Becoming a Strong Self-Advocate

Two women in a business meeting

In this virtual session, the founder of women-focused financial planning firm, Willow, visits The Mom Project with her team to discuss how to advocate for yourself in negotiations at work and at home. Watch the video to learn more about adopting a money mindset, owning your authentic self, and finding allies to boost your confidence.

Lacy Garcia is the CEO and Founder of Willow.  Lacy is the daughter of a Cuban refugee who says her money mindset was shaped early on. She combined her work in education and financial services to launch the virtual fintech company Willow and financially empower women throughout their life journeys including divorce, retirement and more. 

Sheila Walsh, CFP is the GM of Financial Coaching for Willow. As a Certified Financial Planner professional, Sheila is passionate about helping women understand how to unlock their capacity for an abundant life. At Willow, Sheila works with an impressive network of financial coaches around the nation as they support women in making healthy financial decisions aligned to their goals, life journey and values. 

Carol Terrell is a Financial Coach and Credit Consultant at Willow. Carol was born and raised in Englewood, Chicago and started her career in the medical field where her dream was to become a doctor. She worked in the medical field for more than 25 years in a multitude of positions and later decided to step out on faith and open her own business, Onyx Capital Enterprise. She is a Singmopreneur, contributing author, Department Of Defense contractor, and a Financial Coach who operates an online financial resource hub where she aims to create wealth with options.

Therese (Terry) Nicklas is a Certified Financial Planner and Certified Money Coach(CMC). Therese empowers women with smart money strategies to help them get from where they are to where they want to be with ease. Often the stress of the unexpected makes it hard to make financial decisions, and Therese specializes in working with women experiencing a lifestyle shift, such as widowhood, divorce, job or career change.


  1. The 3 P Framework for Self-Advocacy with Sheila Walsh
  2. How to Be Your Authentic Self with Carol Terrell
  3. Get to Know Your Money Mindset with Therese (Terry) Nicklas
  4. Q&A

0:00 Hiba Abdillahi: Hi everyone. Welcome to this week's edition of Unity Hour. It's a series designed to keep us moving together while we're apart because... Yes, we are still apart. My name is Hiba Abdillahi, I am the Social Media Manager here at The Mom Project. Katie, who is back, I'm so excited that she's back... She is womaning the YouTube chat and welcoming all of you to attending live today. I also have Tiffany here, who's my backup in case anything happens, because we know what technology things really happen. As a reminder, this entire session will be recorded and can be accessed via the YouTube channel, you'll also receive an email with the link and follow-up items if you RSVP’d to the session. 

So we got you covered 'cause we know things do come up, we're just really thrilled to have you guys here again with us for another week, unity is increasingly important as we just continue to navigate these challenges with just everything going on. The only constant is change, and we're grateful for your participation and acknowledge showing up and making an ambitious effort. The Mom Project was founded to build a better workplace for the future for moms for everyone, and a big part of this mission is a powerful community that has formed around this purpose, and each of you play an important role in that.

1:19 Hiba Abdillahi: Today's topic is a real, real big one, it's about becoming a strong self-advocate, I know we've all been in situations where we needed to negotiate for ourselves, whether it's at home with a partner, at work, with friends or wherever, situations come up where you need to become a better advocate for yourself. So we've called in the experts, I'm really excited to introduce you to this amazing panel and women. Without further ado, I'm thrilled to introduce you to Lacy Garcia, who is the CEO and founder of Willow, a platform designed to financially empower women throughout their life journey, including divorce, retirement and so much more. 

Sheila Walsh, who is the GM of financial coaching for Willow, she's a certified financial planner professional, and she's passionate about helping women understand how to unlock their capacity for an abundant life. Carol Terrell, who is also a financial coach and credit consultant who operates an online financial resource hub where she aims to create wealth with options. She's also a fellow Chicagoan, like myself. And Therese Nicklas, who is a certified financial planner and Money Coach. She empowers women with Smart Money strategies to help them get from where they are and to get them where they want to be with ease. So I'm gonna throw it over to Lacy...Get us into the topic.

2:39 Lacy Garcia: Hiba, thank you so much and Tiffany, and thank you to The Mom Project. We are really delighted to be here today, we believe so strongly in your mission and the work that you're doing, and we are thrilled to get a chance to connect with everybody who's on this, on this Unity Hour with us and look forward to having, hopefully, a very... Enriching and rewarding conversation. 

So it's my pleasure to welcome you officially to becoming a strong advocate, self-advocate and learning how to get what you want. So I'm Lacy Garcia and I'm the founder and CEO of Willow and as Hiba did a great job of explaining who we are, but we are a financial coaching, a virtual financial coaching and technology platform, and we're focused on financially empowering women. And how we do that is by bringing together technology and real human relationships, personalized guidance from these amazing coaches that you'll hear from today to help women navigate our life journeys, because even though we'd like to have money be separate from our life, it's completely intertwined. 

And our overall health and wellness is so tied in to our financial health, and we provide education, inspiration and help to match women with a financial coach or a financial advisor who is uniquely equipped to understand not just what they need from a financial perspective, but who's walked the same life journey and experienced the same things and can connect for instance, as a mom. So I founded Willow because despite the fact that I was in financial services and I was a private banker when it came to my own personal life, I struggled.

4:19 Lacy Garcia: I had a really hard time finding an advisor that wouldn't just give good advice, but that I couldn't connect with and would help me to become confident and secure who I could let down my guard and ask the stupid questions. Right. And I had such a hard time, it was really difficult, and I didn't want other women to struggle the way that I did. 

I ended up connecting with a life and then a financial coach who really made a huge difference as I went through many things in my life, including navigating multiple career transitions, starting a business, but a very difficult divorce, and being a single, full-time working mom who’s also trying to co-parent and covid and remote learning and all these things that we navigate, which are so... Which are so challenging. 

And the thing is, we feel so alone, but there's others, many of us who've been through similar experiences and what you're doing and bringing us all together is so important because we can learn from one another. If we're open, we're honest, and we ask for help, we can do that, and that's at the heart of becoming a... Becoming your own self advocate.

5:26 Lacy Garcia: And one thing I just wanna share is we were asked why we named the company Willow. We chose Willow because a willow tree is one of the strongest and the most resilient trees, it's actually able to completely bend without breaking, and it's also graceful and feminine like the women that we work with, like the women that we serve. And we believe in helping women to become strong so that they can stand tall like a willow tree against the changing winds, which are obviously coming at us from every direction right now. 

But we can do that with grace and strength and be adaptable and be flexible, so have a strong foundation in our financial plan and our own kind of health and wellness, but be able to bend and be able to be flexible. So we're gonna talk today about how to become your own self-advocate, which is a life-long journey in itself, and I've gotta say, I was thinking about this and I was thinking about being on an airplane, which I haven't been on an airplane now since March. 

But you know, the announcement about putting on the mask on yourself before you put it on your child. When I was younger, I always had...before I became a mom, I had a really hard time with that statement. I was like, How could a mom put on the mask on herself before she put it on a child, who could do that?

6:46 Lacy Garcia: And I have to tell you, now that I'm a mother, I understand that. Now that I've been through some really hard things in my life, I understand that if we don't take care of ourselves, we don't advocate for ourselves, we're not strong, we can't be there for our children, we can't be there for the people that we love, we can't be there for the people who work for us. So we need to learn how to do that, and we need to do that by working together and by helping and by supporting one another. 

So it's so important that we work together as a community to become stronger, and it's okay to be vulnerable, vulnerability, equals strength, raising your hand, asking for help, getting the right advice, the right guidance helps is where you need to start, and that's actually what leads you to strength. So at Willow we focus on specifically, on financially empowering, but through conversations around what's really going on in your life, what your real goals are, what you're trying to achieve. 

What are the challenges that you're dealing with? I mean, are you struggling with trying to keep... Trying to keep your career going while you're remote learning your children, are you going through a difficult divorce are you considering getting a divorce, were you recently widowed, are you trying to buy a new home and make that decision in all this uncertainty right now, but we help women to start there by matching you with the right coach, and so one of the things we wanna do is following this webinar, we'd like to give you a special offer from Willow, everyone who's attended this day, to work with a financial coach.

8:20 Lacy Garcia: And financial coaches will help you with areas such as managing spending plans, balancing savings, investing, creating financial resiliency, facilitating family conversations and debt management. And we also match women with financial advisors if they're looking for specific help around investments, and we can make that connection as well.

So now it's my pleasure and a great honor to introduce Sheila Walsh, who's our GM of financial coaching, and our other incredible Willow coaches, Carol Terrell, who is based in Chicago, as you mentioned, and Therese Niklas who's based in Boston. But the great thing is today, we can connect, we can all be in each other's living room and each other's family rooms, in each other's office right now, because we're connected virtually, so it doesn't really matter where we are, we're all together. Sheila, over to you.

9:09 Sheila Walsh: Thank you, Lacy, and thank you so much, Hiba and Tiffany. And everyone for being here. It's great to be here, there's so much that we can't do right now, so to have the opportunity to connect and be in the presence of so many amazing motivated women, it's really special. Learning to be a strong self-advocate in any life situation holds the key to your future happiness and how you can bring your strengths into the world, there's no doubt this is a challenging time. 

Things are completely different than we thought they would be, we're re-defining so much in our life right now, school is outside under tents, in pods, online, and today we're gonna talk about redefining how we think about negotiation. Sometimes when people hear the words Personal Finance, they think Wall Street and spreadsheets. And if they hear negotiations, they think power suits and poker faces, but it doesn't have to be this way. Your journey is about what's important to you, your goals and what you value. Let's start with a question for the audience. Who is the number one person that you negotiate with? Put it in the chat. Let's see what folks are saying, the number one person that you negotiate with.

10:39 Sheila Walsh: Now, even though we don't all know each other, I think I might know the answer. Hiba, let's hear a couple of them. 

10:52 Hiba Abdillahi: I’m looking, I don't see anything yet. Oh, some people are saying, my kids are the number one people I negotiate with... Who else? Yeah, my five-year-old, family, toddler, myself, my husband, a lot of children though, a lot of people are negotiating with their kids.

11:16 Sheila Walsh: Yeah, it's true, but I do think that the number one person we all negotiate with is ourselves, it's you... And a quick story, I remember when I was in high school, I really wanted to be a rower, I wanted to be on the crew team, but my high school didn't have a crew team, which is no boats, no water, and because I wasn't part of a team already, going into college, I learned quickly that I would have to stand up for myself and advocate for myself to make it there, so I did. I researched rowing programs, I talked to coaches, I talked to athletes, I signed up for a summer camp, and I figured out... it was gonna take a lot of hard work to get to the program that I wanted to. 

These rosters were full of young women who had so much more experience than me, however, it was through coaching and hard work and perseverance that I made the team, and I can tell you with 100% certainty today that if I didn't make that commitment to advocate for myself, my life would be totally different. The things I learned about advocacy and mental toughness are still ones that I draw on today, I learned to push myself, and I've carried this experience in every single chapter of my life and my career ever since.

12:39 Sheila Walsh: So this afternoon, we're going to talk about some of the things that you can do to become a stronger self-advocate. So we'll start with a framework to guide you during negotiations and any difficult conversation that you have, we'll discuss how to be your authentic self, how to get to know your money mindset and advocate for yourself in real life situations. And we're gonna wrap up with some steps about how you can commit to your journey ahead. 

The 3 P Framework for Self-Advocacy

13:09 Sheila Walsh: The first key of our three P framework of self-advocacy is pause. Without taking a pause to identify what's most to you, we have a tendency to look to external factors to help us make a choice, but does it matter if a colleague negotiated more vacation days, if what you really want is a flexible work schedule to spend time with your children? The second P is prepare. Once you know what you want, you can prepare to get it. In negotiations, there are often multiple outcomes that are possible, and there's usually a curve ball or two in the process. That's why we encourage you to prepare, write down your questions, do your research, ask yourself what it's going to take so that you never find yourself saying those words.

14:04 Sheila Walsh: I wish that I had. The final P of the framework is practice. I get it. We don't talk about money that much, in fact, many women dread conversations about money yet with practice, you will get more comfortable, and I wanna remind you as a mother, you've been practicing those negotiations about screen time and eating vegetables, I think those probably sound familiar. And you know what it means to be an advocate for others. You stand up for your children, you stand up for their best interest every day, and you can apply those principles to yourself. 

And when you become a stronger self-advocate and when you engage in those taboo discussions, you're advancing advocacy for all women. When we shrink back, we suffer our families, our career, our bank accounts are all impacted, yet when you stand up for yourself, you're giving everyone around you the opportunity to get the full view... The woman who's giving it her all, so now I'm going to turn this over to Willow financial coach, Carol Terrell, whose story is really an inspirational one about how to be a self-advocate and as a coach, Carol now guides her many clients to become better stewards of their finances, Carol.

How to Be Your Authentic Self

15:28 Carol Terrell: Hi everyone. I'm Carol Terrell, and again, I just wanna thank Hiba, Tiffany, The Mom Project for having Willow and it’s coaches on to talk about something that's very needed on today, it's a very important topic, especially as moms and more importantly, also as single moms. I'm a single mother, and my story pretty much goes back to being able to advocate, but then advocate for myself, and then falling off that wheel and becoming homeless twice, and then have to go re-pick up from there. 

And basically, what I'll just say to you guys is, the best thing that I found myself doing is showing up for me. I literally had to say, Hey, look in the mirror, because as moms, when we have kids, we start getting away, you're not looking the same, you're tired, you're running around. And the worst thing that we can do is we're self-pity... we’re self-pitying ourselves, we're doubting ourselves, and when we do that, we take away the power that... the God-given power that has been given to us as as women, as nurtures, as the mother that advocate for your kids, and when we kinda just started beating up on ourselves and walking in other people's shoes, you wanna, Hey, this person looks like that, or this person is like that, we kinda start saying, Hey, that's who I wanna be, but those shoes are not fit for you, that's not the place you belong.

16:57 Carol Terrell: So, what I do is I just say, Hey, who are you, Carol? When you show up in the room are you showing up as your authentic self? Not as an imposter and not trying to... Not trying to be what somebody else wants me to be or what they perceive me to be, but owning my own space where I am today right now, not where God is taking me in the future, or not where I'm going, but right now being okay. 

Right where I am and saying, Hey, from there, I'm investing in growing and not just growing in our successes like on the job, things like that, growing holistically in yourself, speaking over yourself, making sure that everything that you... That's in you, that you are bringing that out, like we have to have power our own selves, like how can we go in the room and advocate for ourselves, if we are actually not even secure with ourselves, we know that we're not secure, then we're gonna go in a room and try to advocate for something, and we're not even positive about that thing, so... 

The best thing I just always say to myself, Hey, how are you showing up? Are you showing up authentic? Are you showing up humble? Did you prepare? What is the end result? What are the goals here? What are the goals, but also showing up as not just making it about me, whether it's on a job, whether you're going through a divorce, whether you're negotiating with your kid.

18:24 Carol Terrell: It's never just about you. So sometimes when we’re advocating for ourself, we gotta make sure that we're also thinking about what we're having for and who we’re advocating with to make sure that it's not just us about us. If I'm at the job and I'm trying to get a position increase on a job, I wanna make sure that when I'm advocating for myself, that I'm also listening to the person that I'm trying to get that job with or that increase in making sure I understand their needs and that it's a common ground that I can fit where you want me to be... But also, it's not just about me as well, so sometimes... And I know it's a lot of women out here that can agree. 

We sometimes...we operate in our hearts, and I've learned this too we always operate in our heart and our emotions, and we just sometimes need to pause, like Sheila said, just pause and just think about the situation, or listen to the conversation or the person you communicating with and not operating out of heart, but listen. 'cause a lot of times when you listen, the answer is right there, like the answers right there, you're not operating in your heart or your emotions or what...

19:37 Carol Terrell: It's about me, This is what I want, and this is what I have to have. No, we just have to sometimes slow down... As women, we have to say no. Are you operating in an emotional place, are you operating in a place of revenge... I've been through a divorce, and sometimes when we go through those type of things and we can agree as women that it hurts us, no one wants to get divorced, no one wants to feel like you put all your life and time into a relationship, and then somebody is wanting to leave you or go somewhere else. 

But what I do know is when that happens, we get emotional and then now we have that kind of revenge thing in mind... Oh, you're not getting the kids. You're not getting this, I'm gonna do this. And ultimately, when we get in that negotiation place, it never goes well when you're just thinking about you, because you gotta remember if kids are involved, how are you hurting the kids, and then you also gotta be mindful about the person who hurt you too... We don't know actually what they're feeling in this process either, so let's go into a place of negotiating where it's beneficial to all parties, it's not just about you and when you show up in the room, humble and with your goal set.

20:50 Carol Terrell: But also knowing that I'm not operating in a place of revenge or just about me, you will always win, it's always a win, because people will see that on you, they will say... This person's not coming in there to be all know all this position is for me, like humbly show up in the room and be your authentic stuff because you're authentic self. Nobody else can be Carol, nobody else can be Lacy, nobody else can be Hiba. Nobody else can do what you do, nobody else has the talents or the gifts that you have been given, we all are perfectly made in our own way, but on those things that you are given... And be okay with it right now. 

And also understand that when you're navigating for yourself or self-advocating for yourself, all notes do not mean that its denial. Delay does not mean denial we have to understand that sometimes the places we’re self-advocating or trying to negotiate for ourselves may not be that room or that table that's prepared for you to be in at that time, be okay with that, someone else may have been the better fit for it, but it doesn't mean that you know that you didn't self-advocate for yourself. 

22:06 Carol Terrell: And then also be okay with it if it doesn't work, if whatever you're negotiating. Or the goal you set for yourself. Just does not line up with you. Don't be okay with saying, Well, okay, I'm gonna just settle here, be okay with saying, This is not gonna work. This, hey, I'm okay that we couldn't come to a common ground, this is not gonna work, and take a step back and regroup. Sometimes we are in a place where if you haven't worked in years, you get a little desperate and you will take whatever... Oh, okay, I'll take that all. But then you're on this job and you're not happy, you're not giving your all because you only did it because of what was needed at the time and not what you're looking for a long-term... longevity, what's gonna be the overall goal for yourself, your family, your house. 

So always showing up authentic...always showing up knowing exactly what you want, but making sure that when you show up in that room as humble, but that you are as confident, that you are as confident in yourself about what it is and what you bring to the table, like if you know that this is this... I have all of these skills and I have that...

23:23 Carol Terrell: Back it up with proof. What did you do here? What did you do there? Those type of things. Even negotiating in the room... In a divorce room, you wanna do the same things, why is it important for you to have what it is that you're asking for? But make it make sense, but make it also be for both parties, how it can benefit both parties. 

I always say successful people invest in their growth, not just your success or growth but your overall growth in yourself every day, we're changing. Something different is going on. Are you investing in finding out your weaknesses and your strengths, we know our strengths, but I’m tapping into my weaknesses every day.

How can I make this weakness, how can I do a little better in this area, how can I show up a little better in this area? For someone else, because someone else will go through the same struggles that we've gone through, and they may reach out to you, they may need you to be that listening ear. You want to be able to show up for them on, Hey, that was an area I was weak in, and these are the tools or the strategies. May not work for everybody, but this is what I can suggest.

24:28 Carol Terrell: I also say, do understand the sky is not the limit. We all say the sky is the limit, the sky is not the limit for me, and it's not the limit for you guys. I don't set limits on how well I can succeed or how far I can grow, I'm just constantly every day I say, How much more can I grow? How much better can I be, how much of a better steward over my life, my decisions can I be that will be... That will go out and reflect there in the world, like I don't wait for the world to make me happy, I go out and make the world happy every day. 

It's about me and how I show up, whether it's outside the front of my house, whatever room, how am I showing up, and how am I showing up to the person that I'm speaking to or mentoring or that I'm being interviewed by, because if you show up... Just as who you are on today and confident in who you are and what you bring to the table, you will always win because you've already believed in yourself, when you believe in yourself, then others believe in you.

25:28 Carol Terrell: The last thing I wanna say I really focus on is, don't go in a place and downplay your strengths, always focus on your strengths, don't present your weaknesses if no one's asking you about your weaknesses, focus on your strengths, but also don't up-play ‘em to where you over-talk your strengths, you wanna just say, Hey, these are my strengths... This is what I bring to the table. 

And again, always be authentic when you do that, because that's how I'm move in. I'll just use an example. I have a lot of people say, Hey, when you walk in the room, you radiate the room... Like my sisters, anybody I talk to, I'm like, What does that mean? They say You just got people coming from everywhere, because I'm coming in to the room as me, I'm not trying to fill this person’s shoes, that person's shoes, I'm owning where I am to date and all my strengths, even my weaknesses, and confidently empowering that space. And that's pretty much what I have to say.

I wanna say definitely no more self-pity ladies, no more self-doubt. No more sabotaging. 'cause when we start doubting on ourself, we're sabotaging the situation we're going into, we relinquish our own power to show up in the room and be great to show up in a room to advocate, to show up in a room to advocate with confidence, and that where people say, Wow, it’s a no-brainer, I need you, or you're just blew...we’re here to blow people away, like literally you have to blow people away, but if you can't stand in the room and look at yourself and blow your own self away, then how can you go in a room and blow someone else away or self-advocate for yourself with the power...with authority, but not being selfish.

27:09 Carol Terrell: But just saying, This is who I am, this is what I bring to the table, I'm confident in what I have to offer. And that's pretty much it, that's all. Don't be an impostor own your beauty, own your greatness, own the space you... you are in on today, and then worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow, worry about next week or next week, but in the process, continue to invest in your growth, your holistic growth, your own self-growth in the process.

27:39 Sheila Walsh: Thank you so much, Carol. That was fantastic, and I so appreciate what you said about being authentic because it's so easy to fall into what I call compare, despair. Impostor Syndrome is a real thing, and I think it's why a lot of women shy away from advocating for themselves. So there was some research that was done earlier this year by Randstad, they're a major staffing firm, and they reported the percentage of women who said they never have negotiated a salary ever. 

I'm curious to see if anyone has a guess on that one, what percent of women reported that they have never negotiated with an employer over pay... I’ll man the chat for you, but I'm still stuck on Carol's preach over there. Women are literally in the chat saying, Yes, Carol, thank you so much, I needed that wisdom today, this lady just came up with suggestions and God must have brought you here because you just literally gave us a word that was amazing. So on the question, we have one that says 80% could be, 60%, 30. 

Sheila Walsh: It's 60%. And that number is too high. That number is too high. And why? Why is that number so high? I think for some women asking that question, What do I want...That question that Carol said, it's not something that they feel comfortable even asking themselves, and if we're not clear about what we want and why we want it, it's gonna be really hard to get that if we are not clear. So wanting something for yourself does not mean... That you don't care about others. That's what Carol told us.

And there's a funny story, and the book Money Magic, which is by Michelle Masters, and she talks about how human beings are really the only species on the planet that stress about this, she says, I don't pretend to know what's in the mind of a Golden Retriever but I'm pretty sure they've never had this conversation. My human is offering me a cookie. Is it okay for me to have a cookie? Have I had too many cookies?

Do all the other dogs in the world have cookies? Will my person think less of me for wanting a cookie? Am I a bad dog to want a cookie? I remember the first time that I heard this, I just laughed out loud because this puppy here is not troubled by self-doubt, they are crystal clear about what they want, and they definitely make their desire known, and the typical response that they get, they get a smile, and they get what they want.

30:36 Sheila Walsh: They get the cookie. And in fact, if a golden retriever puppy came up to you and didn't stick their nose under your hand or look for attention, you’d probably think that something was wrong. This is a cute example about a puppy and their nose though, I'm sure as a mom, you know all about telling children to use their words and ask for what they want. So as you pause, as you prepare, as you practice for your negotiation, I encourage you to take specific notice of the language that you're using.

How are you talking about yourself? Are you saying, I used to work, but now all I do is take care of my kids. Are you saying, I'm just a writer. I hope not. Words matter, and so does how you position those words in any negotiation... Now, here are two sentences that communicate the same thing, and I'm wondering which one would you rather hear from a doctor? 

I'll tell you for me, I'll take that second option, any day. Words matter. They have power and how you frame your point in any negotiation matters, words elicit really strong emotional reactions when we use them. I do remember I had a friend a few years ago who heard me say, I used to know how to row, but now I'm just out of shape.

32:13 Sheila Walsh: And she stopped me and she said, You used to know? I'm actually one of a handful of women that had no prior rowing experience that ultimately was part of a championship team. Our team won the first NCAA title for our school, and I've taken a million strokes and spent countless hours in a boat. And here I was saying... I don't even know how to row. I still do. And I think that it's not uncommon if you downplay your strengths. But we need to change that. It should be common to speak to our strengths and to advocate who... For who we are. 

So I'm now going to turn this over to Willow financial coach and certified financial planner, Therese Nicklas, and Therese specializes in working with women who are experiencing a lifestyle shift, so whether that's widowhood or divorce or a career change, she's really gonna dive into some of the common negotiation scenarios with us. So turn it over to you, Terry.

Get to Know Your Money Mindset 

33:24 Terry Nicklas: Thank you, Sheila, and thank you to everyone. And of course, this is wonderful knowing I have to follow Carol. You didn't tell me that. But thank you, everyone. And Hiba and Tiffany and Lacy, it's a pleasure to be here. So when we talk about your money mindset, I'd like to know how many of you out there have even given one speck of thought to the fact that you have a money mindset. And how that money mindset translates into where you are today. 

So if you could put that in the chat, I would appreciate that. And Hiba if you can watch the chat and let me know what kind of feedback we get on that. So for those of you who have never heard that term or probably think I’m out of my mind, I'm going to share a little story about what money mindset means, and how it shows up in your life and how it can show up in your negotiations. So growing up as a little girl, which was a long time ago, my grandmother, my father's mother was a huge influence on me, I recently became a grandmother and she is in the back of my mind every single day because of the influence that she played the role she played in my life.

34:46 Terry Nicklas: And one of the things that she did outside of just being unconditional love and that typical warm grandmother-ly type person, was she would talk about money, and it wasn't talking about money like Sit down, I'm gonna teach you how to count nickels or whatever, it was all done in stories, and it was always, always positive. Now, that might not mean a lot to you folks out there, but my grandmother grew up as a young woman raising a family through the Great Depression, like a lot of grandmothers. 

She also came from Sicily in a very impoverished part of the country, she knew from when she was a little girl, that the only way out, the only way she would ever break through that poverty cycle was to leave. And I cannot imagine what it would be like to get on a ship with a small child that happened to be my father, venturing out for a land unknown and just have that much confidence and that much faith in yourself that you're going to be better off than what you were leaving, and to have that level of coverage kind of goes back to what Carol was talking about.

36:00 Terry Nicklas: How do you show up? Well, she showed up not only as her authentic self, but very courageous and very confident. My father used to tell the stories about how he would feed the neighborhood, she would literally, people were starving, and she would open her door and she would sit them down, whether it was a piece of pizza or a meatball, whatever it might be, and often, if it wasn't the only meal they had that day, they would tell her it was the best meal that they had that day. 

She was extremely generous, always had money for charity, and in her mind, if she had a little extra to give to her favorite charity, whether it was her church, there was a home for orphan children, it made her more confident that she could always create more than enough... Now, my grandparents were as blue collar as it gets, my grandfather was a barber, my grandmother was a seamstress, but she had that high level of confidence in herself that she would always be able to create whatever her family needed, and therefore she would have extra that she could always share with somebody who she felt was in the worst situation that she was.

37:14 Terry Nicklas: So when it came for negotiating, this was a time when women did not have any kind of authority over anything, and my grandfather was very typical tyrannical male, and yet she knew how to work her way around him. And the way that she did that was she was like a wizard with money, and this was someone with no education, and he had so much faith in her that he entrusted her with the household finances and she never let him down. It took them 20 years to save to buy a house. Who has that kind of patience?

But she did, and he had no qualms about coming in from the barbershop and everything was cash in those days, handing her the little envelope he had with the money in it, knowing that she was going to allocate it so that the family would always be well cared for. 

So for her, negotiating came from that level of confidence. And that was something that she used to talk about when I was a child, and it wasn't like, Sit down, I'm gonna teach you how to do this, it was all done through example and through storytelling, and these were lessons that I carried with me my entire life in times when I struggled financially, that was what I could fall back on, was What would my grandmother do in this situation? And I would think about her stories and her lessons and I would apply them, and that helped me in so many ways, but it also inspired me to do the work that I do today, which is why I focus on helping women when I think about her and her stories. 

That's why I decided to build a practice around helping other women to get that level of confidence and get that feeling of empowerment, so that no matter what life throws at you, you will land on your own two feet and you will know with confidence, certainty and clarity that you will be able to maintain your lifestyle, provide for your family and leave the legacy that you want to leave.

39:28 Hiba Abdillahi: Love that, Terry. I wanna just tell you that with your question, a lot of women were saying that they never really thought of a money mindset, one of them was I never had addressed it, one is I have a practical mindset... Yeah, just a lot of women are saying they never really thought of having the money mindset. So I really love that your story kinda brought that to... Always think about, what would grandma do.

Terry Nicklas: Well, thank you. And one thing that I found very interesting, I've always liked to watch people, I love people, and I like to study and observe different things, and it's always been a fascination to me of... Why is it that some people are just very successful? They seem to have no trouble manifesting whatever it is that they need, and other people are constantly going up against the wind.

And in my family, when I look at... My father had three siblings, he and his two brothers were all in the same profession, they were self-employed, they all had the same business and they probably all earned about the same amount of money. But they all made different decisions, and that goes back to your money mindset.

40:40 Terry Nicklas: So two of the brothers died in poverty. One of them who is going to be 90 years old, has had the ability to do everything that he wants to do, and he has an abundant lifestyle, he's not a wealthy man, I'm not talking about like mega millions or anything like that, but he has the capacity to do whatever it is that he wants to do, so he's able to enjoy his ideal lifestyle. 

So have three people grow up in the same household, get the same information from the same people... Why is it you have such a disparity around the results? The reason is their mindset. How they view money, how they perceive their abilities, and just their behavior. So our unconscious thoughts that we pick up as children and pick up throughout our life create our behavior. And that creates our results. So if you have the mindset that you never have enough, and that means that your behavior is... I'm spending like crazy. And I never have enough. That becomes your reality, you accumulate a lot of debt, and now that just validates your belief that you don't have enough. Where somebody else like my grandmother, who had the belief that she would always have the ability to create more than enough...

42:08 Terry Nicklas: That became her reality, that she always created more than enough, and she had no more ability than you and I. She had no more of a skill set, she didn't even have an education, so what did she have that was different... She had a different way, she had a different point of view, she had a different mindset and a different belief system, and that became not only her reality, but it was her truth. 

So I'm asking you, ladies, when you think about that, think about how you view money, and think about how you view money, and how does that show up in your life? And if it shows up exactly the way that you want it, well pat yourself on the back... That's awesome. But if there is a disparity between where you are and where you want to be, and if you haven't been able to figure out how to get where you wanna be by now on your own, that chances are you won't figure that out, and you may need some support.

Put your big girl pants on and get the help that you need. It can transform your life in ways that you just can't imagine, but get the help that you need, whether it's through somebody who you know who does things a little better than you do, don't be afraid to ask the questions.

43:31 Terry Nicklas: When you find the resource, you wanna be in an environment that is a safe place, the environment that I grew up with, my grandmother teaching me was a safe place. I could ask any questions I wanted. I never felt judged. And I felt unconditional love. Well, maybe feeling unconditional love is maybe a stretch if you're working with another professional, but you probably would at least at a minimum, want to feel safe so that you can ask whatever question you want and not feel like they're looking down on you, or thinking that you... Know less than you should be knowing at this time, so... Are there any questions for me right now regarding how we get there?

44:17 Sheila Walsh: I can jump in really quick as some of those questions are queuing up, because I know that there are a few here, so before we do that, I just want to reinforce what Terry said here. You can start small, it doesn't have to be a full change over night and even just 1% can make a difference, and I had to put this in here because you can ask any pilot if 1% makes a difference, and I always tell the story when we're talking about contributions to 401K and retirement funds and things like that, a pilot will tell you, it makes a huge difference, even if you are taking off, say, from LAX and you're flying to New York City and you're off 3.5 degrees south heading error. You're not gonna land in New York, you're going to land in DC. 

You are going to land hundreds of miles away, and I've seen it so many times, helping women with their financial wellness. Small actions, small behavior changes, mindful money habits, they have big impacts, and a few weeks ago, one of our colleagues came to a Willow meeting and she showed up on Zoom with these cups of cardboard that her daughter made for her, that had stars all over them, Wonder Woman inspired, and not only does she... brought those cups that day, but they've become a symbol for us about how to move forward, we can be Wonder Woman and it's something that even though the act of putting on those cups can trigger that mental mindset, having a trigger to get you in there is really helpful.

46:00 Sheila Walsh: And as women, I'm so glad that we're here to support each other. And remember when you ask, when you prioritize your financial wellness, You're normalizing it for all of us, and you're setting a really good example for your children. So hopefully there's now some Qs we can answer. 

Terry Nicklas: Sheila, did you have any questions on the list of things that you would like to address?

Sheila Walsh: Yeah, yeah.



46:32 Hiba Abdillahi: So I have the questions here. And we can get started. So the first question that we have is, how do you know when it's time to walk away? If what you're asking or negotiating for isn't being considered seriously, and I'll leave it up to the group and anyone of you guys can take that one... 

Terry Nicklas: How do you walk away? How do you know when it's time to walk away? For me, I've always gone with my gut, and if I feel as though there's just a disconnect, you can have a follow-up question before you just walk away and just ask point blank, go out on the skinny limb, take the risk you have nothing to lose. 

And just say to the person, I feel like we're not moving forward. Is this something that I have said? Do you have any questions that I can address for you? To help us move the dial. And if all you get is dead air or crickets, then you know it's time to move on. 

Lucy Garcia: I might just jump in Terry, just to add, just with one quick thing too, is I think that one thing I've learned with age comes some wisdom, is that time is on your side too, and walking away is actually a very effective negotiation tactic, creating space and time, and when you feel like you're at the point or you're getting towards a point or you see the point of frustration, you withdraw, right, you pause, that's where the pause comes in, and that is taking a couple of deep breaths, sleeping on something.

48:15 Lucy Garcia: Don't send that email tonight, send it first thing in the morning, those are all tactics that you can employ that will help you actually to move the conversation forward and to get what you want, but remember the times on your side. 

Carol Terrell: And for me, I would say...knowing when to walk away is when I always remember the initial goal, the initial expectation that was set. And I actually re-evaluate, did I set the expectation too high? Sometimes we set something that's too high and we really don't line up with that. So you go into this room with an expectation, again of, Hey, this is what I expect, I know for me, I'm never going to negotiate my livelihood or my freedom. 

Whatever that is, I wanna be the best me or whatever that situation is, because it's not just about me, so if I know that whatever's being offered is not gonna allow me to give the best of me, and that situation is when I know I need to walk away because I'm not just thinking about myself, but I'm also thinking about whatever I'm negotiating at that moment, and am I showing up for them? Basically showing up, I'm not gonna show up 100%, or am I just doing it because I need...need it to happen now. 

49:33 Carol Terrell: So I know from that, it's always make sure that it's not just about you, whatever the situation is, whatever your goal is, but their goal, and are you going to give a 100% of you and be happy in that situation or whatever the decision was, when you say Yes to whatever you're gonna go, whatever that thing is, whatever it is you're negotiating, it has to work on both ends, or nobody is gonna be happy, you're gonna eventually burn out, you're gonna leave, you're gonna walk away, you're gonna abandon the situation because your initial intent was, Hey, I want it so bad, but I didn't stick to the goal, the expectation, what I set for myself and also what was needed of me. 

Hiba Abdillahi: Perfect, okay, another question that we had for you, ladies is sometimes self-advocacy is perceived as selfish, Are there keywords to use to express ourselves that would clarify the intent?

Carol Terrell: I'll answer that. So I want them to separate the two, self-advocacy is not being selfish, but it’s how you show up in the room, you're never selfish when you’re self-advocating for yourself, but if you showing up in the room like, Hey...really ruthless or whatever that is in your portraying...selfishness, it's all about me. 

So there are two different things, you can never be selfish or show up selfish when you're self-advocating, but you always wanna be humble, and the situation when you’re self-advocating advocating for yourself, you don't wanna ever come across as the be all, know all, I got this in the bag, that type of a... You come in the room like, Hey, I got this. You can never come in and you just have to stay so authentic to who you are and where you are. Own what you have to offer, and that space and be humble, be humble all the time and space and be truly yourself when you're true to yourself, then you’re true in that room, you’re true and negotiating and people appreciate you more.

51:38 Sheila Walsh: I think that, like we're talking about earlier, words really do matter, and so one thing that I've learned about is you can really ask open-ended questions, and when you do that, you're gonna learn a lot of information when you ask a yes/no question. The answer is going to be limited, and then you can portray your strengths to help meet the problems that you're going to hear, so tell me about the business for the past six months during covid, you're gonna get a wealth of information when someone answers that question, you can also use words like, what are we going to do here?

And that really shows that you're on the same side of the table and that you're collaborating and you're not out for yourself... that We're in this together, so use those kinds of questions that are open-ended and that really demonstrates that there's teamwork happening too.

52:38 Terry Nicklas: Like they say there's no I in team.

Hiba Abdillahi: 100% 

Terry Nicklas: And there's no success without you.

Carol Terrell: Another thing I wanna say really, really quick, quickly, all women, all of us, we are so powerful, we are so headstrong, so we have to be mindful that we can own our power, but own it with elegance, with grace. 

Hiba Abdillahi: We had another question, this one I believe is specifically to you, Terry, can you advise on any good books about money mindset or just like a good direction of how to start a money mindset? 

Terry Nicklas: That's a great question, thank you. There are books, the woman, there's a woman who created what's called the Money Coaching Institute, her name is Debra Price, and she's written a number of books. One of them is called Money Therapy, and it is a really good read and it does address your money mindset issues, if you look up money mindset and you look up money coaching specifically, you will find good information about how to develop a more positive money mindset. 

I have a book, if you're interested, I have a free book that I give out and it does have some exercises in it, if you want to submit your contact information in the chat, and I'm gonna be more than happy to email that to you. It's a quick read, it's only 19 pages, even though it took me three years to write it, but it helps, it has some really good exercises in there and examples that do help shift your money mindset. 

Hiba Abdillahi: Can you give us your email Terry, that way we could just put it in the chat and whoever wants to reach out, 'cause it just might be like a lot of people.

Terry Nicklas: Sure! Okay my email is 

Hiba Abdillahi: Perfect, thank you. And then we had another question, is covid impacting our ability to negotiate, we know there's just a lot going on right now with just even job security sometimes, so... Do you ladies feel like the pandemic has hindered that, and do you have any tips for anybody that's trying to negotiate during this time? 

Terry Nicklas: I'd like to answer that one. I do not think the covid eliminates our ability to negotiate, in fact, I think it makes us more powerful because if we are showing up, as Carol says, as our authentic self, and I hope you don't mind me stealing your line Carol, But I think that when you show up and you go before whoever it is you’re trying to negotiate with, let's just assume you're looking for a new job and you show up with the servant leader heart, you are there to serve, you wanna help that business grow. You wanna get them from point A to point B or get them across the finish line. 

55:40 Terry Nicklas: And you can demonstrate to them your flexibility, like Willow’s theme of being flexible while being strong, we're not weeping willows we’re willows. And what we want to do is show up in that way that, yes, we're in a difficult situation, but everybody's in this situation, it isn't like it's isolated to like Massachusetts or Chicago or anywhere... It's worldwide. 

So we're all there. So we are aware of that problem. How do we pivot? And demonstrating your ability to pivot and juggle a lot of things, and how powerful you are and how resilient you are, I think it's only made you stronger and it makes you more able to negotiate own your strength, own your power and... Don't give up on that.

56:35 Sheila Walsh: Yeah, I'll just add one quote that I heard once from Oprah, and she said, You get from life what you have the courage to ask for and covid... Or no, covid, that doesn't change. 

Terry Nicklas: That's right. 

56:52 Hiba Abdillahi: I know we're almost at time, which is crazy, but so many questions, you ladies are just amazing, the stories, the amount of wisdom that you were able to just give to our community today, we can't even thank you... can't even thank you enough. But if there's one thing that each of you can leave us with today, whether it's just like some kind of ending words on how you feel, just the most important thing that our community can be left with through this presentation, what would it be...

And I'll let each of you kind of go, but I just can't say thank you enough, I love these Unity Hours and I just love hearing amazing women come together and just give that wisdom to each other and goosebumps, literally. So if you guys could just give us one partying, just one parting thing for our community, what would it be?

Terry Nicklas: What I would give is as a word: Grit. G-R-I-T. I think we all need to understand the importance of that. The other thing I would leave you with is that clarity is the first step toward financial freedom. And by working with the community, asking questions, leaning on the right people for support, getting help, investing in yourself, you will gain the clarity that will tell you where you are where it is that you wanna be, and what are the steps you need to take to move the needle and get you forward.

58:27 Sheila Walsh: And I would be remiss if I didn't mention that. Obviously, if you would like to work with a financial coach, like Terry or Carol, Hiba’s gonna be offering a special discount and we have a resource guide to with more of those questions to help you get to your money mindset, so I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that at links coming your way. But the thing that I would say is, keep the momentum going, 'cause it's a snowball effect, once you start, it's not gonna stop, and as women, when we do this together, there is no stopping us, keep the momentum going.

59:13 Lacy Garcia: I would just add that it's not selfish to ask for help and to help yourself, in fact, actually when you help yourself, then you're really able to help others, so as moms, that's something that we need to remember that taking the time to get the help that we need makes us so much more powerful and so much stronger too... For others.

Carol Terrell: And of course, I will end it with, again, be authentic... Show up in your authenticity. Be humble, walk in your own shoes, just show up, just show up and just be you and be who you are. Love who you are where you are. Be wise in your decision-making, constantly be a listener. Listen, before you make decisions, don't jump to doing things out of your heart or out of revenge and out of anger, just always pause, prepare, practice. 

Hiba Abdillahi: Pause, prepare, practice. I know you all heard that, write that down. Amazing advice. Thank you so much, ladies of Willow. Sheila, Lacy, Carol, Terry, you guys have been amazing. It was so great to sit down with you on this Friday, thank you for joining us and just dropping gems...gems on gems. Thank you everyone for tuning into this Unity Hour today, the YouTube link will be on our page, and then if you RSVP’d you’ll also get it in your email, thank you so much and we'll see you again next week. Bye, everyone.

1:00:49 Carol Terrell: Thank you guys for having us. 

Sheila Walsh: Thank you!

Lucy Garcia: Thank you for having us!

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