70. Is It Time to Fire My Boss? with Kahlil Dumas

February 14, 2023

The following article may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. This doesn't cost you anything, and shopping or using our affiliate partners is a way to support our mission. I will never work with a brand or showcase a product that I don't personally use or believe in.

The following article may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. This doesn’t cost you anything, and shopping or using our affiliate partners is a way to support our mission. I will never work with a brand or showcase a product that I don’t personally use or believe in.

Ready to fire your toxic boss?

Leaving a “secure” job feels scary –– but the weight of feeling stuck might be worse.

We’re joined by Kahlil Dumas, entrepreneur, podcast host, and business advisor, to talk about all the ways you might be feeling “stuck” in your career and what you can do to move forward.

What you’ll learn:

  • What it means to build generational wealth, especially for communities of color

  • When it’s time to quit that toxic job

  • How to stop gaslighting yourself at work

Kahlil’s Links: 



1and1 App

Meet Kahlil

Kahlil Dumas “KD” is a serial entrepreneur, podcaster, and business advisor. When he’s not slaying the patriarchy as the CPO at Her First $100k, he’s helping you heal your trauma with money, advising your business, and redefining what generational wealth and prosperity mean to you.


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Tori Dunlap: All right. You and I know each other for so long, and this is like a reunion episode because you were on the show interviewing me about the book. And now the table, my have the tables have turned. We are

Kahlil Dumas: they have.

Tori Dunlap: excited to have you as a guest today. We typically start episodes with people who talk about money and people who are obsessed with money about your first money memory.

What is the first time you remember thinking about.

Kahlil Dumas: Well, before I get to that, I first want to say congratulations on becoming an Instant New York Times bestseller. You knew I was gonna say that.

Tori Dunlap: Thank you. Congratulations to you. Our whole team. This was very much a team effort. This was a lot of hard work from a lot of people and it feels very validating and it’s also like, what do I do now with the rest of my life? But that’s a different conversation at

Kahlil Dumas: We’ll fig, we’ll, we’ll, we’ll go back to the drawing board as we always do. My first money memory, I love this question because I have quite a bit of them, but the one that just jumped out. When you asked that was, I had this Bart Simpson Piggy bank, it [00:01:00] was Clay, and my grandma brought it back from Tijuana.

She was so excited to give it to me. I was so excited to receive it. She says it was Bart Simpson. I, I loved watching the Simpsons back in the day. And I had, I would scrounge the house. I would constantly ask my parents, can I have 50 cents? Can I have a dollar? I just wanted to fill this Bart Simpson up.

Like that was my goal. I didn’t even know what I was gonna do with that money. I didn’t even really. Full concept of what savings was, but it was just kind of like a mission I had. And one thing led to another my, I remember my mom briefly talking about like she wanted to buy something, but she couldn’t afford it.

So little Kahlil runs into the, runs into my room. I broke. Bart Simpson because it was clay, there was no way to actually like get the change out. And my mom’s like, I’ll never forget how conflicted you were. You were really excited to be able to say like, here’s this money, but in the back of your mind this Bart Simpson was broken

So that was my huge money memory is just. Really remembering like how, how good it felt to save because that was just something that I knew was important [00:02:00] but didn’t fully understand. But I would say another memory is just constantly after that moment, I’d always kind of just have ones, twos, tens in my hand.

There’s actually a really cute picture of me, like a sleep in the car with like a, a bunch of money. And then my mom was like, that was right after you broke Bart Simpson, so you didn’t quite know what to do with the money, so you just carried it around. But that’s my first money memory. And it’s one that I just laugh about all the time because that was when I really started to become conscious of like, what saving money does, it can get you things that you want.

But also there was this kind of delayed gratification of like, I saved and that’s always stuck with me.

Tori Dunlap: What for you was the answer to like, what you’re gonna be when you grow up, like as you were, as you were growing up. Like what, what did you think you wanted to do and how did that evolve as you have now, you know, come into adulthood, been here for a while, but like, what was, what was the progression of that?

Kahlil Dumas: [00:03:00] Yeah, so I actually had this, my mom still has my making mouse diary that I had when I was seven and all the fun notes that were in it. And what I wanted to do from a young age is I wanted to be, and, and, and not together, but in separate orders. I wanted to be a veterinarian by day.

So during the day I wanted to help animals cuz I was obsessed with Animal Planet. I loved watching that. And by night I wanted to be a chef because I loved Emeril Lagosi, I loved watching Food Network and I thought this is what I wanna do. But soon insert, I would learn that I have a, had adhd. So really my focus to become one thing would change rapidly for years to come.

And that really involved because my parents, both my parents knew what they wanted to do from a very young age. My dad knew he wanted to be an architect since he was five. My mom knew she wanted to be an attorney from a very young age. So, , there was a lot of like going back and forth of like, what do I wanna do?

What do I want to do? And I will say I, that question wasn’t really answered until my early twenties when I started to look around and started to really understand. It’s not the label of like what I want to do. It’s not become a [00:04:00] lawyer or become a doctor or become an architect. It’s, I want to be in a lane where I can help people who are on a mission to not only help the world, but also help black people.

And that was something. It took a while to, to really wrap my mind around, because like to your point, like that’s a question I got all the time leading up to college and after college. Like, what do you wanna do with your life? And I was like, I, I don’t know, but I know this is what, how I want to feel in the morning and I know this is the mission that I wanna follow.

Tori Dunlap: I’ve said it before, I think on the podcast, but it’s a question that no one knows the answer to. And even when you’re asked, when you’re like 21, 22 and y, it’s a ver, it’s a question that fills you with like a lot of anxiety and it

Kahlil Dumas: It totally does.

Tori Dunlap: And so what I ask you people to think about instead is not what I wanna do with my life, or like, what is my life’s greatest passion?

It’s just like, what do I wanna do?

Kahlil Dumas: Yeah, absolutely. And I had a mentor that said something wonderful and we were talking about this exact thing last week. She was like, you know, isn’t it so [00:05:00] intense when people just ask you like, what do you do? It’s just such a loaded question to start a literally, it’s like it’s such a loaded question to start off with someone you don’t know, and especially folks like you and I who are like highly ambitious and do a lot, it’s like, how do I sum submit this?

And also, Showing my answer that I have balance, that I just don’t work like I do other things too. So I’ve kind of pivoted to asking people like, what’s your hobby? Or like, what gets you excited? And those questions are the complete opposite. There’s no anxiety. Well, I, I love to hear like your take on that too.

Tori Dunlap: Well, yeah, I think that one very American, like I said, like if you go to Europe, what do you do? Comes like hour two or three. Like that’s not, that’s not right off the bat, but that’s ver a very American thing. It’s what’s your name and like, what do you do for a living? and I’ve tried to be more intentional.

I typically do ask that question cuz it is socially acceptable. But then I dig into it further of like, why do you do that? Like, what else are you interested in? Right. And again, back to the like the [00:06:00] what are you gonna do with your life? Like I think the question like, what is next for you? Or like, what do I wanna do next?

It leads with curiosity and it’s less this like panic inducing, like, oh my God, I don’t know. The whole point of life is to figure out what you wanna. And like it’s gonna change moment to moment or year to year or decade to decade. And like, no one’s staying in the same job, no one’s staying in the same industry anymore.

And it’s just like, it’s what do I wanna do next? Right? It’s like it’s, it’s motivated by curiosity and by interest and by. Curating like a beautiful life of a lot of fun stories and experiences. Unless like, yeah, it’s, it’s, I’m gonna be in this thing forever and this is what I was put on this earth to do forever.

Kahlil Dumas: Literally. And you know where that really came to a head for me was during the pandemic. I felt this really intensive pressure to answer that question, even though I had had these kind of fluid conversations where it’s like, Kelly, you don’t need to have this answer. And what I discovered in that was [00:07:00] ultimately my purpose was there are thousands of people now that I’ve interviewed and talked to who just.

Kind of stuck not only with this question but with that question across all sections of their life, work, career, money, relationships, and bingo. That answered my question. I was like, I’ve felt stuck my, a lot of my life. And the big piece of that has to do with, you know, un undiagnosed adhd, which has now been diagnosed and kind of gave me a lot more clarity.

Which was like people stay in this mindset and build habits of feeling stuck and lead their lives that way. Anything new that comes along, it’s like, I can’t do that because Right. I’m the deflated doer is one of the personalities that I’ve created. The deflated doer is someone who, right, has a checklist and know there’s a, knows there’s a bigger meaning to their life, but puts that off to get through that checklist.

So, you know, that is a huge reason why it launched the platform. I wanted to talk to more people about why they get stuck and you nailed it on the head. The number one reason why people get stuck is they stop exploring and they [00:08:00] stop being curious.

Tori Dunlap: We talked about this with Ashley Stahl in a previous episode, but like I have seen this with so many people in my life who it’s deeply it’s deeply uncomfortable to be uncomfortable, right? And plenty of people, and I, I don’t fault people for this at all. Again, we talk about this on the episode where it’s like you are in a relationship where it’s like, yeah, I mean, I, I love this person, but.

Kahlil Dumas: Hmm.

Tori Dunlap: guess the next, next natural thing is to marry them, but like,

Kahlil Dumas: Yeah,

Tori Dunlap: like no like, I, I get it. I gave the example on the, on that episode where I had a friend who was literally like, I don’t think I’m supposed to marry this person, but it’s just like what you’re supposed to do next. And I’ve already put like a down payment on the wedding and just like he’s comfort.

Kahlil Dumas: Yeah.

Tori Dunlap: comfortable and it’s really uncomfortable to uproot your life. It’s really uncomfortable to, you know, move out and live, you know, by yourself and to be alone for a period of time after not [00:09:00] being alone. And it’s very difficult when it comes to your career to decide, actually, I’m really unhappy. And what if I blow my entire life up?

And I, I love what Ashley said, which is like, it’s going to either happen for you or you are going to have to make that decision eventually. So why not do it now before it gets even worse?

Kahlil Dumas: I saw that too, and I, I literally wrote that down because it’s, it’s so spot on. Like, why do we wait to change our lives when it’s super uncomfortable? Like it’s so much easier to make that shift. I felt I naturally did that with Unstuck which I, I still laugh at the name, which is something that took me forever to come up with, and the way that it came together was like, I’m literally sticking my name next to something.

Had a lot of fear round, which is being stuck. And it’s just unlocked so much for me. It’s, it’s similar to like reverse psychology, like get a hundred nos this year, right? Like get used and get uncomfortable with being uncomfortable and it’s so true. But I, I absolutely loved that quote cuz it’s, it’s so true.

Tori Dunlap: So you talked about, and I know you and I have had plenty of conversations about [00:10:00] this when you and I, we went to college together and then we didn’t really connect in college and connected after. And I think one of the things that was so appealing to you about a lot of our advice at her first a hundred k was just, was this idea of course, of like finding balance between spending and saving, but also using wealth as a form of protest.

And as a black man yourself and as someone who works with a lot of people of color, like. What does generational wealth look like to you? And can you define that for us? And I, I’ve experienced that there’s not a lot of discussion around generational wealth for anyone who is an a cisgendered straight white man. So can we talk about like what is generation, so can we talk about what is generational wealth for you and what do you see generational wealth as for the black community in gener

Kahlil Dumas: yeah, absolutely. You know, when you just start off with a simple Google, like what is generational wealth? Right? That’s where, that’s where I

Tori Dunlap: It’s yachts and succession and Yeah.

Kahlil Dumas: It’s lit. Literally yachts. [00:11:00] Literally yachts, succession, but it’s money that is the focal point. And for, for me personally, I’ve had to change that as like in my early twenties and in my upbringing, it was like, obtain as much money as possible because we don’t have any, like we have to obtain money, like money, money, money, money.

And what I started to quickly understand was generational wealth is so much more than money because when I came into contact with her first hurricane, and I’m so proud to be the C P O, because literally H F K has changed my life. I was that person who was afraid of tackling finances. I was that person who was so far in debt.

But I also was that person who didn’t holistically understand what wealth and money generation truly means and looks like because no one taught that to me. No one taught it to my parents. So naturally it didn’t get passed down to me. What I naturally started to learn and how I changed my definition and what I’m trying to get other people to do is part of building that generational wealth is unlearning some of the toxicity that we learn, especially in the black community around mental health, around speaking up when you feel [00:12:00] uncomfortable, right around some of those patriarchal.

Uncomfortable kind of, you know, insert the R word, right? Some of the racism, a lot of the systematic racism that we deal with in day in, day out. That’s just something that, and I’ll speak for just my experience, but that’s just something that didn’t come up in day-to-day life because we were so focused on just surviving.

And so when I started to really understand my definition of generational wealth, It really wasn’t an accurate one. It was really just survival and not thinking long term. So now, right as I’ve changed that definition, it’s not only setting up five 20 nines for my children, setting up long term savings goals, it’s how do I unlearn some of the trauma that I have?

Right? Which is, you know, doing things. For the fulfillment of others and not necessarily myself or you know, some of the deep root of trauma that some of us experience with our parents and not wanting to address that and that understanding that that will directly impact our wealth because of we’re afraid or we are afraid to be uncomfortable cuz that’s just the environment we’ve been in.

Right? That is something that. We ultimately have to work through. [00:13:00] So how that differs from just a normal generation, you know, definition of generational wealth is, it’s a, it extends outside of money and goes into your health, goes into your relationships with your network, your friends and your families, your rest, oh my God, Tori, that was, I think that was one of the biggest things the pandemic did for me was allowed me to like rest because we were, I was in this hyper figure it out mode and all of a sudden you couldn’t leave the house.

And so it was like, gotta figure this out. So, Couldn’t echo

Tori Dunlap: for black men in, you know, midst of pandemic, it’s not even, it’s a literal threat to your life,

Kahlil Dumas: Literal.

Tori Dunlap: And so it’s like this idea of rest and ease and of safety when, again, I can’t speak from personal experience, of course, but like, when your life is literally at risk, the moment, sometimes you wouldn’t, I mean, Breonna Taylor, you don’t even leave your house, right?

It’s like, like what is that feeling like? And one of the things that I. Have been really interested in A lot of the questions we get from our community is, it’s like when I start [00:14:00] financially progressing, I feel guilty.

Kahlil Dumas: Mm.

Tori Dunlap: and we talk about this in the book too, of like there’s this feeling and I have it too often where I’m like, I’m doing well and I feel guilty because I’m doing well when somebody isn’t right.

And hopefully it’s not at the expense of that person, but it’s just like other people are struggling and I am doing better. Do you experience guilt as a black man of knowing? Like the vast majority of like, I think black wealth is something like $78 is like the average, I think net worth of a black individual in America.

It’s something crazy like under a hundred dollars.

Kahlil Dumas: Yeah,

Tori Dunlap: you, you have to reckon with that. Do you still reckon with that?

Kahlil Dumas: absolutely. All the time. And I, when you said that, I was like, me too. Coming f you know, when I was, when I was growing up, you know, and this is something, you know, my family’s come a long way, but, you know, I was raised by a single mother who was working multiple jobs and, you know, had a family around me who was predominantly black.

And when we now look back and when we talk [00:15:00] to, and still have to nurture those relationships, it’s really crazy. They kind of say sometimes some of our family members have kind of gotten stuck in time, you know, no pun intended. That’s something that’s really hard to reckon with. And I, something I struggled with because when I would interact with him, I felt like I needed to like, you know, for lack of a better term, kind of you.

Turn myself down. I couldn’t talk about all these things as much as I would with like for sex. For example, someone like you, like where I can just be myself and we can talk about these different strategies. And what was really difficult was wanting to help someone who didn’t want the help themselves.

And that is something I think where the guilt comes in, is not knowing how to articulate that and how I was able to kind of solve that and overcome that was just, I’m allowed to be me and I’m allowed to. Do those things right? Even, even if, right. I perceive that to be guilt. It doesn’t do that person any disservice in my family disservice if I, if I.

Minimize myself or if I don’t talk about the importance of these things now where I’ve shifted as I’ve gotten older is not feeling like I need to [00:16:00] prove that point to them. Not putting it as my own personal mission to say, when I leave this conversation, this person needs to understand how to get outta debt.

This person needs to understand investing, but instead I’ve had more calm conversations like when they approach me, cuz obviously I have a podcast and they wanna talk about these things. It. talk to me about what’s going on in your life. And those conversations are a lot more natural because I have to put myself in their shoes and I have to put myself back.

10 years ago when I was crushing debt, that was the big thing I was focused on, and it was something that,
that’s really all I thought about. And when I go back now to talk to these family members, they have their own things, right? Right now. A lot of them are just trying to survive, and I have to meet them on that level and be okay with that.

So that’s how I’ve been able to address that guilt is being able to come. Not having to prove that point to them or feel like I need to save them from anything. That was something I struggle with. I still struggle with that when I talk to my cousins who live in Naches, Mississippi when life just looks way different.

I just have to reckon with where they’re at and where I’m at and just listen more than I speak sometimes.[00:17:00] 

Tori Dunlap: Do you think there’s a difference between the definition of rich versus the definition of we.

Kahlil Dumas: Ooh, that’s a great one. I would say yes, personally. I know there is, I think in the black community, rich is what we see rappers and what we see the general media portrayed as wealth never comes up. I will tell you, I didn’t really hear or talk about wealth until I got to college. Like truly understanding what does wealth mean?

Like wealth was something that I pictured is. just kind. I’ll just be honest. It’s just a really rich white guy. That’s when I would hear the word wealth. That’s what I would think of. I wouldn’t think about me being wealthy or my family being wealthy. Rich was the fun, sexy term that I think a lot of the black community and when I just speak for my own black community, we latch onto, we wanna be rich.

Now I’ve understood in the way I understand it, right, rich is short. Having, being rich and having income and not having to worry about survival is short term. Wealth is long term. Wealth changes and breaks, generational [00:18:00] curses. So that is the, the, the difference that I’ve told and learned myself. And that’s something that I’m, I’m learning how to kind of express that to others, to educate others so that they’re aware of the difference.

It’s not important to look rich. It’s more, more important to build wealth for you and your family for the long term and for the long.

Tori Dunlap: Yeah. And we use her first under K, kind of rich and wealth interchangeably. Right? Like our slogan’s. Fighting the patriarchy by making you rich. And of course, for me, rich is, is. For me, it’s like, yes, they can be different definitions, but my, I use rich and wealthy inter interchangeably and it is this idea that it isn’t, you know, the designer goods you can’t afford because you’re just trying to flaunt how much money you have or just like you want to see or you want people to see that you have money.

It’s more the understanding that like, and, and we talked about, you know, remit safety of, and he has this concept right, of a rich life and it’s like the rich life can be, I pick up my kids from school every day or.

Kahlil Dumas: Oh, so true.

Tori Dunlap: Tip X percent every single time, or I donate X [00:19:00] percent, right? Or I just, you know, I can start a business and employ X amount of people.

And it’s like, I think that that’s one of the beautiful things too, is it’s like the vast majority of people unfortunately are not gonna have million dollar, you know, two, three zeros or commas in their bank account, right? That’s just not gonna be a thing. But I think all of us can try to find even just a little bit of like what.

What kind of life can we build using money as a tool

Kahlil Dumas: I absolutely love that. It’s, it’s so true. And, you know, rich to, to, again, to me now is being fulfilled at the end of the day, knowing that I gave it my, all right. Being rich is being able to, you know, Spend time with my wife, spend time with my lovely puppies and family, be in good health. And I think what I was getting to with kind of the general community definition is none of that plays in, and that goes back to my original point with generational wealth.

We just think about it as, as monetary when it’s so much more than that.

Tori Dunlap: Yeah. Let’s talk [00:20:00] about that feeling of being stuck. So

Kahlil Dumas: I love it.

Tori Dunlap: how does someone know that they’re stuck or heading down the like road to stuck? Like what does it feel like, not just cerebrally, like what, not just what’s going on in their brains or in their life, but like what’s happening in your body when you feel stuck?

Kahlil Dumas: Yeah, no, that’s a, that’s a wonderful question. Feeling stuck at it. It’s a couple of things from a physical, it’s that. Chest tightening feeling. It’s the stomach aches that roll in 10 minutes before a meeting or five minutes before something you’re gonna do right that maybe you don’t think you’re ready for.

Stuck is, you know, being paralyzed when you wake up in the morning. That was what it felt like to me. I remember. Waking up and the moment I used to call it, my brain would load, I would feel stuck. I would be like, I don’t even want to get out of bed because I feel overwhelmed and I don’t know what to tackle first.

And I know the outcomes of yesterday and last month and last year, how that’s impacting today. And so physically it’s, it’s again, [00:21:00] test your chest, tightening your, the stomach aches, the, just this overwhelming feeling of. Something isn’t right. And that is what I hear all the time is sometimes people don’t even really know that they’re stuck.

They just know that there’s more that’s meant for them and they just don’t know how to get there.

Tori Dunlap: everybody needs to listen to Ashley Stahl’s episode. And then this one, I don’t know if you’ve listened to that full episode, but it’s so like, it’s two sides of the same coin where she talks about, I think she said like, intuition is the feeling that you have that you can’t explain.

Kahlil Dumas: Yes,

Tori Dunlap: It’s just like you feel that way in your gut.

Right? And like I remember I tell this story, the introduction to my book is all about, you know, me beginning this job that ended up being super toxic and I knew the entire process. I was like, something doesn’t feel right. But when, when somebody would ask me, they’re like, oh, the pay is good. Yeah, okay. You know, the office is close.

Okay. Yeah. You have a woman boss, that’s great. Yeah. But I. Tell them why I didn’t feel good about it. Like I didn’t have concrete evidence. I just knew something was off. And that was my [00:22:00] intuition telling me like, something’s not right here. Something’s not right here. I don’t know what it is. And you’ll figure it out in about three months.

But like, something’s not right. And I think that that’s, that’s, yeah, you’re exactly

Kahlil Duma
Here’s how, here’s how to overcome this in two questions, and this is what I preach first. How are you feeling? How many times does someone just ask you genuinely, how are you feeling? And they wanna stick around and listen, right? We have this habit of, Hey, how’s it going? Good, good. Move on to our next thing.

No wonder so many people feel stuck. There’s no place for folks to go to fully understand how are you feeling unless you have those mechanisms or those coping skills to be able to journal,

Tori Dunlap: Especially black men.

Kahlil Dumas: Oh, don’t even get me started. The, I actually love this cuz my dad is one of my.

Customers cuz he’s the most stubborn person when it comes to this. And shout out dad, he knows he’ll, he’ll laugh at this. So when I started to do these exercises, like, how are you feeling? That took him a little bit to be able to answer that question. And when he finally answered it, he’s like, [00:23:00] wow. He’s like, okay, I, I see what you’re on.

Like, he got it. And I was like, boom, done. Right. So number one, how are you feeling? Write it down. Don’t just swirl. Write it down, put it on paper. Like that is huge. What do you think you should do? That is the second thing, right? Because it doesn’t matter what Joe Schmo thinks you should

Tori Dunlap: And you already know too. We had somebody in our Facebook group the other day who’s like did this big long paragraph where they’re like, I’m working with this financial advisor and I pay $70 a month, and like she doesn’t tell me anything I don’t know, and like I just don’t know what to do.

And I’m like, I literally, my comment was, you already know what to do.

Kahlil Dumas: Oh, it’s

Tori Dunlap: you’re going to fire your financial advisor. But I’m like, you already know what to do. You’re just looking for reassurance because, because you don’t, you, society has conditioned you to not trust yourself or you have told yourself that you’re untrustworthy and you maybe didn’t do that intentionally, but you have, you have probably gaslit yourself so often, or society has gaslit you to the point where like your intuition is speaking to you and you either can’t hear it [00:24:00] or you don’t trust.

Kahlil Dumas: I am so happy you said gaslighting yourself first, because I don’t think people know how big of a habit people build around gaslighting themselves. Like I’ll literally have these conversations like, you know what to do, you’ve told me what’s changed. It’s like, oh, I don’t even know. So how, how am I addressing this even further?

So I’m building an app, the one-on-one app, and it’s specifically focused on habit building. Habit building is where I. That’s where we get, like we, we, we feel stuck. We find a solution, we feel temporarily better, and then our habits kick in and we go back to feeling stuck again. Because to your wonderful point, right, if I built a habit of gaslighting myself when I’m alone at 8 30, 9 o’clock at night, and I’m trying to figure out what I’m gonna do the next day, If I’m naturally used to gaslighting myself into feeling stuck or feeling like there’s no alternative of solutions, I’m gonna be back to square one.

So getting your habits under control is ultimately the solution here. And it all starts with that step one of building a habit of asking yourself, how are you feeling? And what do you think you should do? [00:25:00] And then last piece is acting on that, right? Because I think that’s the biggest piece that misses is people don’t act on it.

They go, I I, I feel this way. I think I need to do this, but I don’t have the courage or the support or the curiosity to change it.

Tori Dunlap: or again, it’s, it’s too comfortable, right?

Kahlil Dumas: Yeah, I’m too comfortable.

Tori Dunlap: there, there’s, I mean the classic quote right, is that change is uncomfortable or that change happens right outside your comfort zone. But it’s truly like, it truly is that like if you are a little scared, it actually probably means you’re doing something right.

Not like actually scared for your safety, of course, but like if it feels like I don’t exactly know how this is gonna work, or wow, yep, it is a little painful for a period of time, but I know my life’s gonna be better off.

Kahlil Dumas: Yeah, and it’s unfortunate, and I’m not proud of this, but it is something that has helped me is being a black man in America is hard.

Tori Dunlap: Yeah.

Kahlil Dumas: It forces you to be uncomfortable all the time, and I am, it’s unfortunate, but to my black men and women listening, it’s partly our superpower because we have [00:26:00] been had to look at ourselves and be like, am I really the problem?

Is it really me are, are we sure about that? It’s unlocked something where a lot of folks who, who don’t have that problem, you know, aren’t unable to kind of feel that uncomfortability. Now, that’s not a blanket feeling. I know that it’s way more dynamic than that, but for the most part, that’s something personally.

Come to, to come fruition with, like, if I can handle, like, and I’ll drop a, a very personal story, like when I was 10, like I was wrongfully Leo arrested in an AOS for stealing, which later on turned out to be false and not true. But as a 10 year old, like immediately I’m uncomfortable with something that I can’t change and I had to, was forced to kind of look into that abyss and I came out better for it.

But those were a lot of hard years of trying to figure out my identity and figure out. Like, why does this feel so uncomfortable? Like you said, like intuition. Like why does this feel this way? And once I broke out of that, it turned into I want to help someone not feel this way and or feel this way for a shorter period of time so that they can truly unlock and use that uncomfortability to [00:27:00] teach others and help others more.

Tori Dunlap: Yeah. You posted on social media recently about this concept of firing toxic bosses, and I did have this moment where I was like, is he subtweeting me? And I almost texted you. I’m like, do we wanna tweet chat about something I was like, what a fucking subtweet. All right, we’ll talk about that. Hopefully not about me, but we’ve heard this statement that,

Kahlil Dumas: all.

Tori Dunlap: We’ve heard the statement, right, that you like, you don’t leave your job, you leave your boss.

What are some of the toxic traits that you’ve noticed that maybe like seem benign when they’re happening within a company, but they’re just hampering your career success or they’re getting you stuck? Like, when is it time to move on? When is it time to move on?

Kahlil Dumas: Full disclosure. By taking the lesso
ns I’m about to give you, I was able to find a wonderful boss like Tori. So just wanted to start there. Two.

Tori Dunlap: He’s also like, she signs my paycheck, so

Kahlil Dumas: no, no. That’s, no. We’re so genuine here. No. First they gaslight you. We just talked about that, right? If you say something or bring something up and you’re hired to do a position, [00:28:00] and it’s like, eh, I don’t know.

I think that you’re wrong. , that’s a problem Your boss should at least 50% of the time, allow you to explore. Like we talked about the first beginning of the episode and to do your job, that was something that I would always run into was I was always super fascinated with marketing and just data, and I was, I realized really quickly that I was a huge asset for whomever hired me.

And so I would vocalize those things and I had a lot of bosses who would be like, nah, kh, you have other things to do, like, don’t need to worry about this. Instead of being like, wow. , that’s a great idea. I love this and I’m gonna help you prioritize it into your workday. I’ve had to have bosses that were great to show me that, because leading up to that moment, I thought that was normal.

I thought, oh, I just have to get to this position and then I can voice my opinions. No, no, no, no. You have to get yourself in an environment that appreciates you two, and I think one of the biggest things that I’ve learned is your leader should be creating a path for you. I’ve literally been told in my career, there is no path past the one.

Tori Dunlap: Mm.

Kahlil Dumas: with a straight face and nothing else coming after that [00:29:00] as a 23 year

Tori Dunlap: I think looks like they are not checking in with you. They’re not giving you like any sort of annual review. Like we, again, getting a ton of messages from people who are like, I’ve been here two years and I’ve never had like a performance review or a conversation where I could talk about my compensation or my future here.

Like, wow, what a red flag.

Kahlil Dumas: Yeah, and just getting back to like, what do those signs like actually look like? It’s verbatim. Hey, I know we haven’t gotten to your annual review, but you’re doing great. Just keep doing what you’re doing.

Tori Dunlap: Right. And that’s your annual review,

Kahlil Dumas: Excuse. . So what I started to do after I learned that was I would come sometimes more prepared than my managers.

I would say, here are all the things that I’ve done, and here’s what I’m building toward in the next year. How you gonna help me get there? Right? And so that’s super important. I mean, I just, it’s fresh as it’s, it just happened about three, four years ago. So that question of like, what’s my career path here?

There wasn’t one. So those are the two biggest things I would say. Again, the third one is that intuition, like, you know, if you’re at the right place, You just know it. But yeah, those were, those were the big [00:30:00] items. If you are someone that you know also, Like we talked about, like what is feeling stuck feels like if your boss walks by and you get a stomach ache and you start sweating and you got exa, there’s a problem and it needs to be talked about.

And you should feel empowered to talk to your boss directly about that. Respectfully, obviously. But it’s crazy how many people I hear, like I would never have this conversation. I just need to like be quiet and keep doing my job. And I get that because we’re trying to survive. But strategically, . You know, if you’re in that position and you feel stuck and you feel like I don’t really have anywhere else to pivot, the biggest thing you can do is go talk to two to three people that you wanna work for.

Go talk to two to three people that don’t give you that feeling. and see where that conversation goes because that is ultimately how I personally pivoted in my career. I didn’t even know I was doing this at the time. I was just like, you know what, you know, boss, we’ll just call him. We’ll just call him Joe Schmo.

You know, he’s not getting it. So I’m gonna go talk to the folks who I think get it and see what they have for me. And I think that is, that is a natural progression. So always networking kind of helps you pivot out of that toxic boss [00:31:00] environment.

Tori Dunlap: I of course know your lovely wife and I was at your wedding this summer. You got married and we have this slated for like around Valentine’s Day. How has your definition of generational wealth changed since you got married?

Kahlil Dumas: Oh, I love this question. I would say, you know, when I first started on my fire journey, it was about me purely right, how does Kalil say for retirement? How does Kalil say for these goals? And it’s quickly turned into, how can we say, for our goals, right? These kids that may come or, you know, we’re, we’re still kind of deciding on that piece, but Right.

There’s more to think about. I’d say the lovely part about my wife is its. What are your goals? I’m gonna help you get there because I know you have really good goals. I know this is, she just knows this is the strength of mine. So she’s like, I wanna support you and here are my goals too. So I would say the biggest thing is just now having to think about others in the equation has changed that.

Right. And it’s also to the point of generational wealth. Making sure that I’m healthy, making sure that I’m unlearning some of the [00:32:00] traumas that I still gripe with and deal with today so that I can do a better job of potentially not passing that on to the next generation. So I would say that is how it’s changed holistically is just thinking about someone else in the equation.

Tori Dunlap: My last question for you, to someone who is sitting listening, who feels. what do you have to say to them?

Kahlil Dumas: First off, you are not alone. There are millions of people who feel the exact same way, and the exciting part is you can do something about it and you probably are already doing something about it. So first and foremost, like we talked about, How are you feeling? Check in with yourself. Start there. If you don’t start anywhere else, it’s go into your journal tonight and understand why you feel stuck from there.

What are we gonna do about it to make sure that you feel hurt or you don’t feel stuck again? And so for more of that, of course, come listen to the Unstuck podcast cuz we are a whole community that talks about that. But again, I would say the biggest thing is you’re not alone and, and we can help you solve this.[00:33:00] 

Tori Dunlap: Thank you for being here and thank you for everything.

Kahlil Dumas: oh. Thank you so much Tori, and I really appreciate.

Tori, I loved your questions, by the way. 

Those are wonderful. Awesome.

Tori Dunlap: ask you the rich versus wealth though, because somebody asked me that and I was like, it’s interesting because yeah, from a marketing standpoint, I use them interchangeably, but like, you know, and again, like I bought my relationship with money where I’m like, I don’t care what you call it, it’s like choices.

And you can call that rich, you can call that wealthy, whatever that looks like. But I do think that, you know, the classic definition there is a difference. The rich is the like, what do you have? Wealth is like, what are you doing?

Kahlil Dumas: Yeah. And I would just say across the board, both those terms are triggering and I don’t even think anyone enters in a definition who are like financially traumatized.

Tori Dunlap: no, no, no,

Kahlil Dumas: like there’s no definition. It’s just like, I’m not either of those things. It, that’s where it stops.

Tori Dunlap: I would like to get one of

Kahlil Dumas: Yeah. I want one. Yeah,

Tori Dunlap: Yeah. And I think, yeah, wealth, wealth is always about time too. It’s just, the other thing people say is it’s like Rich

Kahlil Dumas: Oh yeah. [00:34:00] That’s a good one

Tori Dunlap: wealth is time.

Kahlil Dumas: Yeah.

Tori Dunlap: But like one thing that I think about too now is it’s like, you know, I have more money in my bank account of course, than I’ve had before.

But with the demands of H FK recently, I don’t know how wealthy I feel. , which is interesting cuz I, you know, when we were tinier and when there were less demands on my time, I had more flexibility. And so that’s part of like why I’m trying to like, take Fridays off and like set boundaries. And sometimes I’m bad at it, as you both know.

But like, that’s the interesting thing is it’s just like, yeah, I, I’ve asked to ask that, that question to myself of like, yeah, I do have a certain number in my bank account, but like, how much time do I have?

Kahlil Dumas: Love that you just also, cuz it means a lot from both of you that like you’ve reaffirmed like that was something I saw missing from a lot of these conversations is a more dynamic view of wealth. And honestly, my journal entry tonight is going to be what is rich first, wealthy now mean?

Because that’s something that I think there’s a lot to unpack there. And that goes into, like I was talking about, like trauma. So I, I just, I [00:35:00] absolutely loved that and I really appreciate the opportunity to be on the podcast. Tori. Like thank you so much. 

Tori Dunlap

Tori Dunlap is an internationally-recognized money and career expert. After saving $100,000 at age 25, Tori quit her corporate job in marketing and founded Her First $100K to fight financial inequality by giving women actionable resources to better their money. She has helped over one million women negotiate salary, pay off debt, build savings, and invest.

Tori’s work has been featured on Good Morning America, the New York Times, BBC, TIME, PEOPLE, CNN, New York Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, BuzzFeed, and more.

With a dedicated following of almost 250,000 on Instagram and more than 1.6 million on TikTok —and multiple instances of her story going viral—Tori’s unique take on financial advice has made her the go-to voice for ambitious millennial women. CNBC called Tori “the voice of financial confidence for women.”

An honors graduate of the University of Portland, Tori currently lives in Seattle, where she enjoys eating fried chicken, going to barre classes, and attempting to naturally work John Mulaney bits into conversation.

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