Awakened Convos: Dr. Yashima AziLove Helps Give a Voice to a Voiceless Through Branding
Communication and comprehension is key! It is how your business can and will survive. If you can’t communicate in a way that people can understand, it can be frustrating. However, there are professional out there to assist in this area.
Dr. Yashima White AziLove is master communicator, Brandologist, and a marketplace mentor. She started her career as a journalist, turned marketing communication executive, in insurance, healthcare, and financial services, and entertainment industry space, before launching her firm, Magnate Consulting, LLC, which is a communications boutique serving global companies, celebrities, and people of influence with communications, brand and leadership solutions.
Her dichotomy, the other side of her, is that she the founder of an organization called, TRIP Network, which is specifically for women of faith, who feel just as called to the marketplace business in their careers, as they are to their ministry lives. So, they walk the dichotomy between their ministry and business, it is a great network of women that is growing as a global network. They are on 3 different continents now.
“I am really excited about the growth and expansion of that endeavor,” Dr. AziLove states.
This woman is just phenomenal! She dropped many gems and it was a pleasure to interview her. Check out my interview with her below.
Destinee: Can you tell us a little bit more about that, and what type of services are offered in terms of your business?
Yashima: Yes, so on the Magnate side, the Magnate is a full- service communications firm. We provide consulting, coaching, and training. So, we work with large organizations, celebrities, and people of influence, those are the buckets that I have put it in. So, for our global clients, a contract can be everything from doing soft skills training, and orientation for their rising leaders, all the way to executive coaching to their C-Suite. We work with celebrities who have books that are about to come out, movies that are launching, records or albums that are about to drop, and they really need a message platform for all those red carpets, message platforms for their radio junkets, their media tours…etc., we really frame the narrative and the story, that the celebrities use when they are out on their various media tours.
The very same dynamic for people of influence, so that ranges from, pastors can be people of influence, politicians can be people of influence, but just individuals who have large social media gatherings or followings where they really feel like what is happening to them, really has an impact on a larger audience, and they need to frame that from a messaging prospective.
Destinee: I got you, wow…you explained that so eloquently.
Yashima: Thank you.
Destinee: Of course, I am sure that is something that you have learned how to do over the years, working in communication. So, what inspired you to pursue marketing and communication?
Yashima: I had a pretty severe speech impediment as a child, and my father was the pastor of a church, Pentecostal church, so as a pastor’s kid, you were put in front of a microphone often. So, you are going to do the welcome address, you are going to do the scripture reading, the prayer, you are going to do whatever needs to be done in the church, at the drop of a dime, and it was pretty severe, and it was really embarrassing, and so although I was a straight A student, an honor roll student, pretty sharp in terms of my cognitive ability, my ability to communicate what was in my head, was definitely a challenge.
I can remember as a child, praying to God if He would just give me the ability to speak with clarity, that I will give voice to the voiceless. I remember literally praying that at 10 or 11-years-old. When it was time for me to go off to college to pursue my career, it came back to me that I was supposed to give a voice to the voiceless, and I thought that it meant journalism, which is what I pursued in television media. I stayed in that for about a year and a half, two years before I crossed over my disciplined into marketing and communication. I realized that the voice of the voiceless was not just about people and circumstances, but it was about products, and services, and offerings, they are voiceless and my ability to give voice to that, and to give color to it, and to help people appreciate why they need it, whatever it was that I was charged to market really became a sweet spot for me, and so as they say the rest is history.
I have learned all aspects of the marketing/communications discipline, so from public relations to community relations to marketing, advertising, digital media, video production, all of it is a part of that marketing/communications discipline, and I was blessed that I have had an awesome career climb, and progression, that allowed me to spend time, and space in each one of those disciplines. By the time I became the Chief Marketing Officer, or the Chief Communications Officer of the organizations that I was blessed to serve, I was able to do so, not as a jack of all trades, master at none, but truly a jack of trades with mastering across the discipline. I was blessed to have the opportunity to do that.
Destinee: That is awesome, and so I know that a lot of people tend to take for granted the serving process, because they automatically want to get to the top. I know that people can also miss a lot of steps by trying to rush.
What were some of the things that you really cherished during the process of serving?
Yashima: In hindsight, because you do not know that you are in a maturation process when you are in it, which is why…not to be preachy, but that is the other part of me that comes out. The bible says, “For who has despised the day of small things?” (Zechariah 4:10, NKJV), “Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things.”
(Matthew 25:23, KJV), and it is because of the learning that happens in the small place, and most of us do not have an appreciation for that season, and for me, it was really about “the devil in the details,” if you will. I needed to master the details, and I found great joy in being able to master the things that those above me, really did not know.
Over time, I learned not just the things that I wanted to be as a leader, but the things that I did not want to be, I learned under leaders. I did not respect the leaders that would send me off to do the grunt work, the assignments that were ‘beneath” them, the truth was that they did not know how to execute those things, so it was not that it was the little things, it was just a little thing that they could not do. I realized in that season of maturation, that season of servitude, that God was developing in me, both professionally and ministerially the idea that I want to be a leader that will never ask someone to do something that I cannot do, or that I do not know what it takes to do my ask.
So, I appreciated being in that incubator, I appreciated that “mean” time experience in my development, it truly did make me the leader that I am today. The other part of it which I know that people do not love to hear, but it is absolutely my truth, I honor the fact that most of the individuals, with the exception of ones that helped me in my climb in my corporate career, were actually Caucasian men, Jewish men to be specific. It was not folks that looked like me, they were not women, and they were not people of color who opened doors of opportunity for me.
When I look back at that season of my life, and I am grateful that the favor of God was on my life, and that these folks could see something in me in times when I was not able to see it in myself. It also shaped the kind of professional, the kind of executive that I became, because I was always looking for that talent, I was always looking for the person that was like me, someone that was hungry, looking for opportunity, that did not shun the small thing, that really wanted to get down into the details, and found pride in being able to come back with a delivery that those regardless of their title, could not do.
Destinee: You know, it is difficult for me to articulate because your speech is amazing, the way that you speak is amazing, it is fluent, and it almost has me kind of like, hold up…I was not prepared (she says as they both laugh). I do interviews but you speak so well, and it comes across so beautifully.
What are some the topics that you specialize in, within the realm of communication and marketing?
Yashima: I would start with communication style, is not something that many people focus on or master, but I pride myself in it. I developed a program, and it is a digitized test, we did the research to breakdown the various communication styles. Similar to emotional intelligence, if you have heard of I.Q., we have a communications intelligence assessment. It speaks to the personality type, the communication style of leaders. I have found that to be priceless as we roll out this program around the various corporations that we have had the opportunity to work with, whose executive team takes our assessment and then our coaching model and training program that comes with that.
What you realize quickly, is that communication style is less about the way that I give off information, because everyone is concerned about that, it is more about your ability to detect, discern, to see the communication style of the person that you are speaking to. I have a higher I.Q. or communication quotient if I can identify the kind of communication style that Destinee needs me to have, so that I can reach Destinee.
So, it is about Yashima being effective in my ability to communicate to Destinee, and so Destinee may not be able to handle my authentic style, but if I can morph my style to meet the needs of Destinee, I can make her more effective, and she will run harder and stronger for me. I would say by and large that communication style is one of our sweet spots, and I am proud because I did the years of work researching it and creating an assessment tool to go along with that methodology, and that goes hand in hand with leadership.
Typically, with communication style, we are talking to leaders, up and coming, or executive leaders around their style because it is so critical to profess in gravitas, it is a make it or break it…someone can be as smart as you would like them to be but if they are not articulate, or their communication style is offensive, you cannot hear, you cannot receive them. So, teaching that as a leadership discipline would be our secondary expertise, and then tertiary, I would say that it is brand excellence, everything about brand excellence from a marketing perspective, or from a personal branding perspective, but branding is our other sweet spot, and you can see how they all go hand in hand.
Communication style speaks to your leadership, and it also speaks to your brand essence. Those three things are what we do for companies, for executives, for celebrities, and for people of influence.
Destinee: Nice, I like it! I can tell that it is very personal, it is not just one size fits all type deal, and I think that is amazing. When it comes down to certain corporations, they have that approach, and I think that it gives them a disadvantage over those who can accommodate their audiences in different ways, so that is absolutely amazing.
What has been the most challenging aspect of what you do because I am sure that you deal with complex people and situations. So what does that look like?
Yashima: Wow, the most complex, I would have to say that people ARE the leadership job. People would like to get into leadership because of titles, and the title is great, and the paycheck is greater (she laughs), but at the end of the day as a leader, you are not just a subject matter expert, you now get into the people business, and the bulk of your day is managing people.
So, even as an entrepreneur, and when I go in as a consultant, I am always advising executives, particularly in the C-suite, when I look at their calendar and I look at what it is that they are doing throughout the day, I let them know that they are not spending enough time with people. When I think about the most challenging part of what I do, it is very easy to want to master things, to master marketing campaigns, to master communication platforms, to master social media blitzes…stuff is easy to manage.
I do not manage stuff; I manage the people of the stuff. When you bring people along, when you mature them, when you raise them, when you expand them, when you build capacity for your client, if that is a company, or an individual, the campaign stuff comes along. But if I am not able to morph the mindset of the individual that I am working with, or if I am unable to change the corporate culture of the company that I am supporting, I will not be effective at the stuff very long, because stuff fades, it is fleeting, but people are the mainstay of any organization. You have got to get the people business right, and if you cannot engage them, and let them stay and ingratiate them, and bring them on board with you where they can catch your vision and run with it, then you really are not in a business that is sustainable over time.
Destinee: Absolutely brilliant! In one of your articles that I did read you remind the readers that failure is not defeat, is that something that you felt that you had to learn on your own, or was that something that you always knew to stand by?
Yashima: I wish that I did know that always, but I did not, I had to absolutely learn that. I wish that was a lesson that was just intrinsic that every parent teaches a child, or every teacher teaches students, but it is not a part of our culture. We shun failure, that is more prevalent in our culture, and when we fail, we just saw in the media this week, or we have been seeing it for the past several weeks, that failure, or defeat that is not taken well can be dangerous. It is a tragedy when that happens, and it is only because we are not taught to fail, but a business principle is fail fast.
I learned the idea that if I can fail fast, if I can make those errors quickly, then I am that much closer to the end game, or the finish line, faster than my competition. So, failure is now something that I look to do faster, realizing that it is nothing more than a lesson that gets me closer to figuring out something works, how it functions. Failure is something that I have learned to lean into, and to embrace, because it is absolutely the inevitable, but it takes years before you get comfortable enough in your own skin to realize…I am going to fail! This is going to happen, and all that is an indication that a lesson is being learned.
We were okay as babies when we learned that when it was time to crawl, we were okay falling flat on our face. When it was time to walk, we were okay falling to our knees. When it was time to ride a bicycle, we were okay with falling off the bike, and we always got back up, failure was okay in our infantile stage, but socialization, the brain washing of mistakes are not okay, failure is not okay, that became intrinsic in us probably around kindergarten, like when we were 5 or 6 years-old, and it changes our orientation for the rest of our lives if we do not make a manual shift to return to what God originally planned.
That baby who knew how to get up when they fall, and that child that knows how to get off the ground to keep riding that bike…right, that is who we were designed to be, and we need to return to that place in order to be able to appreciate why failing fast is a blessing, if you just pick yourself up, learn from those mistakes, and keep it moving. They say that Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times before perfecting the incandescent electric light bulb. It was the 10,001 time that he was finally able to get it right, so what happened when he failed at time 2,000 or time 5,000…I mean I would have given up by then, most people might have said that this was not meant for me, I got this wrong, there is no such thing as light. It was that 10,001 time that said, I learned all my 10,000 lessons, now I am ready for success.
You just do not know when that next time, is your time for success. I failed so many times, I did not know when the big contract was coming. I did not know when that one opportunity was going to come, when that one job was going to avail itself to me. It was applying for the job, or it was knocking on the door waiting for it to be opened. It was asking for the deal, waiting for a yes. So, it is that constant resilience to get back up and do it again, and I wish that I could instill that in everybody.
Destinee: Yes, resilience is so important, and I think it is very important what you just said because I just learned about something called ‘imposter syndrome’ One of my managers was just telling me that Black women deal with that a lot, and it is where you are basically conditioned to place your value, or to put value on yourself according to what you can accomplish, and not for who you are. So, a lot of times if we fail at things, then our self-value decreases.
So, I can definitely understand where you are coming from when you say that it is okay to fail. Like you mentioned, the bible says that we should be like little children, so you are absolutely correct and on point with that, I love it.
I know that you worked in multiple positions where you were the one promoting someone else, did you ever have moments where you wish that you were the one being promoted?
Yashima: Yeah, (she says as she laughs), for sure. I think that when I first left corporate America in 2010, I went back in 2014 which I had the absolute pleasure of my career to serve at Radio One which became Urban One, and served under Cathy Hughes who is a media icon, and then left again for my business in 2018, so I have had 2 runs if you will of entrepreneurship by choice, and there is no doubt that each time I thought, I built someone else’s business. I have built fortune 100 businesses. I was a great spokesperson for my CEO’s, I stepped them up as thought leaders, and I stepped them up at trade events, speaking opportunities and media engagements. Yes, I do wish that someone would do that for me now, since I am now the product, when it is now my intellectual property, my business, my enterprise.
Even though you know how to do something, that is a part of my discipline…what I did for others, it is always more challenging to package yourself, to sell yourself, and to have someone else do that for you. In the media, as I am sure that you can appreciate, there is also more credibility that comes when someone else is representing you, then when you are representing yourself. I also know that because I am a former journalist, and former publicist. So, I know how the game is played. It was difficult coming out and trying to figure out where dollars go when it is time to hire a team, hiring a publicist was not the first expense that I was willing to pick up, you want to hire salespeople, you want to hire folks that are delivering product, people who are doing the job, who are not necessarily promoting.
So, it definitely was a challenge to process the right time and space, when I was ready for that. I know that when I started the TRIP Network, the organization that I shared with you earlier, that was another opportunity when I knew that I needed to promote the Network, I mean it is time to tell this story. But it was my story of struggle, my story of dichotomy living, being this dynamic person that lived in 2 worlds, that is what birthed the TRIP Network and for that to come solely from me was as powerful as someone else telling that story. Countless times in my career over the last 10 years of being in business for myself, I can think of moments when I wish that there was someone who was able to tout my story, to tell that story.
That is how I found you, the blessing of having a publicist to be able to say, hey I got this because this is a story that really needs to be told. You have to walk into that season of your life where people are drawn to your narrative, and it will not be so hard for you to get someone to tell your story, genuinely, because they will catch the vision, they absolutely will in time.
Destinee: I wanted to ask for my own self, because I am 24, and I will be 25 soon but I have a lot of friends that are in the same age group, and we are getting to this place where we feel like, okay, we are helping other people build their brands, we have worked for these other companies, and it is time for us, or at least we think that it is time for us to go out and do our thing.
Would you say that when you first get that urge, does it mean that it is time?
Yashima: No, it does not mean that it is time, it means that it is a foretaste of glory divine. It means that you have bitten with the bug called entrepreneurship, but entrepreneurship is not something that you just pop up and deliver. A doctor can tell you, girl you are pregnant, but the baby is not coming tomorrow, that baby is coming 9 months from now, because there is a maturation process, in fact the earlier that the baby comes, the odds are that child may not exist, that child will not be healthy, that child will not survive, because you have not allowed for the incubation phase, the maturation phase.
So, when you say that you feel called to entrepreneurship, I really think that is the direction for me to go in, I am saying great, what is the maturation process. Because we have got to make sure that you have got a business plan, you have to make sure that you know who your audience is, you got to make sure that you are clear about what that portfolio is, and your finances need to be in order, particularly in the midst of everything that is going on in the world right. We need to make sure that you are not walking away from “stability” because there is nothing that is stable anymore, so please hear me when I say this to you.
We need to make sure that we have a job that we can bank on for the most part, that every 2 weeks, there is going to be a check coming. What does that look like for you, an entrepreneur? There have been more Black businesses damaged in this time where livelihoods have been wiped out by this pandemic, because they were not deep enough in financial stability to withstand this season. Now, granted, no body saw this coming at this level, this magnitude, but we are also clear that so many businesses, majority of businesses fail in 3 years without a pandemic, and why is that…it is because of that financial stability that is necessary.
So, I would say to any young person, particularly millennials, you are creators, you would like to do it for yourselves, let’s build it for myself…I want to make it for myself, and I commend the spirit of that, what I would like to balance in your generation, not break because I do not want to break the spirit of that because that is necessary. But I would like to balance in you, is that if the business takes you down my path, the path where big business is your client, big business needs to know that you have some sweat equity that is some intellectual property that has been gained through years of experience. So, while you are a bit smarter than my generation, because you have been exposed to things that we were not exposed to. You all had iPads as babies. No iPad was ever in anyone’s imaginations, except for Steve Jobs.
There is definitely the idea that you all are advanced in terms of what it is that you know, what you are lacking however, just because of age, is experience (she sings) experience is the best teacher (Lior laughs). You have to give yourself the best opportunity to get in the trenches and learn the trade, not just from head knowledge, but from touching it, and feeling it understanding all the people dynamics that change the textbook, because that is what you cannot study, you cannot study people dynamics, that is what makes any job difficult, understanding the people dynamic.
So, make sure that you go through that maturation process so that when you birth your baby, your business, it has staying power, and that you have the tools that you need to be successful long term.
Destinee: That is amazing, and I appreciate that advice, I will definitely take it and run with it.
What you say is your greatest triumph to this day?
Yashima: Wow (she says as she thinks about it), I do not know that I have ever thought about it that way. My mind is running because there are so many directions that I could go in, the first thing is to always process personal firsts and triumphs. I think to encapsulate all of it, is that after all that I have been through I still have my joy, and that is my triumphant statement. After all that stuff that I have to live through, all of the heartache, depression, and the failures, defeats, and the rejection, all of that I went through to be able to say that I am still in my right mind, to be able to say that I still have joy, to still say that there is love in my heart, that I am still purpose driven, and destiny bound, that is the greatest triumph in life.
I would never dare say that it was a job, or that it was meeting a person, or working for a company, it is not in the stuff, it is in the woman that I have been able to rise to, to come out of, and to stand before you now and be, this is my moment of triumph, the life that I live, the person that I am being. Anything that God would ever put my hand to that I get to produce, that increases others, that is birthed in the earth as excellence or what one would call excellence, that is just a by-product of the work that has been going on in Yashima’s heart for years, and that is where victory is for me.
Destinee: That was such a beautiful and graceful answer, I never heard one like it, and I have done over 20 interviews, and I have never heard anything, like you said that encapsulates everything that way, and that is not involving a job, or meeting a person; and that is amazing.
Can you please remind our viewers of your services, and where they can find you?
Yashima: Yes, for sure. For business, for Magnate Consulting, you can find us at www.magnatecounsel.com and for the TRIP Network because I would certainly like for folks for join me there, you can find me at www.dryashima.com and of the click throughs that you need to be a part of that network is free of charge, it is a private based group that is growing, again over 500 women strong, 3 different continents, and we are supporting each other. I also just started inspiration at your fingertips, so I have a text group, so you can actually text, YWA Connect, you can text that to (55469), and every other week on a Monday morning, bright and early, you will get some inspirational messages, business tips for working with me on that TRIP side of the house, where pricing is a lot different, that is all around building and edifying women to take the marketplace by force.
I always say that I make my business at Magnate, and I make my fulfillment through TRIP Network.
Destinee: Yass, I love it, and I will definitely be joining because it sounds absolutely glorious, so please look forward to that, and again, thank you so much for allowing us to do this interview, it has been amazing for me, you have given so many jewels to me, I really do appreciate you.
Yashima: Such a joy, thank you so much for having me, you be encouraged sister-girl, you can do this thing.
Destinee: Absolutely, thank you so much and have a wonderful day!
Yashima: You too.