Episode 196

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Episode Description

Imagine landing your dream job. And then imagine having your supervisor take credit for your work time and again. Infuriating, right? This scenario was a reality for our next guest, productivity expert and Wired editor Alan Henry. When it happened to Alan, he, like so many others, buried his feelings and stayed quiet. 

For over twenty years, Alan Henry has written about using technology and productivity techniques to work and live better for publications such as LifehackerThe New York Times, and Wired. Alan is passionate about sharing work rules that allow people of color, women and LGBTQ folks the same access to career advancement as their more privileged counterparts. Alan started to explore these ideas while working as the Smarter Living editor at The New York Times and delves deeper into them with his recently released book Seen Heard and Paid: The New Work Rules for the Marginalized. 

Arm yourself with the best antidote to workplace gaslighting and purchase a copy of Seen Heard and Paid.

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Episode Transcription

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[00:00:00] Bob Wheeler: Welcome to another episode of money you should ask where everyone has something they can teach you. I’m your host, Bob Wheeler. In this episode, we are going to explore why we do what we do when it comes to money as a CPA for the past 30 years. Wait, let me say 25, because that makes me sound younger. I have seen it all when it comes to money and emotions.

[00:00:21] And if you think I’m talking about my clients, I’m not. I’m talking about myself. My relationship with money has been, and sometimes still is an emotional roller coaster. Maybe that’s something you’re also familiar with. Good news. You and I are not the only ones. Our next guest is going to share their money, beliefs, money blocks, and life challenges as well.

[00:00:43] Buckle your seatbelt and enjoy the ride.

[00:01:06] Imagine landing your dream job, and then imagine having your supervisor take credit for your work time and again, infuriating, right? For our next guest productivity expert and wired editor. Alan Henry. This scenario was his reality when it happened to Henry, he liked so many others buried his feelings and stayed.

[00:01:24] Alan is passionate about sharing work rules that allow people of color women and LGBTQ plus folks the same access to career advancement as their more privileged counterparts. Alan started to explore these ideas while working as the smarter living editor at the New York times and delves deeper into them with his recently released book, seen, heard, and paid.

[00:01:44] The new work rules, further marginalized folks go by that book. It’s amazing. Thank you, please do . We will, Alan has been writing and editing stories about technology and productivity for over a decade at various publications, including life hacker in his spare time. He enjoys gaming and star Trek. I have a huge star Trek fan.

[00:02:04] Love it. Love it. Love it, Alan. Welcome to the show. I’m so excited to have you here. Oh, it’s great

[00:02:08] Alan Henry: to be here. Thanks for having.

[00:02:09] Bob Wheeler: so you wrote this book. That’s a necessary book. Yeah. And as I was reading, some of it specifically, I was reading gas, lighting and microaggressions. Mm-hmm and right before I got to this certain section, I thought, man, this has gotta be exhausting.

[00:02:24] like, right. No, I was like, this is exhausting. Even just reading about other people’s experiences. Yeah. I can’t imagine even living it. And then of course the next paragraph was, this is exhausting. It

[00:02:35] Alan Henry: is exhausting. . So

[00:02:37] Bob Wheeler: talk to me about, you had these experiences and decided I’ve gotta write this book. I’ve gotta, yeah.

[00:02:43] Codify this and let people know it’s real because a lot of people out there might be saying, am I being gaslighted? Is this really happening to me? Can you just share a little bit about your journey? Yeah.

[00:02:54] Alan Henry: I mean, The first time I noticed something was really weird. I was the editor in chief of life, hacker and life hacker used to be a property that was owned by goer media, goer media, as a company went bankrupt, lost a very widely publicized lawsuit against Hulk Hogan and what?

[00:03:14] Yeah, it was bizarre. It was bizarre and it was even more bizarre being there at the time, but still lost this lawsuit went bankrupt as a result and was acquired by uni. Now as part of that acquisition, we got a new CEO that new CEO came in and he made a point to meet with all of the site editors in chief, except me.

[00:03:35] I thought that was kind of weird. Maybe he just didn’t get around to me yet. Okay. Then I went to this meeting, this big business meeting, where I had to give a presentation about what life hacker was and what we did and what our numbers looked like and all this other stuff. And I did that. And then I tried to approach him after that big meeting, after I gave a presentation.

[00:03:52] And he was just uninterested in talking to me. It took one of my direct reports at the time to approach him and say, hi, my name is blank, and this is my boss, the editor in chief, Alan Henry. We haven’t met yet. And that was when he finally turned his attention to me. I knew something was wrong there, but fast forward to the New York times.

[00:04:14] I had left life hacker joined the New York times and I was smarter living editor. I was doing great work, but then I started noticing that I was being kind of excluded from certain opportunities. Mm-hmm like big projects were getting launched. And for some reason I wasn’t being invited to the meeting or the one story I start the book with is this situation where we all go around the room.

[00:04:35] I’m in the meeting with another team that we are just getting to know, and we all go around the room and we introduce ourselves and we tell everybody, okay, this is my name. And this is what I. My manager is in this meeting. Right? One of my coworkers comes in late and that’s fine. I’m not digging on him for coming in late, but he comes in late and my manager says, okay, well, hold on, let him introduce himself and tell everybody what he does.

[00:04:58] So he introduces himself and then proceeds to tell everybody that he doesn’t just say what he does. He tells everybody that he does what I do. Right. He does what our peers who are also in the room do, and then characterizes it like he’s in charge of all of. and I’m sitting in this meeting, staring daggers at my manager, like say something, do something, cuz this is wrong, giving everybody the wrong impression.

[00:05:22] But then in that moment I had a choice, right. I could either stand up and say something and say, Hey, that’s not quite right. Or I can swallow it and just kind of let it happen. I chose to let it happen mostly because I have that social baggage where I was the only black editor in the room. I have to come off wondering whether or not, if I stand up for myself or people going to think that I’m aggressive.

[00:05:44] Am I angry? Am I the angry black man? Right, right. And that’s not who I am. And I had to kind of debate that. And ultimately I decided, no, I’m not gonna say anything. I’m gonna rock the boat. When that all happened. I started to kind of get this feeling that something was going on, but it wasn’t just, maybe it wasn’t me.

[00:06:00] Mm-hmm I reached out to a bunch of other social scientists to write this article that I published at the New York times called what to do if you feel like you’re being discriminated against at work. And that was kind of how it started. That was how the whole journey started. I published that article on my own before anybody could tell me not to

[00:06:19] And then immediately after that, I got an email from a book editor at penguin, random house saying, Hey, would you like to talk about turning this idea into something bigger that might help a lot of people mm-hmm that email went to spam oh, no, it went to spam, but what didn’t go to spam was the email from my literary.

[00:06:39] Who worked with that editor the next day, who said, Hey, why don’t we meet and talk about turning this idea into a book. And that’s how the process got

[00:06:46] started.

[00:06:47] Bob Wheeler: Wow. That’s awesome. Let me ask you this. Mm-hmm when you were growing up, did you notice the differences? Like you started to notice it at work?

[00:06:55] Yeah. But did your parents make you aware or say, Hey, life might be a little bit harder mm-hmm or were you sheltered? Like, can you tell me a little bit about your journey as a kid? Yeah,

[00:07:06] Alan Henry: one story that I like to tell that got cut from the book for length was the first time I kind of realized that I was different than other people.

[00:07:14] I was going to be treated differently. My parents had primed me for this. Right. I mean, if you were a child of any minority group, yeah. You kind of get some of that talk early on. People are going to treat you differently for reasons you can’t control. Right. That’s not you that’s them. So I got a lot of that, but what had happened, I used to live in Georgia.

[00:07:33] My father was military and he was stationed at Fort Gordon, just outside of Augusta. I was a kid riding my bike up and down. I mean, this is when we used to let kids play feral in the neighborhood. Right. That’s how old I am. And I was riding my bike home from a friend’s. My shoe laces got caught up in my bike pedal and I fell off my bike, but I didn’t just fall off my bike.

[00:07:56] I fell into a planter that somebody had put around their mailbox with these kind of jagged edged bricks. Oh no, all around the corner of the curb. And I just slashed my leg open was wide open. I think I was like seven or eight and I am on the ground screaming in pain. And then not too far from me, there are two men in a moving truck or delivery truck or something, and I’m screaming in pain.

[00:08:23] I can’t move, I can’t feel my leg and I’m reaching out to them for help. And they look me dead in the eye and then they get in the truck and then they drive around me in the street to drive. Wow. I mean, and I’m sitting here and now at this age, I’m like, I would never do that to a seven year old child who just hurt himself.

[00:08:43] Right. Right. So what was it about me that made them just completely walk away now? I will never know the answer to that. The real answer to that question. Right. But I can suppose. And when I got home, you know, my father, I eventually had to pick myself up and get on that bike and ride home bleeding from my leg.

[00:09:02] And I got home and my father explained he’s like, you. Some people don’t see you as a child. They see you as a man, regardless of how old you are. And he feel dressed by leg and probably should have taken me to get stitches, honestly but I mean, in a way it was a very poignant memory and it was a very poignant reminder that first time that I really did understand that some people are gonna treat me very different than other people.

[00:09:28] Bob Wheeler: and in that moment, or as you started to get a little bit older yeah. In terms of opportunity mm-hmm was that obvious stuff, did you see it when it came to your finances or did your parents share with you? Like you’re gonna have to work twice as hard to get oh yeah. Half as far as everybody else.

[00:09:47] Alan Henry: Yeah. I definitely got that messaging that you’re gonna have to work twice as hard, and you’re gonna have to work twice as hard to be considered on the same level as a lot of other people, as many as some other people.

[00:09:58] Right. And it was true with finance too, because I was introduced very early to this concept that like some people have generational wealth. Some people have wealth that they can trust will come to them. They know that when their parents or their grandparents or someone in their family passes away, they’re gonna get an inheritance of some kind.

[00:10:14] I was never treated that way. Right. And whether I get one or not, I mean, my father’s still alive so I don’t know. But the last time I went to visit him for June te slash father’s day. And he was like, I’m not leaving you very much. I’m gonna leave it up until I go and I. So, which of course I’m like, dad do what you need to do.

[00:10:32] Right? Like, you know, you worked for it, enjoy it. But yeah, I was in that situation where my parents warned me that some financial organizations are going to try and prey on you. Right. Because. You know, there are predatory lending schemes and banks and cashing, places that almost exclusively exist in minority communities.

[00:10:53] Right. And they right. Will bait you in with, oh, well you get paid today or we’ll take your paycheck tomorrow. Right. But, oh, by the way, it’s 21% interest or something like that. If you’re lucky,

[00:11:02] Bob Wheeler: if you’re lucky,

[00:11:03] Alan Henry: right. If you’re lucky. So they warned me about those things and they also warned me that I need.

[00:11:10] Be assertive and advocating for myself in terms of my career, because some people will not wanna give me an opportunity at all. And then some people who do give me an opportu. May overlook me for a raise or a promotion, and I need to be ready to say, no, this is how much my work is worth. Right, right. This is how much I should be paid.

[00:11:32] And if I’m not getting what I’m worth, I should be ready to go somewhere where they will pay me what I’m worth. So they taught me to instill that sense of self kind of worth to understand what I deserve and what I should be able to go out. And. Yeah,

[00:11:48] Bob Wheeler: I can imagine that it’s a struggle. Mm-hmm , you know, in the book, you talk about this a little bit of having to measure your responses.

[00:11:57] When people come at you, either in a predatory way, or even you talk about where. You’re so articulate, Alan that’s so amazing, right? Isn’t that lovely? Isn’t that lovely? Like, gosh, that’s and not even aware of the the racial profiling that they’re bringing into that right comment. And I just imagine. I would find it very difficult.

[00:12:23] on a mm-hmm on a daily basis. Not to be the angry man. yeah. Right.

[00:12:28] Alan Henry: It’s tough. It’s tough because it’s not like it doesn’t impact you. Right. Right. And people who can hear me right now, like if they don’t see my face, they’d be like, Is that a black man speaking. And like, I used to get that all the time and I’m like, oh, you don’t sound black.

[00:12:43] And I’m like, okay, stop. What does that mean? Right, right. What are you saying? What does a black man sound like? Right. And that’s kind of the, the core of a microaggression sometimes, right? Like they may not mean the person who does a micro aggress. They may not have the intent to cause harm, but it’s not the intent.

[00:13:02] That’s important. It’s the action. Right. So then when you force them to reflect on that action, they’re like, whoa, wait a minute. Oh yeah. I didn’t. Oh, I didn’t mean to say something like that. Right. And of course you didn’t and knowing that now, maybe you won’t say it again, but yes, I absolutely. I used to get that all the time and it’s hard.

[00:13:19] It’s hard because you do feel it, you do internalize it. The key is just to remember, to like, let that out in. Productive ways. Right? Right. Like, I mean, let that out in therapy or let that out with people who understand what you’re going through and on some level until everybody understands that that’s not cool.

[00:13:38] You’re just gonna have to kind of push through it. Yeah.

[00:13:41] Bob Wheeler: Well, I imagine you have to take a lot of deep breaths.

[00:13:44] Alan Henry: A lot of deep breaths. Yeah.

[00:13:46] Bob Wheeler: Well, because I think people don’t realize, and I want to talk about this a little bit and I use a different example, but similar to the car accident, you know, if somebody chops off my arm mm-hmm and they didn’t mean to.

[00:13:58] My arm is still missing my arm. I’m still missing and I’m still angry. Right. right. Right. And even if they didn’t mean to that, doesn’t take away from my impact. Right. How I’ve been impacted. And, and I think you talk about that. And what I appreciate is that you actually. Give a way to not be so defensive on the other side.

[00:14:19] So when it’s received. Yeah, because if we go at somebody and go, wow, you’re a racist. Yeah. or that’s just such a racist comment. Of course. Yeah. The feathers are gonna be ruffled. Yeah. And being able to say you probably didn’t mean it. You may not realize yeah. Again, though, even with all the rules in the book, the burden mm-hmm is still often UN marginalized people.

[00:14:42] Yeah. It’s that the piece that like for me is just wow. Like daily. Yeah. Even with this great information to be armed with, you know, to have, it’s still an unfair unduly placed burden.

[00:14:58] Alan Henry: 100%. It sucks because, and I tell people often, you know, it is not the role, it’s not the job of a marginalized person to fix systemic problems that lead them to be marginalized.

[00:15:09] Right. However, however, it is on marginalized folks. And I will say this, like I tell everybody, this marginalization is for everyone. Right, right. I mean, I’m black in America, so. Part of a marginalized group, but like someone with chronic illness or someone who’s disabled, right. They are marginalized too, you know, disabled people in ableist spaces.

[00:15:29] Right. I had a friend in a previous job who would never come out to drinks with us and we were trying to figure out why it turned out. Well, they have a chronic illness and they’re on a daily medication where if they drink it doesn’t work and they just didn’t want to be around that. As soon as I knew that I was like, wait a minute, I can do something about that.

[00:15:48] Right, right. I can say, instead of meeting at the bar, let’s go out to dinner, let’s go get ice cream. Right. Let’s do something else, you know, but yeah, it is on some level still on individuals to take the steps, to protect themselves. Yeah. And to advocate for themselves. And while I hate giving marginalized folks an additional job on top of the job that they’re already doing right.

[00:16:11] On some level, we have to acknowledge that. Yeah. That additional job is not just in service of like your employer, but it’s in service of you and your future growth as well.

[00:16:21] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. The question that I have is when you’re not maybe as fortunate as you, that your parents were giving you some information ahead of time.

[00:16:30] Hey. Oh yeah, yeah. Skiba a little rough when you walk out this door. It’s gonna be a different set of facts. There’s a lot of people out there that may not realize initially that they’re being marginalized, right? Yeah. They actually may take it personal and they may not understand the difference between the personal and the systemic, right.

[00:16:48] That no matter what they do and they keep going, wow, this just keeps happening to me, but it actually has nothing to do with them. Right. Can you talk a little bit about. , I mean, that’s microaggressions, but it’s a whole lot of different things where, gosh, why does this keep happening to me? And there’s a slight difference, right?

[00:17:03] Where your computer was being unplugged. Mm-hmm it is personal, but it’s part of a bigger systemic piece where, oh, it’s okay to do that. Yeah. Can you talk to that a little bit? It’s feels important.

[00:17:15] Alan Henry: Yeah, it’s true. Like, that’s a great story that, I mean, I lived through that at the times as well. Like I used to leave my laptop at work and, you know, I would come into the office in the morning after, you know, going home at night and my laptop would be unplugged.

[00:17:27] Or if I worked from home in a day and I came back the day after my laptop’s unplugged and now it’s completely discharged. So I tried to pick up my laptop and run to a meeting. and I can’t, I have to sit there and wait for my laptop to charge so I can turn it on. And then I can go to the meeting and do the thing.

[00:17:42] It was awful. I’d never figured out who was doing it. Right. But that part wasn’t even important. The fact that it kept happening right. Was the thing that was important. And that goes back to what you were saying earlier about like separating intent from impact, right? I mean, somebody may have done that to annoy me.

[00:17:59] Maybe they were trying to get under my skin. They could have been using the charger to charge their own laptop while I wasn’t at my desk. Right. Or to charge their phone or something. I don’t know. I will never know, but I do know that they were making my life and my work harder. They were making it more difficult for me to do my best work.

[00:18:16] So I think that it’s important sometimes to realize that when things do happen to you and I used to have a lot of coworkers who are like, oh, these things always happen to. Well, okay. Why and keep track of when they happen and why you think they may be happening to you now that why may not be important, cuz you may not be able to do anything about it, but just keeping track of it matters and having the psychological safety to talk to somebody else and say, this thing is happening to me.

[00:18:45] It’s not cool. What should I do is so helpful and so important if that person’s a manager even better, right? Right. Not all us have psychological safety to talk to our managers, but I found that it was expressly helpful to find other people who had been through this to turn around and tell me, listen, this isn’t personal.

[00:19:04] This is definitely just. People are treated sometimes or how right we are treated sometimes or how a marginalized person is treated. Sometimes they may not mean to do it to you, but they do it to you because they have a social perspective of who you are based on your identity that makes them inherently respect you less.

[00:19:24] Or just think that, oh, they’ll be fine. If I do. It’s not fair. It’s not right, but it persists. And I find having people to talk to about those kinds of things is the real key to making sure that they don’t completely derail you in your career. Yeah. It’s

[00:19:41] Bob Wheeler: important to get support. Yeah. You know, the thing that I also wonder about, cuz there’s some listeners out there saying, well, I wanna be an ally.

[00:19:48] I wanna do better. And that’s also a tall order. I find when I try to have these conversations. Yeah. If I’m a white person of privilege, having to look at my own racism, mm-hmm and my own biases, it’s really uncomfortable. It is to have to own that place and go, oh, not only did I unconsciously do things, there have been places where I have consciously been.

[00:20:13] mm-hmm

[00:20:13] Alan Henry: absolutely. It sucks. I mean, I’ve had to do it as well. Like I’m a man in a majority male workspace in a majority male industry. Right. I’ve had hard conversations with like my peers are with women in the same field about like how much we bake and the differences in pay for similar levels of experience.

[00:20:31] Right. I mean, journalism is very unique field in that regard, but like, you know, we do have to, when we reflect on those things and we see that it makes us uncomfortable. It’s okay. Right. And this is the thing that I tell people a lot, especially allies. Right. It’s okay. And we do as a community, need to make more room for people to acknowledge past behavior and grow right.

[00:20:54] And make mistakes. And like, sometimes somebody’s gonna mess up and say something that’s offensive and like okay. You know, and those are the people who are gonna be most receptive to hearing. Oh no, no, no. You shouldn’t have said that. You’re not a bad person. Right. But what you said is problematic and that’s so hard right now, especially right now, because we do need to differentiate.

[00:21:18] Like, I’m not trying to say you person are racist. I’m just saying what you said. Is racist. And of course that’s not who you are. And most people I think would agree like, oh no, no, no. It’s, we’re at the point where like, it’s almost worse for someone to say that something you said is racist or say that you are racist than to say like, Hey, this is a learning experience.

[00:21:41] This is a growth opportunity for you. Right. Don’t say that thing because that thing’s problematic. We get lost. I feel in a lot of public discourse right now, especially right now that we don’t leave room for people to grow and change their perceptions and absorb new information and use that to inform their worldview.

[00:21:58] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, I think it’s so important. And just to people out there listening, make the mistakes. Yeah, take a risk, have the conversation, be willing to make repairs and amends mm-hmm . But I think so many people hesitate because they don’t wanna get canceled. Yeah. Or they don’t wanna make one step. Then everybody says, OBL that person because how dare they have made this misstep?

[00:22:23] Alan Henry: Yeah. I feel like the first step for a lot of people is to stop and listen before they speak. So, I mean, listening to the voices of the people that you are concerned or people you are concerned for, rather than jumping in immediately, that helps a lot. I mean, I especially see this kind of thing on Twitter and on social media where somebody will say something that is ostensibly innocent.

[00:22:46] Well, I shouldn’t say ostensibly, I would. Problematic, but they don’t mean anything bad by it. And in some cases they’re doing it in the cause of growth. They’re trying to understand an issue. And then the rightful anger of people who have been marginalized can often come out at that person who is still honestly trying to grow.

[00:23:05] Neither of these two groups are wrong. The anger of marginalized people is real, and they do need to be able to speak that anger and have space to be. Also people who need to grow and learn and make mistakes. They need space to do that too. So I tell people to listen first, avoid speaking, if you can, until you have spaces and communities of people that you know will be receptive to helping you grow.

[00:23:31] Cause there are people out there who are more interested in helping you grow than they are in canceling you. I promise you that .

[00:23:39] Bob Wheeler: Are there times even now mm-hmm, where you have to make a decision, whether to speak up or hold your tongue.

[00:23:47] Alan Henry: Absolutely. Absolutely. I will say I’m very lucky to work a place now or work at wired where we’re all kind of in the same head space on issues like marginalization and discrimination and things.

[00:23:59] I have a manager who is both a friend of mine and a very effective manager. I tell him sometimes I’m like, listen, Brian, one day, you’re gonna have to lay me off. And I do not want you to feel bad about that. That’s not gonna be your choice. um, But at the same time, I am still in meetings sometimes where somebody will say something that’s a little problematic and I’ll have to decide, do I stand up for myself or do I stand up for this issue that is personal or important to me?

[00:24:25] Or do I do something else? Do I take a different tack? Right. In many cases I take a different tack. Right? Right. I will. Take the conversation offline. I will talk to them privately mm-hmm because sometimes talking to somebody privately is the way to go. Right. Instead of calling them out in a big meeting setting, you know?

[00:24:41] Bob Wheeler: Right. So. So I was shocked to read that 75% of white Americans mm-hmm don’t have a friend of color now I did research and it said that that was first discovered in 2014. Yeah. I really hope and pray that by the year 2022, that that’s moved an inch a little bit or two. But that’s shocking to me. Yeah. I was really surprised by that.

[00:25:05] And so the reason I bring that up is I was reading that piece about where you’re in a group of people and people are like, well, I’m taking this affirmative action class. I’m taking a diversity awareness class. I am so woke and that can be frightening. Right. That people that think their allies might actually like, not be your friend.

[00:25:26] So like that’s scary. It is. I mean, I guess at least if somebody’s like, I don’t like you, you know, where you stand, where people are, like have another piece of cake while I stab you in

[00:25:36] Alan Henry: the back, the back. Right. yeah, that’s real.

[00:25:41] Bob Wheeler: That’s real. Can you just talk about that a little bit? It’s staggering to me that it’s 75%.

[00:25:46] Alan Henry: Yeah, it’s wild. I mean, I think the numbers have improved a little bit, but not a ton. Yeah. Which is kind of unfortunate, but also it kind of speaks to how I don’t wanna say polarized, but how isolated our society is. Right. I mean, I was lucky enough to grow up in a military family. We moved around a lot.

[00:26:04] Yeah. You know, that comes with pros and cons. Right. I didn’t have too many good, long lasting friends, but when we did settle down in a community, I had a hugely diverse group of friends and I went to school with a hugely diverse group of people. And that was wonderful because I got the opportunity to grow in my own views.

[00:26:25] And I feel like that’s missing from a lot of communities. And I feel like it’s missing from a lot of spaces, not just in real life, but also in like social media and things. We tend. Follow our own confirmation biases and settle in listening to people who say things that reinforce what we already know.

[00:26:42] And that’s unfortunate because it’s so powerful to hear sometimes the perspective of somebody who doesn’t explicitly disagree with you, but just comes at the issue from a different place. And I used to tell people, I mean, again, I’m a journalist, but like I tell people. I missed the days when I could sit down with somebody who disagreed with me and we could debate policy and not humanity.

[00:27:06] Right. Right. I mean, it was one of those things where like I missed the days when I could debate somebody about how much school funding should be a thing. Not whether or not we should fund schools at all, you know, or like foreign policy, like how much age should we give to this country versus that country.

[00:27:21] Right. And we could have a productive conversation and still disagree. But then turn away from that informed by each other’s perspectives. And I feel like that that’s kind of fallen by the wayside and there aren’t very many spaces for that anymore. It’s really sad. yeah.

[00:27:39] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. What would you say to people that are out there listening mm-hmm who are feeling marginalized and as you pointed out, we’ve all been marginalized at a certain point.

[00:27:48] We’ve all been minority in a particular group, whether it’s we’re older we’re mm. Gay we’re mm-hmm person of color. We may not just fit in with the majority of that group in the moment, but there are a lot of people that on a daily basis are reminded whether they’re a wheelchair user mm-hmm or they’re a person of color where they don’t get to leave that at the door.

[00:28:09] What would you say to those people in terms of. Working towards support for me, it’s like how to work through not spending your entire day being angry. Yeah. Because that’s what I would be doing personally. I can tell you, how do you get up in the morning and go, you know what it’s worth living another day.

[00:28:27] Yeah. Even with all the crap that’s gonna be thrown at me. Like, can you just offer something there? Because like, I think there are people out there going, what’s the point?

[00:28:36] Alan Henry: I’ll give you two different things that are two different, big tips that I give everybody. One. The biggest thing is please always make sure you find something that is outside of your career, outside of your job, outside of your regular day to day responsibilities, the things you have to get up and fight through that nourishes your soul.

[00:28:56] Right. Whether it is spending more time with your kids or it’s taking up a hobby, whether it’s writing a book, like the book I wrote, you know, do something that brings you intrinsic joy that you do for yourself. Yeah. And that has nothing to do with the rest of the crap that you have to go through. That’s one thing that’ll give you a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

[00:29:15] Like for me, My reason for getting outta the bed in the morning is to do journalism. That helps people. And though it sounds corny and it sounded corny for the past 20 years. but it’s true. You know, I get up in the morning and I say, okay, I’m going to edit a story. That’s gonna help someone today. The second thing I recommend to people is to keep a work diary.

[00:29:35] And that’s a tool for multiple purposes. It’s a great tool for career advancement, obviously, but it’s also huge catharsis because when you do get angry at somebody, you write it down in that di you just get it all out in that diary. But when you do something great, when you win, you know, you have a success at work or you work with somebody, you really enjoy working with you.

[00:29:58] Write that down in the diary. Because now you’re starting to build a case for the things that you do well, and you don’t need to dive into your memory to be reminded of what you’re good at. It’s right there on paper. And when you’re wondering, I have an idea that might take my career to the next level, you know, who to work with on it, because you have a list of people you trust, as opposed to the people you hate that they’re gonna come to mind immediately because you dislike them.

[00:30:24] You know, so keeping some kind of diary of. I mean, mine is a running Google doc. A lot of people use notebooks. I buy lots of empty notebooks and then I don’t write in them, but ,

[00:30:35] Bob Wheeler: I have a few

[00:30:36] Alan Henry: of those . Yeah. But whatever you use, just make a note of, to yourself. I generally update mine daily as needed, or at least weekly, but it’s good to even go back months back and say, oh man, I remember when I was dealing with that thing, it doesn’t matter.

[00:30:52] I was so angry about that a week ago, but now I’m not. And it helps show you to see that you are capable of that growth and you are capable of moving on past those things that frustrate you.

[00:31:05] Bob Wheeler: That’s awesome. I think that’s so important. And I know people will take note of that but I do have some empty journals and I thought you would say you get up in the morning so you can watch more star Trek, but well,

[00:31:15] Alan Henry: dude, I am loving strange new world.

[00:31:17] Close second, close. Second. I’m loving, strange new world. Way more than I thought I was going to, but I love it.

[00:31:24] Bob Wheeler: uh, I love it. Well, Alan, we are at the fast five.

[00:31:28] Alan Henry: All right.

[00:31:30] Bob Wheeler: Fast five is brought to you by acorns. Ooh. Mm. Where you can invest spare change bank, smarter, safer retirement, and more for more information, click on the link in the show notes.

[00:31:41] So, Alan, we’re gonna shift it up a little bit. We’re gonna have a little bit of fun. All right. What fictional character or historical figure do you think deserves to be seen, heard and paid more?

[00:31:54] Alan Henry: Oh, historical figure. I’m gonna go with James Baldwin, even though we all love James Baldwin. yeah.

[00:32:01] Bob Wheeler: An amazing, yeah.

[00:32:03] Writer journalist man before his time. Really? Absolutely. What do you think your best friend would say? You spend too much money on.

[00:32:10] Alan Henry: Whoa. my best friend would tell me I spend way too much money on records. Okay. No, no, no. I take it back. Keyboard keyboard. I love keyboards.

[00:32:24] Bob Wheeler: the keyboard king. I am. It’s true.

[00:32:26] Mm. How did you celebrate your book launch?

[00:32:30] Alan Henry: I had a seafood dinner from a place in Harlem called Lolo’s seafood shack. They don’t pay me to say it, but they could, if they wanted to, they have great crab legs. If you’re ever in Harlem, try ’em out.

[00:32:41] Bob Wheeler: all right. Good to know. Was the best meal you ever had also the most expensive?

[00:32:47] Alan Henry: No. Not at all. In fact it was one of the most affordable I’ve ever had, ah, was in Budapest a while ago. Man, the food down there was really good. ah,

[00:32:56] Bob Wheeler: awesome. What is the least expensive thing you own? That means the most to you?

[00:33:02] Alan Henry: Oh, the least expensive thing. Um, I have a pin from a friend of mine. It’s like her own little like this, and it was like $3 and I love it so much.

[00:33:15] It’s just a little cheesy version of her holding up a knife and it’s adorable, but I love it. I love it so much.

[00:33:22] Bob Wheeler: That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Well, we are at our M and M moment, our sweet spot, our money and motivation. Do you have a practical financial tip or a piece of wealth wisdom that has helped you through your life?

[00:33:36] That you could share with our listeners.

[00:33:37] Alan Henry: Absolutely. I am a big fan of automating my finances. Mm. And, you know, I, we still write about this at life hacker. It doesn’t work for everybody, so right. You know, don’t, it’s not universal, but I’m a big fan of, I have one bank account that is for all my bills and all my regular subscriptions and payments my checks flow straight into that or with a section.

[00:33:57] Portioned out to, you know, my little personal spending account. And as long as there’s money in my personal spending account, I can have fun when it’s empty. I can’t have fun anymore. No, there’s no more fun. but at least that way I don’t ever have to worry that my bills are paid. The rent is paid. You know, I never have to look at my bank balance and say, Do I have enough for the power bill this month, right?

[00:34:19] No, I don’t have to worry about that. So

[00:34:20] Bob Wheeler: yeah, I think that’s such a great piece of advice and I love having my little fun account. Yeah. And there were times when it got to zero and I did not get to have fun until I got funded again. Exactly. It’s a really good discipline to just really not just go out and spend the money that’s sitting in the operating account, the house account, the house account.

[00:34:40] Yep. I call it the house account. Absolutely. well, Alan, you know, this has just been. An important conversation for me. Yeah. This conversation can’t be had enough. Yeah. To really just keep highlighting. The inequities that exist in the workplace and out in the world, frankly. But what I appreciate is your passion and your energy that shares this information.

[00:35:04] That is real. Yeah. And factual. And I love in your book that you even say I’m not debating, right. If the impact is real. Yeah. That’s not up for conversation. That’s not for up for conversation. so I appreciate that. But with the way that’s engaging. And inviting versus angry and frustrated, you know, the tools that you give are helpful.

[00:35:25] Yeah. And in a way that are disarming. And it’s just so important that we keep having these conversations. Even if people out there are afraid of misstepping yeah. Step out and have these conversations, because if we don’t have them, we can’t heal and we can’t move forward. 100. Your book is an incredible example and a useful resource to give people tools to go out there and make the world a little bit

[00:35:52] Alan Henry: better.

[00:35:53] Thank you so much. I appreciate that.

[00:35:55] Bob Wheeler: Where can people find your book? Oh. And show it to us one more time. You worked hard for that. Yeah. I love this book. Where can we find the book you can

[00:36:03] Alan Henry: get anywhere? Books are sold is what my publisher tells me to tell people. Yep. But of course, you know, Amazon books shop anywhere like that.

[00:36:09] If you want tons of links. You can come over to my website. It’s Alan dash, henry.net, and I have all of the little bookstores and you get the audio books and you can get signed copies if you wanna sign. Copy. I think I still have a few up for sale

[00:36:22] Bob Wheeler: online, so awesome. Well, we will send everybody to your website.

[00:36:26] Thank you. We will let people know about the book. Congratulations on this release. Thank you all the hard work that you put into it. I’m glad that even though it went to junk, your people made sure that this happened. Yeah. I just wish you the best. And I so appreciate your time today. Thank you so

[00:36:44] Alan Henry: much. I really, really had a great time.

[00:36:45] Thanks for having me.

[00:36:53] Bob Wheeler: We hope you enjoyed this episode. Did you learn something new about your relationship to money today? Maybe you have a friend who has some financial blocks or beliefs that are holding them back. Please share this podcast. So they too can get off the roller coaster ride of financial fears and journey towards financial freedom.

[00:37:10] To learn how to have a healthy relationship with money. Visit the money nerve.com. That’s nerve not nerd. We’ll be back next week with another perspective on money and the emotions that bind us.

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