I was so excited to interview Suze Orman because I love everything she stands for, things like delayed gratification, fiscal responsibility, and knowing the difference between what you want and what you truly need.
In the interview which is on another page, Suze validates the principles that I learned at an early age that have served me well. When I started babysitting at the age of 13 I earned 50 cents an hour. I remember how excited I was when the going rate increased to 75 cents and then it was a whole dollar.
After spending five long hours with hyper kids or a fussy infant and coming home with a hard-earned $5.00, I quickly learned to question the value of what I wanted to buy rather than squander it thoughtlessly.
At 16 I got my first real part-time job that paid minimum wage, something like $1.40 an hour. On pay day I would spread my meager earnings on the table and put various amounts of cash into different envelopes marked Savings, Clothes, and Miscellaneous. Those were the days when lay-away existed, when people made payments each week and only took the merchandise home when it was paid in full. Two years later I started another envelope that was labeled Car Payment.
When I was 20 I got my first credit card and I learned an important lesson that has stayed with me throughout my entire life. I bought a purple suede vest with long fringe and turquoise and white beads that I thought was so cool. I bought a few other things that I can’t remember because that purple suede vest overshadows everything else. If memory serves me, I think I racked up about $300 on that credit card which was a fortune for a young girl. What I do remember very clearly is that I made minimum payments and by the time that card was paid off a year or two later, the clothes were old and I hated that purple suede vest.
Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.”
– Will Smith
I proudly told Suze Orman that story when I interviewed her for my celebrity column, Up Close and Personal in Luxury Las Vegas magazine. She in turn shared some amazing stories about her childhood and beyond that will touch your heart.
A lot of folks think of Suze Orman as a money maven who, with her no nonsense, tough love approach, has taught millions of people worldwide how to get out of debt and be financially free. My interview with her offers a fresh approach where rather than dispensing advice, she shares a more personal side of herself.
The thing that thrilled me most was finding out that Suze really walks her talk. Many people have a double standard, one for themselves and another for everyone else. I was so pleased to find out that Suze and her wonderful life partner KT, both multi-millionaires in their own right, live conscious, responsible, down-to-earth lives.
In my interview with Suze, she talks about:
- The three people who have most influenced her life. Her answer is fascinating and will provide a lot of insight into who she really is.
- Her lifestyle, which really surprised and impressed me.
- Her greatest strength and yes, her greatest weakness.
- What a perfect day looks like.
- What she treasures most.
- Why Gay marriage must be legalized on the Federal level and many other things.
She says, “I’ve known I was gay since Day One and I’m 61 years old. Back in the 50s there wasn’t anyone for gays to talk with about it. In the 60s we started to talk with one another and I had a conversation with someone who understood my life. My message to young people is that it does get better. If you are just willing to be who you are, the world will change and eventually accept people like us. Just have faith and hang in there because it will get better. There is nothing greater in life than being able to stand in your truth and tell people who you are.”
Like Melissa, Suze is also a Breast Cancer survivor, and her favorite non-profit charity is the Avon Foundation for Breast Cancer.
My hope is for a world where everyone accepts and embraces each other for their character and their diversity regardless of the color of their skin, their religion, or their sexual orientation. We are all equally beautiful, colorful threads in this tapestry of life.
I don’t much care who is gay or straight or married or not. I mostly notice if they are brave enough to confront bigotry.”
– Jasmine Guy
LIFE LESSON: What I have been fortunate to discover is that the size of the home we live in, the make of the car we drive, the label on the clothes we wear don’t define who we are. I’m so grateful that Suze Orman is in this world to help people realize that the things that really matter in life don’t have a price tag.
When I chased after money, I never had enough. When I got my life on purpose and focused on giving of myself and everything that arrived into my life, then I was prosperous.”
– Wayne Dyer
Enjoy my full Up Close and Personal with Suze Orman interview as it appeared in Luxury Las Vegas magazine.
In addition, a slightly different version appears in the digital magazine NEXT, which is part of AgeNation.com. Both are insightful pieces about a stellar human being.