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Meet Zack Friedman, author of “The Lemonade Life” and thought leader empowering others to live their best financial life

I had the pleasure of interviewing Zack Friedman who is the founder and chief executive officer of Make Lemonade, a leading personal finance company that empowers you to live a better financial life. He is an in-demand speaker and has inspired millions through his powerful insights, including more than 14 million who have read his […]

I had the pleasure of interviewing Zack Friedman who is the founder and chief executive officer of Make Lemonade, a leading personal finance company that empowers you to live a better financial life. He is an in-demand speaker and has inspired millions through his powerful insights, including more than 14 million who have read his advice in Forbes. Previously, he was chief financial officer of an international energy company, a hedge fund investor, and worked at Blackstone, Morgan Stanley, and the White House. Zack holds degrees from Harvard, Wharton, Columbia, and Johns Hopkins.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Zack Friedman who is the founder and chief executive officer of Make Lemonade, a leading personal finance company that empowers you to live a better financial life. He is an in-demand speaker and has inspired millions through his powerful insights, including more than 14 million who have read his advice in Forbes. Previously, he was chief financial officer of an international energy company, a hedge fund investor, and worked at Blackstone, Morgan Stanley, and the White House. Zack holds degrees from Harvard, Wharton, Columbia, and Johns Hopkins.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! You have an incredible backstory. Can you share it with us?

I started my career working in investment banking at Morgan Stanley, and I was fortunate to work with Fortune 500 and emerging companies on capital raising and mergers and acquisitions. After business school, I worked at Blackstone and as a hedge fund investor. Then, I served as CFO of an international energy company. So, I’ve had the unique experience to advise companies, invest in companies, and help lead them.

Today, I’m the CEO of Make Lemonade, which is a leading online personal finance company that empowers you live a better financial life. Our website helps you compare the best rates for student loan refinancing, student loans, credit cards, personal loans, investing, banking and more. We also offer free financial content, comparison tools and product reviews.

I founded Make Lemonade to simplify personal finance. You can comparison shop for travel. Why not be able to comparison shop for financial products? Make Lemonade helps bring more transparency to financial services, which I believe helps consumers make better financial decisions. Make Lemonade is also about living your best financial life, so we’re all about happiness and helping people fulfill their dreams.

In addition to being a CEO, you have a huge fan base, with over 14 million people reading your advice in Forbes. Now, you have a highly-anticipated book, The Lemonade Life, that will be published by HarperCollins this August. Why did you write The Lemonade Life?

I’m very excited about my new book, The Lemonade Life. If you enjoy my advice in Forbes, The Lemonade Life is on a whole another level on how anyone can achieve more happiness, more success and more greatness in their life. I’m on a mission to spread more happiness in the world. I want to inspire everyone to know that we have more power than we often realize to create the life we want. In The Lemonade Life, I share the secrets to more happiness today, which drives success tomorrow. It all starts with five simple changes that anyone can make.

What is the main empowering lesson you want your readers to take away after reading your book, The Lemonade Life?

No matter who you are, where you come from, what you do for a living, or how much money you have, I strongly believe that everyone has a shot at greatness. In The Lemonade Life, I share my best advice for leading your life with purpose and possibility at home and at work.

Every day, we all make a choice to live one of two lives: the Lemon Life or the Lemonade Life. The choice we make dictates the life we lead and the people we become. The good news is that you have the power to choose the life you want and create your own happiness. The Lemonade Life shows you how to lead your best life every day.

The Lemonade Life is about happiness and living your best life. What’s one of your favorite tips for someone to be happy?

The Lemonade Life is full of advice on how to be happy. One of my favorite ways to get happier is through gratitude. I practice gratitude on a daily basis, and it’s helped change my life. Being thankful for the people in your life and for the blessings you have is a very humbling and enriching experience.

I’m a big believer in gratitude journaling. You can spend just five minutes each morning writing down three things for which you are grateful. Science and research tell us that when we express gratitude, we can increase our happiness and positive emotions. Plus, gratitude has important health benefits, and can help lower blood pressure, improve immune function and reduce the risk of depression.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why?

  1. We all get there in the end. There is no universal, direct path that we all should follow. Take your own unique path.
  2. Nourish your creativity. Don’t let a boss or job stifle your creativity. Creativity is what leads to discovery and innovation. Keep nourishing your creative flame.
  3. Ask more questions. There are no dumb questions. Keep asking questions until you have your answer. Smart people ask questions when they don’t fully understand.
  4. Learn from everyone. No matter how high you rise, you can always learn something from someone. Too many people only want to learn from bosses and mentors. Everyone has something to share.
  5. Innovation comes from failure. Embrace failure. Change happens when you experiment. Progress moves faster when you are willing to take risks.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

One of my favorite quotes is from Mahatma Gandhi: “First, they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, and then you win.”

I think it’s an anthem for anyone who is on a path to greatness. It’s a quote that has helped guide my life and inspired me to stay focused on the end goal. For anyone who is breaking a traditional mold, who wants to excel, who wants to carve a new path, disrupt a traditional way of doing things, and shake things up should remember this quote.

If you could speak to your younger self, what would you tell him?

Keep dreaming. Keep working. Keep believing. Obstacles are temporary. Keep being your best self. Remember to be kind, and always surround yourself with people who bring out the best you.

We all need a little help along the journey — who have been some of your mentors? Can you share how they made an impact?

Mentors are incredibly important, and I’ve been fortunate to learn from some of the best. From colleagues and teachers to leaders and friends, mentors have helped me grow and see the world differently. Anyone can be a mentor to you. Listen to the people in your life who elevate you. In The Lemonade Life, I write about the importance of having the right wolfpack. The people around you will be one of the most important determinants of the person you are and the actions you choose. Read books — authors can also be wonderful mentors, even if you don’t know them personally.

What’s your best advice for aspiring writers?

Be yourself. Write simply. Communicate important ideas. Write content that you would read. Even if you don’t get published immediately, keep writing. And when people tell you “no” — and they will — keep practicing and honing your craft. Remember, it’s just one person’s opinion. If you’re authentic and you have a compelling story to share, remember this: you’re amazing and you’ll get there.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire 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. 🙂

I want to create a happiness movement where everyone has a shot at greatness.

I truly believe that we all have a shot to lead our best life if we have the right mindset, think independently, hold ourselves accountable, practice self-awareness and work hard for what we want.

I want to spread happiness and the message of The Lemonade Life to people around the world. The happier we are, the healthier we are. The happier we are, the better we treat our friends and family. The happier we are, the better we feel about ourselves. The happier we are, the better we treat strangers. The happier we are, the kinder we are. The happier we are, the better we treat colleagues at work. It doesn’t mean to be happy all the time, but when we orient our perspective toward purpose and possibility, there is no limit to what we can accomplish for ourselves and humanity.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

You can connect me with on social media anytime, and I would love to hear from you. I especially love to hear from readers, so please check in with me when you read The Lemonade Life. And you can use #lemonadelife when posting anything on social media about The Lemonade Life.

My debut book The Lemonade Life: How To Fuel Success, Create Happiness, and Conquer Anything” releases on August 6, 2019 via HarperCollins Leadership and is available for preorder now.

Websites:

The Lemonade Life website: http://www.lemonadelifebook.com/

Zack Friedman website: https://www.zackfriedman.com

Make Lemonade website: https://www.makelemonade.co

Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zackafriedman

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/zackafriedman

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/zackfriedman

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zackafriedman

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