The Money School Created By A Financial Guru & Bestselling Author Who Triumphed To Build Wealth

New York Times bestselling author and financial guru Nicole LapinIMAGE COURTESY OF NICOLE LAPIN

Long-term goals, budgeting, saving, and enjoying small indulgences are a some of the key things you will often hear explored by financial guru and New York Times bestselling author Nicole Lapin. Lapin founded The Money School after a role as an anchor on major television networks where she noticed a large gap in populations that gained access to financial literacy knowledge. The population Lapin desired to support was the former version of her self. The one, the founder describes as: “that girl who was smiling, nodding, and not joining basic money conversations because she was too freaked out and too scared to do it.”

As a first-generation American, Lapin was raised in a household where financial literacy was not primarily taught or spoken of. Growing up, at age eleven, she encountered the loss of her father due to a drug overdose and a lack of guidance from her mother. During this time, Lapin describes seeing her parents primarily make money moves that were not the most ideal. This sparked her desire to write a new trajectory for her future.

By starting from the ground up, Lapin expresses taking any job she could from working at a low salary to accumulating credit card debt, and more. Finally, with determination and grit, she landed a job as a business reporter and it just happened that the role was in the field of finance. While feeling clueless and freaked out about the language of money, Lapin explains that she had to learn the language of money the hard way because her job demanded that she spoke it to the world.

Learning The Language of Money

At the “school of hard knocks” the financial expert, who then was the process of acquiring greater knowledge, details that she encountered a plethora of funny affirmable moments along the way. Through her work, Lapin shares these experiences to challenge others to embrace being comfortable with learning and growing through unfamiliar spaces.

For example, while Lapin was on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange she gathered her belongings to head to an interview with a few founders. On her way out she recalled her manager asking: “Do you have the P&L?” And she responded: “No” staring with a puzzled grimace. “No, I don’t have to pee,” she thought to herself. In another instance, Lapin describes thinking that a former boyfriend was a garden “hedge manager” given his role at a hedge fund.

To Lapin, money has served as a language to be learned and one that we often don’t realize can serve as the biggest hurdle for bridging avenues to opportunities in our financial lives.

Pervasive Disparities in Financial Education 

Learning the language of money has become instrumentally important due to an ongoing widespread dialogue surrounding the financial literacy education gap in America. Currently, two-thirds of American adults are said not to be able to pass a basic financial literacy test, 54% of Millennials express worry that they will not be able to pay back student loans, and only 16% between the ages 18-26 feel very optimistic about their financial futures.

To counter these disparities at a national scale, Lapin advocates for lobbying for more financial education in our governmental system to bridge what she notes as “a personal budget deficit.” However, in addition to lobbying at the national level, she advocates helping others explore a fundamental piece of the puzzle that they truly can control, which begins with themselves. She articulates this by sharing:

People say all the time I’m freaked out by the stock market; I’m freaked out by all of these things. And all we really have control over is ourselves. This is a deeper component of the conversation because how we each interact within these markets permeates all aspects of our lives.

By founding The Money School, Lapin has created opportunities to support each individual learner where they are in their financial growth journey. Given that so often financial learning exists within traditionally broad topics explored in school such as macroeconomics, by meeting the individual learner where they are in the process Lapin shares practical hands-on tips and tricksfrom writing checks to completing taxes or making a budget.

IMAGE COURTESY OF NICOLE LAPIN

One Solution: The Money School

The Money School is an online community Lapin created where she shares a 12-step plan for helping others get their financial lives together. This plan has been tested in both of her books and the third book due to hit shelves soon. Traditionally, readers and students have found the guides to be easy to follow and iterate upon.

The financial guru and New York Times Bestselling author shares that the first step at The Money School is:

…Admitting you have a problem—and we all have problems—so that you can do something about it. From there, I wanted to create interactive video lessons, worksheets, and quizzes for the school community. Then bring in some cool experts and friends that I know from the business world to help along the way.

Overall, a key goal for the Money School is to rethink the way education around this topic looks. To do so Lapin has broken down finance into a language we often would use daily, like in a meeting with a circle of friends. Similar to friendships, she compares starting a new financial guide to embarking on a long-term endeavor. During the journey, Lapin says it’s “beneficial to set benchmarks and opportunities for small outings and/or indulgences so that you stay on track.”

How to Start Achieving Your Money Goals Today

To start achieving your money goals today, Lapin shares: “We really need to focus on our endgames and goals.” To cover these two areas, she recommends breaking down: 1) a spending plan into three E’s—essentials, endgame, and extras, and 2) goals into three F’s—family, finance, and fun. The Money School founder uses these alliterations to explore how we can look at our goals holistically due to our work lives and personal lives overlapping in numerous ways. In order to achieve true happiness, “we must achieve happiness in all areas,” she shares.

Additionally, when it comes to creating plans for money matters Lapin encourages those who wish to become financially fit to pursue money from a place of aspiration versus deprivation—mentality plays a crucial role in the process. For example, a person aspiring to build wealth settling to clip coupons and digging in the couch for coins may have greater adverse effects than one focusing on creating a savings plan.

As Lapin highlights:

…Figure out where you aspire to go and then reverse engineer your actions. The more I’ve been able to be real, the closer I’ve gotten to reaching my goals and you can too! For me, I had to get to a place where I was super vulnerable, authentic, basically naked, sharing all the stories I wanted to whiteout in the past when I tried to pretend I was perfect. Doing the internal work, only I could do for myself, made all the difference.

[“source=forbes”]

5 Insights Entrepreneurs Who Go to the Gym Gain About Themselves

5 Insights Entrepreneurs Who Go to the Gym Gain About Themselves

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You don’t have to be a Harvard business grad to have a successful career as an entrepreneur. Similarly, you don’t have to be an intense CrossFitter to get in shape, but there are plenty of ways in which having a strong body and mind will benefit you in both life and business.

We often underestimate how strong we are in both our body and our mind. Many of us lack the confidence to put ourselves to the test. But to achieve our goals, we need to push ourselves, trust our instincts and be disciplined in going after what we want. To make big gains, start by taking a detour to the gym.

Here are the five insights you will gain if you become as committed to the gym as you are to your business.

1. You are tougher than you think.

It takes a great deal of work to transform your body or your business. When you put in the hard work at the gym, it improves your energy and stamina, and helps you stay focused. But more than that, getting a good sweat on can actually make you more resilient to stress.

Exercise reorganizes the brain so that it doesn’t allow stress and anxiety to interfere as much with brain function. In essence, exercise can make both your body and your mind stronger and more flexible. The harder you push yourself, the more you realize that you are stronger and tougher than you think. If you dig deep, you can go farther and faster than you thought possible.

We all know that resilience is a cornerstone to building a successful business. Being able to bounce back from a difficult situation is key to being able to move forward and eventually flourish. An entrepreneur must stay levelheaded during the lean times, as well as when business is bountiful.

What better way to teach yourself to be nimble and juggle priorities than to train your body to be resilient in the gym? Along the way, you’ll build confidence, and gain adaptability and flexibility.

Related: This Entrepreneur Lives in the Back Room at a Gym While Building His Business

2. It’all about mindset.

Any given year around January 1, if you ask people what their New Year’s resolution is, many will say they want to get in shape or lose weight or be healthier. But how many people actually accomplish this goal?

Many fall short because they don’t get themselves into the right frame of mind to accomplish their goal. They don’t follow through, set realistic expectations or commit to healthy habits to make it happen. They fail to develop the right mindset.

They will probably keep setting the same goal — and keep failing — year after year, unless they do something to shake things up and change their habits. If you want to succeed, you have to believe you can. Then you have set about making real changes to put you on the right path. Finally, you need to keep going for the long haul.

The same thing is true for an entrepreneur who wants to build a successful business. Often there isn’t a huge difference between one entrepreneur and another. Their mindset and determination are what set them apart. If you want to create a successful business, you have to stop letting fear or lack of confidence hold you back. You have to have purpose and a vision to succeed.

3. More is possible with strong core.

When you work out, you’ve got to do more than just exercise your arms and legs. To truly get in shape, you’ve got to build your core muscles. Without a solid core to support you, you’ll end up with a lot of physical ailments and injuries, and unable to accomplish your workout regime.

The same thing goes for business. You’ve got to build the core of your business. Why are you doing this? Who are your customers? What makes you stand out? You need to decide what your business is focused on and then make sure you keep that focus, even as you build other elements.

Having a strong foundation will allow you to expand and contract as needed with market fluctuations. If you fail to build your core, you will flop.

Related: 5 Elements That Shape the Core of a Strong Startup

4. It’marathon, not sprint.

You can’t just show up on day one and expect to kill it. It doesn’t work like that, either in business or at the gym. Your strength and endurance can only be built slowly.

If you push yourself too far, too fast, you may hit burnout before you reach your goal. What matters is being persistent, showing up day in and day out. Sometimes the biggest accomplishment is being able to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving toward your goal.

You have to know when to press forward, when to work on gaining strength, when to throttle back and when to give it your all. Any transformation you go through will be painful. But if you want to accomplish your goals, you’ve got to push through the pain.

It’s easy to do nothing: to sit on the couch and accept being average. But if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you’ve got to be in it for the long haul. The same thing goes for the gym.

Related: My Journey From Couch-Surfing Kid to Tech Engineer

5. Get your creative juices flowing.

When you work out, you’re giving your body a chance to exert energy, to burn off stress, to focus on the here and now and let go of issues that have been plaguing you.

A good workout session can feel like a chance to purge your body through sweat, but it can also be cathartic for your mind. Working out reduces stress and helps you focus. But more than that, it’s also a great way to open yourself up to new ideas.

The gym can be a great place to get both your brain and your body working outside the box. It can give you that mental spark you’ve been looking for. One study shows that those who work out regularly do better on tests of creativity than those who are sedentary. Moving your body can help you overcome mental blocks and go deeper into a problem.

Scientists now recognize that intense exercise helps your brain produce brain-derived neutrophic factor, an important protein that helps stimulate the process of neurogenesis, which is the growth of new brain cells. What more do you need to know to convince you to hit the gym?

[“Source-entrepreneur”]

The teacher who pushed the boundaries of Hong Kong education

Image result for The teacher who pushed the boundaries of Hong Kong education

Edward Tse Kam-man is not your ordinary teacher. Having retired late last year, he looks back at his time as a visual arts instructor at Kwun Tong Maryknoll College with fondness.

Tse, 61, was ahead of his time when he started teaching at the boys’ school 34 years ago. Instead of sticking to the strict local school culture, Tse did away with seating plans and bought a fridge, water dispenser and coffee pot for his students. He also brought along a CD player because he felt music should be played in art classes.

Students were allowed to eat and drink when they wanted, and even swear. Tse stocked the art supplies room with all sorts of things, including baby oil, which came in handy when a student jammed his finger into a hole in a stool and couldn’t get it out.

The teacher got rid of homework entirely for Form One to Three pupils because “when local school students take work home, the parents do the homework,” he said.

“They just want a good grade, so they end up doing the drawing, the sticking, the cutting. It sends the wrong message to the students – that their work is not good enough.”

Tse does not believe in grading art work either, even for school, because he believes that art is not about what is right or wrong, but about freedom of expression. He calls the current art education system anti-education as it favours certain types of students, such as those good at repetition.

“[Grading] is very discouraging. The students all just sat together and had a good time making art, then they took the work home and the parents asked why they only got a C. The parents even asked what grades other students got. No one was happy. The parents wanted to know why the child wasn’t working harder, why they drew this and that … This shouldn’t be happening at all.”

So how exactly did Tse come up with such a unique classroom concept?

“I wanted students to trust me, not be afraid to show their true selves. They were constantly testing the teacher to see if they’d get in trouble. They wanted to know which side I was on – the school’s or theirs. My role is not to be a teacher. I am giving students a safe environment in which to express themselves, where they can break boundaries and build confidence.”

With his novel ways, Tse worried some fellow teachers. He received warning after warning, both verbal and written, from the school over his deliberately relaxed approach, but he always just came short of being fired. This is because his methods produced results.

“There are students who don’t normally behave and barely even come to school, but after spending some time in my class, their behaviour improves. There are also students who get bad grades, but still get accepted into university to study art.”

Parents did not complain about Tse’s teaching methods either because he says “they didn’t necessarily care about art. It’s considered a sidebar subject.”

That in itself is a problem for Tse, who, despite retiring, thinks something should be done about Hong Kong’s secondary education system. He says many universities in Hong Kong which take design or art students “don’t look at Diploma of Secondary Education results, but the education sector keeps pushing it anyway”.

“There’s something wrong with this examination method. Other than it not helping students get into university, it’s suffocating.

“The youth should take charge of their own creativity. Students today go around in circles, they copy each other. They’re not aware that they’ve fallen into a trap of wasting time and they don’t contribute to society. Who will break this cycle?”

Tse’s work pushing the boundaries of what is widely considered good education has earned him a place on the shortlist of the South China Morning Post’s Spirit of Hong Kong Awards. He was nominated by the Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union in the Compassion Ambassador category.

One for the money: the great actors who slummed it in dumb movies

Unwatchable. Dustin Hoffman and Natalie Portman in Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium.

Unwatchable. Dustin Hoffman and Natalie Portman in Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. Photograph: Allstar/20th Century Fox

Helen Mirren’s appearance in Fast and Furious 8 – or Fate of the Furious, or whatever you want to call it – is notable for a couple of reasons. First, it proves that not even dames of the British empire are impervious to the breathlessly dumb spectacle of a big-budget, boneheaded franchise. Second, it elevates her to the highest possible rank of actor: Thespians Who Should Be Above This But Aren’t.

Almost without exception, every great actor has spent at least some time slumming it in films that don’t accommodate their talent. In fact, you could probably make a highly enjoyable movie marathon out of these appearances. Here’s my suggested running order:

Orson Welles in Transformers.

Orson Welles – Unicron
Transformers: The Movie (1986)

We’ll start with perhaps the most infamous. By this point, Welles’s career had spiralled down to the extent that he was primarily famous for his angry, drunk, advert outtakes. His final indignity was playing a planet-eating robot called Unicron in a feature-length toy commercial. However, this raises an important point about slumming actors: although the work is beneath them, the films are often loads of fun to watch. Compare this with any of Michael Bay’s films, and Welles’s Transformers looks like a flat-out masterpiece.

Judi Dench – Aereon
The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)

Dench managed to win an Oscar after being in a film for just eight minutes. That film was not The Chronicles of Riddick, in which she played Dame Judi Dench Who Can Nearly Fly But Not Quite and Also Has a Curtain Over Her Head. It’s long, tedious and far too self-regarding for its own good. But, as Fifty Shades Darker ably demonstrated, at least Christian Grey was a fan of the film. He has a poster of it hanging on his wall.

Dustin Hoffman – Mr Magorium
Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (2007)

A film so bad it became the punchline to Breaking Bad’s best joke, Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium is a prime example of all the bad things that can happen if you hire a renowned actor to star in your stupid movie. Hoffman endows his character with countless infuriating tics and quirks that would have almost definitely been beaten out of him if he wasn’t Dustin Hoffman. Future Oscar-winner Natalie Portman didn’t do herself any favours, either. Unbearable.

Marlon Brando as Dr Moreau

Marlon Brando – Dr Moreau
The Island of Dr Moreau (1996)

The stories about Marlon Brando’s antics on the set of this doomed HG Wells adaptation are much better than the actual film. It is said that, rather than learn the lines, Brando simply repeated whatever was dictated to him via an earpiece; a trick that went awry when the signal was highjacked by a nearby police scanner. He also insisted that his character should intermittently wear a bucket on his head and, although this was vetoed, that he should ultimately reveal himself to be a dolphin. The film is unwatchable.

Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe – Lt Parker Barnes and SID 6.7
Virtuosity (1995)

Now it’s time for a twofer. This is the plot description from Virtuosity’s IMDb page: “When a virtual reality simulation created using the personalities of multiple serial killers manages to escape into the real world, an ex-cop is tasked with stopping its reign of terror.” The film, if you can believe it, doesn’t even live up to this. (NB: the film’s two leads have three Oscars between them.)

Michael Caine in Jaws: The Revenge

Michael Caine – Hoagie
Jaws: The Revenge (1987)

Caine’s “one for me, one for them” attitude towards filmmaking has resulted in a wildly spotty filmography. But his lowest point was the fourth Jaws movie. Roy Scheider’s character has died and his (possibly psychic) widow keeps getting chased about the place by an angry shark with a personal vendetta. Plus, said animal may or may not be controlled by a witch doctor. The film is partially redeemed by Caine’s devil-may-care attitude towards its horrible reception. “I have never seen the film, but by all accounts it was terrible,” he once memorably remarked. “However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.”

Peter O’Toole – Zaltar
Supergirl (1984)

Supergirl is filled with weirdly mournful performances by actors who all seem fairly close to death – Peter Cook’s role is especially sad. And yet it is O’Toole who takes the biggest hit. Playing a Kryptonian trapped in the Phantom Zone (who nevertheless seems to have access to Bill Beaumont’s A Question of Sport sweater collection), he exudes the air of a trapped circus monkey who won’t get any dinner unless he turns up and goes through the motions. Heartbreaking.

John Hurt – Dr Turner
Tender Loving Care (1998)

Technically, Tender Loving Care might not count as a movie, as it never had a theatrical release, but it does stand out as a bizarre outlier on Hurt’s filmography. The film is an interactive Hand That Rocks the Cradle-style thriller with the thinnest possible erotic undertone. You watch a couple of scenes, then answer an on-screen questionnaire about how it made you feel. Your answers dictate where the film goes next. Hurt’s role was to guide viewers through these questionnaires, and then pull an interested face as they entered their answers. The role could easily have been taken by a monkey in a hat.

Faye Dunaway – Elena Dubrow
Dunston Checks In (1996)

On the subject of monkeys, here’s a film about a crazy orangutan jewel thief and his kooky adventures in a negligently run hotel. You might remember Dunston Checks In as the film where an ape gives an erotic massage to a middle-aged lady. Or perhaps you’ll remember it as the film where the same monkey climbs on to a chandelier and flings himself at Faye Dunaway – star of Bonnie and Clyde, The Arrangement, Chinatown, The Thomas Crown Affair and Network – who then topples into a great big cake. This was probably less slummy for Dunaway than Supergirl (in which she also appeared) but, because she looks like she is having fun in this, it’s still worth throwing on the bonfire.

Cate Blanchett as Irina Spalko

na Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

No matter how prestigious their stage and screen careers, all actors want to work for Steven Spielberg. Even if they end up working with him on a film where people get attacked by giant ants. Even if that film has a sequence where the hero is catapulted to safety during a nuclear explosion by hiding in a fridge. Even if, at one point, Shia LaBeouf escapes death by literally swinging away through the trees like a monkey. This is why Cate Blanchett appeared in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Philip Seymour Hoffman – Owen Davian
Mission: Impossible III (2006)

At this point in his career, Hoffman was a true cinematic heavyweight. He had acted for Todd Solondz, Spike Lee and the Coen brothers. He was a favourite of Paul Thomas Anderson and Anthony Minghella. He had just won an Oscar for Capote. He could pick any role he liked, and he chose to be an anonymous baddie in the second-worst Mission: Impossible film. It made a small amount of sense, allowing him to chew scenery at full volume for his largest audience yet. But what a weird choice to play second fiddle to Tom Cruise’s frenzied running technique.

Robert Downey Jr – Dr Kozak
The Shaggy Dog (2006)

You could argue that Robert Downey Jr wasn’t slumming it by taking a reduced role in a fifth-rate Tim Allen movie. You could argue that, at this point in his life, he had scuppered his career so comprehensively that his appearance in this film counted as a kindness on Allen’s part. Even so, it’s jarring to see an actor so widely feted hopping around the interior of a courtroom on all fours with his tongue waggling around. Two years later, he would rehabilitate himself as Iron Man, becoming the world’s highest-paid actor in the process. But this performance remains a warning from history about all the bad things that can happen if you take too many drugs.

The entire cast
Tiptoes (2003)

Let us finish our marathon with an undiluted cavalcade of slumming actors. Tiptoes should have benefited from its murderers’ row of talent. It stars two-time Emmy-winning Peter Dinklage. It stars two-time London Critics’ Circle award-winner Kate Beckinsale. It stars two-time Bafta-winner Gary Oldman. It stars Oscar, Bafta and Golden Globe-winning Patricia Arquette. It stars Matthew McConaughey, who won 18 awards in a single year for Dallas Buyers Club. Tiptoes should have been unstoppable. But it wasn’t because it was a weird hybrid of romcom and abortion drama in which Oldman played a dwarf. The whole thing was so offensive that it was never released theatrically in the US.

[“Source-theguardian”]