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Show 032

Consistency, Intention, and Serving and Listening with Robin Kinnie

In Taste For Tenacity, Show 032, we hear from the President and CEO of Motor City Woman, Robin Kinnie. Robin shares the importance of setting your intention early, listening to those that you’re serving, and not knowing until you try.

Transcription

0:00  

This is Taste For Tenacity Show number 32.

0:05  

Welcome to the show that answers the question that plague students and professionals alike. What should I do with my life? To determine your greatness Follow me to the pathway of more success. Each week we interview entrepreneurs, invest in things that you understand professionals, it’s just believing in yourself and your abilities and artists that have followed their pool can be skin was the envelope. This is what we need from Ben Trela and multimedia. This is Taste For Tenacity.

0:35  

What is going on everybody? My name is Ben Trela. And this is Taste For Tenacity. This week on the show we hear from Robin Kinnie. Robin is the President and CEO of Motor City Woman, an internet-based radio station and podcast production studio and has been focused on women and Motor City Woman features an array of shows expert guests to discussion on issues from a woman’s perspective and resources for growth in all areas of life. Her life’s motto is live in the light which encourages all of us to seek the positive, concentrate on strength and celebrate the moment. She’s a guest contributor for the Detroit Moms blog. She’s the Detroit chapter head of soundgirls.org. She’s an advisory member, board member for why arts and she’s a regular contributor for the Podcast Business Journal. Robin was recently named by Walker’s legacy as part of the top 25 women leading in the Detroit community. She has a ton of other distinctions and experience and that is a mouthful, Robin, welcome to the show.

1:46  

Thank you for having me, Ben. My pleasure.

1:48  

All right now I have to admit when researching the background for this show, I am also a huge wait, wait, don’t tell me a fan, every Saturday. So, for those of you listening, it’s a NPR, news, quiz, podcast comes out every Saturday. I don’t know about you. I watch it when I’m like cleaning the apartment.

2:08  

I love it. I tried to catch it when I’m out running errands Saturday morning. And recently I was in Chicago and I was able to listen to it while I was there. No, I wasn’t able to attend. But I mean, it just takes me back to like an old school game show. 

2:25  

Yeah. 

2:26  

Even the announcer’s tone. 

2:29  

Oh, yeah.

2:29  

Mimic back to like the ’70s or something like the purists of the pure and the fact that they have a podcast board now I can binge listen to. It is just so pure and great and funny.

2:43  

I have to ask, do you have a favorite panelist?

2:48  

I don’t think I have a favorite panelist. I really like it when they make the calls and the person calls in and they ask them questions because then you never know what you’re going to get. Oh, you get some wild card. You get wildcards, so, with the panelists, you know, they’re out there to be funny, but when someone calls in and they say something, it was just it takes it into another direction. So, I look forward to it every Saturday.

3:10  

Oh, it’s such a great part. It really marks time off for me now. 

3:15  

Yes, this is because it’s relaxing. And I just think it’s just so, it’s so fun like everyone can enjoy. You know, no one has an agenda is not gonna make you think per se but it’s gonna make you laugh. And that’s what we all need right now.

3:31  

It’s a great balance to make you laugh and keep you informed. I can’t found it anywhere else, right?

3:36  

That’s so true.

3:38  

Alright, so let’s kind of dive into the content now and really wind back the clock. 

3:43  

Okay. 

3:43  

So, let’s say the end of high school, you’re around age 18. What was going through your head at the time? Were you like, Oh, yeah, let’s do the college thing. I love college. The school is great. Give me more of it. Where were you at and what really drove your decision as you’re winding down your high school career.

4:02  

Yeah, I loved high school. I had a great experience in high school and always knew I wanted to be a veterinarian. So, I attended college. Oh, I’m a pre-vet major.

4:15  

 Okay. 

4:16  

I had internships, volunteered at a local vet clinic. And so as I was wrapping up a team, my intention as I attended Michigan State, was to attend their veterinarian school and become a veterinarian, have my own clinic one day.

4:32  

What made you want to be a veterinarian from such a young age? 

4:36  

I’ve always loved animals. And I always felt that there was under-representation of black people and black women and veterinarians. I hadn’t seen a lot of that new areas of color. And so that was another driver for me. But in general, it was my love for animals, I love animals as far back as I can remember. So, I thought, oh, I love animals. I should be a veterinarian right now.

5:12  

Interesting. Okay.

5:14  

Okay, so from there, you know, went off to school and I changed my major after that second Biology.

5:24  

Biology was what did the veterinary major.

5:27  

Oh my goodness. So, I went to my advisor and said, I think I love animals, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I want to be a veterinarian. So, I’m passionate about animals. I’m still passionate about animals. However, my gift is in another area, and I’m not completely sure what that is but it’s not this. 

5:51  

Okay, so it was really just the classwork and seeing behind the scenes of what event was that did it for you.

5:57  

It was the behind the scenes and also in college, I was volunteering on the weekends at a local vet clinic. And I remember this like it was yesterday, one Saturday, a dog came in and he had a fountain of blood coming out of his rib cage, he had run into a tree branch. And they had to remove the tree branch from his chest cavity. And once I came to the people working there is like, okay, you gotta have to get it together. And you know, just seeing the behind the scenes of a vet clinic. I was like, I’m not sure if I want to do this every day. And so that internship and just volunteered on the weekends, really helped to clarify and put my love of animals, like in a category.

6:48  

Yeah.

6:48  

Like, okay, this isn’t a career. I’m still passionate about it, love it, you know, donate, volunteer my time, but this is not a career path for me. So, I’m thankful that I found that out early on. 

7:01  

Yeah.

7:02  

So, that was still freshman year. 

7:04  

Wow. Okay. So, you knew, really from that first or second…

7:11  

Combination of those factors of the coursework. I didn’t feel like I was passionate enough about it, to turn it into a career. And then the day of like, this isn’t as glamorous as I thought it was going to be doing. 

7:27  

Yeah, you saw that  behind the curtain. Right. So now you go to your advisor, you’ve established  vet school, not the move for me. What did you turn to next? What did you have an interest that you were diving into, like, where did you go from there?

7:46  

Well, you know, just growing up throughout high school and even my first semester of college I was always involved in different students activities. I was always running something, organizing something And I told my friends and said, well, what do you guys think I should change my major to? And they said, you know, I think you should be a business major, I really see you as the person who we come to for organization and for coordinating and all these other things and you are raising the know. And so I changed my major to business and specifically human resource management. And I loved it. And you know, I had a my first internship, I worked at Kmart corporate headquarters in Troy for two or three summers in a row. And so I learned so so much, and I really thought that I would graduate school and be an HR executive at a Fortune 500 company one day and that was going to be it. Yep. And so you know, as I continue my coursework and still loved it, I remained in involved and I started to get involved in student admissions. Okay, I really liked it. I really liked me talking and visiting local high schools and talking about college, the college life and I was able to come back home to Detroit and visit my whole high school and talk about college. And so that really changed the trajectory of my life because as I got more involved in student admissions, I started to know the Director of Admissions and they offered me a job, well, after I graduated and so for the next four years, I was traveling, basically, the East Coast and the South recruiting from Michigan State. Not too shabby at all. So it was a lot of fun.

9:46  

Now, what in particular brought you toward human resource management? Do you think you just love connecting with people or was it sort of an end? To be honest, this is where my approach was at the beginning. Just look at the list and say I picked up.

10:02  

It was a combination of things. I like the business side of it, but also the leveraging of people’s innate abilities. So, kind of drawing that out looking at a job description and going through the interview process of who do I feel is going to be the bit best fit for this position. And so it was a way to like grow people. And so I really enjoy connecting with people in general and then finding the best fit for them.

10:31  

Based on what they can do naturally. 

10:34  

Yes, yes, kind of drawn-out those natural abilities and putting it into a slot at a company.

10:41  

Okay, so you had a job set for after college. You were golden. You had that? You had the golden ticket at the time, which was a stable career after graduation. You were there for four years. Did you do the same thing all four years? Did you slowly work up the ranks? What did that for you? You’re period post-grad, when you had that college admissions job and you were touring the East Coast and all over, what did that look like?

11:09  

It’s so much fun. I remember my first day at my full-time job I had like on a full navy blue suit. Everyone else has on short said this is an admissions office. So, they looked at me like, really, I was just so excited. Yeah. And, you know, I’ve worked my way up. I started off just as an admissions counselor ended up becoming a senior admissions counselor, and then not only being in charge of certain schools and zip codes and school districts, but also I was in charge of our like diversity and inclusion efforts. Going back to organizing and events to attract, you know, eighth grade, ninth grade, 10th graders up to Michigan State for like a day in the life organizing overnight visits, doing community outreach. So, this was it was just pinging on everything that I already enjoy doing. And so that coupled with the travel part of it, was really fun. So, I was able to visit this is my first time in New York City. Really, it was my first time in Atlanta, you know, so it was a time where I’m visiting all these different places and I’m able to connect again with people who may or may not know about Michigan State, but you know, I, I’m there to kind of educate them and kind of get them engaged. You were that first point of contact. I was that first point of contact.

12:34  

Interesting. Yes. So now you’re there for four years, you’re slowly working through the ranks. Did you think you wanted to stay in sort of the HR world or what was going on near the end of that, that four-year stint? 

12:49  

Well, I, I became burned out, and that’s why I left. I was living out of a suitcase and I thought it was glamorous at the beginning. You know, towards the three-year mark, oh my gosh, and you would think, Oh my gosh, I need to go to Chicago and you know, I’m living downtown and not having to pay out of pocket. But after a while it really became challenging, and I got a little homesick. And in fact, while I was working for Michigan State and traveling, I was scheduled to fly into New York on September 11. Wow. And I would say, No, September 12. Because on September 11, I went to my boss, and he said, Do you still want to go? And I said, Yes, I still want to go. And what’s great is they paid for my aunt to go with me. Wow. And so we flew into, we went to New Jersey, actually and of course no one was talking about college admissions. They were still, you know, going through Rabo and it was such a lesson for me that it was bigger than just college admissions. So, when I was still visiting the high school, so, when I would visit high schools in New Jersey, I wasn’t there to give them a brochure. I was really there to just listen at that point because you know, I’m talking to counselors who are shell shocked. Yeah. And so it that was a pivotal point for me for like, you know, am I really operating and what I want to do for the rest of my life so that really changed something that so I think I came back a changed person of like, there is something else I should be doing and you know, that was kind of like a wake up call for me and you just couldn’t shake that feeling. I was missing something.

14:55  

Yeah, when you came back after this. Tough. How long were you in New Jersey for that?

15:00  

We were there for about a week, we had a lot of ground to cover. We had some college fairs that we had to go to. So, there were still things I needed to do and get done. So, we had a few college fairs. And so we did have to drive into New York, which was a nightmare. I said I’ll never drive the streets of New York again, I was in tears on the side of the road. Never again, never again. So, we went to these college fairs, we visited these high schools, we had to like restock, you know, things of that nature. But when we came back, I was like, gosh, I just don’t think this is it for me. And so then the challenge was, but what if and that’s where the word comes in. And so I ended up moving back to Detroit. And wanted to again, connect with the community because that’s just in my blood. And so my first position was as an AmeriCorps intern at a small nonprofit organization on the east side of Detroit. 

16:06  

Okay, so now you’re back. What are you working on with that nonprofit?

16:11  

Well, my job was to assess the business district and help the businesses in our business district grow. You may have one business that’s trying to get the meters taken out in front of her business because it’s a hair salon. You don’t want parking meters in front of a hair salon. And so helping her navigate City Hall, another business may need a new facade, and they need help and financing it. So, identifying a grant to help them and you know, putting up new signage. So, it was challenging. It was exciting. And it was my first foray into the complexities of being an entrepreneur.

16:56  

Interesting, so, with that experience, it sounds like you were almost functionally a business consultant or even a business advocate for these small companies and these small operations that just needed the hands.

17:11  

Yes. And they needed someone to listen. And they needed to know that they were part of a collective and that they weren’t just here by themselves trying to figure these things out. But you know, this community organization, they really want it to have a vibrant community and part of having a vibrant community is a vibrant business district. You just can’t get away from that. So, I would walk from business to business Hey, what’s going on? What can I help you with? Someone says I need some updated accounting software. Well, let me see what I can do. Can I find someone to come and sit down with you and walk you through that process so that you know you don’t get audited? I don’t know. But every day was something different and I’ll never forget when I was interviewing for that job. My boss at the time, who interviewed me, her name is Diana Stewart. Look through the job description and said you’re totally unqualified for this job, but you seem like a bright girl. I’m going to give you a chance. And that’s all I need it.

18:19  

Yeah, it’s interesting just how much that first foot in the door at first.

18:24  

Because I didn’t have, I hadn’t done anything with entrepreneurs or businesses. I just needed a job but really walked away from a lucrative job. Because trying to find my purpose. I moved back home to essentially start all over.

18:40  

Wow. So, now you scrap, essentially, your career up until that point. 

18:45  

Yeah. 

18:45  

And you’re starting fresh. Now you’re working, you said it was an AmeriCorps internship. 

18:50  

It was. 

18:51  

So, you’re going business to business, you’re interacting with entrepreneurs. Did that start to almost like spike some new interest in your mind. Were you interested more in the entrepreneurial route? Or were you sort of just enjoying being ingrained in business and in the community in general?

19:09  

It didn’t spark anything. I enjoyed serving. I’ve always had a servant component of my life. Yeah. And I know for sure that that’s because that’s why I saw my mother do. I remember seeing her volunteer for an annual event called Paint The Town who she remembers seeing her mother wash info close to donating to Goodwill. So being a servant, that’s just part of what you do, and that’s how I was raised. And so I never consider going into having my own small business at all. It didn’t spark anything. I felt like I was helping other people live their dreams, and that’s what was so fulfilling for me. And in fact, I couldn’t even pay all of my bills via that AmeriCorps mentorship. So, I had a night job working at a real estate office.

20:08  

Oh, nice. So, yeah, we’re seeing all different kinds of..

20:10  

I would say an hour type of thing, again, but, you know, although all these different industries, and you have all these different sectors are all about people. If you could work with people, you could work anywhere. And that’s what I’ve learned. I didn’t have to know everything to know about real estate, but I just needed to know how to work with people on how to work with the agents and the clients and make sure that everyone was happy. So, I was doing that at night and then doing my internship later.

20:38  

Wow, so, you were pretty busy at that. 

20:40  

I was pretty busy. 

20:41  

Now, how long were you in that AmeriCorps internship?

20:44  

Well, I did it a few times. 

 20:46  

Okay. 

20:46  

Actually, I was there I want to say four years because, at that point, they ended up hiring me so I did become part of the staff at the nonprofit organization. With that became more responsibilities, which I was really excited about because now I was working with like, our, you know, City of Detroit contacts to come up with proposals for our business districts. I was no longer working one on one with the businesses along the district. I was more so looking at the big picture of how do we galvanize, how do we provide some more? How do we provide more promotional opportunities, so organizing festivals so that our businesses will get more street traffic or, you know, organizing ways where they can advertise in the newspaper. So, I started working on like, some long-term projects. And so that was really exciting.

21:47  

And that’s very different from your first gig with AmeriCorps because you were laying the foundations essentially for that second step. And yeah, being able to you know, you had the community involvement You understood what people at the ground level or actually dealing with. And then you were able to pivot that into just a totally new position to you and get a vastly different type of experience once you were hired in.

22:16  

Right. And that’s why I think it’s important for people to not only learn but to celebrate every aspect of their career growth. You know, I remember stuffing folders in you know, making phone calls. But as I, you know, continued on my trajectory, all of those skills that I was able to attain helped me in, they helped me today, because I started at going door to door. So, I knew, as you said, I knew what the businesses needed because I knew them. So when I was in front of a city representative, and they’re saying, well, we’re going for this green or we’re putting together this program, I can rattle off, this is more, this is what our community needs. So, it’s really important for people not to skip steps, or be too tied into titles.

23:14  

It sounds like there’s that’s something, in particular, you tend to see a lot these people married to the title.

23:20  

Yeah, or just make your own side. I mean, I don’t even remember what that my first title was. Or whatever I’m here to learn. And that’s what I did. I learned and I absorbed as much as I could. And that was really the breeding ground for a lot of cultivating relationships, which is going to serve you in whatever career you find. So even now, here we are, you know, almost 20 years later. And those relationships that I built walking the street of East Jefferson are still serving Today,

24:00  

Well, you never know when they’re going.

24:02  

Hands down, hands down.

24:04  

So you’re now hired up into a full-time position with AmeriCorps. How long were you there? what came next? Can you kind of smooth move us along to the next step in your profession?

24:16  

loved it. I loved working with our business district in general and helping small businesses grow. I started working with business consultants. And so that’s when I started learning about business plans, what should be in a business plan, teaching small business owners how to put together a marketing strategy. One day, my new boss could not attend a meeting. And this was a meeting fo, it was a collaborative where they were trying to put together a small business lending program, okay, for you know, community district businesses, and he said I can’t go I need you to go and represent me at this meeting. Opportunity! 

25:03  

Am going! Yeah. And so I went, and I was able to again, meet all these other people that worked at other community business districts across the city. But I was also there and was able to see the framework of like the next chapter of Detroit. So this is what I caught the pre-Dan Gilbert days, okay. No one was checking for Detroit. At the time, no one was really looking at a small business loan program. So the city of Detroit was creating its own small business loan program. And a lot of people don’t know that. The city had his own small business loan program. And it was in these meetings that the framework of that was coming along. So, I was there to just listen. And continue to get involved in one of the organizations that were chosen or selected and contracted to lend them money that the city was going to disburse. Asked me if I was interested in a job. Okay, so the small business loan program was taken from a portion of the revenue from the new casinos that had just opened. So, here’s some history for you. Okay, so when the casinos first came to the city of Detroit, part of the negotiations was, you can open up here, but a portion of the revenue has to go towards small businesses, and that created this small business model around, okay. And so they asked me, are you interested in loan out, I mean in a job I applied, and that was the next step for me. 

25:03  

Yep.

26:40  

So now, you’re in a totally new position. 

26:44  

Totally new because it was still similar because I was still working with small businesses, but now it was specifically small businesses that were looking for financing. 

26:53  

Okay. So now what, how long were you there? In that gig.

26:58  

I was there for nearly nine years.

27:02  

Wow. Okay, so you were kind of loyal to them.

27:05  

I was. I loved it. I loved what I was doing. I was in on the ground floor for a lot of the things that you see in the city today. I cultivated a lot of relationships again. And so a lot of the people who are now VPS I knew them when they were just an associate No way. So that sir, that serves you when you know people, you know, you build relationships, you can’t take those for granted. And I learned that only, you know, how the city worked, but how the entrepreneurship community worked, but I learned in general about entrepreneurship and it was there that the seed was planted.

27:48  

Okay, in about what year did you start with this next job?

27:53  

This was 2008.

27:55  

Okay, so an interesting time. 

27:57  

Yes, an interesting time. Yes, there was a lot going on in the city at that time, in the political arena. And it was, I mean, you look back on it now. It’s like, it was a great time at the time. It wasn’t a great night. But it was a learning, learning, learning. 

28:18  

It was intense, but a positive experience in the long term. I’ll certainly, okay, so I know you’re there for eight years. And one in particular sort of planted that seed for doing your own thing.

28:32  

Well, you know, I think when you’re surrounded by entrepreneurs, you get to know them. And you know, you start saying, well, maybe I can do this, too. And what really, I would say, really spurred that seed along was at this time I’ve gotten married, okay. I had my first child, and it’s tough to work a nine to five and have children. Yeah, that and I learned that the hard way and I was just looking at okay, there has to be a better way when you know I’m basically spending a couple of hours with my kids before they have to go to bed because I’m working you know all these hours and I was just looking for flexible work-life you know, we always say work-life balance, but it was just like, okay, there has to be a better way like this is not my life. This isn’t going to work. Yeah, this isn’t gonna work.

29:33  

Yeah, so now you’re in this essentially small business loan program.

29:33  

Yeah. 

29:38  

On the lender side.

29:41  

Yes. 

29:42  

And you get this little itch like huh, there’s something better out there. There’s a better way that I can do this to fit my lifestyle. So, what I mean, how did you execute?

29:54  

A company where you want all of it? Yeah, okay. So, growing up I have to take you back for a minute. Growing up I’ve always been an avid talk radio listener.

30:07  

Really?

30:08  

Okay, so again wait, wait, don’t tell me.

30:11  

Got it. 

30:12  

And when I was younger the person who had, you know, the most interest for me and my community, her name was Martha Jane McQueen. Martha Jane McQueen was not only the first black woman to host a show on radio, but she was also the first black woman to own a station. Okay. So growing up, you know, sitting in the back of my mother’s read for tempo I remember like there’s yesterday listening to Martha Jane the Queen every single day. And what made her so special was that she interviewed community folks all the way up to the mayor and people respected her. Some people were bearding her but in general, she was just like, just part of my life. And I just, I listened to her all throughout college and she was so popular that even after she passed, they continue to play old episodes. Wow. That’s how popular she was. So, working on my job at the lending organization, I loved what I was doing. I was still listening to talk radio on my computer. And I couldn’t find programming that was geared towards like women, but also programming where the conversation was led by a woman. And it wasn’t Breast Cancer Awareness Month. They weren’t talking about holiday shopping. But it was just a conversation that was led by a woman. It was hard to find. Yeah. And so I decided to start it myself and I’m married to an audio engineer. And one day I was part of a planning committee for a small business event that was going on. And the co-chair said, I’m not feeling well, I need you to go down to the radio station and be interviewed, you know, to promote the event. I’m like, absolutely not. Oh, no, I didn’t. I did not. I was petrified. So I had my notes and stuff. So I go down there and go through all my notes and stuff. And so I had a great time. So I’m walking now, this is a radio one, I’m walking out and one of the radio execs comes up to me and says, hey, have you ever considered having your own show? And I said, No, I haven’t considered having my own show. And totally dismissed the idea. He continued to follow up for I would say about six months while and lo and behold, we launched the Motor City Woman radio show that October. Wow. And loved it. It was just a 30-minute weekly show Sunday afternoons and it was like the spirit of Martha Jane McQueen was coming through me. I had so much fun, and did that for a few months and but I quickly realized that there was more than one voice that needed to be heard. And that’s when we want it to start the radio network, where we’re giving access to other women to start their own shows because essentially, there was no other place where a woman who didn’t have, you know, a certain resume to have their own show. And we started just at a local recording studio that allowed us to rent time by the hour, okay, because we didn’t have all of the equipment that we needed and we certainly couldn’t afford I was still working full time now at the lending.

33:47  

You were doing a lot?

33:48  

I was doing a lot and expecting my third child at that time. And so we thought that oh, we will organically outgrow this space of like a year. You know, we have people who want shows, we have listeners, things are going great. Yeah. Within a few months, we had to move because we need it too much space and time at the recording studio. And we just couldn’t come to an agreement. So, we were frantically driving the streets of hope here in Detroit, looking for a space to open.

34:26  

And it’s interesting because you went from solely just trying to spread one voice and spread one example in one person that women can tune into, to then being focused on building a platform for women to express their perspectives and just have natural human conversations that aren’t, you know, overly manufactured and you get to see that real perspective by building a platform. It’s two separate different separate models but you were able to scale it up.

35:03  

Yeah, and you know and I thought back to and you will see in the reception area here family pictures on the wall. So, growing up I have six and so we have a big family and I can always remember sitting at my aunt Lo’s house, her kitchen table, everyone around this kitchen table talking. All women. And when you were going over at Lo’s house prepared to spend the night because it’s not you know, we’re not just going to eat dinner and leave that’s just not gonna we’re gonna see the sun comes up, so, just settle in Fine Murder Show on TV or Matlock, is telling my age. Now, this is back in the day. And so when we were building a Motor City woman radio network, I really wanted to be intentional about what it was all about. The feeling that people got when they came through those doors and that it wasn’t purely transactional. But this was a community that was built to make sure that your voice is heard. And everything that we do goes back to that premise of everyone has a voice, everyone matters. And that’s what we want to be a part of.

36:17  

And it seems like that for lack of a better way to put it, that vibe that you were trying to establish from the beginning of you walk in those doors. It’s your aunt’s house. You’re welcome, right, like, right, there’s gonna be conversation all over the place. It’s gonna be a while, right, but you’re here because we care. And it seems like that translated then into the program itself.

36:40  

Yes, Yes, it did. And I think that when you set your intention early in your business, and you have to make some tough decisions sometimes because when we were first building out, you know, there were some people that want to show some of that work that I did not think jives with what we were trying to do and I had to say no. I thought really needed the money. 

37:01  

Yeah. 

37:02  

You know what it was just like no, because, again, this is bigger than me, this is not just a business, this is a calling for me. And what I’m doing is setting the stage for the next person to do what they want to do, and so on and so on and so on. And so you know, it has evolved over the years, we do have some male clients down because in addition to the digital radio station, we also now produce podcasts and audiobooks. We do voiceover works, things of that nature. So, it has evolved, but we always just have to make sure that we’re producing media that matters. So, anytime we have a new client, that’s one of the questions I have to ask myself. does this matter? Is this going to move a needed conversation forward? Is there someone that needs to hear this that if it’s not made here, it’s not going to get made.

38:00  

That’s your smell test.

38:01  

That’s my smell test. Love it. So, now let’s sort of pivot, to the second portion of the show, which focuses more on lessons you’ve learned along the way. And, you know, just where you’re at now. Okay, so what are some of the key takeaways that you’ve had from your career and projects, just, just consistently, I’ve seen that you really care about listening and you really care about hearing what the other person and whatever anyone is saying to you. So, so sort of besides that, that passion in that love that you have for listening, what are some of the key takeaways from your projects,

38:43  

Key takeaways that I’ve learned over the years? Okay, so we’re going into our fifth year of operation. 

38:49  

Congratulations. 

38:50  

Thank you very much. I was still a full- time employee for the first two years. And welcome to my third child when we launch so it is a labor of love. It has taken tenacity, it has taken extreme focus. Because as we grew, you know, we start thinking, well, maybe we should be doing this, I should we do doing this and you start looking at those shiny objects is what me and my friends say, beware of the shiny objects. And also be aware of looking at what’s getting all the attention and what your competitors are doing. So maybe use your competitors, as you know, just to see what they’re doing from time to time. But don’t let that be the benchmark. One of the true lessons that I’ve learned is that relationships matter. And I think that people overlook that on their quest to success like they’re just stepping over people. I’m climbing this ladder, highway, honey, let me tell you, those relationships that you cultivate early matter and one of the lessons that my first boss told me Diana story at my AmeriCorps internship was that people like working with people that they like, whether that’s good or bad, that’s just how it is. So, it doesn’t mean be fake, just be likable. You know, don’t be disagreeable. And also set your intention early. So, if I’m going to a networking event, I’m walking in there with an agenda. I don’t have time to just chit chat after three kids at home and it has been other things to do. Yeah. So if I’m going somewhere, I’m going because I need something or I’m going just to solidify our relationship. Sometimes it’s just about showing up for people. And overall with that relationship kind of conversation is that you don’t want to reach out to people when you need them. That’s the worst time Reach out to someone like I don’t even know you cultivate that relationship, hey, I saw you on cranes the other day, good job. And they may say, I don’t even know who this person is. But in social media makes it so much easier to do that, you know, you could just tag someone,  shout out to someone. So, someone so for doing this to doing great on this project, post it and people say whether they respond or not, oh, that was nice. And then you do that a few times you see them at an event. Oh, yeah, you’re the person that cultivate those relationships. That’s the main lesson that I’ve learned. Another lesson would be consistency. I think there are some brilliant business people out there are people who have their own businesses and they spark within a fizzle because of the successes and the consistency, it is what you do every day. That will set you up for success or failure. So, how many hours of Real Housewives are you watching? You know, how many hours are you mindlessly scrolling on Instagram, what you do every day will dictate your success. So one of the goals that I have is every day I have to commit at least two hours to growing my business, whatever that is, whether that’s researching some new trends in the podcasting industry, whether that’s writing some articles for the podcast, Business Journal, whether that is just going on and looking at some YouTube videos of some new software every day has to be something that’s growing my business so that I’m not just doing but I’m growing and you’re seeing the big picture and working on the micro at the same what’s next. Love it. You know what’s next for Motor City woman.

42:57  

Love it. Now, what is the one piece of advice if you could wind back the clock that you would give to your 20-year-old self.

43:06  

I have huge regret for something that I never did in college I had the opportunity to do. In college, I had the opportunity to do a semester abroad. And I was afraid to go. I had to go back.

43:23  

Where would you have gone?

43:25  

Chulalongkorn, in China. They have a semester abroad. And it was for business students. And you know, I was afraid. I was afraid to go and actually have a good friend who she didn’t go there specifically, but she did another semester abroad and she was just telling me about her experience and how it has changed her life and I was like, biggest regret. So, this gotta go back.

44:01  

So, now what has been one book or resource that has helped you along the way,

44:07  

So many books, I love reading, I love listening to, of course, audiobooks, podcasts and all of that. But there’s nothing better than just an old fashioned page-turner. And I’m always typically reading a couple of books at a time. But one book, in particular, that really helped me along my way as it was in that time frame where I wasn’t sure what was next for me, and someone recommended The Alchemist. So, I started reading the alchemist. And I just started chatting down and highlighting things and things of that nature. And the outcome is, I think, really trained my mind to look for the good. And I was even talking to my mentor about this, she said, you’re really good at looking for the upside of the worst situations. Yeah, I’ve had to train my mind to do that, especially as an entrepreneur. You know, there’s been some times where we’re like, I don’t know how we’re gonna figure this out. Yeah, but now you like we’re gonna figure it out. This is just forcing us to be creative. So, let’s get it. Find the silver lining find the silver lining. So the album is Paulo Coelho is definitely a book that I would recommend to anyone that’s just unsure of the path that they need to be on, or even unsure of the path that they’re currently on is the right one.

45:35  

Love it. Now, Robin, where can people learn more about you and Motor City Woman?

45:42  

Okay, well, you know, we’re all social media platforms that I’m not personally that active on social media. Just because it’s mentally draining for my personality type, is mentally draining and you can find me. I’m on Instagram and all those places. But for more information, you can just visit our website Motor City Woman.com. Motor City woman is active on social just at Motor City Woman where we share background about the clients and the projects that we’re working on. All the way to different resources and events that will help you along the way.

46:26  

Love it. Robin Kinnie, President, and CEO of Motor City Woman. Thanks for coming on the show. 

46:31  

Hey, thank you for having me.

 46:35  

All right. And that does it for our show with Robin Kinnie, President, and CEO of Motor City woman. The first thing that I really like about Robin’s story is the fact that you don’t know until you try, meaning you don’t know if you’re going to like something until you see the real world of what it is. And so for Robin, she wanted to be a veterinarian until she had a vet internship and realize just how gnarly the world that vets work in is. And even though she loves animals and loves working with them, she didn’t love working with them in that context. And then she switched to, okay, what’s next, she then switched into an HR internship, which she absolutely loved because it allowed her the opportunity to draw on people’s strengths, and put people together in new and creative ways to get the best out of both people and maximize the ultimate result of their work. Much like Scott Tatelman talked about back in show number 29. Robin highlights the importance of understanding those that you’re actually serving. If you don’t talk to community members and talk to those you’re trying to impact and trying to benefit, you’re going to have no idea what they’re actually dealing with in what your actions can do to mean the most of them. You can’t target your impact unless you know where you need to focus. Robin also highlights the fact that you’re not building your competitors’ business, you’re building your own. And so yes, you can learn sort of what the industry is doing and what your competitors are doing to understand the overall landscape. But bear in mind that they’re building their companies and they’re doing it their way. You need to focus more so on building your own company with its own identity, rather than just following the herd. That’s all we got for this week’s show. Feel free to shoot me a DM on Instagram if you have questions or know of anyone that you think would be a good fit for the message of this show from Taste For Tenacity show number 32. This is BenTrela. Thanks for listening.

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