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It’s hard to imagine Suze Orman as anything but a financial wizard. Fast-talking, straight-shooting, she’s been imparting financial expertise since 2002. USA Today called her a “one-woman financial advice powerhouse” and Forbes named her one of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” in 2010. Her talk show, The Suze Orman Show, is heard by avid listeners around the world and continually garners award after award. She’s one of the most instantly recognizable financial experts in the US today.

But that isn’t where she started.

Suze grew up in South Side Chicago helping her working class parents man their deli counter. She had a terrible speech impediment, poor self-esteem, and an inherent belief that “I would never amount to anything, so why even bother to try?”.

This negative self-story dictated Suze’s early life choices. She left college without graduating, she lived in a van while working for a tree-clearing company and she worked as a waitress until she was 30 years old. She was trying to open a restaurant when Fate intervened and nudged her into the world of finance. Read Suze’s whole story here. The rest is history.

What’s easy to miss when learning Suze’s story is that she pioneered the financial world. It was a male-dominated profession in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. She had to push through stereotypes, prejudices, and biases as she learned her trade, gained experience, and established herself as an expert. One of her key phrases became, “What do I have to lose?” Her ability to ask this question, push through her fears, and work hard helped her surpass what seemed insurmountable at the time.

Suze eventually worked her way from investment broker to vice-president of investments for Prudential Baches Securities to founding The Suze Orman Financial group to becoming the financial advisor super star we know today. Not bad for a woman who thought she’d never amount to anything.



The story you tell yourself about yourself greatly effects the trajectory your career (and your life) takes. If you’re not satisfied with it, change it. Suze believed she’d never amount to anything. That defined what she studied in college, the jobs she applied for and how she saw herself. When she decided she didn’t want to be a waitress anymore she experienced huge changes. Without that alteration to her self-story, she’d most likely still be waitressing.


Suze’s story is peppered with this phrase. Every time she tries something new, decides to learn a new skill, or takes on an overwhelming challenge, she refers to this phrase. Each time it compels her forward.

Success doesn’t come without risks. It’s easy to get stymied by choices and fears associated with those risks. Things can feel big and imperative and immediate. But are they? If you’re at a crossroads, ask yourself “what have I got to lose?” Make a list. You may be surprised to discover it’s not as much as you thought.


When Suze got her first job as an investment broker, her boss expected her to quit within six months. She also suspects she “got the job only because he had a women’s quota to fill.” In that six months, she became one of the top brokers in her office. Why? She did the work.

Creating something new takes determination and perseverance, especially if what you’re creating is a new business, a new lifestyle, a new you. Accept it’s going to be hard. Be ready for it to take time. Know there will be obstacles, hardships, and naysayers. Suze worked a tree clearer, a waitress, and a deli clerk before entering the financial world. She brought unflagging energy and her best work to each.


Suze decided she wanted to open a restaurant when she was a waitress making $400 per month. Customers she’d be serving for six years pooled their money to give her $50,000 in starter capital. Investing this money introduced her to the world of finance. What if she’d refused to take her customers’ help? What if she’d insisted on raising the money on her own?

Asking for help can be hard. Accepting it graciously can be even harder. However, accepting help often unlocks great opportunities, connections, and generosity. Let that door open when it presents itself. Nudge your pride aside, humbly accept, and graciously say “thank you.” You’ll be surprised what boons will come your way.


Suze was a 30 years old when she decided she wanted more out of life than a $400 per week waitressing job. Oblivious of her financial talents, she dreamed of owning a restaurant. Sharing this dream with her parents, her customers, and her friends, resulted in a financial gift that propelled her into finance – and out of a $400 per week lifestyle. What if she’d kept her restaurant dream a secret? Where would Suze Orman be now?

Sharing your dreams is integral to making them a reality. Saying the words, informing others, putting it out there, is a way of creating accountability for yourself. It’s a way of taking the dream from cerebral to actual. Granted, your dream may morph into something completely unexpected like Suze’s did or it may occur exactly as you plan. Either way, sharing it is the first step to making it happen.

Wishing you an inspired Wednesday.

What’s your dream? Need help making it happen? Call us! United Capital Source specializes in helping small, medium, and women-owned businesses get the financing they need to grow their dreams. You can reach our expert via phone at 855-933-8638 or you can use the Live Chat feature on our website.

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