Unveiling the Truth: How Conditioning Impacts Your Money Story feat. Kendra Tillman

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and frustrated because you constantly undercharge for your services, discount your worth, and struggle to make ends meet, then you are not alone! Many entrepreneurs and small business owners find themselves stuck in this cycle, unable to break free from the fear and stories they have about money. Despite their hard work and dedication, they are still unable to confidently charge what they deserve, resulting in financial struggle and a lack of fulfillment. But there is hope and a way to overcome these challenges.

Go to Show Notes here.

Here’s the transcript:


Welcome to another episode of Straight Talk about Sales. And I am so excited for today’s guest, Kendra Tillman, founder of StrongHer.me Coaching & Consulting. Welcome, Kendra. Thank you for having me, Dr. Nadia.        


I’m excited. I’m excited too, because I think today’s conversation is really going to help a lot of people. But before we get into that, Kendra, tell us a little bit about your journey as an entrepreneur and what has been that path that has led you to doing the work that you do. I am first of all, I just have to say this. I’m just so honored that you would ask me to be here, and especially because of what I know we’re going to talk about.        


And that actually closely relates to how I started doing the work that I do. So for those of you who are watching or listening right now, you may remember we had a little something happen in our economy back in 2007, 2008. That is, when the real estate market crashed. My husband and I, we were heavily invested in real estate. We have always been very entrepreneurial.        


We were the people in college selling phone cards. We’ve done so many different multilevel marketing business ideas, like just whatever we could do. Entrepreneurially just with the hopes and the belief around building generational wealth. And so, of course, now enters the picture of real estate. We learn about real estate from reading a book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter.        


Everybody read that book. It was amazing. And it was very eye opening and inspirational, especially like the way that we all grew up, right? And so it just really inspired us to dream bigger and also to take more risk in the things that we were doing. And so, of course, we got caught up in the hype of all the things that were happening in real estate.        


And we just really overextended ourselves to the point where, when everything happened, it was financially devastating for us. Thankfully, we didn’t have our personal residence involved, but we did have some rental properties involved. We had bought some land during that time. And so it was just financially, it was a really difficult time for us. It was a low point for us in a lot of different ways.        


And actually that season that we went through in terms of the emotional healing, the spiritual healing, all the things that I needed to process and work through, that was actually what brought me to the work that I do now around empowering women to activate their authentic voice for their mission driven purpose and for their own self advocacy. Because during that season, whenever you’ve gone through some type of loss, any type of loss, so for us it was financial, but for other people, listening and watching, it may be something else. Anytime you go through loss, one of the experiences you might have is you might experience some shame. And with shame, shame one of the things that it does is it silences you and it keeps you from really telling your story. It keeps you from believing that anybody would want it basically makes you feel like you’re disqualified from being able to do the things that you feel called to do.        


And so I definitely went through that. And so the journey that I went through, that journey of not only healing, but then also growing and also starting to believe again and rebuild my confidence that I could be successful in the things that I wanted to do is why I started doing the work that I do now around coaching women leaders, empowering them with tools and resources that really help them live a brave and authentic life. And so that’s what brought me to the work that I do. And that’s a lot of I know what we’re going to be talking about today. So one of the things that I love that you shared because it’s so true and I see it a lot, is how shame silences, right?        


And I’ve had my own journey with things that have happened that have been devastating. And you’re right, I was silent. I just kind of went to my little corner and cried and just kept it because I was like, I can’t show up out in the world and have this voice while I’m dealing with this. And it’s like, seriously, Nadia? But we do it all the time.        


And so I really wanted to bring you on because not only did this incident what happened, and a lot went down in 2007, 2008, trust me. And my husband went through some stuff that year too. I was in banking. So that’s all I got to say. Yes.        


You know, firsthand oh, yeah. And we had packed up in 2008, moved across the country, got married, and boom, it was like, oh, okay, this is how we start our marriage out. Great. I totally get it. But not only did this impact you guys financially and just your relationship with you and your husband, but there were also some other relationships that were involved, and it was just a sticky, financial, relational, icky time.        


Of course, now you’re on a different path, but tell us a little bit about how you felt going through that and then we’ll talk about how that showed up in your work. Yeah, for sure. For me, I put a high value on relationships. And I remember when we first decided that other people that we were friends with, that we were connected to through our church, that they were going to be involved in some of the projects and things that we were working on. I was like one of the conversations that we had with everybody is I would rather us not be in business together if it’s going to cost us relationships.        


Same, right? But of course, everybody’s like, no, don’t worry, we understand. You don’t have control over these things. Right. But that’s very different.        


When money gets involved, it gets very tense very fast. Yes. Especially, I think, too, if people also have some type of belief that maybe somehow you profited and they didn’t. And so for us, basically, what happened was we lost some of those relationships, even though we paid back every person who had made any type of investment with us. We paid back all the money, we paid back all our debts.        


We paid off all our debts and everything. But we did lose some of those relationships in the process. And for me, I felt so embarrassed because I really thought that what we were doing was the right thing. I thought that the way that we did it. I know my husband was super diligent, like, doing his due diligence and stuff, but now, of course, at this age, I can look back and see some things that we could have done a lot differently, that we would have done differently.        


But yeah, that was the shame, the embarrassment that I felt, the disappointment, the disillusionment. I mean, I felt every emotion. It was like every emotion you can feel, I felt it. That’s negative. I felt all of that.        


That’s what essentially happened as a result of the other people that were being involved. And I truly feel like and maybe you can relate to this as well, is that it wouldn’t have felt as hard if other people weren’t involved because I’ve hurt other people. It’s one thing when your wound is self-inflicted. Right, right. It’s a whole nother thing when you inflict wounds on other people.        


So that was, honestly, for me, the hardest part. And also because I’m a woman of faith, I really felt let down. Like, I felt let down by my husband. I felt led down by God. I really went into a victim mindset not saying that some of what I felt was not valid and normal that people feel, because it is.        


But I really saw how I can see now, looking back, how much of a victim I felt to my circumstances, which I’m very grateful now that we are way on the other side of that. Hallelujah. We’ll probably talk more about that later. But yeah. You have this going on in your personal life and somewhat business related.        


Right. But it’s outside of the work that you’re doing with women and coaching and all of that, those things are very separate. Air, quote separate. Yes. But like you said, you’re feeling all of these emotions.        


So when you start doing your work, working with women, and I know you’ve had various iterations, but one of the things you’ve been really consistent with is working with women. Right? Yes. And you’re having sales conversations with these women, inviting them to work with you. How does all of that, that’s going on over here, that’s still brewing show up in those conversations?        


Yeah, that’s such a good question. Okay. And let me kind of give you a little bit of a timeline. So I was ten years into marriage. So 2007, I was already ten years into marriage.        


I hosted my first women’s empowerment event in 2014. So between 2007, when all of this transpired in 2014, 2014 is when I feel like I really stepped into where I knew I was on the path that got. But between 2007 and 2014, I was finding my way. Like, I was trying to figure out, where is God taking me on this journey? And so in that time frame, between 2007 and 2014, I was doing a lot of writing online.        


And I’m going to be honest, Dr. Nadia, I didn’t really know how to make money. So I even remember a friend asking me, well, how do you make money doing this? I see you doing all this writing. I see you putting out all these blogs.        


Because at the time, I had a blog and I was doing, like, YouTube videos, and she was like, how do you make I don’t. I don’t make there’s a certain business model that I’m trying to follow, not really understanding, how do you make money doing this? Right? So 2014 comes, I host my first women’s empowerment event. And I will say, prior to that event, I really struggle with charging people for anything because I had a mindset that, well, they can’t afford it, and it’s not fair for me to charge them and nobody will pay for this.        


I had all those types of beliefs mixed in together, and all of it was based in fear. Because one of the things that going through an experience like that where for me, it was one of my nightmares, it was one of my worst dreams realized is that it put a seed of fear on the inside. Of me about feeling rejected by people and wanting to put something out there, but being afraid to take the risk of putting it out there. And so I would say in that window of time, that was really what that was looking like for me in my business. It wasn’t a business.        


It was a hobby. I thought it was a business, but it wasn’t. In all transparency, it has taken me a really long time to finally learn how to make money in business. Wow.        


I can relate, because I know the work that I do now, but I have my own journey to get there. And I remember very similar, like, I don’t know how to charge or if I just say how amazing this is, you’ll just ask me how you right. No, that never happened for me. That was never my.        


And one of them. The reason why I invited you, Kendra, is because I know the work that you do and the impact it has, because I’ve worked with you personally. Like, I’ve hired Kendra to help me get myself together. But I also know that when you’ve had an experience like that, it’s very difficult, if not almost impossible, to show up in your day to day work and especially building a business and having sales conversations and not have that running in the background or having that honestly be your mouthpiece like you’re speaking through that particular lens. So what were some of the things that you did to overcome that, to not have that be the lens that you looked at things through your business?        


Well, I would say one of the things that I did was I really read a lot because that’s part of who I am, is someone who gathers a lot of information. I’ve learned over the years how to actually put action behind it and not just gather it. So I’ve read a lot of different things. So one of the books that I read probably in the last six or seven years is a book called Overcoming Underearning. Have you ever read that book before?        


I have not. It’s by the same person who wrote a book called I think it’s called The Six Figure Earner for Women or something like that. It’s the same person who wrote that. But this book called Overcoming Underearning, what it did was it really helps you address your fears around money and the stories that we tell ourselves, right? And so one of the things that I have learned through reading is that there is a lot of stories that I had created in my own mind because of our experience.        


Also, let me just be real, because of the conditioning that I have gotten as a Christian. Sometimes in my Christian faith, I think there is so much misunderstanding about money and how it works and how we use it and why we need it. And so in my own attempt to be humble and modest, just like you mentioned before, it was causing me not to ask people for money like my services, to pay for my services that I have worked hard for, that I have learned how to provide something that is valuable to you, that benefits you. So that’s one thing is the reading, I would say. Another thing is actually doing something that made me have to stretch and be uncomfortable, and that was hosting those events.        


So for five years, I hosted women’s empowerment events. And that was actually one of the things that truly broke the belief off of my mind that I shouldn’t be asking people to pay for the work that I’m doing for them, because there would be things that I would want to do in terms of the experience that I want to have when they come to the event. But I couldn’t do it because I didn’t have enough money. Because guess what? All the people that I wanted to hire to help me create this beautiful experience for women, they needed money.        


They charged money. Pay them, right? My speakers, they needed money. They needed money for this. And that was when it finally was like, oh, I need to charge people.        


For this, because charge adequately. Yes. Because I cannot even give people the kind of experience that I want them to have because I’m not making enough money doing this. Exactly. Another thing that I did was actually, like, one of your workshops.        


One of the number one things that I remember from your workshop is you had us do this quiz, and it was basically like, what type of, I don’t know, sales personality? Your sales personality? Oh, yeah. Your blind spots. Blind spots, okay.        


And what I identify with was Dreaming Diane. I have told you so many times. Right? So Dreaming Diane is the person like, I’m literally waiting for people to come to me.        


Yes. And I’m waiting for them to knock on my door, like, come to my address, my home in Phoenix, and be like, Kendra, we need you. Please help us. Right?        


That was what I was essentially doing. And what I realized after I did your workshop, I remember reaching out to a woman that I saw had got this speaking opportunity where she was going to travel to another state and she was going to teach, and I assumed they were going to pay her. And so I sent her a DM, and I just asked her, I said, how do you get opportunities like this? Right? And she was like I just went on their website.        


I saw they were looking for speakers, and I applied for it, and I. Was like, you were like, shocking. You actually asked them? Okay. And that kept happening where more and more people I would talk to and I would be like, how did they get this opportunity to speak here?        


And how did they book this client, and how did they get that? And it would be like, oh, we reached out to them, and we said, hey, we have this thing that we’re selling. Would you like to buy it? Yes. You were like, what a concept.        


Right? And I know we make it. We’re laughing and joking about it but I’m serious. I didn’t realize that I needed to be proactive. I could not just expect people to know that I have something that they would actually want to pay for.        


Yeah, I relate to that so much. I remember when I first started as a coach way back in the day, and, oh, my gosh, I remember so clear. I was like, oh, my gosh, I’m so excited about being a coach because I get to serve women from my office in my yoga pants. I’m so excited. But similar to you, I could definitely relate to Dream and Diane, too, because I was just like, if I build it, they will come.        


So I was spending all this time in my office. I got business cards. I have a website. I had all this stuff and zero clients. So $0 in my bank account and my vision was that these people were going to you remember like when the iPhone first came out a gajillion years ago and people would line up around the Apple Store spending the night to meet up?        


Right. In my mind, that’s what people were going to do for me, except virtually. And it just never happened. So similar to you. I had a coach.        


She was like, I’m Nadia, you’re going to have to reach out to people and see if they will invite you to be a speaker. But you have to be proactive. You have to let them know that you’re available and what you talk about. And I was like, oh, I gotta put some elbow. Yes.        


You got to put in some sweat equity. Okay. Yes, you really do. And to tie it back, because you’re right, we giggle and we can make light of it now, but trust me, when we were going, it was not a laughing matter. So we are definitely healed from that.        


Right. But when you think about trying to build a business under the shadow of shame and embarrassment and disappointment and hurt, it is really difficult. Yes. Thank you for sharing ways that you’ve come out of that because I know I’ve been there and I know many other women have been there and some may be there now. So we are just a testament that you can get beyond this.        


And I have a friend that I know. I’m trying not to give too much of his business away just because keep his identity completely anonymous, but he bought a business some years ago and he got a big loan. So, you know, he went through that whole process and was one of those rare people that got this massive funding from like the SBA or somebody, right. And he had a brick and mortar business in an industry similar to what went down in 2008. Things shifted and that just was no longer profitable and he had to let that business go and deal with all the fallout because now not only your business not work, but you still got whoever breathing down your neck about their money, right? Yes.        


And I remember having a conversation with him one time. I don’t even know how this came up. That was not the initial intent of our conversation, but he was just so removed. He wasn’t necessarily callous about it. Like he acknowledged like, dude, this just didn’t work out.        


I took a big risk. These are things that I did. It didn’t work out. I’m having to deal with it. But it was fascinating to me because he didn’t make it his identity.        


So while this didn’t he was able to separate his business failure from who he was as a person. So he didn’t necessarily have the shame and he had employees. So it did impact some people. Maybe not, because we tend to be a lot more relational with our folks. Right.        


But there were people who were impacted. You have employees they’re impacted if the business shuts down. Right. But one of my takeaways was his identity wasn’t tied up in the fact that the business didn’t work out the way he had hoped it would and that he could start a new venture and not carry the guilt and the shame. And not to say that when we talked that he hadn’t gone through his own process, because, like I said, I didn’t get to ask him these kinds of questions, but it was just really insightful for me, having gone through something similar as you, Kendra, where I was just the shame, the embarrassment.        


Like, how can I even show my like, I didn’t hear that from know things just didn’t go right. I probably should have done some things differently. And I was like, how do you? I just felt like you owe so much money that I don’t know how I would be able to function right now. And you are just like, it is what it is, but I have other things to do. And so that was just such an eye opener for me.        


Yeah. And you know what? When I hear you describe what you saw in him, we are far more resilient than we actually realize and recognize. And even on your worst day, there is more in you than you think there is on the inside of you. Right.        


You know, I always say you are stronger than you think. Yes. You have a book. Yes. And that whole event that I started was around resilience because we have a capacity that far exceeds what we even know and what we even recognize and God doesn’t waste anything.        


He doesn’t waste anything that we’ve been through, anything that we’ve gone through. He can take every single thing that feels painful, that feels like you were never going to get to the other side of it. I literally remember one of the conversations I had with my husband is I was telling him how I was talking to one of my closest girlfriends when they were moving and they were about to buy another house. And I remember thinking to myself, I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to buy another house. And I remember the sadness that I felt thinking about that.        


Because again, my husband and I, we don’t come from a family of wealth, and we have put in a lot of years and effort and time and energy and just everything that we know to do in order to be able to leave something to our children’s children. And that was really the whole purpose behind us getting involved as entrepreneurs, is that we wanted to be able to leave this financial legacy. And we were in our first home when this all happened. And so I just felt like, man, we have messed up so bad that now we’re never going to be able to own a home again. And my husband was like, I never thought that he was like, no.        


He was like, I knew we were going to recover. It was hard, it was difficult. It was a very low point. He was like, But I never thought that we wouldn’t get to and I’ll say in that moment, I really felt the sadness of it. And what I have learned since then is that one of the things that helps you get to the other side of that is knowing that there is a strength on the inside of you that you have to lean on, you have to rely on to help you continue to be able to move forward.        


And I know that we live in a culture now where people don’t always like for you to talk about being strong because they feel like that means you also can’t be vulnerable. But that’s not at all what I’m saying. I also try to give people the analogy of strong, like water, right? Because water is a powerful force. Right.        


Think about floods and damage that water can do. But water is very flexible, and it can move with whatever is going on. And so when I say strong, that’s what I mean. We have that power on the inside of us, but we also can be very flexible at the same time in terms of knowing that, hey, this is temporary. This is a temporary situation.        


Yes. I love it. There is hope. There is hope. Absolutely.        


I love it. So it’s funny because that’s a perfect segue as you’re talking about strength and being stronger than you think, because this is work that you do now with women and organizations and teams. You’ve done it with my team in terms of Kolbe and understanding our strengths. So tell us more about that work, in particular that you’re doing. And I think you have a great gift.        


I invite everyone to take advantage of it that you’re going to share with us as well. Yeah, for sure. One of the things when you asked me how was I able to finally be able to move forward in my business? Start to actually charge people? Yes.        


One of the things that I’ve learned is about your strengths, leaning into your strengths. We have all been taught since we were children that there’s things about us that we need to change, that need to be different, but we haven’t always been taught what our strengths are. And I will tell you, a lot of times, the things that you got in trouble for as a kid, they were your strengths. Yes, they were. Right.        


You just didn’t know how to harness them. Right. Like I always say, you got to. Use your powers for good and not for evil. I tell my mom, now I get paid to talk.        


Exactly. I stay in trouble for talking too much. Exactly. That’s a perfect example. And so that’s why, for me, one of the biggest things that in the work that I do that I put an emphasis around is women knowing what their strengths are and leaning into those strengths, embracing what your strengths are.        


And one of the tools that I use in order to help you uncover your strengths and then to be able to leverage the strengths that you have. And if you have a team, also be able to leverage their strengths is a tool called the Kolbe Assessment. And the Kolbe Assessment has been around for over 40 years. Millions of people have taken it. And it is a tool that measures your instinctive strengths, your problem solving strengths.        


So when you are striving, you are taking action, you’re trying to figure out a problem. How do you naturally take action? And when you take the Kolbe Assessment, what it does is it’ll give you a report that not only lists your strengths, but something that I think that makes it different is it will tell you how to start to put that into action in your everyday life. And if you are part of a team, how do you look at the strengths of the other people on your team and then be able to say, okay, you have a strength in this area, I have a strength in that area. How can we bring these together to create this synergy for our entire team?        


And so that is the assessment that Dr. Nadia has taken. That’s the one that her team members have taken. And I’ve done a team training for now. Yeah.        


So one of the things that I offer now is, if you’re curious and you’re interested, you can go to strongher.me/kolbeminisession. And Kolbe is spelled K-O-L-B-E. MiniSession. So strongher.me/kolbeminisession. And basically what I’m offering is a complimentary 45 minutes debrief where I walk you through the results of your report, a laser coaching session.        


So whatever specific goals or a project or maybe something a challenge that you’re facing right now in your work or in your business, we can talk through that using your results to help you come up with an action plan of how you want to be able to move forward. And so the cost for that part of it is absolutely free. I’m not charging anything for that. All you need to do is make the $55 investment in the actual assessment itself. And so all the details in order for you to do that are at strongher.me/kolbeminisession.        


It’ll walk you step by step through everything you need to do to get that call set up. Oh, my gosh. And we’ll make sure to have that link in our show notes, but I encourage everyone to do it because I’ve taken Nicole. I think back in 2014, I went to an event. I don’t know.        


I took the Kolbe. And so I knew my numbers, but I didn’t know what they meant. Right. And I would hear this lingo that people. Would thought you were a quick start.        


You were this, you are that. And I was like, okay, but it wasn’t until you and I had that one on one, and you broke it down. And that was what, last year? No, I think it was 2021. So seven years later, yes, I finally had someone sit down with me one on one to help me understand what that meant, and I was like, oh.        


And then again, we also did it with my team. So we got to see how we, as a team, what our different strengths were, how we could work better together. I also got to cover a hiring bias that Nadia has. I was like, that was insightful, right? We all do, right?        


We all have them to see that. And so I definitely encourage everyone. And, Kendra, what is one of the ways that Kolbe is different? Because I’m sure people are like, well, I know my disc or whatever, but how is Kolbe slightly different for some of the other assessments that we may have taken? So one of the things we always tell people about the Kolbe, it’s complementary to other ones.        


So it’s like, if you’ve taken this or take the Kolbe and you don’t need anything else, they actually complement each other. Because Kolbe is the only assessment that measures the part of your brain that measures how you take action. So the other ones measure your personality. They measure your preferences, what motivates you, what drives you. But Kolbe is the only one that actually measures when I give you a problem to solve.        


So you have some type of problem you’re trying to solve in your business, or you have a project as a team that you’re working on. How would you go about solving that? And so what that does is helps you realize that maybe you’re using a lot of your energy doing things in your business or in your work or in your personal life, because it’s not just your professional life, but it’s also your personal life. Maybe you’re doing things that are draining your energy, and maybe there’s someone around you that would be a better use of their energy if they were working on that. So just looking at those two different things of that part of your mind of how you take action and how you use your energy in a way that’s more effective so you can be less stressed, you can have more energy for the work that you really want to be doing.        


Love it. Yeah. Thank you, Kendra. Oh, my goodness. So fast.        


I know. I’m like, you wrapping us up already. We have so much that we can talk about. Yes. We’ll just have to bring you back for a part two, that’s all.        


Okay, that sounds good. Thank you for joining us today. Thank you for sharing your insight. Thank you for being willing to be vulnerable. I think this is really going to help a lot of people understand that there is truly hope and light at the end of the tunnel.        


All right. I hope so. That’s what I’m hoping when you like I said when you sent me the email, I was so honored. And I’m like anything that I can do to encourage another person, another woman, to be able to believe that she is stronger than she thinks. I’m all for it.        


Yes. Perfect way to end this episode. You are stronger than you think. Thanks for joining us. We’ll see you soon.