Happy Monday my dear Pals🙋🏿♂️,
Does anybody else feel like the second half of the year came upon us random asf?
Anyhoo, since we’re all apparently OUTSIDE now and no longer restricting our step-outs solely to our Close Friends list, I would love to hear what yall got up for this upcoming 4th of July Weekend.
But what are YOU doing for the 4th of July Weekend Pol??
Lool not sure who asked, but I guess I’ll share🤷🏿♂️
This weekend, Foxy P, (a previous pal), and the rest of the African Princes of Comedy will be bringing his 20-Stop IVMyPeople #AfricanRestaurantTour to Texas (Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston). The purpose of the #AfricanRestaurantTour is to help African restaurants in North America recover after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Foxy brought me on to help out as an assistant tour manager, and I guess the comedy is in the fact that I have absolutely NO EXPERIENCE managing a tour😭. But I’m grateful that he asked me to join the team because if you don’t know by now, I’ve always been curious about how things are created, especially big productions.
If any of you pals reside in or nearby the above cities and love doing any of the following:
eating jollof rice (of the Nigerian-kind of course)
laughing till you can’t breathe
supporting a good cause
Click the link below to buy a ticket to the show!
⚠️Capacity is limited though so be sure to purchase ASAP
Stacey Ervin Jr.
On episode 26, I have a #CreativeConversation with my pal, Stacey Ervin Jr., a wellness coach, elite athlete, and content creator.
In this episode, Stacey talks about:
- growing up in a single-parent household (5:58)
- his short stint in the WWE (20:18)
- what it's like to date a high-profile person (25:15)
- how he moved past the loss of his mother (36:34)
- why you should strive for wellness and not just fitness (31:40)
- his daily routine to start each day on a high note (41:46)
Stacey Ervin Jr.
T̶h̶e̶ ̶R̶o̶c̶k̶ ̶J̶r̶.̶ Stacey Ervin Jr. is another pal born and raised in Michigan (I really gotta expand my network), and he’s been participating in gymnastics ever since his mom—a former gymnast herself—took him to a Mommy and Me recreational class when he was just eight years old. When the gym instructor saw him run across a balance beam with ease, he was quickly referred to the Michigan Academy of Gymnastics to start his gymnastic career.
He later went on to have an illustrious career prior to his retirement from the sport shortly after college:
1st Place - Vault - Junior Olympic National Championships
1st Place - Team - NCAA championship (🗣GO BLUE〽️)
3rd Place - Floor - U.S. National Championships
Yet despite being a sport that’s scored on individual events, Stacey always viewed gymnastics as a team sport. His second tattoo reads:
The strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.
a quote from Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book.” This quote is recited by The Michigan Men’s gymnastic team as motivation and a reminder of the importance of a team. Stacey experienced just how strong his pack was in 2011 as he was preparing to start his freshman year of college.
His first tattoo is a cross with a ribbon, and it’s a memorial to his mother who passed away due to cancer in 2011. Although the memorial service occurred during the summer prior to the start of Stacey’s freshman year, his teammates and coaching staff attended the service to support their lone wolf.
The loss of his mother in addition to other life obstacles he’s overcome is one of the reasons Stacey strives for WELLNESS and not just strictly FITNESS. He himself admits that he used to be solely focused on the exterior fitness side of things. But when he started to consistently experience days where he would go hard in the gym, look great, and still not feel great, he realized he had to take a full approach to his health: physically and mentally.
This full-body approach and increased focus on his mental wellbeing via meditation and other daily habits are the main drivers that have helped Stacey thrive as a Wellness Coach, Elite Athlete with 1st Phorm, and Content Creator for his 300k+ followers.
Don’t be surprised if you see him doing something completely different by year’s end though. That’s what happens when you RIDE THE WAVE🌊
Because my interviews are focused on my guests telling their story, I try to give them as much Talking Time as possible. “Pol’s Takeaways” is a space for me to share my thoughts on the interview.
Pivot With Purpose
After retiring from gymnastics, Stacey moved to Texas for a short stint in software sales, quit to be a gymnastics coach, tried out for American Ninja Warrior, and wrestled in the WWE before landing on what he’s doing now.
As we reviewed his somewhat erratic career history, Stacey mentioned that although he’s attempted to do a lot of different things, he tries to ensure that with each move, he’s pivoting with purpose.
This statement resonated with me because I recently decided to apply for a job at the whim of a friend’s referral. I wasn’t particularly super geeked to apply, but I’ve recently come to terms with the fact that I’m not currently enjoying what I’m doing so why not?🤷🏿♂️
I updated my resume, cleaned up my trusty cover letter template, and sent in my application.
I received an email that I had been selected for a first-round interview, and my face was like 😳.
It was a mix of emotions because on one end, it felt good to be considered, but on the other end, I started thinking about the potential of this new opportunity, and if the outcome was truly aligned with what I wanted to be doing.
I don’t think that your job has to necessarily be your “passion” per se, but I still think (if you have the option) you should be somewhat calculated in whatever career path you choose to pivot to.
So as the interview date got closer and closer, I started Googling reviews, asking my referral friend a ton of questions, and even started thinking like, “damn… should I cancel?”
I was doing all this even though deep down, I knew how I truly felt. But I decided to go through with the job interview anyway because I just wanted to feel sumn😩.
“After careful consideration, unfortunately, we have decided not to move forward with your candidacy for this role.”
I received this email this morning and to be honest witcha, it stung just a bit🥲. But also, it was a sigh of relief because a part of me just knew that even if I made it to the more demanding second-round interview, the motivation to truly prep for it would not have been there. I’m thankful for the experience though because it made me really think about how I would actually go about pivoting to my next move with purpose.
But I know what you’re all thinking though:
Pol, you just saying that cuz you ain’t make it past the first round😭
On September 25, 2019, I reached out to Stacey via IG DMs because I saw he had posted about a podcast he had started, and I was curious because:
1) I wanted to foolishly start 2 podcasts at the same time (one focused on financial literacy and the other would eventually become Pol and Pals)
2) he was one of the first people that I wanted to interview
His first reply to me was
And his second reply to me was
Speaking about pivoting huh?👀
I love hearing from all the Pals whether it’s critique or compliments, so let me know what you think of the podcast and/or newsletter by replying to this email or leaving a review on the Pol and Pals website. I’ve had a whopping 0 reviews submitted!
On the next episode of Pol and Pals, my pal and I will have a creative conversation about leaving a startup to start a startup, the importance of community, and why we should all strive to think a little harder.