Name: Ash Exantus (Ash Cash)
Profession: Wealth Coach (Speaker | Author | Personal Finance Expert)
One Word That Describes You: Motivator
What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?
Growing up, while many of my peers were reading The Source and playing video games, I read Black Enterprise, so at an early age I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur and BE set the blueprint to make it happen. Being recognized by the very publication that has a lot to do with my success is a privilege and honor. I have dedicated my life to helping people maximize their full potential so hopefully my story can inspire others like the stories I’ve read in BE have inspired me.
What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?
I grew up low income in public housing and in a single-parent home. My mom did her best to provide for us but as a Haitian immigrant who didn’t speak much English it was hard for her to make ends meet. For most of my childhood and even during some of my young adult years I struggled with how I can financially support my family. I had many negative views on money and even when I was able to make some, I always found a way to get right back to struggling. This negative money mindset and the struggle of not having enough helped me realize that something needed to change in order for me to live the life that I deserved. In turn I studied and learned the habits of those who are wealthy and began to change my mindset and my relationship with money. This lead to me not only changing my situation but also allowing me to use my story to help others. Whether it is teaching people how I overcame almost losing my home to foreclosure or teaching people how to create multiple streams of income, my trials have now become my triumph. My struggles also taught me that you are not a failure when you fail, you are a failure when you give up. Turning struggle into success is now the mode that I confidently operate in. I know that the good, the bad, and the ugly are all working for my greater good.
What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
The most important quality that I look for in my relationships with others is integrity! Oprah once said that you are fully responsible for the energy you allow into your life. So honesty, having strong moral principles, and just always striving to do the right thing is the energy that I want to attract and be around.
What are some immediate projects you are working on?
Right now my focus is financial empowerment for young adults and their parents. I am working on a series of books titled Mind Right, Money Right for Teens: 10 Money Secrets That You Won’t Learn in School, Mind Right, Money Right College Edition: How to Financially Survive and Thrive in College and a money parenting guide called Mind Right, Money Right for Parents: How to Raise Financially Responsible Children. I am also releasing an online course on credit called “What the FICO 2.0: The Essential Guide to Credit Excellence.”
What is the best advice you ever received?
One of my business mentors always says two things to me. “It is always too early to quit” and “Nothing can stop you but you.” This has been the best advice I have ever received because it has built my resilience to know that when I set a goal for myself that regardless of what obstacles try to stand in the way or what setbacks may occur, ultimately I have to keep pushing if I want my dream to become a reality. Also, this advice has taught me that obstacles and setbacks cannot stop me unless I let them.
What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
Make a difference! Start where you are right now and do something that will have a positive impact in someone else’s life. Many times people wait until they’ve reached a certain level of success before they start giving back, but I believe no matter who you are, where you are right now can benefit someone for the better. So don’t wait. If you want to make a difference, then just make a difference! Period!
How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
Because I naturally have a lot of energy, I usually need to quiet my mind and be centered before an important business meeting or event so I meditate and or listen to classical music. Meditation is if I need a boost of self-confidence and classical music to calm me before the meeting or event. My aim is always to tap into my innate self because those who go within can never go without. Sometimes If I have a presentation to do I’ll play Jay-Z’s “U Don’t Know” on repeat.
As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation? Share a story about your best vacation.
I unwind on vacation at the beach reading a book, unplugged from all devices including social media. Martha’s Vineyard is now the family vacation destination of choice so my best vacation was the first time we went in 2010 where we were able to enjoy the beautiful scenery during the day then enjoy some Back Door Donuts and a cigar at night.
If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
It would definitely be Cape Town, South Africa; Ghana; or Egypt! I believe knowledge of self is important so I would love to visit and stay in the place where my ancestors are from to experience the beauty of Africa firsthand.
What is your “Extraordinary Impact?”
My extraordinary impact is my ability to help people maximize their full potential by giving them the inspiration, tools, and resources needed to live their best life. As a personal finance expert, speaker, television/radio personality, bestselling author, business consultant, brand ambassador, and life coach I have dedicated my life to helping people see the greatness that exist in them today.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to not only be recognized but also inspire men everywhere to pursue their dreams and live their best lives. To all my brothers who are reading this, I know that sometimes it may seem that we are constantly under attack but it is important to realize that this is because we are powerful and many people are afraid of that power! No matter what, we must continue to walk in our light and continue to set the example for the young brothers who are coming up behind us. We must also stick together and help each other whenever possible. As the African proverb says “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @BEModernMan and join the conversation using #BEModernMan.
Come celebrate the BE Modern Man 100 Men of Distinction at the first-ever Black Men XCEL Summit, Aug. 30 – Sept. 3, at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.