Self-made millionaire Jillian Michaels shares the worst money mistake she's made

Jillian Michaels first gained national attention for her tough love approach as a trainer on NBC’s weight loss competition show “The Biggest Loser.”

From there, Michaels built up a business empire by capitalising on her personal brand to launch workout DVDs, write books on weight loss, and partner with health-minded companies such as Krave Jerky and Popchips. Today, the self-made millionaire runs Empowered Media alongside partner Giancarlo Chersich and chronicles her life on E’s “Just Jillian.”

But Michaels’ success forced her to learn how to handle more money than she ever had before, a process that inevitably came with a few missteps along the way.

Her worst mistake? “Being intimidated by money, not understanding it, and handing it over to various business managers throughout the years, which has cost me so dearly on so many levels,” she told Farnoosh Torabi on an episode of her “So Money” podcast.

Instead of taking the time to fully understand her finances, Michaels trusted others to make decisions in her best interest — and it cost her “an extraordinary amount of money.”

The entrepreneur recalls an incident with her taxes in 2014 where an accountant paid a percentage of Michaels’ income twice, costing her “an obscene amount of money.” She also remembers friends and peers questioning the structure of her business or asking why she didn’t write off certain expenses — and Michaels didn’t have a good answer.

Now, she pays all of her bills herself. “Everything. Every single thing,” she says. “I don’t care if it takes me 10 hours a week, I will do it all. I will stay up in the middle of the night and get it done because I will never allow myself to lose control of my finances again.”

Being in control can go a long way. Michaels admits that double-checking her taxes, getting second opinions when things seemed fishy, and taking an active role in managing her finances could have saved her big.

What it boils down to is that handling money can be overwhelming, but it’s well worth your time to figure out the basics and learn how to troubleshoot — no matter how much money you have in the bank.

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