Rob Wilson & Former 49ers/Raiders CB Shawntae Spencer Discuss His New Wingstop Venture



I recently had the amazing opportunity to stop by the NBC Pittsburgh studio with my client, former Pitt Panthers, San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders cornerback Shawntae Spencer to discuss his new Wingstop restaurant franchise venture and how he plans on being successful during his post-NFL career.

Here are some of his thoughts:


Do your research on any business opportunity

From the moment Shawntae became interested in Wingstop, we worked together to research the idea thoroughly before he decided to take the leap.  This included hiring a franchise consultant to help analyze the opportunity and to create a solid business plan.


Build a solid team with experience in the business

Shanwtae recognized he isn’t (yet) a restaurant expert. Nor is he an expert in construction.  He brought in knowledgable employees and consultants to help get the business off the ground.  Simply throwing money at a business, without the knowledge and expertise on how to effectively spend that money is foolish.

Find a great, growing brand to work with

The fact that Wingstop is a rapidly growing fast casual brand, made the opportunity attractive to Shawntae.  He appreciated the fact that Troy Aikman is the brand ambassador and rapper Rick Ross is a notable franchisee, which obviously helps the national recognition of the brand.

Beyond that, however, Shawntae felt comfortable with management, the simple menu and operational requirements, and ultimately decided to pursue the opportunity to build out the entire Pittsburgh market…and beyond!


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!

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)

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.


Like what you read here in this blog post?
Get more like it delivered straight to your inbox.

How to Get Paid What You’re Worth #MoneyMonday



Are You Ready To Finally Get Paid What You’re Worth?

It sure would be nice if there was a “fairy job mother” who would come down and leave significant salary increases for us each year. Sadly, no such thing exists.

If you want to make more money at your job (don’t all employees?) then you are going to need a plan.

Check out this episode of #MoneyMonday and you’ll come away with the process and tools necessary to significantly increase your salary at your next review.

MoneyMonday – What Do You Get the Person that WANTS Everything…A Financial Plan!

The holiday season is here again and it’s time to figure out what to get for those important people on your list.  I know it can be difficult to come up with gift ideas for the person that has everything.  It’s even harder to come up with ideas for the person that WANTS everything (that won’t break the bank of course).  This year, get them something that they both desperately need, but probably won’t buy for themselves….a financial plan!

To help those financially challenged people on your list, I’ve developed a new wealth building membership program called Financial Personal Training. It’s like working with a personal trainer at your gym, but for your financial health. A P90X workout program for your wallet, so-to-speak.

Think about it: Do you know anyone (including yourself) that has been trying to get any of the to-do items below done, but needs some quality advice and guidance to finally do so?

If so, then Financial Personal Training is for them (or you)!

“What do you get for the person that wants everything?…A financial plan!” – Rob Wilson

As a member in the program, you’ll receive access to exclusive monthly training webinars where we’ll discuss important financial topics with ample time for Q&A.  Each member receives a private monthly coaching session where I’ll work with you on your specific financial goals and aspirations, such as those listed above.  That’s only the beginning!  For a complete list of benefits, check out the program website at

Normally, the monthly investment for a life changing program like this would be fairly expensive.  But because I appreciate you guys so much for joining me on this wealth building journey, I’ve set the normal price at the level of $97/month.

But wait there’s more!

Since it’s the holiday season, and I know how much you love those Black Friday deals, I’m offering the first three months of the program at an astonishingly low  $49/month! And, so that no one get’s hurt rushing through the virtual doors, I’m giving you until the end of Cyber Monday to secure your spot in the program at this discount.  However, just like the $99 televisions at Wal-Mart, there are only a limited number of spots available, so don’t treat this like homework and wait until the last minute.

MoneyMonday – Visa Settles, Wells Fargo Discriminates & More Reasons You Hate Banks

People often wonder what the Occupy Wall Street Movement was about. Although the organizers weren’t that articulate about expressing their views, the “Bad News Banks” themselves keep giving us reasons to hate them. Learn a few of the recent ones in this week’s #MoneyMonday.

Let’s Connect!