We had the good fortune of connecting with Tia Cole and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Tia, do you disagree with some advice that is more or less universally accepted?
People always say that it doesn’t matter what people think of you. I disagree. It absolutely matters what people think about you, but you can not be consumed by the worry of what other people think about you. If I could edit the phrase, I would say, it doesn’t matter what EVERYONE thinks about you, OR what the RIGHT people think about you matters. I say that because of the other phrase I disagree with (I’m giving you a bonus). People say who you know is important. I contend that “who knows you” is what is actually important. In my training and mentoring, I tell my people all the time that you need people in rooms you may not yet have access to saying your name (in positive ways). That is how many doors are opened and many opportunities are made available. And, in order for people to want to promote you, they must think highly of you. Too often, we use that line, “it doesn’t matter what people think” as an excuse to slack or make ill-advised decisions. While you should absolutely be yourself, and you have every right to do and be exactly what you want, we must remember that there are consequences, positive and negative, for our choices. So, I contend that you should work to build a name and brand for yourself based on who you are and what you value backed by clear actions and behaviors so that the “people that matter” can do their thing. Because, contrary to popular belief, no one gets anywhere completely alone.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
The Cole Lab is your development destination dedicated to developing people and programs. We focus primarily on coaching and training people, so they can reach their greatest potential as well as curriculum development and implementation. We work one-on-one, in small groups, and in large groups. What sets us apart is multi-fold, but it is certainly based on our holistic, experiential, individualized approach to service as well our our excellence and expertise. We are most proud of the success we have seen in the lives of those we serve. People trained by The Cole Lab have launched their own businesses and been promoted to bigger and better positions, and curriculum designed by The Cole Lab has been launched into schools and programs across the country! We are still a work in progress trying to keep up with all we are being afforded, and it has not been easy, but it is most certainly worth it. We are just focused on one step at a time building relationships, making sure the people we serve are happy and better for having worked with us. We are a solution-focused, growth-minded team, so when issues arise, we break them down, remember our values, and make a plan to move forward. Along the way, I have learned that I have to trust myself; I have to trust my team; I HAVE to be willing to delegate, and nothing will be “perfect”. I was born pre-mature, and my mom was told that I would be special needs, so she should just sit back and collect a check. She was told that I would not be able to go to school and learn like regular kids. Fortunately, my mom trusted God more than she trusted the doctors. As it turned out, I excelled at school. I graduated high school in the top of my class with a G.P.A. above 4,0. I earned a Bachelor’s Degree then a Master’s Degree both with high GPAs as a first-time college graduate in my family. I am an educator and a business owner. My mom did not give up on the promise that she knew was inside of me, and The Cole Lab is committed to nurturing and releasing the promise inside of you. We can get bogged down by the negatives, but, ultimately, we must strive for more, and The Cole Lab is here to help you get it!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Assuming, we are in the post COVID streets, we would definitely catch happy hour on W 7th in Fort Worth for 3 nights. We would do Mash’d for the Berry Good Lemonade and ANYTHING on the menu the first night. We would do Fireside Pies for the Grapefruit Rickey and ANYTHING on that menu. Then, we would lighten it up with Blue Sushi Sake Grill where I love the martinis, house margaritas, Super Asparagus, Hotel Cali, Crunchy LA, and Blue Balls. Some other things we have to do are: spend a day walking around Grapevine Mills, spend a day at at the Perot Museum in Dallas, and catch a comedy show at at the Arlington Improv. Other than that, I like to keep it simple and do whatever feels good at the time.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Yikes, there are so many people, entities, and things that have contributed to my success. I want to dedicate my shout out to two: Jeremiah Anderson and The Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce. Jeremiah Anderson has been my close friend since we met in 2015, and he continually provides support, encouragement, advice, connections, and resources. I can trust him to be honest with me; he encourages me; he advocates for me, and he contributes to my success without asking for a single thing in return. There is no way I could be where I am without him. Secondarily, I want to give a shout out to the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce. Without them, there might not be a Cole Lab. When they trusted me to take over the PATHS Forward Fellows Leadership Development Program, they sparked the official launch of The Cole Lab, and they have remained supportive in our growth.

Website: www.thecolelab.net
Instagram: www.instagram.com/thecolelab
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tia-cole-m-a-0a443b116/
Twitter: @LabCole
Facebook: www.facebook.com/yourdevelopmentdestination

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