Once again, we have come upon a visionary who has allowed us the opportunity to create space to explore the scope and creativity of what we deem to be an accomplished individual. When you think of global business operations and the CEOs that run those vast companies, you may have an opinion of some lofty elitist entity that is detached from those people who consume their products. But Malcolm “MJ” Harris, CEO of The National Care Financial Group, is definitely a man who from the onset has strives to break that perception by adhering to a personal value system and business ethic that respects people from all backgrounds. Let us not prolong the introduction any further as we delve into the vision of Malcolm “MJ” Harris.
?Love & Light?,
CRISTEN M. MILLS
HOC: First let me thank you for creating a space in your busy schedule to speak with The Visionary’s Manifesto and our Heart of Cool audience. How does a person acquire the courage to go from planning his vision of financial management at a dining room table to becoming not only the CEO but to amass one of the most successful African American owned financial services firms?
MJH: Well I’ll tell you, the motivation for me was thinking about what would I feel if I didn’t do anything. Of course having a huge business affords you the material things and allows you to live a certain lifestyle but for me it was more organic as in asking the question “what would it cost me not to do this?” Would the personal cost be looking back on my life with regret knowing that I didn’t live up to my full potential? That is always the key motivating factor for me, making sure that I’m living at my highest self and giving my full potential. When I leave this plane of existence I want to pass away knowing that I gave my all, that I worked to be the best that I could be.
HOC: Why do you believe in bridging the gap of financial services to include middle to upper class individuals and families?
MJH: When I first came into this industry I started out with a very large insurance carrier and essentially the advice I was given was to focus on individuals making upwards of $250,000.00 per year and make that the target audience. But the reality for me was layered because I didn’t know very many people who were making that type of money and I also felt that adopting that business i.e. focusing on such a limited market within my then scope of vison would greatly limit my marketing capabilities. I realized the reason why I had not learned a lot about finances was because the financial services community was focusing most of their energies on the people who had large sums of money. Given that line of thinking I became equally interested in the infrastructure of the middle class, I began to conceive of the idea of making the financial services model accessible to people from lesser means. I wanted to build a practice that opened the door whether you had a G.E.D or a P.H.D, whether you were a secretary or CEO. Our goal would be to provide you with the same quality of services geared towards our wealthier clients to protect and grow your wealth.
HOC: How did the concept of your “wealth class” platform come to fruition?
MJH: I realized there was a huge gap in the community I served, the chasm of understanding financial literacy. At the end of the day people want to know how to manage their money and not only that but how to create that extra monetary amount which can be included in the wealth growth equation. The question that is most often asked is, “how can I have more than enough?” So my aim was to create a platform that would teach the nuts and bolts of managing and growing your finances, I was going to do what I do best and that is to manage and teach people how to build wealth. This is a proven model because I’ve done it for myself and my team members and due to my credentials and vast experience I am able to compete with the best financial advisers in the industry.
HOC: Many of us have dreamed of sitting down with Oprah Winfrey but that became a reality for you. What was that experience like?
MJH: It was a wonderful experience and she is everything you see on television, Oprah is sincere and kind. It was a full circle moment for me because I remember growing up and seeing her and relating to her childhood story, we both grew up in low income circumstances and we dealt with significant life challenges early on. It was such a realistic moment for me because it proved in real time that when you choose to live and work at your fullest potential the universe will conspire together to attract to your person other people who are living at the same level.
HOC: You exude a very giving spirit and yet you keep pushing the envelope with the creation of the Positive & Chronic Care organization. Can you tell us more about this organization?
MJH: With the Positive and Chronic Care platform I realized that if we were to effectively serve the minority community there needed to be a bridge to accommodate them. The realities are that there is a significant amount of disparity with our community and with that being said, for a lot of people they think that due to personal health issues it may omit or preclude them from getting access to financial services and to include the opinion that life insurance is underwritten based on ones health. There was no way that I could serve the best interests of the community without addressing the global dynamics associated with said community. Opening myself up to the reality of a section of our population who are well meaning and desire an approach to the financial planning process but may have some health challenges. So I decided that I was going to champion the cause and reach out to various financial institutions who wanted to serve our community and fortunately we were able to partner with some of the worlds foremost financial institutions. It was my way of making sure I was being of service to my community.
HOC: This may sound cliché but we hear so much about how isolating it can be when you reach a certain level of success. That being stated can you elaborate on the question, “is it lonely at the top?”
MJH: I think that in the beginning it can be, the people around you become more aware of your success,. There is a saying that success changes the people around you more than it changes you personally because you feel as if you are the exact same person. The one piece of advice that I give people is that if you desire to rise higher, then you have got to accept that it will be lonely if you try to hold onto the same people throughout the entire journey. In rising higher you have to accept that some people will be able to climb with you but some people will leave the journey during the process which works in your favor because it frees you up to be able to use better judgement to take on new people as you move forward. So if I were to put things in perspective, I don’t think that success will result in solitude. Success becomes lonely when you are trying to hold onto people that don’t fit into your lifestyle and vision but in contrast for the people who can meet you along the journey and relate to your vision, it will culminate in an abundance of healthy supportive relationships that will deeply encourage you.
HOC: You have accomplished so much and yet you are still by many standards a young spirited man, Is there anything else left for you to accomplish?
MJH: To be quite honest, I don’t know. I don’t think of my life in a kind of milestone or linear way, I choose to make myself available to the infinite power that is housed within me. To not be of service to that higher power would result in limiting myself, for example I could imagine making a billion dollars but by opening myself up to the infinite power within me I could access a pathway towards making ten billion dollars which translates into being able to serve millions of people. I have unlimited potential and my job is to make decisions on a daily basis that will allow me to operate at my full capacity.
HOC: Who are your biggest role models?
MJH: My parents, my mother overcame having an addiction to drugs and alcohol. I remember being in AA meetings with my mother between the ages of 3 and 4yrs old, I watched her successfully overcome that illness. My father in comparison sustained a small business for over two decades and after a challenging marriage they separated. My mother then created her own small business, an insurance agency in 1981 and remained in business for over 30 years and that is who inspired me to venture into the insurance industry.
HOC: If you would indulge a final request from The Visionary’s Manifesto and the Heart of Cool platform, what final thoughts can you relay to our audience?
MJH: Live with an unlimited belief about who you are and what you can become, adopt a mindset that you can be anything that you envision for yourself. It’s been said many times before and I can understand that the message of believing in yourself sounds somewhat trite but it’s not by accident that I have achieved such a level of owning one of the largest African American owned financial service companies in America. Those other icons of our time such as Oprah Winfrey, Russell Simmons and Steve Jobs, all of us are saying the exact same thing and that is the birthplace for what you can become starts in your mind with you believing what you are capable of. We didn’t all conspire together to create this narrative, we say it because we have lived it. So don’t re-invent the wheel, simply do what we and many others have done, choose to hold within your heart an unlimited belief about who you are and remove anything and anyone from your past that stands between you and living at your fullest potential.
HOC: Malcom “MJ” Harris we here at The Visionary’s Manifesto and Heart of Cool honor you! May the universe continue to expand your vision as you journey forth in breaking new ground as you serve millions upon millions around the globe.
Bio: Malcolm “MJ” Harris is an internationally recognized financial services CEO and motivational success teacher, who has consistently beaten the odds to achieve extraordinary success. Malcolm has built a multi-million dollar enterprise, National Care Financial Group, which started at his dining room table and has become one of America’s largest African-American owned financial services firms. National Care is a premier insurance brokerage platform for financial services professionals – from newly licensed to veteran advisors – seeking to reach the African-American and Hispanic markets with “top tier” financial products from over 105 institutions. His firm’s clients include everyone from middle-class families to high-net-worth individuals, senior executives, corporations, leaders in the entertainment and creative industries, and foundations / endowments.
Mr. Harris shares his secrets of success and empowerment with global live audiences through his “Wealth Class” seminar series and his videos that are watched in over 50 countries receiving over 2 million views every week across multiple platforms. He has been featured by Oprah Winfrey, USA Today, Black Enterprise, Huffington Post, and Ebony Magazine. Malcolm has received numerous awards and national recognition. He spends his time between Washington, DC (National Care’s headquarters) and Los Angeles.