26Leadership That Outshines

With a distinguished 25-plus-year career of leadership in music, entertainment, social media, and influencer marketing sectors, Barbara Jones is the founder and CEO of Outshine Talent, a talent management company that represents social creators, musicians, college athletes, and innovators.

(Highlights from our interview, recorded July 7, 2023.)

I'M PASSIONATE ABOUT CREATIVE PEOPLE because, honestly, I can't sing, dance, or act; I'm not a front-facing person. I love being behind the scenes and have always been an organizer and a planner. Starting in the music business out of college, I have been lucky to always have a passion-based job. But the higher up on the corporate chain I moved, the less fulfilled I was by the work. In the music business, you can have the best job ever, and then there's a regime change; they clean the house and want to bring in their own people. That's what happened to me, and I had to decide whether to find another job or do something new.

I was intrigued by what was happening with social media, and in the summer of 2007, I heard about the BlogHer conference; it was an aha moment for me. I knew I could return to the music business if things didn't work out. I gave myself a year. Entrepreneurship started for me in middle school. I was always selling something; I've always been resourceful and a bit of a hustler. I knew entertainment people, but they were only in music. I had to get to know the brand people, the agency folks, ...

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