Without considering the lack of equality in pay, many assume Black women manage money poorly. The reality is, money management is only one of the many factors that play a role in our wealth creation.
Meet Pastor Shun Strickland; she is the owner of Black Women Build Wealth. She created a business to help women break free from obligation and build wealth that lasts for generations.
Rolling out spoke to Strickland about how she got started in business.
How did you get into your business?
I got into my business almost by accident. My oldest daughter, Taylor, was in the 8th grade. She played basketball and was really good. She was averaging about 18 points a game but had a really terrible coach who was causing her to lose her love for the game. I started researching mental toughness, read several books and enrolled to get my masters in sports psychology. I began using the strategies I was learning on her, her teammates and my friends in the hair salon. One day while waiting in line at the grocery store, the guy behind me started talking to me and somehow I told him about what I was doing and he told me I should be a life coach. I honestly had never heard the term and certainly didn’t know people could pay for it. I researched different certifications, signed up for a program, attended it, got certified and started taking clients. The rest is history.
How do you handle stress in your business?
I don’t stress a lot. I have five kids, 4 that are still at home, so managing all their activities is much harder than running a business. I can say, “no” to a new client or event; I can’t say “no” to a sick kid, parent-teacher conference or playing chauffeur to ballet lessons. I do this work because I love it and I know it brings great value to people. When I feel stress coming on, I know that something is out of alignment so I identify and adjust.
What is your biggest hurdle you’ve overcome since becoming a business owner?
My biggest hurdle has been around pricing. How to charge a price that is beneficial for me and my ideal clients can afford. A lot of coaches will encourage clients to take out loans and go into debt for coaching but that goes against my core values. I also understand that life coaching isn’t something that women of color have been exposed to. We have typically gone to our pastors or girlfriends for advice. So if the price pushes them too far out of their comfort zone, it doesn’t attract the clients I most want to help. If it’s too low, then I end up feeling like I cheated myself. I have a team of people who help me with pricing. Without them, I’d probably just be running a nonprofit.
What is the biggest achievement you’ve accomplished with your business?
I think the biggest accomplishment is being profitable and still around after eight years. A lot of businesses fail every year. Learning to actually run my passion as a business is my biggest accomplishment.
In your opinion, what is the key to success?
I believe the key to success is doing work you love. If you are going to give your life to something, it should be work that stirs you and calls you.
The best business tip you can give a prospective person who is looking to merge into your field?
My advice is get certified and get a coach. Don’t expect people to bare their souls when you haven’t walked through the process of baring yours. Allowing someone to ask you crucial [questions] is tough. It’s hard and to really appreciate the courage it takes for your clients to share, you need to experience it often.
What is a quote/mantra that motivates you?
You have the power to change your life.
What advice would you give your younger self about growing up as a woman in this world?
Trust your gut. If you are going to fail, fail following your dreams not doing what they think you should do.
If you were the first woman president, what would be your first order of business?
To call both sides together and say, “Let’s work together for the good of the people and stop the elementary bickering.”
What was your last Google search?
“Define Black Marxism”
Connect with Shun: www.blackwomenbuildwealth.com