Today we’d like to introduce you to Imani Williams.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Imani. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’m originally from Louisville, KY. But when I graduated high school, I moved to Atlanta to attend Clark Atalanta University. While there, I was studying entertainment public relations. I was interning for a very successful entertainment PR firm and learning more than I imagined. While working on the scene, I was still trying to find my own way and figure out what I wanted my voice to be. I enjoyed the entertainment industry but I wasn’t sure it was for me. Fast forward a few years, I moved back home to Louisville but I took everything I learned with me and switched fields a little. I took the PR experience I gained while in Atlanta into the nonprofit and education sector and figured out that was right where I belonged. But I still wanted to do something in entertainment and media. So, in my free time, my friend Kandice (also a CAU graduate) and I started the Save the Date Show which is a podcast dedicated to conversations about casually navigating today’s dating scene as adults. So now, I’m living in Florida, working in my field and hosting a podcast in my free time. Not at all what I imagined when I set out but It’s better! I’m having a lot of fun, still very connected to Atlanta, where I got my start and the people that helped me start. Atlanta will always feel like home to me.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say t.hings have been easy for you?
It has not been a smooth road at all. It’s currently pretty rocky. It’s tough sometimes as a young woman in her late twenties still navigating different career paths. Society tells us that by now, I should have settled down with either a career or a man (or both) and started having kids. At one point, that’s exactly what I wanted at this age. But after growing up a little more, I realized I mainly wanted that because that’s what I thought I was supposed to have and not because I fully understand what all that entailed and wanted it or myself. So, I reevaluated the things I wanted in my mid-twenties, made some different choices and I’m just now starting to see some of those successes. My advice is to never see your journey as linear. Thinking of your path as a series of linear steps will have you tripping out when just one step seems to fall out of place. Instead, think of everything as a series of ups and downs and twists and turns. This way you expect things not to always go as planned and you’re prepared to adjust without spending too much time beating yourself up about what you think “should have” been. You’re writing your own story. Make sure the pages in it are things YOU want and not what other people want for you so that you can be proud of your story. And count every single step along the way as a success. Celebrate the smallest things to keep you encouraged because the journey is not a short one.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Save The Date Show story. Tell us more about the business.
In my career, I believe I’m known as sort of a community connector. I have my hand and heart in the community at all times because that’s where my passion is. Because of that, people come to me to be connected with resources and organizations come to me to be better connected with the community. I’m best at campaigns. I love designing communication plans to help communities and organizations better engage one another. I’m the person to come to when your brand wants to make sure it’s being known for being a community partner. I think what sets me apart professionally is because I’m not money driven. I do enjoy being financially stable and I don’t work for free. However, any move I make in my career is so that I’m fulfilling my vision to be a valuable resource to my community and so that I can be proud of myself. I’m much more focused on the integrity of my brand than I am how financially successful I appear to be. I just want to enjoy my work.
In my “hobby”, that’s blossoming into a second career, I think I’m the person with a lot of opinions but I’m able to explain them reasonably. I’m passionate and knowledgeable about community and speak and write about it often. I do a lot of thinking on relevant issues and current events and I hope that comes out as I express myself in my social media and media presences. I don’t speak unless I think I have something valuable to add to a conversation and I like to facilitate thought-provoking discussion. I think my “brand” is one that just says hey, this is who I am and that’s what sets me apart. There’s only one of me, so I’m staying in the lane that is just for me. So, if you need someone to mediate or host your panel discussions or host your conferences, I’m thoughtful, engaging and enthusiastic!
Do you have a lesson or advice you’d like to share with young women just starting out?
Take your time. And by that, I don’t necessarily mean move slowly. I mean that time is relative. You’re going to drive yourself crazy looking at what someone else was able to accomplish by whatever age and comparing yourself. It’s not a race. What that person was able to do, they were able to do in their designated time. Your time is the only time you need to be focused on. Make sure that your time is used wisely in every aspect of your life. Don’t waste it on a career, a life path, a relationship, etc. that misuses or devalues the time you have. What YOU want to do is important and you don’t have to come second to anyone 100% of the time. You choose that and you make sure to make sure you can be proud of what you choose. If your career is off to a slow start, keep working because that pace is yours and that time belongs to you so make the best of it. If you are a mother you take that time with your kid(s) and do with it what’s most important to you and your family. If you have a partner make sure that relationship is mutually beneficial so that what you’re putting in, you’re getting back. All of your time is important to take it all in.
- Website: imanicwilliams.net (my contact information for speaking and hosting can be found there).
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @savethedatepodcast on Instagram my personal Instagram is @hopelessfromantic
- Twitter: @imaniorwhatever
Lavish Touch Photos, Keeb White, Terrance Humphries, Sowande Malone