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Breaking Free From the Money Trap – a Transformation Tale

Reading Time: 3 minutes

You know the feeling. The stomach-churning anxiety that seizes you when it’s time to look at your bank account, even though you’re a seasoned executive with a high salary. You’re a leader, a powerhouse of innovation and strategy, yet the mere mention of personal finances leaves you in a cold sweat. The ghost of your past haunts you, whispering that you’re not capable or deserving enough.

Remember, you’re not the only one. I, too, have been in your shoes. I now work as an executive leadership coach, helping the top-tier women executives who share your struggle. Women who are senior vice presidents at tech companies, CEOs of large associations, and entrepreneurs serving people worldwide. Surprisingly, like you, they, too, grapple with money obstacles.

Let me share a story about Sarah with you.

Sarah was the CEO of a thriving tech startup. She was at the pinnacle of her career, leading a team of innovative minds pioneering breakthroughs. Yet, her success story was not devoid of shadows. A childhood characterized by scarcity had left her with a deep-seated fear that haunted her despite her illustrious career – the fear of ‘not having enough.’

She often confessed, “I constantly worry about money running out. I can’t shake off that feeling of insecurity. It’s as if it’s hardwired into me.” This fear was holding her back from truly embracing her success and moving forward.

Sarah’s transformation began when she made the brave decision to tackle this debilitating fear head-on. She reached out to me, and together, we embarked on a journey of healing and empowerment.


We worked on:

Root Cause Analysis: Understanding the origin of her fear and acknowledging its impact on her present.

Mindset Shift: Re-framing her perspective about money from ‘There’s never enough’ to ‘I truly have more than enough.’

Money Management: Equipping her with practical tools and strategies to effectively manage her finances.

Self-worth Realization: Reinforcing the belief that her value was not tied to her bank balance but to her unique qualities, skills, and contributions.


Sarah’s journey was not a quick flip but a gradual process. There were setbacks and moments of doubt, but she remained committed. Over time, the change was evident. She began to make confident financial decisions, her anxiety reduced, and she could finally appreciate her achievements without the shadow of financial insecurity loitering.

Sarah’s story is not unique. There are many successful businesswomen out there who, like Sarah, are held back by their money obstacles. They may have climbed the corporate ladder, yet they remain shackled to their past financial traumas.

But remember, change is possible.



Joia Jefferson Nuri has a keen intuition for helping women of color executives achieve their goals. Her training as a coach in executive Leadership and public speaking has sharpened her ability to understand and support clients clarify their objectives. Joia helps her clients build a toolkit to battle their destructive inner critic, allowing them to rise from their zone of excellence to their zone of genius. Trained in the rubric of positive psychology, her techniques put clients in touch with their inner critic so they can quiet it. As a leadership coach, her ultimate goal is to help clients understand their worth, maximize their abilities, and live the lives they see for themselves. Joia’s signature executive team-building and inner critic workshops assist companies, social change groups, and women’s organizations to maximize their Leadership while aligning their values and practices.

Before coaching, she was a human rights communication strategist for Harry Belafonte and Danny Glover, TransAfrica, The Institute for Policy Studies, and Truly Living Well Center for Urban Agriculture. As a communication strategist, she testified before Congress on Haiti Relief and co-wrote Congressional Testimony for Danny Glover. Joia Nuri has co-written, edited, and coached 14 TEDx Talks, including one for herself. She was honored to be invited to deliver the keynote address in Vienna, Austria, before the 53 nations of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Her communications career at NBC News was one of the first women hired as a technician. Her move to CBS News made her the first Black woman to serve as Technical Director of the CBS Evening News and Face The Nation. She also worked as a senior producer at NPR, PBS, and C-SPAN.

Her public speaking training began with her father, a classical baritone. Later, her training continued with Shakespearean actress Naomi Jacobson. Joia has performed voiceovers for documentaries on Civil Rights icon John Lewis, ballet dancer Misty Copeland, filmmaker Ava Duverney, and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.

Joia Nuri’s early career was in network newsrooms, where she was the first Black woman to be Technical Director of the CBS Evening News and Face the Nation. She also worked as a senior producer at PBS, NPR, and C-Span.She applies her experience, intuition, and training to help each client achieve true Leadership. Today, she is coaching government, education, corporations, and philanthropy leaders.

Awards & Accomplishments:

  • Emmy Award, WRC-TV
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting Award for Programming Excellence
  • Spirit Award, Pacifica Radio Network
  • Judge for the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Human Rights Awards
  • Delivered Keynote Address before the OSCE in Vienna, Austria
  • TEDx Talk, Wilmington
  • Event Strategist, Obama Inaugural Galas, 2009 & 2013

Twitter/X: @joianuripcc


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