March 12, 2013
Ash Cash Uses Financial Literacy to Empower Communities
We have good news for you. You can have a cool career and make a good living. No need to choose between loving your job and paying your mortgage. The following profile, part of the BlackEnterprise.com Cool Jobs series, offers a peek into the nuts and bolts, perks and salaries behind enjoyable careers.
Having worked at financial institutions for years, the entrepreneur known as Ash Cash has set his sights on the bigger picture.
He not only gives financial advice, he gives inspirational guidance on a daily basis to help people get through their day. He enjoys giving back to the community in multiple ways and has even written a book or two—all in hopes of empowering you to make your life not only better, but easier.
BlackEnterprise.com talked with the former banking VP on how his passion motivates his work, how giving back plays into his career and how he’s been able to leverage financial literacy to motivate the masses.
BlackEnterprise.com: What led you down the path of educating people on finances and advising them of how to make their money work for them?
Ash Cash: I’ve been in banking and finance for the past 14 years, and when I look at the different clients that I’ve served as a financial manager for, I realize that the difference between the rich and the poor is merely knowledge. The rich understand how money works, and they know that you cannot solely rely on your physical labor in order to build wealth. Growing up in a low-income environment, I understand why many of us who are poor or are living paycheck to paycheck never get out of our situations. We have the wrong idea about wealth building and don’t prioritize, so my goal is to equip as many people as possible with the knowledge needed to begin to build generational wealth.
You’ve written 2 books, Mind Right, Money Right: 10 Laws of Financial Freedom and Taylor’s Way: Life Lessons Through The Eyes of a Three-Year Old. What inspired you to write the books?
My inspiration for Mind Right, Money Right came because I noticedÂ that most finance books are written in a language that many of usÂ can’t understand. I decided that what we need is a book that speaksÂ specifically to us, using examples that we can relate to. Taylor’s Way was inspired by my daughter. It’s an inspirational bookÂ that teaches people how to tap into their inner child in order to liveÂ life the way it was meant to be lived.
You were once a VP at JPMorgan Chase Bank as well as assistant VP at Carver Federal Savings Bank. How have those positions shaped your entrepreneurial skills?
Being a bank officer was the best thing that happened to me as anÂ entrepreneur. At JPMorgan Chase, I ran four branches and oversaw anÂ $8 million dollar project. At Carver Federal Savings Bank, I managedÂ the main office in Harlem, controlling over $180 million dollars inÂ deposits.
What I learned running businesses for major corporations hasÂ indeed transferred over into my entrepreneurial endeavors, and myÂ success as a business owner can definitely be directly tied to theÂ training I received as a banker.
Being of theÂ millennial generation, entrepreneurship suits me best. I’d rather workÂ hard in my business knowing that all of that hard work will createÂ wealth and ownership, as opposed to working for someone else and notÂ being fully in control of my financial freedom. I say, if you can doÂ both, then do both, but never allow yourself to be a slave to theÂ paycheck. Everyone needs multiple streams of income.
You have a syndicated column, “The Daily Word,” that is featured on numerous sites. Where do you get the inspiration to do them?
My inspiration comes from everyday life. Whether it’s something thatÂ I’m dealing with personally, or a conversation I had with a client orÂ friend, I think all experiences have lessons in them if you look atÂ them the right way. We get our fair share of negativity when we turnÂ on the TV, so my goal with “The Daily Word” is to put a positive spin on whatever one might be going through.
[As the Bible says], ‘as a man thinketh so shall heÂ be, ‘ so with that in mind, I try to help people think positive andÂ prosperous.
You’re passionate about giving back to the community, also serving on numerous boards. How does that tie into your career?
I grew up in the St.Â Nicholas Housing projects in Harlem, New York, and most of my friendsÂ are either dead or have some type of criminal background. For someÂ reason, I was spared and knowing that my life could have gone inÂ either direction makes me grateful everyday for all that I have. AsÂ someone who was able to become successful and overcome manyÂ adversities, I believe that it is my duty to give back. Besides drugÂ dealers, entertainers, and athletes, our youth don’t see role modelsÂ in their neighborhoods that they can relate to. So, those of us whoÂ were able to get out and make a way have to come back and show others that they have options.