Suze Orman, Personal Finance Expert, on Learning to Create Your New American Dream

by Layla N. Revis   •  

“A nation that’s broken cannot hold up a person. One person that’s strong is all it takes,” Suze Orman proclaimed.

Inspiring and igniting the room, she was on hand at the Opportunity Nation Summit to talk candidly about how our world is financially broken. “You can’t ask the nation to fix you when the nation is broken. You can’t ask the economy to save you. Only one person can save you and that is you and you alone.” 

When she was asked, “How do you fix a person or a people broken?” 

Her response, in typical Suze Orman ‘say it like it is’ fashion, was this:

“You have to get a grip! You cannot expect someone to save you. You have to dig deep down. I don’t care if that means you have to find three jobs or five jobs. You need to make it your priority to be powerful about your money. As long as we continue to think others can fix this for us, we’re in trouble.”

So, how do you explain how Suze Orman, a woman who was a waitress at a bakery for 7 years unitl the age of 30, is now a renowned personal finance expert?

“I wanted to open up my own restaurant. I asked my parents for $20,000 to open my restaurant, but they didn’t have it. So, I told the people I was waiting on every day with love what I wanted to do and… they gave me $50,000.” From there, she gave a broker her money and, in three months time, the broker had lost it all. 

“That’s when I realized I could be a broker. They just make you broke-er.”

As a result, she went straight to Merrill Lynch to look for a job and, because there were no women in the Merrill Lynch office, they hired her simply to fulfill their women’s quota.

“That was the opportunity.”

From there, she began to learn her rights, her industry, and her money. The rest, they say, is herstory. 

Layla N. Revis

Vice President, Digital Strategy Ogilvy 360 Digital Influence

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