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Life and Work with Tai Sawyer

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tai Sawyer.

Tai, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I began working in the urban planning industry six years ago after being hired on to my uncle’s company as a Senior Diversity Consultant. He has the largest African American owned planning firm in Chicago. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to consult on some of the city’s most high profile projects including the new construction of The McCormick Place’s Marriott Hotel and WinTrust Event Center, the CTA’s Red Line South Track Renewal Project, the Rosenwald and most recently, The Obama Presidential Center as their Diversity Consultants.

As a diversity consultant, my job is to make sure that minorities and women get a job and business opportunities on these major projects.

However, I’ve come to learn that that isn’t my only passion when it comes to helping people.

I understand the mindset it takes to go after opportunities that will improve your situation and as a blogger, I encourage improving your mindset by shifting your perspective and looking for opportunities to push yourself through self-reflection.

I’ve since created a prompted journal, The LOVE, YOU Journal, that has 365 questions that walk you through the process of developing a healthy relationship with your mind.

This is where I am today, pursuing my purpose of helping others pursue their own. It’s that simple really.

Has it been a smooth road?
No, it’s never a smooth road. On the professional side of things, the urban planning industry is political and still rather male-dominated. Many times, I’m the youngest person in the room. Sometimes, I’m one of a few women in the room. Oftentimes, I’ve one of a few minorities in the room. It’s a tight rope to balance.

Although I’ve been doing this for years now, there are sometimes where I won’t speak up in a meeting because I believe I still have a lot to learn… but I also know that in the six years that I’ve been doing diversity consulting, I’ve learned quite a few things. So, the balance is knowing when to speak up and knowing when to listen.

My advice for women who might find they are the “other” (i.e. only woman, youngest, minority, etc.) is that when you do speak up, use your full voice, say what you mean confidently, and don’t ramble. Rambling negates everything you’ve just said because rambling makes it seem like you don’t know what you’re talking about.

On the “purposeful” side of things, it can be tough putting yourself out there as this motivational social entrepreneur because “everyone” is one these days. The self-doubt can kick in that what you want to share may not be valuable to the people you want to help. The advice I give myself every day that any young woman can use is to keep going. Listen to your intuition. Progress isn’t always noticeable and those you are helping may not always let you know that you have given them something to encourage them to keep going themselves.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with The LOVE, YOU Journal – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
I just released The LOVE, YOU Journal on October 1st and it has been well-received, so I’m proud of that because the journal market is rather crowded.

Honestly, I’m most proud of that – of starting something, finishing it and then sharing it with the world. There have been many times where I’ve started something and didn’t complete it.

I’m known for being SUPER positive and annoyingly optimistic but I’m also a realistic straight-shooter.

I think… nah, scratch that… I KNOW what sets The LOVE, YOU Journal apart from other journals (mainly because I did my homework and researched the ones that are out there) is that the questions and prompts lead you to an end goal. This is not the journal to use for mindless brain-dumping. Each set of questions builds on from the previous set of questions.

The questions encourage you to honestly observe who you are and where you are in your life today so that you can make plans and set goals for who you want to become.

I’m an avid reader. I read a book a week. The questions in the journal are all inspired by the things I’ve learned from the books I’ve read. I pass that on to those who use the journal.

Are there any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve benefited from using?
Definitely some books in there. By the end of this year, I will have read over 50 books in one year. My favorites so far have been:
-Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris
-What I Know For Sure by Oprah
-Conversations With God by Neale Donald Walsch
-The 7 Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra
-The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
-Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyami (this doesn’t help me do better in life but it was fun to read to take my mind off of life lol)

Podcasts that I try to listen to are:
-Myleik Teele’s MyTaughtYou
-The Tim Ferris Show
-Rants and Randomness by Luvvie Ajayi (doesn’t help me “do better” in life but I laugh a lot and I guess that helps you become healthier)
-We Study Billionaires

Pricing:

  • The LOVE, YOU Journal is $27.99

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
photographer, Bryan Lamar

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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