IAM1649 – Podcast Hosts Creates Community To Steer Conversations and Educate People

Podcast interview with Natasha Nurse

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”: It was awesome to hear from Natasha about her podcast and the community that it builds from getting a peek into conversations on various topics.

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Natasha Nurse Teaser 00:00

I guess I would tell my younger self that it's okay to be different. I think so many times, that some of the issues I have with content, whether it's TV shows or movies, is that we're constantly watching and consuming content about how people need to fit in. How, like if you are different, that's something that you're gonna be ostracized about and you should feel bad about.

Intro 00:21

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business, 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 00:45

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and we're doing something a little bit different this year with some of our episodes we're repurposing some of our favorite episodes around specific topics related to entrepreneurship. This month we're focusing on entrepreneurship and community.

Us, we, our together and we're gonna look at entrepreneurship and industries in different types of entrepreneurship and ultimately what that really means. But we're also gonna delve deeper into the importance of community networking niche communities and how that supports being a CEO entrepreneur and business owner.

So sit back and enjoy these special episodes around entrepreneurship and community.

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today, Natasha Nurse. The co-host and co-producer are the WokeNFree podcast. Natasha, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Natasha Nurse 01:32

Thank you so much. What a great honor.

Gresham Harkless 01:34

Honor is all ours. And I truly appreciate you for taking some time out. And what I wanted to do was just read a little bit more about you so everybody can hear about all the awesome things that you're doing.

And once upon a time, there was a young Jamaican American girl from Manhattan who traveled all the way to University Park, Pennsylvania to meet the love of her life, a native Hollis, Queens resident Khalil Nurse, a licensed attorney by trade. Natasha held various stents in the corporate world prior to making a foray into fashion and writing. Having been a victim of bullying as a child growing up, Natasha learned to seek out fashion as a source of strength early on, and actively uses it as a personal means of empowerment.

Because of her own experience with bullying and her strong desire to help others within the plus size. Natasha started dressing room eight to provide a web-based resource where women can gain personal and professional empowerment. Khalil Nurse, her husband is an electrical engineer who wears many different hats just like his wife, and he is the tech guru for too many people to mention, which his friends and family can totally attest to as well.

And in September 2017, they decide to share their marriage and thoughts to media with their exciting new podcast WokeNFree, where they talk about relationships, education, religion, politics, music, history, fashion, diversity in the media, entertainment, empowerment matters, life hacks, technology, cultural disparities in the world, and everything in between.

Natasha, are you ready to speak to the I am CEO community?

Natasha Nurse 02:55


[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 02:56

Awesome. Let's do it. So the first question I had was to hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story and what led you guys to start your podcast and your business.

Natasha Nurse 03:04

Yeah, so for us, it really all comes down to just kind of being open to something different and unique and embodying just the inherent of who we are. So, as you mentioned in my bio, thank you for sharing that again, I started entrepreneurship as an alternative to my law career that I set out on doing, and, everything kind of went all crazy in a way where with the economy and also just never maybe finding the right footing for myself.

And I kind of got to a point of like, enough is enough, and turned the gears and turned the car on a whole different road of entrepreneurship. And really from that bred my kind of running towards media and we found that podcasting was gonna be a really cool avenue for us. To be able to share our thoughts and to create a community in a way that I wasn't already creating in my other endeavors.

Because dressing made is primarily just for women and women empowerment. But you know, I have thoughts and beliefs and help that I can offer on all fronts, not just for women and women empowerment matters. So, WokeNFree is beautiful kinda mosh, tosh. Like talking about us as entrepreneurs, us as a couple, us as young black people in America, and also talking about things that are happening.

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And it's kind of like if you were to record the conversation of a millennial couple, in the United States, you know, what are they talking about behind closed doors? And, instead of keeping it quiet, we wanna bring it to the forefront. We want people to know that, love is real.

It exists. I know that the media would have you think differently, but, it exists. We're going on a, oh gosh, what, 15 years strong.

Gresham Harkless 04:45 Awesome.

Natasha Nurse 04:45

Now, it'll be six years of marriage in April. So, you know, there's that. And then also, let's be educated. Me and Kalil were both very frustrated with some of the conversations we were seeing and hearing.

Where people are just spouting off at the top of their heads and they're not even educating people, right? How can you talk about something without providing proper context? So we wanted to fill that gap. That's definitely missing in media and I hope that people are enjoying it and are very entertained and educated each and every time that they tune in.

Gresham Harkless 05:14

No, that's awesome. That's awesome. And I know you touched on it a little bit, but could you tell us a little bit more about what we can hear on the podcast and also what you feel kind of distinguishes you and makes that podcast unique?

Natasha Nurse 05:23

Yeah, absolutely. That's a great question. So for us, we really wanted to have a podcast that wasn't just in one arena of just like lifestyle or education, but we wanna hit on definitely pop culture topics.

And we've hit on pop culture, we've hit on history, like the history of our favorite foods, which is like a really funny episode, but like people are like, oh, I love that. Right? Because if you think about it, why do you love mac and cheese? Like why do you love guac? Like, do you even know where guac comes from?

Right? Like things like that. We have hit on religion. We are definitely talking about race and racism and as I said, we'll be hitting colorism. We talk about marriage, relationships, friendship sexuality. We did a recent episode, on sex fetishes, which was really entertaining and interesting to learn.

And what else do we hit, I mean, it's everything from technology to like how we live. How can we live better. Some of our beliefs are that we have to like reverse engineer and things like that. And just like also we wanna welcome the audience to submit topics as well. So people can go on the website, And they can submit things that are burning on their chapter, things that they're struggling with, and, that way we can incorporate that into the show as well.

Gresham Harkless 06:33

Yeah, that's awesome. And again, you know, just speaking to this day and age, when you're able to kind of create anything and create any opportunity and they way back in the day talk about things like the printing press and how that opened up opportunities. Now, this is kind of like the golden age, so to speak, where you are able to create podcasts, create videos, or even able to, as you mentioned, go to the website and interact with the actual person that created the podcast you wanna listen to and, and decide of certain topics that you wanna know about. So I think this is a really, a phenomenal time.

Natasha Nurse 07:01

Thank you. Yeah. And then also from a unique perspective, I would say, I don't think there's a podcast out there that's from a female and male perspective on a such diverse range of topics, right? Because I think I've seen like a couple of podcasts before, but they're talking about like love specifically or maybe they have a certain niche thing that they love.

But there are so many other things to talk about as well, right? Politics is huge. Let's talk about history. Let's talk about what it's like to be black in America. What is it like to deal with being a professional and wanting to do something different? Because we both are professionals. I'm a lawyer, and he's an engineer, but we're doing things in media.

We're doing things that, you know, so giving people also that. It's kind of the freedom to understand that you don't just have to be one person in this life and you can also consume more than just one type of content and be into more than one type of music, right? Just be yourself as diverse and authentic and beautiful as that is, just be you.

Gresham Harkless 07:59

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, what I wanted to do with switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack, and this might be an app a book, or a habit that you have, but it's something that makes you more effective and efficient.

Natasha Nurse 08:09

Oh yes. Okay. I love that. So the Virgo in me is very excited that you asked me this question because I'm all about organization and efficiency and structure.

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That's like my gospel. So for me, I would say waking up and just like following, one of my greatest idols, Oprah, she wakes up and says, thank you as the first thing out her mouth. So I try listen, if Oprah's doing it, I think we all need to be doing it, guys.

Gresham Harkless 08:32

I know, right?, you need me to do it four times.

Natasha Nurse 08:35

Right. Go against Oprah. That's nuts. So I similarly wake up and I say thank you and actually I'm a big proponent of journaling. For me, I think journaling is a really great way to implement me time. I think too many people live their lives saying, oh, you know, I don't have time for me. That's like, no offense, the crap, like you have five minutes and you can end those five minutes.

And then another thing I would do is just mantras, right? Like, so if I'm ever feeling low or anything like that, just writing stuff down. I have like a to-do list that I do every day and like, you're bad, right? Or you know, you're phenomenal. You're beautiful. Like, just affirming to myself, because I think, again, too many people are looking for affirmation outside, right?

Did they like this? Did I get enough clicks? Did I, do you like, do you enjoy that you're doing, right? You have to affirm yourself. There's no white horse savior coming for you. You've got to save yourself. You've got to make. Feel amazing. You cannot expect anyone else to do that. That is an inside job each and every day.

Gresham Harkless 09:37

Now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. And this is a word of wisdom or piece of advice or if you can hop into a time machine, what would you tell your younger business self?

Natasha Nurse 09:44

Oh wow. Really great. So I would twofold. I guess I would tell my younger self that it's okay to be different, I think. So many times, some of the issues I have with content, whether it's TV shows or movies, is that we're constantly watching and consuming content about how people need to fit in. How, like if you're different, that's something that you're gonna be ostracized about and you should feel bad about.

It's not about fitting in and being the same because no one is the same. Every single person is different. Even twins, yes, you might share the same. But not everything is the same. So I think I would've told myself, cause growing up I didn't necessarily have a lot of friends or feel like I was super supported in my life, which is why I was just super grateful and so excited to meet Kahlil.

But you know, I would've told her- Hey, you're fabulous and what makes you different is what makes you cool. And it doesn't matter if no one gets that. It doesn't matter why people wanna judge or assess you for that. You're not required to explain your life to others. And you're not required to justify why you are who you are.

Live your life and it doesn't matter what other people think about you, it's not your business. So I would tell her that and probably I would go at 10 maybe and tell her that, and then a nugget, I would say is probably one of the best things that I have that makes me successful and keeps me going every day is just like that hunger, that determination.

I think as a coach and consultant for those I have made, or even some of the work I'm doing with WokeNFree, I'm constantly having to affirm to people the idea that I don't know, or I couldn't figure it out, is complete nonsense. Life is too short for you to sit in ignorance and for you to sit in the I don't know stage.

If you don't know something and you need it to start a business, write a book. To move forward with a project, you have got to be hungry enough for your dreams and your goals, right? Similarly, someone could say to you, if you don't believe in yourself, no one else can. I really wanna echo the idea. It's not okay to just say, I don't know.

Right. Because that's not how you build empires. That's not how you become famous, right? Like oh, I just I don't know how to. Imagine if Beyonce when she was younger, like, oh, I just dunno how to hit that note. She wants to skip it. Like, come on man. Get it together. Right.

The Jamaican is like, come on. You know, rough and tough. Yes. It's rough. But you must keep moving on. You must keep pushing, right? And so I just encourage everyone every time they wanna say to themselves or out loud or others, I don't know, slap yourself like not hard because we don't want self-harm, but we've got to get it together.

And like, no, if I don't know something, a million other people have the exact same question. So where did they go? Did they go and post their question on Reddit? Did they Google it? Did they Yelp? What the hell did they do? Find the answer and keep it moving. I don't know doesn't do anything for you other than keep you exactly where you are.

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Gresham Harkless 12:37

Now, I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO and we're hoping to have different quote and quote, CEOs on this show. So Natasha, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Natasha Nurse 12:46

Ooh, the CEO is a person who is definitely in charge of an organization, a corporation, a business. A CEO is someone who's willing to bear a lot of risks because as the front person, as a public leader of an organization, when the organization succeeds maybe people are like a good job.

But when it fails or when there are hiccups, they're definitely looking your way. Like, Hey, what's up Susie? Hey John, what's good? Right? So you have to be willing to selfless. Can it be the front person, whether it's something you're working on as succeeding or not succeeding? Also, I would say a CEO is someone who is hopefully gonna be capable and competent of running the organization, but then also seeing into the future, right?

Like we're not seers, or at least most we've learned. But you still have to figure out like whatever you're in the business of right now, what are you gonna be doing in the next 18 months, 36 months, right? Like, you have to be in the business now, in the business of the future. So I would say that the CEO is also a person who's gonna be a visionary.

Someone who's going to take an organization, take a corporation, and take it as far and as, as big as they can. And also a CEO's also going to think about, I think the person. To be a compassionate person in thinking about how the business can also do social good because I'm seeing a lot of that now with even new business organizations like being I think benefit corporations where people are in the business of running whatever they're doing, but then also like having kind of a nonprofit arm or a social good mission where we manufacture.

But we also make sure that like 5% of the profits go to like, making sure that you're thinking about your ecological and environmental impact, and then also the impact among people, right? Because what's the value of having incorporation that has slaves, right? You have to make sure that people are getting paid appropriately and that people feel worthy and worthwhile.

Because again, we're here for a minute. We all have a responsibility to make this world a better place in the short time that we have. Whether that's through your organization, whether that's through relationships, community work, or whatever. But we all have that role and have that responsibility whether we accept it or not.

It's a personal decision, but it's there, so I think a CEO is not gonna forget that, yeah, I'm running this organization and this organization have to have its own kind of legs and walk and da, da, da. But I can help guide it in the right direction essentially.

Gresham Harkless 15:09

Natasha, I truly appreciate you for taking some time out.

What I want to do is pass. So to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you wanted to let our readers and our listeners know, and then how they can find out about the podcast and get ahold of you and Khalil.

Natasha Nurse 15:20

Perfect. Yeah, so again, thank you for having me. It's always a pleasure to share our story and I really would want people to come to and tune in, subscribe via email and follow along in the conversation.

But more importantly, join the conversation. This is not just a conversation between him and me, with the world, right? and the way you can get all of our social media handles, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube at WokeNFree.

And again, please, if you wanna collaborate, if you want to share a tip for an upcoming episode, if you wanna be a guest on the show, You can hit us up on our contact us page.

Gresham Harkless 15:57

Awesome, awesome, awesome. We'll have those links in the show notes. So, Natasha, I appreciate you so much again for you and everything that you're doing, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Natasha Nurse 16:05

Thank you. You too.

Outro 16:06

Thank you for listening to the I am CEO podcast, powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at 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 at This has been the I am CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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