“I was simply focused on creating a great podcast that my community and I’d want to listen to. Our focus was just on quality and the experience of building out a show, and in time brands came to us and asked to sponsor the podcast. When they come and we’re not looking for sponsorship, the values are certainly greater. We are very selective of which brands we partner with.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Winnie Sun, who is one of the most followed financial advisors on social media today! She is also a Forbes Contributor, serves on the CNBC Financial Advisor Council and is the Managing Director and Founding Partner of Sun Group Wealth Partners.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career
Throughout high school my parents, who are immigrants from Taiwan, were hyper focused on our education. They pushed my sister and I hard to get great grades, participated in lots of leadership and charitable roles, and driven towards college. The hard work paid off and I was fortunate enough to be admitted to top universities and my Mom was on top of the moon. That is, until a few months before leaving for college when my parents worried and tearfully told me that we were being pulled suddenly into bankruptcy due to a real estate investment partnership that failed. At 17 I quickly learned how important proper financial planning was. When most kids were getting excited of leaving home and enjoying the college experience, I was thinking about how I could find jobs to help pay for pay for college and help my parents keep the house. I knew I needed to learn more about investing and the basics of financial planning to help my parents going forward.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your podcast?
The most interesting thing that happened since starting the podcast is the special relationships that have developed. For example, when I interviewed Lindsey Villatoro. After I interviewed the socially-minded entrepreneur, she came to me to get advice on her life’s passion of helping kids and families dealing with the last stages of terminal illness and now she’s gone on to start a foundation and has helped countless families and raise over a million dollars to help others.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I think the funniest which is probably also the most tragic is when you think you’re not recording yet but you are and you’re warming up your voice. And your producer is just laughing up a storm lol. I also remember when I taped with guest Top Chef champion Brooke Williamson — we taped in TuneIn Studio’s closet. But, let’s be real, podcasts are usually pre-recorded so it’s not like brain surgery — it’s never that stressful when mistakes happen.
What do you think makes your podcast stand out? Can you share a story?
I think our podcast stands out because I try to ask the questions in such a way that you’re listening and thinking, that’s what I was wondering too! With years of experience working with clients as a financial advisor, I’ve gotten really good at exploring the stories of people and helping them share their best story in the best light.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
My industry is a really tough one and not one everyone succeeds at. You have to prioritize what motivates you as well as compensates you. You shouldn’t discount the importance of both. Focus on activities that have been proven from others in your industry and keep pushing. And, invite your creative passion in to find ways to accomplish your goals in a different way. Spend some time with people who are already excelling and listen, but also implement. Whatever you do, don’t give up!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
There are so many people that have helped me along the way and just thinking about this question gets me emotional. Certainly my husband has been the most instrumental since he has been supporting my aspirations since day one. Now, he helps juggle home and the kids so I can do what I do. We wanted to raise our kids the way we were raised with active, present parents so when our oldest was an age to go to school, he left his day job to work from home, to be there for the kids while I travel and juggle my super busy work schedule, etc.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I believe in giving back as often as possible through kindness and value. Whether it be with our mega weekly tweetchat, contributing to charities, listening to people in person and online, serving clients, speaking at conferences, media appearances, interviews, or prioritizing people in your life, it’s a daily, constant, consistent intention of giving to others.
Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?
“I’ve viewed myself as slightly above average in talent. And where I excel is ridiculous, sickening work ethic.” — Will Smith
Even from a young age, my Mom told me that I wasn’t the smartest kid. My younger sister was brilliant, she memorized faster, learned more quickly, and frankly was more likeable. But, I was always confident in my work ethic. And with good work ethic, there is very little that you can’t accomplish.
A big part of being a financial advisor and now as someone who embraces social media, so much of my job is dependent on how much work I put in. Even now, decades later, I get up early and continue when the office closes to put in the work.
There was a time when one of my longtime clients was in the hospice. I knew exactly what I needed to do. I got in the car, made the hour plus drive with my business partner, and brought him Haagen Dazs ice cream and cared for him during his time of need. It’s not just about how much work we put in, but how much we care, and not just thinking or saying, but always about taking action. I’m always about — less talking, more doing.
Can you share your lessons from your experience about the best way to 1) advertise your podcast 2) increase downloads 3) book great guests 4) produce it in a professional way and 5) best way to monetize it? Please share a story or example for each.
- Social media is the ultimate gamechanger. Now, we can promote like the big guys!
- Have the right guests and promote the podcast on social media to your community and theirs. Leverage, partner, and occasionally pay to boost.
- Booking the right guest is all about the host and their reach. Who do you know, who in your circle can help connect you? Can you leverage another platform for this podcast? For example, when appropriate I’ll share a snippet of the podcast interview on a Forbes article and then share both the interview and article on my #WinnieSun tweetchat which can further fuel reach.
- Our podcast is now being produced by our in-house creative team. We’ve learned that a strong videographer can also produce podcasts just fine it seems.
- You can monetize it by not thinking about monetizing it. At least, that’s what has worked for me. I was simply focused on creating a great podcast that my community and I’d want to listen to. Our focus was just on quality and the experience of building out a show, and in time brands came to us and asked to sponsor the podcast. When they come and we’re not looking for sponsorship, the values are certainly greater. We are very selective of which brands we partner with.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
What a great question. I still don’t think of myself as someone of great influence, but I guess after enough big lists ranks you so (Investopedia, Forbes, etc.), you start to appreciate it. I think the method I would do this via social media and it’s something we already do now. It’s all about spreading positivity to entrepreneurs and people who are working at a job and need to keep the spirit, keep them invigorated to motivated in their own successes so that they can also spread kindness to others. I believe when people are fulfilled and feel productive and appreciated, they are better fit to care for others in return.
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Originally published at medium.com