Another month has come and gone and it’s time for a new installment of Chaotic Visions. In this series, I showcase amazing female entrepreneurs, their brands, and their roads to success.
This month is all about podcasting with the host of Dreams in Drive, Rana Campbell. From the Ivy Leaguses to over 200,000 downloads, Rana shares her story. Let’s take a behind-the-scenes look of her process from turning her passion into a brand. Enjoy the ride!
Who is Rana Campbell?
Rana is a Princeton University graduate. Throughout her time at Princeton she was determined to make her own experience. From her college days, she was always an abstract thinker.
Aside from a stellar academic background, Rana is obsessed with what she calls ‘fake modeling.’ If you check out her Instagram, you’ll instantly see that she does not just sit behind a mic building a brand such as Dreams in Drive. She shares her smile and energy through every photo. She’s also into YouTube, popular TV shows such as Scandal and Game of Thrones, plus she has a unique workout routine with Cakes and Heels sessions. For those that have no clue how that’s a workout, try dancing around with heels for over an hour.
What Is Dreams In Drive?
Dreams in Drive is a podcast that was launched in January 2016. The premise was to showcase creative and lifestyle entrepreneurs taking their dreams out of park and into drive. The podcast is currently streamed on iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, and Google Play. Rana recently broke a milestone with over 200,000 downloads. An amazing feat for a podcast that started little over a year ago. At the time of this interview she had 75 episodes, but she is currently gearing up for her 100th.
What makes Dreams in Drive unique is my perspective.
Crazy idea to create a podcast?
To think this whole adventure began at a line in Checkers in Newark, New Jersey. As a fellow Jersey native, Rana and I connected on the level of us both being Jersey girls, plus I’m quite familiar with Newark. Sidebar, my favorite food from Checkers are the FRIES!
Getting back to the Checkers drive-thru, Rana was driving out and she spotted a sign on a garage that said ‘No Parking. While she had thought of a podcast before, that sign got her wheels turning, pun intended. So the first name of Dreams in Drive was No Parking which had test episodes with the tagline ‘Put Your Dreams in Drive.’ Voila, a podcaster on the come up. Her number don’t lie either. She started with 100 downloads an episode over an approximate two week period versus now where she gets 22,000 downloads a month. Easy math, that’s about 5,500 downloads a week.
For a long time I was just a person interested in entrepreneurship that interviewed entrepreneurs.
How does Rana stay Organized?
Organizing is my jam. Realistically, I’m not always on top of things. I always like to ask people how they stay organized whether it’s all digital with a particular app of some sort or with my personal preference, pen and paper.
As for Rana she takes a hybrid approach by keeping her Google calendar loaded so she can stay on task with where she needs to be. As for keeping up with daily tasks, she likes writing things down and crossing them off.
Best Part of Being an Entrepreneur?
In creating this series I wanted to touch base with entrepreneurs, female entrepreneurs to be exact, whether they’re fully into their business or slowly but surely building their brands.
As an entrepreneur, Rana enjoys connecting and meeting interesting people and hearing their stories. Not only is she connecting with her interviewees, she connects with people that they tag. It’s a ripple effect. As a podcaster with as many episodes as she has under her belt, she’s interacted with plenty of people that some may deem to last a lifetime. She’s found her niche. She’s found her purpose. That’s the great thing about being an entrepreneur. To have the freedom and flexibility to live life your way and do what you love.
Top 3 Tips for a Budding Entrepreneur?
- Understand your audience.
- Research / Network
- Never lose sight of your why!
There are many times that we have ideas in our mind, yet we never act on them. Rana shared that in understanding your audience, you are finding your niche. Newsflash: you can’t please everyone. In researching and networking you are able to capitalize on that niche and your audience with people who are already in the realm you want to be in. No senses in reinventing the wheel when there are plenty of resources to guide you. With all that in mind, to keep yourself from burning out, never lose sight of your why.
Sacrifices Made as an Entrepreneur?
Like most entrepreneurs, Rana has had to give up a lot of her time. With so many episodes, you may wonder, how does she do it all? Easy, batch recording and editing. Well, maybe not so easy. Similar to how you may wonder how your favorite YouTuber puts out so many videos in rotation, they batch record. She records a few days throughout the week where she has enough content and she’s not scrambling for guests. She’s loaded up in advance each podcast is top notch.
I can stay to myself. It’s a sacrifice I’ve made just because I want to be consistent.
Since she hates working on the weekends, her weekdays are pretty busy. Her friends understand her ethics and her drive so it all works out.
Best Advice Received?
Jump and build your wings on the way down.
In an interview with Olori Swank in episode 20 of Dreams in Drive, Rana’s explained how this quote spoke to her. So many people are afraid to take that leap of faith and act on their passions. Do not be afraid of the fear of failure, the fear of falling. Just do it. Your wings will get stronger on the way down.
How does Rana define success?
Success is being in a place where you’re fully content and when you are fulfilled. It doesn’t have to be monetary. I am fulfilled and happy when I’m doing my podcast. Money doesn’t motivate me. The challenge for me is to focus on monetizing; put a value on the podcast and turn it into revenue. It’s helping me step out of my comfort zone.
Goals for 2017?
- Partnerships / Collaborations
- Bigger Guests ?
With any business that flourishes and when you really take a hold of your brand, as Dreams in Drive is an LLC, monetization is the obvious next step. In building partnerships and collaborating Rana’s reach will expand from listeners to interviewees. Her challenge is deciding whether not to go for bigger guests or stick with “regular” people. As for what kind of bigger guests, hint hint, celebrities!
Dreams in Drive in 5 – 10 years?
I hope that I’m doing in full-time in some capacity. Events, conferences. Working on it.