M&S 014: Cooking Up Success w/ Chef Roble

Recently I went to Chicago to speak at the National Black Chamber of Commerce Convention and made the most of it by taking advantage of the opportunity to connect with some amazing people.

If the first of 3 interviews I conducted while I was there, meet Chef Roble ALi, star of the hit Bravo TV show Roble & Co., culinary expert to the stars and entrepreneur as he shares how he built his business and is expanding into many areas beyond food.

What to Read (And Take Action On) This Summer

You know by now that I believe that reading is FUNDamental! If you read what others don’t, you’ll gain insights that others don’t have, and that will ultimately help you create the financial life you are striving for.

Here are my recommendations for what you should read this summer while you TAN (Take Action Now)!

Creativity for Sale, Jason SurfrApp

51a871nHVhL-1._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Jason was the very first guest on the Movers & Shakers Podcast, and we were lucky to have him.  He dropped tons of knowledge in that episode, and now he’s taken it a step further by releasing first book, Creativity for Sale.

If you’re new here or you missed the episode, Jason is the guy that first figured out how to make 66 grand wearing sponsored t-shirts everyday for a year.  Then he sold his last name for 50k. Finally he has this entire book sponsored before he finished, and he breaks down how you can do the same.

Stop waiting for someone else to pay you.  Get creative.  Make your own money.

ACTION ITEM: As you read the book and get inspired.  Write down your 5 wildest, most creative (and legal) ways you can come up with to make money. Don’t hold back.


Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, Gary Vaynerchuk

1386138745Never before in the history of mankind have there been more tools available to help you reach and audience of potential customers. FB, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. etc. But, you can’t build a house with a plunger.  Similarly, social media tools won’t be of much use to you if you don’t use them properly.

That’s where Gary comes in. He is definitely a trailblazer in the social media space.  He gets in and masters these tools, and makes money from them before you even know they exist.  But that’s ok, you can benefit from his knowledge. What’s the overall secret? JJJRH stands for Give, Give, Give, Then Ask (for the sale).

Read JJJRH to help you take the creative idea you developed and build a community of potential buyers using social media.

ACTION ITEM: Pick ONE idea from action item 1, and pick TWO (and only two for now) social media tools and develop a strategy to build a community around your new creative product or service.


Launch, Jeff Walker

Book_JeffWalkerYou have an idea. You’ve built a community of people who like what you have to say. Now it’s time to sell your product.

But you can’t just put up a post on FB and say, “Hey, here’s my product, you can buy it now…if you feel like it.” This isn’t Field of Dreams.  You can’t just build it and think they will come.

There’s an art to completing the sale. It’s a skill that can be learned. Jeff will teach you.  He’s made millions of dollars online, and has taught others to do the same (to the tune of more than $500M of products sold by his students) by using his Product Launch Formula.

Build anticipation around your product (ever notice how movies are promoted?) Help your customer understand that they have a problem. Help them solve it even if they don’t buy from you. Then describe how you can save them time and energy buy letting you solve the problem for them.

ACTION ITEM: Once you’ve picked and idea and built up a small community, use the techniques in Launch to get your product out there, start making sales, and then make the product better over time.

Oh, and to help jumpstart your action taking, I’m giving away a few of Jason’s books.  Go here to find out how you can win!

These Corporations Ain’t Loyal

…aka Why You Need to Become Financially Independent

I’m not the type of guy that likes to say “I told you so!” I don’t however have a problem writing it, so here it goes…I told you so.

On one of my recent regular #MoneyMonday segments on CBS, I mentioned that I thought it was time for you to start diligently pursuing their own financial independence, rather than getting “comfortable” (if accepting a life that you don’t really want to live in exchange for the privilege of helping someone else be financially independent can be considered comfortable) in a job for many years and then hoping and praying that your financial situation will somehow “work itself out.”

I got feedback from a number of people who felt as though they were financially independent because they have a prestigious, well-paying job.

Then this happened:

Yes, one of the largest, most iconic companies on the planet just decided to get rid of 18,000 people. 18,000! Or as Chris Brown would say, Microsoft just gave 18,000 people the “Deuces.”

This just goes to show you:

These Corporations Ain’t Loyal

I don’t often quote CB, let alone twice in one post, but when I do believe me it’s for a good reason. See, you should know that corporations aren’t loyal to you, and that’s ok. Nor should you feel any loyalty to them.

The corporation’s reason for existence is not to keep you employed. Its job is to maximize profit for its shareholders. Once you realize that you indeed are your own corporation, then it must follow that you have the same reason for existence, to maximize profit for your shareholders, whom just so happen to be you and your family.

To do that, you must have an intense focus on becoming financially independent.

Oh, you still think you’re financially independent because you don’t work at Microsoft? Well ask yourself how you would feel if I replaced Microsoft with the name of your company in that headline, and you were one of the 18,000 people whose jobs are being eliminated.

Would you be happy? Sad? Scared? If you’d immediately start polishing up your resume because you couldn’t last very long without a paycheck I have news for you, you are not financially independent.

I define financial independence to mean that you do not rely on a paycheck from one employer to cover your living expenses. You have assets that generate income to pay them for you. This income may come from a business (not self employment), rental real estate, stock dividends, bond interest, royalties, etc. In other words, the income comes from sources that do not require you to be at a certain place at a certain time everyday.

Now, I certainly hope that these Microsoft employees had multiple streams of income. I hope they did freelance coding on the weekend. I hope they have their own income generating mobile applications. I hope they were already on their third interview with another company because they could see this coming.

But sadly, I’m guessing that many didn’t. They were fooled into believing that the company had their back because they kept the fridge stocked, handed out t-shirts and offered a complimentary ticket to the holiday party.

Those t-shirts won’t pay your electric bill though.

Your job is not your girlfriend. You can’t “cheat” on it because you don’t have a relationship with it. You have an obligation to do your best work while you are there, and in exchange you’ll be paid for your efforts. Period. End of story. That’s it. Other than that, your obligation is to do what’s best for you and those that you care about.

And that means never again putting your livelihood in the hands of one company.

Real, Honest Advice for College Grads #MoneyMonday

If you’re a member of the collegiate class of 2014 you’ve most likely wrapped up your final exams, donned your cap and gown, and walked across the stage to receive your degree (as long as those parking tickets were paid.)

Most likely, you also sat through a somewhat inspirational, borderline boring and almost certainly cookie cutter keynote speech in which some notable person implored you to shoot for the stars.

Whether the speech fired you up or simply served as an opportunity to take a few more graduation selfies, that type of speech was probably appropriate for that occasion.

Now, it’s time for you to get some REAL advice.

The skills that got you through school aren’t the same skills that will lead you to success in life. You’re going to have to think differently if you ever want to pay those student loans back in a reasonable amount of time.

Since my invite to speak at your graduation must have gotten lost in the mail, I’ve put my best tips for you (the recent grad) and for the no-so-recent grad to implement to enhance your chance at success in today’s environment.

Understand WHO You Work For

The idea of having a “career” is cute, but it doesn’t exist anymore. Face it, your parents had “careers”, but you won’t.

Pensions are a thing of the past. No one goes to work for a company for 40 years and then has the company pay them for the rest of their lives.

Because there are no more pensions, you and you alone are responsible for your retirement. This means, you better get good at managing your money…fast.

Because of these major shifts in business, you no longer work for a company.

Everyone is their own business now. You work for yourself. Period. You are not a businessman, you’re a business…man (thanks Jay-Z), your “boss” is your client.

Now, a business with only one client is a business that can go out of business any day. Do you think it’s smart to run a business and serve only one client? No? Well why are your running your business that way?

Think differently.

Understand WHY You’re Working

I’m sorry, but I have to tell you something. It IS about the money.

If we agree that you are a business, then just like any other business, your obligation is to make as much profit for your shareholders (you and you family) as possible.

I’ve said before that you’re probably in a race to save $2.5 million as soon as you can, so that you can live on at least $100,000 in retirement.

With that goal in your mind, are you going to sit around and wait for your boss to give you a 3% raise this year? I doubt it.

You’ll Be Successful WHEN You Stop Waiting for Permission

College was very regimented. You knew what you had to do to succeed. Write your paper. Cram for your exam. Rinse and repeat.

In real life, there is no guidance counselor to make a success schedule for you. In fact, outside of your spouse, your parents and your dog, no one cares if you are successful or not.

It you’re waiting on someone to “discover” you, pick you, promote you or tell you its ok to do something great…you’re going to be waiting for quite sometime.

Most people W.A.I.T because they’re too busy asking themselves Who Am I To…? (See what I did there?) You know how it goes:

“Who Am I To truly enjoy what I do everyday?”

‘Who Am I To be this good looking?”

“Who Am I To give other people advice when I’ve made my own mistakes?”

Get over it. You deserve it as much as the next person. It’s action that determines who gets the spoils.

But wait, there’s more…

For the rest of my golden rules for college grads check out this week’s #MoneyMonday video (above) where I’ll tell you two major things that will deterrnine where you end up in life and the one person that can speed up the process of getting there.

You’ve spent 4 (5? 6?) years of your life and nearly $100,000 (even if you had grants and scholarships, that’s the sticker price) learning.

You have what you need. Now go get what you want.

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)

M&S 012: Sean Croxton on Improving Health and Building Wealth



I’m often shocked at how little we are taught about two of the most important things in our lives, health and wealth. So, to play my small part in alleviating that problem, I’m excited to bring someone to you that can discuss both of those topics with great expertise, Sean Croxton.

Sean is a health expert with a tremendous following on Youtube and Twitter, and he also has a top rated podcast on BlogTalkRadio and iTunes.

Sean’s passion for health led him to study kinesiology at San Diego State, and to start a career as a personal trainer after graduation.

While working as a personal trainer he had two big major revelations. The first was that most of the information being spread about how to live a health lifestyle was wrong, and he set out to correct those misconceptions.  Secondly, he realized that trading time for dollars wasn’t the most efficient, or enjoyable, way to get his message out and to help as many people as he possibly could, so he made a decision to learn more about doing business online.

Sean started creating videos on Youtube and has built a channel with more than 60,000 subscribers and more than 3 million views. He also has 40,000 likes on Facebook and 20,000 followers on Twitter.

He’s written an ebook on health that is used in college courses, and he’s sold 100s of thousands of dollars in products on health and online business.

Sean-Croxton Health and Wealth interview with Rob Wilson Movers and Shakers


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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?

M&S 011: Launching a Successful Tech Start-up with Don Charlton


Here on the Movers&Shakers Podcast, we love talking with entrepreneurs about the journey they took while starting their business. This episode excites me because we’ll be specifically talking about starting a technology company.

Why does it excite me so much, you ask? Well, many of you know that I have a bachelors degree in engineering and an MBA, so my passion lies in both business and technology.

But one thing I’ve noticed about tech is that while most of us are consumers of technology, some of us get stuck when it comes to being creators of technology

In order to help you bust through that roadblock and to encourage you to build and create new technologies, in this episode I have someone who has been there and done that, Don Charlton.

When I mention tech startups, you might immediately start thinking of the wealthy silicon valley, or rich kids starting companies in their dorm rooms. But Don’s story definitely didn’t start that way.

He’s not afraid to tell you that he grew up, in his words, “ridiculously poor.” When he left his small Pennsylvania town at 18 to go to college, he had all of $75 to his name.

Now he employs 40+ people, has raised millions of dollars in venture funding, and counts as customers some of your favorite web 2.0 companies such as Tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest, and had his product used by both 2012 presidential campaigns!

Don Charlton Entrepreneurship Tech Startup Interview with Rob Wilson


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