Constant change is major a component of business and life in general. You must be flexible and adapt to the ever-changing environment. I think Covid is an extreme example of that lesson.
You don’t get what you want, you get what you feel you deserve so you should always be conscious of your value and what you bring to the table in any negotiating situation.
You learn more from failures than from success. Embrace the problems you face and overcome because it prepares you for future adversity.
As a part of our series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Sean Foote. He was born on the Caribbean island of Antigua and migrated to New York City where he leads a successful career as a Grammy-nominated Music Producer, having produced music for the likes of Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Lopez, Mase and many more… Sean transitioned to a thriving wealth management practice as a Financial Advisor and Portfolio Manager for a top wall street wealth management firm, while managing and cultivating a personal portfolio of real estate holdings both domestically and abroad.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I’m originally from Antigua, a small island in the Caribbean, so I grew up in the West Indian culture eating the traditional west Indian foods and consuming traditional west Indian music such as soca, calypso, reggae and dance hall. I moved to Brooklyn NY when I was 5 years old,
Obviously, a bit of a culture shock, but that transition was probably much easier than most because NY so rich in cultural diversity, so that softened the blow quite a bite at such a young age. I moved to Queens, NY at the age of 10, and that’s where I spent most of my formidable development years.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
Originally my professional career started in the music industry as a producer, and I had the pleasure of producing music for artists such as Mase, Mary J Blige, Jennifer Lopez, Trick Daddy, Rick Ross and many others. That experience led me to secure a Grammy nomination and Billboard #1 album. Eventually, I transitioned to Corporate Finance where I spent 8 years building my skill set as a financial steward before transitioning into the Wealth Management field, where I now actually get to consult some of those music industry relationships on their finances. I have a thriving practice that helps clients manage their wealth, investments and long-term financial planning.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
People tend to find my music career most fascinating, so my most “interesting” experience there was getting an opportunity to spend a full night in the studio working with Jennifer Lopez, as I watched celebrity after celebrity stop by while I was running the show. That one night definitely enhance my self-confidence and lead me to recognize my value and full potential.
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?
One of the things that stands out as I reflect on my growth is when I’d have success with certain business development activities, somehow, I’d manage to get distracted and deviate from it and pursue another strategy. It is the silliest thing in the world but I think it’s almost human nature to get consumed by distractions. Ultimately, the thing that I have learned most over the years is to stick to the script. If you have a business plan, you have a strategy, just focus on executing that strategy and on things that have proven to yield the greatest results.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Most recently my wife and I had the pleasure of guest-starring on Bravo’s hit TV series Below Deck Mediterranean. Chartering a Mega yacht was something we had dreamed of and put on our vision board, and as fate would have it, we’d see that dream become a reality. But in all honesty, it was more than what we expected. For those who are not familiar with the show, Below Deck Mediterranean chronicles the experiences of chartering a Mega Yacht in the Mediterranean. We were blessed to have the opportunity to travel to Palma De Mallorca, off the coast of Spain, and have it documented by a film crew for the world to see. It was truly an amazing experience to be able to manifest that dream and make the journey with our closest friends and family.
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
I think one of the things that we discovered having been one of the most diverse groups of guests in Below Deck Mediterranean’s history, was that there is a deep desire for viewers to see more diversity on television in the way in which we showcased it. We had a chance to highlight black love, interracial love, cultural diversity, and positivity as we toured exotic luxury destinations across the Mediterranean. It was well-received by viewers on a season with the highest viewership in its series history. I think it was clear that there is a yearning to see more diversity and positivity on television, and particularly in the reality show format. So, to answer to your question about the three reasons:
- The more diversity we have on display, the more viewers feel represented, feel included and are encouraged to watch.
- The larger the audience base, the more profitable for the network
- Diverse television is not only demographically reflective of society, but it also gives us the opportunity to learn more about varying demographics that we may not get to interact with on a routine basis, which I believe would bring us all closer together.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Constant change is major a component of business and life in general. You must be flexible and adapt to the ever-changing environment. I think Covid is an extreme example of that lesson.
- You don’t get what you want, you get what you feel you deserve so you should always be conscious of your value and what you bring to the table in any negotiating situation.
- You learn more from failures than from success. Embrace the problems you face and overcome because it prepares you for future adversity.
- There are times in life where we choose our challenges and times where our challenges choose us. Again, the Covid pandemic is a perfect example of this.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
I would always encourage my colleagues to approach everything with a “Service” mindset and be driven by an agenda to serve, help and be a resource to others.
You are a person of enormous 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. 🙂
That’s a very good question. I think I would like to see a movement toward inspiring financial stewardship and a movement toward inspiring generational wealth in the black community. But I think the best way to truly inspire that behavior is to first be the model and example for others to follow. It’s one thing to be told, and another to be shown. Seeing is believing, and I believe our appearance on the show, shined a spotlight on things that can be achieved. We’ve gotten so much overwhelming feedback from people saying what an inspiration our experience on the show has been to them. So, I’m actually inspired to want to continue to be a shining example to others.
There is definitely a wealth transformation taking place for African Americans. We are now seeing our first generation of Black Billionaires, and we are starting to see that, although we start well behind, there are no limitations on where we can go. You look at what Michael Jordan, Jay Z and Oprah and so many more have done. All have started from humble beginnings and have been shining examples of financial success. They have not only learned to be good businessmen and women but good financial stewards and have made it cool and trendy to establish brands and create generational legacies.
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 about that?
Yes, when I was on the tail end of my career in corporate finance as a financial analyst and hand gotten to a point where I hit a wall and really wasn’t happy with what I was doing and didn’t feel like I was really impacting anything or anyone for that matter.
So, I did some soul searching and was introduced to the wealth management industry by a successful veteran to the industry, who was also African American. He took time out of his busy schedule to counsel me and planted seeds of confidence in me about my ability to be successful in the career as well. And as I discovered more about the opportunity, I felt that it would be the perfect marriage of my prior careers, in that I could take my financial skillset and bridge that to the relationships I had in the entertainment industry. Looking back, I can say it was one of the best decisions of my life. I’m now 12 years in the industry and have a thriving practice. I could say that I honestly love what I do, and I think it is a truly honorable profession. Money and finances are typically a top concern of most people’s lives, and I know what I do, not only impacts the lives of my clients, but also the generations that come after them. I don’t think any of this would have been possible if he didn’t invest his time in me and show me the full scope of the opportunity.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life”. — Eckhart Tolle
A lot of times people are haunted by their past or are consumed by what the future will bring them and neglect the value of living in the present. Through countless experiences, I have realized that the life you want includes embracing and appreciating the life you have and you should always make the present moment the focal point of your life.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
I would say former President Barack Obama, who has been a true inspiration to me and many others. It would be an honor to spend some time with him and pick his brain on the drivers of his success as President, Husband and a Father.
This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!