For example, the term became the name for their Latinx-owned & female-powered podcast currently in its 6th season.
“You know when something sticks with you?” Ayanna says. “That term really stuck with us.”
Ayanna tells me she jokingly used the term at an NYC Fashion Week networking event to describe all the things she and Delaila did professionally.
“Back in the day, everyone did everything,” she says.
The day after inventing the phrase, Ayanna messaged Delaila and suggested they do something with it. Both had been YouTubers before but had never done podcasting so they started brainstorming what they could do on the medium.
At the time, Ayanna and Delaila both had 9 to 5 jobs they described as toxic. Thinking about how they would vent and lean into each other for advice on navigating their professional challenges, they realized other people could probably relate.
“We thought we should share our experiences because, of course, that was not the end. We wanted to get out of these spaces. So, we decided to document our journey getting there,” Delaila says.
“Then Delaila starts coming up with some segments, we start getting logistics together and the next day, we booked a room [to record] and decided to start this podcast,” Ayanna tells me.
Filling A Gap
Ayanna and Delaila’s venture into podcasting is a significant part of a much larger story on the landscape of the medium and a gap that’s ripe to be filled.
In a 2022 study among monthly podcast listeners, 57% of multicultural women wished for more podcasts focused on women of color.
“You have to remember that you matter,” Ayanna says. “Your voice matters, everything you have to say matters. And people want to hear that.”
She encourages you to get into podcasting if it’s something you’re interested in.
Through sharing highs and mistakes on the Non-Corporate Girls podcast, Ayanna and Delaila have seen their impact.
Delaila recalls one listener sharing that the podcast had motivated her to go after a career change that she wanted but didn’t know how to go about before.
“She was just so encouraged,” Delaila says. “She didn’t think it was possible until she heard certain things that we introduced her to on the podcast. You just never know who is listening. Your information could be groundbreaking for them.”
Building A Podcast
When I ask Delaila and Ayanna to talk to me about growing their podcast from an idea to what it is now, they tell me they started by committing to five episodes.
“Delaila and I have had a ton of ideas over time. We talked about doing all these things and then they never happened. So, we discussed, whether we are going to be consistent with this. Because we didn’t want to invest if we were not. When we felt like there was something there, we decided to spend five weeks straight recording five episodes,” Ayanna says.
That small commitment helped them carve out time to make it happen and over the course of producing 5 episodes they were able to establish a process and find their rhythm.
With five episodes recorded, the girls decided to launch on SoundCloud.
“Our mission has always been there but the way we saw this panning out has changed so much,” Ayanna says.
For example, they started getting more specific about why this was the niche and community they chose to serve. They also created content ‘buckets’ (Creativity, Cultivation, Collaboration, and Change) to add more structure to the show and to help them communicate better about it.
In addition, they tweaked their schedule.
“The first year that we did our podcast, we recorded every week, which was the craziest thing you could ever do. You don’t have a team. You don’t know what you’re doing. We quickly learned it was not sustainable. So, from season two we’ve been biweekly. We found that works better for us,” Ayanna tells me.
Ayanna and Delaila were also honest about their biggest challenge—recording. If they could summarize their early experience recording in only a few words, they would describe it as ‘so bootstrapped’.
“We assumed what a podcast was when it came to recording. We didn’t have the bells and whistles in the beginning. We literally were recording off of our iPhones and Ayanna was editing straight from that,” Delaila says.
“But honestly, we learned a lot,” Ayanna adds.
Hearing Delaila and Ayanna talk about their journey reminds me of something I saw on their website. On their homepage, they describe one of their ethos as “We stick to the mentality that purpose is personal. Basically, build it your way.”
I love that they’ve built Non-Corporate Girls their way. Especially because a lot of people don’t pursue their ideas because they feel they need to follow the ‘right way’ to start.
From ‘bootstrapped’ beginnings to a show of over 100 episodes to date, Non-Corporate Girls is an example that starting however is good enough.
“We’ve recorded on corners; on people’s stoops!” Ayanna says.
Personally, I know that’s where some of the best conversations happen.
Delaila and Ayanna would love to get picked up by a network that can produce them but one thing they’re clear about is that they want to continue to own Non-Corporate Girls.
“Starting anything, especially something like this that revolves around content and telling your story and the amount of work we have put in, it’s a passionate thing. It’s like our baby. You hear so many people get their work stolen or they sell it away and we don’t want that. We have an archive of content and we really want to make sure that we’re staying true to that and it’s not getting watered down,” Ayanna says.
Delaila agrees, “We want to be the ones in charge of our narratives. Also, as any artist, we want ownership of our creativity and ideas. We just want the support where they can be magnified.”
In the meantime, Non-Corporate Girls is pushing forward by continuing to build out their resources. They have plans to roll out a hub this year and to bring on more experts to share more knowledge.
For those looking for a good podcast, Non-Corporate Girls encourages you to tune in to their show where they touch on everything from entrepreneurial self-care and self-confidence to navigating corporate environments and financial literacy. “Our podcast is one big library. Whether you fall into that nine to five, five to nine, or where they meet, our biggest mission is making sure we connect those resources for people,” Ayanna says. Some of their favorite episodes include The New Girl Blues and PTSD @ Work.
For brands listening, Delaila and Ayanna say, seek them out for partnerships. “There’s so much opportunity. We have a great segue into a community that many of you would like to speak to but sometimes miss the mark on how to get their attention and what it is that they need or are in search of, and we would love to partner,” Delaila says.
Finally, for those interested in starting a podcast the girls say, get going! “I would love to see more women and more women of color doing this. It doesn’t have to be on something specific like tech. There are a lot of gray areas that no one’s talking about. There’s a lot of different things that can be covered in this space,” Ayanna says.