Published on September 29th, 2023 | by Charles Myambo0
The Superwoman Behind RYZE Magazine & ELEV8 Magazine – Dr. Nae Thompson
Dr. Nae Thompson is a vastly accomplished Author, Entrepreneur and PR Executive. She is the architect behind several prominent ventures such as “RYZE Magazine”, “ELEV8 Magazine” and the decorated “NTPR Agency”. In addition, she has also carved out quite the reputation for herself as an adept author and public relations expert. Above all, Dr. Nae is a devout Christian leader and mentor who has helped countless people to turn around their lives while also enabling them to adopt a positive mindset and overall world view. The Hype Magazine’s Life & Style correspondent, Charles Myambo (CM) had an interview with Dr. Nae Thompson (NT). Below are the excerpts from the interview.
CM: Tell me, how is it that someone can be the proprietor of 2 hugely successful magazines, own an elite PR Agency and media group, be a world-class author and possess a PhD, all while being an exemplary mother and wife?
NT: Whew, that’s a mouth full… (smiling). I can only attribute my success and progression to GOD and my family, allowing me the space and opportunity to become. You see, we’re all born with a purpose, and I’ve uncovered mine; notice I did not say “found mine,” as your purpose is uncovered, not found. My road has not been easy, but nothing worth having really is… you know? The WORD is very clear. “To whom much is given, much is required!” I remember when I was in college, and I had to decide to complete what I started amid transition, marriage, family, ministry and being an entrepreneur; like the song “I understood the assignment…” I wanted to change the narrative. I’m the first college graduate among my siblings. I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was 19. I’m 49, and I’m just getting started; my dreams are just realized because purpose requires situations and circumstances. So, again, I say GOD has been prevalent in my story– leading and guiding me. As well as keeping me.
CM: One look at your illustrious career, and just about anyone would be extremely impressed. With this in mind, how do you stay motivated to achieve more than you already have?
NT: I think the best way to describe the motivation is “I believed GOD” when HE said I’m sitting on Legacy. I want to see what GOD said. You know? I understand that I can have life and it more abundantly. I can be successful and achieve more, do more, be more. I want my children to be proud of me. I want to leave them a legacy so they can build on a sturdy foundation rather than starting from the bottom. I want other brown girls to see that success can be achieved without taking your clothes off or demeaning yourself. We only get one time to make a first impression; before people sum you up, make it count.
CM: Let’s take a moment to focus a bit on your two stellar publications. When and why did you get the vision to launch ELEV8 and RYZE Magazines, respectively?
NT: ELEV8 made eight this year, and RYZE seven. I started ELEV8 being obedient to a WORD released– I clearly heard GOD say, “HE wanted it (the publication) done in a more excellent way!” Before starting, I worked for another magazine as a designer/journalist, and we had awesome intent, but at times we fell short in delivery, and the owner/publisher didn’t seem to care. I was agitated by the lack of concern and how the Kingdom was being misrepresented. The LORD knew HE could trust me to do what HE said. RYZE came out of the need to showcase Christian Hip-Hop artists in that “SOURCE Magazine” way. We wanted to make sure our depiction was great, too. There’s enough controversy concerning Christianity. I wanted to share something Believers could be proud of. AND, the WORD is clear: If I (GOD) be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me… so that’s our purpose and intent, to draw people to Christ.
CM: Aside from your magazines, you’ve also published books. What inspired you to share your knowledge and insight with the world through books like PUBLICITY and SCRIPTS?
NT: I love Independent artists. I was an indie artist, too, so I know and understand the drive and the desire to be a part of the music industry for real. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. I wrote these books, which are part of a 5-part series called My Brand Is Life, to make sure the playing field is leveled. One thing I know, though, is getting artists to consider their career as a business is like pulling teeth. The sad reality is that they generally never meet the peak of their purpose because they won’t take the time to LEARN what should be happening, even if they aren’t the ones doing “IT!” Whatever “it” consists of is to move the needle in their careers. And I get it! There’s so much information out there, and the consistent change within the industry can be daunting and intimidating. And, then, too, because information is KING! If you understand the game, you can be effective, and that is within any industry. Knowing is half the battle.
CM: Quite evidently, your knowledge and insight pertaining to the media industry is quite remarkable! Knowing this, do you plan to continue sharing your expertise through books and/or courses?
NT: Absolutely, even more so now because teaching is also my passion; I’m an educator. Any client I work with will tell you Dr. Naé will ensure we have clarity. Wisdom is the principal thing… People perish because of a lack of knowledge, meaning the lack of understanding about what should be happening is why we see people’s catalogs being sold off and or fighting over Ask Mase and Faith; the list could really go on and on. Artists must get insight into how the industry works, periodt!
CM: Before we wrap up, I’d be remiss if I did not ask you a bit about your personal experience with adversity. What hurdles did you have to overcome on your journey towards success?
NT: Hmmm, I think a better question is, what haven’t I experienced? As mentioned earlier, I’ve seen it all and experienced some too. In my stint as an artist, our masters were taken, and we were left with nothing. I’ve been out on tour, sick and expected to stand up in it anyway. I’ve been taken advantage of in the name of a relationship, ostracized, and talked about… I mean, really, you name it, I’ve probably experienced it. But I understand what we go through has purpose. It’s either a learning experience or a catapult. On the business side of my experiences, especially as a woman in a male-dominated genre, I’m generally considered a dude. I am sometimes overlooked because people think others are at the helm and or responsible for our success, but again, it’s ALL working for me. I’ve learned to utilize my pain as a driving force. It’s almost like I use it to fuel my endeavors. And I can’t stop until I see what GOD said!
CM: You have the last word, Dr. Naé. What message would you like to leave our readers with?
NT: I want to be clear and precise when I say this, “YOU, determine your destiny!” if you take the necessary steps to reach your goals and you keep moving no matter what, you will get there. The problem is many want that which they aren’t willing to work for. Again, I say, to whom much is given, much is required. Periodt!
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