The Hello Seven coaches are back with another takeover episode today. I’m leaving you in the very capable hands of our resident coach La Tondra Murray and our community coach C. René Washington.
As coaches, we spend a lot of time working with our clients on strategy as well as mindset with the intention of helping clients recognize and release the stories that hold them back both in business and in life. And this work is never more important than for us as Black women.
So, in this episode, the Hello Seven coaches are going to unpack some of the societal narratives that serve only to keep people from marginalized communities playing small.
Tune in this week to discover the three main societal stories that have kept us playing small for way too long and how they are perpetuated from all angles. La Tondra and René are discussing what we’re not gonna do as entrepreneurs, what we’re not putting up with anymore, and how we work on changing these narratives at Hello Seven so that marginalized people can rise up and shine in the way we deserve.
Did you hear about the Plan Your Year Like a Millionaire event? It was incredible for everyone that attended. And if you missed it, I have some amazing news. You can get your hands on the recordings, so you can benefit from all the knowledgeable gems dropped that day, and all you have to do is preorder four copies of my upcoming book. That’s right, for around $100, you can get $1 million worth of game, and a copy of my book for yourself and three other people in your life who need it. Click here to make it happen!
What You'll Learn from this Episode:
- The stories we are fed about what is possible for us as Black women, what our place is in society, and who gets to decide what we’re capable of.
- How these stories and systems keep people from marginalized communities playing small.
- Where popular culture completely ignores the real experiences of Black people in America.
- How we involuntarily murder our dreams based on old stories and narratives.
- Why it’s so difficult for us to drop these narratives that we live under.
- How we’re working every day here at Hello Seven to change the landscape for entrepreneurs from marginalized communities.
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
- Check out our new game-changing program, We Should All Be Millionaires: The Club today!
- Want to work with us at Hello Seven? We're hiring!
- Follow me on Instagram – and ask me your million-dollar questions!
- Pre-order your copy of my new book, We Should All Be Millionaires, and claim some incredible pre-sale bonuses! Click here for details.
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La Tondra Murray: It really again does come down to squad and who you’re surrounded by. So when you hear other people begin to talk about their successes, when you hear people articulate their goals and then share when they achieve those goals. That’s empowering.
Welcome to the Hello Seven Podcast. I'm your host, Rachel Rodgers, wife, mother of four children, a lover of Beyoncé, coffee drinker, and afro-wearer, and I just happen to be the CEO of a seven-figure business. I am on a mission to help every woman I meet become a millionaire. If you want to make more money, you are in the right place. Let's get it going.
La Tondra Murray: So hello, you are rocking with the Hello Seven coaches today. I’m La Tondra Murray and I’m the resident coach for Hello Seven.
C. René Washington: And I’m C. René Washington, the community coach for Hello Seven.
La Tondra Murray: Yay. I’m so glad we’re here together today, Rene.
C. René Washington: I am too.
La Tondra Murray: So it’s really funny. So when we think about it as coaches we spend a lot of time working with our clients on strategy as well as mindset. But a lot of what we do really comes down to recognizing and helping clients, clients themselves recognize and release the stories that hold them back in business and in life. And so as René and I were talking about this, it’s funny.
As Black women in particular we realize there are stories that we carry internally. But there are also narratives that exist outside of us that still shape, and guide, and really direct our attention, our energy, and our efforts.
C. René Washington: Absolutely. And it is Black History Month. And so it is particularly present in our minds, where we’ve been, where we are now. And I love quotes and in preparing for this podcast I came across this quote, ‘What’s past is prologue’. And that is from Shakespeare’s play The Tempest and it was used by one of the characters to suggest that all that had happened before led him and another character to do what they were going to do, which was commit murder.
Yeah, La Tondra and I were talking about that and it’s like isn’t this what we do? We murder our dreams based on these old stories and old narratives. And one of my favorite questions to myself and to clients is who say it? Who say it?
La Tondra Murray: That’s right. I love that. I love that. Murder your dreams. That’s deep. That’s really, really deep. And I think you’re so right. And so as we talk about narratives, I know the narrative that we specifically wanted to unpack was the societal directive, the societal story that says to Black people, brown people, people of color, women, people from all sorts of marginalized communities frankly. There is this narrative that says you are less than human or you are alternatively superhuman. And we get to determine who you are and what you get to do.
C. René Washington: Absolutely and yes, we are both Black women. And I so connect to that angel or, you know, angel or slut narrative, the superwoman or the ratchet woman that we don’t get to be complex as Black people. And it’s really interesting how that shows up even in social media. I saw this post where someone posted a list of movies that aren’t slave narratives. Because typically that’s what you see when you’re in Black History Month, or when you’re talking about Black people and our history, it’s about how we came up from slavery.
La Tondra Murray: That’s right.
C. René Washington: Which is only one part, yes, I had to add the “Hm.”
La Tondra Murray: I know, right.
C. René Washington: Yes. And first of all our story did not start with slavery.
La Tondra Murray: That’s right.
C. René Washington: It started hundreds of years before that. That’s just a piece of our story. And even we can get locked into that and we just don’t have the narratives that just portray us as just being human.
La Tondra Murray: That’s right.
C. René Washington: That we love, hate, work, play, all the things.
La Tondra Murray: Yes, all the things. And I think that’s really – that’s the mark of freedom when you can see a character that is like you or maybe not like you. And maybe they’re amazingly good and strong or maybe they’re evil and dastardly. And that’s just the complexity of who they are as a character. It isn’t a narrative. It isn’t a stereotype rather. It isn’t a statement about how all people show up, or how all people move through the world who have something in common.
There’s a beauty there in being able to be beautifully flawed, incredibly complex however that shows up. And I think as a Black woman I know I often feel that’s not the case. There’s a tiny box that I’m supposed to fit in and like you said, it’s either this very deeply flawed less than humanness, or it’s this incredibly empowered, I’m every woman, I got it, super humanness and both are destructive, right?
C. René Washington: Exactly, yeah.
La Tondra Murray: Both are destructive.
C. René Washington: Yeah, because it’s weight that you’re carrying.
La Tondra Murray: That’s right.
C. René Washington: That society doesn’t allow you to drop and so therefore you feel like you can’t allow yourself to drop it. And one of the things that came to me is one of the narratives that we live under is narrative of place. Narrative of place and that shows up differently. It can be narrative of place that relates to where you live, where you work, your position at work, those ceilings, those glass ceilings that have been set up for us as people of color, women, LGBTQI people.
It’s just all these different rules, and guardrails, and these decision-makers that have decided that this is the lane that you can operate from.
La Tondra Murray: That’s right. It really is this notion of know your place. Not only there are different types of…
C. René Washington: Yes. It’s stay in your place.
La Tondra Murray: It’s stay in your place, that’s right.
C. René Washington: Girl, you better stay in your place.
La Tondra Murray: That’s right. You better know it and more importantly you better remain there. You better remain there, yeah, absolutely. And I think those different dimensions, René that you speak of they absolutely show up for so many different people. And I think they’re restrictive. They are – it’s funny, I was thinking about it in preparation for the podcast. And remember, Waterfalls by TLC?
C. René Washington: Ah-hm.
La Tondra Murray: So one of the things that always bothered me about that song is they were like, “Don’t go chasing waterfalls.” You can speak of the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to. And that’s the very notion of what we take away from the broader narrative of you’re not human, you’re superhuman, we get to determine who you are, and what you do, and where you go. There are these bounds, it’s I can grow a little bit.
I can grow incrementally in the corporate space, or I can dream a little bit about having a business. But it better be incremental. It better not be revolutionary. I better not try to kick in the door and go where no one has ever gone before.
C. René Washington: Or surpass the majority that has decided and made up all these rules.
La Tondra Murray: That’s right.
C. René Washington: Yeah. And how we were taught to even hide that if we were, if we were moving out of our place, you better not let them know.
La Tondra Murray: You better not let anybody know. You better keep that to yourself, keep it on the low.
C. René Washington: Yes. Even from – and this will sound crazy to some people, particularly people who are not – particularly white people, this may sound crazy, if you’re listening to this. But even don’t let them know where you live. Don’t let them know you bought that big house. Don’t let them know that you got that Mercedes. You save that Mercedes for Sunday, because I’m old enough to remember that, see, you know, even, yeah. I’m old enough to remember that. And I love that we have bust through a lot of that.
But it’s so insidious that it still creeps in. That we have made it to a certain level like you were saying, and we should be satisfied.
La Tondra Murray: That’s right, should be satisfied.
C. René Washington: You should be satisfied to get that pension.
La Tondra Murray: That’s right, it should be enough. It should be enough. And so it’s interesting, so, René and I are going to talk about three tenets of kind of this broader narrative that you’re not human, or you’re superhuman and we get to determine who you are and where you go. So the first is know your place, that’s one tenet, absolutely knowing your place. The second tenet that come from this narrative is the idea of be humble. So you got that Mercedes, you best not talk about it. You got that promotion. No one else really needs to know.
And I think it shows up in two ways René. I think it shows up as the person who’s hesitant and then the person whose hater ish. So the person who’s hesitant is the person who has the winning going on, they’ve got it going on. Maybe they got the money, or they got the client, or they have a new opportunity, or there’s a personal win, something they’ve achieved.
And they keep it to themselves because to talk about it, to put it on Blast is to act like you’re better than someone else. Or suggest that you are more worthy than someone else. And so they’re hesitant, they don’t share. And then on the other side you have the person who’s hearing it whose hater ish, the person who says, “Well, why you got to talk about what you’ve got? Why you got to talk about your growth, or your promotion, or your evolution? Who are you to talk about those things?” And both hurt us.
C. René Washington: Exactly. And for women when you think about being cast in this role of being of service, that we are the tenderers, the caretakers, the befrienders, we take care of other people. We keep the lens off of ourselves, that’s another form of that humility hammer. I love that. Yes, that it’s all about other people.
Don’t, you’re being selfish, you’re being ungrateful. You’ve been blessed with these children, you better be satisfied to take care of them, that kind of thing. Or to be the good friend, or to be the good church worker, or to be the good employee who stays in her place.
La Tondra Murray: That’s right, yeah, that’s right.
C. René Washington: In a humble way, yes.
La Tondra Murray: In a humble way. And then we get mad at people, we collectively get angry when we see people who look like they’re flossing, or shining, or whatever. We want to pull them back down into obscurity. We want to mire them, not to celebrate, not to lean into their success. We want to dampen it. And I think there’s – you can see it on both sides. You can see the people who don’t share their wins because they don’t feel confident enough or that it’s appropriate.
And then you see the people who, again, the haterers who are saying, “Well, I want you to win but damn, why you got to talk about it?” It’s the must be nice.
C. René Washington: Yes. Don’t be, and see, and what that does is, it really just reflects your insecurities because why do you really care? Why does this really bother you? What mirror is being held up for you? You’re seeing yourself and you’re seeing something that you are not, and if that bothers you, why?
La Tondra Murray: Why? That’s right.
C. René Washington: That’s a question to ask yourself, what about that bothers me?
La Tondra Murray: That’s right. I can remember traveling a couple of years ago. I had the opportunity to go to Italy. And was talking with someone about it on the other side and at least two or three times the response was, “Well, must be nice.”
C. René Washington: Must be nice.
La Tondra Murray: Must be nice. And you know when someone says, “Must be nice.” Aint nothing nice about it.
C. René Washington: Right. Aint nothing nice about it. Yeah, and I’ve heard this too, “When I grow up I’m going to be like you.”
La Tondra Murray: That’s right.
C. René Washington: And these are women that are the same age as me. So it’s not about the growing up thing. It’s a decision and it’s a choice. And if you see people making choices that intrigue you, or attract you, and then you decide to turn that into this, “Really, that’s what you’re doing?”
La Tondra Murray: Right. I see you, okay, I see you. It’s like that.
C. René Washington: Yeah, or it’s a true yearning for you that you really do see someone else doing something that you truly believe is not for you. And that connects back to that place thing. Listen, I used to actually say to myself, I’m middle class. I grew up in a middle class family, that’s where I’m supposed to stay, middle class.
La Tondra Murray: Yeah, absolutely. And it’s funny René, because I think that’s a perfect segway into the third tenet. So we’ve talked about knowing your place, being humble. The third tenet related to that overriding narrative is this idea of staying safe. And to your point about I’m middle class, this is where I am. I mean I think, I know I personally had an experience where when I think about my parents and my grandparents, the thought was, well, we just want the kids to do a little bit better than we’ve done.
We want you all just to be, you know, just again that incremental thing. We can’t have this transformational change but we can hope for an incremental, just a bit of an experience that’s better than ours. And again, there is this gating, this capping, this don’t take a risk. I can remember when I moved away from corporate America, my corporate position at a Fortune 500 company.
I can remember people saying to me, and my family even saying to me. “You’re going to leave that good job? You’re going to switch things up and you’re going to leave a corporate space? You would make a choice to leave that good job?” And it’s this notion of safety. And in many ways, the ideas remain small because small means things will be okay, things won’t change.
C. René Washington: Absolutely. And I’ve experienced that too, because I left two years before my official retirement. So people really thought I was crazy. “You can’t hang on for two years?” It’s Black History Month so that just made me think about Harriet Tubman and her trying to pull those people across the river. Maybe we just need to go back because it was safe.
La Tondra Murray: We were going to have food. We had some place to sleep.
C. René Washington: Right. And we continue to do that to ourselves. The story is out about Shonda Rhimes and her move from ABC to Netflix, such a powerful story. You think about Shonda Rhimes and you don’t look at her and think she would be afraid or have to think twice about making a move. But she did, when she was talking about that experience of making that decision she said it was like she’d been pushing the same ball up the same hill in the exact same way for a really long time.
So that means our sister was struggling at ABC, trying to decide, do I leave? Do I let this go? I’ve got a whole night. I’m owning the network.
La Tondra Murray: That’s right.
C. René Washington: And she had to be pushed into making that change, $159 Disneyland ticket.
La Tondra Murray: Disneyland ticket, yeah.
C. René Washington: Yeah. Disneyland payout for our sister was the final straw to push her into doing what she had been wanting to do.
La Tondra Murray: Yeah. And the amazing thing about that René is from the outside, who would have known that struggle was going on?
C. René Washington: Exactly, talk about this.
La Tondra Murray: Who would know?
C. René Washington: Yeah, that she’s struggling with staying in place with, yes, I’m doing fabulously well, so why would I rock this boat?
La Tondra Murray: That’s right. And that really, it’s so funny, René, when I think about it, that brings really all three of these into view. It was know your lane, so you need to be right here, be happy. Take the scraps we give you. You’ve got Thursday night, check it off and phone it in. Be humble, don’t talk about what you’re doing, people see, you don’t need to floss. You know you have it going on but you better keep that to yourself and just be happy with what you’ve got.
And by the way, don’t make a move because where else would you go? You better just stay right here, you better stay right here where the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know.
C. René Washington: Exactly. Or you’re going to go and fail. The big F word.
La Tondra Murray: That’s right. And so it’s fascinating to me as we think about this, part of the power of making a change in your life is not only in recognizing the narrative that perhaps you’ve bought into inadvertently or subconsciously but also making an active choice just to do something differently, to say, “I’m going to move. I’m going to make a change.” And so René let’s talk a little bit about what that would look like across these three because I want us to flip the script and not just kind of linger in the hole. I want us to help people get out of the hole.
So about place, how do you flip the script when it comes to breaking that barrier, breaking that prison really of place and knowing your place?
C. René Washington: One of the best ways to me is to really look around and check out where you are now and who you’re with.
La Tondra Murray: Who you’re with.
C. René Washington: Because who you’re traveling with? Because if you are traveling with people who want to stay stuck, most likely you’re going to stay stuck.
La Tondra Murray: Stay stuck, that’s right.
C. René Washington: Les Brown, life coach from way back in the day he would say, “If I fall let me fall on my back because if I can sit up I can get up and I can move.” And I never forgot that because you have to see beyond your circumstance.
La Tondra Murray: That’s right.
C. René Washington: And so if you are rolling with people who are just always in that, “No, I wouldn’t if I was you. You sure you want to do that?”
La Tondra Murray: Yeah, are you sure, exactly, yeah.
C. René Washington: Yeah. So you have to expand your horizon literally, you really have to get outside of where you’ve been and start moving into spaces where people are moving, and changing, and growing and where you want to be. If you’re feeling that nudge, it’s for a reason.
La Tondra Murray: Yeah, absolutely, I agree. I think if you’re feeling that nudge, it’s purposeful and it will serve you. If you attend to it, it will serve you. If you ignore it, it’s going to get louder a little bit. But if you attend to it, it will serve you.
C. René Washington: Yeah, and that’s one of the things I love about Hello Seven is that the members, it’s a global community. And it really does open your eyes to possibility.
La Tondra Murray: That’s right, you see all the things.
C. René Washington: Women around the world, yes.
La Tondra Murray: Yeah, that’s right. And to that point, I think part of the challenge that people face when it comes to being humble and not sharing their wins, it really again does come down to squad and who you’re surrounded by. So when you hear other people begin to talk about their successes, when you hear people articulate their goals and then share when they achieve those goals, that’s empowering. And I think that for any community there can be a lot of value in celebrating mutual successes and encouraging other people to share those as well.
It also means that you can try different things and know that, yeah, I may win, I may learn, but either way I’m going to move through this and I’ve got a community of people that I can share with. And so creating safe spaces where you can actually shout out the things you want to achieve, to talk about your goals openly, I think it’s really, really powerful. And that does again, it comes back to the company you keep, René. I think it absolutely comes back to that.
C. René Washington: Absolutely. And it doesn’t mean that you have to ditch your people.
La Tondra Murray: That’s a great point.
C. René Washington: It really is about expanding, expanding; it’s about expanding, expansion, yes.
La Tondra Murray: Yeah, I love that. Yeah, I love it. And it’s funny, we do talk about this at times that while you may make a decision that everybody can’t necessarily go where you’re going, you never know what kind of light you can be to the people in your life by talking about the things you want to do, by sharing how you’re growing and how you’re challenging yourself. Some people may not be into that but there might be others. You actually might drive transformation for someone else by sharing.
C. René Washington: Yes, because people are looking, people are watching all the time. And this thing about being, you know, there’s this thing about being a social media influencer. We are all influencers. We are all influencers. And so what are you influencing?
La Tondra Murray: Yeah, that’s right.
C. René Washington: And so what kind of stance do you want to take? How do you want to show up for young people who are looking at you, your children who are looking at you? Even when you look in the mirror, how do you want to show up for yourself?
La Tondra Murray: Yeah, I love that. I love that. And then the last thing we want to flip is just this idea of staying safe. How do you flip staying safe? How do you shake yourself out of that if you find yourself trapped in that tenet of the world says this is who I can be and so I’m just going to stay right here because this is the best place I can be?
C. René Washington: Yeah. I’m questioning everything. If I feel a nudge to do something and I tamp it down for any reason, I’m asking myself why, where is that coming from? We’ve talked about, you know, I’ve talked to you about getting interested in investing in the stock market. That’s an old narrative that I thought no, that’s not for people like me. And that’s why I’ve loved this Robinhood story with GameStop, because they had 1% got mad.
La Tondra Murray: Yeah, real hot.
C. René Washington: Yeah, you’re all out of place. You’re out of your lane. You’re stepping in our lane now. I have loved that.
La Tondra Murray: Yeah, I love it too.
C. René Washington: These kids are making all this money.
La Tondra Murray: Yeah. Well, the thing is, stepping out of one’s ‘lane’ and really driving an impact, making a change, making a difference. The collective will to do something different, like you said, to step out, to go with that nudge of hey, if we rally, look at what we can do.
C. René Washington: Yeah. So we have to question why we believe what we believe. We take a lot of things as fact. And it’s not fact. It’s something somebody said a long time ago that served to keep you in a place, that served to keep you controlled.
La Tondra Murray: That’s right, yeah. So yeah, so as you think about your own life, your own, whether it’s personally, professionally, with your business, with your relationships, really any aspect of how you move through the world. Think about the narratives, particularly those that extend outside of you. Think about the things that go beyond your personal story and really kind of get layered into societal constructs or what other people say is possible or not for you. Are you allowing it to control you? Are you allowing it to really kill off your dreams, to come back to that theme?
C. René Washington: Yeah, even what happened at the Capitol, that’s about old narratives being broken down and people getting upset about it.
La Tondra Murray: That’s right, people being uncomfortable, people being uncomfortable and lashing out because there’s a deconstruction.
C. René Washington: Yeah, so many of us are getting out of our place.
La Tondra Murray: That’s right, [crosstalk].
C. René Washington: We’ve got a sister in the White House now.
La Tondra Murray: That’s right.
C. René Washington: These narratives are being turned on their head.
La Tondra Murray: On their head completely, on their head completely. And we want that. We want that for all of you. So think about how the narrative that we’ve talked about today, this idea of we get to determine who you are and what you get to do, you’re less than human. You’ve either got to be less than human or superhuman. Think about how that might be playing out in your life and in your world right now. And in fact we want to invite you to also think about the other narratives that are keeping you sad and stuck wherever you are, wherever you find yourself.
C. René Washington: Yes, that connect to you being less than, not good enough, not the right whatever, those are just stories.
La Tondra Murray: That’s right, they’re stories and we want you to write your own.
C. René Washington: Yes, absolutely, because it really is like you’re reading a book of your life, and chapters of leading life being in chapters. And you just keep repeating the same chapter over and over again. And those repetitive chapters, they’re just narratives that you need to release.
La Tondra Murray: Yeah, I love that. I love that. You find yourself moving in circles, stop and take stock of the narrative that you’re buying into and that you’re acting out, you’re living out.
C. René Washington: Circling the story dream.
La Tondra Murray: That’s right. We don’t want you to circle the story dream. So dig in, reflect and let’s shake things up. We’ve got plenty of narratives we can toss out.
C. René Washington: Exactly. Write some new ones.
La Tondra Murray: That’s right.
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