Eszylfie (pronounced “Es-zelfie”) Taylor is “swinging away.”
After a successful career at New York Life, the founder and president of Taylor Insurance and Financial Services in Los Angeles now manages a practice that serves 1,500 clients — which includes celebrities and Hall of Fame athletes — all while juggling a weekly radio show, recently penning a book, sitting on the boards of three non-profits and founding the non-profit Future Stars Basketball Camp.
Oh, and he’s a dad to three young girls, just became a certified yoga instructor and is creating a financial literacy app coming out this fall.
“My planning/advisory practice is kind of the jump off, if you will, and from that [my career] spawned into many other things.”
After a 13-year career at New York Life — during which he was named to New York Life’s top 25 nationwide agent list, the firm’s top agent/advisor ranking in Los Angeles/Pasadena, as well as a top African-American advisor at New York Life at age 35 — Taylor struck out on his own. Why? Because in his mind, he says, he wasn’t fulfilling his talent and his calling.
Describing himself in a recent interview with me as “too stubborn to stay down,” Taylor says he wouldn’t have his lightning fast pace “any other way.”
Having just turned 40, Taylor spouts words of wisdom beyond his years, and says his biggest advice to other advisors: “prospect up.”
“Build a book of business with people that make the amount of money that you want to make,” he says. “For me, I don’t want to be the most successful guy in the room. If I’m the most successful guy in the room, how can I grow? In life, you’re green or you’re brown. You’re growing or you’re dying. And I want to grow.”
Following is an edited version of my interview with Taylor in mid-July.
Tell me about your financial literacy app. I’m working on a financial literacy app where I’m going to integrate financial wellness, health — good clean eating — and yoga. I became a certified yoga instructor. Integrating all those things into one. What’s better than me making $10,000, $20,000, $50,000 on a financial plan? It’s me making $10 per month from 100,000 people.
The app will be straight to consumers. It will be giving people a financial tip and a yoga tip three or four times a week, and you just pay a fee and do like a boot camp: a 30-day financial cleanse, a 30-day debt elimination challenge.
Giving people tools to create savings and eliminate debt, invest their money and charge them a nominal fee.
It’s like McDonalds: their average ticket is about $5 or $6, yet they make billions of dollars per year because of the large numbers. The average American could be my client.
This allows me to take my spirit, my knowledge, my passion and disseminate it to the masses where they can all get value and I can reap the benefit of working with lots of people.
Tell me about your book, “Ask the Experts: the Unique Benefits of Working with Top Professionals.” The book was a collaboration with other experts in other fields. I spearheaded that and then brought everyone together.
Why did you want to write it? The main goal, similar to the radio show [also called Ask the Experts], is to promote financial literacy. I graduated magna cum laude with a degree in business [from Concordia University in Portland, Oregon] and I didn’t know 99% of this [financial] stuff until I was in the real world.