Robin Kinnie provides a platform on which women’s voices thrive. She is the founder and CEO of Motor City Woman, an internet radio station, broadcasting and podcast recording studio. With a focus on women and mompreneurs, Motor City Woman offers an array of shows, expert guests, discussions on issues from a woman’s perspective and resources for growth in all areas of life.
With more than 10 years of professional communications experience, she is a small business advocate who helps entrepreneurs grow their businesses. Kinnie stays true to her purpose with the motto “Live in the Light,” which encourages all of us to seek the positive, concentrate on strength and celebrate the moment. Her community involvement includes chairing the Detroit chapter of Soundgirls, an organization which addresses the disparity of women in the audio engineering field. She is also an advisory board member for Y Arts, the arts and humanities branch of the YMCA of metropolitan Detroit.
She was recently named by Walker’s Legacy as one of the Top 25 Women Leading In the Detroit Community. Of the many roles she serves, Kinnie is proudest to be a wife and mother of three children, which she calls her “true life’s work.”
How did you determine your career path?
Operating an internet radio station and podcast studio was not something I originally aspired to do. My background is in community and economic development. I had a job that was not personally fulfilling. I asked for guidance from God during a time in which I had no direction.
As an avid talk radio listener, I noticed there wasn’t consistent programming that spoke to me as a woman. The conversation was not led by a woman with a woman’s perspective. After a brief stint hosting The Motor City Woman Radio show, my husband (a professional audio engineer) and I worked together to launch Motor City Woman Radio Network in the summer of 2016. Since then, we have grown to broadcast 24/7 with a multitude of live shows, podcast production services and community outreach initiatives. It’s a perfect marriage of my passion for amplifying the voices of women and commitment to providing affordable access for media.
Future business leaders and innovators must remember to be ever-evolving and flexible. I am in an industry that is time-driven. We must be able to reach people where they are whether it be via social media or at a community event. One aspect of business that is often overlooked: consistency. There is a way to stay true to your mission while remaining current. If you haven’t clearly defined who you are as a brand; you will get lost.
How do you successfully grow from business failure?
I am a big proponent of mastering your mindset. Failure is not the end; it is only the beginning of identifying the answer. Look for the opportunity when struggle comes. I utilize these skills in all aspects of owning a business. When one way is not working, go back to the issue and think through it again. Maybe that means stepping away for a moment. I do not allow temporary setbacks to define me nor Motor City Woman Radio. Real leaders define success for themselves. Success may or may not equal recognition or financial gain. Success is within.
As Black woman/woman of color, what do you consider your superpowers?
I don’t believe I have superpowers. I have an amazing support network comprised of my husband, mom and mother-in-law. You may see Robin Kinnie. But, helping me shine are the people who love and care about me. I couldn’t work at the level I do, without them. Also, women who have super powers are those who did more than me—with less resources. Women like my grandmother, who had less education and more children. She, to me, is the epitome of having super powers. If you’ve been to the studio, you will see her picture on the wall, along with my great-grandmother and great aunt. Their energy of strength and resiliency resonates throughout the studio.
Why is it important for mature, seasoned and experienced Black women/women of color to reach back and help younger Black women/women of color?
It is only through reaching back to younger generations that we will continue to widen the doors historically closed to women of color. Upon launching the station, I noticed the lack of women in the audio engineering field. My husband introduced me to an organization called Soundgirls.org, a nonprofit out of California which focuses on increasing the number of women in audio engineering. We were excited to be selected to launch the Detroit chapter of Soundgirls last fall. With the sponsorship of Michigan State University Detroit Center, our launch event attracted women of all ages. Already, we have hosted a music production workshop at a private recording studio. We are proud to impact young women through the Soundgirls initiative. It is not only important to reach back to help younger women; it is imperative to continue progress.
What are three habits you implement in your daily routine to maintain your success, sanity and peace of mind?
Running a business is a marathon, not a sprint. My daily habits must include these three things to maintain my sanity:
Intentional visioning exercise –
I carve out time to be still and visualize my goals. How I want to feel. What I want to experience. This time can range from 5 minutes to 15 minutes. It’s amazing how good this simple exercise makes me feel and sets the tone for my day.
Physical exercise –
As an entrepreneur, mental clarity is key. I must be able to pivot quickly while also maintaining being present. This is a skill that has been sharpened due to a combination of yoga, pilates and spinning. I love being able to support another woman-owned business, Live Cycle Delight, which echoes my personal value of being your best self.
As a wife and mom, I have to identify time where I am no longer Robin Kinnie, the business owner. This is typically when my kids come home from school. So, for about 2-3 hours daily, I am not available for calls, meetings or events. After they are in bed is when I ramp back up.
What advice can you offer women who are raising families while achieving their goals?
Be gentle with yourself. While in pursuit of achieving those goals, you may miss a recital or miss an opportunity because you have a sick kid at home. It’s okay. What’s ultimately for you will be in your realm. Don’t try to be all things to everyone. You will end up frustrated and burned out. No is not a bad word. Use it to protect your valuable time and energy. Be unapologetic about who you are and what you believe in. Thank those people who get it and move on from those who don’t.
Visit motorcitywoman.com for programming information. Follow Motor City Woman on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.