The Proven Entrepreneur

TPE 102 | Entrepreneurship


Hey there, fellow entrepreneur! Have I got a treat for you today. I just listened to the latest episode of the Proven Entrepreneur Show, and let me tell you, it’s packed with incredible insights and inspiring stories that you won’t want to miss.

Host Don Williams kicks things off with an engaging conversation featuring the dynamic duo, Richard and Chalon Clark. As the cameras start rolling, you can feel the energy as they dive into their entrepreneurial journeys. Chalon, a talented attorney turned interior designer, shares how she started her company, Design Redefined, from scratch and how her mindset shifted from lawyer to creative visionary. Alongside her, Richard reveals his passion for flipping houses and his love for sharing cultural cuisine with the world through his restaurant brands and a villa in Jamaica.

But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. They also open up about the hard lessons they’ve learned along the way. Richard shares the emotional toll of his first failed business venture and how he had to pick up the pieces. Chalon reflects on her own setbacks, emphasizing the importance of legal agreements for entrepreneurs. It’s a powerful reminder that failure is not the opposite of success but an essential part of the journey.

Throughout the episode, Richard and Chalon drop wisdom bombs left and right. Richard’s metaphor of juggling glass balls and rubber balls will resonate with every entrepreneur, teaching us to prioritize and protect what truly matters. Meanwhile, Chalon’s journey of finding her capacity and learning to say no is sure to strike a chord with ambitious go-getters.

The episode wraps up with a beautiful reminder to stay present, trust in grace, and embrace the path set by God. It’s a message that will speak to your soul and inspire you to be the best version of yourself.

If you’re ready for an episode filled with authentic wisdom, game-changing insights, and contagious entrepreneurial spirit, you need to listen to this episode now. Connect with Chalon on Instagram at @yourdesignredefined and reach out to Richard at or on LinkedIn. Trust me, you won’t regret diving into this episode. So what are you waiting for? Hit play and get ready to be inspired. See you on the other side of success!


For information on how to work with Don visit Work With Don Williams

You can also reach out to Don Williams at

Please join Don and his businesses in support of St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital in its Mission to cure Childhood Cancers. You can donate to St. Jude at

Watch the episode here


The Proven Entrepreneur Show: Unleashing The Power Of Entrepreneurship With Power Couple Chalon And Richard Clark

I’ve got a power couple for you, Richard and Chalon Clark joining me. Both are entrepreneurs. Richard and Chalon, welcome to the show.

Thank you.

Thanks for having us.

I’m so grateful to have you. Ladies first, let’s start here. You’re an entrepreneur in your own right.

Yes. I’m a new baby entrepreneur.

I love new baby entrepreneurs. I love them. The audience knows. I love people who are taking that first entrepreneurial stuff. Your professional training is?

As an attorney, Commercial Litigation. I work at big law. I made an equity partner in 2022. I’m also in firm management. I’m doing all of that on that side, and then my business at night and weekends.

You know what they say. If you want to get something done, give it to somebody who’s busy and they’ll get it done. Congratulations on your promotional firm. That’s big doings. Tell us about your entrepreneurial effort.

I started Your Design Redefined in 2020. Like everybody else, the whole world stopped. I was pregnant with my third. As friends, family, and coworkers were dying from COVID, it made me start to think about what was on my bucket list that you always think you have more time for. One was writing a book and one was opening an interior design company. I did finish my book. I took a writing class while I was pregnant, a virtual class, and I was still doing my homework as I was giving labor. I finished the book before my maternity leave ended. I then started Your Design Redefined in November 2020.

My husband is always into something. We had flipped houses starting a few years ago. He came home and was like, “I bought a house and you’re going to design it. I’m opening a new restaurant and you’re going to design it.” I kept looking back over my life, plus we had built our own homes.

I’m guessing you designed it?

Yes, I designed it. People would always compliment and say, “Who’s your designer?” I’m like, “Me.” “Will you do mine?” “Absolutely not. I’m not a designer. I’m just a lawyer.” That was my whole thing. After a while, I started looking at my portfolio. I had three restaurants and three homes. I was like, “Maybe I am an interior designer and a lawyer.” My tag is the lawyer designer. I put my first post on Instagram with zero followers.

My husband is like, “What are you doing? Nobody is going to see it. You don’t have any followers. You got to post it on Facebook.” I’m like, “No way. I’m not posting my design on Facebook. There are lawyers and judges that follow me. They’re going to laugh at me and think I’m not serious about practicing law.” He’s like, “You have to.” I did. The outpouring was very positive. Most of my clients, including my first client, were other lawyers.

I’m being a little humorous here. I wonder how many third-year law students’ heart skips a beat when they hear you say, “I’m just a lawyer.” I like lawyer designers so much better. Richard, tell us about your entrepreneurial journey. What are you doing right now? What’s getting your time and effort?

I own a hospitality company, The Present House Hospitality Group. We have two restaurant brands, The Island Spot, Jamaican Kitchen & Bar. We acquired Bone Daddy’s House of Smoke brand in 2022. We have our first villa in Jamaica that we’re launching later in 2023 called The Island Spot Villas as well. That’s what I do. I’m in hospitality. I’m passionate about food. Sometimes a little bit too passionate. My waistline can tell you. I am looking to share cultural cuisine with the broader masses on a consistent basis. That’s what we do.

I want to know, did you start any of the companies and come home and say, “I started a company now?”

I may have. It started back when I was a consultant. After business school, I went to consulting at McKinsey. Beyond that, I moved on to Corporate America. While I was at McKinsey, they took me to the number-one-ranked Jamaican restaurant at that time for my birthday for a team lunch. The experience was lacking and it left me thinking, “This can’t be the best that we had to offer.” When I left the firm, I started to work with my next phase, which was Dean Foods. It was my client before. I felt like I had a little bit more time and I wanted to do something about it. What I wanted to do was to change the way people experience Jamaican food and my culture personally.

TPE 102 | Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship: I wanted to change the way people experience Jamaican food and my culture personally.


I started at that. I had a friend who was a chef. I had a restaurant on weekends. I did come home and say, “I’ve decided to go in partnership with someone. I’m going to fund a restaurant.” She was looking at me like I’m crazy, but that led to this whole journey that I’m on right now. As a restaurateur, I did the only thing you can do, which is fail within the first year and close the store. We did reopen it and we’ve had that store. That was the first Island Spot. We’ve had it for thirteen years in 2023 by myself.

We’ve opened other locations. Since then, I’ve moved from trying to change the way people experience Jamaican food and cuisine. I started to look at more of a broad cultural palette and how we create opportunities for people to try amazing food that has a unique cultural bend but has more of a broad appeal. We acquired our first other group, which is Bone Daddy’s. We took the whole concept. Now we’re thinking of how to reimagine it and grow it again. That’s what we do.

Thank you. That’s where you’re at now.


I’m going to take you all the way back to 5 years old up to 18, so your childhood home. Chalon, was someone an entrepreneur?

I was about to say no immediately, but then I think about my mom, who was a burn intensive care unit nurse who retired at the age of 40 to start doing MLMs, Multi-Level Marketing. That is entrepreneurial for sure. She left that career behind and she never went back. I guess in some way, I was exposed to making it on your own and leaving the comfort and security of a good paycheck.


Mine didn’t go by the name. I say entrepreneur, but my family had a shop that we ran. I grew up in it. I realized later on that I grew up around entrepreneurs. My grandmother opened this small grocery shop. My mother took it over when I was five. I started to work in a shop because I was good at Math, so I was calculating the bills.

Accounts payable officer at five.

Eventually, I got to a point where I was doing most of running it at 13 before I came to college in America at 18. I grew up around entrepreneurship.

We’re through our early childhood years. You’re eighteen. You’re either going to university, backpacking across Europe, or you joined the Navy. What was next?

I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer since I was nine years old. I went to the University of Houston and got a Finance degree. I then went to the University of Texas School of Law and got my Law degree.

You knew what you wanted. You went and did it.

I clerked for a Federal judge for two years, then came to Hush Blackwell where I still practice law.

Thank you. Richard?

Mine is a little bit different. I knew I wanted to run businesses, but I didn’t exactly know what specific field, as Chalon did with law. I came here. I did my undergrad in Physics. I was good at Math so I lean into that. After that, I went on to do my MBA in Strategy and Finance. Post my MBA, I went on to McKinsey and did consulting for three years. I joined Dean Foods. I was running their business analytics function, and then eventually moved to Borden Dairy where I ended up as the Chief Procurement Officer running over bidding houses and ran M&A for them as well.

Thinking back on your young entrepreneur career. As a wife of an entrepreneur who might tell you, “ I bought a house or a business now,” would you share a hard lesson? Something that happened that when it happened, it might have even taken your breath away like, “I don’t like it. That hurts.” After some time has passed, you can look back and say, “Maybe that was the best thing that happened.” Do you have a hard lesson you can share with us?

I don’t want to take over his hard lessons.

Go ahead.

I’m sure he has more than one.

The worst one was the first Island Spot. I was already a practicing attorney. However, he had already entered an agreement with his former partner where he put in all of the money and took 40% of the equity. That didn’t work out well. Let’s fast forward. I was like, “Get an attorney. Draft an agreement. Don’t put in all the money in that and half equity.” There are lots of lessons there, but I think he learned it the hard way. We were able to open the restaurant back up after it closed. We opened it in time for our wedding. It fed 250 people. We were able to bring in the family. Looking back, it’s probably the best thing that ever happened because now he won’t do anything without a lawyer. Permission to sneeze is legal.


I think that was probably a good lesson.

Many entrepreneurs, early on, want to wink at legal, governance, and compliance. Typically, there’s an issue. From that point on, they’re like, “As much as I want to wink at it, I’m going to have to consult the service of the attorney.” Another hard lesson. When I ask about a hard lesson, entrepreneurs are like, “How much time do we have? I got a couple.” Do you have another one you could share with us, Richard?

Yes. To go with that, it got explored a little bit more. As you’re going through the process and making sure that you’re vetting who you’re going into business with, that’s one, but also why you’re going into business. When that restaurant failed, I reached a certain level of almost like depression. It so happened that the depression coincides when I’m getting married. I felt like I lost my engagement period. The partnership fight started literally after I proposed inside the restaurant. If you lose a certain part of your life, they feel like you’re never going to get back. That’s one.

The other part that goes with it is you go through almost like a trough of sorrow where you’re trying to figure out, “Is this what I wanted to do? Why do I want to do it? If it’s something that I wanted to do, can I get through it?” There’s no explicit way that someone is going to tell you, “This is what the outcome is going to be.” I wanted to get through and make that one restaurant successful. I wouldn’t think that I would be opening more. Those others created their own headache, and then buying this brand and that brand came with its own headaches.

It's almost like a trough of sorrow when you're trying to figure out, “Is this really what I wanted to do, and why do I want to do it?” Click To Tweet

It’s trying to learn why you’re doing things. Me and Chalon talk about this the most, which is to stop looking at the end goal and start to enjoy the journey because that’s all you’re promised. I am learning to stop looking at the end goal. I like to look at the goal, plan, and strategize. Things are going to blow up, so being on the journey and enjoying that process is what I’m learning right now.

I think it’s not so much just looking at the end goal. Of course, that’s there, but not thinking, “I’ll be happy when.” God is a God of balance. There’s always going to be happy and sad with each situation. One of our favorite verses is in Paul when he says, “Whatsoever state I’m in, they’re with to be content.” Understanding what that means is not complacency. It’s finding joy in any situation you’re in and enjoying the journey all along the way.

I wrote a book on gratitude. Scripture tells us to be thankful and grateful in all things. It’s easy to be thankful and grateful for the good things, but it’s sometimes a little harder to find your gratitude in something more of a challenge. The one thing we know, and the name of the show is The Proven Entrepreneur success stories. We know that part of the success journey, failure is not the opposite of success. It is part of the success journey. You cannot succeed without failing. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It means you had an event that you failed. Now we’re moving on. We’re going to do something differently. We learned. You either win or you learn. Learning is a little slower winning. Wife, mother, attorney, and entrepreneur, I’m not sure when you sleep.

Never. You can see these bags in my eyes.

If I were going to get you to share a nugget from the book of wisdom of Chalon, something that you view near and dear to your heart as true wisdom in your life, what would that be?

It’s so broad. True life.

That’s why you got the question.

It’s coming for you next.

You’re going to sit there and think while I’m thinking.

We can go to Richard.

I live by a principle right now, which is that I have two types of balls that I’m juggling. I have glass balls and I have rubber balls. I try to think about which ones are which. I’ve learned that my family, my wife, and my girls are glass balls. My faith is a glass ball. My business sometimes I think it’s a glass ball, but it is a rubber ball. Some of the things that I do, my peers, and my hobbies are rubber balls. As I’m juggling, I can let the rubber balls drop. Those can bounce back. I can catch it again. It may come back dirty or with all the things that I have to brush off, but I cannot let the glass ball drop. When the glass ball drop, it shatters, and that’s going to be the hardest thing to put together.

I learned that because I’ve had situations that I’ve not been sufficiently thinking about that and you realize what’s really important. When we were going through the challenge of the business and that store closed, it proved itself to be a rubber ball. It’s because we reopened the store, brought in new people, and figured it out. When I have people on my team that I feel strongly about that, we talk about it or pray for this person.

When the person comes in, we think they’re the perfect person and then they quit or steal. All of those happened and I realize they’re rubber balls. It’s not that it’s something I’m not trying to juggle. I’m still trying to juggle and balance all that stuff, but I have to know which ones are unbreakable. You cannot drop it because that’s something that will be a lasting impression on my life. That’s what I live by now.

TPE 102 | Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship: We have things that we need to juggle and balance. You just have to know which ones are unbreakable because you cannot drop them.


With permission, I’m sharing that. That’s awesome.

There are so many things. I’m going through a transformation right now, I think. That’s why it was hard for me to answer because there are so many things. I’m a mom of three. They are 6, 4, and 2, about to be 7, 5, and 3 in 2023.

You have a busy house.

I have an equity partner in firm management, then I have this business on the side, which I’m so careful about my reputation. I don’t want it to mess up my law career. I’m always thinking about what I’m doing, how I’m doing it, and what I’m saying. It’s a lot. I’m helping Richard with the businesses. Designing the Villa in Jamaica overseas is something I’ve never done before. It’s so much. I’ve realized that I had a capacity beyond my imagination. Everyone has a negative voice in their head telling them what you can’t do and how could you possibly. I’ve broken past that barrier. Now I’m at a capacity that is overwhelming. Now I’m on the other side of that learning the importance of no.

I am exercising my no. Just because I can do it doesn’t mean I should. Because there might be a benefit, does it align with my highest priority of benefits? I’m still learning, but that is what I’m focused on. When you said entrepreneurs always think there’s a next step, you never think you’ve arrived. I’ve had to take a moment to say, “Yes, Chalon, you arrived. You can say no because you don’t want to. No other reason.”

Entrepreneurs always think there's a next step. You never think you've arrived. Click To Tweet

You don’t have to articulate the reason. If somebody can ask, you can say, “No, thank you,” and be done. Sometimes entrepreneurs have a hard time with that. I love the glass balls and rubber balls, and I love exercising my no. One of my favorite quotes, and I’m a big believer in wise words. I don’t care where they come from. If it’s Aristotle, Socrates, Jefferson, or whoever, but my favorite quote of all time is, “You’re far better, far smarter, and far stronger than you think.” I love that quote and that applies to everybody. Do you know who that is?


That’s Christopher Robin in Winnie The Pooh. He’s by far my favorite philosopher. That’s by far my favorite quote. I’m going to put you in a time machine. I’m going to send you back and give you about 90 seconds to talk to your twenty-year-old self. Remember how smart you were and how you knew everything. I’ll put you in a time machine. Go back and talk to your twenty-year-old self, share 1 or 2 things in a minute or two that you know now you wish your twenty-year-old self knew then. I’m not going to put you on the spot. I’m going to save who goes first.

Mine is going to be 90 seconds. I think I would tell my twenty-year-old self, “All is well.” I have spent all my childhood up until probably the last two years so full of anxiety about the future. If I had known that no matter how it goes, good or bad, it’s all going to be okay. I would want to send that calmness to that twenty-year-old anxious me. “Am I going to get it to the best law school? Am I going to be the first Black female US Supreme Court justice?” All of these things that I was worried about, nobody can see me do this or say that. I would say, “All is well. It’s all going to be okay.”

I think everybody can chill a little bit. Richard?

I would tell myself, “You’re enough. You continue on the path that you are on and it will be enough.” Growing up, my father left one night. I didn’t see him again until I was 28. I came from a fairly tough neighborhood with real high crime. You have situations where you don’t know things are going to work out. You put pressure on yourself because I was young as a four. My older siblings had a different dad, so I was by myself with my mother and my father later on.

TPE 102 | Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship: You’re enough, and you continue on the path that you are on, and it will be enough.


It feels like I am trying to chase while I run away at the exact same time. I’m trying to chase a future to change my family while I run away from the history of either who my father was or who my community was and all those different things. Understand that you don’t have to be in either the forward or the backward, but you can be within yourself and you are going to be enough. I can try to create the path, but most of the things that happened to me that pivoted my life were because of grace. I didn’t have the ability to influence grace. Grace was given to me by God.

It’s in myself and doing the things that I can do to not worry about what’s going to happen in the future and not worry about what’s happened in the past. It’s looking at the past that has been appropriate for the journey that I’m on because God put me there. Be within myself and do what I can. That’s what I would tell myself because I realize that I always have a goal that I’m shooting towards and I always have something I’m trying to leave behind. That is draining to be in so many different realms at once. It’s easier to be in prison.

Thank you for sharing. Many people in mental health would tell you that anxiety lives in our future and depression in our past. When we live in the present, that’s where we’re healthiest. Chalon, if somebody wants to reach out to you, either about designing or they need a commercial litigator, how do they find you?

For commercial litigation, it’s Husch Blackwell. I’m right there on the website handling all types of business and commercial disputes. For interior design, and I’m also on Instagram.

Thank you. Richard, how do we reach out to you?

You can get me by email, I’m on LinkedIn. I’m always looking for the next culturally critical brand to acquire input in our platform. If you’re interested in transitioning your business, let me know. I’ll be happy to have a conversation with you.

He’ll tell you later that you will be designing it. Thank you both so much for bringing your wisdom, candor, and authenticity to the show. I’m grateful.

Thank you so much for having us.

Thank you.

Thank you. That’s this episode of The Proven Entrepreneur show. See you next time. Bye now.


Important Links


About Chalon Clark

TPE 102 | EntrepreneurshipPracticing commercial litigation. She has received numerous accolades and honors including the Women in Business Award (Dallas Business Journal), Texas 100 Most Influential in the State (Dallas Business Journal), Minority Business Leader Award (Dallas Business Journal), Top Forty Under Forty (D Magazine), Texas Super Lawyer, Top Women Attorneys in Texas, 100 Most Influential African American Leaders in Business (National Diversity Council), and many others.

In addition to her thriving area of practice, Chalon is the founder and owner of Design Redefined — a contemporary interior design business where Chalon redefines customers’ reality into beautiful, inspiring decorated spaces. Just as Chalon delivers closing arguments in the courtroom, she also brings the story of her client’s lives together, demonstrated through the design of their home or business. After only starting the business in 2020, Chalon has already appeared in numerous magazines and was featured on Daybreak (WFAA News).

Chalon and her husband, Richard, also own the Jamaican restaurant chain, The Island Spot, with three locations in Dallas and the Island Spot Villa in Jamaica focused on sharing the Jamaican culture through Rich Food, Reggae, and Rum.

Chalon is also a writer and completed her first book –a memoir and childhood coming-of-age story based on her last summer spent with her grandmother in the tiny town of Coolidge, Texas.

With a busy law practice, loving husband and three beautiful daughters under the age of 6, Chalon Clark is a true “mompreneur” who is representing not only in the community as an attorney, but also as a highly sought after interior designer — on an international level. In her free time–with family roots in the Bahamas and Jamaica–Chalon and her husband enjoy traveling throughout the Caribbean, and on their bucket list is a plan to visit every Caribbean island.


For information on how to work with Don visit Work With Don Williams

You can also reach out to Don Williams at

Please join Don and his businesses in support of St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital in its Mission to cure Childhood Cancers. You can donate to St. Jude at



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TPE 102 | Entrepreneurship