Rachelle Carrie is a DEI Disruptor & Advocate who channels cultural change through her voice in the global community. Rachelle’s passions center around collaborating while amplifying impact through sharing, knowledge, resources & creating an inclusive culture for the thriving, diverse community at large. Additionally, she utilizes the invaluable voice that women of diverse backgrounds have to empower themselves and others.
Relentless in her pursuits, she is writing 4 E-books along with four other children’s books for young girls of color. This journey has brought her to create a Podcast hosting a LinkedIn Live Show featuring Women & Men of Color While Navigating Race and Gender in the Workplace. The topics range from Tokenism, Micro-aggressions, Colorism, Sexism, Gender, Race & Mental Health. In addition, she is a fierce researcher, reader of all books, yogi, and community partnership builder.
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Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Rachelle Carrie: I studied a variety of subjects in university when I first began. It all came together when I did an Emerging Transformational Leadership Program at UM. This program introduced me to concepts such as building a community with children with developmental disabilities. While optimizing individual development. In the meantime, I was not entirely sure of the path it would take me until George Floyd was murdered. It quickly became apparent that my lived experiences were his. My stories began to surface from a place that was buried deep inside. I called family members to recount the stories. They were validated soon after I packed a punch with a Diversity Equity & Inclusion Certification and felt at home.
I gave birth to my Podcast: Diversity Connects Us, only six months ago, about How Men & Women of Color Navigate Race & Gender in the Workplace, which airs every Tuesday at noon EST across social media outlets. This led to writing two eBooks, along with two others along the way. But, I will not stop there.
I use my stories, and guests use theirs to share courageous conversations in a safe space. It has become my mission and my passion. I am now leading with the heart after being a teacher for 25 years.
Was there somebody in your life that inspired you to take that specific journey with your business?
Rachelle Carrie: During my transitory period, I came across many people who helped me along this journey. Having lived a childhood without a mentor, I thought this time would be pretty timely. My mentor introduced me to several Boards to become a member. Following his advice, it led me to create a peer group. As a solopreneur, peer groups offer such support. Then to my surprise, I came across a Clarity Coach. I did not even realize there was such a person until I scouted her on LinkedIn. She brought me solace, peace, and above all, clarity. During this unknown period, I lived day to day in fear of not knowing who I was or which direction I was going in. Kindly note: I was forty-nine. This was a pretty bold step. Today, I would have the same thing all over again!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons you learned from that?
Rachelle Carrie: Oh my! I made so many mistakes that I don’t know where to begin! But, I believe the one that stands out the most is not knowing what I was doing! I had never hosted a show. Nor I’m technologically inclined in any which way or form. I was losing patience and dealing with my perfectionism. LOL. I had to learn to let go and be in the moment. While everything was new, and I had to climb many obstacles. I took all of my drawbacks and turned them into something valuable. My fear was what paralyzed me the most. I had to push through and face whatever would come my way. What I didn’t know was the work it all entailed. I tend to jump with my two feet and think after! Well, then maybe I should have planned! Mistakes, well, I took them in stride and knew they were going to happen. It was inevitable
Resilience is critical in critical times like the ones we are going through now. How would you define resilience?
Rachelle Carrie: That is a great question. Besides the heart palpitations that occur every time I press the LIVE button on the stream, is that what you mean? Resilience means having the strength and the courage to keep moving forward and not give up. I wanted to give up working on multiple projects so many times. But, faith carried me through during these times. My eternal gratitude goes to my boyfriend & my seven-year-old daughter. I have worked countless hours, created many workshops, and still plugging away. But, it is no easy feat!
What is most important to your organization—mission, vision or values?
Rachelle Carrie: The mission is what holds my vision alive. I fundamentally believe that it is why the organization exists today.
You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success?
Rachelle Carrie: These are great questions! The three character traits that were most instrumental to my success were: honesty, technical skills (I have to laugh at this one), and the ability to see the big picture during a pandemic.
What have you learned about personal branding that you wish you had known earlier in your career?
Rachelle Carrie: I wished I had known earlier that branding transpires across all social media and even the books that I have written. Going back to the previous question: that was a mistake. I wish my readers had a different color scheme or my branding colors. I could always change it! LOL
How would you define “leadership”?
Rachelle Carrie: Leadership is a set of skills that can be learned along the way. We are not born leaders. Unfortunately, I had the mindset that leaders were born and not made. So throughout my career, I developed skill sets to be a leader and put them into practice.
What advice would you give to our younger readers that want to become entrepreneurs?
Rachelle Carrie: There are many tips & advice that I could offer. However, depending on the stage you are at in your business requires different suggestions or recommendations. Therefore, I would give about ten tips to make this easier to digest.
- Make a tweakable business plan for yourself. Allow room for modifications. Unless you are requesting seed money, then make a good copy. Then, rewrite it many times and ask for professional advice.
- Make yourself a marketing budget. I have incurred high costs—all due to a lack of planning & budgeting.
- Create yourself a peer group for solopreneurs. They can offer great suggestions & support. You will need it during tough times.
- Have some savings to tie you over when there isn’t a revenue stream of income.
- Take a few courses to help brush up on some skills. They can be for free. Do some research.
- Always ask for help. We know how hard it is. We love to help!
- Keep track of your goals. Mange them in weekly, monthly, and yearly goals. Take baby steps.
- Surround yourself with people that know more than you. You can learn from them. They have lived experiences.
- If nothing goes as planned. It’s okay. Many roads lead to Rome. Learn to take a different route.
- Create your elevator pitch. It needs to be as long an elevator ride—a few seconds.
What’s your favorite “life lesson” quote and how has it affected your life?
Rachelle Carrie: “She believed she could, so she did”
It has kept me going when I wanted to give up. Every time I progressed, there was a surprise call, a tip or suggestion that I would not have thought of, and always small reward. It happens when you least expect it.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Rachelle Carrie for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Rachelle Carrie or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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