297: How to Put Your Side Hustle Dreams in Drive (w/Rana Campbell)

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297: How to Put Your Side Hustle Dreams in Drive (w/Rana Campbell)

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This week in the guest chair we have Rana Campbell, Founder and Chief Dream Driver behind Dreams In Drive; a platform that helps millennial creatives learn how to take their dreams from park to drive. Rana is no stranger to exploring her many dreams. In addition to running Dreams In Drive, Rana works in Marketing and Partnerships at Paramount’s Internal Branded Content Studio, helping to make brand partnerships come alive for some of your favorite brands. As a multi-passionate and lifelong storyteller, Rana knows all about how to put your side hustle dreams into drive.

 In this episode she shares:

  • How and why she started the Dreams in Drive podcast and how it’s changed her life
  • Why it’s important and smart to have a 9 to 5 while chasing your dreams
  • How she approaches exploring various side hustle ideas as a multi passionate side hustler
  • How having a child made her think about her purpose and future & so much more!

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Dreams in Drive- @DreamsinDrive

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, Michaela Matthews Coleman. So let's get started. Hey guys, hey, welcome back to the show. It's Mikayla here. And today in the guest chair, I want you to meet producer storyteller Raina Campbell, the founder and chief dream driver behind dreams and drive, a platform that helps millennial creatives learn how to take their dreams from Park to drive. In six years, Raina grew the platform to over 200 episodes, 1 million plus downloads and streams in 80 plus countries. In addition to dreams and drive, Reena works in marketing and partnerships at Paramount's internal branded content studio, helping to make brand partnerships come alive for some of your favorite brands. Reina has been a lifelong storyteller, and is committed to sharing other's journeys of success. She's a 2013 graduate of Princeton University, and has a bachelor's degree in sociology. And in today's episode, we're going to talk about how to put your side hustle dreams in Drive. You'll also hear Remember, I talked about the fact that we are in a podcast mastermind together, we connected back in the very first Podcast Movement conference that we went to. And of course, Reena being the natural connector that she is got a few of us together, and we have been connecting and workshopping and sharing our journeys together ever since. So let's get right into the episode.

Welcome, welcome to the guest chair arena. I'm very excited to talk about putting our side hustle dreams into Drive. And I think there's no better person to talk about this than you. So for those who don't know you, can you share a little bit about yourself. So when did you start podcasting and why?

Rana Campbell 2:05

All right, so as you guys know, I'm Rena, I'm the host of the dreams drive podcast, Jamaican sister just like Mikayla but I was actually born in the US, but I still claim you know, my parents are Jamaican. Stan graduated, thought I'd have this big media job, but that didn't happen. So I ended up kind of like hustling in New York. Wanna hustle? That sounds like I'm I was a hustler in New York.

Unknown Speaker 2:34

Find your way. Yes. Like alongside having like a full time job. So you know, I was doing a lot of freelance writing for different magazines like Madame noir, Huffington Post, really feeling like, you know, I want to be in the media world. But I didn't really feel like I was like, MagSafe accepted. But as you guys know, like New York City, and media world can be like tough to get into. And so after a few years of just being on the outskirts, I said, You know what, I'm going to start my own podcast, which is what I did my launch my own podcast streams and drive in 2016, January 2016. And since then, I think this week, the week that we're recording this, I'll have like, over 300 episodes, right? So yeah, it's really been a whirlwind over these past six years of just really figuring out my storytelling gift as you are, right, a storyteller, loving to tell people's stories, I really found a platform to do that. And along the way, realize that there was so much more that dreams and drive was than beyond just the podcast, like, I just had, this girl sent me a message or a video message, like telling me that you really, really encouraged me to do this. And I came up with my own dreams. And she was there and motivated me. And I'm like, dang, I didn't really realize that something that I started just because I couldn't find a place for myself, right. So I created my own platform really has like morphed into something that I'm really proud of. So hopefully, that's like me in a nutshell. And I also work in marketing in a corporate world now, just to clarify a bit. So where are you working at the time? So

Nicaila Matthews Okome 4:06

the podcast was your side hustle? Or were you using it to get yourself a job?

Unknown Speaker 4:12

Yeah. So when I started the podcast, I was actually working in marketing at an E commerce fulfillment company. So I was kind of doing it alongside having a full time marketing job. And then in August 2018, is when I quit my job, full time to do I remember, dreams and drive. But I thought I'd be able to do a full time like in the beginning. So that's the story to get there. But yes, I was working up until 2018. Full time.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 4:39

Got it. So that is actually something that is super realistic. And I don't think enough people talk about that, like this path of, first of all, figuring out what you're doing the journey, especially post undergrad. It has twists and turns like that, like you dabble in entrepreneurship for a while then you work for someone else, then you might go back to entrepreneur worship where you might, you know, decide that you kind of like being a full time side hustler. So what made you decide to leave your role and focus on doing dreams and drive full time?

Unknown Speaker 5:12

Well, to be honest, Mikayla, I didn't decide anything right. My boss, it's funny, because I think I was so naive. And I had a cool boss at the time, I thought he was cool. He took me out to lunch one day. And he's like, right now, like, what do you want to do with your life? And I'm thinking, you know, it's just lunch. All right, let's talk right? So I don't want to have my own media company. I want that like, now, in retrospect, I'm like, Why was I telling that to my boss. And so my review was coming up. And at my review, he wrote on my review, I don't think this place is the place for marinas future goals. He was a fellow Caribbean brother, so part of me feels like low key, maybe he was trying to push me to, like, really pursue what it is that I wanted. Yeah. And based off that review, I was put on like a probation at work review period. And I just decided to negotiate like, a graceful exit, because I just felt like it wasn't, this wasn't the environment that I really wanted to be in. Like, to be honest, I was really trying to be like, a side hustler at work. And I don't think I was giving my full 100% to my position, which worked for me for a time, but like, you know, not everyone's gonna tolerate that for forever. And so this really forced me to think about like, what is it that I want to do? And can I really, like sustain myself from my podcast? Now, to be honest, I had started that job in 2014. And that was 2018 When I left, so I was saving aggressively those past four years. So yeah, I had enough saved where I'm like, Alright, I could survive for like a year, you know, maybe two years. If I'm like living, you're still living at home with my parents. So that's also a big thing. So it was kind of like I was pushed out. But at the same time, I had the safety net to really just explore. Like, I didn't really have everything figured out. But I had the financial safety net at that point to just see, alright, go what will happen if you just really take this time to put into dreams and drive into your freelance projects, and all that other stuff. So that's what I did.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 7:20

So you said a couple of key things. Now, first of all, y'all, that this is real. We've all gotten caught up in the Okey doke. When people ask you questions. They're really trying to see if you're trying to stay with what you're trying to do in the company. Do not get caught up in the Okey doke. Remember, you're still at work. This happened to me too. So I'm not blaming you, like you think, you know, especially if you have a good rapport with your manager, let's say, if anyone at the company asks you what you want to do, always weave in a company goal, always weave in somewhere in the company, you wouldn't be until you're ready to leave, right? This is from our experience, but then you also talked about saving aggressively so clutch and also living at home with your parents. So I also lived at home with my parents, for you know, around the same time that you were living at home, you know, mid 20s, or whatsoever. And you know, not everyone has the opportunity to do that. And then sometimes when you do, there's this, like, sense of pride where you don't want to do that. But like, especially living in the New York, New Jersey area, it can be cost prohibitive to live on your own and it can be so helpful to save. So once you had saved, you were able to explore right without having to worry about your next paycheck for a while.

Unknown Speaker 8:36

Yeah, no, that was definitely and you know, it's funny because, um, we're gonna probably talk about this later when it comes to just scaling a business but I think I have been a saver to my detriment at times, right. So it's like, say that, um, because I feel like my relationship with money sometimes is I'm scared to like even spend on myself. And when it comes to growing a business, when, in retrospect, whenever I think about like, what are some things I could have done with dreams and drive that maybe I'd be further along right now. It's maybe like investing in things earlier, instead of waiting until now and like building out a team and not being scared to put out money right? It takes money to make money. Yeah, and I just think sometimes it's like, Alright, you're doing all the saving, but what are you doing with the money that you're saving? And so that's where I am now is really trying to think about how can I use these funds How can I use like the revenue streams and drivers creating to build something more and not be so caught up in this like, I don't want to go broke but I'm not good. I mean, yeah, things because I'm Caribbean parents, like my dad's a big like, you should be able to have it twice type thing. You know what I mean? Right, right,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 9:43

like be able to pay for something twice before you think of buying it. That kind of thing. Yeah, I've heard that before. So you weren't working for yourself now for what was that? Like about three four years before you

Unknown Speaker 9:56

if I quit in August 2018 The pay endemic happened what? March 2020? Right? Yup. I had the baby, September 2020. Uh huh. And then I got this new job at Paramount as a marketing manager in April 2021. Okay, so I'm coming up with my one year at Paramount.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 10:18

Well, congrats, congrats. So before we get into, you know, your transition back into the working world, as you call it, when you're still working, when you talk to us about the things that you started to explore when you were working for yourself. You are a multi passionate person, very talented. Many people might not know that you were the one who produced my first live show, back in October 2019. So you were exploring a lot of different things. What did you learn during that year? What What was the experience like for you?

Unknown Speaker 10:52

Yeah, so I remember like, when I first quit, I was like, Wait, what am I supposed to do with my time now? Right? So in the beginning, it really was. So I had the podcast, and it was like, How can I get sponsors? Right? How can I get sponsors? But I don't think I was necessarily aggressively looking for that. I think for to be honest, the killer. I feel like for the baby, the first like six months or so. I was just like, relaxing, that makes anything. I feel like no, to be honest. I feel like ever since graduating. So you know, I went to Princeton. I thought I was always trying to like, be on to the next thing. I have not gotten just to relax. Yeah, since like middle school, right? Like going to school, going to college going and work. And so I just kind of my parents were like, What are you doing with your life, right? But I'm like, I'm figuring things out. But sometimes you need that space. To just think I know, we have these conversations all the time. But it's like, you really do not need that space to just think so. I was looking at the podcast, and I'm like, hey, I need to get sponsors, I need to get sponsors, I need to build relationships. So that's really what I was doing during those like first six months, were just like, trying to figure out like, what are other people doing? Are there agencies I can work with? What are some other skills? I think I started writing, like, excellent recall. So going back to the freelance writing, going back to like, what are my skill sets that I can make money from because honestly, to get sponsors on the podcast, it's just not always like a 123 and you got sponsors, you take you take time. So I was doing a lot of like relationship seating. And as you know, you I think I forgot how it came about, like, did you say that? I should do it? And I'm like, All right, did I mention it?

Nicaila Matthews Okome 12:36

Did it come about? Um,

Unknown Speaker 12:38

because you I plan

Nicaila Matthews Okome 12:40

actually, you plan an event for your show for your for your audience? You had like, can you plan my show?

Unknown Speaker 12:51

I think I had a dinner party and then I had like a like a meet up in the city at this restaurant and I had worked with a really nice I work with like a restaurant at the time to make it happen. And so I was dabbling in a lot of little things and I was just trying to figure out like, what would what would stick and I think working with you really showed me that way like all my different skill sets producing production relationships like marketing like it was all coming together in the live event space and it's just and to see it all come together as you guys probably saw when the Kelly were promoting it and just posting about it like I think it taught both of us what we were capable of right like you as a host you on stage it was so beautiful to see it come together and then me back behind the scenes making it happen. I might you know, I like this tool, right? Like I like being able to support someone else's dreams. Which is also why I like having a podcast called dreams and drive until I was trying to figure out like my role in this whole thing and what I couldn't be too bad of a pandemic happened but I know it was fun while it lasted.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 14:00

I can't wait to do it again. But what it taught me about you Reina is like, Guys, Rena did that whole like everything like what what you might not know either is I was secretly pregnant at the time. I wasn't telling anybody yet because it was still early. It was under a 12 weeks. And so I was exhausted in my first trimester exhausted I was right, and I would reach out to be like, do you want this or this can you pick? Remember, I'm

Unknown Speaker 14:35

like I know like I'm

Nicaila Matthews Okome 14:39

you know, I didn't think that was gonna happen while we were talking about doing the show. So but that what that taught me about you is just how gifted you are. And I think the reason that I'm so glad to have you here is because many many people come to me they're like, I'm just, I just have so many things I like to do. I don't know what to do. I am instead of exploring any of them. They just stay in that zone of I don't know what to do. And the thing about you is, you might still be in a phase of determining, okay, at what stage do I want to focus on which one because I believe you can focus on many things in your lifetime. But you might still be like, Okay, I don't know if for the next five years, I want to do this one, but at least you will go out there and you will explore and you will explore like, fully like wholehearted commitment, you know, so the way you produce that show, it's like you've been an event planner, for, you know, years. So I encourage people to look to you and to look to that example of putting your dreams and drive of getting out there and saying, alright, this interests me, you know, let me try it like something else you've done. It's like you you've put together what do you call it when you've put together whole production shoots? Can you tell us a little bit more about that?

Unknown Speaker 15:49

Yes, it's funny, because I'm here thinking like, what have I done since I quit? And it really was this whole thing of just exploring random things. I don't think you know, but it also comes to relationships, too. So like, another thing that I did beyond I'll get back to the photoshoot I don't want to forget this is I had like the study hustle, where I was doing email marketing for a bus company in Atlanta. So legit. And it came from like my past job, like one of my old bosses he moved on. But he always knew that, like I had multiple interest. And so he put me on to this, like monthly job. Getting paid hourly, it was like a crazy amount for hourly rate, right, just to produce, like, one email a month for this random like bus company in Atlanta. But it taught me this, like, you don't have to have a glamorous job to get paid. Right. And like that little that little chat monthly helped sustain me even when I hadn't yet figured out everything else. Right. So I'll do my little email month, right, get a little, a couple G's, right. And then, that was like the funding that led me do other things to explore my creative interest. Something else that I did was, I don't even know I want to say maybe executive producer or like it's kind of the same thing like Live Events Producer, but more hush more so for photoshoots so I'm really big on relationships. Another friend of mine reached out to me she's a photographer. And she wanted to do like this. Like just like a kind of like creative collab with other creatives. So we got a stylist we got a photographer, we got a behind the scenes person, we had a makeup artists, we have models, and we just did this like really dope collaborative shoot that showcase everyone's passions. And we're able to post about it. And then we all got work from that, right. So for this past, like, three years or four years, it really has just been a showcase of me just exploring. And I think that's something that I sometimes get scared to tell people that I've done, because it's not necessarily like a linear path. And we've talked about this so much like even in our own podcast mastermind, which we're a part of, right, yeah. It's like, I sometimes feel like the oddball because I'm like, here I am with this podcast called dreams and drive, right? And people are like focusing in on one thing, and I'm still kind of just doing so many other things. But that's my story. And I think that's a superpower,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 18:12

too, which is what you know, we're always telling you in the mastermind, like, it's okay, you could literally, you know, you have time, you could literally decide at any moment, like I'm gonna do this thing, and it's gonna blow up because like you were that talented. And I like that you talked about the linear thing. So the linear thing has us in a chokehold. Everybody expects to go from A to B to C, and it just doesn't work like that. And the only reason why it might not look like that for like me or somebody else is because y'all didn't know me then Instagram wasn't around when I was doing all of my hopping, okay? When I graduated from undergrad, and I was doing PR, and then I was at a real estate firm that I was at, like, you know, move back home with my parents, like, you didn't know me on Instagram. So it just so happens that, you know, once this came around, like I was a little further through all of my exploring.

Unknown Speaker 19:07

Yeah, but you don't I feel like that's just something that we have to talk about is like, it's, it's okay. Like, it's definitely okay. Because there is I was just had an interview earlier from my show, and one of the guests was talking about how like, she has all this like random knowledge. But then when she finally launched her business, all this knowledge that she had accumulated was so beneficial for her. It came full circle, like all these little random jobs, she'd done all these like contracts she's worked on now that she's actually 100% focusing in on no one can play games with her cuz she's like, listen, I know how to design a website. You can't You know, I know how this works. I know how that works. I've heard this before. So I think if it's like going to school again, but the school is life. Yes. Instead of you know, being in school, you're

Nicaila Matthews Okome 19:57

not really learning that much, right? But it's like And that's part of the reason. Yeah, that's part of the reason why we have this, this misconception about, everything's supposed to be linear, because that's how school was. And when we get out of school, we're just lost because no one's there to say, Okay, this is the next class you should choose. These are the classes you need to graduate. This is your, you know, your requirement, blah, blah, blah, it's up to us now to you know, navigate this school of life and understand what we need to invest in what we need to teach ourselves next to get to that next phase.

Unknown Speaker 20:28

Exactly. And I just, I think that for anyone who's listening, who may feel like, I don't got to figure it out, like most people don't, and it's okay. And, you know, as long as you have like, like I said, like, I was alright, with just having something unglamorous in the background that I was doing that was helping me pay my bills, making sure that I wasn't like, you know, asking my parents for money, which I will never want to do, right. So especially being Caribbean, you know, that that

Nicaila Matthews Okome 20:55

was my when I quit my job, I was 24 Working at this Realty firm, just so I didn't have even though I was living with them, okay, I don't want to have to ask you for any more. You know.

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Unknown Speaker 23:26

Oh, it gives me shivers just thinking about like, you know, when you don't realize that something's going to like, for me, let me think about it. And like in the whole dream driving metaphor, right? Like, I legit got in the front seat, and not realizing where my GPS was going to take me and I'm been along for the ride. And I've been so many stops along the way. Like, I'm just thinking about, like the guests that I've had on the show, right? But people like Jennifer Lewis like how would I would have never thought that able to I'd be able to interview these people that I've admired for so long. Jennifer

Nicaila Matthews Okome 23:59

Lewis, or Michelle Obama's brother, or yeah, just amazing people from all walks of life.

Unknown Speaker 24:06

Yeah, it taught me just like how my own superpowers are just my gift of storytelling was going to make a way for me and for others. And even interestingly, I think for me, when I was felt like giving up the podcast was also a reminder like, Girl, no, you can't because this is what this is your thing. And there are people that are out here who are rooting for you. I think I was talking to you earlier about how someone sent me a message like just the other day a video message like yeah, Reina This podcast is dope. Please don't give up. I have never even said I want to give up. Right. But this is, this is your calling. And we'll talk about when I re entered the workforce, like after having Axl, you know, have a 19 month old son now. Like I was really nervous about it. And it was actually one of my past guests from the show didn't even know that I was potentially looking to enter the workforce again, just to make sure I had that stability for him. For my son, she sent me a job posting my Hey, they're hiring or my team. And I just You were the first person I thought

Nicaila Matthews Okome 25:08

they hired me. And I don't even like that. So it was it was one of your listeners

Unknown Speaker 25:13

knows one of my past guests like my first guest, one of my first guest on the show. We had kept in touch. She's also from New Jersey, she was always a fan of mine are always supporting me behind the scenes, like legit and march 2020. She sent me this job description and said, This is you? And I'm like, Are you sure? Like, I don't know, if I want to enter and I was so nervous to apply. I was so nervous to do the interview process. I thought I had been out the game for so long. And then they accepted me. And that uncovered a new, like, new, like, trying way for me to drag down and love the way

Nicaila Matthews Okome 25:49

your podcast on the resume. Like was that part of your portfolio like to them? Right. Meeting? No, no, I mean, I say it wasn't meeting what you've done over the last few years. Yeah, I

Unknown Speaker 26:03

always have my podcasts on my resume. But what I'm saying is as far as like, what was I doing from 2018? To 2021? Right, that was the big part of it. So I definitely had to position the podcast as like a company that I was growing and all the functions I'm a one woman show, right? So I was producing, editing, fundraising, everything. So I had all the different executive functions that I definitely showcase to the team. And being that my job was in partnerships and marketing. I think it kind of made sense. Another way the podcast was a gift for me, and this is just meet me even more. So on the personal side, as you guys know. So I was living at home my partner and I, we had like a situation where we, you know, we had to stay home because his mother was sick. So for a while, I'm like, I just want my own space, I leave my own space. And I was doing the whole like looking for places and it just wasn't working out. And I'm like, You know what? It's gonna work out just keep doing it, like six months of looking for a job or looking for a place and I finally found this nice little townhouse in town, in my budget had everything I wanted, went through a realtor for it because it was like a Zillow listing. But I was still through a realtor, okay, they loved me. They were young people just like me. They said, we want we want to meet, we want you to meet the landlord. And I said, Okay, so you know, open the door. We had this meeting, I looked at her. And I'm like you booked familiar. And do you know she was a guest on my podcast? Isn't that crazy? And the reason I know the reason why that is, the reason why I didn't even notice it upfront was because I guess like the name that she uses in business isn't her same name. That was like her government name. Right? Okay, so um, then she said, Oh, we're gonna You're gonna meet with this person. Like, I didn't, it didn't click for me until I saw her face. And I'm like, You were part of that group that like I interviewed on the show, right? And so it was just another sign to me like girl like this podcast is going to help you get what you need to get. You cannot give up on this little baby here. Okay? No. And I just want to Oh my god, we just had a pause here just to just to let that sink in you guys.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 28:16

I mean, the things I want to highlight here that what I love about this story and your story here is number one, you kept doing something that you loved as you work to discover the parts of your talents that you want to focus on. You kept doing what you love, you kept pouring into yourself, and you kept building relationships like podcasting is one of the best ways to build relationships. A lot of people don't realize that like this podcast is a cheat code

Unknown Speaker 28:47

on how to interview how to interview

Nicaila Matthews Okome 28:54

you putting this in quotations? Yes, we do in a cover up business, but no, it is a cheat code. interview people. Okay. Oh my gosh. So now let's talk about your you. Okay, so you've had a baby during the pandemic I had, I mean, how did that change your path? How did that influence like what you wanted to do next? Obviously, you want more stability, but as you start to look and think through your life goals, you know, what were some of the things that you started thinking about?

Unknown Speaker 29:27

I think the biggest thing for me the first thing was like legacy, right? It's like I'm not just doing this for myself. When I saw him I'm like, I want him to be not saying that I was just Dibley dabbling with no end goal in mind but like I really felt like having a baby and not saying you need a baby for this baby so you can have some kind of you know, stability or you know, working towards something clarity. Because they are work they are hard work, but I feel like it really forced me and I always heard this right like it forces you To start thinking about your future and start thinking about, like, what are you truly doing? Because I can't just like, you talked about stability, but I do want him to be stable, right? I do want him to, to be able to provide like a home and a life. And it's something that I have to think about, like my parents came here from Jamaica, because they wanted a better life, right? And everyone always says, like, I want my child to have to not have to have the struggles that I had. But I don't think I necessarily struggled, right. But it's like, what can I give him? Or what can I leave for him so that his future is sad, or so that he's not over here, like in the whole struggle game with me? So he kind of made me really think about my purpose. And what was I truly doing and to not be scared to commit? Because I think maybe I had some commitment problems. As you guys know, as you know, like this Dibble dabbling could also be like a front for my, I say, this is like fear of success, right? I think a lot of times you talk about fear of failure, but for me, I really feel like I had suffered with, but what if it really pops off? Will I be able to manage it, and then just not doing anything? Like always playing it safe, right. And I realized, once I had x was like, I don't always just want to play it safe. But I want to take some kind of risk, but at the same time, like that risk could also lead to stability, if I actually 100% did it. And I think that's why I went back to work. Because for so long. I felt like oh, you know, I had gotten so comfortable with just living this side hustle life 100% Yeah, but really thinking like, why am I doing that? Am I doing it? Because I think that that's the way that I'm supposed to do it, or because I have this podcast, and I'd be a fraud for actually, you know, having a full time job. I'm like, no, like, I could still have this gift, I can still do the podcast, I can still like learn within like the corporate world as well, as well. So I feel like he just made me like get focused again, because I had kind of been a little bit all over the place. And just thinking that I had that saying I had time because we all have time. But at the same time when you do have a child, you got to think about time in a different way. And it's like it's not it's not just about me anymore. And it made me realize like I can't necessarily only be living for myself like I have a family now and got to just make some decisions and realize that you got this girl you don't have to be here live in fear of success, go out there and be successful in some be successful, go out there and claim everything that's already laid out for you. You just got to go out and get it.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 32:37

I also heard you talk about the fact that returning to you know working in the role you are you're at Paramount plus now. Am I saying it right because

Unknown Speaker 32:49

I joined the company as Viacom, CBS, Viacom, CBS is like the holding company for all like your favorite brands like MTV, VH, one, CBS, like all these different networks, and then they rebranded the company. And now Viacom CBS is now known as paramount. So Paramount is the holding company, and they have Paramount Plus, they have Viacom. I mean, they have MTV comedy, central CMT, like all those brands, iconic brands are all under the umbrella of Paramount now, I work in their branded content studio, it's called velocity. So my team we basically produce all like the sponsored content for these brands. So if you see something happening like on loving hip hop with Pepsi, right, my team is the one that's responsible for like making those partnerships come to life.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 33:39

And this is why I really believe that sometimes I don't like to say everything happens for a reason anymore. Like you know, I think that was something naive that you just hear a lot used to say, but that doesn't explain the bad stuff. So I stopped saying that but I do believe in you know, being able to connect dots especially as you look back on your path and this role just seems so serendipitous for you it just seems like so in line with where you were already going I mean brand partnerships, learning more about branded content and how that all comes to be and how that gets to be integrated. So how do you feel your path thusfar has helped you in your role and how is your role helping you with dreams and drive?

Unknown Speaker 34:21

So I love that you said like everything makes sense like the dots really connected and this job was like definitely it was like the perfect job for me right like it was legit everything that I was trying to do on my own but not to do it for companies that was actually going to come to life right so in thinking about what you said it really was just like a perfect mixture of my content strategy my like relationship building right my creative understanding because my job legit is the I'm the conduit between sales and creative so sales will say hey, we have Have a million dollars from Cash App, they want to do something, what can we do? I'll go back to the team and say, Hey, we got a million dollars team, what network? Do we want to spend this on? You know, what are all the things that go into this, we figure it out, I create the deck, I take it back to the sales and say, let's get on the call with the client to walk them through the opportunity. So like, that is everything that I've done with dreams and drive, right? Like it's everything that I've done, like, even up until now and figuring out like what I want to do. I really been a person who's listened to ideas, and tried to figure out how to make them happen, which is what, which is what I've done. So it just all made sense for me to Kela. And I'm happy that I didn't say no, because I was so nervous. I thought like being just being a new mom. So Axl was seven months at the time. And he was home with me full time. My parents watch him now daily once I once I got the job, but I was just so scared of change. And I think so many times, like a lot of us are scared of like this narrative that we thought like, I didn't think I will go back to the nine to five as is right. Yeah. But like it's really uncovered. And it's helped dreams and drive in so many ways. Because now I truly understand like budgets, right? I understand the conversations that are being had at the corporate level and how to make things happen. A lot of my work is making sure we're doing inclusive marketing as well, right? And just seeing like, how are these decisions? How is content being made? And once you have money, what can you do? Because eventually one day like I want to be able to say what dreams and drive the Hey, I got a million dollars on TV, what can we do? Right? But just seeing how easy money flows. I think it also opened up in me this not being so scared to spend and not being so scared to invest. Because these companies I mean, of course, they have much larger budgets, but they're investing in marketing, right? They're investing in content. They're really investing in like figuring out the future of marketing and the future of content and media as is. And that's just something that I'm really learning with dreams and drive, like how podcasts are changing, and how like sponsored podcasts are changing, just like how streaming is changing, like,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 37:13

oh my god, they're changing literally in front of our eyes.

Unknown Speaker 37:17

Yeah. And you know what's so crazy, too, I thought about the connection. So I didn't tell you this. But before in college, I interned at CBS, I was an intern at CBS for all four years, I was part of a program called the Emma Bowen Foundation, and they partner minority students with our media companies. So I was part of Emma Bowen, and one of my rotations one summer was working at CBS new business, okay. And it's interesting, because, um, my job that whole summer was just to watch TV, because video on demand was new. And we were learning about like media and advertising, and how how the different networks were using their streaming platforms and how they were working with partners and advertisers on streaming, right? That was back in 2012. And now 2022, like, that's part of my job now is to sell media placements in this whole video on demand streaming, like digital world. And I forgot about that way. When I was an intern, I was doing like projects, or I'm doing competitive analysis of how how people are like, doing this new thing called video or it was really crazy. Yeah, everything you do in life, even if you don't think that it's going to come back, it's preparing you for the next thing. So even if you're not where you want to be, like, I tell people this all the time, like if you're working at McDonald's, I'm actually I don't tell people this all the time. But I'll just say that, right. Like,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 38:48

wherever you're working, even if it's not your dream job, there's always something you can learn. There's always something you can observe, like, even if you hate it, like, I didn't necessarily like my marketing job when I was doing it. But I learned so much like about e commerce, about fulfillment, about relationships, about how to be a boss, how to not be a boss, how to work with other people, like, if you aren't constantly just observing and willing to take in lessons no matter what you're doing, you'll always always something there's always something there's always something you can take from it. And I think most times, a combination of who we are, what our experiences were, you know, like what we decided to study or what we decided to have our first internship or, you know, jobs be like, yes, a part of that is like what's available, but then there's something to you know, what you excel that that will lead you to your next role and your next role. So there's always something that's going to come in handy because it ultimately is connecting you either to something you like doing or something you're good at, you know, because even in a role that you hate, there's there's tests in that role that you gravitate to that you can then bring to your side hustle, your future business or whatever it is like you might be the one who's focusing on that thing, because that's what you're good at. So always, always just try to take what you can from everything single job, I feel the same way. When I look back, you know, and I think about the things that I took away from those things. They helped me now, even the bosses you hated the companies you hated, like, take what you can take.

Unknown Speaker 40:28

Every time I had an Akella, I did an interview series in some way or form. My first job at Princeton was working in career services. I used to go around campus and just like interview people and say, what are 10 questions you have about how to build a resume, right. And then I would go and blog about it. My first job after college working in a nonprofit I interviewed like people in correctional education about how they got into correctional education.com, the company that I worked in the E commerce marketing, we did a whole video series where we interviewed founders on how they built their e commerce businesses, right? It's like, that's what I gravitated towards. And I didn't even really see it until I sat back and said, Girl, you just like interviewing, so stop fighting it and just writing it. Stop fighting what comes naturally to you. And I think a lot of times, we don't realize that the thing that comes naturally to you doesn't always come naturally to other people. And that if you really sit in it, and if you figure out the intersection that will work for you, because maybe it's not just interviewing, right, maybe that maybe it's interviewing and sales, maybe it's interviewing and creating a there's a there's an intersection, that will work for you. But you just have to like be willing to be alright with it and stop thinking all right, it may be something new, but that's your space, and just own it,

Nicaila Matthews Okome 41:48

and stop minimizing it too. Because sometimes, again, because we do it so well. We put that just in front of this, like, Oh, it's just this thing I do, or I just like to do that. There's no just about it. Like it's not just interviewing, right? It becomes storytelling, like when we look at it through the lens of how other people do it. And how you know, they start to describe it. Oh, masterful storyteller. Like when you think about famous filmmakers and how they get described. You have to we have to start talking to ourselves like that, like masterful storytellers, you know, a thirst for knowledge, and natural curiosity. Things that they say when they praise people who are doing the exact same things, podcasters storytellers, marketers like ourselves are doing. So I like that you always call yourself a storyteller to like, I need to remember to do that myself.

Unknown Speaker 42:41

You know, I didn't I had a coach who really told me like, he's, he's really into like one word. And he was like, Listen, your one word is storytelling. Stop saying you're this that like your storyteller own it. And when I sat back, I'm like, Yeah, I really am like I, a storyteller can tell other people's stories, right? And that's what I love to do. I really do love to sit behind the mic and just talk about it. And I've learned and it took me a long time to learn that, like, people find value in it. Because I think sometimes we're, I think it is important to realize that we want to be affirmed in our use, right? Like, we want to know that people are finding value, at least I do. I think that's my own, you know, personal thing is I want to I want to like my love language is words of affirmation, right? So it's like, I want to know that someone is being that this is a value to somebody. But the thing that I'm working on right now, is making sure that revenue piece is attached to it and not being scared of the money because I think as creatives that is the big thing, and probably the biggest thing that I've learned to

Nicaila Matthews Okome 43:47

get by our talent, yeah, we need to combine our talents when it comes to that. Because, you know, in our mastermind, like we you know, there's always the joke. I think I'm the one that's always like, and then you should charge this for that. And I'm like, why don't you do that and charge this? Like, I'm ready. I'm ready to put a number on it.

Unknown Speaker 44:08

It's just value. No, yeah. And I'm learning that too. And I think it took me working with money to realize like, you over here sweating about $2,000. And brands are over here making this $250,000 like, Okay, number 250. That's nothing. So it really taught me that like, I'm playing small in this game where there are people who I'll never forget there are people out there who aren't even half as talented today as you but because they're putting in the work and it's because they're believing in themselves. They're getting those coins that you also deserve to write. Yep, that's what I'm trying to really put into motion now.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 44:47

Yes, this is the perfect time to shift into talking about truly how to put your side hustle dreams and drive. The core thing that I hope you're getting from Reina story is that it is okay to work a nine to five While you're putting your dreams in Drive, like, it is fine it there's nothing like it's not even like, and I'm saying that with the utmost like it's not there's no like, looking down on anything about this like, that's how I started side hustle pro, you know team a call me they call my family, we're big on having that nine to five investor when it needs be because that's the first investor in your business and your dreams and your future generational legacy wealth. Okay, so that's like a pillar right there. Then when you have that established, let's talk about how do you start to explore your side hustle. So I'm gonna go ahead and throw out like, I think the first step is to start, you have to actually try out an idea, right? You have to put down okay, what are my ideas, and then start exploring one and I'm gonna kick it over to you now right now. So like, what? What's the next step?

Unknown Speaker 45:49

Yeah. So once you have the idea, I think that like, beyond just making sure like you, wherever you're at, let's say, I give me an example. Right? So I had my nine to five, right. And I also have to make time like, you really have to make sure you're making you're carving out time to actually dedicate to it because I think sometimes not being consistent is probably the biggest thing that makes a lot of people not even finish it. So if you want to make sure that you are putting some type of dream into Drive, make sure you're carving out and dedicating time to focus on it. Because that's the only way that it's going to grow. So I would say figure out what it is that you want to do. And then figure out like, how what's going to be your unique spin on it, like what's your take on it, right. And then how to put it into Drive is actually like, create some kind of small test some kind of small prototype. So for me in the beginning for dreams and drive, the podcast, is I was just putting out podcasts. So you you have to put out, like figure out what your format is going to be like, I had a very simple I have an intro interview, I guess I'm gonna have the outro. And then I'll put that out there and get feedback. And that feedback was really important, because it's really, I know, they say that, like you could either have a side hustle, or you could have a passion project. And when I think of passion project, I think it's something that you don't care if it ever grows or not, right? Like you're just doing it for yourself and you're doing it, you don't really care what the end result is like, there's no revenue goal attached, there's no growth goal attached. It's just something that you're doing to make yourself feel good. And it's like, like, for me, sometimes that can be photography, like I just like taking pictures. And if I don't get anybody who ever wants me to be their photographer, that's alright. Right. But when it comes to dreams and drive, I wasn't okay with it just being something that never grew or that never had an audience or never had like a sponsor. And so I think that that's why my approach is a little bit different when when I'm saying passion project versus your silo. So because you're actually trying to grow it right, in some way. You may not be trying to grow it so that you can leave your job full time. Maybe you want to have a side hustle and a full time job for the rest of your life. That's alright too. But just figuring out like, what's your we call us in business? Like your key KPIs like, what are your key performance indicators? How do you measure success? Like how do you know? All right, maybe it's for your podcast? Yeah. All right. I have 100 downloads this week, that success, right, and making sure you're pushing those levers that will get you to that. All right, I didn't get 100 downloads, what happened this week? All right, let me make sure that I'm like putting in the effort to actually review those KPIs. And to actually have some type of growth. And when you meet it, maybe you like sat right next month, I want to do 125. So I think part of the whole dream driving is really understanding like, what success looks like and what growth looks like as well. Because I had this whole analogies like you want to go from Park to drive in and drive your emotion, right neutral, you're not going anywhere. It's alright to be neutral sometimes. But I do believe the whole beauty of dream driving is that you're going towards something that you're constantly building. And when I say building, it doesn't have to be like you are always getting better. You're always making more money. But for me, it's like you're constantly learning something. Are there new experiences, there's pivots happening, there's movement, right? That's the whole drive aspect. So there has to be some type of movement. I don't know, man, it's like movements like, and you can define what movement means. And you can define what success means. But I think you should just have some sort of definition so that you have something to gauge how you're doing. And I always tell people, like I think you may have mentioned this too, is like have like save the accolades save those things that people are telling you that those affirmations like you're doing a good job, save the successes, because even when we're talking about like, what has this podcast done, there's probably a lot of other stuff that I can talk about, but like I don't have my screenshots open on my phone, right so I don't remember. I don't remember everything but it is good. to look back and see how far you've come, I always tell people like that rear view mirror is important, right? You don't want to drive looking at your rearview mirror, you definitely need it to see, to see where you, you know the reverse until you see what's behind you. But it's definitely important.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 50:17

Oh, yeah, it is so easy. When you're a dream driver, when you're a side Hustler, to get so frustrated, because you are ambitious, and you have these big goals. And you all you see is how far you are from the goal. Or, you know, all you see is how someone else is doing this, and you want to be doing that. And that is not, you know, that is not where you need to focus, you need to look back at what you have accomplished, how far you've come, what people are saying in response to your you know, what you've started doing, and you know, the good things people are saying the critiques the hate shots, because you need them, you need to go through them some days when you're at your lowest, or some days where you just need that push, like save those. So I hope this was inspiring to you guys. We're not done yet. We're gonna do a quick lightning round. But you know, I hope this has been helpful for those of you who are kind of stuck in analysis paralysis about exploring some of your side hustle ideas. I hope it's been helpful for those of you who are thinking about podcasting, because, again, it is a real cheat code when it comes to relationship building. I can't tell you how many people I mean, even me with side hustle Pro, like, they're just some amazing business owners that I now have relationships with that I talked to weekly, who I never would have met never would have a reason to have a relationship with before starting this show. So it is the ultimate cheat code. Okay. All right, Raina. We're gonna do a quick lightning round. You know the deal. You just answered the first thing that comes to mind. You ready? Yeah. All right, great. Okay, so, number one, what is the resource that has helped you and your side hustling that you can share with the side hustle pro audience,

Unknown Speaker 52:03

the first thing that came to mind is Google. I think like just like, the idea here is like me, right? Like you are the resource. You can figure it out. I think sometimes we think we don't have it within us like yeah, ask yourself the questions like what do I have to do? What can I type in? How can I use my own knowledge to figure out what's next?

Nicaila Matthews Okome 52:23

Number two, what has been the best book business book or a podcast episode, or television show? I know you love to watch film and TV. What has been the most helpful that you've consumed?

Unknown Speaker 52:35

Let me do there's one book that I got, I forgot who gifted it to me. I think I just was graduating from college, but it was called guerilla marketing. And I forgot the name of the guy. But anyway, the reason why this book was so dope to me is because guerilla marketing was like, you know, off the wall tactics like, non conventional marketing. And in the beginning of growing the podcast, I had to be unconventional in a lot of different ways. I think the book just got me thinking about like, you don't have to do things, how everybody else is doing things. And there's ways to think about marketing. There's ways to think about approaches, there's ways to approach things guerilla style to get things done. So I think in the beginning, like that whole book just really changed my mind on how to grow something from the ground up. And it stuck with me. And I still have it somewhere in the house. I mean, I move so somewhere in one of these boxes. Well, I will

Nicaila Matthews Okome 53:27

link to it you guys. Number three, what is a non negotiable part of your morning routine?

Unknown Speaker 53:35

Well, now that I have a baby, it's like, it's making sure he gets up, but I gotta get him up. He gotta get out the house. Today, I can do what I gotta do.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 53:43

You gotta get out of here.

Unknown Speaker 53:47

Let me not say that. But I think a non negotiable part is I definitely love or like the ride home from dropping him off at my parents while they watch them during the day is like that song of the day. Like I'm that person who like hits a song and just rides home and bops to it. And I think that kind of gets me going for the day. Like when I'm just by myself, to have that alone time as you know, as a mom, like just having those like five minutes in the car by yourself out like somebody in the backseat asking you for a monster truck. That's his new thing. Everything is monster trucks. So like, just having that like soundtrack for the day or just that little five minutes really does help me get excited about what I have to do for the

Nicaila Matthews Okome 54:29

rest of the road that Okay, number four, what's the personal habit that has helped you significantly in business and your career path?

Unknown Speaker 54:38

It has to be relationship building networking. I think I'm probably a natural connector but leaning into that gift and not being afraid to reach out to people and to tell them about myself and what I'm doing and to really cultivate relationships. I think that like in this day and age of social media, we sometimes forget what it means to really build relationships outside of just like, I like in a DM like, there are other ways to really just build like thoughtful like I love our podcast mastermind, right? I forgot how that even started. But now I have for you let's make forgot what happened. But like just having that group and being able to leverage relationships like that's helped me in podcasting that's helped me in sponsorship building. And I think also too, is like not being afraid to bet on myself. Like even when thinking about like, now that I'm working with the agency to get ads for my podcast, I was just thinking about like, when did I first connect with the guy who, who owns the agency, and I remember I was on jury duty, and I was just like, waiting to get called. And I was doing research on like, you know, multicultural, podcasts, agencies, right? And I sent him an email and I reached out to him like, Hey, can we have a quick call? And I've always been somebody who hasn't thought about like, I don't, when it comes to reaching out to people to tell them about what I'm doing. I never say like, I'm too. I'm too small. I'm to know, the least you could say is no. I'm always like, willing to tell you about what I'm doing. And hey, you might be interested, you might not but at least I gave you the chance to tell me. Yeah, I love

Nicaila Matthews Okome 56:21

that about you. And I think to that, speaking of relationships, you're very persistent. So you are not afraid to follow up over and over and over again. You didn't respond, you didn't respond. Thank you. That's all I wanted was a response.

Unknown Speaker 56:37

Like, it goes back to like, I remember when I was working like an intern in sales. Like, listen, the art is in the follow up, right? It's not about and, and you can't be afraid to just ping someone again. They might have forgotten, they might be happy, right? Yeah, most

Nicaila Matthews Okome 56:53

honestly, like, yeah, they're

Unknown Speaker 56:56

very annoying. And, you know, you don't have to be annoying and your follow up. But definitely that follow up will definitely help you and your relationship building and just connecting and gems.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 57:06

Yes. And so finally, what are your parting words of advice for fellow side hustlers, who want to put their dreams and drive? I don't know how many times I said that. Y'all know, right? In his podcast, his dreams and try? Yeah, what's your parting advice for folks who, you know, they're sitting in neutral, they need to hit drive what's going on?

Unknown Speaker 57:27

So I get this from, I guess, and I say this a lot is I always thought that the biggest challenge and putting your dreams into dri was going to be something tactical, like, you know, LLC, figuring out taxes, and no, the biggest challenge is going to be like your own limiting beliefs, like the fear, the doubt. And I think if you focus on really making sure your mindset is good, and that you, you really renew your inner confidence and just tell yourself, Hey, let fear go let that go. That's when you'll start seeing success in the dream driving journey. Yeah, the other stuff, you could figure it out, you gotta hire somebody to do your taxes you got, you know what I mean, but you can't hire somebody to fix that fear. And that doubt within yourself, um, you can get coaches, but at the end of the day, you have to do the work. So I guess the real, the real answer to this question is like, do the work, your inner work. And I think if we just spend some time on that self care, spending time on thinking about who you are, what you want to do, what really drives you, not like a past guest of mine said, I don't just have a dream, because it's somebody else's training, right? Make sure that your dream is your dream, because you're not gonna see success. If you're out here trying to like, you know, let me talk to have people on the show who wanted to be doctors, and now they're, you know, creatives and other stuff, like, take the time to sit in your dream, and to really, like, be real about what that means. And sometimes you can sit in your dream, but you're not necessarily real about how you want it to come to light. Right? So I think just take time there. And that tactical stuff, isn't that important. It's really figuring out why you're doing it, and I'm still trying to figure it out. Right? It might take you a long time. It might be an ever growing process, but I think if you're committed to just having that be part of the mission, then you'll see you'll find success.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 59:16

I love that. I mean, that is just the perfect note to end on. That was pouring into me again. That's why I love this question because it always pours into me. I mean, no matter how far you get in the side hustling process you're gonna buck up on some limiting beliefs and that is why I'm always always focusing on working on my mindset really pushing past those doubts because they're still gonna come up I talked about this before like they're they're still gonna come up and you can have all the keys in front of you. You know, you could have literally my whole blueprint everything, but if you don't believe like Rena was saying like, it's going to be a mental block that creates a physical block. So I hope you go over and listen to more episodes of Reno's dreams and Dr. Hawkins. So if you haven't already, because you can get more of her wisdom, more of her knowledge hear more of her journey. And where can people connect with you outside of this episode right now?

Unknown Speaker 1:00:08

Well, you can definitely listen to the podcast wherever you listen to Michaela side hustle pro just search and drive and you can get that and we're dreams and drive, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram mostly on Instagram nowadays and if you want to connect with me personally and see what I'm up to see my mommy journey as well as I'm trying to figure out this whole dream driving journey myself. My personal Instagram page is brain our ai n shine sh i n e. Love luv. I need to change it but I've had it since high school. So that's Rena Campbell I had the name Rena Campbell, but I just never use it but ya know,

Unknown Speaker 1:00:45

but dreams are everywhere. All right, guys.

Nicaila Matthews Okome 1:00:49

And there you have it. 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 bullet 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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201: I QUIT my Job! (REWIND)


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