Zach and Ade spend some time catching up in this lighthearted special Monday episode. Ade shares a bit about what she’s focusing on right now – check the link in the show notes to schedule a career pivot consult with her! – and they both stress the importance of ensuring learning content is free for the people who need it, but not for these organizations.
Struggling with your Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) work? Kanarys—a Black-founded company—has your back. Regardless of where you are on your DEI journey, we arm you with the insights you need now to take action now. From audits to assessments to data-informed strategy, we’d love to be the partner you have been looking for. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or learn more at https://www.kanarys.com/employer
Click here to schedule a career pivot consult with Ade! Do note that this is specifically for transitioning into tech.
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Help food banks respond to COVID-19. Learn more at FeedingAmerica.org.
Zach: What’s up, y’all? This is Zach with Living Corporate, and you know what? It’s a Monday, right? We’re recording this on a Saturday. Now, look, last time I dropped something on Monday–don’t get used to this, okay? I’m dropping something on Monday because I own Living Corporate, so I have the right to do with it what I please, right? That’s the freedom of ownership, shout-out to the people that own things. This is not normal, right? I’m just dropping a loosey, a bonus, in the name of the fact that I can and the fact that I love y’all–we love y’all, and when I say we I mean the person that y’all have come to know but then disappeared on y’all. Like, walked out on y’all with no explanation, with no–
Ade: What? Why are you making me sound like a deadbeat dad?
Zach: Well, I mean… you can explain yourself if you’d like, but also re-introduce yourself ’cause people don’t know you.
Ade: Oh, gosh. What’s up, y’all? Hi, everyone. This is Ade. If this is your first time hearing my voice, I am so sorry. I’m not new to this. I am in fact true to this. It just so happens that you gotta take breaks. That means you gotta concentrate on staying alive. It’s kinda like, you know, you’re a non-swimmer in the middle of the ocean. You’ve got to focus, you know? Focus on the things that keep you alive, and there was no boat that came to rescue me. I had to figure that all out on my own. But we here now. Thank you for your patience and your support and all of those wonderful, wonderful things.
Zach: Yeah, so no, I’m thankful. You should’ve said, “If this is your first time hearing my voice, you’re welcome.” [both laugh] Bro, people love your voice. People love my voice too, but I feel like people project things onto my voice. People project things on my voice they don’t project on your voice. Like, with my voice people go, “Oh, you’re trying to sound all smooth. You’re trying to sound like a late night DJ.” With your voice people just go, “Oh, it’s just a really nice voice.” Like, no one adds any type of–
Ade: They do though, see? Look at you.
Zach: What do they say?
Ade: Things that are far too explicit for this platform.
Zach: For this show, huh?
Ade: Get out. So anyway… certainly things that sometimes make me a tad uncomfortable, ’cause I just be minding my own business, having a cute little repost, you know, back and forth with people being witty, and then suddenly somebody’s like, “Ooh, you got the voice of the [Yeah Yeah?].”
Zach: The voice of the what?
Ade: The [Yeah Yeah?]. I refuse to go give that any more energy. Ma’am, you know who you are. Gross.
Zach: Oh, no. That’s a lot.
Ade: Let’s move forward on this family-friendly podcast.
Zach: So it’s a Monday on Living Corporate. Man, look, a lot of stuff has, like, changed and grown. So of course we all have to take breaks. We all have to do things to protect our wellness. Is it unfair to say that this has been a catastrophic year? Is that hyperbolic? It has certainly been one of great discomfort in a variety of different ways and in its uncertainty. Shout-out to Ruth Bader Ginsburg. You know, a mentor of mine texted me and said, “We are so effed,” and I said, “Black people feel like this every day,” you know what I mean?
Ade: I mean, I’m not [?]–as a Black, queer woman, it does feel a little bit more like the sky is falling, and I’m going to withhold all of my commentary on that situation. Just know that I have been desperately looking for a suitor, a sponsor, someone who needs a wife who lives in these territories–hold on, I can pull ’em up for you. [clears throat] So if you live in Canada, Costa Rica, Kenya, Ghana, St. Croix, please reach out to your girl. I’m trying to get out of here.
Zach: That’s wild. See, shout-out to you, right? Like, I’m not about to do a gender wars thing. It’s just the fact that you can just be like, “I’m looking for a sponsor,” and I bet–you know what, straight up, I bet if you put your contact information I bet you get somebody to hit you up, because we do have listeners out there. [both laugh] That’s the crazy part. I bet somebody will go to the website and they’ll contact us and be like, “What do you want to talk about?” There’s a dropdown of options, and they’ll be like, “I just want to say hey,” and then they’ll be like, “Hey, on Episode DA-DA-DA, Ade said she was looking for a sponsor. This is me. Tell her to hit me up over here.”
Ade: “Here’s my contact information. Here’s the ways in which you can reach me.”
Zach: Just wild. It’s just interesting. It’s just been a lot of things that have continued to change and grow, right? I think today is the announcement. So there’s a press release for Living Corporate and this whole entity called Westwood One, right? So, you know, Westwood One, huge distributor, network of podcasts, and so the announcement actually says that we are Living Corporate, and the Living Corporate network is now in partnership with Westwood One, right? I’m really excited about that, and I was over here just thinking about what that means and how we’re now mobilized–well, we’re just as mobilized, but we have another arm and, like, machine kind of, like, supporting us, right, to continue to grow, so I’m really excited about that. I’m thrilled about that personally, and then I think about the fact that we have merch now, you know? We have hoodies. You read me, Ade, as someone who–[Emory talks]
Ade: Hi, Emory.
Zach: Hey, Emory. So yeah, also another change–and Emory’s been on the show a few times already, and as she continues to get older her contributions will continue to mature. But anyway, back to the merch. Are you a hoodie person? Do you like hoodies?
Ade: Love hoodies.
Zach: I might have to make you… so let’s change it up. Like, you’re a host every now and then. You’re more like a guest host now, because we need to shift you up and make you–like, back in the ’30s they would have the pretty girl promoting the brand. [both laugh] But we’re changing the game though because back in the day it would be, like, these–you know, slight white girls, right? You’re, like, a whole grown dark-skinned woman out here, right? We’re actually challenging Eurocentric standards of beauty and capitalistic markets–
Ade: [laughs] Is that what we’re doing?
Zach: That’s what we’re gonna do. So I’ma send you a bunch of hoodies and a bunch of–what else? We have mugs. We have laptop sleeves, shirts. Ade, we even have baby onesies, so you could rock those too if you wanted.
Ade: The disrespect. See, this is why–
Zach: No, no, stop. Like, they go up to 2 years. So, like, they’re big.
Ade: [both laugh] So there’s guaranteed to be something in my size. I hate you so much, dog.
Zach: Okay, so look, for those who are new to the pod, me and Ade are friends, okay? We’ve been through a lot, and it’s been a very active two years. I know we talked a little bit about your journey in engineering, but what’s been going on in your world? I will make no jokes. Like, talk to me about… let me think about the last time. So it’s been 6 or 7 months, maybe a bit longer. Talk to me about what’s been going on. Talk to me about your space. Talk to me about what you’re excited about.
Ade: So I’m in this weird place where I’m excited about where I am right now. I’m studying for a few certifications. I’m doing a million things, working on a couple of differennt side projects, primarily around the career coaching I’ve been doing for folks who want to pivot into tech. So some of my passions right are on, like, access, access to care, access to all of that in my area. So I have projects around that, and then also just, like, the regulary everyday task of living. I try my best to get through it all, and if I don’t I give myself grace. So those are the things that are top of mind right now. Ugh. You know, consulting really corrupts your brain, because even after I left consulting, I still have phrases like “circle back” and “top of mind,” [?], that just regularly drop out of my mouth.
Zach: But here’s the thing about though, and maybe because I’m still in consulting, you know, I’ve not decolonized my vocabulary, maybe that’s why, but I like “circle back.” I say “circle back” for real. I say it when I reach out to, like–shout-out to Roland Martin. Look, I’ve emailed you twice and asked you to be on Living Corporate, and I sent him an email last week and said, “Hey, just circling back.” I want to say I circled back on the circle back, you know what I’m saying?
Ade: Oh, no.
Zach: Man, listen, I’m out here. I don’t say top of mind a lot, but top of mind is okay. Now, I’ll say… I’m trying to think of a consulting phrase I don’t like. Some of these phrases are not consulting phrases, it’s just that white men dominate the space and they say things they shouldn’t say. So people say things like, “Open up the kimono,” and I’m like, “That’s nasty. Don’t say that.”
Ade: Ew. Wow, yeah.
Zach: Back to your point though around the career coaching. So how has that been in terms of having those discussions, and then in what context or platform do you have those discussions? Are these one-on-ones? Are you doing this for somebody else? What’s the scale of this thing?
Ade: I have a Calendly. Originally it was like an hour [?], but now it’s 15 minutes, partly because of the volume but also because of the amount of work that goes into each one. I’m doing these for free, so obviously I’m trying to ensure that you get as much value out of this as possible while also respecting that I can’t have an hour of my time blocked off, like, every 3 hours of the day. It doesn’t help me function. So on Calendly you go and book 15 minutes. You tell me the things that interest you, and then I can–before we have this meeting, I can go ahead and do some research, see if I have some people in my network who are open to having [?], connecting y’all after the conversation, helping you [?] on the road map, giving you some tips as to how you can achieve your goals in a lot of ways. So paring it down to 15 minutes also means I can see more people, which has been really helpful, ’cause I’ve done I’d say 40 to 50 of these at this point, and I’m happy, right? So one of the first things I saw this morning was one of the people that I coached, he was unemployed, and he just got his first job as a [?], and it was the thing that [lifted?] me out of bed this morning, that joy for him. So yeah, it’s one of the things that makes me really happy. I don’t know if I could make a career out of coaching people, ’cause I feel like I take too much responsibility for other people in a lot of ways, but I definitely love to see people win, and it shows in the joy that I get from those messages. Like, “Hey, I just got this role,” or I had another person who was like, “Hey, I got my foot in the door,” or “Hey, I’m following the road map.” I had a check-in with another person earlier this week, and it went from the more technical aspects of “These are the things you need to do in order to get your foot in the door” to “After doing these things, here’s how I feel. How did you feel?” So it feels pretty therapeutic as well, and I’m just glad to be here. That’s the takeaway. I’m happy to be here.
Zach: I love that. So the reason I ask is because I think, you know, it’s important to always, like, align yourself with your purpose, right? Like, when you do things that align with your purpose, I don’t know, I just feel like everything else in your life will start to make more sense. The stress levels and things can go down. You’re just less concerned. And then also other opportunities start to open up that make sense for you because you’re operating in your purpose, so that’s dope. I don’t know. There’s all types of things you can do, and we can talk about things off-mic if you want, ’cause I think about I wonder if there’s, like, something you could do where it’s, like, you drop–yeah, you could still do the one-on-one thing, but maybe to protect yourself emotionally as opposed to you doing, like, one-on-one career coaching or attach yourself so intimately with someone else’s career or goals, not because of their fault or whatever, just the way you’re wired a little bit, which I definitely can relate to, is maybe it’s something where you just drop tips on, like, a cadence basis, and you say, “Look, if you want career tips here,” and you can still open yourself up, but maybe it’s less of those and more of that, and that way you can–it can be more, like, emotionally sustainable for you. There’s other ways to do it though, and in ways you could drive money too. Like, I feel like you could monetize that for sure.
Ade: Yeah, for right now I’m keeping the consults free because it’s, like, part of my commitment to democratizing access to tech. It’s recognizing that–so actually before I completed my pivot I paid for a consult, and it was very valuable. If I didn’t have the $100 I ponied up for that conversation, I don’t know if I’d necessarily be spinning my wheels. The value I got out of that conversation was so important to my journey. I don’t want not having $100 or $50 or whatever amount. It shouldn’t be about that. I don’t want that to be the reason you’re not in tech, right? And I got so much for free in my journey that, like, it would feel hypocritical for me to start charging people when I’ve got people’s, like, time, effort, energy, content for free. So maybe someday I can start thinking about monetizing certain things, but at this point I’m really just enjoying the ride.
Zach: Nah, I respect that. I love that. I think about Living Corporate, like, as a platform, we don’t charge anybody for anything and we’re dropping, like, stupid hot fire on a regular basis, you know what I’m saying? It’s actually obscene.
Ade: So I’m actually studying for a couple of different certifications, and I don’t even [?] people anymore or go looking for a course or a book. I go to YouTube first and try to find–’cause I know that somebody has created content around this thing that is free, just free.99 floating around the internet, and I think there is an ethos that I would like to abide by that says, “I’ve got these things for free or I’ve got access to these things, and I’m making them available to anyone who just takes the time to look,” and that to me is special because there are a lot of knowledge hoarders. There are a lot of people that stake their careers, their lives, their personalities even on being the only person who has access to this information–and they should be fairly compensated for that, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t want there to be, like, “Oh, we are now gatekeepers in this space, and we determine who has access.”
Zach: Yeah. I mean, there are a lot of gatekeepers out there. There are a lot of Black gatekeepers too, which we don’t talk about, but there are a lot of them out there, and I think they practice the same patriarchy and scarcity mindset and just capitalistic functions that we rail against. Like, we practice it on each other, and it’s like, dog, you ain’t gotta–like, I’m just trying to talk to you. And I get it. I do get it. Like, you want to pay people for their time, for their effort and their intellect, their insight, I’m not shading any of that. I also believe that, man, like, we gotta figure out ways to, like, actually charge–like, we gotta charge the people who have it. Like, that’s my biggest thing, like, charge the people and the institutions that have it. ‘Cause the money that you’re trying to bleed from the people that look like you, man, like, the institutions that have it will–if you can get to them… which is a different conversation, but if you can get to them, they’ll give you ten times what you’re trying to bleed me for, and they won’t even feel it. They don’t even care if you do it right. And I think that’s my biggest thing too. So earlier to be clear, you know, when I was saying about you monetizing, I’m always thinking about, “Look, the things that we’re doing in these spaces, the things that Living Corporate is doing, you’re doing, Tiffany Tate is doing, Latesha Byrd is doing, like, all of these different brands and businesses that are around–Tristan, who’s a part of the show, and also Tiffany is a part of the show, but all these black career consulting type things, I’m always challenged with, like, “Okay, I get that we have to eat,” like, we have to survive, so I’m not shaming anybody for how they–well, I am gonna shame some of y’all if y’all are exploiting other people, but the point is, like, these services, these things that we’re doing, there are huge, global brands that would love to figure out a way to plug into the thing that we kind of are just doing on the side and, like, create a whole thing around it and would pay for that, right? So what I’m trying to think about for the rest of the year, especially as we get into 2021, is being creative in how you’re monetizing. Again, not at the B to C but the B to B. Like, I’m really curious about that. That’s probably where my business nerd curiosity peaks or sticks up a little bit. Like, what does that look like, you know?
Ade: Yeah, I definitely feel like there is enough space to explore what your business could look like, and I think the other thing for me is I’m having a difficult time seeing this as a business. I see it as a service. I see it as me pouring back into my community, and I think that’s part of my resistance to monetization, because once you take it from “I’m doing this because I love and I care about this very specific thing” to “I’m doing this because I’m getting paid to do it,” then again–that’s not shade in anyway, it’s just me recognizing what my internal dialogue–whether I recognize it or not, what that internal dialogue means and how much it means to how I show up in these spaces. Recognizing that–okay, let me illustrate the point. So yesterday I had to present something to my boss I was working on, a deck that I was building for a month and a half, and when I tell you that I was so stressed about this that I was having physical reactions. Like, my stomach was upset. Yesterday I woke up at 1:48 A.M. – by yesterday I mean the Friday I had to present. I woke up at 1:48 A.M., worked all the way through the moment that I had to present to her, and that was my impostor syndrome showing up, right? That was this constant loop I had in my head of “You’re not good enough. You’re not gonna get this right. This is gonna go terribly,” and that is a thing I’m trying to eliminate for other people. I don’t want any Black software engineer to ever have, like, “I have a demo that I have to show someone, but I can’t focus long enough to stop my hand from shaking,” right, type of thing, and it’s that anxiety that I want to help eliminate for people. Not saying that I could ever, like, completely eliminate it, but ensuring that people have that support of–like, “I know that I’m good at this because I’ve been told so many times how amazing I am at this thing.” Like, I don’t know. There are experiences that I’ve had, that I have, that I want to ensure nobody else ever has to go through, and it’s a little grandiose–
Zach: It’s not though, and that goes back to what I’m saying about, like, yeah, it’s not gonna fix everything, but–what I think folks in the majority underestimate is–because their entire life is this–like, Black and brown folks, we need points of reference. And let me not exclude white folks, ’cause this helps everybody, but you need a point of reference when you’re facing impostor syndrome, when you’re feeling down, when you’re feeling like, “Man, I can’t do this thing,” and for Black and brown folks, like, since there’s already so few of us in these spaces, like, we need ’em even more, right? And they’re harder to find and come by, and they’re just less accessible to us, and so creating that is important. To your point around, like, “I do this for my people. I’m not doing this to get paid,” I think for me the way I continue to think through it is like–and I just said this on Twitter–look, man, I’m a social entrepreneur focused on Black liberation. So, like, I’m not out here trying to charge–I would never charge Black or brown people to be free. I’m not doing any of that. But these corporations though… and I had a .gif of Nas masking up, ’cause I am–it’s a full-time jack move with y’all, and for me it’s not even necessarily about trying to get “paid,” quote-unquote, as much as it is I’m trying to receive so that I can give out more, right? So think about if there are ways with what you’re doing, if you’re able to get X amount of money in a sponsorship for this or that or a grant from this or that how much more you could then provide and create, right? I’m always thinking about that. Like, “Okay, the money coming in would help me do this better,” right? Like, our Kickstarter right now, this is the last week for it, and so the money coming from the Kickstarter is directly funding all of these digital products that we’re creating for Living Corporate, right? The Kickstarter is helping to pay Aaron and give him a raise. The Kickstarter–
Ade: Shout-out to Aaron.
Zach: Shout-out to Aaron. Aaron is the proof that diversity works, okay? [both laugh] Diversity works. Aaron is the business case for diversity, okay?
Ade: Diversity, equity and inclusion.
Zach: Yes, Aaron is the business case for that. Aaron is the only white man on this team, and Aaron, man, you’re a credit to your race, brother. I appreciate you.
Ade: [laughing] I can’t stand you.
Zach: [laughing] Thank you, man.
Ade: Aaron, we love you. We appreciate you. You’ve been rocking with us for ages.
Zach: Aaron’s one of the good ones. Do you see how ridiculous that sounds? When the [?] are switched it sounds nuts. That’s how y’all be sounding when y’all talk about us though. So anyway, I’m just very thankful for Aaron, but the point is, like I’m not ashamed of and I don’t take issue with, like, thinking about ways to create revenue for Living Corporate because I know that every dollar that comes in for Living Corporate is going out in some way, right? Even if it has to do with paying me. Hold on. Amen, [lights and walls?] It has to do with, like, supporting the people that are creating this content. So think about yourself, right, if you’re able to get a sponsorship, what other things could you pay for for yourself or you could not only enhance your product but take care of yourself so that you show up better when you do these?
Ade: Listen, man. So I can quit this second job.
Zach: A second job? You have two jobs?
Ade: Listen… we can talk offline.
Zach: I’m so sorry. So let me just talk about–I won’t talk about the second idea for the sake of the show, but I will talk about the first idea. That’s why I really think you should create that OnlyFans for the cooking. So talk to me about–like, for those who don’t know, Ade is an incredible cook. She is passionate. She has a deep, genuine passion for cooking, and those–if you want to go back and hear how much Ade cares about and really enjoys cooking, go back and listen to the episode that she interviewed my dad -early-. She talks about how she wants to have a food truck, and the point is that she’s, like, really good at this, right? And Ade likes to take pictures of herself, right? She likes to take selfies, right? And you like to dance a little bit, right? I’m like, “Yo, why don’t you do an OnlyFans–” And see this is the part, we’re gonna have to eventually pivot Living Corporate to do full-time live shows so we can, like, see each other, and then we have live people, like, reacting in real time, because I bet if we had a live show right now people would be like, “Yes, you should do that,” because I don’t understand. Have a live show where you’re cooking on OnlyFans and you’re cooking these incredible meals–because I’m about to ask you about the last thing you cooked–but then, like, have that with the Afrobeats in the background. Like, I don’t understand. Why not? Tell me why not.
Ade: Because there is, like, a production level required. Like, I don’t have a stand. I don’t have a room light. I have none of those things. And that’s the thing, it goes from being this thing that is special to me, that I adore, that is, like, very much a safe space for me, to being something that I have to put out to everyone, and it stops feeling like–my privacy starts feeling like a production and a job.
Zach: Yeah, I can empathize with that a little bit. So for those who don’t know, OnlyFans is, like, a… how would you describe it, Ade? Like, it’s a business-to-consumer digital social platform? I don’t know. Basically creators or creatives, they go on this OnlyFans, and they create content that you have to pay to see, right? And there’s different tiered access depending on the type of their setup. So you can pay a base fee and get on their page and see certain things, but you may have to pay a little bit extra to see bonus stuff or whatever. So there’s a lot of different types of content on OnlyFans, and I don’t know, like, from what I’ve seen on there, there are creators that use OnlyFans and the quality isn’t good. Like, they don’t have the ring light and they don’t have whatever. It’s just them using selfies and they do great. So I don’t know if you necessarily have to do all of that. I think you can just take your phone, prop it up against a pillow or chair and just start cooking. I don’t know. I just wonder if there’s a middle ground. I hear what you’re saying, I just don’t know. I also think because maybe, like, deep down, I think ultimately I’m a producer. Like, beyond the podcast, if you look at Living Corporate and all the content that we’re creating that I’m not gonna be the face of, like, I think I’m realizing my passion is on the production side ’cause I’m always looking at things as potential content.
Ade: Yes, you are. Actually this has been a bone of contention in our friendship. [both laugh] I’ll just be minding my business. I’ll post a photo of a plate that I made, and suddenly here comes Zach in my DMs just, like, bursting the door open like that guy from SpongeBob like, “So you know this could’ve been on OnlyFans, right?”
Zach: It could have been on OnlyFans! It could have been on OnlyFans, dog.
Ade: Bro, I was just minding my business with my dinner. [both laugh]
Zach: See, and then you could do–oh, but you don’t eat pork.
Ade: I don’t eat pork, but I cook it very well.
Zach: So watch this, I’ma take it to the next level, ’cause what you could do is you could do, like, different types of pork, and you could create your own platform and call it OnlyHams.
Zach: Yo, my dad joke energy has grown tenfold since I had a daughter.
Zach: Now I continue forward. Here’s another idea for content. [both laugh] It could be you where you put a GoPro camera on and you go out to the club and you call it OnlyYams.
Ade: Excuse me? [both laughing] What the hell is your problem?
Zach: Dog, that is funny. I’m just always thinking about content. There’s so many–anyway, the point is that what I’ve learned in this past year is these businesses, they have so much money. They have so much money, man. Like, they have a lot of money. The things that they’ll pay for–like, if you were to get a GoPro camera, put it on your head, go to the club and dance and then create a website called OnlyYams.com, people– [both laughing]
Ade: Okay, I’m laughing because I’m thinking about how ridiculous I would look, and then I’m just out in public. [both laughing]
Zach: Oh, my gosh. And then your shirt would say OnlyYams, right? ‘Cause you’d be, like, a product.
Ade: Okay, nope. See, I would break out in hives. No.
Zach: That’s a level of embarrassment that people are not–but again though, I’m just saying, like, that’s the type of content. That’s the thing where–what did I see? I saw something where it was, like, these college students, you’ll go to these parties and they’ll wear, like, a brand. Like, they’ll wear, like, Jose Cuervo and have a Jose Cuervo hat, and then they drink the Jose Cuervo, and that’s how they get the Jose Cuervo for free, and that’s marketing. Have you seen that?
Ade: Yeah… no. [laughs]
Zach: So that’s wild, right? So what I’m saying is we have to start being creative. OnlyYams is kind of a joke–kind of–but we have to start being creative as Black creatives, you know? I’m not personally comfortable with business-to-consumer selling for Black and brown people on things around their career or progression. Like, I’m just not. That’s just not a thing, and again, please don’t take that as a personal slight to you if that’s what you do. We all have different ways. Like, if that’s how you get it that’s how you get it, good for you. I’m saying what I’m not comfortable with, and I think that like you said, if we’re really trying to democratize and, like, create accessibility for people, you know what I mean, like–’cause think about how many people are sitting in some job that is underpaying them by, like, 100%. Like, they could be getting paid literally, like, who knows how much, and what’s stopping them is, like, this course over here that is, like, $50 that they literally don’t have. [People?] think it’s easy to be like, “No, just don’t do this and don’t do that,” but what I’ve also been learning this season–it’s not like I came from super wealthy means, but the reality of poverty for Black and brown people. Like, we be poor out here, you know what I mean? Way poor. Poor poor.
Ade: I think that there’s something to be said for how we’ve been conditioned to be afraid of asking for what we’re worth and how that plays into every aspect of our interaction. So September 18th 2016 I posted on basically this Facebook group that was very much, like, a sorority of my friends for a very long time. I’ve been in that group since, like, 2011 and I’m still in it. So we’ve gone from, like, posting braces to posting babies. I love these women, right? And one thing that I saw was that–and at this point in my life I was struggling, okay? Struggle bus. When I’m talking struggle bus, I mean, like, homeless and sleeping on couches struggle bus, and I posted about, “My bank account is not in the red for the first time in a long time. I’m about to go stunt on the dollar menu,” and for me it was just, like, that acknowledgement that, like, I have come so far. ‘Cause I went back, and I had commented on it and I was like, “Yo, the struggle used to be real.” So recognizing that you have come so far but you still have a long way to go, not just for yourself but for the people who see these comments that you’ve made, this progress that you’ve made. I don’t know. I’m trying to not put a Nigerianism in this conversation, ’cause there’s a lot of context, right, but people will say “[?] according to your size,” as in do the things that fit you, and I don’t know if I’m actually translating that properly, but whatever. We’ll go with it, and extrapolating from that point, there is success [?] in size, there’s a career, there’s a life for you that comes in your size that you don’t have to shrink yourself for, that isn’t going to be overwhelming for you. You just have to figure out a way to get there, right? You just have to really imagine what that world is and then work at it. In my immediate family, I don’t have really anybody who has made six figures in their entire lifetime. So when I start imagining what it’s like to just walk into these spaces and demand six figures, I don’t have the language for that, and so now trying to figure out what that looks like, how I can create systems and processes around this imagination that I’m only just beginning to grow. It’s difficult, but then I have people like you around me who just, like, bully me into greatness. Y’all are appreciated, I guess.
Zach: [laughing] Well, look, I’m right there with you in that family background is–it’s interesting because our family backgrounds are not similiar, but they are similar in that we both come from spaces that were not–there was love of course, right? That’s not what I’m saying, what I’m saying is there was–like, folks were not able to show us everything what to do and how to navigate everything. It just wasn’t the reality of our lives, so we were having to come into these spaces and, to your point, like, things that are cut to our size, right, and figuring out what that is and not shrinking ourselves and also, like, not being afraid to stand up, because sometimes you shrink yourself so long, when you find something that’s cut to your size, to your point, it seems overwhelming or it seems too big when in reality you’re just not standing up, you know what I mean?
Ade: Say that again. That was the word.
Zach: You’re so used to shrinking yourself that when you finally find something that’s really cut to your size you think it’s too big, but the reality is you’re just not standing up. Like, your posture is bad, and so that’s what I’m learning more and more, and my hope is that the content we continue to create here is encouraging folks to stand up, you know? To walk in what has been provided for them, to walk in and to sit up, right? To sit up. I don’t believe–I don’t think any positive situation where you think, “It’s just too big. It’s overwhelming.” I just don’t think that’s the case. I don’t think it’s too big. I think that person needs help and support and encouragement to walk upright, you know? This is a nice little taste for a bonus episode on a Monday right before–oh, yeah, that’s right, and then tomorrow is our conversation with Minda Harts. Listen, man… I’m a fan, dog, I am. I’m an unabashed fan, dog. I just really appreciate Minda. She is super dope, and she dropped the paperback version of The Memo essentially just talking about how Black and brown women need to have a seat at the table, and I remember we interviewed her, like, early, like, before The Memo dropped now that I think about it, and now she’s, like, you know, Twitter official, she’s talking to PayPal and Facebook and Amazon and whoever else. She’s talking to all these brands, right, and so I’m just really excited, so we’re gonna have a good time. The wild thing is that we recorded this interview with Minda, like, in maybe March. Like, so much stuff had not happened yet, and so I was like, “I don’t know if I should really–“
Ade: Wow, that seems like such a long time ago.
Zach: Right?! Listen… but I’m just like, “Nah, it’s Minda Harts. I gotta drop it.” So we’re gonna drop it, but it’s gonna be a good week, y’all. Continue to rock with us. Thank you so much for those who have and continue to, but tell your people about us. I’m looking at these numbers. It’s still selling. Like, the block is hot. Like, we out here. We moving. I mean, Ade, like, before we go, tell the people what should they be looking out from you? Like, of course you’re here, but I just want to give you space for your shout-outs, you know, for you to plug whatever.
Ade: Sure. Right now I’m really focused on this career pivot consultation, so if y’all know folks who–I actually don’t know if I have a link posted anywhere besides my Twitter, but I also don’t know if I want to direct it to my Twitter because it’s a personal account. Um… yeah, so I’m working–we can drop it in the show notes, but if you know people who are interested in getting a career consult who are trying to pivot into tech, that’s my specific niche, so please have them reach out. I’m very excited to get to work with folks, and for the foreseeable future the consult is free. I have a Periscope on the subject that gives, like, a primer. Also listen to the podcast episode “Grit, Faith and Humor” on what that pivot was like if folks are truly interested and would like to work with me. Yeah, those are my things for right now. There are still things in the works, but I don’t want to jinx it. [laughs]
Zach: We gotta talk, man. Excuse me. We gotta talk, fam. See, I’m trying to, like, degenderize, be more inclusive with my language, but nah, we gotta talk. Like, I want to hear more about that. Okay, well, look, y’all. This is what we do.
Ade: That’s that on that.
Zach: That’s that on that. We’re creating content that is affirming the marginalized voices at work. Like, that’s the goal. So our hope is that you hear this, you feel heard, you feel seen, you feel encouraged and that you feel uplifted, and, you know, as things change, and, you know, you’ll start hearing different things through our partnership with Westwood One, understand that your experience of and your consumption of this content and it achieving those goals will not change. So shoot, that’s it. You know where we’re at. We’re all over Russia’s internet. Type in Living Corporate and we’re gonna pop up wherever you hear us at, and ’til next time, this has been Zach.
Ade: And it’s been Ade.
Zach and Ade: Peace.