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Money Talks

This Founder Makes $25,000 A Month Through Her Multiple Income Streams

Money Talks is an xoNecole series where we talk candidly to real women about how they spend money, their relationship with money, and how they get it.

Schelo D. Collier is the founder of Black Women Invest, a membership organization created specifically to help her community create wealth and discover more about investing. Through the company’s retreats, panels, helpful online content, and more, she helps many women with varied goals and backgrounds grow their income and knowledge on investing. And unlike the plethora of “coaches” on the gram, she has the background to prove it.


Finance has been part of Schelo’s life for years. Before starting Black Women Invest, she was working diligently in her “dream job,” where she helped thousands of investors build their real estate portfolios. And by 24, she had already purchased her first investment property. However, the tides turned when she unexpectedly lost her job and was forced to find another path. Throughout this journey, she began to build a community of like-minded women with a focus on investing.

This small online group is now a member-based community of over 14,000 women. In our conversation, she walked me through a little bit about what propelled this journey and what important insights she’s picked up along the way. For Schelo, her goal has always been to inform her community that to build wealth, saving money is important, but investing is crucial.

Tell me a little bit about yourself. When did you become interested in investing? 

Man, how far do you want me to go back?

Let’s start at the beginning. 

Well, I had an interest in finance and investing since I was a kid, but I didn’t know the term for it. The interest just kinda sparked from being first-generation Haitian-American. We never needed things; God always provided for our family. But I will say, I was very mindful that there were certain things I didn’t get that I desired. That’s how it began. Also, my parents were big on teaching us money habits. So in middle school, they paid me $1 a week. You know in those days, that’s big money! But I remember at some point realizing it wasn’t enough for the things I wanted to do. So I started to buy chips and candy at the store, which was 25 cents at the time, and sell it to my classmates. That became my thing. Like, every week, my goal was to double my money.

I went on to go to a technical high school where I studied finance and went to college and studied finance as well. The route I was on, I was on track to become a financial advisor. But at the time, I felt like financial advisors were specifically focused on finding wealthier clients. My goal has always been to help my people, Black women, and immigrant families, get into investing and create real wealth. I ended up getting a mentor in college who worked at a big bank, and he had a really large pile of clients. They were all in real estate. So I decided I wanted to get into it, and that’s how the journey started.

"The route I was on, I was on track to become a financial advisor. But at the time, I felt like financial advisors were specifically focused on finding wealthier clients. My goal has always been to help my people, Black women, and immigrant families, get into investing and create real wealth."

It seems like you've always had a hustler spirit. But have you always been good with money? Walk me through that journey. 

I wasn’t good at budgeting, but I’ve always been good at making money. There’s a benefit in that. But then the negative for people like me is that you spend too quickly. I had that mindset for quite some time. I’ve just always worked and felt like, “I’ll make it back.” Like in college, I had a job at the mall but I’d use my paycheck in the mall. It was a routine every two weeks. I’d get my check and then use it in Forever 21 (laughs).

What other unhealthy habits or mindsets about money did you have to unlearn to truly prosper?

Well, after I was doing that mall routine over and over, a good friend of mine called and asked what I was up to one day. I told her I was shopping, and she was like “Again?” When I answered her, she said: “the spirit of poverty is on us.” That still sticks with me. I think that was my wake-up call. I wasn’t saving money correctly, and even friends were able to see that. Around that time is when I started taking investing and budgeting more seriously. But it’s still a struggle for me, honestly.

I can tell just from your tone that it was a process. What’s the lowest you’ve ever felt when it comes to your finances?

Hearing that question takes me back to 2017. I had started investing, and I had a negative balance of $5. And I couldn't figure out how to cover the overdraft fees. So I had a few hours before I got charged. And I'm texting my younger sister, hey, can you send me some cash so I don’t have to deal with the fee? And she sent me $7. I actually took a screenshot of the Cash App just to remind myself of where I was. I look back at that now, and I can laugh. But, in the moment, I knew I never wanted to be in that place again. It still happened, but little by little, my mindset started to shift from pivotal moments like this.

I love your honesty. Because let’s be real, we’ve all been there. Plus, things have clearly changed now. Actually, would you mind sharing what your finances are like today? How much do you make in a year?

Let’s do the math. *pulls out calculator*

I average around $25,000 a month. But, I mean, it fluctuates. Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever said that publicly.

Well, thanks for sharing. We love a full-circle moment. I want to get more into the investment realm, though. Can you tell me about the first one you made and what the process taught you?

Again, I started in real estate, but the first investment I made was in my education. I took a $25,000 class, and that lesson taught me so much. I was in the investment space, so I learned about flipping, wholesaling, contracts, etc. The investment class opened the area to work at a firm because I was so full of knowledge. The first deal I did was with a developer. We also worked in wholesaling with a few people. Within two months, we closed on over $100,000 in profit.

"I started in real estate, but the first investment I made was in my education. I took a $25,000 class, and that lesson taught me so much. I was in the investment space, so I learned about flipping, wholesaling, contracts, etc. The investment class opened the area to work at a firm because I was so full of knowledge."

How important is investing to you today? How do you invest? 

Investing is so important because I do not want to work for every dollar I earn. The goals I have require me to be intentional about where every dollar is multiplied! Traditional ways I invest are through index funds; these are simple and offer diversity to investors. I also invest in real estate through REITs and in startups.

You clearly have a lot going on. What are your savings goals, and what does retirement look like to you?

Financial independence is my ultimate motivator for my savings. I’m currently saving to own real estate internationally. This summer, I’ll be viewing properties in three different countries, and I’ve invited the Black Women Invest Community to join me and search for opportunities together. I’m currently pursuing an early retirement. This would grant me the freedom to travel the world, connect with loved ones on my own terms, and pursue passions that ignite my soul, such as theological studies. I can see myself living by the ocean with the sound of waves as a constant companion, no alarm clocks, no rush in the world, just the space to pursue what is important to me.

First, that sounds amazing. Second, you brought up Black Women Invest, so we have to dig in. When it comes to structuring your business, what are your streams of revenue and how did you go about establishing them? What was the intention behind having multiple ways to make money?

When I first started my business, I was only really exposed to one stream of income: selling courses online. I did this for some time, and it worked. But it was always capped by my time and ability to sell. Things shifted when I became extra intentional about answering my community's needs. Some of my streams of business income include revenue from our international real estate trips, our national chapter membership, partnership deals, and course sales.

I think everyone should have more than one way to earn money in their business. You never know if an industry will change and cause a product of yours to become irrelevant overnight. Having other options your community can come to you for builds trust and reputation and it allows you to target different needs within one community.

Finally, please tell me more about your past event in California. What was the experience like for attendees, and what can we expect from future events? 

The Black Women Invest Conference was an empowering atmosphere surrounded by financially savvy women. It was a three-day retreat-styled conference at a cozy winery in Temecula, California, and it extended beyond investment education. Attendees gained actionable strategies for stock and real estate investing, dived into business development ideas, and connected with financial experts through panel discussions and breakout sessions.

But the heart of our experiences lies in community. Guests can always expect to build lasting connections with like-minded Black women as they share goals, celebrate successes, and forge a supportive network that will propel you on your wealth-building journey. We strive for our events to be filled with inspiration, education, and authentic sisterhood.

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Feature image by @investwithschelo/ Instagram

 

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