As the president of Taylor Insurance and Financial Services, Eszylfie Taylor assists high profile families, executives, and entertainers. Taylor is a man on a mission; he wants to normalize talking about money in a way that isn’t solely about profit. After nearly three decades of working in financial services, he has come up with a personal mantra— “the total person.” He encourages his clients to find balance in valuing their mindset, health, and money, and even created an app and reality TV series called Mind.Body.Money.
“Money’s great, but money without a positive mindset means very little. We enter the world with nothing and leave with nothing. The body is so important. In order for me to make a million dollars, in order for me to be a billionaire, I have to have the strength, the resilience, and health to be able to do what’s required. I encourage people to look to have balance and be the total person,” Taylor says. “When we’re talking about money, it’s easy to be focused on accumulating wealth and making money in return.”
Forbes spoke with Taylor about personal finance tips, the state of the economy, and the importance of making a difference while making money.
Richard-Craven: How did you become interested in financial services?
Taylor: I was a kid in the sixth grade who was walking around with a Harvard t-shirt on and reading The Wall Street Journal. So I think that I always had a head up mind for business. I was enamored by success, money, and opportunity. I didn’t know anything about financial services and planning until I got into it. I would say my purpose preliminarily was I wanted to make a lot of money. I wanted to live a great life. That quickly shifted from selfish initiatives to that of understanding that the more people that I help them, the greater impact I have in the world.
Richard-Craven: Are you someone who had to build connections in the finance world yourself?
Taylor: I grew up middle class. I was far from impoverished. My parents are both professionals. My father was a double PhD, my mother was a government employee. I graduated college with 100 bucks in my checking account. Everything that I’ve built professionally, all the businesses, the celebrity connections, the athletes, all the traveling around the world, I had to develop on my own.
Richard-Craven: Let’s talk about the economy. Do you think we are headed for a recession?
Taylor: I don’t subscribe to good or bad, I just subscribe to stuff we’re in. After 24 years in this business, there’s always somebody making money. There’s always an opportunity to rise above. In order to navigate the waters, not only in finance, but in life, you have to be nimble. If I say this is what I do, this is what I’ve always done and I’m never going I’m probably going to struggle. I think you have to adjust. If you happen to be in an industry that’s directly affected by the slowdown in the economy, then it requires much more discipline, much more attention to detail, much greater of a steward of your money because resources are limited or compromised.
Richard-Craven: How can young professionals learn more about managing money?
Taylor: Surround yourself with people that are doing the things and living the life you want to live and pick their brain. Successful people are always willing to help, always willing to give advice, always willing to just share. I can go on the internet all day long buying books, but if I want to be a real estate tycoon, I’m just going to surround myself with tycoons. If I want to be a sports agent, I want to go find the best sports agent because you find out what it takes to be successful. More importantly, you find out what they did wrong.
Richard-Craven: Why is it important to understand personal finance?
Taylor: You can’t win a game if you don’t know the rules of the game. You need to understand how money works. You need to understand how money moves. You need to understand how to use it as a tool. My whole mantra working with clients in financial services as an advisor isn’t so much to tell people what to do, but to make sure they understand how things work. When you understand how things work you can navigate the landscape state with more confidence and purpose.
Richard-Craven: Why does building intergenerational wealth matter?
Taylor: One of the biggest values in creating generational wealth is giving people those coming behind you an opportunity to be better. As a father of four now I would say you don’t want your kids to match or rival you, you want them to be better. That’s the power of intergenerational wealth and in transferring it to make sure that those coming behind you have a path forward.