An Open Conversation About Money with Jacquette M. Timmons

An Open Conversation About Money with Jacquette M. Timmons

Hey, everyone. Welcome to The Bold Money Revolution Podcast. I’m here today with my dearest of dear friends, Jacquette M. Timmons. She’s been on the podcast before. Jacquette and I were going back and forth on Instagram the other week, and we were just acknowledging and appreciating the levels of conversations that we have. We talk about things that maybe other people aren’t talking about or we think about things a little differently. I think that we appreciate the fact that we’re different. Jacquette is a lovely black woman. I’m a lovely white woman. I so value Jacquette’s expertise, her perspective, her lens, and how she intersects with money and the things that she sees. I feel, Jacquette, that you respect the same for me.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Totally, a thousand percent. I love it.

Tara Newman: Yeah. I think that we intentionally seek each other out for the lens that we have.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Yeah. I’ll speak for myself, it’s like I have this thought, then it’s like, “Is there a safe space to introduce this?” To introduce that I have this thought? To share and see like, “Are you seeing the same thing or even if you’re not, what do you think about what I’m seeing?” You just provide a safe space for me. I want to just thank you for that.

Tara Newman: Oh, same for me, thank you. I love to shoot, Jacquette, things I see on Instagram and I’m like, “What’s your hot take on this? Give me your hot take.” Sometimes, they’re the same and sometimes they’re a little different. I think we’re pretty aligned in how we think about things.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Yes. 

Tara Newman: Our goal here today is just to have one of our Jacquette and Tara open conversations about money because that is really where both our expertises both lie in the realm of money. What I said to Jacquette, “What do you want to talk about? I want to talk to you about this beforehand.” I said, “I want to talk about things that we’re not talking about.” The reason why you might not be talking about this and you might not be seeing this, and I think the reason why I feel Jacquette and I have a different take on this is because, Jacquette, you have clients that aren’t in the online space, right?

Jacquette M. Timmons: Exactly, yes.

Tara Newman: Yeah. I have clients who are not in the online space. I have clients that run businesses that don’t use social media. They don’t even have functioning websites. None of that really. The majority of my career was not spent in this space, I think the same is for you, correct?

Jacquette M. Timmons: Yes, very much so.

Tara Newman: Yeah. I think that you and I also have traveled some pretty traditional career paths. When did you start your business?

Jacquette M. Timmons: I started it in 1995. That was after working with one firm, Bankers Trust now Deutsche Bank, for just a month shy of 10 years. Then even when I started my own business, it was to do the exact same thing that I had been doing there in the private bank, which was managing money for high net worth individuals and smaller foundations. I didn’t come into the “online world” quite frankly until probably 2012. 

Tara Newman: Same, same. What was your impetus for starting your own business?

Jacquette M. Timmons: A couple of things. One, the president of the private bank had been fired. In hindsight, I feel like it was no fault of his own. It was from a firm-wide perspective for folks that don’t know the history, Bankers Trust was in a little bit of a scandal and this had to do with derivatives and Orange County. Some of that trickled down and had an impact on the private bank even though none of us were involved in that at all. But with a whole new influx of professional folks at the realm, our guy who was actually the one who was spearheading, making some tweaks to the private bank—because prior to him coming, it was really a traditional private bank, we did not talk to families or individuals that were not in the $2 million or $3 million asset level—he came in having come from fidelity and was introducing more of a what we would refer to as a retail platform because he’s like, “What about those folks that only have a couple hundred thousand dollars but they may be a part of a family or they may be an entrepreneur and you want to get them when they’re at the $100,000 mark so that you can grow with them?”

That’s a long way of answering but it’s an important answer because when he left, everything was all shaken up. I was thinking about what I am going to do next. They were making some changes. I thought about staying at Bankers Trust, interviewed internally, looked elsewhere, then one of the people on the team said, “Why don’t you start your own business?” I was like, “I can’t do that.” They’re like, “You started one inside the private bank, why can’t you do that?” I’m like, “Oh yeah, I did, didn’t I?” I started my business initially to do exactly what I had been doing there but on my own, and that was working with people that had $100,000 for investable assets or smaller foundations. That’s why I started it and when I started it.

Tara Newman: What was the draw for you to work for yourself? What was exciting for you about that or interesting?

Jacquette M. Timmons: I think my answer in hindsight would probably be different in terms of my answer in the moment at the time. Because I think in the moment, quite frankly, it was a lot of ego if I’m being completely honest. 

Tara Newman: I love that. I can do this.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Yeah. Once somebody planted the seed, it’s like, “Oh, I can do this and I want to be a money manager.” But I think now, with clearly the benefit of a lot of time, I think one of the reasons why I’ve stayed with it—and clearly my business looks very different today than it did back then—but I also feel like I always looked at the way people approach money very differently and I felt like when you are in an institution, you have to approach it their way and you have to have conversations the way that they want to have conversations.

As an example, I would really get frustrated when we would have performance evaluation reviews. When I say performance, portfolio performance, conversations with our clients, it is always just about the return number. First of all, it’s going to fluctuate. It’s going to be up one quarter and down the next quarter. But let’s talk about why, let’s talk about how you were feeling about that, and let’s talk about some of the more proactive strategic decisions that you need to make as opposed to, “Oh my God, my portfolio is down, what are we going to do?” We’re not going to do anything because it’s a part of our longer vision. But that’s not always necessary, at least back then. I don’t want to say encouraged but there was too much focus just on the numbers and not a broader conversation around people’s behavior, choices, and their emotions around it.

Tara Newman: Yeah, I get that. I’ve done a lot of work with business owners on their financial statements and presenting them to banks for various reasons, for sale, or something like that. I always say, “Facts tell, stories sell.” I think there are other things at play that are happening that aren’t necessarily represented in the numbers. As a matter of fact, the whole story that’s happening, that’s not in the numbers. 

Jacquette M. Timmons: Exactly. 

Tara Newman: Ego drove you. I actually love that about you. 

Jacquette M. Timmons: Just being honest. Oh, my God.

Tara Newman: That’s great. I love that you worked with millionaires because we were actually, while we were talking through what we want to talk about and some of the things that aren’t being said, you and I both feel very strongly around some of this messaging that we’re seeing in the online business space around seven figures. By the way, people don’t actually say seven figures outside of the online business space. I don’t hear that being used. My clients aren’t like, “I have a seven-figure business.” Do you hear that?

Jacquette M. Timmons: Not at all. 

Tara Newman: Okay. This is why I talked to Jacquette. I’m like, “Can you just fact check me here because this isn’t a thing.” 

Jacquette M. Timmons: I think as I was sharing, before we pressed record, sometimes, I question my reaction because I know some of it is a style issue from the standpoint of I know a lot of millionaires. I guess everybody could say, “Well, what’s a lot?” I can count on two hands. It’s not an exaggeration. I know two billionaires and none of them live with that. They’re very quiet. I’m going to just stay with the word quiet, they just don’t wear it on their sleeve. They don’t say, “I have a million dollar business.” They don’t say, “I have a yacht.” They don’t say, “I have a plane.”

I’ve never been on one friend’s plane but they’ll say, “Hey, do you want to come and go out on the water?” But they’re not going to say, “Do you want to go out on my yacht?” Do you know what I mean? It’s not a part of the conversation. Just because they’re not doing that doesn’t mean that they’re not talking about money because I think sometimes, the conflation with what I hear in some of the discussions around building a seven-figure business is that people aren’t talking about money. First of all, I’ve long believed that’s wrong. I think people talk about money all the time, I just don’t think they’re having the right conversations. I also feel like just because they’re not being explicit about what they’re doing doesn’t mean that they’re not talking about it. Does that make sense?

Tara Newman: Yeah. My favorite book is The Millionaire Next Door.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Yeah.

Tara Newman: When I look at the millionaires that I know, they are the most unassuming people. I think there’s a lot to unpack here and I want to stay here because I’m really concerned. I’m just genuinely concerned for business owners. I’m specifically concerned with online people who are seeking information online because there’s a lot that’s not true. I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer and this is not my mindset. This is years of knowledge, experience, and continued learning and education. There are academics at this point studying what we’re seeing. I was reading a study called The Entrepreneur. Because we have flooded the system with “entrepreneurs,” we’ve actually broken the intention of entrepreneurship. That’s going to have an impact on the economy. Not just the economy, but I’m really concerned with the impact that it’s having on people’s social, emotional health, and their mental health chasing these goals.

In the 2018 AmEx Women’s Small Business Report—and granted this is a few years old—but 88% of women were not making over $100,000 in revenue in their business. Unfortunately, when they did the 2019 survey, I don’t think they did a side-by-side comparison of that, so I don’t know what the number is now. What we do know is more and more women are entering the small business space. When you start to dissect this by race, you know that this is horrific. 

Jacquette M. Timmons: Yeah. 

Tara Newman: It’s bad. I don’t have those exact numbers on me but I will just be honest and fair, and say that’s not great. If 88% of women small business owners are making less than $100,000 a year, why do we have marketing around seven-figure businesses, Jacquette?

Jacquette M. Timmons: I think we have marketing around that because it gives the people that are not making that $100,000 something that they can hold on to and that they can say, “Yeah, that’s my goal.” But it takes away some of the critical thinking that’s required of what it will take to actually do that in a sustainable way. The parallel that I draw there is the conversation that is often had when it comes to venture capital and how there’s this push for raise capital, raise capital.

I sit on the cabinet in New York City, I sit on the cabinet for Advancing Black Entrepreneurship in New York City—I don’t mind saying it here on a recorded podcast—one of the things that I always say when we have our meetings is, “We can’t just focus on incubators and providing people access to venture capital. Because not every business is designed to need venture capital. What about that neighborhood business that needs tools and access to financing? That’s going to help them but they’re never going to benefit from venture capital because they’re not designed to scale and be sold in a scalable fashion.” Seven-figure is seductive at the end of the day like, “Oh my God, yeah, that sounds fantastic,” but I think missing in the conversation is the nuances around what it takes to actually do that, like I said, in a sustainable way.

Tara Newman: Yeah. Some of my messaging around The Bold Profit Academy is around this number of $250,000. The reason why I have $250,000 as a number is a little bit based on Profit First. When you look at how that $250,000 would get distributed, it allows somebody to take home six figures of pay. They would take home $125,000 a year in CEO pay. They would have some profit that they could take out of that business to do whatever they want. The Profit First is pretty big on rewarding you, the business owner. I would like to see women do some investing or invest in their families or whatever.

Personally, my retirement contributions and my stock money comes out of my pay but if it didn’t, it could come out of your profit. Then you have some nice money for expenses to run your business and to hire some support. It’s a very manageable thing. I get questioned a lot about, “Is this your limited mindset, Tara? Is this your limiting belief?”

Jacquette M. Timmons: Wow, really?

Tara Newman: Yeah. Actually, it’s been by men. Men have questioned this. Two men have questioned me on this. The women in The Bold Profit Academy are like, “Yes. This is where we need to be right now.” First of all, I like to challenge the personal development industry, so my response to this was, “What if believing in limiting beliefs is really what’s limiting you?” Because I feel like there’s some truth to that.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Oh, my God. I always remind people when they talk about mindset. I’m like, “My definition of mindset is perspective, A, then B, it always has to accompany action.” You can’t think your way through to the other side of something. Even if it were a “limiting mindset,” you can’t think your way through from $250,000 to $1 million. You got to do something.

Tara Newman: Right. But here’s what I actually see happening is that this $1 million number for women becomes a real distraction. Where they’re focusing so much on that million dollars or what might get them to a million dollars, they completely miss what will get them to $100,000 or $200,000 or $250,000. Then when we can get women anywhere between $100,000 and $250,000, it depends. It depends on where you’re living. It depends on your partner. It depends on so many factors what is the right number for you. But $250,000 is a good chunk in my opinion.

But when we get you there and you have a system for your money, and you start to realize that you have enough, something happens where you calm down, then you can go for more than enough and whatever more than enough looks like to you. But what is happening—and I love your input on this—is that in the online space, the marketers, if you think about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the marketers are selling you self-actualization when you need basic needs, safety, security, emotional support, and things like that. They’re jumping you all the way up the pyramid without having those foundational pieces in place. It’s devastating.

Jacquette M. Timmons: It is. Here’s something else. Obviously, for a variety of reasons, I will omit a lot of details but I’ve got a client who does indeed have a seven-figure business. But she doesn’t pay herself as much as she could. She does work that she probably shouldn’t because she’s got team members that are not really stepping up to the plate, so she’s picking up the slack because stuff’s got to get done. There are just so many different things. I guess in sharing that example, what I’m trying to point out is you can have the holy grail of a seven-figure business, and that’s fantastic. But does that mean that you’ve worked out and worked on your relationship with money, and your relationship with managing other people to the degree that seven figures is not killing you? Maybe, that’s just the wrong choice of word.

Tara Newman: No, that’s a pretty good choice of word. 

Jacquette M. Timmons: It is not killing you

Tara Newman: That’s a pretty good choice of word. A couple of things. When my clients are not in the online business space, they’re primarily over $1 million up to a $60 million business. My dad has had his own business. I’ve had family members who have had their own business. My husband has his own business. The hardest revenue amount in a business in my opinion is $1 million to $5 million. That’s a tight spot because you start requiring more team. It’s really hard to manage the people, the cost of the people. It’s not the most efficient sweet spot of a business. It can be a real drain. It could be really hard for people.

Yes, just because you have revenue of that amount doesn’t mean that you’re profitable because I’ve seen that as well. It’s no joke when Mike Michalowicz talks about in the book that 83% of business owners are living paycheck to paycheck. My husband’s worked in businesses where they were so fast out spending their cash because of the wife’s $30,000 Bloomingdale’s credit card and the whole family had to have Mercedes, and they had nothing left to run the business with because a lot of small business owners just aren’t knowledgeable about money and they use your business like it’s a piggy bank.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Exactly, which is so crazy. I always remind folks, “That thing you just got paid for, all that money ain’t yours.”

Tara Newman: My dad used to say to me, “Oh, why does it matter? It goes from one pocket to the other.” He would point to the pockets in his jeans, like one pocket is a business pocket and the other pocket is a personal pocket and I’m like, “Hmm.” 

Jacquette M. Timmons: Yeah, but something happens between that, Dad. It goes in one pocket as another number and it goes into the other pocket as another number.

Tara Newman: It’s funny because he’s actually really good with finances. I think a part of him was being facetious about it but I can see how people think that. But then the other thing that always fascinates me that’s missing from the marketing messages are what happens when you hit $1 million. I get that in the online space, we get like gold balloons, macaroons, and all that jazz. Anybody who is celebrating making money in the online business space, I am not pooing on you. You do you. I’m so glad that you’re succeeding. I truly am. I’ve got friends who have online businesses and they are making $1 million more, and they do talk about it online. I celebrate them, I’m like, “You’re amazing. Awesome.” But what happens is you have to do it again next year. 

Jacquette M. Timmons: It’s the whole issue of sustainability.

Tara Newman: Now, we’re getting into sustainability. Whatever you just did, you now need to do again, and again, and again, and again.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Yeah. I think for me, part of some of my challenges that I bump up against in terms of what I hear is the idea that there’s only one way to do it and we know because of some of the clients that we have, that there are so many different ways to have a $1 million business. But I don’t think that in the online space, when it’s being marketed, that nuance is being really highlighted. It’s almost as if it’s, “This is the way,” as opposed to, “This is a way.”

Tara Newman: Yeah. Then I think women really look at that and they go like, “What am I doing wrong? I’m not perfect enough. How much harder do I need to work to get to that benchmark?” Which is for me, I’m like, “You’re so overworking because you have a goal that is so far beyond where you are right now. Can we just bring the goal back a little bit and do what’s required to get to this benchmark, then decide if you want to do this again, if this is sustainable, if this feels good, if this is what’s required?” 

Jacquette M. Timmons: Yeah. I forgot where I was. I was having a conversation with someone and I was saying how I will never tell someone that their dream is too big. But I will challenge them on the timeline. I think what you’re pointing out is the timeline issue. You want to have a $1 million business, are you clear within what time frame? Is that five years? Is that 10 years? Because the things that you will do to have a $1 million business that has a 10 year timeline to it is very different than what you would do if it’s five years, and extremely different if you’re trying to do it within one year. I think that’s another nuance. That’s not a part of the marketing of “build a seven-figure business” (within what timeline) because the choices and the trade-offs that you make depending upon the timeline are very, very different. Like you said, you might decide after you do it for one year like, “Oh crap, I didn’t like those trade-offs.”

Tara Newman: Yeah, I think that’s really important. I think that the speed in which people are thinking that these things come to fruition, there’s a lot– this goes well beyond the online space, by the way. Have you seen the market?

Jacquette M. Timmons: I didn’t check it before we got on the phone.

Tara Newman: But just in general. 

Jacquette M. Timmons: Oh yeah.

Tara Newman: We can talk about any of this stuff, WeWork, right? 

Jacquette M. Timmons: Oh, my God, yes. 

Tara Newman: That market cap was way out of what they actually were. They weren’t making any money at all. They had investors coming in. Even in the non-online space, this stuff is happening and it’s not real.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Oh, my God, WeWork is a great example. Even the tech bubble in the early 2000s, late 1990s, is also a really great example. When you see all of these firms getting financed—and they don’t have a pathway to revenue—and you’re like, “Are you kidding me? You don’t have a pathway to revenue, you haven’t generated any revenue, and you’ve got X million dollars of financing. That’s just ridiculous.” The WeWork thing, I’m just amazed at how quickly that imploded. 

Tara Newman: I am amazed that it got off the ground at all. I was watching the documentary and I’m just genuinely confused as to how anybody thought that this was anything of that magnitude. 

Jacquette M. Timmons: I think they went wrong in thinking that the real estate market wouldn’t say, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a second.”

Tara Newman: They had people thinking they were a tech company.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Yes.

Tara Newman: Their investors thought they were a tech company.

Jacquette M. Timmons: That’s a real estate company.

Tara Newman: They’re like, “We’re not in real estate. We’re in tech.” I’m like, “No, I’m looking at a duck.” It’s a duck, it’s not a dog. The duck doesn’t start to bark. I’m so genuinely confused. Like how anybody bought that?

Jacquette M. Timmons: Yeah. The fact that they didn’t think, or presumably didn’t think, that the real estate market wouldn’t say, “Wait a second, we could do the same thing and cut you out, and not have to do this. Why are we giving you, perhaps, a discount on the square footage so that you can build this out and charge companies to come in, why don’t we just work directly with the companies?”

Tara Newman: You missed it, their secret sauce was this existential life essence or whatever consciousness that they were selling. 

Jacquette M. Timmons: They did want this whole WeLive thing too, like grown-ups as dorm. That’s ridiculous.

Tara Newman: This is very strange. This got very strange very fast. But I think my point here is I know that so many women feel like– again, they’re not doing it wrong. They might not have gone to business school. Their business isn’t where they want it to be and they feel shame and embarrassment around that. Listen, if the guy from WeWork doesn’t have shame and embarrassment, you shouldn’t either.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Exactly.

Tara Newman: It’s good. You’re good.

Jacquette M. Timmons: That is so, so true.

Tara Newman: I mean that he is shameless. Listen, I think that we can safely run businesses and I don’t think it’s about the money. I know, Jacquette, you and I were also talking about this, that I’m watching a lot of people put money over their mental, emotional, and physical health, and that is terrifying for me because this is a long haul. You’ve been at this since 1995. That requires a serious level of endurance and resiliency.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Exactly. Lots of ups and downs for sure, definitely.

Tara Newman: Every year, you have to do it over again.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Yeah.

Tara Newman: The financials reset, the sales reset. We go back to zero and we gotta start building it all over again.

Jacquette M. Timmons: That’s so true. I think that’s a piece that gets lost in the conversation as well. The longevity piece is not acknowledged, I don’t think.

Tara Newman: No. Then you and I were also talking that it’s okay to go get a job.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Yeah, if you need to.

Tara Newman: If you need money, the one thing that drives me to a point of panic like no other is when people hire me because they need money now, like I can’t. I’m like, “Like a job? You need money now?” 

Jacquette M. Timmons: There’s no shame in that at all. In fact, you would actually probably be better off for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is actually relieving some financial pressure but depending upon the job, you might even actually learn a couple of things that you can then apply to your business when you decide to resume that. But if you think about it just from an energetic standpoint, because you have relieved some of the financial pressure, you will be able to think more clearly, which means you will be able to make better decisions because you’re not making decisions from a tensed body that is just riddled with fear. You’ve got some breathing room and you just have clarity. When you have breathing room and clarity, the quality of your decisions are just naturally going to be better.

Tara Newman: Yeah. I think speaking from experience, my husband and I, our first business, we closed and we went bankrupt because of it. While we were transitioning, closing the business but hadn’t quite moved on yet, he just basically threw on his tool belt and started doing handyman jobs, like odd jobs in people’s homes just to pay the bills and really do some emotional healing around the fact that we had just spent five years in the worst financial shape of our lives, wondering if we were ever going to be able to pay the mortgage. I say this, it was dire and at the same time, I’m going to acknowledge how much privilege I had in my bankruptcy story because there are people who can’t even afford bankruptcy because you have to pay to go bankrupt.

I did have a support system around me. My mom made sure that her grandkids had formula and diapers. There was a lot of privilege in that. It was also really scary. It was really hard. Then after he got done with the tool belt, because he was like, “Well, maybe, I’ll just do this. Maybe, I’ll just do odd jobs.” He did that for 18 months and he’s like, “This is hard. This is not great, going into people’s homes.” He didn’t like it, so he’s like, “I’m going to go get a job.” He went and he got a job and he worked in a job and I had a job for years while we rebuilt financially. Then it wasn’t until almost five years after that, I started my business, then he took over his dad’s business. Now, he just bought it and is running his dad’s business, all these years later. It’s okay. I don’t know what else to say. My rock bottom was when we started to get—and it’s so funny, it was so traumatic, my husband doesn’t even remember this and if he’s listening to this, he’s like, “That didn’t happen.” But I swear, it did—we started getting those letters from the bank that we missed mortgage payments.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Oh, yeah.

Tara Newman:  They’re like, “By the way, if you’re going to do this again, we’re going to move to foreclosure.” By the way, it takes a really long time to foreclose on a house.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Exactly.

Tara Newman: It was not imminent danger but it’s still scary. When you think about whenever you open something from a town or the IRS, you’ll panic. That was my big scary moment and I was like, “This is my rock bottom, I’m not moving in with my mother. I love her but no, I’m not moving in with my children and my husband to go live with my mom. This is my rock bottom, so we need to close this business and move on.” I think having a rock bottom is important, knowing what that line is.

Jacquette M. Timmons: I totally agree. I also think that the whole notion of giving oneself permission to be fluid with how they work is really tied to our employment trends. I can’t remember the stat off the top of my head but I think right now, the average person stays with one employer for 4.4 years. Sometimes, that’s by their choice, sometimes, it’s by the employer’s choice. I think people need to embrace that there are times in their career where they may be in-house. For those of us that don’t ever see ourselves being in-house again, we need those people in-house because you’re the ones that hire us, for those of us that work with corporations.

But my point with this is I think that sometimes, and I get it, our identity can be so tied to a label that we forget that sometimes, the best thing to do is to do something that’s not associated with that label. To amplify your point, yes, you may want to be an entrepreneur. Maybe your ego, like mine, was in the beginning tied to that. But if circumstances are such that you need to get a job, let that be okay and let that not be a sign of failure.

Tara Newman: Yeah. I was listening to this, it was actually a YouTube show, the YouTuber’s name is Coffeezilla. He was interviewing an academic who’s doing research on entrepreneurship—fake entrepreneurship—and he said that—and this isn’t just in the online space, this is everywhere—that people, they’re so attached to the title of entrepreneur, that they’d rather tell their parents they’re an entrepreneur than go and get a job as a barista and say they’re a barista, when they would make more money as a barista than they would as an entrepreneur.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Yeah.

Tara Newman: I’m sensitive to time, so I want to start to shake us out of here, but I do have one final question that I would love to get your hot take on—I know what it is but I really just want everybody else to have your hot take on it—You don’t need to have a $1 million business to be a millionaire.

Jacquette M. Timmons: You don’t.

Tara Newman: As a matter of fact, I’ve run the numbers. You can have a $250,000 business and I can get you to $1 million, and be a millionaire.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Yeah, it’s what you do with it. It’s how you invest it. That millions can show up in other ways. I think of my business and my current model, there’s just no way it would be $1 million and I’m okay with that. I’m okay with my six figures that I make. But if I were to create some fintech, that could be $1 million and that could be a way of doing that, or in New York City, invest in some real estate. That could be a way of getting to a million as well. There’s more than one way to skin the million dollar cat.

Tara Newman: Yeah. Listen, if you get into Fintech, let me know.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Yeah.

Tara Newman: I’ll be an angel investor on that for you, Jacquette.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Oh, my God. We should definitely talk a little bit more about that because I have an idea for something that I have not seen out there yet. I think it could be pretty interesting if I could just figure out how to make it work. That’s where I get stuck.

Tara Newman: I adore you.

Jacquette M. Timmons: I adore you too. If I can just say one more thing?

Tara Newman: Yeah.

Jacquette M. Timmons: When I got my book deal, yes, I got an advance but I did not get a big enough advance to be able to just chill and work on my book. I went and got a part-time job. I would work my part-time job, I would work with my clients, I wrote my book, and I did not see anybody for damn near a year.

Tara Newman: When you have enough, whether it is through knowing what your numbers are and knowing what you really need, and having an appropriate goal, or getting a job, part-time or otherwise, and you have enough, there is something very calming about being able to meet your needs, then seeing a path to more instead of shooting for more before you have enough. All right, what do you want to leave us with?

Jacquette M. Timmons: Oh, my goodness. I know we covered a lot. I think the thing that I want to leave people with is to remind them to check in with themselves. Do a gut check when making decisions. You can’t avoid the outside noise but do a gut check around what you internalize of that outside noise. How about you, what do you want to leave people with?

Tara Newman: I’m a deep thinker. I’ve been thinking a lot about just being human. I see messages and I’m messaging, and I’m like, “I’m a hot mess.” I’m like, “You’re not a hot mess, you’re a human being. You’re a human, flesh, blood, emotions,” all the things. “You’re not a content mill. You’re not just there to crank out work for money’s sake, for more money, for more money’s sake. You’re not a machine, you’re a human being. Be human.”

Jacquette M. Timmons: You know I love that.

Tara Newman: Jacquette, you mentioned your book, can you tell them about your book and where to find it?

Jacquette M. Timmons: Oh, yeah, thank you. It’s Financial Intimacy: How to Create a Healthy Relationship with Your Money and Your Mate. I explore the intersections of love and money but looking at it with a social critic’s lens in terms of how things have changed, at least at that time over the last 40 years, politically, economically, socially, and in terms of family dynamics. You can get it wherever you get books.

Tara Newman: That’s awesome. Where can they find you? Do you have a podcast?

Jacquette M. Timmons: I have a podcast, More Than Money, and they can find me on my website, jacquettetimmons.com. As Tara knows, I do love me some Instagram, so they can find me over there as well.

Tara Newman: Awesome. I’m going to take the clip of you laughing out of this and just have it on repeat because I adore your laugh.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Thank you.

Tara Newman: Thank you for stopping by, Jacquette.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Oh, this has been my absolute delight. I love our chats. I’m glad that we had it with the world at this time.

Tara Newman: Same, same. 

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Tara Newman: Welcome to The Bold Money Revolution Podcast. This is your source for straight-talking, no fluff business, and high-performance conversations that add real depth and value to the way bold leaders live, work and thrive. I’m your host, Tara Newman. I’m here to show you how to optimize your performance as a leader so that you can grow a business that is profit-rich, efficient, and allows you to generate real tangible wealth for yourself and others. We are here to help you lead with your values, to perform without overwhelm and burnout, and to do your most important work in the world.

Hey, everyone. Welcome to The Bold Money Revolution Podcast. I’m here today with my dearest of dear friends, Jacquette M. Timmons. She’s been on the podcast before. Jacquette and I were going back and forth on Instagram the other week, and we were just acknowledging and appreciating the levels of conversations that we have. We talk about things that maybe other people aren’t talking about or we think about things a little differently. I think that we appreciate the fact that we’re different. Jacquette is a lovely black woman. I’m a lovely white woman. I so value Jacquette’s expertise, her perspective, her lens, and how she intersects with money and the things that she sees. I feel, Jacquette, that you respect the same for me.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Totally, a thousand percent. I love it.

Tara Newman: Yeah. I think that we intentionally seek each other out for the lens that we have.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Yeah. I’ll speak for myself, it’s like I have this thought, then it’s like, “Is there a safe space to introduce this?” To introduce that I have this thought? To share and see like, “Are you seeing the same thing or even if you’re not, what do you think about what I’m seeing?” You just provide a safe space for me. I want to just thank you for that.

Tara Newman: Oh, same for me, thank you. I love to shoot, Jacquette, things I see on Instagram and I’m like, “What’s your hot take on this? Give me your hot take.” Sometimes, they’re the same and sometimes they’re a little different. I think we’re pretty aligned in how we think about things.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Yes. 

Tara Newman: Our goal here today is just to have one of our Jacquette and Tara open conversations about money because that is really where both our expertises both lie in the realm of money. What I said to Jacquette, “What do you want to talk about? I want to talk to you about this beforehand.” I said, “I want to talk about things that we’re not talking about.” The reason why you might not be talking about this and you might not be seeing this, and I think the reason why I feel Jacquette and I have a different take on this is because, Jacquette, you have clients that aren’t in the online space, right?

Jacquette M. Timmons: Exactly, yes.

Tara Newman: Yeah. I have clients who are not in the online space. I have clients that run businesses that don’t use social media. They don’t even have functioning websites. None of that really. The majority of my career was not spent in this space, I think the same is for you, correct?

Jacquette M. Timmons: Yes, very much so.

Tara Newman: Yeah. I think that you and I also have traveled some pretty traditional career paths. When did you start your business?

Jacquette M. Timmons: I started it in 1995. That was after working with one firm, Bankers Trust now Deutsche Bank, for just a month shy of 10 years. Then even when I started my own business, it was to do the exact same thing that I had been doing there in the private bank, which was managing money for high net worth individuals and smaller foundations. I didn’t come into the “online world” quite frankly until probably 2012. 

Tara Newman: Same, same. What was your impetus for starting your own business?

Jacquette M. Timmons: A couple of things. One, the president of the private bank had been fired. In hindsight, I feel like it was no fault of his own. It was from a firm-wide perspective for folks that don’t know the history, Bankers Trust was in a little bit of a scandal and this had to do with derivatives and Orange County. Some of that trickled down and had an impact on the private bank even though none of us were involved in that at all. But with a whole new influx of professional folks at the realm, our guy who was actually the one who was spearheading, making some tweaks to the private bank—because prior to him coming, it was really a traditional private bank, we did not talk to families or individuals that were not in the $2 million or $3 million asset level—he came in having come from fidelity and was introducing more of a what we would refer to as a retail platform because he’s like, “What about those folks that only have a couple hundred thousand dollars but they may be a part of a family or they may be an entrepreneur and you want to get them when they’re at the $100,000 mark so that you can grow with them?”

That’s a long way of answering but it’s an important answer because when he left, everything was all shaken up. I was thinking about what I am going to do next. They were making some changes. I thought about staying at Bankers Trust, interviewed internally, looked elsewhere, then one of the people on the team said, “Why don’t you start your own business?” I was like, “I can’t do that.” They’re like, “You started one inside the private bank, why can’t you do that?” I’m like, “Oh yeah, I did, didn’t I?” I started my business initially to do exactly what I had been doing there but on my own, and that was working with people that had $100,000 for investable assets or smaller foundations. That’s why I started it and when I started it.

Tara Newman: What was the draw for you to work for yourself? What was exciting for you about that or interesting?

Jacquette M. Timmons: I think my answer in hindsight would probably be different in terms of my answer in the moment at the time. Because I think in the moment, quite frankly, it was a lot of ego if I’m being completely honest. 

Tara Newman: I love that. I can do this.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Yeah. Once somebody planted the seed, it’s like, “Oh, I can do this and I want to be a money manager.” But I think now, with clearly the benefit of a lot of time, I think one of the reasons why I’ve stayed with it—and clearly my business looks very different today than it did back then—but I also feel like I always looked at the way people approach money very differently and I felt like when you are in an institution, you have to approach it their way and you have to have conversations the way that they want to have conversations.

As an example, I would really get frustrated when we would have performance evaluation reviews. When I say performance, portfolio performance, conversations with our clients, it is always just about the return number. First of all, it’s going to fluctuate. It’s going to be up one quarter and down the next quarter. But let’s talk about why, let’s talk about how you were feeling about that, and let’s talk about some of the more proactive strategic decisions that you need to make as opposed to, “Oh my God, my portfolio is down, what are we going to do?” We’re not going to do anything because it’s a part of our longer vision. But that’s not always necessary, at least back then. I don’t want to say encouraged but there was too much focus just on the numbers and not a broader conversation around people’s behavior, choices, and their emotions around it.

Tara Newman: Yeah, I get that. I’ve done a lot of work with business owners on their financial statements and presenting them to banks for various reasons, for sale, or something like that. I always say, “Facts tell, stories sell.” I think there are other things at play that are happening that aren’t necessarily represented in the numbers. As a matter of fact, the whole story that’s happening, that’s not in the numbers. 

Jacquette M. Timmons: Exactly. 

Tara Newman: Ego drove you. I actually love that about you. 

Jacquette M. Timmons: Just being honest. Oh, my God.

Tara Newman: That’s great. I love that you worked with millionaires because we were actually, while we were talking through what we want to talk about and some of the things that aren’t being said, you and I both feel very strongly around some of this messaging that we’re seeing in the online business space around seven figures. By the way, people don’t actually say seven figures outside of the online business space. I don’t hear that being used. My clients aren’t like, “I have a seven-figure business.” Do you hear that?

Jacquette M. Timmons: Not at all. 

Tara Newman: Okay. This is why I talked to Jacquette. I’m like, “Can you just fact check me here because this isn’t a thing.” 

Jacquette M. Timmons: I think as I was sharing, before we pressed record, sometimes, I question my reaction because I know some of it is a style issue from the standpoint of I know a lot of millionaires. I guess everybody could say, “Well, what’s a lot?” I can count on two hands. It’s not an exaggeration. I know two billionaires and none of them live with that. They’re very quiet. I’m going to just stay with the word quiet, they just don’t wear it on their sleeve. They don’t say, “I have a million dollar business.” They don’t say, “I have a yacht.” They don’t say, “I have a plane.”

I’ve never been on one friend’s plane but they’ll say, “Hey, do you want to come and go out on the water?” But they’re not going to say, “Do you want to go out on my yacht?” Do you know what I mean? It’s not a part of the conversation. Just because they’re not doing that doesn’t mean that they’re not talking about money because I think sometimes, the conflation with what I hear in some of the discussions around building a seven-figure business is that people aren’t talking about money. First of all, I’ve long believed that’s wrong. I think people talk about money all the time, I just don’t think they’re having the right conversations. I also feel like just because they’re not being explicit about what they’re doing doesn’t mean that they’re not talking about it. Does that make sense?

Tara Newman: Yeah. My favorite book is The Millionaire Next Door.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Yeah.

Tara Newman: When I look at the millionaires that I know, they are the most unassuming people. I think there’s a lot to unpack here and I want to stay here because I’m really concerned. I’m just genuinely concerned for business owners. I’m specifically concerned with online people who are seeking information online because there’s a lot that’s not true. I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer and this is not my mindset. This is years of knowledge, experience, and continued learning and education. There are academics at this point studying what we’re seeing. I was reading a study called The Entrepreneur. Because we have flooded the system with “entrepreneurs,” we’ve actually broken the intention of entrepreneurship. That’s going to have an impact on the economy. Not just the economy, but I’m really concerned with the impact that it’s having on people’s social, emotional health, and their mental health chasing these goals.

In the 2018 AmEx Women’s Small Business Report—and granted this is a few years old—but 88% of women were not making over $100,000 in revenue in their business. Unfortunately, when they did the 2019 survey, I don’t think they did a side-by-side comparison of that, so I don’t know what the number is now. What we do know is more and more women are entering the small business space. When you start to dissect this by race, you know that this is horrific. 

Jacquette M. Timmons: Yeah. 

Tara Newman: It’s bad. I don’t have those exact numbers on me but I will just be honest and fair, and say that’s not great. If 88% of women small business owners are making less than $100,000 a year, why do we have marketing around seven-figure businesses, Jacquette?

Jacquette M. Timmons: I think we have marketing around that because it gives the people that are not making that $100,000 something that they can hold on to and that they can say, “Yeah, that’s my goal.” But it takes away some of the critical thinking that’s required of what it will take to actually do that in a sustainable way. The parallel that I draw there is the conversation that is often had when it comes to venture capital and how there’s this push for raise capital, raise capital.

I sit on the cabinet in New York City, I sit on the cabinet for Advancing Black Entrepreneurship in New York City—I don’t mind saying it here on a recorded podcast—one of the things that I always say when we have our meetings is, “We can’t just focus on incubators and providing people access to venture capital. Because not every business is designed to need venture capital. What about that neighborhood business that needs tools and access to financing? That’s going to help them but they’re never going to benefit from venture capital because they’re not designed to scale and be sold in a scalable fashion.” Seven-figure is seductive at the end of the day like, “Oh my God, yeah, that sounds fantastic,” but I think missing in the conversation is the nuances around what it takes to actually do that, like I said, in a sustainable way.

Tara Newman: Yeah. Some of my messaging around The Bold Profit Academy is around this number of $250,000. The reason why I have $250,000 as a number is a little bit based on Profit First. When you look at how that $250,000 would get distributed, it allows somebody to take home six figures of pay. They would take home $125,000 a year in CEO pay. They would have some profit that they could take out of that business to do whatever they want. The Profit First is pretty big on rewarding you, the business owner. I would like to see women do some investing or invest in their families or whatever.

Personally, my retirement contributions and my stock money comes out of my pay but if it didn’t, it could come out of your profit. Then you have some nice money for expenses to run your business and to hire some support. It’s a very manageable thing. I get questioned a lot about, “Is this your limited mindset, Tara? Is this your limiting belief?”

Jacquette M. Timmons: Wow, really?

Tara Newman: Yeah. Actually, it’s been by men. Men have questioned this. Two men have questioned me on this. The women in The Bold Profit Academy are like, “Yes. This is where we need to be right now.” First of all, I like to challenge the personal development industry, so my response to this was, “What if believing in limiting beliefs is really what’s limiting you?” Because I feel like there’s some truth to that.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Oh, my God. I always remind people when they talk about mindset. I’m like, “My definition of mindset is perspective, A, then B, it always has to accompany action.” You can’t think your way through to the other side of something. Even if it were a “limiting mindset,” you can’t think your way through from $250,000 to $1 million. You got to do something.

Tara Newman: Right. But here’s what I actually see happening is that this $1 million number for women becomes a real distraction. Where they’re focusing so much on that million dollars or what might get them to a million dollars, they completely miss what will get them to $100,000 or $200,000 or $250,000. Then when we can get women anywhere between $100,000 and $250,000, it depends. It depends on where you’re living. It depends on your partner. It depends on so many factors what is the right number for you. But $250,000 is a good chunk in my opinion.

But when we get you there and you have a system for your money, and you start to realize that you have enough, something happens where you calm down, then you can go for more than enough and whatever more than enough looks like to you. But what is happening—and I love your input on this—is that in the online space, the marketers, if you think about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the marketers are selling you self-actualization when you need basic needs, safety, security, emotional support, and things like that. They’re jumping you all the way up the pyramid without having those foundational pieces in place. It’s devastating.

Jacquette M. Timmons: It is. Here’s something else. Obviously, for a variety of reasons, I will omit a lot of details but I’ve got a client who does indeed have a seven-figure business. But she doesn’t pay herself as much as she could. She does work that she probably shouldn’t because she’s got team members that are not really stepping up to the plate, so she’s picking up the slack because stuff’s got to get done. There are just so many different things. I guess in sharing that example, what I’m trying to point out is you can have the holy grail of a seven-figure business, and that’s fantastic. But does that mean that you’ve worked out and worked on your relationship with money, and your relationship with managing other people to the degree that seven figures is not killing you? Maybe, that’s just the wrong choice of word.

Tara Newman: No, that’s a pretty good choice of word. 

Jacquette M. Timmons: It is not killing you

Tara Newman: That’s a pretty good choice of word. A couple of things. When my clients are not in the online business space, they’re primarily over $1 million up to a $60 million business. My dad has had his own business. I’ve had family members who have had their own business. My husband has his own business. The hardest revenue amount in a business in my opinion is $1 million to $5 million. That’s a tight spot because you start requiring more team. It’s really hard to manage the people, the cost of the people. It’s not the most efficient sweet spot of a business. It can be a real drain. It could be really hard for people.

Yes, just because you have revenue of that amount doesn’t mean that you’re profitable because I’ve seen that as well. It’s no joke when Mike Michalowicz talks about in the book that 83% of business owners are living paycheck to paycheck. My husband’s worked in businesses where they were so fast out spending their cash because of the wife’s $30,000 Bloomingdale’s credit card and the whole family had to have Mercedes, and they had nothing left to run the business with because a lot of small business owners just aren’t knowledgeable about money and they use your business like it’s a piggy bank.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Exactly, which is so crazy. I always remind folks, “That thing you just got paid for, all that money ain’t yours.”

Tara Newman: My dad used to say to me, “Oh, why does it matter? It goes from one pocket to the other.” He would point to the pockets in his jeans, like one pocket is a business pocket and the other pocket is a personal pocket and I’m like, “Hmm.” 

Jacquette M. Timmons: Yeah, but something happens between that, Dad. It goes in one pocket as another number and it goes into the other pocket as another number.

Tara Newman: It’s funny because he’s actually really good with finances. I think a part of him was being facetious about it but I can see how people think that. But then the other thing that always fascinates me that’s missing from the marketing messages are what happens when you hit $1 million. I get that in the online space, we get like gold balloons, macaroons, and all that jazz. Anybody who is celebrating making money in the online business space, I am not pooing on you. You do you. I’m so glad that you’re succeeding. I truly am. I’ve got friends who have online businesses and they are making $1 million more, and they do talk about it online. I celebrate them, I’m like, “You’re amazing. Awesome.” But what happens is you have to do it again next year. 

Jacquette M. Timmons: It’s the whole issue of sustainability.

Tara Newman: Now, we’re getting into sustainability. Whatever you just did, you now need to do again, and again, and again, and again.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Yeah. I think for me, part of some of my challenges that I bump up against in terms of what I hear is the idea that there’s only one way to do it and we know because of some of the clients that we have, that there are so many different ways to have a $1 million business. But I don’t think that in the online space, when it’s being marketed, that nuance is being really highlighted. It’s almost as if it’s, “This is the way,” as opposed to, “This is a way.”

Tara Newman: Yeah. Then I think women really look at that and they go like, “What am I doing wrong? I’m not perfect enough. How much harder do I need to work to get to that benchmark?” Which is for me, I’m like, “You’re so overworking because you have a goal that is so far beyond where you are right now. Can we just bring the goal back a little bit and do what’s required to get to this benchmark, then decide if you want to do this again, if this is sustainable, if this feels good, if this is what’s required?” 

Jacquette M. Timmons: Yeah. I forgot where I was. I was having a conversation with someone and I was saying how I will never tell someone that their dream is too big. But I will challenge them on the timeline. I think what you’re pointing out is the timeline issue. You want to have a $1 million business, are you clear within what time frame? Is that five years? Is that 10 years? Because the things that you will do to have a $1 million business that has a 10 year timeline to it is very different than what you would do if it’s five years, and extremely different if you’re trying to do it within one year. I think that’s another nuance. That’s not a part of the marketing of “build a seven-figure business” (within what timeline) because the choices and the trade-offs that you make depending upon the timeline are very, very different. Like you said, you might decide after you do it for one year like, “Oh crap, I didn’t like those trade-offs.”

Tara Newman: Yeah, I think that’s really important. I think that the speed in which people are thinking that these things come to fruition, there’s a lot– this goes well beyond the online space, by the way. Have you seen the market?

Jacquette M. Timmons: I didn’t check it before we got on the phone.

Tara Newman: But just in general. 

Jacquette M. Timmons: Oh yeah.

Tara Newman: We can talk about any of this stuff, WeWork, right? 

Jacquette M. Timmons: Oh, my God, yes. 

Tara Newman: That market cap was way out of what they actually were. They weren’t making any money at all. They had investors coming in. Even in the non-online space, this stuff is happening and it’s not real.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Oh, my God, WeWork is a great example. Even the tech bubble in the early 2000s, late 1990s, is also a really great example. When you see all of these firms getting financed—and they don’t have a pathway to revenue—and you’re like, “Are you kidding me? You don’t have a pathway to revenue, you haven’t generated any revenue, and you’ve got X million dollars of financing. That’s just ridiculous.” The WeWork thing, I’m just amazed at how quickly that imploded. 

Tara Newman: I am amazed that it got off the ground at all. I was watching the documentary and I’m just genuinely confused as to how anybody thought that this was anything of that magnitude. 

Jacquette M. Timmons: I think they went wrong in thinking that the real estate market wouldn’t say, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a second.”

Tara Newman: They had people thinking they were a tech company.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Yes.

Tara Newman: Their investors thought they were a tech company.

Jacquette M. Timmons: That’s a real estate company.

Tara Newman: They’re like, “We’re not in real estate. We’re in tech.” I’m like, “No, I’m looking at a duck.” It’s a duck, it’s not a dog. The duck doesn’t start to bark. I’m so genuinely confused. Like how anybody bought that?

Jacquette M. Timmons: Yeah. The fact that they didn’t think, or presumably didn’t think, that the real estate market wouldn’t say, “Wait a second, we could do the same thing and cut you out, and not have to do this. Why are we giving you, perhaps, a discount on the square footage so that you can build this out and charge companies to come in, why don’t we just work directly with the companies?”

Tara Newman: You missed it, their secret sauce was this existential life essence or whatever consciousness that they were selling. 

Jacquette M. Timmons: They did want this whole WeLive thing too, like grown-ups as dorm. That’s ridiculous.

Tara Newman: This is very strange. This got very strange very fast. But I think my point here is I know that so many women feel like– again, they’re not doing it wrong. They might not have gone to business school. Their business isn’t where they want it to be and they feel shame and embarrassment around that. Listen, if the guy from WeWork doesn’t have shame and embarrassment, you shouldn’t either.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Exactly.

Tara Newman: It’s good. You’re good.

Jacquette M. Timmons: That is so, so true.

Tara Newman: I mean that he is shameless. Listen, I think that we can safely run businesses and I don’t think it’s about the money. I know, Jacquette, you and I were also talking about this, that I’m watching a lot of people put money over their mental, emotional, and physical health, and that is terrifying for me because this is a long haul. You’ve been at this since 1995. That requires a serious level of endurance and resiliency.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Exactly. Lots of ups and downs for sure, definitely.

Tara Newman: Every year, you have to do it over again.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Yeah.

Tara Newman: The financials reset, the sales reset. We go back to zero and we gotta start building it all over again.

Jacquette M. Timmons: That’s so true. I think that’s a piece that gets lost in the conversation as well. The longevity piece is not acknowledged, I don’t think.

Tara Newman: No. Then you and I were also talking that it’s okay to go get a job.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Yeah, if you need to.

Tara Newman: If you need money, the one thing that drives me to a point of panic like no other is when people hire me because they need money now, like I can’t. I’m like, “Like a job? You need money now?” 

Jacquette M. Timmons: There’s no shame in that at all. In fact, you would actually probably be better off for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is actually relieving some financial pressure but depending upon the job, you might even actually learn a couple of things that you can then apply to your business when you decide to resume that. But if you think about it just from an energetic standpoint, because you have relieved some of the financial pressure, you will be able to think more clearly, which means you will be able to make better decisions because you’re not making decisions from a tensed body that is just riddled with fear. You’ve got some breathing room and you just have clarity. When you have breathing room and clarity, the quality of your decisions are just naturally going to be better.

Tara Newman: Yeah. I think speaking from experience, my husband and I, our first business, we closed and we went bankrupt because of it. While we were transitioning, closing the business but hadn’t quite moved on yet, he just basically threw on his tool belt and started doing handyman jobs, like odd jobs in people’s homes just to pay the bills and really do some emotional healing around the fact that we had just spent five years in the worst financial shape of our lives, wondering if we were ever going to be able to pay the mortgage. I say this, it was dire and at the same time, I’m going to acknowledge how much privilege I had in my bankruptcy story because there are people who can’t even afford bankruptcy because you have to pay to go bankrupt.

I did have a support system around me. My mom made sure that her grandkids had formula and diapers. There was a lot of privilege in that. It was also really scary. It was really hard. Then after he got done with the tool belt, because he was like, “Well, maybe, I’ll just do this. Maybe, I’ll just do odd jobs.” He did that for 18 months and he’s like, “This is hard. This is not great, going into people’s homes.” He didn’t like it, so he’s like, “I’m going to go get a job.” He went and he got a job and he worked in a job and I had a job for years while we rebuilt financially. Then it wasn’t until almost five years after that, I started my business, then he took over his dad’s business. Now, he just bought it and is running his dad’s business, all these years later. It’s okay. I don’t know what else to say. My rock bottom was when we started to get—and it’s so funny, it was so traumatic, my husband doesn’t even remember this and if he’s listening to this, he’s like, “That didn’t happen.” But I swear, it did—we started getting those letters from the bank that we missed mortgage payments.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Oh, yeah.

Tara Newman:  They’re like, “By the way, if you’re going to do this again, we’re going to move to foreclosure.” By the way, it takes a really long time to foreclose on a house.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Exactly.

Tara Newman: It was not imminent danger but it’s still scary. When you think about whenever you open something from a town or the IRS, you’ll panic. That was my big scary moment and I was like, “This is my rock bottom, I’m not moving in with my mother. I love her but no, I’m not moving in with my children and my husband to go live with my mom. This is my rock bottom, so we need to close this business and move on.” I think having a rock bottom is important, knowing what that line is.

Jacquette M. Timmons: I totally agree. I also think that the whole notion of giving oneself permission to be fluid with how they work is really tied to our employment trends. I can’t remember the stat off the top of my head but I think right now, the average person stays with one employer for 4.4 years. Sometimes, that’s by their choice, sometimes, it’s by the employer’s choice. I think people need to embrace that there are times in their career where they may be in-house. For those of us that don’t ever see ourselves being in-house again, we need those people in-house because you’re the ones that hire us, for those of us that work with corporations.

But my point with this is I think that sometimes, and I get it, our identity can be so tied to a label that we forget that sometimes, the best thing to do is to do something that’s not associated with that label. To amplify your point, yes, you may want to be an entrepreneur. Maybe your ego, like mine, was in the beginning tied to that. But if circumstances are such that you need to get a job, let that be okay and let that not be a sign of failure.

Tara Newman: Yeah. I was listening to this, it was actually a YouTube show, the YouTuber’s name is Coffeezilla. He was interviewing an academic who’s doing research on entrepreneurship—fake entrepreneurship—and he said that—and this isn’t just in the online space, this is everywhere—that people, they’re so attached to the title of entrepreneur, that they’d rather tell their parents they’re an entrepreneur than go and get a job as a barista and say they’re a barista, when they would make more money as a barista than they would as an entrepreneur.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Yeah.

Tara Newman: I’m sensitive to time, so I want to start to shake us out of here, but I do have one final question that I would love to get your hot take on—I know what it is but I really just want everybody else to have your hot take on it—You don’t need to have a $1 million business to be a millionaire.

Jacquette M. Timmons: You don’t.

Tara Newman: As a matter of fact, I’ve run the numbers. You can have a $250,000 business and I can get you to $1 million, and be a millionaire.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Yeah, it’s what you do with it. It’s how you invest it. That millions can show up in other ways. I think of my business and my current model, there’s just no way it would be $1 million and I’m okay with that. I’m okay with my six figures that I make. But if I were to create some fintech, that could be $1 million and that could be a way of doing that, or in New York City, invest in some real estate. That could be a way of getting to a million as well. There’s more than one way to skin the million dollar cat.

Tara Newman: Yeah. Listen, if you get into Fintech, let me know.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Yeah.

Tara Newman: I’ll be an angel investor on that for you, Jacquette.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Oh, my God. We should definitely talk a little bit more about that because I have an idea for something that I have not seen out there yet. I think it could be pretty interesting if I could just figure out how to make it work. That’s where I get stuck.

Tara Newman: I adore you.

Jacquette M. Timmons: I adore you too. If I can just say one more thing?

Tara Newman: Yeah.

Jacquette M. Timmons: When I got my book deal, yes, I got an advance but I did not get a big enough advance to be able to just chill and work on my book. I went and got a part-time job. I would work my part-time job, I would work with my clients, I wrote my book, and I did not see anybody for damn near a year.

Tara Newman: When you have enough, whether it is through knowing what your numbers are and knowing what you really need, and having an appropriate goal, or getting a job, part-time or otherwise, and you have enough, there is something very calming about being able to meet your needs, then seeing a path to more instead of shooting for more before you have enough. All right, what do you want to leave us with?

Jacquette M. Timmons: Oh, my goodness. I know we covered a lot. I think the thing that I want to leave people with is to remind them to check in with themselves. Do a gut check when making decisions. You can’t avoid the outside noise but do a gut check around what you internalize of that outside noise. How about you, what do you want to leave people with?

Tara Newman: I’m a deep thinker. I’ve been thinking a lot about just being human. I see messages and I’m messaging, and I’m like, “I’m a hot mess.” I’m like, “You’re not a hot mess, you’re a human being. You’re a human, flesh, blood, emotions,” all the things. “You’re not a content mill. You’re not just there to crank out work for money’s sake, for more money, for more money’s sake. You’re not a machine, you’re a human being. Be human.”

Jacquette M. Timmons: You know I love that.

Tara Newman: Jacquette, you mentioned your book, can you tell them about your book and where to find it?

Jacquette M. Timmons: Oh, yeah, thank you. It’s Financial Intimacy: How to Create a Healthy Relationship with Your Money and Your Mate. I explore the intersections of love and money but looking at it with a social critic’s lens in terms of how things have changed, at least at that time over the last 40 years, politically, economically, socially, and in terms of family dynamics. You can get it wherever you get books.

Tara Newman: That’s awesome. Where can they find you? Do you have a podcast?

Jacquette M. Timmons: I have a podcast, More Than Money, and they can find me on my website, jacquettetimmons.com. As Tara knows, I do love me some Instagram, so they can find me over there as well.

Tara Newman: Awesome. I’m going to take the clip of you laughing out of this and just have it on repeat because I adore your laugh.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Thank you.

Tara Newman: Thank you for stopping by, Jacquette.

Jacquette M. Timmons: Oh, this has been my absolute delight. I love our chats. I’m glad that we had it with the world at this time.

Tara Newman: Same, same. 

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