181 : Black History Month (w/ Ade & Zach)

Ade and Zach sit down and have an entertaining discussion geared around Black History Month, and they both share their experiences in being frustrated by an employer’s mismanagement of the celebration. Ade also talks a little bit about the body butter company she started, and she and Zach spend some time reflecting on how far Living Corporate has come since its launch in early 2018. Thank you all so much for your support! We owe it to you.

Ade’s body butter company soft-launches soon, so make sure to follow them on Twitter and Instagram. Congratulations, Ade!


Zach: What’s up, y’all? It’s Zach with Living Corporate. And it’s not just Zach.

Ade: Ayyyye. It’s Ade.

Zach: It’s Ade alsooo, yo, and we here, man. Look, it’s Black History Month. It’s 2020. You know, January was big trash, so we’re just gonna start over. We’re gonna count February as January–nah, just… 2020 is gonna have 11 months, that’s all.

Ade: Yeah, let’s do that. I like that idea.

Zach: Yeah, we’re just gonna start over. So yeah, you know, it’s Black History Month. Whole fresh new decade, and, you know, a few episodes have dropped. Downloads are popping, by the way. Like, they’re really good, Ade. The numbers look good.

Ade: Yay, that’s awesome.

Zach: Yeah, pretty good. So we both have a lot of stuff going on. What’s up in your world?

Ade: God, what isn’t up? No, [laughs] I’m just really enjoying the ride. I got–you know, my first bit of code at my job was deployed successfully, went really well. I panicked a little bit near the end of the sprint there, but I got it all the way through, so I’m excited about that. I started my butter company, and my soft launch is February 10th, so I’m also really excited about that, just getting the opportunity–

Zach: Hold on. Butter company? Like, what’s up? Like, you making animal butter? Or, like, cooking butter? Or–

Ade: [laughs] No, although somebody gave me the idea to do that. You know I love cooking and I love experimenting in the kitchen, so that was an idea that hadn’t occurred to me. But this is the year of action, so I took action. [laughs] So now I have a company–obviously besides, like, this one–but I’m really excited. I’ve been connected with a bunch of really great folks within the, like, creative community, and I’m excited to see where this goes. What about you, Zach?

Zach: Well, first of all, hold on. We don’t have to rush over to my stuff. Excited for you, congratulations on moving in action, moving in intentionality, you know what I’m saying? [air horns sfx] That’s great, you know? But anyway, you asked me about myself. Yeah, so look, things are going great. Really focused on getting ready for my wife and I’s first child coming in, like… I mean, if she doesn’t come early–if she doesn’t come early it will be in, like, 6 weeks.

Ade: Whoo!

Zach: Right?

Ade: Oh, my gosh. You’re so close to the finish line. And I would like to reiterate here that Ade makes a fantastic first time. I’m just saying.

Zach: It’s great. I love that, ’cause I’d like to reiterate… [haha sfx] You know? [both laughing]

Ade: You are so wildly disrespectful.

Zach: Not at all, not at all. I just stay ready, you know? I just stay ready. I think for me it’s, like, focusing on, like, the radical change that’s about to happen in our family, in our lives, then, like, just doing, like, a reassessment of just everything else around me, right? Because, like, I think initially–and I’m sure most people who are preparing for children, they go through this too–you’re kind of like, “Oh,” you know, they’ll just kind of fit into your plans, and I’m like–as I, like, kind of pause and think about all of the things I have going on, I’m like, “Dang, wait. Certain things are gonna have to shift and change.” Like, it’s not gonna just be like, “Oh, I’m picking up a new hobby,” or starting a new podcast, like, this is a whole new person, a whole person that’s about to be, like, active, actively involved and will have active present needs from myself and my partner for at least the next 18 years, right? If not the rest of their lives. So it’s like, what does it look like? So y’all, this is not me alluding to the fact that the podcast is about to stop or anything like that, it’s just more about life. Like, you know, talking to other fathers who had to make career decisions and think about, like, what did it look like for them to make adjustments, how do you communicate with your teams about being a dad and, like, the new responsibilities as a parent? Those are things I’m really excited to, like, explore and, like, really discover over the next few–you know, over the next months and stuff like that as I get ready for paternity leave and all that kind of stuff. Like, really just, like, being really clear with, like, what does it look like to, like, live in this new world? ‘Cause, like, I don’t know. Like, I’m 30 years old, so it’s not like I’m–I’m not old, so I still have things–

Ade: [whispering] Yes, you are.

Zach: That’s jacked up.

Ade: [laughs] I too got shots in my pocket.

Zach: That’s crazy. I see you. But the thing about it is, like, I still have a few decades more of career to have, and so it’s like I don’t want to just, like, kind of sit on my laurels because I have kids. Like, what does it look like to still progress and have a career and, like, develop and do all these things while at the same time being a very present and attentive and engaged father? So normal stuff. Like, I think it’s a challenge. It’s a good problem to have. It’s something that is–it’s a problem created by growth, so to me that’s a–I count that as a good problem. So that’s, like, the main–the big, big thing, then the second thing is just, like, continuing to slow down and focus on, like, mental health. Like, my own personal mental health and, like, my mental wellness, right? I think the more and more people I–especially black men–that I talk to who are transitioning out of their twenties, you know, it’s like–I’ve talked to more and more folks who are, black men, who, like, this is the time when they go to counseling, right? Like, if you haven’t gone already. And I’ve gone at certain points in time. We did pre-martial counseling. I’ve done, like, personal counseling as I got ready to get married, but I haven’t really ever gone to, like, see someone, like, a true therapist, right? Like, a true, like, psychiatrist. I think that there’s a certain stigma around mental health, right, for black people, and I would say particularly for black men, and so it’s, like, getting comfortable with talking to people and, like, really getting help and just talking through things. Like, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I think, like, the road of life has all of these different bumps and potholes. You’re gonna have mileage and just damage and disalignment that you just need help with just because of the reality of life and the trauma that life brings, especially in the context of white supremacy and patriarchy. So shoot… and then the last thing, y’all, I think I’m just really excited about, again, like, Living Corporate. Like, yo, we got featured on Forbes, man.

Ade: Oh, my God. I just–

Zach: What is it? So be honest. When you saw it, what did you–

Ade: Okay, I just want to put some context. I am not–I don’t scream very often.

Zach: Did you scream for real?

Ade: At the top of my lungs.

Zach: Did you really?

Ade: I really did. [Zach laughs] And here’s why. Like, it genuinely is a life goal for me to make it on Forbes’ 30 Under 30, so when you sent that link to me, I was like, “Surely he is just sharing a link of podcasts that we should emulate or, you know, link up with these people and get a sense of what they do, how they do it, how well they’re do–” Nope, there’s our name. I was like, “Holy–” I was on top of the Moon. It was a moment for me, okay, personally.

Zach: I was curious. Well, ’cause I texted you and we didn’t, like–’cause we didn’t, like, really react in the moment. Like, I reacted. I texted you. I was happy. But you were in the middle of your work day and, like, I had some time in my day, so I was able to step away and, like, actually hit you, right? And so when you–[laughs] But you didn’t, like, react, so I was like, “I wonder if she really cared about that.” Like, not that you didn’t care, but did it do anything for you. But for me I was like, “Oh, my gosh.” Like, I was shocked.

Ade: Absolutely. No, I need you to–I just want to, again, reiterate the fact that I don’t scream on a regular basis. It’s not my personality type to just be out here in these streets wildin’–at least in that way, ’cause I do be wildin’. I’ma just be honest.

Zach: Right, you do. That’s true.

Ade: [laughs] You didn’t need to agree with me. I was just–

Zach: You know, you put it out there. It’s on Twitter.

Ade: Okay. All right, this is fine. But really, it was such an honor, and it was something that I would not in the–I mean, if we, like, rewind a year and a half or whatever–it was actually about this time two years ago. Are we two years [?]? Wait a minute.

Zach: Yeah, it’s been, like, two years.

Ade: Holy [bleep?]

Zach: Right? It’s been nuts.

Ade: [laughs] I really need you to understand that I’m literally just coming to the realization that Living Corporate is almost two years old. That’s wild. That’s so wild to me. We need sweatshirts and hoodies.

Zach: We need merch, man. We need merch. We should really drop, like, little collections. Like Popeye’s.

Ade: We should. We should, like, go through and figure out what our favorites from our guests and from our hosts are and then, like, make some sweatshirts, ’cause I would wear my sayings. That’s all I’m saying.

Zach: You would wear your own sayings?

Ade: Absolutely. What? Absolutely.

Zach: Nah, that’s the definition of a narcissist. You’d put your own quotes on clothing and walk around in them?

Ade: Uh-huh, I would.

Zach: Wow.

Ade: I would. You know why? Because I have some fire, fire sayings.

Zach: [laughs] That’s crazy. You do, but it’s like… you can’t say that though. Like, that’s crazy.

Ade: What? No. 2020 is the year of big upping yourself.

Zach: Wow. You know what though? I respect it, ’cause, you know what I’m saying, if no one else is gonna wear your sayings, you may as well.

Ade: Exactly. Precisely. Kobe was a fan of big upping myself, and so am I.

Zach: He was. That’s true though. You know what? That’s a good point.

Ade: And the way that I do see it is, like–being a little bit more serious about the subject, ’cause I was kind of making fun of the entire concept, but sincerely, like, we preach that you have to be your own best advocate, right? And we preach that you have to kind of take stock and make sure that you are keeping records of your good deeds when you do them so that you can be able to speak to your managers, your peers and your supervisors, all of these things, but when you are an entrepreneur or you are an individual contributor or anything of the sort, you have to do the same, right? Like, you have to be too, and this was something that I had to get comfortable with. And I’m still not comfortable with it, to be frank. Like, I handed people an 8-ounce jar of my product, and they were like, “Well, how much is this?” And I’m, like, waffling around, like, “I kind of don’t want to ask anybody for money for this,” but it’s a product, right? But being able to, like, stand on your two feet and be like, “No, this is a thing that I’ve done, and I’m worth the time and the investment that you’re going to make in my product or in me as a person.” It’s all a part of being confident in all of the work that you’ve done. You’re not asking people to buy into a single thing. You’re asking them to buy into you as an idea, and if you’re not willing to, you know, kind of say it with your chest, as Africans will say. [laughs] If you’re not willing to say it with your chest, then who’s supposed to be willing to stand behind you and say it with their chest? You see what I’m saying?

Zach: Yeah, straight up. Like, you have to be willing to advocate for yourself and, like, promote yourself, because–I mean, the Internet is such a big and busy place and, like, the world is so big and busy that, like, yeah, there–and I was just having a conversation with a guest that I will not reveal yet because I like guests being a surprise week-to-week, but a guest I was having a conversation with, we were talking about networking and how, like, the world is connected, but it’s connected via a series of, like, closed loops. So it’s not like you can just, like–the world is connected, but you still have to, like, be in certain circles for things to even get started, right? And so, like, the idea of like, “Oh, I’ma just do this thing over here in this corner, and then if it’s good it will eventually get seen.” It’s like that’s not really true. Like, you have to really actively promote whatever it is that you got going on. Like, period. That’s just the way it is. But yeah, to your earlier point about, you know, it being two years and Living Corporate being around almost two years, right? So, like, April will make two years–or is it June? Golly, I can’t remember. Anyway, some time–

Ade: I think it was April, but we definitely had, like, our inaugural Skype or, what was it, Google chat in February.

Zach: There it is. You’re right, we did. We did have our inaugural Google chat in February just to talk about things, and then, you know, we kicked everything off a couple months later, but it’s crazy ’cause, like–and shout-out to Dr. Gassam, who wrote the piece for us, the article for us, and shouted us out and, like, you know, put us up as #1. I don’t know what those little numbers mean, you know what I’m saying? Like, ’cause I really–what I was really shocked about was everybody else on that list, everybody on that list are huge. Like, shout-out to Side Hustle Pro. Shout-out to Code Switch, dawg. Shout-out to Myleik. I was like, “Yo, we’re up here with Code Switch? Myleik?”

Ade: Code Switch.

Zach: Code Switch! And yo, shout-out to NPR and Code Switch, because I remember when we first started thinking about, like, Living Corporate, like, as a podcast, we were like, “What are the ones that really inspire us?” And me and at least one other person was like, “Code Switch,” ’cause, like, the format is so fire. Like, shout-out to y’all, man. So, like, even if anybody–for anybody to think about us in the same vein as them, like, I feel like that’s a win on its own, ’cause that lets me know–that affirms me that, like, we’re achieving [against?] the vision that we had initially set out, but it’s crazy ’cause there’s been, like, a lot of ups and downs and, like, a lot of stuff going on, but, you know, [Paul Rudd look at us sfx, Ade laughs].

Ade: I’m just over here, like, giddy and over the Moon. Yeah, no, and it’s funny because you’re not the only person who sent me that link, and that’s, like, the other thing that [?].

Zach: Oh, you didn’t tell me that.

Ade: No, like, sincerely, you weren’t the only one that sent me that link. My friend sent me that link, and I actually encountered someone–shout-out to you, you know who you are–who I literally had just, like, been talking to him. He’s transitioning into tech. I just, like, try to make sure I’m giving people advice and help and checking in with people that I know are making the same transition, and I reached out to him, and he was like, “Wait, are you Ade from Living Corporate?”

Zach: What?

Ade: ‘Cause he literally met me from an entirely separate context. And so to be able to encounter someone who, you know, knows of us and knows me in my best light, not, you know–clears throat–anyway.

Zach: Dawg, I’ma tell you something. One day–one day, y’all… hey, listen, y’all. Some of y’all are, like, listening to this with a confused face. Trust me, I’m confused too, but one day we’re gonna come on this podcast and we’re gonna have a real conversation about the crazy life that Ade lives, ’cause why would you come on here and say, “Yeah, this Forbes article, and someone who knew me, and not in my best–” And then this awkward pause. I hear you audibly gulp in the mic. Like, what? [laughs] Y’all, y’all understand the type of work–like, y’all understand the team I have, right? Like, that’s crazy. Y’all, don’t treat me like–yeah, now y’all know what I’m doing with. What kind of weirdness is that? Go ahead. This person who hasn’t seen you at your best and sent you the Forbes link. What?

Ade: [sighs] I’ma just move forward. [Zach laughs] No, no, no.

Zach: I wonder, is Ade the Mal of this podcast? ‘Cause I’m certainly Joe Budden. I realize that. But Ade might–Ade might be the Mal. She might be the Mal of this podcast. She’s, like, a little too cool to pod, but then she’ll say [?] things.

Ade: I demand we move forward. [both laugh]

Zach: Goodness, gracious. Go ahead. Keep going.

Ade: Anyway, so I’m just really grateful for, you know, where we are, and–first of all I want to give Zach and our writing team and our production team and our social team all the props, like, every single prop that exists, because you have been put in blood, sweat, tears, money, effort, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseum into this, and it shows in the quality of our partners, our work, our podcast, our newsletters. Like, everything. Like, you’ve been really intentional about the direction that Living Corporate would take, and I really respect that, and you are by far one of the most aggressive–but you’re not gonna beat me up though–type energies [?].

Zach: [laughs] It’s true though. It’s true. [both laughing]

Ade: And Living Corporate has enjoyed that energy, enjoyed the fruits of that energy.

Zach: I do have “but you’re not gonna beat me up though” type energy, and I’ve come to peace with that. It’s true.

Ade: It’s my favorite thing about you, and also, like, simultaneously your worst quality when you turn it on me, [both laugh] but–

[to this day sfx]

Zach: [laughing] Oh, my gosh. It’s true. But this is the thing, you gotta have “you ain’t gonna beat me up though” energy, because boy, the world will beat you up, boy. The world out here tryna come–it coming for your neck, dude. I mean, every day I’m over here like [Cardi B blatblat sfx] with these haters, man. I’m trying to, like, stay alive out here. I gotta fight every day. Every day. All my life, literally trying to fight and then at the same time avoid–[Law and Order sfx]–like, at the same time. [both laugh] I be so aggravated, man. Do you know the fine line you have to walk as a black man? Man, I’m telling you, being black is so exhausting. Being black and conscious, like–James Baldwin, man. He was not lying, dawg. Not lying at all, because you are in a rage all of the time, and you’re over here trying to, like, stand up and just speak to the fact that you’re worth something. Listen… eugh. You’re over here trying to literally raise your voice loud enough to be heard and respected, but not too loud, right?

Ade: ‘Cause [?], and here y’all come.

Zach: Here y’all come, without at the same time going to jail. So it’s, like, this fine line that you have to walk. It’s just nuts. Anyway, nah, I appreciate that, Ade. And, you know, I appreciate you as well. You know, you’re here. The biggest–

Ade: Finally.

Zach: Finally, that’s true. But look, you was gone for a little minute, but you back in town. You know? It’s okay. I think the biggest thing–what do they say, “the biggest ability is availability?” It’s corny. It’s kind of a coach’s–coaches say that, but it’s a true statement. Like, just be present, you know? I know one thing, and shout-out to Rod from The Black Guy Who Tips and Karen, his lovely co-host and partner, but one of the things he said, like, from the jump–like, he jumped on our podcast early. He was like, “Yo, being consistent–” He’s like, “‘Cause people come and leave, like, jump on these podcasts and leave all of the time.” He’s like, “So having some longevity is hard over time,” and if it wasn’t for our team – Aaron, Sheneisha, Amy, Latesha, Tristan… like, we have a great, great team, and we put out a lot of content. Like, we’re posting three episodes a week every single week, and, like, that doesn’t happen without a huge team–or, I’m sorry, relatively huge and a consistently dedicated team. So, like, really proud of them, really proud of, like, just what we’ve been able to do, and just, like, really thankful for Dr. Gassam, ’cause, like, there’s plenty of other platforms that are trying to make content. I really still stay that, like, it’s us, Trill MBA and, like… that’s kind of it right now that’s out here really talking about other in majority-white spaces. Anyway, so look, it’s Black History Month. Have you seen any–I’m just gonna ask the question. I don’t know why I’m trying to, like, play it safe. Have you been on a job where your employer has annoyed you by how they’ve handled Black History Month?

Ade: Let me count the ways. I–[laughs] Whoo, let me take a breath. All right. I have been aggravated by several firms, actually, simply because–

Zach: [laughs] Yes, shout-out “firms.” Consulting, we’re talking about y’all. [laughs]

Ade: Looking right at you, friends.

Zach: Looking right at y’all, professional services. Yes. [laughing]

Ade: No, I just–there’s nothing I hate more than double-talk, and by that I mean firms, corporations, whatever it is that y’all would like to call yourselves–active participants in capitalism–who pay lip service, either through, like, their mission statements, their values, their creed, or even their stated employee resource groups that they care about diversity and somehow consistently fail to make a statement or support or do anything of value, particularly during Black History Month. I noticed this during my employment at a firm I will not name in the past where, you know, July 4th came around, Veteran’s Day came around. You know, all of those things were celebrated or commemorated by words from the leadership of the firm going out, but when Black History Month came and went there was nary a bleep, and it was so noticeable because, you know, the firm had something to say on MLK Day, but, you know, when ostensibly there would be time for–and to their credit, the employee resource group put on one… ONE program for the entire month of February. I understand that, you know, funding is a thing. It’s difficult to organize sometimes around different people’s schedules, but, you know, one event over the course of the entire Black History Month? I cannot tell you how deeply bothersome I found that, simply because you have a body of people who are, whether they consciously or not notice these things, are essentially being utilized as resources by this firm. I mean, you are essentially selling our time to all of these contracts, you’re making millions off of us, and you can’t take the time during Black History Month to care about Black History, but you can, on July 4th, take time to commemorate these things? Or you can during Veteran’s Day or Memorial Day or Labor Day and all of these other things. So it feels like a very intentional slight, because, I mean, I know that your calendar functions the same way that my calendar does, and I know that your Google functions the same way that my Google functions, so it’s not like you’re missing out on the reminders that these things exist. So when there’s an intentional exclusion, or what feels like an intentional exclusion, of black people from, you know, your commemorative messages, it’s like, “Heard you. We see where your priorities are.” And an even further extension of that logic is that when–you know, during these programming sessions there are no, like, leadership in the room to attend these programs or there’s no support, you know? People have to come out of pocket for things, to pay for things. It just feels very ugly. I’ma use that word, ugly. Dusty. Musty.

Zach: Raggly.

Ade: Raggedy.

Zach: And there’s a difference now, and this is where–so, you know, you and I, I love the diversity just in our pairing, right? But, like, you know, you’re an East Coast black and I’m a Southern black, right?

Ade: Precisely.

Zach: It’s interesting, ’cause you said raggedy, and see, what I said was raggly.

Ade: Raggley, mm-hmm.

Zach: Raggly. Not raggley, raggly. Now, look, I want–’cause every now and then I teach–and if you’re listening to this you know who you are, but for the white folks that I trust, the Buckys out there, the allies, or the aspirational allies, that I trust, every now and then I’ll teach y’all a phrase called “fifty-‘leven,” right? You know who you are. If you’re listening to this and you actually, you know, rock with me and you listen to this, I’ve taught you this. [both laughing] I’ve taught you all these phrases, and this is another one for y’all to take in. So look, it’s not raggedy, nor is it raggley. It’s raggly. It’s two syllables, and that is often times a descriptor for how companies manage Black History Month.

Ade: I will make an amendment to that statement, ’cause I don’t necessarily agree. There are, uh, regional differences to dialects, you see. [Zach laughing] So while Zach is correct for his particular region of the Souf–notice I said Souf–

Zach: That’s true. Souf. That’s true. That’s fair, ’cause Southern is–’cause we live in America. Southern is a huge region. That’s true. That’s fair.

Ade: Take his advice lightly, you know? Do with that what you will.

Zach: [laughs] Be careful.

Ade: And, uh, if you get run up on, please don’t quote us.

Zach: Don’t quote me.

Ade: ‘Cause we will not be popping up [?].

Zach: Uh-uh, uh-uh. Don’t. And honestly, maybe don’t say fifty-‘leven around everybody. They’ll be like, “Who taught you that?” And don’t tell ’em it was me. [laughs] Nah, but no, I’m right there with you when it comes to, like–I’ve been in situations where, you know, either we don’t celebrate Black History Month at all, we don’t recognize it in any way, or employee resource groups will get, like, the black people to huddle together and they’ll go do something, right? It’s like, “Um…” Black history is American history. This should be something company-wide. And I’m not saying we gotta do something every single day, but can we do at least one thing? Can we recognize some of the black pioneers in our own firm, in our own companies? Like, we have our own historical marks that we’ve made, but I think–I don’t know. It’s tough, it’s tough because–and honestly, like, even I say this, like, I get–like, I’m hearing… ’cause there’s some executive leaders and folks who listen to Living Corporate, right? And they listen to it for different points of insight or whatever, and so there’s a part of me who–and they’re like, “Well, dang, I can’t even win for losing,” ’cause, like, the other part of me is gonna say, “And even if you are doing something for Black History Month, what are you doing for the rest of the year?” Right? ‘Cause it can just be, like, an acknowledgement. Like, what are you doing? What are you doing to, like, actually advance having a more equitable and inclusive culture that drives belonging in your place of work? But I do think, like, at just the–I mean, I’m talking, like, floor level, if we could just start with some acknowledgement, you know? Like, you don’t have to always quote Martin Luther King. You could actually, like, integrate and be intersectional with your Black History Month if you wanted. [Ade laughs] You can! Like, you can actually, like, quote trans rights, trans activists who happen to be black, and you can tie that in with, like, your LGBTQ ERGs. You could quote, like, Afro-Latinx civil rights activists and, like, historical people, and, like, integrate them. Like, there’s all types of ways. You know there’s ways that you can actually–you could use Black History Month to drive intersectional conversations and activities for your whole firm, ’cause black people are not just black. Black people are black and gay, black and Latinx. They’re black and straight. They’re black and female. They’re black and disabled. Like, it could actually be something that could be–you know, you could use Black History Month similarly to how you use black and brown people anyway, which is really kind of like just the glue that holds everybody together. You could just use us if you want. You could use the month how you use black and brown people. Like, let me just be super cynical, right? You could actually–like, from a programming perspective, from, like, a networking and engagement perspective, from, like, even leveraging–like, getting more thought leadership, like, you could do all types of things with that month. You have a whole month, and this month you have a whole extra day. So it’s like–

Ade: No excuses.

Zach: No excuses, right? Like, you could do something. And, like, if you need any help with ideas, then, I mean, you could talk to your own leadership. You could talk to–I don’t know. There’s just so much out there now. There’s just so much–maybe we just need to drop an article on ideas for your Black History Month. Maybe that’s what we do, ’cause, like, I don’t–

Ade: You know what? That’s a good idea.

Zach: I mean, maybe that’s what we do, ’cause, like, I’m over here just thinking about it more and more. It’s like, “I don’t know if I’ve been a part of any company that I have walked away and felt like, “Wow, I really feel seen this Black History Month.” I don’t think that’s ever happened to me. In fact, I remember last year I tried to quote a–like, I was on a project and there was a quote board, okay? So you put a little quote up there, and I was like, “Oh, it’s Black History Month,” and I tried to quote–I think I quoted, like, Oprah Winfrey or something like that, and, like, they literally erased it and put up some white man’s quote and they were like, “This is more relevant.” I said, “But I thought it was a quote board.”

Ade: Right?

Zach: Like, what? What are you talking about? What do you mean it’s more relev–okay… and again, that’s where I had to make a choice between, like, okay, am I about to die on this hill? Am I gonna go to jail? Like, what am I gonna do? ‘Cause, like, I just–I don’t–nope. So I had to make a decision, but anyway. So okay, what else do we have going on? So what’s the name of the company though? The body butter company. I’m jumping all around now. What’s–’cause we didn’t talk about that before.

Ade: [laughs] Right. So my company is called Solari, S-O-L-A-R-I. It is a portmanteau of my name, or a part of my name, and my mom’s name. And on Instagram and on Twitter I’m pretty sure our handle is @SolariBody, so it’s S-O-L-A-R-I-B-O-D-Y. And yeah, I’m really excited. I’m kind of blushing right now. [laughs] I’m really excited about just getting started and just being able to expand my reach. So I’ve been doing a lot of kind of, like, self-care stuff for a very long time, like making my own body butters and making my own, like, lip balm, conditioner, and all these other things–and scrubs–and just the idea of being able to… and this is another thing that happened, but I’ll finish my sentence. Just the idea of being able to utilize all of the things that I put into practice because I want to take care of myself and take better care of myself. So, for example, I would, like, make my own hair oils, but when I realized that other people wanted these things and don’t necessarily want to go through the process of experimentation to figure out all of the ideal things–and I’ve already been doing these things for over a decade–I was just kind of like, “You know what? I’m gonna do this, and it’s gonna be fun,” and the reception has been fantastic.

Zach: Well, I’m really proud of you. I’m happy for you, you know? I think–you talked about this a little bit on the last, when we did our season kickoff episode, but it’s easy to, like, get in your own way and to like, you know what I’m saying, just let anxieties and different challenges, like, just hamper you or kind of put you in a stalemate, but it’s really exciting, like to see you continue forward and build something.

Ade: Thank you.

Zach: You’re absolutely welcome. Man, so, you know, my cadence as I was pausing there, it reminded me of my own Barack Obama impression that I do at the house for fun with Candis just to get on her nerves, ’cause I was almost like… [impersonating Barack] “Uh, Ade, it is, uh… impressive how you have taken the time,” you know what I mean? I almost–and then I go into, [continuing] “Every day, there are Americans who get up, they have their challenges–” [Ade sighs, Zach laughs] “If there was any doubt, uh, that you could not do what it is that you’re doing today, uh, you have nowhere else to look but in the mirror. Uh, you get up. You put that butter on your dry skin. Uh, you hydrate yourself, and you face a world that is not ready for someone like you.”

Ade: I’m about to hang up on you, sir. [both laugh] I am so done.

Zach: [laughs] Goodness, gracious. So all right, y’all. Well, look, this was just a fun episode, you know, letting you know what we’ve got going on. Thank you so much. Shout-out to everyone who listens to this podcast. Shout-out to–shoot, I ain’t gonna get into all the shout-outs, but just shout-out to y’all. Make sure that you share this with your people. Continue to share it. The numbers are showing that y’all are sharing it, and I look at our stats every single day ’cause that’s just kind of the person I am, the obsessive person that I am, but [laughs] we’re really appreciative. And then, shoot, I guess we’ll see y’all next time. Make sure you follow–

Ade: Wait, one last thing before we go. We kind of vaguely talked about it, but I do want to insert a moment of silence here for Kobe Bryant and his daughter and all of the passengers of the helicopter that went down. We actually weren’t able to get on this podcast to discuss it because we were just so emotional. I tried, and it’s about 7 minutes worth of just sobs and sniffles on that, but I think this is a pretty good time to do it. So if everyone listening could just join us in a moment of silence. [a moment of silence] Thank you.

Zach: Nah, for sure. Yeah, we could talk about–we’re gonna have to have an episode about trauma and, like, the ways that trauma impacts black and brown people at work every day, and how we’re still expected to just, like, show up and perform two or three times better than our counterparts just so that we can keep our jobs. So… but yeah.

Ade: And I just also actually–I think we should have a black heroes episode.

Zach: I love that.

Ade: I think that in an episode coming up soon we’re gonna discuss, you know, some of our heroes, and Kobe’s one of mine. People who have just shown you how to get through life with dignity and with grit, and that’s a term that I didn’t used to use so frequently and so intensely until now. But again, it’s a topic that we’ll be covering later, but suffice to say that was a shock to my system, and I didn’t expect that it would be so shocking. I didn’t expect just how strongly I would react, and I suspect that so many others found themselves reeling in the aftermath of that news. Our prayers and our thoughts of those affected. And another topic I think we should also explore is, you know, how to disconnect in times of trauma and to kind of reassess and to find your balance in those times as well. That’s it for me.

Zach: Nah, I love that, and I super agree. And y’all, on that super, you know, emotional, heavy note, we’re gonna catch y’all next time, okay?

Ade: For sure.

Zach: Now, look, you make sure you check us out. We’re @LivingCorporate on Instagram, @LivingCorp_Pod on Twitter. We have all the different domains. One day, man, we’re gonna get that livingcorporate.com domain, man. Right now we have all the livingcorporate dot everything but com, and then we got living-corporate.com, but shoot, until next time. This has been Zach.

Ade: This is Ade.

Zach: Peace, y’all.

Ade: Peace.

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