MF 109 : Be Positive and Win, with Winnie Sun
Updated: Jun 17
Successes at a glance:
Founder of Sun Group Wealth Partners, an award-winning financial consulting firm.
Financial Adviser, Social Media Expert/Influencer w/ 100k+ followers on Twitter.
Join Winnie for her weekly Tweet Chat.
Speaker specializing in Corporate 529, Millennial Finance, GenX Finance, Baby Boomer Finance, Wealth Management, 401k, Stock/Option Strategies and more.
Named one of ‘Women to Watch’ by InvestmentNews.
Host of Renegade Millionaire Show.
Founder, The Campaign for Next Generation Employees.
Registered Representative for LPL Financial.
Owned a Television Production Company (Started in College!): sold the company and recruited to work at Smith Barney which led to her highly successful 16+ year career as an entrepreneur and financial adviser.
Huffington Post Live
Fox Business News
CNBC Closing Bell
Setback failure or time when things fell apart:
Winnie has had an incredibly unique career journey. While still in college, Winnie started a TV audience production company. However, it wasn’t an easy road. As Winnie shares, she was seen as a “failure” and a bit of a disappointment by her parents who, like many Asian parents, hope to see their kids enter law, medicine or engineering. However, Winnie made the company a success: so much so, that she was working w/ hit programs like America’s Funniest Home Videos, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, and shows on MTV. That said, Winnie is no stranger to setbacks. Working w/ big shows means you’re often at the mercy of their ratings, renewals, and cancellations. As Winnie shares, there were times where she would sign a contract w/ a big show only to have it fall thru b/c it got canceled. Other times, her company would lose a contract to a competitor w/o rhyme or reason. Those moments are tough, especially when you’ve put in so much time and sweat equity into trying to win contracts. But Winnie shares an important perspective: everything in life happens for a reason and you have to learn to let things go; “some things you just have to trust to karma.” Interestingly, letting go is part how Winnie pivoted from television production to financial planning.
The “aha” moment that sparked a pivot:
While at UCLA, Winnie was not only running a TV production company but studying certified financial planning (CFP) at night. During the program, she was encouraged by the dean to attend a recruiting session for Smith Barney (now Citigroup). While at the session, Winnie felt a bit intimidated, being surrounded by 6-ft tall, beautiful LA people who looked like movie stars and athletes. Towards the end of the recruiting session, Winnie was told she would be lucky to get a job there and to not be disappointed if she didn’t get picked. Soon after hearing this, she was then told by someone at the company, “we would like to see you.” Winnie’s first thought was that she parked in the wrong spot. Winnie was escorted to a back office where there were 8 men sitting at a table, wearing expensive suits w/ equally expensive monogram shirts and cufflinks. After answering a few questions about her successful TV production business, one of the executives said, “well young lady, we’re not letting you leave this room until you sign with us.” Soon after, Winnie sold her TV production to a competitor and started her new career in the financial and wealth planning industry.
Winnie found financial planning to be a really good fit from day 1. Winnie ended up staying w/ Smith Barney for 11 years and enjoyed a wonderful career w/ all the perks and benefits. However, Winnie always felt there was more she could do. As she put it in her own words, “there was so much more I wanted to share out to the world and there wasn’t a way for me to do it.” In addition, Winnie’s parents were entrepreneurs, having done everything from run a pizza shop to real estate. Growing up in that environment, Winnie always wanted to have control over her schedule, her time, and who she did business with. The defining moment came when Morgan Stanley bought Smith Barney and she decided to break away and start her own firm. Winnie had established good relationships w/ many wire services and eventually signed w/ an independent broker-dealer. Although the broker-dealer didn’t provide a big check, it was a great starting point since this would allow Winnie to do the things she wanted to do; specifically, have more control over how she marketed herself and develop a personal brand.
Another aha moment came from the many client events Winnie put together, which she described as “love fests.” Winnie realized if she could somehow “bottle” the love that her clients had for her and the excellent financial service she provided, she would have no trouble getting new clients. Winnie knew it was time to break away from big firm life and start flying as an entrepreneur. Coincidentally, that’s when social media came into play. Ironically, Winnie is a fairly private person but she took on the challenge of learning social media; leveraging platforms like Twitter to scale her business. Keep in mind, Winnie had given up a significant amount of money by leaving Morgan Stanley to start her own business. But looking back, Winnie had this undeniable confidence that led her to walk away from big firm life and start her own business. The risk paid off and big. Since launching five years ago, Winnie has scaled Sun Group Wealth Partners into a multi-million dollar business but more importantly, she has achieved her goal of freedom and greater control over her brand and business. This is what has kept Winnie winning and moving forward.
In speaking with Winnie, the one quality that stands out is this incredible positivity that lets her know that no matter what she will be ok. In the back of her mind, Winnie knew that even if a job or business venture didn’t work out, she would be fine. Against everyone trying to convince her otherwise, Winnie left her job and launched two very successful businesses. So what is this magical superpower that Winnie has? It’s really two important qualities that have allowed her to move forward: 1) an incredibly positive outlook such that Winnie doesn’t care what anyone else thinks, and 2) an equally impressive work ethic such that she can and will outwork anybody else. Moreover, Winnie knew that if she didn’t listen to the entrepreneurial spirit within her, she would always feel trapped.
Having run two very successful businesses, Winnie’s story is about believing in yourself and something higher. You can’t let naysayers tear you down. You also have to let go of the things that hold you back. Finally, if you decide to pursue an entrepreneurial itch, you have to follow thru w/ confidence and a winning attitude.
Knowledge bursts on building wealth:
One simple tip for building wealth that you can start doing today:
Winnie’s number 1 piece of advice: set up an auto-savings system similar to how you use auto-pay for your bills. Your 401k may not be enough so set up a separate account such as an IRA and schedule an auto-pay schedule to deposit funds into that account. Winnie enhances this another great tip: set aside some additional “lunch money” slush funds and when there are corrections in the market, double up what you’re putting into that account.
Join Winnie’s Tweet Chat to learn more great financial and wealth building hacks.
Favorite app / website / resource or productivity hack:
Gary Vaynerchuk: provides excellent advice on business, social media, entrepreneurship, and mindset.
Books by Gary Vaynerchuk.
Buffer to manage social media.
How Winnie recharges when facing a roadblock or challenge:
Keep a zen life.
Rule of thumb: no negativity allowed in the home or office and this includes employees and clients. One big choice Winnie made when she became an entrepreneur was to really embrace the idea that you can choose the clients you want to work with.
Support the Podcast:
The Corporate Cliches Adult Coloring Book: makes the perfect stocking stuffer or white elephant gift.
Try out Audible (affiliate link).
Try out Amazon Prime (affiliate link).
Advice to past self while going thru a difficult time:
Winnie shares this sage piece of advice w/ her younger self: there is no place in my life for negativity. You don’t need negativity to be successful. Be very careful w/ the choices you have in life b/c even if you’re making a lot of money, all it takes is one piece of negativity to completely throw your momentum and growth. Choose yourself before you choose your business and know that it’s not selfish to make that choice. Rather, it’s good for you and ultimately, your clients.
Parting wisdom (in a few words):
“Believe in yourself, always.”
Connect with Winnie:
#speaker #CNBCClosingBell #stock #sungroupwealthpartners #401k #wealthmanagement #genxfinance #FoxBusinessNews #HuffingtonPost #Forbes #options #socialmediaexpert #socialmediainfluencer #LPLFinancial #finance #wealthmanagertothestars #wwwsungroupwpcom #millennialfinance #CBSNews #RenegadeMillionaireShow #winniesun