Renay Butler: Helping teens structure their future path with Goal Grinders Inc.

The 10 Most Admired Black Businesswomen to Watch in 2021

Success is achieving small milestones to reach the final big dream. Renay Butler, President and CEO of Goal Grinders Inc. believes in this notion and tries to set realistic goals to achieve the bigger target. She knows that success doesn’t come overnight, and a person has to put in consistent effort to achieve the target.

She adds, “It’s much more fulfilling to set incremental, realistic, and achievable goals. Then celebrate your small successes along the way to achieving your Big Dream! It keeps one excited about conquering the next goal.”

Journey to success

The beginning of Renay’s professional career began as an Assistant Manager and Diamontologist at JB Robinson Jewelers. Even when she transitioned full-time into the IT industry, she remained part-time in the jewelry industry for over 20 years. She states, “Ironically, working in jewelry sales laid the foundation for providing excellent service in all of my career endeavors.”

Her entrepreneurial journey was by force not a choice. She adds, “My first entrepreneurial endeavor began while I was home recovering from a broken leg. My next big venture, the first technology-based daycare center in Maryland, began as a result of being laid off. Both experiences taught me to never rely on someone else to put money in your pocket or limit your earning potential.”

She sold the daycare after ten years, missed working with children, and felt she had more to offer. So, she gave birth to her brainchild and marked the dawn of Goal Grinders.

She expresses, “I’ve always worked in the tech industry, my consulting company offers services in information technology (IT), project management (PM), and business development. I’m also a member of several volunteer organizations. While some of their programs and tenants align with the work I like doing within the community, it wasn’t as fulfilling as Goal Grinders.”

Getting stronger with challenges

Renay agrees with the fact that challenges make people stronger. They bring forth creativity, grit, and ingenuity. Most importantly, overcoming challenges provides opportunities to help others in similar situations.

The most common roadblock people face is getting out of their own way. When venturing into new territory, many people self-sabotage believing they aren’t capable of reaching their desired goals due to lack of experience or money. Renay tackles it with her faith in God. She adds, “I tell my clients to pray, and just start!  In my experience, when we have just a little faith to pursue our dreams, God will put the right people in our path at the right times.”

The biggest challenge in her life was to find the right people who share the same purpose in the long term. She adds, “Every person you hire will not be a long-term “good” fit. Your tribe should be people with the same vision, passion, drive, desire, and commitment to achieving the organization’s mission, vision, and outcomes.”

Redefining education for minority and at-risk middle and high school teens

Goal Grinders is a non-profit organization that provides educational enrichment and skills training to middle through high school teens in the areas of entrepreneurship, leadership, and STEAM.

They focus on psychoeducation, self-development, peer-to-peer relations, and appropriate school functioning behaviors through creative and unique leadership and empowerment activities.

Renay believes Goal Grinders’ contribution to redefining education is exposure and creativity. The team makes learning exciting through hands-on experiences, field trips, and introductions to entrepreneurs and industry leaders that look like them.

She expresses, “We inspire teens to push through their current circumstances, be open to new learning experiences, and be goal-oriented. I personally selected people of high moral and ethical standards to carry out the mission and vision of Goal Grinders, one of which is creating a culture of exploration and innovation.”

Instilling A Strong Company Culture

Exposure and creativity are the two pillars in driving Goal Grinders ahead. They try to create a fun and exciting learning experience with the help of hands-on activities, field trips, and introductions to entrepreneurs and industry leaders that look like them.

As the company’s visionary, she shares, “I want Goals Grinders to be the premiere after-school program that offers life-changing programs for teens across the United States.”

Maintaining a Work-life Balance

Being the CEO of Goal Grinders, Renay has multi-faceted roles to play. She is responsible for the oversight of all programs and activities. She also teaches after-school sessions, works with the Program Director to develop activities, summits, and field trips. She may also have meetings with our Grants team & mentors, media interviews, coordinating activities with their corporate partners, managing social media, reviewing financial goals, and fundraising.

As an Ingenious leader, she has original, out-of-the-box ideas that make her unique. Owing to this, she received recognition for her outstanding efforts. She says, “I’ve been blessed to receive many awards but being named one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women twice is the most meaningful award to date. It honors and recognizes all of my accomplishments in IT, mentorship, and the community.”

Besides work, she feels maintaining a perfect balance is crucial for a fulfilled personal and professional life. Thanks to her excellent project management skills, she knows how to prioritize, allocate and manage tasks and time in the best way.

She shares, “I plan my days to ensure that I have fulfilling personal time. I love to travel; therefore, I’m creating a life that allows me to see the world and still make a significant impact in the lives of others.”

Further, she adds, “The parents and children keep us motivated to deliver the best programming, activities, and field trips. The thank you emails, letters, and cards are so heartwarming; it reassures that we are fulfilling our mission and goals.”

Charting the future of Goal Grinders Inc.

Renay aims to develop, patent, and sell the signature After-School Program curriculum of Goal Grinders to other organizations for implementation. They desire to secure $10M annually for further operations expansion and to be able   provide millions of dollars in scholarships to many deserving high school teens to help them shape their future.

Personally, she desires to continue to create an impact in the lives of others via Goal Grinders and her transformative business coaching solutions to solve pressing issues. Also, she plans to continue mentoring emerging leaders to pass on her knowledge and expertise.

She adds, “I would tell aspiring businesswomen to DREAM BIG and to never give up on yourself or your dreams.”