If You Knew Suze, Like I Know Suze
This past Friday, I received a special invitation by Avon to meet personal finance guru Suze Orman for her very first "Tweet Up" with bloggers. At first, I thought there would be hundreds of people there and I would probably get a chance to just smile and snap a Blackberry photo of her. Boy, was I in for a big surprise!
The moment I arrived, I was greeted by the friendly Avon staff and then, after following a few Twitter bird signs, I entered a conference room and saw a few familiar faces - like Aly Walansky, who is a fabulous beauty blogger and Issa with YourSingleParenting.com.
After we had all taken our seats around a conference table (yes it was that small of a group!) Suze made her entrance and took the entire place by storm. Her candor and humor is infectious and even when she's giving you hard hitting advice that may be tough to take, you know she is telling it like it is and only wants to help you succeed and dare I say, MAKE MONEY!
And that's why I believe Avon was brilliant in assembling a group of female bloggers - many of whom share their thoughts, recommendations, interviews, beauty tips, financial advice, essays and reviews without being compensated for their content. As mainstream magazines are folding left and right and the online world is the place where all brands want to be, bloggers are helping to feed the beast by constantly providing free content to mainstream outlets without being compensated for their work. And with the help of Suze Orman, our lives and perspective about our work and our worth was about to change.
Avon, which was the first company in the United States to empower women to make money, now helps millions of individuals earn a living or additional income so that they can afford to buy or do the things they love. And that's exactly why Suze Orman decided to partner with the organization - aside from the fact that her own mom was an Avon representative in 1962 and she revealed that her additional income from Avon helped support their family.
During the breakfast, we all found out that Suze's road to success was pretty rocky. She never graduated college and earned a living as a waitress at the age of 30. Her career prospects changed after a brokerage firm lost $50,000 that was loaned to her so she could open a restaurant and she decided to become a broker in an industry dominated by men, determined to earn that money back. Surviving on Taco Bell and living out of her car, Suze managed to turn her life around, became an expert in personal finance and the rest is history. She also revealed that while her books have sold millions of copies, she didn't publish her first one until she was 45! Translation - it is never too late to reinvent your life, start doing what you love and make a living along the way.
During the Tweet up, I managed to snag some amazing quotes from Suze. But before we get to them, I wanted to inform our readers of a few more great things about her. First up, if you follow her on Twitter @suzeormanshow and you ask her a finance question, she will answer you. Suze answers all questions on her Twitter account so if you think someone else is writing you back, it's actually Suze, how cool is that?
Next, I was genuinely touched to see how incredibly supportive Suze Orman was to the group of women who attended the event. A handful of women had been laid off with some even facing their last unemployment check and Suze as well as other attendees at the breakfast offered them advice and ongoing support. Plus, rather than looking at a layoff as a negative, Suze congratulated the women about their good fortune since they now have the chance to wipe the slate clean and do what they love.
And now for all the amazing quotes and advice I managed to Tweet from the event...
"Suze Orman created an account with TD Ameritrade SaveYourself.com. Save money and put it away. TD Ameritrade pays you $100! #avontweetup
10:55 AM Jun 19th from TwitterBerry
---This was in reference to how we should approach investing and our 401K's in a turbulent market. It turns out that Suze is working with TD Ameritrade - if you visit the site SaveYourself.com, you can save money and TD Ameritrade will pay you $100 to deposit funds with them. Additionally, Suze suggested for those of us no longer working in corporate America, we should rollover our 401K's into an IRA that then eventually roll that over into a Roth IRA.
@suzeormanshow "Build your brand with honesty, integrity and truth #avontweetup
10:14 AM Jun 19th from TwitterBerry
-That's how Suze has built her own brand too and she says she never buys anything she can't afford. She owns all her homes outright (all 8 of them), she travels by private jet, and she never dips into her savings. She only uses the money that she has earned after taxes from new opportunities to make her purchases.
@suzeormanshow Nobody else matters but you and are you on track with living a happy life #avontweetup
10:00 AM Jun 19th from TwitterBerry
@suzeormanshow Leverage is what got the United States into trouble...as a woman, I don't like leverage #avontweetup
9:56 AM Jun 19th from TwitterBerry
-In reference to a question about whether a couple should borrow funds in order to invest in the stock market.
"Women help other women, we have to help one another" #avontweetup
9:47 AM Jun 19th from TwitterBerry
"There is nothing wrong with making profit so that all come to benefit"#avontweetup
9:34 AM Jun 19th from TwitterBerry
--In reference to a question about wanting to start a non-profit organization.
And the best Tweet of All...
@suzeormanshow "Changing lives one tweet at a time"
9:33 AM Jun 19th from TwitterBerry
After two hours, the discussion finally came to a close and then they held a raffle drawing to win all of Suze's books. And guess what? Even though yours truly never wins anything...and I repeat anything, I won!!! So watch out Role Mommies - the moment those books arrive, I am going to become a finance fiend.
Thank you to Avon for inviting me to be a part of one of the most exciting events I've ever attended and to Suze Orman for her heartfelt advice, inspiring story and giving spirit. To find out more about Avon and the incredible work they have accomplished in support of entrepreneurs and women's causes, then visit AVON.com for more information about their foundation. And if you want a Suze fix, tune into her show on CNBC - which happens to be the #1 show on the network - visit the Suze Orman website or better yet, give her a Tweet @suzeormanshow. Trust us, you're eyes will light up and you'll be grinning from ear to ear the moment she answers you back!
To top the morning off, there was a professional photographer snapping away and I even got to take a shot with Suze - I think you can tell my from my enormous grin that I had a great time. What a way to spend a morning. Now time to make some money!