292: How Gia Peppers is Forging Her Own Path In Media

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292: How Gia Peppers is Forging Her Own Path In Media

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This week in the guest chair we have Gia Peppers, an award-winning on-air talent, entertainment journalist, content creator, and podcaster who is most known for her work as a contributor on NBC’s primetime morning show, “Today Show,” her nationally syndicated Urban One Radio show and podcast, “More Than That with Gia Peppers,” and as 1/5th of the wildly popular podcast, “Black Girl Pod.” 

She shares with us how with each piece of content she creates or participates in, she hopes to remind everyone that the greatness that inspires us in others also lives in each one of us. 

In this episode we discuss:

  • How she found a way to do what she loved at a time where there weren’t many opportunities in the entertainment industry
  • How her father inspired her love for journalism 
  • How all of her experiences helped her get to where she is now
  • How she taps into the little daily joys of life for happiness rather than focusing so much on the big accomplishments + so much more..

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Gia Peppers: @GiaPeppers

Nicaila Matthews Okome 0:02

You're listening to side hustle Pro, the podcast that teaches you to build and grow your side hustle from passion project to profitable business. And I'm your host, Nicaila Matthews Okome. So let's get started. Hey guys, welcome welcome back to the side hustle pro podcast. It's Nicaila here. And today in the guest chair. We have an award winning on air talent, entertainment journalist, content creator and podcaster Jia peppers. Now Jia is best known for her appearances on NBC Today Show her nationally syndicated urban one radio show and podcast more than that with Jia peppers, and as 1/5 of the wildly popular podcast, black girl pod. Recently, the Washington DC native also launched an original interview series on her YouTube and igtv channels titled give you the game, where she leads inspirational conversations with impactful leaders like Debbie Allen, Erica Campbell, Sarah, Jake's Roberts, and more. And in each of them, she intends to give viewers game changing details of how these people inspire us and pursuit and attain their grandest dreams. And what I love about Jia is she's really hoping to help people understand that there's greatness in all of us, not just the people who we view as great, but the greatness isn't us as well. I really hope that this conversation resonates with you. I love that we touched on the path of a creative who may have done some traditional parts of the whole media route of you know, paying your dues in media and entertainment journalism, but it was also absolutely forging her own path, and is redefining what it means to be a freelancer and a side hustler in today's climate, so let's get right into it.

Alright, Gia Well, welcome. Welcome. Welcome to the side hustle pro guest here. Finally. So good to have you.

Gia Peppers 2:06

I'm so excited to be here. Thank you, Nicaila, for having me. Yeah, I'm ready to get into this talk, honey. All

Nicaila Matthews Okome 2:12

right, let's get into it. So first of all, all right, what are you working on now? Because I know you are a multi hyphenate you always have many things going on all at once. So if you were to sum up all of your projects, everything you're doing right now, what would you say?

Gia Peppers 2:28

I would say that the most, the biggest thing that we are working on right now is more than that. This we are in season two, and we are almost wrapped production for season two, but we have new episodes still dropping for the next three, four weeks. So definitely tune into that we've had incredible conversations with with incredibly talented human beings who are experts at making sure that we are living life more well, especially as black people. Yeah, and it's my favorite thing to like Contis consistently be able to learn about and talk about, because there are a lot of ways that people have approached wellness that are new to just black folk, right? Like, I was interviewing Dominique Drakeford. And she is just this incredibly brilliant and deeply knowledgeable educator in the spaces of sustainability and fashion. But she also ties it back to our ancestors and how all of the things that we traditionally do, are technically practicing sustainability and how when she would go into sustainable spaces, yeah, that that were about celebrating sustainability. It was all white people. And she really was able to just bring it back home that like our grandmother's reusing fabrics and making Sunday dresses sustainability, great, great grandmother's learn using all parts of food to make meals for weeks because they only had certain certain aspects of food given to them, but from slave owners like the inability, inability, we've been doing it and so that those are some of my favorite conversations. And of course, we talk about, you know, other issues like climate change and how that is affecting black people in black populated cities. Even though they're being gentrified. They're still the first to be affected by the trickle down effect of how climate change is harming the environment. Because amazing you know, we have this expert and gringo Leah on Episode One who was able to she's a real scientist, she was just like, if you look at the stats, densely populated areas that have black people mostly are neat closer to factories close like it's just a lot the water is messed up like in Flint like so it's just it's I learned so much

Nicaila Matthews Okome 4:36

work and meaningful.

Gia Peppers 4:39

And then we have fun conversations to like about how to keep date night spicy with black love, like we have the next episode coming up is featuring Mr. And Mrs. Kev on stage. They talk about their their love story, yes and how they've known each other since they were 15 and they married for almost 20 years and how they keep a relation ship that is a friendship that is growing that is giving them space to evolve and become more successful because 10 years ago, they were talking about how you know, Kev on stage was just starting, you know, he's everywhere. I

Nicaila Matthews Okome 5:11

know how do seen their empire. I love seeing what they're doing. So I can't wait for that.

Gia Peppers 5:17

Yes. And my parents are actually on episode two. And they've been married for 33 years. 3230, almost 33 years of timber 32 years. Yes. They're their first date stories also hilarious. I love they had to be

Nicaila Matthews Okome 5:33

these conversations. And I love you know, the mixture and all the different, you know, nuggets that you can get from your show. And speaking of your parents, so let's go back for a little bit. I understand that your dad was one of the people who inspired you to get into journalism. Can you speak a little bit about what you know what led you to be bitten by that journalism? Bargain? You know, how did you go from there?

Gia Peppers 5:57

Absolutely. So my dad is a longtime heart news journalist who had been, he was obsessed with history in college, and he studied history in college, but wanting to make sure that he was using my dad has such a great voice like this. So he used his voice and was a anchor. He's from Rhode Island. So he was an anchor for a while there and then moved on to DC when he got laid off in the journal journalism, you get laid off. It's one of those things, right? That happens. And it usually leads you to the things that are for you. And so my dad moved to DC, finds a job at NPR. I was there for 23 years. And during that time, he met my mom, and then they got married to have me. And in my first two months of life, he took me to the newsroom and told everyone at NPR that I would be a broadcast journalist. Oh, and we were, we were coming back home. And my dad was the guy that used to carry the big camera on his shoulders to like, talk to me. You know, he was that guy like in the 90s? Yes, with everything was filmed like this. And so he were was filming and talking to my mommy and telling her about my day. And he was like, Yeah, geo went into the newsroom today and told everybody that she'd be a broadcast journalist. And we ended up finding that video I ended up finding that video is about to ask, yeah, that video is on my page. It's on my on my Twitter. Yes, it's on my Instagram. It's on my IG TV, because it's my favorite thing about this story. Like, it's just so much evidence that God has a bigger plan for us that is already in motion even before we even understand like, before we our thoughts before we can think God has a plan right in the womb. Yep. Hello, because it will take him into the word. Right. And, and I think, you know, that is just evidence and I actually found the video when I was cleaning on my phone. I've seen the video several times in my life, because we're that family. We do watch home videos every now and then. And just watch how cute for his kids and how cute my parents were when they were really, really young. They still cute, but when they were young and just falling in love and figuring out life. And so, um, but I did find it. It was right before, like right around my 30th birthday right after my 30th birthday. And I was in one of those like dark spaces, who wasn't in the last year and a half. But I was in one of those spaces where I was just like, so uncertain. I was feeling like, why am I even doing this things just aren't happening in the way that I want it to. I want it to things just aren't happening as I see fit. And I was cleaning out my phone because you know, child storage. And I come across the video and I look at it. And I was just being happy watching it being happy. And I was like, Lord, you know, whatever. And I look at the date. And it was literally the day before 30 years after we filmed that video. Like the film. It was built filmed on like, 1120 1990 and I see no 1119 2020 And I was like, Okay, Lord, I like when I tell you I broke down and I was like, I'm so sorry for trying to give up on this dream. And this vision that you placed in my heart,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 9:08

like gave me this hill, like make me cry. Like, in that moment,

Gia Peppers 9:12

like because I was so like, Nicaila, I am such a Virgo, and I overthink everything. And if after a while I start seeing that like the plans that I that I have over thought are not falling into place. I start to be like okay, well where's the pivot? And after you put in 10,000 hours into something, you it does break your heart if you have to pivot and it looks totally different. Sometimes you you do come to that point, but I wasn't there and God really showed me like yo, stop. Yeah, look around. I gave you this vision. I gave you this plan. This vision that you think was was literally in my hands for you when you were two months old and before Yeah, but I gave it to your dad to tell you right? And so I say all that to say freefall part of the story. So that's the first part of the story. But then I grew up singing, dancing, acting, I was the girl that was always reading J 14 magazines. I was. I was I was one of my goals at 14 was to be like little Romeo's love interest in a video. tainment dreams, honey, I was trying to be on tour with bow and then I was ready like what I used to practice all the time. I had my little brush, I was ready. And my mother is a dentist and she doesn't she's like, she's Sheryl Lee Ralph, I tell the story so much. She's fairly Robin zigzag to you ain't gonna be on that court and saying you gotta put the choir is out. Like that. And so it wasn't like she was being a mom, right? She wasn't trying to necessarily like discouraged me. She just was like, if you want to do that, you can't just do that. Like, I'm not paying for you to go to school, just to be saying you can sing on the side, but the same day, okay. And so I had to get a degree in something. And I was naturally good at storytelling. And so in college and in high school, like I would do the morning news. I used to have morning news thing I would write for various like magazines at our school. And I didn't do the newspaper because I was also a cheerleader and a dancer and in musical theater. So they asked for too much. I couldn't do all I have to be cute as well. Right? Keep up

Nicaila Matthews Okome 11:24

the lower intense Yeah, hello. I was like You want me to come in

Gia Peppers 11:29

four days a week? Grow? We're not getting it is like why wasn't? I um, I wanted to balance it. And so when I went got to college, I decided to major in broadcast journalism, and theatre arts. So I could have both and in theater and acting and singing is something that I'm definitely getting back into. So you know, yeah, we'll see. I don't believe in box love anybody.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 11:51

I don't believe in boxes. So my you know, it's funny you say that, because when I saw Sonny on PowerBook, or whatever, it was,

Gia Peppers 12:00

like Sonny be out of your box, why you Mary J. Blige said, No, I'm gonna do power. Like, why not?

Nicaila Matthews Okome 12:08

Let the man say, Oh, I'm an actor. Now.

Gia Peppers 12:11

I'm acting isa Ray, is the literal definition of, if I want to do it, I'm gonna do it. And I'm fine with people who know how to do it. And they most likely gonna be in my age range and look like me. And we're gonna do it and kill it.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 12:25

So as you were growing up in pursuing journalism, did you ever feel like you had to put that side of you that artistic side on hold for a bit to you know, pursue education go after, like, the the corporate job route and all of that? Well, no,

Gia Peppers 12:38

never a corporate job. This is gonna be me entertainment. Right. So I think when I saw when I was in college, the best piece of advice my dad gave me was intern, you have to intern, this gig. And this career path is about who you know, and who knows you. So when I got my first after my freshman year, some of the first summer I was interning and I interned every semester after I utilize my time and my energy and my resources to make sure that I understood every single part of what I could do and accomplish at that time, and entertainment journalism, so that I, if I really didn't want to be a host, I was also a great producer, a great editor, all the things. So my first internship was under Donnie Simpson at WPC in DC, and he was a radio Yeah, the morning radio show host then, and I was his last summer intern for that chapter of his life. And I just remember he affirmed that I could do entertainment, because at that time, we lived in very much a 2000s. Bad Boy, you gotta kill anybody to make it type of grind. Don't sleep, don't eat, don't do nothing. And I was like, Why does life have to be so hard? Like? Why do I have to harm?

Nicaila Matthews Okome 13:49

And everyone understood that about entertainment? Why are we like this? Why is it so deep insurance through this and the assistance

Gia Peppers 13:57

that way? So what Donnie, he is just this bundle of light, enjoy. And if you are a journalist or entertainment journalist, or a broadcast journalist, or a blogger or video person, you don't know who Dion Simpson is. You don't know your craft, because Donnie was the original VJ honey. Yeah, the the original smooth, fine, just everything DJ, but he was always so kind. And so what I noticed from him is that every single time he was he came in the studio. That was his world. So who ever walked in janitor, the board ops, the producers for the show, to Gil Scott to the mayor, anybody who walked in, felt seen, heard, respected and celebrated even if it was just a hey, how you doing? Good to see you. Good morning. And when I realized that kindness, and integrity could flourish, I was like, Oh, I can do it. And Donnie was the person that made me realize that for sure, right. Add I knew it could work in hard news. But I was like, No, we're gonna do the same and I don't know I really want to hustle and die like I would like to live a very beautiful life. And so um, yeah, so that's what did that and then I did the wean Academy which is the women entertainment Empowerment Network, which was founded by Alicia Butterfield Jones and Sabrina Thompson, and all these incredibly talented, brilliant women in the field who saw that there was just too many opportunities for black women to consistently be pitted against each other. And so they created an academy, which was kind of like I want to work for Diddy meets like America's next time because we had like challenges every single week. We were beating Thai people it was everything but me and those 30 girls who were in the class were and still are like very close. I was just out of my lane sister the other night of my first manager ever was my other Wien sister, my other one sister, we're going out in New Orleans just turn up for her wedding. Like it's like they're still my close, close friends. Right. And I have Felicia Butterfield Jones, who is one of my mentors on my podcast more than that, and it was a full circle moment because we talked about the power of mentorship. And so when I say that it has been a journey that I have been able to incorporate my love of entertainment into while telling stories and being a person that has seen a lot of different black women journeys and also been brought up by a lot of black women and my dad and black women like and Ebro Darden and Donnie Simpson and big Tigger like a lot of like black people have really always been there for me and have been the catalyst for changes in my career. And I stayed

Nicaila Matthews Okome 16:34

there a lot of great internships.

Gia Peppers 16:36

We Yes, I did. Yes, like Tigger. I didn't intern for Ebro. I was I worked for Ebro. But Tigger and Dani were people I did internships under free was in there at a second there, like it was radio had a lot of change at that time. So I interned with a lot of people. But I say all that to say, at the end of the day, when I did graduate them with no jobs, he was in the middle of a recession. Honey, went to Rutgers University had every intern ship you could think of I did Live with Kelly and Michael, I did the first two seasons of Wendy Williams, and I didn't write it all the thing. I thought I was that girl. I did. NBBJ nope, no one called we were still in the midst of recession. So I did, um, go into advertising for a year. And that was the job that I was like, I will never I don't care.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 17:27

Was it one of those billable advertising agency that kind of flow? Or was it

Gia Peppers 17:32

an agency? They had 14 accounts? Oh, it was it? I will do it. I was on the BMW account. I oversaw the regional spots for commercials for like if you see BMW of a buoy, Marilyn, I was the person that was making sure that BMW dealerships and buoy had the ad that was given to me like it was. I used to watch TD Jakes to get through the day.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 17:58

But you know what, I bet you vet somehow has helped you to where you are now. Right? Oh, yeah.

Gia Peppers 18:04

So I was gonna say my first gig in the industry was I was an overnight desk associate or per diem desk associate at CBS Radio News. Okay. And that is in a historic place in New York, because that's where damn rather like it's just like, incredibly, the news and the stories they were able to cover there. It's like, you've talked to Newsies. They like CBS News. That's incredible. So I was honored to have the job. But I didn't know that hard news wasn't for me. Because on the first day, we were covering the James Holmes shooting trial, the man who shot up the movie theater in Colorado, I believe, the Sandusky trial. Oh, the man who harmed all those young players at Penn State. And there was one more that I can't quite remember. But there was a lot of darkness that day. And I still went forward because I was like, You know what, I got to get a job. It takes a job to get a job like this woman I had met her name was Linda Coombs. I love her to this day. She gave me an opportunity after going to the NA BG J Career Fair in New Orleans that year, and I knew I didn't know her knew I didn't know how desensitized that you you have to be to cover hard news. And I think the last straws for me was one of my really close friends from my college experience. Kristin lay RT or KK she was killed in a drive by shooting in Boston and was on the way to work. And I like had to pull over and just cry because what in the world and I get to work and I see the story on the news wire. And I was like, wow, okay, like this is that we is is deeply real. And then the latter I got back from the funeral. I remember being like life is precious and short. What am I afraid of? Like, what am I actually waiting for? And so I was still playing around because I was still able I still had a job right? still had a gig. So I was still able to learn a lot in that newsroom. I'm grateful for that experience. I worked overnights literally from 11pm to 8am. In the morning, I proved my to myself at that point that I could do anything. I was like, I can make it through this crazy night. I can do anything. And I did it with Starbucks prayer, lots of Tumblr. Also, I also figured out, I watch all the late night shows, but I also figured out my plan, my vision for myself, like who I wasn't, wasn't going to be. And so I was like, I want to interview these people. I had already had a media production company and my like, I had time to think because in the hours of like, two to 4am, there is no news because everybody really actually is asleep. Yeah, except for us. In the newsroom just in case something breaks. So I used to write down quotes to myself that I would see online that were inspiring. I used to write down who I wanted to interview. But the biggest thing that I took was, I'm a hustler. And I'm gonna make this work. Everybody told me in hard news at that time, you have to move to Idaho. And you got to be a one man bander and figure that out until you get to New York. And I was like, Absolutely not. I'm in New York. I went to Rutgers University. So I could start in New York. So if I have to figure this out, I'll figure it out. And so when I left there, that's when I decided to build my money and get some money, because also in journalism, they'll pay you nothing. Nope. And those first few years, honey, they get about $7. And you still got to live in New York. And so when I did finally leave, I started freelancing. And honestly, I've been pretty much freelancing ever since. But I started to freelance because I was like, Nah, I'm going to take this job and advertising to start to pay some of these Sallie Mae bills off and things. But I'm going to still freelance so down the street from my job was sob. And in New York, that is one of the biggest, most important first stages that any artists can ever perform on in New York. It's an intimate place. But all the legends have hit that stage. Because if you can't make it through so bees,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 22:04

yes, your venue guys go cooler, so hip,

Gia Peppers 22:09

and everybody, it's still there, but I don't know.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 22:13

Anything, so many iconic places. It's

Gia Peppers 22:15

intimate. It's intimate. You can't be you can't if you shut down the door after 20 people, it's not gonna be the same vibe. Like, the reason you go to sob is because it's incredible. So I walk in there, I hate kept my CVS, Id even all espousal. And I have walked in there and talk to the PR guy. And I said, Hey, I know you guys have a lot of shows that you guys cover. My editors at CBS entertainment, this is my badge. One, me to start covering more shows. So I just want to come in here and see how I can get on the press list for these things. Girl, acting, the acting was real. I was like, and he looked at me, his name's Andre looked at me. He knew I was both my friend, he has to know. And I appreciate him. Because he saw something in me and me. I was like, the fact that she wants to be here with this. I noticed this Sharada Honey, just the fact that she walked in here, I'm gonna give her a chance. So he decided to put me on little things. And he was like, Look, you reach out to these people. You see if they will take an interview with you because I wasn't writing on CBS. So it was literally me just posting these interviews. And so my first interview there, I had my friend from Rucker, she had a camera we went, and I interviewed Bridget Kelly, and she was on her first small tour at that time, he was on tour went home. And I was the first person I interviewed. And now we know it's funny. But yeah, so I always do freelancing.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 23:44

What I love about that is like, it just shows, like you could be on what some people see as this traditional path. You know, usually, we're talking to people on this show who've gone from like side hustle to full time entrepreneur business or what have you. But when you're a journalist, in today's day and age, you are your own business, you are a business of one, you're building a brand, you're building your content. And it's looking a lot different than it did for your dad when he was starting out and in the throes of his journalism career. So yeah, let's talk about when you went from creating that content with SOPs to starting to develop some of your own series, like in your own portfolio that would live on a website. So you could say here's my reel. How did that come about?

Gia Peppers 24:31

That started it. For me. That's always like a project. Like when I have openings in my career. That is the project in the first that is when I've focused on my own projects, but that that first interview was my own series. That was like in conversation with Jia peppers. That was the first series that I did, because I noticed that we were in a time where like the industry of entertainment was trying to figure out how to balance interest Your net, and money like everything was for you remember Limewire and bear shares, I was getting everything we thought we meant we messed up everything for the entertainment industry and the same with the internet and messed up everything for publishing and magazines. So there weren't that many opportunities. And I think our generation, especially in that time, those people who are now 2930 3132 33, they, we were the first people to be like, alright, we don't have opportunities, so we had to make them. And it just so happened to be the perfect storm, where YouTube was really starting to take off, so you could publish interviews to there. I remember so many bloggers started to just go to red carpets. And so people were just starting to post YouTube interviews. And that's where I started my series. That's why I tell people all the time, if you really are serious about doing what you want to do, you will find a way to do it. There is no reason why you don't have content if you are a content creator. And that means me and you, right? No man has to be right now, I don't know. I'm sure you get sponsors now, bro. But anyway, pay me to be here right now, like, today, we created because we want to have these conversations, because this is what people need to hear and see.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 26:09

And because we're creating a platform for yourself, like what you have done, like when I you know was researching you and I'm like, trying to get down to the bottom, like what was her big break? Like what, what, and I realized, like you've done so much on your own independently. And that's to write that you don't write like one singular,

Gia Peppers 26:29

some people do have this. And that's incredible. And I think I've been searching for that moment, my, my entire career like line is gonna be my big gray under the sunset. And there's so many little breaks that still matter. And so many little things that come together to create a big thing. I was at the essence black women in Hollywood luncheon, like four or five years ago, and Regina Hall was being honored. And I

Nicaila Matthews Okome 26:58

was watching that the other day that time.

Gia Peppers 27:01

Like when I tell you Jennifer Lewis really was yelling from the audience. You do it too. But she first of all, I'm so happy Regina Hall is finally hosting the hostel. She's the funniest person ever, and I don't care like your mother. She's so funny. And she's just co hosting it with Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes. Oh, hey, everyone tune in. Yeah, DC especially thank you. She's from DC if you guys know. So makes us know. Right? Period. Hello, JC one thing we want to do is I know we from Z envy. And so I say all that to say she even talked about it. And it always sits with me because she says, you know some people like my best friend's son, I have a loving basketball and your life changes. And you're out of here. Yeah, I never had that. And she was like, I feel like my career is comparable to what it's like to watch a bathtub fill up. Like you just feel like it's never gonna get there you go the next time it like you want to get in the tub. You just want to feel warm, but it just never gets there until finally at one point, it's overflowing. And she's like, I feel like mine has been a little by little drip by drip. Yep, moment to moment career where I am grateful to be seen by people who do see me. But I also know that like my tub ain't nowhere near full. So while I would love that moment, and I think that it's we all have that moment, right? There's going to be something in all of our careers that will be the flashpoint for four major things. But now we're at a space where we all have power to create our own platforms, so it's not going to look exactly the same like he says Flashpoint was insecure, but we loved her and knew her from Awkward Black Girl, right quiz flashpoint is happening right now with Abbott Elementary, Quinta Brunson, but we know her and love her from giving money like, like so when I'm so grateful because I don't know what my flashpoint is gonna be. I just know that the people who know me and love me, I'm like, Oh, I remember her from the Wizard. She was entering a hospital when that's how I

Nicaila Matthews Okome 29:08

finally see it, you know? Let's talk about what is professional today. Over on LinkedIn, important conversations are happening around what it means to be a professional. Like, I remember when some misguided folks used to tell me that I couldn't wear my natural hair to work. That was unprofessional. And I would just look at them like, are you serious, because they're going to get this Afro pop. Oh, and right now, LinkedIn members are talking about other things like needing more flexibility around where we work, how we work, and even taking time away from work to focus on family or mental health, because those things should not stop career growth and career development. Instead, they should enhance it as we show up on our own terms. Members are even putting what's more important to them into their job titles now with things like podcast host slash activist slash mom, and you know, I'm gonna add side hustle pro slash podcast Hall of Famer, professional is ours to define and our authentic self is our professional self. So if you're on LinkedIn doesn't reflect who you are, update your job title, post your truth. Show the world, the authentic professional you and join the conversations redefining professional on LinkedIn, LinkedIn. Welcome professionals. So guys, have you been thinking about starting your own podcast? Or maybe you've already started but your downloads are just stagnant and you can't figure out how to grow them? Well, that is what I am here for. I'm hosting my next podcast masterclass on Thursday, March 30, at 7pm Eastern, save that date y'all or just go over to podcast moguls.com and register because I'll be going over everything you need to know about how to truly make podcasting your side hustle. And if you stay on till the end, you can of course bring me all your questions, all of your concerns. I'm here to answer them I stay and I answer every single question. So we'll be breaking down how I grew from zero downloads to podcast Hall of Fame how I was able to monetize in so much more please go over and register at podcast moguls calm. Don't say I didn't tell you. Alright, I'm giving you what is this? Giving you a whole week notice. Okay, so go over to podcast one, calm and register for the How To Make podcasting, your side hustle training until all your friends to all the podcasters you know, because they need to be in the building. All right, see you there.

How do you find that balance between devoting to your own content and diving into that and saying, Hey, you guys can sponsor this, you know, reach out for brand partners. And you know, if someone reaches out to you the Oscars and says, Hey, Jia, we want to do a contract with you, but how do you? How do you determine how you'll split your time.

Gia Peppers 32:07

So I, I learned a long time ago that I have to pay attention to my spirit and how it feels when I'm doing these things. It's really a case by case situation because you do have to pay the bills. So you do have to make sure that you have things that are consistent in your life to write, to do things that you do want to do. But project to project I have learned that if I'm not creating content that actually helps people or influence people or inspires people or just makes them spark a different part of their brains are conversations I really don't enjoy doing it. And so like my favorite thing about more than that is even though it's a list, right, like it's a list for 20 minutes show, we record and meet all the time, it is not easy. I'm an also a co EP this year, which I fought for because I did a lot of work in season one I was like this is executive function. And production credit. Um, I write on the show, I help book some talent. We have teams that do everything, but at the end of the day, and I don't have the final say on creative or any of that because it's not it's it's more than that with Jia peppers, peppers more than that. Right. So like I work there's like 2030 people behind the scenes that I barely get to see, because I work with like the five people that keep the production side running. But there's editors, there's advertisers, there's people who oversee merchants, people who bring in the sponsors, and we're on 106 markets in this country, and most of them are black owned. Yeah. And so you know, it's like, I don't see everything, but the things that I can see, I do my best to be like, Yo, that's that's got to change. Yeah, didn't like when I said that, ooh, I think I can get a better guest for that. So you balance it by being honest about what it is that you want to do, say and be in this space. And then this time, and you do what you can with what you got. So at the end of the day, I have said no to things, because something better came up but only if it's life changing, right? Like I was supposed to do this hosting event at a small city thing that was cool. It was straight like ankle. I done it before. It wasn't a it wasn't a needle mover in my career. And I got a opportunity to interview Kobe Bryant. And it happened to be on the same day. had to cancel so sorry. I'm so sorry. I totally understandable

Nicaila Matthews Okome 34:30

you couldn't even told them like Hey,

Gia Peppers 34:33

I know, thank you so much. Yeah, like and I'm so grateful because a year and a half later he passed away. Yeah, like, do what you want to do. I got the best advisor Morgan Devine, founder blabbity Yeah, that girl this weekend at leading women defining and last week, Deborah Lee's conference leading women to find and she kept she called me because I have this thing I like to host a lot of things. I love a live event hosting. But I do so much of it. And it does take energy away from what I really want to do. And so she was like, Well, what do you really want to do? And I was like, I want to create content that inspires people to be great. And I don't want people to feel like greatness is only synonymous with Jay Z, Beyonce and Oprah. I want everybody to realize that they have greatness. And I hope that the conversations that I create, inspire that. And she was like, well, then no, because I was like, I'll do something. I'm blabbity. And she was like, No, that's not what you really want to do. She's like, do what you want to do. Wow, drag me like, so it's such a word, like you got to do what you want to do. And if things come up, manage it as a human being right, don't try to be sheisty, don't try to be shady, don't try to just not show up. Like it is gonna be a relationship that might be solid,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 35:58

but, but you have to prioritize what you want to do. And

Gia Peppers 36:02

what you want to be in the spaces, you want to be happy. Because there's a lot of opportunity out here

Nicaila Matthews Okome 36:06

so much, I was just about to say there's so much opportunity, you know, you could be looking at this person, like, Oh, she's hosting more stuff than me, I need to host more, and you don't even know what's going on in their head, they might be thinking I need to host less, but you're trying to chase all these different things that you think you need to be doing when Yes, like, we want to see more of your content comes to life, we want to see more of your vision come to life, because every time you do it, it's just amazing write stories that you're able to bring out the people that you're able to speak to, and all of that. So what's really next for you in terms of bringing ideas to fruition ideas that are in your brain and what we'll touch on this and then we'll jump into the lightning round.

Gia Peppers 36:46

Yeah, I think what's next for me, is brilliant and bright and deeply important. I don't know exactly what is next for me. Because we can go back to the beginning. And you know, really get into you know, we all know Romans eight, all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord who are called, according to his plans and purposes. I'm being divinely LED. I have no idea what is exactly next. I don't know what tomorrow will hope I know Who holds tomorrow. So for me what's next is consistently showing up for who God needs me to be and working on the things that are cancelling out. Me getting to that space, healing those things, being more mindful of what I want to do, being more mindful of the relationships that I have and building spaces and things that creatives of faith especially feel seen and heard more series, creating and producing more series, getting back into acting, taking vocal lessons again, so I can learn how to protect my voice because I use it a lot. But also singing is a deep love of mine that I've thankfully fallen back in love with with a project that I am excited to share Amazon Music launched a their own like radio stations now and kind of how you know all the streamers have their own streaming radio stations. And so I'm hosting the all new r&b rotation is launching tomorrow. Yeah, so you'll be able to say hey, Alexa, play r&b rotation, and you'll hear me um you know, that's exciting for me because I love music and I love r&b and I forgot how much I loved it because I just been head down working when you got to enjoy life to like, I was listening to Beyonce be alive. From the King Richard soundtrack, okay, on repeat yesterday, because if you listen to that song, it's such a testimony to all that black women go through but especially like being Serena and Venus, like all that they fought through. And that's true for a lot of us. A lot of us have fought through things and no one will ever know. No one will ever know the prayers that you pray silently. No one will ever know the things that you think no will ever know what broke your heart whether that be from your career whether that be from a man or a woman or or you know what, whoever you choose to love, whether that be from family or friends or bosses we don't know and we carry so much. But if everyday we choose to just try again we must celebrate that like I've learned to take the accomplishment needs addiction away from my daily life in my daily joy. And like the real wake up call for me just happened recently with Chesley Krishna, yeah. With her suicide, I I was so shaken because this is a woman that I have admired for so long and every almost every project that I've done She's been a guest so she was on black coffee with me because she's super close friends with Mark Lamont Hill. She was on black robe beauty with me that when I did for BH one and I saw her the last time I saw her was at the Met Gala carpet. And we were both waiting. It was like me her and like three other reporters. Most of us was black because we was waiting for Rihanna clothes hours ago. Marina shows up when she wants to show up and we waited. We were starving. So you were doing the whole girl is so good to see you. Oh my goodness, like this is crazy. Where it's free. We don't know. And we were like, yes, like, okay, let's make sure we have each other's numbers. Now we thought we definitely have to do lunch. So, um, when I saw that she was was in so much pain.

And I couldn't see it. Yeah, I didn't feel it. I didn't know it. And even her mother like reading what her mother said, like I had. She told me that she was depressed. But I didn't know for a long time. Yeah. Um, we all know what people are going through. Yeah. And so all this accomplishment and US caring about stuff, like validation. You go to Charlie's page, baby was over accomplished, like, his accomplishments and that stuff it and then it's hurt. Right? And I don't I'm still processing it. I'm not a health professional. But all I do know is I immediately was like, none of this matters if I'm not happy. Yep. I don't so when people ask me what's nice on my ground care I woke up today um, I gotta talk to my mama today is I need to get back in the gym. So I get these pandemic pounds above me like what's negative is me like figuring out how to consistently tap into the little daily joys of life like thank you God for breath. Thank you, God for the sun. Thank you God for a sound mind. Like Forget it. All this stuff really doesn't like I'm grateful for the work and I'm grateful because our, our work what we do, I was just setting up on Ephesians two, two this morning and my morning meditation. For we are God's handiwork. We are placed here to do things for him. But at the end of the day, God places the vision on us and in us. So we can stay connected to him to have the strength and the the energy to execute the vision. But then at the end of the day, give him glory for allowing us to accomplish the vision. But at the end of the day, he's still the center of all of it. So the less we take away the power of accomplishments in comparison, what everybody else is doing and worry about. What am I here to do today? And how can I do that in the best ability while caring for myself caring for the people who love me caring for the daily small things too. So I don't get so caught up in the big things that they take me off. What I'm here to do is what I'm trying to cultivate in my life. I want peace I want joy I want happiness. I want

Nicaila Matthews Okome 42:55

love.

Gia Peppers 42:56

I want love. You want love no one's my man. I have to. We're sad to rely energy yellow, I have to realize that like I can't, he's not going to come to my door. So I have to get on the apps I have to do what I have to do. Because if I'm not afraid to go for my career and Taylor Brooks always gives me this advice. She like says Don't ever be ashamed to go after a do thinking that like he might play you because you know you are a public facing figure because I be like I'm I'm afraid the screenshots now. Yeah, because I don't like rejection. Yeah, man at the end of the day, like how will I know if I don't try and say something to try.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 43:31

You gotta try. You know, I hit my husband up on Facebook. He's gonna laugh because I always like and say he but I wasn't reaching out to him for that. Okay, so let's say where I'm so many platforms at our disposal these days. Okay, yeah, it might just be on you know. I like there's one last thing I want to ask you before we It's okay. Because I just feel that you know, we all know that you're open to what comes next and and you know, that you know, you're you're more fluid and flexible in terms of what can come next. But for those who are creatives and who have similar ideas and dreams and desires, it can be scary. It can be scary to think, like how do I make a living doing this? How do I even position myself to get job after job? You know, books after books like so what are some parting advice that you can give to folks who have a creative journey? And you know, who want to embark on doing what you're doing hosting, leading, telling these stories, bringing stories to life? How can you position yourself to be booked and then how can you make a living so you have consistent income during slower periods.

Gia Peppers 44:42

We bless God for the consistent income. Yes, because I have been there one of the reasons why I always talk about like people, people people, people troll Ebro because Ebro Darden does like to troll there is no reason around it. But if I didn't work For Ebro when I did, I wouldn't have stayed in entertainment journalism at all. Because he would he he was paying me to do things that like, that sustained me for that in between time I was the managing editor of blame erode calm, which is now defunct because he didn't need it anymore. But it was his like, personal website where like, we would cover news and stories. And he saw me on our carbon ones, like year, a year or so before and remembered me and was like, Yo, you're really dope. I want you to work for me. And I was just like, I don't know what what why am I okay? Forgetting Ebro Darden? Sure. Like why not? And, um, there will be times when, like, my account would get down to like 200. And I have parents who are very supportive, like, it would never feel like, I couldn't do anything. But I do remember feeling like, dang, I can't even pay this bill. I can't even like, you know, I can't go out. Like, I just remember it being feeling heavy. And Ebro would slide me like an extra 500. And I don't know if he knew, but like, on top of like, what I would make, but I don't know if he knew, yeah, but that those saved me, like literally saved me. So when people try to discount him or say he's old school, or whatever, I'm like, dog. He's brilliant. Because he saves so many of us. And he's the reason why Black Girl podcast ever even came together. Because we were all talking at how 97 We all worked at having seven different different parts of the digital department. And we were the black girls on you know, black girls, we find each other. And, um, we were just talking one day, and he's like, he was Snapchatting. Us and was like, Well, this is what it looked like to have a black girl podcast, and a black woman podcast. And we were like, well, we're, we were young at the time we were babies, we were like 2324. So we weren't we not we still grow like we figuring it out. And that's when we decided to start recording black girl five. And I say all that to say like, if you are going to be a part of this creative life, one, understand that what you have is a gift.

Your visions are not put in your head by accident. And this is not an easy journey, you will fail, you will cry, you will. You might even ask God like I did to take the dream off your heart because it's way too hard. Like to be completely and totally honest. But if you can figure out a way to silence the noise, to escape, whatever the little, the little feelings or voice that comes up that says you're not good enough, you can find a way to silence that. And really get to, to to the business of what Oprah always says finding your highest thing, right? Finding what you're good at, and uncovering it because it's there. It's already there. Everything that you have, everything you have is what you need to get to where you want to go. No one is going to do it for you though. The work. The Hustle is sold separately. Honey side hustle is real. So if you figure out, okay, if you have a nine to five, because you also need to sustain yourself that five to nine. You got to figure out even if it's just an hour a day, did you give yourself time to brainstorm? Did you bring on virtual assistant to help you at least get from point A to point B over the next three months? Identify your real strengths and your real weaknesses and figure out how you can either work with a peer or your friend or someone who's doing the same thing or hire people that can help you to do it. Because this journey isn't easy, but it's doable. And the only way that you continue to learn or grow is to just start. Yeah, I interviewed Natasha Rothwell over the pandemic and I loved I loved her conversation because she was just so in it man like in it she's in it she understood baby has lived so many lives. He was a high school teacher for musical theater arts at one point yes, like people baby has lived and she made it and she's making it and she told me like yo people are so afraid to start how will you know if you're a good start? What for you will never miss you. Trust every opportunity that comes your way that feels good. Yep. And then surround yourself with people who are doing the same thing. We live in a space now where niche the niche culture is real. You can find a place a space on clubhouse, Twitter spaces, Facebook groups, whatever there is everything. There's a space. Find your way there. Find the groups her agenda, color calm, and a BJ fine. Find the groups that you can really be a part of and start to pour into them because they will pour back into you. And then the last piece of advice is yo be good at what you do. Please. The thing about clubhouse is that all sudden everybody became an expert after one year. Y'all took one class. Don't play with me. Don't. How you notice. Yeah, it's a lot of regurgitating happening. We hear it on a Tony Robbins episode. And we're like, and the new thing that we all have to realize is no baby. If you haven't earned that experience, I don't want you to count me to be able to Google your LinkedIn and it shouldn't tell me 10 years ago, you worked it didn't and then I'll trust you as an expert. Maybe not 10 years,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 50:39

but it's scary to throw me out there me the scariest for me or like so I'm the Tick Tock doctors or dermatologists. It's like, wait a second now. Like, how are you? Yeah, like,

Gia Peppers 50:51

what did you carry out here? If you if you are a consumer, yes. Be observant. Do your own research before you actually do something that somebody said unless it's like, I don't know. I don't even know. But just study your craft. Yes.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 51:08

We're gonna do a quick lightning round. You just answered the very first thing that comes to mind. And then we're gonna wrap up. So are you ready? Yes. All right. Number one, what is a resource that has helped you in your business and your creative life that you can share with a side hustle pro audience,

Gia Peppers 51:25

the Bible? Your real? Hello, the Bible has always helped me and I think another resource for those who might not believe which is okay, but I'll say try Jesus. I'm downloading scripts from the internet like say that there are there ad scripts that are living on the internet Google like if you find a commercial that you like, say is the latest Cheerios commercial I'll know. And playing with your voice and inflection to see how you can start reading that'll help you understand your voice and your in your power to sell a story.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 52:01

Oh, I like that's a great tip. I've never heard before that. I really like this. So I'm glad I'm talking to you. Do you work with a voice coach do or you know,

Gia Peppers 52:09

I don't yet but I need to because my voice I might lose my voice a lot. Now that I'm recording like double time. And I'm like, yeah, oh, that's why people take care of it. Got

Nicaila Matthews Okome 52:16

it. Yeah, I've been thinking about that, too. Okay. Yeah. Number two, what about how do you feed your mind? What's the best business book or podcast episode that you've consumed so far this year?

Gia Peppers 52:25

The best business podcast that I've consumed so far this year. Business is honestly my own. More than that has a great more than that has a really great episode with Nipsey. His business partner David Gross, who helped him launch factor 90 and buy property to turn things back again to be black in Crenshaw and Slauson in South LA, and David gross, please, Y'all follow him. He's everything. He just talks so beautifully and brilliantly, but our conversation changed the game for me.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 52:59

Love that. Okay, what is a non negotiable part of your morning routine,

Gia Peppers 53:04

the Bible, everything about the prayer and meditation morning meditation is a non negotiable, I will run late, before I miss my time to check in with myself because I'm, again a Virgo who overthinks a lot. So I have to be able to journal at least for five minutes, even if five minutes, give us that whatever I woke up with, or whatever is on my heart, just get it off. So I can focus on what I need to do.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 53:31

I love that. Okay, number four, what's a personal habit that you think has really helped you as a creative and you know, in your career,

Gia Peppers 53:40

I love people. I really care about people. I was the girl in high school that like, I would say hi to people all the time in the hallway, even if I had seen them before. And then one girl, I just want to say, I don't really edit again, especially now the accomplishments is great, but like, how is your heart doing? That matters to me. And I think at the end of the day, we live in a space now where our hearts have to matter. So if I'm on a set, hello to everybody, if I'm on a day, whatever, it's just people matter to me. And if you're in my presence, I hope that I don't make you feel worse about yourself. I hope that I make you feel better, or at least feel some type of joy. Hmm,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 54:23

amen to that. I love that. And then finally, number five, what is your parting advice for fellow black woman's side hustlers who want to be their own boss but are worried about not always having a steady paycheck?

Gia Peppers 54:36

Because that's real, a steady paycheck. That's real thing. If you are in the corporate space, and you like your two weeks, every two weeks every 14 days and is not bothering you. I would say stay there, because out here is real life net 45 net 60. Net 90

Nicaila Matthews Okome 55:00

Listen, and then that chase down because I didn't get

Gia Peppers 55:02

get the check. So sir Ma'am, if you value freedom, and you value being able to say and again, it's the freedom because you don't have a nine to five, just have a nine to whatever time you end up working and not working in is all work, right. But if you value not having to do exactly what somebody says if you value not having to clock in and do projects that you don't care about, there's a pros and cons to each side. So if you are at your desk crying because you hate your job, realize that there are going to be parts about the other side of side hustling that you hate, but the payoff is so worth it. So just figure out if you if you are the type of person that wants this type of lifestyle, I would even say try it, right like if you've worked in corporate, you will always get another corporate job, especially if you're talented black woman, honey, we will get the job but have your three months three to six months saved and if you run low on things go ramen noodles still work. You know I'm saying we love a good pasta that lasts you the week Hello. So just Google and do what you got to do to to figure it out. If you're a hustler. If you're a person who's gonna do something and you are a hustler, and you are strategizing her, no one's going to be able to stop you Google everything and understand that if you really want to do it, you'll find a way and if you don't, you won't.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 56:34

And that's that Alright guys, so let's do where can people connect with you after this episode?

Gia Peppers 56:39

Please connect with me at chip Ebers on all social media. Somebody tried to hack my Twitter. Oh. Let me tell you something put on your two factor because I was playing I didn't think I was that lit until somebody tried to take over my Twitter to factor yourself please for everything. Um, and yes, follow me on all things as edgy peppers. And please make sure you guys listen to Season Two of more than that show in that app more than that show on all things and you can find more info about the show. More than that, with Gio peppers. Wherever you listen to podcast, it's available everywhere as well.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 57:16

Alright, thank you so much for being in the guest chair. You guys. I will have links to everything that GM mentioned. And there you have it, talk to you next week. Hey guys, thanks for listening to side hustle Pro. If you like the show, be sure to subscribe rate and review on Apple podcasts. It helps other side hustlers just like you to find the show. And if you want to hear more from me, you can follow me on Instagram at side hustle Pro. Plus sign up for my six foot Saturday newsletter at side hustle Pro, that CO slash newsletter. When you sign up, you will receive weekly nuggets from me, including what I'm up to personal lessons and my business tip of the Week. Again, that side hustle pro.co/newsletter to sign up. Talk to you soon

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Meet the host:

Nicaila Matthews-Okome

Hi! I’m Nicaila, the Creator and Host of the Side Hustle Pro Podcast. I started Side Hustle Pro when I was a side hustler myself. I was a digital marketer at NPR by day, side hustler by night. Through the powerful stories shared on this show and the courage to launch my own initiatives, I was able to quit my own job and go full time with Side Hustle Pro.

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