Today we’d like to introduce you to Joy Pittman.
Joy, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
The last fifteen years of my career as a Human Resources Professional has afforded me access to some amazing opportunities, organizations, and people. However, at times I found myself in spaces that neither celebrated who I was nor promoted my professional growth. As a woman and person of color, and despite my role as an advocate for others, I felt hindered in my ability to call out some of the underlying issues connected to the experiences of the diverse employees and leaders I was supporting.
When I sought help from others in my field and up my chain of command, much of the advice I received either encouraged me to stay under the radar and keep working hard or recommended levels of conformity that minimized the value of my voice and viewpoint as a diverse leader.
And then I came across this quote by Audre Lorde which completely changed my perspective. “Sometimes we are blessed with being able to choose the time, and the arena, and the manner of our revolution, but more usually we must do battle where we are standing.”
While it would have been ideal to exist in a world that valued or at least acknowledged the challenges of my intersectional existence, the truth was I did not. However, within that truth, I found a great purpose. It was where I was standing and where I would have to do battle. So, I decided to launch out and provide support to others that I had been unable to find. My goal is to empower other diverse leaders and emerging leaders to leverage, rather than diminish, their identities and experiences within the context of their personal and professional development.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I wish I could say that it has been smooth sailing since I decided to begin this journey of empowerment both for myself and others, but it has not. In addition to the obstacles most entrepreneurs and small business owners face, getting clear and maintaining that clarity has presented its challenges.
In 2009 I lost my dad to cancer, in 2010 my sister to heart failure, in 2011 my grandfather to a stroke and the process of losing my grandmother to Alzheimer’s disease began. Loss forces you to face who you are outside of the context of other people. I chose to delay that degree of introspection for many years but starting my own business and coaching others has forced me to engage, unpack and sit with me in a way that has been both difficult and rewarding.
I have also struggled with being open and honest about my experience in corporate spaces. Initially, speaking my truth felt like career suicide and was not always validated by others. I still struggle with thoughts of whether I am doing the right thing, whether I am branding myself in a way that will close more doors than it will open. In my greatest moments of doubt, I always seem to receive a text, email or call from a client that reminds that this is necessary.
Please tell us about your business.
My business/brand into broken up into three segments.
First, there is JVP Legacy, a boutique human resource consulting firm that serves small and mid-sized organizations, with a focus on culturally competent executive coaching leadership and team development and related strategy consulting.
Next, there is Think with Joy which is designed to provide the hands-on support most not for profit, faith-based and start-up organizations need. We help them maximize and leverage the value of their people through training, process alignment and strategy development.
Finally, there is Joy Pittman (that’s me) public speaker and sprinkler of black girl magic. In this capacity, I am able to use my voice to educate, equip and empower others to show up in a confident, informed and strategic way.
While each segment is designed to engage a different client base the thread that connects them is people. Every business, brand or venture we support is approached with the understanding that people (employees, clients, customers, vendors, shareholders, stakeholders, etc.) are a necessity for effective, efficient and sustainable outcomes.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success. To be honest I am still chasing mine. Most days I am out of breath and do not feel like I am running fast enough, hard enough or even in the right direction; but I am chasing it all the same. However, for the first time in a long time, I can define the proverbial north star of my vision of success; namely building a life that I do not what to escape.
If I could offer advice to anyone on this subject… define success on your terms. What does it look like mentally, physically, financially, spiritually, emotionally and professionally? What will it take to create a life that you enjoy living? Define that on your own terms and pursue it fervently.
- Joy Pittman
o Workshops, seminars, panels – Starting at $750
o Keynotes – Starting at $1200
o Flexible pricing for small businesses, and not for profit organizations
- Think with Joy
o Individual Coaching – starting at $397/hr
o Group Coaching – monthly membership currently $97/mo
- JVP Legacy
o Pricing based on the scope of work
Cedric Wooten Photography & Omega Celeste (Seventh & Lane)