We all know Courtney Sanders as the Think and Grow Chick but learn more about Courtney’s swagher and how she built a powerhouse personal development brand inspired by Sanders’s own financial struggles and life experiences.
How would you describe your swagher?
Oh wow, a mix of confidence and goofiness. (Laughs). I am not afraid to try new things or be silly. I know that can be an issue for a lot of people, especially women or that they are afraid to move forward because they fear how they are going to look, but I don’t really worry about any of that. I just worry about work out trumps failures and always seeing success, so I do what I got to do.
On building a brand of over 45 thousand followers and being one of the top millennial coaches
I did it by accident. I didn’t start out to be authentic per se, but really Think and Grow Chick- I built it for myself first, like it wasn’t a brand. It was like me documenting my journey to get my life back on track, so I had no choice but to be open, because I really wanted people to hold me accountable. So from there I kind of learned inadvertly as it was growing, that people were really resonating with my brand because it’s like “wow, I really watched you do this and this gives me inspiration myself.” Now being on the other side of the inspiration I can literally say that if you have any hopes of having an honest genuine connection with your audience, being authentic is mandatory, if you are worried about judgement and things like that- most people that judge you, don’t really participate, so they won’t continue watching your videos or participate in anything with your brand at all. So, they will go find someone else with whom they resonate more. Don’t think “oh, people are going to hate me”, because they are going to find somebody else, so don’t worry about them. The ones that do love your content are going to want you to be open and transparent, because they need someone that they can connect to. So, I think it is less about “oh, are people going to like me?” and more about “do I want this brand to actually be something?” and “do I want to actually serve somebody, because if I do then being honest and transparent is kind of like mandatory.” There’s no way around it.
What inspired your mixtape collaboration with Leah Smith (BET Music Matters alumna)?
I just love music. I think it is really cool. I love listening to- well I go back and forth, but I like certain types of music. I like listening to neo-soul, hip hop and R&B, and everything. So, I really like those kinds of instrumentals playing in the background when I do my work, but I also really love listening to audiobooks and podcasts, or anything that is going to keep me motivated, teach me something new, or really help me. Whether it is finances, personal development, or business I just really love learning while I am doing my work. Usually it is a battle of what I am going to listen to everyday. Every day, I’m like “oh, what I am going to listen to today? Will I finish that audiobook?” So, it is hard switching back and forth. As more of my audience asked me to create more podcasts, they were asking the same thing, like “oh we love listening to audiobooks and podcasts, and we like how you set up your podcasts and wish you would create more so that we could listen to them ongoing,” and I just got this idea of how cool would it be to have this sort of musical project and include my best tips. Because if my audience likes podcasts, they probably like music as much as I do as well, and it would be great if they could listen to this album and get really cool music to listen to along with personal development tips and things as well. So, I was like I wish someone else would come out with it, but I don’t think that anybody has, so I decided to come out with it myself. I decided to put it together and started to reach out to different artists. The one that we found, Leah, and I had listened to her work previously and thought that she has a beautiful voice, and I had saw her perform live. So, she was on my short list of people to contact, and her team was totally down. They loved the mission and everything, and we just got it going. We created the theme song and the mixtape, and that is what it was.