Episode 18

#18 Where is the next Oprah or Bill Gates? Majora Carter, Founder of StartUp Box, is Onshoring Jobs in Underserved Communities

Majora Carter, an urban revitalization strategy consultant and agent of change, founded StartUp Box, a social enterprise in the South Bronx generating entry level jobs in the tech industry. Kelly Hoey and Majora chat about the massive opportunity behind StartUp Box, how Majora is rolling it out in other cities, and her philosophy about not letting other people’s perception of you stand in the way of your work.

Notes

It’s Embarrassing How Few Black Female Founders Get Funded  by Davey Alba, Wired

South Bronx Gets High-End Coffee; Is Gentrification Next? by Jeff Gordinier, New York Times

Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy, iBooks

How One Entrepreneur Convinced Beyoncé To Invest In Her Startup by Clare O’Connor, Forbes

Additional Reading

Tech Diversity: Message vs Messenger by Majora Carter, LinkedIn

Majora Carter has a genius idea to get more people into tech jobs by Becky Bracken, SheKnows

How social entrepreneurship is making a difference in the world by Bérénice Magistretti, TechCrunch

Urban Onshoring: The Movement to Bring Tech Jobs Back to America by Issie Lapowsky, Wired

Why diversity matters to your tech company by Joelle Emerson, USA Today

10 Things People Are Getting Wrong About Diversity In Tech by Ariel Lopez, Forbes

Guest bios & transcripts are available on www.broadmic.com.

Bio

 

MAJORA CARTER - is an urban revitalization strategy consultant, real estate developer, and Peabody Award winning broadcaster.  She is responsible for the creation & successful implementation of numerous green-infrastructure projects, policies, and job training & placement systems.

After establishing  Sustainable South Bronx and Green For All (among other organizations) to carry on that work, she built on this foundation with innovative ventures and insights into urban economic developments designed to help move Americans out of poverty.

Her long list of awards and honorary degrees include accolades from groups as diverse as Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, John Podesta’s Center for American Progress, Goldman Sachs, as well as a MacArthur “genius” Fellowship.  Her 2006 TEDtalk was one of the first 6 videos to launch their groundbreaking website.  Majora is a Board Member of the Andrew Goodman Foundation.

Majora has continually set new standards of excellence with projects in her South Bronx community, while expanding her reach through philanthropic pursuits and business interests that have all pointed toward greater self-esteem and economic potential for low-income people everywhere.

Transcript

Majora: It's what happens when we leave everyone else in those communities behind. We're not even thinking that if given the right opportunities they could blossom there.

Kelly: I'm Kelly Hoey, host of BroadMic. I speak with the most accomplished entrepreneurs, investors, and thought leaders about the issues that matter in building a business. You will get the inspiration, as well as the picks and shovels you need to become a better entrepreneur. Be inspired, take action, think broad.

Today on BroadMic I have Majora Carter, an urban revitalization strategy consultant, real estate developer, and Peabody Award winning broadcaster. She's also the founder of StartUp Box, a social enterprise seeding diverse participation through entry level jobs in the knowledge economy. Today we're going to chat about the founding of StartUp Box in New York City. How Majora is rolling out StartUp Box in other cities. And managing other people's perception and opinions of you and your work. Welcome, Majora.

Majora: Hey. Nice to see you, Kelly.

Kelly: So, before we start about all of these things. You've been changing communities and an entrepreneur for some time. What was it? What was the impetus for you that made you say, "All right, it's just not enough to have a job. I'm going to be an entrepreneur, and make a difference"?

Majora: Well, it probably helped that I never really had a great job. That I started off as an artist, which meant that you got work where you could. So it wasn't quite...

Kelly: A glamorous, artistic entrepreneurship, yes.

Majora: Yeah. But what I realized was that I moved back to my community. The one I struggled long and hard to leave, poor community of color, urban ghetto. And when I moved back there, because I was broke and needed to live with my parents, who I found that there was things that I could do, and be useful, and valuable in doing. And so I got my start doing urban revitalization, mostly in the sustainability world, and creating green college job training and placement systems, and transforming dumps into parks, and things of that nature.

But what really moved me was understanding that the economic development, or lack thereof, of low status communities really is what was keeping them down, and not ever allowing them to fully participate in the economy as it exists for much of America. And it just seemed like, well, that is the thing that we need to do. It is wealth creation. It is job creation. But it's also a community development and showing that you can create the kind of communities that people feel as though they don't have to move in order to live in a better one.

Kelly: Just as soon as you said that, it's like, doesn't it always frustrate when you think people, they have to move to find an opportunity because it's not happening there at home?

Majora: Poor communities or low status communities, as we call them, because whether it's an urban ghetto or whether it's a former rust belt town that's all white or whether it's a Native American reservation. Those are the communities that don't have the level of status, that more established economic eco centers of any particular area have. But by design they're the places that folks are taught to leave from a very early place. It's part of that great Cinderella stories, like, "Oh, they're from a harsh, scrabble neighborhood. But despite all odds grew up and became somebody great."

But it's like, what happens when we leave everyone else in those communities behind? The great folks that could've been the next Oprah or Bill Gates or whatever. We're not even thinking that if given the right opportunities they could blossom there. And that's really what all my work has been about. How do you show that with the right care, feeding, support, and just a basic level of infrastructure you can show that folks can be the economic generators of their own community? That they are the ones that can reinvest in it. That they're the ones that can be the part of building it in a way that inspires and provides a sense of aspiration for others in that community. And of course, makes them tax payers instead of tax burdens.

Kelly: And I was going to say, on a national level we need more economic centers and more thriving economic centers, rather than fewer. So we need the Bronx to be successful. We need Detroit to be successful, New Orleans. You can start rattling off all, Pittsburgh where it is. We need them to be strong. Maybe those trends towards urbanization, re-urbanization as the case may be. Maybe this will help.

Majora: Yes, and we think that it can. Especially as we're going toward that anyway. But how do we do that in a way that actually self-gentrifies those communities? Versus just the standard gentrification model that just displaces the poor folks that were in the community until it gets trendy, and then other folks, usually younger, whiter, wealthier folks move in. And then it's suddenly a different place. But we really think that we can reduce brain drain in those communities because by creating the kind of places that the folks that are, again, the smart, hardworking ones, that are taught to leave those communities from a really early age. And I know, I was one of them. Where I was taught from, I was a little kid, said, "You know what? You're going to grow and you're going to be somebody. You're going to get out of here."

That kind of conditioning for the folks within low status communities, it does something to you, and it is generally negative. Where it's like, the kind of support that I got to know that I was going to grow up and go to the Bronx High School of Science, and then go to a great college. That was great. It was great for me as an individual, but for the other kids who probably couldn't do that, and didn't obviously, it was an expectation that there was nothing really there that was left in that community that was going to mean anything for any of them. And that they were going to grow up if they stayed there. And they were going to stay poor. They were always going to be on the social welfare system. And they might make a living, but they were never really going to have a life that fed them in any real way spiritually, emotionally or anything like that. And so, again it's great for the individual that kind of attitude. But it's, I think, overall not healthy for the folks that are left behind, and certainly not healthy for the economy that we're allegedly trying to improve.

Kelly: Just sort of the perpetuating a really negative circling of drain cycle. Need to change all of that.

Majora: Yeah.

Kelly: So you've been labeled a social entrepreneur. What does social entrepreneurship mean to you, and is that the right label?

Majora: I wish that I even knew what that term was back when I started this work in the mid '90s because I started doing work, again, working on the linking jobs in the environment, and looking at urban land use as a way to revitalize communities. And there was always an economic development component in everything that I did, but I didn't know anything about what social entrepreneurism is right now. And so I was just like, "Well, I guess I'm just a community activist." And there's no shame in that game. But I tend to find that when people think of me, and they do think of me as a community activist, which is kind of like, "Oh, you work within the community." And it's sort of a way to pigeonhole people, frankly. Much more so than anything else.

It's kind of like, "That's the box you're in. You're never really going to grow out of it, and that's okay." And I take issue with that in a really big way. And so especially since my work did focus on economic development. It was just like, I've never, ever, ever put rhetoric over results. I'm much more interested in real ideas that can grow, versus ideology. And those things don't necessarily define a community activist when people start thinking about them. And frankly, I think on a bunch of levels community activists are okay with it, which is problematic to me. So as a social entrepreneur I see the value in developing real enterprise in communities that actually allow it to develop in a more sustainable way for the people that are there. And I'd like to make some money while I do it.

Kelly: Now you're talking crazy stuff.

Majora: Totally. It is a very, very market based approach to community development that I think is just rooted in my own infrastructure. And it's what I want to build my life because I do think you can do well and do good at the same time. But you kind of have to pay attention to the market, you just do, and create public/private partnerships around it. And show that cost avoidance in creating a real, sustainable, healthy communities is actually a good thing. I think the best form of social service is a job. And how developing the right types of infrastructure for the social, environmental, and economic health of our country is important.

Kelly: Well, I think so many things right now, as we like to over use the term, disruption. But how we solve the world's problems needs to be disrupted.

Majora: Absolutely.

Kelly: Just like established businesses are getting disrupted by technology. How we solve community problems needs to be disrupted by different ways of attacking that problem. And simply saying, "An activist," or, "501(c)(3) route," or, "An NGO route." We still have these problems.

Majora: Yeah. What's interesting to me, fascinating as a matter of fact, that there's been more money over the past two decades that I've been in this world, thrown at social problems. Whether it's educational obtainment, health issues, poverty. More over these past 20 years than ever. And yet in every single one of those problem areas the issues have gone up. It's all gone up. But the way that I look at it, it's so much of it, the money goes after literally doing the same thing over, and over, and over again. And it's just like, "Hasn't anybody seen that Einstein quote that's on every other T-shirt?" Insanity is doing the same thing over, and over again, and expecting different results. It's on T-shirts now, guys. Let's pay attention. But, yeah, I do find that mostly that's what happens. And I think especially in the most challenged communities it's many of the folks that are putting money out there to fix the problems, are literally trying to do the same thing over, and over again.

Kelly: I think that Einstein quote, we should just change it from insanity to failure. Because that to me is the definition of failure. Doing the same thing and expecting different results.

Majora: Yeah.

Kelly: So let's talk about your latest venture, StartUp Box. Okay, we can skip the train ride when you and I talked about this three or so years ago. How did this all start?

Majora: Oh, man, honey. Kelly, it's been three years. My, how things have grown. So when we first started thinking about the tech economy, and how to insure that low status communities could actually participate in it. I think back in almost 2012, it was very much like, "We've got to get to the kids." Like a lot of other folks were thinking, which is they're warm, they're cuddly, they're not huge problems just yet. And I think that was attractive to think, "Okay, we can teach them to code." But then, guess what? Lots of other people were as well, and they were much better funded than we were. So we were like, "That's what's going to happen. I think that's taken care of."

But then the other thing was, "Wow, it's the not so cute kids that we need to work on in some way." And we'd actually been in conversation with some big companies that I will not name, who were just like, "They seem really progressive in nature." And they were like, "Well, maybe we can have one of our junior associates programs operating in a place like the South Bronx. We could bring people up there, and we could do these internships, aspirational programing. It'll be great." We were like, "Awesome." And of course, after a while they stopped returning phone calls because, I think, on some level it was like, well, even though it's a quick ride up on the subway where we are, and people are always surprised how quickly you can get into Manhattan from where we are, it's still the South Bronx. There wasn't good coffee. The perception of crime. You name it. And it was just like, "Okay, fine. So that wasn't going to work."

And that's when were just like, "We have to do everything else, and try to figure it out on our own, to be honest." And we were like, "There's got to be some kind of paying point within the New York City tech economy right now that we can develop a business around." That would allow us to get people trained up on a job fairly easily, with a minimal viable training model. That would allow us to then create a business-to-business business, a B2B business for the folks within the New York City tech economy, but locate the operation in the South Bronx. And we actually had a place picked out before we even had the business. It was a store front, on a corner that actually had been a pretty hot corner for a while because it was pretty vacant, all sorts of crazy activity would go on back there. And then it was just like, "No, that's the corner." Because we can open it up, and good uses will drive out bad, and we knew it.

So we actually had the lease on it for a long time, even before we had the model. But when we did more research, we realized that a lot of software developers who are using offshored quality assurance and other types of software services were not that happy with the services they were getting. Yeah, it was cheap, but sometimes you get what you pay for. And especially for the developers that were working on using specifically entertainment products. So whether it was games or websites with lots of moving parts, and just needed to be quality assured in a good way before their end user got to it, or things like that. But again, because their offshore options were time zones away, and often didn't speak English. The fact that the cultural vernacular wasn't there.

So they would get their product back, and it wasn't exactly what they needed. And then they have to do other work in it. So after hearing this complaint a lot, we realized, "Maybe we can try to create a real value added model for quality assurance and other types of software services that New York City developers might want. Within the same time zone, culture vernacular. Let's try this out." And so we did a couple of pilots with Nickelodeon, and also with a smaller mobile games company called TreSensa, and literally gave away the product for free. And they loved it. And we were able to train people up within a morning to do this work, and created the kind of scripts that they needed, and just were able to throw this product out to them. And our clients loved it. And then we did a little more...excuse me, a lot more market research to see if we were on the right track. And then we launched in September of 2014.

Kelly: So who is your client?

Majora: We've got game developers. We've got any website users that have lots of moving parts on their website. So they can be as Sesame Workshop or as small as a company called Covey, which is a website that's dedicated to young moms.

Kelly: So for you as in many ways, you're a startup with StartUp Box.

Majora: Yes.

Kelly: So how did you make it happen?

Majora: Oh, God. Listen, it was clearly a labor of love that almost sent my husband and I into the poorhouse for a little while. Because we really did think...because we thought, "Gosh, we're urban entrepreneuring jobs." We were really sitting on something that's super, super smart. And we really did think, because we set it up originally as work force development, and we thought that the philanthropic world was going to be like, "Awesome. Of course we're going to support you in this demonstration phase." And they really didn't at first, just did not. Thank goodness, JP Morgan-Chase is the work force development program really understood what we were doing. That, and Booth Ferris, and not too many others.

But we were so deep into it that it was my after tax dollars from my consulting company that funded this stuff to begin with. And again, we were so deep into it, and could literally see we can't leave now. But there was a time, and it was like, "Oh my gosh. This is what we're spending the bulk of our money on making sure that it works, and working out the kinks so that it will succeed." And there was nobody. Not on the investment side, not on the philanthropic side. It was just like, "Let's just watch Majora, and see what she can do." It was very difficult. And it's not the first time in my career I've been through that.

Kelly: And that's the point. A lot of the time they want to see entrepreneurs with track records. And it's like, "Hey, if my friend here doesn't have a track record I don't know who has one." And I think sometimes when you're breaking this new ground people think, "Well, let's see what she does."

Majora: Yeah, and this happened to me also when I was in the sustainability world. I did raise the bar for what was the green economy, but I never really benefited at all from this plethora of funding that came down the pipes after I did it. It was just like, "Great. So you're funding who now? Oh, hello. We were doing this three years before homie got into the game." And so at this point in my life I'm really being a lot more aggressive about just reminding people of who I am because I have no choice. Seriously, we have to play it in a weird kind of way because there are some serious issues that are stacking up not in our favor. Being a black female tech founder doesn't really...if you look at the stats about it, I'm really...of course nobody's funding me. Those are just the stats. Dear friend, [inaudible 00:19:05] Kathryn Finney, you would think the Project Diane report, which was just abysmal. It was one of the saddest things I've ever read.

Kelly: Statistically you don't get funded, because so...

Majora: Yeah. Out of all the gajillions of women, the black women and the women of color, who've just got pretty much nothing. That was me. And I was like, "Oh, yeah, I can vouch for that." What was it? Twelve out of all the...was it 1.5 million?

Kelly: Yeah, statistically it's less than 1% of VC funding is gone to black women. And it's like, "Really?" Because you can't tell me the sisters don't have great ideas.

Majora: I know.

Kelly: What are we looking at? Are we so narrow on our focus?

Majora: Yeah. Yes, I think we are.

Kelly: And what problems aren't we solving because we can't see the founder?

Majora: Exactly. And so it's just like, what are we leaving on the table as opposed to figuring out how do we create even more? So I've never been the type of person...I think this is probably one of the reasons why I didn't do well in the social justice industrial complex. I was never a person to fight over crumbs. I'm like, "Okay, I know there's ingredients out there to make a whole cake. Why are we fighting over this crap?" And so that's what I find so fascinating about the future of this world. Especially as it becomes more diverse. Just like there are markets that we don't even know exist. Of course you're going to need to figure out how do we access them? Which means, guess what? It's got to look like the people who we're going to be marketing to eventually. So I kind of think we need to figure this stuff out because we kind of have to. So just for fun.

Kelly: You and I could go on for hours on this, but I want to get back to StartUp Box.

Majora: Yeah.

Kelly: So how did you get your pilot partner Nickelodeon? How'd that come to be?

Majora: We actually had an advisor who was there. At the time they had a games development. And it was just like this problem keeps happening. We do a lot of our content, but we also hire developers to make our content. And where it gets messed up is when they need it quality assured because they're using this offshore option. And often that doesn't work, and here is why. And so when we dug deeper, we realized that is so true across the industry. And especially, again, with any kind of entertainment industry. So they were the first ones that opened their doors to let us actually try this model out.

Kelly: Because Lord knows, it could be worse than what they were already getting.

Majora: Exactly.

Kelly: What is the bar for failure? It's already failing.

Majora: Exactly, so they knew that. So we were really excited and grateful to him for letting us do that. And then, of course, we did a lot more work after that. But the fun thing was that after we launched it, and we came up with this model that we give away a two week free trial to everybody that just talks to us. And our conversion rate is 80%. So we do give it away because, again, it's still kind of weird. Sort of like, "I'm sort of used to." It's like the devil you know. Which is, we do this offshore stuff, and we're not really sure if you're going to be able to do this. So that's where we're like, "Look, we'll give you the free trial."

Kelly: Listen, you're going to be paying for those guys, you've got over wherever it is. We'll do the same work for two weeks for free.

Majora: Precisely. Exactly, and generally they come back. But again, it's a very elastic model so we're not always with us all the time. But it's pretty consistent work so we've got about a dozen clients right now. We are actively looking for investment to support our business development person because we don't have one right now. And that, I think, has been problematic because we can keep the lights on. I think we'll be in the black by the end of this year, which is kind of cool. And so we're good on the enterprise part of our business, but we know we can be a whole lot better if given an opportunity, and a real sales team to work with us or a salesperson dedicated to doing nothing except getting us this work.

Kelly: And is it just in terms of the workforce training part? Is it just quality assurance work or is that evolved?

Majora: That's totally evolved already. We've noticed that, especially for some of our gaming clients. So TwoDots is one of our clients. So we did the quality assurance for their Android launch release for TwoDots, which has more than 40 million users right now.

Kelly: Crazy.

Majora: Total crazy. But when they went back, and they tried to write their own scripts to do a customer care for their offshore company. And then they were like, "This is too hard for us to do. Why don't we just hand it over to you guys, to StartUp Box, and handle our customer care?" So we actually handle 100% of TwoDots' customer care right now.

Kelly: It was Dots' customer care?

Majora: Yeah.

Kelly: I would apply because I would just be sitting there eating the Dots. But we're talking TwoDots. All right.

Majora: I know, but people still love Dots as well. So we handle that, too. But it's really fun so we're just real excited about that, and so we're going to continue to work with them in the future as well. So that's what we handle, and so we're real excited. And as they continue to do different launches of the games, different updates. Hopefully we'll be on that as well.

Kelly: That's amazing.

Majora: And then we're also looking because we really have...thanks for asking that question, because we haven't really scratched the surface of what else we can provide to our clients right now. Things like data cleansing, recruitment, actually doing the technical writing on some of their other scripts. We realize we've got so much more that we can offer, and we're investigating that right now.

Kelly: Well, and as your workforce gets more, and more excited about the things they're working on, and what they're learning, and who they know who could be a good person to come and do this, too. It's just like, you just feel the energy.

Majora: Yes, it's so beautiful. It's a beautiful place.

Kelly: So scaling. What's next?

Majora: Yeah, so we definitely want to continue to grow here in New York. That's why we’re looking for investment for a business developer, and to just make sure that we can get this puppy to sing, because I know we can. But the other things is what we've actually got in the interest of different cities around the country as well. So places like Minneapolis or Austin, Texas. Places that have just like pretty much every city. They've got a thriving tech sector, but then there's a low status community right nearby. And everybody's talking about diversifying the tech ecosystem, but have no idea how to do it.

And so we've gotten the attention of some folks within city government, and also within some of the private businesses in those places, and other places around the country as well. That are just like, "This is the kind of business that we think makes sense here." And so we're looking to get them to scale up with us so that we could take our almost two years’ worth of market research that we've put into this model. In terms of how do you locate your clients? How do you recruit your talent? How do you set up shops so that it becomes a real economic beacon within a local community? Versus, it's like setting up another training program that people are never going to apply to anyway or get hired out of as well.

So we were so excited about that. And so each one of those cities in addition to the other ones. It looks like about 1.2 million to get us off the ground wherever we are. But we think that it's actually a good price for the type of public/private partnership that will make it happen. So we're very excited. So I definitely want to keep you posted on that, yeah.

Kelly: I have to.

Majora: Fingers crossed.

Kelly: No, it is going to happen. Off camera we're going to talk about some things on that because the wheels are turning.

Majora: Yeah.

Kelly: We have touched on this a little bit, with respect to you and your husband putting everything on the line, but what other risks were involved? Because you're doing something really innovative. There's a lot of feathers that you can ruffle doing business in a different way.

Majora: Yes. The biggest one was the financial piece because, again, if we were wrong, which we weren't because we did the market research, it would've been disastrous for us. But we did the work, and we made it work so that it was really exciting. But a part of the problem is just dealing with incredibly low expectations that folks have of low status communities, and what happens there. And also even of me, and I've won a MacArthur for urban revitalization strategies. I do have a track record as long as my arm.

Kelly: Longer, I guess.

Majora: But it's still just like, "Who do you think you are to try this?" And it has been really, really difficult at times. Just on a, not so much emotionally because...look, I've been a black female doing crazy stuff like this for a long time, but it can be draining to keep doing it and just go, "Okay, here's another day. Who else is going to be insulting?" And then you just have to get up and do it again. You just do.

Kelly: Part of it for me is, and this is having spent time in Detroit recently, in terms of communities where actually I want to invest. There are these communities where I want to say there's no plan B.

Majora: Yeah.

Kelly: They know that if they in the community don't make it work, it's not going to happen. And if they don't decide to put in the time and the effort, and throw everything that they've got at it, it's not going to happen. And no offense to Manhattan where I live and love, and all the rest it, but we always have a plan B in Manhattan.

Majora: Yeah.

Kelly: Communities without the plan B, now that's the place to pay attention and invest.

Majora: Yeah, I guess I'm a plan B or maybe I'm a plan A. I don't know what I am.

Kelly: You've always got one plan, you've got to make this...and for being in the South Bronx. You're just like, "Here, we need to make this happen because we've been sitting here for how long, waiting for the knight in shining armor to come in. It's not happening."

Majora: It's crazy pants. Because again, if our overarching goal is to increase economic diversity and reduce brain drain, then we have to create a community that the people who would otherwise be expected to leave would want to stay. You have to build things in it for them. So whether it's companies that folks want to work at or it's coffee shops that people want to go to. We actually had to build a coffee shop which is opening in two weeks, which is very exciting. On April 19th, and we're so excited about it. But we found a partner, Birch Coffee, which is a local...they've got seven coffee shops in Manhattan right now. Weren't really planning on coming to the Bronx, but we got a space and did the initial work so that it would attractive to someone who actually didn't know how to do coffee, because we didn't know how to do coffee.

But we knew just from listening to the community that they wanted things like this. There is no gathering places that's not a topless bar in the industrial section. So we want places that look nice and make us feel special. And if it means spending more on a cup of coffee, because we know people leave the neighborhood to experience these things, we were going to do this. And the response has been overwhelmingly positive. People are aching for this coffee shop to open. And it may sound like a silly little thing, but it's just like, "With all the problems you have in the neighborhood, why are you building a coffee shop?" It's because people want to feel like there's something worth living for in our community. And coffee places like that are the things that remind people that all isn't terrible, and that maybe they could have a positive outlook about their community when they see things like this.

Kelly: It's another anchor in the community.

Majora: So I get some heat from folks about gentrifying my own neighborhood, which is the most retarded thing I've ever heard, but I'm just like, "You go be you."

Kelly: You know what? As a prior guest said in terms of her best advice, her step-father had said, "There's going to be people who all they do is pull you off the ladder. Because it's easier to do that than climb a ladder."

Majora: Amen.

Kelly: And I just think when you're climbing the ladder there's just going to be a whole lot of people who just want to toss you down for whatever reason. It's going to be the color of your sweater or the coffee shop you're opening.

Majora: Haters are going to hate.

Kelly: Exactly. All right, so were going to get to the fun part. Not that the rest of this wasn't fun, but you're going to get the fun part that every guest has. I'm going to ask you some questions. These are pay it forward questions. It's going to be your fast answers.

Majora: Sure.

Kelly: What are your primary sources of information?

Majora: Public radio. Little, tiny bit of Twitter.

Kelly: How do you discover new information?

Majora: Someone tells me something interesting, and I look it up.

Kelly: What book are you reading?

Majora: "Eat the Frog." It's about how to not procrastinate.

Kelly: It's an inspiration for your new book?

Majora: Actually, that's why I started reading it, because I was procrastinating so much.

Kelly: Love that. Do you have any rituals or habits you swear by?

Majora: Yes. Rituals or habits I swear by? Exercise every single day, every day. Mediate every single day. Try to talk to somebody I love that's not part of my work every day. Try to. That unfortunately doesn't always happen.

Kelly: I like those.

Majora: Pray, and pray. Seriously, those are my rituals.

Kelly: I love it. What entrepreneurs or leaders do you follow and admire?

Majora: Gosh. Beyoncé, Beyoncé, Beyoncé.

Kelly: I was going to say. And Beyoncé, if you're listening to this, you should be part of StartUp Box. I'm just going to put that out there.

Majora: Oh my God. Oh my gosh. It's just...

Kelly: And you know what? She's come into her power even more magnificent.

Majora: Yeah, I've just been thinking about her so often. There's others, but...

Kelly: Let's manifest her as an investor.

Majora: Yeah, exactly.

Kelly: What is the best advice you've ever received?

Majora: "Not now doesn't mean not ever." And the second one is, "Be aware of who your friends aren't."

Kelly: That's a really good one.

Majora: Yeah.

Kelly: So we've been busting a few myths, but are there any other myths you would like to dispel for our listeners?

Majora: I'm not a community activist. I am an entrepreneur.

Kelly: What words of advice would you give to listeners about taking risks and closing the confidence gap?

Majora: Remember, it's a performance.

Kelly: And we all can give it a good Academy Award performance. And what does "think broad" mean to you?

Majora: Think board? Oh gosh, I love that question. Think broad means to me, number one, think like a broad. Because I never really thought of myself as a lady, even though I have to be at times. And broad, it's one of those tough chic names that just cracks me up when I hear it. It's an image of a woman who just takes no mess from anybody. And I just love that.

Kelly: Love, love that. Thank you so very much.

Majora: Pleasure's mine. It was awesome, thank you.

Kelly: Thank you for listening to BroadMic. We welcome your feedback. Find us on Facebook where you will have show notes and additional references for a deeper dive into today's topic. Subscribe on iTunes so you never miss an episode. Please, review our podcast on iTunes, which will help other listeners discover BroadMic, and grow the BroadMic community. BroadMic is produced by Christy Mirabal, with editing by John Marshal Media. Our executive producer is Sara Weinheimer. Think broad.

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