Exclusive interview: Michael Stemley, author of “Wealth, Power, Respect”
A well-known name in the music industry, Michael Stemley, who is the manager, coach, and developer of celebrities in the entertainment wrote and published a self-help book for wealth creation. His book is titled Wealth, Power Respect. It is available on various online self-publishing platforms such as Amazon Kindle, Lulu, Barnes and Noble, Book-a-million, and IndieBound. Printed copies are available on Hudson Bookseller.
The book created a lot of interest among celebrities and other people before it was published and the author received a lot of pre-orders. It is no wonder that there was a lot of buzz about the book. Stemley is highly respected as a professional and a finance guru within the entertainment industry.
He literally works with celebrities in various types of entertainment through his company ML Production LLC. We caught up with him and asked him a few questions about his work and his book.
Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. I went to Destrehan High School. The south is home to me and always gives me a good feeling when I return from travels abroad or out of state.
So: Michael, we noticed that you coach some celebs and hang out with Teddy Riley? Did you ever think that will ever happen?
I have always loved music and I have a music background. From the time I was fourteen, I dreamt of working in the industry and making a huge difference. I had no idea exactly how it would work out but I had a vision of me working with celebs. It is humbling that I found a way to do it and actually make a difference for some people.
I work alongside many top music artists and actors, and I have a close working relationship with top record labels such as Universal, Island Def Jam, and Sony. Yes, it’s true, I do hang out with Teddy Riley. He is my business partner and my client at the same time.
I must say you have a very interesting job! Why did you decide to write Wealth Power Respect?
The book is a spinoff of my work. What I have learned from my work is that many people have ambitions to make money, and to get rich, which is normal of course. However, many of them don’t have any knowledge about money. They don’t realize that money can easily run out if it is not managed well. It’s easy to squander it as it comes, buying flashy toys and living big without thinking about the future.
That is why many people fall hard from expensive lifestyles when things go wrong. For that reason, I have to coach my clients and teach them how to respect and manage money and how to live within their means while building wealth. They have to build wealth for their future and to leave a legacy for their descendants.
One day I decided that maybe it will help not only my clients, but other people as well, if I can put all my personal financial management and wealth building tips into a book.
How did you decide on the name of the book?
Wealth, power, and respect! Aren’t those the things that people desire to achieve in their lives? So, the aim of my book is to help people understand what it takes to build wealth through knowledge, good planning, discipline, integrity, and good financial management. If they succeed then the power and respect follow.
What are the important lessons you teach in your book?
The book provides basic knowledge about financial management so that everyone who reads it becomes financially literate. For example, there is basic information about cashflow management: here the readers learn that they have to live within their means, and save some money, no matter what level of income. That way they can invest the rest in personal development.
Readers learn the power of personal and business credit: how to access it and manage it. Credit gives one the opportunity to do something with other people’s money, meaning the money must be used for investing, either in a business or in personal development. That investment should be able to pay back the money. I discourage readers from using credit for non-essential things: what they can’t afford they can forego.
Do you also discuss personal development in the book?
There are sections on the steps that are necessary for success in any venture or project. Part of that is the development of a wealth and business mindset. That entails thinking differently from the way ordinary people think. Integrity and honesty are built into all personal and business dealings. This includes time management, which shows respect for the people with whom one is doing business.
So, one cannot just miss appointments or show up whenever they think it’s ok. Time management also shows respect for own plans and goals. It takes discipline.
Do you have any favorite examples of good investors?
Everyone tends to talk about people like Warren Buffet, Marc Faber, Jim Rogers etc. – you probably heard that? Well, there are also smaller investors who dabble in things they are passionate about – which are profitable too. Guys like Joseph Lizyness with his latest entity Giraffup: Lizyness is an investor in people and rakes in high returns on early stage startup funding.
At the same time, he is giving wings to people who have the potential to soar. Today you have big funds like Black Rock and Man Group, which also started small, born out of passion. Of course, then there is Carl Icahn who I respect for the types of investments he is able to make with such precision.
What is your take on philanthropy Michael?
On the one hand, I respect the fact that you have footballers like the young and talented Domic Dane, who is Croatian-born, living in Canada. He sets a perfect example of how high-achievers can donate to good causes around the world and reach communities everywhere. But let me tell you: here, in the US, we have some social issues that need dealing with. The Coronavirus is still upon us and another wave of social problems are taking grip due to systemic challenges in our country.
I say that charity begins right here at home: in our communities. We need to help average people to be more successful quickly to resolve inequality. Equality at all levels, not just financially: respect and dignity for all Americans by all Americans ought to be a priority so let’s donate our resources to make this happen and to counter divisions that serves nobody.
What are your final words for your fans?
I thank those who have supported me through the launch and book signings. I urge those who have not bought a copy of my book to buy one, read it, and implement the tips that I share. They too can create wealth, power, and respect for themselves.