An interview with Antoinette M. Clarke and Tricia Clarke-Stone, about their book “Double Down: Bet on Yourself and Succeed on Your Terms”.
Antoinette and Tricia are two successful entrepreneurs and businesswomen who have climbed their way to the highest ranks of the media world and have learned that to win when the deck is stacked against you, you need to ditch the old Status Quo rules.
Antoinette Clarke is a two-time Emmy Award-winning television producer and the VP of Branded Entertainment and Media Innovation at CBS Television Network.
Tricia Clarke-Stone is an entrepreneur, innovative marketer, and revenue-producing executive who has spent the last two decades at the intersection of marketing, branding, tech, media, and entertainment.
Whether you’re starting your career, wondering why you’re not further along, or looking to pivot, you’ve got to double down on yourself, and you’ve got to cultivate a tribe of people who will double down on you, too.
In their book “Double Down: Bet on Yourself and Succeed on Your Terms”, they share their wisdom with the next generation of young women looking to up their game. If you’re tired of getting second-class rewards for first-class work and you’re ready to be respected for who you are, Double Down will give you the tools and tactics to go all in on your dreams.
Among the lessons you’ll learn:
• Don’t emulate, originate: Identify your unique superpowers to start from a place of strength.
• Don’t stay in place, move into white space: To stand out, use your superpowers to do something no one else does.
• Don’t just compete, play the long game: Work backward from where you want to end up—aim high, go far.
• Don’t inherit your tribe, build it: Actively cultivate a crew of people who will push you to go after your most audacious goals (and set new ones).
Packed with strategies and solutions, as well as stories of other badass Boss Ladies including Ayesha Curry, Carly Cushnie, Anne Wojcicki, and many others, this remixed rulebook will help you see the power in yourself—and double down on it.
What inspired you to write this book?
Antoinette C.: The whole reason behind why we wanted to write Double Down was to help democratize success for people who look like us, so women and people of color who didn’t necessarily get the opportunities and chances that they deserve. So we came up with basically a book, for lack of a better description, a roadmap for these people so they can have this kind of guide to take them through. It’s something we didn’t have when we were in our-
Tricia Stone: Twenties.
Antoinette C.: Twenties and early thirties and we find it’s a great tool and we hope it can help bring their careers and their lives to the next level.
Tricia Stone: Also, I think when … We’re twins, so initially a lot of people look at-
Antoinette C.: Are we?
Tricia Stone: A lot of people look at us like we’re an anomaly. Then as we started to get into our careers, everyone used to say, “Wow, you’re an entrepreneur. She’s an intrapreneur,” like we say, “and you’ve achieved such a high level of success. Your parents must be so proud.” It was always like-
Antoinette C.: Like a wow, how were you able to do this?
Tricia Stone: So, after we experienced that a few times, we were like, “How do we go from being a non-anomalies to the norm?”
Antoinette C.: Right.
What does the road-map look like?
Tricia Stone: We think this book will allow that. So the roadmap is basically outlined via our eight principles and the principles reflect the journey that we’ve been on we’ve look back at our journey and said, “Okay, what has led to this success? What steps did we follow? What were some of the tools and tactics?” Then we distilled it into these eight principles.
Antoinette C.: It’s funny also because we both had different paths, but our principals have all been the same that we ended up using and we didn’t realize that until we came together to write the book. So then that also shows that you can find success no matter what path you’re taking, if you use these eight principles.
Tricia Stone: Also, you asked what it starts with, it starts with doubling down on you and then doubling down on your crew. I think a lot of empowerment, business empowerment books focus on you need to do this and the next step is you need to do this, where the first half of the book is all about how you double down on yourself. So, identifying your superpowers, finding your white space, playing the long game and obviously we distill and dimensionalize what those things are. The second half of the book now that you’ve been grounded in how you’re going to double down on yourself and your abilities, then how does that manifest itself in the world with your colleagues, with your team members, with friends, with gurus, with mentors? So we do it in two parts and I think it’s done in two parts obviously because you know we’re twins and we wanted to show the power of not doing it all on your own and what kind of a support system looks like in that scenario.
Antoinette C.: Right.
What are your superpowers?
Tricia Stone: So, my superpower is action and essentially, I think, but I don’t pontificate and wait. I come up with an idea. I put a plan into action and I do because that allows me to quickly validate the idea or the solve or the problem that I’m solving so that I can quickly double down on it or pivot and evolve kind of what that solution is.
Antoinette C.: For my superpower, it’s empathy. I’ve basically structured my entire career around that superpower. I started my first half of my career for 12 years as a producer in daytime. Some people say, “Do you think you want to be in primetime or produce movies?” I was really focused on being where women were and being able to elevate what they were learning and give them the takeaway and the tools that they needed, and also to get more women on TV. So when I was producing, I made sure I booked a female experts because if you can’t see her, you can’t be her. So I wanted to definitely focus on that and how women feel. So I always, and even with my career now, I run [inaudible 00:04:07] entertainment for CBS. So I work a lot with brands and different shows. But it’s all about getting to the heart of things and the emotion instead of just focusing on the head. So it’s emotional infotainment, I call it, that you put all those pieces together.
Why is it important to identify your superpower?
Tricia Stone: First, it’s important to identify the superpower. Oftentimes it takes a while to really hone in on what you’re superpower is.
Antoinette C.: Yeah, people don’t understand what they’re good at and it takes a long time. So it’s basically that feeling you get when you’re doing something great and that’s the common denominator of all the great things you’ve done over a certain amount of time and it makes you feel magical. Then you use that superpower to really focus on locating that white space so-
Tricia Stone: So, then that’s the next step, right?
Antoinette C.: Right.
Tricia Stone: So now you know what you’re good at. Then you survey the competitive landscape and say, “Okay, based on what I’m good at in this particular industry or area of expertise, who else is good at those things and what else exists?” Then it’s looking to say, okay, what’s missing from this landscape and where can I plant my flag and really double down and basically chart a new path within that. If you think about it, white space essentially is some of the most common brands today, popular brands, Airbnb, Uber.
Antoinette C.: Uber, Amazon even, how they’ve come up with this whole world unto themselves to get us everything we need in like a day or less.
Tricia Stone: So, it’s basically innovating within a space or driving change or inventing something that doesn’t exist and you’re able to do that once you’ve identified your superpowers. When you’re in this uncharted territory, you have to know the skills and the power that you possess to really be able to-
Antoinette C.: Take it to the next level.
What type of people do I need on my team?
Tricia Stone: Right. The second part is really about it breaks down kind of the archetypes or personas of people that you need in your life to fulfill you both professionally and also personally. So I think on a professional level, we kind of break down the personas that you need, and often times we look for innovators, disruptors, gurus and MacGyvers, and MacGyvers are the people that inject a level of ingenuity in everything they do and they’re the ultimate hustler. The disruptors, they’re really challenging the status quo and-
Antoinette C.: The status quo and basically everything that they do. They’re pushing for change in every direction.
Tricia Stone: They’re pretty revolutionary. Then the innovators, they’re doing things that haven’t been done before. Then the gurus, they have a sense of experience and a level of expertise that can be added additives to any situation. So I think when you have all four of those on your team, you’re checking a lot of boxes.
Antoinette C.: Boxes, yeah.
Tricia Stone: That leads to a lot of success. The other thing is your ace and we consider each other.
Antoinette C.: Yeah, we came into the world with the ace, and I think a big thing of us being twins, we learned the power of connection and also the need to individuate and that’s why we felt like it was so important to write that second half of the book because it’s great to have Tricia in my life or whatever, but I also need to be my individual, and once you find out who your true self is and you have these other people in your life to elevate you and support you, it can take you to such unknown levels that you never even expected.
How do you create connections with people?
Tricia Stone: So basically, I think it’s about a value proposition and a value exchange. Oftentimes younger people that are seeking mentors, they think, “Oh, I don’t really have anything of value to add,” but you do. When I was coming up in my career, I was surrounded by people that were 20 years my senior. The thing that I used to my advantage was my youth and the fact that I had my finger on the pulse of culture and technology and they wanted that. So they basically want it to be around me and it was an even exchange of information. I learned from them because they had been in the marketing, advertising business for a long time and they wanted to see where marketing and advertising was going and where I thought it was going.
Tricia Stone: So, I think if you have a level of passion, high level of passion and a strong point of view, people will invite you and want, they will want you to have a seat at the table. Nowadays with social media and platforms like YouTube, you can share that point of view openly and people can find you. I think that’s kind of the power of the world that we live in today and the power that technology allows us. It gives us a way to kind of redefine and reimagine how we use our voice and spread it.
What is a key takeaway from the book?
Antoinette C.: Feeling that they can take their lives to the next level.
Tricia Stone: Where they can have a redefined version of what success looks like.
Antoinette C.: What success is. So, it’s like the new American hustle. So instead of following the status quo rules and what we’re taught and conditioned to believe and do, you can forge your own path and if you use our eight principles, you’ll get there and we’re proof of that, the both of us.