We had the good fortune of connecting with Jillian Lynum and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jillian, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Scary! I had no previous experience on starting a podcast or any of the other upcoming businesses that are on the horizon that include a food blog, charcuterie board and herbal tea businesses.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
By day I am a mental health professional, something I longed for since childhood. While I am grateful for this piece of my professional journey I realized that my purpose is much bigger than the systems in my field have created for my potential. While there is my initial business, The Melanin Exchange podcast there were other businesses I had interest in with the basis being self-care. Stepping outside of my comfort zone, being unconventional, and going against the grain is what sets me apart from others. This has not been an easy journey at all. I have no former experience in business or being an entrepreneur. I am constantly learning and revamping daily. The biggest lessons I have learned are to trust the process, use your resources or village for support, be receptive to feedback, and do not be afraid to ask questions. I am a firm believer in manifesting. Everything I have manifested has come into fruition. There is a story behind my personal brand which encompasses all that I am doing.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
It depends. I would take them to places they are interested in. I am big on being in spaces that have good vibes so I would aim to identify these types of places while taking his/her interest into consideration. It’s also important to learn about the places we travel to to become more informed and aware of our surroundings so I would definitely locate historic and local tourist attractions as well.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would be remiss if I didn’t shout out to my tribe. These are people I trust to share business ideas with, who are full of resources, and allow me the comfort and space to be able to ask for help. Some of them also helped me decide on the name(s) of businesses or have voluntarily taken photos. It is a reciprocal relationship. It is important to me that I don’t just take from their table, but also add something to theirs.

Website: www.themelaninexchange.com

Instagram: themelaninexchange

Image Credits
See Art Hear @seearthear

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