Start With Self-Worth

Friday, October 14, 2022

'Money Defined' on green background with wavy grid

This podcast is produced by the Kansas City Public Library’s Community Reference team to share different perspectives on money management with an eye toward starting a small business. Over three episodes, Small Business Engagement Specialist Hadiza Sa-Aadu hosts Black business owners from the Kansas City metro area. Each guest shares guidance and advice through personal stories about their challenges and successes, with a common through-line: As one consequence of systemic racism, none of the guests grew up with access to reliable information about money management.

Podcast guest Dee Moore is a former stockbroker, self-taught business owner, and director of a personal chef company with a presence in 28 states. Raised by well-off grandparents in Houston, Texas, Moore never worried about money growing up. All of that suddenly changed after her grandmother disowned her, and she found herself living out of her car with her toddler and another baby on the way.

Until that time, Moore had never even considered applying for a job.

She knew she needed a plan that would turn her life around and give her children what they needed to thrive. Without much more than that idea, Moore first turned inward. She worked on internal messages about her self-worth, something she tells Sa-Aadu was a hurdle as far as it came to her relationship with money.

One of her earliest memories of money came from a shopping experience at a grocery store with her grandmother when Moore was six years old. Moore had stolen an item at the checkout line. Her grandmother noticed but waited until they were outside the store to confront her about her actions.

After Moore admitted her wrongdoing, her grandmother took her back inside to apologize face to face to the cashier. “Even though it was a negative experience, because I did something wrong, my grandmother did take the opportunity to show me that things cost money [and] you have to have money” to buy them.

Digging deeper, Moore shares that her motivations for stealing stemmed from her own sense of self-worth tied to money: She did not understand why she was not “good enough” to have what she wanted.

Later in life, Moore educated herself by spending a lot of time reading about the skills she would need for business success. “Things that you need to know are found and hidden in books. Read books about networking,” she suggests. “Networking will take you further than any degree or any amount of money.”

But the most powerful thing she ever did was buy a white binder. She called it her “credit binder” and placed photos of what she wanted on the cover: A house, a car, a vacation – all things she was more likely to obtain if she had a good credit score.

It was in using tools like her binder that Moore initially found the most satisfaction; she had control over how she’d achieve what she set out to. When she didn’t have control, she tells Sa-Aadu, reaching a goal was more difficult.

For instance, Moore visited banks to ask for financing that would allow her to increase the size of the photography business she’d started. She learned that navigating what she calls a “very white landscape” made finding capital harder than she’d imagined.

Moore watched as a white, male friend, speaking loudly and wearing a T-shirt and shorts, approached a loan officer. The loan officer called her friend “sir” and assured him that they’d find him the money he wanted.

Loan officers were not nearly as interested in assisting even a well-dressed, well-spoken, well-prepared Black woman.

Now, when she works with other people starting out in business, one of her goals is to keep them from suffering the way she did. Moore can’t single-handedly stop systemic racism, but she can educate and prepare her community.

Listen Now

Episode 1 - Dee Moore


Contact Dee Moore

You can find more information about Dee’s business at her website: 333 and Company and you can reach her  by email at

Find Other Episodes

Episode 2 | Episode 3