Tiana Burse, Sac’s Biz Diva of YouTube

Photo by Jasmine Lazo

Bar Talk and Coffee can be found on YouTube at TianaNicoleB, and she is @TianaNicoleBurse on Facebook. Contact her or check out her T-shirts at tianaburse.com.

After declaring bankruptcy at 22, Tiana Burse did one of the hardest things anyone can—she asked for help. And much to her surprise, she was pointed down the road that would lead her to become a successful business consultant and businesswoman in her own right. Burse is now CEO of District Media Press in Sacramento, and a proud “girl boss.”

You certainly seem to be a wearer of many hats—entrepreneur, businesswoman, public speaker, self-proclaimed social-networking sensation … So what exactly is it that you do?

I am a business consultant. I think I have the intuition of knowing how to convert that into the era that we live in, which is social media. So I think that’s the [role] that I play. And many people don’t understand exactly what I do because they see that I have the agency and Bar Talk and Coffee, and this and that. I’m just a consultant. I know how to get people’s attention.

Tell me about Bar Talk and Coffee and your Wear Your Purpose Proudly clothing line.

Bar Talk and Coffee is just my life in a nutshell. I was going through a challenging moment in my life when I launched [it] and I really in my gut knew that if I was going through that then someone else was as well. So I started to do that, just started to make videos every week based upon what I felt was my living truth and that started to go viral. The reason why I launched the apparel was to really spin off the messages I was delivering every single week.

What has your experience been as a ‘girl boss?’

My mentor always taught me there’s no emotion in business, so I’ve had to hide that because shit still gets to me. Things still upset me, but I can’t let the market see it. Also, I think, not being taken too seriously. I can say the same message as Joe Blow and Joe Blow might get the position as the business consultant. Also, men wanting to get into my pants … I had someone I did business with who definitely tried to do that. I feel like, and this is cliché to say, but as a minority woman in business, I feel like I have to work twice as hard to be half as effective.

And why do you think that is in this day and age?

We live in a world where everybody is imperfect. We’re all so flawed. And social media has heightened that. It has shown a lot of insight on that, so we’re more aware of it when it happens … Yet we don’t shine light on everything that’s positive. We just pick out the negatives.

How did you get to where you are today, and what do you attribute your success to?

I don’t think that I’m successful by any stretch. I have so much room to grow. There’s different levels and different forms of success. I think one thing that I’ve done really well is I’m really consistent and I don’t mind working really hard. I will put 16 hours in a day, every day, seven days a week if I have to. And I think that’s something that people don’t typically do. I think they try to do that as an entrepreneur as they go down that path and they realize ‘Oh, shit. This really is work. I really have to work hard.’ They lose the passion and when they lose the passion, they’re tapped out. It’s 60, 80 hours a week.

What role do you see social media playing in the ever-changing world of business?

It is the only thing that has everyone’s attention. If you’re just paying attention to basic human behavior, you’ll actually understand where eyeballs are. If you’re running a business, you’re looking for a client or consumer to walk through your door. So if the eyeballs are constantly on a phone—which is mainly social media—then that is where you need to be putting your business content to get more customers and clients.

In your position, you have the ability to influence budding entrepreneurs. What is the No. 1 piece of advice you can give them?

Innovation. If you’re not innovating yourself, you’ll be gone. Even with my company, we focus on getting creative strategies from a marketing standpoint and putting it on social media. Whether it’s videos or campaigns—whatever we decide to do based upon that client. We’re always going to constantly innovate. We’re already thinking about how we’re going to innovate what we do, when we don’t even need to think about that yet, but leaders think in decades.

What does the Sacramento business market look like for those hoping to make the leap to entrepreneurship?

I think it’s an interesting time that we’re in. This is a bold statement, but it is getting really techy. It’s not going to compete with the Silicon Valley necessarily, but I think that over the next maybe five, 10 years, Sac is going to be the place for business, for tech, for revenue.