empowering young professionals of color through productivity

Name: Charlie Gilkey

Title: CEO and Founder | Best Selling Author | Blogger | Business Strategist

Contact: Twitter | 

Company: Productive Flourishing

What They Do: He spends about a third of his day on what he likes to call “Creative Mode”: writing, creating assets, recording a podcast (where he delivers his “medicine” to the world).  He is currently managing two different businesses and two different teams which he coordinates through Slack. He is also a business strategist with different clients who have different business opportunities and challenges (team building, marketing, branding, etc.) and he advises them on how to work through it.

Originally From: Fort Smith, AR

College: University of Central Arkansas — UCA at Conway, AR | University of Nebraska at Lincoln, NE (working PhD in Philosophy)

Field of Study: Social Philosophy

Recommended Books: The Dip by Seth Godin

Listen in to the interview:

A Few Notes From the Show:

  • He is writing a book based on his own professional experience with remote support named: “Remote Independent Work”.
  • Almost got a triple major in Philosophy, English and Natural Sciences.
  • Became an Army officer and got enlisted in the army at the age of 18.
  • A Social Philosopher is that person who deals with different issues that are happening in our society, with different ideas and philosophies and tries to come up with ways of understanding their dysfunction. It is also called “Social Political Philosophy” because it also linked to a lot of political theory.
  • During his senior year in college, he joined the Army National Guard.
  • While finishing his career, he came across with the issue that he could command troops, yet he couldn’t get his academic papers done. He started reading about his two different life styles as Army Officer and student, and he started writing about it and how he could apply it, and it became the genesis of his website: “Productive Flourishing”.
  • People started approaching him with business ideas and goals they had, because they didn’t know how to achieve those and since he was good at planning and strategy; others started to ask for his support (at that time he had no business training).
  • Started as “Productivity Coach” to later become “Business Coaching” and it has been growing since then organically.
  • We live in a “Project World” before known as “Career World: – where you worked for someone for 20 to 40 years to get a retirement and so forth. Nowadays, project world is about managing 3-5 year projects which can be: getting a degree, starting a business, taking on a new job, etc.
  • Charlie mentions that there is no future waiting for us to step in to and once this has been understood and we realize that everyday we are creating a future or new possibility, it’s like walking into the darkness but with a lamp.
  • As a creative person, he mentions that there are people who starts questioning themselves and they get stuck around that so they outshot their freedom.
  • *You cannot judge by an action, whether is an entrepreneur or intrepreneur.
  • Old Greek saying, “Never count a man happy until the end of his days.”
  • He defines intrepreneur as the person that sees values and provides possibilities within the organization or the job where they are working with and actively cultivates that within an employed structure
  • You may make miss-steps but you are not a miss-stepper.
  • Most of the businesses go through two types of disruption every 18 months. Internal disruption and external disruption.
  • For the young professionals, he advises that in this “project world” you have:
    1. Show up
    2. Put some points on the board by doing work that adds value to your organization
    3. Do your time
    4. Tell your story (that’s your job)
    5. Make the ask (see a new opportunity and are interested.  Ask)
  • *Make sure you expose your job curriculum, because managers look for people that can make their job easier.
  • The Army brought a lot of experiences that along the way has helped him and continues helping him to build his career.
  • One of the down sides of shifting to project world is Managers and Leaders are not being trained as they should be and are getting more things put on their plate and getting less resources.
  • He also wishes that he could have known more about being able to intuit the political lines and organizations that he has worked in.
  • The more you know about your boss and theirs, and you build alliances, the better you will succeed.
  • We even talk about Bloom’s Taxonomy
  • As unspoken wisdom, he recommends to spend as much time as possible on analysis, synthesis and evaluation because that’s what the hard work people aren’t doing.
  • His book in progress is named: “Start Finishing: How to Create Your Best Work and Thrive in the New World of Projects”.


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