How to Make $100,000 #MoneyMonday

Wouldn’t it be great to make six figures per year? Congratulations if you already do, but the fact is only 1 out of every 10 working Americans makes $100,000/year or more.

That statistic makes it seem like getting into the six figure club is a hard thing to do.

Now, I’m not here to suggest that it’s a piece of cake, but I also know that it’s not as difficult as you think it is. You’re just going about it the wrong way.

Allow me to introduce you to a framework that I call “The Money Tree.” It’s a new way of thinking about how to earn the amount of money that will allow you to live the life that you want to live.

The good news is, you already have everything you need to get there. Watch the video above and I’ll show you how.

M&S 013: Farnoosh Torabi Shows Us What Happens When She Makes More



When times change and the world evolves it can often put us in uncomfortable positions when “conventional wisdom” doesn’t change at the same rate.

One such shift that is creating a challenging environment for some couples is the increasing number of women that earn more money than their husbands.

According to a recent US Census study, 4 in to households with children under 18 have a woman that is the primary or sole breadwinner.  That number is 4x what is was in the 1960s! Sorry Mad Men, but times, they are a-changin’.

To help us learn how to still have a great relationship under these circumstances, personal finance expert Farnoosh Torabi joins us on Episode 13 of the Movers and Shakers Podcast with tons of advice from her new book, “When She Makes More.”

Farnoosh has been featured on the Today Show, Yahoo, the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, The View, CNN and many other national media outlets.

Plus, she knows this topic from experience.  She too, makes more than her husband.

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So THIS is What McDonald’s Thinks of Highly Paid Black Athletes?

I generally try not to be too sensitive, but perhaps the whole Donald Sterling thing has me on edge.

So when I was minding my own business, watching an episode of the Big Bank Theory, and I came across this McDonald’s commercial that portrays a highly paid black athlete with way too many cars, a giant house with a basketball court inside of it, with a bunch of passed out people in his house the morning after night of presumed partying, I must say that it really got under my skin.

Now, this may bother me more than the average person because I have a number of pro athletes and entertainers as clients, and as a financial advisor I have to try my hardest to get them to not live up to stereotypes like this.

I’m not certain when the commercial first aired, but it may not be a coincidence that the commercial is running during the same timeframe as the NFL Draft (although the character in the commercial appeared to be a basketball player).

Is there any wonder why so many athletes end up broke? This is the type of image that they feel like they must live up to.

The power of television cannot be understated. It’s that power that makes me feel as though it’s pretty irresponsible for McDonald’s to perpetuate these images of “rich” black athletes (I won’t even get started on the the inclusion of the black woman waking up an peeling herself off of the couch when the butler wakes everyone up!)

There are better ways to sell breakfast sandwiches, McDonald’s. I’m going to need you to do better.

(Full Disclosure, I own shares of MCD)

10 Tips to Clean Up Your Finances This Spring – MoneyMonday

When it starts getting warm again, don’t just spend all of your time cleaning out the garage. It’s also a great time to spring clean your finances.

Here are the steps:

(1) Get Organized
(2) Tidy Up a Few Things
(3) Spring Forward with Your Goals

Check out this video for detailed tips for all three steps.

What are your best financial spring cleaning tips?

The 4 Ps of Financial Prosperity #MoneyMonday


I came across a pretty disturbing study that uncovered the fact that the richest 85 people in the world own as much wealth as the bottom 50% of the world population. Thats’s right, 85 people own as much as $3.5 billion people!

People hate to talk about wealth inequality for fear of being accused of hating capitalism. I, on the other hand, feel as though it must be discussed because I believe such a great disparity threatens our future security.

After all, when people are hungry, their politeness goes out of the window.

I do believe that people that want to build wealth can do so if they understand how to play the game. Here is my simple framework on how to start building wealth in 2014 in the form of my “4 Ps.”

The 4 Ps of Financial Prosperity


      1.  Potential – I frequently say “If you focus on living up to your potential, you’ll never have to worry about living within your means.” Get intense about being the best at your craft, and you’ll have enough resources where you won’t be worrying about whether you can afford latte today or not.
      2. Products - The wealthiest people have something to sell.  You may beed to start selling a service (i.e .bookkeeping, grass cutting, etc), but eventually you want to sell products that don’t require your ongoing time (i.e. books, courses, packaged goods, etc.)
      3. People - If you’re trading your time for money, you soon realize that there are only so many hours in the day.  You need to have people working for you in order to have a real, scalable business
      4. Property – Wealthy people own assets that they generate income from.  These assets could be in the form of stocks, bonds, annuities, real estate, etc.

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Why You Should Be a Mentor #MentorMonday

NOTE: I am participating in a compensated campaign to promote Pittsburgh Public Schools We Promise program. I am a strong supporter of mentoring programs, therefore all opinions remain my own. #IAmWePromise #PPSMentorsMatter


You Should Be a Mentor

Are you a talented, experienced professional with many life lessons learned that could be of benefit to others?  If you read my blog, my assumption is that you are.

As such, I’d like to make a strong suggestion that you should be a mentor.  Especially if you are in the Pittsburgh area.

There are a number of African American male students in the Pittsburgh Public Schools that could use advice from someone life you!

Not quite convinced?  Check out this week’s special Money #MentorMonday video for the top 3 reasons that you should become a mentor.


Remember All of Those Mistakes YOU Made?

When I talk with clients about financial mistakes they’ve made in their lives, I hear one statement over and over again:

[quote style="boxed"]If only I knew then what I know now”[/quote]

Here’s your opportunity to make sure that other young people don’t have to utter that statement.


The Media Isn’t Going To Do It

Have you watched TV lately? Our young men need to see more people like you in the flesh, because according to the media, you don’t exist.


Everyone Can Use a Cheerleader

When I was very young, my parents and my teachers made me feel like I was smart. I’m not sure if they were lying to me or not, but I believed it. They gave me confidence and a sense that great things were expected of me. Those feelings drive me to this day.

Spend some time mentoring a few young men and you can inspire them to do things they’ve never dreamed of.


Interested? Here’s the next step:

If you’ve ready to share your knowledge, expertise and encouragement with young African American males with great potential, please take a look at the Pittsburgh Public Schools’ We Promise Program, and initiative designed to ensure that these young men become eligible for the Pittsburgh Promise.

Eligibility for the Pittsburgh Promise means that these young men can obtain up to $40,000 to fund their college education.  As you can see, there’s a lot at stake.

Head over to the We Promise Program fort more information on how you can get involved.

It will be beneficial for you, and priceless for the young men.


Financial Lessons Learned for 2013 #MoneyMonday



Have You Learned Your Lesson?

There were a number of significant events that impacted our wallets in 2013.  Here are some of the lessons that we take with us into the new year.

      1.  Diversify Your Income – The bankruptcy filing by the City of Detroit shows how dangerous it can be to rely on one employer for your entire financial future. Don’t put all of your retirement eggs in one basket.
      2. Get Comfortable With Investing – All of the major stock market indices are up more than 25% this year.  Now more than ever, you are responsible for your own retirement. You must learn how to manage and grow your assets.
      3. Commit to Lifelong Learning – You must continuously reinvent yourself to keep pace with technology and the changing economy.  As Blockbuster and Blackberry if they wished they had done the same.
      4. Take Your Health Seriously – The Obamacare rollout, and its problems, highlight just how big of a deal health care is. The thing is, 75% of healthcare expenditures are largely preventable.  Take care of your health and you will lower your costs and increase your earning potential.
      5. You Are Not Invincible – Unfortunate events can happen at any time.  Make sure that your life insurance and your important documents are in order.

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My Favorite Things 2013 #MoneyMonday

Check out the links below to find more information on my favorite things of 2013:


The stock market has done well this year!










Jab, Jab, Jab Right Hook










Get an Elite MBA for free





















MagicJack Plus






















Google Chromecast













How to Keep Your Holiday Spending in Check #MoneyMonday



How Much Will You Spend This Year?

Merry Christmas can turn in to Bah Humbug very quickly if you go overboard with your holiday gift giving.

Here are tips to help you keep your spending budget in check during this holiday shopping season.

Can you think of a gift you’ve received that meant the world to you, but cost very little?

Leave your comment below and give us some gift ideas!

Obamacare Lesson #1: Done > Perfect

You know that idea in your head?  The one that you’ve had for a few years now?  Yes, the one you tinker with every now and then on nights and weekends until other things in your life push it to the backburner.  Yeah, that one.  It’s brilliant. There’s only one problem, no one knows about it because you’re afraid to put it out there.  Let’s chat, I think I know why. website down


Let’s take the rollout of the Obamacare website for example. I know this is a high profile example, but stick with me for a moment. Whether you agree with the law or not (this is not a political blog), let’s just except the premise that the President and everyone else that voted for the Affordable Care Act are looking to do something significant with health care in the United States.

In fact the ACA is the most significant overhaul of health care in this country since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965! I’d call that a huge undertaking.

Whenever you are trying to make a big dream come true there are bound to be bumps in the road. The Obamacare website rollout is a great example of this. The site has been plagued in the early going by connectivity and other technical issues. So much so that the website itself has prompted a few days of Congressional hearings on the subject!

However, if I was in the position of the POTUS or Kathleen Sebelius I would simply have offered one principle that would be politically unpopular (and that the media would have a field day with), but one that every serious entrepreneur or business person knows is absolutely vital to the successful deployment of their big ideas:

Done > Perfect


That’s right, your idea is far more valuable if you simply get a MVP out the door (tech speak for minimally viable product) so that you have a starting point to work from. You could always put off, delay, tweak, research, revise, alter, change or any number of things that only serve to validate your fear of making a mistake or things not working or looking exactly right the first time.

I’m always astonished by the number of people that haven’t started their business yet because they haven’t found the “perfect” name for their product or a great logo. Seriously?

People like this think that Apple magically dreamed up the iPhone and iPad and went on to sell millions of units and make billions of dollars.  However, these people either have short memories or aren’t students of business.  They fail to remember the Apple Newton that was a colossal failure in the marketplace and what was supposed to be its killer feature, handwriting recognition, became the butt of jokes in newspapers around the country.



But let me ask you something, who do you think had the last laugh?

I know that it’s extremely uncomfortable for you to put yourself in the position of being publicly sconred like Katherine Sebelius just for trying to bring something of value to the world. It hurts even worse when the resistance to your ideas is coming from people whose opinion you care about.

But I’ve got two little words that will help you blow the lid off of any negative feedback you’re getting about putting your idea out there:

“Beta Test”

My first job after completing my Industrial Engineering degree at the University of Pittsburgh was as a technology consultant at Deloitte Consulting, one of the largest professional services firms in the world. I participated on a number of information technology projects for large organizations, and it was there that I learned the value of the beta test.

A beta test occurs when you’ve tested your product internally and you release it to a (usually limited) number of end users so that the product can function in the real world and you can continue to make improvements. Do you use Gmail? Google released its popular email product in 2004 and it remained in “beta test” phase for 5 whole years, even though it racked up more than 100 million accounts during that time.

Google is the second most valuable technology company on the planet, right behind the aforementioned Apple.  I think it would be ok to learn from them.


So, if you take the idea that you’ve been trying to get out of your head, get it to a point where it’s functional and release a “beta version” to the world, you not only put yourself in a position to help people and begin to reap the benefits of your hard work, you also put the smack-down on any resistance because the “beta” label acknowledges that, while the product should work as intended, you are still working to improve your product.

The Administration would have done itself a favor if it had released the product in “beta” and/or conducted a phased rollout, as I would have advised them if they were my client.  But who knows, perhaps $174 million doesn’t get you as much quality consulting as it used to (I really should have upped my rates).

I mean, health care hasn’t changed for the better in 50 years.  You don’t think people can wait two months for kinks to be worked out in the system?

Do Yourself a Favor

Do yourself a favor and stop waiting for the perfect time, logo, name, website, wordpress theme, customer, partner, mascot or whatever else has been holding you back.  Those things will come in time. Get over your fear of not having a blockbuster right out of the gate.  Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn famously said, “If you’re not somewhat embarrassed by your 1.0 product launch, then you’ve released too late.” There’s value in launching early, getting engaged with customers, and learning from them. That can direct your progress.


Oh, and please don’t try to weasel out of this method by saying that you’re not working on a software or internet product.  It doesn’t matter if you are becoming a plumber or you are designing t-shirts.  Put something out there slap “beta” or “version 1.0″ on it and keep moving.  Said another way:

“You don’t have to be GREAT to get STARTED, but you do have to START in order to be GREAT” – Les Brown

So it’s time for you to get started.  I can’t wait to see what you have up your sleeve.


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