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  • Writer's pictureHot Happy Mess

54: How to Work Smarter & Build an Impactful Platform with Blavity’s CEO Morgan DeBaun

Wanna know the secrets to up-leveling your business? Well, press play, and get ready for the most amazing chat. Zuri sits down with Morgan DeBaun who is a serial entrepreneur, corporate advisor, founder, and CEO of Blavity.

Sharing her unique story, Morgan details how she got her start in Silicon Valley and how she scaled her business to become one of the top voices in the VC funding and entrepreneurship realm. From how she avoids burnout, to her predictions for the tech space, and why she thinks cryptocurrency is here to stay (and why YOU need to shift your mindset).

Listen NOW on Apple, iHeartRadio, Sticher, and Spotify

How she stayed grounded and focused amidst the naysayers and those who wanted her to stay in her lane. Morgan shares with Z, how she finally found her peace, what it means to not only live in your purpose but ON purpose, and her 5 Pillars of Success.

Share this episode with a friend NOW + let us know your favorite part of the convo: @ZuriHall and @HotHappyMess

A Closer Look at The Episode:

  • [8:50] Morgan’s journey to creating Blavity and expanding its brand power

  • [9:48] Why Blavity was needed to speak to the Black millennial experience

  • [11:40] Importance of staying grounded and not seeking approval

  • [13:01] Using discernment to build your team

  • [15:25] How Morgan determined when it was time to scale her business

  • [17:52] Morgan’s signature Advising Program ‘WorkSmart’ teaches business owners how to successfully scale their business.

  • [18:30] Why and when you should hire an executive coach (and the red flags on finding a coach)

  • [20:34] Mistakes Morgan made (and growing pains she learned from) while building her business

  • [21:34] Importance of having both an advisor for business coaching and a therapist for emotional support

  • [22:18] The history of AfroTech and its importance for diversity in tech

  • [25:20] Why Morgan would rather be behind the radar vs living as a public figure

  • [28:19] How Morgan navigates protecting her peace and setting boundaries within the public sphere

  • [30:29] Zuri’s thoughts on cryptocurrency for stored value and equity

  • [31:54] Morgan talks about Bitcoin, Web 3.0, and the Metaverse

  • [34:14] The power of decentralization and how NFTs can and will empower content creators

  • [37:44] How the pandemic forced Morgan to pivot and truly embrace an authentic work/life balance

  • [41:54] On the Great Resignation and the importance of being valued at work

  • [42:30] Morgan’s 5 Pillars of Success



Morgan DeBaun is a serial entrepreneur and corporate advisor. As the Founder & CEO of Blavity Inc., the leading digital media company for Black culture and millennials, Morgan has grown the company into a market leader for Black media, reaching over 100 million readers per month through a growing brand portfolio that includes: Blavity News, 21Ninety, AfroTech, Travel Noire, and Shadow & Act.

Connect with Morgan: Instagram | Website | Podcast | Twitter | Facebook

Follow: Zuri Hall & Hot Happy Mess on Instagram to keep the good vibes going! :)



Hit Us Up:

  • #AskZuri — Submit your questions for advice straight from me (advice I'd very much prefer you not hold me legally responsible for, thaaaanks) !

  • #OkDontJudgeMeBut — Submit your wildest, juiciest confession(s) to your girls (us, duh.) Just be sure to leave a code name, if you don't want us to use your real one.

  • Join as a Podcast Guest — We are committed to telling + sharing diverse stories + POVS. Real Stories, from Real Womxn! (And yes we want men to be a part of the conversation - they’re just not leading it, often. lol — drop a line!)


If you loved this podcast episode, you’ll also love our first episode in our Protect Your Peace Series: Episode #1: How To Be Happy

Come listen, laugh, and maybe even learn a lil something’ -- with new episodes of Hot Happy Mess dropping every Monday on the iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts!

PS. Leave a review on iTunes for a chance to be spotlighted in an upcoming episode of HHM!


Zuri Hall is an Emmy award-winning TV host (Access Hollywood, American Ninja Warrior) and is the executive producer & host of this millennial-focused podcast that will empower women to avoid “best life burnout” through candid conversation, expert panel discussions, and real-life, human interest stories from everyday women.

Follow @ZuriHall and @HotHappyMess on Instagram to keep the good vibes going.

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