People often ask me how did I go from being homeless, sleeping in my car to becoming a thriving serial entrepreneur and the head of the leading nonprofit for financial dignity in the country. The answer is simple: I had a great foundation on which to build, the cornerstone of which was a mother who instilled confidence in me and daily told me that she loved me. Sounds too simple, right? Well, it’s the honest to God truth.

In my latest book, Up from Nothing: The Untold Story of How We (All) Succeed, I outline what I call the Five Pillars of Success. Two of those pillars are a strong family structure and mentors. My mother has provided me with both and it has helped me become the man and the business leader that I am today.

I recently sat down with my mom just to talk about some of the things she’s taught me over the years and the examples of genuine hustle and money smarts she’s shown me over the years. If you walk away with nothing else, here are three takeaways that she wanted me to leave with you:

  1. Leave within your means.
  2. Save all you can.
  3. If you’re in a relationship, make sure that you’re in a committed and understanding financial partnership with each other, so you can better attain your goals.

Apply these simple rules and watch how your financial life begins to grow and flourish. Just try it and let me know how it’s working for you.

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