We had the good fortune of connecting with RJ Johns and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi RJ, do you disagree with some advice that is more or less universally accepted?
I believe that telling someone to ‘get out of their comfort zone’ (as it relates to business) is a huge mistake. Know this: to disregard and jettison your gifts is to forfeit your destiny. There is a reason why you are the best counselor, fashion stylist, or chef for miles…it’s your comfort zone! Own it. As a public speaking coach and mentor, I work with many influencers and entrepreneurs who were once struggling to make ends meet because they had veered off their path to pursue what others had told them was their ‘promised land’. Listen, not everyone is going to make a million dollars selling t-shirts online. Perhaps that’s not your comfort zone, and that’s OK! Discover what you do best and pursue it with everything you have. When you nurture and grow those giftings, everything (purpose, wealth, success) will be added. I do understand there may come a time where you must work solely to provide, keep a roof over your head, etc. However, you must never lay down or abandon your comfort zone. It was given to you by God not just to help others, but so that you can also help yourself. In your comfort zone, your confidence is high – your walk is different, and you speak with strength and purpose. Not sure what your giftings are? Ask your friends and family. It may be something unconventional, which in a world of copy-cats and 15-minute fame-seekers, is a complete advantage. Being unique is rare! Once you have discovered your passion/your sweet spot, draft a plan and work it. Your gifts will make room for you.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am passionate about coaching, empowering women, and fearless public speaking. Now more than ever, the ability to both discover and leverage your purpose is critical. Unfortunately, fear typically sets in before the goal can be achieved. This is where I come in. I work with women to encourage, build confidence, and help them find their voice. Once found, I demonstrate how to use it effectively to both influence (for good) and sell. Currently, women are taking the world of business and entrepreneurship by storm; however, so many are afraid to step into the spotlight and share their vision with the world – or simply don’t know how it’s done. They have an amazing product or service, but struggle with being in front of both large and small groups. Social media has given us this wonderful outlet to share, but now most of us lack the skills needed to interact effectively with humans face-to-face. Through PBJ Talks I have a proven method that helps clients overcome fears and use their voice for change. I am energized when I see a client shift their mindset from self-doubt and a ‘failure to launch’ to on-going success!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
So much has changed this year; however, there is still much to do in Atlanta and the surrounding area! I would recommend taking in the ‘old faithfuls’ such as The Atlanta Botanical Gardens and the downtown Ferris Wheel, just to say you did it. If you’re addicted to speed or wanting to overcome some fears, the Porsche Experience in Hapeville doesn’t disappoint. Here you can test drive their fleet of vehicles on a closed course. I also suggest going off the beaten path and visiting Atlanta treasures such as the Madame C.J. Walker Museum on Hilliard Street which is run by the most entertaining soul, Ricci de Forest, and his son. The building was once a salon owned by C.J. Walker, American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and political and social activist. She is recorded as the first female self-made millionaire in America in the Guinness Book of World Records. The IG-worthy space is filled with vintage records, antique furniture, and some amazing artifacts from Walker’s salon inventory. After you run out of photo space on your iCloud, head right around the corner to the Atlanta Breakfast Club. The specialty is Chicken & Waffles, and the nitro coffee is heaven-sent. If you’re into savory-sweet, order the peach cobbler chicken and waffles. You’re welcome. Do not be intimidated by the line, it moves very quickly! To walk off those waffles, head to the Beltline. I suggest parking off John Wesley Dobbs Ave. If you are into people watching, you will not want to leave. The walk towards Piedmont Park includes a covered bridge that usually features a local DJ or drummer, ample impromptu picnic space, a Kroger with a full bar, the Black Lives Matter photo-op, several eclectic restaurants, and patios filled with lively Beltline locales. Are you still buzzing from the nitro coffee? Keep going until you reach the family-friendly Piedmont Park where you’ll be blessed with more people watching, live music, and energetic volleyball games. Before you jump in your car to head out, be sure to visit Just Add Honey for a tasty, homemade treat and all things ‘tea’. If you’re hungry again, make sure to check out Tom, Dick, and Hanks on Ralph David Abernathy Blvd., and Jamrock Jamaican restaurant on Moreland. Both spots promise to fill you up without breaking your pockets in half. Lastly, if your energy needs a recharge after a week of too much food and fun, head over to I’m S.H.E (Soul Healing Energy) where you’ll find luxurious handmade soaps, sage, crystals and gifts to take back home to family and friends.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Since the moment I met my husband, Jermaine, he has been a source of knowledge, support, and creativity for me as well as my organization. I can honestly say that his honest feedback and wisdom has made me a better presenter, mentor, and coach. T.D. Jakes once said, “If you can see your dream/vision through to completion on your own, it means you’re not dreaming big enough!” I believe that to be true and I thank God for such a wonderful teammate.
Jamilah Andrews, Photographer