Terrell Wade aka ‘The Wade Empire’ has amassed nearly a million social media followers who can definitely relate to his hilarious jabs at office life. He calls himself “that guy that makes funny office skits,” and on any given day, he pokes fun at corporate culture with hilarious videos on topics like “Things I wish I could say at work,” “When you pretend to be the manager,” and so much more.
Terrell can be seen on his TikTok and Instagram, always dressed in business formal attire, as he deftly cuts through corporate culture with his unique brand of humor. We recently spoke with Terrell about his approach to content creation, his funny focus on office life, why he uses Adobe Acrobat to manage his documents, and what’s next for this rising social media comedy star.
How did you get started with The Wade Empire? What inspired you?
When I was in college, short video memes were starting to become popular, and I had a big creative side of me that was dormant at the time. When I saw these creators putting out memes and all this funny stuff, I thought that maybe it was time for me to be creative too. By early 2018 I finally put my foot down and decided to really make creating these short videos part of my routine. As crazy as it sounds, the stay-at-home part of the pandemic was very pivotal for the growth and success of The Wade Empire.
Speaking of which, how did you decide to make workplace humor your niche, especially during the pandemic?
The truth is that the only time I could shoot content was when I had a suit on at work. I realized people really liked how I described the nuances of working in an office. So, I just kept going with that and it started to click, especially during the pandemic where people just wanted to work from home.
Where do you get your inspiration from when creating new content?
Based on my own corporate office experience, I would say work meetings and dealing with customers on the phone give me the most inspiration. The daily routine of talking to customers and having group meetings where you are around all your co-workers, and everything gets put on the table — that’s probably the most memorable and inspiring stuff for me.
What’s your creative process like, considering you are already at work when creating videos?
Throughout the day, whenever I think of a good idea, I’ll just type it in my phone, so I don’t forget about it. I’ll go back later and reread everything to decide if I can make it into a video that is funny and relatable.
You obviously shoot videos at the office while making fun of work. How do your colleagues feel about that?
When I started, everybody I worked with was blocked because I didn’t want them to know I was making content at work, about work, even though it was never personal with any of them. But I also knew that if the things went the way that I wanted them to and my videos started to go viral, that they were going to see them anyway, even if they were blocked. So over time, I had conversations with my coworkers, and everybody was supportive and happy, especially since I was gaining followers. They could see the attraction. They’ve all been very supportive, and I assure them it’s nothing personal. Now, they sometimes come to me with ideas to do, so right now, we’re two thumbs up with everything.
Between working a full-time office job and creating content, how do you juggle everything and stay organized?
I’ll shoot multiple videos at the same time, so I don’t have to shoot content every day. Instead, I’ll come in a little bit early or stay a little bit later in the day and shoot everything I need for the week. It was a scramble at first but now it’s a lot more organized. Initially I saw my office job and my video creator job as separate roles, but now I see them as one thing.
Between your day job and your comedy videos, what kinds of tools do you use to stay organized?
I get PDF files throughout the day with my regular job and The Wade Empire brand that I have, as well with creating invoices and signing contracts. Using Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Acrobat Sign makes it so much easier to edit the documents in PDF because sometimes I sign everything electronically and then send it back. I also think I think being able to edit PDFs in Acrobat is great because it’s simple and you can do it all on your phone.
What would you say are some of the most important lessons that you’ve learned on this journey of becoming a content creator and getting to where you are now?
Staying true to myself, never quitting and having fun are the biggest things for me. Patience is also important. Part of it is not caring about what people think about your post over time. I’ve learned to post what I want to post, what I think is funny and cool. I’m comfortable with what I post but I didn’t have that mindset when I was starting out and trying to be a people pleaser.
What’s next for you as a content creator? Do you plan to keep working in the office for inspiration, or do you have other aspirations?
One of my ultimate goals is to get into the TV and film industry. I’d love to be in a movie or TV by the end of the year. I also want to use my social media presence and platform to help me get into the entertainment business while continuing to work with brands and grow my digital footprint.
If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Pizza, because you can get all five food groups in one slice.
If you were an animal, what would you be?
What tv show are you currently binging?
I am three episodes away from being up to date on Ozark from Netflix.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
To be able to read minds. I’m always curious about what people are thinking versus what they’re saying.
Productivity beverage of choice?
Coffee for sure.
In one sentence, if possible, what are the words that you live by?
“Nothing changes if nothing changes.” If you want to change the outcome of your life or achieve your goals, you have to make some changes and get outside of your comfort zone.