Here’s the latest episode of SOB – I’m speaking with Stephanie Caudle about her new micro job site venture and her continuous journey in the tech industry!

Style of Business

-Podcast Show Notes-

Episode 24


In this episode, Keetria interviews Stephanie Caudle of Black Girl Group, a micro-job site and organization helping connect African-American freelancers to companies who are struggling to hire diverse, freelance talent. Listen as Stephanie shares the various struggles she has faced on her entrepreneurial journey. She shares about her noble vision of creating a platform aimed at helping African American women earn extra income as well helping the US marketplace become more culturally diverse and inclusive. Tune-in as she discusses the key factors that contribute to her success and the value of stepping out and taking that LEAP of FAITH.

Show Notes:

  •     Keetria introduces Stephanie to the show
  •     Stephanie is the founder and CEO of Black Girl Group, a micro-job site

o      Similar to Fiverr and Upwork, but caters solely to African American women

  •     The Origins of Black Girl Group

o      Was launched in November 2016

o      As a PR agent at Tom Ford, Stephanie was handling 45 clients and was totally burnout

o      Was laid off from her job immediately after registering her site; been working full-time on Black Girl Group ever since

  •     Stephanie has a two-fold mission:

o      1. Help women increase their load

o      2. Increase diversity

  •     Coming from a publishing background, was terrified of entering the tech industry; only 1% of women receive funding in the tech industry

o      Admits that her misgivings for the tech industry were unfounded; was recently accepted into an incubator program promoted by Google

o      Has received resources that have allowed her to grow as a freelancer and a startup founder

  •     Wants to leverage on the fact that African American women are the fastest growing entrepreneurs in the United States
  •     Realized the immense NEED for African American talent when she saw a Twitter ad for an African American writer placed by an influential CEO

o      The CEO was specifically targeting African American buyers, the race that spends the most money in America

o      The only way to get in front of African American audiences is through hiring African American talent

o      For hiring African American talent, you need to go to a platform such as Black Girl Group where you can find all this talent in one place

  •     Offers a variety of services such as virtual assistance, writers, web designer, developers and much more
  •     Learn how Stephanie’s marketing background has helped her

o      Graduated from North Carolina AT&T with a concentration in public relations

o      Is able to handle her own media outreach and pitching to gain visibility

o      Is able to create targeted content that resonates with viewers; recently created a blog post titled, “How do you make money as a freelancer without going broke”

o      Digital marketing experience helps her in keyword searches through which she zeros in on the right topics

  •     CHALLENGES encountered

o      Getting funding for her venture has been Stephanie’s biggest challenge; has received pushbacks because of the name of her company

o      People think that her business model is divisive

o      Many emotional challenges as well

  •     Stephanie’s shares how she kickstarted Black Girl

o      Writing for Huffington Post was her side hustle while she had a full-time job

o      In the midst of losing her job, took up freelance writing as a fulltime profession

o      Her experiences as a freelancer has equipped her to deal with the ups and downs of business

  •     The things she ENJOYS the most about being an entrepreneur

o      Being a mom, she values the flexibility that her profession offers

o      Wishes to help African-Americans succeed by giving them access to valuable information

  •     Shares that the Google Incubator she is associated with is especially designed to help startup founders of color; has received help in the form of legal fees, website development and staffing
  •     RESOURCES to help you manage your startup

o      Attended the 2-day internet summit focusing on digital marketing and broader technology

o      Has checked out the Blavity conference online

o      Recommends Medium to anyone looking for information about startups; this is where she got she found Google Incubator

3 Key Points:

  1.       It is always good to have a side-hustle which will fetch you some extra money. In the event that you lose your job, this can develop into your main source of income.
  2.       Finding a good incubator is a great way to kickstart your startup; there are incubators who focus solely on helping startup founders of color.
  3.       Be bold, go ahead and just take the LEAP of FAITH; the only reason we have 9 to 5 jobs is because someone decided to do just that!

Are you looking to work in the tech industry or simply a hobbyist with a lot of questions that you feel can be answered by experts at a conference?

Whatever reason for your interest in attending a tech conference, you’ve probably ended up here because you’re new to it and a bit apprehensive about showing up to an event having little knowledge of what goes on at these conferences. You worry about fitting in, networking, or simply maneuvering your way through the crowd.

The best advice would be to jump right in and attend as many as you can. Before you know it, you’ll be a seasoned conference attendee.

Here are some upcoming tech conferences that may interest you:

Web Unleashed 2017
When: September 25-26, 2017
Where: Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre Hotel, Toronto

Are you a front-end developer or aspire to be one? If so, By attending Web Unleashed, you’ll get up-to-date on the skills to take you to the next level of your career. With two full days with four tracks and over 50 presentations, this will also be your opportunity to be around like-minded professionals to network and share ideas with.


When: Oct. 10–12, 2017
Where: Moscone Center West, San Francisco, CA

BoxWorks 2017 will be full of amazing speakers, sessions, and tracks to help you drive the future of your business. This is your chance to join thousands of developers, administrators, and business leads as they share ideas and inspire each other.


Cyber Security Chicago
When: October 18 – 19, 2017
Where: Chicago, IL

Learn from the cyber security industry’s top experts as they deliver insightful seminars on all aspects of cybersecurity and risk mitigation. Cyber Security Chicago 2017 offers IT and Security managers invaluable security insight from industry experts who will cover topics that will help you build a stronger defense against cyber-attacks. Learn how to educate your employees, recover your systems if they are breached, and protect your organization from cyber terrorism.


When: Nov. 6–9, 2017
Where: San Francisco, CA

Dreamforce is largest software conference in the world, making it the must-attend tech event of the year. It is four days that will transform your career through innovation and will connect you with your community of fellow Trailblazers. There will be over 2,700 sessions to help every role in every industry find success. It will also be your opportunity to get your hands on with the latest product innovations.


The Brand Safety Summit
When: November 16, 2017
Where: New York, NY

Brand safety is emerging as one of the most important issue media buyers are facing in today. The Brand Safety Summit is the premier event that brings together the industry’s decision-makers from top publishers, investors, technology developers, agencies and brand marketers address the challenges that media and marketing executives face when creating brand safe experiences. Attend and learn how to work toward solutions to digital media’s most challenging obstacles.

The tech world is fast-paced and broad. What do you specialize in? What conferences would most interest you?

image: gustavo frazao

As an entrepreneur who is always interested in learning from experts and leaders in other industries, I am familiar with the vast amount of material available from well-known coaches and mentors. There is an overwhelming load of information and advice on a daily basis. So much, in fact, anyone seeking to hone their skills and need tips or advice on a particular subject, can easily obtain this information online.

Here are 5 ways you can take advantage of your Internet connection to learn from leading professionals across multiple industries. Whether you’re just starting out or been working in your line of business for several years, there lies a significant advantage in listening to other people’s perspectives on an assortment of topics, especially when it comes from someone who has the background and knowledge on the subject at hand.

Check out the tips below on how you can glean advice that will contribute to your overall worldview, increase your knowledge, or just learn something that you might not have known before.

Blogs & YouTube 

Many of the prominent and well-known speakers, personal development coaches and influencers have personal websites or Youtube channels where they regularly upload content. This material may consist of helpful blog posts or articles which will give you an idea about their perspective. If it’s a Youtube video, most of the time it’s a clip of them speaking at a conference, talk or seminar where they often provide their audiences with valuable information.

Either way, take the time to scour over your favorite speaker’s online content. If you’re unable to attend their events, checking out what they have available online for free is an excellent way to learn something new or to get their take on certain topics.


While some speakers and mentors post new content on their websites on a regular basis, others use newsletters which are mostly exclusive to those individuals who have signed up to receive their content. From experience, I’ve found the information provided in newsletters very helpful, and within my weekly newsletter, even though most of the content is not exclusive to my subscribers, I always include a recap of the recent articles on my blog.

One suggestion is to subscribe to a handful of newsletters of insiders or influencers within the industry you would like to learn more. Subscribing to a variety of newsletters will not only give you a different perspective but also allow you to sift and sort through helpful tips and the information you need to get you further along. 


Teleseminar is another great way to learn something. If you’ve subscribed to a newsletter, you might have already received an invite to join or participate. Similar to the newsletters, sometimes you have to be a subscriber to the speaker’s or mentor’s newsletter to receive the invite. Professionals on Facebook and Instagram also promote their teleseminars for free and use these as a vehicle to offer their paid services.

While some teleseminars cost a fee to join, there are plenty available each month with minimal to no sign-up fee. Whatever your industry, check to see if your speaker of choice is hosting a teleseminar anytime soon.


It’s been some time since I’ve read a book on Blinkist but as I write this, it instantly reminds me of how useful their service truly is. Services similar link Blinkist thrives because they allow us to consume the main gist and most valuable information in a minimal amount of time. Maybe you’re interested in a 300-page book but don’t have a chance to read it. Blinkist pulls the book’s main content and cuts it down to the minutes for reading or audio consumption.

With my present schedule, I’m unable to read as much as I’d like but I find having the option to scan for relevant info or to learn more about a topic without having to dedicate hours to thoroughly reading a book handy. When the time doesn’t permit you to soak up as much knowledge as you’d like to check out Blinkist’s library to see if they have books written by your favorite speaker or coach – you’d be surprised as to what you’ll find.

Films are designed to entertain us, but also to inform us. When it comes to documentaries, these qualifiers are usually reversed — information comes first with entertainment being inserted via cinematography, editing and storytelling techniques.

To be informed is to be at the top of your game…at least, that’s the case for entrepreneurs. These four documentaries are guaranteed to teach entrepreneurs some valuable lessons about business and success, as well as providing some much needed entertainment along the way.

  1. Something Ventured

If you want to get a company going, you likely won’t only be funneling money you make into the endeavor. Investors are an important part of the process, though they’re often overlooked when we talk about businesses. Giants like Apple and Intel may be self-sufficient today, but they wouldn’t be here without investors believing in the business from an early age.

This is the basis of Something Ventured. The documentary covers Apple, Intel and Atari and the investors who believed in them enough to funnel money into the business. Obviously, their initial faith paid off.

  1. Jiro Dreams of Sushi

While this documentary isn’t directly related to business topics, it does contain a lesson that all entrepreneurs need to learn. This film covers the life of Jiro Ono, an 85-year-old man who is considered to be the greatest sushi chef in the world. His restaurant in Tokyo is acclaimed, mostly due to Jiro’s dedication to his craft. Jiro goes out of his way to make sure his sushi will be the best, going as far to massage an octopus for an hour to enhance the quality of its texture.

So what’s the takeaway? Anything worth doing is worth doing right. If you’re passionate about your dream, you’ll do anything for it AND be as dedicated as necessary to make it come true.

  1. She++

This is definitely one to look into if you’re a female entrepreneur. If you thought being a professional woman was hard as it is, imagine being a woman interested in a field like tech or gaming. These industries are notorious for being boy’s clubs, and women are just now beginning to find their footing within them.

This Vimeo documentary focuses on women in tech who are taking the industry by storm. When any industry stagnates based on discrimination, creativity is lost and innovation is abandoned.

  1. Freakonomics – The Movie

Freakonomics is a book that’s on many an entrepreneur’s shelf, but just as many haven’t seen the documentary based on this best seller. Knowing what motivates people is essential when you’re an entrepreneur. This is how you sell a product or service, market it to the public and develop the bones for your initial idea. Freakonomics takes this idea and makes it fascinating and entertaining with intelligent and amusing studies that go into the mind of the consumer.

Why limit yourself to only four documentaries about entrepreneurship? Pop open your Netflix or open up your Amazon bookmark and see what other suggestions you can find. Never stop learning and never stop watching.

This week’s episode is a brief short on CONSISTENCY. We all struggle with staying consistent at some point in our life. While breaks and timeouts are called for and very much needed, consistency in anything you do will always prevail.

Style of Business

-Podcast Show Notes-

Episode 23


In this episode, Keetria discusses the importance of consistency while handling a project. Often, we start off with ample enthusiasm as we get involved with a new project. However, our enthusiasm wanes if a project is prolonged. It is imperative that in such situations, instead of giving into frustration, we maintain a level of consistency throughout the entire project. Setting aside some time every day to work at your project will help maintain the momentum you need to keep moving forward. Putting in a couple hours over the weekend is also another trick recommended by Keetria that can help you cross the finish line.

Show Notes:

  •     Today, we discuss the importance of consistency

o      Often, as we continue working on a particular project for a prolonged period, our enthusiasm wanes, and we become too tired to even look at it

o      Tendency is to do nothing and put a project on the backburner for months

o      One needs to be consistent; SQUEEZE in time everyday so that you can meet your goals and deadlines

  •     Keetria’s “Saturday workshop”

o      Sets aside a couple of hours every Saturday in order to work towards her goals

o      Helps you achieve the momentum that you need in order to reach the finish line

  •     Aim to achieve consistency in every project; implementing a common-sense approach will stop you from getting burnt-out and help you achieve your GOAL
  •     Connect with Keetria through her website or Twitter

3 Key Points:

  1.       Working on a project for a prolonged time will decrease your enthusiasm and ultimately lead to burnout.
  2.       SQUEEZE in some time every day so that you work towards meeting your goals. 
  3.        Setting aside a couple of hours every Saturday is a great way to ensure that you achieve the desired momentum to cross the finish line

Some of us are born gregarious and capable of working well in teams. Others have issues when it comes to interacting with others one one one — don’t sweat it if you’re this type of person. It takes all sorts!

However, this advice isn’t exactly a load off when it comes to actually interacting in a team setting. Your personality and social misgivings are valid, but these are things that have to be set aside when it comes to getting work done.

This issue also goes both ways — if you’re a person who IS good with working in teams or pairs, it’s important that you recognize the working styles and insecurities of those you’re teamed up with.

Communication is essential when working in a group, no matter who you are. In order to make sure that everyone is on the same page and working comfortably, consider asking these four questions when working with another person (or with team members).

1. How do you want to communicate outside of face-to-face meetings?

Some people like to text. Others like methods like group phone calls or Google Hangouts. Establishing the best line of communication for everyone can lead to a better overall vibe while dealing with the project at hand.

Some people will have to compromise when it comes to group work, and this also applies to one-on-one communication. For instance, if you like to talk on the phone while your partner prefers texting, someone will have to bend so the other’s needs are met.

2. What’s the most important thing we want to accomplish?

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when working in a group, usually because group tasks are assigned to teams due to the large amount of work to do. Even when splintering off into smaller groups, like partner work, it can be hard to split up assignments or decide on what to do first.

This should be one of your first questions. Establishing the most important aspect of the task can clear up a lot of unnecessary chatter and communication about other, less important goals. Set your priorities first, then worry about how to accomplish them.

3. Do you have any communication challenges?

Being blunt is sometimes the best way to get to the heart of an issue. We all have communication weaknesses, and addressing them can allow others to adjust for these weaknesses. For example, if someone is bad about reading texts but not responding to them, this issue should be acknowledged and the person in question will then be held accountable.

This also clears up miscommunication out of the gate. Like in this example, team members or the person’s partner won’t be left wondering why the text messages aren’t being answered.

4. Will you speak up if difficulties arise?

Communication breakdowns happen to the best of us, but we’re defined by how we handle them — not that they exist at all. Everyone within a team must understand that if they can’t do something or have an emergency, they need to tell everyone so the entire group can adjust accordingly. In partner work, this information is even more critical.

These questions are vague — meaning they apply to most general group scenarios. Assess your own team situation and ask yourself if any specific questions should be asked that have to do with your own unique team and assignment.

CFO of Gant Companies & Smart Money Management Derick Gant visits with SOB to talk about how we can accomplish tasks and achieve goals by being the best that we can be. He also shares his insight on money management. You can connect with Derick on Twitter and Instagram.

Style of Business

-Podcast Show Notes-

Episode  22


In this episode, Keetria interviews Derick Gant, founder and CEO of Smart Money Management, an organization helping people manage their debt and build wealth. Listen as Derick gives SOLID financial and business advice. He explains the importance of living “The 24K Life”—a life that is dedicated to being solid gold physically, mentally, and emotionally to name a few. Being at your peak trickles into all areas of your life and contributes to the success you so desire in life. So, tune-in as Derick describes the importance of physical fitness, what it means to live a balanced life, and some financial tips and tricks that will help you achieve freedom from the shackles of debt.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  •     Keetria introduces Derick to the show
  •     Derick has been managing money, helping people get out of debt and building wealth for years!
  •     Two kinds of clients seek out Derick for advice:

1. Clients who have a large retirement fund and want optimal returns

              2. The second type are those who need advice with managing their debt, fixing their credit, buying a house and/or retirement planning among other things

When a new client, Derick starts off with a discovery meeting to find out where the client currently is and where he needs to go financially

               o      Primary aim is to help clients manage their debts; debt shackles a client to a terrible way of living

  •     Misconception that rich people do not believe in watching their budgets; they      know exactly how much they have and how much they are spending
  •     Even people who do not have enough money need to be a militant about sticking to their budget; learn to live WITHIN your means

               o      Plan for future purchases and avoid spending all you have in your checking account

  •     Derick explains the philosophy behind “The 24K Life”

               o      Be the BEST version of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, educationally and spiritually

               o      Maximize your gifts and talent to increase your value in the workplace

               o      If you strive to be 24 karat gold (purest form) in your life, then GREAT things are going to come to you no matter what!

  •     Realize your true potential by taking time to invest in yourself
  •     Nobody is going to hand you a bar of gold; you need to dig out the nuggets
  •     To be financially fit, you need to be physically fit

               o      Your outer world represents your inner world

               o      If you are fit, you are mentally sharper

               o      People judge you by your physical fitness

  •     Strive to be in great physical, mental and financial shape

               o      If you are unbalanced, you’re not going to be happy and productive

  •     Finding a coach is the best way to become physically fit; seeking out like-minded people is another way

               o      Know yourself, and avoid lying to yourself

               o      Invest in a coach or consider buying fitness books

  •     People who are sick of their life and know they deserve better are the ones that turn their life around
  •     You can be physically fit in spite of having a ton of responsibilities; you can do whatever you put your mind to
  •     Weight-loss tip from Derick: do not focus on how much you need to lose, just focus on your next meal
  •     Has a gift of taking complicated information, diluting it down to digestible bites for people to fix their lives

              o      Wants to genuinely help people get to the next level, so that they can help somebody else do the same

  •     Develop a great team of people to propel you on the path of high growth

              o      Invest in building relationships with your banker and accountant

              o      Find mentors who have done what you want to do; people love to talk about themselves, and finding mentors is not as hard as it seems

  •     Know your product inside out; if you don’t believe in your product, no one else is going to
  •     Challenges faced while setting up 24K

               o      Clearly communicating his thoughts to his prospective customers through his content was Derick’s greatest challenge

               o      Keep patience and believe in what you are doing

  •     Derick shares his social media experience

               o      Has solidified value face-to-face with prospects and clients

               o      Has a viewing audience of 25,000 across all mediums

               o      Got a chance to do a local Ted Talk because of his influential social presence

  •     Key components of entrepreneurial success

               o      Make your personal financial life as solid as you possibly can; make it your side-hustle and work it so hard that it becomes your main resource of revenue

               o      Set aside $10,000; the first reason why people fold is because they run out of money. Segregate your personal finances from your business. Make sure that if you use your new business as a second stream of income to get that started, then you will never jeopardize your primary source of income until you can flip your secondary with your primary

  •     “Anything will work if you do. So, roll up your sleeves, whatever it is that you are trying to do, and go to work. And, don’t quit. Don’t let anybody tell you, you can’t get it done”
  •     Connect with Derick on his website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram
  •     Connect with Keetria through her website or Twitter

3 Key Points:

  1.       You cannot be financially fit without being physically fit; strive to be in great physical, financial and mental shape.
  2.       Make your personal financial life as solid as you possibly can; make it your side-hustle and work it so hard that it becomes your main resource of revenue.
  3.       The first reason why people fold is because they run out of money—segregate your personal finances from your business and work to make your secondary source (the business) your primary source of income.

There’s no point in doing something if it doesn’t benefit you, right? This is something many people consider when they contemplate starting up meditation. They consider it to just be sitting down and being quiet…not much else is involved with meditation, right?

Wrong. Meditation has never been a holistic hoax, and that still stands. While some things benefits of meditation are very superficial, there are actually a variety of important mental and physical benefits that practitioners of yoga experience when they meditate.

What are those benefits? There are honestly too many to mention in just one blog post. However, there are three big benefits that any meditation skeptic should know about.

  1. Meditation is great for anxiety and soothing the physical soul.

Your nervous system is the gateway to all of your bodily functions. From how you think to how you move, your nervous system is an amazing thing…and meditation can greatly affect how it functions.

Being specific, meditation activates your parasympathetic nervous system. This directly relates to your rest response — or how calm and relaxed you are physically and mentally. While many people associate rest with a mental state, it can also affect how your body functions overall. This relates to your heart rate, blood pressure, immunity, digestion and blood pressure. Meditation also helps to lower your stress hormones through this system as well.

Similarly, meditation can also help you sleep at night. While it obviously relates to your body physically shutting down, meditation also calms your racing mind, making it easier to turn in at the end of the night.

  1. Meditation improves your creativity and productivity.

A clear mind is a mind that comes up with great ideas. When you have a bunch of thoughts racing around your brain, it can be hard to settle on one idea and fully realize it. Meditation helps to clear away these thoughts, making room for your creativity to shine through.

Think about your mind like a cluttered desk. What can you do with a cluttered desk other than clean it or walk away? Meditation is the process of cleaning it, allowing work to actually be done at the desk. This is the perfect illustration for how meditation makes a person more productive. A clear mind is a mind that gets things done.

  1. Meditation makes people happier.

Meditation on principle is something that is calming, and being calm leads to being happier. When someone meditates, they let the weight of the world fall away from them and they experience a small taste of enlightenment. Meditation helps a person to process thoughts, get rid of negativity and clears their mind.

The fact that meditation relieves stress is one of the biggest benefits of meditation, but not just because of this obvious relaxation benefit. A relaxed person with little stress in their life will obviously be happier than someone who has a life filled with stress and little relaxation.

One final benefit of meditation — it’s a great way to take some time out to focus on yourself, no the clutter of everyday stressors and irritants. Take some time out of your day to meditate. You’ll be glad you did.

Women’s fitness is a booming industry right now, and that’s certainly a good thing. It means women and girls are thinking about their health — not just their looks and their bodies, but their lifespan and wellness. This is certainly important. Through fitness, we women can help lower our risk for heart disease, various cancers, diabetes and other physical ailments like obesity.

Fitness is a complicated issue because everyone’s body and journey is different. Are you looking for more information on fitness that takes into consideration the needs of women? Here are four blogs you need to add to your bookmarks bar.

Lift Like a Girl

Twenty, even ten years ago, “like a girl” was an insult popular among men and boys. “You throw like a girl,” “you hit like a girl,” and so on — it usually referred to how men were supposed to be stronger than their female counterparts. Fast-forward to our modern era — we’ve had rampant discussions about how harmful “like a girl” can be, and we’ve also showcased how strong women truly are. Lift Like a Girl is run by Nia Shanks, a strength trainer who aims to empower women through fitness motivation.

Black Girls Run!

In 2009, Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks looked at the growing obesity epidemic within the black community and asked themselves an important question: how can we help to solve it? Their answer was Black Girls Run!, a foundation and blog built on encouraging fitness and exercise among young black women in America. Black Girls Run! is now host to almost 200,000 members and discusses fitness, beauty, lifestyle and valuable nutrition information.

Fit Bottomed Girls

As women with full schedules and busy lives, we don’t always have time to workout. When we do find the time, sometimes it can feel like a punishment at the end of a long day. Fit Bottomed Girls is run by two women, Jennipher Walters and Erin Whitehead, who fit that description to a T. Instead of making exercising a chore, they come up with practical, fun approaches to fitness that are rewarding. They don’t just discuss fitness, either; Walters and Whitehead discuss their lives, motivation and other related topics.

Girls Gone Strong

Finally, Molly Galbraith recently became well-known on the Internet thanks to a body-positivity that went viral on Facebook. What you may not know is that her dedication to women’s fitness goes beyond that video alone. Her blog, Girls Gone Strong understands that fitness should be an issue of health, not an issue of attractiveness or thinness. She offers workout tips for women who want to shape their body and their life in a myriad of ways, from gaining muscle to eating better.

We all come from different places, have different body types, schedules, styles and genetics. These blogs look not just at women as a collective, but as individuals. Look for other blogs that speak to your specific interests. What fitness blogs do you recommend?

Founder and CEO of Smart Girls Smart Moms Yoshi Holland talks to us about the focus and the mission for her abstinence education program by giving us the brief on what led her to action to pursue her interest in mentoring, speaking and coaching.