Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

Local Entrepreneur Partners with Epicenter to Host New Podcast For Women Entrepreneurs

Local entrepreneur Cynthia Daniels will serve as the co-host of a new Memphis-based podcast set to launch this month. Sponsored by Epicenter Memphis and powered by Kadzukian Network, the show will target local women entrepreneurs.

Grindset is the name of the new Memphis-based podcast, co-hosted by local entrepreneur Cynthia Daniels; but the name isn’t just fitting for the show that will target women entrepreneurs with a mindset to grind. The newly coined phrased, specific to the podcast, can also be used to describe Daniels. The Atlanta native, who migrated to Memphis less than ten years ago, has become a fixture in the young professionals’ social scene in the Bluff City. With several signature events under her belt including Memphis Black Restaurant Week and The Level Up Conference, Daniels has now partnered with EpiCenter to host the new podcast, set to launch Sept. 20.

We spoke with Daniels about Grindset and how her own grind as the founder of Cynthia Daniels and Co. will influence the content of the show.

Photo: Jo V Joventosh King

How did the partnership with Epicenter come about?

Epicenter is a great resource for local entrepreneurs and they’re always looking for ways to expand their reach. They reached out to me and told me that they loved my story…the fact that I went from an HR background into entrepreneurship. They asked me to audition for a new show they were thinking of starting. So I went in and did a mock interview and soon after we started working together.

You mentioned that they loved your story. How did your entrepreneurial journey begin?

My journey really started in 2012. I was working a full-time job in Memphis. I’d been here for about three years at the time, having moved from Atlanta. What I noticed was there were no events in Memphis that catered to my network. So I started creating mixers at different hotels. I would meet a lot of executives and CEOs through volunteering. As a result,  I would hold dinner parties where I would invite a CEO and about 30 people to have an intimate conversation with them. And after I hosted the first one, people would ask when I would be having the next one. I ended up creating Dinner with a CEO series. And that’s where the event planning bug started.

You didn’t immediately quit your job after your first event. When did you begin to make that transition into entrepreneurship?

Black Restaurant Week is really when I realized the impact that I was having in the city, but in my mind I was just thinking of it as something that I was doing for my community. Even though we brought in $80,000 in one week, I didn’t see it as a potential full-time job

It was when I did the 40 Under 40 Gala, in 2016 to recognize my peers. I created the gala because the other events that were happening in the city didn’t often reflect the young African-American demographic that we have. To my surprise, the event sold out in two weeks although I’d never planned a gala! That was the light bulb moment for me.

Since then, I’ve been doing a lot of social events, along with events catered towards entrepreneur and small business owners. I’ll be hosting the Level UP Conference this month, providing development opportunities for local professionals.

Who is the Grindset woman?

She’s the woman who sees a problem and wants to find a solution. It’s the woman who wants to create something and just needs help with the resources to get started.

Based on your experiences that span more than five years, do you think Memphis is a good place for entrepreneurs? 

There is so much opportunity to create what’s needed in Memphis. The community is embracing…giving off a small-town feel. Some people may get frustrated because they want the instant success, but it’s not supposed to be easy.

“There are two ways to look at Memphis. You have some people who think there are no opportunities. I look at Memphis like this: If there isn’t something, I can create it. “

-Cynthia Daniels, Chief Event Strategist at Cynthia Daniels & Co.

You have a co-host, Williams (W.D) Brack. What different perspectives do the two of you bring  to the podcast?

Williams has a financial background and an entrepreneurial spirit. He will be the financial guru on the show and be able to provide listeners with information on securing loans, and other financial aspects of starting a business. My role is to really talk to fellow female entrepreneurs and help tell their stories.

What can listeners expect from Grindset?

We will have real entrepreneurs who are talking about real problems and the mistakes they’ve made.  Our first show will feature Andrea Johnson from Bubble Bistro. She has mastered a global brand and is located on North Watkins. We are also talking to some other local entrepreneurs for future shows.

Besides providing women real stories from real entrepreneurs, what do you hope women take away from the show?

I want women to listen to the show and feel encouraged. They’ll hear from entrepreneurs who have made mistakes. I want them to see the beauty in figuring out their processes. And know that over time they’ll perfect their craft. We want the show to be a resource to help them not give up on their dreams and know that we’ll figure it out together.

Grindset will be available on iTunes, YouTube and major podcast networks, Sept. 20.

To follow Cynthia Daniels and her upcoming events, follow her on Facebook

To learn more about resources at Epicenter Memphis, visit their website