Jo Na Williams Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Jo Na Williams
Jo Na Williams is today’s guest joining us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots business coaching Podcast.
She is a lady who has been involved in the music industry since the age of five when she started belting out the tunes in musical ensembles around where she lived, and I guess grabbing hold of that hair brush in her bedroom like all small girls do.
And music seems to have always been the thing that lights her up inside, and was always going to be a key thing to her career.
And why not when her Mother was in the music industry, and worked in Detroit during the halcion days of Motown.
So being surrounded by such creative folk showing their passions and talent everyday was likely to start her vision for joining them and becoming a star too.
So she started pursuing a career as a vocalist professionally, and at the age of 17 began singing backing vocals in studios, and supporting local bands and life looked like it was only going to be heading one way.
She felt like she was on her way to being a star.
How The Dots Joined Up For Jo Na
As she says “I happily stayed late nights in the studio, wrote lyrics and recorded vocals waiting for my moment to be discovered. It never happened. I was never credited or compensated and that was when I realized, I’d been exploited.”
And its moments like that when you feel that the world is against you, that really shows you the way that your future will be and should be.
It’s the dark dots on the Join Up Dots timeline that become the stepping stones to where you need to be.
She is now an attorney/brand and business development expert for musicians and artists.
Through her company, Artist Empowerment Group, she will do everything she can to empower you to build an authentic, unstoppable brand, a movement of raving fans and the components of being a successful entrepreneur so you can finally live your dream on YOUR terms.
She cares about musicians and artists deeply as hey, shes been there and done it and experience combined with heart makes one powerful proposition.
So what was it about the music industry that was so intoxicating for her as a young lady?
And does she see it now as the best form of apprenticeship to where she is today?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Jo Na Williams
During the show we discussed weighty topics with Jo Na Williams such as:
How when she was a small girl there was no fantasy in her life, but there was total belief that she would get the kind of life that would be a fantasy to others.
How she always had a rebel heart and would know which path she was on, which was more often than not, was a different path to everyone else.
How she is an introvert and extremely sensitive person which leads to her having a big personality in the world she has chosen, strangely enough.
How she always wanted to change the world throughout her life, and can feel it starting to take shape within her.
How your dreams grow as you grow, and it is a natural position to start with one that is never going to be realised, but find a better one on the way.
How To Connect With Jo Na Williams
Or check out every podcast from our extensive articles here
Full Transcription Of Jo Na Williams Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK. David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:26]
Yes, hello there. Well, how are we this morning, Episode 297 of Join Up Dots and it’s ladies day to day I love talking to the ladies. It’s the only chance I get that a wife doesn’t realise about but um, she’s a lady who really has got a passion for what she’s doing. And let me introduce you to that. Let’s cut to the chase. She’s a lady who’s been involved in the music industry since the age of five when she started belting out the tunes in musical ensembles around where she lived. And I guess grabbing hold of that hairbrush in her bedroom like all small girls due to a music seems to have always been the thing that lights up inside and was always going to be a key thing to her career. And why not when her mother was in the music industry and worked in Detroit during the halcyon days of Motown, so being surrounded by such creative folks showing their passions and talent every day was likely to start her vision for joining them and becoming a star too. So she started pursuing a career as a vocalist professionally, and at the age of 17. began singing backing vocals in studios and supporting local bands and life looked like it was only going to be heading one way. She felt like she was on her way to being a star. But as she says, I happily stayed late nights in the studio wrote lyrics and recorded vocals waiting for my moment to be discovered. It never happened. I was never credited or compensated. And that was when I realised I’d been exploited. And it’s moments like that when you feel like the world is against you, that really shows you the way that your future will be and should be. It’s the dark dots on the Join Up Dots timeline that become this stepping stones to where you need to be. She’s now an attorney brand and business development expert and musicians and artists and through her company artist empowerment group, she will do everything she can to empower you to build an authentic, unstoppable brand, a movement of raving fans and the components of being a successful entrepreneur. So you can finally live your dream on your terms. She cares about musicians and artists deeply as he has been barren, she’s done it. And experience combined with heart makes one powerful proposition. So what was it about the music industry that was so intoxicating as a young lady and does she see now is the best form of apprenticeship to where she is day? Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Jo Na Williams. How are you?
Jo Na Williams [2:48]
I’m great. I’m great. How are you doing?
David Ralph [2:50]
We are doing well from this side of the pond as we say it’s it’s United Kingdom. It’s dark, but we’ve had one of those days that you feel that summers just around the corner. You know, it’s one of those freaky warm days what what was it like in your world on a Sunday where abouts do you live and what have you been doing?
Jo Na Williams [3:08]
I live in New York and let me tell you I don’t see summer anywhere around here. Okay, so so I’m going to be taking I’m soaking that in as you’re talking about it and hopefully some of that amazing weather is gonna lead over over the Atlantic over to me.
David Ralph [3:24]
Well, I’ll be honest, I wish I hadn’t had it because you know when tomorrow It’s freezing cold again and you kind of think ah, but But yeah, we have these flowers called daffodils. I don’t know if Americans have daffodils. Do they? Very bright. Yeah. Yeah, we have. You have to produce. We noticed that a daffodils are starting to come up and that is the start of life, isn’t it?
Jo Na Williams [3:45]
It is it is and I love I love seeing you know, the springtime with the peaks of grass coming out and the leaves starting to show. It does make you feel like you know, things are about to be better and you know new life and renewal and all of those things. So it’s It’s really, really great. But like I said, over here in New York City, I’m seeing nothing but snow and winter hex,
David Ralph [4:08]
I’ll send you a picture of me daffodils and that and make things better for you. So that kind of likes the simple things in life, I’ll use somebody but on a sort of warm day will go, yes, this is good. I don’t need a lot of sort of money, I don’t need a lot of connectivity to the world. Sometimes just a nice bit of walk from my head makes me feel good.
Jo Na Williams [4:30]
I think that I’m a little bit of both because I definitely really enjoy the adventures and the excitement that happens in life and at the same time, you know, you can’t have that all the time or you start to not really appreciate it as much so I do enjoy just those simple times and those simple moments like hanging out with your friends and you know, drinking you know, tea and you know, just kind of going outside and experiencing the weather and the wind on your face and all of those things because I really love connecting to nature and then at the same time You know, I love being you know, at big exciting events and putting them on myself. And, you know, and just the excitement that you being here in New York City kind of offers, you know, a lady who’s really an entrepreneur and kind of on her grind and getting out there and doing her thing. So it’s a little bit of both I kind of enjoy both
David Ralph [5:20]
online that preys on your grind. Is that Is that how you say it over New York?
Jo Na Williams [5:26]
That is how you say it in New York. And it’s, it’s something that is actually really known here. Because when you say the phrase like yeah, you know, I can’t hang out, I’m on my grind. People are like, Oh, yeah, we get it. It’s definitely the way that you know, we kind of expressed that we’re on the move and we’re, you know, trying to focus in and you know, make things happen for ourselves in the world and things like that. So that’s, that’s Yeah, it’s a nice little phrase, there
David Ralph [5:54]
is a lovely phrase, but But did you think that you know that the phrase on your grind sounds like a certain amount of fo we’re gonna talk about your life because I know it’s been a hell of a lot of effort to where you are now. But do you think that when you get it together, when you start doing the thing that you was here for, and I normally talk about this later in the show? Do you find that it’s less grind and it’s more kind of it floats somehow things seemed easier, because you are doing things authentically yourself.
Jo Na Williams [6:22]
I think that the grind changes, it evolves over time, just like you evolve over time. So maybe in the very, very beginning, it was trying to figure out you know, what you want it to put out in the world or maybe how you want it to market yourself or maybe how you wanted to, how are you going to get clients or get your first couple of clients or, or things like that, and that’s where you are at the very, very beginning stages. And then you know, and you’re, you’re grinding like you’re going after that and you’re you know, you’re putting an effort to make that happen. But as you kind of grow and exposure and you grow in a reach and you growing client base, and you know when your name and reputation and things like that And there are other things and so you know for me I don’t just work with artists empowerment group I also have my own firm j Williams law where I work with lots of different world changers who have really large brands and then I also work with people who are just starting off in their businesses so I can kind of see how what their legal needs and things like that how they change over time. And so it’s like it’s a different kind of problem but there’s still you know, a grind to it and there’s still a tweaking and is figuring out what it is that you’re going to do but it’s just you know, there’s levels
David Ralph [7:37]
so let’s take you back in time that’s what we do and Join Up Dots so what was wasn’t a true when he was a little girl was was there like hairbrush singing competitions in your bedroom? Was it that the starlight was sprinkled around you and you were going to be a star Did you always think that
Jo Na Williams [7:54]
I you know I did but but I think that it was a little bit more I think we were less about here breaking And we were more like Destiny’s Child It was more like we actually formed groups, we, you know, we actually performed a talent shows we actually put a lot of, you know, effort into what it is that we did so that was and then I was in choirs like I started off in choirs when I was five. So it was, you know, it wasn’t like the fantasy for me I never really got the fantasy aspect of it. It was like I was instantly already in it the minute I decided that I wanted to pursue music, so it was um, it was always like that for me. And I think that for some people that just that kind of way of life is kind of ingrained in you initially. You know,
David Ralph [8:41]
what do you think that you didn’t have that fantasy? Because that’s that’s childhood, isn’t it? childhood, you dream big and you think you’re going to be a princess, you think you’re going to be the new Whitney Houston or whatever. Why did you think that even as a small girl, you was in for the hustle flexing the old hustle muscle?
Jo Na Williams [8:58]
Well, the thing is, is that as a child I never had the dream because I always felt like it was going to happen. So it was like, I was just in my mindset was this is happening for me. So, you know, we just gotta what are the steps? What are the things that we need to do? So I always had that mindset and you you know, even my mom says that she was like, from the very early on when you decided that you wanted something, you just went after it, like you didn’t even think about, fantasise or dream like, oh, one day that’ll happen, you were just like, nope, this is happening for me. I’m just going to go after it, you know. And so that’s the reason why I say for me, it was probably a little bit different than than most kids who just you know, they do imagine and they, you know, they sit and they, you know, They dance and they sing in the shower, and they dance with their hairbrush and stuff like that. And for me, it was literally I thought about it, and I was like, This is what I’m doing. Like, this is what’s going to happen and she my mom even said she was like I never had to really try to rev you up or try to get you to go in the right direction. Like you are always very decisive. And you always What you want it and you always just went after it even if what you want to change over time, you still never had the idea in your mind that it couldn’t happen or that it was going to be a dream. It was just like, this is my reality. I’m going after it.
David Ralph [10:12]
That’s unusual, isn’t it? Did you?
Jo Na Williams [10:15]
David Ralph [10:16]
Well, you were at that stage. But that is unusual that you were totally committed.
Jo Na Williams [10:22]
I didn’t realise that. At that time. When I was younger. I didn’t realise that out that it was different. I was just being myself. But now as an adult, when I look back on and I’m like, wow, I was definitely a different kind of kid. Like, I was not a kid who played around and just fantasise. I was like, No, I’m doing this. And this is gonna happen for me. And it’s funny because my mom actually has, you know, videos of me telling her like, what I was gonna do and what kind of started was kind of being where I was gonna go and who I was gonna meet and all of that stuff like she had video of me doing that. So it was really it’s really funny to think about that That energy and who I was as a child is still who I am today, I never really dream about what I want, I always make a decision about what I want. And then I just put forth the steps to, to go after it.
David Ralph [11:12]
Oh, this is the nuggets of gold, Jonah. I’ve been reading the Barack Obama biography and I talked about this a lot in the shows because it goes on forever in a day because he just doesn’t know what he wants to do in his life. And he kind of just bums around and he gets stoned and he drinks and he, he just doesn’t know what he wants. And it always seems amazing, but you can get to become the president and not be born with a little briefcase and a little podium and pretend that you’re a president as a small child. It just seems like it that’s got to be the way it happens. But of course it doesn’t does it because more often than not, you don’t know what you want until it comes and smacks you in the face. So you had a gift bear didn’t you? You had a gift right at the very beginning, but okay, you may not have known your direct path, but you knew that you were going to create a path that was going Be one for you.
Jo Na Williams [12:01]
Yes, yes. And it’s interesting because I do remember wanting to be a fashion designer when I was younger as well, not just a vocalist and so I remember actually pulling together you know, the the different designs that I wanted to do and pulling together like the fabrics and all of that. And then I was early on, I was an entrepreneur because I went in elementary school and I had a friendship bracelet business. And so I had my and when I say a business, I mean a real business. Like I had literally little order forms. I had my whole my whole case with all of my colours, and I would get orders from the kids like what kind of design they wanted and what colours they want it and I would sit at recess and that’s what I would be doing is filling my orders so that I could make money and I don’t know what I was doing with the money at the time. I mean, obviously I probably spend it on like movies or junk food or something. But But you know, I always had That grind that I was like, Okay, I’m going to, you know, make my own path, I’m going to make my own money, I’m going to do what I want to do. And no one could ever tell me different or otherwise. And it was that kind of instinct where I had to crack my own path and figure out my own way. But and, and change courses and change directions as I continue to move forward in my life. But it was always this innate feeling in me that I was like, I’m going to figure it out whatever it is that I want, and whatever it is that I desire, I’m going to figure out how to get there. It may not be a straight, you know, path ABCD you know, on and so on. It might be A to F to G to be.
But I know that I’ll get there and I always had that faith.
David Ralph [13:48]
I think there’s a couple of things, you know, worth dwelling on. That is one of the things was, you mentioned, nobody telling me what to do. Is that a key part to you, us you Very focus. You seem very driven, obviously from a young age. But when you said I don’t, it wasn’t so much about the money. Did you think that the control is that one of your key things having control of your life and being able to go the direction you want and not being, say, in a cubicle with somebody saying that you’re here till five o’clock, you might have finished your work at two o’clock, but you’re gonna stay here till five is is it a control element?
Jo Na Williams [14:25]
I think so. I think that many entrepreneurs feel that way. It’s it’s definitely the freedom that comes along with making your own decisions. And, you know, with that freedom, you know, there comes a lot of responsibility as well because then you don’t have a boss sitting over you saying, you got to get this done. So you have to be self motivated. You don’t have somebody telling you, you know, when you can stop working, so you have to be, you know, really guarded over your time and decide when you’re going to stop and things like that. So I think that for me, it was always in me to be an entrepreneur just because I’ve always been somebody who Who likes to make their own rules? I think that I like to consider myself having a rebel heart. So so you know, when people were telling me Oh, you know, everybody’s going left, you should go left I will be like, No, I’m gonna write just because just because of the fact that I like to make my own rules and I like to figure out my, my own way. Now granted, I’m not going to, you know, be silly about it in terms of not listening to the wisdom of people who have come before me absolutely not. But at the same time, interpreting that wisdom for myself and figuring out the direction that I want to go with something that I think that I will always do, and it’s something that’s always been within me
David Ralph [15:39]
is ggf. When everyone else is going left and you turn right, do you ever think, Oh, actually, I’ve made a mistake and follow them or do you? Because Because when I was a kid, it sounds exactly like me. And if I was going to school with a couple of kids, and they said they were going to go left and I decided I was going to go right. I would do it. But then quite often, I would really I made a mistake but I would try to sort of circle around them in a very long way so that I could get there in front of them so it looked like I hadn’t lost face somehow and I was still on the path that they were right I should have gone that way. And did you find that you ever sort of go what I’ve turned right Oh, no, that’s not the right way I go back or do you once again, create your own path so you’re somewhere in their vicinity?
Jo Na Williams [16:24]
I think that what it is for me is is that I have to check with myself first. So I’m just internally so if you know if everybody else is going you know left and it feels like I should go left I check in myself then I’ll then I’ll go left but it feels like nope, just because everybody else is doing that. That’s not what I need to be doing. I need to go right then that’s what I will do. So it’s it’s less about rebelling against them but more like checking in with myself and listening to myself.
David Ralph [16:57]
What was your was your mom, so a rebel I love that phrase, a rebel heart as well, because being in the sort of Motown environment in Detroit, which was, you know, very industrial, but then there was this creative power as well to be in the forefront of that as your mother wasn’t as involved with those creative people. Did she have a rebel heart she was she’s somebody that would do our own thing was that where your inspiration come from?
Jo Na Williams [17:22]
My mom is definitely has a rebel heart. But I don’t know if I necessarily learned that from her. I think that I did. I did learn how to be an individual from her just in terms of learning how to be confident in my own voice and pay attention to who who I really am and what it is that I really want to do in the world. But I think that my mom, she was such she was the way that she worked in the industry was independent because she was a record promoter. And so she was working with these different companies and she would have to be on the road and she was travelling a lot and she was going to different radio stations and she had to be really social, and do all of those things. And I’m quite the opposite of her in that regard. Like, I’m not I’m pretty introverted. But at the same time, you know, introverts are really great on stage, and they have a big presence and things like that. And I think that, um, some of the qualities that my mom possesses, I think that I definitely have as well. But I think that she really just instilled in me a sense of individuality, versus just, you know, rebelling, um, so to speak. And I think that, you know, she just, she was, she was always just somebody who, who differently wanted to just, you know, do her thing the way she wanted to do it, you know, she wasn’t somebody that you know, would just go along with the crowd all the time either. So,
David Ralph [18:50]
so So do you think that you wouldn’t have got into the music industry without your mom or was that a given once you started singing and people sort of spotted you when it was going
Jo Na Williams [19:01]
I think that, um, I think that probably I wouldn’t have gone into the industry if it wasn’t for my mother because music was such a huge, huge, huge part of our life in our childhood. I mean, my mom had thousands of records, because she was a record promoter. So I mean, we had crates and crates and crates and crates of records in our apartment. And, you know, you know, we I was, grew up on funk, and Prince and Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan and all of these, you know, incredible performers at the time that were a part of that error, Earth Wind and Fire and things like that. And so music was such a huge part of my my life just with her and just, you know, just how we how we grew up, you know, it was it was the way we celebrated. It was the way that we connected in my family. And so it was just something that I that I naturally loved from being a child. So I think that I but I wouldn’t have had that love if it hadn’t been such a huge part of my childhood. I don’t think you know, there’s some People that don’t grow up with music in their life. And you know, and they and they, they don’t necessarily cultivate that kind of relationship with music that would make them want to pursue it in a career sense. So for me, I think that being being in a house with music all around and I came from a really big family and it was just such a huge part of our lives. I think that it was pretty destined to help us kind of try to pursue it in some type of way.
David Ralph [20:27]
Well, is it glamorous? Well, isn’t it it seems glamorous. Now I speak to many artists who are on the road or they’ve been on the road and they say it’s brutal, it’s absolutely brutal and unless you really got that tough skin, you are going to be spit out and and you’re not going to survive. Now you are a lovely looking lady. Um, do you have that tough skin though Did you have tough skin man is really like the rhino. Hi, but will criticism will just bounce off.
Jo Na Williams [20:58]
I think that i think that i had been developed it a lot more since I’ve been in New York really because and since I become full time in my business, I think that you kind of have to develop it. And being an attorney as well. It’s like you’re coming up against so many different obstacles and barriers. And, you know, there, you know, my clients deal with so much on social media and things like that. And I think that I have become a bit desensitised to it. But I think that, you know, I’m just naturally I’m a very sensitive human. So it took me a while to emotionally mature to the place where I could develop that type of skin and be able to come up against that but you know, but I also I think that that also comes with confidence. It comes with believing in yourself and knowing what you’re meant to do in the world and what you want to do and going after it and having the you know, the confidence and then being able to succeed at what you’re doing. I think that all of those things, build up on your confidence and allow you to You be able to eventually kind of shield yourself from the haters, so to speak. So if they’re saying stuff about you, it doesn’t really matter what they’re saying more so than it matters how you feel about yourself. So I think that that’s kind of the path that I took. But again, it wasn’t, it wasn’t a straight line, even to confidence.
David Ralph [22:20]
Nothing is a straight line. And that’s one of the messages that we get out on the show. It’s a squiggly career. And no matter if you look at somebody that’s an overnight success, you know, they’re not going to be an overnight success. It’s been 10 years getting to that point, and you just haven’t seen it until you finally see them. And so it’s fascinating to me with yourself, but you say that you’re an introvert and you’re very sensitive, but in many ways to be sort of illegal a music person, you put yourself into the too harsh areas, haven’t you really where criticism and and conflict is just everyday Does that surprise you, but somebody with your characteristics as you’re saying, can survive and not just survive can flourish in that world.
Jo Na Williams [23:06]
I think that, um, yeah, because the thing is, is being an artist, you have to be a little bit sensitive, I think. And even though I’m not, I’m no longer a vocalist, and I don’t perform in that regard. I think that that piece of me, that creative side of me that that attach, that ability to attach to my own feelings and experiences, I think is something that’s always going to be within me. But I think that, like I said, moving to move into New York and working in the music industry in the kind of capacity that I do, and working in entertainment and entrepreneurship in the way that I do. I’ve just, I’ve been able to kind of understand where that stuff comes from understand how a lot of times people are spitting venom at you, because they really feel bad about themselves. And once you kind of know that and you think about that, and you see that then it kind of allows you to build a shield emotionally from it, you understand, okay, that’s their experience, but it doesn’t, you don’t have to take that in and making your reality. And so for me, just being able to be really connected to what I do and being able to be connected to the way that I serve, has allowed me to kind of build a thicker skin against what happens and then also being in the, in the role of being an advocate, because I have to be tough when it comes to dealing with people in you know, the industry and dealing and entrepreneurship for my clients. So I can’t run away and you know, and the covers over my head, I have to stand firm for them and what it is that they are, are doing and what they’re putting out in the world and why they are who they are. So, you know that piece of me that mama bear kind of advocate piece of me kind of comes out when I’m in that in that role and it allows me to be able to stand firm for the And for myself, so, I think that, you know, there’s so many different things that kind of contribute to your confidence along the way. But I do think that, you know, my role in what it is that I do in my world as an entrepreneur, and also being able to, you know, be desensitised from this stuff. Because of that Rural Health has allowed me to really understand where it comes from, and then being spiritually connected to myself and understanding that, you know, people people spit venom and they say horrible things and things like that, because they really don’t feel very good about themselves. And once you know that, you’re just kind of like, that’s your step that has nothing to do with me.
Unknown Speaker [25:38]
You say that though,
David Ralph [25:39]
and I agree with you on a certain point, but there must be you know, did you ever feel like having a little weep or just kind of going, I’ll just shut up and do you do you ever sort of feel like fighting back because that that calmness, that acceptance, but it’s very junk that they’re throwing at you? That’s got to be difficult to deal with. Day in, day out? Surely.
Jo Na Williams [26:01]
Well the thing is that I don’t deal with the day in and day out but but when I do deal with it, I’m more concerned about the protecting my clients legally than I am about any of the venom that’s being spit on the internet. So for me, as long as it’s not, you know, drawing a line into slander or libel, or as long as there isn’t something that’s coming out that could potentially damage their, their brand in terms of somebody stealing their content online or stealing their, you know, identity or their name or things like that. That’s when you know, that’s so I can kind of look at what’s just junk on the internet and what’s actually something that could harm my clients. And thankfully, for me, I haven’t experienced a bunch of horrible things happening to me, but I also know that being in the music industry and being in the entertainment and being in it Entrepreneurship world, because the higher up you get, and the bigger your brand gets, the more you’re going to get that stuff just as much as you get the amazing praise, you’re going to get that other stuff. So you really just got to decide, okay, where am I going to focus my attention? Is this something that I’m going to focus my attention on and allow it to destroy me? Or am I going to focus my attention on all the people that I want to serve and everybody that I want to help and, and how I want to be in the world and you get to make that choice. You get to make that choice every single day? Who am I going to be in the world and you’re either going to be the person that’s screaming back at those people on the internet, or you’re going to choose to be the version of yourself that you believe in, and that might be standing firm in who you are in what you’re doing and not letting all of that stuff kind of get into your system.
David Ralph [27:48]
brilliantly. Well said, Let’s play some words that really emphasise what we’re talking about here. And it’s going to take us on to our next stage now conversation. This is Jim Carrey.
Jim Carrey [27:57]
My father could have been a great comedian, but he He didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father,
Unknown Speaker [28:17]
not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love. I love that speech. Listen to it.
Unknown Speaker [28:27]
That doesn’t sound great.
David Ralph [28:29]
Yeah, it isn’t something that the world needs more well, that that you can find that doing something that you don’t like, so why don’t you just take a chance? Why just give it a go?
Jo Na Williams [28:41]
Absolutely. And I feel as though you know, I’ve noticed that some of our some of our, the great, the greatest people of our time are now passing away. And I just started thinking about my own mortality. And I’m like, wow, I’m not here forever. You know, when you’re younger, you don’t think about mortality. Really you just kind of think I have so much life ahead of me and you know, and I’m going to be, you know, doing all of these amazing things and you’re not really thinking about the other side of it that like, Hey, you know what this life is not promised. So to me I just feel like it’s so important for you to just go after what it is that you really truly want in life because you know, you’re not going to be here forever and you know, how horrible will they be? If you were to die and then real and before you die realise that you never went after your dream you never took that chance you never took that risk. You know, it’s it’s it’s a sad life to live in my opinion. And so I would rather jump and risk it and potentially failed and never try.
David Ralph [29:45]
Now the key thing for you though, that you had a dream you you will stay late nights in the studio, you were writing lyrics and you were recording vocals and you were waiting for your moment. That was your dream and it was going to happen from the the young get onwards there was no fantasy It was just total believe it was going to happen when you suddenly realise it wasn’t? When did you change to a new dream? Because now I think if I asked you the question, Is this where you should be in life? You’re gonna say yes on you.
Jo Na Williams [30:14]
Yeah, of course I am. Absolutely,
David Ralph [30:16]
absolutely. So you’ve now got a new dream, and it’s the right dream. And so how did you feel at that time when you realise that actually your energies had moved you to a position that wasn’t where you want it to be? And it was time to pivot and change direction? Because the listeners out there the people in their cubicles, the people that have got a dream, by as we said earlier, they like to think that it’s going to go from A to B to C to D. But you’re appointing question, but it hasn’t. So do you look at that as a point of, you know, an apprenticeship? Do you look at that as Yes, it was part of me getting to my ultimate dream, although I couldn’t see it at that time.
Jo Na Williams [30:55]
Yes, absolutely. And I feel as though you know, when you when you look At what it is that your dream is, for me, the dream My dream was right at the time, like the dream that I had at the time that I had it the desire and the decision that I made when I was younger. That was what I was supposed to have at that time. And I think that a lot of people don’t understand that you’re who you are, is going to evolve, who you are at, you know, to is not the same person you’re going to be at 30 you change you evolve, you grow, and in an incense, your dreams, grow your decisions, your decisions, my anchor, how it is that you choose to go about that dream or what it is that you do in your life, you know, it might shift and change as you learn new things about the world. And so, I think that, you know, there, I think that a lot of people don’t realise that you should have an ability to expand what it is that you are dreaming about like, Don’t be so narrowly focused that you’re like, it’s going to be this or nothing. Like allow yourself to explore who it is that you are and allow yourself to grow and evolve, and then see how that kind of dictates how you shift and change your dream. And for me, it happened that that I had one dream and my, my ultimate dream actually was just to be a background vocalist for Usher. Like, that’s what I wanted at the time, when I was, you know, when I was 17, and I was doing all of that work. And and now I realised, wow, like, My dream was so small, and who I am, who I am and what it is that I’m doing now could never fit into the dream that I had then nor would I have been able to actually access the incredible woman that I am now had I never gone through those experiences, so allowing the universe to just go Me and at the same time allowing myself to have some expanded, you know, awareness of what it is that I wanted to become and how I wanted to move through the world, I think is what ended up allowing me to evolve into the person that I am today and see the dreams that I have now. And who knows, when I get older, I might have a different dream, it might be completely changed. I don’t think that Oprah started off with the exact dream of who it is that she is right now.
David Ralph [33:30]
Well, we’re gonna play Oprah in a moment because she is the key point and so many people reference her just from where she came to where she is now. And I think the dream where most successful people is almost Me, me me to a certain point and then when they achieve its uuu and I start giving back and that’s when real success comes. So in the early stage, it is about what can you gain I want a career. I want a nice house. I want to love the wider husband or whatever. It’s very much sort of taking, but the dreams do get bigger and bigger and bigger and they become self fulfilling the dreams are actually you pushing them back into the world and it seems a natural position to get to a point where you actually go Enough is enough. What can I give back and you whether you’re there now is not going to be long because I can just hear that passion in you. But you are somebody but the dream is going to expand to a global stage. And it’s going to be helping people on a wider sense more than what you actually doing now, can you feel about yourself?
Jo Na Williams [34:32]
Oh, absolutely. And it’s and it’s, and it’s something that I’ve always had in me because my dream has never really been about me, me, me. I never was like, Oh, I want to be rich and have the fancy cars and all of that. I always wanted to change the world and help the world. Like even being a background vocalist. Like I wanted to do that because I wanted to lend my voice to the world. So it was it’s always been about that and for me, I can definitely feel especially lately. That, who I am. And what I’m going to do in the world is going to be so big, like I feel it. And so I’m just kind of going down the path. And who knows, I’m going to, you know, maybe make some wrong turns along the way. But I know that it’s going to happen
David Ralph [35:16]
that doesn’t excite you that feeling because I’m doing this show when I started it, it was just to do the show. And when I got to about 150 episodes, and things started coming my way, and I realised as we were saying earlier, but dream of starting the show was just like a key to a door. And once I’ve opened up that door, main, you’ve got options. And that belief, that feeling that comes when you actually think Wow, it’s almost like I’m, I’m a vehicle to something bigger. It just makes you smile, even though in many ways it’s terrifying because it seems too big to actually take on. Did you feel excitement?
Jo Na Williams [35:54]
Yes, I do. And let me tell you there, there was a quote that I saw The other the other day that was actually from Oberyn it and it said, like create it create the biggest, you know, most grandest version of yourself in your mind because what you believe you become. And I was like, I don’t even know what that looks like. I don’t know what the biggest grandest version of myself is, you know, and then I started to question I’m like, wow, am I thinking? Am I thinking smaller? You know, should I be thinking even bigger than what it is that that I have? And all I can say to that is that, you know, I think that if you’re doing what you love, and you’re committed to that, and you know, you are continuously committed to evolving and growing and committed to service in those types of things, there’s nothing that can’t happen for you, like everything is possible from that point. And so it doesn’t surprise me that your show ended up has ended up as successful. Well as it has, because that’s where that’s where it starts, it starts off with this vision, and this commitment and this consistency, and all of those things. And as that happens, then, you know, you start to gain momentum and people start to, you know, want to know more about what you’re doing, and they start to reach out and things like that. And I think that for every entrepreneur that I know, that’s been the case, as long as they stay committed, including myself, I mean, I’m, you know, very shortly I’m going to be speaking at NYU, and speaking to some, you know, young developing artists, and that was something that wasn’t even on my radar, but it was like, Whoa, you know, I’m getting an opportunity to speak at one of the best institutions in the United States, and, you know, different kinds of opportunities, like being on Marie TV. I didn’t plan for that. That was a part of my plan. Like, I want to be on Marie TV, but when they call it You better believe I answered, and I’m going you and I did it, you know, but It was what these are the opportunities that kind of come about as you are authentically putting yourself out in the world. And you’re staying committed to your vision. And you’re you know, you’re being committed to doing something greater in life than just serving yourself. That’s what ends up happening.
David Ralph [38:15]
The brilliant thing about UVO is you are you are like the Yes, lady, you can see but you’ve got so much competence. And that’s obviously because you have been in training since a very small girl, you had that belief as a very small girl, that things were going to go your way. So now you’re at this point, and these opportunities are coming to you. A lot of people would go, No, no, I don’t fancy doing bad. where you are going. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. And each time you’re stepping out of your comfort zone and you’re expanding, you are becoming bigger. Now I saw a speech and it really struck me how we are as humans. We are the only sort of animal on earth that keeps ourselves small and there was this professor and he said if you if you plant a tree in the ground battery is going to grow to the biggest version but actually could grow too. If you put a cheetah on the ground, that Cheetah is going to run the fastest it can possibly run. If you put a human on there, it’s going to keep itself small more often, but not and only very few people will grow to their full potential. Now you have kind of separate those anchors, somehow you you are somebody but even in a show, I can hear but you are expanding. If anyone’s out there listening to this, you play this more often than not you play this on a daily basis because you can hear how somebody has got total belief in themselves. And they’ve got that ability to say yes, and expand. And that’s exciting, isn’t it when you hear that?
Jo Na Williams [39:40]
It is it is and you know, and the thing is, is that I will say that it like I said earlier, it was competence that was built over time, you know, because the more risk you take, and you know the more jumps you take and things start to work out then you start to have more trust in yourself and your abilities and your in more faith in who you are and You know, what you want to do in this world. And so I think that just for all of the listeners out there, like, you know, don’t don’t think that you have to be born with a certain set of confidence. I wasn’t born with it. I was born with, you know, determination. And that was something that I’ve always had. I’ve always wanted, you know, to go, you know, and to do into and to just be, that’s what I wanted, but I wasn’t born with the confidence always to do everything. I just didn’t pay attention to it. It was kind of like that, that saying, like, feel the fear, but do it anyway, that’s always been me. Like, I was like, I am scared out of my mind. I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I’m just gonna jump and hopefully it’ll work out you know, and, and that’s been just my own experience and the more it grew out, the more confidence I grew and said, okay, you know, what, I can trust myself. And I think that the difference between humans and you know, and cheetahs and and you know and other types of species out in the world is is that that ability right? They’re like, they like, they have this, this trust in themselves. And they’re not afraid to take these risks, and they’re not afraid to expand and to grow. And I think that, as humans, we, I think we, you know, children kind of have that they have this, like, they just want to enjoy life, they jump, they, you know, they fall and they do all of these things, they don’t think about it. And I think that after a while, when you grow and you get older, you get conditioned, you know, to to, to put limitations on yourself. But if you can access that piece of yourself, you know that that has that because we all have it if you could just if you could access it, then you’ll be able to go to greater heights than you ever thought were possible. And I think that that all comes from you just allowing yourself to take the risk. And you know what, if you fall, what’s the worst that can happen? You fail, that’s it. Just get up and brush yourself up. It’s just like when you see you know, babies you know trying to walk it’s like you pick them up. You know, they take a couple steps they fall, they might cry, they might scrape themselves a little bit, but they get up and they try again. And I think that that’s, you know, what we all need to access as humans to even just feel alive. I
David Ralph [42:12]
agree totally. But I think the problem that people have, and we’re going to play open now, but she says it quite well that people are frightened of making a decision, but moves them forward, because I think it’s got to be the right decision. They don’t see it as a stepping stone towards something. So this is what I opuses
Unknown Speaker [42:31]
the way through the challenge is to get still and ask yourself, what is the next right move? not think about, Oh, I got all of this stuff. What is the next right move? And then from that space, make the next right move, and the next right move and not to be overwhelmed by it because, you know, your life is bigger than that one moment. You know, you’re not defined by what somebody says is a failure for you. Because failure is just there to point you in a different direction,
Unknown Speaker [43:03]
spawn, but do you think?
Jo Na Williams [43:06]
Oh my god, yes, it’s, it was funny because I almost forgot that I was here.
I was so engrossed in what she was saying, but it’s, it’s so true. It’s like in what she’s really saying is just listen to yourself, listen to your inner guide, get steel and listen to who you are and don’t worry about what anybody else is going to say is your right move or your failure. It’s really just about you know, accessing that place in yourself and deciding for yourself what you’re going to do. And I think that, you know, somewhere along the way we lose trust in our ability to access the right move for us in ourselves. I think that so often that’s what happens with with with humans and so, you know, it really just sounds to me like that’s what she’s saying is like, you know what, just get still and listen to your own inner guide and then you will Make the right direction, you will take the right direction in the right step. And if you fail, that’s actually a good thing. Because that failure is actually going to teach you a lesson. Like if you listen to yourself and you took a direction and you and you fell, then obviously that was something that needed to happen in order for you to take the next step. And that’s what happened to me.
David Ralph [44:21]
Well, I think it happens to so many people don’t know. And for me, the key words that she says is listen to your quiet voice. And more often than not, we don’t allow that quiet voice to come through because we’re so busy. And we’re driving along and we’re listening to Destiny’s Child and everything sort of noisy and we’ve got our mobile phones texting, I have all my greatest decision making time in the shower, and I stand in the shower, and for about five, I’m being very open here. Five minutes, I wash and five minutes, I just stand there and I let the water go over me and more often than not in that five minutes. Bang. An idea comes into my head and I literally Jump out, and I sort of town myself and I get to work. And then literally always the best ideas that I have. And why is that coming through? Because I’m allowing the quiet voice that the trust the intuition, that the gap to really lead me on to the next day. And we talked about the body’s compass, basically. So if you’re going, Yeah, that sounds good, then it’s wrong. If you’re going, Oh, hang on, that’s a bit scary. That is where you should be going because that is actually pushing you out of your comfort zone and it’s helping you get bigger do you do you feel that as well?
Jo Na Williams [45:34]
I agree. I agree. And I think that one of my favourite quotes is by Joseph Campbell, which is, you know, the cave you’re afraid to enter holds the treasure that you seek. And so that is what you’re talking about in terms of like, you know, stepping out of your comfort zone and just going to that, that next place and, you know, I my best ideas come in the shower too, and I feel like this is just moving meditation, really, you know, you’re just being really quiet and You know, you’re connecting with nature because you’re connecting with water, and you’re just allowing, you know, allowing yourself to be quiet. And I think unless you’re singing in the shower, which I sometimes do, too, but
David Ralph [46:13]
what’s your singing? What’s, what’s your shower? So
Unknown Speaker [46:18]
whatever is going on in my head, like right now, Iggy Azalea fancy is going through my head. So it’s like, probably wouldn’t be the song that I would say
David Ralph [46:29]
Frank Sinatra and stuff I built them out in the shower. I do.
Unknown Speaker [46:33]
Jo Na Williams [46:34]
Somebody really just depends, but I mean, for so many people, their best ideas come in the shower. Why? Cuz it really is moving meditation. That’s exactly what it is. And so it doesn’t surprise me and, and honestly, I do feel like, you know, you need to take the time to listen to that to that inner voice, that inner quiet and I think that one of the things that I remember Warren Buffett saying is is that that’s the best. That’s the best skill that is CR and not your printer can have his connection to their intuition. And, you know, this is coming from one of the wealthiest people in the world, you know, and he’s like, you know, it’s not about the facts and the figures than the and you know, and the data, it’s really about listening to your own inner voice. And that’s where you’re going to, you know, access the best choices and the best decisions for yourself. And so, you know, even if it feels scary, you know, you’re that quiet voice that you’re talking about that inner voice that you’re talking about. That is the thing that’s going to guide you to the next right decision in the place that you need to go. And you know, and as you do that, you develop a muscle, you develop a strength with that voice, and you develop a trust in that voice. And you kind of see it unfold, but there’s this component that people don’t have, or that they tend to silence in themselves and that’s having faith, like, trusting that voice and having faith it whatever happens is going to work out. It’s going to work out the way that is so You
David Ralph [48:01]
do you know you’ve nailed the theme of the show absolutely perfectly. I’m gonna I’m gonna play the last beat on the show. This is where we got the phrase Join Up Dots from and this is Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [48:13]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [48:48]
I don’t even have to say whether that means anything to you that is that that could be tattooed on your arm couldn’t it?
Unknown Speaker [48:55]
Pretty much. I’m like that’s exactly my life story right? thumbed it up in that nice little clip. So, yes.
David Ralph [49:04]
And is it gut intuition? Is it belief? Is it competence? What what makes you have the ability to go forward into those areas about hold so many people back?
Jo Na Williams [49:17]
I think that really, um, it starts with me just allowing myself to think of what the worst possible thing that could happen and just, it’s almost like ripping off a band aid and just saying, Okay, if I take this particular risk, what’s the worst thing that can happen? Okay, I’m going to fall or Okay, somebody might not like what I have to say. I mean, that’s it. I mean, like, unless I’m jumping out of a plane or something like that, I’m not gonna die. And that’s, you know, so you know, if that’s if that’s all that that’s the worst thing that can happen, hey, it’s not so bad. So that’s kind of where my thoughts kind of go when I have to make a really, really big decision. And I’ve also gotten really comfortable with knowing that sometimes you’re going to, you’re going to lose, you know, that’s just a part of it. There’s nobody on the planet that, you know from from, you know, an Olympic athlete to, you know, billionaire entrepreneur that hasn’t failed. So you’re not, you’re not immune to that your it’s going to happen at some point, there’s something that you’re not going to be able to access. And it’s all perfectly pulled together as a part of your path. And knowing that and trusting that, for me anyway is what gives me the assurance to take risks, like hey, you know, what everything is working out for me the way that it’s supposed to. And as long as I stay committed to my purpose, and I stay committed to you know, being consistent and putting my voice out there and doing what I need to do it in my life, to make a difference. It’s gonna work out and just an feeling that and knowing that is what allows me to just keep going and I’m not saying that it’s never escaped Absolutely a scary I have to take a risk, you know, in the next two days and I’m sitting up here like how is this gonna happen? I don’t know. But and being an entrepreneur that’s that’s what happens as well you’re constantly challenged you’re challenging yourself to grow and expand and and, and and move in directions where you haven’t before but again that’s what makes life so amazing and exciting and and allows you to kind of lean into the adventure of life is allowing yourself to have those those moments so
David Ralph [51:33]
so so do you have a big dot i literally asked this question every day but do you have a big dot that when you look back on those that Join Up Dots timeline that you’ve been on? You can go Yeah, yeah, that was it. That was the moment when I started to find my feet
Jo Na Williams [51:50]
you know, yeah, there. There. There were a couple of dots that happened along my path that that I can reference one being the one that you spoke about, which was, you know, me not being credited and compensated and literally hearing my voice come out of the radio and and no one knows it is me or hearing my lyrics come out of some other artists. I mean, those were definitely moments. But I think that a big big moment for me was when I was at a law firm, an entertainment litigation firm, and I wanted to I wanted to come on and be, you know, one of the counsel like, of counsel, and, you know, I was sitting in the office and I was talking to the, the guy who I was working for at the time and mind you, you know, I was coming in before him and leaving after him like I was, I was like, constantly constantly working. I was even with this guy on Valentine’s Day. I was constantly, you know, they’re constantly proving myself And, you know, doing all the things that I thought that, you know that a good associate would do at the time. And, you know, and I was doing it for, you know, no money and wanting to join up with, with the firm. And he basically said that for all of my efforts, that number one, he wasn’t going to pay me. And if I wanted to be of counsel, that was fine. But he wasn’t going to provide me any insurance. He wasn’t even going to give me business cards. He was like, you can go out and get business for me. But, but I’m not gonna do any of that stuff. And, you know, I sat there and I was like, This is total crap, you know, my butt off for this guy, and he won’t even spend $10 and get me a set of business cards and I’m going out and getting business for him. You know, and it just, it was really like that moment where I was like, screw this, you know, like, I’m better than this. I have more to offer the world than then being you No then then being, you know, opinion in this guy’s world. So I just I left I was like, you know, screw this and then what happened is is that I had so many offers from other firms that were like, Hey, you know, we see you’re a go getter we see you’re extremely smart, you know, we see what you’re doing, we want you to join up with our firm and help us and I was like, Okay, you know what if I have all of these offers coming at me, they are clearly seeing something in me that I need to see in myself. And that’s when I started my firm.
David Ralph [54:31]
And this is, I suppose the last question before we send you back in time on the Sermon on the mic is, do you really need to have a black.to move on? Easy the dark moments that really turn the tide and make you find your path in life? Do you think?
Jo Na Williams [54:49]
Oh, wow, that’s a really good question. I think that just our nature, we tend to focus our energy and mindspace more on the dark. That’s the We do on the other dots. So I think that it probably is necessary at some point in your life to have one of those moments and also understand, it also helps you to understand that there’s a, there’s an ebb and flow to life, you know, they’re there. And this is always going, you’re always going to have black black dots along your path. So you might as well get used to it. And so I think that it is important to have to really pay attention to those moments and look for the clues in those black dark moments that will kind of lead you to what it is that you ultimately are going to be doing in your life.
David Ralph [55:36]
I agree with her. I think he’s the black dots that are the winners. And when when you in a position and you think our face is rubbish, I should be doing better than that. Look at yourself and think Yeah, I should be doing better than that. And then why aren’t you doing better than that? And they’re the ones which literally will show you your power, that difficult to get through when you’re in them. And you might be sitting in the pub going, our life is terrible, life is rubbish, whatever. But when you look back on it You think thank God for the black dots? Because that’s the one when I changed direction?
Jo Na Williams [56:05]
Absolutely, absolutely. And I’ll tell you that those black dots in my life were definitely the moments where I said, Okay, it’s time it’s time to make to choose a different, you know, a different path or do something differently and it totally revolutionised the way that I live my life. And it continues to
David Ralph [56:23]
see only way forward as is a best part. And this is the part of the show too. We called a sermon on the mic. When we send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the endzone, what advice would you give and what age would you choose? Well, we’re gonna find out because I’m gonna play the theme tune and when it fades, you’re up. This is the Sermon on the mic.
Jo Na Williams [57:08]
Okay, so, Johnny, you are 17 years old. And this really horrible thing just happened. But you know what? You are incredibly smart. You’re incredibly talented. And you can do whatever it is that you want to do. This moment does not define you. Nor does any dark moment ever define you. You are incredible, and a great human human being, and you’re doing amazing. And you’re going to continue to do amazing things in the world. You Mark my words, girl, you got it. So you don’t have to be so intense. Just relax a little bit. lean into the fact that this was a dark moment. But know that when you decide that you’re going to be great You’re going to be bigger and better than this moment you will be so relaxed, have fun. Enjoy your life while you can, and be committed to who you are and what you’ve been raised to be and where it is that you want to go. And don’t let anything get into your pack and don’t let anything stop you. You got this girl?
David Ralph [58:23]
Your on your grind Jo Na. That’s what they say, isn’t it?
Jo Na Williams [58:27]
Right? You’re gonna be on your grind and its great. You’re gonna be fine.
David Ralph [58:32]
I’m gonna be using that over time. How can our audience connect with you tonight?
Jo Na Williams [58:38]
Yes, absolutely. So you can go to my my page My website is Jay Williams law.com You can also access me on Instagram at at j Williams sq. My other company artists empowerment is also at artists empowerment at You can I’m pretty much all over the internet. So even if you just do a search for my name, you know Johnny Williams, you will, you will find me so yes. So Jay Williams, he is q on Instagram and on Twitter, and J. Williams law. com on the web. So you can find me in those ways.
David Ralph [59:19]
We will have over links on the show notes. Joe, thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining those dots. And please come back again when you have more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Jonah Williams, thank you so much.
Jo Na Williams [59:36]
Thank you so much for allowing me to be here and to speak to your audience. And also thank you for putting on this show because I know that you’re helping so many amazing people in the world go after their dreams. So thank you for this.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you were wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.