BONUS: Approachable Anti-Racism Work with Serena Hicks

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Approachable Anti-Racism Work with Serena HicksThis episode, I’m bringing you an interview with another one of my students, Serena Hicks. Serena isn’t currently certified, but we touch on getting certified as a life coach, and I know that Serena’s realizations around getting all your ducks in a row before getting started coaching are going to be really helpful to many of you who might be having the same concerns.

We dive into the nuances of the model and Serena is clarifying the way she uses it to coach because so many people experience confusion around its purpose. Serena is sharing her experience as a coach, and how the need to be willing to get things wrong and not do or say things perfectly spans far wider than just within the realm of business.

Join us today as Serena and I discuss the world of coaching and how to move through heavy emotional experiences and triggers. Serena is also sharing why doing anti-racism work is so important, and she has created a safe space for non-Black people to participate and educate themselves, so be sure to check that out here!

If you want to start making serious money as a coach, you need to check out 2K for 2K. Click here to join!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Serena’s experience as a half White, half Black woman.
  • How Serena worked through her triggers and the inequalities and mistreatment she saw happening around her.
  • Serena’s two-step process for working through heavy, emotional triggers.
  • Why Serena believes in only controlling what you can.
  • How to create space and freedom for yourself when you’re experiencing misunderstandings or miscommunication.
  • Why you shouldn’t wait to serve people and start coaching.
  • The purpose of the model and why you can’t use it incorrectly.
  • Why you have to be willing to make mistakes.
  • How to give yourself permission to thrive.
  • Why doing the work to become anti-racist is so important.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:


Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome to the Make Money as a Life Coach podcast, where sales expert and master coach Stacey Boehman teaches you how to make your first 2K, 20K, and 200K using her proven formula.

Stacey: Welcome, coaches. We have a special bonus episode. I have one of my clients, Miss Serena Hicks here with us.

Serena: Hello.

Stacey: Hello.

Serena: Hello.

Stacey: And I’m going to ask her all of the questions and we’re going to have just a really bold open conversation. And let’s just see where it flows. So first, you want to introduce yourself to my audience, tell them just a little bit about whatever you think is relevant, your coaching story, how you got into coaching. We get that asked sometimes, how different coaches get into it, what their story is and what your niche is, who you work with currently.

I know you’re also creating something special that we’ll talk about on the podcast. But how you work with your clients, kind of just give me anything you want to start with.

Serena: Okay. Hi, everybody. I feel the need to start with long time listener, first time caller. A nod to Neil. I’ve listened to that podcast, I’m like, “Yeah, dude, I get it.” I am Serena Hicks and I’m in Austin, Texas, I’m a native Texan. And I have – I am a huge fan of the 2K community. And it’s funny because I was always like, “I’m going to be on Stacey’s podcast.” But I thought it would be after I hit some huge milestone in the 200K group. So the intentional thought, anything can happen is in play.

Stacey: That is so fun. Well, I have in my mind only had 200K students in the past when I just first started the podcast and I’d never thought about kind of interviews. I was like, “Well, if they make a 100K they can go on the podcast.” And it’s been until recently where our community is now blowing up. And we have so many stories that I want to share, and so I have this whole list of people I want to interview for 2K too, and I’ve been spinning and how am I going to do it and all of this. And so this was, just felt like the perfect opportunity.

And you’re actually on my list because you’re such an amazing contributor to the program. I see you always jump in there and offer help to people in the comments. And I just think that’s so valuable. I don’t think my program would be as valuable without people like you.

Serena: Thank you. Can I just tell you, there was a misunderstanding many, many months ago. And an assistant was like, “I just want to remind you of the rules and if you were to break the rules we’d have to kick you out.” And there was mind drama, you wouldn’t fucking believe up in this house. And I was like I can’t be – it was that kind of party because it was like my universe is in jeopardy, my safety and safe space, this is how I learn, grow, this is where I get fed. You would have thought, my boyfriend is like, you’re at a 12, and I’m like yeah.

Stacey: People have a lot of trauma when we delete stuff or when we flag stuff, and I say we, sometimes it’s not me at all, team. But we lived through a hard time in 2K where we did have a lot of – I just want to say crazy shit going on. And it was not one specific thing; it was a bunch of things. We were getting a ton of complaints about coaches hiring some of the guest instructors, and then talking about their work and then people feeling left out. I can’t hire that guest instructor, that’s not fair. Like complaints that people were selling to them, I mean there were so many things.

And so I actually hired my coach, Bev Aron to coach me on what’s the community I want to create. And we had to be kind of like over the top for a while. It was like we had done nothing and then we went to do everything. Now it’s kind of balancing out, although now I feel like with what we’re facing in the world now, there is like we have very specific guidelines that have always been true for 2K about what we talk about, what we post.

Specifically, because we want people to go into the group and have access to only high-level conversations, and we don’t want people to have to dig through a bunch of stuff to find something super relevant for them.

Serena: Totally.

Stacey: And now I’m re-questioning all of it again, I’m like, “What’s relevant? What can we talk about? What can we not talk about?” But I’m glad that you reached out and you didn’t have any, you know, you were like, “Listen, this is clearly a misunderstanding.”

Serena: It was an opportunity for growth, it was an AFOG, for those who know what I mean, another fucking opportunity for growth, but it really was. Because also it really was an opportunity for growth, it helped me refocus and alright, but also here are the words that came in an email, here’s what I made it mean. And it made me actually pull up, which applies right into the racial conversation.

So as a halfsie, I would like to start a new term for every listener, please, a halfsie is when someone is legit half and half. Because though, there’s so many of us who are mixed race, but what half and half means, I spend a lot of time in a very White world, and a lot of time in a very Black world. And me as a person, if we’re just talking about, especially as coaches, words matter, I sometimes like to talk about, like there’s almost this…

I’ve spent most of my life saying, “Well, I’m half White and half Black.” And it almost feels like there’s not a name for it. It’s, “Well, my mom’s White and my dad’s Black.” And there is like this – so I like to operate as just point out halfsie. But what came up for me in that mind drama space that I was in, is I have felt almost like, yeah, in some experiences, different rules apply as a halfsie woman, as a clearly not White, but also for any listener, I am not White. And yet I for sure pass for White and have great White privilege.

So I don’t identify with my Black cousins who have much darker skin and a really different hair texture. And I think have faced a different level and regularity of discrimination than I did. And yeah, it brought up, it was one of the things that came up when I was really examining, like, wow, I was super freaked out. But it was this almost emotional baggage mind drama of any time someone gets in trouble, if it’s me, they can’t hear me.

And I guess one example I want to give is – which is actually, well, it’s to my point. So I was in high school, of course I was in East Texas. East Texas is not known as the progressive epicenter of the world, it is not.

Stacey: I did not also grow up in the progressive epicenter of the world, so I got you.

Serena: You feel me on this. I’m like, here’s the thing, I left as soon as possible and came to Austin, Texas, then I went to New York City, I was immediately like, “What’s the next level?” But I remember, literally noticing as a high schooler, and they are not the smartest creatures, although kids are real smart. But I remember getting in trouble or like whatever, we were messing around, I think we were flipping people off in English class and the teacher got mad.

And it was like Tadian was also half Black, except he definitely as a man was sort of registered as Black in the eyes of the school generally. And it was like him and some other White dude, but Tadian got sent out in the hall. I also remember, and this is so not fair, I remember noticing that Tadian and I, just the privilege I was given as a sort of not White, but not Black woman. If we both got in trouble, the principal would be like, “Pull together, Serena, stop it, we like you.” And he would get sent to detention for three days.

And I remember noticing that in all these different ways, even like high rule breaker high. Sometimes my skirts were really not short, but too short by the rules. And the principal legitimately would tell me to change it and sometimes I wouldn’t go home because I didn’t feel like it. And he’d see me at 2:00pm and be like, “I told you two, don’t do that.” And we’d all like LOL.

And then I would experience some of my friends who were Black, if the principal told them to go change their skirt, they had about five minutes to be in their vehicle, changing their skirt, because if not that was insubordination and a whole situation. So part of why it pressed all my buttons is I realized I still have this mindset of any time there is trouble, I’m going to be assumed to have been wrong, and that’s going to cost or hurt me.

Stacey: Yeah. So how did you work through that? Because you didn’t tell, we didn’t get that message. We knew nothing that this was happening, so you clearly worked through it on your own and I would love if you’d be willing to share how you did that.

Serena: It was, I mean it’s thought models. I love using the model, I am not actually an LCS grad but I live for the model. So it was looking and realizing, yeah, the words that were just like, “Hey, we heard this, we want to make sure you know the rules.” Triggered all of these thoughts, you know, it’s the basic, it’s the usual with the model. Here’s what happened, here’s what I’m making it mean, and then taking them bit, by bit, by bit. And allowing myself to recognize, what maybe happened 25 years ago, doesn’t actually have to do with us today.

If something moves forward and I don’t like it then I can respond. It didn’t, let’s not expect that, let’s not live there.

Stacey: What’s so interesting though is I think that these are the best type of situations to start the conversation of that. That the circumstance or whatever happened didn’t actually create our feeling, our thought about it did. And again, sometimes we might want to choose to keep that feeling going. We might not want to change the feeling.

But I think it’s like we’re in this interesting time where everything is so loaded. And then we’re asking people to do this very, very difficult thing, which is see what their brain is making it mean, and then taking responsibility for that. It’s like the most loaded situation you could possibly test your thought work against. And I was like let’s start with something really small, let’s start with something much less triggering. And even that was really triggering for you.

So do you have advice for anyone who feels like me or any other coach that they’re working with, or thought leader they look up to, or a colleague that they’re working with or anything at all that they interpret as being very triggering and very painful? What advice would you give if it feels really heavy and really emotional, and all of that stuff’s coming up? What advice could you give people that are going through that, experiencing that?

Serena: Step one, your nervous system has been activated. And we all know high emotion, low IQ. So step one is to slow down, catch your breath. For me, putting one hand over my belly and one hand over my heart and literally closing my eyes so the rest of the world sort of goes away is the best step one, to just come home to my body. And let my brain recognize that we’re right here, right now, and we can address everything. But step one is let your nervous system have a chance to even begin to settle.

Because then from there I think step two is, alright, let’s get clear on, again, using the thought model, like the model. Okay, what is the exact circumstance, because then I think that creates space for people to be curious, to ask questions instead of bringing our brain and our, you know, how our brain likes to live in the past, and the history of it. To allow us to ask, “Hey, what did you mean in that way?” Or, “I’m feeling this way, did you know that?” Allowing a conversation, instead of doing what my brain always prefers, which is to make assumptions and run, and like, now is not a good time for that.

Stacey: Yeah. And what would you say, because I think this has been, you know, I talk about it on the call, on the first call we did in 2K. But there’s been a lot of confusion about what is a circumstance, and how you use the circumstance in the coaching world. So how would you explain that in your words, for your own work?

Serena: I think that the circumstance is whatever the situation is. So if someone’s talking to me and I’m like, “Tell me what’s the situation.” And then letting them summarize, “Well, at work that happened.” And I’m like, “What is the situation?” So to me the circumstance is, give me the clinical description of the situation and then we can pick it up from there.

Stacey: I guess, factual as possible, that’s the way I like to look at it is like as factual as possible. And sometimes it’s literally putting – for me, I have to take the entire sentence that someone said and put it in the C. And sometimes I can get to like a person said words, but sometimes I need to see the exact words. And for me, I have been telling everybody I don’t think you can use the model wrong. I think it’s just for our own self-awareness.

And sometimes I will put it, the thought underneath and it’ll be like a whole stream of thoughts. And I need to get those out first before I just take a look at one single one at a time. But what do you think is the purpose of that? Because when I said that, my brain literally just said, “That’s so tedious.” So I feel like that’s what other people are going to think. So what would you say about that?

Serena: I love that you say that because I call it a thought constellation. In my mind it’s like a whole bunch of stars coming together, all of those different thoughts. So I feel like the purpose of writing all of them is ultimately when you look at them, there’s like a theme. It’s some version of whatever the theme is, so I’m glad that you asked. And I think of it as a constellation, because when you see the 50 different thoughts, there’s almost like in 40 of them are different ways of saying exactly one thing. So then that’s your like, that’s the thought.

Stacey: Yeah. That’s super helpful. Okay, so they know that this is now their thought. But how would you teach your client to see the difference between what happened and then what they’re thinking, and then the truth?

Serena: Yes. So I think that what’s so fun is when we write the circumstance and then we’re able to see what we’re actually thinking. Then it almost magically unlocks the circumstance, it literally unlocks it. So it’s like what may feel like the truth to me maybe isn’t the actual absolute truth. It may feel like it’s the truth.

Stacey: But what if it does feel like the truth?

Serena: It feels 100% like the truth, and then phone a friend, hire a coach. But also step one is – this is why I live for coaching. Believe me, my brain told me a lot of truth, but thank god someone was like, no.

If you’re home alone and listening to this podcast and you’ve got stuff out right now and you’re doing it, I would say, ask yourself, I think it’s Byron Katie who I know that you follow, is like is this the absolute truth in every single situation. Can you reverse it? And can you then allow the brain to prove it true? So if the thought is this is unfair, then maybe you can be like, “Is it fair or maybe it is unfair?” And as you say, and can I be okay with that?

And recently, obviously we’re all reading a bunch of things but actually my boyfriend read a paragraph to me from a book recently and was like, acceptance, enjoyment, enthusiasm. If you can be doing at least one of those things, you’re going to live a really great life. And I thought acceptance is for when we’re in the shitty spaces. Sometimes shit is not fun and it’s not about celebrating it, it’s just about accepting, alright, here’s where we’re at right now, and then taking the next right step.

Stacey: Okay, so if they were you and they get an email and it’s like, we’re flagging you for – I don’t even know what it was. We’re flagging you for x, y, z, we want to just let you know this is going on. If it happens, we’re going to have to kick you out of the group if it keeps happening. Alright, so what did you make it, you made it mean that if anyone were to get in trouble it’s going to be you?

Serena: Totally. All sorts of things, but ultimately it was, I’m going to be wrongly accused and outed. I’m going to get into trouble for something I didn’t even do, that’s actually it, and that ties into too much heavy stuff. So, yes, that was it, it was, I’m going to get in trouble for something I literally didn’t do, like get kicked out.

Stacey: Yeah, okay. So then you’re saying that the opportunity there is to write down what exactly was said, or what the situation was, find that thought. And then you have the opportunity to ask the question, what if it’s true, and then what?

Serena: Well, yes, because that made me the feeling of fear and panic, and so then the action was just assume that I’m in trouble and I can’t do anything, or I can’t post ever again or blah, blah, blah. So the result is like crap. So for me at least, when I was finally like, hey, wait a minute, this is exactly what was said. And why I don’t I just like instead of the thought, I’m going to get in trouble for something I didn’t do. Why not just choose the thought, there is a misunderstanding, or maybe they don’t understand?

And that created space for me to then send an email like, “Hey, thanks so much, I think there was a misunderstanding.“ And then it was like, “Actually, no, not this, but yes to that.”  And then I’m like, “Oh yeah, I did do that.”

Stacey: Oh, interesting.

Serena: That freed me up because – and I don’t remember the exact specific of the no. But you had posted, I think, I honestly don’t remember what it was, but whatever it was I did. So it was like, “Oh shit, yeah, I did that, sorry.”

Stacey: Did you apologize for cursing on my podcast?

Serena: Did I?

Stacey: Did you, is that why you just said, “Sorry?”

Serena: No, I meant it in the email.

Stacey: Okay, I was like, well, you definitely don’t have to do that. I mean you’ve listened to my podcast, right?

Serena: I have. No, I mean in the email when I was like, “I didn’t do that.” And she was like, “Yes, but you did do this.” And then I was like, “Yes, I did do that second thing, I am sorry for that.” That is probably what set me free, because then it was like, oh yeah, that was a total accident. And I did it there.

Stacey: Yeah. So, even just giving the opportunity for clarification in certain situations, especially when there’s miscommunication with people.

Serena: Yes, because I think especially, especially in anything, but especially when we’re talking about racial conversations, it’s so easy to make an assumption. And then I, for one, get tense and then we don’t actually show up with a space of curiosity or like, wait, here’s what I’m making it mean for me. Or, here’s what I’m thinking, or, I’m sorry, could you clarify what you meant exactly. Or, well, that wasn’t my experience. Or, actually I didn’t do that.

Whatever it is, just the conversation, the curiosity, which I know you coach on all the time and like look at that, we’re here too.

Stacey: Yeah. Well, I think it’s important to – and I’m curious what you think about this. I’m still working through all of this in my mind. So I also want to say that this conversation, we’re just kind of free flowing, it doesn’t feel like a very strong stance on anything yet. But I do think that what I’ve been thinking about is what power do we have in the belief of somebody else’s intention, to create safety and trust for ourselves, which is a really loaded question.

Serena: Yeah, yeah. I don’t think we do. I think at least what I am still learning and will forever be learning. But certainly I think that’s the super power jump is when we decide that we are going to be able to take care of ourself almost no matter what, except of course, in real life that’s not necessarily always true, period.

But it’s a thought that I think serves us more when there is this sort of – I’m going to use all my hippy words, but a sacred surrender. Because I think one of the thought errors is that we’re all meant to make it to 100 years old in perfect health. And at 100 years old, after our birthday, if we want to die, we can die. And unfortunately…

Stacey: That is what I believe.

Serena: It’s a good thing to believe, keep it up, I’m looking for…

Stacey: No, I really do think that that’s what we should all get.

Serena: Okay, good. Then hold that belief because it is a privilege that I hope we all get to celebrate. But I think there’s also this like, okay, but unfortunately, that’s not actually going to necessarily happen for all of us.

And at the same time here’s where I get nervous is I’m like, it doesn’t make wrongful deaths okay. It doesn’t, you know, oh well, sorry about that. It doesn’t okay wrongs, but it’s like, no, brain, stop trying to be extremist. It does mean the more I can stay focused on taking care of myself and making my way through the world, the less I feel attached to if other people want me to or not, versus this is my spiritual path and my space.

Stacey: So it’s like just control what I can control?

Serena: Only that.

Stacey: That’s so hard though. I mean, I struggle with that a lot. I spend my whole life trying to change the circumstance to be happy. And I had a lot of – it’s so interesting because I do have a lot of attachment to us all living to 100, and I have the most ridiculous anxiety. Neil sometimes is like, “What is, seriously, what’s happening in your brain?”

A new recent thing is I can’t be under overpasses. I literally can’t be under them. I start freaking the fuck out, in a really crazy way. Where now I will stop, even if there’s 10 car links and it’s a double overpass, I can’t be under it, I feel like I am suffocating. And I do this on planes and I have had some near-death experiences. And you would think that when you survive that, that it would be better, and it isn’t. It’s just so interesting that you said that, it’s totally off topic, but I’m like, I see that, I have that definite.

But I will say that one of the things that helps me with it is the, what you said of being able to bring it back to what I can control in the moment is life changing. So I love that, I love that that’s your experience and I want to just say that we’re not speaking for everyone, for any – at all on this podcast. We’re just having our experience.

And I love that I’m going to have so many of my coaches on and I’m sure the experience and the way that we think about things is going to be completely different. And I think that that’s going to be fun thing, I think some people will be like, “Oh my God, I totally identify with that.” And then other people will hear something somebody else says and like, “Oh my gosh, I can totally identify with that.” And I think we just have to start the conversation somewhere and talk about something and anything.

Serena: Yeah, I think that’s actually – yes, thank you for clarifying. It’s like, yes, this is my experience, but yes, I think that’s where – you asked me. Well, how I ultimately got into coaching and it’s like…

Stacey: Yeah, that was the…

Serena: Oh, are we on the same page?

Stacey: We are.

Serena: It has everything to do with, okay, so my personal great awakening, for lack of better terminology, is that – so my story is I grew up in East Texas, I’m half Black, half White. I went to University of Texas at Austin. Austin, Texas is definitely a little more liberal in the state. As soon as I could I got hired by MTV News in New York City, so I was like super excited, worked on presidential elections.

Stacey: So fun.

Serena: Yeah, I was out. So talk about your circumstances, I had exactly one place to sleep for one night because I didn’t know people in New York. And I had a credit card with a $500 limit. And I’d already spent $250 and I didn’t even know things like hostels, I didn’t know about hostels. So I legit was like, well, I’m going to stay with this one friend for this one night. And if her roommate won’t let me stay afterwards then I’ll just secretly sleep under my desk. I was in whatever it took station.

But ultimately, thank God, a great privilege, my mother, after I was literally on the other side of security was like, “Here is a loan, please do not live in an alley,” and was able to get a space.

But the story I was going to tell you, when we were talking about the circumstance and only controlling what we can is I ended up, I was 40 when I got unceremoniously pushed out of a job, which I would also point out, my boss, a little bit racist, a little bit sexist.

And ultimately, we were beefing over I deserved, like I wanted to make what my White male peers in exactly that role were making. And he constantly was like, “You make enough.” I’m not married, I don’t have kids. So I remember feeling, right, he thinks that I make enough because I’m a single chick and I make enough. But that shouldn’t be compensation. So it got pretty gross and ultimately, I was invited to leave immediately. And so I was pushed out of a job.

And then my older brother died from cancer two weeks later. And unfortunately, it was not a clean brief – horrible experience. There was one of his kids who had a different mom. And his widow, my former sister-in-law wouldn’t let him come to the funeral. It was this hideous mess.

And I spent a lot of time eating and drinking wine and thinking, and I finally had this big moment where it was like, I’m a good person, I’m a smart person, I am nowhere where I want to be in my life. And I’d read a bunch of self-help books for years, it was what ultimately led to me making a phone call and hiring a coach. And that blew my mind and changed my life immediately, and that’s sort of how I – well, that’s not sort of. That’s how I got into coaching, is at first I was consulting because I needed to make money, I was doing social media marketing, teaching people.

And then I realized, so many of my clients were shooting themselves in the foot because they really have success and tolerance issues. And then I was like, I want to work with people who want to see their blind spots and want to contribute to society. And that is ultimately where I was like, “I’m going to be a coach.” And started implementing the tools that my coaches had worked with me on, and then obviously I still work on, and all of that.

Stacey: And who do you work with now?

Serena: Melanie Childers, she’s in your 200K.

Stacey: Sorry, I meant your clients, but also shout out to Melanie, she’s a great coach.

Serena: I love her. I told her when she was like, “Why aren’t you coaching?” And I was like, “Because I’ve got to get all the certifications and I’ll need it,” and she was like, “I don’t think that’s actually what you have to do.”

Stacey: Yeah, it’s like half and half, half the coaches that – people think I only work with LCS people, I do work with a lot of LCS people. But half of my clients also either have other certifications, or have never been certified and did it through working with their own coach and their own self-discovery. Because when you do your own work enough, it does come about that you start seeing patterns in other people and you’re able to walk other people through those things.

So I take the stance of if you’re going to get certified, for sure, get certified with LCS. I just think they’re the best, it’s very biased. I have no other experience of anywhere else. But I also like I love that our 2K community represents something far greater than that, there are so many different types of coaches from all different walks of life. And even my 200K Mastermind, I think it’s like 50:50 of people who are LCS versus people who have other backgrounds, which I think is fantastic.

I don’t think there is, you know, I always like to think we’re just all looking for the same result, we’re all after the same things.

Serena: Yeah. Yes, and thank you for that. And, yes, I think I will be LCS certified sooner rather than later, but I also appreciate that yes, my coach was like, “We don’t have time for you to get all of your ducks in a row, why don’t you start helping people?”

Stacey: So, everybody stop and hear that. We don’t have time to get all your ducks in a row.

Serena: That’s the theme of my life, yeah, it’s like, well, just start helping people.

Stacey: So who do you work with now, with your clients, who do you specifically work with?

Serena: So I’ve had a – I would say a general life coach, but my very favorite are the people who are just starting their business. And they’re like, “But I can’t get paid for that.” Or, “I’ve been charging $10 an hour for private dance lessons.” And I’m like, “What? No.” I love helping people realize that – and I’ve learned so much of this from you, getting really clear on the value of what you offer, not just, what should I charge? But the value of what they are going to get out of it.

And then also just a willingness to like let’s get started, let’s start now, will you make a million dollars your first year? I doubt it. Let’s get started because that’s how of course we learn. So one of my…

Stacey: But even if you make 15K, or 30K your first year, people think, like they don’t realize how fucking incredible that really is, and so many of my students experience that way before they have six figures. And I’ve been thinking a lot about that too, just for this podcast, I feel like what’s happening in the world has brought up all of my shit.

We talk about it in Million Dollar Mentoring, burning everything down. And when you have this willingness to burn everything down, it doesn’t mean you burn everything down, but you’re willing to. Like you blank slate it all, and you’re like, “If I made all of these decisions again today, would I make them the same way?” And it’s like my brain feels heavy.

I’m like there are a lot of things that I didn’t consider when I first made this program. And even this podcast, there’s so many things that I would redo, if I were just blank slating it and starting all over again. It’s just brought up a lot of stuff, and I think that – anyways, I lost my train of thought.

Serena: No. Well, let me pick it up for you because what I appreciate in what you’ve said and what’s meant the most for me in just the last week.  But when I also look at, you know, when I heard that first big coach and got started, I ended up in a whole new much better apartment, I met my life partner. I started working with the same clients, it all happened really fast. But it all came from a willingness to let go of everything that I thought, which then it provides safety or comfort. It was from an unattached space.

And then also I love when you’re talking about like I would have done things differently. Yeah, hindsight is 20:20, so many of us would definitely do better if we could redo certain things. But I appreciate, and I think that this is one of the things I’ve learned from your podcast and from the 2K is start now and then you’re going to change it and you’re going to make it better. But waiting to serve the world, once you come to a place of perfection and confidence just means people aren’t going to get served.

And I appreciate seeing you model that in the 2K group. And also seeing other coaches, and I’m grateful when you’re like, “I’ve noticed how you contribute.” And I’m like, yeah, I learned that, I learned that from the other coaches in the group of truly showing up and contributing, and sharing not just the here’s what’s good, but also the here’s what was interesting.

Stacey: Yeah, I think right now, at least for me, one of the things that I’m looking at is the difference between teaching and giving ideas, versus holding this space and do I want to make it very specific that everybody holds the space in my groups. Because that’s one of the things I’m seeing that’s coming up with, you know, I think we had the pandemic, which was very triggering for everyone. We’re still dealing with that, which is very triggering.

Then we have three horrible deaths that I just can’t – I mean I’m still working on processing, so I can’t imagine what my Black students are processing. I feel like I can’t even – I mean it’s really truly – feels like I’m starting to open my mind to a greater understanding of it. But it feels like I’m not even supposed to fully be able to grasp that, but it is so horrific. And so we all have such strong opinions, such strong belief and a desire for change.

And then at the same time one of the most useful and powerful coaching tools is holding the space, and being nonjudgmental and having no opinion when you coach someone else. And so I’m even questioning all that, what do I want the guidelines of my group to be? And how do we safely have conversations? And how do we safely ask for coaching and safely say all the things that we’re like, “Yeah, this is not going to sound great,” or, “This might sound really stupid,” or, “I might sound really uneducated.”

Which is – what’s so funny is when I talk about selling in a crisis, and it brings up all your shit that was already there. And my biggest trigger is like, I’m not educated enough, I’m not going to say it right. I don’t speak articulately. I get tongue tied. I get stuck in my head. So all of that’s now coming up, and the world’s like, give us your opinion. So I’m working through all of that too.

So I just think it’s really fascinating that you have to have this willingness to start and it be messy. And then you have to question everything, and you have to change your mind all of the time as you gain greater awareness. And I think we’re all in this and I just think it’s so like you and the other students in our group that are really standing up as Black students, as what did you say, halfsies?

Serena: Halfsie. Halfsie.

Stacey: I’m not going to ever say that, but if you want to say that.

Serena: You’re like, I’m opting out.

Stacey: I’m opting out of that. But I mean I think it’s like everybody has a different thing of the way they – I’ve even noticed, I have – which I’m going to work on this. It’s not really important at all. But I’ve had a lot of people telling me I’m a successful White business leader and I have to speak out. It’s part of all my stuff. I’m like, “Wait a minute, do people think I’m chronically tanned?”

Serena: Yes.

Stacey: I’m Native American, I have that inside of me and I feel like it’s really important. And so I’m like, how do I want to talk about myself? I don’t even know, that’s kind of been coming up too.

So anyways, I think it’s really interesting. I think that my brain is in a lot of places and I am looking to the outside world to other leaders to teach me and lead me. But I think the leaders are people who are in 2K, people like you who I can just have this open conversation with. And it might be wrong, and I might misarticulate it, but it’s worth having the conversation.

Serena: You say it all the time and it’s just what you’re also saying, it’s in business, it’s in everything, you’ve got to be willing to do it wrong in order to learn how to do it right. Like you’ve said, and it’s applicable everywhere, people are like, “I want to be the best seller.” Well, you’re going to need to be on a bunch of sales calls, you’ve got to be willing. And I do know and honor that it’s a delicate thing to talk about, especially when we’re talking about identity, and race, and social injustice, and systematic racism, and all of these different things.

But it’s also just what you said, not having the conversations, so we don’t do or say the “wrong” thing, which I’m putting up in air quotes. Is like, no, it’s, I think, the worst option. I think allowing ourself to move forward, even knowing there will probably be some mistakes or difficult moments, is ultimately coming from a place of trust and a belief that we’re going to figure it out. Yeah, but we’re figuring it out.

Stacey: And I always tell my students that they have to be willing for those clients to be mad at them on a consult. They really might have to say something and – or they might just say the wrong thing. I think in the beginning you don’t know how to say things the right way, like with a finesse as a coach. And sometimes I struggle too, sometimes I’ll say on a 2K call, “I don’t know a nice way to say this, so I’m just going to say it.” And you have to be willing to do that.

But what I’m noticing even in my brain is I’m in this place now where I have to be willing to say it and let someone be upset at me. And it’s almost like I’ve forgotten that, I’ve forgotten what that feels like because people, for the most part, I mean, Facebook ads. I feel like it’s easy to not be upset about what people comment on my Facebook ads, because I’m like they really don’t know me.

But my client is upset with me, there’s a whole another level of drama. And I think when I get through it I will be able to teach holding the space and teach that at such a different higher level and my students will be so much better at it. And I’m really struggling with it, I want everyone to love me and I want to do it right. And I also want to learn, and I want to get started, and so it’s like that spin of you’ve got to say something, say it. So that’s kind of where I’m at.

But you were really helping me and all the students in 2K that are being so vulnerable and being willing to voice their opinions in their own work. And then the support from you and Brig, and Chavonne. And I mean just endless amounts of support has been so helpful to even start the conversation. And I think that that’s where we make the biggest impact. So anyways, you’re creating a program and I would love to talk about that if you want to.

Serena: Yeah. Yeah. I think I put it in the post that I put, it’s like I thank you and 2K because so much of the same – literally I think the thought, the main thought that I keep going back to is I can do this, just to real the thought. Because I get – talk about a thought constellation of all the reasons I can’t do this or all of the reasons why not. And so I’m constantly reminding myself, I can do this but I also have constantly gone back to like you’ve got to be willing to do it wrong in order to get it right.

And I know in that usually you’re talking about sales, you’re learning with sales. But that is ultimately what inspired me. So I come of course from a different perspective and just like you qualified earlier, this is only my experience. But my experience, as a half Black woman in mostly White environment most of the time has been that any time social or racial injustice comes up, mostly in the past it’s a lot of White people who are like, “That’s an uncomfortable topic, I don’t want to talk about it.” And so for the majority of my life I have felt sort of unheard.

And so again, everyone is having different experiences, but I remember last week having this moment and being like we hit a tipping point. I’ve never felt overwhelmingly the non-Black community is listening, it’s happening right now. It just literally feels energetically and in my body, we’ve rounded a corner, it doesn’t mean we’re all going to live in unity and everything is over. We still have work to do but it just felt different, and for that reason I think I’ve spent my whole life trying to articulate, hold space for otherwise help non-Black people understand the Black experience.

And so it was like, oh my God, I can put together a school, so then my brain told me of course how unqualified I am. I have not been studying it for 20 years straight, there are lots of people who have been. And then it was like, dude, but one of my best skill sets is ultimately not just teaching, but curating, and finding ways to effectively communicate. So when I put together – I finally got the website set up, this is today’s adventure.

Stacey: Fantastic.

Serena: These are the details, and I’m like, this cannot be the reason I don’t move forward. And also but I like it to be easy,, or, whichever one will get you to the page to talk about it. But I wanted to create a very safe space just like you were talking about, so all are welcome. I also want to point out for any women of color who are like, “Well, I’d like to participate.” Anyone who would also like to participate but would like for there to be a group specifically for Black individuals, that is also available.

But what I created and what’s on the page, the idea is it’s for mostly non-Black students who want to get in on this anti-racism movement and they need to get up to speed. And they have questions, and they know that they’re not supposed to ask. Why is it not okay to touch hair anymore? Or why am I not supposed to just call my one Black friend? Why am I not allowed to grill her for two hours? The answer being free emotional labor. It’s frowned upon. We all want to share, but let’s not tax any one person for hours.

So just creating an education, and then also because we’re talking about, I’m like, “Listen, we don’t need you to study for five years to feel empowered to start speaking to your friends.” I want there to be a container where people can ask all of the questions and know they can be coached. So if they learn something one week and it’s triggering to them and they’re like, “I know, but.” Then I want to say, “Great, let’s coach on that. Let’s open up the space to get you to a place where there’s a thought that feels good as opposed to, “I know, but.”

Stacey: And to create a space where that will be judgment free and that, you know, because I even have friends messaging me that are like, “Is this a safe space, can I tell you the thoughts I’m having, and can you walk me through this?” And I think that that is so powerful. If we want to have change, I think the thoughts have to come out and they’re not going to be pretty, they might be ugly, and they might be scary, and they might be shameful. But tell me, because I think a lot of people don’t even know why are we talking about anti-racism and why is that important?

I’ve been thinking about who could be listening, and I think that that – it would be irresponsible isn’t quite the word, I want to say naïve to say that there aren’t people listening that would have that question, why is this important to me? Why does this matter? Why would I want to jump in? Do you want to touch on that for a second?

Serena: Yes. I’m totally going to quote Angela Davis, “In a racist society it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.” So just speaking from a historical background, I think so many people were raised to just don’t be racist, don’t see color. And so for that reason their belief is that of course, I never see color, except much like we are taught sexism.

And we are taught to be so called American beauty standard, from watching TV, from reading magazines, from listening to the radio, from the jokes that comedians tell, from all these different places.

Much like dismantling, internalize, misogyny or classism or all of that just requires a little bit of time and attention to be like, “Holy shit, I associate this with that.” And I don’t choose to associate that anymore, that’s what are antiracist, and actually there’s a book, it’s Ibram X. Kendi, How to be an Antiracist. It’s literally under my computer, I want to make sure I say his name right.

It’s How to be Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi. And it’s specifically like there’s no neutral space here. You’re either willingly or unwittingly contributing to the systematic racism that all of us, including Black people have been fed by the images in the media and by the slants of how stories are covered and so on.

Or you are choosing to proactively be like, “No, no, no, I’m antiracist, I’m here for the antiracism movement,” which I think ultimately saves us all. Because when we are in a space where we are, just like you said, able to manage our mind, and see these thoughts and be like, which ones do I choose? Which ones are really in service to me and this other person, and the system, and everything that we share as far as a planet? Versus, which ones are just an unchecked and therefore have been…

I think so many people, I think everyone actually, I think 99% of people who have never identified as racist, it’s such a difficult time to sort of realize I have unwittingly been a part of a system that does hurt people, including people I love, including people I know. And I didn’t sign up for this. And that’s what I think is important about the anti-racist movement is it’s like you have to opt out. And just let’s think of it in email terms, it’s like you’re opted in until you opt out.

And I hope, because I think for a lot of people the idea of well, I’m not a racist, comes from they’re feeling defensive because they don’t want to identify as racist because that, to them, is a bad person or thing. And I guess my argument is, listen, friends, nobody signed up for it, you just have to opt out in order to legit remove yourself from a system that otherwise has racist tendencies.

Stacey: Yeah. The way I think about it is, you know, it’s been interesting, I feel like half of my Black students are in love with my response. They’re cheering me on. They’re sending me messages that they’re so proud to be my students. And the other half are, “I don’t know if this is a safe space, I left your group.” It’s been half and half which tells me it’s 100% people’s thoughts.

But here’s what I will say for everyone listening, I think it’s so important as a business owner, this is what I’m seeing come out of this, the education of all the types of people who you might work with. And it may not be now, it might be later as you get bigger, as you become a thought leader, whether it’s 20 people or one person.

When you say something and you don’t intend to do it, or you do something and you don’t intend to do it, and you hurt someone, it feels terrible. No one, like that I would hurt any of my clients, that – I want to give myself as much education as possible to never ever do that. And of course we, you know, listen, on a regular Tuesday I’m sure I offend some people. But my goal is always to be better and more finesse, is finessing a word? Have more finesse.

Serena: Yeah, have more finesse.

Stacey: In my coaching, I want to be able to help explain things more simply and more do-ably, so I don’t trigger my – if I have the option to not trigger my clients, I’m going to do that, through my education as a coach. If I have an option to be an example of what’s possible for all of my students, I’m going to choose that. If I have an opportunity to educate myself to not ignorantly hurt someone that I care about, why would I not want to find out about that?

And that’s the way that I have been thinking about it, but even for myself I’ve been thinking, with me kind of being, like I’ve always identified as having Native American in me. Because I’ve always my whole life gotten asked what I am because of the color of my skin, always, or assumed, most people think I am Hispanic. Many of my friends in conversations years later will be like, “Well, you know, you’re Hispanic.” And I’m like, “Oh, wait, actually I’m not,” awkward. But I’m thinking about…

I was talking to Kara and she was telling me about what a lot of Native American women are going through right now. And they’re also being at the other end of police brutality. And I have to look this up too. I think that for a while I kind of focused on coaching and being the best coach I can be.

And I think that this is such an amazing experience, to even wake me up to say, “Okay, but now it’s time to educate myself on my clients and the types of people I’m going to work with.” And be able to really create a safe place for everyone and not ever, you know, the more educated I am, the more intentional I can be. I just think you’ll feel like shit if you don’t – I mean I want to say it’s definitely everybody gets to choose this work.

But I just want to say from the future you, that might be five years from now, when you hurt someone’s feelings unintentional and you could have had knowledge that would have undid that, you will feel bad. And I think it’s just such an opportunity to say, “Just I want to learn to be a better friend.”

I want to be a better friend for my African American coaches, my Black students, I want to be a better friend to my mixed students and my, you know, like if you’re half indigenous and half White. If you – however you identify. I want to be a better friend, a better human, a better coach, a better leader, a better teacher.

So I’ve been thinking about a lot about this for myself, and I know that we’re creating something, I think, that of course we don’t know what the end picture’s going to look like. But we can decide, what’s the culture I want to surround myself with? And I definitely know that my most important thing for me is a culture of acceptance and safe space. That’s why people come to me already now, is a safe place. And I’ve seen some holes and where I could do a lot better. And I’m going to work towards that.

So I think for everyone listening, if you’re like, “Why does this apply to me?” I would ask yourself, why doesn’t it? Is it the right question, why doesn’t it?

Serena: Yeah, or how could it not because if you’re ultimately in…

Stacey: How could it not, that was the question I was looking for, yeah, yeah, how could it not.

Serena: Because if you’re in service which I think, most coaches, most of us are here to help, if you’re in service to the world and yeah, wow, why would you not want to legit be in service to all who need you and not just like, “Well.”

Stacey: Yeah, because it’s uncomfortable.

Serena: Yeah, and I mean that’s coaching 101, let’s get comfortable being uncomfortable.

Stacey: Yeah. Now, okay, we had talked before we got on the podcast and so we’re going to link up all the information for people to reach out to you. And I do think there’s a lot of people that are experts, that have been doing it way longer. But I also think that people know you in 2K and they might only feel safe with you, because they already know you and because you’re here offering this work. It’s not what you do forever, but you’re offering it, and you may from here on out.

But I do think that if for anyone listening who is in a position like Serena, that could offer something like this, offer it. You never know who’s going to know you personally, and you’re the only person they’re going to feel safe doing this work with. That to me feels like, I’m doing my own stuff, my own work on myself in the background. But right now, in this moment I want to amplify my students who can do this work right now and people can feel safe with. And so that’s my piece of what I want to do.

So I think you’re the perfect person for it, we’re going to link up all your information. And okay, so before we started the podcast, I think we should end with this, I asked you if there was anything that you wanted to make sure that we shared before we got off here. And you had talked about the permission to thrive and take up space for Black women in this world. So will you talk a little bit about that?

Serena: Yeah, with the disclaimer that obviously we’re all on our own journey, it’s something that, yes, it’s something I think I’ve heard and I agree with is, it’s hard to be what you don’t see. It’s one of the reasons when Obama was elected for me, to see a fellow halfsie, I’m using the word. In the highest office of our nation at the time, it was like, whoa, what a big difference.

And as an example I will just say that so many of us who have felt other or not always entirely welcome, there’s this like learn how to hide in plain sight, learn how to survive, do good but don’t attract too much attention because you don’t want to attract attention, it could cause trouble, blah, blah, blah.

And now is a real moment, I think we’ve all been given complete permission, myself included. But a lot of my work, inner work lately is on the like, all of us are being invited to step forward as our future self, Black women, halfsie women, women of every color, literally we get to answer the call right now. And hiding or playing it safe or trying to water down our truth, ultimately not actually being authentic or vulnerable.

And I think that permission to thrive can only come from within, because I think so many of us have brains where we’re like, well, you can drive, but don’t tell me you’re a business coach until you’ve made at least 300K. Or don’t tell people that you’re a weight loss coach unless you’ve been at your goal weight for a year. Or don’t tell people, you know, insert qualifier here, circumstance, and then you can do such and such.

And what I want to challenge all of us to do, and what I ultimately truly, like the permission that I got, not just from our life coaching in 2K but prior to that fun doing the work in 2K, I joined in September of 2019. So I’m not a year in yet. But just long before all of this, what I learned was only I can give myself permission to get to the next level. It’s not my partner’s job, it’s not my bestie’s job, it’s not my parents’ job, it’s not my clients’ job, it’s not my future clients’ job. It’s my job to do the work so that I can show up more authentically.

And I am uncomfortable every time I step forward, and I’m just getting used to it, and allowing, wanted the permission to thrive. So in December I had a 25K eight-day period, which…

Stacey: Wow.

Serena: That was for me, yes, my largest month prior to that had been nine. And suddenly it was five new clients, 25K. And it blew my mind that I was thrilled, the 2K method. And then I woke up at 2:00am three nights in a row, terrified. Am I allowed to do this? Am I allowed? Am I a fraud? All of these crazy questions bubbled up. And so I got to work through them and I still am. But I think that permission to thrive for every listener. I think this is the time very specifically for the Black community. And I appreciate all the people who are amplifying these voices.

But for every person of every color to be like, okay, now is my time to thrive. Because especially if you’re a humanitarian and you want us all to be well, if that’s truly your priority, now is the time for you to do your work so you can serve your community, and it ripples out from there. That was like a 900-word answer, I apologize.

Stacey: I loved it, I was all in.

Serena: I’m sorry, I just mean like now is the perfect time to thrive, now is the time to shine your light bright.

Stacey: Yeah, I really think, I feel that so deeply for all of my students. And yeah, I mean I just – I think it’s so powerful. I think that – I mean you know me, that my biggest belief is that we can create any result we want in the world if we just go out and get people’s brains coached and educated. And we spread ideas that are different than what has been there before. I think that we all have the ability to do that.

And I will say with this permission to, as we wrap this up, I’ll say with this permission to thrive, I always joke in 2K about my two spoons, that’s not – that was a real deal. Two spoons, one bed, no furniture, life coaching on my laptop on the floor of my apartment. And having no money, and no life, anyone that knew me personally, and I’m like, “I’m going to be a life coach.” They were like, “Really?” Like, what are you going to say to people? But I gave myself permission to thrive. And it was really hard sometimes to give myself that permission.

But what’s so incredible, and I was just telling someone this in 2K, Courtney who had just signed her – one of her first couple of clients and she said, “This person was nervous because I have only had two clients.”

And I said, “Well, I want you to think about my first two clients are still my clients and they’re still some of my most successful clients to this day.” Now they have $500,000 businesses because I gave myself permission to believe I’m enough on that living room floor with two spoons and no furniture, and no money. I was like, I’m enough, I can help these people, and I just helped them. That’s who I always focus on is the people I can help. And so I really resonate with that, and I think it’s the perfect way to end this episode.

It was like when I did that post about you’re worthy, like permission, it was like, you’re worthy, done, solved. Serena and I are here to say, permission granted.

Serena: Yes, permission granted, please go forth and prosper, literally start now.

Stacey: Yeah. Well, if you want help in your business, reach out to Serena, that’s what you do all the time. And if you want to learn more and have a safe space to learn about antiracism, reach out as well. We’re going to get all of that linked up in the podcast. And, again, I think that if you know Serena from the 2K community and you feel like she’s a safe space, I think it could be a great way to inch into the conversation.

Serena: I’m just nodding over here because I’m like, yes, thank you.

Stacey: I was like, yeah, yeah, I saw you nodding. We’re on the same page, they don’t need to know.

Serena: So many people in my life say, “You’re not agreeable.” I’m like, “Well, if you say the right things, I’m super agreeable, yeah.” When I agree, I’m into it, yeah.

Stacey: I love it. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast.

Serena: Thank you. And lastly Stacey, truly, so, Melanie told me about 2K, and I got in, the second, to talk about money, like I’m almost out of the woods, but financially fucked when I started. And legitimately I had my very first 5K client. And before, the second the payment came in I bought 2K, and then I called my boyfriend and was like, “Let’s go to lunch.” I remember, I did not get out of my seat, the second I had the money, I was like, “I’m in 2K.” So, thank you because I appreciate everything you’re doing.

Stacey: How much money have you made now since you joined?

Serena: I was adding it up, so I would need to do it again, but I think it was 84 was the last time I crunched the numbers.

Stacey: Fuck yeah.

Serena: Thank you, and that’s why I love your two spoon story, because it’s like, yeah, when I was – literally like 5K client, thrilled for it, but it has felt like I’ve been within an inch of my life financially, because I also had a mess I was cleaning up. But I love when you talk about that and just like we’re talking about that and you always give your…

Stacey: That’s also how I felt, by the way, like an inch of my life, that’s what it felt like.

Serena: Until otherwise, and I’ve sort of rounded that corner too, but thank you for always being so clear about your story, because truly it gave me permission, Stacey does it, I do it, this is how we lead. We do it and then we tell people while we do it so there’s no shame or bullshit about it.

Stacey: Yeah, I love that. Thank you so much.

Serena: Thank you. Thank you for your patience, I desperately wanted to get my school and have the URLs up before I sent you the like, “Hey, this is good for you,” on Instagram.

Stacey: Listen, it starts with starting.

Serena: Thank you. Well, it’s like – and I’m like, okay, that’s done, as of this morning, so I’ll be blowing up Michelle’s inbox with…

Stacey: You have a week anyway, it takes us – I have to turn these in a week ahead of time.

Serena: You’ll like, chill.

Stacey: So that’s the deal with the podcast, but this is what we’ve got.

Serena: And I’m not sweating.

Stacey: I love it.

Serena: Very zen.

Stacey: Talk to you soon, hun.

Serena: Thank you, talk to you later.

Stacey: Bye.

Serena: Bye.

Hey, if you are ready to make money as a life coach, I want to invite you to join my 2K for 2K program, where you’re going to make your first $2000, the hardest part, and then $200,000 using my proven formula. It’s risk-free. You either make your 2K or I give you your 2K back. Just head over to We’ll see you inside.

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