Has a life event eroded your confidence? Have you struggled to get it back? If you have, you won’t want to miss this conversation with Tish Times.
Tish tells a part of her story she doesn’t often share—the downfall of her business—and the road back.
From having it all to losing everything, she had nowhere to go but up. Tish talks about how her public persona affected relationships with her husband and children. Most importantly, she tells us how she worked her way back to success—building her confidence from the inside out.
This is another inspiring conversation in our series with women learning what it means to thrive. Don’t miss it. I invite you to watch our video conversation on RHGTV Network—the Empowered Connections Channel…
I invite you to watch … or read the transcript of our conversation below:
from Upside Down to Right Side Up: Tips for the Transition
Tish Times: The Road to Confidence
~María: Hello and welcome to from Upside Down to Right Side Up. This is a show that used to be called Tips for the Transition, and we’re not changing what we do. We’re just changing what we call it.
I’m María Tomás-Keegan your host. This is my continuing series of interviews in which I chat with strong, resilient women who have an inspiring story of transformation to tell. And they are courageous enough to tell it to us.
So today my guest is Tish Times. She is my friend. She is a coach and I call her my sister from another mother.
I’m so honored that she’s agreed to be a guest on my show today because it’s the first time that she has lifted the curtain on this part of her journey. The title of the episode is called “The Road to Confidence.”
~Tish: Hi Maria. So glad to be here. I’m super excited to be here today.
~M: Welcome, welcome, and thank you so much for agreeing to be my guest. You know, loss and grief come in all kinds of ways, don’t they?
~T: Oh yeah. Definitely, yeah.
~M: And we all have turning points in our lives. So I would love it if you would share with us that pivotal point in your journey that defined your path to where you find yourself today.
~T: I’d be happy to… There’s so much to the story as I was preparing to talk to you. I was like, “Okay, where do I start?” Because it’s so rich and so much, but I will say the part that I don’t share as often, as you said, was “the fall,” if you will. I had a very successful staffing company, back in 2000, and I ran that company for about eight years. And I think, coupled with some bad fortune with the economy crashing in 2008, as well as making some bad connections… Unfortunately, my business literally took a huge topple.
Along with the finances of it all, and the business, and the people who were affiliated with me at the time, my confidence took a nose dive. Because you go from being featured in magazine articles and being called on by the news to be their expert to go to for certain things around employment and things of that nature, to being featured in the news around business closure, and employees that can’t be paid because there’s no money left. And there’s so much to it, literally. I literally don’t know where to start to be honest with you, but it was a huge awakening.
It was a moment that — as difficult and painful as it was — I wouldn’t change it because it literally has brought me to where I am today. But it was painful. It was painful not only for me but for my entire family because when I lost the business… Let’s just say we were doing really well. And when the business went away, so did the house. So did our cars. You know, the lifestyle we grow accustomed to.
It was difficult, to say the least. Embarrassing. And I spent time afterwards in a pretty deep depression and I had to keep moving. I had babies to take care of. I had a husband that I wanted to be there for, and it was just a real tough time.
~M: You know, so often we look at people we know, whether they are out networking, and we meet them or we see them on social media and we think, “Wow, she’s got it all together. She’s got it all.” And we don’t often know the story behind the scenes, so thank you for sharing that because I know a lot of people look at you, myself included… If I didn’t know if I didn’t know you so well, I would be thinking the same thing because that’s how you show up in life.
~T: You know, it’s very interesting and it always surprises me, believe it or not, when people say that because when I see myself and having lived that journey, it feels like I was a hot mess.
And you don’t always know how people see you, but as I said, I wouldn’t change the journey for anything. I remember many a days sitting in a closed room by myself, in that time, wishing I can wave a magic wand and make it all go away and make everything change.
But one thing I’ve come to learn, María, is that pain, those difficult times really are building blocks for character and God knows that was something that has shifted for me. I think that what that I view life, the level of integrity that… You know, there were so many things that were built in me that I wouldn’t take away, I could not be who I am.
And thank you for saying that. I’ve heard that before, and again, it’s still amazes me when people say that I show up a certain way. There’s no way I could show up that way absent of those things that took place to get me to where I am.
~M: Yeah, I understand that completely. So what I’d love to do is end this segment here and ask you in our next segment, to talk a bit more deeply about the emotional struggle you went through as you picked up those pieces. Would you be willing to do that?
~T: Absolutely. I’m all in, now. Let’s do it.
~M: Okay let’s do it. Till next time. Stay tuned. I’m María Tomás-Keegan.
~M: Welcome to Part Two of my chat with Tish Times.
She told you about one of the significant turning points in her life and in her business. Losing it all. Hitting a rock bottom. And coming back was not easy.
I’m María Tomás-Keegan, your host for from Upside Down to Right Side Up, and I’m honored to share inspiring stories like Tish’s. And because these stories are stories of reaching out and rising up and they help us all to know that we are not alone when our your life turns upside down.
Thank you so much, Tish, for being here, for being vulnerable and transparent. Emotions are the topic today. I have a two-part question for you.
Would you tell us a bit about the emotional upheaval and how you were able to move from such a low place to a place of strength, where you are today? And then I’m also curious about how confidence became the foundation. It’s like your platform today.
How did that happen?
~T: You know, María, it’s interesting. In the last segment we talked a little bit about how people might perceive me. You know, the way I walk into a room and how they might make assumptions on me having always been this confident person. Well, I remember during the time when I was going through this major upheaval in my life… I still had to go see clients. I still was out networking. In some cases I was still out speaking. And I think on some level, without meaning to — it wasn’t intentional — I had developed this air of a public success.
When I would go into my office… I remember going into my office, closing the door, and putting my head in my hands going, “What am I doing?” and “What do I do next?” Not knowing what to do. And knowing that things were crumbling around me but no one knew it. Not even my husband.
There were bits and pieces he knew, but there was this part of me that felt like I had to keep it all together. I had to continue to wear this façade that was literally choking the life out of me. And when it all kind of came to a head, it was right before Christmas.
We were at home and the doorbell ring, and my boys were probably… Maybe 10 and 12-ish. They were young teens/preteen age… And the doorbell rang and one of them went to the door. And I was getting ready because we were going to a family gathering. And I heard all this commotion… And at the door was Fox News. And they wanted to ask the questions about what had happened with the business. And how I was gonna pay all these employees. Remember, this is a staffing company.
I had hundreds of employees who, because of the client that basically just didn’t pay. [We were owed several several several thousands of dollars.] They didn’t pay us. They ended up coming up on charges… Long story there, and so they never paid us and I now couldn’t pay my employees. And so when my children answered the door and the news was there and there was no more hiding it, at that point. There was no more trying to appear like had it all together.
That was the beginning of the crumble. But that being said, when I began to open up and let people in and ask for help and share, because I would spend lots of time alone, trying to figure it out. I got really good at trying to figure it out and never could figure it out.
So, when I reached and shared and opened up with my husband. When I reached out and found mentors [who were already in my life, but I thought I had to impress them also and perfect for them also] and began to let people in… That was the beginning of the road back to me being able to rebuild and to grow and to make that shift. And at that time I had no confidence. You talk about shame — going from being literally featured in major publications and looking like you have it all together, to being featured now for everything falling apart.
I stayed in hiding for almost two years.
I mean I was literally in a functional depression for a very long time. And I had to learn how to live in a place of confidence outside of my apparent success. So my confidence had to come from within and not from all the external things all of the material things, all of the things I thought meant confidence. So now, I am literally on a mission to help understand confidence is the key to resilience. Not feeling like someone has to tell them who they are, they have to require a certain level of accomplishments, have to make a certain amount of money, and that’s why competence has begin such a big platform at my business.
~M: You’re right. There is so much of this story that I want to probe more deeply on. And we promised to do these short segments in this show.
I know that you have learned a lot of lessons. So you touched on shame. You touched on depression. I’m sure we could go much more deeply into those.
I just wanna ask you one question before we move on. How were you able to continue to show up for your family when everything around you in your mind at the time equated to your success. How did that work for you?
~T: I’ll be honest. I wish I could tell you that I was able to pull it all together and be a great mom and a great wife. I wasn’t. Because in all of this upheaval… And I was mistaken. My kids weren’t young teenagers, they were older teenagers, because one of them was getting ready to go to college. And so when all of this happened, and we lost our home… And you know, I had a son that was literally moving out at that point. And it was difficult trying to be there for him. And then I had a young son at the time… It was very difficult. I don’t think I did a good job.
They may disagree. They may or may not have seen things the way I see them. I don’t think I did a good job. I think that I spent a lot of time, introspective… Trying to again still trying to figure things out at that particular time.
But what I did learn ____ And it took several years. It was not an overnight thing — Was how to communicate with vulnerability.
And that’s probably been… I’m trying to say this without crying because I think the biggest shift for my family has been me being able to say, “I’m not okay. I need you in a way that I didn’t need you before. I know I’ve always tried to hold it together and be the one who is resourceful in all whatever was going on. Make it all good. I can’t do that right now.”
And I do remember having deep conversations with my boys around what was really going on, shortly after my dad passed. And so we’re dealing with the loss of the business and I’m dealing with the loss of my father and my mother has been bedridden for many, many years… So there was a lot going on, but the one thing I remember out of all of that was sitting in a room and telling my boys how I really felt. What was really going on and apologizing to them for how I was showing up or maybe was not showing up during that time. And that has made a huge shift for us.
I think there’s still places where we have to still rebuild with my older boys for sure, but it’s made me no doubt, a better mom to my youngest son who has now has been with this the longest through this. Because I don’t feel like I have to be super mom or super wife with my husband. The same thing. I think the level of openness and vulnerability… Although he’s always been able to show up for me, he’s been great. That part of our life, almost wrecked our marriage. It absolutely did. And it wasn’t because I wasn’t making more money anymore. It was because I was holding back and I was shutting down and I wasn’t letting him in. And so that ability to now communicate with literally opening up, peeling back the onion and letting them in… That changed our family forever. No doubt.
~M: That is such a important point that you make. Because when we are hurting… All of us human beings. When we hurt, I think our normal tendency is to shut down. To become introspective. To, I call it, “put on a mask,” maybe even a “suit of armor.”
And pretend that everything is okay. And that becomes very confining. And it becomes hard to maintain. Because as human beings, that’s on how we’re designed. So the lesson you’ve just shared, and we’re gonna get into more lessons in the next segment. But the lesson you just shared is to allow yourself to just take that mask off for a while. Be with people you trust. People who love you. And share And it lifts a burden that opens your heart and allows for possibilities to come through. Yeah, that’s a really important point. Thank you so much for sharing that.
~M: Okay, I am so looking for what you’re gonna share in the next segment, because if we’re paying attention to our journey, there are beautiful lessons to learn right?
~M: And I know we’re gonna hear some of those. The biggest lessons from you, Tish. And then get some tips about showing up with confidence in our own lives from the inside out. I’m María Tomás-Keegan. Stay tuned. Till next time.
~M: Welcome to the conclusion of my chat with Tish Times. She is a corporate trainer and coach with an expertise in sales and networking. I’m María Tomás-Keegan, and this is part of my continuing series of interviews with brilliant resilient women who have inspiring stories to tell and who are role models for the rest of us who are learning to thrive. Tish shared about a pivotal point in her life, in her journey when she lost her business and most of what she owned, affecting her and her family deeply. And eroding her own confidence. Yet, she rebounded and she proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that there was light at the end of the tunnel and she relied on her faith, rebuilt her confidence, and responded with resilience. Hi Tish. Thanks for coming back.
~T: Thank you.
~M: I’ll bet you learned a lot of lessons along this journey. And if I may, I’d like to pose another two-part question: Would you share some of those lessons with us, and how they helped you in the work you do today. And share some tips on how you help others build confidence as you have said from the inside out?
~T: Absolutely. So I think some of the best lessons that I’ve learned is giving myself permission to just be myself.
I know, not I think, I know, just based on the way I was raised and to some of the things that I saw growing up. I always felt like we had to present this perfect package, right?
I was the girl who… If you look at our pictures, and Easter is the perfect little white bonnet, the little ruffle socks, the perfect dress… I remember us not being able to go to Astroworld one day, because I was a five or six-year little girl… Who started playing in the mud while waiting for my mom to get ready. And then we couldn’t go because I was no longer perfect. So that translated into me thinking, and with the apparent success of my business, that it had to always look together. Things had to always appear a certain way.
And so after all that I went through, I learned to give myself permission to just be. I have a very, very dear friend who’s also been a mentor for me for years and I remember her saying to me, “Stop striving and just be. You don’t have to try to become. Just be. Enjoy who you are right now.” And so for me, in the work that I do now in teaching people to sell more effectively, to have more powerful conversations. It may seem like they’re two totally different things. Like, how do they even connect?
But they’re everything. Because I find when people go to network, they put on a name tag. They put on their best outfit. They front on their biggest smile and in most cases, they put their most beautiful mask. And they spin their head, and say, “Hi… My name is.. What do you do?” And they now begin to try to impress someone and tell them how awesome they are, instead of just being.
I have found… So when I meet someone, I and just show up as Tish Times, just me, I get way much more engagement. I find people are much more receptive to just me being who I am than me trying to impress them. So I’ve taken that need to impress and literally locked it away, and thrown it away and found that if I can help others get comfortable enough in who they are to first, find out who they are. Because my lesson, my journey helped me say “Yes I am resilient.” That yes, I can overcome tremendous difficulty.
But then yes, I can open u without the fear of being judged, rejected, or anything else. And now helping other, specifically women — I do have a few male clients, but mostly women — to know that being you is not only enough, it is more than enough.
For me, what has been the biggest thing you mentioned… My faith has been the one thing that has literally changed everything for me. When I lean into my faith and stopped trying to be everything to everybody. That was the biggest change for me. So when we know that we’re not only enough, we’re more than enough. There are scriptures that says we are more than conquerors, we are overcomers.
If I believe that, now I can show up with confidence and again, that confidence doesn’t come from everyone telling me “You’re awesome.” Because if I rely on that — which I did for so many years — the moment the compliments stop, that all of that admiration stops, then who am I?
I have to learn to learn that from the inside and build it from the inside. And my goal is — I literally am on a mission to help other women to find that in,side believe it, and then live it.
~M: That’s beautiful. Perfect. I love that. Be you.
~M: So we hear it a lot, but I don’t know that a lot of us… I’m still learning how to be me, how to just always be me. Because I’ve worn a mask many times in my life through many of the transitions that I went through. I have put on that suit of armor. And I have lived through that suit of armor, starting to crack from the pressure. Trying to break. And that was me trying to break out. And I didn’t allow it for a long time. So I get what you’re saying. It’s such an important lesson. Just be comfortable. Allow yourself to be you because you are unique. There’s nobody else like each one of us in this world. And we have gifts, and we have so much to give. So I love that. Thank you for sharing that.
Absolutely, I think it’s simple but profound, and there’s an art to learning how to be you. It really is… And the other point you make about learning who you are and stepping into that so that it shines through. That’s where your confidence comes from. And when you allow that to happen, there’s no need for the mask anymore. There’s no need for the suit of armor. Mine have been gathering dust in the corner for a while now. They’re always still there just in case, but I don’t right do think I’ll ever need them again.
So it’s just allowing ourselves to be who we are, and be loved for who we are. Or are not, and that’s okay too.
~T: It absolutely is and I think that piece alone… it’s everything. Because there are people who are going to be drawn to you, who need you. And there are people who need someone totally different, and being okay with both of those things is so important.
~M: That’s right, and therein lies the confidence, just being confident that that’s okay too. We can’t be all things to all people. Those of us who have tried to be perfect, right?
I’m a recovering perfectionist. I am choosing to be perfectly imperfect. So yeah. That’s all part of it.
Thank you so much, Tish. That is so inspiring to me and I hope it is inspiring to our viewers as well. I am certain that there are lots of people who are watching this, who are gonna wanna reach out to you directly, Tish. So, would you let us know: what is the best way for them to do that?
~T: Absolutely. You can reach out to me via email at Tish@TishTimes.com. If you wanna just know a little bit more about what I do, you can just go to TishTimes.com and I am delighted to connect with anyone on social media, and I keep it super simple, if you do a search on Tish Times you’ll find me on all of my social media platforms.
~M: Yes, we will. And I’m connected in all those ways.
Thank you, dear friend. I appreciate you. I appreciate your being here. I know how hard it is to share a story like this with the emotions around that story, including shame and guilt and all of that I’m grateful that you chose to come here and share it with us.
And I wanna thank all of our viewers for watching today. This is a series of interviews inspired by my latest book. Upside Down to Right Side Up: Turning Transition into Triumph. It’s now available on Amazon and its Kindle and paperback forms. And the companion journal is also available there now. I invite you to look at it and share it with the women in your lives so none of us will ever again feel alone.
Many of us have gone through similar experiences, like Tish’s. Like mine. And we are here to help you. I believe it’s our time to thrive.
Will you join me? I’m María Tomás-Keegan. Till next time.