Created and hosted by Chay Rodriguez, #GOALS is the podcast for the dream chaser, risk taker, and goal getter in you. This interview-focused podcast based in Atlanta features creatives and entrepreneurs who are on paths to pursue creative careers. Chay identifies the emotional factor of #GOALS as what makes it unlike any other business podcast out right now; the show really digs into the personal back story of its guests while connecting the audience of "dream chasers, risk takers, and goal getters" to whomever is spotlighted that week. DARLA had the opportunity to take a deeper look at the purpose behind the #GOALS podcast and what Chay Rodriguez hopes to achieve with it. Check out the story below along with the #GOALS latest episode about the importance of human connection.

You can listen to #GOALS where ever you listen to your favorite podcasts including: iTunes, Soundcloud, Google Music Play, Stitcher, Acast, and www.goalsradio.net.  

What inspired you to start the #GOALS podcast? When did you begin?

I was inspired to start #GOALS because I felt like I was a professional failure. After graduating college I moved out to LA from New Jersey and I got a job at a huge corporate law firm as a case assistant. It was something I was trying out because I wanted to be an entertainment lawyer, so I decided that I would put myself in a big law environment and see if it was really what I wanted to do... It wasn't! I lasted 7 months in LA and I hated every minute of it. After that, it was a series of careers that I went after and I just kept searching for a good fit. I opened a swimwear pop-up shop back on the East Coast, went into the buying field for a big box retailer, got my MS in Fashion, and I even did some intern work styling in New York for some NBA players and Vanity Fair. None of them gave me the feeling that I had found what my purpose was.

After relocating to Atlanta to pursue styling I came up with the idea to put together a show on a platform that I knew I could get on fairly easily (iTunes) because I wanted to really see what people went through to get their dreams off the ground. I knew that if I could be inspired by these stories SO MANY OTHER PEOPLE COULD BE TOO. June 21,2016 I put out my first episode. I chose that day because it was my grandmother’s birthday and we were close before she passed. I always wonder if she is proud of my efforts here on earth so I thought it would just be fitting to put out the first episode on her birthday.

What do you hope to achieve through the #GOALS platform; what message do you hope to send to your audience?

That answer is two fold — I am growing #GOALS to be a brand.  

#GOALS was originally created to cater to young entrepreneurs and creatives who were interested in unconventional career paths that veered away from the 401 k and suit and tie lifestyle pushed upon us by our parents.

As the show grows I want to speak to the younger generation still in high school or just getting out of college. I want them to hear these interviews detailing the pitfalls and victories of myself and my guests and realize that one mistake, one failure does not ruin or define you, but it can definitely mold you into who you want to be if you use it correctly.

You describe your "Starting The Conversation" episode as being one of the most impactful. Why do you feel that way; what did you learn from it?

Oh man, "Starting The Conversation" was such an emotional contribution to the world from me, Chay. It was an episode that completely strayed away from the normal conversation that we have on the show in regards to entrepreneurs and their journeys.

After the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling (which FYI I never watched their murders on Facebook or the news) I was an emotional wreck. I was crying. I was angry. I was inconsolable. I was, like a lot of minorities in this country — fearful about being an African American in the the US. I got lost in the helpless feeling that I had because obviously there is nothing that I can do to change the color of my skin... Then, I had an epiphany. I realized that I had my own platform and I could get educated people that I respected to help others who felt that same helpless feeling to rationalize their feelings.

An Associate Professor with a PhD that specializes in Urban Studies, one of the leaders of BLM NJ, and an NYPD detective gave me a well rounded conversation that I used to help me sort my feelings that weekend and honestly, grieve. We talked about community development and community policing, the misconceptions that the police have about the black community, and the disrespect and fear that comes into play when you deal with actual criminals day in and day out as a police officer.

That was a very deep process for me. It showed me what I could really do with my voice. After editing that episode I protested police brutality and helped shut down a highway in Atlanta for a couple hours. It was epic!

What makes you feel empowered as a podcast owner/host? Do you hope to use your current position to make a change in the world?

I am helping people tell their stories; that is a sense of empowerment and fulfillment that I have never received from a 9 to 5! I want to make a change in my culture and the US. Kids today are so bogged down by the fear of failure. Whether it’s test scores or sports games they think their futures will crash and burn with one C or one bad game. I want #GOALS to serve as a source of encouragement and hopefully work to change the systems in place that impact these kids and stress them out.

Follow the #GOALS podcast @GOALSthePodcast to stay updated with new episodes. If you have a favorite, share it with us on Twitter!