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IAM791- Entrepreneur Empowers Black Women Travelers

Podcast Interview with Wanda Duncan

Wanda is a superfan of Black women travelers. To that end she's created a Facebook group, a podcast, a conference, and a creative services agency that all center and empower Black women travelers. Wanda tried and failed to leave the States in 2010 to work and travel online as a digital nomad, and for the past five years have been doing that and much more.

  • CEO Hack: Being able to tune in to me and focus on the entrepreneur I want to be
  • CEO Nugget: Don't be afraid to let go, you are the magic and you can do it
  • CEO Defined: Commanding your today and your life


Black Women Travel Podcast

International Black Women Travel Jubilee

Black Women Digital Nomad Entrepreneurs FB group-

Full Interview:


Intro 0:02
Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you’ve come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you’re in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:29
Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I've Wanda Duncan of Wanda, it's awesome. have you on the show?

Wanda Duncan 0:39
Ah, hi. Hi, thanks for having me.

Gresham Harkless 0:42
No problem. Super excited to have you on and hear about all the awesome things that you're doing. And before we jumped in, I want to read a little bit more about Wanda. So you hear about all those awesome things that was read for them before. And one is this is a super fan, a black woman travelers. To that end, she's created a Facebook group, a podcast, a conference, and a creative service agency that all centered around empowering black women travelers, want to try it and fail to leave the states in 2010 to work in travel online as a digital nomad. And for the past five years has been doing that much and many things more, why are you ready to speak to the imcl community? Let me talk. Let's do it. Alright, so to kick everything off, I wanted to kind of rewind the clock a little bit here a little bit more on how you got started. Could you take me through what I call your CEO story? When did you get started with all the awesome things you're working on?

Wanda Duncan 1:29
Okay, so is this like before? 2010?

Gresham Harkless 1:32
Yeah, we can go back. If you had seeds planted before then we want to hear it all

Wanda Duncan 1:36
Grew up a little black girl in Southern Illinois.

Wanda Duncan 1:47
So what happened was, I was working at CNN in Atlanta at the headquarters and things were not jelen. I was getting cut on that glass ceiling, so to speak. And so I left I said, this is not for me, there's something else that I could do. And I want to go do some nonprofit work. In El Salvador. I stayed there for six months. This was in 2010. And then I was like, I'm kind of making things work here. If I can make things work anywhere, I want to go to my first love Jamaica, Jamaica was the first country I've gone to abroad, so to speak, a lot of like people like start with Caribbean.

Gresham Harkless 2:26

Wanda Duncan 2:27
attainable, right. Um, so I did that. And I was in Jamaica for about three months. And then I got to that moment, and the truth telling moment, where it was like, I had enough money to extend my visa or enough money to change my flight fee of flight, change flight feature. So I buckled and I was like, I guess I'll go back to Atlanta. And then I spent some years there, trying to keep myself entertained, essentially working on some other stuff. Stuff I was happy to work on. But like it just wasn't fulfilling. Because Atlanta wasn't for me. Gresh Yeah. So I took off. And well, I focused, I focused myself and said, I'm leaving. I'm going to do it way better than I did it the first time the first time. Like I just took too much luggage. Like I had my condo I hadn't rented out I had a storage unit. It was just like, disastrous great. Oh, I learned from that. And I've been traveling for it's coming up on five years now. It's been about four and a half years that I've been exploring my my world exploring myself exploring my talent, pushing myself It has been amazing.

Gresham Harkless 3:47
Yeah, I absolutely love that. And I appreciate you kind of expanding upon that. And speeding up from the the boring the look like going into all the awesome things that you're doing. But I think so many times I appreciate you for obviously, so many times we have those, I guess moments in our life where we have that kind of lasting impression or lasting experience. And so many times we have to go back to whether it be Atlanta or go back to DC or whatever that might be. But so many times we don't really ever kind of go back to what that experience was we automatically think that that's not possible. That's a fairy tale. And we sell us so many of those things. But I love the fact that you turn back around and said, okay, not only am I going to do it again, I'm going to do it on a on an even bigger and better level. And I'm gonna help so many other people out as far as doing that as well. So I wanted to hear a little bit more on what we can find on your site and all the awesome things you do on the podcast and the conference and all those things on how you're empowering these black women travelers.

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Wanda Duncan 4:45
So what happened was, I'm out and it's glorious being out like I feel lighter in my spirit. I'm traveling through Europe, mostly doing a little bit of house sitting. And then I say I want to meet with others. digital nomads. And that's people who primarily work online. And they're location independent. So they travel, how they want to travel where they want to travel when they want to travel. So I went to Vietnam, and I see some black folks a little bit. I go to Chiang Mai, Thailand, I see a few more. A lot of black people love Chiang Mai. That's another like gateway to travel in Asia. And so I say, I don't see that there's anything specifically for us. And I would like to have that I would like to have a group specifically for black woman, digital nomads, and then I tacked on entrepreneur, because like, there are a lot of teachers teaching is also in like the low hanging fruit, so to speak, when it comes to being able to do location independent, a way to earn money, and travel how you want. A lot of the kids like our other companies are in China, a lot of the children are Chinese. So I created the group, and I wasn't selling anything. Are you doing Facebook groups, usually it's like a leader and they have the products and their coaching or consulting or whatever it is. And so just kind of sat there for a while. Well, what ended up happening was, I said, I want to get deeper in these conversations, the intro posts or the occasional question here and there, it's not enough. So I started the podcast, and it started with a lot of the members of that group. And then I moved on from the group to Twitter, and I found all these really dope, black women, travelers from everywhere, the group, my group is like primarily Americans. So I was finding folks, we UK, all over the continent, Africa. And the thing I loved about them was that if there was an opportunity to get popped up on Twitter, they wouldn't just be like, Hey, I do this. They'd be like, Hey, I do this. But then there's like, 10 of my other home girls who also do this. I was like, yell on my people,

Gresham Harkless 6:52
to my drive.

Wanda Duncan 6:54
Exactly. as entrepreneurs like it's really difficult a lot of times to get that word of mouth out. Everybody knows like, generally speaking, your friends or family aren't going to support you. That's just like, for whatever reason that what they do all we have all the same friends and family apparently, because like,

Gresham Harkless 7:10
just like, right,

Wanda Duncan 7:12
not going to sports. And then I move on to Instagram and Instagram, we're working things out. Because you know, a lot of the travelers on Instagram that get most of the attention are vacationers innocent, like you're not in a flowing dress. Every week.

Gresham Harkless 7:31
The wind is blowing your hair

Wanda Duncan 7:33
can work on the beach. It's not always that comfortable, though, Honestly speaking, I'm so it's just like a different demographic, a different kinds of traveler, which is totally okay. Not really the focus of my show. So anyway, I'm loving these ladies, I'm just like, you all are the team. I want to be with you forever. And like, let's travel, which is something we love to do. But let's also upskill let's teach each other the things that we know and how we can get better at our craft, like talk shop. I was like conference time. So when I was in Atlanta, I've done a little bit of event organizing. So I was like, we're going to Wanda 2020 is our year. So it's our year, but

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Gresham Harkless 8:14
it just in a different way.

Wanda Duncan 8:17
You know, they say make a plan, and we're gonna work that out. So that's exactly what happened. Um, we're not traveling, but we're going online, which we're gonna do what it does. But hopefully, it will be amazing, cuz I'm going to make it amazing. Um, another another Roadblock, I told you that like teaching English was a way that black women were finding ways to make money. I wanted to try and help with that angle, too. So social media management was something that I had some expertise in some experience with, and then also branching off into virtual assistance. And then I knew quite a few coaches, from the group, mostly. And everybody's just kind of having a hard time like having the confidence, having the ability to price themselves. There's just so much research. You know, as an entrepreneur, you have to do about 27 things if you can't afford to hire a team if you haven't gotten funded. Or just trying to do like two or three things really well. So what I wanted to do was bring us together under an umbrella and be able to offer our services and share the work essentially. So that's where the Creative Services Agency comes from Asha live freaky.

Gresham Harkless 9:41
Nice. Well, I definitely again, appreciate you for you know, obviously one of my buddies from college actually, he's in Japan and I forgot what part of the jam went to go visit him but that he's teaching English so that was his gateway of how he got that to get there. And sometimes, as you said, We sometimes don't see the different opportunities that are Presented when we go with it, but again, when you hear somebody that Oh, they're doing social media management or doing this, they're doing that while they're being a digital nomad, it creates a whole entire, I think different experience definition on what it means to do that, what it means to travel, what it means that to kind of be that digital nomad. So I appreciate you for doing that and creating all the opportunities for that to happen.

Wanda Duncan 10:19
Thank you, I appreciate that.

Gresham Harkless 10:21
No problem at all. And so I wanted to ask you now for what I call your secret sauce. And this could be for you personally out of things that you have kind of in the fire, but what would you feel would be the thing that you say things sets you apart or makes you unique?

Wanda Duncan 10:36
is being able to tune into myself and be flexible with that, because the one that I was an hour ago is not the one that was yesterday, like I've gone through a whole transformation, like literally, I was just like, Oh, I'm doing everything wrong, I gotta shift my focus. So being able to tune into myself and that focus and consistency for so for the podcast, as I started it last year, July, I put out an episode every single week, for the last year. And we're about to launch Episode 60 coming up on Monday on Sunday. Thank you. But yeah, so. But it's just like, it's what gives me life. So being able to tune into myself, and focus on the things that I want to do the entrepreneur that I want to be not necessarily playing all the games that are out there to play, you know, with the algorithms and the hashtags. And like all of that being on every single platform having a presence. For me, it's not necessarily about that. But where I do show up, I'm trying to show up strong, and being able to focus on that in being consistent as well. So that's my sauce,

Gresham Harkless 11:49
I wanted to switch gears a little bit, and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an app or book or a habit that you have. But what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Wanda Duncan 12:00
I would say again, like the tuning into myself part, if I'm happy if I'm joyful, I am loving things that I'm doing every day, then I'm able to show up. And it sounds very simple. But I think sometimes it's very hard for people to be with themselves.

Gresham Harkless 12:20
So would you consider that to be like what I call your secret sauce, that thing might be a piece of advice or word of wisdom you would give your younger business self is really to have that permission within you to say yes, you can do this, or yes, you can do that permission to try permission to fail permission to succeed all of those different things that might kind of block us from where we could be.

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Wanda Duncan 12:41
I don't think that black people are programmed for risk. And understandably so. So giving yourself permission to take a risk giving yourself the bandwidth. And the runway. Part of my runway was like financial because that's like huge for me, I'll have nobody else to call that's for nothing, right? So that was part of me taking care of myself. And it's just like you're doing it, you know how to do this, you know how to manage you know how to create, you just need to be consistent, you just need to continue to expand, stop being satisfied with a certain level, just because 10 years ago, you would have been satisfied with that level. It's a whole new you, baby, you got to keep reaching. Yeah. So I think that that's what I would say there are times where I stayed too long. I think we all have those relationships, right, where we stay a little too long. Um, but I was, I was like you were saying before, just attached to where I was at the moment, or fearful of moving on to that next, and reaching for that next. And so that's just very much part of the hack part of the what I would tell my younger business. So just like, don't be afraid to let go continue to reach because you got you like you are, you are the magic.

Gresham Harkless 14:10
I want to ask you now for what I call my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And I know you touched on this a little bit. We're all gonna have different quote unquote CEOs on the show. So Wanda, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Wanda Duncan 14:22
commanding your own life, commanding your space, commanding your vision, being a leader of yourself?

Gresham Harkless 14:30
Yeah, absolutely. I love that. And I appreciate that. I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do is passionate Mike, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you can let our readers and listeners know and of course how best they can get a hold of you find out about the course the podcast and all the awesome things that you're working on.

Wanda Duncan 14:47
All right, y'all got a pen and paper title, they're long. Alright. So yes, you can normally reach me pretty much Anywhere through the podcast channels, that's where I'm more active and more active on Twitter specifically. So it's @bwtpod watching travel pod. I'm also on Facebook, of course, Instagram. For the podcast. The name of the conference is International Black Women Travel Jubilee you believe it's happening October's fourth 11th and 18th. They're all Sundays. And the name of our online event specifically is rally images. So if you wanted to come and learn about what it means to be a digital nomad, travel content creators, come come through that with us because that's what we do, or aspiring if you're not already. And then also for the Creative Services Agency that does social media management, virtual assistants, and more enterprise coaching than personal coaching. But I'm happy to make them a referral. If you're looking for somebody, you can reach us at

Gresham Harkless 16:00
Awesome, awesome, awesome. And even to make it even easier, I should say, if you didn't get out that pen and pad we will have the links and information in the show notes as well too. So just check that out to get the links to everything. So I truly I mean, Wanda, I truly appreciate all the awesome things that you're doing. I appreciate the reminder and the representation you have that in your company as well too. And I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Outro 16:22
Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at IAMCEO.CO. I am CEO is not just a phrase, it’s a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and everywhere you listen to podcasts. Subscribe and leave us a five-star rating. Grab CEO gear a This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

Asha Live Breathe Heal, A Creative Services Agency specializing in social media management, virtual assistants, and holistic

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