We had the good fortune of connecting with Robert H. Johnson Jr. aka The Corporate Dropout and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Robert H., what role has risk played in your life or career?
Life is all about risk. From the moment we wake up to the time we lay down at night, we are faced with a series of risks and choices. I learned at an early age, in order to achieve success in life and business, I would face and have to take risks. One of the first risks I decided to take was going to college. I was the first person in my family to attend college and had no point of reference. There was no one in my family that could walk me through FAFSA or scholarship applications. I had to leverage school resources and friends to get through the process.

Taking that risk and having the audacity to believe I could do it was a game changer. It led to bigger risks in my personal and professional life. For example, after graduating from college, I took the risk of leaving my hometown of Miami and relocated to Chicago, Illinois to accept my first job. Leaving the comfort of family and familiarity was scary as hell. However, it was the biggest growth experience I’d ever had.

Now, I like to think of faith as my superpower and if I truly have faith then I have to take risks. Not every risk turns into a win but they all result in a lesson and growth. I encourage everyone out there to seek opportunities to take risks in your life and career.

Building a life bigger than your current reality requires taking risks!

What should our readers know about your business?
As the founder of RHJ Consulting Group, I partner with organizations committed to creating inclusive and equitable environments for women and people of color. I also work with individuals on a one-on-one basis as an Executive Coach on confidence and competency development.

I’m excited to live in time where diversity, equity and inclusion is recognized as critical to achieving business goals and building a strong company culture.

The journey to building my business has been filled with both peaks and valleys. I’ve had to take personal and professional risks to gain valuable education, experience, and exposure that has positioned me to thrive. And, I learned just as many lessons from my failures and mistakes as I have the wins and successes.

One key lesson I learned is the importance of speaking up for yourself and others. Early in my career, I would remain silent on issues I wanted to speak out about. I realize it was fear. I was afraid of embarrassing myself or even worse, losing the job or the opportunity.

Eventually, through watching and learning from others, I recognized our biggest strength is our voice. And, if we don’t use it, we let ourselves and others down. When we are offered a seat at the table, it’s because we bring something immensely valuable; our diverse and necessary perspective. Develop, own and use your voice!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We would see and experience the best of Atlanta, starting with breakfast at Highland Bakery. They have the best coffee and phenomenal sweet potato pancakes.

Next, we’d go Piedmont Park for a walk through the Central Park of the South. Ponce City Market would definitely be a part of our agenda to people watch and shop at places like The Village Market. I love the selection of merchandise, the exceptional service and the fact that it’s all local designers and creatives.

I am a lover of tequila and margaritas, so we would have to go to Pure Taqueria in Inman Park. They have a great double barrel margarita for the not so faint of heart.

Last but not least, we’d visit my favorite food spot, Upbeet! Located in West Mid-town, Upbeet is my go to restaurant for good vibes and fantastic eats. The people are always friendly and upbeat!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to dedicate this shout out to Athena Jackson. Ms. Jackson was the Career Planning & Placement Advisor at my alma mater, Florida Memorial University. She was instrumental in helping me to believe in myself and encouraged me to take risks. Her investment in me as a young black male was life changing.

I mentor, coach and invest in others because of how Ms. Jackson role modeled this in my life. Thank you, Ms. Jackson! I will never be able to repay you, but I will always pay it forward.

Website: www.rhjconsultinggroup.com
Instagram: @iamthecorporatedropout
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/roberthjohnsonjr/
Youtube: Corporate Dropout Conversations

Image Credits:
Photographer: Darnell Cutri – IG @dcutriphotography

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