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Brown Ambition Podcast: Your Money, Your Life, Your Goals

It's more than money. It's about life.

By Frank RacioppiPublished about a year ago 5 min read

There are two genres, where many of the top podcasts began their media journey as a radio show and then added podcasting later on. First, we have conservative talk shows, where turning Americans against one another has been elevated to an art form. You can play a drinking game and take a shot every time one of those hosts says "woke" or "CRT" or "groomer." Please have a designated driver handy. You'll need that person.

Second, are financial advice shows. Two of the best being The Dave Ramsey Show and The Clark Howard Show. I'm partial to Howard only because I lived in the Atlanta area for 11 years and listened to him on the radio while stopped dead in traffic on interstate 285.

Ramsey and Howard offer advice to all callers, regardless of income, race, religion, or whatever financial dumpster fire they managed to ignite. But an intrinsic strength of podcasting is its narrow casting feature. A podcast can target a specific audience, while over-the-air radio has limitations in that arena.

I stumbled on the Brown Ambition podcast based on a recommendation from the EarBuds Podcast Collective. Although I may not be the podcast's target demographic, it is a terrific listen that for me taught me that, "they can teach an old dog new tricks."

Brown Ambition is a weekly conversation between two successful women of color dealing with topics of professional and financial ambition, will and so much more.

The podcast's website offers their origin story as this: "Mandi and Tiffany first met in 2013 when Mandi Woodruff was an editor at Business Insider and wrote a profile about Tiffany Aliche, who had just founded The Budgetnista platform. The pair later met in person at a financial bloggers' conference in 2014. As two self-professed introverts, they bonded over their shared need to decompress from the conference grind and took a walk through New Orleans where the beginnings of their podcast Brown Ambition started to take root — a conversation between two badass women of color who were as comfortable talking about dating and relationships as they were about budgeting and building wealth."

Brown Ambition offers financial advice that ranges from asking for a raise at a job to purchasing investment properties. Their target demographic is people of color, and women, but here's the thing. You can be whiter than Nicole Kidman and still learn from their advice and financial wisdom. These women know what they're talking about.

Here's what Woodruff and Aliche state about their goals with the podcast: "With each episode, we aim to create a safe space where women can ask questions, feel seen and heard, and feel like they’ve taken one step closer to accomplishing their wealth-building and career goals. We want to amplify the voices of women of color in spaces that have never traditionally been open to us — from building businesses to earning seats at the boardroom table."

What makes this duo unique is that part of their goal setting for the podcast: "We are never shy about sharing our struggles and lessons along our own personal journeys, and we don’t pretend that things like personal relationships don’t influence the way we achieve professional and financial goals. That’s why you’ll often hear us shift from the latest ups and downs of the stock market to the latest ups and downs of Tiffany’s fertility journey or Mandi’s rocky road to entrepreneurship."

Brown Ambition has been recognized by Insider, Time, Forbes and Fast Company as one of the greatest personal finance podcasts since its launch in 2016.

In this country, the income gap between black and white households has narrowed over the last twenty years. But the wealth gap remains stagnant and as wide as the gap between red and blue states. Brown Ambition handles the questions from listeners about finances that relate to their target audience.

That is the "ambition" part of the title. The podcast is about their audience wanting more out of life and "going for it." The podcast's mission statement reveals that there is more going on than simply financial wisdom.

"We want to create a world where Black and Brown women feel valued and poured into, both financially and mentally."

The podcast's episodes also takes an expansive view of financial advice and often delves into the interpersonal and the personal tribulations of the two hosts. That panoramic view only increases how ear worthy this podcast truly is.

For example, in a late January Q&A episode, the co-hosts delve into a discussion of how a person's credit score is determined. Then they discuss debt consolidation loans.

In a mid-January episode called "Waging War," Woodruff responds to a question from a woman who feels underpaid at her job and wants to know how to address this perceived pay disparity with her manager. Woodruff excels here in her advice. First, she discusses compensation in organizations, its limitations and its structure. Then, she talks about a series of options that include asking the woman to reassess her original perceptions.

Episodes on this podcast are succinct -- about twenty minutes long -- which is perfect for these shows. Many financial advice podcasts simply edit their hour-long radio show and release an unnecessarily long episode. Somehow, it is as if the co-hosts of Brown Ambition know that their listeners don't have time in their day to spend an hour or more listening to a podcast. Therefore, their topics crystallize quickly, and commentary and advice are dispensed succinctly, yet still with great flair and humor.

The chemistry between Woodruff and Aliche is strong. The co-hosts banter like next-door neighbors, keep the tone light, and they don't talk down to their listener questions. By contrast, some financial advice podcasts adopt a grim tone, as if the zombie apocalypse is just around the corner. Some of these shows do talk down to their callers and, at times, adopt a "sports talk" attitude in which the host aggressively mocks the callers.

Mandi Woodruff is a self-described inclusive wealth-building and career expert with a background in journalism and content marketing. She published her free guide, The Just Quit! Toolkit, in 2021, which has helped nearly 2,000 professionals take charge of their careers and maximize their earning potential. She’s also a regular contributor to Yahoo Finance and CNBC.com.

Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche describes herself as America’s favorite personal financial educator. She is the author of a New York Times Bestseller -- Get Good with Money. Aliche is an NAACP Image Award Nominee, and the first Black woman to grace the cover of Money Magazine solo.

One of my favorite episodes is November 11, 2022 "Make your Money Inconvenient." In the episode, the co-hosts offered tips to save for a down payment on a home. Then they helped a listener with picking up the financial rubble from a divorce. Finally, they discussed resume preparation tips, advice on bulking up your savings account, and, on a personal note, how to forgive yourself.

All in twenty minutes.

Although the target audience is women and people of color, this show can be for anyone. Why? Because it's just a damn good podcast.

Check out Brown Ambition.

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About the Creator

Frank Racioppi

I am a South Jersey-based author who is a writer for the Ear Worthy publication, which appears on Vocal, Substack, Medium, Blogger, Tumblr, and social media. Ear Worthy offers daily podcast reviews, recommendations, and articles.

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    Frank RacioppiWritten by Frank Racioppi

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