Sharita Humphrey: “Hope is the most freeing and liberating gift that you can give”

If I could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to people that would be the hope movement. Hope is the most freeing and liberating gift that you can give to a good amount of people. I hope that you can change, that your life can get better, that your history is not […]

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If I could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to people that would be the hope movement. Hope is the most freeing and liberating gift that you can give to a good amount of people. I hope that you can change, that your life can get better, that your history is not your destiny. A lot of people are suffering in silence whether that’s personally, financially and even mentally. Hope is a gift and one that can help to change so many lives.

As part of my series about prominent entrepreneurs and executives that overcame adversity to achieve great success,” I had the pleasure of interviewing Sharita Humphrey.

Sharita is a remarkable woman who went from unemployment and homelessness to becoming a successful CEO of her own finance business. Her writing has been published in several magazines, including Credit Karma, and she is a brand ambassador with Capital One. In addition to sharing her knowledge of finance, she is also dedicated to raising money to help homeless teenagers rebuild their lives and achieve success.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to this specific career path?

Having experienced homelessness more than once in my life, I had no address and no real place to call home. I used to feel so embarrassed and ashamed to let people know that I was homeless, lost everything that I owned and didn’t know at times where my next meal was coming from. Now though, I know how many people struggle with the same problems, especially in the community I’m from. Let me take you back so that you will know how I was able to move forward and become a financial coach who teaches people across the country how to change their lives and financial trajectory.

I was raised by a single mother who worked tirelessly trying to make ends meet. She did her best but when you’re working double and triple shifts to put food on the table and the bills keep piling up it’s hard to stay afloat. We didn’t have money conversations in our home. All I knew was the pink utility bill meant we were one missed payment from being in the dark yet again. I remember being teased as a child by my peers because I wore secondhand clothes and shoes. The constant teasing really brought down my confidence.

I became a child constantly living in fear of whether there would be enough money to cover our monthly expenses or another day of a missed meal. That should not have been a constant thought in my mind but that was my life back then. Not having those money conversations, wishing I had my dad in our home, and oftentimes wishing my life was different was the recipe that would lead me on a path I truly wasn’t prepared for.

I remember the day I walked into the homeless shelter as a young adult. It was scary but I needed to be somewhere safe, somewhere I could eat and figure out what to do next. I was a lost child inside looking for a way out. Before the shelter, I used to ride the 24-hour city bus just to have somewhere to go.

I eventually became a young mother repeating a cycle I watched my mother go through of trying to make ends meet. I did everything I could for us but living paycheck to paycheck was all I knew. I received public assistance but it wasn’t enough and we were evicted. I couldn’t imagine being homeless again but that’s exactly what happened. We bounced around from place-to-place before finally settling into a seedy motel. It wasn’t in the best area but it was all I could afford. We lived there for months and to be honest I don’t know how I kept my sanity. The motel was a scary place where drugs were sold and prostitution was a norm. It was not the place I wanted my kids to grow up.

I felt like a failure because I was repeating an intergenerational poverty cycle. I wanted to break this cycle, but I didn’t know-how. I mean, you don’t know what you don’t know.

Being able to take control of my finances is what helped me break this cycle and change my life. That’s why financial education is so important and what made me become a financial coach. I’m not just a financial coach, I’m the voice of and face of homelessness and proof that you can make it out and change your life, no matter who you are or where you come from. .It’s hard for some people to believe my story when they see me now, but who I am now coming from a place of financial shame, despair and yes, homelessness.

Can you share your story of when you were on the brink of failure? First, take us back to what it was like during the darkest days.

Getting that eviction notice when we already didn’t have much to begin with literally brought me to my knees. I cried so much I ran out of tears. The tears were not just about the pain of losing our place, they were from feeling like I was failing as a mother. The moment I realized I was about to be homeless with two small children was one of the most devastating times of my life.

We literally had nowhere to go and I was too embarrassed to ask my family for help because they were trying to keep their own lights on. I couldn’t get another apartment because my credit was negatively impacted by the eviction. On top of that, I couldn’t afford to pay my other creditors or the medical bills that I had so everything went to collections and my credit plummeted even more. I didn’t have any place to live, no money to live on, and my credit scores were horrible so I couldn’t even borrow money if I needed it.

Both my life and my finances were at rock bottom. And I knew the only way to pick myself up off the floor was to turn both around at the same time.

What was your mindset during such a challenging time? Where did you get the drive to keep going when things were so hard?

My mind was so conditioned to think negatively that, although I wanted more for myself, I didn’t see how was I going to do it coming from where I came from. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth and didn’t grow up in the best neighborhoods. I was supposed to be a statistic based on my family’s background and where I was raised.

I literally felt like giving up but knew I couldn’t do that because my two children needed me. I remember holding my children and crying, looking at their faces and promising them I would change our lives for the better. They became my why. I had no real reason to change anything before having my children. I started to go to the library and read books on personal development. I remember one of the things that stuck out to me was the art of learning how to change your mindset.

There was something inside of me, despite what my life was then, that felt like I was destined for greatness. I desired more for myself but having my children made me desire it even more. They truly helped me to change my entire life because I was not going to let them live the childhood that I did.

Tell us how you were able to overcome such adversity and achieve massive success? What did the next chapter look like?

I was in the process of trying to build credit after many years of being plagued with negative credit scores, but it was quickly halted when I tried to apply for a secured card but was denied. I was devastated when I was denied because I felt things in my life were finally starting to take shape.

I came across Self just by chance when doing an internet search for building credit. When I read their site and saw the education offered I was thrilled. Self was just what I was looking for to continue to learn more about building and maintaining credit. I utilized their platform to help me build my credit while also reading the valuable credit and financial information they provided their users.

I was able to overcome all of the adversity that plagued my life by educating myself on money management, savings, and credit. I read books, searched the internet on these topics and even took a few local debt and money classes. I was determined to learn as much as I could and it became a challenge for me. I wanted to soak up as much knowledge as I possibly could. By doing these things it helped me to really realize that a lot of what I experienced was because I didn’t have a healthy money mindset or relationship with money. Once I started to incorporate better money management habits, I created a budget and began learning more about the importance of credit. As I applied these tools and resources things in my life really began to move in a positive direction. I felt more confident because I was finally doing the things that were going to be the seeds to help me change my life.

Building positive credit takes time and I knew I couldn’t rush the process. It took me about a year and a half to see the credit scores I wanted, and while tools like Self helped me establish credit history, it doesn’t happen overnight.

The most positive impact I had from working on my credit was being able to secure a job in the state government that required a detailed background check, including a credit check, as part of the hiring process. I know that without educating myself on credit, my own determination and commitment to changing my situation and improving my scores with the help of Self and other tools, I would never have been able to secure the job that was always on my bucket list.

I learned so much while working for the state government, but on the flip side, I saw many small business owners that were suffering financial stress and learned that many lacked financial knowledge. I knew then there had to be more people who needed financial help. After several months of planning and saving, I decided to leave my government position to educate the masses on the importance of financial wellness.

It was a risk, but it was one I was willing to take. The young woman who came from less-than-humble beginnings eventually became homeless with two children and had no job at one point is now sharing money principles, wellness and financial healing to those across the country.

Based on your experience, can you share 3 actionable pieces of advice about how to develop the mindset needed to persevere through adversity? (Please share a story or example for each.)

I’m a person who believes in positive affirmations. I say them daily because I want my subconscious mind to hear my words so they become one with me. Your words have power, so speak more positive things to yourself. I said that I would not stay stuck in the 300’s when it came to my credit scores and I didn’t. I’m now in the “800 Club” because I said I would be. Commit to saying positive things about yourself and your future daily.

I’m a huge advocate for mental wellness. Overcoming adversity can be difficult and it’s certainly okay to seek professional help if you need to. Therapy is a part of my self-care regimen because a healthy mental state is a key to developing a strong mindset. Therapy is a great opportunity to “brain dump” and not feel like you will be judged for talking out your feelings. It was the greatest gift that I gave to myself because it allowed me to heal my mind.

Reading books like Hal Elrod’s “The Miracle Morning” or listening to motivating podcasts will help you to stay focused on the positive things despite whatever situation you’re in. Positivity is contagious and it’s important to surround yourself with things that you keep uplifted. I read the Miracle Morning and it helped me to truly change my perspective on life and where I was going.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

You are the sum of the people that you allow in your life. I learned a long time ago that there were some people who were not meant to be a part of my life but there were also some that would change my life for the better. The one person who helped get where I am today is my husband. He came into my life and it’s never been the same. He told me when we met that I didn’t see who I was going to become but he did. We were friends who talked on the phone for hours. We shared our dreams, goals, and aspirations. Who knew that he would be the very person who would help me to see that I didn’t have to let my history stop me from walking into my destiny? That same friend who told me to not let fear stop me became my best friend, husband, and business, partner.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

I’m working on two awesome projects that I’m super excited about.

The first is The Debt Management Mastermind Program which will open in Spring 2020. This seven months online financial and credit-intensive program will help people across the country to recondition their money mindset, increase their financial knowledge and reduce their current debt. But most importantly, it will teach them how to build and maintain positive credit profiles for a lifetime. Wealth is generational and many times debt is too. This program will help people across the country become more financially confident.

The second awesome project that I’m working on is one that is near and dear to my heart. It’s called the 100 At Home for the Holidays. This project will help 100 underserved families across the country become homeowners over the next two years. I plan to work with various organizations, nonprofits, banking institutions, and builders to ensure that these families will be able to get in their homes before or around the holiday season, starting next year. This is truly a gift that can help families get out of renting for 5, 10 or even 15 years or more in some of the cases that I’ve seen.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

If I could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to people that would be the hope movement. Hope is the most freeing and liberating gift that you can give to a good amount of people. I hope that you can change, that your life can get better, that your history is not your destiny. A lot of people are suffering in silence whether that’s personally, financially and even mentally. Hope is a gift and one that can help to change so many lives.

Any parting words of wisdom that you would like to share?

Your mindset is the one thing that you have control over to change. If you shift your mindset and modify your money behaviors you can truly change your financial trajectory for a lifetime.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Readers can follow me on social media @sharitamh and by visiting my website at I’m very active on social media because I want to be a resource for people who need support and guidance.

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.

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