she decided to move halfway across the US to study at the University of Houston, she was cut off from her parent’s support. As a result, she eventually got a job waiting tables, where she saved her money and travelled off season by contacting people she knew in other places and starting her tours where they were.

Admitting that she would not be able to pick a favorite destination, Jodi-Tatiana Charles lists four countries she enjoyed.

“Australia,” she says, “is like America 20 years ago. It’s an amazing culture in every single way.”

Jodi also recalls her tours of Cuba, China and Russia in one year during her work on a Masters of Business Administration. Saying it was fascinating how “people interpret [living there] and actually how it is to live there.”

LANDING AN INTERVIEW WITH OPRAH (25:30)

Jordan asks Jodi about finally getting TV talk show host, Oprah Winfrey on as a guest of the “Matty in the Morning” radio show.

Jodi says Oprah was on a list of desired guests higher than her “wish list.” Oprah was one of the guests placed on her “Oh My God – It Will Never Happen” list.

Three years after she started, Oprah finally came onto the show, one-on-one for 15 minutes, “to ask anything we wished.”

The task wasn’t an easy one. Jodi had come to know Oprah’s producer, lawyer, agent… had interviewed Steadman (Oprah’s boyfriend), Gayle (Oprah’s best friend), her chef, and fitness instructor in the process.

The radio team respected their #1 Rule: don’t talk about Oprah!

So, they treated each person on her team about who they were. “It always got back to her,” Jodi says, “they would tell her, ‘they never talked about you.’”

Jodi says the story demonstrates the difference between “using people” and “valuing people,” like Oprah valued people.

WORKING WITH MITT ROMNEY (32:30)

Jodi says she had “no desire to go into politics” when she was offered the job as a Deputy Press Secretary for newly-elected Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Saying she didn’t agree with much of his politics, she definitely respected the man who had a record as a great businessman, who turned around the Olympic games, had been elected governor and made news all the time.

“Being with Mitt,” she relates, “was the best pre-MBA that I could ever have had – learning about business and creating opportunity for others.” And, she described, learning to “always be the one to actually suggest, and never be the one always afraid to ask or suggest” an idea.

“It was great to be in the presence of someone who was willing to try,” even in the face of criticism, says Jodi-Tatiana. “He respected everyone that was on the team, and I respect him for that,” she continues, “I may not agree with all of the politics, but, I respect everything about the man.”

STARTING LACAPRIOSE GALARIE (38:00)

After Romney left the Governor’s office, he told his staff “you need to be better than you were before you started here.” To that end, she and six other staffers went back to college to get their MBA.

Then, she says, in 2009-10, “the world imploded,” and suddenly she was now “overqualified” for employment. Just like other MBA students, she found herself being looked at by employers as too experienced, too educated and too highly priced of an employee.

Like her friends, “if you can’t get a job – you create one.”

As her entrepreneurial friends were creating businesses based on things they knew, Jodi found herself helping them find ways to “market themselves and get their names out there.”

As that process continued, she developed the concept, and eventually, the business that became LaCapriose Galarie.

The company provides customized training for different types of businesses and entrepreneurs that requires the hiring of a marketing specialist and the time to complete homework assignments.

Jodie says at first, the company obtained new clients by word of mouth of people who knew her and her experience. But, now, she hires a sales company that once was a client.

Explaining the change in approach, she says, “I’m a great marketing person… I’m not great in convincing you to invest in your own marketing brand.”

But, she recalls the lessons of the startup phase of her company. “As a startup, you will wear all the hats. Not many – all. There are things that you need to know what you are good at and you’re not good at.”

Continuing, she says, “I can not be great at what I do if I try to do something I am not great at.”

Jodi says she is fearful of not being there to help businesses grow their great ideas. “Great ideas die every single day because someone can’t gain access to the help to get their word out.”

WHO IS JODI-TATIANA CHARLES? (49:00)

Teenage Entrepreneur host, Jordan Agolli turns the tables on Jodi, asking her a question she had asked him during an earlier call to set up the interview. “Who is Jodi-Tatiana Charles?”

Here’s just a sampling of her description:

  • I am a first generation US born resident of strict parents from Haiti.
  • I am a woman who gravitates toward quiet people and gives them a platform to talk.
  • I am a woman who has learned lessons from my parents, and my friend’s parents.
  • I have a large personality, that needs, at times, to be turned off.
  • I am committed to helping make sure people aren’t being bullied.
  • I am a woman who wants to have fun, who is curious and loves to travel.
  • I am a [learning] sponge.
  • I love to smile.

Jodi then takes a moment to share advice from her heart to teens who may be listening. “Have fun with life!” she says. Understand that there are life pressures from all directions at all ages of life, she says, “just go for it, believe in yourself!”

“Make a difference in this world,” Jodi-Tatiana Charles concludes, “without lying, stealing, cheating or killing anyone, and you will be great.”

WHO AM I? (53:30)

Jordan tells the story of Jodi asking the same question of him. “It stumped me,” he says. “I didn’t know how to answer.”

“But, after listening to her beautiful answer,” Jordan says he thinks he has more of an idea of how he would answer.

Her question caused Jordan to question himself, “Who am I? Who do I want to be? What do I want my legacy to be?” he asks, before he turns the tables once again.

“What do you want your legacy to be?” he asks. “If you have a goal set for the future, you can live your life accordingly,” Jordan advises you to write down what you want your legacy to be and use it to remind yourself daily of that goal.

LEAVE A LEGACY, HELP BUILD A SCHOOL

Don’t forget that you can help leave a legacy by assisting in the Teenage Entrepreneur Podcast Fundraising Campaign to raise $5,000 for Pencils for Promise to build a school. The campaign ends on October 1, 2014, so make your contribution now! It can be any size of donation, just join in and help others have access to an education.

http://teenpodcast.com/promise

LINKS

Embargo List – http://embargo-list.com/

LaCaouise Galarie – http://lacapoise.com/

Jodi’s Linked In – https://www.linkedin.com/in/joditatianacharles