Meet Bree Johnson, a powerhouse entrepreneur who is passionate about equipping others, specifically entrepreneurs, to become even more successful in their businesses. Bree owns a consulting firm that help entrepreneurs create marketable campaigns and is specifically passionate about helping women entrepreneurs. Bree also leads a bi-weekly book club that helps a small community of women to improve their life, specifically utilizing workbooks. With such impactful endeavors, Bree has a podcast, Candid Conversations with Dad, that she shares with her dad, which has a powerful story behind it all.
Birth of Candid Conversations With Dad
Candid Conversations With Dad was more than a podcast when it began. This started as a practice that Bree’s dad initiated when she was nine years old. He called it the “Circle of Trust”, where the family would come together in this space and promised to not judge each other of what was said. This was in hopes to cultivate a healthy honesty between a parent and child, no matter how uncomfortable it may feel. Bree mentions that the Circle of Trust became a way of life, as she feels comfortable telling her dad everything. This is the foundation of the podcast, Candid Conversations with Dad, as her and her dad share perspectives on diverse topics.
Bree appreciates most that there are vast differences in perspectives between her and her dad, especially due to age, generational differences, and experience. There are numerous moments that she recalls her inner Feminist screaming at his perspective, yet both still find space to honor each other’s truths and move forward. They both understand the value in saying such things aloud, and to agree in disagreeing, healthily, so that no one is walking on eggshells.
Bree stated, “Once I became comfortable with my own truths, I respected others to live in their truths.”
Relationship with Dad
Bree has a close relationship with her dad and talks to him daily. Some of the attributes she loves most about him is that no one has any clue what is going to come out of his mouth. He is uncensored, tells his truth, and never talks “down” to her. A huge attribute that was strengthened their bond is that her dad prioritized trust from the moment that her parents divorced at nine years old and has never folded on that importance in trust. Bree mentions that it is was important to him to demonstrate this to his children, and he was committed to that.
A situation that best illustrated this was when Bree first told her dad that she was sexually active. Although she could read the discomfort, he stepped aside of his feelings to ask if she had any questions, and if she was okay. From there, he directed her to her stepmom. She mentioned that his act of setting aside his personal discomfort to be there for her will always resonate with her, which creates such a close bond.
There was a period of time when Bree and her father did not talk due to an external situation. She realized that in these two years, she learned new tools to reconcile things with her dad, and that even though it could have been reconciled two years ago, the period of time gave her space to learn more and to address the hurt. She shares the advice to not hold on to hurt and trauma from your family members because in the end, this will not serve you, them, or the family unit. It will only cause you to become a “spiritual bag lady/man” and may hold you back from where you are designed to go.
Bree proclaims, “I choose to live in the space of practicing grace, trust, patience, and truth to heal wounds and continue to live a life that serves myself and others.”
Negative Myths about Black Fathers
Bree mentioned three myths about black fathers that she hopes will become a conversation in changing narratives from both the in-group, and out-group.
Myth 1) Men cannot be a good father without a woman. Bree states that in fact, a man does not have to be attached to a woman to be a good father. He can be a healthy father on his own, if he is given the space and trust to do so.
Myth 2) All black fathers are abrasive and emotionally distant, or just a provider. Bree mentions that she has seen more fathers in tutus, going on field trips, and taking daughters on dates than some mothers may be invested in. She recognizes that this narrative does not serve anyone because it is not allowing the father to be empowered in this role.
Myth 3) Just because a woman has carried a baby, this gives any woman the right to withhold the baby from their father. Bree mentions that fathers carry 50% of the rights from conception. She admitted that this is difficult to proclaim as a Feminist but saw this as truth.
Bree stated, “If he is a capable father, and you are keeping his child from him, then you deprive them of 50% of who they were designed to be.”
Bree expressed that she is elated to share the relationship of her and her dad through their podcast, and that people not only get to see the podcast but see their bond and hopefully be impacted by it. Bree reflects on an episode about the race riots, and it sparked a conversation with her younger sibling about his emotions towards the racial climate. Through these episodes, they are able to build healthier bonds within their family, as well as demonstrate such healthy bonds for the listening audience. Bree hopes that Candid with Dad highlights the grace and respect to give to fathers as we do mothers. She hopes that we work collectively to lift them up instead of tearing them down due to our own hurt.
“I would not be who I am without my dad. There’s no way I would be who I am without him.”
You can find Candid Conversations with Dad on IG: @candidwithdad, or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Soundcloud, and Google Podcasts. You can also connect with Bree Johnson through social media through @breejohnson or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.