02 #WeOutHere : Impostor Syndrome

In our first episode, Zach and Ade discuss the topic of impostor syndrome and welcome former fortune 50 executive, Amazon best selling author, and entreprenuer Fenorris Pearson to share his story.

Length: 00:47:30

Hosts:  Ade | Zach

How to Play the Game at the Top




It’s 2011 and I just graduated from the University of Houston (go Coogs!). I’m bright eyed and bushy tailed and I’m scared out of my mind. It’s my first day and a large retail company an HR Manager and since I’m an “Executive Team Lead”, there’s a big orientation with all the other “Executive Team Leads in the region. At 20 years old, I’m easily. One of the youngest managers in the company. I look around the room and I see folks way older than me and seemingly much more comfortable in their own skin. I should be excited. I should be thankful. I should be happy. Instead, I only had one statement seared in my mind. First a whisper, then finally, a clear assertion: 

 I don’t belong here. 

This is Zach, and you’re listening to Living Corporate. 

ZACH: So today we’re talking about imposter syndrome. An hbr article defines it as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persists despite evidence success. Ade, can you relate to that? 

ADE: Absolutely. On our website, which you also check out by the way, there is a quick little blurb about the fact that I’m an aspiring software engineer. I knew nothing about code before I started exploring it and I can’t tell you the number of times I sat in a room and I was like, OK, I heard the words that came out of your mouth and I’m pretty certainly were in English, but I could not tell you for the life of me what they meant to. There’s just this repeated feeling of, I’m in the wrong group. You have you ever had that dream where everybody around you can see you naked and you’re not aware until he looked down and realized, oh crap, they’re laughing at me. I’m just that repeated feeling of I’m in the wrong room and everybody can see it.  Also in like my own  job, my current position, I’m always feeling like I’m always hesitant to answer questions even though I know the answer to them because I’m often either the youngest person in the room or the least experience. And I find that despite how confident I might be when it’s just me and I know that I’ve done my homework and I know that I’ve done all the background necessary, I always find myself like second guessing myself for that one, very brief, split second, and sometimes that’s just the difference between somebody else getting the position or somebody else getting an accolade for something that I already knew the answer to. 

ZACH: That’s so real. Speaking for myself, I know that there’s been multiple times where I know that I’ve done the research. I know I’ve done the homework, I know that I’ve done everything that’s calling for me to do. And yet when I get in those rooms where you have those moments, there’s always like the sneaky thing where I’m like, “ah, I really don’t this, this whole thing is a sham”, right? Like where I feel as if like at any point at any moment, like they’re gonna pull back the curtain just kinda like where’s it at the end. The one that was a great and powerful Oz. And you look behind the sheet and it’s like just a regular dude. And I know for me like that’s a genuine feeling of mine, right? I know that this is a relevant topic because even like on Fishbowl, which is like a, for those who don’t know, fishbowl is an anonymous posting essentially like think like, um, like twitter, but there’s no user names, don’t know if it’s completely anonymous and even we look across like, you know, when you just look at fish bowl, which I would say the predominant number of users are white folks.  They talk about this all the time and like it leads to all types of issues, it’s the source of so many different types of stresses and frustrations for them. They’ll say things like “I’m really depressed here”, and “you know, I really just felt as if anyone was going to find me out”, “I really don’t feel like I know what I’m doing and everyone else is an expert”, and so on and so forth. I mean, I’ve seen people who are engagement managers and partners and directors, postings like that, right? And so I don’t feel like it’s necessarily something that’s so isolated to me or definitely to you. And I know you’ve done some research on this. What insights can you share about how common or uncommon the feeling of being an imposter or just how common or uncommon imposter syndrome is? 

ADE: So we found a research that suggests that up to 70 percent of people, in professional settings report I’m having felt some sort of, um, anxiety related to impostor syndrome. And I know I’ve done personal research back in my graduate days. I’m on particularly students of color and feelings of inadequacy in school settings, but I didn’t really find any that, that spoke to the experiences of underrepresented groups in corporate America. I would venture to say that the present is of those particular groups that are higher for people who are already one of the few where you find yourself being the only black person. The only black woman, the only gay person or the only the only used in the room and I’ve always wondered what it must be like for people of color to climb any corporate ladder because the higher you go, the less there are of us.

ZACH: Straight up. No, you’re absolutely right. I mean I definitely agree when you look at the data and I definitely reviewed the research that you shared and thank you for that. It didn’t break it down by the “only” one in the room, to the language that you used. It didn’t break it down by you know, how present that feeling must be for the only black woman or the only first generation immigrant or like ow much stronger those feelings must be. Because for me, when I think about imposter syndrome, I think about the fact that not only do I feel like this, but there’s no one around who looks like me who I can actually have a conversation with either. So I feel like doubly alone, you know what I mean? 

ADE: Yeah, I do. I mean, it would be great if we had a guest who could speak on their experiences. I mean, they will need to be like, I dunno, executive at a couple of fortune 50 companies they wrote an Amazon bestseller or where does, because that won’t be an entrepreneur. 

ZACH: Oh, you mean like our first guest of the pod, Fenorris Pearson? 

ADE: Yeah! We’re going to get it to her interview with the first guest of our show, Fenorris Pearson. 

ZACH: Hey, y’all went back and as I said we have for Norris s’mores. Welcome to Living Corporate.!First official show you kicking us off, how does it feel?

FENORRIS: It feels great. Feels great, man. Excited. And I’m excited to be a part of this groundbreaking podcast show. 

ZACH: I appreciate it, man. So you and I have a history. We’ve, we’ve worked together. You’ve been a mentor of mine for years, but for those who don’t know you, would you mind sharing a little bit of your story? Let’s just start about how you got into corporate America. 

FENORRIS: Absolutely. So I come from, I grew up in a family of 10. Seven boys, three girls. Grew up in the projects. I was the first one and they only one want to get a college degree andcertainly our postgraduate degree in business and organizational development. I always aspired, even though it was a pretty good athlete, there was a division one scholarship athlete, student athlete, a lot of success in basketball, I was always inspired to be a businessman. So I, graduated and moved into a corporate America. I always believed in myself, but I know God always has provided grace and favor in my life. So as I entered into corporate America, um, it was one of those things where I had goals, I had certain aspirations to get to. Certain things were more important than anything I wanted to not lose myself, who I am, and who I was as an individual as I aspired and as I transitioned into bigger roles and bigger responsibilities within corporate. 

So I became, be at the age of 38, the youngest senior vice president, African American executive at that at Motorola. I became a senior vice president of organizational development in Motorola, had over 300 some employees that worked for me around the world. And that was after, at that time I was probably in my… I was 38, but I had probably been with Motorola for about six, seven years. Ended up transitioning from Motorola to go and work for Dale. And I worked for the number two man at Dell who reported to Michael Dell. And that was a huge experience as well too. So before the age of 40, I was a part of two fortune 50 companies that I was a senior level executive and two of the biggest companies in the world before the age of 40. 

So getting there was an interesting journey to the point where it sparked me to run a book. And the book was called “How to Play the Game at the Top” and that was inspired in my conversation that I had with one of the most senior executives in the world, this guy was the founder and the visionary of a phone called the Razor. Many out there may recall this phone, it was a thin, sleek, they called it the razor and it was one of their iconic phones within this time and I was part of the leadership team, the executive leadership team to develop and put that phone on the market. So am I hitting what you want to talk about? 

ZACH: Absolutely. This is exactly what I wanted to talk about. I wanted to hear essentially how you got here. And so your story that you’re sharing the answers that question. I’m curious if you’re talking about these experiences and you’re working for these individuals and working at extremely senior levels, was there ever like one specific moment that you realized like, wow, wait a minute, I’m in rarefied air here. Like, this is a special position, like was there a specific moment? 

FENORRIS: There was two moments that I recall that I’m like, wow, OK, there were two distinct, different learnings from them. The first learning was about me standing up and sticking true to who you are, particularly from a male and from a man’s perspective and just about your character, who you are and what you stand for. That story is, there’s a, there’s a woman tthat I had hired. She was from Kellogg. I brought her on board as a director, but she was extremely qualified and so, and, but she happens to be a minority. She happens to be a female and African American. 

And her and I at one point were visiting an we were taking on a restructuring of a, of a 14, 15 billion dollar business. And so my job was to begin to do an org diagnostic and assessment of the strengths, the weaknesses, what’s working, what’s not working, typical diagnostic stuff. And I’m, this young woman, uh, was part of the, um, the team that I would take in and we’ll go on and sit down and discuss with an executive. And one particular executive really was not feeling, he time that we had set aside and that we had documented that this is when we’re going to meet, this is the nature of this conversation, this is what we’re going to be trying to accomplish. What are you doing this time? So it was two of us, myself in this young female who was extremely qualified and competent. And so we get into the office and this man for whatever reasons, in a bad mood. 

And he is, he apparently had just got back from Europe over London and was tired. But, he was very rude to us and he was extremely rude to me in front of this young African American female and the better, calmer nature of me decided to handle this individual in a professional way because the point, the decision that I had to make was what’s more important? Do I continue with trying to move forward with doing this my job? Or do I sit here and let this young female who I just hired a watch me kowtow and belittle myself and lose sense of who I am as a man, forget my job or getting my responsibility just as a man and have this young woman forever look at me as a senior African, “oh, so this is what you have to do in order to be an executive in corporate America.”  I made a decision at that time that at no point will allow this woman’s memory, ah, to be as a man and as an executive, to accepted such disrespect from this senior executive sitting across the table from me. So I said to him, I said to her, I said, I started off. I said, sir, if this is not a good time, um, shall, we can, we can come back and continue this, um, this, uh, this interview. And he was like, no, this is a good time because it’s a good time, which doesn’t appear to be because I’m the, I’m feeling some tension here. And then so I asked this young woman, I said, “you know, what, could you, could you excuse us?” And I said her name and he said, “no, she can stay here.” [Then I said] “As you know, she’s, she’s my direct report and requesting that she excused herself from this conversation.” And so is she excused herself from this conversation. 

I looked at him, I got up on the edge of my seat and I looked at it across the table and I said to him, I said, “you and I know sir, if you and I were outside of this organization, there is no way you would approach me like that because you would be fearful.” I’m six, seven tall, sexy, OK. And he’s about six feet. OK. And so, so my whole point to him was that, that, that you wouldn’t dare approach me and this manner, and I’m, I’m not going to let this young woman’s memory be a of me as a man, as a senior executive that happened to me, a man of color. I’m someone that was just allowing himself to be treated with such disrespect. OK? So, so, so that moment, Zach was a moment that, that changed my career because at this, at this point I was I was a vice president of a business unit, but not of the entire corporation. 

OK? So at this moment, this man changed his attitude, uh, you know, kind of backpedaled a little bit. I asked for the young woman to come back in. And, uh, we continued to interview. Now, the second aspect that I talked to you about the change when I realized I was in rarefied air, uh, as an, as an executive and Corporate America was when two days later this man calls me up and I’m like, “Oh crap, OK.” You know, he’s going to be on some, some, some Caucasian man stuff. And he’s going to exert his power. He’s going to exert his authority and you know what, I may get fired. OK? All right. So cool. So I made the decision at the time, decided to address him and I decided to ask this young woman to, to leave the room that I was willing to suffer any consequence for the sake of keeping my dignity. 

My mom used to always say,  if you don’t fall for something, you’ll fall for anything. And I wasn’t about to fall for having him berating me. And more importantly, have this last impression of this young woman who’s at the beginning of her career, I’m thinking that she has to or she has to be a certain way besides just being who she is in order to be successful in corporate America. Little did I know that, uh, when this call came was the call was totally the opposite of what I thought this call was. And so he asked me, he, um, so first of all, his assistant called my assistant and assistant asked me, did I ask my assistant and I have done, was I available? I said yes. I picked up the phone. 

And um, he said, so interesting conversation Finnaris – he didn’t say for “Fenorris” as my name, but he said from  “Finnaris”. Interesting conversation. So here’s what I want to do. I want to, I want you to go on a trip with me. And so I’m like, what do you mean go on a trip? At Motorola, we had all these corporate jets and so we had these corporate jets, and so being on the corporate jet, certainly I’ve been on commercial airplanes, but I never been on my own private jet. And so, so he asked me to meet him, at our hanger where we keep all our corporate Jets outside of Chicago.

And so I met him there and I was lgoing to say, as a lot transpired between the time of him asking me to meet him there and the conversation that we had on the phone. But I’m thinking when I get there, it’s going to be a group of people I’m just going off to Sunnyvale, California. Little did I know at the time that he called me. He had just got promoted to be the president, the number two person and pretty much it as running a motor roller or he had just got promoted at that time on the phone call. I didn’t know it. So when I get there at a hanger, I’m thinking it’s going to be a bunch of the people that’s going to be on this jet is just, it turns out it’s just him and I.  

So we get there – and this is a true story. We get on the jet and we’re getting ready to take off. So you’re, you know, on a jet is, is everything in all kinds of food. So I’m trying to be cool and act Like I’ve been there before, but at the same time, like this big lobster over there, some shrimp, like, wow, this is nice, you know? I got my leather seats, I got plush leather everywhere, communication equipment, et Cetera, et cetera. So he said, so you’re probably wondering why it’s just me and you. I said, “absolutely” So we’re taking off getting ready to head out to Sunnyvale, California from outside of Chicago. He said, “the reason why I put you on this, I got you on his plane because what want to share with you is something that most of us never talked to you guys about.”

So two words. “Most of us”, meaning mostly Caucasian white men and “you guys”, I’m sure everybody that’s probably listening to refer it with, uh, you know, Kinda get the meaning of you guys as meaning African Americans or people of color. Never really get a chance to, um, understand how we operate. And so I got on a plane because it’s going to be my word against your word. I have no idea how you may react to what I’m about to say to you. But, um, what I want you to know is when I spoke with you and I came at you that I’m at that, um, at that meeting we had, it was all by design. I’m like, why? Wha? What do you mean? 

“I want to see how you would react to see if you would stand up for yourself. I see so many of you guys out there that are so motivated to be, um, to be, uh, to get ahead, that you will, will allow anything, ah, or had someone to do anything or say anything to you in order to get your stripes. OK? In order to get your where you feel like you belong. Rightfully belonged in. A lot of you guys depend on succession planning. A lot of you guys depend on, uh, the affinity groups like the African American group or the Hispanic Mba group, that those groups are going to allow you all to be in a certain, um, I’d be a part of certain conversations.” So as I’m listening to this, I’m like, I can’t believe I’m hearing all this. So he’s like, “what I wanted you to know is that it was a test” and a little did you know that at that time I saw you got promoted to the president of this business unit, this business. 

And it happens to be the biggest business unit in Motorola. Motorola was probably about a 55, $60,000,000,000 business. So one of the biggest business units in the world. And I was certain he says he’s the number two man in control. And so, um, so he said “what I wanted to do was to see if you will stand up for yourself. I wanted to see because most of you guys to try and aspire in to the next levels, you lose a sense of who you are and what you’re all about. Some of you guys even change your voice. You even change your voice.” This is interesting coming from, from a white man, this white man, it’s assessing and able to have been around enough by people to know. 

And if we’re all real, we all know some people. And just because that to them, just because we change our voice means that we’re, we’re trying to be like them or not. That’s how they accepted. Some of us may talk proper, all right? And so there’s nothing wrong with them, but from his perspective, OK. And so this is his thought process, but he continues, “even some of you guys try and change her voice to be in, to feel like you’re, you know, you’re more accepted with us. What really sparked my interest to have you on my team was that you stood up to me because I’m trying to build a team with this new role that I just got. I don’t want yes-people around me and I don’t want people to just tell me what they think I want to hear because that doesn’t do me any good. “

He continues, “I’ve also been inspired in my life by two African Americans” and I’m like, wow, this is really getting great. Keep in mind we’re 30, 40,000 feet up in the air. We’re on a plane talking about this is that there’s these two African American men.  I said, so why me? Why me? He says, “there were two African American men in my life that inspired me, right? What most of my white counterparts don’t know is that I grew up poor. I grew up with a single mom. All right? Because of my white male. See me. They see me, they see the wharton school, a business school, they see a harvard, they see all those degrees.  But what they don’t understand this, that, you know, I had a single mom that raised me. And then so I had two African American men that, that, that, um, uh, sowed some seeds into my life that inspired me to not do bad things because my mom worked all the time. And I was out in the streets getting into trouble and these two African American men on the boxing gym out in New Jersey and they, and they, you know, they just took me in and they gave me, they made me, you help me become more disciplined. And I was so appreciative of that because it wouldn’t have been no telling what I would’ve done.” I kind of referred to him as rain man, if anyone ever seen the movie rain man, he was half genius and half crazy. 

So, so that experience that he had always inspired him to want to do something and give something back to a minority because those two, those two men changed his life to the point where I thought it was bs in down the road, but he even donated money back in New Jersey to named schools a school after this man, after these men. So he put up hundreds of thousands of dollars donated so the school could be named after these two men. So as he’s telling me,  the reason why we’re on the plane is because it’s my word against your word and this is stuff that we would never ever talk to you about how, how we do things, how, how things go down, how decisions get made. There are meetings before meetings…that the meetings before the meetings proceed and take decisions are made before we actually get into the meeting that was supposed to be making the decisions and you understand what I’m saying? 

You guys are never exposed to those things. What I want to know if I want you to, I want you to know someone on my team and what you need to understand that there are consequences for, for that there are, there are good consequences and there are consequences that, that just happened and the light, but corporate. So explain to me what he meant by that is that, for example, he talked to me about the difference between mentors and sponsors. He said, “what I’m offering you is not to be your mentor, but to be your sponsor.”  A mentor is someone is going to provide coaching, provide guidance, helped you prepare for an interview. A sponsor is someone that’s going to say, “that’s my guy.”

I’ll give you give you an example. When I left Motorola and went to Dell, typically you would go through an interview process where  – particularly people of color –  you’re going to meet, you’re going to go two or three times. I interviewed one time and I interviewed with Michael Dell  and no one else and my salary, my sign on bonus. I had a sign on bonus about $300,000.  I had a golf membership at a country club out at the place that we built is built the place outside of Texas Dell headquarters since in round rock, Texas and build a 10,000 square-foot home out in Lake Travis.  I had everything. OK. But my point here is not on the material things. My point is under the process or how they do stuff  and trying to help people understand the difference between the mentor and sponsor. The fact that he sponsored me, only have to see one person. I didn’t have to go through all of these interviews, all of these parading me then come back here, come back for the next round of interviews.That’s the process that they typically take us through. But how they do, if they bring someone in that they want, they don’t have to go through that process. They don’t have to go through. And if they do go through several interviews, you can bet it’s just, it’s just a formality there justtsomething to make it look like it’s a competition for the job, but they’ve already made a decision. 

That’s the difference between mentors and sponsors. And he wanted me to Kinda understand that he was offering me something totally different from what I ever even thought about. I always thought the name of the game was mentorship, right? I always thought the name of the game was, if you know, if you work, you  and I, you know, I was smart. I thought if I work harder and smarter than you, I’m going to get promoted. That’s not how the game works. We could be the smartest, we could. We know we work work harder because are who we are and how we were raised, but that’s still, it’s not a deciding factor. And then, so he talked to me about the difference between the electorial vote in the popular vote.  I want you to understand that a lot of minorities spend their time on focusing on the popular vote in the popular vote means a, if you think about the election many, many years ago with Al Gore and President Bush, at that time, first time the whole thing ever came into play is when Al Gore won the popular vote, but he did not become the president of this country due to electorial vote, which is a lot less votes than the popular vote.  OK? So his whole point from a business perspective is that sometimes we get so concerned on trying to please and make everybody happy, but when you take a step back and look at your career, there’s only one or two people that could really influence and impact your career to getting it to where you want to go. And that’s what he called instilled like electoral votes. And he said, what I’m offering you is an electoral vote, not a popular vote. So the question that you asked early on was, what were some of the events that that allowed me to know that I was in rarefied air? One, no pun intended, been 30, 40,000 feet up in a private jet. I’m certainly up and rarified air, but a meaningful perspective from a, from a development perspective, hearing how he explained and what he shared. 

And they said there like they’re the reason why I’m sharing this with you on this claim this because you can’t record what I’m saying. You can’t. If you don’t, if you think this is racist or whatever, you can’t go and call a Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton. He sent these names for real. I’m serious because it’s just my word against your word and it gives you a word and one of the things that you should understand is never, ever dance between two big two elephants. Because if you dance between two elephants, you might get crushed. And what he was saying is, is that you know, if you choose to, if you choose to make this a big deal, then it’s going to be my word against your word and I have my word and as I have a whole corporate hr machine that’s behind me, and you may, you may get your impact. You may get your story out, but at the same time it’s my word against your word and I think we could understand how that would end so that those were two major events that changed my mind. That made me really know that while I was in rarefied air. 

Amazing stories that has really guided the way that I lead and the way that I now transition from corporate world to a entrepreneur world where I’m the CEO of a company called pursuit of hope. This is a whole different background from, um, from the corporate world and being executive into an entrepreneur and that’s a whole different… a segment that you can do down the road since transitioning from corporate to be an entrepreneur and just huge differences there. And how success in one area doesn’t necessarily equate to an another area is totally different thought process and that’s something that I’m more than willing to share about my experiences. 

ZACH: Those are amazing stories. I have like two more questions for you. So you know that we’re talking about my imposter syndrome today. Essentially that’s just a feeling of inadequacy or that you’re somehow out of place and a space that everyone else from your perspective clearly is rightfully placed in. So did you ever feel that way? Do you ever. Did you ever feel like you had to battle imposter syndrome? And if you did ever feel that way, how did you manage those anxieties and kind of keep that stuff at bay? 

FENORRIS: So I think that’s a great question. First of all,  to be totally candid with you, that question goes back to how I was raised. I never felt like just because I was an African American man that I was less than or better than anybody because my mom always raised me up…my mom used to refer to me and my older brother that grew up together as  – and it sounds corny –  but, she would refer to us as my Kennedy boys. And so I’m like, my mom is my mom thinking me like the Kennedy Boys. And this is me. I was like eight, nine, 10, 11 years old. My mom, because I knew who the Kennedy boys were talking about, Robert and about John. We’re talking about, you know, we’re talking about some very successful people.  So my mom said that in her own way to make us feel good about ourselves and to make us, you know, where our self esteem about ourselves and she always taught us that we wasn’t a better or worse than anyone. And so those, that mindset, um, traveled with me in every aspect of my life and every aspect of the involvement in my career now to proof of that is when I got tested and I didn’t know I was getting tested as I told you all about this story because what he had observed was a, I’m a person who was truth in it to themselves and a person who had a tremendous amount of influence in the organization that, uand we’ll talk about a skillset. I didn’t at that time when this man talk to me with this young African American woman in his office, I didn’t have to know the, the corporate a title than the big corporate type of foot on time for the business unit did, but not for the entire corporation. 

And what I learned that is that you don’t always have to have the power or title that title in the organization in order to have the biggest impact on the organization. Because of the fact that I stay true to who I am, who I was, and that I didn’t compromise and if I can give the people who are, are aspiring and trying to, um, you know, in a corporate position, they’re struggling, they don’t know where they’re not promoting a shameless plug here, mark my book, “How to Play the Game at the Top”, a book that’s on Amazon, where people can go and read more new and pretty much you’re going to hear the same stuff in it, but a lot more detail about what I’m talking to you guys about your career now and how to progress further, which really comes down to being true to yourself. Never ever compromise who you are just for money or just for to get a title or just to fit in, because it may pay off in the short term, but the thing that I can do and look back at all of myexperience in corporate and say that I’m very, very pleased with the the decisions that I made and why I made them because there’s nothing worse than feeling like you gained something at the expense of losing something. 

ZACH: Man, that’s amazing and this is really powerful Fenorris. I really appreciate this man. I was going to ask if you had any plugs but you already plugged your book to Amazon bestseller, “How to Play the Game at the Top”. And I wanted to reinforce that because as you know, I read it some years ago. Great read. We will have the things that we’ve referenced in this conversation on during this podcast. We will have all those things and make sure you actually look at our descriptions. You will see a link for how to play the game at the top in the description. So you can go ahead and check that out as well. Fenorris, I just want to thank you for joining us today. 

FENORRIS: Hey, thank you guys for being able to allow me to be a part of this. I really believe it’s a groundbreaking show. More importantly is just it just thankful to you guys to want to put together a podcast like this here and so you guys could be doing a lot of other other things besides trying to educate andmake people aware of the challenge, challenges and opportunities as they grow in starting career. And so I thank God for you guys having an vision to put together a program like this. 

ZACH: Man. Thank you for Fenorris. We’re going to go ahead and take a break. We come back, we’ll have it back in the studio. We’ll talk about this discussion and then we’ll continue on with the show.  

ADE: That was a dope interview. 

ZACH: Yeah, I liked it. 

ADE: Yeah. In my little story at first I thought to myself like, wow, this is a really, really unique story. Like a great journey. Yet, at the same time, so much of it resonated with my own experiences, like even now in the earliest stages of my career, you know? 

ZACH: Absolutely. I was glad he was able to make the show really, really interesting stories and I hope he comes back. 

ADE: For sure. Um, OK. So now let’s get into our next segment, which, you know, I kind of enjoy. It’s called favorite things. It’s where we talk about, um, what our favorite things are these days we can, you know, big up yourself a bit. 

ZACH: Absolutely. OK, well let’s go ahead and get started. I’ll start first. You didn’t invite me to start, but I will start.

ADE: The floor is yours.

ZACH: Thank you. OK, so yes. So my favorite thing right now has to be mumbo sauce is now listen. So for those who don’t know, for all of my southern gentleman and uh, and women in the audience listening, listen, mumbo sauce is like this sweet spicy sauce that originates out of the DMV and yeah. So, um, our favorite cousin, our favorite big cousin, favorite Auntie, she was on First We Feast, which was hot ones hosted by Sean Evans. Shout out Sean Evans, hot ones. All y’all. Anyway, she’s on the show and one of the first things she eats is covered in this stuff called mumbo sauce. And so I’m, I’m taking, I’m tasting, I’m, I’m fast forwarding – first off all I did not taste the mumbo sauce – this is when I first heard about the mumbo sauce. Let’s be clear. Then I was like, eh, maybe, I don’t really know. Whatever, whatever. Cool. So then you know, because the feds always watching on facebook and I see a mumbo sauce and I’m like, what is going on with his mumbo sauce? So then I see a Facebook ad and it literally said,  “Taraji P. Henson endorses mumbo sauce on hot ones with Sean Evans. You like Taraji P .Henson, you should buy mumbo sauce. I was like, golly. I mean I was kind of creeped up that it was so on point and that it clearly, it was watching my activities… but at the same time, I was like, well sang. I mean you, you are right. I, I did like Taraji p Henson in that interview and I am a Taraji P Henson Fan. I do like SOS. Let me buy some. So I bought three bottles of this mumbo sauce. I know, right? And I’m on my last bottle, but listen.. Don’t judge me – well you can judge me. That’s fine. It’s delicious. I actually will put up with the scrutiny. It’s great. I put it on everything. Anyway, so I got a two for one. So my other favorite thing right now is this upcoming captain America Comic. I love comic books and so there’s a new run starting with captain America and it’s been written by the Don Ta-nehisi Coates. So those are like my favorite thing is right now. What’s up? What you about it? 

ADE: So first of all it’sT a-nehisi Coates. I just wanted to hit you with the. Well actually, 

ZACH: Wow. I’m Embarrassed.

ADE: I can’t let you be out here just like meg league his name. You know 

ZACH: that’s true though because he is a hero of mine. I don’t even know how to say his name.. It was a great point. . 

ADE: All right. Um, that’s random by the way. I want you to know that that’s like the weirdest. “Oh yeah. By the way, I’m shouting out mumbo sauce for the week.” So my two favorite things this week and I don’t know why we’re sticking to two, but it’s probably for the best because I’m indecisive. So currently actually, literally, you know how when you’re on the Internet and be like, what’s to the left or the right of you to the left of me is this book, I don’t know if he can hear it. It’s called a children of blood and bone by telling me it. I mean, um, and as a voracious reader, as a long-time lover of the written word, um, I can tell you right now that she could have all of my clients, like she can literally have all of them every last day. Um, you know, why? Because this will, I can write her booty off. I’m reluctant to even say, booty. 

ZACH: This is a clean show. So keeping going. 

ADE: Yes my mom may be listening to this. But yeah, like if you’re looking for a new literary suggestion, if you need a new book, if you are a consultant or you’re traveling for days out the week and you need a book to take on the plane with you, it might really only last you depending on how fast you read two trips, but it’s absolutely worth it. I think my second favorite thing is I’ve been sick this week and anyone who knows me actually noticed that I have a deep and abiding love of, but it’s just like sky rocketed to the top of last of the favorite things this week because my word is good but it is so good and I was down for the count but you know, fa. And since your tea really held me down so it doesn’t have to things for the week. 

ZACH: Do you have any shout outs? 

ADE: Yes. Um, so shout out to us first of all because I feel like we’re dope. We put an amazing thing together and even if you know, this is just us talking to ourselves. This is still like one of the dopest projects had been on. Yeah, we put this whole thing together in less than a month. Bask and how amazing that is. 

ZACH: I feel the exact same way that I was going to be my shout out to like, shout out to us straight up. We’ve got a team of five and like they’re all going to be on the show. They’re all gonna be, they’re all leading and participating in like heavily involved because it takes a lot to get this machine up and going. It’s all. 

ADE: One more shout out, one more shout out. I have a new nephew in my life, um, because name is Haleem and he is the absolute, like the brightest star in the night sky right now and I’m just so proud and so happy to have him at the moment. 

ZACH: No, no, that’s dope. That’s dope. You know what, in fact, let me go ahead and shut out my nieces and nephews. We can go ahead and put them on a shout out to my nephew Aaron and then shout out to my niece Alayna. They are absolutely wonderful. So, uh, yes, that will actually be the Hashtag for this show. #auntieuncle swag. So thank you all for joining us. My name is Zach.

ADE: And I’m Ade.

BOTH: Peace

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