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Singer. Songwriter. Hit maker. Producer. Playwright. Host…The list goes on. Reality star Kandi Burruss wears so many hats at once, it’s tough to list them all. The Real Housewives of Atlanta star, 39, made a name for herself as a musical artist, but throughout her career she branded her success and turned it into wealth by extending her reach well beyond her music. Proving she’s an unbelievably savvy businesswoman, today mom-to-be Burruss owns two trendy clothing boutiques in her hometown of Atlanta, an award-winning intimate toy line, a marketing service and a production company—each of which was a dream she brought to life.
Burruss’ biggest secret to success is smart planning and realistic money management. “I try to invest in things that people can use or things they would enjoy,” she shares. “Something that’s easy to market or promote. Also, things that are in a great price point that will sell quickly so that you can make your initial investment back fast.”
Dreaming is easy, but stacking the funds to set your dreams in motion can prove to be the biggest challenge you face. Start by curbing your lifestyle and spending habits, Burruss suggests: “I meet people all the time who say they want to do this or that but say they don’t have the money. A lot times they are living to the full extent of their income and they’ll have nice bags and shoes but haven’t even invested in quality business cards or nice website for their brand. Who will want to gamble or invest in you if your not taking the first step to invest in yourself?”
Burruss’ best advice for 2016 is to start off the year living below your means, “The money you’re going to save instantly can go toward your dreams,” she adds. But don’t stop there. For Burruss, having multiple sources of income coming in has proved invaluable for making her big ideas a reality. “I never want to depend on one thing,” she says. “I invest in property because you can always leverage your equity to purchase other things.”
Although Burruss can offer advice for days on how to build up your bank account and brand, she knows when to take advice too. The best financial advice she ever received came from rap star LL Cool J when Burruss was just 19.
“I had just bought my first house while Xscape was on tour with him,” she recalls. “He told me that I should try to pay off my loan as soon as I could because the entertainment business is so up and down you never know how long you’ll be able to afford those expensive notes. He told me to put extra money toward the principle of my loan every time I got a check no matter how big or small because it would knock years off of my loan. He was so right.” She stuck to the plan and when she went back to look at her loan statement, the proof was there and the results were amazing. “It shocked me at how much of the note mainly went to interest, and by paying off the loan early you save tons of money and the stress of having to make those payments for all those years.” Ready, set, go and build that wealth, ladies!