We had the good fortune of connecting with K. Elle Jones and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi K. Elle, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking.
At the root of every decision, lies a potential risk.
I’ve never been one who has liked rigid rules or believed in the ‘status quo’ mindset, so while taking risks can come with its own set of obstacles, I focus on the potential opportunities that may result in my taking a risk. I’m an avid storyteller at heart – it’s in my DNA, but I haven’t always had a career or jobs that allowed me to fully embrace my deep love for creativity and storytelling. This became a big issue for me, and I decided to do something different.
Just as I was planning my wedding, preparing to move, and blend our family, I decided to resign from my career in government to focus on my marketing consulting agency full-time – something I had been previously doing as a side job. I was leaving a secure job with full benefits and perks, with two young children, and a fiancé in tow, to live out my passion – without a full roster of clients or idea of where the next client would come from. All I knew is that I felt suffocated where I was, and I believed I had to do what really fed me creatively. So, just like that, I resigned and focused on building my agency – All while planning my wedding!
In the short-term, my decision paid off! In the long-run, it was a risk that cost me a lot, but it also taught me a major lesson that still proves to be beneficial to this day. I could’ve focused on what I lost, and for a short while, I did, but I gained so much more in the end, something you can’t put a monetary value on – the confidence in my ability to create a beautiful life without the security of a traditional job. I’ve taken many risks throughout my life –
× Moving from one side of the country to a state where I barely knew anyone, with two kids in tow
× Starting grad school in my early 30s
× Having a baby in my mid-30s, after being diagnosed with liver disease
× Moving to Los Angeles to pursue my acting career full-time (a life-long dream) at nearly 40 years old
× Launching a new business while receiving chemotherapy treatments for lupus
Taking risks is not foreign to me!
Even when things don’t work out the way you’ve envisioned or hoped they would, there’s always experience and a deeper level of knowledge and wisdom to be gained, as well as a lesson to learn. It’s what you do with that experience, knowledge and lesson(s) that makes the difference.
In the end, a risk is simply the price you pay or are willing to pay to achieve a goal or reach your next level, without regret.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve been an avid storyteller since I was a little girl. Storytelling, in many ways, has been my saving grace from childhood through adulthood, so it’s always felt like a natural progression to discover an abundance of creative ways to integrate my love for storytelling, film, television, beauty and the arts into my business.
As a personal brand strategist, consultant, speaker, best-selling author producer, and filmmaker, I’m deeply passionate and extremely skilled in helping mission-driven entrepreneurs, female founders, women-driven and women-owned brands, businesses + organizations to leverage storytelling, video, live video, and media distribution to elevate their visibility and share their knowledge + expertise in a way that creates more impact and profitability.
This mission and focus keeps me extremely busy with a variety of virtual events and remote production, a pivot I’ve had to make since the onset of the pandemic.
I pride myself on taking an innovative and creative approach to business, often going against the grain, so while I had plans to do business one way, these ever-changing times have pushed me to not only create something more meaningful and impactful, but work that that sets me and my work apart from others. I lean into that approach unapologetically!
There’s no shortage of messaging in the marketplace today about the importance of leveraging the power of video to grow your business, but the information and offerings are typically disjointed. You’ll usually find an expert, coach or consultant only focusing on one, maybe two, aspects of the personal branding and video marketing cycle. This leaves clients with a broken marketing system, which ultimately ends of costing them much more in the long run. I take a wholistic approach to helping my clients not only elevate their personal brand, but build their authority, credibility and position as the go-to expert/source in their industry.
That marketing life cycle includes discovery their story archetype, crafting compelling messaging that connects, mastering their on-camera presence, video production services, creative brand marketing and distribution. That last part – DISTRIBUTION is huge! For many, the distribution piece ends with social platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook. However, my agency provides online television distribution on major streaming platforms, including Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android TV, and Chromecast.
I saw a major gap and a huge opportunity to close that gap and provide an opportunity for the everyday woman, leader, entrepreneur, creative and business owner to broadcast their brilliance + message with a global reach beyond social media, through my media distribution partnership with KP Media TV, and my online television network – the K. Elle Jones Network. I did a soft launch of my network, and my new live television docuseries – ‘Beauty Behind The Brand Live,’ a hybrid of a documentary and digital TV Talk Show highlighting 12 powerhouse women in business, media, entertainment, and education – right in the middle of a global pandemic. This was no easy feat at all, but with the help of my incredible producing partner, Latasha Kennedy, we were able to successfully launch the series on all the streaming platforms, as well as Facebook Live, YouTube, and Twitch.
We were subsequently able to bring on two additional brilliant women producers, Nancy Ruffin and Rhonda Morman, who’ve enhanced this journey tremendously. I’m extremely proud of this accomplishment, but even more than that, having the opportunity to not only tell amazing stories through film and television, but to spotlight the powerful, life-changing stories of some amazing, powerhouse women!
There’s a lot of moving parts to successfully produce a live weekly show of any kind, which keeps us extremely busy, so there were definitely all kinds of hiccups, but what allowed my team and I to bounce back really quickly and overcome those hurdles, was open communication, superior conflict resolution skills, the ability to think quickly on our feet, and being very open about the common goal and focus each week.
Community is so vitally important, so having all of these components working simultaneously throughout the process each week, helped us to get realigned and continue to produce stellar television programming each week.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well pre-Covid-19, my itinerary would look a lot different, but there would be lots of winery tours, luxury spa + pampering days, beachside fun, and some amazing food. My best friend and I love art + music, honestly, anything that allows us to tap into our inner creative, get dolled up (full on hair and makeup for sure), for a fun day/night out. We’d start in wine country, Temecula, for a trip to my friend’s hair salon + spa, Be Kekoa in the heart of Temecula, then we’d head down to one of the gorgeous wineries in the area for an overnight stay. After a beautiful countryside breakfast, we’d head back to the city, and stop for an amazing lunch at Bistro 45 in Pasadena. We for sure would cap off our visit with a some seaside fun with multi-day resort stay at Montage Laguna Beach. This is the perfect recipe for an epic girl’s trip… at least for my best friend and I.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
While I’ve worked incredibly hard and sacrificed a great deal to get to where I am today, there’s no way possible that I could’ve accomplished even a small fraction of what I have without some incredibly important and supportive people; some of whom I’ve known my entire life, some for decades, some for just a few years, and even some for just a few short months.
My faith in God is where it all begins – that’s the center for me!
My husband, Demetri, our children, parents are a huge part of my success, and I also have an incredibly amazing community of close friends, colleagues, mentors, and brand partners who’ve undeniably contributed to my success as well.
They include Kisa Puckett of Pink Icing Marketing + KP Media TV, Brandie Kekoa of Be Kekoa, Sharraine Banks, Gabrielle Leonard, Quiana Wiley, Lakiesha Townsel, Cho Spicer of SocietyGal, Dr. Sidjae Price of Priceless Publishing, Jessica Freeman, and my brilliant photographer and close friend, Leah Martin of Leah Rae Photography, my producing partners, Latasha Kennedy of LMK Entertainment, Nancy Ruffin, and Rhonda Moorman.
Honestly, there’s so many more dynamic people, but these are just a handful of them that show up to massively support, encourage, cheer me on, and remind me that I have something phenomenal to share with the world. They make the toughest days much more bearable, and are truly the tide that lifts me up!
Leah Rae Photography