[03:55] WHAT LED YOU TO OWNING YOUR OWN COMPANY?
As a Black woman, Dr. Cadet has experienced discrimination, bullying, and harassment in traditional 9-to-5 spaces throughout her career. After self-advocating and boundary-setting following a traumatic and racist interaction with a while male supervisor, Dr, Cadet was fired from an executive position. This experience pushed her to make Change Cadet (then a side hustle) her full-time job.
[06:20] HOW DID YOU DEVELOP YOUR OFFERINGS?
Dr. Cadet explains how she developed her pricing structure (she encourages all entrepreneurs to raise their rates every year to account for inflation) and how she discovered various transferable skill sets that allowed her to expand her clientele beyond her initial niche.
[11:40] HOW DID YOU FIND YOUR CLIENTELE WHEN STARTING OUT?
Dr. Cadet has never advertised her business; it has entirely grown via outreach and word-of-mouth. She attributes a great deal of initial growth to speaking engagements, which serve as great opportunities to gain exposure. Early on, she would also identify problems in a potential client and pitch them (and her solutions) directly.
[21:10] HOW DID YOU BUILD YOUR TEAM?
Dr. Cadet hired friends at the start (and doesn’t recommend this) and over time grew a strong team. Following the onset of the pandemic and the murder of George Floyd, the demand for Change Cadet services skyrocketed and Dr. Cadet had to scale her business extremely fast. Her biggest piece of advice to business owner’s starting to scale is to start by figuring out what kind of team members (operations manager, marketing specialist, etc.) they most need support from in order to thrive as a leader, and to hire/retain those people.
[28:20] HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHAT CLIENTS TO TAKE ON? WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE CLIENTS TO WORK WITH?
Change Cadet refuses to work with people who are racist and unwilling to change. For Dr. Cadet, the best clients to work with are the ones who understand the importance of learning and unlearning their biases in order to use their power and influence for good. She values seeing these clients truly embody the change they are striving to implement in their workplace.
[29:54] WHAT ARE SOME WAYS SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS CAN PRIORITIZE ANTI-RACISM IN THEIR PRACTICES?
Dr. Cadet says the size of a business doesn’t matter; anti-racist work is the same anywhere. She calls out the problematic nature of “allyship” and how it allows self-proclaimed “allies” to adjust their anti-racist work to best suit their own comfort levels. Instead, she calls on listeners to move from allyship to being an accomplice, which is daily, lifelong work that necessitates the checking of one’s own biases and privileges.
[32:08] YOU LAUNCHED A PROGRAM CALLED “THE ALLY NUDGE” IN 2020. TELL US MORE ABOUT THAT.
The Ally Nudge was a texting-based program (via The Nudge) that prompted participants with daily prompts to implement throughout their week with the goal of learning to be actively anti-racist.
[33:37] WHAT ABOUT YOUR RECENT OFFERING, THE CHANGE CADET ACTION NETWORK?
The Change Cadet Action Network (CCAN) is for anyone seeking to be actively anti-racist, and provides participatns with action modules, videos, resources, and tools to affirm their commitment to doing the work of anti-racism.
[36:34] HOW DO YOU KEEP YOURSELF ENGAGED AND CREATIVE? HOW DO YOU REST?
Dr. Cadet says when it comes to creativity, she never limits herself and allows herself to explore wherever she finds inspiration or an opportunity to build. She also discusses the importance (especially as a Black woman) of connecting to what brings her joy in a way that is on purpose. As for rest, she sets clear and consistent boundaries and blocks off days where she has no meetings.
[41:31] WHO INSPIRES YOU?
Beyoncé inspires Dr. Cadet like no other. Dr. Cadet admires that the artist and businesswoman lives authentically, is unafraid to say ‘no,’ and has disrupted and innovated the music industry and beyond throughout her career.