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May 2, 2023

All Up In: Design, Diversity & Artificial Intelligence with Jinja Birkenbeuel

All Up In: Design, Diversity & Artificial Intelligence with Jinja Birkenbeuel
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Today, we are graced with the presence of the multi-faceted and highly creative, Jinja Birkenbeuel, CEO of Birk Creative. 

Together, we have a jam-packed conversation about her career journey, how she became an entrepreneur, the state of education, and so much more!

Tune in to hear us discuss:

  • JinJa’s passion for designing annual reports (seriously…)
  • The alarming lack of diversity in high-end design spaces
  • Coca-Cola’s partnership with Chat GPT for marketing campaigns
  • What young people are up against in higher education in America
  • The problems that gatekeeping can (and does) cause

Don’t forget to smash that subscribe button so you never miss an episode, then come hang with us on Instagram & Twitter!



Music. Welcome to All Up In My Lady Business. I am your host, Mary Nisi. On this podcast, I'll explore the fine line between having it together and losing your shit. Here I share my journey as an entrepreneur, a mom, a wife, a DJ, and randomly a beekeeper. I have no shame and no filter except the ones I use on Instagram. My stories of resilience, a little structure, and a lot of resourcefulness can show you how to take those same things and live your life with your whole ass. Thanks for listening. Music. All right folks, today we have the dynamic, the energetic, the person I'm always excited to run into, Ginger Birkenbuehl. Oh, that is her name. She is the CEO of Burke Creative. She is a writer, researcher, and creator. Is AI, obsessed. And the creator and host of the Honest Field Guide podcast. Her rich Which content is read by global brands including Google, VaynerMedia, Meta, LinkedIn, Apple, Dropbox, Microsoft, and also by curious and generally inspired people. There's a lot more about Jinja. I'm not reading this entire bio. It's insane. I mean, I don't think I could fill up an entire page about myself, but Jinja can. So welcome to All Up In My Lady Business, Jinja. I love it. I feel like I need to have my yoni on as we're talking. Well, it wouldn't be the first time. Just kidding. I'm sure like half the people don't even know what that is. What a yoni is? Yeah. Yeah. I think everyone knows what a yoni is. Shh, don't tell. It's mostly women that listen. So you're not really keeping secrets. So Jinja, thanks so much for coming on. You are one of the, I feel the word like boss bitch was created for you. Wow. I love it. Jinja and I go back to a time, a pre-911, not pre-911. It felt like pre-911. I know. Well, it felt like, the pandemic felt like 9-11. Yeah. In a way. I was going to say it was my 9-11, but 9-11 was my 9-11. And then this was a different 9-11. Equally as terrible. Killed more people, though. So Jenja and I met at a fundraiser. This is going to sound so name-droppy, but we met at a fundraiser for Sean Caston, who we helped get him elected in 2018, when the blue wave was coming through. And we met at Gillian Flynn's house of Gone Girl fame. Yeah, that was crazy. Meeting her was wild. I was like, oh my god. It was fun though. It was fun. Yeah, I mean, she was like, she was like very normal. I know if you've never read one of her books, you wouldn't really understand what I mean. She seemed very normal, because her books are not normal. They're like. They're really dark and wicked. And like, you know, you're just like creepy and just, but really amazing. You can't put them down. And so, so good, like, so excellent, the personalities and the, the richness of her characters. And, you know, you're just sitting there reading, reading her, her books. You're just like, yeah, that could be me. That can I could be like, I could be that woman. But her house is in Lincoln Park and it's like insanely gorgeous. But books everywhere. Books everywhere. But the coolest thing was there was a fake door in the library. What? I did not know about, there was a fake door, I didn't even know about that. Let's not tell, really? Yeah, there was a fake door. It looked like it was books. Where'd it go? And you pulled it open and it went to where the bar was. You had to have, because you had to go through that to get to the bar. I did not see that, I'm telling you. Oh, well, it was cool. It was like what everybody always wanted. It was like that show Silver Spoons, how they had like fake doors and stuff. That is so cool. But yeah, so we met at Gillian Flynn's house at a political fundraiser in 2018. And we kind of just gravitated towards each other. And then we did. Yeah, a hundred percent. And I'm glad that I did. So I mean, I'm trying to remember like what actually, I think we ended up taking a picture together, right? With Gillian Flynn, right? And I had one of my employees at the time and it was a really good time. But anyway, after that though, we went out to dinner a couple of times, right? It was a group of people that we had met at that fundraiser and we hung out a couple of times and the pandemic started and we never hung out again. But it was so much fun, those like dinners we had, because there was like a lawyer, there was like another lawyer, an accountant, another woman who was doing something. And we used to go downtown and have dinner and drinks. And we talked about the wildest crazy stuff. And I was like, how did I meet these totally interesting people? It was crazy, it was so much fun. And then one of the guys actually that was at the dinner, I ended up still kind of hanging out with him. And he invited me to an event where I got to meet Matthew Modine. I was like, what the hell? Like, who are like these great, awesome people. So I got to hang out with Matthew Modine. And we talked about like how he wanted to be the next Jacques Cousteau. So his one of his real passion places is to get rid of plastics, like he thinks plastics are going to destroy the world, which they are wrong. He's not wrong. Right. And so we were talking we had we had this like wonderful conversation about about the plastic thing and him wanting to be, you know, the next Jacques Cousteau. And this is before I think, because I remember asking him, like, are you going to do stranger things again? He said he didn't think so. But then of course, he did. Right. He has a new series of stranger things. But Matthew O'Dea was great. So yeah, that was an interesting, perfect meeting of all of us at that fundraiser. And you know, you're an awesome fundraiser. I think you raised the most money for that man than anybody else there. Like you, you rocked it out. I don't think that's not possible. I didn't. I mean, I raised a lot of money for him, but not more than like, you know, I think the Jillian Flynn one raised like $100,000. I was like, Well, okay, after her, you're like number two. Like, I just was like, I need you in my corner to raise some money for me, because that was amazing. I'm weirdly good at asking people for money. So, Ginger, you said earlier on your advisor, Christy Heffner. So, I'd love to explore that more, but maybe you can kind of give my dozens of listeners a real look inside of your background, like how you became this digital maven that you are. Digital maven. You know, I think the main thing for me is I've always been open to everything. I've always been extremely curious, asking a lot of questions. I've had people before tell me, you ask too many questions, you know, I'm serious. I've had people say it to me and I'm like, well, then we're just not the right, we're not supposed to be together. You know, you and me are not aligned. So I think because I've been just open, I've been able to transform my career a little bit. So I started off, you know, I went to art school and I studied brand communication and marketing and visual identity and I went out into the field, started working and I didn't last in that field for very long for a number of reasons. One, I didn't have any mentors, not that I needed them, but I really was like, what is this field? Like, everybody, nobody seemed really super nice. Everybody seemed ridiculously competitive in a hateful way. You know, a lot of people, like real serious design snobs, lots of high end, like I am so much so great and so much better than you kind of thing and my designs are always going to win. It was just and I'm not saying I'm not a competitive person but I do know at some point I was like this really isn't like I don't really feel comfortable then when I went into corporate, I was the only black except for in the high-end design world I was in at the time, right? I was the only black. Where were you at? I went to... I won't even name the companies, but the only company I will name is... I was at Accenture... Anderson Worldwide, which is one of the best places to learn how to be a business person, walk the walk, talk the talk, because there's a lot of automation that they put in human beings so that they can keep making the money they make, right? And Anderson Worldwide is now Accenture for the most part. So they were really forward-thinking with management, consulting, and things like that. But anyway, when I ended up going there, it was a wonderful experience for me because I had a great mentor who did happen to be a man, And it was fantastic. But I also realized there are really no women in any leadership roles. And the only other black people I see here are in the mail room, or they're picking up the garbage. I'm like, what is this life, you know, and so and then I was also looking at how much money the company was making doing things that were very fascinating and interesting to me. Because, you know, back when I was there, they were doing digital transformation back then, nobody even knew what that was. But I also was like, this isn't really what I want to do. And And so I basically decided to go off and work at some smaller companies for a while. And at the same time, I realized that I wanted to go with my husband and take our band on the road and my country band, Utah Carol. And I thought, you know what? I think I'm gonna open my own company. My last job, the owner of the company, she was a wonderful, wonderful businesswoman. She was tremendous. She did some of the most amazing work. This is at Anderson? No, this is when I left Anderson and I started working for a woman owned business. And she was really smart and really shrewd and very, very on point. And I remember walking in one day, I sauntered in the office, I think I was an hour late. And I sat down at lunch, and I was like eating some horrible food. And it was just like, I was just sitting there looking like a lug. And the day before I had taken a two or three hour lunch, because I was working on a new song for my first record. And she looked at me at the table with my half chewed fingernails eating like a donut, a chocolate covered donut, an hour late. And she looked at me, she goes, girl, you know what? This is just not working out. You are so talented, you are so amazing, and one day you're gonna kill it out there, like you're gonna make so much money, you're gonna be so amazing, but right now you're just gotta go. And I was like, you know what? She's like, go do your thing. And I looked at her at a time, I was like, you know. I'm all right, like, she's right. This is not like really, this whole life I'm leading is not really working. So I opened my own company, it was October 31st, 1997. And I never looked back. I had a business card I made for my printer and I had my guitar and my husband looked at me the time he's like, what? Are we going to do now? Like, are you going to look for another job? Are you going to go, maybe be a freelancer?" And I said, you know what? I don't think so, honey. I think, like, this is going to be it. Like, I'm never going to back to work for anybody ever again. And I never did. That's amazing. That's admirable and awesome. So you just that was that was Burke Creative. That was the beginning of Burke Creative? That was the beginning of Burke Design, which I then changed my company name to Burke Creative probably back in 2013 when I became more I transferred, I'd sort of transitioned my company from focusing specifically on design. At the time I was working with, you know, I decided actually when I opened my own company, the only thing I wanted to do, I wanted to work on annual reports and I wanted to work on finance. And so all the clients I had at the time were publicly traded companies. And I did a lot of annual report design. I got a lot of tremendous experience. Wait a minute. Let's stop for a a second. Your passion was designing annual reports? Yes. Yes. I don't I didn't even know that that was a job. What does that even mean? If you're not in the world of, like, you know, finance and investments and things like that, you probably like there's such a thing as a report. Yeah. So there's like, I mean, The thing that comes out and says we made eleven million dollars. Yeah, that's right. Like, yeah. EBITDA, you know, expenses, revenue, you know, tax deductions, like it's just- Well, sure, but when there's designing. Well, so what usually, typically, first of all, they're forward-looking statements and usually represents the message of the CEO or whoever's in leadership to kind of say, this is the brand of the company. This is what we mean. This is what we're about. This is how we're going to add and increase shareholder value. These are the things that we believe in. This is our mission. And this is what we've been doing according to what you think you've invested in. But this is also where we're headed for the future so that you know that your investment is safe with us. A lot of it's, you know, I mean, some people would say, you know, there's no truth in advertising, but there's so many reports that are actually really excellent and they have really... Tremendous messages from the leadership. Like, have you ever seen IBM's annual report? It's really amazing. Or if you ever look at, you know, Apple's annual report, I mean, they're all, you can find them all online. They're all online. And so you design them to make, so they'd be, like, compelling for the people who are, like, for the shareholders? Well, so yeah, they would be compelling for the shareholders. But, you know, fundamentally with the annual reports, and I'll just be really honest, a lot of it, in my humble opinion, it's a very big ego play on the part of the company. Like, they just, you know, you highlight the CEO, there's a really wonderful letter from the chairman, letter from the board, letter from the CEO or the president. And they talk about all the great things they've done. And sometimes they talk about how much they failed and that's why their stock price went in half. I mean, it just really depends on what happens. Even though it's a forward-looking statement, a lot of times it's really also looking back because it really outlines the performance of the company, how they actually did and how that impacted their bottom line and whether or not they were able to pay dividends out to their shareholders or not or whatever. So, I mean, It's a lot of accountants involved, right? There's a lot of certified public accountants that really look at these reports. And there's certain people that specialize in creating 10Ks, which you have to file with Edgar, things like that. I know it sounds like you're just like, oh my God, this is a thing. And some people find this really exciting. And I did because a lot of times the annual reports, they paid really, really well. You had really big budgets on annual reports. And this is how I built my company. My first year out the gate, I was several hundred thousand dollars in profit, you know what I mean? Because I did. Wow. Yeah. Were there a lot of organizations that did this? There were a lot of organizations that did it that were much larger than me that probably made 10 times the budget that I made on the small interreports that I worked on. So I worked on a lot of reports for startups, like companies that had just, you know, became publicly traded. So, you know, they were pretty good budgets, but like there's other companies in Chicago, like some really huge design firms that will go nameless because I'm hostile about them because they take all the business and they have a lot of relationships in places and they get all the good contracts. But anyway, but yeah, some of these companies, yeah, they made big money. I mean, some of the companies, they've had the same company, they've been doing their annual report for like, I don't know, two decades or something, three decades. They're very, very lucrative. They used to be very lucrative until Enron, then Enron changed everything. Like the collapse of Enron? Yeah, that really, they changed everything because then the SEC made it so that annual had to be filed electronically as a 10K. And so then- What's a 10K? That's the thing in the back which actually has all the fine print of all the financials. It's not just the financial highlights, it's all the information, all the stuff that they're supposed to put in that reports the health of a company. And so then it became required for those things to be filed electronically by certain dates, which basically killed the inter-report business in a lot of ways. When the SEC decided that you only had to file a 10K. Then you don't really need to do a full-on annual report with photographs and visuals and storytelling and headshots and sending people all over the world to take pictures of all the beautiful things that your company does in different foreign lands. So it truly became a different sort of a business. So at that point, I think for me, I started transitioning my business anyway out of more of the design space and more into overall sort of brand strategy. It became less focused on on one element of creative expression of corporations into much broader concepts and ideas, which then of course, translated into other areas of work. I started doing work for nonprofit organizations, for the city of Chicago, helping them launch initiatives and ideas around whatever the topic of the day was. I mean, I think one month, Mayor Daley at the time, he loved Halloween, that was his favorite. That was his favorite holiday. So I created for them Chicagoween, which turned into Halloween wraps on buses and transit ads and billboards and newspaper kiosks. And brochures, and it was just crazy. So that work of mine in the annual report business really did prepare me for a much way to think more broadly about business. That's really what it did. So when you made the switch from annual report making to brand strategy, like who- I hear a laugh in there, like you're laughing, you're like. It's just, what's so crazy to me is just like, I mean, my mother used to always say, Like, it's a crazy job, but someone's gotta do it. Like, it's fun to like have these conversations because I don't think I ever would have known that that was like a real job. And like, not that it's not a real job, but that it can be an agency's biggest focus is like this, you know, this ego stroke for corporations. Well, so, you know, now like the annual report has turned into the corporate responsibility report or the sustainability report or the diversity report. Because back then they didn't have any of that. Well, I mean, no one cared about that stuff. Like diversity? Come on, we have one woman and she works in the mailroom. Exactly. I mean, it's real. But now it's turned into, I mean, it is a different type of a business now. It's not so much the annual report, although it's important. It's really the other things that the company, you know, the company is doing, you know, to get wherever they're trying to get with their goals. I'm really glad I'm out of that business because like I said, I really don't like the community of, you know, designers at all. And a lot of it, in some ways, you know, at least when I was in my early days, it was, just too white for me. You know, there's too many white people, and I love white people, I'm married to a white man. My mother is whitish, but as a black woman in the creative space, you know, even being in college, I was the only black design student and it's a very highbrow thing. It's like, it's almost like, You know, in the United States, the museum and creative space, it's very cultural and very closed. It's, it's very high end and you need special relationships and special keys to get through the door. You know, you can't get yourself in a museum. You know what I mean? It's like that. That's the kind of world the design world is in general. It's very exclusive. It's not inclusive, and it's not diverse. Is it mostly white guys or are there like, is it, you know, it's been a really long time since I've, you know, taken stock of what's actually happening at the small boutique design firms and brand strategy companies and even the in-house design teams at large companies like Google. It's been a really long time since I've set foot in those places. I think what I've seen is that there's more people of color in the advertising industry than there is in the high-brow graphic design branding industry, right? Because advertising is a little bit of a different conversation. I'm not going to go as far as saying there's a lot of black leaders in advertising because there aren't. There's not black creative directors. There's not enough. But as far as design is concerned and graphic design, I would really not feel confident saying that there's great penetration of black American designers in those small boutique firms. I doubt it. I mean, listen, I just, they're not even in the advertising space. You know, you can't, there's just not even enough there. So it's just, you know, so I switched, I started migrating away from it. And also, you know, there wasn't enough money, honey. I'm like, look, I, this is a lot of work and I'm not getting paid enough. So I started moving into spaces where the money was more lucrative and the money was more lucrative when you had opportunities to be at a table where people were actually making real decisions. You didn't have to go through a middleman to get the answer. And that typically was not in a design space. That was really in the more corporate space where I started really dealing with more corporate strategy. And who were the clients that you were dealing with at that point? Who was your sweet spot? Like, was it like. You know, athletic gear, or, you know, or whatever, package goods, most of the work I've been doing is business to business. I've just recently done a little bit of business to consumer, but most of it's been b2b. For me, the industries have been varied, you know, it's real estate. I mean, I started off doing a lot of real estate communication. That was the end reports I was working on education, technology, tourism, you know, I did a lot of tourism work, lots of work work for public schools, work for some non-profit organizations. This is brand strategy. Yeah, but also including brand strategy, but also design and creative as well. So I really did expand beyond just fonts and colors on a page. It really became, what are we trying to accomplish? Where are we trying to go? What's the brand message we're trying to communicate? What do we want people to do? What do we want people to think? Or how do we want them to act when they get this information? So it really became more of a consultative role for me as I was working with these clients. And again, once I opened my own company, I had access to people that made decisions. So I was really working with people that were at a strategic level, whereas before when I was working at agencies or working in-house, I really wasn't dealing with the strategic thinking people. I was really dealing with middlemen or managers. So as having my own company, I really had access to the brain trust of any organization, whether it was when I was working to help the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago really focus on issues related to women and children and childcare, things like that. I was working directly with the CEO at the time, and I have been ever since. When you were saying you were doing that, like when you were working with the YWCA. Like when you're talking about strategy, it's like strategy within the company, as well as, because that stuff's gonna, like helping tighten up that, because I mean, I think of the YWCA, and I think of that as an organization. That is there for the promotion of women and children, and you had to remind the CEO of that? No, you don't remind the CEO, you just sort of get into deeper conversations around what is the why here, and what are we trying to accomplish and what are we trying to get people to do? And once we know those things, I can create materials around it. It really becomes what type of material makes sense depending on what the goals we're trying to reach. What are we trying to communicate? What's the education space? They know all these things. And the reason that they hire a company like mine or any company hires a strategic design, creative company like mine is because they really need to understand how can I communicate what we need. With all the materials that we're developing? How does this message come across as a through line on our reports, on our public facing brochures, on our website, for example? Because at some point, everything became websites, right? So then it became, you know, web work as well. How do we communicate that through social media strategy? What does it look like when we do a television commercial? What happens when I'm being asked questions in front of a PR person or somebody at a press conference? Like, how do we bring all this together so that there's some consistency in our messaging? And then, how do we get that consistent messaging take it to the people that work here because maybe the people that work here don't actually know the full on-brand strategy of the organization. A lot of times they don't. It's not communicated clearly. So then it becomes, how do we actually create materials so that everybody understands that we're on the same page? And it really does depend on the leadership, right? So some leaders don't really pay attention to these things, and which means that employees and staff, if they're out in the field talking about things, they may not have the same message that they're delivering to whoever they're talking to. And so that's why companies like Coca-Cola and McDonald's are so powerful. They have, at Nike. I mean, they have incredibly talented brand messaging, brand strategist, brand reputation people working for their firms that understand how to be very, very consistent and relentless in their messaging. And so that's why people like us work for companies because we help companies do that consistency all the time. I mean, you're a small business owner yourself. You know what it means to have a consistent message across all the touch points of the clients that you're trying to reach, you know? Well, yeah. And making sure that everybody's saying the same things. You have to have a lot of trust in your employees that they're, you know, when you're hiring people, they're going to be, you know, staying true to that mission. And sometimes I'm more successful than others. Well, I mean, the trust comes, though, when you arm and support and set them up for success so that they can do the things that you're talking about. I mean, if you're not setting them up for success, then they're going to fail, which means you're going to fail, too. So you have to give them the knowledge so that they can, you know, take what you want out in the field and speak it right. I mean, you have to train them as well. And that's one of the reasons why these large companies have such incredible consistent success. Sometimes when companies get too big, you know, it's hard to kind of control it. The message that you're sending out. That's why companies have brand books, internal facing brand books, external facing brand books. You know why they have brand platforms online where people can see all the visual identities and the messaging and and the promise lines and things like that. It's a lot of work and it pays really well if you get the right clients. Yeah. So when you started this company in the late 90s, like you're married and have kids happened yet at this point? No, I didn't have kids yet. No, of course not. Of course not. No, it's hard to do all those things when you have children. I started having children much, much later in my marriage. Right, I already had an established company when I had children. How did that go? Does your husband have something to do with the company? No, except he has insurance with the company he works with. So I was able to build my company because he has insurance. I mean, too, I mean, I got my insurance from my husband as well. I mean, it's like one of these things, it just sucks that that is such a thing we have to like worry about as business owners is dealing with the benefit side of things because- That's America. It sucks, I hate it here. Anyway, I mean, that's America. Like, you know, we just, you know, they always say that this is a great place to start your own business, but that was before insurance turned into a racket. And now it's very discouraging for people to wanna leave their jobs and pursue a dream because they know that they don't have health insurance, which will protect them if something goes wrong. So they're just like, I guess I can't start my own business because of this. Yeah. My kid has asthma and I can't get into the marketplace because I've got this. For all the talk about how America is the land of opportunity and you can make anything happen, you can't, I don't think that's really true anymore. It used to be, but now it's a risk to open a business without having a backup of insurance. And I just feel I've been very fortunate. You know, my husband and I have been married a long time And I never go out there and make entrepreneurship look so easy because it's just not. Having a business is not easy. Even without children as a woman, if you don't have some kind of protection, it's very scary. It's just scary. What if you have a health crisis? I mean, I don't know. It's a lot. So no, I mean, I didn't have children for a very long time when I was starting and growing the business. And when I was able to start the band with my husband and grow the band and do all the traveling all over Europe and make the music and the records and stay up all night. I mean, this is before children. We got a lot done, you know, before the kids came, you know, and we still get stuff done, but it's just a different kind of done. Yeah, I mean, and your kids are, some of them are in college and- Yeah, one of them, yeah, one of them, bless his heart. The kid's killing me. How is he killing you? Yeah, I mean, he's in college and the college is expensive and he has a bad attitude and he thinks he's entitled to everything, even though he's not paying for nothing. I mean, you'll get there, you'll see. Yeah. I mean, it's funny because like when I went to college, it was like the entire gravy train was cut off. Like, there was no rent being paid. There was no monthly amount of money. That's me too. Exactly. You know what? They talk about the boomers being the greatest generation. No. us. We did a lot with very little. Yes, we did. I kind of refer to myself as like this Gen X fantasy. Like I feel like I was like in the last, like the last final push of like being able to like do it on a wing and a prayer. Cause like I graduated from high school. I was okay. I was like an average student. I went to DePaul where I was an amazing student. Oh, I didn't know that. You went to DePaul? I did not know that. Yeah. And I was a great student. I was on the Dean's list every quarter. And, but I, you know, I did the whole thing on loans and I graduated. And when people are like, with the loan forgiveness, they're like, get so mad about it. And I'm like, I'm like, you do realize like that the world that we were raised in is so different from the world that is happening now. Because like I graduated from college with $40,000 in debt for four years of school. It was at like 0.005% interest. My payment was $203 a month. So I was paying $300 a month, and I just paid it off. It didn't cripple my life. It's hard to hire people when they're like, I have this $2,000 a month loan payment. And I'm like, that's a mortgage payment. How is that your student loans? What's your degree in? And they're like, art. And I'm like, okay, you can't even make money doing that. So it's like for people to be like, they shouldn't have taken out $100,000 for their undergraduate. It's like, well, they didn't have a choice at this point. $100,000 at 9% is a different payment than my $40,000 that I paid off over 15 years. You know, and then it was like gone. Yeah, I mean, back then, I mean, I'll just speak for myself. But nowadays, if you are taking out all those loans, like in my opinion, you're going back on the plantation if you're black. I mean, seriously, like it's like, you, it's too much money. I'm gonna be very honest, like I, and I, and I'm trying really hard, you know. As a mom of three sons, I really don't wanna send my children back to the plantation. And trying so hard to get them to college without forcing them to take on some extraordinary debt. I don't know if I'm gonna win this battle, but I'm fighting to the death to make it happen because to your point, the loans that I came out of school with were not damaging to my future. They made it so I didn't have to stay and work at the company I was at. I didn't have to toe the line because I didn't owe that much money to the government. Do you know what I'm saying? If I was hired, I still had some autonomy. Like it's still, I still was able to say like, F you, I'm out. But now it's like if you hire a student that, I mean, I actually made a joke last week. I'm like all these large corporations, like you need to be looking for students that have loans because they will do the job because they have to do the job to pay the loans back. How do you wanna live like that? It's horrible. I sound awful, don't I? But I just, I feel so angry what's happened to, you talk about American Dream. Like being able to earn a college degree, it is so important to have the opportunity, whether you want it or not is one thing, but it's so important to have the opportunity to get an education and to be taught by someone else that can help you see the world differently, right? And you just learn so much going to school, not online, although there's nothing wrong with online schooling, but in general, being a part of the experience is like, it's life-changing. And there's just a lot of young people now that are being denied the opportunity for that. And it really makes me angry. Support for this podcast is brought to you by Toast & Jam DJs, my very super cool DJ company located here in Chicago, Illinois. If you are having any kind of party, a wedding, a birthday, a jamboree, maybe an office party, a gala, shrimp boil, store opening, we've done some 5Ks. If you need music for anything, you probably need us. We have also added to our things that we do, photo booths, and our photo booths are super cute. They're pink and they've got sequined backdrop and they can make gifts and boomerangs that, can be texted out from the booth at the party. They're very cool. So if that is something that you want, in theory, this ad is for local to the Chicagoland area, but you know, money's the same color everywhere. So if you want to fly us to wherever you want, especially if you are in the general Hawaii a vicinity, perhaps. We have done a lot of destination events and we will make it very awesome indeed. Go to, Check out our website and give us a hire. Well, and it doesn't help that the public education system is being so degraded. And yeah, it's going away. I mean, to the point where it's like, you know, I feel like we've gotten really far away from the reasons why we work. So like, for instance, if you really want to just take things back, it's like, you know, we were all living in unorganized groups, you know, and then it was like, you know, and all we were doing was just trying to stay alive. And then as things got more comfortable, rise in the middle class, like, it was like, oh, gosh, my house is dark, but I can't make candles. And this guy's like, well, I can make candles. I'll take the meat that you're butchering. And then it's like, it was, you know, we, this is how we had the rise of like, you know, society was like people doing the things for the people that, you know, that they couldn't do. And so then money was invented. And then we kind of, you know, work was supposed to be a thing you did to kind of like. Justify your, you know, being able to get things and, you know, being able to contribute to the the greater good and, you know, then factory jobs all, you know, like people would go and they would do an honest day's work and then, but then the factories went overseas and they didn't do anything to replace the jobs that were taken away from us. And it's like, you know, at this point now it's like we're only meant to consume, you know, like the entire economy in the U.S. is just based off of, you know, the consumer price index. Like that's a huge thing. It's like, we had a TV in our house growing up that we had for like 15 years. And if the TV broke, we had to wait for the guy to come and fix the TV. And it was, you know, or you know, like new coats, like you would get a new coat every 10 years or something. And now, you know, and so- I had friends that didn't have boots in the winter. You know, they had- Or you just wore your hand-me-downs. Or whatever, yeah. I mean, I just, yeah. I mean, I know, I feel like I'm like, oh yeah, back in my day, we had to walk like 20 miles to get to the bathroom or something like that. But yeah, I mean, yeah. So did you hear what Coca-Cola just did? No. So they basically have hired ChatGPT and artificial intelligence to create campaigns, run advertising, make artwork for the Coca-Cola Corporation. It's the first major company. They're like number 10, the number 10 most whatever company in the New York Stock Exchange or whatever. Are they doing that to be cool or to cut costs? I'm sure it's both, but they're jumping into a new technology because I guess, you know, all these large companies are always looking to add shareholder value and to make more money and to increase revenue. They also want to be on the cutting edge of things. And, you know, yeah, I mean, you should look it up. It's actually pretty frightening because with this ChatGPT, they've engaged the OpenAI company, the head of the partnerships of OpenAI, which of course owns ChatGPT, which of course is now partially owned by Microsoft, to be the first major company to to create content, strategy, visuals, design, images. With artificial intelligence. So they don't really need to hire an ad agency anymore or a creative agency anymore to do this work. They basically, they're probably gonna have to hire what's called a prompt engineer to ask the right questions to get the solutions they're looking for visually. But the point is, is that you talk about, what are we working for? I mean, this is a pretty major move for, in my opinion, for a company like this to make, just basically say, we're gonna try this new technology and we really don't need a lot of humans to do it and it's gonna be great. But if that's the case, then there's gonna be no humans that can afford to buy it. Like if no one's working, doing the jobs to make the thing, it's like, what's the point of money? Like when you have- Welcome to the void. We're all heading to the void. It just feels, it just feels, It feels like a bad sci-fi novel at all times. You know, like when you think about like dating apps where it's like, there's a person who wants to fuck me five feet away from me. Like you can see that on an app. You can? Yeah, like there's proximity things within like. Oh my God, that sounds horrible. Yeah, it sounds terrible. And it just. What in the God, really? Yeah, like it's, well it's Grindr, you know, like the gate, like the Grindr, actually all of them have it. There's like a thing where it's like, you can enable GPS. So you know, I mean, I don't even know what Grindr is. Like I don't even, I have no concept whatsoever about dating apps. I don't even know what you're talking about. But what you're saying to me sounds just like a little bit too much. Yeah, it's just this Blade Runner-esque sort of, like... You know dystopian future of like, you know, like no there's no one who actually works anymore And it's like well, here's the thing of chat GPT is gonna take away advertising and art jobs Like why can't it take away everything? Like why can't it take away the stock market? Why can't it take away? Trading why it absolutely can so then what's the fucking point? I mean the only reason to me that it could take away things is not because of its ability, It's because of the people's lack of understanding of what they're doing with it. Like they believe it's the truth That's why it can take things away because the people believe it. You know what I mean? It can't do the things that people believe it can do. But people don't know any better, so they think it's real. And it's just, that's what's really scary about it is that the mass adoption of something that is really not ready and it's broken and it's doing a lot of damage to people's brains. I mean, I was just thinking this morning, you know, people complain about how the mobile phone those completely transformed relationships. But I feel like some of this AI technology is actually transforming how we interact with it and it's changing the way we think. It's just, it can potentially do that, depending on how much ability you have to question things or to doubt or to have some cynicism over, or to even have the curiosity to ask questions and research things and to verify. A lot of people just don't have the time or the patience or they don't care. I mean, just- bias is so strong, they just want to believe the crazy outlandish thing they're hearing. Yeah, it's pretty, it's pretty interesting what Coca-Cola is doing. I read this article about how or I saw a whole thing on it where in China, their version of TikTok has like a ton of like barriers put in place where it's like, you can't use it if you're under 13. And if you're between the ages of 13 and 17, it will only work for 45 minutes a day. And it's limited to five different types of content. It's like patriotism, math, science, you know, positivity, you know, like, and then in America, it's just anything goes, you can have anything you want. I was on it for like, two month period and I lost time. So I'm like, I can't I run to I have too many things. I can't have to talk be a factor in my life. So what do you think, whenever I hear like, you know, like Biden's threatening to turn off TikTok in the US, which I would really love because I don't want to have to learn it for business purposes. I don't want to stand there and point at words, but I don't know, what do you think about that? I mean, so to your point, I use social media to create. I do consume content on social, but I consume content to get ideas on how I can be creating something different. So, I actually do use TikTok to create videos. You know, I share my thoughts and I share ideas and sometimes I have a topic that I want to address and I do it on TikTok, but I also address these topics on, you know, YouTube shorts, for example, I share ideas on Instagram, I write longer form articles on LinkedIn. So but again, I think for me, this is what I do for a living. So I'm much more intentional about my use of these tools. And that's where I think the problem is, is that there's people that are not intentional about the tools and they're getting sucked in and pulled in and very distracted and they become super consumers. I think there are, I believe there's actually a lot of really intelligent, brilliant, creative people in the world, especially young people. And unfortunately, some of these tools has robbed them of their imagination. And I'm concerned about that. I think there's geniuses that have been interrupted, not only by the technology, but probably also by the technology which became toxic during the pandemic. Because in the pandemic, the children didn't have school and we didn't go to work and restaurants were closed. And so people spent a lot of time online. And I think that intensified and accelerated something that maybe would have happened eventually. But now I just, my biggest concern is I see some really interesting creative young people that are very distracted and it's transforming how they look at themselves in the mirror. And how they think of their bodies, what they think they should be doing, how they should be acting, how they should be speaking. And for those of us that are artists, I can also see that, I can see how some of these insidious tools can interrupt our creative process because they're giving us information that we didn't develop on our own. And so you're not necessarily reading books or looking at real art. You're just watching other people do things and you become a mimic. Because at a certain time, your brain is growing and learning. So I just have real concerns about that. I mean, I am aware when I'm deep in the technology, there's younger people because of where they are in their brain development, they do not know what they don't know. They don't know how far down they are, how far deep they've gone into these tools. And if you're an artist or a musician, how are you using these tools to create? Now I do think there are some, I don't know if it's genetic or what it is, but there are some younger people that are 100% able to resist the technology in a way that does not make them a consumer. Still can maintain their ability to create. They're still building things and they're growing things. I'm not saying that they're better artists or better creators. I'm just saying that something in them allows them to recognize it as a tool to make something and they make things. But there's a lot of young people that at one point in their time, they probably could have been makers and they're not anymore because they're just consuming social. And that's terrifying to me. They never get bored. You know, like, I feel like so much art is born of boredom, or, like, I don't know what to do, maybe I'll just sit here and doodle, you know, and then all of a sudden, you've got a piece of art, you know, and I feel like... Or it's born of like, experiencing, like real life. Yeah. You know, whether it's trauma or happiness. I mean, it's not necessarily, it doesn't have to always be boredom. It could just be being out in the world and, you know... Well, yeah, it's like, it's like, you know, when you're at the train or whatever, and it's like, you know, you're, you have time, if you don't have your phone, you're like, looking around, you're looking at people, you see two people interacting in a way and you're like kind of making up a story about them in your head. And I don't know, you don't have you don't seeing the world reading newspapers, you know, reading, reading, like listening to other people's conversation in a coffee shop, and you're just like hanging on the background. I mean, there's just a lot of data that comes in, you know, 360 degrees of data coming into your into your world. But when you're on a phone, it's not 360. It's one direction. And not one good kind with like Harry Styles. So when you started your company, when did you start hiring employees or do you have employees or is it just you? Like what's your... So I started hiring employees when I needed to grow the company, right? When I needed to make the company larger and manage more things. When I wanted to do more client development, I needed people to actually do work. So that's really when the change happened for me. When I realized for me to make more money, to grow bigger and to not spread myself so thin, I had to start releasing some of the control that I was used to having to other people. And that was really hard for me in the beginning because like you said earlier, you have to trust and allow people to make mistakes. But I heard something saying, I don't remember where I read it or who said it, but said that there are things that you are really good at. And there's things that you're great at and you shouldn't be doing both. You need to be having somebody else do the things that you're good at and you do the things that you're great at. And the more you delegate, the better off you'll be as a boss, as an employer, as a company. You just really have to learn to delegate. And you also have to make sure that you. Provide professional development to whoever's working for you. So I realized when I started bringing people in, I was like, you know what? Not only do I I need someone to help me so I can grow and I can have my own space for my own mental health or whatever I need to be doing. I also need to ensure that I'm feeding back into the people that are coming to work for me. So it's important to me that I share everything I know with everybody that worked for me so that they can understand that when they leave my company, I never hired anybody believing they'd be with me forever. When they came to work for me, they could take everything I taught them and they could take it to the next level and get another job or grow their own career with it. I specifically focus on women when I told this story because a lot of times women are afraid to ask for things or. You know, we're just like indentured servants or something like we just kind of, you know, do the things that other people say without telling people what we need. So, for example, one of the women that I hired, she had never had a full time job before. But she was a creative person. You know, she graduated from high school, she went to college, but she was a free spirit, creative woman. I found her online, actually, because I wanted her to write an article for me for a client. And I realized when she came to write this article, I'm like, wow, you have a lot more really amazing things going on. You know, you're creative, you understand visual aesthetic, you know, you are very professional in your approach when you're talking to me and other people. You're able to kind of understand what audiences are looking for. Let me bring you on on some larger projects. And I brought her in and she I remember after a few months, she was like. People get paid to do this. And like, no one ever told you. You know what I mean? Like, she had no idea. She's like, well, I don't understand. I said, Well, you know, one of the challenges we have as women is that people don't tell us things because they don't want us to succeed. I believe this. They don't want us to necessarily take our wings and go. But yeah, people get paid to do the work that you've been doing for free or being paid really little for. So anyway, she worked for me for almost a year. I taught her a lot about social media, content strategy, how to understand, how to communicate differently when a company tells you what they believe that they need. And now she's working for another company making almost 200,000 hours a year working four days a week full time. Yeah. And you know, I will never forget. You're like, can you get me a job there? there. I just will always remember, you know, sitting with her and she was so grateful that I showed her another path that she had no idea existed. She just didn't know and I thought, what is, you know, this gets back to your other thing, like what is happening in America and the educational system that people don't know that there are other worlds than like, you know, working as a mid-level marketing intern or whatever. I mean, like there are people that get paid to sit at a table to think and just speak few words. They get paid a lot of money to sit there for an hour. And I just, you know, so there's just more options. And I think it's for me, it's my responsibility when I bring people into work for me to help them grow so that they can. Go do cool things and make more money somewhere else. I'm not about keeping balls and chains, you know, I'm that way with clients. Like I feel with my clients, I had a project that I landed my first international client last year. And I told him my friend, I said, Hey, listen, I'm really glad we're working together. But my job for you as an agency is not to make you completely dependent on what I'm doing here. I need you to learn what this stuff is and what it looks like and how to do it yourself." And you can decide at the end of this contract if you want to continue this relationship or if you realize that you know what you need to know and now you can do it yourself or you know that you need to build up an internal team to make it happen for you. And I was very upfront in the beginning. I said, the work that I'm doing here, it is definitely valuable, but we're in an era and an environment that you should be doing this yourself. Like there's too many tools, there's too much information, you don't need to have a ball and chain of an agency to do this kind of work. And now look what's happening with the Coca-Cola. I mean, my path of ensuring that people are trained and educated on how to be creative thinkers and strategists, it's really important to me. I just, I'm a teacher at heart. I'm a teacher at heart. So when you said that to that guy, basically talking yourself out of an, ongoing paycheck forever, how did they take it? I think he was confused, you know, and it's not It's not the first time I've had this conversation. I remember having one company say to me, we've never had an agency come in and try to teach It's just anything. You know, never. And I said, well, you know, that's wrong. I mean, that's just this is how I run my business. And it's probably why I'm not a billionaire, right? I don't like hoarding information. I don't like people hoarding information for me. I don't like that. I don't believe in hoarding. I think that one of the reasons why we have such disparities in the world is that people are hoarding information. Yeah, they're not sharing. Yeah, yes, they're keeping everything themselves. And that's why you have like, gazillionaires, they're keeping all the the money and everybody else has nothing. And I can't, that's just not how I run my business. I just don't think anybody needs that much money. I mean, take it to the next level. Nobody needs that much knowledge to the point that nobody else can have the knowledge. Well, it's not even withholding the knowledge. It almost feels like it used to be this, you know, there was the old boys club. And it was like, you know, the good old boys network. Yeah, you had to like go to Ohio State and be a Sigma Kappa Delta. And you know, if those two factors came together, you were guaranteed a job at, you know, Goldman Sachs because they're really big into people who went to Ohio, like, it feels like there's all of these like, you know, insidious worlds of like, you know, gatekeeping, and lots of gatekeeping. And I'm an anti gatekeeper. And the things that that's not how women operate. I think we're more communicators, we want to be like, you know, what can I do for you? How can I help you? Let's teach you this, let's get it so you don't, you know, the next time is easier for you to do it. And men don't operate that way. It's not the men are in a hoarding of resources because they don't know when the next kill's gonna happen. I mean, just keep it real though. There's a lot of women that work for men and they're gatekeepers too. Oh, absolutely. I'm definitely not putting that. I'm not advocating women for their responsibility because there's a lot of women gatekeepers out there too. Well, they also benefit. I mean, that's the thing. It's like one of the grossest parts of the patriarchy is how women will just kind of uphold men's, Yeah, we're indentured servants all over the world. I don't care what culture you're in as a woman you're. At the end of the day, you know, everything we're doing is really to uphold the patriarchy, Sorry, and the patriarchy it benefits. No one it really truly doesn't well jeff. So bezos, How does it help jeff bezos? He's the richest man in the world. What do you mean? He seems miserable You know what? I can't I can't judge misery with that kind of money Like I would just love an opportunity to try to be miserable with that kind of money. Sure But I mean, give it to me, baby. What would you do with billions of dollars? That's a thing. I feel like I know it's a lot of money. It's a lot. It just feels like, you know, too much overcompensating with his penis shaped, you know, what's the rocket ship that Oh, wait, no, no, blue, deep blue, or Oh, I don't even know. Yeah. Blue Horizon. Yeah. And, you know, his wife left him and she's just giving money away like crazy. And she still has plenty of money left. She still has plenty and Yeah, she's got plenty still. Yeah, I mean, he probably doesn't care. No, mm-mm. No, he probably cares. Nope. She wouldn't be doing it so publicly if he didn't care. You know, all right, if you think so. But that's just my own thing. I guess I just feel like the hoarding of resources, the hoarding of money, like the thing that I get really freaked out by, we're kind of getting low on time here, but the thing I get really freaked out by is private equity. That's my thing that I'm kind of terrified about. Like, so, okay, I don't know if there's any truth to this, but this is my own theory on it. Okay, so you know how like my eye doctors have been popping up everywhere? I've seen them, but I didn't know they've been popping up. You know, you're in the suburbs now. I don't think we, I don't see them as much in the city. My eye doctor's in the city and it's a my eye doctor. So my doctor, my eye doctor, Dr. Goska, I love him. He's, I've been going to him for years and he was at this doctor, he had this old, you know, eye place that was the corner of Addison and Damon and it was there for decades. And then he got bought out by my eye doctor, my eye doctor. And so now he still works at the my eye doctor. It had some kind of thing where he still works there even though he sold his business, but it was private equity. My eye doctor is like a, they just, people want, have nowhere to put their money. So then what we're gonna do is we're gonna buy out a bunch of local eye doctors and then consolidate the care and make it so you don't ever have the same doctor. I mean, I see Dr. Goska, but I mean, you know, It's just making it so that like, you know, reducing costs and cutting this and cutting that so that no one really knows their eye doctor. They don't really, it's like the same thing with urgent care centers and things like that. It's like just making money on medical stuff but you're not getting to know your patients. And it's like, there's this wild fork. Now those are all over Evanston. I'm not sure if there's any in the city. I haven't seen one yet, They're like these flash frozen meat. Stores. So it's called Wild Fort. I'm sure there's some in the city. But there's flash frozen meat. It's like meat that's been like frozen. And it's like, and they have like, it's, you know, it's really cheap. And they've got weird meats. They have like alligator and beef tongue and like, you know, some weird stuff. But they just kind of all appeared out of nowhere. And I'm like, I'm like, I'm sure this is like private equity meat. That's like, it's just like the ghost kitchens, the ghost kitchens that are that are appearing everywhere now. Well, ghost kitchens are good though, because ghost kitchens are giving people the opportunity to like try their hand. Oh, I know, but they're backed by venture capitalists. Oh, they are? Yes. Oh. What did you think they were backed by? I thought they were like communities coming together to make a place for restaurants to do eight years. What the? No, I mean, well, there is a community angle to it, but the money comes from somewhere. I mean, these buildings are built and there's like corporate electricity flowing through it. It just is, I don't know, it's like there's nothing pure anymore. Is there anything pure anymore? No. I don't know that there ever was anything pure. I mean, you're talking to a black American woman, so it's kinda hard for me to say that, but yeah, I don't know. I mean, I just, who knows? I don't really know. I think that, again, when I just think about all the things that are happening, you know, between marketing and business and, you know, money and artificial intelligence and the hoarding of information, yeah, I don't know where we're going, but I do know where I'm I'm going and my focus really always, to get back to one of your earlier questions is, I believe it's imperative for me to teach people to help them see things, right? To help them be able to be liberated from some of these narratives or these beliefs that they have that are just not true. Do you try to hire black women? Like is that? No, not necessarily. I just, I try to, first of all, I look for talent, people that can think and that have. Or that are not afraid of asking questions. That's the thing, asking questions is really important to me because I ask a lot of questions. So that's really my first sort of benchmark for when I look for people. But the other thing I look for are people that are coachable and typically people that are coachable are people that ask questions or that you can ask questions of and they can give some thought to the answer. So that's an important characteristic and you don't have to be super young to be coachable. There's people of all generations that can be coachable. There's people that can't be coachable, and you know it right off the bat. Like you know right away that person is very tired or they are not willing to accept that maybe they're wrong. Is there a difference in your mind between teaching and coaching? Maybe teaching is a little bit more in-depth to me. Like this week I was asked to teach a class, and that really felt like, to me, teaching. That was a- What were you teaching? I was actually talking about digital transformation, digital privacy, digital reputation, like how do you maintain your privacy and appearances online? How do you actually use online tools to communicate and what does it really mean at the end of the day? So it was really about helping them be aware of how they have to look up from their books to take control of their own storytelling and narrative so that other people don't control the story and narrative for them. And this is couched in the idea that in another year, they're gonna be looking for a job anyway. So this is a little bit more than how do you use TikTok? You know what I mean? Like what's the benefit of using TikTok? And here's some strategies and tactics on how you can be an effective storyteller on a platform that gives you 60 seconds. You know, I mean, I was speaking with them in a little bit more of a broader context and trying to help them understand how they could use some of the strategy was sharing too. You know, just be better positioned for their next chapter, which is graduation and career. I mean, I think now these students in school, they're really going to be facing. A future reality that I've that we never I never had to deal with this, that what they're faced with. I never ever had to. I had no worries whatsoever about employment, or I never had to to worry when I graduated from college, that I wouldn't be able to step foot into the career I spent the last four years studying for. Like I feel like what I was expressing this week to the students was you are going to have multiple chapters. If you're thinking that what you're studying is going to be the end of the day and this is it for you and you're done and ready to jump into the next step of your career with the thing that you're studying, that's the wrong way to look at the world right now because the technology is transforming and changing so fast, that you have to be open. We talked about that in the very beginning. You have to be open and curious if you're gonna make it out here. You really are. I don't care what career you're in. I mean, even doctors right now and lawyers, some of this technology is disrupting their livelihood. Well, yeah. I mean, I would rather, at this point, I'd rather have a computer doing diagnostic surgery on me. No, you don't. No, you don't. Well, I say that in so far that like a computer, like AI is gonna be able to like look at something and be able to detect a mass probably better than an eye is going to. There's actually studies on this right now. Oh, really? Yeah, because they're trying to simplify the job of a radiologist using artificial intelligence and they're actually working on this, very in stealth right now, and it's not ready. Because artificial intelligence doesn't have context the way it does. So anyway, that's a much longer, larger conversation. And I am not an expert to really, I just know that I'm following this a lot. And I'm listening to a lot of podcasts and reading a lot. I just got certification in artificial intelligence for beginners, which I am. I'm not an engineer, and I didn't, I'm not a scientist, but I am curious and I'm a strategist. So understanding how what the implications are of some of these tools, not only my job daily, but also what, am I telling my clients? I mean, for me, for example, if I'm teaching a class, right, or if I'm coaching without sharing what I know about artificial intelligence, the limited knowledge I have, I'm just doing a disservice to the students that are in front of me by not helping them see pieces of the the future that I've seen based on what I know right now. Just going out there, for example, and teaching someone how to ride a horse when you know there's a car is crazy. That is not fair and that's wrong, right? I mean- Well, if you're telling them that riding a horse is the only method of transportation that they can possibly- That's exactly my point. That's exactly my point. So I guess that's kind of what I'm thinking, like, if I'm thinking of a theme is. You know, share what you know with others and don't hoard information and don't not tell people things because that fundamentally is dishonest. That's dishonest. Well, and it's not fair. Somebody taught you. Like the idea of the self-made person or like I figured this out on my own. It's like, bitch, you did not figure this out on your own. Really sit there and think of at least three people that got you there. Like- Yeah, exactly. Mentors, advisors, and your board of directors, people like that. People that are in your network that are giving you information, you're making your own decisions and trying new things because of it. There's always people that are helping, but there's also always an opportunity for you to help somebody else. Yeah, it's a big deal. So I don't know. me, you know, I could. When I go back to your original question and I think about what I used to do, I could never be comfortable, never be comfortable as a quote-unquote brand designer forever. There's people that are fine with it and I'm okay with it. But I think based on the way we're trained, brand strategists and designers, we're trained to see the world differently. And we see the world differently, which is why we decided to go into these careers. Any designer out there that's just sitting and designing, I am not that selfish. I can't be that way, I can't, it's just not possible for me. And it could be, it's probably partially because I'm a black woman. I've had to do a lot to help other people and help myself. So that might be the reason why that's my perspective. But it's my responsibility to, you know, as a grown ass professional woman, I have to make sure that what I'm doing is helping somebody else. That's beautiful. It really is, I mean, not many people think that way. Well, thank you for having me. Oh my God, I hope people like connect with me on my social handles and stuff. So what are they? We'll put them all in the things, on all the links and stuff. But Utah Carol is your band and you guys have a record coming out? We just released Pretty Black Dress as spatial audio, which is a special format that you can only get on Apple. So you can get that on Apple, it's Pretty Black Dress. And like I said, you have to, it's only an Apple product, but we did just release Pretty Black Dress and you can get that everywhere. We have the instrumental version and the regular version and you can get to Utah Carol by going to slash utah, like the state, Carol. That's pretty cool. Yeah, but my favorite place for business is LinkedIn. You know this about me. Yes, you are at LinkedIn. I'm a LinkedIn queen. I'm a LinkedIn creator, you know, and I've also, like I have a really great TikTok channel, which is slash at Burt Creative. And I do a lot of sort of test market trial things on my TikTok. And of course I have a wonderful Instagram, Burt Creative. And I just launched a new Instagram called Ask Jinja. I think that's pretty much it. I have some articles coming out soon and I just was recognized by AdAge as a black American creator. I was able to- I saw that. That was amazing. I know. It was pretty cool. I was able to give some oxygen back to people that have given me oxygen. So I shared the names of four amazing black small business owner entrepreneurs that are also creatives and they are now getting national exposure. I was like, yeah, I was able to give a gift back. So I always like to give back. That's beautiful. You're next. I gotta figure out something to do for you. Well, I'm always here for you. Oh. Thanks for listening to All Up In My Lady Business, a podcast from a Mary Nisi production. It is written by me, Mary Nisi. It is edited by Emilia Ruby with Softer Sounds. It is recorded at the Toast & Jam offices in Logan Square in Chicago, Illinois. And it is also sometimes recorded in the attic of my house in Evanston. You can find resources and links from this episode the show notes at all up in And if you enjoyed this episode and you did smash that subscribe button and send it to somebody who's ass could be a whole lot holer. Oh, and also if you're the kind of person that reviews things on the internet, please rate and review us on Apple podcasts and Spotify. It really does help people find the show and, And don't forget, whatever you do this week, do it with your whole ass. Thanks for listening. Music.