Episode Number: 232

Episode 232- How You Can Make More Money, Have More Impact, And Thrive In The Corporate World With Dorianne St. Fleur

listen to the Podcast on your favorite platform

Show notes

Jamila Souffrant 0:00

You're listening to the Journey To Launch Podcast. How You Can Make More Money, Have More Impact, And Thrive In The Corporate World With Dorianne St. Fleur.

Intro 0:11

T-minus 10 seconds. Welcome to the Journey To Launch Podcast with your host, Jamila Souffrant. As a money expert who walks her talk, she helps brave Journeyers like you get out of debt, save, invest and build real wealth. Join her on the Journey To Launch to financial freedom in five, four, three, two, one.

Jamila Souffrant 0:40

Hey, Journeyers! Welcome to an episode of the Journey To Launch Podcast. I am excited, as I always am, to speak with you today, and to have you here. Today's guest, Dorianne St. Fleur. Dorianne went from spending 12 months stuck in a soul-sucking, toxic work environment, to becoming an HR leader for Fortune 500 Companies, like AT&T and Google. As a high-performance career coach, corporate trainer, speaker, and sought after thought leader, Dorianne has taken the many lessons learned over the 15 years in Corporate America and use them to help her clients reinvent themselves and their careers. She helps clients gain deeper clarity, become more visible in their industries, propel them into their dream roles, and secure huge pay raises. She is on a mission to eliminate the pay and leadership gaps for women of color in Corporate America. She also just wrote the book, 'Deeper Than Work: How Women of Color Can Make More Money, Have More Impact, and Thrive in the Corporate World.' I'm so excited to be talking to Dorianne today. And by the way, Dorianne is also a real life friend. I feel like I have to say that, because I'm so proud of her. When some of the experiences that she talks about, like I was, I knew her then. Now the 12 years ago when she was stuck in toxic work environments. When I was stuck in a toxic work environment. We used to talk about this with each other. So I know exactly what she's been through to get to where she is and how good she is at helping other people get to their dream job. Get to the money, okay? And so this episode is going to be great, because while I know a lot of you are listening and you want to quit your job, reach financial independence, you don't want to be in a nine to five. Some of you, yes, that may be true. Like me, I don't really think I am meant for a nine to five. But a lot of people, let me tell you something, as Dorian mentioned in this episode, nothing is wrong with a nine to five, which I believe. And two, you can make a lot of money working in a nine to five and be happy and reach financial freedom while working in Corporate America. So, I want to just help out those of you who are in Corporate America right now, who will be there, who actually want to thrive there, this episode is for you.

Okay, so I'm going to be giving away five copies of Dorianne's book, 'Deeper Than Work'. So I'm going to give five copies. You can be one of those people to win. All you have to do is go to journeytolaunch.com/win. Enter your name and email. That's where we'll be selecting from the list of people who enter. Make sure you are following or subscribe to the Journey To Launch Podcast, wherever you listen to podcasts, and you leave a review. Then, make sure you follow me @journeytolaunch and follow dorianne @yourcareergirl on Instagram. That's it. That's all you have to do, then you'll be entered for a chance to win a copy of Dorianne's book. You have until about September 20th. So if you're listening to this in real time, you have a few days. Meaning when the episode comes out, you have until the 20th of September 2021 to enter a chance to win the book. Good luck. And by the way, if you don't want to wait, I have something even more special for you. Just want to pick up the book? Go right ahead. The first 50 Journeyers who use the code 'JTL' at checkout when buying the book, get some really cool bonuses. You get a dream career clarity workbook, word-for-word salary negotiation scripts, and a video training on how to be assertive and not aggressive. So you can get that if you're one of the first 50 Journeyers to use the code 'JTL' when buying the book. Go to journeytolaunch.com/work if you just want to go by the book, and I strongly suggest that you do that. Or, if you want to try your luck and win a book, you can do that by going to journeytolaunch.com/win

Journey to Launch is supported by First Republic Bank. Now, more than ever, First Republic's priority is serving their clients and communities. Their personalized banking solutions go deeper than a transaction. For over 30 years, First Republic has striven to leave a positive impact on the communities they serve. From presenting grants to nonprofits in need, to going the extra mile to connect individuals experiencing hardship with fair loans. The bank is focused on doing the right thing. I've been more intentional about who I bank with and where I put my money, which is why I've opened up an account with First Republic. They even do monthly education and social online events for their clients on a variety of fun and educational topics. No matter what your financial goals are, your dedicated First Republic banker will be there to guide you every step of the way. Visit firstRepublic.com today to learn more. That's firstrepublic.com. Member FDIC, Equal Housing lender.

If you want the episode Show Notes for this episode, go to journey to launch comm or click the description of wherever you're listening to this episode. in the show notes, you'll get the transcribed version of the conversation, the links that we mentioned and so much more. Also, whether you are an OTG journeyer, or brand new to the podcast, I've created a free jumpstart guide to help you on your financial freedom journey. It includes the top episodes, so listen to stages to go through to reach financial freedom, resources and so much more. You can go to journey to launch that comm slash jumpstart to get your guide right now. Okay, let's happen to the episode.

Hey, Journeyers! I'm so excited to have on today's special guest. She is a friend in real life. Someone I admire for their business acumen and skill set when it comes to earning the most in a career and having a dream job. And that is Dorianne St. Fleur. Welcome to the podcast.

Dorianne St. Fleur 6:45

Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to chat with you all today!

Jamila Souffrant 6:49

Yeah, so all right, let's get going. So first of all, Dorianne, you just wrote a book, I'm so excited to share with the world. It is called 'Deeper Than Work: How Women of Color Can Make More Money, Have More Impact, and Thrive in the Corporate World.' If that's not a title, I don't know what is. So, I really want to dive in today, because you are a career expert. You help people make the most, especially Women Of Color, in their position, And in jobs they love, which I think is really great for this podcast, and my Journeyers and listeners, because while the goal for most people who come and listen is that they want to reach financial independence, they want to quit their job. A lot of that could be pushed, because they want to have... be entrepreneurs full time. Or they have side hustles. But I'm just like, listen, if you can have a job that you love, where you don't even want to quit, and you're making a lot of money and still saving and investing your way to financial independence, you've won. And so I want to unlock that for people who are in working in corporate America right now how they can make the most of it. So can you break down for you? Why this book? And why now? Because I know that this is a really important work for you.

Dorianne St. Fleur 8:04

Yeah, so I mean, this book has been, I'd say, years and years in the making. I've been doing the career leadership coaching work for, it's going on seven years now, which is mind blowing for me to think about. And exactly what you said, I think what I encounter a lot of the women that I work with, they are unlearning this idea that the only way that you can be financially free is you must be an entrepreneur. And that's just not true. And so, I really am obsessed with uncovering, unlocking, and just showing everyone, but particularly Women Of Color, that there are options for you in the corporate space. If you look at the statistics, most of us are hearing that nine to five. Most of us are not entrepreneurs, and most of the entrepreneurs are not making money, or making a lot of money to be financially free. And so we have to leverage what's already here, which is the nine to five. And so I just wanted to write this book to give the specific actionable strategies and tools for people to know what to do. So we keep saying, "All right, you can leverage your nine to five. You can thrive. You can make your money," but people are like, "But how? What am I supposed to be doing?" And so I really wanted to encompass all of that in this book. And, and, when I think of the title, 'Deeper Than Work,' it's it's because work is just that. Your work impacts your financial, yes, but also your mental, your spiritual, your emotional, your physical well being. It impacts our relationships. it's deeper than just a job, "Oh, I just go here from nine to five." It's deeper than that. And so I really wanted to just unlock that for people who are struggling, who feel stuck, who don't know what to do next, and put it all in this book.

Jamila Souffrant 9:50

Yeah, and a lot of times, people are being pushed or want to quit their jobs, or think that they want to be entrepreneurs or reached financial independence and they're running away from, like their current situation, and nine to five, and it could just be a... Like it's not right for them, right? They can find something else within the corporate arena that can pay them really well. And they could be happy with like, and I think that's the thing like, I've never, I guess because I've always felt on the outside in Corporate America, I've never felt like, even in the meetings, I'd be like, "Why am I the only one looking out the window? This just doesn't feel right." So, it just feels like, but I know there are some people who thrive and actually would do really well and are doing really well. You know, you've been one of those people, you help coach those people. So, let's get into it. For someone listening now who's like, "Alright, Dorianne, I want to love what I do. But right now I don't?" What is something or what should they be thinking about so that they can turn, or go to that job that is their dream job or what they want?

Dorianne St. Fleur 10:48

So I think, even before I go through what they should be doing, I think the first thing is that they need to get their mind right. Because if you don't believe that it's possible for you to thrive in the corporate world, if you don't believe it's possible for you to be fulfilled and happy, then you won't be. I mean, it just plain and simple. The decisions you make, the relationships you cultivate, or don't cultivate, is all going to be aligned with this belief that it doesn't matter. What's the point. And so the first thing is just to understand and that it's possible. So if you need to surround yourself with people, whether it's virtually, whether it's through reading other people's stories, whether it's through getting into some networking communities. You need to surround yourself with people who actually are thriving and do love what they do. And so that you know, what's possible. Once you do that, then I think it's just about defining what your dream job is. I think what we've been taught about dream jobs is wrong. It's just lies. They make it feel like, and they being, our parents, our, our loved ones, the media, society, whatever, they make it seem like a dream job is like a soulmate. That the stars have to align, and you find this one job, and if you don't, then you just miss the boat. And it's just not true. And so I've cultivated this framework for your dream job. And a dream is an acronym. And it really helps you think about how you're going to assess where you currently are now. And maybe you can turn the current job that you have into a dream job, or you know what you're looking for to get to that dream job. And so the D stands for development. Thinking about what's the training and growth that I need? What learning opportunities do I need to succeed and thrive? The R stands for relationships. How do I want to relate to my boss, my co workers, clients, the vendors I work with? The E stands for environment. Both the physical environment. How long is this commute? Is the office ugly? Do I have my own desk or an office? Or am I in a cubicle? The A stands for acknowledgement. As human beings, we all want to be recognized and acknowledged, and so what does that mean for you? it's different for certain people. I'm fine with you just saying "Dorianne, that was so amazing. I really love the work you do." Other people like, "Keep your thank yous. Give me my money," right? It just depends on the person. And then the M is for money. Money is important. It's not the only important thing. But it is an important part of this process. And so when you really think about what you need, in each of those areas, and you create a plan to get you there, you will see there's actually multiple opportunities for me to have my dream job. And it can be in my nine to five where I'm at now. Or I need to do something else. Or you know, whatever it is, it makes sense for you. But as it becomes more possible and more tangible.

Jamila Souffrant 13:19

So you mentioned DREAM. I love that acronym, by the way, is one, depending on who you are important than the other and it's all going to be something that you have to decide what's more important, because you know, or are they all equal in the pie? Those acronyms?

Dorianne St. Fleur 13:31

That's a really good question. They are not all equal, because it depends. Your... my dream job definition is different from what your dream job definition is, because we are-- we have different experiences, backgrounds, goals, priorities, obligations. Maybe my focus and my non negotiables are around the relationship and the environment. Maybe I'm further along on the financial journey. Yes, the money, you pay me, but it's not that I'm trying to pay off all these student loans or all these things. So maybe, that's... as long as you keep me where I am and where I've been, I'll be fine, but I'm not looking to make a big jump, but this relationship piece, I need that. I was burned my old company, and I need to have this, right? And so it's different, for different people. And so what I coach people on is, first, let's outline what it all looks like. Let's put it all down on paper, but then we begin to hone in on what the non negotiables are. Which then become different from everyone. There's no perfect job. There's no job that is every single thing is checked off and it's all perfect. And so it's about understanding what are your non negotiables? Which, yes, vary from person to person. And it varies for the same person in different points in their career. What I thought were priorities 10 years ago are not the same priorities now. Before, okay, fine, I'll work until 8pm. I ain't have no kids, who cares? It is what it is. Now, that's just not what I'm trying to do. And so it really it's very customized and individualized to each person.

Jamila Souffrant 14:58

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And I like that you said you have to figure out what those non negotiables are. So for someone who is saying to themselves, "Okay, that's great, but I don't feel like the job I'm currently in, or the career path I'm on, is that. My non negotiables have been negotiated, and I didn't want them to be." What should they start doing so they can transition or find out what it is that they should be doing so that they can be happy?

Dorianne St. Fleur 15:27

So once you've defined what your dream job is, because that really is the first step, I know that a lot of us are walking around here saying, "I know that I don't like the job that I do, but I, you know..." and when we try to dig into it, you can't really explain, "I don't know, just something, something." That's not gonna get you to where it is that you need to be. So the first step literally is going through that process of what is my dream? What do I really want? What are those non negotiables? Then you can use that to start your search. And when I say start your search, doesn't necessarily mean you have to leave your company or your team, right? So first start with, "Okay, where I am right now is not really cutting it. When I've done this assessment, it doesn't work." Have a conversation with the people around you, your boss, your HR team, whoever it is, if possible, right? There's some situations, I talked about in the book, that I was in toxic environment for over a year. There was no negotiating, no talking to no bosses, whatever, right? So there could be a space where it's just not working, then it's time to go. But first, see if there's a chance, an opportunity, for you to make what it is that you need to fix. If it's about environment, what can you negotiate? Can you... are there certain things in a culture that you can ask about? Is there certain things in the physical environment that you can ask about? Like, really dig into what you don't like about your current role and see what can work. If not, then it's time for you to go and start your job search in a strategic way that's aligned with this dream job. If you said, "This is the kind of development goals that I need. I need my next role to be at this level. And I need to be surrounded by managers that can mentor me," you should be applying for roles where, when you look on the LinkedIn profile of the managers, they've been in the game longer than you, and they are getting these accolades, and when you go on an interview, you're asking questions to see, will they mentor me? And what is the vibe here on the team? This arms you with the power to make those strategic and intentional decisions about your next role. And you'll also find, when you do this, is that it's more about quality than quantity. When you know what your dream job looks like, you don't have to waste time applying to jobs that don't align with the money, or don't align with, you know, how they recognize and treat their employees and what the culture looks like. Don't waste your time applying to those jobs. You're going to zone in and look at the opportunities that are aligned with your dream, because you know what that is. The reason why a lot of people are unfulfilled and unhappy and don't feel like they have any impact is, believe it or not, because they don't even know what they want. Because they're lacking the clarity. Once you have clarity, you can start making decisions that are aligned with your goals and what you actually want.

Jamila Souffrant 18:02

I love that. So, in the beginning of your book, you talk about you know, your toxic work environment that you had. And I just thought it was nice to hear that, because like I said, guys, I know her in real life. So I was around Dorianne when she was going through this, and I almost forgot like that it was that bad for you. And it then reminded me of my toxic work situation that I had in the beginning of my career. And I think that happens sometimes and it just... it disillusions us sometimes if you can't get over it, because, I think it did for me like it, I find it really hard to trust people after my experience with this lady at my job. Where it literally felt like she was just trying to sabotage me and I was just like, "What is going on?" You know? And so, is there any room for coming out of that? Because maybe you do like the job. And you like most of the people, but there are that... they're, maybe it's your manager, which is the worst or those people around you, that you, It's like they are negative or they are really just making things difficult. Is there a way to make that job work? Is there a way to approach and change and again, we can't change it change anyone but ourselves, but to work within those constructs that make it better?

Dorianne St. Fleur 19:09

The answer is annoying, but it depends, right? I remember your situation vividly. I know my situation. I lived it. There was no finagling. Like there's no... there's nothing. With me, it was with my manager. So you know, questioning my intelligence and talking about me with other co workers and just belittling me and things like that. From your manager? What, what, what, can you do? Nothing, right? And so I think it depends. If you're in a situation where you have the support from your manager, and so-- a couple colleagues, but there are some that kind of, you don't, you know, rub you the wrong way. If it's possible for you to avoid working with them. To change teams. Or to get off on a different project, then yes, explore that. But a lot of times, it's not possible. And so, in those situations, it's time to, you know, stand up for yourself and then create your exit strategy so that you can leave, honestly. Because, we need to prioritize our mental health as Women Of Color, we're not only dealing-- we're talking about, okay, yes with these relationships that we have, but on top of that, we're dealing with the collective limiting beliefs we have around working twice as hard and only accepting half as much around, we're imposters, around,, you know, we'll never hit the break through the ceilings. All this nonsense that is that we're dealing with, then we're dealing with microaggressions, then we're dealing, there's so much so it's it all compounds on top of each other. You need to prioritize your mental health. no job is worth your sanity. I don't care. No job is worth your sanity. And so, it's really important that you exit situations and opportunities. They don't deserve you. I believe that in these nine to five situations, it's a mutual benefit. Yes, you're giving me a paycheck, and you're giving me this opportunity, but I'm giving you my skills. I was looking at my resume the other day, and I was like, "Dang! I have a career here. And I've done a lot!" Anybody that I work with is-- you're lucky to have me, just as much as I'm lucky to have you. It's a mutual exchange. And so you need to walk into your organization with that mindset, so that you're not sacrificing your mental health. If it's time to go, then it is time to go. And no, that doesn't mean quit tomorrow, but that means create your exit strategy. Understand what the next steps are. Stop trying to give them 110%. Like, no, you have to figure out what's, what's, what's best for you and your mental health.

Jamila Souffrant 21:30

Yes. And you have this quote in the book, you.. you said, "You can either settle into your trauma, or you can walk into your triumph." And I was like, "Yes!" Like, that was such a, like, good quote, because we've all had experiences where we may have felt small or just inadequate. And that was an incident, that was a moment, that's not who you are. You can move on from this and do more and be more. And we both since moved on from those situations. Like your book brought back some memories. I love that you just brought up the collective limiting beliefs. It's all around mindset, again, because there is so much programming from all sides. And sometimes it's like almost well, meaning you'll hear other people of color, say these things like, "Yeah, we have to fight for our rights. And it's not as good. It's not as good for us." And some of that is rooted in truth, but then I feel like, when you internalize it and believe it as true, then you have-- you're like carrying around more weight than the next person who does not think that. So how do we navigate that? Yes, there are realities that we need to understand, but that we don't have to believe in B.

Dorianne St. Fleur 22:38

I think the first step is the awareness of it. A lot of people probably say, we got to work twice as hard to get half as far. I'll say like, once a week, they're speaking that over their lives and their careers like what are you saying? And I understand that the truth, I understand the statistics, please only know hey, emails about but this is what happened. I know that. However, what are you speaking over yourself? I believe in speaking life, over my career, over my family, over my finances, over my body, everything. And so I'm not going to keep saying over and over again, that I can only expect to get half as far. That just doesn't make sense to me. And so the first thing is the awareness of that programming, and then understanding and deciphering the truth for you versus the lies. Now, it is true that our ancestors, were working twice as hard and not getting the recognitions and doing all of that. That is true, but what does that say? What, what is true for me? When people look at statistics, for example, and say, "Oh, Black People are at 9.3% unemployment." Okay, that is true, but that means that there's almost 90% of Black People that are employed. Why are you identifying with those who are unemployed? Who are you identifying with? Yes, Black Women, on average, make 63 cents on the dollar, but that means as some make a little more, some make a little less. I choose to identify with the ones that make a little more. And so it's really about what do you identify with? What are you feeding yourself? What information are you consuming? Who are you listening to? Who's giving you advice? Those are the things that you need to focus on and circling back to what we talked about earlier, the people that you surround yourselves, the communities, you're with, the, like, all of these things. You need to get in the rooms of people and get with the minds of people that see the light at the end of the tunnel. That have achieved something. So you can start to believe something differently. It's really a mindset shift that needs to happen.

Jamila Souffrant 24:35

Yes! Stop arguing for your limitations. I love that quote, because we can all pick up and see the reasons for why we would have failed, or why the cards are stacked against us. But I'm like you, Dorianne, and I know that has made a difference in my life and money. That's not me. I'm charting a different path. I know that, like, you know, literally someone could have that same life experience, but they just think and see things in a different way and they see the limitiation, and they focus on that, versus the person that's saying, "All right, it's there, but I'm moving past that and moving forward." So I love that, and I hope that helps someone listening right now.

Dorianne St. Fleur 25:09

Or I choose not to focus on that. I think my issue was with the focusing on that. I love that not arguing for your limitations. Why are we focusing on the limits? The limits are true, they're there, but don't focus on it. I could go on on this topic, but yes.

Jamila Souffrant 25:28

Have you ever wanted to learn how to trade as a side hustle so that you can reach your money goals? Like paying off debt, traveling the world, buying a house, and helping you fuel you to financial independence? I've got a special treat for you! I've teamed up with my friend, Teri Ijeoma, of 'The Trade and Travel Course," so that she can help better educate you on what trading is, what day-trading is, what swing-trading is, if it's right for you to learn how to do this to get into it. Now, you can get this free training by going to journeytolaunch.com/teritraining. That's journeytolaunch.com/teritraining, and in the training, it's a video or audio training that you can get on demand. You'll learn more about Teri Ijeoma. How she transitioned from her nine to five, to being a full time entrepreneur and traveling the world. How trading allowed her to buy her dream house in cash. The different types of trading. Long-term investing, short-term investing, day-trading, swing-trading, how to trade as a form of income to pay off debt, save and supplement your income. And then, of course, who should take Teri's course? We're going to talk about this "Trade and Travel Course", because this is not a get rich quick scheme. This is something you have to put time and energy into learning. So we cover all of that. And you can get that right now by going to journeytolaunch.com/teritraining/ to get the training right now for free journeytolaunch.com/teritraining/.

When it comes to now someone who's saying, "All right, maybe I am in a good position, you know, I can work in a way to make this better." But they're like, "I need to get paid." So the money part in your acronym for dream, like that's what they're after, like, I need more money. How can they think about their compensation, because you've really put this down really well in your content, and in the book, that it's not just about the salary? I mean, that's important, but help us look at our whole compensation when it comes to our job.

Dorianne St. Fleur 27:21

Yeah. My.... when I am working with people, and we're talking about creating a compensation strategy, it's very holistic. And so the first thing is that there is monetary compensation that we receive, right? The money, but then there's also non-monetary compensation that we receive. And so the first thing is to just understand what's out there. So when you think about your health care benefits, when you think about life, insurance, childcare, perks, all of those things. No, that's not necessarily hard cash in your bank account, but that adds up, right? If you don't have to pay for breakfast and lunch, then that's less money you're spending there. So first thing is to just understand what's at play and don't discount the non monetary part of your compensation. That said, show me the money. I need to get paid. I need to pay my bills and do all these things. And it's important that we look at it from a holistic, total compensation view. And so yes, there is a salary: The money that you get every two weeks or every month, or whatever the compensation is at that regular cadence. That is important. And we want to negotiate that. You want to make sure that you're aware of what the market rate is, how that aligns with your expertise, and your experience-- all of that, but then there's also commission. There are opportunities where people are making huge commissions based on... and that's basically commission, like a variable compensation, that's aligned with you hitting certain targets, or revenue, or sales, or whatever that is, there are a lot of us, especially Black People, who shy away from those commission based jobs. We're like, "I don't want to sell not that I don't want to do that." I have sales people on my team who make, sometimes more money than I do in the month. I know people just on other, you know, in other organizations that I've worked at, like they're analysts, if sales is just not your thing, fine, but just think outside the box. There are people who are paying off debt, who are buying homes and down payments off of those commission checks that they're getting. It can be very lucrative, and it's just something that we tend to shy away from. There's also bonuses. There are a lot of organizations that pay bonuses, which they can be discretionary and are based on a percentage of your salary. And I know for me, specifically, I've paid off, you know, whole student loan verticals off of a bonus that I've received. A down payment towards home. Like all of these things, based on just a bonus. Maybe you can't save... or how your budget is set up, you're not necessarily saving--- I know this is blasphemy on Journey To Launch, but you're not necessarily saving every single paycheck, but what if you save your whole bonus every year, right? There's different ways you could finagle how to really hit your income targets. And then there's equity. I feel like nobody talks about equity. In my book, I talk about women who I work with, who are sitting on millions of dollars of equity, quietly. That make they cash out anytime they want. Plus their 401ks, plus all these other things, because they negotiate that. I've had so many conversations with Black Women and other Women Of Color who's saying, "Yeah, the equity..." and you know, I'm talking about the whole package, I'm like, "Ok, what about equity?" "Oh, it's, you know, whatever percent... I don't really understand it. I don't really know" "Girl! You better... who's the company? What's been their trajectory?" Like, this is... equity is money.

Jamila Souffrant 30:34

Let's talk about this. Let's define equity. Like, I love bringing it to the basics, just so we... everyone gets on the same page. What do you mean, when you say equity?

Dorianne St. Fleur 30:41

When I'm talking about equity, I'm talking about non-cash compensation in the form of investment vehicles that can include options in the company that you work for. Restricted stocks, and performance shares. And I've worked at organizations who's offered all of those different things. I've had options at a company, and they actually went through an, an acquisition. So I went, I worked with a company, they went private. And as part of coming in, I got some equity in the company, in the form of options, which is the option to sell once they become shares. They went through a, an event where they were acquired, and I got some change from that. I mean, was it a million? No. Whatever, but, I'm sure the CEO got millions, but you know, it was some... a nice little chunk of change to add to my bank account on my savings account once that happened. I worked at other companies where I got actual shares. I didn't have to buy a dime, and you just stay here and they vest and they keep coming in my account. I'm looking at my portfolio, and I didn't do anything. And these are companies that are making a lot of money. And it's, and it's looking good, right? There's opportunities for you to get a stake and some ownership in the company through equity. And a lot of the tech companies do this, um, some healthcare companies do this as well. But again, we don't know our options. We don't know what's out there. I know people who strategically work for companies where they're going to get an equity stake. Where I'm going to get some sort of shares. I know people who, and these are real life, Black Women, everyday, regular people who worked out--- did, paid her dues, worked for the company for five years, took her money and go build a mansion from scratch back home where she wanted to be and do what you need to do. There are people who are leveraging their nine to five, to build wealth. To invest in the stock market. To invest in real estate. To invest in businesses, by using all of the tools that are available to them. It's not just about the salary. There are a lot of different opportunities for you to build wealth and to move on the journey of financial freedom.

Jamila Souffrant 32:37

Yeah, and so it's helpful, definitely, especially if you know that you're looking for jobs or other opportunities for you to keep that in mind, like looking at the total compensation. I know, we're not gonna spend too much time talking about negotiating. That's in your book. But I did want to bring up this point, because I do think it's very interesting. And one thing I've always loved about you, Dorianne, is that you are not afraid, like, to move. When you're working in Corporate America, you were, you were, I felt like every few years, it was like, "Oh, I have this new opportunity, or I'm going on this interview." And I'm like, "Are you planning to leave your job?" You're like, "Nope, I just want to see what happens and how much I can get." And I'm just like, and we're, we're so different. Because I literally stayed at the same company my entire work career, and like you would be like, "I'm just gonna see like what I can get." And I was-- always found that fascinating that you could do that. And it has helped you a lot to increase your income as you move to different companies. So for someone now who's saying, "Okay, I maybe exploring looking somewhere else,." One thing you used to tell me to do is don't bring up compensation. When they asked you how much you want to make, or what's your desired salary, you make... you wait until the last moment. And that used to, like scare me. I would be like, "Well, shouldn't I tell them I'm expecting this much upfront. So that way, if they don't have it, like we can move on? You're like, "No, let's like, wait until the very end." So can you just talk about that strategy? Because I think that's very useful for people.

Dorianne St. Fleur 34:01

And this lines up with the, with the dream job profile I was talking about before. So as part of understanding what you want, and what your money is, that M in the acronym. You're going and defining what is my ideal salary? Who are the companies that will give that to me? You're going out there and, and having informational interviews with recruiters and people. So you should know already, the levels, the companies, the locations, that are going to pay you what you want. Armed with that information, remember I said, we're not applying all willy nilly. If you apply everywhere, then yeah, we got to talk. Can you even afford me? But if I'm being strategic, and I'm only applying to my dream jobs, I already know what the what the threshold is. I know what the range is. So we don't got to talk about that. What I want to do is get in here and make you fall in love with me. I use the metaphor of you know, dating and all these things. On the first date, you're not out here. Well, I, don't be out here, telling you about my business. And this what I'm doing, this my credit score, here's my bank account, here's my PIN number. You got to get to know me. I want you to fall in love with me, and then I'll tell you about how crazy I am. And, you better what your back, honey. My husband is like, "Yep!" But like, to me, it's the same thing. When you first start with these companies, they don't know you. They don't know your life. They don't know what you're about to bring to the table. Let them fall in love with you. You don't want to scare... not even scared them, but, you don't really-- my strategy is that you don't want to price yourself out. Let's say you're thinking, "Okay, I'm thinking about this, I make $50,000 now. I want to get $65k. Let me tell them $65k". And they're like, "Dang, well, we had a bunch of fun $115k, but she asked $65k? Okay, cool!" I don't want to do that. And so what I want to do is go through the process. Wow them with my expertise and my questions and my knowledge and just what I can bring to the table and my value. And then when we get to the conversation about compensation, you're invested. You want to put a ring on it. You don't want to go back out there and back in the streets and on Tinder and Match.com and all these things, trying to find somebody. You're with me. And so now, Okay, let's talk about terms. Let's talk about what this looks like. And they're more willing to bend over backwards to negotiate with you to say, "Okay, we can't do this, but we can do that. What about this, we really want you to be here. We want to make this work." It's a strategy. It's a tool to make sure that you're maximizing what it is. And also, in addition to that, I like for the company to say their numbers first, because, to the same point, I don't want to lowball myself. I don't want to be out here with a number that just doesn't make sense. And so there's a whole strategy to it. This is very high level, but at the end of the day, I think a lot of you or a lot of people could be low balling themselves by too quickly, throwing out numbers being afraid, "Oh, they're gonna say no." And, and that brings up an objective that people say like, "Well, if you wait too late, and then what if you say it and then you know, they say no, or they don't want to work with you?" Well, good! You don't want to work in an organization that doesn't, that can't afford you, or doesn't want to have a negotiation conversation or doesn't want to do that. Most of the roles in the latter half of my career, as I started to increase my income, we did not talk about money until the end. Tthat was not a thing. And it's because I've already strategically picked these companies, organizations, they strategically picked me and wanted to work with me. And we were able to go through the process of understanding, is this even a good fit? Why are we talking about money? Is this even a good fit for us? And then we can talk about what does the compensation look like, and I haven't been disappointed. And so it's really about understanding what your dream is, being strategic and intentional about your approach, putting yourself out there so that honestly, people are reaching out to you. And you don't even have to chase anyone, and then being strategic about the negotiation process.

Jamila Souffrant 37:39

And so what about the people who are not necessarily looking and, and they're in a job right now. Is there opportunities that they can make big income jumps? Or the reality is they typically usually have to leave their job first, or go somewhere else to make the big income jumps?

Dorianne St. Fleur 37:52

Yeah. It's, for the biggest bang for your buck, leaving your organization is the thing. Internally, the biggest bang for your buck can through a promotion, or some kind of like vertical change. So if you change departments, or if you do something like that. Potentially, there's a change in the compensation that goes along with that. There are opportunities to negotiate every year or to talk to your manager about you know, having, having received a raise in X amount of time and talk to that. And in the book, I give you word for word scripts and things to think about. But the reality is, yes, when you're leaving an organization, and you're going somewhere else, that's the biggest opportunity for you to close the gap in your compensation,

Jamila Souffrant 38:34

Right. And why is it useful for people to look and know the job market, possibly interview other places, even if they don't really have an intention to leave? Because like I said, you used to do this all the time. I used to be like, "I don't have the energy, or I don't want to leave so why am I looking elsewhere?" and you used to be like, "Because it's like, you know, you know your market." And I want you to talk about that, because there could be people like me listening, who are like, "I don't know if it's worth it to do that." But I know that it's benefited you a lot when you were just literally just looking for the sake of it, without even intentionally wanting to go anywhere.

Dorianne St. Fleur 39:06

So I think it's important that you always are aware of your market value. When you're in a company, especially if you're in there for three years, five years, 10 years, you're getting paid, and you're getting compensated based on their schedule. Based on their budget. And there's a whole market out there that you literally have no idea how you're standing up to that. And so I think it's important to have conversations with recruiters, to put yourself through some interview processes, so that you can test your skills and your experience in the market. What are they willing to pay you for? What are other companies willing to pay for the same work you're doing? I've done that and realize that in some cases, "Oh, I'm actually a quote unquote overpaid, because all of these roles and all these recruiters are telling me these numbers that just don't make sense. I'm getting paid more where I am," or I found in other places where, no, I'm not being paid at the rate that I'm used to. I even leverage one interview process to get a huge raise and a promotion at the job that I was currently in. I went to them and said, "Hey, look, I have an opportunity to do this work at this other company for this amount of money." And they were like, "Oh, wait, hold on, let's talk about this. We didn't know you wanted to do this work. We can create this role. And here's the pay." And so there's a lot of benefits from knowing your worth, and putting yourself out there. Now, if you have no intention of leaving your job, and you like where you are, I think at the very least having conversations with recruiters, having conversations with other people in your industry, who are similarly situated as far as level and experience, that can be another way for you to understand where you are, but what you'll find is that the longer you stay at an organization, oftentimes, the more your compensation will begin to lag.

Jamila Souffrant 40:52

Yes. And what you do really well, is you have people typically coming to you. And that's usually like through your LinkedIn. So I know you can't give away the whole cow and milk, you know, the whole... they got to buy the cow and the milk. But you can give some tips just like, quickly, on LinkedIn High Level for people who shouldn't be paying more attention to their LinkedIn, because literally, I know that you've gotten some crazy inquiries, and job offers just from your LinkedIn profile.

Dorianne St. Fleur 41:15

LinkedIn is an underutilized resource for a lot of people. And yes, I've haven't proactively applied to jobs in ,I don't even know how long. It's all from people seeing me on LinkedIn. And so it's important that you have an optimized profile that really speaks to your personal brand. Speaks to your value, your impact, and it shows these employers what you bring to the table. It should be forward looking. If you're looking to leave the job that you are, you want to get promoted into a higher title, your LinkedIn should reflect that. You should talk about the skills and the accomplishments and the achievements that you have, that are relevant to where you're, you're looking to go to. And then it's also a great networking tool. There's billions of people that use LinkedIn, who are logged in. Millions who are logged in, every single day, and it's an opportunity for you to connect with those hiring managers, those leaders, or senior leaders, those people who would be your peers on other teams to get a sense of what are open roles that are out there? What are the different opportunities? What skills do I need to develop in order to get to my next level? It's a great networking tool for you to use as well. And so, I think in, you know, in my business in my career, in any professional endeavor that I've done, LinkedIn has been a critical piece in that tool, because I optimize it, because I network with people through there, because I share thought leadership. I write articles, I, you know, put posts videos, I do things that are going to let people trust that I have an expertise that they need in their organization.

Jamila Souffrant 42:48

Yes, and, you know, one thing I'd like to kind of just break through, like, for people is that, is it still surprises me how much money people can make working within a company. I recently was talking to someone and they said that their salary was $300,000. This is working for someone else in a corporation. And again, I understand that a lot of this too, is like depending on the type of company and your skill set and level. And not everyone can do that, but I like to share that just because I feel like sometimes people think you can only invest your way to become that millionaire if you have your own business, which I'm a proponent of and I love entrepreneurship, but it's like you can build wealth through your job you can earn a lot of money. Depends on how you spend it, because if now you're sending all your kids to $50,000, you know, a year private schools, that's gonna eat away at, like how much you can save and investment. I think that what traps a lot of people at the top of those income levels is that their expenses are so high, but I know you've been in companies where that has been like the average salary of people on your team. So can we just like talk about that a little bit? Or more?

Dorianne St. Fleur 43:50

Exactly. When, you know, I've been in a I was an HR for most of my career. And so I see what people get paid. And I've worked at companies where the salaries are $750, $800, the bonuses like $3 million, like, that, that's nothing. So, yes, people out here making money in the nine to five. And the big caveat, yes, of course, depends on the industry, the level, the da da da, all that is true. But as a party, somebody who was an HR, I was making money as well. Like it, I think people think, "Oh, you know,if I can just get to $100,000 in my nine to five, then I've arrived." That's, that's like the the floor in a lot of organizations and for a lot of people. There's a lot, there's a lot of room that you can go through. And again, that's we only took my salary. On top of that $300,000 salary that that person had. What if there was a bonus on top of that, that they get every year? What if they're investing in their 401k? What if they have a little equity stake in the organization as well? It begins to compound on each other and we're talking about big numbers here. And if you work in this in the corporate world for 15, 20, 30 years, what does that-- and you're managing your money properly in your, you know, all of those things. What does that look like when you're making decisions about financial freedom? And, you know, what can I do on what's my next step? It's really important that we understand what the options are there are people making money in the corporate space.

Jamila Souffrant 45:10

Yes. Love that. Okay, Dorianne, if there's one piece of advice, or something that you want someone to take away from our conversation and even, you know, something actionable for them to do, what would that be right now?

Dorianne St. Fleur 45:23

The actionable thing, walking away from here, is defining what your dream job looks like. And spending-- paying special attention to that M -- that money piece. You all are here, you're listening because you want to understand how to take command and control your finances. Create a strategy for that when it comes to your nine to five. How much do you want to get paid? What kinds of companies are going to pay you that? What skills do you need to continue to get to the levels that you need to to get your salary in a place where it needs to be? But take the time to get clear on that. The quickest way to ensure that you will continue to be unfulfilled and not know what the next step is to just stay stuck and confused. If you want to push through that, it's time to get clear. And so thinking about what your dream job looks like, how you define that for yourself is the the actionable takeaway I'd say.

Jamila Souffrant 46:12

Love it. Love it. So, Dorianne, tell people where they can find your book and more about you.

Dorianne St. Fleur 46:17

Yes! You can find the book at deeperthanwork.com. And all of my social media and all the handles are there as well. But yeah, that's where I am.

Jamila Souffrant 46:28

Awesome. Thank you so much, Dorian, for joining us.

Dorianne St. Fleur 46:31

Thanks for having me.

Jamila Souffrant 46:38

I hope you enjoyed that conversation with Dorianne and you got some takeaways. I hope you had your pen and paper out. Or you were taking notes on your phone, because she dropped some gems that I believe can really help you. Also want you to pick up her book, "Deeper Than Work," and just really think about how you can make your time in Corporate America work for you. How you can make the most and leverage your career. I have to say this again, I've seen Dorianne really helped women make hundreds of 1,000s of dollars more. Even, I've seen her do this for herself in Corporate America. And so I know this is something that can be a reality for many women, especially Women Of Color, who don't have the luxury to sit back and be overlooked anymore. It's time for us to claim what is ours. So I'm really excited and proud of the work that Dorianne is doing.

Don't forget, you can win a copy of Dorianne's book. I'm giving away five copies to help celebrate her book, "Deeper Than Work," by going to journeytolaunch.com/win. There you'll see all the information of how you can enter into the contest to win a book if you are in the US. Then if you don't want to wait you just want to buy a book you get some amazing bonuses. If you're one of 50 Journeyers, the first 50 Journeyers to use the code 'JTL' at checkout when you buy the book go to journeytolaunch.com/work. Enter that code 'JTL' for some amazing bonuses.

Don't forget, you can get the episode show notes for this episode by going to journeytolaunch.com, or click the description of wherever you're listening to this and you can still grab your Jumpstart Guide for free to help you on your journey to financial freedom by going to journeytolaunch.com/jumpstart. If you want to support me and the podcast and love the free content and information that you get here, here are four ways that you can support me in the show: One, make sure you're subscribed to the podcast wherever you listen, whether that's Apple Podcasts, that purple app on your phone, your Android device, YouTube, Spotify, wherever it is that you happen to listen, just subscribe so you are not missing an episode. And if you're happening to listen to this and Apple Podcasts, rate, review and subscribe there. I appreciate and read every single review. Number two, follow me on my social media accounts. I'm @journeytolaunch on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And I love, love, love, interacting with Journeyers there. Three, support and check out the sponsors of this show. If you hear something that interests you. Sponsors are the main ways we keep the podcast lights on here. So, show them some love for supporting your girl. Four, and last but not least, share this episode this podcast with a friend or family member or co worker, so that we can spread the message of Journey to Launch. Alright, that's it until next week. Keep on journeying Journeyers.

(This post may include some affiliate links)

Dorianne St. Fleur, author of “Deeper Than Work: How Women of Color Can Make More Money, Have More Impact, and Thrive in the Corporate World,” joins the podcast to talk about how women, and Women of Color specifically, can leverage their 9-5 Corporate America careers to reach financial independence.

We discuss how to unearth your D.R.E.A.M job, negotiation tactics, and using social media to network in a strategic way. This episode brings to light the reality that you don’t have to be an entrepreneur to become a millionaire or financially free.

If you’re in Corporate America and looking to thrive there, this episode is for you!

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • What Dorianne’s acronym D.R.E.A.M stands for
  • How you can use your D.R.E.A.M job to fuel your search for a better career
  • Some of the different obstacles BIWOC face in Corporate America
  • How you can negotiate for more money + more 

Enter for a chance to win Dorianne’s book here.

I'm Listening to Episode 232 of the Journey to Launch Podcast, How You Can Make More Money, Have More Impact, And Thrive In The Corporate World With Dorianne St. Fleur Click To Tweet

Other related blog posts/links mentioned in this episode:

  • Enter for a chance to win Dorianne’s book: “Deeper Than Work: How Women of Color Can Make More Money, Have More Impact, and Thrive in the Corporate World” by going to journeytolaunch.com/win and follow the instructions! A winner will be announced on September 21st.
  • if you don’t want to wait, the first 50 Journeyers get the following when they use the code JTL at checkout, go to journeytolaunch.com/work
    • D.R.E.A.M. career clarity workbook
    • Word for word salary negotiation scripts
    • Script on how to be assertive (and not aggressive)
    • Video training of how to build executive presence.
  • I’ll be taking the stage at FinCon 2021 in Austin as a Big Idea Speaker. You can grab your ticket to join me in person or virtually here (use the code “ FCJOURNEY5“ for a discount) 
  • Nominate Journey to Launch for the Plutus Award by clicking here
  • Listen to the Learn to Trade As A Side Hustle To Reach Your Financial & Life Goals FREE Audio Training with Teri Ijeoma by clicking here.
  • Join The Weekly Newsletter List
  • Leave me a voicemail– Leave me a question on the Journey To Launch voicemail and have it answered on the podcast!
  • Watch me on News12  Watch my latest segments on News12
  • YNAB –  Start managing your money and budgeting so that you can reach your financial dreams. Sign up for a free 34 days trial of YNAB, my go-to budgeting app by using my referral link.

Connect with Dorianne:

Connect with me:

Love this episode? Share it!
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

free assessment

Unlock your future financial path.

Take the quiz to get a shockingly accurate description of where you are and where to go on your journey to Financial Independence.