Today we’d like to introduce you to Crystal Johnson and Kim Scott.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Kim and I have been friends for four years, we met at the church that we are currently attending. In the first year of our meeting, Kim, out of nowhere stated that she believed that she and I should work together on something. I am not going to lie, I looked at her and politely chuckled and didn’t really give it a second thought. It had nothing to do with her, but her comment had come during a season of my life where I was not interested in writing anything for or with anyone.
Fast forward two years, Crystal and I start being more intentional about connecting and building with one another. She comes to me one day and says, “Hey, I have an idea for a skit I want you to be a part of.” So, this time I don’t laugh her off, but instead tell her I am interested. She gives me the details, and what should have been maybe a two to five-minute skit turns into a five episodes Youtube series that we worked on for the summer. While our desire was for Youtube, God had other plans, and we never got to film it, but instead I had got the opportunity to pitch the show to a well-known producer in Hollywood, and the show is now in the works to be shopped around to networks.
Now we are in the Fall, and we saw this event on Eventbrite for More Juice Please: Cocktails and Convos, and we made a plan to go. So we are at this event surrounded by all these beautiful Black women, and we are networking, and just taking in the fact that these two women have their own space to be able to put on this dope event. There is a moment when the hosts are interviewing their guest, and Crystal and I are having an individual “God-moment”. She then turns to me and shows me her phone. I look at it, and I am legit shook. She notices my expression and she asks me if I am okay, and I tell her yeah, but I am just in awe of what she has shown me. On her phone she had written, “I’m too dope to be poor.” The reason why I was so stunned was because I was telling God, “I am too creative to be broke,” and I told Crystal that. We stood there for a moment, now both shook, and we were like this can’t wait, something special is happening in this moment. So, we leave the event and we are barely out the door when I turn to Crystal and ask her, “So what are we doing? There is something on this.” Those words weren’t just some ordinary words of encouragement to ourselves, it was something deeper. That is where the idea to start a podcast came from.
Yeah, we were trying to figure out names, and I was throwing different ideas out, and Kim stopped me and said, “No, we already have the title, we are combining what we each heard, the name is Too Dope to Be Broke”. We added the tagline, “For Millennials Trying to Get Their Ish Together”. That night we parted ways, but Kim calls me less than five minutes later and she is saying how we shouldn’t play around with this idea; we need to be serious with it. So we make this plan to charge up our credit cards to purchase equipment for the podcast, and to bring on our friend Jasmine Zephyer on as our producer. Here is the wild part, before the night is over, I have the first complete season mapped out for the podcast, that was a Friday. Sunday we speak to Jasmine and she is on board, and says, “This is crazy I was just gifted with some podcasting equipment, so if you were thinking about purchasing some, don’t.” That following Friday, we are recording our first episode of Too Dope to Be Broke in Kim’s kitchen.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
We wish that we could say that this has been a smooth road. While it seems like everything was coming together rather quickly for us, we definitely hit some major roadblocks. In the beginning, we did not have the money we needed to produce the things we knew we wanted. We all know it takes money to make money so we spent a lot of our money creating merch, marketing materials, etc. before we ever saw a profit or even broke even.
Another struggle has been staying motivated and riding the wave when it seems like no one is looking or engaging with what we were creating. We have a saying, “let’s build brick by brick.” We understand that it takes time and consistency to see something really reach its full potential, but we would be lying if we said it’s easy waiting for it to happen.
This year has been such a challenge as well. We finally started to see the fruit of our labor; our podcast was gaining more traction, we also got hired to write for two cable network shows, as well as having the opportunity to start working with this up and coming film studio. Then March happened! As we are all aware of the pandemic hit and every open door, we were getting ready to walk through closed in front of our faces. We were having weekly chats to keep each other motivated, but we felt so hopeless because everything we were working so hard for, those dreams so close to becoming a reality, just didn’t.
While it was a hard blow, we made the decision to make light of our current circumstances. We joke around and say right now it feels like life is pending, but we are still building despite how we may feel and what our current reality looks like. We know that these doors are going to eventually open, and we will be patiently working while we wait.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Too Dope To Be Broke – what should we know?
Too Dope To Be Broke was created for millennials who are way too creative to not have their pockets match all the creative ideas spinning in their minds. We strive to help them go on a journey to becoming the very best versions of themselves mentally, physically, spiritually, creatively, AND financially. We accomplish this not just through our podcast but through creative consulting, giving Dope Investments and creative events.
What we are most proud of as a company is being able to give out our first Dope Investment. A Dope Investment is money given to a creative with a dope idea for a business, book, podcast, or any creative venture, but found themselves not having the money needed to get some of the necessary things done. This money can be used for things like getting a website created, filing for a trademark, paying for a logo design, buying podcast equipment, etc. We were super excited about giving away our first one and can’t wait to continue to give even more investments away.
What sets us apart from others, we believe, is our transparency. We let our audience know that we are on this journey with them, we are learning as well. We don’t claim to have it all together or front about our humble beginnings. It’s our authenticity and humility that draws people in and because we never tried to pretend to be someone or something we are not, we have had great opportunities come our way.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Our faith for starters. Kim and I have made sure that what we are building is rooted in God. Another thing is we are honest with one another and we try our best to be a support system when the other is feeling weak. I truly believe why we are seeing the success we are seeing and getting invited to various tables is because we don’t put limitations on ourselves. Yes, we are realistic about our goals and our desires, but if we know that there is a way for us to make it happen on our own, or know someone who can help us get the job done, we move on it. I really learned that from Kim. She is such a go-getter and in order to rock with her, you can’t be lazy and you can’t get comfortable. I have adapted that same spirit, but I also bring the balance. I will quickly tell her, “Sis, add some finesse before you send that email”, or when I know we need to be patient or slow down, I am vocal about it. As cliché’ as it may sound, we are like each other’s ying and yang.
- Dope Investments: Seed Planter $50
- Dope Investments : Start Up $100
- Dope Investments: Level Up $250
- Dope Investments: Making of a Boss $500
- Dope Investments: Game Changer $1,000
- Address: 320 N E St, Ste: 302, San Bernardino, CA 92401
- Website: toodopetobebroke.net
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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