Michelle Richburg has been recognized as a top Billboard Business Manager for the past two years. She’s spent the past 30-years helping entertainers, athletes, and executives manage their finances and build lasting wealth.
For many years, Richburg supported her clients as a banking executive. But in the early 2000s, Moses Michael Levi Barrow, previously known as rapper Shyne and now elected leader of Belize’s Opposition Party, provided an opportunity for her to start a side hustle. He asked Richburg to handle his finances while he went to jail. For the next eight years, she became his business manager and subsequently took on additional clients.
Today, Richburg’s firm, Richburg Enterprises, serves over 50 high-profile entertainers and sports clients, offering business and tax management services, as well as financial planning services. In an interview with BLACK ENTERPRISE, she shared the most important lessons anyone who aspires to build lasting wealth should learn.
Pay Yourself First
Richburg’s firm teaches clients to set money aside for the future by saving and investing first. She encourages clients to open investment accounts and automate their investing process.
Budgeting is Necessary
“Anybody can benefit from a budget no matter the income. So we build budgets for our clients with a fixed discretionary spending line item to steer them away from randomly spending $200,000 on jewelry or $50,000 on Valentine’s Day presents without proper planning,” Richburg told BLACK ENTERPRISE.
“We educate and advise our clients so they understand the importance of living below their income level,” she added.
Educate yourself on taxes
When you’re a new business owner, you don’t always know that you need to set money aside for taxes.
“We provide tax projections to help our clients have an idea of their estimated tax liability for the year,” Richburg said.
Leverage Credit Effectively
“It’s critical to pay your bills on time. For a lot of people, especially if they were struggling before and they have money now, it’s not easy to understand how the system works.” Understanding what makes up a credit score, paying bills on time, and not carrying a balance makes a huge difference.” She also noted the many conversations she’s had with her clients about the importance of keeping their credit utilization below 30% of the credit limit for a superior credit score.
Have your Estate Plan in Order
“Every year, entertainers pass away for whatever reason. So we stress the importance of estate planning. You need to have a will in place, especially if you have kids, a spouse, or assets. Everyone needs life insurance, and in some instances, you may also need a trust,” Richburg said.
Richburg shared a piece of advice she gives any potential client. “It’s critical to have an excellent team around you. In addition to hiring a business manager, you need a good CPA, attorney, and manager that will work together on your behalf. A team that can collectively think about things you don’t have time to think about will set you up for success.”
Find out more about Michelle Richburg’s story and background as a business manager here.
Anne-Lyse Wealth is a Writer, Wealth Educator, and Certified Public Accountant. She is the founder of Plutus Awards nominated Dreamoflegacy.com, a platform dedicated to inspiring millennials to build wealth with purpose.
Anne-Lyse is the author of “Dream of Legacy, Raising Strong and Financially Secure Black Kids” and the host of The Dreamers Podcast.
Her work has been featured in publications such as Business Insider, NextAdvisor, Time, among others.