How You Show Up Matters in Balancing It All with Melanie Augustin

How You Show Up Matters in Balancing It All with Melanie Augustin

Melanie joins me, Naketa Thigpen, today to discuss her work at Zip Code Wilmington and how the incredible journeys of career transition that her students go through reflect her own unique career change story. She shares her insights on imposter syndrome and how the stories of her students inspire her to carry on with her mission. She also shares what made her decide to go on this new track, how she got over her fear of being judged for her decisions, and how she manages to balance her responsibilities as Executive Director, wife, and mother – no matter how busy she gets.

Melanie Augustin heads the nationally-recognized nonprofit software development school,  Zip Code Wilmington, as its Executive Director. With the mission of empowering individuals from diverse backgrounds to become professional software developers, Zip Code Wilmington guides its students through an intensive 12-week course. Melanie brings her own experience of career transition to the table, having worked in Washington, D.C. as an attorney specializing in employment law.


“I think I’ve always had the mindset that I can make it work if I work hard enough at it.” – Melanie Augustin

This Week on the Balance Boldly for Ambitious Women In Business Podcast:

  • The diverse profile of Melanie’s students at Zip Code Wilmington
  • Imposter syndrome and the struggle her students go through in pursuing a new career track
  • Her own career track transition from lawyer to educator
  • What pushed her to make the decision to pursue this new mission
  • How she found the confidence in herself to shift careers – and the support she got from her family
  • How she draws inspiration from the difficult journeys of the people she helps
  • How she takes care of herself at home, especially when she has to bring the “mother” hat forward
  • How she makes her children and husband feel that she loves them, despite her busy schedule

A Little Permission to Pause:

  • I’ve tried meditation — I’m not really good at it — so every day at lunch, I’m at the gym. That is my form of meditation.

Connect with Melanie Augustin:

Subscribe, Share & Balance Boldly

On the Balance Boldly Podcast, host Naketa R. Thigpen talks with ambitious women in business (and a few brave men) from a wide array of industries about their pursuit of success, how they face business burnout and what work/life balance looks like for them. Not your conventional self-help podcast, Balance Boldly uncovers real solutions to real problems afflicting real people at home and in the workplace, daily.   

If you enjoyed this episode, head over to iTunes, Spreaker, iHeart Radio, or Google Play to subscribe to the show and leave your honest review.

Connect with me, Naketa R. Thigpen @asknaketa on IG, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Now Go. Create Your Balance. Create Your Joy. But remember, do it, BOLDLY!

Thank you for listening!

Go Build It with Sheri Kurdakul

Go Build It with Sheri Kurdakul

Sheri joins me, Naketa Thigpen today to share the story of how VictimsVoice came to be. She discusses how her daughter turned an unpleasant experience at school into an opportunity to learn new skills and make a major difference in the lives of abuse victims. She explains the challenges of dealing with domestic abuse, why it is a pertinent issue for both men and women, and how culture affects the way we handle such problems. She also shares her own experiences with domestic abuse and why enabling victims to take control of their healing process means so much.

Sheri Kurdakul is a business owner, professional consultant, and the founder and CEO of VictimsVoice. Driven by the desire to give back and honed by over 5 years of working with startups, she specializes in coming up with effective solutions to complicated issues. She has spoken and written at length about her experiences and areas of expertise. She has used her learnings from 29 years of domestic abuse to become a figurehead in helping victims – whether male or female – to take control of their situation, rebuild their lives, and hold their abusers accountable.


“When you are a victim of domestic violence, that’s something very, very personal.” – Sheri Kurdakul

This Week on the Balance Boldly for Ambitious Women In Business Podcast:

  • How and why Sheri’s 10-year-old daughter developed an anti-bullying app
  • The “big miss” or critical mistake of many anti-bullying apps
  • How the personal nature of domestic abuse makes it hard for us to speak out when we’re on the receiving end
  • Why it’s important to give domestic abuse survivors the power to talk about their experiences if and when they want to
  • The difference between our culture and other cultures in handling such sensitive issues
  • Her personal experiences with domestic abuse
  • How finding an old journal that she tucked away showed her just how different she is now from the person she used to be
  • Why abuse is not just a female problem

A Little Permission to Pause:

  • I stick my hands in the dirt and garden like crazy. I love to garden and I wanted to learn the science behind it. In the winter, you’ll find me sitting somewhere with a glass of wine, reading.

Connect with Sheri Kurdakul:

Subscribe, Share & Balance Boldly

On the Balance Boldly Podcast, host Naketa R. Thigpen talks with ambitious women in business (and a few brave men) from a wide array of industries about their pursuit of success, how they face business burnout and what work/life balance looks like for them. Not your conventional self-help podcast, Balance Boldly uncovers real solutions to real problems afflicting real people at home and in the workplace, daily.   

If you enjoyed this episode, head over to iTunes, Spreaker, iHeart Radio, or Google Play to subscribe to the show and leave your honest review.

Connect with me, Naketa R. Thigpen @asknaketa on IG, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Now Go. Create Your Balance. Create Your Joy. But remember, do it, BOLDLY!

Thank you for listening!

What You Have Now Is What You Asked For Back Then with Raquel Miller

What You Have Now Is What You Asked For Back Then with Raquel Miller

Raquel joins me, Naketa Thigpen, today to share what inspired her to incorporate her love for traveling to her gift registry business. She explains the difference between being in a place of generosity through giving and expecting something in return for something given. She also shares the foundations and pillars of her company and why she chose those to be the bedrock of her business and shares her ability to process and move in her own chaos.

Raquel Miller is a proud Carribean-American business leader, a social connector, and the owner of Bunchful Birthday + Holiday Registry. She is a poet and a remarkable speaker on various topics such as entrepreneurship, leadership, and cultural gift-giving as well as a phenomenal storyteller who is not afraid to share and be honest about her highs and lows in business. With over 17 years of experience in operations and sales, she has developed her skills as a business-savvy entrepreneur devoted to encouraging and enabling others to discover their prosperity and achieve the success they desire. Her motto is: Make a Difference NOW.

“The challenge you’re facing right now is in preparation for something you asked for.” – Raquel Miller

This Week on the Balance Boldly for Ambitious Women In Business Podcast:

  • How Raquel started her business as she took advantage of her gift as a giver
  • Why she believes that the ability to give is a privilege
  • How we tend to become blind when we are on the receiving end
  • The foundation of what drives us and who we are as a company
  • Why she chose the slogan “Life’s a gift” to be the vision and driving force of the company
  • The challenges she faces as a giver while she was starting her company
  • An overview of how she founded her company Bunchful
  • The natural impulse we have when we experience a setback in business and how to move past it
  • Why she makes it a point to step out of her comfort zone and explore unchartered waters in business
  • Why she tries to set her ego aside while exploring unknown territory
  • How writing permits her to pause

A Little Permission to Pause:

  • I put all the gadgets aside, breathe the air, and observe while I walk down the street with a tiny notebook in hand.

Connect with Raquel Miller:

Subscribe, Share & Balance Boldly

On the Balance Boldly Podcast, host Naketa R. Thigpen talks with ambitious women in business (and a few brave men) from a wide array of industries about their pursuit of success, how they face business burnout and what work/life balance looks like for them. Not your conventional self-help podcast, Balance Boldly uncovers real solutions to real problems afflicting real people at home and in the workplace, daily.   

If you enjoyed this episode, head over to iTunes, Spreaker, iHeart Radio, or Google Play to subscribe to the show and leave your honest review.

Connect with me, Naketa R. Thigpen @balanceboldly on IG, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Now Go. Create Your Balance. Create Your Joy. But remember, do it, BOLDLY!

Thank you for listening!

This Year Do More of What You Want Featuring Jo Dodds

This Year Do More of What You Want Featuring Jo Dodds

Jo Dodds is the Founder of POWER to Live More, where she helps home-based coaches and consultants improve their productivity, organization, wellbeing, energy, and resilience to unlock the POWER within, get more done, and live a healthier, happier life. She is also a member of the core team at Engage for Success, a movement committed to helping organizations and business leaders improve their personal and organizational growth through evidence-based case studies, tools, and support. She is the host of the POWER to Live More podcast and co-hosts the Engage for Success Radio Podcast.

Jo joins me today to share what it means to ‘break boxes,’ have the POWER to live more, and how she lives this out not only in her business but in her day-to-day life. She discusses the relevance of having a team, acquiring the support you need, and creating boundaries to get things done and be able to live more each day. She also explains the significance of asking questions that will help you do things differently and can be beneficial to you, your organization, and the people around you.

“It’s about deciding what you want to do and how you want to live your life – and making everything sort of fit around that.” – Jo Dodds

This Week on the Balance Boldly for Ambitious Women In Business Podcast:

  • How she lives out the fundamental principles of the POWER to Live More
  • Why she works from an energy point of view
  • The significance of having boundaries regarding tasks and schedule
  • How she helps other women leaders break their boxes in the corporate setup
  • Asking different level questions to get the different level solutions
  • When she gives herself permission to pause – and how
  • Why she makes it a point to read every day
  • What she does when she’s feeling a bit down

A Little Permission to Pause:

  • I’m not fitting into anyone elses boxes. I’m creating my own. #IDoWhatIWant

Connect with Jo Dodds:

Subscribe, Share & Balance Boldly

On the Balance Boldly Podcast, host Naketa R. Thigpen talks with ambitious women in business (and a few brave men) from a wide array of industries about their pursuit of success, how they face business burnout and what work/life balance looks like for them. Not your conventional self-help podcast, Balance Boldly uncovers real solutions to real problems afflicting real people at home and in the workplace, daily.

If you enjoyed this episode, head over to iTunes, Spreaker, iHeart Radio, or Google Play to subscribe to the show and leave your honest review.

Connect with me, Naketa R. Thigpen @balanceboldly on IG, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Now Go. Create Your Balance. Create Your Joy. But remember, do it, BOLDLY!

Thank you for listening!

How to Avoid Being Smothered by Emotions with Beth Lawrence

How to Avoid Being Smothered by Emotions with Beth Lawrence

Beth Lawrence is an event producer and experiential marketing expert who has launched several brands and provided PR services to many small businesses. She is the CEO of a events production, marketing, and PR firm based in Philadelphia as well as the co-founder of The Industry Formula, a company that offers sales and marketing templates as well as consulting services to small-to-mid-sized companies. She is a human rights advocate who served as the former Silent Auction Co-Chair for the Human Rights Galas and the campaign manager for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Women of the Year for two consecutive years. Additionally, she is a founding member of the PartyPartners of Philadelphia.

Beth joins me today to share how she understands her body, so she doesn’t feel trapped by the things that are going on around her. She explains why you need to listen to your body and how her closest relationships help her manage stress and avoid burnout. She also shares why controlling her emotions to look at things more pragmatically is daily work for her as well as how she deals with her ‘little glass box of emotions.’

“Come at things from a place of value and a place of learning.” – Beth Lawrence

This Week on the Balance Boldly for Ambitious Women In Business Podcast:

  • What experiential marketing is and how it should impact customers and clients
  • The difference between an event planner and an event producer
  • Why connecting with her husband is one of the effective ways she handles burnout
  • How journaling, meditating, and guided meditation help her recharge
  • Why she feels the need to break her routine and do something else
  • The challenge with wanting to be the best at everything right away

A Little Permission to Pause:

  • Look at your week and pencil in a FREE DAY.

Connect with Beth Lawrence:

On the Balance Boldly Podcast, host Naketa R.Thigpen talks with ambitious women in business (and a few brave men) from a wide array of industries about their pursuit of success, how they face business burnout and what work/life balance looks like for them. Not your conventional self-help podcast, Balance Boldly uncovers real solutions to real problems afflicting real people at home and in the workplace, daily.

If you like what you hear on the BalanceBoldly for Ambitious Women Podcast, Please subscribe, rate and share to help us ensure the ambitiously bold and brave have access to valuable life, love, and business balance tools.

Connect with me, Naketa R. Thigpen @balanceboldly on IG, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Create Your Balance. Create Your Joy.

Thank you for listening!

Breaking Through and Becoming with Kyana Brathwaite

Breaking Through and Becoming with Kyana Brathwaite

In this episode, Kyana shares how she had her breakthrough while dealing with her own identity issues. She shares her identity journey, the challenges she faced and how she dealt with them as well as the significance of knowing what you want to give, what you’re open to receiving, and what you refuse to receive. She also shares why it’s crucial to break expectations and how honesty helps her continue to heal and have better relationships.

If you heard last week’s interview, you understand why we absolutely had to follow-up with Part-2, today!

If you are new to the show or missed last week, let me reintroduce you!

A registered nurse, Kyana Brathwaite founded KB Caring Advocacy & Liaison Services (or KB CALS) to help people, families, and businesses find the best wellness plan that suits their various medical needs. Kyana’s clients go through an interactive and participatory process as she connects with health systems and the medical community, including insurance providers, to coordinate assistance and support for her clients. When she’s not busy helping others, she spends her time taking care of her husband and two gorgeous children.

“Because I’m starting to get to know me — because there’s a process, I can now open up and give other people grace and share that love.” -Kyana Brathwaite

This Week on the Balance Boldly for Ambitious Women In Business Podcast:

  • How Kyana used to define success
  • The effect of growing up in a single-parent household
  • The negative statements she made herself believe growing up that contributed to the notion of her identity
  • Why she felt the need to cling to her relationships for her identity
  • The difference between listening and taking heed
  • How you can share your gifts
  • How knowing herself affected her relationships and connections
  • What she does when people get uncomfortable with her honesty

A Little Permission to Pause:

  • Give yourself permission to not plan and go with the flow.

Connect with Kyana Brathwaite:

On the Balance Boldly Podcast, host Naketa R.Thigpen talks with ambitious women in business (and a few brave men) from a wide array of industries about their pursuit of success, how they face business burnout and what work/life balance looks like for them. Not your conventional self-help podcast, Balance Boldly uncovers real solutions to real problems afflicting real people at home and in the workplace, daily.

If you like what you hear on the BalanceBoldly for Ambitious Women Podcast, Please subscribe, rate and share to help us ensure the ambitiously bold and brave have access to valuable life, love, and business balance tools.

Connect with me, Naketa R. Thigpen @balanceboldly on IG, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Create Your Balance. Create Your Joy.

Thank you for listening!