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E44: Financial Coaching for Generation X with Deborah Johnson Miranda

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Our emotions are so tied to money. Our mental health is so tied to money. If you have ADHD, depression, anxiety; if you’re on the spectrum, if you have other diagnoses, those will have an influence, for better or for worse, on how you handle money."

- Deborah Johnson Miranda

Episode Summary:

Are you a member of Generation X? Are you part of a marginalized community that has been left out of the financial conversation? Well, this is the episode for you!

Today’s guest is on a mission to help BIPOC, Latinx, and LGBTQ+ communities change the narrative of what they have learned about money growing up and confront the scarcity mindset and generational trauma that holds them back. Today, we sit down with Deborah Johnson Miranda, the Owner of Bee Money Coaching and a financial coach for fellow GenXers who want to show their money who’s boss.

In this episode, Deborah elaborates on the importance of self-care when it comes to financial planning and explains how our physical, mental, and emotional health is tied to how we manage our money. Tune in for these insights and so much more from this thoughtful financial coach.

What You’ll Learn On This Episode:

  • [01:20]  How Deborah fell into financial coaching by accident
  • [04:05] Taking the shame out of financial difficulties
  • [05:48] The role that making your own financial decisions plays in preserving your agency
  • [08:00] The pressure GenXers often feel in supporting multi-generational families
  • [11:20] Physical, mental, and emotional hurdles that Deborah helps people overcome
  • [17:55] The role that generational trauma plays in how we handle money
  • [20:33] Tools and habits that can help you take control of your finances
  • [22:40] Busting the myth that financial advice is for the wealthy
  • [24:51] Why it’s not about “getting your finances in order.”
  • [26:42] The importance of financial planning for BIPOC and Latinx business owners
  • [29:37] Why it’s especially hard for those in family-oriented communities to prioritize self-care
  • [33:16] The value of surrounding yourself with a like-minded community
 

Resources Mentioned:

Connect With Us: 

Connect with Deborah:

EPISODE 44

 

[INTRODUCTION]

 

[00:00:02] AW: You’re listening to the Transcend Podcast. I’m your host, Asha Wilkerson, an attorney by training and an educator at heart. This podcast is all about empowering you to build a business and leave a legacy. Here’s the thing. The wealth gap in America is consistently increasing, and while full-time entrepreneurship is not for everyone, even a side hustle can change your financial landscape if you’re intentional about using your business to build wealth. I run my own law firm for over ten years, and in that time I’ve helped countless California businesses go from idea to six figures. On this podcast, we talk about what it truly takes to build a sustainable business and find financial freedom. Let’s dive in.

 

[EPISODE]

 

 [00:00:46] AW: Hey, everyone. Welcome back to another episode of Transcend the Podcast. I am here with Deborah Johnson Miranda, who is the owner of Bee Money Coaching. Hey, Deb, how are you doing?

 

[00:00:57] DJM: Hi, I’m good. Thank you so much for having me on. It’s an honor. I love your podcast.

 

[00:01:02] AW: Oh, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. In which, I don’t know. To those of you listening is that there’s construction going on upstairs, so we spent 10 minutes trying to figure out if the buzzing was going to be really loud. Now there’s a window, so we’re going for it. If for some reason you hear some buzzing, then that’s why I just tune that part out. Deb, can you tell me a little bit about the business that you run and how you got started?

 

[00:01:25] DJM: Sure. I fell into money coaching completely by accident. I had been doing it, counseling friends and family over the years while at the same time my own finances were just not where they needed to be. Not where I was telling my clients my friends, where there needed to be. In 2017, I was facing foreclosure on my home, and I was trying to do whatever I could to  stop that and ultimately ended up filing for bankruptcy to stop the foreclosure.

 

About six months into that process, the trustee said he didn’t think I was making enough money to make those payments for five years. The bankruptcy was dismissed. At that point I had to figure out, “Okay, what am I going to do? Am I going to sell my house? Am I going to allow the foreclosure to proceed? What’s going to happen?” So I was able to intermediation to put everything off, but what I was trying to do mediation, while I was trying to do who work with the mortgage servicer, time just kept passing and passing and they kept delaying and delaying. I found myself in 2019, having to do the same thing all over again.

 

I was tired. It was just too much. I ended up filing again for bankruptcy, ended up having it dismissed. January 2020 rolled around and I decided this is it. I talked to my mom and my kids and I said, “I think it’s time that we sell the house.” A few weeks before the country shut down, we put our house up for sale and I was lucky to not be one of those funny Upside-Down mortgages. I did walk away with a little bit of money and I was determined to preserve that money and also to counsel and coach myself into fixing my finances in a way that would help me grow.

 

I opened up an emergency fund. I started paying more attention to my previous retirement plans and working on all of that. Then I started sharing all of that on social media like so many other people. They’re like, “I’m just going to do this.” Then little by little, you get people who are like, “Oh, can you help me with this? Or Can you help me with that? Or I’m looking for this help.” That’s just basically how it all evolved.

 

[00:03:39] AW: Yeah. It’s a beautiful story, because there’s the win on the other side of that, right? I think just even sharing that, it’s really hard sometimes to share those moments when we may not be proud or we may not understand how we got to where, I mean, logically, but at least for me, when I’m like, “Oh, my gosh, am I in this situation again?” I should have known, be like all this should come out, all these pieces of advice that I know I didn’t listen to. Thank you for sharing that information, because I think it just helps to normalize and to take some of the shame away. So definitely, kudos to you for that.

 

[00:04:15] DJM: It was hard. I mean, I’m not going to lie. It was really, really hard. I felt like, I this is the only home my children have known. This is the home that my mother and sister moved into when they moved to Seattle. I just felt like, “What have I done?” My entire family just lifted me up. They were like, “You have done enough, you have done enough, and we’re still going to be together. That’s not going to change.” This is an opportunity to start over. The house that we lived in had a lot of problems that needed at least $100,000 worth of maintenance and fixing and plumbing and electricity. I didn’t have the money to do that. Renting became a really good option for us. The weight that that lifted from me was amazing.

 

[00:05:00] AW: Yeah.

 

[00:05:01] DJM: That’s what I try to do is to tell people and try to be vulnerable and not be embarrassed by it anymore and say, “Look, I know what it’s like. I know what this feels like.” I absolutely do not believe in shaming. Nobody ever shamed me. I shamed myself. I tell the clients, no, there’s no point and I should have done this or I should have listened to this, because it’s in the past. I personally am in a better place right now.

 

[00:05:27] AW: Yeah, absolutely. Let’s talk about that weight that was lifting. I know for me, so I’m a Libra, right? I go back and forth trying to find that balance and overthink absolutely every single thing from nail color to what am I going to do with my life? But there is so much power and just relief and making a decision. How much does making a decision play out with your clients and how much did it affect you just to be able to say, not whether it’s the right one or the wrong one, just being able to make a decision about where you’re going in the future.

 

[00:06:02] DJM: I think, the first thing is to look at what you value, what are your values. What is it that that brings you to the point where you have to make a decision so that that agency isn’t taken from you? If I had not decided to sell my home, they would have foreclosed and the worst part about that is that, like I said, I had equity and I would have lost that. I would have lost that little bit of money that I had. So I just thought I need to just say, “Fuck it, I am going to do this.” I have to make a really hard decision, because I want to be the one to make the decision, even if it’s the hard one. I don’t want it to be made for me.

 

That’s something that’s really important, because I think that that gives people power. If I didn’t say, I feel a little more in control. It’s the best decision, but it was my decision.

 

[00:06:50] AW: Right.

 

[00:06:51] DJM: I think that’s really important for people to understand.

 

[00:06:55] AW: Yeah. Sometimes my decision is more impactful than “the best decision” right? Because there are a million ways to make money, there are a million ways to get out of debt, there are many ways to live this life, but what is really important is whether or not it’s in alignment with your goals, your personality, the things that you want out of life. So did you feel so you said that you were shaming yourself, but did you feel any pressure from family or cultural pressure about making the decision to either leave the house or to just revamp finances?

 

I know that in my family, most of my family has done pretty well. So I have internalized this pressure of where I should be at 38 years of age. What I should own at 38 years of age, right? I also have friends who have immigrant parents that you don’t culturally. I mean, every choice is your own, but you may not feel you have a lot of choices, because you have either family to support or even if it’s not financial, but just to support in the culture, by doing the thing that is expected, I mean I feel like that too, sometimes. Did you have any of that that you had to work?

 

[00:08:00] DJM: A little bit, yeah, because we are a multigenerational family. My mother is 88, and at the time my youngest was turning 15. I had my three kids living with me. My mother technically an immigrant, but I came into the United States at a very young age. I grew up in a Latino culture even though I was at home I was a Latina, but when I went out, I was somebody else. I had to straddle that, the two different cultures.

 

I think that one of the things that made it difficult for me wasn’t so much the decision to sell the house, but what became really difficult was finding a home that would accommodate us all, because there was no way I was going to separate my mother and my sister from me and my children. That was just not something that was going to happen. I remember that same year talking to a therapist who is no longer my therapist, who was saying that I needed to face reality and find housing for my mom and my sister for low income people or for seniors. Get something affordable for my children and myself. That was not an option. It was not an option.

 

Of course, having to find a bigger home meant more money. Rent in Seattle is ridiculous. I was willing to make that sacrifice, because I didn’t want my mom, there was no way, that wasn’t even a question. So that was the pressure that I felt. The pressure of taking care of my mom and my sister, my sister is disabled. I don’t regret it. I would say more that there would be more societal pressures to do that, but because it was the onset of the pandemic, I didn’t have anybody to go to. My kids were, for them it’s just unthinkable to not live with their Abuela and their Tia. That was the same for my mom and my sister. That just didn’t come up.

 

Like I said, I had complete support of my kids and my mom. My mom was like, “Hija, you are taking on too much and it’s time to sell.” When I was struggling with that decision and the kids were like, “What the hell? Why not? We can do this. We can do this.” My oldest was 20 at the time or 19, and they just, yeah, they were just like, “Let’s do it.”

 

[00:10:22] AW: Yeah. That’s awesome.

 

[00:10:23] DJM: I’m really, really grateful for that.

 

[00:10:25] AW: Yeah. What you said about making sure that you are clear about your own priorities? There are so many people, again, who will tell you what the right thing is and what you should do, what you shouldn’t do. But we all have to make decisions and money and finances and business and love and whatever, right? That really, truly meets our unique needs, because at the end of the day, we have to live with the decisions that we make.

 

[00:10:50] DJM: Exactly.

 

[00:10:51] AW: Yeah. It can be hard, especially I’ll speak from my own experience when I’m not 100 percent sure or confident in the move that I’m making. It is scarier or I’m less, I’m just less confident in making that move. So I do look to outside support for that, but then every time I’ve gone my own way and said, “Whatever, this is what I really want to do.” I’ve never regretted the decision, even if it didn’t come out in the way that I thought that it was going to come out. I’m curious to know, what are some of the mindset hurdles that you have to help people work through and your financial coaching?

 

[00:11:28] DJM: One thing that comes up often is that people don’t recognize, it’s not so much accepting, because they accept it eventually, but they don’t recognize how our past relationships with people and with money influence how we handle money today. I learned that really late. My dad was a veteran of Vietnam. He was an alcoholic. He had a lot of mental issues. He had PTSD, and there was a lot of need in our home growing up. So I saw my mother struggling all the time to keep food on the table for me and my sister and struggle the whole time. I did not realize until much, much later, just the last few years. How much seeing that influenced, how I handled money throughout most of my life.

 

People tend to not realize that what they saw in their childhood or even in their teens, they don’t realize how much that has an influence and how that causes them to handle money in a certain way. Our emotions are so tied to money. Our mental health is so tied to money. If you have ADHD, depression, anxiety, if you’re on the spectrum, if you have other diagnoses, those will have an influence for better or for worse, how you handle money. Once you are overcome that, you’re like, “Oh, okay.”

 

Now because I have ADHD, I can set up systems so that my bills get paid, or so that if I do go over a budget on something, I have some a cushion. It’s learning what little quirks and foibles we have to set us up, so that we have these cushions or that we have some protection and the support. I think it’s really important also physical health is really important. I was just in January, given some test results that shocked me. I immediately went on a regimen to try to fix the issues. I’m pre-diabetic, so I was like, “Oh, my God, this is going to lead to type two. What do I need to do? Because if I don’t have my health, then what good is a coaching business? What good is working a six figure job? What good is finding a home for my family to rent, if I don’t have my health?

 

I’ve started to incorporate physical health also into this, because we talk a lot about mental health and emotional health, but there’s also the physical health. People are like, “Well, why do I need to get annual exam?” It’s like, “You need to do that, because you need to take care of your health, because how are you going to be able to do and function and a lot of your physical ailments cause issues with your mental health.” I have hypothyroidism, if I’m off my medication for two days, my mind just goes berserk, going to become a basket case.

 

Those are things that people don’t really think about. They don’t connect them until it’s brought to them. Then they’re like, “Oh, okay, yeah, I guess that makes sense.” I do have to put myself first sometimes, which is really hard for me, because as a Latina, we don’t do that. Everything is for my family. When am I going to what am I going to have time for? Self-care to me, it’s a privilege, right? I don’t have time for that. You have to make time, but it’s like, when am I going to do that without getting somebody knocking on the bathroom door saying, “I’m going to go to the store to buy cereal?”

 

[00:14:58] AW: Right. Totally, totally. It makes me think of a couple of things. A couple of years ago, I was running my practice, but starting to slow it down was in business school and had just gotten the teaching job in Sacramento. I was also teaching exercise classes at the bar method around the corner. I loved it. I didn’t want to give that up, but I couldn’t do it all, right? I was doing a lot and I couldn’t do any more than what I was already doing. I made a promise to myself. I generally always worked out, but I was like, “Asha, you are potentially going to lose your mind from all of this work that you were doing, but you better not lose your health.”

 

Make sure that you continue to work out four to five days a week and take care of yourself first. Those nights, if I would go salsa dancing, Friday night. I would make sure that I would get up early, that I would get up early and go to Orangetheory Fitness before I would get to class at 9 AM and sit there all day. Working out and taking care of your health is so important, not just for the physical part of that, but also influences the endorphins that are released that influences your mood and how you feel about yourself, but how you feel about yourself, also influences how you’re going to take care of your money, because the self-esteem that you build tells you how you feel about yourself.

 

If you think that you were worth it, then you were going to do things that prove that you are worth it. If you think that you’re not worth it, you’re going to do things that prove to yourself that you’re not worth it. Going back to the part that you were saying about our money stories that they begin in childhood is so true. I had made this connection in a coaching group in the fall that my relationship with money really mirrored the relationship that I had with my dad. That I was like, “Hey, I’m here, see me, I want this.” But I don’t want to ask for it, because what if I ask for it and it doesn’t come, right? The same thing about, “Hey, I’m here, Dad. See me and I want to spend time with you.”

 

Then if you tell me no or if you disappoint me, then I don’t want to ask, because I don’t want to be disappointed, right? That revelation to me was like, “What?” I got the same relationship with money as I did with my dad. Amen.

 

[00:17:06] DJM: It’s like a cut and paste. It’s you have this thing and then you’re pasting it into your money relationship.

 

[00:17:12] AW: Totally. Then the coping mechanism is to say what I said was, I just don’t want to care about it. The coach who is coaching me was like, “Is that true? Do you really not want to care about it?” I was like, “No, I don’t. I just don’t want to be disappointed, right? So instead of pretending I didn’t have these feelings, now I have learned how to accept them and work through them.

 

Okay, Asha. So, when you start to feel disappointed, what do you need to support yourself in that feeling? What do you need to keep going and if you are disappointed, what does that mean? What are you making this mean about you and what should you not make it mean about you? So all of those skills are super useful and I totally see the value, because I have experience it. I’m working with a coach like yourself to help get through that mindset stuff.

 

[00:17:55] DJM: Yeah. Self-awareness is a big thing. That’s why, when I start off the coaching the first session isn’t about, okay, let’s pull out your bank statements and your budget worksheet. Let’s see how much debt you have. It’s not about that at all. It’s so that the person has to have the foundation of understanding. Okay, we need you to be self-aware. What are your values? What are your goals? What is your purpose? Let’s talk also about why you feel this way or what happened that made you how you are? Why do you have these challenges? Because until the person and it’s a process that has to last far beyond coaching.

 

[00:18:31] AW: Right.

 

[00:18:33] DJM: I’m just here to say, “Okay, these are some things that you’re going to need to think about and work through and it’s not going to end after 12 weeks.” This is something we’ll have to continue. You have to build on it. I feel you can’t just start being like, okay, let’s look at all your, this and that and whatever. How did you grow up? Where did you grow up? What is your background? What’s your gender, your sexuality, your race or ethnicity? Your net? Are you undocumented? Are you – there’s so many things that play into that. I’ve seen that. I’ve seen that. I mean, I have a friend that I’ve been trying to coach for years.

 

He’s Raymundo Honduras. He grew up very, very poor. He makes decent money now. He refuses to even see how much he has to save for retirement. I’m like, “Oh, my God.” I suspect that he has a really good chunk, but he’s so afraid of not having money, he’s 56 years old and he’s still working as a bricklayer, pays really, really well. But every time I see him, he looks so much more older than before. I’m like, “We need to figure out what is going about.” He does not want to deal with it.

 

[00:19:40] AW: Yeah, yeah. Every time that I get like that, where I’m like, “I’m not going to look, I’m not going to look.” It’s either way better than I thought it was going to be. It’s not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. So when I first started really diving into taking control, because also growing up in childhood, it was my dad was really conservative with money and conservative meaning like, “I’m not going to pay for this for you. Ask your mom.” Right? Then my mom covered all the bills and expenses and I remember seeing her sit down, she still does this, sit down at the table and writes out her checks and puts them in the mail, but we didn’t have many conversations.

 

The only time that we had money discussions, it wasn’t a discussion. It was like, money was tight, I had to ask for something. I couldn’t get it. So I didn’t really understand most of what I’ve learned about money has come as an adult, but every time, so a couple of years ago, pre-pandemic, I decided that I was going to get myself together and I was really going to take control of my finances, just a couple of years ago. One of the things that I did was to set a reminder on my phone to check meant where I used to catalog everything every day. 8 PM, it goes off every day.

 

Just that exercise, that habit of doing that just changed everything, because I wasn’t afraid. I knew where things were going when I was spending too much going out to eat with friends, I could say, “Okay, I could see it.” Instead of just hoping that at the end of the month I had stayed within a budget. Those tools are really helpful.

 

[00:21:08] DJM: Yeah. Tools like that are helpful. I mean, I have my credit union app on my phone, so I just check it every day. I have the TA craft and fidelity apps on my phone, so I just check them every day. I get so excited when I see a bump in in my investments, because it’s like, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

 

Then I show the kids and I show, Giancarlo, who is 18, just turned 18 in January. I opened a Roth IRA for him last year and I show him. “Look, how much money you’ve got. Look how much money is in there.” The little bit of money that you’re putting in every month. That’s the money that, look at it, it’s growing. Yeah, and then when there’s a debt, I tell him. Oh, look, there’s a debt, but you know what’s going to happen? It’s just going to go back up. That’s the whole point. I said, “This money, the money in your Roth isn’t for pulling out whenever you see something bad, it’s for leaving in there for the long term and you’re going to see how much that grows.

 

Developing that habit is super important. My oldest child, Maria is a senior at the University of Washington. I opened a Roth for them also and gave them a good chunk to start it off. Then every month they’re not working, but they take a little bit of months of money whenever they have something. Every month there’s just a little bit of money going into it. I’m like, “It doesn’t matter that it’s only ten or $20. The importance is the habit.”

 

[00:22:26] AW: Let’s talk about that, the ten or $20, right? Because I think some people I know a lot of people, myself included, right? I feel like, they say this about going to church or going to the hospital, right? People will be like, I can’t go to church. I got to get my life together. They say, “Well, you don’t go to the hospital after you’ve healed, right? You go to the hospital to get better, right.” Same thing with finances, I think a lot of people feel like, I got to get my finances together before I can meet with a coach. Bust that myth for us? Bust that myth right there.

 

[00:22:54] DJM: I’ll give you an example. My ex-husband has had an accounting business for as long as Maria has been alive, for 22 years. At Christmas I got nosy and I was like, “Have much you got from retirement?” He’s like, “I just have Social Security.” I said, “No, no, no.” So I plop my machine down in front of him. I said, “These are the plans that you can da, da, da, da, da,.” “Okay, okay, okay.” Two weeks later, he came to pick the kids up for something, and I’m like, “And what have you done?” He’s like, “No, I’m still researching. Okay.” “No, no, you’re not researching. You’re putting off what you should be doing. If you don’t allocate $10, $50, $100 a month, because you’re waiting for to get your finances together, well, you’re not getting your finances together if you’re just letting everything slide.”

 

Even starting with $10, you are already getting your finances in order, because when you finally do get off your ass and do that budget, you’re going to see, “Oh, I’ve got $10 going to my retirement.” Right? So you have to start somewhere and you’re not going to have your finances together. I don’t know how to say this in a way that that isn’t repetitive. People think that their finances have to be together in the sense that, “Oh, I have to pay off debt or I have to find my bank statements or I have to ask for a raise.”

 

No, no, you have to start now. You have to start now, so that you can see and calculate, well, okay, this is how much I’m making. This is how much is going out. I’m going to look around now that I know where my money is going, I’m going to look around and see how much people are making in my field, and I’m going to ask for a raise. It’s not a one and done process. It’s something that happens all the time. Well, I wonder if maybe I should be, “Oh, I found out I have a company match. I’m going to increase my contribution so that I get that company match, the full match.” Right? That is getting, you’re never going to have your finances completely fixed. It’s not going to happen, because they’re going to change over your lifetime.

 

They’re going to change as priorities change. You get married, divorced, your kids leave the house, your kids come home. You have unexpected expenses. That doesn’t happen in a period of one month of you getting your act together or in 12 months of coaching. It’s a lifelong process, and the whole point of coaching is to make you aware of these things, so that when you leave coaching, you continue to work, keeping your money, knowing where it’s going. There’s no such team is getting your finances together. It’s managing your money.

 

[00:25:28] AW: Yeah, I like that. It’s active. It’s continuous.

 

[00:25:31] DJM: Yes. It’s never going to end. You’re not going to stop feeding your body just because – I had dinner today, so no, okay, I’m fixed. I don’t have to eat any more. No. You have to continually feed your body to be able to nourish it and grow it and, and make it better. It’s the same thing with your money. You’re not going to just do that and it’s just not going to happen that way.

 

[00:25:50] AW: I agree. I think this is so important for black and Latin folks to hear and especially business owners and especially black or brown business owners, right? Because often we don’t start businesses with a whole lot of money. We don’t necessarily know how to go out there and get money because we don’t have all the connections or just don’t even know where to look to get money. But if you’re entrepreneur with a business and you haven’t set up a retirement account yet, I would say at the very least, $10 a month. $100 is even greater, but $10 a month into some account that has an interest rate that is going to multiply and grow your investment, because $10, you could just I mean, you could ask ten friends for a dollar, right? Even if you have to do that, but I want you to do that because you cannot recoup time, you can make more money, but you cannot recoup time when you’re investing. It’s so important.

 

[00:26:39] DJM: Yeah. There’s an opportunity cost there.

 

[00:26:41] AW: Yeah. Do you have more to add about how important this is for black and Latino folks, just to stay on top of the financial planning and maybe some of the things that you’ve seen working with clients?

 

[00:26:51] DJM: What I’ve seen was very common. I mean, I talked about it earlier, is that we are so focused on our families. You’ve got grandparents bringing up grandchildren. You’ve got grandparents helping the single parent. My mom, I’m a single parent. I’ve been a single parent for ten years and my mother helped me bring up my children. I think it’s really important that we learn to how do I say this? We need to learn and I’m still working on this to put ourselves first and to, and I hate to do that, because it’s such a, me thing.

 

[00:27:26] AW: Which we have been taught is not okay, but that’s actually okay.

 

[00:27:30] DJM: Because the pandemic has a huge part of this. I don’t want to wear a mask. I have freedom. I have independence, blah, blah, blah. It’s like, you’ve got the other side saying, but it’s for your neighbors, for your family, for your community, because this this country is so focused on individualism. For me to say to my mother, I want to go on a trip by myself, it’s like, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. So that’s something that I like I said, I struggle with it. I think that we can balance it. I’m still struggling with it. I do think that at least at the very least, if we recognize that black and brown communities have that thing. How dare you go to the thing or whatever? How dare you do this or the other thing when you have better things that you should be taking care of?

 

We need to say, I’ll be able to take better care of it when I’m in a better place and by going to the pool, by going to a club, by going out to dinner, by going to a friend that makes me a better person and more happy and more willing. I have more time and I want to be with you more. It’s especially hard, because we’re stuck between the two cultures. My mother was like, “I never needed a man. Blah, blah, blah, blah.” She never married, never remarried after she and my dad divorced. She told me when I was divorcing that if I got involved with somebody to at least wait until she died.

 

[00:29:04] AW: Oh, my goodness.

 

[00:29:05] DJM: Then she said, “If you do while I’m alive, I’m taking Rebecca, my sister, and I’m leaving.”

 

[00:29:11] AW: Oh, my gosh.

 

[00:29:12] DJM: Yeah.

 

[00:29:12] AW: That’s an ultimatum, right there.

 

[00:29:14] DJM: Yeah. It’s like, “wow.”

 

[00:29:16] AW: Yeah.

 

[00:29:16] DJM: I have to live my life the way she lives her life.

 

[00:29:19] AW: Right.

 

[00:29:20] DJM: Right, that’s not something that I’ve had to work on really hard over the last ten years.

 

[00:29:26] AW: Yeah, I bet.

 

[00:29:28] DJM: Because our parents say things to us that really have an impact. I mean, I’m 52 years old, and I’m fucking still having to listen to my mother. Also, it’s especially hard for our communities, I think, because we’re so family oriented that one person takes a step away and you’re seen as like, “Oh you’ve got the errors or who do you think you are?” It’s get sick of it. I just wanted to go to get a hamburger. It’s hard and it’s a lifelong process. For something like that, I think it’s really important that we admit that we need therapy, and we get a person of color who is going to understand, because that was my mistake and not doing that when I had this woman telling me, I had to find a place where my mom and sister live alone.

 

It’s really hard to do that. So I think acknowledging it, recognizing it is the first step and then figuring out how to work through all of those things, I think is where we’ll be in a more comfortable place. It won’t be comfortable if you’re my age, but maybe your age or younger, it would be more comfortable to be like, okay, by the time I’m dad’s age, I’m going to be –

 

[00:30:39] AW: You say that you’re so much older than me, but you’re not.

 

[00:30:41] DJM: Oh, just because I just turned 52, so I’m feeling like that.

 

[00:30:45] AW: Yeah. Well I’m 38. I’m a little bit behind you, but not too far, right? I know. I feel like I’m definitely closing in on my forties for sure. But just thinking about one thing I’m thinking about is those messages that we hear, right? Those things that may have served our parents or the previous generation or maybe even served us, previously, but don’t serve now.

 

I heard a similar thing from my mom. She was like, “You just have a really high need to be in a close relationship with somebody.” Because after my dad, she never dated, wasn’t interested in anybody, right? I remember I told my best friend, I was like, “Oh, my God, I’m I just needy?” My friend looked at me and she’s like, “Asha, are you crazy? You’re human. Humans are designed to be a relationship with people.” But because I had heard this from my mother, whom I love and respect the words that she said, I couldn’t even filter it through like something logical. It was like, “Oh, my God, I’m so needy. Have high needs.” Right? I think it is really important to be in community with people who are minded, who have similar experiences.

 

You hear things differently. Maybe you hear things for the first time. You can work through some of that stuff. The culture that is changing and evolving, right? It’s two different worlds that we’re living in. Another example is that my mom and my uncle and my aunt they worked for 40 plus years for the same employer. That was the thing to do. My cousin, who is who is also in her fifties, her goal was to have a new job every three years and my goal is to be my own enterprise, right? So there’s that cultural rift where my mom looks at, not looks at my cousin, but if she were to interview, she was a principal. So she were to interview someone who had a new job every three years, she’d be like, “This person’s not stable. Why do they keep leaving?” Right?

 

Then I just heard on an Instagram post, because that’s where all my inspiration comes from these days. This lady was like, “Get a new job every three to five years, because that’s how you’re going to increase your wealth, if you’re not planning to be a business owner, because then when you go to a new job, you can negotiate a higher salary than what you had from the job that you are leaving.” There’s some strategy, a jumping ship, because you can increase your income faster than if you stay in the same spot where they just are going to have the incremental three percent or 10 percent raises, right? Different time, different culture, stage advice for my mom’s generation, my cousin had a plan and made it work. Then now this younger generation is like, “Yeah, if you want to accelerate your income, this is one way to do it. Then it makes sense.” Right?

 

[00:33:15] DJM: Totally, make sense. Yeah.

 

[00:33:15] AW: Yeah. It’s so important to surround yourself with those folks who are going in the same or similar direction as you want to go, who can relate and support you along the way for sure.

 

[00:33:26] DJM: I don’t know anybody. I mean, all my entrepreneurs on social media, but it’s like, yeah, even my friends, everybody just has a nine to five that kind of thing. But nobody has struck out like this. Yeah. So community is really important in that sense that we need to see other people who speak our language and who look us to sustain us and to support us. That’s really, really important. It’s you’re like your group, your coaching program is what people need, because they need that community and it’s not going to replace the family. It’s just another, the more the merrier. You need that group that can cheer you on and that can lift you up when you need it.

 

[00:34:10] AW: Right. Right, because there, people can’t take you where they haven’t been themselves for the most part, right? If I don’t have any entrepreneurs in my family that have done something similar to what I want to do, they can clap and say good job action, but they’re not going to be able to walk me through some of those mental hurdles or challenges, because they haven’t been down that path. They might have really good, well-meaning advice from their own experience, but not the advice that can lead me through that situation. There’s no problem with that. That just means that I need to find the community that can assist me with that.

 

[00:34:47] DJM: Exactly.

 

[00:34:47] AW: Yeah. It’s really important entrepreneurs who are listening to find your community and do not wait to get set up with a financial coach or even just on your financial plan, because there is so much that you can do through your business, through opening up retirement accounts, through paying for expenses like insurance or reimbursing yourself for insurance or cell phone, like regular business expenses. There’s a lot that you can do as a business owner.

 

If you have children and you have a sole proprietorship or an LLC, you can hire your children under the age of 18 and pay them. You don’t have to pay payroll taxes and FICA. Then you can help direct that money, whether it’s their spending money or whether you want them to open up what is it called? A miner’s IRA or a custodial IRA. Then again, a time, the value of time you start contributing to your kid’s retirement accounts when they’re under the age of eight like you can’t get that time back.

 

[00:35:41] DJM: You can’t. No. I would like to say or specify, when people think of community, they may think of more a whole group, but a community can start with one other person and build up from there. That’s something that I’m working on my end, just on up here in Seattle. It’s something that I want to start, because we need hopefully with the mask mandate lifting at the end of March and hopefully with the pandemic easing or going away, please, please. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to have people meet in person, even if it’s just one other person.

 

Having that community for Latinos, for black folks, we really need to have that. We need to have that for the entrepreneurs and also even a group coaching session in my home for people to learn do a workshop or learn something. I think is really important to have that back. Somebody needs to have my back. I need to have their back. It’s really important to have them.

 

[00:36:40] AW: Yeah. It’s important to find the skill, but also to find the comfort zone. That’s what I was going to say earlier is that you’re talking about it’s going to be it might be uncomfortable to make some of these moves, but I heard this quote about the comfort zone and how it’s really a misnomer. It’s not named properly, because really it’s our familiar zone. If I am looking for some support, because my finances are in order, where I want them to be, but I’m scared to reach out because that’s out of my comfort zone. That’s not really the comfort zone. It’s the familiar zone, because I’m already uncomfortable, which is what makes me want to reach out, right?

 

Now I’m just doing something that’s not familiar. I think for me, it’s easier to accept that this is not familiar, because I’m already uncomfortable so why not be uncomfortable moving in the direction that I want to go? It’s false that I’m comfortable in my comfort zone. That’s not my comfort zone. I’m uncomfortable. It’s just familiar. Okay. Now that I know it’s just familiar, let me go move to something that’s familiar and be okay with that.

 

[00:37:42] DJM: That makes sense. Yeah.

 

[00:37:43] AW: Yeah. It’s a little bit of semantics and wordplay, but I think those words matter, they make it, says the attorney.

 

[00:37:49] DJM: It does matter.

 

[00:37:51] AW: Absolutely. Deb, if people want to find you and reach out to you and inquire about your coaching services, how do they find you?

 

[00:37:58] DJM: I most often on Instagram, @beemoneycoaching, on Facebook Bee Money Coaching. My website beemoneycoaching.com and I’m on Twitter @beemoneycoach.

 

[00:38:09] AW: Yeah. It’s bee, like B-E-E, like little bumblebee.

 

[00:38:12] DJM: Yeah. I got that because my name is Jewish or Hebrew and Bee is Deborah. Deborah, bee in Hebrew, so yeah.

 

[00:38:22] AW: That’s funny. Well, I used to be, @ashabee B-E-E on Instagram, before I change it to Asha Wilkerson, Esq. because my middle name is Bailey and I was like, “Let me try bee cute.” So I had @ashabee and a little bee right there. So, when I saw Bee Money Coaching, I was like, “Yeah.”

 

[00:38:38] DJM: Yeah. Oh, that’s so cool. I like that. Yeah.

 

[00:38:42] AW: Well, thank you Deb, so much for sharing your story with us and some of your knowledge with the entrepreneurs. If y’all are listening or watching, definitely go find Deb. She’s great, has great resources and will be a resource to you as well. If you would her to visit, go find her. All right, thanks, Deb. We’ll see y’all next time.

 

[END]

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About author:
Asha Wilkerson is the founder of The Wilkerson Law Office, P.C. Ms. Wilkerson provides skilled advice and counsel to for-profit, non-profit, and faith-based organizations in the areas of business and employment law. Her mission is to preserve the longevity of your business by ensuring that every aspect of your organization is legally sound and operating in compliance with state and federal law.

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