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Do you ever get that feeling that everyone else around you has their life together? Did they get something you didnt? Did You Get The Memo? Because Yemi and Bob didnt.
Yemi Penn is an author, documentary producer, speaker, engineer, and fearless thought leader. A tireless advocate for self-empowerment and guiding others to create their own memo, Yemi is a global businesswoman dedicated to raising awareness on worldly issues, daring humanity to act on creating a just world.
With qualifications ranging from project management to neuro-linguistic programming, and methods taught to her personally by Jack Canfield and Tony Robbins, Yemi Penn helps transmute pain to power.
Yemi’s short documentary, Did I Choose My Trauma, follows her experience of childhood abuse into adulthood. This powerful documentary shines a light on an often taboo subject, reinforcing the notion that we can transform it if we can name our trauma.
Yemi and I explore how financial successes & failures can be impacted by unresolved trauma.
[3:36] Delving into the fear of the unknown.
[06:18] The belief we are our successes and money.
[9:38] “The bulls-eye of my money story is that when I haven’t been attached or been so fixated on making it, it’s come really easy.”
[12:21] Giving ourselves permission to change our mind.
[18:05] Changing the adult narrative of limiting childhood beliefs.
[23:54] The connection between aggression and unresolved financial trauma.
[26:36] What do we avoid feeling by burying traumatic events in our life?
[32:22] Trauma not transformed; there’s a higher possibility you will transfer it.
Check out Yemi’s book, Did You Get The Memo? Because I F***ing Didn’t. She shares intimate and poignant parts of her life that show her trying to follow the memo, catastrophically deviating from it, beating herself up when she did, and then having the bravery to face the fear, tackle conformity, and challenge convention.
Connect With Yemi Penn
Did You Get The Memo?
Because I F***ing Didnt.
We don’t all get to start at the same line for the race called life. In spite of enduring childhood abuse and becoming homeless, having fallen pregnant at 24, Yemi has defied the limiting belief that suggests your past has to be your future. She is a self-made millionairess who is devoted to challenging the status quo and has made it her mission to use her voice to guide others to live life on their terms.
Click to Read Full Transcript
[00:00:00] Bob Wheeler: Welcome to another episode of Money You Should Ask, where everyone has something they can teach you. I’m your host, Bob Wheeler. In this episode, we are going to explore why we do? What we do when it comes to money as a CPA for the past 30 years, wait, let me say 25 because that makes me sound younger.
I have seen it all when it comes to money and emotions. And if you think I’m talking about my clients, I’m not. I’m talking about myself. My relationship with money has been and sometimes still is an emotional roller coaster. Maybe that’s something you’re also familiar with. Good news, you and I are not the only ones. Our next guest is going to share their money beliefs, money blocks and life challenges as well. Buckle your seatbelt and enjoy the ride.
[00:01:06] Bob Wheeler: Our next guest Yemi Penn is an author, documentary producer, speaker, engineer and all around fearless thought leader on creating your own memo. And in case you didn’t get the memo that’s based on her book. “Did you get the memo?”
So she is a tireless advocate for self-empowerment and guiding others to create their own memo Yemi Penn is a global business woman dedicated to raising awareness on worldly issues, daring humanity to act on creating adjust world. I think we probably need to add warrior in the description. Born in the UK, childhood in Nigeria stint in Okinawa, Japan and now living in Sydney, Australia.
[00:01:44] Bob Wheeler: Yemi is a citizen of the world. She has multiple businesses, an engineering management consultancy in Sydney, an F 45 fitness studio in Brixton London, and her transformation company under her brand of Yemi Pen, with qualifications ranging from Project Management to Neuro Linguistic Programming NLP for some of you and methods taught to her personally by Jack Canfield and Tony Robbins.
Yemi helps transmute pain to power. She has the book, “Did you get the memo?” and a documentary, “Did I choose my trauma?” I am super, super, super excited and sincerely excited Yemi, to have you here. Welcome.
[00:02:23] Yemi Penn: Thank you so so much Bob. I’m actually really excited about this. I know I said near the sights a bit, and find out more about myself and hearing your work. This is the best way to start my weekend. So thank you.
[00:02:34] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. Well, you know, we’re going to hopefully tie all this stuff together. We’re going to talk about trauma, we’re going to talk about finance, and you share with people and I don’t know if you’re still doing it the moment but you have a program called “Genetics of money”.
[00:02:47] Yemi Penn: Yeah, and I want to talk about that.
[00:02:49] Bob Wheeler: And I don’t know if you find this to be true. But whenever I tell a group of people, hey, let’s all get together and talk about money, they run. And nobody’s jumping up and going, Oh, my God, let me talk about my debt, and my trauma about my bankruptcy. They just don’t get excited.
[00:03:06] Yemi Penn: I knew you were gonna crack me open in the beginning. But yes, go ahead.
[00:03:11] Bob Wheeler: So can you say something about that your experience with people when you talk with them about money, because it is part of the story and it’s gonna layered into the trauma and other life experiences. But I just curious your experience when you bring up the topic of money?
[00:03:26] Yemi Penn: So, Bob, I want to keep it real and talk about my own nervousness, we’re talking about money. So when you say when I bring on money, sometimes I still don’t even do that. I’m still working on my money story.
[00:03:36] Bob Wheeler: Yeah
[00:03:36] Yemi Penn: It’s ongoing. But what’s quite interesting is whenever I go, or I run a seminar, I noticed that a lot of people do what I did for a long time, which is kind of like cover your face with your hand and look at your bank account through the gap of two fingers. It is that fear of the unknown. I believe a lot of people don’t even know how to look at money.
[00:03:58] Yemi Penn: At the moment I work with some people in business who don’t actually understand numbers. And I’m still learning numbers because I genuinely didn’t get the memo on how to run a business. Is there any memo I got was how to go and work for someone else who would know how to run the numbers?
[00:04:14] Bob Wheeler: Right.
[00:04:15] Yemi Penn: And so a lot of this has been self-taught. So a lot of people do freeze. I think it’s because it potentially brings up some sort of imposter syndrome that we just never even get the time to talk about. So how would we know?
[00:04:26] Bob Wheeler: Well, absolutely. I have a sense that my belief is, we all have secrets and we’re working so hard for nobody to find them out. Like, we’re hoping we can take that last breath. And we didn’t get caught.
[00:04:39] Yemi Penn: Yeah, I mean, didn’t you just saying that felt like I had like 12 monkeys on my back. One life to spend so much time and I get it. I’ve got empathy. I am that woman. Most of the fears I’ve had around money in business was what happens if I fail?
[00:04:54] Bob Wheeler: Right
[00:04:55] Yemi Penn: That what happens if I fail and everyone knows and that’s how much money I’ve spent. And my mom, God loved her, you know, most of her advice back in the day was, you know, don’t because you’re going to lose so much money and it might fail. And I thought, and I know that was coming from a good place.
But that’s because her money story, which I guess I inherited, was just keep your money where you know it’s going to be saved, don’t believes in it. Don’t touch it, just looking basically.
[00:05:21] Bob Wheeler: Well, absolutely. And for me, and I talk about this a lot, probably too much. But I was taught that I am my successes, right? So my value, my self-worth was tied to my net worth. And so if I don’t have lots of these accomplishments, then what am I?
[00:05:37] Yemi Penn: Yeah
[00:05:38] Bob Wheeler: I’ve got to be interesting. I’ve got to hit all these marks. And so keeping my secrets and going out on a win, at least my final resume will say when instead of pretty good, except at the last moment failure.
[00:05:52] Yemi Penn: Yes, you’re absolutely right. And that’s pretty uniform, I think across a number of generations. I mean, I’ve got a 14 year old daughter, and every now and again, I look at her and they go, what’s your generation going to be like? I don’t know whether there’s going to be a gap or a change.
But definitely we did get that. But I also want to be really authentic and open here. Because you started off by saying, why is it no one wants to talk about Bankruptcy and Insolvency? And even when you were describing my intro, I was twitching.
[00:06:18] Yemi Penn: I was like, I shouldn’t be saying I run all these businesses because you want to change the way you live. And as we go on in this interview, I’ll share how my journey with money is going. But I’m still uncomfortable with acknowledging that I did come into lots of money.
But the truth of the matter is, and probably about to lose some money as well, should me it’s the relationship with money that we’ve got to get healthy as opposed to what we think. But that’s difficult, because a lot of us were born into that thinking that we are our successes and money.
[00:06:47] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. It’s just not one of those things where we want to run out and express our failures, right?
[00:06:53] Yemi Penn: Yeah.
[00:06:54] Bob Wheeler: Being vulnerable. As I’m sure you’re aware with the folks you’ve worked with being vulnerable. It seems so counterintuitive, that it actually makes people connect with us more.
[00:07:04] Yemi Penn: Yeah.
[00:07:05] Bob Wheeler: Or people can resonate with what we’re saying. Because I know for me, I’m feeling my shame, I’m feeling my embarrassment, I’m, how is this connecting? But the truth is, I have found when I push through that, that people can look and say, Oh, my God, thank you for not being perfect, because I was making all these self-judgments.
[00:07:23] Yemi Penn: Yeah.
[00:07:23] Bob Wheeler: And I think so many people do that. And one of the things that you say, and I said it in your bio, is that you want to go out and dare the world, dare humanity to provide a just world. And a lot of people would be afraid to say, I want to make a difference in the world.
[00:07:38] Yemi Penn: Yeah.
[00:07:39] Bob Wheeler: And I think we all do, I think we all want to be in connection. I think we all want to matter. And I think deep down even the worst human in the world, deep down, wants to have a positive impact, that’s my belief.
[00:07:54] Yemi Penn: Yes. And I’m with you. I mean, if there was a mine, I would be standing right next to you that I truly believe we do. And I know we’ve had so many other thought leaders share the same thing. But I really believe we do the feeling you have, all I’ve got to do sometimes is witness, when someone in public on the street is struggling, and someone else comes in, or someone’s bank card, you know, bounces or declines at the tail, there is somebody in that line, who actually really wants to go and help but they’ve just got all this noise in their head.
[00:08:24] Yemi Penn: So I absolutely agree with you and me daring humanity to be just, we can tell already from my star sign on the board, everything has to be a little bit like fighting, fighting. So my dear is like this kind of cheaky challenge. Because if we love a challenge, that’s got to be it’s got to be the case that I don’t feel someone’s going to shame me because I want to help someone, you know, I did get called out once when I just wanted to pay for someone coughing, you know, my partner started doing that he goes and gets his coffee, and he pays for the next 10 People that things like that.
That’s not even just it’s, it’s kind of it’s giving.
[00:09:00] Bob Wheeler: Yeah
[00:09:00] Yemi Penn: We want to create the space that it’s okay to give without someone thinking there’s an ulterior motive.
[00:09:05] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, I feel like sometimes humanity has gotten off a little track and away from kindness and gratitude.
[00:09:12] Yemi Penn: Yeah
[00:09:13] Bob Wheeler: As if those are not things to be championed or nurtured, because it’s rough out there.
[00:09:21] Yemi Penn: Yeah, it is. And I think, for me, this is where we can go down the rabbit hole. The reason why kindness and gratitude might have taken a backseat is because resources in the notion of money has been the primary thing. If you do this, then you’re going to be behind if you do this, you’re going to be behind and it’s absolutely the opposite.
[00:09:38] Bob Wheeler: Yeah
[00:09:38] Yemi Penn: If you do the kindness and the gratitude, that money comes back literally is the, what’s the word? It’s the bull’s-eye of my money story is that when I haven’t been attached or been so fixated on making it, it’s come really, really, easy according to how I was told you could make money? So that’s the secret but not many of us got the memo one.
[00:10:00] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. And I definitely feel like there are people out there, pushing kindness pushing gratitude focusing on things that I would resonate with. It’s just not as sexy in the social media, right?
[00:10:12] Yemi Penn: Yeah
[00:10:13] Bob Wheeler: The fancy car and that I drove over 10 people to get it. That’s a story, right. Not that he’s kind and compassionate and saving animals, or whatever it is. That’s just not as fun. And so I think our priorities as how we measure, or how media tells us we should measure is off the mark, because I think a lot of us don’t, it’s just, they’re not on the radar.
[00:10:33] Yemi Penn: Absolutely. But I think this is why is one of the stuff I do when I say there in humanity, we’ve got to show up. The everyday people, the Bob Wheeler is the Anthony’s, we’ve got to show up. Because what’s happening is we watch TV, and we’re seeing our leaders who really their primary focus on this, I’ve got some Iranian, get that GDP up, make sure you’re powerful, make sure you’ve got the resources, you’ve got this.
But if we have more people, more thought leaders, whatever you want to call it showing up.
[00:11:00] Yemi Penn: And I know it’s a very clustered world, especially now everything comes online, we’ve got to show up and where we can show our vulnerability. So at some point, I’ll be sharing with my community that look, I’m about to make one of my businesses potentially insolvent. I mean, it still needs to look into it that’s a worst case scenario. But that’s because, and don’t get me wrong. There’s an element of privacy, I still want to keep.
[00:11:21] Yemi Penn: But I have to have some strong, I want to do that. Because the narrative needs to start changing. Whether you’ve got lots of riches, or you don’t have much, can we have a healthy relationship with money? And can we actually change the economy to kindness? Can we change due to support? Let’s change it up a bit.
[00:11:42] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. And talking about memos. I didn’t get the memo that you get to actually change your mind and change course, right?
[00:11:49] Yemi Penn: Yeah.
[00:11:50] Bob Wheeler: No, you have to stay the course. Well, that’s gonna fail. No, you have to stay at because that’s what you picked. Now, I actually get to stop and say, wait a minute, let me cut my losses.
[00:11:58] Yemi Penn: Yeah
[00:11:58] Bob Wheeler: This isn’t serving me, and I’m gonna move in a different direction without shame.
[00:12:03] Yemi Penn: Oh Bob, but I really think that not for me, I think you’ve been sent into my inbox that day to share that message. Because really, you know, I’m having to self-teach myself and every now and again, and make sure that I surround myself with people that say, that’s okay. Why can’t we change our mind? Don’t get me wrong, you can keep changing and changing.
[00:12:21] Yemi Penn: But there comes a certain time, but in the guidance, the intuition that says, Okay, I’ve got to cut my losses, what have I learned from the, you know, if that business does go down that route, there’s so much I’ve learned from it. I mean, do not open a cafe again for a very long time. That is a lesson to be learned.
And I am probably going to go open another one in a couple of years. But this times it will be tighter, we have to give ourselves permission to change course.
[00:12:47] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. You know, and as you were saying that what I’m reminded is we have permission to change our mind. We don’t have to give up hope in the process.
[00:12:55] Yemi Penn: Yes, absolutely. We don’t, we’ve got to hold on to it. I think that there’s so much unlearning to be done. Because I’ve sometimes I feel, you know, just in the couple of minutes we’ve been speaking, it feels like I’m saying the opposite to what we were taught.
[00:13:07] Bob Wheeler: Right.
[00:13:08] Yemi Penn: You don’t have to give up hope. Yes, sit down, recollect, feel the feels. But whatever got in you to start a venture or to create wealth or money that still resides, it’s actually got more knowledge, dusty yourself and get back to it again.
[00:13:24] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. One of the things that you said that I want to touch back on is everyday people stepping up and giving voice. And I know for myself, and I’m sure a lot of people out there, when I first wrote my book, and did these things that I wanted to put out in the world. I said to myself, who am I to do this? And I’m scared, and I’m not perfect and I’m gonna get parts of it wrong.
[00:13:49] Bob Wheeler: And I might stumble on my words, and who am I? And fortunately, I was doing work and working with other people. And, you know, the reflection back was you’re an expert in your own story. And so nobody can tell me, I’m wrong on that, right. They might challenge my beliefs, or they might challenge some of my stories that are just stories, but my life experience is my life experience. And nobody can say that was wrong.
[00:14:15] Yemi Penn: Correct.
[00:14:15] Bob Wheeler: So from that place, we’re all powerful, and it’s so important to find that voice. I was terrified to speak in front of people, other than, like, I could do comedy, which people are like, that doesn’t make any sense. But I didn’t have to be intelligent. I just had to make people laugh. But if I have to get up and be intelligent, or say a full sentence properly, terrifying for me, but do it anyway people. Ado it anyway, step up and be heard.
[00:14:40] Yemi Penn: What you’ve done is you’ve given people the opportunity to say if you ask it, start with the thing nobody can question you on which is your experience. Because it is yours. It is your view. And I have got to say something else. I mean, I actually think comedians are extremely intelligent. You pick up cues, you know whether the audience and is leaning into that as laughter, you know which one’s a drag on? I wouldn’t underestimate it.
[00:15:05] Yemi Penn: I think our battle is what I guess the perceived notion of intelligence because that’s how I feel. I mean, I’m a woman in engineering. And it took me years, almost a decade to speak up in a meeting, because I was absolutely crippled with the fact that there was everybody else in the room who knew more than me. At some point, I had to say, well, how the hell are you going to learn if you’re just going to keep it to yourself?
You’ve got to be okay, with company face plant in in front of everybody because you got it wrong.
[00:15:30] Yemi Penn: The only thing I had to get used to was saying, Okay, I didn’t know that. I’m going to learn, that literally is my notion. Nobody can ever call me out for getting anything well, because I believe as wonderful Brené Brown says, I’m stepping into the arena, I’m trying to learn.
So unless you are in that arena with me, you’re going to need to be silent and step back. And that’s how I show up now, regardless of whether I know the topic, and the superpower that I invite everyone to own is knowing what you don’t know. Because when you do that you can’t be faulted and just be open to learn.
[00:16:00] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, I think that’s the hardest thing for leaders to admit is knowing that they don’t know.
[00:16:06] Yemi Penn: Yeah.
[00:16:07] Bob Wheeler: And being able to say, I actually don’t know, let me do a little research.
[00:16:11] Yemi Penn: Correct.
[00:16:11] Bob Wheeler: Let me get back to you. That’s not my area. I don’t have to. I think sometimes leaders are so busy trying to protect their turf once they get it.
[00:16:21] Yemi Penn: Yeah
[00:16:21] Bob Wheeler: That they focus on not letting go instead of actually moving forward.
[00:16:25] Yemi Penn: Yeah. And the question is why? Why are they so scared of it, because in the past, I’ve seen people be absolutely cut at the Nails for doing things wrong? But this is where everybody’s showing up and just having Unison in that voice that add kindness as another resources, another economy, then people wouldn’t, they would make mistakes, you think about everything that we’ve gone through over the past couple of years, they’ve been so many things that could have been done differently.
[00:16:48] Yemi Penn: But the truth of the matter is, whoever it’s probably meeting has probably never experienced their memory this thing. So why wouldn’t you say Okay, so my bad, never quite experienced this before. So we really are trying to do the best we can you say that to a nation, and you be open and humble and say, however, we now know better.
So we’re gonna change it and we want you to come on this journey, we need you to do this, just the change in words and approach is, for me the difference between a phenomenal leader and someone who isn’t.
[00:17:15] Bob Wheeler: Yet it’s so true. And when you were just saying that reminds me in the US specifically, and I don’t know about the rest of the world. But in the US, there are so many lawsuits against companies and different things. And the research has found that most people would have actually been fine with an apology, and didn’t actually need the money or want the money.
[00:17:36] Bob Wheeler: They just wanted somebody to say, I see that I impacted you in a painful way. I’m sorry. And so many people don’t say anything, don’t give your story because we got to refute it. And then we’re so busy defending, and instead of actually just feeling wow, I screwed up, I hurt this person, let me make amends.
[00:17:57] Yemi Penn: How powerful. And you would still think it sounds like we’re both getting downloads. And so my brain ultimate status is, why is that happening? Why is that happening? I like to get to the source as quickly as possible. Remember, we’ve also built professions on those kind of lawsuit, that kind of anger that extension, or inability to apologize.
We built professions on that. And so you start to make certain professions obsolete. And unless we have world leaders, who say we’ve got to change the paradigm, we might find it going on for centuries.
[00:18:29] Yemi Penn: I’m currently trying to do business in a whole different way. It’s fun, and when people look at me saying, so no money, no physical money’s going to go into my bank account. And now I’m going to share this resource, this skill I have that I know you potentially could benefit from, and I’d love it if you could share the same and it’s different, but I think we start introducing it one by one, and I think that’s how we see change.
[00:18:51] Bob Wheeler: That is really cool. Now, here’s what I have to ask you though, how does your parents money story fit into your money story and into like these shifts that you’re having? Are you letting go of money stories from your mom and your dad, or is there adjusting along the way? What’s the process? Because you talk about that a little bit about how our parents influence our Money Story?
[00:19:16] Yemi Penn: Yeah.
[00:19:17] Bob Wheeler: So I’m curious on a personal level, as you’re stepping out and making these changes, how does that story just in the back there come to play?
[00:19:26] Yemi Penn: Very great question, especially at this point in my life. Definitely, most of us have heard that money doesn’t grow on trees, don’t waste money. And so I’ve had to be really careful of the language when I’m speaking to my kids, especially my daughter who would say, Can I have the iPhone 12 or iPhone 13? I’ve spent 30 and trying to get her to understand the context what I’d say is have the money but that’s not what I want to spend it on right now.
Whereas back in the day, so those are the things that I would have inherited but it’s not that they didn’t have money because then my mind started to think oh, we are always on Struggle Street financially.
[00:19:58] Bob Wheeler: Right.
[00:19:59] Yemi Penn: But that wasn’t the case. I understand, they didn’t have the time to explain all of that, but I definitely picked that up. But I changed the language as I go one. The part I’m struggling with at the moment, my dad who passed away a couple of years ago, in Nigeria, he inherited a lot of wealth. So his dad, my granddad was a property tycoon in Nigeria, obviously, then we had oil reserves that hadn’t been taken. But he literally had lots of property, and that’s where the wealth came from. And my dad had it as well. But he enjoyed his wealth, as my mom puts it, because remember, we always had different sides of the story.
[00:20:32] Bob Wheeler: Right
[00:20:32] Yemi Penn: He enjoyed his well. So when I started setting up businesses, which was something not many of my siblings were doing at the time. My mom’s fear, especially when I started speaking about it publicly was, Yemi, don’t tell too many people, because people might start leeching on you like they did with your dad. So that’s something I built into my money story. So whenever you read in my bio, and no, don’t tell people that’s still in the back of my head.
[00:20:57] Bob Wheeler: Right.
[00:20:58] Yemi Penn: And so what I’m now trying to find is that just because I make money doesn’t mean that people out there who want to bleed me dry. So I’m having to change the narrative. But once again, I don’t have the guidelines. So I’m still working through them.
The last bit is losing money. I haven’t gotten the answer to that. Is that the end of the world if you lose money? I don’t think so. But everybody else seems to really cringe at it. And don’t you have to kind of make or lose money, spend money to make money? I’m still, once again, if you got the memo, Bob, let me have it. Because I don’t know where it is?
[00:21:33] Bob Wheeler: I have seen a lot of incredibly happy people with no money. We’re much happier when everything failed, because it took all the pressure off. So this notion that if you lose money, it’s a fail. Like you it’s a lesson.
[00:21:50] Yemi Penn: Yeah
[00:21:50] Bob Wheeler: It’s just a lesson. Yeah, this money story and how we carry it in, you know, when you were talking about your mom not wanting anybody know. And that if people know you have money, I think for me, the biggest thing and maybe this is true for a lot of people learning to set a boundary.
[00:22:06] Yemi Penn: Yeah
[00:22:06] Bob Wheeler: Learning to actually say, No, I have it. And I’ve chosen not to share that at this time. Or I’m choosing to do something differently. I didn’t get that memo. I thought I had to just hand everything over.
[00:22:20] Yemi Penn: Yeah.
[00:22:20] Bob Wheeler: And you know, my parents struggled. And so if they borrowed money from the piggy bank and didn’t pay it back, it’s not that I blame them for that, it was just a message of what’s the point?
[00:22:30] Yemi Penn: Yeah
[00:22:31] Bob Wheeler: As a kid, that was the story. And now I can say, I’m not able to do that, right now my resources are being tapped for something else. And I feel your pain. And I’m not going to be able to help you on this part of your journey.
[00:22:42] Yemi Penn: I like that a lot. Because I also had this kind of thing, this weird stigma. So I have contracts with the government, and those are for large sums of money. And I have no problem getting money from the government. But when it comes to the everyday Joe, just different pricing my products, and struggle. So I know that there’s some work I’ve got to do. They’re like, well, you can’t just give everything for free Yemi.
[00:23:06] Yemi Penn: So I’ve got to find a way to balance it. And I like that when people come to me and ask for some can I say, Look, I’d love to help but my time because my time is really important to me. It’s really constrained at the moment, I’d love to support you and I really hope you find a way out. But in this instance, I can’t help thinking you’ve just allowed me to get some words together. So thank you.
[00:23:27] Bob Wheeler: What so for me, the piece that’s been missing is we can say no, but we can say it with compassion.
[00:23:33] Yemi Penn: Yes.
[00:23:33] Bob Wheeler: We don’t have to go no, you greedy, no.
[00:23:36] Yemi Penn: Yeah
[00:23:37] Bob Wheeler: I’d love to help. And I think that piece has been missing, at least for me, realizing, oh, I can do this with compassion. And I can do it with love, I can do with heart and still set a strong boundary and not feel like I have to please them. I just don’t have to do it with cruelty and shame.
[00:23:54] Yemi Penn: And I believe a reason why we in the past and some people still do it with aggression is because of unresolved trauma. Something has happened in our past or we’ve seen it. And because there’s no way of managing that emotion of discomfort of not being able to help somebody like that saying, we actually really want to help someone, but we are so frustrated with the fact that firstly, how dare you ask?
[00:24:17] Yemi Penn: And secondly, I can’t even help you because I don’t want to and that emotions bubbling and they just comes out as Venom as opposed to I’m really sorry. I can’t empathy, Respect for self that requires me to resolve trauma, especially around money.
[00:24:31] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. So trauma, you’re taking us right where I wanted to go. In your own life you had trauma, and you say that it did change something. In hindsight, you could see that there was a lack of self-worth.
[00:24:45] Yemi Penn: Yeah
[00:24:45] Bob Wheeler: But you push through it, you persevered. And sometimes if we don’t have a negative experience, we can’t know a positive experience.
[00:24:52] Yemi Penn: Yeah
[00:24:53] Bob Wheeler: If we don’t know being trapped, we can’t know freedom, like fully.
[00:24:57] Yemi Penn: Yeah
[00:24:57] Bob Wheeler: And so I’m curious in your own trauma, and I know a lot more people have experienced trauma than necessarily acknowledge. I was surprised when I was getting feedback about a lot of trauma that I experienced. I’m like, oh, no, I was fine. And then had to process through it. And I’m like, wow, okay. How do you push through? How did you push through, and even though the trauma doesn’t disappear, and the relationship to it perhaps changes?
[00:25:25] Yemi Penn: Yeah. And once again, the more I do interviews and talk, the more I’m able to just be really open. So I always like to give that real straight up, one that we can all relate to. The way I pushed through it, to be honest, I had to inherit once again, what generations before me a dad, which was pushed through, I had to get a house over my head.
So you know, people talk about depression, anxiety, and it feels more prevalent in today’s society. But it probably did happen in the past that we probably had highly functioning depressed people to some capacity, and their depression might come about as anger or illnesses, or whatever it is.
[00:26:00] Yemi Penn: So a big part of me was pushing through, but it was unhealthy. And I do think I was gonna get sick, if I really didn’t acknowledge it. But that was exactly the beginning. It was the acknowledgement. You’re absolutely right. I think everybody when I gave my TED Talk, I gave the stats, which I think would have probably doubled by now.
But in America alone, at least 70% of every adults experienced at least one traumatic event, and just acknowledging it not to wallow in a victim story. And it’s not to take away victims and how they feel. But your acknowledgement does not mean you are wanting everything to come up.
[00:26:36] Yemi Penn: But it’s to acknowledge that that thing you went through is actually still playing havoc at a subconscious level to the points, it’s potentially impacting your relationships, your money story, just that understanding is the freedom. So for me, that was it. It was, why do I do like this, because who I was married was failing, I had two kids, two different dads, that was never part of my story.
A lot of it was because I wouldn’t even acknowledge what I went through and the potential that I operate in a certain way, as a way to protect myself. So that’s how I got through technology.
[00:27:11] Bob Wheeler: I think that’s so important. I’ve done a lot of work in core energetics and Radical Aliveness, which is somatic work. And one of the exercises that we do that I’ve done and what I do with other people is exploring what do I have to feel if I don’t blame? Like if I’m, you did this and you did this, and it’s your fault. It’s your fault.
If I have to actually let go of the blame, what do I have to feel? And so what do I get to avoid feeling by blaming and if we stop and acknowledge? Well, there’s a lot of pain?
[00:27:43] Yemi Penn: Yeah
[00:27:44] Bob Wheeler: There’s isolation, there’s disappointment. There’s whatever those feelings are that, those are uncomfortable. I’d rather not acknowledge. But the more we can name them own them, then they don’t own us.
[00:27:59] Yemi Penn: Absolutely. Oh, my gosh, I don’t know if you’re on Instagram, but I have to write that as opposed. What do I have to feel if I don’t blame? A powerful question. Very quickly, I want to tell a very, very quick story. I live in Australia, and moved out back the bush go into my pantry and I see this new door spider and talking. Because my pomp and anyway, I go through a whole series and because I really do like to include my community.
I stopped talking to people on Facebook, and someone said name it.
[00:28:27] Yemi Penn: So I named them [inaudible 00:28:30] because it was the best thing I could come up with. But naming the spider [inaudible 00:28:33] took away a lot of the fear. And you just say in that, just name it name what happened? It really takes the sting out and if I can do it for a spider, then trust me we should be able to do for some of our gruesome events that’s happened in our life that makes it different. That’s probably a very easy step, just name it.
[00:28:53] Bob Wheeler: I love it. I love [inaudible 00:28:54] spider already, much friendlier spider.
[00:28:58] Yemi Penn: Yes, with eight eyes. Yes, much friendlier.
[00:29:01] Bob Wheeler: That’s crazy. I want to talk about something I told you ahead of time that I just loved faith a [inaudible 00:29:09]. Amazing in the documentary. She shares a quote and I think it’s central to what you’re talking about in the documentary about trauma and the quote, “Karma is not about taking blame, but making the choice to be at cause for change rather than effect, which is a disempowering”.
[00:29:27] Bob Wheeler: You know, for me, it felt really significant important, because in the documentary, and you talk about this, do I choose my trauma at a child’s level? No, I don’t choose that.
[00:29:38] Yemi Penn: Yeah.
[00:29:38] Bob Wheeler: On a spiritual level, maybe, right?
[00:29:41] Yemi Penn: Yeah.
[00:29:42] Bob Wheeler: We don’t fully know. But if we’re coming from that spiritual place that maybe I did, knowingly in another lifetime choose to come in for people that that resonates with, but this part about it’s not saying though, that karma makes me a victim.
[00:29:56] Yemi Penn: No
[00:29:57] Bob Wheeler: And I just wonder if you could say a little bit more about that.
[00:29:59] Yemi Penn: Yes, karma in itself is a word that would make people either just tense up or full on one or body rugby tapping into the floor. Because I think karma has been discussed as a way of blame, you know, it goes back to the blame while you did this, and you get that. And I literally believe it’s about balance, and the best way that that documentary could do it.
[00:30:18] Yemi Penn: Because when we did a first show in with people who had gone through extreme forms of trauma that was where they felt unstuck. But usually where we feel stuck is actually where there’s work to be done. Calmness basically saying you have a choice to either be at cause meaning that you are the person who is kind of driving the wheel, or you are the person in front of the car, being pushed around by the person driving the wheel.
[00:30:44] Yemi Penn: And that’s the effects of the car moving. The truth of the matter is Bob, we could go deeper, but I’m fully aware that I feel my work in this lifetime is to speak to people who are kind of opening, you know, their wounds, but they’re open, they’re listening. And so I might go deeper and talk about karma, which can go back to past lives. And you know, I’m currently now doing a PhD that will look into that.
[00:31:08] Yemi Penn: But in order to do that, I’ve got to have people who are at least willing to understand that maybe they could have been the past life, because most of us don’t get that context, because we’re here and now
[00:31:17] Bob Wheeler: Right.
[00:31:18] Yemi Penn: But a minimum karma is about acknowledging that you decide whether you want to be a cause in the driver’s seat or the effects in front of the car. And it’s not about control, but it’s about being empowered as to what happens to you.
[00:31:32] Bob Wheeler: And the quote that faith shared, which it wasn’t hers, the quote, because it all ties together is that trauma not transformed, is transferred.
[00:31:41] Yemi Penn: Correct.
[00:31:42] Bob Wheeler: And for me, that reminds me of I remember saying that somebody told me is we can either pass it on, like, I don’t want that I’m not going to take that we can either pass it on or pass it forward.
[00:31:52] Yemi Penn: Yes.
[00:31:53] Bob Wheeler: Meaning we’re going to just keep passing it to the next generation. Oh, you gave me shame. I’m going to pass that forward.
[00:31:57] Yemi Penn: Yeah.
[00:31:58] Bob Wheeler: So, you know, with my family, I’ve tried to turn around and say, Hey, thanks for sharing this. But I’d like to hand that back to you.
[00:32:06] Yemi Penn: Thanks. But no, thanks. Yeah,
[00:32:08] Bob Wheeler: I’m gonna pass on that. Because I don’t want to pass it on. And to that point of that, if we don’t transform it, we transfer it to the next generation, we transfer it to the people around us. Can you say a little bit more about that?
[00:32:22] Yemi Penn: Absolutely. I mean, it sounds really powerful. And for some people might be gimmick, but just to say again, if your trauma is not transformed, there’s a higher possibility you will transfer it. But I want to add something else, you actually have no idea how another quick example, what’s in your daughter going through her own traumatic experience. And when I witnessed something she was going through, I didn’t realize that I reverted back to seven year old Yemi.
[00:32:47] Yemi Penn: In how I responded to her trauma. I mean, this is how deep it is. So in that event, which happened in 2020 that took me back to therapy room. It took her, but it had to take me and it’s quite interesting that the good faith of Google was at the middle of that as well. But I’ve been able to figure out that if I hadn’t changed because it was called disassociating.
What I did was just almost pretend like it wasn’t happening. Now, the transference doesn’t mean you take that exact thing, or that exact trauma event and hand it over. But it’s actually how you deal with it. It’s actually how you show up in the world.
[00:33:27] Yemi Penn: And that to me was powerful. That was when I was like, Okay, I got to start cleaning my trauma. And so what we don’t realize as well is if we’ve been victimized, sometimes we feel the only way to do it is to victimize other people before it happens to us, that there are so many ways of transferring it. So the question is just choose you want to transform it. And you can do that by doing what we’re doing. You’re not running this podcast for 1000s Millions of people to listen to, because you just sat on your knowledge or your pain, you’re actually using it.
[00:33:57] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. To me, this work is so important, because so many people out there didn’t get the memo, right?
[00:34:04] Yemi Penn: Yeah.
[00:34:05] Bob Wheeler: For me the longest time people would say, Look, when you’re dealing with trauma, there’s flight, or fight.
[00:34:10] Yemi Penn: Yeah.
[00:34:11] Bob Wheeler: And I kept going, No, that’s not me. I shut down. Like I was frozen to me.
[00:34:15] Yemi Penn: Yeah.
[00:34:16] Bob Wheeler: And it wasn’t till later, somebody said, oh well, that’s sort of part of flight. It’s just a passive flight. Like, oh, because I kept going, I’m not fighting and I’m not fleeing. I’m just checking out.
[00:34:28] Yemi Penn: Yeah
[00:34:28] Bob Wheeler: Removing myself from my body, my body is present. And I think that’s true for a lot of people that they disassociate and doing this work, and continually just coming back into the arena. Coming back into the fire. We learn to stay a little bit longer.
[00:34:45] Yemi Penn: Yeah.
[00:34:46] Bob Wheeler: And we learn to tolerate the pain.
[00:34:48] Yemi Penn: Absolutely. It’s like the story of the lobster or the crab whereby they’ve got the shell of the body but in order to grow there is this comfort, the shell has to crack and then a new one comes on and that’s how I see so every time I’m going through pain I think of the lobster that thinking the lobster that they’ve got it together, you will, you just keep on getting like richer and richer in who you are and what you give back.
[00:35:10] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. The funny thing is when I started doing the work, people would joke with me. My mentors would say, Bob, you always come into this kicking and screaming, I’m always like, I don’t want to do this. I hate this. I don’t want to have any feelings. If I had him, I would share them. But I don’t feel I’m not doing this.
[00:35:27] Bob Wheeler: Right. And then I always feel transformed when I do it. It’s not stuff that we all go, this is going to be a fun weekend.
[00:35:34] Yemi Penn: Yeah, it’s not, it’s not know. It is uncomfortable. It’s when I remember going into my first therapy session, I think it felt like forever. And I said, Look, I need this to be done in six sessions, because I’ve got stuff to do. I’ve got to feed these kids, and need to pay the bills. And she just started last year, then she was like, really serious that we’ve actually worked through the fact I think it needs to be done in a confined period of time, but we do.
[00:36:00] Yemi Penn: And I think that’s the bit that, you know, I can imagine you and I are trying to do in our work is to say to people that it might be uncomfortable, but that transformation at the other end. It’s really great. It doesn’t mean everything’s fixed. It just means that when stuff comes up for you again, it doesn’t take as long for me to be imposter syndrome. It’s still there. It just turns out that I’ve walked down that ladder a lot quicker than I used to. And that’s the beauty of the transformation for me.
[00:36:26] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. We cannot get taken out.
[00:36:27] Yemi Penn: We can’t really get what to do. Yeah,
[00:36:29] Bob Wheeler: We can’t get take it out. We could say ouch, not fun, and I’m still here and I’m still showing up.
[00:36:34] Yemi Penn: Boom, love that. Yes, absolutely.
[00:36:38] Bob Wheeler: Yemi, we’re at the Fast Five. And the Fast Five are brought to you by Acorns where you can invest spare change banks, smarter, save for retirement, and much more. For more information, check out this episode show notes. Yemi, here’s the Fast Five. I’m going to throw them at you. What was the last purchase you made that you had to talk yourself into?
[00:36:59] Yemi Penn: Booking a hotel room in the city.
[00:37:01] Bob Wheeler: Just too expensive?
[00:37:02] Yemi Penn: Yeah, well, too expensive. And I’m trying to just be more sustainable with my spending think do you really need, why can’t you watch the show and just drive back home. And I’m usually very free zombie opposite. I’m spend, spend, and spend whereas I want to become more conscious. And I did need to talk myself into that.
[00:37:18] Bob Wheeler: And when was the last time you felt regret after making a purchase?
[00:37:22] Yemi Penn: It was I bought a cafe because it had been a dream. Dream after retirement. So there was a little bit of regret of me know nothing about this industry. But the regret eventually morphed into life lesson regardless of what happens.
[00:37:37] Bob Wheeler: And you got free coffee, sort of?
[00:37:40] Yemi Penn: Yeah, exactly literally.
[00:37:42] Bob Wheeler: Or expensive coffee?
[00:37:44] Yemi Penn: I go cold way of the day. Even though there’s a cookie dough right place I drive 40 minutes to go get back coffee.
[00:37:50] Bob Wheeler: When you got to support your own business, you just do you got to support.
[00:37:53] Yemi Penn: Absolutely.
[00:37:54] Bob Wheeler: With everything you’ve accomplished, what gives you the most pleasure?
[00:37:59] Yemi Penn: Giving and seeing someone realized something they didn’t know was within them, or that they could work out. The most pleasure, the best.
[00:38:08] Bob Wheeler: Cool. What’s the best birthday experience you ever had?
[00:38:13] Yemi Penn: It have to be my 10th birthday that just came flashing light and that was in Nigeria and it was a whole thing. I mean, you weighed in bright colors. The party the dancing, they put that music on, you got every kid using that right shoulder that shuttle. That was the best party. I’m going to do it again for my 40, if you’re going to see videos, show [inaudible 00:38:32].
[00:38:33] Bob Wheeler: Doing the right shoulder.
[00:38:35] Yemi Penn: Yeah, exactly.
[00:38:37] Bob Wheeler: What was the worst gift you ever received, and didn’t have the heart to tell someone?
[00:38:45] Yemi Penn: Why you got to do this to me, Bob?
[00:38:47] Bob Wheeler: So we go a little laugh
[00:38:51] Yemi Penn: Oh, an auntie Gustine bags from America I think she thought is what teenagers wanted. And it was pretty awful. It was awful, so awful that we lost our manners and forgot to say thank you. And so when she called back to say girls and have any banners, we just didn’t have to lie and I don’t even lying but I did lie that day and did not like it.
[00:39:10] Bob Wheeler: So it was the most amazing bags ever.
[00:39:14] Yemi Penn: Oh my god.
[00:39:16] Bob Wheeler: Oh my goodness, that’s hilarious. We’ve all done something like that, or many of us have.
[00:39:21] Yemi Penn: Yeah, agreed.
[00:39:23] Bob Wheeler: Well, we are at our M&M moment, our money and motivation. Do you have a practical financial tip or a piece of wealth wisdom you could share with our audience, this worked for you?
[00:39:34] Yemi Penn: You know, I was thinking this and it feels big. But just hold here for a second and money to produce think about ways in which you could diversify your income regardless of how small it is. Whether it’s volunteering and you get and pay slightly less than they would because there are not for profit or tutoring kid and if you want to take it bigger scale it could be coaching or speaking. I think diversifying threads keeps the brain moving and it also, in my view gives you an alternative for changing. Should you want to at some point?
[00:40:11] Bob Wheeler: Awesome, awesome, awesome. Well, Yemi, I’ve loved this conversation, I told you from the beginning, I was gonna love it, I knew we’re gonna have an amazing conversation. Here’s some of the things that I really appreciate. You were willing to just actually be honest and say, here’s my story, right?
And even said, I’m a little nervous and talking about money stuff, or hearing the bio, that’s just keeping it real. And keeping it in the moment instead of trying to position or present in a certain way is just being vulnerable and saying, this is me.
[00:40:43] Bob Wheeler: Also, when you talked about your parents and your mom, I think you said bless her soul, you know, there’s a kindness there. There’s not this blame of Oh, my God, my parents didn’t get the download. They didn’t give me the memo. How dare they, right? You went out and created your own memo, and you’re helping other people find their memos. So what I didn’t hear was a lot of blame. I didn’t hear a lot of victim. And talking about trauma is just not something that is a light conversation.
[00:41:10] Bob Wheeler: And trauma has an impact on somebody’s life, to the deepest core to be able to share that and make it about your transformation, or making it pushing through. Even if there’s still remnants of showing up here and there. It’s not about like, I’m this victim, I really appreciated in the documentary, this piece about if you don’t see the darkness, you can’t see the lightness, and really reflecting it from that perspective of seeing it as the potential for growth and transformation. I really appreciate that.
[00:41:43] Bob Wheeler: Because sharing trauma is just not something everybody’s like, oh yeah, go share the trauma, don’t reveal our family secrets, you’re going to out us, people will see us for who we are, instead of who we want them to see us for and that’s really powerful. Because going back to I feel like most of us have lived much of our lives, trying to keep secrets from being found out. So that we can present well, and I really appreciate that you showed up and were you.
[00:42:13] Yemi Penn: Thank you so much. They love that. I love that summary. Thank you for seeing and hearing the essence, which is take away blame. And to just show up authentically, so thank you very much for seeing me. And it’s been an absolute pleasure talking to you.
[00:42:26] Bob Wheeler: Oh, Yemi, well, we got to tell people where they can find you on social media on the Internet, they’ve got to check out your book. Definitely, you’ve got to watch the documentary. It doesn’t cost anything. It’s on YouTube, but I’ll let you share some of this information. I’m gonna advocate here so.
[00:42:42] Yemi Penn: Thank you. Going to my website, we’ll update you on what I’m doing, which tends to change every three months. So it’s yemipenn.com Y-E-M-I-P-E-N-N and I kind of got two versions of myself. I’m also on LinkedIn as an engineer. I still like to talk about different things and how organization you know relate. But if you want to find out that real Yemi, the kind of cheeky Yemi, who says things that you shouldn’t say, but everyone thinks can be on Instagram, and that’s just yemi.penn.
[00:43:06] Bob Wheeler: Awesome. Well, we’ll put all that in the show notes so we can get everybody coming your way. Yemi, thanks again. It’s just been a wonderful conversation. I appreciate it.
[00:43:15] Yemi Penn: Likewise, thank you Bob.
[00:43:23] CLOSING: We hope you enjoyed this episode. Did you learn something new about your relationship to money today? Maybe you have a friend who has some financial blocks or beliefs that are holding them back. Please share this podcast so they too can get off the roller coaster ride of financial fears and journey towards financial freedom. To learn how to have a healthy relationship with money, visit themoneynerve.com, that’s nerve not nerd. We’ll be back next week with another perspective on ‘money and the emotions that bind us’.