Episode 118 – Unstoppable Curious Person and Leadership Coach with Kene Erike

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Meet Kene Erike. Kene, pronounced “Kenny” is short for “Kenechukwu” which means “Thank God” in Igbo (a tribe in Nigeria) was born in New York and lived most of his life there. He will tell us about growing up and why he majored in “AEM”, Applied Economics and Management from Cornell University.

Kene describes himself as a naturally curious individual who grew up thinking about how things didn’t always need to be as they appeared. He will tell us about some of his experiences in wholesale and how they shaped what he does today. Also, he will tell us about his life including a story about a severe illness he had as well as how he overcame it.

Kene is the founder and owner of K.E. Consulting, an organization that specializes in helping clients achieve their potential, build genuine connections, and become more effective leaders. He discusses what he does as well as how he accomplishes helping people become better leaders. Along the way, he will give us thoughts and ideas we all can use to make our own lives more productive and unstoppable.

About the Guest:

Kene Erike is a leadership development coach.

(His name is informally pronounced as “Kenny”, short for “Kenechukwu”, which means “Thank God” in Igbo (a tribe in Nigeria).)

He is the founder of K.E. Consulting, an organization that specializes in helping clients achieve their potential, build genuine connections, and become more effective leaders.

Kene holds a degree in Applied Economics and Management from Cornell University along with decades of experience in personal and professional development. He has always had an interest in how people interact with each other.

Like many of us, he has battled shyness, social anxiety, and struggles with confidence. Determined to improve his ability to be his own advocate and connect with those around him, he designed—and completed—exercises that developed skills for growing businesses and strengthening interpersonal relationships.

A few years back, God spared him from an ailment that kills tens of thousands of people every year.

(Listen to the full story here: https://soundcloud.com/user-31492767/kene-shares-complete-clot-testimony-with-audience-jan-6-2019)

In exchange for that second chance at life, Kene swore an oath to do two things:

1.Share the testimony of that ordeal, providing a powerful example of what God can do for all of us.

2.Stop wasting time and get going on his life’s work.

And that covenant has been a driving force behind K.E. Consulting ever since.

When he’s not helping others tackle challenges, he enjoys reading and playing football.

Social Media Links:

Website: https://keneerike.com
Twitter: @KeneErike
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/kene-erike
YouTube: K.E. Consulting
Instagram: @k.e.consulting

About the Host:
Michael Hingson is a New York Times best-selling author, international lecturer, and Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe. Michael, blind since birth, survived the 9/11 attacks with the help of his guide dog Roselle. This story is the subject of his best-selling book, Thunder Dog.

Michael gives over 100 presentations around the world each year speaking to influential groups such as Exxon Mobile, AT&T, Federal Express, Scripps College, Rutgers University, Children’s Hospital, and the American Red Cross just to name a few. He is Ambassador for the National Braille Literacy Campaign for the National Federation of the Blind and also serves as Ambassador for the American Humane Association’s 2012 Hero Dog Awards.


accessiBe Links
https://www.linkedin.com/company/accessibe/mycompany/ https://www.facebook.com/accessibe/

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Transcription Notes

Michael Hingson 00:00
Access Cast and accessiBe Initiative presents Unstoppable Mindset. The podcast where inclusion, diversity and the unexpected meet. Hi, I’m Michael Hingson, Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe and the author of the number one New York Times bestselling book, Thunder dog, the story of a blind man, his guide dog and the triumph of trust. Thanks for joining me on my podcast as we explore our own blinding fears of inclusion unacceptance and our resistance to change. We will discover the idea that no matter the situation, or the people we encounter, our own fears, and prejudices often are our strongest barriers to moving forward. The unstoppable mindset podcast is sponsored by accessiBe, that’s a c c e s s i capital B e. Visit www.accessibe.com to learn how you can make your website accessible for persons with disabilities. And to help make the internet fully inclusive by the year 2025. Glad you dropped by we’re happy to meet you and to have you here with us.

Michael Hingson 01:21
Well, Hi, and thanks for attending with us today on unstoppable mindset where inclusion, diversity and the unexpected meet. But today we get to when we get to do a little bit of all of that. And I have the honor to have a chance to chat with Kene Erike. And he will tell us all about his name, I understand along with a whole bunch of other stuff. And so we hope that you’ll enjoy the next hour or so with us. And I invite you at the end to give us a five star rating. I hope you’ll do that. And we’ll talk more about that later. But Kene, welcome to unstoppable mindset. And thanks for joining us.

Kene Erike 01:55
Thanks for having me, Mike. I know you’ve been talking to me for a number of months about appearing on the podcast. I’m just really glad we’re able to get that done today. So I’m happy to be here. Thank you.

Michael Hingson 02:05
I am glad as well. And I’m really appreciate you taking the time to come on. Kene is in New York. So it’s about 530 in the afternoon where you are right now, which is fine. And are you getting snow?

Kene Erike 02:22
No, there was a light dusting of snow last week didn’t last because it was only like maybe 3334 So it was inclined to melt. But fortunately we been able to dodge that so happy.

Michael Hingson 02:37
Down out here in Victorville California, we got to 26 last night so we’ve got down low but we don’t tend to get most of the precipitation. The ski places up in Big Bear which is about 30 miles from here hug it all so we don’t get any

Kene Erike 02:52
side ticket you must be elevated above sea level quite severe if you guys are getting snow.

Michael Hingson 02:57
We’re about here we’re about 2620 850 feet above sea level. Yeah, but the snow usually comes a little bit higher than that. But we do get the benefit of the cold temperatures.

Kene Erike 03:10
That one of the it’s funny to me because usually one of the things people love about being California is usually supposed to be Oh, it’s supposed to be temporary never supposed to get below 40 degrees but

Michael Hingson 03:19
depends on where you live in California.

Kene Erike 03:21

Michael Hingson 03:22
I’m there is a lot of truth to the fact that you can be at the beach swimming and get in a car and go to two and a half hours and be up skiing.

Kene Erike 03:32
That’s the beauty of a big state like California with all range of weather there. So worthwhile.

Michael Hingson 03:38
Right? Let’s let’s start tell us a little bit about you growing up and all that kind of stuff.

Kene Erike 03:45
Sure. First thing is I’ll answer what would might be a common question about my name. People see a spell. Oh, it’s K E N E? Is that like a ghetto version of Kenny? No, not at all. My real first name is actually Kenechukwu K E N E C H U K W U, it means thank God and IBO that’s a tribe in Nigeria. And often I go by Kenny for short. This to save time such so I would say growing up. I was reserved. I could be talkative depending on the group I was in. But I was always I would describe it cerebral and the way I did things I like to try to think through problems. Although, you know, sometimes a lot of people who are very intellectual, they kind of get stuck by the book that wasn’t me at all. I was always about. I don’t feel like I’m constrained by convention. I care about finding what works for me. I don’t see life as just one answer on some scientists science tests that can be accepted. It’s like I try to eliminate preconceived notions about what’s possible. So I can try to find many answers to the problem. Any which could be useful in that particular time. And even how I would describe myself now, I would say is evolved in like the last six or eight months due to various life events, I would say, and this is something women listening might appreciate, I become much more emotionally available better at thinking, and articulating my feelings and thoughts in a way that allows people to connect with them more. And I would just say, I was always open to learning more and doing more, I didn’t see or think that I had to be a specific type of person or do a specific type of thing. I always thought that who I was the person could evolve. I have certain core principles, but I’m not married to any particular thing about who I am. So that’s how I describe how I was growing up. And even now, more so.

Michael Hingson 05:54
Did anything happen that kind of made you that way? Or were you just always sort of open and curious and flexible? Or?

Kene Erike 06:03
I would definitely say, Sorry to cut you off my, I would definitely stay intellectually curious. That’s what allowed me to continue to grow and learn and evolve. I didn’t think that because I say I did well in school. So I want to limit myself to what I do. Well, it’s like, no, I’d actually want to learn more about what the world is about. Because you never know who you’re going to be down the road, who you are at 15 is going to be different than who you are at 25, who’s going to be different than who you are. 35. So I always wanted to listen and learn things I wouldn’t. I’m not the kind of person who had an ego so big that like if some six year old told me something I thought was interesting. I’d actually be willing to listen to us like, Hey, can I learn from this doesn’t matter what the source of the information is? It’s the information I cared about. So I would say, I don’t know that there was anything per se, that led me to developing that mindset. It’s just that I like to learn. And I think if you like to learn, you tend to skew towards being more willing to listen and evolve more so than people that think they know everything, which ironically might suggest you might not know everything.

Michael Hingson 07:12
You’re in New York, were you from New York originally.

Kene Erike 07:16
Yes, I was born in Queens. As a young child, I lived in Rhode Island, but I lived in New York in different parts of life. I went to school, upstate New York, spend most of my life down in Long Island.

Michael Hingson 07:33
How much of an influence Were your parents? Do you think on your whole approach to life of being curious, intellectually curious, wanting to learn and grow? Did they foster that and and help instill that in you?

Kene Erike 07:48
I think so. I know, both my parents always encouraged us all to read and learn, they definitely said as Nigerian parents, that academics was paramount, getting in the car, getting good work, and just doing all the things related to being good student would tend to encourage you to learn more. There might be some emphasis on with some families, and just doing well on tests. And that’s important, but also learning for learning safe, like they my mom used to take us to a library a lot. And both parents would help us with homework if we needed it. But they always encouraged us not to, not to pigeon holed ourselves in ways like you know, some families, I’d be like, Oh, well, my kids have to go in entertainment, or my kids have to study XYZ is like, no, they want you to learn and do well. But they also want you to use your mind in ways that are going to leave you more flexible and more capable down the road. So I would say my parents definitely played a role in my own mindset of how I learned and how I adapted going forward.

Michael Hingson 08:54
So where did you go to college? Or did you?

Kene Erike 09:00
Yeah, I did. I did go to college. I went to Cornell University, upstate New York. It’s a whole different world there. Now, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was snowing in Ithaca. I haven’t checked. I

Michael Hingson 09:12
wouldn’t be surprised either.

Kene Erike 09:13
Yeah, I know that. I think there was one semester in May that I was there where we actually had snow. It was shocking. Well, not that shocking, given given the topography of their area, but just the fact that you can have snow in May somewhere. A lot of people are like, well, I can’t happen. Well, no, I think I can happen. Cornell University. Yeah.

Michael Hingson 09:42
The last year we lived in Westfield, New Jersey, which was last full year 2001. In May. We got snow and we had enough snow that in the morning it did not all melt and our house I had a hill in the backyard. And actually, I would walk the dogs by going down the hill and let them go do their business. We didn’t have a fenced yard. And there was enough snow that it didn’t melt and that hill became totally ice. floe is glass. And it was incredibly hard to get down the hill and up the hill. So I wore my snow boots and I did it once I went asked not going to work very well. We had a long flex leash on like a 2025 foot long leash. So I’d stand at the top later in the day and the next day, and the dogs would go down and do their business. And they came back up and didn’t need a lot of help. But boy, I would have if I had tried to do that I did it once. And it was not something I’d want to do on a regular basis. But in May of 2001 What a crazy world.

Kene Erike 10:56
What breed of dogs did you have?

Michael Hingson 10:59
They were well, let’s see, actually, we had one. And she know we had two. They were both yellow labs, female yellow labs. One was a retired guide dog Linney. And then Roselle who checked out my story was with me in the World Trade Center. I saw that. So Roselle, who was the puppy and Lynnie and both of them did well on the hill, but I sure didn’t tell tell you. I was I was

Kene Erike 11:28
I didn’t see it. Especially if it’s a slick Hill, you might have some unexpected sledding experiences without a sled. So

Michael Hingson 11:37
yeah, I absolutely would.

Kene Erike 11:40
But I know those breeds of dogs, they love to run around and love to explore. So I’m sure they really loved that even when I was icy.

Michael Hingson 11:47
Oh, yeah, they loved it. They did really well. So it’s one of those memories of New Jersey, though, Jersey. So what did you What did you study at Cornell?

Kene Erike 12:00
I studied. You know what I should actually backtrack, I can tell you. What led to me studying when I studied. So that’s actually a good segue that you mentioned your dogs. I actually initially went to Cornell to study animal science. That’s the it’s the number one school in the world of Veterinary Medicine always has been for years and years. I can’t see that changing. So growing up, I always loved animals. And I wanted to be a veterinarian. I taken a number of research opportunities at different colleges during my high school years. I also interned at a vet’s clinic for about a year. And I realized that I still love animals, but the science behind animals is really boring to me. And I wanted to figure out what to change to. But I still wanted to go to Cornell aside, I still matriculated as an animal science major, but I wasn’t sure yet what I was going to change to and this is where I got to give credit to a friend. His name is Toby Lewis. He was actually I have been a sophomore. When I met him. Cornell has something called diversity hosting weekend’s where they allow students that have gotten accepted into the school to come for a weekend in April, and spend time on campus. And Toby was the student that hosted me. I remember I had a number of conversations with him. And he was like, Maybe you should look into this major called aim, Applied Economics and Management, that might be something of interest to us. So I kept that in mind. And eventually I did become an A major and my sophomore year, again, is applied, Applied Economics and managed economics. Yeah, so a lot of what they do. A lot of the coursework entails some social psychology, econ, marketing, a lot of business related things that you would study in the major. And it fit with me, because I’ve always been interested in how people interact with each other, which kind of colors the work I do now. So the major made sense. I never lost my love for animals. So I love animals, but this major made sense for me. That’s what I studied there.

Michael Hingson 14:01
So you didn’t talk yourself into going to restaurant and hotel management at Cornell, huh?

Kene Erike 14:06
No, no, but I would go into battler every now and then because they had really good food, their own campus mostly had good food. I give them credit for that. And I took some classes. I think I took one class that was in the hotel school and I knew a lot of people in the hotel school as well. So you kind of get that experience offhand. You just walking around. Maybe next time I go to Epic, I don’t know when that will be. I might actually stay at the Statler because I have actually stayed at the Statler but

Michael Hingson 14:35
yeah, I have a friend who many years ago, went and matriculated in in that school. So she talks about it every so often.

Kene Erike 14:47
How does she like it?

Michael Hingson 14:48
She loved it. She had a lot of fun night she I don’t know that she used it all that much. But she did. She did some but now she’s retired and doesn’t do that. So there you go.

Kene Erike 15:00
It’s funny, you mentioned that hotel school, I think I heard that Cornell folded the hotel school into some other part of the curriculum at Cornell. That’s what I heard. I can’t confirm that. But I just, to me, I thought that when I heard that if it was true, I thought that was a mistake, because that was one of the things that helped Cornell stand out. It’s like I maybe it’s a money thing that we’re not like, we want to try to combine coursework, and I get that part just that having a standalone hotelschool was something that sets you with that, besides me really?

Michael Hingson 15:31
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. It was pretty unique. Yeah.

Kene Erike 15:36
higher reps make those decisions. So

Michael Hingson 15:38
yeah, they do sometimes good. And sometimes they’re not. Yeah. So what did you do after you graduated?

Kene Erike 15:48
So like a lot of people, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I had some themes about my life, like I’ve always enjoyed solving problems with how people interact with each other, both the business side and social side. That kind of covers my work. Now. I used to, while I was in college, I was very entrepreneurial, I used to actually sell electronics online, through eBay and some other online sources. And eventually down the road. What I started doing was manufacturing and importing commercial kitchen equipment, had hydroponics equipment and gymnastic equipment, and then bringing it into America and selling it to other people sold other people. So like a wholesaler, I got a bunch of stories related to ecommerce and that, but what I’ve done now, which really fits with that, and who I am inside is I do leadership and personal development coaching. What does that mean? layman’s terms of what it just means is like, I help people take their bundle of skills and interest and use that to help them connect better with people around them both in a business context. And socially, I’d say if you’re looking to find a way into a better relationship, can help them with that. How can I be a better manager on site? How can I corral people towards a unified vision and really speak to people in a language that they get? How can I connect with customers better in a way that’s authentic, but still puts the interests of both my potential clients and myself at the forefront? So that’s much of what I do, as well as career related services like creating resumes and cover letters, CVS, helping with interview and negotiation strategy. So really solving problems in that those areas. That’s what I do now, that really fits with, I think, what I was made to do,

Michael Hingson 17:42
how did you finally get to this place where you are now,

Kene Erike 17:47
it’s trial and error. I remember a lot of older adults said, when I was trying to figure out what I want to do, because I actually thought about going to graduate school and becoming some sort of psychologist or therapist, and many adults will give me advice, like, you know, you just got to keep trying things and see what fits, I worked for the government for a while for a couple of years, helping with nonprofits, senior citizens, and veterans save money on their property taxes. So that was always an interesting line, you get an idea of what’s out there in both the public and private sector, and just different experiences. There were times that I’ve worked temp jobs over the years, I’m trying to figure out what I’m gonna do in addition to the work, I’m already doing different entrepreneurial experiences, and I just found that certain themes fit with me, like I love to diagnose what sort of problems are happening with whatever situation I’m in and try to figure out, alright, what’s this person’s motivation? What are their strengths and development areas that we can use to solve whatever problem we’re doing? And not just coming up with solutions, but coming up with solutions that were palatable to whoever I was talking to, like you can’t use? You can’t use a one size fits all solution for everyone, you’ve got to be able to say, Okay, this is who is participating in this situation? What do I do to help everyone involved, accomplish whatever goal they’re trying to do. So diagnosing problems, being able to create solutions that were practical, not Ivory Tower, or, you know, overly idealistic things that actually worked in the real world, and that were based on science and evidence, and then helping people with these both organizations than individuals. I would say, that’s a roundabout answer to your question of how I got into this line of work is just paying attention to different themes in my life, and where opportunities were to help people.

Michael Hingson 19:47
So again, you just sort of came to doing that through trial and error doing other kinds of things. And then there was

Kene Erike 19:57
some of that there was I would definitely say I got Gotta give some mentions of the Holy Spirit as well, that kind of steers you in a certain direction, like you won’t be certain things that have been pulling at you for years. But for whatever reason, you haven’t been given enough attention. And once I started doing more of that as like, you know what I should start looking to these kinds of fields and this kind of work, really, it feels like it fits. And that’s often a sign that God’s directing you somewhere. So you don’t want to ignore that.

Michael Hingson 20:26
Right? Absolutely true. But you You did throw a big temptation out there. So I do have to ask, you said you had all sorts of stories about the time that you were doing wholesale type things, and so on love to hear some stories. All right, I’ll

Kene Erike 20:41
give you I’ll give you one story is there you go. This is like a summary of something that transparent, inspired a few years ago, but actually, a version of the story made it into New York Times one week in the business section. So one of the more popular items I used to sell online, I would manufacture it and bring it in was a mini donut machine. Certain restaurants, entrepreneurs loved to make donuts, so it was a good seller. And I would frequently sell this machine on eBay for depending on the time of year round, like $1,500 or so. And I don’t know if you’re familiar with how the eBay dispute resolution process works, but they’re very buyer slanted. Like, I have an idea of why they do it. There’s some incentives as to why eBay does it. But they’re inclined to listen to buyers, when there’s even in the absence of real evidence the buyers might have I’ve been on both sides, like I bought from eBay, plenty of times, and I’ve sold plenty of time, but I know from being on both sides how biased they can be and how they rule on certain things. Anyhow, so I sold this machine to a particular lady, I tested it actually had the assemblers video. It’s being used before I shipped to her. So I had proof that it actually worked mountains of evidence, buyer gets the item. And I should actually backtrack here, this machine, it’s a commercial kitchen equipment. So it’s not something that the average person can plug into their home outlet in a work that requires a certain amount of amperes and voltage to work. And because I understand this, and I like to make sure people get what they need. I was painstakingly clear and most of my listings about certain things that required a specific environment. And with this machine, it required a certain electrical environment. So I put that in bold, like do not buy this, if you don’t have XYZ, when people are trying to buy it because they don’t sometimes they don’t understand electricity, cetera, et cetera. Anyhow, so lady bought it, you cleaned it, it didn’t work. She described the symptoms of what was happening. I knew just by listening to it, they said she probably didn’t have the right electrical environment for it. Anyway, I told her, alright, you can return it, you have to abide by the return conditions, which means you have to pay the shipping back because this is like an 80 pound machine. So it cost a lot of money to ship. Anyhow, she, we had some back and forth, she told eBay that the machine didn’t work. And despite mounting mountains of evidence that I sent to eBay showing that the machine worked, they sided with her. And they were going to stick me with a bill of not only paying to have it returned to myself, but to give the lady or money back, but it’s like you’ve already used it and etc. Anyhow. So rather than just settle with what eBay was telling me, I have to pay XYZ to resolve this problem. I’m like, You know what, I’m not going to deal with this. I decided I’m going to write to the New York Times, there was a particular column that used to run called the Hagler who’s like a consumer fair, or Yeah, I used to love reading his stuff saying, I’m creative. Let me come up with a solution. So I write to the guy pitch on the store. I said, Listen, this is what happened. I think it’d be a great story. Your readers are gonna love reading this. And he went forward. He’s like, Yeah, this is actually really good. So I told him the story. He ran the story in The New York Times. It was like the front page of Business Times that particular Sunday, that Monday, like two or three eBay execs call me trying to solve the problem. Now, all of a sudden, they’ve got I’ve got their attention now. And eventually the problem was solved, which was good to my satisfaction. And another coup that I really appreciated the Agler he did, he actually did some research on me. And he mentioned my book in the I didn’t even tell him I had this book. He mentioned my book, I guess, because the title is particularly controversial attention grabbing title, the book is called no doesn’t always mean now that required a subtitle strategies for influencing behavior and winning cooperation. So it was a nod to one of Dale Carnegie’s famous books, and it was and he mentioned the book and the column which was nice. I got some attention for that. But that’s just one story related to the wholesale business. This is a whole bunch things like I’ve been in it for years, researching how to find certain sellers, both US and international. I’ve got have a bunch of like research and skills related to that I’ve helped other people do it in some aspects. So that’s just one story of many a thought would be useful.

Michael Hingson 25:09
That’s pretty cool. Well, at least it did get resolved, and you found a real creative way to make it get resolved, which was, which was, of course, a good thing.

Kene Erike 25:18
That’s what I tried to do. I never feel like I’m boxed in, like a lot of people feel like, Oh, well, you can’t do this. This is how it’s always been done. Like, why, why? Why can’t you do? You start asking why started letting your mind run the gamut of potentials, and you’ll come up with all sorts of solutions. That’s really what I help a lot of my clients do, as well as like, people told you this couldn’t work. Why? Let’s examine that. So. So,

Michael Hingson 25:41
you know, as a as a guy who’s also been in sales, pretty much my whole adult life, I could make the case, I’ve always been in sales, because there’s a blind person I got to sell to convince people to let me do stuff. But I’ve been in professional sales. Yeah, I’ve, I’ve had some really great sales stories. I had one situation where I was going to Pittsburgh to meet one of our customers who had sold a lot of products to, I only ever known him on the phone. And he had placed an order. And I was going to Pittsburgh, coincidentally at the time that the order was to ship to him. And it was supposed to actually arrive the day. I left. I guess the day I was to get to Pittsburgh. And know the day I left. And so I had left California to fly. And he called ticked off because the product hadn’t arrived and they had an urgent need for it. And we had committed to getting it there by a certain date. And I had actually gone down the day before to the shipping dock than touched the box and send now this is going to Dale at Westinghouse in Pittsburgh, right? And they said yes, all set up. Well, I left and I told him I actually left him a message I went down and saw it on the dock. So the the day that I left, he called and spoke to one of my colleagues. And he said, Hey Hinkson said that he went down and saw it on the dock and my my friend started laughing all over the place. What do you mean? He said he saw it on the dock he’s blind saw really pretty hilarious. When I got there, you know, he said, What is this? And I said, look, look it up in the dictionary to see is to perceive I went and touch to the box. Well, it turns out, the President decided there was somebody else more important than Westinghouse that needed the product. And he stole it away, which is something unfortunately, that they were prone to do sometimes. And so it was a little bit frustrating. We dealt with it. But you know, sales is really fun. And you get to see all sorts of human beings and you get to see all sorts of people. And what a great learning environment. I like you I’m a great Dale Carnegie fan. In fact, I learned to sell by taking the Dale Carnegie sales course.

Kene Erike 28:05
Oh, yeah, I’ve heard good things about it. So I won’t blame you there. But so how did you actually find out who took it or No,

Michael Hingson 28:13
I don’t know what customer. But apparently somebody said that there was someone who absolutely was desperate to get this product. And so he reallocated the president of our company reallocated the product. So it didn’t go to my customer went somewhere else. So I don’t know where it went. But then they built something and got it to him the next day, but still, it was a day late. Yeah, I mean, it was. It does, except fortunately for me, I was in Pittsburgh, and so I was also able to help deal with it.

Kene Erike 28:44
Okay, you’re able to modify him. So that’s good. Yeah,

Michael Hingson 28:47
yeah, we were we were pretty good friends. We had been working together for more than a year. But still, it’s really frustrating when, when those kinds of things happen.

Kene Erike 28:56
And as you want, it seems like it’s out of your control.

Michael Hingson 28:59
Well, and and as you said, it’s all about why and how do you deal with it? Well, you can’t just ignore it. And so you learn how to deal with those stressful situations without getting stressed. And that’s the big issue, of course. So you went in from wholesale and the kinds of things and the development that you were doing. So what exactly do you do today?

Kene Erike 29:23
So I do leadership development with a number of folks in organizations, I actually specialize. I have a special cadre of folks that I work with in the neurodiverse community. So folks and families impacted by ADHD, Asperger’s, autism, other challenges that I work with and both with helping them find and land jobs that feel like they’re made for them. Giving them certain strategies to connect with people socially in a way that’s authentic for them that allows them to achieve a lot of their goals, as well as understanding that? Well, I’ll say is this is that that neurodiverse areas very under served population. A lot of people don’t recognize, like there’s resources needed there. And there ways that folks can help. And I was always something that caught my eye in the last few years. So for the last four or five years, I’ve been working with folks in that area, as well as other corporate clients and individuals who just looking to, as you mentioned, find ways to relieve stress related to better ways of working on the job, better ways of connecting with people around them, whether that’s like, I want to form better relationships with my family, I want to find my ways into relationships that jive with who I am not feel like I’m being taken advantage of, or I’m not going to be safe and secure. Whether that entails using your skills to grow a business, like what sort of talents and abilities would match best with what areas coming up with solutions and strategies for that. So that’s a lot of the work that I do both one on one and group coaching, and workshops for folks. So what,

Michael Hingson 31:15
what got you involved in? Why did you decide to work in the neurodiverse and neurodivergent kind of environment.

Kene Erike 31:23
I’ve always had an interest in solving people related problems. And I just noticed that just from casual interactions with other people that’s like, there’s a lot of this population that people don’t really understand. Well, you know, they don’t take the time to, they just have like, we all have our own issues and problems. So we don’t have time to worry about what the next guy is doing. But I just noticed that a lot of the talents and abilities that I’ve been working on can be useful for helping other people just like someone who’s always spent spent years cooking, they take for granted that a lot of things they do well, other people would pay, and really could use as value like someone who loves to cook and is a great baker. There’s lots of people who are on the lookout for that, I’m going to give you a name, I’m going to shout this lady out because I just met her in the last couple of weeks. Her name is Alicia Davis, Granny’s cookie jar.com, I’m giving her free advertising, because they’re very nice people around her husband in Houston, Texas, they do a great job with desserts. And she’s She’s grown up her own life cooking. That’s just an example of someone who can use their value to provide value to other people. And she makes great desserts. I can’t recommend them enough, I’m actually going to order more at a certain time in order to live in Texas. But I will say is regards to my own journey. I just noticed that a lot of the things that are challenges in that particular area, and that neurodiverse area, I think that not only do I enjoy working on, but I generally have an interest in the people that I converse with. And I have like a stake in their own success. I like to see them succeed. But that’s one of the things that drew me there. Because there’s always people, every single person on this earth has some talent or some proclivity that can be developed and useful for someone else. And if you find ways that you can ply this trade, all the better. I’ve noticed that that’s a particular area that really speaks to me and I can provide value to so I’ve been working on that for the better part of five years in that area.

Michael Hingson 33:42
Well, as long as we’ve started down the road, does she ship?

Kene Erike 33:47
I’m sure she would. I mean if you if you pay or whatever it costs to ship from Texas to California, whoever’s listening wherever you want to get your stuff shipped to I’m sure like there’s he’s a business lady. I’m sure right. arrangements can be worth that.

Michael Hingson 34:03
We’ll just have to go investigate. It is Christmas, you know?

Kene Erike 34:08
Yes, exactly.

Michael Hingson 34:10
And kind of cooking on good cookies are always worth good cookies are always worth having.

Kene Erike 34:15
Yeah, not just cookies. He’s got a lot of other things there. I could tell you, but it’s better if you’re curious to go check out the other desserts there. So

Michael Hingson 34:22
we will sounds like a lot of fun. But so you’ve been doing this leadership development coaching primarily in the neurodiverse world. But you’ve been doing that for five years, you say

Kene Erike 34:34
with the neurodiverse community, the better part of four or five years but I’ve been doing work related to both leadership and personal development in some capacity. I want to say since I was a teenager, I was using it and how I sold my goods online like I’ve used that not only would I create, like, I create recipe books, strategies for people who are buying from me, especially machines like, Okay, this is how these are the six most type, most popular types of doughnuts that are being sold right now, in your area. I’ve send these people these kinds of documents, as well as if they had any questions about how to use the machine. Other things they can buy that could be abused, like I had other accessories that I created, like a fan that might go on the donor machine that cool it down. And that’s how some like coaching would find its way into other business as well as personal coaching I do with other people I know, like, we work on certain things like, Hey, I’m dealing with XYZ problem. Let’s brainstorm how to solve it. So I’ve been doing that work in some capacity for a number of years. But I would, I would say I’ve been, I’ve had this specialty and neurodiverse community for last four or five years, but other work as well.

Michael Hingson 35:48
So in in all the things that you’ve done, you’re you’re clearly pretty successful, you’re a person that values really exploring and trying to make things happen the right way. But have you ever been confronted with some real adverse kind of situation? And how did you deal with it?

Kene Erike 36:08
Well, I’ll say first of the first part of your question, I’m definitely growing like I have any advice, I’m always willing to listen, as like, we’re, I’m continuing to elevate, but I need to do more. So and I just know by being willing to listen, meet new people that will continue to grow. to your second question. Yeah, I’ve actually, I had a number of challenges. But I’ll give you a long story. And when I tell the story, and I can’t summarize it, you realize after I tell the story, why couldn’t summarize it, but I’ll give you my take me like 10 minutes, but I’ll give you the entire story of a particular challenge. So is that cool, Michael?

Michael Hingson 36:46
Sure. I may interrupt and ask a question along the way, just to break it up. But sure, go ahead. No

Kene Erike 36:51
problem. So we’re going to flashback to January of 2018, I had this pain develop my right calf. That pain was bad enough that couldn’t stand, let alone walk without extreme pain. So I tried to stay off my feet for a few weeks. And as I was doing that, I was doing some rehab work on my leg as well. And my legs started to feel better. So I said to myself, you know, let me go start exercising again, because I like to exercise regularly. I hate to be sedentary. So first day out, do a little 20 yard jog, and I feel like I’m going to collapse. Like I just run a marathon. And for me this is abnormal, because I regularly sprint on the yard distances. So jogging is nothing to me. But I figured, hey, I just haven’t worked out in a few weeks, I’m probably just out of shape, no big deal. So a couple days later, I go to a football game that I regularly plan. And I catch a couple passes on the first drive of the game. And I’m really winded again, but I’m like, it’s no big deal. That’s part of the conditioning process. So the second drive of the game cubies like Alright, can we’re gonna burn over here for a big play. So he calls the play. I run the route, he makes a great throw, we connect for like 50 yards or something. And I get up and I can’t catch my breath. And I’m dizzy. My heart is racing. And at some point when I’m walking back to the line of scrimmage. I just collapsed right there on the field moves consciousness. And I come to and I see everyone staring at me. I’m like what happened? Like, oh, you lost consciousness. I was like, how long was I out there like you out for a couple of minutes. So I’m like, okay, they call the ambulance ambulance come to check me out. I’m like, I don’t want to spend all day in some emergency room waiting. You can just check me out here. I sign a waiver or go to urgent care when I get closer to home. That’s what they did they check me out. Next one, I go to urgent care. And the doctor runs some test. And they tell me no, we can’t figure out what happened to you. You should go to the emergency room. So I go to the emergency room. Doctors there, run some more tests. And they tell me we can’t figure out what happened to you either. And we actually don’t think it’s safe for you to be walking around. We want to check you in. Now I was a little startled because I wasn’t expecting some overnight stay but figured Better safe than sorry. I’ll just agree roll with it. So I check in next morning, doctors wake me up and they tell me Well, we ran some more tests and we figure out what happened to you. You have what’s called bilateral pulmonary Ambilight layman’s terms what this means that had blood clots in both my lungs and blood clots. And actually one of the more common killers of Americans take out like 1010s of 1000s of people every year. What blood clots do is they impair the organ that they’re impacting from functioning at full capacity, which explains why I was having trouble breathing. What doing what for me was no exercise. Not only that I have clotting in both my lungs. I had clotting surrounding my heart and throughout my entire right leg where the pain originated? That’s just gonna ask about that. Yeah, yes. So that was the, the genesis of what happened. And doctors told me that the cladding was so severe and extensive that I probably should have died from it. But they said, I survived because I was in good shape, built like a tank. I was flattered by that. But I’m like, God’s grace is at play here. Because a lot of times, we’ll spare you from things because he’s got things left for you to do. So I spend three days in this hospital. And I transferred to another hospital on the fourth day to get more specialized care. And I was in that new hospital for one day before the attending doctor decided to just just charge me. And I remember, I didn’t feel that great when he decided this charging, but I knew that not feeling good to be a status quo thing. In retrospect, I know I remember because of some events that happened later, I’m about to tell you about, I probably could have sued the hospital because I could have easily died when I was discharged. But I wasn’t in great condition. I think the doctor was trying to get his bed count down. Who knows. Anyhow, so I remember I was discharged around seven o’clock that night, and I go home. And I started feeling weaker and weaker progressively through the night. And I remember I had this pain develop my stomach, as well as making it harder for me to breathe. So I said to myself, let me go to sleep, see if I can sleep this off. And I remember, as I’m drifting in and out of consciousness, trying to go to sleep, I heard two dueling voices in my head. The first voice was like, you’re really weak, you’re not a pain, you’re going to die tonight. This is what this voice actually told me. And I’ve told people, they say, Oh, you were just hallucinating. It’s like, No, I actually heard this voice. And I knew that this voice was the voice of the devil, because the Bible says the devil is accuser of the brethren at these moments in time when you’re not at your strongest chance to try to slip his way in there and see if he can’t take you out. And I knew this is The Voice, though, because I’m familiar with the voice of God sounds like and all of us can learn what that sounds like by getting a good study Bible. One with annotations in the margins, because a lot of times scripture, especially the King James Version, is difficult to interpret on your own. And it helps to have some sort of commentary help you with that. There are also a number of ministers that one ministers and teachers one can look up that can really break down the Bible into plain English, one I like to recommend is Andrew Mac, aw mi.net, he does a really, really good job of breaking down biblical wisdom so that you can apply it in all areas of life, I can’t recommend this stuff strongly enough, he’s on YouTube as well. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this point, as well. There’s a whole spirit realm that exists outside of the physical realm that we can see and touch and hear. And much of what transpires in this world that we can interact with physically, is dictated by what’s happening in a spiritual realm. So it helps to have an idea of that. And our minds, our brains were designed by God to manifest what we dwell on, which is why people will think negatively all the time, or we’re overly fearful of things. So they see those exact same things come to pass, because that’s what you’re feeding your mind. This is particularly important when you deal with health related situation because you allow your mind to go too far in the wrong direction that could be it for you. And I was cognizant of this. So when I heard this first voice, I told him to get behind me. And I mentioned at the start of the story, I heard two voices. Now the second voice chimed in and told me yeah, you’re not feeling great right now. And you actually have the option of passing away and going to heaven. Let me say that again. This voice gave me the option of dying in my sleep and going to heaven. And I knew was the voice of God, because again, I’m familiar with what the voice of God sounds like. And I remember I had a conversation with him. And I said, I’m not ready to go yet. Two reasons. One, I knew for a family and friends to lose me at that young of an age I was 31. At the time, that would be devastating for them. I don’t want them to go through that outside submissions that I had yet to see, come to pass that I wanted to make come to pass. So I said to God, I’m not ready to go yet. What are my options? He said, you want to stick around, this is what’s going to happen, you’re gonna get up, you’re gonna go back to the hospital. And as a condition of your survival, you have to share this story with others as a testimony. Hence me going to the 10 Minute version of story because that’s what I was duty bound to do way back then I have to share it per my commitment. So I said fine. Deal. I write then I snap back awake. And I get a ride back to the hospital. And I remember it was maybe midnight or 1am or so. So I’d only be gone for a few hours from the hospital. And I get readmitted to the hospital and I end up spending another six days there. High Pass the time there was I watched some bad daytime TV there are no other chance to watch it Definitely a little more and see Moreno, well, I did a lot of reading, I did a ton of writing, because I wanted to fulfill my end of the promise and remember everything that was happening. So I could be able to like now, four years later, to be able to share the story with still crystal clear recollection. I also spent a lot of time conversing with other people in the hospital, doctors, nurses, hospital staff, other patients and visitors. And what I found in many of my conversations with these people is that a lot of people live lives of quiet desperation, where there’s some sort of emptiness that’s lingering there. Sometimes they try to fill that with watching YouTube, TV, music, partying, stuffing themselves with food, whatever it is the kind of drawn out that silence is saying, hey, is there more. And there’s really no substitute for that vacancy inside us, but a relationship with God. And absent that. That emptiness doesn’t really go away. And because people don’t understand this fact, it often leads them into dire straits. Unfortunately, I’ll give you another mini story. While I was in the hospital, I didn’t want to lay in bed all day, I was there for a while. So I was like, I need to get up and walk around. Once it was safe for me to move around, I started walking around regularly around the hospital floor. And every day, I would pass by a lady a couple of doors down from me. And there was always a hospital attendee with the desk inside of her room with her. Finally, ask them, what’s the deal? Why is there always in a hospital employee in this room with her, and they told me

Kene Erike 46:47
the lady was a single mom worked in the legal fields, I still remember names, I sent her an email, way back when. And she was in the hospital because she tried to commit suicide. I don’t know what the story was, I don’t only spoke to her briefly. But, you know, for whatever reason, she just got to the end of a rope and decided like that was the best alternative for her. And really like this is something that can happen anyone, if you don’t have a way of tackling some of the inner demons inside you, you have this emptiness that feels like it’s not going to go away people. They just undergo and decide to go through all sorts of drastic action to resolve and could lead to problems. And let me be clear about what I mean by our relationship with God, I don’t mean just cracking open your Bible once a week or going to church, once or twice a year, I mean, developing and kind of close relationship, you would with God, the same way you have with a spouse or a really good friend that’s close to you. And there’s all sorts of value and benefits related to that relationship that’ll steal you through tough times. So I ended up saying the hospital for a total of like nine days, nine days or so over two hospitals, stays I got out of hospital in late January of 2018. I had to take medication every 12 hours for the next 10 months to prevent myself from recladding. And that was a whole ordeal had to stick out of sports, a bunch of other things and be very careful about the kind of contact that I had, though still, the blood thinners made you more susceptible to internal bleeding. So to be careful about a lot of things. I finally got off the medication around Thanksgiving of 2018. And I had some blood work done in January of 2019. To get some more answers. The hematologist told me that my blood was now quote, okay, we were never able to get answers as to why I had the class in the first place. It wasn’t genetic. I suspect it might have been spiritual or something else. But I would say that is a very long story related to me having to deal with something traumatic as you asked. So that’s my answer to your question.

Michael Hingson 48:57
Well, you know, I appreciate the story. And I value it and agree with you. And the relationship with God is certainly something that we talk a lot about. What most people never do is take the time just to get quiet and listen, and really think about what is occurring in their lives. Listen for guidance to evaluate what’s going on in our lives. We think we have all the answers and the reality is most of the time we don’t because we don’t listen to get the answers. My favorite example of that is I love to play Trivial Pursuit.

Kene Erike 49:40
Okay, all right, fun game.

Michael Hingson 49:42
And how many times and I gather you play Trivial Pursuit.

Kene Erike 49:47
I played it. I think one time my entire life, but I don’t know

Michael Hingson 49:51
the concept. But the concept. Yeah. How many times do you think that someone is playing the game and Someone asked them a question. And the answer flashes in their mind. And they go, No, it isn’t that it’s this, they give the wrong answer. And they didn’t listen to what their heart said. And it happens a lot. It happens a lot. And it’s one of those things where we don’t learn to listen to the voice in us. That’s, that’s guiding us. And we’ve talked about that on this podcast before. And I don’t think that’s crazy. I don’t think it’s hokey. The reality is, one of the things that I’ve begun to do of late is to start to write a book. And it’s now gone to the publisher with our first draft, trying to teach people how to control fear. Because I worked in doing some things prior to September 11, that helped me create a mindset so that I wasn’t at all afraid. On September 11, I observed things that were a variety of things that happen. And I’ve talked about not being afraid, but I’ve never taught people how to not be afraid, or I should rephrase that, how to control their fear and use the fear in a positive way, rather than as I put it being blinded by fear. And it’s all about in large part listening to your, your guidance, the voice in you, the voice that’s around you, and really recognizing that you can truly move forward. And you can truly go through this world without being afraid and have a meaningful life if you look for guidance. But it is something that we don’t see nearly as much as we should. And learning to control fear is in part, learning to listen to and immediately dealing with what you hear from that voice in you.

Kene Erike 51:49
Okay, let me flip roles here and act as the podcast interviewer to help you promote the book, Michael? So can you give us one strategy one can use to suppress fear

Michael Hingson 52:04
at the end? Well, it’s it’s learning to deal with fear not suppressing, but redirecting. And so one of the things that I encourage people in the book to do is to take time at the end of every day, relax, look back at the day, what worked, what didn’t work, and even the things that went well, what could you have done to make them go better? And the things that didn’t go, Well, why didn’t they go? Well, don’t beat yourself up over it. Don’t become afraid because it didn’t work? What can you learn from it, so you won’t do that again. And those kinds of exercises and practices, if you put them to use in your life, will help you deal with whatever comes along. And specifically, I deal with the unexpected life challenges that suddenly we get, and we face, September 11 is a perfect example. And the reality is that you as an individual can learn not to be afraid of whatever is going on. Yeah, the building could have collapsed. And there’s nothing I could do about that. But the building hadn’t collapsed. By the time we some felt the building stopped moving. But other things were going on that told me that whatever was occurring wasn’t such an imminent danger to us that we needed to panic. And also panic wouldn’t work anyway. Because even if we ran to the stairs and started running down the stairs, and everybody was running down the stairs, people would have been killed. So it’s all about internalizing, and really listening to that voice.

Kene Erike 53:44
That is a really good strategy and solution, Michael, it makes a lot of sense, especially both the quiet time aspect, and the learning to trust the inner witness within you. I think that’s, as you mentioned, I think a lot a lot of people don’t realize that’s another value of Christianity. Like it’s that inner guide with you, within you that Jesus actually put it within all of us that often lies dormant, is awakened and started giving you all sorts of direction and instruction, especially in times of fear. So I actually look forward to seeing that book. What’s the title?

Michael Hingson 54:22
Well, the working title right now is called a guide dogs Guide to Being brave, because we talk a lot about working with animals and so on as part of it, and then having had eight guide dogs got to have the dog influence in there. So it’s, it’s important to, to have that in there. So whether that will be the final title when the publisher is done with it. It’s hard to say because when we did thunder dog, my first book, which wasn’t number one New York Times bestseller about September 11 In my life, I wanted to call it forward and the publisher said no, we should call it thunder dog because the dog aspect will help it sell more copies, perhaps So, but we ended up calling it thunder dog. And everyone liked it Barnes and Noble put it in their animal section because of that. But by the same token, you know, it did well, and I wasn’t so tied to forward that that was the only title that would be acceptable. And so, Thunder dog has done really well, as I said, it has been a number one New York Times bestseller, and it’s still out there. And people get it. So that’s pretty cool. But it is, it is all about, really us learning and growing. And as what we need to do, we, we don’t do enough of that. And we should do more of it. So you, you know you are, are a person who believes in yourself, you’re confident about what you do. On the other hand, I don’t hear ego in you. I hear confidence and I hear knowledge, what kind of advice or what kind of knowledge can you pass along and impart to people about how to create that kind of a mindset. And in our lives.

Kene Erike 56:07
I would say ironically, there was some there was some people in my life who might disagree with the ego thing. But that’s what I mentioned. At the start, who I’ve been becoming has evolved over the last six to eight months with people that are paying attention in my life. So I’ve learned to kind of call that aspect of me. But I’ve always been open to learning. And that’s one key one best practice or being open to learning in terms of the building competence thing. I myself, I because I I am aware of the insecurities I have and I’ve had and how to overcome that. So I’ve had to continue to grow in that aspect, I’d say I can think of four things off the top of my head, that are very useful for building competence and do a lot of things like impostor syndrome. The first one is visualization. The ability to see in your mind’s eye, what it’s like to accomplish a goal, what it’s like to do the things that help you accomplish the goal. And how you can put that visualizations and uses. You don’t want to use visualization as like a third party perspective view as though you’re watching something on television, you want to first person as though you’re seeing it to your own eyes, you want to visualize the steps you need to take what it feels like to accomplish the goal in order to get it done. Because those mental reps are just as effective as physical reps, that’s been proven scientifically, I’ll give you an example. Say you want to lose this, I’m just gonna say 10 pounds. So that’s I, when I hear people make weight loss goals, I don’t think they’re specific enough, all pounds aren’t equal, you’re going to look different, losing 10 pounds of muscle versus 10 pounds of fat, or like three pounds of fat and seven pounds of muscle like, let’s make your goal 10 pounds of fat loss. That’s a really good thing to do. So how would we visualize that? First off, you want to think about the sort of activities that you’re going to do. So you’re going to change up how you eat, you’re definitely going to want to cut down on some carbs, some non fibrous carbs. So these are carbs that break down into like sugar, things like oats, rice, a lot of desserts, you want to limit those, as well as eat more protein, like you want to try to, I think point seven or point eight grams per pound of body weight. So let’s say you were 100 pounds, you want to try to get 70 pounds of protein per day. And you want to visualize what it’s like to eat the foods that are going to help you lose fat. What it’s like to do the exercise is going to help you lose fat, I highly recommend more high intensity stuff rather than slow, steady state, jogging, etc. That’s an aside though, and you want to visualize what you’ll look like and feel like when it’s all said and done. That helps you that’s one thing you can do to build confidence. Another thing you can do to build competence is what we call dedicated practice. And that’s just not practice where you’re going out and doing some action over and over again, this is methodical practice where you’re actively working on improving some of your areas of deficiency. So let’s say I want to do a better job of hitting a baseball. I’m going out I’m taking a bunch of swings in the batting cage. I’m thinking about my stance I’m thinking about and what I’ve learned, like as a casual baseball fan, but discipline likes mastery of skills in general. It’s not your form is not nearly as important as having a good eyes what pitches to hit which pitches to stay away from especially based on account. So you want to work on I want to be more of a long ball hitter what sort of pitches Am I holding out for? practicing that? What I’m specifically working on a specific skill to get better if I want to be a musician? What kind of chords and scales am I going to play to get better over time, dedicated practice that’s the second one that can be used for competence. A third one this is one One that you really don’t hear much of, but I think it’s a really good idea. It’s called Keeping a success journal. So in essence, you have a document that you maintain that has a competence people have given you over the years, the things you’ve accomplished over the years, and you just write these down, you could say, on March 5 2020, I completed a 5k, and a new time, or just I completed a 5k period. And you maintain this document, not just to show yourself in the future, hey, I was I was able to do XYZ, which can boost your confidence in the moment, and help you with self esteem. But it just gives you a running list of things that you can refer to which is useful. For thing I would say is like, it’s an underlying theme of this conversation is, if you ground yourself in something bigger than yourself, Christianity helps here where you understand that you were made for a specific mission, that there exist resources, well within your fingertips, Bible, other Christian leaders that can help you generate more of yourself now than you think you can, that helps a competence when you have something that’s bigger than yourself that you’re anchored into, you know, a rising tide lifts all ships, I’m attaching myself to the tie that never stops arising, that helps. So that was say those are four things that can help with building confidence. Tackling insecurities,

Michael Hingson 1:01:21
going back to your losing weight, you said 70 pounds, I think you meant 70 grams of protein, but that’s okay. Yeah, I thought that’s what I said like a protein. Yeah. And in a guide dogs Guide to Being brave, we talk about things like treasure mapping, vision, boarding, and internalizing those things. I tend not to journal a lot, but I tend to leave myself a lot of reminders in my echo device, and other things like that. So that I do keep the same things in the forefront of my mind. And I know that that’s something that needs to happen. So I’ve just found those ways to do it. Because even if I write it down in Braille, unless I touch it, it’s out of sight. So I do it in a way that it won’t escape, you know, I won’t escape from it, which is really cool.

Kene Erike 1:02:14
That’s a really good method to use there anything that that can be used to remind you whenever you need it, whether it’s audio

Michael Hingson 1:02:19
visual, and internalizing, and, and doing and structuring it in a way where you’re really causing your mind to think about it. That’s the important part about it.

Kene Erike 1:02:28
Exactly. And, unfortunately, not enough people engage their mind. No, yeah,

Michael Hingson 1:02:33
no. You know, on our world today, in our country, we’ve got so many different things going on, people are fractured, the whole political system is fractured, and so on. If you were president, what are a couple of things that you would change, to help kind of maybe get our, our world a little bit more centered or, or functioning a little bit better, and people doing better with each other?

Kene Erike 1:03:00
All right, I’ll give you two, one of them was more idealistic. So with taxes, I think you’d be hard pressed to find a person who would not agree that people paid too much in tax, or at least I don’t know, any person who says, hey, I want to pay more in taxes. Nobody. I don’t think you know, anyone that says that. So I would say like, there’s this idea I’ve heard thrown out some years back, it’s called the head tax. In essence, what it means that everybody pays the same amount of tax, no matter what you make, where you live, it’s all based on your age at a particular time. So everyone who’s aged 25 would pay this amount. And the way I’ve heard it described, I’ve heard described by a few people, I don’t know who originated the idea. So I don’t want to name someone’s name and give and take or credit from what actually came up with the idea. But ideally, everybody below the age of like 24, or 25, wouldn’t be responsible for any income tax, there still be other taxes like consumption tax, which makes sense, like you’re buying things at a grocery store, they sales tax, that’s a useful way of generating money. But we give people a reprieve under a certain age like 25, it makes sense because by then you would have had time to older either way college or vocational school or graduate school. And you know that those early 20 times you’re probably dealing with education, so we don’t, those people would be absolved on taxes, but everybody else would be a scale based on your age. So at 25 Let’s say you pay I’m just throwing out a number here you pay $8,000 a year in income tax no matter what you make 35 You pay a different age 45 every age until like, whatever we decide, maybe you stop trying to people taxing 65 everyone pay the same and that from an equity standpoint, while people are getting in basic well, this person makes 20,000 Why should they make the pay the same as personally makes 30,000 Like, you’re gonna have those debates. This is why There’s more than five idea, but I just didn’t make sense from like, people don’t feel like they’re paying too much relative to other people or you have something that’s fair, although like you still have systems of deductions, and this is why it’s like one of those ideas is probably never going to happen. There would be just too many people on one side or the other, that would kill the idea for a good rollout. But I think there’s merit to it from an from an equity standpoint. But that’s just me thinking that’s one thing. And this is something I if I was president, another idea that actually, wholeheartedly support is finding ways to encourage more free speech and free expression, not free them have consequences. And I think a lot of people confuse that they think that’s because you have Yeah, because you have the ability to say or do what you want. That means that those actions have no consequences. Like no, you still, if you say or do something people find objectionable, you might have to pay a penalty for that. And plus, that’s an accountability thing to like, if you do something to wrong other people, there’s no reason why people shouldn’t be able to respond to you. But I would encourage a system where, like, right now we have a lot of political ideologies, ideologies that are aimed at stopping people from speaking whether it’s identity politics, or if you’re born this way, or born that way, that means you can’t say anything. Or if you don’t believe this socially fashioned idea, you have to be silenced. I don’t like that, I think people should be free to express their thoughts. And that’s how the world becomes a better place is to that sort of expression. So I would encourage systems that encourage that, as well as discouraged people who are tempted to silence others that don’t agree with them. That’s something I would do without precedent, I think it makes for better America,

Michael Hingson 1:06:43
we have lost so much the art of having conversations, and we take so much out on people who we disagree with that we don’t leave any room for discussion anymore, which is so unfortunate, because communications through speech is one of the most powerful ways we all can learn about each other and then learn about ourselves. Exactly. What advice would you go back and give yourself if you could go back 10 years and and talk to Kenny from 10 years ago? What would you tell Kenny?

Kene Erike 1:07:19
First thing I would say is I would say yes more. Because there’s so many opportunities to say yes to things that people mentioned whether that’s going out with people, certain people going to do this going to do that, pitching to help with this. And there’s a lot of good things that can happen just by saying yes. And encouraging yourself to try something that’s outside of your comfort zone. And you ever know, unless it’s illegal or unethical, doesn’t jive with who you are inside. Most of the time, if someone invites you to do something, or there’s an opportunity to go after something that might be outside of your norm. A lot of good things can happen. Even things you don’t anticipate you might meet someone who’s useful for something other. Something you might work on in the future, you might find out there’s certain things you like about yourself or things you want to change just by throwing yourself into a new environment. So I would definitely say yes, more. That’s one. Second, I would say this, this goes along with our general underlying theme of this conversation about the importance of Christ and life, I would try to get aligned with Christ sooner. And I’ve always been a Christian in some regard, but learning more about what it entails edifying your spirit men, learning more about how you can put lies you just mentioned, and different terms, how you can put that inner voice to use that can be used to bring you through and bring you to things you need to go into. Because God’s the author of all things perfect. So the sooner you get to live with his will the better. And if I had found a way to learn some of what I knew now, or just to this awareness, saying yes, some things might have been really useful just to have encountered certain people and opportunities that would have gotten me on there that path sooner, that will be something I would say you need to focus on doing this now because God’s got all the answers, you got a lot of questions and the sooner you get aligned with him, the faster those answers are going to come to you. So I would say those two things are I would have told younger Kenny to get on faster.

Michael Hingson 1:09:30
And you know, the the thing I would say is that whether it’s Christianity or Judaism or even Islam, the reality is it’s all the same God and the the scholars and all three of those religions acknowledged it being the same God so the same teachings really apply across the board. And we’ve got to get away from thinking that ours is better than theirs or their or you know, somebody else’s ours is better than yours. It’s all the same guy. God folks,

Kene Erike 1:10:01
I would I would carry this and say that the same God exist. But the manner in which he’s described and other religions is, so

Michael Hingson 1:10:13
there is some of that. But it is still the same God. And the reality is I think people can get to the same place if they would put the teachings in place that allow them to listen to that inner voice. And that’s really the ultimate thing still.

Kene Erike 1:10:29
Yeah, I think to the extent that the inner voice led you to Christ, that’s the key thing, because I think the key element missing and other religions is Christ. And that’s the central element that not only ensures eternal life, but your best life on earth now. So I would say, as long as the Christ element is there, that’s the key thing. If there’s no Christ element, it’s hard to say, but there’s a lot of time wasted there. If there’s no Christ. I have the voice that Barbara Yes,

Michael Hingson 1:10:56
I hear you. Yeah. You’ve written a book. Thank you. Tell me about it. Yes, I talked about it briefly earlier. But yeah, tell me about that

Kene Erike 1:11:07
title was no doesn’t always mean now. And it’s a guide to understanding how people think and make decisions. So strategies for growing a business organization, you care about. Learning how to form stronger bonds, people around you both in a business context and a social context. Learning how to interact with the opposite sex romantically in terms of reading body language, doing things that put your best foot forward and that are not inauthentic. It’s got information on the four major reasons why we fail to get people to align with our way of thinking, whether that’s if you’re trying to encourage them to buy something you’re trying to encourage them to be more of a trusted ally, to you. Things is that, okay? It’s all about solving a lot of people problems and how the book itself came about is, as a teenager used to write down all sorts of interesting facts from all different disciplines, science, social psych, I write them down, I keep notes on them, and I would use them. In college, when I used to cold call the sell goods online. And some my friends would see like a node site ticking like, wow, this stuff is really good. Like, maybe we should put this out. And that’s eventually how my blog check I mentioned later. And the book came to pass, as I wrote these things down, people encouraged me to share them. So that’s how they came to pass. And funny enough, I’m actually, I’m going to release an audio version of that book. As the year as we hit 2023. So sometime in January, or February, when this comes, comes out, the recording audio version of it should come out then. But that’s how the book came about. And it’s my first baby, there will be another publisher.

Michael Hingson 1:13:00
Did you publish it yourself? Or did you have a publisher

Kene Erike 1:13:03
self published it? So what I did was I hired somebody to do the artwork related to it. But then I just looked into like, okay, like what needs to be done to copyright it? How do you register with the National Library and the see, did all this stuff. And I figured out how to do it myself. It’s like, if you wait for a publisher, you have to wait for a publisher. So as the general theme of the book is I’m very proactive, creative and problem solving. That’s ironically, that’s how the title came to pass is like, well, what’s up with a title? Is it about forcing yourself when people say no, no, no, it’s not what the books about. It’s about the importance of persistence and creativity and problem solving. And that was just another extent of it was actually a scientific principle called isolation. It just means that when we make decisions, those decisions aren’t set in stone. And they can change if your preferences change, whether that’s sometimes its age like you, you. You might like certain foods, then you hate them. Now, I for me, I used to love American cheese growing up and then sometime in high school. I’m like, How can I eat this crap? It tastes terrible? That’s an that’s a version of isolation or someone who likes orange juice with without pulp

Michael Hingson 1:14:16
in it. And then as opposed to pulp, yeah,

Kene Erike 1:14:19
yes. Like your mind is in a not in a constant state of flux, but it changes over time. And that that’s what that principle oscillation comes to, and your yeses today could be nose tomorrow, or vice versa. Hence, the title of a book. No doesn’t always mean no, it’s about getting more yeses into your life. And that’s the science behind the title itself.

Michael Hingson 1:14:41
And you have another book you’re going to start working on.

Kene Erike 1:14:45
Yeah, I’ve actually knee deep into that book. I would say a lot of it’s done. It’s not done yet. I see myself publishing it within the next. I don’t want to pitch my whole set my supplemental horrible, no, it’s gonna come out sooner rather than later sometime in the next couple of years. This books are going to be on the seven elements that create strong bonds between people, both in social and professional context. And there’s going to be a section in there on how singles can find spouses that feel like they’re made just for them. Money if that’s sort of my current life state is like helping both myself and others figure out this $64,000 question, how do we find the matches that God would think we’d best for us? So I’ve covered some of that and how it’s been done in some society, some of the Intel related to that that’s going to be in the next book so people can look forward to that.

Michael Hingson 1:15:42
Exciting. So you used to do football? Do you still play football? What do you do when you’re when you’re not working?

Kene Erike 1:15:49
Oh, yeah, I play a lot of football. I got I gotta go shout out to some my teams I play on gangrene. The bowls I’ll give kiss my endzone and shout out screwed was a couple of teams that play on I play some people get to pick up football as well. And queens, shout out to wise that’s his game in Queens. So football, I’ve always been into sports. He’s played a lot of basketball, not much basketball now. Baseball some I used to play my dad used to coach my little league team way back when I don’t play I really don’t play baseball anymore. Beach volleyball, I love I play that in the summers. I like to throw myself around the sand jumping high despite being only five foot seven and still be able to block that from people that are six foot or taller. I like that. So I do a lot of sports. I would I do a lot of training as well in terms of like speed, strength agility stuff I’ll give my little brother shout out his company’s Eric a Fitness You Can er ik e fitness you can find some of his links online we do a lot of the same related to training we train with each other every now and then in terms of like getting faster jumping around that can be enjoyable because it’s not only good for sports performance, but for your general health as well. The kind of training one does to get to become a better explosive athlete helps with burning fat and creating this sort of look a lot of women and men want that helps to do a lot of reading. Love to read not much fiction, but a lot of nonfiction related this stuff I like what else

Michael Hingson 1:17:25
I mix, fiction and non but that’s okay. I’m trying to think

Kene Erike 1:17:30
yeah, there’s a few things. Things I like to read fiction wise a lot of the some of the word books, like one of my friends I gave him a shout I was named like he recommended to me. I think it was in oh nine The Hunger Games came that terrible movie. Maybe SS V being elitist? What is like I watched the first one was like when you read the books, the books were a masterpiece. And the last two movies like this were clever. You read them, right? Yes. Excellent. All three of them. I think I well. I think the first one was the best best because the concept was so novel, but they were all they’re all good. But not too much fiction. I do a lot of reading games, I’d say. Board games I still love my family has to play board games going up monopoly. You know, you’d like taboo when we get together. That’s a good game. I used to play a lot of video games I haven’t played much in recent years. I was a big Xbox and Halo fan. So the Halo series I show people that game figuratively, literally, as well. So as much of what I like to do, I like to spend a lot of quiet time just thinking as well. Like you mentioned before that sort of quiet get away from things time is useful. And you can still do it within your day where you just you don’t have to go to some remote mountain, you can still do that in your day. Like I’m like not gonna watch TV right now. I’m just gonna sit and think about what that’s

Michael Hingson 1:18:58
right. That’s right. All the things I like to do. So well so you you you take on clients and so on today.

Kene Erike 1:19:07
Yeah, I’m like I said like I wanted to. I’m not being modest like I’m always looking for to not only hear advice but support I’m interested in if you got a question or a comment about anything reach out to me I’m always looking to work with more people I learned they learn everybody wins. So you can always find my work I can mention my work now or some

Michael Hingson 1:19:28
well yeah, how do how do people reach out to you? How do they learn about you maybe explore working with you and so on give us their

I’m not a big social media user. But what my handles are usually at k e n e e r i k e.com Twitter account. I have a YouTube page I’ve barely posted too as well. Ke consulting. My company page is KE consulting. It’s K e n e e r i k e.com. That’ll take you to the consulting page as well as my personal blog where much of my writing got started, justtaptheglass.com J U S T T A P T H E G L A S S.com. And through my company website, you can find my personal blog, I’ve got maybe 200 Plus articles on different subjects from relationships, building competence, business, fitness, occasional political views on things that are nonsense that are happening. So that’s where people can find my work. And as well I read every email, you send me an email, reach out to me, whether you’re looking to tackle some problem and your business organization looking to make headway in your career, if you got some sort of competence or social issue you want to work on Mali, or that’s how they can find me.

Well, I hope people will reach out and of course, we found you on LinkedIn, which was fine, I opinion that I posted, I appreciate you doing it. I appreciate you coming on. If you know of other people you think we ought to explore having as guests, then please let me know and then introduce us, we’d love to have them on. And I say that to you who are listening out there if you know someone who you think we ought to have on as a guest, love to hear from you. And please reach out to Kene and he’s got I think a lot to offer. There’s no doubt about it. So please reach out, get his book. And just progress. I think that’s what we all need to do. And if you’d like to, and I would appreciate it, we’d love to hear from you about what you think of the podcast today. So email me at Michaelhi at accessibe A C C E S S I B E.com. We haven’t even talked about how accessible your website is Kene. But we could do that later. But but people can also go to www dot Michael hingson h i n g s o n.com/podcast if they’d like to do something there on the page, but we’re available wherever people find podcasts, and I’m sure that we’ve we’ve been listened to from all sorts of sources. So love to hear from you all love to get your thoughts and appreciate you reaching out to Kene in in, in all the endeavors that he has, and he can definitely enhance what you do. So Kene one last time, I want to thank you for being here and for taking the time to come on unstoppable mindset and help us all get a little bit smarter.

Kene Erike 1:22:23
Thank you, Michael. I did mention your podcast, a couple of people because I’ve read your work after you reach out to me like wow, Michael does a lot of good things. And I listened to some of your episodes like wow, this is really good. So I’ve mentioned to a few people and the work you do is really nice. You. I love conversing with you. So I can’t read. I really appreciate the compliments. You threw my way as well.

Michael Hingson 1:22:45
Well, let’s do it again. And definitely when that new book comes out, we need to have you come back and talk about that. But anytime you want to come back and you have more thoughts. Don’t you hesitate? Don’t wait for me. Love to hear from you. And we will do it.

Kene Erike 1:22:57
Yes sir. I appreciate that. Michael, thank you.

Michael Hingson 1:23:00
Thank you very much once again.

Michael Hingson 1:23:08
You have been listening to the Unstoppable Mindset podcast. Thanks for dropping by. I hope that you’ll join us again next week, and in future weeks for upcoming episodes. To subscribe to our podcast and to learn about upcoming episodes, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com slash podcast. Michael Hingson is spelled m i c h a e l h i n g s o n. While you’re on the site., please use the form there to recommend people who we ought to interview in upcoming editions of the show. And also, we ask you and urge you to invite your friends to join us in the future. If you know of any one or any organization needing a speaker for an event, please email me at speaker at Michael hingson.com. I appreciate it very much. To learn more about the concept of blinded by fear, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com forward slash blinded by fear and while you’re there, feel free to pick up a copy of my free eBook entitled blinded by fear. The unstoppable mindset podcast is provided by access cast an initiative of accessiBe and is sponsored by accessiBe. Please visit www.accessibe.com. accessiBe is spelled a c c e s s i b e. There you can learn all about how you can make your website inclusive for all persons with disabilities and how you can help make the internet fully inclusive by 2025. Thanks again for listening. Please come back and visit us again next week.

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