Financial Coach JJ Conway Assembles Powerhouse Cast to Equip Minority Communities Through Juneteenth Legacy Conference
Today we’d like to introduce you to JJ Conway.
It’s an honor to speak with you today. Why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. How did you get to where you are today?
I came home from a military trip to a nasty divorce resulting in $845,000 of divorce debt. I had to learn how to hustle in a hurry and quickly discovered you can only work so hard, especially as a single military mom. My hard work and exhaustion was never going to earn me 6 and 7 figures. Why? Because making big money quickly and ethically requires additional mindset, relationship, and communication skills that most of us never learned.
School taught us to work hard and get a good job building someone else’s dream. We traded our dreams for the security of a decent paycheck. We were told, “don’t rock the boat” and “better safe than sorry.” We accepted toxicity in our workplaces and abuse in our homes because we didn’t know a better life was possible.
Once you learn how to operate in an abundance mindset, you realize that there is plenty of wealth for everyone who will live by time-tested success strategies. You no longer feel like you have to save everyone from themselves. You stop feeling unworthy to be wealthy, and start allowing wealth to pass through you to where it is most needed and can do the most good. You begin to walk according to the vision of your calling and purpose instead of stressing about your current situation.
I’m sure your success has not come easily. What challenges have you had to overcome along the way?
As a cadet at the Air Force Academy, I was told I couldn’t declare my major because the advisor said, “Blacks can’t do physics.” I declared physics anyway. I was left out of the study groups and my grades started slipping. I would go into the professor’s office week after week asking for help. I even began to doubt myself and wondered if the advisor was right. Finally, on a day when no other instructors were around, my professor leveled with me: “My job is to get rid of you. And if you will stop coming in here, I will stop feeding you the wrong answers.”
I stopped going into his office and graduated in 1997 as the president of the Physics and Astronomy club. I was the #1 space physics graduate, and first Black physicist in the military. I went on to “do physics” in the Air Force for 23 years, retiring at the rank of Lt Colonel.
In both my military career and my second career as a financial planner, I’ve faced many obstacles from people who didn’t believe I could do it. Some of them were enemies. Some were frenemies. Some were people who truly loved and wanted the best for me, but their lives have been so characterized by fear that they begged me to play it safe. I’ve had to learn how to trust God, trust the process, and trust my dream.
Let’s talk about the work you do. What do you specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?
I am tearing down stale, pale, and male paradigms of wealth building and replacing them with customized solutions that work for vibrant women of color.
Black and Brown women have built this country with labor, passion, and compassion and received very little for their efforts. We now have fancy letters after our names, hold secure government jobs, and might even be a million-dollar realtor, insurance agent, entertainer or an entrepreneur. But net-worth is defined, not by how much you make, but by what we own after subtracting out what we owe. And for many women of color, our net worth isn’t even zero: it’s negative!
Women should work with me because I went from $845,000 in debt to now being a full-time mom funded by my passive income. It doesn’t take long once you begin living in an abundance mindset. When I first started on my journey, many advisors (both tax and legal) recommended filing bankruptcy. This would take me right back to the cycle of poverty experienced by my mom and my grandmother. You need someone on your team that not only believes you can become financially secure, but has done it and can show you how to build wealth on YOUR terms, not theirs.
What’s your best piece of advice for readers who desire to find success in their life?
The most important piece of advice I can give someone who desires to find success is to be consistent. My study of highly influential and successful people showed a surprising similarity of behaviors. I have coined these behaviors “Time-Tested Success Strategies,” and it is my belief that anyone who implements these strategies will quickly build wealth, health, and phenomenal relationships while also growing in faith.
While I don’t have at my command the time and space to dig deeply into all of the strategies, I will quickly cover the first, “Success Leaves Clues.” If you study the people in your life who are successful, you will find that many of them do the same things, even though they’re successful in different areas. They are consistent. Every day. They do what works. They meditate, move, and take charge of their lives.
This kind of consistency is hard for many of us, and it’s not even your fault! Our culture lives for instant gratification. We are truly a microwave, “have it your way,” impatient culture. Success is rarely instantaneous. It follows the Law of Gestation: A seed takes a certain amount of time in the ground to germinate, and a human fetus takes a certain amount of time in the womb to grow. Our dreams are the same! Seeds take time, water, nutrients and sunlight to grow. Babies have their own requirements to grow. Our dreams take requirements to grow.
Give your dream the time, nurturing, and energy it needs to grow.
Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?
This is a great question! When I was younger, I defined success by the amount of money in the bank or what level of military rank I had achieved. It’s time to flip the script on what it means to be a successful woman of color. This definition needs to include a positive net-worth that grows from generation to generation. I’m teaching women how to make their money work for them, instead of them working so hard for their money.
I now consider a successful life to be one that has flexibility of time and space to take care of the things that are important without being weighed down by the things that are not important. When my new supervisor was racist, misogynistic, and toxic, I was able to move because I had financial security from other streams of income. When my dear friend’s husband died, I took an extended trip to help straighten out their affairs and help with the funeral. I could do that because I had passive income that covers my family’s needs.
When you have this kind of flexibility of time and space, you no longer measure the success of your life by how much money you make or how flashy a car you drive. Instead, you move from collecting successful moments to having a significant impact on those around you and even your community.
What’s next for you?
I’m very excited for my 5th Annual Juneteenth Legacy Conference, THE #1 Black Wealth Strategy Conference for leaders, professionals and entrepreneurs. We don’t just vent about the issues: We equip attendees with practical, hands-on strategies for overcoming barriers to building Black Wealth. We’ll tackle disparities in healthcare, education, and entertainment, strategies for investing during turbulent times, and getting your life back to build a legacy after lockup.
We also have a special Black Veterans session that shows vets how to leverage their military service to create generational wealth and overcome decades of discrimination and denied benefits against Black military veterans.
We will have an executive session with Dr. Boyce Watkins, founder of the Black Business School. Born to a 17-year-old single mother, he is one of the leading financial scholars and social commentators in America. Dr Watkins founded The Black Business School, which specializes in black wealth training at a fraction of the cost of a college education.
Our celebrity guest speaker is Synethia S. Bland. She is the Co-Founder/ Marketing Director of Empathy House, a transitional home for formally incarcerated women and women coming out of domestic violence shelters. Synethia is also a Union Carpenter Apprentice Local #253 featured on “Tough as Nails” with Phil Keoghan
Our keynote is Dr. Cheryl Wood, international motivational speaker, best-selling author, and master speaker development coach for women. She is committed to empowering and equipping women with the tools to courageously share their unique voice, their story, and their subject matter expertise.
Finally, how can people connect with you if they want to learn more?
To audition as a speaker or to vend at the Juneteenth Legacy Conference, please visit http://SpeakAtJuneteenth.com
To join the Juneteenth Legacy Conference virtually or in-person, please visit http://JuneteenthLegacy.com
To learn more about how you can profit with my customized financial plans, visit http://BuildingWealthTogether.com
And finally, I love to connect with fans through most social media platforms @JJKnowsTheWay