We had the good fortune of connecting with Candace Doby and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Candace, how do you think about risk?
I’ve taken some pretty big risks over the years. I quit a successful, 16-year marketing career to start my own business helping young leaders activate their courage in school, work, and beyond. I wrote and self-published a book (which will be re-released by national publisher Sourcebooks in 2022). I launched the greeting card and gift company Pep Talker. I’ve traveled around the world, mostly solo, as a Black woman. I even tried out for the Carolina Panthers TopCats dance team without having formal dance experience. (I made it to the final round). My work on courage has taught me that taking risks, small and large, is critical for the person who wants to fully realize their potential. You won’t always win, but you will always grow.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I help young leaders activate personal courage in order to perform to their potential in school, work and beyond. I’ve learned throughout my life and career that courage is critical, even required, to unlock the best within you. But, it can be an intimidating and sometimes boring topic to consider. My work as a speaker, author and coach focuses on making courage fun to talk about, easy to digest, and practical to activate. I’m grateful to be able to help young leaders in colleges and companies across the U.S. conjure their courage to speak up, stand out, and stay true to themselves. When they do, they unleash the confidence and creativity within themselves, their teams, and their organizations. I’ve coached young women who needed the courage to speak up in front of colleagues who seem to have more experience, extroversion, and testosterone than them. I’ve spoken to young professionals who needed courage to step into new roles and manage the people they once considered peers. I’ve led workshops for young people who needed courage to try out for teams, apply for competitive programs, and separate from old friends who didn’t support their shine. It’s the work I’m supposed to be doing, but I had to make the decision to do it. In one of my biggest acts of courage, I quit a successful 16-year marketing career to start my business. I walked away from a cushy work-from-home job (before working from home became the norm), company car, robust bonuses and best-in-class healthcare to pursue my own vision. There were certainly people who didn’t understand the move. There were certainly days I squirmed about paying the bills, including COBRA insurance that wasn’t exactly cheap. And, there were days I wondered if my business “would work”. In the process of questioning myself, I came to understand that one of the biggest components of courage is a worthy purpose. If you’re going to invite potential failure, rejection and judgement into your orbit, you better have a powerful reason for doing so. So, when I talk to young leaders about taking worthwhile risks, we spend quite a bit of time digging into the purpose behind their desired actions. This year will mark three years in business, and it’s been an incredible process of learning, growing and serving.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Atlanta is filled with cultural gems, and there’s enough happening in the city to keep visitors occupied for days. I’m more of a chill kind of person, so I would take my friend to Grant park and to the Beltline for a stroll. On the way there, we might grab a treat from HodgePodge Coffeehouse and shop local at The Beehive. Nearby is Little 5 Points, so we’d stop there to check out Moods Music and other indie stores lining Euclid Ave. For more chill, we’d venture off to the High Museum of Art. We’d hang out on the rooftop of the Clermont Hotel for drinks and views of Atlanta. Then, we’d make our way to Ponce City Market to try out vegan Philly cheesesteaks inside Bar Vegan. Atlanta has so many terrific restaurants serving up delicious vegetarian options, and I’d want to take my friend to all of them. But, with limited time, we’d have to make sure we hit up Banshee, Salaryman, Antico, BoccaLupo and Upbeet. If we’re lucky, my friend’s visit will overlap with a festival in the city. Some of my favorites are: ONE Musicfest, House In The Park, Atlanta Jazz Festival and Afropunk
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
This shoutout is dedicated to my parents, who gave me a solid foundation on which to walk beyond my comfort zone.
Superwoman image, photo credit: Gianne Demeritte Courage written on whiteboard, photo credit: Gianne Demeritte Yellow background, image of me laughing, photo credit: Candice Lee Conner
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