Do you ever find yourself dreaming big, wondering how to transform those vibrant ideas into reality? That’s precisely where Charmaine Hammond and her brainchild, Raise A Dream, come in—she’s the catalyst for turning those blazing passions into tangible, living projects through the magic of collaboration, partnership, and sponsorship.

But here’s the real secret sauce that stitches Charmaine’s journey together—relationships. Whether it’s in her businesses or personal endeavors, collaboration and sponsorship aren’t just buzzwords; they’re a critical part of her success.

Before diving headfirst into her current venture, Charmaine’s professional path took many turns. Picture this: a correctional officer turned mediator, weaving through the world of nonprofits, mastering crisis management and conflict resolution along the way.

Curious to learn how this multifaceted journey carved a pathway to successful ventures? Come along and discover the blueprint for building not just one, but multiple thriving businesses, courtesy of Charmaine’s grit, determination, and sheer hard work.

From Correctional Officer to Hollywood Executive Producer

When it comes to dreams, Charmaine Hammond is a prime example of defying the odds. With an impressive resume boasting 11 bestselling books and a powerful presence as a speaker, she’s also been instrumental in guiding others toward realizing their aspirations. But the real highlight? Her audacious venture into Hollywood as a co-executive producer, successfully assembling an impressive group of A-listers for a film project.

However, before she transformed dreams into reality, Charmaine’s path was far from predictable. She started as a corrections officer and served in that role for 10 years. When she left, Charmaine set out on a transformative path that led to a career in dispute resolution. Her diverse experiences, including working in nonprofits and earning certifications, eventually shaped her success in training, speaking, and writing.

Charmaine’s story demonstrates how seemingly unrelated experiences can merge into a cohesive journey, a sentiment Christina echoes from her own mentoring experiences. Charmaine’s tenure as a correctional officer equipped her with vital skills in mediation, providing a foundational understanding of crisis management and conflict resolution. Her diverse puzzle pieces shaped an incredible journey, guiding her precisely toward the realization of her dreams.

Strategic Partnerships

Part of Charmaine’s dreams involve helping others realize their own. A special venture of hers—Raise a Dream—helps people turn their big dreams into reality. Her expertise in collaboration and sponsorship are used extensively in her businesses. Since sponsorship involves partnering with businesses to obtain financial aid or in-kind support for projects, building and maintaining relationships are vital.

Raise a Dream assists entrepreneurs, authors, speakers, coaches, and even nonprofits in bringing their ambitious projects to life. Charmaine expresses immense joy in witnessing her clients achieve incredible feats by incorporating collaboration, partnership, and sponsorship into their endeavors.

Charmaine can speak so confidently on this topic because she has applied these principles to her own ambitions. On her Million Acts of Kindness tour, Charmaine shared her books about her incredible dog, Toby. She embarked on a North American tour in a sponsored motorhome, spreading kindness and connecting with people. This initiative’s success was largely fueled by collaboration and sponsorship, a testament to how dreams can be realized through strategic partnerships.

Christina has also experienced success in securing sponsorships and collaborations. In this episode, she shares how she was able to bring Hoda Kotb to an event at Virginia Tech by leveraging her PR background and securing sponsorships from Capital One and a friend’s garden center for the event’s needs. This success boosted her confidence and led to further opportunities.

Charmaine emphasizes the importance of recognizing value, building relationships, and finding synergy between brands and projects. She and Christina highlight that unexpected and incredible outcomes can arise from collaborations, often beyond what one might anticipate, as businesses and brands bring diverse experiences and insights to the table.

The Critical Role of Relationship-Building

Assisting folks in achieving their big dreams requires a purposeful strategy. Charmaine often meets clients who’ve stumbled when trying to secure sponsorship or collaboration due to some common mistakes. Building rapport and establishing relationships are undeniably crucial—just firing off tons of emails or letters without any connection often ends up in a total response blackout from businesses.

Through Raise a Dream’s educational programs and mentoring, they roll out a seven-step model that’s all about building relationships in your collaboration and sponsorship efforts. They emphasize the need to take it step by step, from sparking a connection to confidently making your pitch—the right approach can bring about some major wins.

Charmaine shares an awesome tale about an author who, armed with these skills and applying the model, snagged a sponsor for 25 books for charity on their first go at asking. It’s solid evidence that the model is a real game-changer when people grasp the progression and focus on creating value and harmony in their partnerships.

Pushing Through Discomfort

The pursuit of your dream can be a challenging path. There’s immense power in genuinely expressing passion while chasing your dreams, but Charmaine points out that many driven individuals lose steam when faced with obstacles or uncomfortable moments. Holding onto that fire and vitality, as both Christina and Charmaine emphasize, plays a vital role in drawing opportunities and making things happen.

Christina, a big advocate for positive vibes and passion, believes that diving into projects with enthusiasm often aligns things in your favor. Charmaine agrees wholeheartedly, sharing personal experiences where unexpected doors swung open just by embracing openness and exploring the unknown.

Stepping beyond your comfort zone is tough, no doubt, but it often leads to remarkable outcomes. Even if those initial attempts feel awkward, practice makes reaching out a whole lot smoother. The value of direct, personal communication in building relationships cannot be overstated.

Connections on a personal level, coupled with enthusiasm and persistence while chasing dreams, can lead to fantastic results. With practice, discomfort fades, making way for fulfilling opportunities.

“Back Home Again”

As you’ll hear in this episode, Charmaine had the incredible opportunity to serve as a co-executive producer for the film, “Back Home Again,” written and directed by Michael Mankowski. Christina and Charmaine explore the gripping tale behind a Hollywood screenplay that’s more than just glitz and glamor. Charmaine shares her involvement in the film, a powerful project born from the ashes of Fort McMurray’s devastating wildfires in Alberta, Canada.

The screenplay, initiated to aid in community healing, aimed to spark conversations about hope, connection, and mental health through art. Charmaine’s initial uncertainty about her role in the film industry didn’t deter her enthusiasm for this heartfelt project. Despite her learning curve, Michael’s passionate vision drew her in, leading to an incredible journey of growth and collaboration.

Assembling a stellar voice cast, including renowned actors like Michael J. Fox, Jeremy Renner, Catherine O’Hara, and many more, helped to elevate the film. The screenplay’s emphasis on mental health and hope took on an even more profound meaning as the project coincided with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a time when mental health struggles were prevalent globally.

The film sparked crucial conversations about mental health, trauma, and resilience, especially during such trying times. Contributing to a project that fostered connections and laid the groundwork for discussing challenging yet essential subjects was a rewarding experience for Charmaine.

Charmaine reflects on her favorite aspects of the movie-making process, highlighting the captivating evolution of hand-drawn images into animated characters. She admires Michael Mankowski’s meticulousness and care in engaging educators, mental health professionals, and even therapists to ensure the project’s accuracy and impact. Importantly, the film’s stories are inspired by real people and events from the community, lending authenticity and depth to the narrative.

The project spanned several years—some of which were during the challenging COVID-19 years. Charmaine joyfully recalls pivotal moments, like attending film festivals and witnessing Michael receiving an award—it felt like a symbol that their dream had been realized. Her deep belief in the transformative power of dreams fuels her advice to persist in pursuing one’s aspirations, fostering a better world when dreams are realized.

Future Dreams

With an eye toward future dreams, Charmaine shares her excitement about her upcoming book release—a project on which she collaborated with her lifelong friend for illustrations. Additionally, she aims to create a program to guide individuals in selecting and pursuing their dreams. 

Charmaine’s greatest accomplishment since turning 50? Her involvement in the “Back Home Again” film, which she invites people to watch on YouTube by searching for “Back Home Again movie.”

Looking ahead 10 years, Charmaine envisions continuing her passion, assisting others in raising their dreams, writing, and possibly exploring more meaningful film projects.

The dialogue between Christina and Charmaine serves as a testament to the power of pursuing dreams and finding joy in the journey.

Watch Charmaine’s full episode here:

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