Wealth is your birthright. So, how do you take ownership of what’s already yours? Here to share her story is Dr. Kim R. Grimes. Kim is a dynamic speaker, an influential leader, a certified life coach, an accomplished author, and the host of You are YOU, Unapologetically. She joins host Susie Carder to give insight on how you can own your greatness by retelling her own journey and the mindset shift it took to pursue a wealth strategy. Success goes hand in hand with failure, and Kim shares just as much in her journey from going to the military and then achieving her doctorate. Don’t miss the lessons from Kim and learn more about her purpose by tuning in.
I have an amazing treat for you. I am bringing you my girl, Kim Grimes. Kim, welcome to show. Thank you so much for being here. I’m excited for people to meet you. Kim and I go way back way. Kim is a beast, as I said in her bio. Kim, I want to hear your words. What’s your magic? What’s your business all about now? What makes you unique and different?
It’s because we go way back. I’ve learned so much in the time that we’ve been together. For the readers, you don’t know Susie was my executive coach. I hired her back in 2012. She is still amazing. She was amazing then and she’s amazing now. What I have learned in between that time is I’m an advocate for emotional literacy and for you being you. That’s why I started a podcast called You Are You Unapologetically. What I’ve learned is how to fall madly in love with me.
That’s right, I said me. I learned how to do that under Susie’s tutelage. Learning from her, she was one of the people in my life that called me out to my greatness. She saw something in me, which I’m not going to lie. I knew it was in me, but I played it down. I showed up and dumbed it down, but Susie called it out.
I’m sharing all that to say that’s what I do. I am a life coach or I am an emotional literacy coach. That’s what I teach. I help youth, young adults and adults and women executives, I know that’s a lot, but my focus is on executive leaders to help them to identify with their emotions to learn how to respond and not react so that they can continue to build strong teams, be able to express themselves and relate to those who are in their environment. That’s what I do.
You’re the perfect teacher for it because when you look at many years in the military, Major.
Yes, ma’am. I’m retired.
Major, Dr. Kim Grimes, I want to say. I don’t know what comes first. I’m going to say it all. I think it’s important and that’s what I saw in you. You had to be suited and booted and so you had to be this professional person. Now, all of a sudden, I’m saying be you, be authentic. You’re like, “I am.” I’m like, “No, you’re not. There’s almost dynamo under there.” In corporate America, as business owners and especially as women, we have a box we have to fit into to try to fit in be. Now, we’re all saying, “Be authentic. Be unapologetic,” and like, “What are you talking about?”
Many people don’t know. They know the phrase, heard the cliché, but they don’t know what that looks like for them. I can show up and show you my authenticity for me, but how do you take that and translate it or turn it around to make it your own? How do you make that who you are? This is what I’ve learned is that, first, I was created with my own greatness. It’s unique. There’s no other Kim like me. There will never be another Kim. I say that no one is better at being me than I am like than I can. I’m going to show up 150% right off. What you see is what you going to get.
I’m going to say I’ve known her for years and what I love it’s consistent because people go, “That can’t be real.” That is from the time we wake up to the time we go to bed and I’ve seen it from the time we wake up to the time we go to bed. It’s the little engine that could all day long. All that energy all the time and touch your sleet.
You’re so right and that was one of the things that I had to learn how to own. People would always say, “I love your energy,” and I’m looking like, “What energy? What are we talking about?” I learned how to be myself and it’s a process. It was definitely a process. I have to say, it did start with you. It started with motivating the masses and working with you as my executive coach.
In that, I learned what emotional literacy is. I learned that then I learned self-work, like how important it is to do the self-work on yourself. I can watch people do it all day long, but it wasn’t helping me. Being in that environment, being on that campus, working with you folks, the way that I did it opened me up and you hit the nail on the head. When you came into my life, I came into your life. I was a retired Major. I was used to telling people what to do, how to do it, when to do it, all of that and I had to learn humility.
That’s another big thing that I walked away with is humility because, as an officer, it comes in bits and pieces, but it doesn’t come the way it showed up. The way I’ve learned it and because I had to serve, there’s a part of me that wants to serve and love to serve, but I had to learn how to do that when I’m used to telling people what to do, how to do it. It’s totally different than serving, so I had to become a servant. When I say become, it’s in me. It’s always been a part of me.
I had to learn how to own my greatness, but before I did that, I had to uncover it because I did not know what it was. With your help, you helped me to uncover it. In that process, I learned how to acknowledge it. When I acknowledged it, I’m now having a conversation about how amazing I am, about what are the things that I bring to the table. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not tooting my horn, not doing that at all. I’m standing and living in my greatness. I’ve done it for so long that I can have a conversation for weeks about this here about this topic. I learned how to uncover it, acknowledge it, own it and like I said, I am now walking and living in my greatness but let me take you back to something that got it off the ground.
I already introduced you to the first thing and that was Susie Carder. When I met her, I was scared of her. It wasn’t her persona or anything like that. She was about business, but she was about you doing what it is that you were called to do and that you said that you were going to do. She was very good at holding me accountable and as I said, she saw in me stuff that I saw, but I would not acknowledge it for myself. She saw it and she started calling it out, so I had no choice but to show up the way that I was, say that again?
Step into it.
Step in and lean in. I had to write all of that and I took some time to think about like, what was it? All of the exercises and things like that but one of the things that I did and I still do to this day, Lisa Nichols has a book that’s called No Matter What! and in that book, she identified four questions. I can’t recall at this moment the order, but the four questions were, what do you love about yourself? What do you admire about yourself? What do you like about yourself and what do you appreciate about yourself? There’s no order but what I did with that is I put it in that order because I like to call it LALA. I learned how to LALA.
I learned LALA, like, appreciate, love, admire or love, admire, appreciate, life. Anyway, in her book, she says to go and answer these questions, then you read it out loud in the mirror. What I can’t recall either if this was a daily thing or not because I don’t remember the book. What I did is I made it a daily thing for me. Not only did I make it a daily thing. I created an exercise that I now call it path to greatness and it’s about uncovering your greatness. What I did is I did it every day, but I wrote my answers down in a journal.
What I did that was different is that every day, I made sure I had an answer, but I made sure it wasn’t a duplicate answer. If I said what I like about myself the day before, my beautiful brown eyes or I love my cocoa brown skin. Like once I said that answer, I could not use that answer anymore. When I did that, it caused me to go deeper.
You can start with, “I like my hair or I love my eyes.” All the exterior things you see, you can begin to answer the questions and before long, you will run out of answers, bottom line. In creating this for myself, that’s what happened. I was running out of answers and I was like, “What am I going? What do I like? What do I love? What do I admire?” It made me go inward.
I keep seeing you reinventing yourself. You’ve reinvented yourself so many times. I think so many people right now are struggling because of the economy and the pandemic and whatever’s happening. There’s always a pandemic. There’s always something. I want to say it’s your secret sauce but tell people your secret sauce in staying in action and growing because you retired from the military and then you came to our campus for a while. You went and got your doctorate and now, you’re doing some amazing things. What’s been your secret sauce in staying in action and growing?
I am a bonafide Jesus follower, for those who are reading. Let me say what I mean by that. Over the course of some years, people who are maybe religious can relate to this, who will say, “I do admit that I am a Christian.” I’ll say that. On my side, I go another level and say, “Bonafide Jesus followed,” because there’s a difference. I’m committed to following Jesus. With that being said, I would say that is my secret sauce but it wasn’t something that came easy for me. It was something that I had to do, the research. I had to build the relationship myself and learn of him myself.
Over the course of time, it was like, “This is what I like to do and this is what I like to do,” but yet that was the one thing that has been steady throughout the last 25 years, if not 30 years of mine. I say this not to be religious because I’m not. I say that to say I’ve learned how to build relationships and that’s a relationship that I built, which is now my secret sauce.
I think it’s important for people to understand like, it’s Kim’s secret sauce. It’s one of my secret sauce too. We all have to have a higher power, higher purpose, higher being and to go, it’s what’s worked for us in our life and in our business. Let’s talk about what’s the biggest challenge you’re facing in your business now in your role that you’re doing ad how are you tackling it. There’s a lot of times, you got the Major, Dr. Kim Grimes and people will automatically go, “She’s so hooked up.” Your life’s so easy. You’ve got tools to help you, but what’s the biggest challenge you’re facing now? How are you tackling it? What are you doing?
The biggest challenge that we’re facing now that I’m facing in my business is fundraising. That’s one of the huge heavy lift for me now. Finding the money and getting in front of the people who have the money and having the conversation to convince them to release the money. I have a nonprofit. I have a couple of business, but I have a nonprofit called Synergy. It’s one of the three. I have a nonprofit for young people as well, youth and young adults, called Living Abundantly Youth Vision then I have a for-profit called Living Abundantly, which I do the majority of my coaching out of Living Abundantly.
I work with youth and young adults out of Living Abundantly Youth Vision. I work with small businesses by providing a mentor program for, let me say, people of color, women and minority, small businesses so that we can help them to scale and grow their business. With Synergy now, we need funds, which we all know capital and getting capital is a heavy lift. You ask, what are we doing? I’m glad you asked that. We sat down, of course, we looked at our budget. We said, “This is what we need to run this and to get the number of small businesses into the program,” because we offered the program for free where we go after corporate to cover the cost.
The mentees who come in get all of the benefits of the program for free. Two things that we have going on, one, we launched a web share program because we said, “We need to reach out to our community and ask our community if they want to become partners with us and introduce us to the people that they know who have money because the best marketing is word of mouth. That’s why referrals are always great. That’s the first thing that we’ve done.
We launched that and now we’re pushing it out as well, reaching out to our community. Asking them if they would be partners with us or want to be part of this rev share, which is one thing that we’re doing. The other thing that we’re talking about now is membership. This program, we’re getting our funding from corporate. Wells Fargo is one of our biggest sponsors. We want to move to a frame where it requires membership as well because of so much value that the mentees get from this program. Not only the mentees, the mentors and everyone who’s a part of this community. They have so much value.
Now we’re like, “How do we sustain this in a way that we can continue to give the value and people will continue to show up and be a part of the community?” This way, we don’t have to worry about the big, heavy lift of, “Now we have to get a sponsor.” That’s where we are. Now we’re in that conversation about laying out a membership program for Synergy. Those are the two things. We already launched one and we’re looking to launch the membership by this summer and looking at those two means to help us with this heavy lift of generating or finding capital.
There’s money all around us. We start talking about it. We can make it happen.
Your birthright. Your wealth is your birthright. Don’t get it to a sit.
I think some of the times I know for me the biggest learning lessons have been the biggest times I’ve failed, bloody knees, bloody elbows. What’s been your biggest failure? What has been your biggest takeaway from that experience?
Let me preface this to say that I learned to accept failure as a part of my stepping stone, my success, of who I am because I’m not perfect. In what I’ve learned and what I’m doing, not saying that I set out to look for failure, but when it shows up, I welcome it because it’s a part of me. It’s a part of who I am and I learned that it had become a part of my success. I say success is not success without failure. It’s a part of your success. What was the biggest failure? You got me thinking now because there are a couple of them and I want to make sure I give the good one.
I think they’re all good. It could be a failure or a hardship.
That’s where I was going.
I think back to your first relationship and it wasn’t necessarily a failure, but it was a kick in the face.
You’re talking about my first husband?
That was a huge kick in the face. I was a widow at the age of 24. That was pivotal. I see it now in who I am now, but then, at the age of 24, I was, as they say now, cray-cray. I was out of it. The loss of a loved one is so devastating anyway, but then to have a loss of a spouse. Not saying it takes it up a notch or anything like that. It will rock your foundation and it will make you question who you are.
What I realized was that my identity was all caught up in him. I grew up in Center City, Philadelphia, so did he and we both wanted to go in the military. I wanted the Air Force. He wanted the Army, but he didn’t talk about the Army. He joined the Army, how about that? Came home and said, “I’m going to the Army.” I say all that to say my Air Force dreams went bye-bye when I realized that if I do Air Force, we won’t be together. We did that, got married after basic training and he got shipped off to Korea for a whole year.
Our first year together in our marriage, he was gone. He came back. The following year, I wound up moving with him. I would say six months later, he was dead. A poacher mistook him as a deer. Came up and shot him. Left him for dead and that was the beginning of my spiral. My life spiraled out of control. For years, it took me a minute to find myself. It took me a minute to identify this, but here’s the thing, I got mad at everybody. It’s like if you breathe, I was mad at you and I didn’t like you. I got mad at God. I didn’t want him to have anything to do with me.
I would not allow him in my life at all. It wasn’t until I met, believe it or not, my current husband. When I met him, to this day, I still say it. He was a straight-up booty call. I was going to hit it and quit it and that’s it. That was the intent because that’s where I was mentally. I was manipulating men, manipulating whoever I can. It was like, what can I get out of them and I met him. Unbeknownst to me, he had prayed for a woman.
He had prayed and asked God to send him someone that he could love and God sent to me. I was like, “What? I’m broken. I am coming out all at the seams.” When I say broken, I was beyond broken. I was, as they say now, a hot mess, but I was a hot mess to the 10th degree, but he loved me. In his loving me, he showed me a mirror, his persona and who he is. It was like looking in a mirror and I couldn’t recognize myself because what he saw and what I saw were two different things. Every time I cussed, drank, smoked, and partied, he would say to me, “You’re too beautiful to use that language. You’re so loving,” but I couldn’t see it.
I was so beyond broken I could not see that for myself. His name is Lionel. He played a pivotal role in it. We are now married for 27 years and we’ve been together 31 years. Him being who he was, helped a lot. I would say this, I was so mad at God that I didn’t want anything to do with God. I would go to church with Lionel to look at him, be like, “Nothing to do with God,” because I had an ultimate goal and that was the hit it and quit and go about my business, but it didn’t happen like that. He’s still around. Still hitting it and didn’t quit it.
In that time, I tell people, “You can be around people who know God and you may not read the book or whatever, but it’ll get in,” and it did. I am also an ordained minister. Hence to my bonafide Jesus follower, that I would say would be the biggest kick that I had in my life. I now look back and say, “How many women that were I able to help because of that?” When that happened to me at 24, I was clueless. I was like, “Who can I help? What?” I’m so mad at everybody. You look at me wrong, I’m ready to fight you. I couldn’t see myself being able to help anyone, but sure enough, God would stand my path and I say this to say that one of my childhood friends who I used to tag behind. Her husband winds up passing away a couple of years after mine.
Her family reached out to me, told me about it and asked me to talk to her. I’m thinking, “What can I say to her? I’m hurting. I don’t know what I’m going to be able to say to her,” but nevertheless, I did. I talked with her and she told me how much that conversation helped her tremendously. It didn’t stop then. It continues to this day. I have one girlfriend, a real close girlfriend of mine who, if you would’ve told me this would’ve happened, I would’ve said no.
2017 was one rough year for me and my husband. This year for my girlfriend, her husband passed away, a massive heart attack. It was like, “What?” You don’t wish this on anyone. I say this to say that I was able to help her, to work with her, to talk her through it. February 19th, 2022, she remarried. I was like, “Oh my goodness.” She shared with me how much I was able to support her in that. It took me a little longer. It took her five years. It took me eight, but nevertheless, we got it.
She was a little more seasoned and matured, ignorance on fire and a hot body.
All of that.
Other agenda you were going through in life besides losing your husband. I like that you share that story because there are things that knock you down and you can tell by who Kim is. She keeps getting back up again. The funny thing is she always says she’s a fighter, but she’s the hardest lover. That’s why we’re such soul sisters because I love so hard, but it takes you a minute to get in. Once you get in, you are not getting out.
You’re very sophisticated in this conversation we’re going to go in because this show is Power of Your Profit. I’m going to share what’s part of your wealth strategy because you’ve done some investing. I don’t want to tell your story. Talk about your wealth strategy because you and Lionel are in a great place and you strategically planned a great place, which you’re not working at the supermarket or whatever. You’re not a greeter. Let’s talk about your wealth strategy and what you guys do.
Wealth is what you have on your wall. It’s your birthright. It’s a part of who you are and you have to make it a part of who you are. You have to recognize that you have and one of the things with me was that there was something when it came to money. I thought wealth was money. I had to have a mindset shift around that to be able to welcome it, to be able to be open to it and allow it to come in, in the variety or the various forms that it shows up.
My wealth strategy consists of properties. That’s one of the big investments that is owning your own business. When I have a Doctorate degree, Susie spoke about that, but I also have an undergrad in Computer Science, so I’m a closet geek, but I also have my Master’s degree in Management. I share all that to say that I’m using my gifts and my talents to make way for me to build my wealth even more.
If you haven’t picked it up by now, one of my gifts is talking like I have the gift of gab. I own it. It’s mine. I say, “It’s my gift and I got to use it.” Being able to do keynotes and do programs, working with young people. What I did was I began to look at my gifts and my talents. What do I do? What can I do that I love to do and love it so much that you can tie my hands behind my back, blindfold me, gag me and make me hop on one foot and I’ll still be like, “Let’s do it.”
I began to start looking at those things and start implementing things and putting them into creating programs. That’s helped me to create and build a wealth strategy because what I offer, people need. The base is around emotional literacy, even more so now after post-Corona. You’re hearing how people are and I say reacting. That’s the best way I can explain it. I want to say that’s what I’ve done. It wasn’t always, there were some things that didn’t work. There are some things that did, but I would say the biggest thing for my wealth strategy was my mindset shift and knowing that, whatever it is that I need, whatever it is that I want, I can get it.
It’s not about if I have the digits in my account now or not. I’m going to say, it’s what I’ve learned is how to trust and how to trust in my higher power to deliver it. That was a huge lift for me because, for years, I was given lift service around trust. Now, it’s like, “I’m not doing nothing. It’ll come and I’m not going to worry. I’m going to sit there and do that.” I want to share that when it comes to wealth and wealth strategy. It starts with a mindset shift. I said before, I grew up in Center City, Philadelphia. I’m the 5th child of eight children and like Susie can name off all of hers, I can too. Junius, Sherry, Marcia, Debora, Kim, that’s me, Shirley, Van and Shirl.
We all grew up together and we’re all stairsteps. One year part. When you plan it on the calendar, you’ll be like, “Some of us wasn’t even a year yet where my mama was pushing out the next one.” I say all that to say we had humble beginnings, but I knew at a young age that I was not going to be a poor adult. That’s how I got my computer science degree and it served me 100%, but it was not my passion. What I did was I started looking at, like I said, my passion. What drives me? What are my gifts? What are my talents? What are my skills?
I start looking at what are the needs. I can’t put something together if there’s not a demand. You can but nobody’s going to want it. You have to go out and look at what is it that people want? What are they asking for? What do they need? Create a program around that. That’s what I have been doing and that’s what I continue to do because it works for me.
I love that. Let’s say, what does Major, Dr., Reverend Kim drive?
I know, but this is what I say, call me Kim because that’s what my mom named me when she pushed me out. Here’s the thing, I’m not even a Kimberley. I’m just Kim. Did I answer that?
I like it because I think it’s important, the journey that you’ve had to take, especially as a woman of color to keep moving on, picking yourself up, to keep when society can say, “No, you don’t qualify. That’s not who you are.” You keep showing up. I will say them all because I’ve been on the journey that you’ve been on. I’m laughing as I say that because it’s a mouthful, but you’ve earned it. You’ve earned the right and the respect for me.
Don’t get me wrong, I do receive that and I know it’s there. It’s the humility that I learned from being underneath your tutelage that kicks in as well to remind me, you may have these titles, but yet, I want to make sure that I’m approachable and not allow the titles to scare some people off because I have so many.
Anybody that’s reading this now who thinks you’re not approachable, let’s say that. I think our journeys show us the approachability to go, “I know where I came from. Where I came from, this is a place that I’m in but where I came from is where our character is built.” All those up, down. What do you want to be remembered for, Kim Grimes?
I want to be remembered for being that person that catered to a need. Being that person that served and that gave from the heart and willing to pour into you and continue to pour into you and serve you no matter where you are. I want to be remembered as that person who showed up being herself and didn’t owe anyone an apology because she’s loud and proud because she says the wrong words and get them wrong a lot.
I love my husband. He always makes sure I say it correctly and I do. I’ll say it correctly, then I’ll say it wrong again. Nevertheless, being that person that no matter who is in the room, she showed up and showed up full out to serve and support everyone and anyone in the room. That’s what I would love to be remembered by.
I think you will be remembered by that. If you want to get ahold of Kim Grimes, first, we want to say plug into her podcast. It’s You Are You Unapologetically and it’s KimRGrimes.com/podcast. You can check in there. Know that when you speak to Kim, anyone on her campus, anyone in her tribe, it’s like welcome home. Kim, thank you for being here. I appreciate you. I appreciate everything about you. You are one of my ride-or-die sisters from another mother for sure.
Thank you so much.
You’re so welcome. You’re one of my sisters from another Mista. I appreciate you, Susie, on who you are and how you show up. Not only that, how you showed up in my life then and how it had and has still have an impact on my life now. Let me leave you with this and your readers with this because Susie said, I do have my doctorate degree. My doctorate degree is in strategic leadership.
As I say, after many years in the Army, I felt like I knew a little bit of leadership. With that, I want to share with you my favorite leadership definition. There are many of them out there but this is the one that speaks to me and it speaks to you as well, Susie. Leadership is helping others to be better as a result of your presence and ensuring the impact lasts in your absence. Isn’t that juicy?
I was going to say, we are going to drop the mic. That’s why I got to have a fake one.
I know. I have to get one of those.
I got to send you one of my mics. You know in the church when they throw the shoe, at one event, I think it might have been the event you were volunteering for us. They started throwing shoes. I’m like, “These people are going to get hurt,” then I got the mic to throw the mic. When you drop the mic, throw the mic.
I remember. You’re going to have to send that and send me one, so I can drop the mic.
Please go check out Kim Grimes. Her website is KimRGrimes.com.com. Go see my girl. We know that your net worth will only grow as high as your self-worth. It takes a tribe. It takes a village. We’ve done so much work together. Thank you for being my guest, for being always you, for powering up our profits and for sharing your wealth of wisdom with us.
It’s a pleasure to be here. I’m honored and thank you, Susie, for being Susie Carder. You’re the only one.
Dr. Kim R. Grimes is a dynamic speaker, an influential leader, a certified life coach, and a professional consultant & retired Major, with over 30 years of leadership, training and communication experience. An accomplished author, Unbreakable Spirit: Rising Above the Impossible and the host of “You are YOU, Unapologetically” Podcast (www.kimrgrimes.com/podcast).