Hidden Human Podcast Episode 15 Thumbnail

Ziggy Nozile, Morgan’s Pier bartender and founder of Loika clothing line, joins the program to discuss the inspiration that he draws from his mother, who passed away when he was just 5 years old. He reveals the challenges that he faced growing up in Haiti, and how he started a new life in the United States. He also shares the importance for leaders of defining and embodying the values of your company and shares advice for getting through tough times.

Episode Transcription

Speaker 1: Welcome to Hidden Human, the podcast where we explore the stories behind the business leader. Get ready to hear insights from business leaders speaking candidly about how they became who they are today and the lessons they learned along the way. And now, here’s your host, leadership coach and speaker, Kelly Meerbott.

Kelly Meerbott: Welcome to the space where we reveal our personal humanity to reconnect with our shared humanity. I am so excited for our next guest Ziggy Nozile, founder of Loike, a serial entrepreneur and bartender. Ziggy, welcome to Hidden Human.

Ziggy Nozile: Hello Kelly, I’m so excited to be here. Thank you so much for having me. You have no idea how happy I am.

Kelly Meerbott: Yeah. And for our listeners, we are recording at one of my favorite places in Philly, Morgan’s Pier and you’ll probably hear some ambien noise in the background. It’s like the subway and some water, which is what we want you to close your eyes and imagine that you’re having a conversation here with Ziggy and I.

Kelly Meerbott: So, tell me about what it is that you do? If I was a six year old child and I came up and I said, “Ziggy, tell me about your life and what you do.” How would you explain it to me in a way I could understand?

Ziggy Nozile: Pretty much is all love, my life. Now what I do, like for money, I work as a bartender and I run my business. So what it is, I combine the word love and like and make it one word. And what that means is to give someone a hug and a kiss without physically doing so. I’m grateful and happy to be alive and I use every second as I’m grateful. Like I don’t take nothing for granted and I’ve been so excited knowing I’m going to talk to you today. I was like so excited.

Kelly Meerbott: I was excited too. When you meet Ziggy, there’s like electric sparks that go off between the two of you when you meet him ’cause he’s literally a walking hug. I mean, that’s what it feels like to me. And the name of this company which I … That’s what strike me first, is you have this beautiful T-shirt on and the company at first, I was like, “How do you pronounce that?” ‘Cause it’s spelled L-O-I-K-E, right?

Ziggy Nozile: Yes.

Kelly Meerbott: So, how’d you come up with that? Where was the inspiration? What called your soul to do this, create this company?

Ziggy Nozile: It’s funny. So, my mother died when I was five years old. I grew up in Haiti and never talk about it so I was never, never mentioned that in our family. Upon, say, five years ago, I got fired from a job and then I was devastated. So I start to see a psychiatrist and then she bring the mother thing out of me where bold out crying and start talking about my mother. And the next few months, all my friends I start telling them I don’t have a mother and I start crying about it. And then one time I was taking a shower and out of nowhere start thinking of her, my mother, and the idea just literally raced to my brain about it. So that’s why it’s dedicated to her.

Kelly Meerbott: Can we talk about your mom a little bit? Is that okay?

Ziggy Nozile: Absolutely. Sure, definitely.

Kelly Meerbott: Okay, good. So tell me about her. She passed when you were five and you were growing up in Haiti. How did she pass?

Ziggy Nozile: She was pregnant with my little brother and then she fell. They rushed her to the hospital and then they only had the chance to take my little brother out and then she was gone. The only memory I have of my mother, I remember, ’cause the school that I was in, it was really close to where I lived. So I remember when they were taking her to the hospital, she waved at me. That’s literally the only memory I have of her. So everything I do, really, is in her honor right now and I feel like I have to be the person I am now ’cause I don’t want to disappoint her.

Kelly Meerbott: Well, I can tell you, sitting here in this spot, that you have not disappointed her, at least in my opinion but everybody has them. And as you were telling me about your brother’s birth, what I was thinking is that your mom, and you have to subscribe to this belief that really mothers are vessels for their children to come into the world, right?

Ziggy Nozile: Absolutely.

Kelly Meerbott: So she was not only a channel of love for your brother but for you and your other siblings and now for this beautiful company that you’ve built.

Ziggy Nozile: I agree.

Kelly Meerbott: Yeah, I mean, so do you think she’s proud of you and what you’ve created?

Ziggy Nozile: You know, maybe because I’m hard on myself, I think she is but I think I have way more things to do. But I’m proud of myself too but I think she’s proud of me because when I meet somebody, I feel like I make a difference in their life.

Kelly Meerbott: I mean, you reached to my chest and put your hand, put it right on my heart when I first met you. I mean, like I remember I was standing there with my husband and we’re good friends with Bob who manages here and we’ll have to give him and an air and a shout out because they were conduit for us meeting you. And from the moment we literally walked up to the bar, it was like, just a hug and a kiss without being touched. I mean, that’s exactly what it is. And what’s so great about you is you literally embody what your company stands for.

Ziggy Nozile: Absolutely.

Kelly Meerbott: I mean, but that’s not always true. I mean, I work with CEOs, I’m a CEO coach and I can tell you that not every leader has that mindset. So where does that come from?

Ziggy Nozile: I don’t know, I guess one thing I always credit everything to my mother. I feel like she watching over me, she give me everything and she like with a flashlight like I’m following her. That’s the way I feel like she’s guiding me every single step and I do not ever want to let anybody down. I’m human, I get mad, angry, like everybody else. If I was a little bit like mean or rude to somebody, I’m like, “Oh my god, I can’t believe I did that.” Then I talk to myself, “You can do that.” So you relax. So I feel like it’s my mother. My mother was a great cook from what I heard. She was always smiling so I feel like you’re talking to her right now.

Kelly Meerbott: Oh, I mean, you’re the conduit, you’re the channel for which her energy coming through. I mean, I always think that death is such a change of address. I mean, I’ve had a lot of deaths around me in the last, I would say 10 years. And I mean, I know we’ve talked about this briefly but I would love to get into it a little bit deeper with you. But there are times when I feel my grandparents around me and they’re just weird moments. Like my grandmother, my dad’s mother, used to love pink roses and there was one day I was taking the trash out in her house in West Philly. It’s pouring down rain and all I can do is smell roses. And I knew they were pink, like I knew it. And I called my dad and I was like, “What’s going on? Is something like significant?” ‘Cause she had passed away a couple of years before. So do you have those moments like where you’re just like, “Oh my god, all of a sudden, mom’s here.”

Ziggy Nozile: I would pretty much say all the time because I set up an office in my apartment and her picture, the only picture I have with my mother. It’s kind of sort of crazy but yet funny, subsequently from my conscience, if I was to do something, you would say bad, I’m like, “Oh, my mom is watching.” I feel like I have this moment every single day. I’m like, “I don’t want to disappoint her.” It’s a constant pressure on me but it’s a good thing because I feel like we all can make a little difference in our lives. If we’re trying to change the world, it’s one second at a time with the person that we meet. The people around us, that’s how we change it, not like go on TV trying to do that one time. It’s the person that we meet on a daily basis, that’s what makes a difference.

Kelly Meerbott: Absolutely. I mean, have you ever heard that … Rumi has a quote where he says, “Yesterday I was clever and I tried to change the world. Today I’m wise and I try to change myself.” Because really, all we can do is shift internally, but it’s that example that really models the way for other people. And you can see it. I mean, I’ve stood back and watched Ziggy interact with people other than me and it’s amazing how people walk away with these big smiles and warm attitudes just from brief interactions. I mean, our first interaction had to be like 15 minutes long, right?

Ziggy Nozile: Yes.

Kelly Meerbott: And here we are recording this podcast ’cause I was like, “Everybody needs to hear your story.” So tell me about growing up in Haiti, mom passes and what happens after that? I mean, I know you were young but what do you remember?

Ziggy Nozile: So I mean, immediately after my mother passed away, my dad put us in an orphanage in Haiti. So I grew up in an orphanage; me, my little brother, my little sister. And then he moved here to United States. So it was really sad not having neither parents. I remember we had a Sunday visit, every Sunday you were allowed to have family member come visiting, we never had no family member come visiting. And it’s very poor, I remember one time when I was like 17 ish, I went visit one of my cousins and stay with them for like a month, it was like two days in a row, I did not have nothing to eat, nothing to drink. Not because I did not want to, I didn’t have it, we couldn’t have [inaudible 00:09:16].

Ziggy Nozile: Two days go without food, no water. And just wake up, sit on the porch and waiting for something to happen, nothing. Go to bed, the same way. But all this time, living in Haiti, the beauty of it, I always have hope. And we always stay happy, go play soccer, play volleyball and just I embraced what I had. We all have different path, that’s what the path that was laid out to me. I wasn’t mad at anybody, I was happy growing up as a kid, probably wasn’t as privileged here in United States but I guess that’s one other thing, that kind of make me so grateful in the person that I am because I know where I come from. I know what it’s like to not having electricity, not having water, not having food, like basic thing, food.

Kelly Meerbott: Right, I mean, so you go two days without having food, you wake everyday waiting for something to happen and it hasn’t happened. When did it change? Like you had those two days, I mean, it could have gone on for much longer. So what happened?

Ziggy Nozile: Well, a friend of the family happened to give my cousin some money then we were going to buy some food. You should have seen everybody was, we were all so happy, “Oh my god, yes we’re going to eat today.”

Kelly Meerbott: And what did you eat? Do you remember?

Ziggy Nozile: We had rice and a chicken.

Kelly Meerbott: Yum.

Ziggy Nozile: Yeah, so good.

Kelly Meerbott: I know. And we’re talking of course at noon and I’m starving so I could probably the bar right now but that’s all right. So I mean, these are defining moments that really sculpt you into who you are. So what was it that was the impetus for you to leave Haiti and come here? How did that happen?

Ziggy Nozile: As you know, I’m not sure people in the United States are aware that everybody want to come to America. Like growing up as a kid, my dream was to be a professional basketball player. I was so anxious to move here to be a professional basketball player or soccer player. But when I moved here, they said I was too old to be in the team, whatever. But I always wanted to come to United States, everybody. Not that I didn’t enjoy Haiti, but it just like everybody wants to come to America and America is the greatest country in the planet.

Kelly Meerbott: But take me through the process. So you were in Haiti, you were 19, you’ve always wanted to come America, how did you make that process happen ’cause that’s not an easy process?

Ziggy Nozile: No, not at all. So is my dad that’s pretty much applied for us. So every year we’ll wait till immigration say yes. So over a year, just would go to school in Haiti, just enjoy life and literally praying every day when we’re going to get a chance to move here. So yeah, my dad filed papers for us, we had to do a lot of back and forth, back and forth. Go to immigration in Haiti, take picture, get passports done. And then that was actually my first time getting in the airplane.

Kelly Meerbott: Oh my gosh.

Ziggy Nozile: Yeah. So I did not know no English, we did not speak English. It was my little brother and my little sister and myself. I was 19.

Kelly Meerbott: So what language did you speak?

Ziggy Nozile: French and Creole.

Kelly Meerbott: I was going to say, okay.

Ziggy Nozile: Yes. So we got on the airplane. It was like a six-hour flight and we were literally in the air for another hour just circling around because we could not land it. So when we finally land, I don’t know no English at all so we’re trying to figure our way our of the airport. How we did it, I don’t know, we did it.

Kelly Meerbott: What airport did you land in?

Ziggy Nozile: LaGuardia.

Kelly Meerbott: Oh my god.

Ziggy Nozile: I know. LaGuardia. We’re trying to figure our way out of the airport. I did know a few vocabulary but I didn’t speak-

Kelly Meerbott: I mean, go with God my friend. That’s like when you’re from America, you’re navigating that, that’s hard. I mean, good Lord.

Ziggy Nozile: Now, a thing about it, I didn’t realize it yet, I didn’t know no English. So we finally get out the airport and my dad somehow found us. My dad was a cab driver then, he found us and we get in the cab. He was getting lost every 10, 20 minute ’cause he driving us from New York to Philly.

Kelly Meerbott: Oh, gotcha.

Ziggy Nozile: Oh my god, he was getting lost every 10 minutes. Stop, ask for direction then another 20 minutes lost again. By the time we end up in Philadelphia, it was like four o’clock in the morning and I left for Haiti around like 3:00 PM. It was exhausted but I was happy. It was the first time I’ve seen a big bridge. There are so many things that I’ve seen the first time, big buildings, we don’t have that in Haiti. The experience was awesome.

Kelly Meerbott: I mean, okay, so let me back up for one second ’cause the last we heard of dad until this moment was he put you in an orphanage.

Ziggy Nozile: Yes.

Kelly Meerbott: So when did he come back into your lives and like how did this all evolve and did you forgive him ’cause I would have been pissed.

Ziggy Nozile: You know what, I have but I was so mad because believe it or not, I only heard from him, from the age of five to like 18, twice and I seen him once. So yes, I was mad. I was angry because I’m like, “Dude, you never even call us or come see us. We are your kids.” I was really angry. All those thing I let go off [inaudible 00:14:22] five years ago after I see a psychiatrist. I held it within. But I was still happy but I held it within.

Kelly Meerbott: This is Kelly, thanks so much for listening to Hidden Human. We love having you as part of our audience. As a thank you gift from us to you, click to kellymeerbott.com/downloadables to download our free White Paper, 7 Insights on Leadership From 20 years of Coaching Executives. That’s K-E-L-L-Y-M-E-E-R-B-O-T-T.com/downloadables. Thank you so much for being part of the Hidden Human family and make it a great day.

Kelly Meerbott: So tell me about that process of letting go ’cause that actually is my theme for this year and I’m not good at it so I always ask people how do you do it? Like take me through the step by step where you just let it go.

Ziggy Nozile: You know what, I don’t know, the way I’m going to say might sound a little too simple but this is exactly what I did. I just put two and two together. Life is so short and that person and whatever they did to you, for the most part, they probably didn’t really mean to do it. They could have … The laugh may not be the best. I don’t think he did it intentionally, he did the best way he could. Of course, I was mad about it but that’s pretty much what the conclusion I come. I had to let go. Life is too short, I much rather loving than hold on to things not …

Ziggy Nozile: I don’t have room in my heart for like nothing that’s about love. So I had to let go and then every now and then, shit come on the back of my mind, what happened but he call me, we fine, I give him money, whatever. Now I’m taking care of him, we all taking care of him.

Kelly Meerbott: Oh he’s still alive.

Ziggy Nozile: Oh yeah, he’s-

Kelly Meerbott: Is he proud of you?

Ziggy Nozile: I think so.

Kelly Meerbott: Has he told you?

Ziggy Nozile: No.

Kelly Meerbott: No?

Ziggy Nozile: No.

Kelly Meerbott: Okay, well-

Ziggy Nozile: It’s weird. We’re a Haitian family so growing up it’s like something that teach to you to show emotions, like to cry, like to talk. Like Haitian family-

Kelly Meerbott: You don’t do that.

Ziggy Nozile: No. They just go about life like nothing happened, which is not cool at all.

Kelly Meerbott: No. And American families were like that too. When I was little, I remember ’cause my dad was a professional athlete. He was a professional golfer on the PGA Tour and I remember there were times when I’d cry ’cause he’d loo … Like he would come in second and he would look at me and say, “Don’t you ever show emotion. Don’t you ever do that.” He said because that’s just a way for people who are trying to get at you, to take you down so don’t show that. And what ends up happening, like you, you bottle it up inside. And something silly like my husband leaving a dirty sock on the floor makes me explode, which is stupid instead of just really kind of letting it go. And I just read this quote the other day. I’ve been reading this book on Spiritual Psychology and they talk about every time you don’t let it go, it’s like the person’s reinjuring you again, you’re giving them the power to reinjure you again and I’m like, “Oh my god, I can’t believe I’m doing that to myself.”

Ziggy Nozile: I agree.

Kelly Meerbott: Okay, so you had a rough upbringing. I mean, you have every right to be kicking tables and putting your fist through a wall and stuff like that, but you’re not. You went the other direction.

Ziggy Nozile: Absolutely.

Kelly Meerbott: So how do you leverage those experiences and what you do today as a serial entrepreneur and funder of Loike? And in my opinion, the best bartender in Philadelphia but I will hold that. And I’m sure I’m probably going to get some comments about that but I just love Ziggy. I can’t help it, I’m like your number one fan.

Ziggy Nozile: You’re so kind, thank you.

Kelly Meerbott: So why not still be angry?

Ziggy Nozile: I don’t know. I just think it’s not worth it because I can either sit in the corner and bitch and mad at the whole world or just be grateful and take the day ahead of me as a gift as it is because it’s not guaranteed. In fact, about my first job here in the United States, I was a telemarketer. I did not know how to speak English so I was reading a script verbatim and barely pronouncing the words. So for the first three, four months, every time I call somebody, they be like, “Why don’t you go learn how to speak English and call me back?”

Kelly Meerbott: Oh my gosh.

Ziggy Nozile: All my phone calls, literally. I end up working there for two years. I was like one of the trainer, I was training people. And then from there, I work at Best Buy for two years then I work at a car dealership which I got fired from.

Kelly Meerbott: That was the one you got fired from.

Ziggy Nozile: Yes. Devastated.

Kelly Meerbott: I mean, I was fired too in 2009 and I think we talked about this too. And I would have probably never left my corporate job because I was making so much money and doing really well but I didn’t think that throwing up every morning before work was not normal or being overweight and angry at everybody was not normal. So when I got let go and it was like, “Oh my gosh, I’m devastated,” but it actually launched me into executive coaching, which is what I was born to do. And what’s great is talk about letting things go, I wrote the guy who fired me, a thank you note two years later saying what I thought was the worst day of my life actually was my best. But let’s talk about Loike because I love this company, I love the whole … What is your big vision for it?

Ziggy Nozile: So my vision is pretty much … The thing about it, it’s so relatable, everybody can relate to it. Unfortunately, we all lost loved ones, so the way I feel every time I have my T-shirt on, the way I see it, I feel I can still hug and kiss my mother although she’s not here. So my dream for the company, just people, everyone in the world, get to wear it. And you know, one thing that’s fascinating Kelly, everybody that actually have one of my T-shirt as of now, I can see they’re all happy to wear it.

Kelly Meerbott: I know, I can’t wait to wear one. I want one so bad, I want a red one though.

Ziggy Nozile: I know. So yeah, my vision is to make it well-known, like worldwide and now I’m taking it one step at a time because I’m not building something to last two years, I’m building something that will last forever. Just like there’s Coca Cola, that’s my vision for my brand. I want it that when I’m gone 100 years from now, it’s still going to be around, that’s my vision.

Kelly Meerbott: It’s your legacy.

Ziggy Nozile: Yes.

Kelly Meerbott: Well, so there was a few years ago on the ESPY Awards and I forget his name and my husband would like shake his head if he was sitting here. But he was a football player who came down with cancer and he was like 22. And he stood up at the ESPY Awards ’cause he won comeback award or most inspirational or whatever and he said, “The two words that kept me through my recovery are honor and legacy. Who am I honoring that came through for me and what legacy am I leaving behind me?” And when I met you, I was like, “Oh my god, honor and legacy.” So tell me from your point of view, what that means to you.

Ziggy Nozile: I mean, it means the world to me.

Kelly Meerbott: I mean, we’re obviously honoring mom.

Ziggy Nozile: Absolutely. I mean, like the legacy, it’s just like see the impression that you had on me after we met, that’s the legacy I want to leave. After I meet you, you’re like, “Wow.” So I’m not saying I’m perfect, I always show my friends I’m not perfect by any means. And I’m not trying to be neither but I want to make every human being feel appreciated. Like one thing that’s also, that star celebrity, much respect for them. But my friends and my family are all my celebrity and stars. If Michael Jordan can be standing here, you standing here, I’d be more happy to see you than Michael Jordan. No disrespect to Michael Jordan but I know you, I do not know him so my friends are my celebrity. And I never give up on anything. I will never give up so this, [inaudible 00:22:32] end up being all over the world or just in Philadelphia, I’m going to keep doing it. And it’s going to stay as pure as it is.

Kelly Meerbott: I mean, it’s just like he’s just … I can’t. I mean, obviously I can’t find the words which is very rare for me but you’re just an amazing human and I just feel honored that you’ve taken time out of your schedule to come and sit with me.

Ziggy Nozile: I’m honored. Like you have no idea. Like she’ll tell you how excited … That’s what I was talking about. I’m like, “God, I’m having a podcast interview with Kelly. I can’t wait.” I keep posting on my social media.

Kelly Meerbott: Oh my gosh, I have to follow you on social media. I can’t believe I missed that. So you shared of like really powerful stories and experiences with us. How do you leverage the collective experience that you’ve gone through in what you do today and how would you tell somebody who’s going through a similar experience, that it’s going to be okay?

Ziggy Nozile: I’m born and raised Catholic so I believe in God so you have to keep the faith and keep praying and just … I had a quote, I forgot. The guy says something about the journey is one step at a time. A thousand mile journey is like one step at a time.

Kelly Meerbott: Oh yeah, a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Yeah.

Ziggy Nozile: And that’s what I pretty much will say to them. Listen, if this fall, just pick it up and let’s move on to the next one. That’s sort of the way I … Like today on my way here with the subway, the tech wasn’t working, my card wasn’t working and they didn’t want to cash. I have to go outside and go use the ATM and get cash to get token. I wasn’t aggravated about it. Matter of fact, I was in Miami yesterday. Yeah, I just flew in yesterday.

Kelly Meerbott: Oh my gosh, what?

Ziggy Nozile: So my hotel key every single time is not working so I had to go down and get key. The hostess said, “Oh my god, you’re always happy. You’re not even mad about it.” I’m like, “Shit happen, I’m sorry. It’s not your fault. Thing just happen so why would I get aggravated because it just happened?”

Kelly Meerbott: Right, you’re exactly right.

Ziggy Nozile: Action reaction, so that’s the way I live. Like that happened, what do we do from there?

Kelly Meerbott: Well, and I think what’s so powerful about you is you take ownership of everything in your life and I know when I made that shift, for me, it just changed everything. But also what I’m hearing in my mind of course, is I was reading this quote about responsibility yesterday and how in our country people think responsibility equals commitment and it doesn’t. It means response to a situation. And that’s literally all we can control. Like you couldn’t control the fact that they mess up your card, we couldn’t control the fact that we couldn’t get on the WiFi today and we couldn’t find an outlet that worked, but we could control like how we’re interacting with it. And I said to you, if the setup is this tough, it’s going to be a great interview and it’s very true.

Kelly Meerbott: Okay, for your great, great, great-grandchildren that are listening to this interview years from now, what kind of wisdom would you want to impart to them?

Ziggy Nozile: Be nice to everybody, treat everybody the same no matter what it is, no matter gender, race. Just be nice. I get emotional about that.

Kelly Meerbott: I get emotional about that too.

Ziggy Nozile: We are human so just be nice, just do the best you can. We all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and love. So that’s what I would tell ’em.

Kelly Meerbott: Or like.

Ziggy Nozile: Yes. Like, just I would tell ’em.

Kelly Meerbott: I say the same thing too and for me, I believe in diversity and inclusion of everybody ’cause I think that everybody has their own unique gifts and talents that they bring. But I think a lot of times we focus so much on how we’re different that we forget how alike we are. And really, at the base of it, if you strip down all concepts, all labels, all everything, we’re human. At the base of it, we are human. It doesn’t matter what we look like, where we come from, we are human, period.

Ziggy Nozile: And you know, I give that example sometime I said, when some friends goes through some tough time I’m like, “Think about it, what if you were in this world just by yourself? You would lose your mind.” So of course you need other people, that’s what life is, you need other people. I guess that’s why probably one of the reason I love people so much ’cause I would lose my mind in a world just by yourself. Like let’s say you were in Philly, you’re the only one living in Philadelphia. How crazy would that be?

Kelly Meerbott: That would be crazy.

Ziggy Nozile: So you need different character, different race. That’s life, you need to interact with people otherwise …

Kelly Meerbott: Well, and when you’re around Ziggy like we walked in to Morgan’s Pier and we have this beautiful woman who is like accompanying us and taking great pictures named Kelly. I don’t know her last name but I know that we share the same name. And it’s just funny because when you see people even hovering in your orbit, it’s like they light up from the inside and I know that’s just how you’re showing up in the world. Who you’re being is guiding what you’re doing and it’s just a powerful thing to experience.

Ziggy Nozile: Believe it or not, I myself reflects on that. And when I sit in my office at home, I just put my foot on the desk, I like to zone out for a good 30 minute like, “Wow, I’m blessed and lucky.” My friends and family, happy to be around me. And they get it, like all my friends and family gets it. They know who I am and I will never change. We can always count on me to be me. I just fucking love people.

Kelly Meerbott: I love that you fucking love people.

Ziggy Nozile: That’s it.

Kelly Meerbott: Yeah. Don’t worry, the FCC doesn’t regulate these so we can say fucking on this podcast. I want you to say that.

Ziggy Nozile: I genuinely love people.

Kelly Meerbott: Sorry mom.

Ziggy Nozile: I genuinely love people and I love the diversity. If everybody was the same-

Kelly Meerbott: It’s boring.

Ziggy Nozile: Exactly.

Kelly Meerbott: I mean, I love hearing about … Like your background is completely different from mine but there are pieces that I can totally relate to about having a father that told you not to show emotions, my dad did that. Your dad and my dad, very different.

Ziggy Nozile: See, I just cry right now but before that I would never do that.

Kelly Meerbott: I know, but I love it. For me, I always think tears are like a spring cleaning that’s sort of like clearing things out and giving you a chance to think. So I honestly don’t think tears are a terrible thing. But I’m sitting here and I’m just really grateful because first of all, we have this beautiful day. I mean, I wish everybody could see it, it’s unbelievable. We’re sitting in front of this beautiful backdrop and we’re having a freaking fantastic conversation. I mean, what could be better?

Ziggy Nozile: Life is good, I know.

Kelly Meerbott: Right, life is really good and plus we have a great companion here.

Ziggy Nozile: Yeah, Kelly’s awesome.

Kelly Meerbott: Okay. So I usually like to kind of wrap my interviews with four rapid fire questions.

Ziggy Nozile: Sure.

Kelly Meerbott: And they’re all questions that you’ll know the answer to. So okay, the first one is what’s your favorite comfort food?

Ziggy Nozile: Haitian food.

Kelly Meerbott: Okay, so tell me specifically-

Ziggy Nozile: Like rice, big chicken and also pork. I say pork, we call it grill.

Kelly Meerbott: Okay, and how is that prepared just for-

Ziggy Nozile: So it’s a pork shoulder, you boil it and then halfway cooked, then you take it out then you deep fry it and also you deep fry plantain.

Kelly Meerbott: Oh my god.

Ziggy Nozile: Fucking delicious.

Kelly Meerbott: Seriously. I grew up in South Florida so we have a lot of plantains and that kind of influence and I missed it here because … Okay, what restaurant do you recommend in Philly that has great Haitian food?

Ziggy Nozile: Unfortunately, we don’t have any Haitian restaurant. We just have like Deli.

Kelly Meerbott: Come on Philly.

Ziggy Nozile: I know.

Kelly Meerbott: Get it together.

Ziggy Nozile: I know. We just have like Deli, you can go buy food to go, not like sitting restaurant. There’s one in West Philly, it’s at Lansdowne Avenue. R&M it’s called R&M.

Kelly Meerbott: R&M, okay. All right, cool. So I’ll check that out. Okay, what songs are on your playlist?

Ziggy Nozile: A lot of Haitian songs.

Kelly Meerbott: Okay, give me one of your favorites.

Ziggy Nozile: Toi et moi by T-Vice.

Kelly Meerbott: Okay.

Ziggy Nozile: And then a Bob Marley.

Kelly Meerbott: Of course.

Ziggy Nozile: Three little bird.

Kelly Meerbott: Of course.

Ziggy Nozile: (singing)

Kelly Meerbott: I love when the guests sing, that makes me so happy.

Ziggy Nozile: I can sing for sure, sorry.

Kelly Meerbott: My god, no I love it. Okay, what books are on your nightstand?

Ziggy Nozile: I have one book and I’ve yet to read it. I pay $98 for it. It’s by the greatest investor, Warren Buffet. Yes.

Kelly Meerbott: And why haven’t you read it?

Ziggy Nozile: Because it’s the craziest thing. I tell you I’m frank, I never read a book in my life. I can focus, I know. I have it on my desk. I offered three of my friends to read it for me they give me a resume. ‘Cause I invest a little bit in stock market so I want to know this book is good.

Kelly Meerbott: Right. What about audio books, have you look at Audible?

Ziggy Nozile: I never looked into that.

Kelly Meerbott: Look into Audible ’cause I think you’d really love it.

Ziggy Nozile: You know what, I never look into that. I’ll watch YouTube like crazy. Everything I learn is YouTube.

Kelly Meerbott: Well, for me, I’m in my car a lot and you’re traveling a lot so I like to make my car my classroom and I’ll listen to an audiobook. Like right now I’m listening to The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson and it’s amazing. It’s really amazing. Okay, last question, what are you most grateful for in this moment right now?

Ziggy Nozile: Just to be sitting in front of you. Yeah, definitely.

Kelly Meerbott: You are unbelievable. You’re unbelievable.

Ziggy Nozile: Because I tell you, I just landed from Miami yesterday. Anything could have happened in the plane. Just be able to sit here, yeah, that’s what I’m most grateful for.

Kelly Meerbott: I know.

Ziggy Nozile: I don’t take nothing for granted at all.

Kelly Meerbott: That’s amazing. Thank you so much for being so vulnerable and so real. And to our listeners, it’s our intention that this conversation that you heard between Ziggy and I, inspires you to go out and have authentic conversations to deepen the connections in your life ’cause after all, we’re all human. Thank you so much and make it a great day.

Ziggy Nozile: Thank you Kelly.

Speaker 1: You’ve been listening to Hidden Human, the stories behind the business leader. If you’ve enjoyed the episode, please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. To learn more about Kelly and the services she provides, visit youloudandclear.com. Thanks so much for listening and we’ll be back soon with a new episode.