For the first time in our five years of podcasting, the Think Tank of Three welcomes a male guest. After all, we can’t tackle the topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion without broadening our own perspectives!

Tune in as Reischea Canidate-Kapasouris and Julie Holton have a candid conversation with Matthew D. Anderson, a mohawk-wearing white man who’s a self-declared pre-Trump conservative making it his mission to turn conflict into collaboration, especially in the DEI space.

We’re willing to sit in our own discomfort to talk about stereotypes, social norms, and what it takes to make your own mold. Will you join us?

Hit subscribe and don’t miss a single episode! You can now watch the TT3 on YouTube and Spotify, and listen on all major podcast platforms. Click here for direct links.

Think Tank of Three Podcast Transcript: Making Your Own Mold with Matthew D. Anderson

[00:00:00] More than five years of podcasting, Julie. And it’s, it’s really funny to say that we have our first male guest, because I mean, let’s, let’s, let’s break this down a little bit. Usually it’s, you know, the first female fill in the blank first. First person of color, first black, fill in the blank. We’ve got our first white male and he’s talking D.

[00:00:22] E. I. Woo! Like what? We have, we have invited a white man onto our show to talk about diversity. And this is going to be some awesome stuff. That’s us being diverse. That’s us being diverse and this is one you definitely do not want to miss. What’s Think Tank of Three podcast starts right now.

[00:01:08] Welcome to the Think Tank of three podcast. I am Julie Fulton here with my co-host, Rishi candidate Capasso, and it’ll be easy to pick out the voice of our third guest today because that’s right. We are interviewing our first man on the Think tank of three podcast. Our show is designed for women. It’s of course created by women and clearly hosted by women.

[00:01:31] And there are a lot of women doing incredible, incredible things, which has always made sense to feature women on the show. But we also know that we’ve got a lot of men listening and you’re just as important to the women, to us. As the women in our community and bottom line, no matter what you can’t have one without the other it’s science, baby.

[00:01:55] Right. And I love how you pointed out in our open that usually we’re talking about the first female, whatever. And we always say on the show, like, I’m so tired. Like I can’t wait. Like I, people will ask me like, Oh, are you excited? Like when GM Hired their first, you know, woman CEO. And, you know, isn’t this a great move forward for women?

[00:02:18] And it’s like, no, I’m ready to not be talking about the first woman, whatever, like women have existed since the beginning of time. Anyway, today we have our first man and really. We know we all have to work together to affect change. Call it an ally, call it just basic science, human nature. We need men and women working together.

[00:02:41] Matthew D. Anderson is the CEO of an award winning coaching firm called Leadership Coaching for Results. I’ve had the opportunity to see him in action, coaching, speaking. several times and I can tell you, Matthew is the real deal. So some quick stats about him in 2019, he was named Dale Carnegie’s number one corporate trainer in the world.

[00:03:02] That’s out of more than 3000 global trainers. And if there’s one area that he stands out, perhaps the most, it’s probably diversity, equity, and inclusion in just the past few months. In fact, he became Athena internationals. First male certified facilitator, Matthew, my dear friend, we are so glad to have you on the show.

[00:03:25] Welcome to the think tank of three. Thank you so much for having me. It’s such an honor to be with you today. Thank you. This is really exciting. This is exciting. We’re very excited to have you on here. It’s a, it’s different of course, for us as we’ve already laid out in multiple layers, but just, it’s really also cool to finally just kind of open up the box a little bit more here.

[00:03:44] Your approach. To leadership coaching puts a lot of emphasis on diversity, equity, training, or diversity, equity, inclusion, D E I. Why is D I so important to you? Thank you. I, you know, um, I, I was asked, uh, about 10 years ago, somebody asked me, um, I, I shared, uh, publicly for the very first time that, um, I was, I’m a Christian conservative who was, uh, pro gay marriage.

[00:04:12] And this was about 10 years ago, right? And, and somebody really challenged me hard on that. And they’re like, why are you gay? And like, do you have gay people in your family? Like, why do you care? Like, they were really pressing me because they wanted to understand the why, not because they were challenging me.

[00:04:25] Unfairly, they really wanted to understand why I believed what I believed counter to what my tribes would tend to say. And, and as I was being pressed, you know, I kind of had this realization. I was like, well, that’s bullying. I mean, if we’re going to other anyone, that’s just bullying and I’ve been bullied, I’ve been bullied badly.

[00:04:42] I was the smallest kid in my class at one point and I got bullied, right? I looked like Harry Potter before Harry Potter was a thing with glasses, the hair, everything, right? And like, you know, so I, I really, I experienced being, being othered, being, being, uh, really cast out and, and my God, it was an awful feeling.

[00:04:58] And so I didn’t really ever correlate the two things until later in my life. And I realized all of a sudden, like, oh my God, like I haven’t experienced what other people have experienced, but I’ve. I’ve tasted it pretty seriously and I don’t like that and no one deserves that and so that’s why it’s important to me because it’s like no one deserves to be feeded and feel and feeling the way that I once did of being just absolutely marginalized by other people because of your what your rapper is it’s just not appropriate and so for me it’s really about how do we how do we remind all of us that we’re all just people we’re all people wearing different wrappers.

[00:05:34] Right. Humans. It’s, it amazes me that, um, and not to throw judgment on the person who was even asking you that question, because I’m at least glad that they asked, you know, they were wanting to know the answer, but why should you have to even know someone to care for a group of people? It just blows my mind.

[00:05:54] But for those who can’t see you on our video feed, they can only hear your beautiful male voice. You are a white man with a mohawk. Talking about D. E. I. So, so strong choices here, Matthew. Tell us why. So, so the, the Mohawk, yeah, the Mohawk is a story, right? So, um, in, in 2020, um, I, I have a friend, um, who, um, she, she’s black and with, uh, the, the George Floyd murder had just occurred.

[00:06:20] Um, she’s a police officer and she was really talking about, you know, I don’t know where I, where I fit right now, you know, between my, my officer tribe and my black community tribe. Like, I don’t really know which tribe I’m supporting and where I, where I land. Like, this is really like, She was really agonizing over, over what she was facing.

[00:06:39] And as we were talking, um, part of the conversation, she made a, um, a mention of, um, trying to encourage that her daughter has, um, a positive relationship with her hair. And I had never heard that ever before. I didn’t, I didn’t know what that meant. And I asked her, I’m like, tell me, cause I knew her daughter.

[00:06:55] Well, my daughter plays with her daughter. They’re very good friends. Um, and I was like, I don’t, I don’t understand what that means. Can you tell me? And she’s like, Oh, well, you know, I can get fired from my hair. I’m like, wait a second. What? Like, what do you, what are you talking about? She’s like, my hair can be discriminated against legally.

[00:07:11] And if I don’t straighten it, or if I have it in locks or dreads, or if I, you know, where in certain ways I can be sent home for being unprofessional. I had recently around that point, it was COVID. So I was, you know, didn’t really matter what people were doing. I’d put the Mohawk in just for fun. It was a new hairstyle for me and I had gotten a few comments and it was interesting that I was getting them who I was getting them from were people who were kind of stereotypically are, um, um, older demographic that we wouldn’t necessarily, uh, associate with being, um, pro and alternative look.

[00:07:45] And, and it was something that was really standing out to me as like, people are. Positively commenting on this. And this is historically the most anti establishment haircut that ever exists. And here I am wearing it intentionally in corporate offices now still getting comments and people today can’t wear their natural hair that they were born with, without potentially losing their jobs.

[00:08:08] That is absolutely. Ridiculous and unfair and inappropriate. And so I continue to wear my Mohawk in, in solidarity with all the folks who don’t have the luxury of being able to walk into the room like I am doing this. And so I use this as a physical prop. Anytime someone comments and says, Oh, I love your Mohawk.

[00:08:27] I say, yeah, have you ever heard of the crown act? And thank God it was just passed here in Michigan. It needs to pass federally. And I’m going to wear this Mohawk until it does. So that’s why I do it.

[00:08:40] We couldn’t hear that. We could only see your, your There’s no mic. She’s excited. I know she’s excited about that.

[00:08:52] Okay. Do it again.

[00:08:57] Okay. I think Risha’s so loud that it’s breaking her mic. You did the replay and we still didn’t hear you. Okay. I just need to quiet it down. I’ve hurt my shoulder in that process. Your bad shoulder! Basically, what I said, folks, is I absolutely love Matthew D. Anderson. I absolutely love you too. Preach! And preach some more.

[00:09:18] Oh my. Okay. I was dead. I was. Why I, I was getting emotional as this person is discussing the hair thing. And I’m like, Oh my gosh, he gets it.

[00:09:33] And I think, you know, I’m probably going to stick my foot in my mouth for a lot of people, but I don’t really care in this moment, not only does Risha

[00:09:43] and I, we have a lot of conversations off camera about things like this, where. As much as we might hate it, and trust me, I hate it, I’ll speak for myself, women need men to speak about women’s issues, right? Just like blacks need whites to speak about blacks issues. Like, there are some, and I’ll be really uber specific right now, I really do think, unfortunately, there are some white men, in particular, who will only listen to white people.

[00:10:13] Men until they learn better. And my hope is that once they learn better, they’ll do better. That’s the whole, that’s the whole praise. Right. But the unfortunate reality is. We need Matthew more than we wish we needed Matthew because you are taking a stand on issues that don’t necessarily directly affect you the person.

[00:10:34] Maybe they affect your wife, maybe they affect your family and friends, but these are issues that you are taking a stand on because other people need you to take a stand on them. And that is huge. Thank you. Thank you. You know, I appreciate that so much. Thank you for saying that. It’s um, you know, somebody challenged one time like why, why would you, why would you do this?

[00:10:54] I’ve had so much imposter syndrome being in this DEI space, I’ll tell you that. Like, I really, I’ve actually recoiled against it and really only started to kind of embrace that, yeah, I guess I’m a DEI practitioner. Month or so, because it’s like, to me, it’s really like, I believe this so deeply. And so truly, and it’s been a part of the work that I’ve done for so long.

[00:11:12] It’s just now it’s got a new label. Right. And, and so I, I don’t physically fit the stereotypical look of the folks who are doing this work. Right. But the reality is to your point, I physically fit the comfort zone. Of the target market that really needs to hear this message, right? If you’re black, you don’t really need to know you’re marginalized.

[00:11:31] You already know that. I mean, you just do right. Um, if you’re white and you were taught all along, this is true. This is, this is, I’ve heard this from folks before, specifically white males, as you just said. There’s a guy that I know, a client of mine who he was, he was having a really honest conversation.

[00:11:47] Um, I, I set an environment where it was a very mixed group and it was specifically to talk about equity. And, and there was a very real question of like. I thought in the 70s when people were saying racism is wrong and don’t be racist and I said I’m never going to be a racist person because you’re right that’s wrong.

[00:12:05] I thought I did my part. And here I find out 50 years later, not only did I not do my part, and I’m apparently racist for it, but it’s not only it’s not only that it’s still here it’s worse than it’s ever been. I thought this thing was going away. Right. I had another, um, individual woman one time share as I was, um, after I gave a talk, she was in tears.

[00:12:23] She was like, I’ve gone to so many of these DEI talks. I keep getting made to go to them. That’s how she was talking about it. Right. And no one’s ever talking about me. She was like, I grew up in rural, poor. America. She’s like, I didn’t have electricity for three months when I was growing up. I had to flush my toilet with a five gallon bucket.

[00:12:39] She’s like, no one talks about that because I’m a white woman and everyone thinks I automatically have privilege. But like my reality was just as bad as some of these people’s reality. And I wish people would be talking about me too. Right. And so you’re absolutely right. Like we really have to focus on the fact that we typically.

[00:12:56] In the DI space, we’re talking about BIPOC and LGBTQIA as a primary focus because those are the marginalized demographics that we can are in seeking to uplift right now and really get more equity across the board. And there’s, but those aren’t the only demographics that we need to be focusing on we really need to be focusing on the fact that Everyone needs more support.

[00:13:15] Let’s talk about our veterans and the suicide rate. I mean, that’s a diverse group of people that we’re really not upholding at the level that we should because they’re just dying every day. Right. And so there’s so many people that we really, really, really need to focus on. The fact that we have DEI as a really common topic right now I think is such an important thing because what we really realize when we start looking at it is Like, this is actually affecting all of us.

[00:13:43] It really affects all of us. You know, I, I just find it so interesting that, you know, DEI has really come into the forefront, say, over the what, over the last 15, 20 years, right? Like, really become like a major focus. And all of a sudden, over the past, we’ll say, two to three years, it’s been coming under attack.

[00:14:07] Different states. We have I want to say four or five literal four or five states where the governments are literally trying to reduce funding for DEI programs and educational system and workplace. They are literally trying to end diversity. We don’t want anything to do with diversity, which to me, just.

[00:14:28] Blows my mind. I’m like, I don’t understand how you don’t want your schools, your places of business, your government offices to look like the people for which they are functioning. What, what is happening? What, what in your estimation is leading to this? In my view, and I clearly don’t feel that I’m alone, this complete backwards thought process of diversity, bad diversity, bad D.

[00:14:58] I. S. What? What is this? No, I, I think, I think what it really boils down to, um, is, is the politic, the turn, making this thing political, it’s a political lightning rod that it does not need to be. We have turned this into a Democrat and Republican issue when really this is a human issue. Right. And so when, when I go into a room and start talking about diversity, equity, inclusion, the very first thing I’ll often share with folks, depending on the room that I’m in is, Hey, look, um, the, the, the term in the book, white fragility.

[00:15:31] Exist for a very legitimate reason. And that’s a derogatory term. We don’t enroll anyone to do anything by damning them, right? Like I can’t say, Hey, let me be rude to you and then ask you to do something for me. Right? Like, that’s just not how we get things. Right. And so if we’re going to antagonize somebody who particularly folks who kind of don’t think that they’ve got a role to play in this until they’re all of a sudden faced with the fact that they’ve got a role to play in this.

[00:15:57] They don’t know any better. We don’t know. We don’t know that’s ignorance. Right? Ignorance is not knowing what you don’t know. Stupidity is knowing and doing anyway. Like these folks in many cases are ignorant. There are real racist people. I’m not denying that at all. There absolutely are. And there’s racist microaggression behaviors that take place.

[00:16:13] There absolutely are. I do it by accident still too. And I’m working really hard to learn and modify my own behavior because I don’t even think about it. I had a client I was working with one time. I was trying to encourage him, right? And as I was encouraging him, I’m like, what’s the worst that’s going to happen?

[00:16:25] They’re not going to hang you. This is a biracial guy, probably not the right thing to say, right? It’s like that flippant, you know, God forbid you get hit by a bus. It’s just a kind of throwaway line. These throwaway lines can hurt if we’re not being really mindful of who we’re talking to. We got to really mind that, right?

[00:16:40] And so it’s ignorance versus stupidity. I know better if I do anyway, that that’s stupid, I shouldn’t do that. If I don’t know better, well, I’m ignorant. And if I can learn and do better, I should do better, as Julie said earlier, right? And so that’s why we need to give each other grace and all these things, but what we really need to remember.

[00:16:58] Is that at the end of the day, this isn’t about, you know, if you live in a Republican state, diversity is a bad thing. And if you live in a democratic state, diversity is a good thing. It’s people are people are people and we need to treat people like people. This is a human being thing. And if you’re a human, I can always respect that you’re a human.

[00:17:15] No matter what, I don’t have to like you. I don’t have to think that your rapper is the same as mine, but the reality is you’re a human being. And if I can’t respect that you’re a human being, well, we need to have a completely different conversation altogether. I want to jump in and, and, um, you know, Matthew, I so appreciate your, your thoughts and reach to even asking, you know, posing this.

[00:17:33] question. And gosh, I’m going to like dance around this because this is, this is hard to talk about, right? Because you want to say the right things or at least try to word things as best as you can. And so I’m just glad we’re having this conversation that is so hard to have. And so forgive me in advance when I say all the wrong things, or if I’ve already said all the wrong things, you know, Matthew, you mentioned the word, you know, ignorance.

[00:17:55] And I think it’s really important to point out that. I don’t think as you’re saying the word ignorance, I don’t think you’re, you’re attaching any, any blame to that word. It’s not, you’re not using it in a derogatory way. It’s simply the definition of the word, which is when you don’t know something, when you, when you just haven’t learned it, you’ve never encountered it before.

[00:18:17] I think for a lot of people. They, at their core, we are good people, right? Like we, we, we want to do our best in the world. We want to be kind and good to other humans. And, you know, from some of the people in, in my circles, especially in the older circles, I’ll say, generationally speaking. Um, you know, I look at some of these people who are, who are kind hearted, good people at their core, who love their neighbors, work hard for their families.

[00:18:45] Um, And for some of the people who are white, or who present as white, right, because we also have Hispanics and and other other, you know, minorities who also will they look into everyone else they look and so they’re identified as white, whether they identify that way or not. But I think sometimes these people.

[00:19:05] I hate saying these people, but I’m going to say it anyway. I think sometimes it feels like an attack, you know, so when like, so not only has this become politicized, but it can feel like an attack to feel like things get kind of clumped together in a way. If racist people are doing bad things, which we know is happening every day, then, then the other people who identify racially.

[00:19:29] with those, you know, the other white people then get clumped into that as they’re still not doing the things they should be doing. Now, the reality is. We still aren’t doing the things we should be doing. As a, as a culture, as a, as a country, white people in general, we are trying really hard, but we’re still not doing all the things we need to be doing.

[00:19:47] Bottom line, period. However, it’s so hard. I think we can identify in other ways. You know, you go to school day after day as a student and you’re still not making the grade. You still are being told to try harder. You’re still being told you’re not good enough. I think over time that also escalates to a point where When you get a president in office who suddenly for the first time in in our lifetime.

[00:20:11] It makes it okay to say the things that aren’t politically correct because you’re trying your best and that should be good enough. I think for the first time we had an opening, we as people in general in this country, had an opening to say more of these things that, that we were feeling, and so I think there’s also this polarization that happens there and frankly, a lot of it not to buy into conspiracy theories, but you know, it.

[00:20:38] It the two parties stay in power by having polarization. And so there is work every single day being done to keep American people at odds with each other. So anyway, I just, you know, now I’m rambling, but I just wanted to put it out there that I think that there is this, you know, to kind of, um, and I’m trying to state a sentiment that I don’t necessarily feel myself, but I know exists.

[00:21:00] And I think it’s that like, Hey, I’m here, I’m doing everything. That I think is right. Like you mentioned earlier, Matthew, a client you have, he’s doing everything he thinks is right. He’s for 50 years, he’s been living his life as a good person. And now all of a sudden he’s being told he’s not a good person.

[00:21:15] And like, how does that feel? And reach, like, I would even ask you to weigh in before Matthew, because it’s like, you know, we’re in this, this position where. There are a lot of strong feelings on all sides, and at the end of the day, we want humans to be, to be recognized for the journeys they’ve had, uh, for the Blacks in America that came from Africa, the journeys that they did not choose, and the hardships they did not choose, you know, these years later.

[00:21:44] But how do we also, like, how do we position ourselves in a way to recognize that? And also move forward. When does this conversation, when can we, as a people move forward together? I personally feel like the conversation, people have to recognize that you have to have the conversation. Let’s start there.

[00:22:05] We can’t act like, well, this is in our past and we need to leave it in our, no, it’s not about what’s in our past. You need to understand the past in order to properly create your future. That doesn’t include repeating the crap in the past. And that’s part of the problem. The, the argument that I am hearing a lot of is, um, you know, the, the guilt factor, you know, little, little Molly Sue feels bad when she hears about, you know, slavery and this and the other.

[00:22:34] And it’s like, okay, well, guess what? I feel bad when I read about it too. No one is blaming Molly Sue. No one is blaming me, but, but I, we need to understand that that happened, that that was real. That that wasn’t. Involuntary relocation, you know, the systems created even from that still exists today. Right?

[00:22:56] So there that’s, I personally feel that’s one of the first things is. You need to be okay with having the conversation. You need to sit down and say, this is going to be uncomfortable, but I need to sit in this discomfort. And once I sit in this discomfort and the person sitting across from me is sitting in this type of discomfort and.

[00:23:16] Having an actual conversation. Not a, this person is speaking. I’m waiting for my opening so that I can jump in and say my part. Listening to what the person is saying. Taking a breath before you respond. Think about what the person is saying. And then maybe say, you know what? I don’t know what to say to that.

[00:23:34] I need to think on that a little bit more or asking a follow up question, or maybe you do have a response to what they actually said versus what you’ve been thinking about saying while they were talking. So you really weren’t listening in the first place. That’s the first thing is actually sitting and having the conversation and recognizing we’re not all necessarily going to agree.

[00:23:56] And that’s the other thing. It’s not about, we’re all supposed to agree on every single aspect. No, but if you disagree with me, I want to have an understanding of why you think my idea of how to fix this isn’t right. I want to hear what your solution is or what, what about my solution is rubbing you the wrong way and vice versa.

[00:24:18] I go back to my mom. She used to work for the Fresno County housing authorities and she, she had a, a receptionist, a secretary who flat out. Flat out racist woman who completely had, she’s like, she did not understand why she was working for my five foot black mother in the first place, right? This is just like, how dare, how dare I, the receptionist, work for the manager of this whatever.

[00:24:51] And I guess she did. My mom told me a couple of years ago, she found out way after my mom had, or after this woman had retired, that she had done a lot of underhanded shady things while my being my mother’s, uh, receptionist secretary, and she stunningly apologized to her, but the fact that she felt perfectly comfortable.

[00:25:14] Doing those things in the first place. And then my mom was telling me another story about, um, she had gone on some, oh, this is crazy. And then I’ll, I’ll let Matthew jump in. This, this, I was blown away with this story. She went on a conference, right? Went to a conference like normal people do, and she went out for dinner.

[00:25:35] She had whatever stipend to go and, you know, for dinner and stuff like that. So she goes and she gets. You know, my mom loves lobster. My mom loves steak. So when she gets the opportunity to like, I’m going to have a nice little deal, that’s what she would do back in the day. So she goes to the conference, she uses her stipend and she gets herself a nice steak and lobster dinner.

[00:25:54] She didn’t even use the whole stipend. They call her in when she gets back saying, what is this? Uh, what, what, what are these receipts that you’ve turned in lobster and steak? You don’t eat like this normally. Why would you eat like this on this conference? First of all, it’s a stipend. I can use it however I want.

[00:26:13] Second of all, do not tell me, my mother, what she does and does not do on her own time. So, when you How stuff like that, and people don’t want to even admit that stuff like that has happened. And this wasn’t in 1965. This was 19. This was when I was in high school in the nineties. Good God. I just dated myself, but still, you know, this was the nineties going into the two thousands.

[00:26:42] So if people don’t want to discuss that, those things actually happened. And how do we make sure that things like that don’t happen again? Don’t continue. How do we Cut that perpetuation of ugly off at the knees, it’s, it’s never going to get solved. It won’t. No, it won’t. And, you know, so that example is, is a perfect example of the way that we just kind of assume reality to be right.

[00:27:12] Like we think such a thing unintentionally or. Overtly and we filter the world against it. And all of a sudden we realized how we’re sticking our foot in our mouth through our actions because you know, our filter isn’t actually true. Right. Our, the lens isn’t actually real. I’m seeing it really, really, um, right now in real time, as, as I’ve had the opportunity to start working with Athena international, so this is a women’s leadership organization, global organization started out of Lansing, Michigan, which is where I’m from.

[00:27:39] I’m really honored to, uh, 40 years old. They’ve awarded over 6, 000 women throughout the world. Their leadership award over the last 40 years. It’s really incredible organization. And as I’ve had a number of opportunities to share on conflict, that’s really where my, you know, my background is my education is in conflict.

[00:27:56] As I’ve had an opportunity to really spend time working with them on one of their principles. Collaboration and so I have a whole focus on transforming conflict into collaboration. And so I spent about six different sessions with those folks in the guest lecture capacity and did a keynote for their annual event and went through their certification process recently and so forth.

[00:28:17] And it was really, um, An honor to have that opportunity and to be their first male, uh, is really very special. Um, what I didn’t realize, this is what really stunned me, right? So I was born in 1985. Um, and, uh, that was the first year that a woman was allowed to join Lansing Rotary, the rotary club that I was a part of for a long, long time.

[00:28:37] The year I was born is when a woman was first allowed, right? Then now I’m, now I’m, now I’m working in this space with women all the time. I mean, this is your target market for this, for this show, right? I didn’t know in 2023 how marginalized women still are. I mean, for the love of God, the crap y’all face that I just didn’t think was still a thing, right?

[00:29:00] Like, I thought y’all had it, like, we were, we dealt with that, right? Just like the, my white client who was like, I thought we’d figured this racism thing out a long time ago, right? Clearly, I was wrong too, right? And I’m, I’m in this space and I really care about this space and I, and I didn’t realize, right?

[00:29:16] And so Rish, I’m with you, like, until we start having the conversations, we’re not actually going to even be enlightened to the fact that we don’t know what we don’t know. And you’re not alone either, Matthew. I, as a, as a man who’s very progressive and learning and taking all these things in, you know, I, I have a dear friend of mine.

[00:29:37] In fact, his wife was a guest on the show at one point, but a dear friend of mine, very, um, very active when it comes to social issues, environmental issues, just a very well rounded man with a, with a wife that he dotes And he read an article a couple of years ago, um, that talked about women in safety. And, uh, and, and for some reason it stood out to him in this article that the article must have mentioned something about how when women walk to their vehicles, um, alone, they always have their keys in hand, ready to go.

[00:30:10] And oftentimes we’ll have like their cell phone in the other hand. Um, just in case, like it’s, it’s become, you know, enriched. I see you smiling. Cause it’s like, yeah, like we don’t even think about it. I always have my keys out in my hand before I leave the store. I’m ready to get into my car. I literally, if my phone is not in my hand, it’s in my pocket or right there.

[00:30:30] And he was blown away and he, he, he almost didn’t believe it at first. And I remember him saying to his wife, uh, as they told us the story later, he said, do you do that? And she’s like, just watch next time. And he was blown away that it is second nature to women to protect ourselves all the time. And if that doesn’t say something about the current state of what it’s like for women in this country, then I don’t know what does, you know, reach, and I’ve also shared a lot on the podcast about our experiences working in news and, uh, reach was an anchor at ESPN, so working in the sports world, very.

[00:31:07] You know, obviously male dominated world and, and news still is as well. And I mean, we could fill a whole week worth of podcasts about, you know, just about all of our experiences. Uh, you know, my, my very, I guess this was my second job, my first full time salary job. I was in line for a promotion after I graduated from college.

[00:31:30] And so the boss, you know, I knew this was coming. I’d been talked about for weeks by my, you know, assistant news director. And I, you know, it’s time for me to meet with the news director and I go into his office. And so I’m, I’m ready. Right. I’m excited. I’m, I had been told I was going to get the five or 6 PM weekday newscast, you know, small market in Saginaw, Michigan.

[00:31:49] And I go into his office and. And I’m, I’m 20 years old. And he says to me that I’m one of the most talented producers that he has ever worked with, that I’m just an up and comer and he says all these wonderful things. And then he tells me that I’m climbing the ladder too quickly for a young woman, my age.

[00:32:12] I was, I didn’t even know what to say. Never in a million years. Has that ever been told to any man ever said to no man ever? He wanted to teach me that. I don’t know what he wanted to teach me, so I didn’t get that promotion, by the way. I got moved to the weekday morning show where I then had to produce a two hour show by myself without anyone around to actually like support me and teach me and grow me.

[00:32:43] And I will tell you, by the way, that I immediately went online, secured a different job and was gone within, you know, probably four to six weeks. I can’t remember the time frame. A couple of decades ago, but right. And, and, and thankfully I had that fire in me, that passion that to say like, F him, like I’m going to go find my own way.

[00:33:04] And I actually, the funny thing is I left to work on a morning show in another market. So it wasn’t even that I didn’t want the hours or I wasn’t willing to put in the work or to climb the ladder. I was more than willing. I wasn’t. I was not willing to work for a boss that did not respect me as a human.

[00:33:21] And, and thank God I had that fire because I’ve also met producers and, and others in the world that don’t, that get knocked down and, and it hits them in a way that it fortunately didn’t hit me at that time. It’s hit me at other times, but you know, you get knocked down like that. And some people don’t get back up.

[00:33:39] Some people start to really lose that confidence and that ability to move forward and why, because my age. Because my gender that’s what those were the two things he identified because when it came to my talent and skill sets that was right where it needed to be according to him see and compare that against my reality i graduated at 24 right i was i took the slow boat through university six and a half years and when i graduated i was 24 so i was old for a college graduate but i was young i graduated in the middle of the recession december of 09 and um My first job was February in 2010.

[00:34:15] I started working for the largest restaurant company in the world, Darden. I immediately found out that I was the youngest manager in the entire company. Also the only college graduate that they had hired in the entire country that year, right? And so here and the other piece was I didn’t interview for that job.

[00:34:30] I had been talking to the I’ve been talking to the recruiting guy for three years. I didn’t even need to interview right by the time it got to the point. It was there and it was done. And I’m the youngest one in the company, right? That was my reality, a complete opposite. And it’s so wrong that my rapper gave me that and didn’t give you what you deserved that you earned, right?

[00:34:51] I mean, I earned what I got to like, I mean, I worked hard. I did work hard. It’s not to say that I didn’t. I did. I definitely earned it. But I also was given more than You were, and that’s not fair and that’s not appropriate. And when we’re talking about, you know, I, one of the things I hear folks talking about now, it’s like, oh, we’re trying to just, you know, it’s so hard to be a white male right now.

[00:35:09] Well, I mean, compared to historical trend. Yeah, it is. It’s it’s, I mean, compared to history. Yeah, you’re right. It is, but it’s not that we’re trying to push white males down. It’s that we’re trying to make sure that we’re lifting everyone else up to the same level that white males have always had the luxury of being at, right?

[00:35:25] Like I make up the people who look like me. Used to make up functionally 100 percent of the workforce functionally, right? When we were building all the systems and all the stuff today, people who look like me only make up 30 percent of the workforce that’s dramatically different. Dramatically, dramatically different.

[00:35:43] And if all our systems are designed for folks who look like me. And I only make up less than a third. Well, we’ve got a problem with our systems too. And, and that’s when we get back to like, so what do we do about it? And why are some of these things taking place? And why did that guy who could give that promotion, why would he say something like you’re climbing too fast?

[00:36:03] Well, I can tell you right now, why that’s an insecurity issue. Let’s go to the psychology of it. This is my wheelhouse now, right? Like that’s insecurity. And you hit my job. Right? Exactly. And I had to X, Y, and Z, and you don’t know how hard it was for me. And I got held back when I thought I deserved my early promotion, but didn’t get it.

[00:36:21] And I had to earn my stripes. And so do you, right? Like there’s logic to that, but it’s really more punitive, right? It’s like, you got to go through all the same crap I went through. You don’t deserve it. Right? Well, the reality is. We’re all going through different crap, all of us, all of our lives are hard.

[00:36:37] Every single one of our lives is hard. As a white male, my life is hard. I’ll tell you it is. It’s a different kind of hard, dramatically different, but it’s still hard. Like, I don’t have an easy life. I’ve got lots of things that I’ve got to deal with too, right? And that’s true for all of us. And so when we really realize, like, hang on, wait a second.

[00:36:57] Yeah. You’re facing hard stuff. That’s just different hard stuff. Okay, wait a second. Like, I just need to equalize this back to we’re people again. And if we’re people, I need to respect that you’re a human, and I’m a human, and we’re both the same. And when we take our title off, and we just say hi I’m Matthew nice to meet you.

[00:37:17] I’m just your neighbor, your friend, the human that happens to be standing in front of you right now, right? Like when we behave like that and we take all this other crap off, it’s all fake. Anyway, everything that we pretend is real in our society. Isn’t our titles, our jobs, all this stuff can go away in a heartbeat and it will.

[00:37:34] And the reality is all that really remains is our relationships. And what we’re doing and what we’re not doing and what we really need to be doing to satisfy and serve all of our lives together. We are better together. We’re all better together. And if we respect that we’re all humans, all of this starts clicking into place.

[00:37:53] Your passion is very clear, Matthew, and, and I’m in love. So, you know, don’t tell my husband, but I love you too. Um, your entrepreneurship journey born out of conflict. So it was a little, it’s ironically fitting that, that you go on and turn conflict into collaboration. You, you actually touched on that. Not, not that long ago and bringing those two terms into the conversation, conflict with collaboration.

[00:38:23] Don’t tell us then. How did you get your start into, into coaching? What was the conflict that led you to coaching? So when I, um, uh, when I was at the Capitol grill in Minneapolis, um, I, I had a number of firsts. It was, um, at that time I was, I was Ultra homophobic. When I was 17, I had kind of gotten over that.

[00:38:44] I had a real epiphany moment where I asked a guy, I’m like, I don’t understand. Like, are you born gay or do you choose to be gay? This was 2003 back when that was the topical conversation. And I was really curious. I really wanted to know, cause I didn’t know. And I asked him, he’s like, it doesn’t really matter to me if I’m, if I choose to be or not, I choose to be happy.

[00:39:00] And all of a sudden I realized I’m like, whoa, whoa, whoa. We’re changed the paradigm here completely. Right? Like that’s a different situation entirely. Now I understand this isn’t about body parts. This is about love and happiness. Like that’s a different thing that we’re talking about. Like we’re talking, we can talk symptoms all day long, but when we talk root cause, it’s about happiness, what makes us all feel fulfilled.

[00:39:20] Right. So I’m in Minneapolis. The third largest LGBTQIA community in the country per capita. It’s the largest pride parade in the country while I was there. So two years in a row, I got to experience that for the very first time and participate in all those things. I’m exposed to new things while I’m doing this.

[00:39:35] One of the things that I was realizing for the very first time is I was also, um. Ultra focused on results and I was not focused on people. Uh, and I really, really quickly earned this nickname of the hammer where I was the guy, I was the chief disciplinary in the restaurant. And if people needed, um, correction, I was the one who did it, right?

[00:39:53] So I’d write people up and I’d fire them. And I got so good at firing people. I fired so many people. I didn’t need to, I just, that was what I was. That was my tool. I earned this nickname, the hammer and everything looked like a nail. We’ve all heard that before. Um, and, and I went through and fired and made all these people just end their careers and that I didn’t need to, because instead of coaching and counseling, it was just like one, two, three strikes you’re out.

[00:40:14] Um, and I had a fair legitimate way I was doing it, but it wasn’t, it wasn’t that I was really helping anybody. Right. And so I ended up having a lot of success in this. Um, organization anyway, because I was focused on results, it was a bottom failing restaurant. It was ranked number 45 out of 45. Like there were, it was a bad situation to be in as a first time manager, got the bar ranks to number one.

[00:40:34] We got the thing turned around. We got approved for a 2 million expansion. I mean, we really got that restaurant turned around, um, at the cost of a lot of. people because I wasn’t really focusing on them. So that was a learning lesson. And when I got to my next point in my career, I was rebranding an organization and I couldn’t terminate this guy who really, really needed to go because he was toxic.

[00:40:55] So I had to learn how to work with them for the first time. I took the Dale Carnegie course to learn how to lead people because I felt like that was something that I was missing. It was a real epiphany moment for me when I’m watching all these folks have these breakthroughs and I wasn’t, and I was like, Ooh, I got my acts together.

[00:41:06] All these. people just don’t. That was what I was thinking. And all of a sudden I realized like, oh, wait, that’s the problem. I think I do and they all realize that they don’t. Um and I’m still stuck thinking I do and when I had this epiphany, I realized like, whoa, I make my mom cry, my wife cry. Virtually every employee who’s ever worked for me has cried.

[00:41:28] Like maybe they’re not all crybabies, maybe I’m the common denominator. And so I realized that it wasn’t that I was mean, it wasn’t that I was a bully. It wasn’t that I was an antagonist. It’s that I was focused on results and not the people that lead to the results. And so at that transitionary point, it was real, it was truly this realization of like, I don’t need to be constantly in conflict because.

[00:41:54] I can work with people. I can help people. And so I immediately, um, I knew at that point that if you want to be a master of anything, you have to understand how to teach someone else. So I went through the process of becoming a Dale Carnegie trainer. Um, and, uh, did that and spent a bunch of time at auto owner’s insurances, their in house corporate trainer and Neogen and did all these real cool things with MSU.

[00:42:10] I’ve had the opportunity to coach and work with over 6, 000 people now. I mean, it’s just really, really beautiful experiences I’ve had. And then, as Julie said, in 2019, Dale Carnegie ranked me as the number one corporate trainer in the world. Um, so it was a really, really huge honor and a path that led me to where I am today.

[00:42:26] But to your point, it was all born out of conflict and that I just really loved. conflict a lot. So I studied it in graduate school. I got a graduate degree in it. I studied it for, um, the intent of understanding why does it, why does it work the way that it does? It just is. We’re in conflict right now.

[00:42:42] You’re listening to me. Something I’ve said you disagree with. That’s okay. Something I’ve said you dramatically agree with, but it’s counter to something that you’ve previously believed. Good. You also are probably thinking right now, well, what else am I in conflict with? Good. You’re in conflict with gravity.

[00:42:56] Just trying to breathe. You’re fighting right now. Every breath you take until you no longer do, you are in conflict. So conflict isn’t bad. Conflict is. And when we take the wind out of the sails, All of a sudden, we don’t have to fear it anymore because it’s just always around us. And so when that’s taking place, when that’s true, then all we have to do is recognize, well, if this is something that is taking place, I can leverage it for good.

[00:43:23] And there’s a whole process that we can do and I talk, I talk about in the leadership mastery program is, um, uh, Program that I built when I started my company, and it helps folks to understand a whole bunch of different things, psychological under underpinnings of leadership, basically, so we can motivate, inspire and empower people.

[00:43:37] And really the big focus is how do we navigate through and out of conflict, which is why we’re also talking about diversity, equity and inclusion. I mean, this is back all of a sudden we’ve spun ourselves right back to where we started. And again, all of it, my problem was I wasn’t respecting people. And when I realized you got to respect people, that humans are humans, that was the, that was the thing that clicked for me and changed everything.

[00:44:01] We’re not just business professionals and we’re not just neighbors. We’re humans all the time. I’ll give a quick plug for, for your coaching so that. I mean, like we just witnessed a moment of your coaching, right? Like I’m sitting here and I’m like, Oh wait, it’s my turn to speak. Uh, because it’s just, so there is, there’s a power in coaching.

[00:44:26] There is power in opening yourself up. To the exact situations you just described at allowing yourself as Rish says so well to sit in the discomfort and then to open yourself up to the idea that some of the thoughts that you’ve been having might be wrong. And that’s okay. It’s time to relearn new things or learn new things to move forward.

[00:44:52] And I, I so appreciate your coaching and where you’re coaching. Came from because as when, you know, like a lot of this conversation takes me back to when I was a young producer before even I was an executive producer and, you know, as a young 20 something being in a position to supervise people who had been in the industry longer than I had even been alive.

[00:45:13] And so, of course, there’s conflict there. Why should they want to listen to me or hear my ideas or take my direction or guidance? Unfortunately. And I think this is true across, and not just picking on the news industry or broadcast industries, it’s true across every industry, and whether you’re a woman or a man or all of that aside, there’s just a lot of bad bosses, a lot of, a lot of bosses who lack leadership.

[00:45:40] And I know I experienced that and what happens when you’re going through that. Or when you’re young and inexperienced and you’re put into a leadership position without the training, which was also me. I knew news. I didn’t know leadership and I had some natural abilities. But my gosh, when people are telling you that the things that come naturally to you are wrong, for instance, like when you shouldn’t be emotional or you shouldn’t be this or that.

[00:46:05] And then later in life, when you’re 40 years old, you realize, wait a minute, that’s, that emotion is actually my superpower. Like these things are actually Really amazing qualities that make me a good leader. And so all of these things, the best thing that ever happened to me, Matthew, cause I also was in Minneapolis for five years.

[00:46:22] I worked at KSTP, the TV state, one of the TV stations there, there during the bridge collapse, they’re doing some just key moments in my life that elevated me into leadership positions. As you’re talking about with your coaching, the best thing that ever happened to me there was I was repeatedly knocked down so many times.

[00:46:42] And ultimately my boss said, well, you just need to become a better leader. So I’m going to send you to this coach. And it was, it was like, put on me as punishment, like, Oh, you’re so bad. We’re going to say, you know, I’m so bad, but I’m like in the number one spot. Right? Like I’m the. I’m the top executive producer for that station, but I’m so bad that they have to punish me by sending me to a coach.

[00:47:06] That coach was the best thing that ever happened to me. That coach opened a journey that I have then continued to go on through my entire life. And I don’t want to. Only talk negatively about Minneapolis. I work with some incredible people and had some amazing bosses mixed in with some of the bad ones.

[00:47:21] Uh, so just disclaimer there, but the reality is it opened my eyes into a world of, uh, in order to coach, you also need to be coached in order to lead. You need to be led. I mean, there are just so many, the dichotomy there. is so important that, um, so I just applaud to anyone who is at this point, just thinking about it.

[00:47:44] I think it’s just, um, uh, something to consider. Um, but before we even get to our rapid fire questions, Matthew, I have one last question for you in your spare time. right? You are a husband. You are a father, a member of Mensa, the international high IQ society. You’re an artist. We always joke that men never get asked this.

[00:48:09] So I have to ask you, how do you balance it all?

[00:48:15] You know what I’m asking? Men never get asked that. Like the CEO of a company right here, here you are. Men, CEOs never get asked that. Women. CEOs do. So how do you balance your life, work life balance? How does that, how does that work for you? You know, it’s so funny that I, I, I am asking myself the same question as I’m trying to figure out how do I make sure that, I mean, I got three little babies, right?

[00:48:38] They’re five, seven, and nine. And they’re important to me. And how do I balance that? And I got a wife that I care a lot about. And I’ve got, I mean, it’s just like, it is, it’s hard to do all these things. Um, you know, I’d be a balance at all. Um, do you ever been asked that by the way? No, I never have. No, but you know, what’s funny is I’ve thought it a few times.

[00:48:55] I’m like, how do other people do this? Like, and we feel like there are people who are doing other things that I wish I were doing. And it’s like, how are they, how do they get that done? Yeah. It’s, it’s funny that we, we really have to choose. And one of the things that, so I weighed 90 pounds more 18 months ago.

[00:49:06] Right. And I was drinking a lot and I really wanted to fix my health. That was important to me. And, um, and, and the reality is, yeah. It takes a lot of time. Uh, and I feel kind of selfish and, um, it’s, I have to think about it a little bit, but it’s like, oh, do I really, is going to the gym right now? Like, I mean, I should be trying to make a sales call or I should be doing whatever, right?

[00:49:27] Um, like, is, is that what I, like, I mean, is this the best use of my time? That’s what we call mom bills. Sounds like dad bills. Yeah! Oh, yeah. I mean, like this, this is the thing we’re all humans, right? Like, I mean, I, I have to decide, like, am I spending, do I spend more time with my wife tonight or do I spend more time on my, on, on the business proposal, right?

[00:49:43] Like I have to decide that just like we all do, you know, the thing that gets really sacrificed the most of the streaming shows for me, unfortunately, I don’t really, I’m not as caught up on Marvel as I’d like to be anymore, you know, but, um, I, I’m doing things. The way I prioritize my life is really focused on what are, what are the values that are important to me.

[00:49:59] And so my wife and I went through that process earlier this year, really like, how do we, how do we identify our own values? And so we did as, as a couple, I do this with organizations, a lot core values, vision, mission, core values, generation, um, and using artificial intelligence, which is something, uh, Julie, I know that you’re, you’re spending a lot of time in that space as well.

[00:50:15] Um, and, uh, and so we did our values and my, my number one value for both myself and my wife, and actually, interestingly, a number of my clients. is love. And so if I’m not leading with love or pointing towards love or doing something I love, why the hell am I doing it? And some, if you can only hold 25 things and let’s be real, we can only hold so many things.

[00:50:39] It doesn’t matter that it is important. If it’s number 26, it’s still number 26. And, and that’s just how it is. So, I mean, the reality is. I haven’t painted in two years. The last painting I did was the one that got me into ArtPrize. Um, it’s now, um, in the Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art. It’s been on a traveling exhibit.

[00:50:56] It’s about to be, um, put into a new exhibit that’s going to be announced very soon, um, with an airport. Uh, I mean, there’s some really, really neat things, um, but, you know, I haven’t painted in two years. And so I just set up an art studio in my garage, so now I can do that. Um, because it’s a priority for me again, to be creative and do that.

[00:51:11] Um, and so, um, it is, it’s difficult to balance. It’s really, really difficult. Um, and, uh, I appreciate being asked the question because you’re right. I’ve never been asked before. It’s about shifting. It’s, it’s all about shifting. You were going to hit that rapid fire question. I just want to say one other thing though, you know, um, in going back to, to the conflict that led you into coaching, you touched on something that’s so important that.

[00:51:36] You know what you said that once I started to realize I needed to focus on people versus just being the hammer because yeah, if you’re a hammer and that’s all you think yourself at the hammer, then everything becomes the nail. But at the end of the day, while all people are absolutely different. All people do want the same thing.

[00:51:57] All people want to be respected. They want to be appreciated. They want to be happy. And so once you are able to recognize. In general, in general, we do all have the same goals and I’m not talking about the monetary aspect of it, but in general, we do have the same goals. Once you recognize that, then it’s finding the building blocks for, for how to get there.

[00:52:21] And, you know, that, that’s what’s what’s lost in all of this is we’re not respecting people, we’re, we’re, we’re throwing people to the side and saying, well, my idea is the only thing that matters. And, and that’s. We’ve solved the world. So now we just need to do it like, you know, at a global level. That’s exactly right.

[00:52:42] Right here. Right here between the three of us. We’ve done it. Everyone listened to this. The problem is solved. All right. So we do have our rapid fire questions as we wrap everything up. This is what we do with all of our guests to close things out. Question number one. What is one piece of advice you would give to an inspiring women leader?

[00:53:05] If you’re given an opportunity, take it. Um, I, I have had, I have been in a position to offer opportunities, um, that I knew the individual didn’t feel ready for, and I felt that they were, and even though they didn’t feel they were ready for, I encouraged them to take it, because I said, I’m going to make sure that you don’t fail, so just take the opportunity, because this is, this, they don’t come if they don’t come, um, and if you don’t take it, you don’t get offered another one often.

[00:53:28] So, um, my, my biggest encouragement is always, uh, if you’re offered an opportunity, even if you feel like, It’s a stretch. You will never be offered something that somebody else doesn’t believe you’re capable of living up to. So someone else may see something in you that you don’t, and if you’re given an opportunity, take it.

[00:53:46] Can you share a book, a resource, a quote that has had a significant impact on your journey? Uh, well, I mean, like, to not, not, not to sound like I’m promoting myself, but I’ll talk about my book. Cause it had a significant impact on my journey. Absolutely. Uh, so my book is, uh, there’s no such thing as right and wrong and there you go, right?

[00:54:08] there. You see it over my shoulder too. Um, and, um, and so the reason why I want to talk about that is because it did have a significant impact on my journey. The concept of there’s no such thing as right and wrong is simply that you believe what you believe based on the experiences that you’ve had. I believe what I believe based on my experiences.

[00:54:24] These experiences have solidified in us into opinions and therefore in our own minds, we always believe that we’re right. And if there’s two sides of any issue You’re really not gonna get the other person to change their mind because they think they’re right based on the experiences they’ve had. So instead of trying to change someone’s mind, what we really need to do is seek to understand them.

[00:54:45] When we seek to understand, help me understand. I landed over here. How did you land over here? Oh, weird. Well, I still don’t agree. I’m over here, but I get why you’re over here. And because of that, like, all right, like, I’m not gonna attack it anymore because I understand it. And now that I understand it, you know what?

[00:54:59] We can work together because I I’m over here. You’re over here. We both respect why we’re going to leave it alone and let’s get things done together. So that that book was years of graduate study and research and, um, and the effort it takes to write a book. Um, and so, um, that was, that was about four or five years worth of, um, real influence on my psyche.

[00:55:20] And so, um, I would say that’s the biggest impact any book has had on me. That’s awesome. If you could go back in time and give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be? Um, trust yourself. I, I had an opportunity. I was coaching a young boy when he was 18 years old. I was working with ninth graders and, um, It was a mental health program.

[00:55:42] It was in schools as proactive resilience building so that folks wouldn’t self harm or, um, do bad things when they’re faced with difficulties. And, and as I was working with all these young people in this high school, a boy came to me one day and said that he was, he thinks about suicide every day of his life.

[00:56:00] And I knew in that moment that that was one of those. Like, I cannot fail this conversation kind of conversations. Um, it was clear. And I just remember thinking in that moment, I’m like, please just like help. Don’t let me screw this up. And all I heard, I mean, I hear, I heard it. was trust yourself. And I did.

[00:56:25] And the boy is still alive. And, um, we had a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful conversation and relationship and he’s doing well. Um, and, um, when I, when I did receive that number one corporate Turner award, um, that was, That’s what that represents to me. Like when I look at that, I don’t see a cool piece of glass.

[00:56:43] What I see is that boy. And that’s what it represents to me is that you have to trust yourself. And there’ve been so many situations in my life where it’s just like, I don’t know if I can do this. But also we’re never faced with things that we really can’t do. We’re faced with the thing. If we can’t do something, it’s because we’re not supposed to do it.

[00:56:58] If we. are able to do it. It’s because we’re supposed to do it. So are you really not faced with the things that you can’t achieve? You’re faced with all the things that you need to be able to do and you already have the abilities in you. So you just got to trust yourself. It’s a hard thing to do. It’s not an easy thing.

[00:57:12] Uh, but I have found time and time and time again, I did a speaking tour on this, um, during COVID. I did 25 stops around the country and this was, This was the message that I shared was trust yourself. And so that’s the, that’s the, what I would share to a young version of me and really to anybody else is, and on this DEI thing too, like my mom, the other day, she’s like, am I even allowed to say the word black?

[00:57:34] And I’m like, yes, mom. That’s like, that’s just like, you can say white. Um, but there are people who really wonder, is this okay? We just have to trust that we mean, well, we have to focus on our intent. We have to focus on the intent of other people. If they mean poorly, then fine. But if you mean well, just trust yourself and trust the other person to give you a little grace, or really trust yourself.

[00:57:58] And so that’s, I guess that’s what I have to close with. And all of this, this isn’t an easy thing for anybody. And the reality is, the deeper you go in it, it doesn’t get easier, but it gets more interesting and it gets more fun. And I find that I know less than I believe I knew when I started the process, to be honest.

[00:58:15] I keep continuing to trust that I’m doing the right thing, and that I’m meeting the right people, and that I’m having the right conversations. And the reality is my life keeps getting better and better and richer. And so for everybody, just trust yourself. That’s what I have to say. I can’t think of a better way to end this podcast.

[00:58:32] Matthew, it has been fun having you on the show. I appreciate your candor. You are just So raw with your emotions and, and real. And when you’re sharing and, um, the good, the bad and everything in between. Thank you so much for being on the show. We will make sure to link to you on LinkedIn and your websites and all the things, your book.

[00:58:52] Uh, so if you’re looking for more on Matthew, check the link. There’s no such thing as right or wrong. That’s the book. There you go. And if you’re on YouTube, we’ll link it down below. Wherever you are listening to this podcast, you can check out all the links. Matthew, thanks again for being on the show with us today as our first male guest.

[00:59:12] Thank you. It’s such an honor. Thank you for having me. This was really such a, such a special experience. I really appreciate it. And that is all for this episode of Think Tinker Free. Show your support. The best way to show your support is by hitting subscribe. That way we can spread our love and our word to all of those who are in the podcasting world.

[00:59:32] We’ll see you next time on The Thinking of Three.