By Jillian Michaels
The economic downturn inspired Orman’s new book, ‘The Money Class,’ in which Ms. Orman looks at personal finance in a whole new light.
Jillian Michaels Interviews Suze Orman
Jillian: I love this story so much because you took a major setback and turned it into an opportunity. Your dream of opening your own restaurant was shattered and additionally you were now $50,000 dollars in debt. This scenario would have devastated most people, and yet you accepted the intervention of fate, found meaning in it, learned from it and subsequently the woman you are today was born. How would you advise someone who is suffering a major failure or setback to not give up and fall apart? How does one “turn lemons into lemonade”?
Suze: You have to understand every “no” leads you that much closer to a “yes.” When one door closes another door opens. A great teacher once taught me that you’ve got to have faith that everything happens for the best. I have had many setbacks in my career and every setback has led me that much further into my truth. After a few years of being a stockbroker, in 1987 I opened up my own firm and had another major setback where one of my employees ripped off all my money. It closed me down for a year or two and I ended up $250,000 in debt.
That situation turned out to be the greatest thing that every happened to me because that’s where I learned to stand in my truth. That’s where I learned that the truth will always lead you to a better place and a bigger place. And every single setback, every single one, has led me — not in my time, but in the time that it was meant to happen — to a place that I never in a million years could have imagined that I could go or become. So the greatest advice I could give you is the lesson I was taught: that you’d better have faith that everything happens for the best. Nothing happens in your life that isn’t something that you are meant to learn to get you where you need to go so you can become who you are meant to be. And that meant-to-be might be someone you don’t even know exists at this moment in time.
Jillian: This brings me to my next question. You mention 30 years in this business. In that time you have written many best-selling books on money. Why another book on money? Why The Money Class? Why now? What makes this book different?
Suze: I really thought in 2007 when I wrote Women and Money that it would be my last major book on finance. Maybe I would write a book on my journey, my memoir so to speak, but as for finance that would be that. And then 2008 happened and 2009 and 2010 and I knew during those three years that the world of money had changed and it was very probable that it would never change back to how it was before. And that the advice I had given before was not advice I would give now. The dream of owning a home turned into a dream of getting out of a home because people were now upside-down in their homes and all they wanted to do was to rent an apartment and be free. The dream of having one’s dream job turned into “Oh my God, I’ll take any job. I’ve been out of work for two years now. I don’t care what I do. I’ll do anything because I don’t have any money”.
So it was at the end of 2010 that I realized this financial debacle was not ending anytime soon, and that I wanted to write one more book. People needed to go back to class to learn about money all over again. Hence the title The Money Class. And the subtitle of that book is “Learn to create your new American dream”. I wanted to give people the ability once again to realize that they can still dream, but it has to be a new American dream that’s based in honesty, integrity, and security — a dream that allows you to sleep at night, a dream that is attainable and allows you to stand in your truth. So it was actually a very important book for me to write and for America to read.
Jillian: If someone could take one major tip from the book, what would it be?
Suze: Stand in your truth! This book is made up of nine classes, the second of which is to stand in your truth. You can’t build a foundation on lies. You can’t build a future if you do not know who you are. You can’t become who you are meant to be if you can’t tell the truth about who you are, what you have, and everything about your life. The truth is the absolute essence to your success, while lies are the absolute essence to your failures. People were not truthful in terms of what they could afford. The entire economy seemed to be based on lies, deceit, and greed. But we do not need to rehash history, for we all have felt what happened over the past three years. In this book, I leave the lies behind and create new truths. I weave the “stand in your truth” class into the most vital financial areas of your life: retirement, careers, families, and real estate. If you care about your financial life, you had best read this book. It is like no other, and that is the truth.