SOAL 15
SOAL 63: The Evolution of Passion

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JoAnn Fakhouri wears many hats. She started out in a banking career but knew that God had a bigger purpose for her life. JoAnn would go on to discover that her passion was within the film industry. She began her acting career as an extra and moved her way up the ladder to become an award-winning film and television producer and publicist. These days JoAnn stays busy as the president of Capital J Productions and the founder and creator of Freeing Sweets. Like many great leaders, JoAnn credits her mother and father as significant role models and says that loyalty and respect are top attributes she relies on.

Loyalty is very important to me and respect for each other is very important.

No matter how much you try to push for something, if it’s not meant to be, it’s not going to happen, period.

That little hidden passion is there for a reason. God put it there for a reason and that’s probably where you’re meant to be.

You’ll Learn

  • A good leader surrounds themselves with diversity and wants honest feedback.
  • Loyalty and respect are core values to align yourself with.
  • Have a purpose and believe in it!
  • There is no straight road to success.
  • God puts a passion in your heart for a reason.

Resources

Transcript

Alicia:

Hello and welcome to the Soul of a Leader podcast. In today’s episode, we have Joanne Fakhouri. She’s an award-winning film producer, director, and president of Capital J Productions. It’s a PR consulting and production firm. She has been working in the industry for over 20 years, starting out as a casting agent. Then moving on set as an extras coordinator and production assistant. She eventually advanced to a producer and later a director in Chicago and Los Angeles. Joanne has worked on television shows such as ER, Early Edition, Judge Mathis, and the Joan Cusack show. Welcome to the Soul of a Leader podcast.

 

Eileen:

Welcome

 

Joann Fakhouri:

Thank you so much. I’m happy to be here.

 

Eileen:

We’re so glad you’re here. I know Alicia did a great introduction with your bio, but did we miss anything? And I know we did cause we’re going to talk up a storm. So tell me if we missed anything.

 

Joann Fakhouri:

She actually left out my newest venture, which is my vegan gluten-free and dairy-free dessert line.

 

Eileen:

Oh my gosh. That’s phenomenal. I love that. That’s great. So tell us a little bit more about that because, I am pretty much gluten, dairy, and vegan. Sometimes I do eat fish for protein, but it’s a great, wonderful market. And every time I go buy something in the store… I think it’s great and individual, someone else snitches it up and it’s always out of stock. So you are in a great vertical. So tell us how you came up with the idea?

 

Joann Fakhouri:

Well, basically it came out of a necessity because I, myself, am gluten-free and dairy-free. So I had tried a lot of the desserts that were out on the market and I really, really love cheesecake. And so, what was out there just didn’t appeal to me. And so I kept saying to myself, there’s got to be a way to make it better. There’s got to be, It can’t be that impossible. So I just took it upon myself and just worked on it for two years. I just experimented over and over. And then one day it just… Boom, it worked. And I was like, “this is it” and it tasted amazing. And I let my friends and family try it without letting them know. I would just bring it to different gatherings and tell them, “oh look, I just brought cheesecake”.

 

Joann Fakhouri:

They’re like, oh great. And then just devour it and have no clue that it was vegan, gluten-free any of that. Because so many people have this negative stigma, as soon as they hear vegan, right? They’re turned away and they go running in the opposite direction-

 

Alicia:

Or gluten-free. Yeah [crosstalk 00:03:12].

 

Joann Fakhouri:

And there was a time where people would be like, “oh my God, tastes like cardboard. If it’s gluten-free forget it, it’s going to taste like you’re eating cardboard or styrofoam,” no. But I mean, as time has evolved and more, and people are becoming gluten-free and vegan and dairy-free, just that there are more options out there that are better. And I’m happy to say that my brand is one of those.

 

Eileen:

What is the name of your brand? And what are the flavors?

 

Joann Fakhouri:

So, the company name is Freeing Sweets, but the cheesecake that I made is called the best f*ing cheesecake ever because F stands for freeing. Because it’s gluten-free or dairy-free to animals.

 

Eileen:

I like that.

 

Joann Fakhouri:

Whatever thing you thought it stood for, no.

 

Eileen:

Well, it sure is a good marketing branding at–

 

Alicia:

Absolutely, right-

 

Eileen:

That is phenomenal.

 

Joann Fakhouri:

It stemmed from the fact that people would eat it and that was the response. “Oh my God, this is the best f*ing thing I’ve ever had”. And I’m like, “okay, then that’s what I’m going to call it.” Yeah.

 

Alicia:

And so one of the questions I like to ask you on this same line is, how did your faith play a part in you creating this? Because, as you said, the market is flooded with different types of cheesecake. So what was your faith level like for this particular vision for your cheesecake?

 

Joann Fakhouri:

I didn’t use to do this when I was younger. I mean, I’ve always been very strong in my faith, but the older I got the more I … Sometimes I would do things on a whim and it would backfire or it wouldn’t be the right move. And the older I got the more I realized, I need to pause and just ask the Lord like, “give me direction, give me advice, am I doing the right thing? Am I making the right choice? Should I go into this venture?” And just over time, I kept noticing signs after signs leading me in that route. And then the last hard indicator was when I had presented it to some producers and industry types from LA that came into town, for an event. And I was approached to bring in some gifting bag items for… ya know how they put together a gifting bag and then they give it to a different-

 

Alicia:

Swag bags-

 

Joann Fakhouri:

Right, swag bags. And so they were doing it for this event. They were doing some big event for a new comedy show that was launching on NBC. And so they contacted me and they said, “Hey, do you have anything that you could put in these bags from your clients?” Because I had clients in the fashion industry, in music and I’m like, “yeah, I can give you some CDs. I can give you some ties and scarves and whatever.” And then I paused and something said, mention your cheesecakes. And so I was, “and I also have vegan gluten-free cheesecakes”. And they’re like, “what?” And I go, “yeah. I mean, it’s mine.”

 

Joann Fakhouri:

And they’re like, “well, can you package it and deliver it to the hotel for us?” And I’m like, “yeah”. They’re like, “okay, then give us 25 of them.” Well, I mean, I was like, “what, how am I going to… Okay.” So I went to Staples, printed up some labels, ran to Michael’s, bought some containers and put everything in it. And I sent it to her and then that’s it, I didn’t hear back. And so I waited a couple of days and then I got a call and she contacted me back to tell me, she’s like, “oh, I just wanted to let you know that they tried your cheesecakes and I just want to give you the responses of the feedback of what we got.” And I was like, “oh God, this is going to be bad.”

 

Joann Fakhouri:

And so she’s like, “they were blown away. They couldn’t believe it. They wanted more, they were shocked.” I mean, it was just all very positive things. And I was just listening to her, my jaw was like, “what? Wow.” and then she goes, “Joann, you need to start selling this.” And I was like, “Wow, okay.” Then I was hosting a diversity conference with one of my partners from Michigan and I brought it in, because one of our keynote speakers, Mark Roberts, he’s the executive producer of Mike and Molly and Two and a Half Men. I don’t know if you are familiar with those shows-

 

Eileen:

Yeah, I am very familiar with them.

 

Joann Fakhouri:

He was my keynote speaker for this diversity conference and he’s vegan. So I brought it because I didn’t realize he was vegan. And at the last minute, I’m like, “oh my God, let me just bring this with me, in the case and if he wants to eat it he can, if he doesn’t oh, well,” and he tried it and he called me and he’s like, “I tried your cheesecakes and they were…” He’s the one who started with the best effing thing I ever had. He likely of course said it, and I was like, wow. He goes, it’s amazing. And I’m like, okay, that’s it. I mean, how many more solid concrete signs am I going to get? So, I called one of my… Who now is a partner with me and we discussed it and we moved forward.

 

Eileen:

There are so many quotes about leaders that they say, “I may not be the smartest person in the room, but I have smart people around me and that’s what makes a successful leader.” And I think that’s what, in a nutshell, you said, you listen, you hear but you make your own decisions. So thank you for sharing that.

 

Alicia:

Yeah. And it’s so interesting because I was just reading an article a little early, I took a break in before the podcast. And one of those tips or styles of good leadership is the art of listening. You have to listen for just clarity or just listen with an open mind to see if they’re more ideas or thoughts. I mean, you make the decision based on the information that you’re hearing. But also I was reading, it was said that some of the best leaders don’t like to have people around them that are just yes people, right?

 

Joann Fakhouri:

Yeah. It’s the worst.

 

Alicia:

Yeah. They want diversity around them. And that aspect of people just bring in just new ideas and thought processes and our approach in situations differently. And how can you do that, if everybody looks like you or a yes, person that’s always around you? And so one of my other questions I would like to ask you would be, how do your values play a part in some of the decisions that you have to make when it comes to… Again, you have multiple businesses, right? And so your values are a very strong part of some of your decision-making. So what are some of your four, I would say top values?

 

Joann Fakhouri:

Well, I just want to comment on the yes people first.

 

Alicia:

Sure.

 

Joann Fakhouri:

It’s funny because, as you said, they’re people that surround themselves with yes people and the yes people are the ones that are at a disadvantage, right?

 

Alicia:

Yes.

 

Joann Fakhouri:

To you-

 

Eileen:

Absolutely-

 

Alicia:

Absolutely.

 

Joann Fakhouri:

If they’re just going along with what you’re doing and what you’re doing is not good or right or they’re hurting you without even realizing it. So having them is not a good thing, but at the same time, they may be yes people because they’re scared. They don’t want to lose their job or they don’t want to lose this opportunity or they’re just insecure or they just don’t even know, they don’t know. And they’re like, that makes sense to me. I’ll go along with it, so yeah. Okay, that’s all I wanted to say.

 

Alicia:

That’s a great point.

 

Eileen:

That is a great point. And most leaders, authentic leaders that we’re talking about, hire people for their expertise to support. And if you don’t set that communication process to say, “okay, give me feedback. This is how I’d like it and it’ll be fine.” That’s what a good leader does. And many times I know, Alicia and I in our roles in HR, we have to go to people and say, “don’t kill the messenger,” right? I need to give you this feedback. You may not like it, but I have to do it. And it takes courage. It takes courage for the leader to hear it and it takes courage for the person to say it to you. And I always say, feedback’s a gift, but establishing that line of communication, like you said, if you don’t do it, everybody’s going to fail. The leader’s going to fail and the followers are going to fail. So thank you for sharing that. So now let’s go to the next thing about the values that Alicia asked about.

 

Joann Fakhouri:

So I think one of them really for me, is loyalty. Because I’ve personally gone through experiences where I trusted certain people and they were part of my life for years and years. And then at the last minute, this other opportunity comes to them, which they know is not going to… Which are something that’s going to hurt me and yet they go and they do it. Where if it was reversed, I would not have done it, or. So loyalty is very important to me and respect of each other is very important. Because as a female, I’ve dealt with different issues in different situations where, because I was a female, I was not given the respect that I should have been given. And it’s not an ego thing at all, right? Not at all. It’s not about ego at all, it’s about… I was in a situation and had I been a male, the other people would have reacted differently, had they reacted to me even though I was the one in charge. So yeah, those two are very key.

 

Eileen:

Well, and Alicia and I have talked about this, so it’s loyalty, absolutely respect. And being part human and humankind, and we talk a lot about diversity and inclusion and belonging and all that, but it’s all about respect for the other human. And we’re saying choose humanity because guess what, we’re all human, we all want to choose humanity no matter what, nationality, ethnicity, orientation, anything you are, gender, just choose humanity and put yourself in those two. So I really like the respect portion of that answer and loyalty. It’s still so really good core beliefs and values to align yourself with. So thank you for sharing that.

 

Alicia:

I also think too, loyalty is one of my top five. It is so important in this day in time for people to be more loyal than anything. Because people can jump around from job to job, right? But that’s not what are you looking for when you’re a leader that has that at the top of your list, right? And integrity and diversity, it’s how can I have a team of people that only looks like me, sound like me, speak like me, where’s the growth at? It’s inevitable that you’re going to have the same outcomes. And so those are two or three of my favorite to have their loyalty, diversity, and respect.

 

Eileen:

And you can still have loyalty if people work with you and want to go grow somewhere else. But it’s that open communication that they come to you and say, “you know what, I feel like I can’t move forward here. There’s not another place, I might start looking, I might go move, I might do this.” And just that respect of communication. So can you share a story with us? It could be funny. It could be challenging where you may be doubted your leadership or had to really use your leadership skills in a time of chaos or a challenge and looked back and succeeded and went, well, that’s why I needed to go through that.

 

Joann Fakhouri:

Half of my life.

 

Eileen:

That’s a great answer. I love it.

 

Joann Fakhouri:

Yeah. Because you know what? It’s like so many things that I’ve encountered in my life have been a continuum of me realizing I had to have this to get to this, experience this, to do this. And I mean, it’s just ongoing and it’s still going. I mean, I’m still living it and some of them were really painful to go through, right? And some of them were just, why am I here? Why am I even doing this? And then I realized, oh wow, this is why this happened. And because my background didn’t always start in the film industry. It started in banking and it was while I was in the banking industry for almost a decade, that one day I walked in and I was, “oh my God, I feel like I have an also, I cannot physically be in this environment anymore.”

 

Joann Fakhouri:

Even though I did every position you could imagine in banking, even my customers would come to me and they’re like, why are you here? You don’t belong here. But because I grew up in a middle eastern family and they’re more conservative, they’re like, banking is perfect for you, right? You go to work, you do a nine to five, you come home. Yeah, that’s the perfect job, right? And I stuck it out because my parents wanted me to, but then one day I just woke up and I was like, Nope, I can’t do it.

 

Joann Fakhouri:

And I had no plan, I didn’t know what I was going to do. I just said, “that’s it, I can’t. I can not be here.” And I walked up to my supervisor and I said to her, “I quit.” And she’s like “what you cannot quit” I said, “yeah, I can and I’m quitting.” She’s like, “no, you have to give us a two-week notice.” I said, “Great, here’s your two-week notice.” And I just turned around, I looked back and they were blown away. They’re just standing there shocked and I walked back in and I’m like, yeah I’m free.

 

Joann Fakhouri:

And I just went back. I finished the two weeks and I went home and then one night I was watching the news with my parents and this opportunity to be an extra in one of the movies that was coming to Chicago and I’m like, “oh my God, I’m going to do that.” And then I went upstairs, I pulled out a piece… About one of my pictures that I filled out, whatever they needed, mailed it in the following week, they called me and I ended up working as an extra. And then from that, I ended up getting called back again to work on another show, and then I ended up helping in a situation on set, between one of the extras and the extra’s coordinator. And I don’t even know what prompted me to go over and even stick my nose in to help, but I just did. And then the next thing, she’s calling the owner of the casting agency asking me if I would come in for an interview the next day.

 

Joann Fakhouri:

Because she said to me, she goes what is… She’s like, “who are you?” I’m like, “I’m one of your extras”. She goes, “no, who are you? What do you do?” I go, “I’m working as an extra”. She goes “outside of that?”. I go “nothing, I just quit my job” and she’s like “perfect” and then that’s it. And I ended up working in the industry and that was always my passion. And my dream was to work in the industry because while I was working at the bank, I took classes at Second City, I took classes in [inaudible 00:20:48]. I was taking all these other classes and then some acting classes at DePaul.

 

Joann Fakhouri:

I mean, I wanted to do that. And when I think back, this is so funny. When I was doing all this, I had found out that some of the people like Lauren Michaels and some of those people from Saturday Night Live would go to the Second City and just sit in the audience and watch the show, and then they would scout out who they wanted, right? Because a lot of the comedians that came were from the Second City. So I was like, “oh my God, I have to figure out how I can do this.” And I was still on the training program at Second City, for God’s sake. And so one day I just… Because back then, it wasn’t like now, right? This was back in the 90s, so I ended up going through the phone book and I found the number for the agents in LA.

 

Joann Fakhouri:

And I dialed this number and the lady picks up and she’s… I forgot the name of the agency even. And she’s like, “how can I help you?” I go, “yeah, my name is Joann Fakhouri and I was calling to see if you guys could represent me because I want to be on Saturday night live. And the lady is like, “what’s your name?” And I’m like, “Joanna Fakhouri”. She goes “and what do you do?” I go, “I’m in the training program at Second City in Chicago”. And she’s like, “and what other experience do you have?” I’m like “none” and she’s like, “do you realize who you’re calling?” And I’m like, “no,” she goes, “sweetie, you’re calling the people who represent, Tom Hanks, Tom cruise. How about you get a little bit more experience under your belt and then give us a call.” I like “okay, I’ll do that” I mean, oh my God. When I think back at that call, I just laugh at myself so hard.

 

Eileen:

And then you ended up directing some major-

 

Alicia:

Right.

 

Eileen:

What I liked about this was when you first started the story. When you’re telling the story, you surrendered to what was coming to you and you acted on it, right? And you just had a purpose and believed in it. And it’s the same with your new product. You’re heading up a food company. You’re heading up a vegan gluten-free, dairy-free, food company and you went with what was coming for you. You listened. How does that feel to you now? When I first asked the question, it was like every day. But you know what, I guess if more people listened and surrendered and went with the flow, maybe that would help. So tell me how… I mean, is that how you felt?

 

Joann Fakhouri:

You know what, I’ve learned to do that because we all want to take control of everything and we stress ourselves out. And we’re like, ” Oh my God, I have to finish this up. I have to do this. I have to blah, blah.” And then you realize you can’t do it. And so I got to the point, cause I would stress myself out like crazy. I mean, there were times I wouldn’t sleep, I would be making myself crazy. And then I realized, no matter how much you try to push for something, if it’s not meant to be, it’s not going to happen, period.

 

Alicia:

Absolutely.

 

Joann Fakhouri:

You could keep pounding and pounding, but if God’s like, “Nope, this is not your path”-

 

Alicia:

That’s right-

 

Joann Fakhouri:

“It’s not here. I don’t care. You’re not going to go that way.” And then boom, it doesn’t happen. But you could be in a situation where you think this is where you’re meant to be and God’s like, “this is not where you’re meant to be, I’m going to move you. If you don’t willingly go, guess what, I’m going to kick you out and force you to leave”. And that’s exactly what he literally did with me in so many parts of my life. Like me, finally getting the guts to get up and just walk out of the bank-

 

Alicia:

Oh! Yeah, that’s courage. Yes-

 

Eileen:

Yes.

 

Alicia:

Yeah.

 

Joann Fakhouri:

I mean, I had no clue, none. I’m like, I don’t care if I go be a garbage man. I just don’t want to be here, I don’t care. And so when I was working in… Then from there, I ended up working in engineering and there, I was like, “oh my God,” that was-

 

Eileen:

Oh my gosh.

 

Joann Fakhouri:

Can you imagine going from film to engineering?

 

Eileen:

Well, the creativity to calculate.

 

Alicia:

Yeah.

 

Joann Fakhouri:

And don’t get me wrong. I mean, the people that I worked with were phenomenal, they were top over there… I mean, they built the 355 roads, the tollways. I mean, because I was a civil instructional engineer. I mean, these people are very excellent at what they do. But me being in that environment was so out of… It was just so different for me. And I mean, I went from working 24 hour days, running around with Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins to this in front of a desk writing and I’m like, “oh my God.” But with that also I was there for what, three years and then boom.

 

Eileen:

Boom, gone-

 

Joann Fakhouri:

They ended up changing one of the CEOs or the CFOs ended up passing away and then they shifted everything. And then they made so many changes and then they let me go. And I was like, “oh my God, where’d this come from?” It took me… Finally, I got adjusted, right? And I was like, “okay, this is cool.” I like everybody I work with, this is a great company. And then I would be on my way to work downtown and I’d be passing up all the movie sets and I’m like, “oh my God, that’s where I belong”

 

Alicia:

Yeah, your passion-

 

Joann Fakhouri:

And I’m headed here and I’m like, “God, I want to be there.” But then after three years, it’s, okay, out. And then I ended up having some health issues that threw me for a loop. And then I was like, “okay, this can’t be it”. And then, boom, I end up getting this opportunity to be at an event. And I end up meeting the person who was at the engineering firm, who ended up introducing me to one of the producers who came in from California. And then boom, my career in producing gets launched.

 

Eileen:

Wow. [crosstalk 00:27:41]

 

Joann Fakhouri:

I want to do this, to get to this. To do that, to meet this person and then bring me into this.

 

Eileen:

And you don’t know it until afterward. And there’s a quote by CS Lewis that says “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciousness, but shouts in our pain.” It’s his megaphone to rouse a deaf world, right? So sometimes when he’s whispering or speaks, we just keep going and think we know, and then it’s the shout, okay. Something shifts, you are getting let go of a job that it’s, “all right, it’s time.” So that’s what you said.

 

Alicia:

And also, I hear too, it’s a lot of passion. And one of the things, when I mentor people, I tell them, I said, “there is no straight road to success. There could be twists and turns. It is when you’re doing the twisting and the turning and the up and down is where you have to stay hold to your faith, that passion, and that strength.” So you were going to work saying, “I should be over there” and you knew because your passion kept pulling you over there. But God would say, “I need you here for three years, and then I’m going to allow you to leave there because they’re going to close that down and turn around. And now you’re going to go back through somebody you met there three years ago to introduce you to somebody that took your career to another level.” But if he told us everything, we wouldn’t trust him, right.

 

Eileen:

It’s too easy. We have to grow.

 

Joann Fakhouri:

Exactly.

 

Alicia:

There’s a lot of growth in all of those ups and downs and turns and there’s so much growth. Because one day I said, “you know what? I don’t regret it.” As you get older, you start to sit back and say, I remember this story. I remember how I was crying so much or I remember this and I was up. And now you sit back and say now I understand, because between all of that, to me was more wisdom coming, more growth coming, more strength coming. And so that’s how I… And as I say in the buy-in buyer in hindsight, now you look back and say that. We don’t know that and we think, oh, the world is ending now for us. And it’s not the truth when God is just taking good care of us and says, “I need you to grow a little bit in this area.”

 

Joann Fakhouri:

Right.

 

Alicia:

So I love your story, how you give that analogy of that.

 

Joann Fakhouri:

And I tell people that I don’t even know, that I meet. I’m like, “If you’re meant to be somewhere, God is going to reroute you on that road, no matter what, if you truly are meant to be there.” If you’re going to resist it and go against it and say, “no, I’m supposed to be here”. Even though I keep getting pushed in this direction, then you’re the one who’s blocking yourself. But if God’s opening a path for you and putting you in that route, then go with it. Because as long as you have faith and you believe that God is going to route you and put you where you belong, then we don’t need to panic. We don’t need to be stressed out. We don’t need to fear anything because the second you become fearful, that’s it. You’ve pretty much put up a wall.

 

Eileen:

As you grew from a young child to where you are now, who or what influenced you the most to get where your core values are of loyalty, respect, and your faith? If you could share that.

 

Joann Fakhouri:

It’s a combination of different people in my life at different times. My dad was a very strong man and he helped a lot of people, who’s very generous and a lot of people respected him. And so I picked up a lot from that. And then my mom is very… She’s very loving and compassionate and so I picked up on that. And then throughout my life, different educators that I’ve had or different professors, or just friends in general and mentors that came along the way. It was just bits and pieces of everything that allowed me to hone in on really what or who I want to become and be. And it’s a combination of all of them that is helping me build that within myself.

 

Eileen:

That’s a wonderful answer. I mean, we had a guest early last year who said the same thing. It’s the thousands and thousands of people who gave me lessons and blessings, along the way that has brought me to where I’m here. Because every interaction, if you believe in God, is a lesson or a blessing, right? So, thank you for that. You’re just right along with what that one person said. So thank you.

 

Alicia:

And the other thing too is you just never forget those opportunities, people that speak into your life. You remember the words all the time because at some point they were just at the right moment. And so it’s helpful, but we have been having a great conversation, right? And I always say time goes by so it’s fast. So as we begin to end can you leave our listeners with some words of wisdom?

 

Joann Fakhouri:

Sure. Gosh, what do I want to say? I mean, I want to reiterate what I had mentioned within the conversation about… If your faith is strong enough and you believe that the Lord is looking out for you and that God has a plan for you. And there is this dug-in passion or this thing in your gut that you just keep thinking about and you’re like, “God, I wish I could do it.” That passion, that little hidden passion is there for a reason. God put it there for a reason and that’s probably where you’re meant to be. And maybe you need to just go back and visit it and try it, cause you know that saying “if you don’t try, you’ll never know.” And sometimes you just have to take a risk and go after it.

 

Alicia:

Yeah. It’s that instinct or that gut feeling like you said. I think if you’re not taking a risk, especially if you’re in business, then you are not even a business, because at some point you have to take some level of risk. You have to measure it. You have to understand what that risk looks like, but don’t be afraid. Just think about if you were afraid to make… To leave the bank let’s go there. You probably would have still been there. If you had not been afraid to step out that day.

 

Joann Fakhouri:

It’s funny. I went to the bank… This happened, I don’t know how many months ago, but I went through the drive-through and my mom was with me and I made a deposit. And my mom’s like, “oh, isn’t that one of the ladies that used to work with” and I go, “yeah”, she goes “oh, see if you never left the bank, then you would probably have a nice…” I just looked at her like, oh no. I wouldn’t have probably jumped out of the window, threw myself in front of a bus, no.

 

Eileen:

That is so funny. Funny, I came around to that. What are the chances that you’re pulling up and you’re in the car with your mom and this lady at the window? I mean, what are the chances? It’s just amazing.

 

Alicia:

And to get to know you, I don’t even see you as a banker. Nothing’s wrong with being a banker-

 

Joann Fakhouri:

Right?

 

Alicia:

If you get to talk with me like we’re doing. You don’t even fit that industry.

 

Eileen:

Well, and the other thing I like is, when you just go take your chances, you did it to get into your first career. And now you have a second career of making wonderful desserts-

 

Joann Fakhouri:

Yes.

 

Eileen:

On top of your first career. I mean, they’re both there, and what if you didn’t take that chance to say, “oh, I can put those in the bag.”

 

Alicia:

Yes.

 

Eileen:

Or, “oh, I’ll put it at this diversity conference”.

 

Alicia:

Yes.

 

Eileen:

I mean, just that little leaning in to say, “oh, this word now look at how your business has grown. And before we go, I want to know where I can get it, where it’s sold, how we can order these wonderful cakes.

 

Joann Fakhouri:

Yeah. My website is freeing sweets.com and then my other production and PR pages, Capital J productions.com.

 

Eileen:

Great. I’ll be looking for those desserts. I’m going to be emailing you saying effing great. But I won’t say the real world.

 

Eileen:

Thank you for joining us On Soul of a Leader podcast. We are igniting a new way of leading with your soul and interviewing ordinary people with extraordinary impact. Thank you for listening to the stories of our leaders who will help and guide you on your leadership journey. For more information on our podcast, please visit our website@wwwsoulofaleader.com. Thank you for listening.

 

With Dr. Eileen & Dr. Alicia

Conversations with ordinary people, with extraordinary impact on strategies, success stories, spirituality and leadership.

With Dr. Eileen & Dr. Alicia

Conversations with ordinary people, with extraordinary impact on strategies, success stories, spirituality and leadership.