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“How to stay calm under pressure.” With Remi Jones

I stayed calm under pressure. My team and I had to shut down because of COVID, and they were freaking out about what we would do. I just kept calm and reassured them that everything will be fine. A pep talk can go a long way. I also started planning on new ways that we […]

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I stayed calm under pressure. My team and I had to shut down because of COVID, and they were freaking out about what we would do. I just kept calm and reassured them that everything will be fine. A pep talk can go a long way. I also started planning on new ways that we can keep the show going. That’s when we decided to do interviews on Instagram Live. We also interviewed up-and-coming business owners to raise awareness about them so they could get

As part of my series about the “Five Things You Need To Be A Highly Effective Leader During Turbulent Times”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Remi Jones.

Remi Jones is a woman who has never stopped working towards achieving her dreams. She began her career in media as a television show correspondent, interviewing various talents across New York City. Today, she is the executive producer and host of her talk show, Remi TV, which is based in Rhode Island.

Thank you so much for your time! I know that you are a very busy person. Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

Mymedia career began when I was given a chance to produce and interview several talents in New York City as a correspondent for another TV show. During this experience, I was able to travel to different locations, interviewing men and women in the music scene. As I grew more confident, I realized that I loved what I was doing. I realized that this was something I was super passionate about. Working under someone else no longer felt right for me, so I took a leap of faith and decided to start my own show, which I called Remi TV. Using what I learned from my correspondence experience, I built a show that catered to the types of stories I wanted to share and the types of shows that people wanted to watch.

My show began as an interview show on YouTube. There, I interviewed celebrities, artists, local business owners, and local personalities. I have done interviews with the cast of Family Matters, Mya, Mobb Deep, Wyclef Jean, Slim of 112, and Brandon T. Jackson, among others. What makes my show different from other talk shows is how I focus on having positive interviews, leaving negativity outside the door.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

The funniest mistake I made when I first started out honestly was letting someone talk me out of starting my own show. I never told anyone this before but at one point in time someone had convinced me to not do my show. I regained my faith and told myself that anything is possible and moved forward with it. The best part about getting back on my path was reaching the goals that I never thought I could reach, and it feels amazing. The lesson I learned from that experience is people will try and talk you out of your dreams because they did not have the courage and faith to go forward with theirs. Do not let anyone in this world stop your shine or growth — the sky’s the limit.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

I am so grateful for my sister-in-law Chanookie, because she is the one who helped me discover my hidden talent as a correspondent. I was always super shy and was not the social butterfly that I am now. She was always building up my self-esteem and telling me how great my personality is and asked me if I wanted to audition for a television show that she was a host for at the time. I remember I was on my way to the audition and she kept sending me text messages saying “You’re going to be great!” “You got this!” She always made sure I was in a positive space. I remember the night before the audition she helped me practice and let me interview her. I remember her saying “Wow, sis, you’re a natural!” So many people do not have a strong support system, and I hope that I can support someone just like she supported and still supports me.

Extensive research suggests that “purpose driven businesses” are more successful in many areas. When your company started, what was its vision, what was its purpose?

I wanted to diversify the televised talk shows available in my area. My show, Remi TV, is the only black television and talk show in Rhode Island. I want to inspire my audience by showcasing black voices and providing a platform for them to tell their stories in a safe environment free from discrimination. I also want to show people that anything is possible when you work hard and stay focused.

Thank you for all that. Let’s now turn to the main focus of our discussion. Can you share with our readers a story from your own experience about how you lead your team during uncertain or difficult times?

The pandemic has been tough for all of us especially for my team and me. I thought about what we can all do to stay sane, especially after some of my team members lost their other jobs. We got together every week and had game night to relieve stress. One night we all got together and one of my team members was really going through it emotionally with everything that is going on with COVID.

I feel like in order to be an effective business leader you have to make sure that your team’s mental health is in the right place. I remember just crying with her because I understood how tough everything is right now. We all hugged her and encouraged her that everything would be OK and we were here whenever she needed us. I made sure that I recognized their achievements and cheered my team on every time they reached their goals. I always make sure that I give my team the proper communication they deserve so they are always one step ahead, and feel secure that things will look up soon. A strong business leader sets goals, is understanding, caring, listens to their team, is humble, and inspires their team to be great. I truly feel like if you stay positive you get positive results

Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the motivation to continue through your challenges? What sustains your drive?

At one point in time I did consider giving up. I felt like no one would ever support me and that my show was going nowhere. One day I spoke to one of my friends and she told me that I should not focus on who doesn’t support me — I should focus on the people who do.

What she said that day clicked, and I have been happy ever since. I stay motivated by being around people who have the same drive as I have. I realized that hanging with people who have no goals and ambition can’t help me to stay focused and keep going with my goals. I pray a lot as well. Praying keeps me calm and level-headed

What would you say is the most critical role of a leader during challenging times?

The most critical role of a leader during challenging times is to be responsible. The people on your team have to know that you can take the heat. They have to know that you can carry all the weight and that you are strong.

When the future seems so uncertain, what is the best way to boost morale? What can a leader do to inspire, motivate and engage their team?

The best way to boost morale is to find out how your team is feeling and make sure to communicate with them. I feel like it’s our job as leaders to ask them if we can help with any challenges that they are dealing with. I believe we should shout them out on our social media pages when they are doing well. We need to praise our teammates more.

What is the best way to communicate difficult news to one’s team and customers?

Honesty is the best policy if you are straightforward with your team and customers, they will respect you more. You can also let them know that you are doing everything in your power to make things go in a positive direction

How can a leader make plans when the future is so unpredictable?

I feel like even if the future is unpredictable, the show must go on. Business leaders are not allowed to mope around. We have to keep making plans and move forward until the wheels fall off.

Is there a “number one principle” that can help guide a company through the ups and downs of turbulent times?

You always have to remain positive and focus on the future. I absolutely believe that worrying too much will leave you stressed out and mess with your mental health. Don’t get me wrong — it’s easier said than done, and it’s normal to have those days, but with a strong team and a strong support system we can get through anything.

Can you share 3 or 4 of the most common mistakes you have seen other businesses make during difficult times? What should one keep in mind to avoid that?

I feel like don’t ever forget to celebrate your wins. Make it normal to give yourself and your team a pat on the back for doing a good job. The mistake that businesses make is not giving credit to a job well done. You should always ask your team how you are doing as a business leader and try to avoid not caring about how they feel about you. Last but not least share your vision for the future to avoid being distant from your team

Generating new business, increasing your profits, or at least maintaining your financial stability can be challenging during good times, even more so during turbulent times. Can you share some of the strategies you use to keep forging ahead and not lose growth traction during a difficult economy?

I personally like to connect with the people that support me. I will make videos updating them on how things are going. I also go on my social media and do a live video to answer questions they may have, and I allow them to join the live video with me. I feel like the key to success is to show people love who show you love.

Here is the primary question of our discussion. Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things a business leader should do to lead effectively during uncertain and turbulent times? Please share a story or an example for each.

I stayed calm under pressure. My team and I had to shut down because of COVID, and they were freaking out about what we would do. I just kept calm and reassured them that everything will be fine. A pep talk can go a long way. I also started planning on new ways that we can keep the show going. That’s when we decided to do interviews on Instagram Live. We also interviewed up-and-coming business owners to raise awareness about them so they could get

more exposure. I also listened to my team’s ideas when they said we should have a group chat where we could all vent about what is happening in our lives so that we can give encouraging words to those who need it. I made sure that I recognized their achievements and cheered my team on every time they reached their goals. Whenever there was a deadline my team always gets the job done early, and I celebrate them by giving them shout-outs on my social media, or we would all go out to eat for dinner to celebrate.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“If plan A doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters.” This quote was relevant to my life because I would never give up on my goals. It’s important to at least try than to never have tried at all.

How can our readers further follow your work?

You can follow my work on instagram at https://www.instagram.com/remzwavey/?hl=en

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

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