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Community Highlights: Meet Isha Naik and Dominique Golden of The Founders’ Roundtable

Today we’d like to introduce you to Isha Naik and Dominique Golden.  

Hi Isha and Dominique, so excited to have you on the platform. So, before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
We met at Wayne State University, but we never really had a chance to connect on a personal level until each of us had graduated. Our story began with a phone call in 2021 between two friends about the highs and lows of being a founder, our growth, and our tenacity, and we realized we wanted to address the loneliness that comes with being an entrepreneur. That’s when we began thinking about how to bring founders together to tell their stories. We knew that we didn’t want to glaze over the details of failure, sadness, and self-doubt. What started as us leaning on each other for support turned into weekly conversations on Clubhouse. These featured founders from all over the world, coming together to talk about the immensely overwhelming and unpredictable journey we were on. When we started getting requests to turn the sessions into recorded content, the two of us were hesitant because neither of us had imagined sharing our own recorded content online. With the influx of new media content coming in from millions of people globally during the pandemic, we thought we would give it a try. Now, we’re 14 episodes deep and are continuing to grow our presence across podcast streaming platforms and YouTube. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It has not been a smooth road, but it has been a great learning experience for both of us. In the beginning, we had to learn the difference between asking questions and weaving stories, and we realized that bringing depth out of our guests while having a conversation was a skill we needed to work on honing. We have become more comfortable diving into deeply personal stories with our guests, and the experience has led us to develop genuine relationships with fellow founders. As we became more confident, we realized that we were creating a community from scratch; it is a space that allows flawed, authentic storytelling. The stories featured on The Founders’ Roundtable are those of ordinary people from imperfect backgrounds, and these people have gone on to accomplish extraordinary things. We’ve also gotten to learn the different elements that go into media production, from techniques to improve sound quality and convey our brand message concisely to production software, engaging our audience, and more. We are far from perfect, and we are excited to continue learning. 

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
At TFR, we talk about all things innovation, impact, inspiration, and empowerment relating to the founder’s journey. Our discussions are led by experts and moderated by two Detroit-based founders, Dominique Golden and Isha Naik. 

If you had to, what characteristic of yours would you give the most credit to?
We still have a lot of growing to do, but so far, we’ve found that three key things have helped us keep going. The first is consistency. Once we set a schedule for our episode releases, we’ve done our very best to follow it, plan content weekly, and schedule editing/production time into our schedule regularly. The second is communication. Over time, we’ve put in the work to learn each other’s working styles, strengths, weaknesses, and more. This has allowed us to stay honest about where we want this to go and address where we need to focus our efforts. The third is our ability to be vulnerable with our guests, and this is something we wanted to make sure we did from day one. Connecting with others and making them feel comfortable enough to share personal stories has taught us so much about ourselves. We continue doing the internal work that allows us to be introspective and open up to our guests, allowing them to be their most authentic selves in return. We want our content to be as honest as possible, and we have had to work on ourselves to bring the best stories forward. 

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