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Life Lessons

Everyone has a money story to tell. Life Lessons looks at what some of the most notable Americans have learned about being wealthy through their successes – as well as their failures. In a question & answer format, titans of business, culture, sports and more tackle the financial ins-and-outs of topics such as family, philanthropy, education and investing.

Q&A: Jewel learned her life lessons from nature, books and pain


NEW YORK Jewel's rise in the music world from the Alaska frontier to first-name-only star is almost unbelievable: Girl endures an abusive environment, becomes homeless - and then not only survives, but reaches the pinnacle of her profession.

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Q&A: Maker's Mark helped Bill Samuels Jr. make his mark

NEW YORKBourbon is a multi-billion-dollar business, but it began with just a few pioneering Kentucky families from Bardstown who all lived down the road from each other.


Comedian Bob Odenkirk found one answer to Hollywood success

NEW YORK Going after fame and fortune in Hollywood leads a lot of people right to failure.

Q&A: Crystal-clear life lessons from Nadja Swarovski

NEW YORK From Michael Jackson's iconic white glove to the star on top of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, Swarovski crystals seemingly pop up everywhere.


Q&A: After the U.S. Treasury, the Paulsons look to save the planet

NEW YORK When Henry "Hank" Paulson, Jr. finished his tenure as the U.S.'s 74th Secretary of the Treasury in January 2009, he put a capstone on his finance career and committed himself to another life-long passion: protecting the environment.


Helping people make money decisions, one click at a time

NEW YORK Fred Schebesta started a digital marketing business while still in college in Australia, working on a shoestring out of his dorm room.


Q&A: When retirement experts sell a family-run business

NEW YORK A little information can go a long way in the retirement business, which is something that brothers Mike and Ryan Alfred were able to turn into a thriving enterprise.


Hootsuite's Ryan Holmes prepped for tech life off the grid

NEW YORK Not all founders of tech companies have been coding since they could clutch a sippy-cup.


Meditating on life with hip-hop entrepreneur Russell Simmons

NEW YORK If there is one American entrepreneur who seems to thrive across multiple industries and spanning different eras, it would have to be Russell Simmons.


Sweet success: life lessons with candy megastore owner Dylan Lauren

NEW YORK Children of the rich and famous have a reputation for being spoiled brats who do not know the value of a dollar.


NY billionaire Charles Cohen's tips for surviving tough businesses

NEW YORK Next time you are in Manhattan, take a look around, and you will see the fingerprints of Charles Cohen pretty much everywhere.


Jean Case's journey from needing charity to giving it

NEW YORK There are some prominent power couples in the world of philanthropy, but Steve and Jean Case might be among the most influential of all.


Q&A: Red Sox star David Ortiz focused on life after baseball

NEW YORK After a 20-year career in baseball's Major Leagues that included three World Series championships with the Boston Red Sox, slugger David Ortiz has earned the right to put his feet up.


Q&A: Mother-daughter charity team has that Pittsburgh Steelers spirit

NEW YORKAs part-owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cindy Citrone had the connections to get help when she wanted to raise awareness for organ donation. She got the National Football League team to sign on to a fundraising campaign, and got the city's pro baseball and hockey teams, the Pirates and Penguins, on board as well for an upcoming all-Pittsburgh effort to get more people screened as potential organ donors.


How skateboard legend Tony Hawk plans for the long road ahead

NEW YORK When most people hear the name Tony Hawk, they picture him whirling through a 900 on his skateboard at ESPN's X-Games, or on the cover of the iconic video game series, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, which has collectively sold millions of copies.

Grapes fed Mathilde Thomas' inspiration for skin care company

NEW YORK Chance encounters can lead to entirely new career paths. Just ask Mathilde Thomas, who co-founded the Caudalie luxury skin care and spa company after meeting a doctor in 1993 at her family vineyard in the French city of Bordeaux.

Lessons on empire-building from real estate developer Rick Caruso

NEW YORK Billionaire real estate developer Rick Caruso learned about entrepreneurship and money at an early age.

Star realtor Sally Forster Jones values solid foundations

NEW YORK Sally Forster Jones has sold about $4 billion of luxury real estate in Southern California in her nearly 40-year career, but she credits her success to hard work and thrift rather than an opulent lifestyle.

Sven Lindblad keeps adventure travel all in the family

NEW YORK Travelers these days take it for granted that they can journey to remote places like Antarctica or the Galapagos, but it was one family, the Lindblads, that helped make that even possible.


Money and makeup: Beauty expert Bobbi Brown's life tips

NEW YORK Need a master class on how to succeed as an entrepreneur? Just follow the career of Bobbi Brown, who went from waitress to makeup artist to the founder of a now-ubiquitous cosmetics line.