001: Learn the secrets to become a successful entrepreneur with Bernadette Smith from The Equality Institute

In 2004, Bernadette Smith, founder and president of the Equality Institute, started 14 Stories, an award winning wedding planning firm with an LGBTQ specialty. She later took this passion for equality and started the Gay Wedding Institute to share her expertise with her peers in the global wedding and travel industry. Her business naturally evolved as she received questions on LGBTQ concerns from the front desk, concierge and other front line staff.

Given the politically charged issues of today, Bernadette expanded her training offerings and now consults with retail, restaurant and other industries with many front line employees.

Bernadette has spoken to thousands of professionals and trained people from more than 20 countries on LGBTQ issues. Bernadette's expertise has been sought after by the Today Show, National Public Radio and the New York Times, among many others.

This Episode is Sponsored By

·      Rhodes Perry Consulting, LLC

·      Register for the HR & Diversity Master Class

·      Learn more about Equity & Inclusion & Get a Free Gift!

Questions Answered in this Episode

·      Who is Bernadette Smith?

·      What does her business do?

·      What is she most inspired about in her business today?

·      How does she leverage her LGBTQ identity to grow her business?

·      What is her best advice to inspire you?

·      How can you get in touch with Bernadette?

Resources Shared in this Episode

·      Contact Bernadette: Bernadette@14stories.com

·      Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies

·      The E-Myth: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It

The Out Entrepreneur Community

·      The Out Entrepreneur Facebook Community

·      Join the #OutEntrepreneurPodcast Revolution!

·      Listen, Download, & Subscribe on iTunes

Rhodes’ Top 3 Recommended Resources

1. Acuity Scheduling is a wonderful system for solopreneur’s and those looking to maximize staff time on the tasks that matter most. Let Acuity take care of the scheduling, and enjoy the first month free when you visit: https://goo.gl/Cduy4a

2. Quickbooks Self-Employed software will take care of everything from tracking trip mileage to managing your quarterly taxes. If you’re considering a simple bookkeeping solution look no further! Try Quickbooks today, and enjoy 50% off of your first 6 months when you visit: http://fbuy.me/excvF.

3. FreshBooks cloud accounting is a great resource if you’re exchanging time for money and you need a simple solution for tracking project hours, invoicing clients, and managing payments. Consider trying FreshBooks for one month of free service when you visit: https://goo.gl/Z6vFBt.


Rhodes Perry

Rhodes Perry is a nationally recognized expert on LGBTQ and social justice public policy matters, with two decades of leadership experience innovating strategy management, policy and program solutions for corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. At his core, Rhodes is an entrepreneur, where he most recently established Rhodes Perry Consulting, LLC, a national diversity and inclusion consulting firm that uses an intersectional approach to collaborate with leaders on creating solutions in the practice areas of strategy management, issue advocacy, and stakeholder engagement. Previously, Rhodes founded the Office of LGBTQ Policy & Practice at the New York City Administration for Children’s Services, and prior to this assignment he served as the founding Director of Policy at PFLAG National where he led the policy strategy and advocacy efforts for the organization’s 350 chapters. He cut his teeth serving as a Program Examiner at the White House Office of Management & Budget, where he improved upon federal benefit programs designed to provide assistance to low-income communities. Rhodes earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Gender Studies from the University of Notre Dame, and obtained a Master of Public Administration from New York University.