Happy Jazz Fest 2018! This time of year always reminds the trepwise team of the things we love most about our beautiful city—the people, the festivals, the food, the energy, and of course, the music. Below please find the soundtrack and liner notes to our work at trepwise, made up of cuts from our favorite Jazz Fest 2018 artists. As a small token of appreciation, please enjoy our Spotify playlist 🙂 Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!

The trepwise team

1.Life without music. I can’t go.  “Roller Skates” – Steel Pulse

2. What you want. Baby, I got it. What you need. Do you know I got it.  “Respect” – Aretha Franklin

We often say that entrepreneurship is in the air in New Orleans, and that’s because this is a city with creativity, energy, and resiliency. You know that’s what we need for successful entrepreneurs and that’s what we see in our clients every day.

3. Who’s to say what’s impossible and can’t be found. I don’t want this feeling to go away.  “Upside Down” – Jack Johnson

If there was ever a lyric that described the experience of building a company, it’s this one. The whole thing feels unlikely and the odds are stacked against you. But when you catch the bug, when you come up with the great idea that you know you can run with, it’s a feeling unlike anything else.


4. The world May think I’m foolish. They can’t see you Like I can. Oh but anyone who knows what love is. Will understand.  “Anyone Who Knows What Love Is” – Irma Thomas

The feeling Irma Thomas evokes in this song, about not being understood by “the world” but knowing that a group of likeminded people will understand, isn’t only applicable to love. To many, taking the risk of starting a business or organization can seem foolish. But for business owners and entrepreneurs there is an unspoken understanding that at the end of the day, the calculation is that the risk will be worth the reward. And in some cases, it’s the balance between them that attracted them in the first place. 

5. You may find yourself In another part of the world. And you may find yourself Behind the wheel of a large automobile. And you may ask yourself, well How did I get here “Once In a Lifetime” – David Byrne from the Talking Heads

Organizations are unpredictable, and as they grow and evolve, leaders and employees alike will find themselves in roles they may never have imagined for themselves. As a leader, take the time to understand how you and every person in the organization got to where you all are. Some may be exactly where they belong. Others may have outgrown their role or had a role outgrow them. Understanding this and making the necessary changes is an essential piece of building a business that is sustainable over the long run. 

6. Like the old saying goes. Everybody knows. Time flies when you’re having fun.  “Time Flies” – Smokey Robinson

Two and half years ago, when I joined trepwise we were a 4-person startup sharing an office space with two other organizations. Today, we have a staff of 11, occupy two floors, and have worked with over 200 organizations. It’s been a wild ride, and boy does time fly when you’re having fun.     


7. It’s the twist and the curve. It’s the up and the swerve. It’s the feeling of your nerves sitting on the front edge of their seats.  “Rollercoasters” – Tank and The Bangas

My favorite clients are the hustlers, the scrappy entrepreneurs who are in putting their hearts and souls into a start-up. Working with these clients is like getting on the rollercoaster with them, celebrating the highs and working our ways out of the lows together.

8. “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves” – Aretha Franklin and the Eurythmics

Hearing this song, it’s impossible not to think of the strong, savvy, badass women who I work with at trepwise as colleagues and as clients. In a year when our country has been spending a lot of time thinking about gender and the workplace, it is inspiring and invigorating to work with women – particularly women of color – who are building their own organizations and having enormous impact in their communities.


9. Don’t you think it’s time for you and me to make some history…When times are hard we’ll smile and say we’re not afraid of anything.  “Wild” – Royal Teeth

Entrepreneurs want to make history by creating something from and nothing and can’t be afraid of anything. The band exhibits the youthful entrepreneurial spirit that New Orleans contains & their song “Wild” feels like modern, vibrant energy that our start-ups possess. Plus, they’re local 😉

10. I know you’re tired and you ain’t sleeping well. Uninspired and likely mad as hell. But where ever you are, I hope the high road leads you home again.  “Hope the High Road” – Jason Isbell

I feel he speaks to many business owners that are in a rut when he sings this chorus. I’m sure many business owners have been there – stressed out, not sleeping, uninspired and frustrated. But they have to have hope and take the high road always.


11. All around the heart of the bayou, the moss balances in the large green oaks. Crocodiles sleeping among the cypress trees. Will o’ the wisp dancing in the cemetery… Move your body to the Zydeco.  “Zydeco Gris-Gris” – BeauSoleil

These lyrics describe the landscape and geography of New Orleans and the surrounding areas, and of Zydeco music, which draws upon so many cultures – French, Creole, West African, Cajun, and Caribbean. Our city’s uniqueness comes from this diversity of people. And of course, we are a city filled with people who have a passion for live music and dancing. It is great to catch the band at the Columns Hotel on St. Charles.

12. I can’t tell you how to live your life, it’s just not what I know.  “Into the Deep” – Galactic

It has been great to see Galactic’s evolution as players, producers, and songwriters as an evolution. The band members draw inspiration from the people and ideas that have long been close to their hearts, and it shows through the development of their unique sound, which is shot through with soul, funk, blues, and rock. The result of this mix is an organic riff on elements of Galactic’s past, filtered through the lens of where they are headed – a culmination of all their collaborations and experiences. I’m at a junction, where I am taking everything from the past and heading a new direction, for my next evolution.


13. But now I stand up tall for what I believe. Against all odds I walked that trail of fear.  “Keep Going” – The Revivalists

It can be truly uplifting in seeing the determination of our clients as they work to make their ideas come to life. They may think that the odds are stacked against their success, but they are steadfast in their pursuit of whatever success is to them.


14. No one can win the war individually. It takes the wisdom of the elders and young people’s energy.  “Glory” – Common feat. John Legend

Many of our clients are tirelessly working to solve some of the city’s most intractable problems—an inequitable criminal justice system, water management crises, or the achievement gap in public education. If these large undertakings aren’t enough, often times our entrepreneurs serve the dual functions of working in their businesses and on their businesses. As their advising partners, we provide the needed capacity to pursue the organizational goals that may have otherwise gone unaddressed. We bring the processes and the energy, while leaning on the knowledge and wisdom of our clients to drive meaningful impact.

15. Joy and Pain, are like sunshine and rain.  “Joy and Pain” – Maze feat. Frankie Beverly

Some of my proudest moments as a trepwise advisor have stemmed from seeing the entire evolution of a client relationship—from a new client painfully expressing the frustration of not being able to achieve a particular goal to that same client ecstatically emailing three months later with the good news of their success. Knowing we’ve helped bring sunshine after the rain is the best feeling a consultant can have.


16. Take me down. You can hold me but you can’t hold what’s within… Maybe I may bend, but I know where I’m not going. I will not be broken. I Will Not Be Broken– Bonnie Raitt

Bonnie Raitt sounds so much like an entrepreneur with these words! I continue to be impressed and inspired by the relentless dedication of the entrepreneurs we work with, and these words resound with the innate driving force that I see within them. They have a dream and are willing to fight their hardest to keep their eyes on the prize. Yes, sometimes entrepreneurs have to bend, pivot, make compromises, and test assumptions, but in the end they will achieve their end result, no matter how curvy the path is to success.

17. If I ever loose my faith in you. There’d be nothing left for me to do. If I Ever Loose My Faith in You– Sting

This song rings so true and should be part of the entrepreneurial anthem because entrepreneurs and business owners have to keep the faith. If they loose their faith in their work, vision or abilities, everything can come crumbling down. They have to believe that they will succeed or they’ll be nothing for them to do.


18. Send me your location. Let’s focus on communicating, ‘cause I just need the time and place to come through.“Location– Khalid 

We pride ourselves on our ability to meet organizations where they are, take a snapshot in time through stakeholder conversations and assessments, and truly understand the deep-rooted value add as well as current and potential challenges. From there, we work hand in hand to come through for each other – while we bring analytical and creative problem solving skills to the table, our clients own implementation and capacity building within their own staff. In the end we build a collaborative relationship based on open and consistent communication that allows us to work together to create a more thriving and sustainable path.

19. I said music is what I’ve got to give, and I’ve got to find some way to make it. Music is what I’ve got baby. I want you to come on and shake it.“Funky Kingston– Toots and the Maytals

This song reminds me of our trepwise team. We each bring a unique skillset to the table, whether it’s finance, marketing, operations, for-profit, non-profit, etc. Through our ability to share knowledge and connect the dots between each area of expertise, we create an amazing symphony of services, much like individual instruments contributing to a band. Another great thing about our team is that we know when to focus and buckle down, but we also understand that to be successful there are times when we just need to drop everything, put on a great tune, and “come on and shake it!”


20. Blackbird singing in the dead of night. Take these broken wings and learn to fly. All your life. You were only waiting for this moment to arise. “Blackbird” – The Beatles, Covered by Jon Batiste and the Dap Kings

This song always speaks to me – we can all find our voice when we are struggling and learn to fly again. trepwise is all about that – we help our clients find their voice and tell their story – and we help each other find our own passion and deliver daily.

21. Fall is here, hear the yell. Back to school, ring the bell. Brand new shoes, walking blues. Climb the fence, books and pens. I can tell that we are going to be friends. “We’re Going to Be Friends” – The White Stripes (Jack White)

This silly, adorable vintage White Stripes song brings a smile to my face every time and reminds me just how wonderful friends are. One of the most outstanding parts of working at trepwise is the client relationships we form. We are friends – we greet each other with a hug and are on the same page about the impact we are hoping to realize. It’s good stuff. 


22. That’s when I used to love her, but it’s all over now. “It’s All Over Now” – Dirty Dozen Brass Band

We know our clients’ love for the way they’ve always done things runs deep—besides, it’s gotten them this far, right? Nevertheless, we deploy our learnings, systems, and best practices honed over a plethora of engagements in a variety of industries to unlock efficiencies and untapped potential. We tell our clients to #TrustTheProcess and once they do, it’s all over for their old ways!


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Genevieve Douglass

Genevieve Douglass

Marketing Director at trepwise
Genevieve Douglass

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