Summary: The Early Accountability Podcast transforms Dreamers into Doers and Visionaries into Victors through goal activation strategies that abandon excuses, jumpstart motivation, and ignite results. Early Accountability Coaching is a specialty focused on helping those who are in the fragile beginning stages of a new endeavor, professional project, lifestyle change, or mindset shift. Visit www.earlyaccountability.com for more information on reaching your goals!
On this episode of the Early Accountability podcast, our guest is Dr. Melissa Chester, CEO of Black Educators Rock, Inc. Dr. Chester and one of her former students founded Black Educators Rock as a Facebook group which quickly gained traction and engagement, amassing 1,000 group members within 24 hours and 100,000 within 90 days. The Facebook group has now been segmented into geographic subgroups, which are moderated by volunteers, and has even resulted in the establishment of some local chapters across the country and the world. In 2015, Black Educators Rock, Inc. became a 501(c)3 organization focused on instructional strategies, professional knowledge, and advocacy and empowerment. The largest product of Dr. Chester’s efforts is the annual Rock Conference held every summer to encourage and enrich participants and prepare them for the upcoming school year. This year, they have sessions on youth mental health first aid, active shooter training, advocacy and empowerment, and even homeownership 101. Dr. Chester has found time and again that there is strength in numbers and she hopes that Black Educators Rock might develop into an institute where members can become advisors to group members in their areas of expertise. Dr. Chester advises anyone in the early stages of developing a nonprofit or any organization to spend their time and energy on the vision, mission, and areas of focus of their organization and understand that it will be a lonely journey initially. But be confident in your mission and put in the hard work to ultimately benefit the people you want to serve. Topics Covered on This Episode: • How to build a movement • Listening to your constituents and create solutions to their problems • How to properly begin your organization
Our guest on this episode of the Early Accountability podcast is Renotta Burke, owner of Renotta Burke Signatures event planning and design company. Unhappy with her job at the time, Renotta decided to quit at the end of 2011 and use her life savings to purchase the linens that would be used by her events company. Now several years into this endeavor, Renotta and her team have found great success and fulfillment through planning and designing weddings and other events for their clients in Georgia and beyond. Renotta recently embraced the art of delegation and prioritizing her areas of strength in the company, recognizing that other members of her team are better at various other aspects, and they have found great synergy in this work structure. Renotta highly recommends that people use an event planner if they are even remotely considering it. Having an event planner handle your event takes away the stress of having to handle every detail on your own and allows you to actually enjoy the final product. She recommends that you know your budget from the beginning and be reasonable with your vision for the event based on your budget in addition to providing the event planner with a vision board of what you are looking for. Once you have had all of the necessary discussions with your event planner, trust them and the vendors that they hire to do their jobs – they want your event to be a success as much as you do! Topics Covered on This Episode: -Having the courage to pursue your dreams -Learning how to delegate and manage time -Prioritizing areas of strength in your work
Joining us on this episode of the Early Accountability podcast is Leonardo Cavalli: an actor, singer, author, motivational speaker, and love and life coach based in New York City. Much of Leonardo’s wisdom comes from the lessons he learned from his marriage at the age of 23 that ended in divorce the next year. This is the subject of his book, entitled 24 and Divorced, as well as the album that he wrote to accompany the book, entitled Wounded, and through his motivational speaking and love coaching, he hopes to equip people with the tools they need to make their love last. His advice to people at the beginning of a relationship is to make sure to carve out some time to yourself, to really think about and become established in your goals, your love language, and your core values and then as the relationship progresses, to make sure that you are staying true to yourself. If you find yourself being pushed to depart from your core values or leave everything else in life that you love or enjoy to meet the other person’s expectations, you are headed down the path to destruction, and you should take a step back to refocus. As the relationship progresses, it is a good idea to seek mentorship and counsel together and separately so that when issues arise, you have a plan for conflict management. Leonardo’s divorce at a young age led him into a time of depression, from which he was able to emerge by focusing on establishing value in himself, being consistent in his daily life, and practicing gratitude for the little and big things that were happening. He encourages anyone struggling through a tough time to just keep going with hope that tomorrow will be a better day. Topics Covered in this Episode: -Finding love and making it last -Red flags in a relationship -You are valuable even if you don’t have “valuables” -How loving yourself and being grateful can change your outlook on life
On this episode of the Early Accountability podcast, our guest is Maurice Wilson of Wilson Wealth (http://wilsonwealth.com/), which specializes in investment management and a little bit of financial planning. During his education, Maurice’s goal was to learn something that other people didn’t know, which led him down the path of engineering. He started working at Daimler-Chrysler after college and realized that investment management was really where he wanted to be, so he started taking steps to get there. To the individual looking to invest, Maurice recommends starting with contributing the maximum percentage that their employer will match into their retirement and then putting in the maximum amount allowed into their Roth IRA as well. If the individual still has funds they want to invest – such as a tax refund – the stock market is the best place for long-term returns. If you find yourself living paycheck to paycheck without the ability to save or invest at all, Maurice’s advice is to find a creative way to increase your income to make it happen. Maurice’s advice to entrepreneurs is to make sure upfront that they have sufficient resources to cover living expenses independently from the business, so that all business profits can be invested back into the business for growth and improvements. Realize that it will take more than a few months to really get started, so securing the capital or angel investor needed should be a top priority. Topics Covered in This Episode: -Tips for personal investments -Advice to entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs -It is never too late to start investing -Are investments more practical than building up savings
Our guest on this episode of the Early Accountability podcast is James Luter, a Navy veteran, military spouse and father, and life coach. James takes his clients through a three-step process focused on personal development during their coaching sessions with him: (1) unlocking their purpose, (2) developing personal goals, and (3) setting up accountability measures to help them reach their goals. During his 18 years of coaching, James has found that when people are not living in their purpose, they are often frustrated and discontent with their personal or professional lives. Discovering that what you are doing is not a good fit is actually a great place to be, even though it would be easy to feel discouraged by any wasted time or energy invested. James helps his clients through the process of mapping out their exit strategy based on their personal goals and reasonable timelines, which provides very tangible steps for the individual to take as they develop a clear vision of their future. He emphasizes the importance of being confident in yourself and your goals and not being influenced by societal norms or expectations, even those of your close friends and family members. While they have good intentions, their ideas for your life may only lead you to another situation that is not a good fit for you. You know best what will be fulfilling for you, so it is critical to be single-mindedly focused on the steps to get there.
On this episode of the Early Accountability podcast, we are joined by Dr. Sharice Bradford, a life coach with a background in pastoral care/counseling and healthcare administration. She also edits and contributes to Life Coach Network magazine and maintains a lifestyle blog (https://thissinglesole.org/). Dr. Sharice has a passion for helping people, and coaching provides flexibility in methods and scheduling that traditional counseling often does not. Dr. Sharice shares that the most important thing to keep in mind as you are maneuvering through the different aspects of your life is where you want to end up, and then you will be able to figure out the best route to reach that goal – short-term or long-term. None of us can see the birds-eye view of our route to our goal, so we must give ourselves grace and space when we encounter bumps in the road or unexpected setbacks. The key to staying on course (even when the course is different or more difficult than we expected) is to adjust your strategy and continue to make progress after encountering a hurdle. Beginning – and continuing – with the end in mind will help you weather the storms when they come. You have already survived 100% of your worst days in your life so far, and those experiences have only made you stronger.
Our guest on this episode of the Early Accountability podcast is marketing and public relations specialist Sheree Oats, who is also the founder of the group “Not Built to Break”. Sheree started this group to create a safe space to discuss mental health issues among women of color, a subject that has often been viewed as taboo, but is so important to talk about. During Sheree’s own transition from college to her professional life, she experienced depression for which she was prescribed medication. She talked with her parents about her depression, but they were not equipped to know how to respond or provide her with the support she needed, and due to the tendency within her community to not admit or discuss mental health issues, she did not know who to turn to. So in 2016, she simply asked her Facebook community if they would be interested in joining an online support group focused on mental health, to which she received an overwhelming response. From that point on, the “Not Built to Break” Facebook group has been an outlet for members to discuss their highs and lows, share inspirations quotes or stories, and simply support each other. To anyone looking to start something to help or support their community, Sheree recommends this three step process: (1) Understand what the community needs (2) Research the need further and survey what resources are currently available, then ask your peers and others in the community what would be most helpful (3) Execute your idea – allowing yourself time to fully develop the brand and create things like the logo and mission statement at the right time
On this episode of the Early Accountability Podcast with Kimi Walker, our guest is Marvin Prather, an educator and intervention coordinator who spends his days working with kids who have math or reading deficits to get them up to grade level. Marvin has seen students make great improvements in their math and reading skills as well as their behavior in the classroom by partnering with the student’s classroom teacher to create a plan of action specifically for that student. Typically, the first step in helping students in subject areas of deficiency is to put them in a small group of students to go over the subject matter to give each student more personalized attention and the ability to ask more clarifying questions if they do not understand. If this method does not show improvement after a few weeks, the classroom teacher will have a meeting with the student’s parents to discuss what has already been done to help their child and they will discuss together a plan for increased interventions, such as increasing small group time to 2-3 times per week or reducing the number of problems being presented for the student to solve. In most situations, Marvin has noticed measurable improvement within 2-3 months. Marvin’s advice to parents is to talk to the child’s classroom teacher to see if there are any resources they can be using at home to help their child progress. Additionally, if the child’s teacher has contacted the parents to discuss their child’s behavior in school, it is likely that their behavior is linked to difficulty understanding some of the subject matter being taught, so this should be handled appropriately and consistently. Marvin’s advice to teachers is to set clear expectations and maintain a consistent environment for all students, using rewards or incentives to encourage good behavior and a rapport with the students that will create trust.
Kimi Walker's guest on this episode of the Early Accountability podcast is Robin Clark, an overcomer of life circumstances who has found belonging and purpose as an aesthetician. During Robin’s freshman year of college, she was the victim of sexual assault. She transferred to a different school closer to home, but eventually moved back home before completing her schooling because she needed to properly cope with and process what had happened to her. She found great satisfaction and achievement in teaching herself yoga, which connected her mental and physical body in a way that allowed her to compartmentalize her trauma and give her an outlet to express her feelings. Robin also participated in counseling and with groups of other assault survivors, where she felt validation and affirmation in the emotions that she had been feeling, and through talking with other survivors and by publicly telling her story, she has been able to forgive her abuser and find a way forward in her life. She now finds immense purpose and excitement as she serves her aesthetic clients, allowing them to feel better about themselves and their appearance. Robin encourages anyone who might have been a victim of sexual assault to find the help you need and not be ashamed of what happened to you; things will get better if you just keep pressing on. Topics Covered in this Episode: -Robin’s journey of processing her sexual assault -Healthy ways that Robin has found to heal -Pursuing a career that aligns with your passion
Our guest on this episode of the Early Accountability podcast is Stella Odogwu, founder of Intelle Coaching Solutions which offers services in career coaching and wellness. Intelle’s goal is to empower black women in corporate America to achieve career success and personal wellness. Stella knows that everyone’s career situation is different, so she starts out working with each client to map out their ideal career path, determine where on that path they currently are, and discover any barriers that might be standing in the way of the client achieving their ultimate career goals. Stella works to help her clients know how to deal with the “Imposter Syndrome” that they may be experiencing, learn how to respond to microaggressions, build strategic relationships within their workplace, and negotiate their compensation. Ideal candidates for career coaching are very ambitious and driven and are ready to put in the work that their career coach recommends in order to get to the next step of their career plans. Topics Covered in this Episode: • Characteristics of ideal candidates for career coaching • The process that Stella takes her clients through during coaching • How to get more information about Intelle Coaching Solutions
Our guest on this episode of the Early Accountability podcast is Angela Douge, the dietician and nutritionist behind the Effortless Eater. Angela grew up in a home with strict parameters about the types of food that the family would eat, so she never had sugary cereal or candy as a child, and to this day has never tasted pork. After completing college and additional schooling to become a dietician with a master’s degree in public health, Angela taught nutrition at the college level for 7 years before venturing out to do her own thing along the same lines. She now works as a consultant and coach offering meal planning, nutritional counseling, elementary student education services, and personal chef services as a part of her Effortless Eater venture. Angela’s tips for mindful eating are: (1) write down your vision for your overall diet, (2) determine the actionable steps that you can take today that will help you fulfill your vision, and (3) never leave home without a snack, to remove the temptation of stopping at a drive-thru that does not have food aligning with your vision. Topics Covered in this Episode: -How eating can be mindful and effortless at the same time -Improving your overall well-being by practicing clean eating -Ways that Angela and Effortless Eater can help you reach your health goals. Keep an eye out for Angela’s upcoming cookbook entitled “The Bitter Breakfast”!
Our guest on this episode of the Early Accountability podcast is Meredith Moore Crosby, a leadership coach with her family’s company, Leverette Weekes. After growing up in Minnesota, Meredith attended Howard University and worked her way through corporate America for many years, including working as the speechwriter for Don Thompson, the first African-American President and CEO of McDonald’s Corporation. During her time in the corporate world, she faced difficulties and limitations, but rather than surrendering in defeat, she decided to use what she had learned to help individuals and organizations as they navigated their corporate strategies and employee relations. By helping people walk through and comprehend what “success” means to them, and what goals beyond success they would like to achieve, Meredith provides an invaluable service to her clients that creates opportunities both now and in the future. In addition to her one-on-one services, she is in her second year of offering the PR Bootcamp course that gives entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs a community to bounce ideas off of and further solidify their business plans. Meredith also conducts a writing challenge in which she encourages everyone to write daily in order to dispell the fear associated with writing and develop this crucial skill for the participants’ personal and professional lives. Topics Covered in this Episode: • Using your definition of “success” to guide your aspirations • Creating opportunities in your spheres of influence • Advocating for yourself in the corporate setting
Kimi Walker's guest on this episode of the Early Accountability podcast is Meico Whittlock, founder and CEO of the Mindful Techie, an organization that helps high-achievers reclaim their time and refocus on their life purpose. Meico uses his experiences on the brink of burnout to coach individuals and organizations on the topics of reducing digital distractions, reclaiming work/life balance, and refocusing on their purpose or mission in life. Meico identifies two key tools in this shift in perspective: (1) deciding to live in a way that will fulfill your own life purpose, rather than in reaction to other people’s priorities, and (2) a very helpful Gmail tool that helps you spend less time in your inbox. It is easy to view your inbox and your calendar full of meetings as someone else’s to-do list for you, but Meico recommends shifting your mindset when an email comes in so that you see it as a way to fulfill your purpose rather than someone else’s. In Gmail, Meico uses the “when inbox ready” plugin that allows you to hide your inbox until you are ready to see it and then it provides you with metrics about how long and how many times you access your inbox over a specified timeframe. The three life-changing questions that Meico wants us to ask ourselves are: (1) What am I grateful for? (2) What would I do if I knew that I couldn’t fail? (3) What will people say about me after I die? The answers to these questions can either affirm that we are on the right path or alert us that we have strayed from our life purpose and we need to evaluate our vision and priorities. The items that we put on our calendars are the items that take precedence over everything else, so be sure to schedule time for what is important to you. Topics Covered in this Episode: • Meico’s tools for focusing on your life’s purpose • The three key questions to ask yourself about your life’s purpose • How to still be able to spend time on social media without feeling guilty • Multitasking is a myth
Our guest on this episode of the Early Accountability Podcast is Melissa Calixte. Melissa has gone through quite a journey to arrive in Atlanta working with the homeless population, but she would be the first to tell you that God has guided her every step of the way and provided for her in every area of her life. After going through a season of inconsistent employment in the Tallahassee area, Melissa felt led to move to Atlanta. Melissa faced significant hardship there, including a 2.5 year stint of homelessness and sleeping in her car and the loss of support from some of her family and friends who didn’t understand why she was staying in Atlanta during such hard times. But she persevered because she knew that God had led her to Atlanta. Through all of her struggles, Melissa kept a journal of the specific things she was praying for, and now she can go back and read all of the ways that God came through for her. She is grateful and thankful for every day and for the opportunities that come her way, including this opportunity to work with the homeless population with the respect and dignity of someone who has been in their shoes. The lessons that Melissa has learned and is still learning are to be generous with what you have, to reflect on the past and move on, and to embrace the journey.
Kimi Walker's guest on this episode of the Early Accountability Podcast is Zana Williams, a second-year law student and motivational speaker in the San Diego area. From an early age, Zana knew that she wanted to become an attorney, and she is very close to achieving this dream, despite experiencing the difficult loss of her father in 2014 and the difficult grieving process that followed. Zana made it through that very dark time only by the grace of God, who relentlessly pursued her and showed her His love even when she was angry with Him, and by watching the incredible strength that her mother demonstrated in the middle of her own mourning. Zana is dedicated to motivating people to reach their potential, from young people in Lesotho, Africa, to first-year law students that she intentionally mentors. Her life experiences have encouraged her to just keep pushing through struggles, to be transparent with your friends and family, and to seek accountability in the midst of struggles to go hard and focus on taking the next step. To aspiring lawyers, Zana recommends that they focus completely on their grades while preparing for and being in law school because it will be worth the lost networking and social time when it is all said and done. Topics Covered in this Episode: • Zana’s advice for aspiring lawyers • How Zana got through the loss of her father and grandmother • The importance of transparency in struggles • How her father’s funeral sparked Zana’s passion for motivational speaking For more information, visit earlyaccountability.com