Brown Ambition

Brown Ambition is a show about juggling life, money, and your career.
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Oct 24, 2018
This is a show years in the making — we finally have our podcast pals Rich and Marcus from Paychecks and Balances on the show! The guys join us to tackle some awkward and controversial questions about money and relationships.

Follow Rich and Marcus @paybalances.

Today's show is sponsored by Lola, a female-founded company offering a line of organic cotton tampons, pads, liners and all-natural cleansing wipes. LOLA products come in a simple, customizable subscription so you get exactly what you need, exactly when you need it.
For 40% off all subscriptions, visit and enter promo code BROWNAMBITION when you subscribe!
Oct 10, 2018
Tela Holcomb, is a self-described "mom, wife, six-figure stocks and options trader, 9 to 5 survivor, risk taker and freedom catcher."

But she wasn't always a stock trading wiz. It wasn't until Tela lost her job in 2012 that she decided to dive into learning all she could about the stock market.

Today, Tela supports herself on income she earns from a combination of short-term stock trading and long-term investing and saving, as well as income earned from teaching online courses on how to trade. She joins Brown Ambition today to offer tips* for beginner investors looking to get into the market — and gets real about what it really means to trade, day trade and invest (yep! they are all different). We talk about the good, the bad and the ugly side of the market and how you can avoid common pitfalls.

If you're looking to start learning more about stock trading, check out Tela's free online course:

And check her out elsewhere:


*Disclaimer: Any conversations on our show about investing and investing strategies shouldn’t be taken as investment advice. This is strictly for education purposes and if we mention companies or specific strategies, it’s not a recommendation but rather an example.

Sep 26, 2018
We reflect back on the financial crisis on the 10 year anniversary and talk about how it impacted our finances and career.

We want to hear your recession comeback stories. Send us an email at or tweet us @theBApodcast to let us know how the recession touched your life in good ways or bad and how you've changed since.


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Sep 19, 2018

Happy Brown Ambition Wednesday!

On today's show:

  • A long-awaited health/family update from Tiffany
  • What happens when taxes go unpaid?
  • When's the right time to ask for a credit limit increase? 

Resources mentioned: 

MagnifyMoney's guide to handling tax debt

XY Planning Network, a great resource if you're looking for a fee-only financial planner. 

Sep 12, 2018
We are kicking off Season 4 of Brown Ambition with a long-awaited investing episode. If you're wondering how you can start investing for wealth beyond your 401(k) this is the show for you. We're joined by Mandi's personal financial planner Helen Ngo of Capital Benchmark Partners to go step by step through the process — from choosing your investments to deciding which types of accounts to open. You can schedule a FREE consultation with Helen via her website. 

Sep 5, 2018
Eight years ago, Aja McClanahan and her husband were $110,000 in the hole and in a constant tug-of-war with debt collectors. So they decided to make a drastic move in order to tackle their debt head-on. Mandi sat down with Aja this week to chat about how they finally became debt-free and what advice she has for others out there feeling overwhelmed by their own debt. "You don't need a lot of money to do this," she says. "Being disciplined helped." 

Brown ambition is back with new episodes on Sept. 12!

Have a question you'd like featured on the show? Send us a note at 
Aug 29, 2018

Happy Brown Ambition Wednesday!

We are looking back at our favorite episodes over the last (3!) years as we prepare for season 4 of the podcast. 

New episodes begin airing Sept. 12. 

Enjoy this look back at our EPIC interview with author, speaker and Luvvie Ajayi. And, if you haven't yet, get her book "I'm Judging You: The Do Better Manual" and check out her podcast "Rants and Randomness".


Aug 22, 2018

Happy #BrownAmbition Wednesday!

On today's show, Tiffany opens up about the pressures of scaling what was once a one-woman business into a multi-million-dollar juggernaut with full-time employees, benefits, and all the complications that come with it. 

"It's so much more than just the people who are involved. When I talk to [my employee] on the pone and I hear her baby crying I think oh my gosh it’s not just her. This has to work for all of us... There’s so many people are depending on this working. It's a lot of pressure but it’s also a lot of fulfillment to be able to do this work."

Also, on the show Tiff announces a special deal on the Live Richer Academy. Sign up at!


Aug 15, 2018
Welcome back to a new episode of Brown Ambition!

On today's show, we dedicate some time to questions from our listeners. 
One listener wants to know how much she should save by age 30. We take her question on the show and actually reveal how much WE saved by age 30 ourselves. Here's a link to the resource mentioned on the podcast, the JP Morgan Chase Guide to Retirement. The chart that suggests how much to save by different ages is on page 18! Also posting a screenshot below: 
Aug 8, 2018

Happy Brown Ambition Wednesday!

On today's show: 

Aug 1, 2018

On today's show, we're joined by Miko Branch, who in 2004 co-founded Miss Jessie's curly hair products with her sister Titi, inspired by their grandmother's homemade recipes They have been serving the curly, kinky and wavy hair community ever since.

This episode originally aired on March 25, 2017.



Jul 25, 2018

Happy Brown Ambition Wednesday!

On today's show: 

Jul 18, 2018

On today's show: 

  • We shoutout listeners who Tweet or Instagram us on each show. Want a shoutout? Hit us up at @brownambitionpodcast on the gram or @theBApodcast on Twitter. 
  • We take a question from listener Sheena who wants to know if she should defer her student loans in order to pay off her car. 
Jul 11, 2018

Each week we feature comments/questions from our listeners on Twitter and Instagram! Want to get a shoutout? Hit is up @theBApodcast on Twitter or @brownambitionpodcast on the gram. 

As mentioned on the show, here are some great resources if you're looking for a low down payment mortgage program: 

LendingTree: Your Guide to First-Time Homebuyer Programs

MagnifyMoney: The Best Mortgages That Require No or Low Down Payment

HUD: Search down payment assistance programs in your area

Disclaimer: The Q&A segment on our show is when we give off the cuff advice and tips we hope can help you start moving in the right direction — these answers are not intended to serve in place of advice from a certified financial adviser or planner or other financial professional. 

Jul 4, 2018

Happy Fourth of July! We're back with a fresh episode this week. 

We cover: 

Jun 27, 2018

We tackle some juicy topics on today's show:

  • Tiffany's decision on a $60,000 home upgrade (Yikes.)
  • NYT's sobering report on discrimination against pregnant women in the workplace
  • And we take YOUR questions on personal loans, credit cards and how young is too young to build credit.

Want to get a shoutout on next week's show?

Leave us a message on Twitter @TheBApodcast or Instagram @brownambitionpodcast.


Jun 20, 2018

Happy Brown Ambition Wednesday!  

On today's show: 

  • This is America? Unpacking the heartbreaking news from the border. 
  • Personal loans vs credit builder loans
Jun 13, 2018

On today's show, we have a truly inspiring story to share. Leo and Faith were about to get married when they attended pre-marital counseling at their church. It was then that they were encouraged to sit down and get honest about the finances and their goals as they started a family together. In total, they carried over $211,000 worth of debt — a combination of both student loans and credit card debt. 

Rather than give up, they rallied and made a plan to aggressively tackle their debt in the summer of 2017. Faith, a nurse practitioner, took on a part-time job working overnight 5 or 6 days a week. Leo, an occupational therapist, also worked a part-time job in addition to his 9 to 5.

As of May 2018, they had successfully paid down $100,000. 

They share their story on today's show. Tune in and hit us up on Twitter or Instagram let us know what you think about their story!

Jun 6, 2018

Happy Brown Ambition Wednesday!

Today on the show, we share some messages from our listeners on Twitter and the 'gram. Hit us up @theBApodcast or @brownambitionpodcast to share your thoughts on this week's episode, give us a shoutout or ask a question.

One of our listeners has a question about the credit card she realizes might not have been the best choice for her....and yikes. It definitely makes our list of our least favorite credit cards. As mentioned on the show, check out this guide to the Best Credit Cards and the Best Credit Cards for Students, each curated by the team at MagnifyMoney. 

Also on the show today:

  • Options for financing a home improvement project
  • Socially responsible investing tips 
  • The awful news that Kate Spade committed suicide rocked us both and reminded us of the importance of leaning on others when we are facing hard times and prioritizing our mental health. The National Suicide Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. As mentioned, here's the spreadsheet Tiffany's Dream Catchers Facebook group has crowdsourced with therapists across the country. 
May 30, 2018

Happy Brown Ambition Wednesday! We are BACK with an amazing guest on today's show — Gayle Jennings-O'Byrne, founder and CEO of iNTENT Manifesto, a new movement aimed at helping women of color-led startups find investors for their businesses. 

"I had to set my own rules. I remember when I told people I want to unlock $1 billion for black women and women of color. People looked at me like I was crazy but they said OK what do I need to do to help you? " 

We talk to Gayle about why she left her 17-year career at JP Morgan Chase after a health scare to launch iNTENT and what resources are out there for women looking to start businesses today:

"I just remember thinking, Lord, if I get through this I'm gonna do things differently. And one of those things I said I was gonna do differently was become a champion for women who look like me."

Sign the manifesto here:

May 23, 2018

On today's show: 

  • The most important number to know: Your net worth! We take a question from listener Ashely about how to manage side hustles to boost her net worth and we chat about what net worth really means and why you should focus on building your net worth in 2018. You can still sign up for Tiffany's Live Richer Challenge: Net Worth edition.

Have a money or career question?

Go to or send us a note at 

*This episode originally aired on Jan 10, 2018.*

May 16, 2018

Today on the show:

  • We share some real talk beauty confessions...and when it’s worth it to splurge vs save 
  • We used a free stock trading app to buy stocks recently...we’ll tell you how it’s going!
  • We take a question from a listener who wants to know if she should buy a house with her partner before they get married. Yikes. 

Some links to news stories and sites mentioned on the show!


May 2, 2018

Want to get a shoutout on our show? Follow us @brownambitionpodcast on Instagram. Post a photo of yourself, tag us in it and use the hashtag #BrownAmbition. In the post, tell us why you're the ultimate representation of Brown Ambition. Did you just score a big promotion at work? Ace your final exams? Finally open that savings account you've been wanting to for months? We want to hear about it. Each week we'll share a story on our show!

On today's show: 

  • We discuss ways we all try to save our parents from themselves (and their awful money choices sometimes) 
  • Tiffany shares a health update
  • Mandi explains the controversy around Zelle, the bank transfer service. 
  • We answer a listener question on 401(k)s


Apr 25, 2018

Ep. 125 — The Debt Consolidation Cycle

Happy Brown Ambition Wednesday!

We're featuring a "win of the week" from our BA listeners on Instagram (@brownambitionpodcast) or Twitter (@theBApodcast). Tell us your win of the week and we might feature it on the show!


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