The Affluent Entrepreneur Show

Elevate Above Your Circumstances with Mary Owusu

June 12, 2023 Mel H Abraham, CPA, CVA, ASA Season 2 Episode 145
The Affluent Entrepreneur Show
Elevate Above Your Circumstances with Mary Owusu
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In life, we all face challenges and obstacles that may seem insurmountable. However, how we choose to respond to these challenges can make all the difference. 

We have a special guest, Mary Owusu, whose story of resilience and determination will leave you in awe. Mary was born and raised in Ghana, and at a young age, she was left to fend for herself. Despite the challenges she faced, Mary refused to give up and instead set her sights on creating a better life for herself and her family.

In this episode, Mary shares with us her incredible journey, from her humble beginnings in Ghana to her current status as a successful entrepreneur and educator. She talks about the struggles she faced along the way and the lessons she learned that helped her overcome those challenges.

If you're an entrepreneur trying to build a life bigger than your current circumstances, you absolutely have to listen to this episode. Mary's journey is a testament to the fact that anything is possible with determination and a positive attitude. So grab your headphones and get ready to be inspired!


  • Mary's background and journey from Ghana to the US
  • How resilience helped Mary achieve her goals
  • The importance of developing a system mindset to overcome challenges

Visit Mary’s website:
Know more about Mary:

If you liked this episode, you'll love these ones:

Take this free quiz to see where you are on the path to financial freedom and what your next steps are to move you to a new financial destiny at 

7-Day Money Plan Workshop:
Affluent Entrepreneurs Private Facebook Group

Instagram (@melabraham9):
Facebook Group:

“The Entrepreneur's Solution The Modern Millionaire's Path to More Profit, Fans, & Freedom” –

Mel Abraham  0:00  
Oh my god, I just had an incredible conversation with a client and a dear, dear soul, Mary Owusu, her story is going to blow you away. And this is a very different episode because I wanted her story because it's a story of resilience. It's a story of fighting for what is important to you. And as an entrepreneur, as someone that's trying to build wealth as someone who's trying to, to build a journey, build a life that I call a legacy factor life. Okay? She is a walking example. It's not just her, her and her four siblings. Okay, this is someone who came from Ghana, and basically was left here to fend for herself, and to create a life and oh, the life that they created. This is Rich, for those that want to create a richer lifestyle, have a deeper impact, and live with complete freedom. Enjoy this episode of the affluent entrepreneurship, because this one is happening. I'll see in the episode. This is the Affluent Entrepreneur Show for entrepreneurs that want to operate at a high level and achieve financial liberation. I'm your host, Mel Abraham, and I'll be sharing with you what it takes to create success beyond wealth. So you can have a richer, more fulfilling lifestyle. In this show, you'll learn how business and money intersect. So you can scale your business, scale your money, and scale your life, while creating a deeper impact and living with complete freedom. Because that's what it really means to be an affluent entrepreneur.Hey, Mary, so good to have you on the show. God, it took a little while to get John, but we got you here.

Mary Owusu  1:49  
So happy to be here mouth. Thanks for having me.

Mel Abraham  1:51  
Oh my god, I can't wait for our conversation. Because we met, I'm gonna say almost six months, maybe five, four or five months ago. And the first time we had a conversation you told me your store. And I just think that one it was an incredibly compelling story, a journey of persistence, a journey of God, just dedication, and, and possibility. And I just I want to make sure that we get the story out in the world because, you know, the African entrepreneur Shores is all about possibility. It's about living into possibility, capturing possibility. But sometimes it's not a straight line. So let's do this. Before we get into some of the depth of some of this, I just would love for the audience to to hear a little bit about who Mary is today. And then we'll take it back to how Mary got here.

Mary Owusu  2:55  
I love that start from where you are and work it back. I love that. I love that. So who am I today? Oh my gosh, that's a fantastic question. I will say that I am an entrepreneur, I'm an educator, and I am a giver. Those are the three things I could say that I am I when I say I'm a giver, you know, I'm a wife, I'm a mom, I am I'm a role model to folks. I also have role models in my life, I try to, to give as much as I get, whether it's from family and friends, or whether it's from the circle of networks that I have in my life educator. So I'm a professor, I actually am a college university professor, I teach marketing and analytics to a bunch of really smart young adults, both both undergrads and graduate students looking to get their master's degrees. So I'm an educator in that sense. But I'm also an educator and an entrepreneur, because I take my education beyond the classroom, I just think it's so important to get professionals who are out there who are supposed to know what to do with the degrees they had or the degrees they didn't ever get, and turn those into actual results for some organization, whether it's their own or some business that they represent. And so a part of my entrepreneurship is just teaching regular old marketers, everyday marketers how to do digital marketing and analytics. So that's the entrepreneur part that also borrows from the educator, part of me. So those are the various hats that I wear, I give, I educate. And I'm an entrepreneur, I just I think it's important to have all those things working together to make me the whole Mary that I am.

Mel Abraham  4:43  
I love this and it's true, the whole Mary you are because as we started now, for those who don't know, Mary is one of my elite clients and and as we started to peel back, who Mary was what she does, where she's focusing the things the greatness and the goodness she brings to the world, I was like floored at so many facets of your world. Because you've truly is amazing. But it's even more amazing. When we start to look at your journey to get here. I mean, let's just, I just want to reiterate for all of you out there that are watching and listening. Mary is a professor at New York University. She's got her own business, and is an entrepreneur that she built from scratch. Successful one I might add, she is a wife, she is a mother, as she is always vibrant every time we talk. And I think that this is, this is the thing that I want to take away because when you hear the story, then we have to look at ourselves in the mirror and go Why am I not stepping up? So let's do this. Let's go back. And let's go back to how did Mary because Mary's you're not from the US initially knows, let's go back to how you got here and the process and and the journey because it was a journey.

Mary Owusu  6:23  
It was a journey mile in the literal sense as well. It was a 24 hour journey on the plane, literally. And also attorneys Midgard, figuratively speaking in the sense that it was rough. So you know, and for a long time, I didn't talk about my story. So it's, it's really bizarre to be sharing the story. But I really want everybody who's listening to just know that there's power in telling your story. And it took me a long time to figure that out. I don't know about you. But there might be some dates that stick out in your mind and life. You know, one of my siblings, my youngest sibling got married on 11 1111. So that date always sticks in my mind. Or my birth date, there was some coup in Ghana, where I'm from. So that date is also a like an official date that sticks on the calendar in Ghana, things like that. They're dates that stick in our minds for life. And there are some personal ones probably in your life, Mel and maybe some of the listeners as well. There's some dates. Well, one day that sticks in my mind is August 15 1992. I don't know if you know what you were doing. But I know exactly what I was doing. Do you know what you were doing?

Mel Abraham  7:47  
I don't all I could think about is my son was almost two years old. Which meant that, yeah, so it was a crazy time in my life. I had no idea what I was doing on that day.

Mary Owusu  8:03  
Yeah, two year old guy. But you have no recollection, you're probably just trying to catch a couple naps or something. That was an insane time two year olds? Oh, my gosh. Well, I'll tell you August 15 1992 sticks in my mind, because that was the exact date that we left Ghana and came overnight to Buffalo, New York. And, you know, if you put Ghana on a map, and you put the city where we lived, and you draw a line to Buffalo, New York, you can see that we moved from nearly the equator to possibly the coldest place on earth overnight, you know? And it's like, why did we do this? Right. So let me tell you what happened. My father was a professor in one of the universities in Ghana, the city was called Cape Coast. He taught at the University of Cape Coast, one of the biggest leaps, slave castles slave cities, in in history, a lot of people still visit Cape Coast just to see those old slave castles that, unfortunately, were part of the slave trade. So he wanted to get his doctorate. And so he had some choices to make, I guess he had some options. And between him and my mom, they decided that Buffalo was the place to go. There was a great university there, there was a connection that they had. So overnight, I'm sure there was some planning but for us kids, it felt like it was just an overnight decision because five children from three to 13 I was number I was age 11. At the time, my sister was 13. She was the oldest man there was me and then we went all the way down to three. We came to the US straight to Buffalo for my dad to do his doctorate. When we came, we didn't quite know what to expect because there was no planning honestly. And in those days, America was really portrayed as this place where you know, everything was golden. Literally. I thought I would pick up gold when I got off the plane. And I thought it was just titled on the Atari it'd be sprinkled on the runway for us to just grab it and put it out purses and, and you know, just have a lavish life. That's the picture I had, I thought there would be no poverty, no, no sadness, you know, I don't know what kind of memory or what kind of thing made me have that pression. But we were comfortable in Ghana, Mel, here in America, not so much. My dad had come a few months earlier to find us an apartment. And we came and it was a one bedroom apartment. For all seven of us. It was tiny, it was probably the size of a single living room that we partitioned for a place to sleep, a little kitchen in the side and there was a stench of cigarettes, I had never smelled that before infested, infested, the place was infested. But that was all he could afford, because the only money he had was the stipend he was getting as a PhD student. So he got to figure out how to support himself and all of us, and then get his doctorate. So that's how we found ourselves in America was for him to try to get this doctorate degree so he could go back, get a higher level job, and hopefully be able to support us even more, or that he could stay here with that degree. And we could all live here and have a different kind of life. Right? That was, that was the idea. helped tell you that I did not think the poverty that we went through was going to be something I would ever experience, we had nothing, we had nothing, no car, or clothes were borrowed, or dropped off in the front of the house because my dad had made some connections with some churches. So people would come and drop clothes off at the front door. We walked everywhere. In the buffalo winters, we just we just made a long line and just kind of stepped in each other's footsteps, to walk to school, to walk to church, like you know step where your sister steps, step where your brother steps. That's how we got back and forth. from place to place. We ate at food pantries, we certainly couldn't afford our rent. So the rent was subsidized, but by us cleaning that apartment and other apartments owned by the landlord. So we'd find our ways to walk to wherever the apartments were, take care of the buildings. Try not to sweep into the drunk people that may have been laying in the door doorways and you know, in the hallways, do our best to not get snatched by anybody, just figure out how to subsidize are written down to a few dollars. So we could have enough to buy the loaves of bread or the milk, or whatever we needed to eat as a family of seven

Mel Abraham  12:35  
is a far cry from from picking up gold when you get off the plane. And

Mary Owusu  12:41  
yes, I was lied to Mel. I don't know where that came from. But somebody planted the wrong impression in my brain. Oh, man, it was rough.

Mel Abraham  12:51  
And I assume that your your parents, I mean, your dad and dad knew that you were walking into this kind of environment, but was looking longer term as the possible at the possibility of what what what could be there for the family?

Mary Owusu  13:05  
I agree. I think that was it, I think they knew that there was going to be some hardship. I don't think they knew how hard it would be. But I think they were certainly planning for us to have a good life, you know, to figure this out along the way, you know, and they did they, they made sure that we got some people in our lives who would help us if we needed things, you know, from time to time, the principal of the school that we went to, or the teachers would pick us up and drop us off at different things. So there were some connections happening along the way. But the real hardship came when my father finished his doctorate. And here we were all thinking that he was going to be able to get this best job and be able to make real money, we wouldn't have to live on his measly stipend anymore.

Mel Abraham  13:49  
How many? How long did it take for that? To get to the doctor was leader two years,

Mary Owusu  13:55  
applicants, DOD. So it was a you know, doctoral programs are a minimum of four years and then they go on from there. Okay, got it done in four years flat. Done. Wow, got it done. And I mean, he did anything he needed to do to just do that thing and get it done. And he got it done. And then the job hunt speaker began, in all he was looking for work. He applied to every university, he could, by the way, his degree was in physics, education. He was going to be teaching physics teachers how to teach physics. Well, that's not something you can just find any old person becoming an expert in right. And yet he could not find a job now. Nobody would hire him for his accent for the way he looked. He even applied to high school jobs, because he got so rundown. And there was a high school that actually hired him and then the parents out of this there was this racist rant that happened where people felt like their kids were getting bad grades because I couldn't understand this African teacher who was teaching them. So it's not their fault that their kids can't get the answers, right, and all this stuff, and a petition went live and all these things, and he was let go. He came home devastated. And we were all like, now what

Mel Abraham  15:16  
now? You know, now what?

Mary Owusu  15:20  
So after years of trying to stay here, my dad said, I'm going back. I said that he said, I gotta go back. I'm gonna go back, I'll teach there, send some money if I have it. And he kind of just went. And that's when we, the six of us, my mom, plus the five of us were left. And we had to figure out how to stay here. Because we were actually contingent on him staying from a visa perspective. Yeah. And now we're really screwed, if I may say that on this show.

Mel Abraham  15:55  
Yeah, yep. So yes, you all stay behind.

Mary Owusu  16:02  
We all stay behind. Mel, we all stay behind. And, and go ahead.

Mel Abraham  16:09  
And you said that you were contingent on his visa, meaning that that, that they could have sent you back? If they found out

Mary Owusu  16:18  
correct. They could have sent us back if they found out so we this is why I say there was a long period of time when we didn't share our story. I didn't share my story. Yeah, because we were worried that if we told anybody, you know, he's gone. We're not sure when he's coming back, it would open up conversations, people would start gossiping, and next thing we knew, you know, we would be getting deported. So we kind of kept it to ourselves, you know, just doing little things to try to have anything to eat, you know, just, you know, can I borrow a ride? Or can I maybe clean a house for you know, $5 or $10, just to offset something I needed to pay for or just the small little things that we could do just to survive. And the, the rubber hit the road as as they say, my idioms are very good, even after years of being. So I still say all the wrong things I see like, cats out of the bag, but sometimes I'll mix it up and see the milk spilled on the cat and random stuff. But yeah, so the rubber hit the road. I think that's a thing. And, and my mom one day was like, I think I have to go and talk to the immigration people because we had hit a roadblock where we needed something and she knew there was something she needed to turn in or deliver it. And she, she needed the paperwork. And so she knew she had to go in. And my mom, before she went in for the days and days before she went in, she would have these nightmares. And we could hear her in the middle of the night pacing the halls in our little apartment, just like walking back and forth. She would have these nightmares of dogs chasing her. And she described it to us as she was she said this, the immigration people, they're gonna come after me, if I go, they're gonna come after me. And she was in fear. And we could hear her we could feel her we knew something was changing. But we prayed about it. And we said, you know, whatever happens when she goes, you know, we think we'll be okay. But let's, let's hope for the best. So my mom, she did go into the immigration office, and they deported her while they let

Mel Abraham  18:46  
her left the five, the five of you here.

Mary Owusu  18:50  
That's right, and left the five of us here. So when they let her go, they didn't you know, handcuff her and shipper out, they gave her what's called voluntary departure, which just basically meant, thanks for coming in to tell us you must leave by x date. And so it was one of those and then she had to leave. So she went. And then there we were, as kids having to raise ourselves.

Mel Abraham  19:17  
You know, this kids. How old were you?

Mary Owusu  19:21  
At this time, this must have been we haven't been here going on. My dad had done this for years. He had tried to get a job for a couple of years after that. We had then stayed for a little while. It was pushing 10 years at this point mount that we had been here. And so we were like we got to figure this out. Because the youngest of us were still like preteens. Yeah, barely out of grade school. My older sister was in college. I think I was about it. I was in the middle of college, you know, we were just all over the place have that little spectrum of say 23 to 13 around that age range. And so we got to figure this out. And this is where I think there was so much grace in our journey. Because I think this will happen for a reason. What we didn't know at the time, was that we were about to have to open up to people, because we didn't know how we were going to pay any people anything. Rent, where were the siblings gonna live. We didn't even know where we were gonna live, my was gone. Who's doing what who's signing what? Who's paying for bread? We didn't know anything. And so we had to start talking to people. And once I remember my sister, my older sister, me, and then my sister after me just having a conversation, like, we got to figure this out. You do this, you talk to this person, who are you going to talk to, okay, they might know, a lawyer, this kind of thing, and we kind of gameplan and then we all were like, Okay, go do it, report back, we got to figure this out. And I can't tell you now, the power of compassion and people. Someone was told me that, you know, you can feel somebody's pain. But that's not compassion. You can have empathy for somebody. That's not compassion, you can even have sympathy for somebody. But that's not compassion. Come compassion is when you want to relieve the pain that somebody has, and you are willing to walk alongside them to make that happen. And the people that stepped into our lives with compassion, I will forever be grateful for the couple that took us in, took my siblings and the younger ones and raised them. Imagine raising teenage kids, you know, yes, their parents aren't here, but they're still teenagers, you know, and the going through their teenage stuff. And here the took them in and took care of them. And we are so grateful to them even today for doing that. And then the other, my other friend, who came to me to say, I know a lawyer that you can call. I don't know what he does, but call him. And then me calling up this lawyer and telling him the story and him saying to me, Mary, wait, stop, stops up. What's your brother's name again, when I was telling the story, and I tell them, my brother's name is Thiel. And he says Thiel, that he goes to so and so school, and I say yes, and he says, My son goes there, I think they might know each other for and then him, this lawyer deciding to take on this case, this massive case, pro bono, bringing into the law firm, so that he was an immigration lawyer, but so that his family lawyer counterparts, and his, you know, all these lawyers with these different practice areas would step in and fill in their parts of the problem, and be able to work their magic in such a way that they figure this out for us. I mean, the people that came through the woodwork, they walked with us, right? It wasn't here's a phone number that luck. Or I'll pray for you, you know, keep us posted. It was I'm willing to walk through this with you what can I do? There was a man, this older man who would send birthday cards and gifts to us every single birthday. And we never knew where he lived. We knew his name, but we had no idea where he lived. He met us once and took all of our birthdays down and every day without without missing a beat. He would send birthdays, letters and something and a little card for each of us for years and years and years till he passed away. Just so this is as compassionate as the amount compassionate. This is why this is so

Mel Abraham  24:09  
narrow, you know, the the love of the humanity, the love of the human spirit, you know? We, we talk about money a lot on this on the show. But I really try to talk about richness. And richness is how we experience life. richness is how we feel as we go through life. And I can only imagine because I you know, I didn't have that situation I did. My dad was an immigrant he ran. He he had his challenges getting here but nothing. Nothing like you. Because you're trying to go to college. You're trying to get educated, you're trying to fight a system. You're trying to find a place where you feel safe. At any moment in time. You could be deported. You could be kid adapting I mean, anything could have happened to you. I'm curious how you sake, the compassion that these folks showed you, molded you, in your siblings, and how you show up today.

Mary Owusu  25:22  
It's been everything. It's been everything. It's defined us, right? Not only that, I see the compassion. But the other thing that I saw in this process was that there's always a system that we that we are operating in. And we didn't realize that there was a system, of course, there's a legal system. But there's also what I mean, when I say a system, I mean, a series of actions that you can take to release yourself from whatever your situation is. But until you know, the system, you can't break through the system, you can't survive the system. So I learned two things I learned about relentless compassion. But I also learned about this system mindset that has carried all of my siblings and myself through life since that period of time. I come to me last, but I'll tell you, my baby sister, who was three when we came. Remember, we could have all been deported, but this baby sister, she is working in the seafood and meat industry, in the biggest corporations you've ever heard of. She is in charge of sustainability, to ensure that the seafood that you pick up at the grocery store is is sourced sustainably that we're taking care of our environment, she goes to the boats if she needs to, to make sure that the fishermen are doing the right thing. But she is a corporate leader. At the biggest brands you've ever heard, she represents them. When it comes to seafood, and meat sustainability. That's what she does. Wow.

Mel Abraham  27:11  
All and all of your siblings from are doing amazing things educated. Put yourself through all of it and stayed dedicated to to being the best you could be

Mary Owusu  27:27  
100% 100%, my brother who was four when we came, he's always been connected to education as well as so what he does is he works with marginalized youth. He teaches teachers how to reach marginalized youth. And he's hired by the biggest education organizations in the US to train their teachers so that they know how to reach the marginalized use the folks in the urban areas, the folks that seem like they are unreachable. That's where his heart is. That's what he's always done. And that's what he loves to do. And without him. Some of the people that we touch and know may never have had the opportunities that they deserve to have. That's my brother Thiel that I met send my sister Esther, the one that's behind me. See, a has always loved socializing. Esther was always her name is Esther. She's the one that was always like the social butterfly and always just lovable such a free spirit still is. She works to create experiences. Yeah, for a bunch of different brands. So you imagine the biggest pop up that might happen in the middle of Vegas, or the thing that's showing up at your mall and Christmas or bringing a big exhibit to a biggest, you know, showplace in New York City, France, what have you she is out there making the connections that bring these big experiences, to everyday Americans who just want to go and experience you know, some part of history or relive something that happened in the past, she creates these experiences and negotiates them. It's what she does. My older sister Martina. She also wanted to education, she's a PhD. And her research is in reproductive rights of women. And she works with women who have been through trauma to identify how that might affect their reproduction. So whether you've had a concussion or whether you've had some something that happened with a pandemic, or she does research in that field, creates these amazing papers that are peer reviewed and written all over you know, all the big journals, and then that educates the doctors so that when somebody comes in and tells you that she's you know, all of a sudden not able to conceive or what have you, you can connect the dots and say, oh, did you have a traumatic experience this many years ago or what have you she He does this work as he travels all over the world, interviewing and doing surveys, to try to get the data to then inform your doctor and my doctor on why we might be feeling the way that we are as women. Oh, oh, it's and then there's me it's, I'm nothing compared to them.

Mel Abraham  30:19  
No, no, no, let's, let's not, I mean, because here's the thing is that that's the thing that I that really hit me hard was was the fact that it wasn't just you, you got five, there's five of you. And conceivably, one or two of you, you make it you do well, and the rest. They're struggling. But y'all, you all accomplished, you all excelled, you all will rose to the challenge. And I No Look at where we are today, in our, in our society. And, you know, whether we're entrepreneurs that are dealing with challenges and obstacles, oh, you know, the pandemic shut us down, or, or finances or the economy or inflation, all of those things. And in we seem to lead to generalization, I get it. But we seem to be willing to give in, we seem to be willing to say, Oh, well and settle. But there was cheating. With the five of you. That when the chips were down when things were were your back was against the wall when because clearly it wasn't an easy journey. So the question I have is really, how, how did you make sure that you all one stayed together? And two stayed in progress and embraced the possibility that still existed in front of you?

Mary Owusu  31:57  
You know, the answer to that is so matter, as people like to say, because I think the experience itself is what glued us together. Right? Because when you go through something traumatic, yeah, you had each other, because you went through it together. So you become each other's confidence. You become each other's encouragers, motivators, drivers, we are each other still today, everything right? You have the biggest issue at work, you call me, you have a relationship thing you call that, you'll call that person, you do this, we just stick together. And at the end of the day, it's not like we keep anybody out everybody, our spouses, they're all a part of the circle, what we do is we just see that in order to grow, you know, we got to give to each other, what we're going through. So we talk about things, we feel things together, we share things. And I think that traumatic period brought us even closer together, we were already close. Like we sang as a family when we were young, we're like, we're like the singing family back home in Ghana. People kind of knew us like that. And then we laughed, and we lost that identity a little bit. So we've already kind of close in that we did that singing thing together. But when you go through trauma, and you know, the details of you know, the emotions and the late nights and the scary things, you just bind together, and that's what brought us together. And so we motivate each other, you know, when one person got an MBA, the other one said, I'm gonna get one and we said, Yeah, go for it. We all have our masters, and of course, Ph. D, if you know, for some of us as well. So it's just we just motivate each other. There's no jealousy, there's no, none of that. There's just encouragement, and we pass it on to our kids and bring our spouses in and we just try to just be ourselves as much as possible with each other.

Mel Abraham  33:56  
Was there I'm sure. I don't put words here. I was there. But was there a time? Where you thought about giving in or giving up?

Mary Owusu  34:09  
Certainly not about the immigration stuff. Okay. I think just like anybody, when you hit the entrepreneurial bug, and you're working through those late nights, you know, I've had I've had challenges they're just like any entrepreneur when you fail, sometimes you're like, you know, do I just want to fail hard or do I just want to throw in the hat. I've been through those kinds of self doubts wanting to give in on the entrepreneurial side of me. But not on you know, any other thing it's just you know, maybe that idea is not the best one marry switch to another one. Yeah, those are the kinds of thoughts that I have not like giving up like I just need to just be done and do nothing and just stop trying and life. Never that I think that drive to shoot for a big, big or better version of yourself is just ingrained in us, and we try our best to pass it on to the folks that we cross paths with. For me, those are my students, my clients, you know, they see my energy, I say, you could do this to man, if I did it, you could do it. Let's work on this campaign together, we're gonna get John, we're gonna get that done. We're gonna sprint our way through it. So I passed I tried to pass on the Mojo, you know, as much as I can.

Mel Abraham  35:23  
I love it. I love it. So So was it the professorship, if you will, if that's if that's a word that came before the entrepreneurship, or the other way around?

Mary Owusu  35:38  
You know, I think entrepreneurship has always been there. I think if you asked the entrepreneur, when did you become an entrepreneur? They'll say, I think it's always been there. Yeah. Would you agree?

Mel Abraham  35:51  
Yeah. I mean, I my first entrepreneurial endeavor, when I was actually realized, Oh, you can make money doing things that you really like was at 11 years old. I mean, I literally was out doing magic shows for kids birthday parties, 11 years old and getting paid 50 bucks for a half an hour, which was really good back that, you know, me saying, I live in? And I live in? Yeah, yeah. It is a bug. But you Yes. Did you have before you you kind of itch that scratch and got into and start building your business? Were you a professor first? And then you came to the business side of it?

Mary Owusu  36:31  
Yeah. So I, I was I graduated school, I did my masters, I went straight into corporate. And I always had this in the back of my butt, the back of my head, I wanted to do more than just my corporate job. I just always had that, that thing inside me, I actually started to get into real estate. And that's the other thing I do when I say I'm an entrepreneur, I also have several properties as well as the business. And so there's always been this part of me that's like, oh, you know, there's we there ways to make a living besides getting paid by somebody. And so because I had that bug when I was approached to be an adjunct, which is how I started before I became a full time university professor. I said, Yes. And I think if I didn't have that entrepreneurial bug, I probably would have said, No, because I just said, you know, let me just do my nine to five and go home, I'm getting paid, I'm good. But I wanted to get in front of the next generation, talk about what I know, show them compassion, because I could understand I was in your shoes years ago, when I couldn't afford a textbook. That's why you don't have to buy a book in my class. Right? When I couldn't understand whatever I needed to learn, or was staying up late or didn't have money. Although I get it, let me teach you still how you can still make it in this field of digital marketing. And in this field of analytics, I could still get you there. Let's work on this. So that part of me, I feel like the professorship just allowed me to have amplify that, you know, and so, back in 2020, when the college said, we need you to come full time. At first, that decision was hard. But when I made that leap, it was just the right leap. It was just the right leap. So I do that now full time. But I also am able to continue to serve others with compassion, teaching them a system mindset teaching, I call it I call it sprints, I teach people how to do digital marketing with Sprint's instead of just this is everything you need to know. And this is no, this is how you should go about it systematically, and when you should do this, versus when you should do that. So people have clarity. And so because I teach it the way that I want to learn it, I think I attract people who appreciate my energy, and who I connect with and who can hopefully take this and pass it on to others that they reach and touch as well. Yeah,

Mel Abraham  38:54  
I love this. And just everything about how you show up you just the vibrancy. Because I feel like so often, if we listen to media and you know, maybe even social media, it's easy to get discouraged. It's easy to sit back and say the the promise of the gold you could pick up off the runway. The gold was there, but you just had to dig really hard for it. And you did and your siblings did and and you're this shining example, it's why I want wanted you on the show. And I hope that I am going to intrude on you again and say can I bring you back to talk more deeply about the digital marketing side, the marketing side and analytics and how that we can use that to build our business, build our entrepreneurship, build our wealth and that kind of thing. Can we make sure that we do that

Mary Owusu  40:00  
Absolutely, absolutely, I would love the opportunity to come back now. And I'll tell you just a little sneak peek to your audience. You know, I like to say that I turn everyday marketers into sprint marketers, I teach you how to take all the confusing and overwhelming things about the marketing function, and actually turn it into something that works for you without overwhelmed by teaching you sprint systems, so that how to do marketing as a marathon. But rather, what's the problem? Okay, here are the Sprint's you need to take the short bursts of energy you need to do to get that problem fixed. But if you have this other problem here, the short bursts, so think about it as checklists, but I call them sprints. Yeah, and these are the ways that you marketing. So I would love to come back and talk about how to do digital marketing, right, and take all that overwhelm out of it for marketers and business owners,

Mel Abraham  40:55  
that would be awesome, we'll make sure that we we get that dialed in. And we'll make sure that everyone knows a couple things before I close this session out. You I'm sure you have these conversations with your students. But when someone comes to you, or you hear someone that's, that's complaining, or saying, hey, it's hard, I can't do this, or I'm not cut out for this. What would be your one, two or three things that you would tell them to, to keep them going?

Mary Owusu  41:30  
I do have students who sometimes say those things, but even even more, so I have students who never say those things, but just give up, you know, I'd never heard from them, they just disappear, right? And I wished for those students that they they didn't, because when I reach out, sometimes they respond. But sometimes I just gone, you know. And so what I do is I always try to encourage my students, I always try to tell them, you know, you belong here. You know, this field is accessible for everybody. First Class of the semester, I'm telling you, I'm showing you pictures of people that may look like you may look like me who have done these things who have been able to do this, I encourage them from the very beginning, that you can do this. And then I empower them to do it, meaning you would love my classes melt. I don't just teach you college material, I teach you real world material. So my students walk out of my classes with certificates from Google, Adobe, HubSpot, all the big players, right, they get the certificates. And every class that you take with me the assignment I build with you, I help you create portfolios, you don't realize so at the end of the semester, when I say okay, take every assignment I've told you to do. Put it all together, we spend the last class last semester, I only get all into a portfolio. Along with screenshots of your certificate, we build your portfolio, the last class of the semester, you have what you need, you have what you need to go out there and get a job. And if you need me to step in and review your resume, help me with a job interview. What have you just booked me with my little booking link that I put at the bottom of every email my students get from me? You know, I'm just there for them. And so the short answer to your question, Mel is not only do I tell them, that this is accessible to them, this field that seems far away or feels like it's not for people that are me or you or whatever they're thinking, so I empower them. But then I also give them what they need to actually show up, prepared to get the job if they want it.

Mel Abraham  43:41  
It seems to me that everything's coming full circle, you are just continuing the compassion circle that allowed you and your siblings to ultimately flourish here. And you are paying it forward in a way by saying, I'm going to walk by you. And I'm going to stand by your side. And I'm going to help you experience life in a richer way. And I gotta tell you, this is why, you know, it's this is a very different episode for our show. But this this is what the whole idea of affluence is like it's a life that's built on meaning it's a life of impact. It's a life of peace, it's a life that is fulfilling and and you just exemplify that I just That's why your story has to get out and that's why I said we're gonna take it episodes we'll deal with the business stuff in another episode, but but I think that this is important, and I hope that those of you listening, those of you watching, you can see the heart and the soul and the vibrancy of Mary. Let me He asked you this. If someone wants to follow you, if someone wants to, to kind of connect with you and see, how do I find out more about this amazing soul? Where do we sell, because we'll make sure that it's hooked up in the description in the shownotes, and all that stuff.

Mary Owusu  45:21  
The best way to follow me, and I would love to connect with anybody that was a follow me, I'll make it really simple. Just go to Mary, my website, Mary, or w And there you'll find how to connect with me on all my socials and where I'm at and all the things I'm doing. Let's connect, let's build this connection together, let's help each other and hopefully make the world even better than where we found it. Mel, I love what you said, you just almost You had me crying. I know. You had me crying by saying back to me when I said to you, and you know, when you said like, the gold was there. It just wasn't right there to pick up I had to dig to get it. And then what you just said to you just saying hear it from you. It just hits me differently. And I'm so grateful to you for this opportunity to sit here and talk about my story. I think people like you and your circle, all the entrepreneurs that you know, they all have stories to, you know, our stories are all different. But the reason why we get up and we do this entrepreneur thing is because we have relentless compassion. Yeah. And we also don't have a system mindset, we've created something that we know can bring compassion to life for people because our our thing our system solves a problem for people, you know. So I think all these entrepreneurs, we all have this bog this, whether we called it compassion before or not. And whether we call it a system mindset or not. That's what we have that I think that's all of us, serving people and having something that solves their problem. And I just I love what we do. And I'm glad to be in this entrepreneurship bubble with you and your network. I think, I think you know, like minded people walk together. Absolutely.

Mel Abraham  47:24  
Absolutely. Mary, listen, y'all. There's so much beauty and gold in this episode, I want you to go back, I want you to, to listen to it again. Watch it again, reach out to Mary, tell her what some of your takeaways are. But imagine for a moment what the world would be like if we all approached it with compassion, the resilience and the positive expectation that Mary and her family did, because that's what drives entrepreneurship. That's what drives an absolute entrepreneur to live a richer lifestyle, have a deeper impact, and to live with complete freedom. And so Mary, I can't thank you enough and I can't wait for our next conversation to talk about it. And we'll make sure we hook everything up. And for those of you out there that are that are here, as I always say, always, always strive to live a life that outlives you. And we had a great example of that on the show today. Thank you for listening to the affluent entrepreneur show with me your host Mel Abraham. If you want to achieve financial liberation to create an affluent lifestyle, join me in the affluent entrepreneur Facebook group now by going to and I'll see you there.

About Mary
Her family's struggle to stay in the US
The challenges of being an immigrant
The power of compassion
Defining life richness
How trauma brought their family closer together
Entrepreneurship as a natural inclination
Teaching digital marketing with a system mindset
Empowering students with real-world materials
Connect with Mary