Michelle: Many people know you as a weather guy and news personality on Kare11 in Minneapolis. Tell me a little about your story and upbringing..
Jerrid: As a kid, severe weather always scared me to death, mainly because I was raised in a trailer home in western Minnesota. And to make matters worse, my mother never batted an eye at storms. I remember the wind blowing so hard our house was shaking. I threatened to get in the car and leave. I was 9 years old. Meanwhile, my mother’s eye never left the page of her magazine.
Doing TV weather was not the plan. I thought I wanted to work at a National Weather Service. But after randomly taking a summer internship at KBJR-TV in Duluth and seeing my first live broadcast, I was hooked. There was something really exciting about live TV, the lights, the production...the show.
I’ve also come to realize my only marketable skill is my ability to talk and tell a story. So, my fear-based fascination for weather combined with my knack for blowing lots of hot air made TV a good fit.
Michelle: What did you like most about bringing the weather and news? Do you miss doing this?
Jerrid: Do I miss it? Absolutely, it was fun! It was my identity. I enjoyed being a “D-List” celebrity in the Twin Cities.
I loved the connection I was able to make with people. It really got fun when social media started entering the mix. It made the conversation full-circle. Instead of just talking on TV, I could interact with viewers while on live television. Awesome.
Michelle: What led you into what you are doing now? Tell me more about it.
Jerrid: Building a brand and message around “livin’ the dream” certainly wasn’t the plan when I left KARE11 last year. But it was something that had been inside of me for many years.
My wife and I have had so much personal success following author, Dave Ramsey’s principles, my passion for them grew dating back to 2007. I loved encouraging people with their life and money.
But building this platform was impossible while working in TV. I actually brought it up to my bosses at KARE11. They weren't thrilled about the idea since my brand was in rooted in weather. Plus, I’m not a “financial expert”. So, there was plenty of hesitancy on KARE11’s behalf to send me out into the world preaching about life and money...understandable.
So, this personal dream of mine went dormant.
Our original plan after leaving KARE11 was to continue my TV career in Sioux Falls, SD. But the harder I tried to get a job, the more doors that closed. In the meantime, a financial advisor from Willmar reached out to me.
I told him point-blank I had no interest in becoming a financial advisor. But if he wanted to use me a marketing tool, spreading the message of life and money I’d be interested. He said that was the exact reason he reached out to me.
Fast-forward, I now live in Willmar working for Taatjes Financial Group as well as operating my personal brand/website. But our mission statements are the same: to help people live their dream through down-to-earth life and money principles.
Michelle: I know you have a passion to help people live their dream, and succeed in their personal finances - what are some of the top lessons or advice you would give people?
By far, without a shadow of doubt, it’s answering the question, “WHAT DO YOU WANT?!?!?”
I can’t tell you how many people I meet…young, old, rich, poor, doesn’t matter. They have no clue what they want out life. This came as a surprise to me. My wife and I have always known what we want, so I assumed everyone else did too.
#LivinTheDream starts with having a clear and defined answer to that question.
What kind of life do you want live? What’s most important to you? What are your values? How do you want to live? Where do you want to live? What’s your mission statement? What type of legacy do you want to leave? Why are you here? Why do you get up every day and go to work…WHAT DO YOU WANT?
From a financial perspective, I’m most-passionate about getting OUT OF DEBT! Not having any debt besides, perhaps, a mortgage is HUGE for livin’ the dream.
Personally, my wife and I went debt-free back in 2007, and we’ve never looked back. It was one of our biggest turning points as we reflect on our marriage. It set the stage for us to save, live and give.
In fact, you can trace me resigning from KARE11, voluntarily walking into unemployment with two kids and pregnant wife back to the moment we paid off our final debt in 2007.
It’s that powerful.
Michelle: What are some of your favorite things about Minnesota, and why you and your family choose to live here?
Jerrid: Well, it’s certainly not the weather. I mean seriously, can we start being honest with ourselves? Please!
I’m baffled when people say “oh, but I love the four seasons!” What four seasons are you talking about?!?! Winter lasts between six and nine months a year. We get five hours of fall and two minutes of spring, if we’re lucky. In fact, I’m pretty sure spring in Minnesota doesn’t actually exist. It’s folklore ranking right up there with unicorns, tooth fairies and accurate meteorologists.
Why do we live here? Simple: family. This is where my wife and I are from. It is home, regardless of the weather.
Michelle: Where can people go to find more information about what you’re doing now?
Jerrid: Check out my website: JerridSebesta.com. It’s all about #LivinTheDream. Check out the FREE STUFF including my three-part video series, “5 Keys to Livin’ the Dream” and workbook.
If you execute those five keys, you'll have tons of freedom to be "livin' the dream." I guarantee it.
If you need a speaker for an event, your consideration would be my honor. Look for more information regarding "programs and topics" on my website as well.