In Conversation with Trenelle Doyle of Go Girl Ride

Trenelle Doyle_Blog Header

Describe your business in a few words?

Go Girl Ride is a ride service and rideshare app centered around the safety of women, femmes, and non-binary people. Our mission is, “we meet you where you are.”

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

I was an Uber driver saddened by most women riders who would tell me about their horrific experiences in their rideshares and taxis. I also felt a responsibility to do something to prevent human trafficking from happening in rideshares and taxis. I had enough of women not being a priority, so I started Go Girl Ride.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

I was in HR and customer service. I also drove for Uber for 4 years.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

I didn’t! I always knew that I wanted to help people and make space for them. It took 15 years for me to realize that I was called to be an entrepreneur.

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

I hope it’s okay to be this transparent; I didn’t have a marketing strategy. What I did have was a passion for the safety of women, femmes, and non-binary people. I started researching marketing strategy and realized that I needed help. That help came by way of my lovely Brand Strategist Emily Weltman of Collective Flow Consulting. We brought her on board last fall and things have taken off (if you need direction in your business, hire Emily).

We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?

I made the mistake of thinking that I could do everything by myself. As a Founder, you get protective over your company. I recently reached a point where I realized that I have to take the advice of my peers and learn to delegate. IT HAS BEEN A LIFE CHANGER.  I’ve learned to only work with folks who understand my vision for the company. It’s helped me to trust them to execute tasks.

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

I’m a recipient of the American Express 100 for 100 Founders of Change. American Express partnered with iFundwomen to give grants and 100 days of resources to 100 Black founders. Being a recipient of the grant gave my company access and resources that we didn’t have before. That wouldn’t be possible without my team and Emily Weltman.

When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?

This is a great question because I’m an HR Director in my day job. I don’t actually know how much longer I’ll have that job as GG, what we call Go Girl Ride for short, is getting busy. I believe in holistic and socially conscious hiring. I like to know a person’s personal values before I’ll even consider interviewing them. A business coach recently asked me, “what’s your why”? I spent days thinking about the significance of that question and I’ve decided that I’ll start every interview with that question. Your why should be the baseline of everything that you do.

How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

The pandemic enabled us to pivot and improve our business strategy. We identified new markets to reach and are now working to reach those markets.

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

We’ve launched our Safety Kits and I’m excited about that! I’m very excited because we will have wheels on the road this year. You can expect us to roll out nationwide, city by city. You can expect women, femmes, and non-binary folks to have a safe option in the ride service and rideshare industry.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?

I learned about grants and that you should avoid taking business loans if possible!

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?

Just because a person is smart and successful doesn’t mean that you have to accept their help. Understand your value and only work with people who align with your company’s mission.

How have you managed to stay grounded this year?

I have a tight circle of friends and family. All of this attention can be overwhelming if you let it be, so I’ve surrounded myself with folks who see me for who I am; not what I do.

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

YES! My best tip is to set office hours. Just like you schedule those Zoom meetings, you should also schedule time for yourself everyday. I also love waking up at 5:30 am, because it allows me to get a lot accomplished by 1 pm.

What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?

I sing professionally, and music is my first love! I’m a singer with Zoulful Muzic, which is owned by an incredibly gifted singer Alonzo Chadwick. We sing with productions and travel on the weekends. Music and photography (I shot professionally for 15 years) are my outlets.

What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?

Wake up early, exercise and eat well, use a whiteboard!

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?

This means I can provide resources for future and current women working to change the world. We are currently preparing to start offering rides in our first city Portland this summer. You can support us by purchasing a GG Safety Kit, which consists of pepper spray, a taser, kitty ears (they’re adorable brass knuckles), and a seatbelt cutter/window breaker, and a face mask. You can purchase them on our website gogirlride.com. We’re also crowdfunding through iFundwomen.

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