As we kick off Black History Month, I couldn’t find a better dream chaser with whom to start than today’s guest. Listen and be inspired by the story of her dream-chase to find passion, purpose, joy, and fulfillment in leaving corporate America behind and leaping into the entrepreneurial life.
Teneshia Warner is the founder and CEO of Egami Group, one of the country’s most successful multicultural marketing and communication firms and creator of The Dream Project. Through The Dream Project, Teneshia has spoken to more than 150,000 dreamers across the nation and brought together nearly 200 leading business moguls and celebrities. Her book, The Big Stretch: 90 Days to Expand Your Dreams, Crush Your Goals, and Create Your Own Success (McGraw-Hill Education, November 22, 2019), is a soul-searching, life-transforming, twelve-week, boot camp that reveals how to get from where you are to where you dream of being—in life and business.
Listening to the signals
Do you get internal signals when it’s time to move on to something new? Do you pay attention to them? Teneshia was a computer science major in college, and then she went on to be a project manager at IBM. She was busy climbing the corporate ladder, and her life looked perfect from the outside, but she felt signals telling her that something wasn’t right. She ignored the signals but kept facing each workday with dread, especially every Monday. This went on for years and years until her parents challenged her to DO something about her situation besides complaining about it. At this point, Teneshia became open to other options. She went back to school to pursue her MBA. An assignment there to analyze life decisions turned out to be exactly what she needed to take the next steps and move forward with purpose and passion.
TWEET: Don’t ignore the signals that tell you something isn’t right. @teneshiajwarner #chasingdreams
From the inside out
What brings you joy? This was the first question Teneshia needed to answer in her transition. Through simple self-awareness, she listed the things that interested her, the skills she possessed, and the things that brought her joy in life. Her list included creativity, entertainment, music, and fashion. Once she had the list, she began researching careers that were tied to her areas of interest. She wanted to transition into the music and entertainment industry, but she had no connection and no way to get her foot in the door. Teneshia decided that volunteering would be her way to learn. The end result of that endeavor is that she went from unpaid intern to general manager of the company in exactly one year.
TWEET: Teneshia made a list of what brought her joy and researched careers tied to her interests. @teneshiajwarner #chasingdreams
Making the leap
How attached are you to your comfort zone? Teneshia knew she needed to leave the comfort of her home and family in Minnesota, so she moved to NYC without knowing anyone there. She downsized to a studio apartment so small that she “could open the front door from the shower.”
She gave herself a timeline of one year to “make it,” which kicked her into a new level of urgency. Even though she wasn’t sure how things would happen, she had a plan laid out. Her success is an example of putting in the work. Now she has a new book and a new company to show for it. Egami Group, an award-winning multicultural firm based in NYC, was the result of Teneshia’s staying on the path to passion and purpose. Her book, The Big Stretch, is about getting in touch with your dreams, goals, and success.
TWEET: Teneshia’s book, The Big Stretch, is about getting in touch with your dreams, goals, and success. @teneshiajwarner #chasingdreams
Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser to take–”Say YES to the stretch. The one universal truth of every dreamer is a calling that tells you there is more.”
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE:
- [1:46] Young Teneshia’s dreams
- [7:18] How Teneshia finally focused on herself
- [8:31] The signals that something wasn’t right
- [12:51] Designing a life around earning potential
- [14:24] Taking the leap in following purpose and passion
- [18:15] Volunteering to get her foot in the door
- [24:32] Putting the work ahead of the money
- [28:06] Making the move to NYC
- [32:02] Teneshia’s book and new company
- [38:56] Beyond what Teneshia ever imagined
- [42:06] Not the destination, but the journey
- [49:36] Get to know Teneshia better
- [59:17] ONE action for a dream chaser
The Big Stretch: 90 Days to Expand Your Dreams, Crush Your Goals, and Create Your Own Success by Teneshia Jackson Warner
TWEETS YOU CAN USE:
You won’t chase a dream within the zip code of your comfort zone. @teneshiajwarner #chasingdreams
The future for me was to be a highly-paid, unhappy individual. @teneshiajwarner #chasingdreams
I thought the solution to my unhappy job situation was simply to make more money. @teneshiajwarner #chasingdreams
I decided to design my life around earning potential. @teneshiajwarner #chasingdreams