I Failed Three Times Before I Became Profitable | Hala Taha – 033

Starting a podcast or launching a foray into entrepreneurship likely won’t happen overnight, and it often takes multiple tries to find an idea that sticks. In today’s episode of the Be Better Podcast, Donald is joined by the podcast princess (and CEO of YAP Media), Hala Taha, to learn how she tried, failed, and overcame obstacles to eventually find a successful career.

Hala dropped out of college to pursue her passion:

  • She interned for three years at Hot 97 but was fired when she asked for a paying job. 
  • As soon as Hala was fired, she launched the Sorority of Hip Hop and recruited girls on Twitter and Craigslist to produce content for the blog site. While popular, it failed because she couldn’t figure out how to monetize it.
  • MTV scouted her and the business, and they filmed her and the girls for an entire summer. However, they pulled the plug two weeks before it was supposed to air.

After these failures, Hala quit entertainment to pursue an MBA:

  • While working toward her degree, Hala earned an internship at Hewlett-Packard, making 70k per year. Then, she landed a full-time role and worked there for four years.
  • While thankful for the corporate experience, she eventually went back to broadcasting and launched her podcast. 

What’s the difference? There was no gatekeeper!

  • You don’t need to be famous or wealthy to start a podcast – just find a niche and get recording.
  • She decided to promote herself on LinkedIn and leveraged that to gain attention on her podcast.
  • She reached out and organized collaborations with CastBox, PlayFM, Riverside.FM and other podcast platforms to gain more exposure.
  • After gaining a following, Hala had guests ask her to work with them and was soon able to scale her company.

Hala’s major piece of advice? Believe in yourself, believe there are endless possibilities and don’t wait to pursue your dreams. If a gatekeeper tells you no, determine what they’re saying no to and use that to frame a path to success. 

Be Better Episode Resources:

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