Lalaa Shepard & The Progress Report
LaLaa Shepard is keeping a finger on the pulse of the best underground entrepreneurs and creatives coming out of Atlanta with her platform, The Progress Report.
The Progress Report has become a staple in Atlanta music culture, and the woman behind it all humbly told me the story of how it all began.
“I needed something that was my own thing. I was always helping everyone else out,” she said.
LaLaa moved to Atlanta after graduating from college to jump start her career in the music industry. She came to the city focused and determined to grow a strong network of producers, artists, DJs, and videographers. “Nobody is more important than another person,” she said as she told me how treating everyone she meets with respect is key to nurturing and building relationships.
LaLaa’s unique skill is her ability to strategically assist, or connect, any and everyone within her growing network. “I would always figure out where the talent was, and how to direct them to the right audience,” she said.
The Progress Report, founded in 2015, was her way of developing her own brand while helping others communicate their brands to the masses.
“I got to do this. I was made for this,” she said as she expressed how she felt during The Progress Reports inception.
Now, her work speaks for itself as she is able to represent artists and place them in front of key audiences through various communications channels.
As a woman in the industry, LaLaa has certainly broken barriers as a voice that truly knows hip-hop and the underground music scene. Her tips to other women working within the Atlanta music scene?
1. Know how to be friendly, but not too friendly without being a bitch either.
2. Don’t disrespect anyone even if they disrespect you.
3. Use your keenness as a woman, to nurture and build relationships, to your advantage.
4. Always be professional in any and all settings.
Her advice isn’t given without experience, and it certainly can apply to any industry outside of music too. What sets Lalaa apart is her mindset, well-rounded thought process, and of course her ability to connect with anyone she meets.
To be transparent and honest, Lalaa shared that as much as she loves entrepreneurship it definitely has its challenges. “I can’t even put into words how hard it [entrepreneurship] is,” she said. Learning how to budget funds for her business, balancing work and life, and controlling her emotions were among a few that mentioned. Of course, none of these were enough to stop her pursuit of becoming self-employed, which she has now successfully accomplished.
“I’m in it for the longevity of it. Like Nipsey said it’s a marathon. Things take time. I don’t even deal with people who don’t understand that,” she said as she spoke on what it takes to build a thriving brand.
As she continues to grow her media business, collaborate with other women who are entrepreneurs, and work on her business partnership with a cannabis company in California; LaLaa is paving her way and making her own mark in an industry that she truly has a passion for.
LaLaa’s on-going journey reminds me that each moment is an investment. As she stated so perfectly, “Nothing is wrong with a nine to five, and nothing’s wrong with being an entrepreneur.”
So, figure out where you would like to be, and keep relentlessly working towards that vision!
To hear and learn more from Lalaa, make sure you follow her on her social media platforms for updates and speaking engagements and events! Also, don’t forget to tune in for part two of the Progress Reports all female cypHER! Catch part one and two below.