Joseph Hogue of ‘Let’s Talk Money’ On Becoming Free From The Fear Of Failure

An Interview With Savio P. Clemente

Savio P. Clemente
Authority Magazine
Published in
11 min readAug 2, 2022


Embrace the fact that you are not the ‘star’ of this movie and more likely is a walk-on extra at best. That means your actions and even your biggest failures mean less than you think. A favorite quote of mine from David Wallace goes, “You stop caring what people think about you when you realize how seldom they do.”

The Fear of Failure is one of the most common restraints that holds people back from pursuing great ideas. Imagine if we could become totally free from the fear of failure. Imagine what we could then manifest and create. In this interview series, we are talking to leaders who can share stories and insights from their experience about “Becoming Free From the Fear of Failure.” As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Joseph Hogue, CFA.

Joseph Hogue worked in real estate before starting a career in investment analysis and has appeared on Bloomberg and CNBC. He worked in venture capital and private wealth management and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. Joseph left the corporate world in 2014 to build his online businesses where he now reaches more than 1.8 million people a month through his blogs, a weekly market newsletter and his YouTube channel, Let’s Talk Money.

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’?

I grew up in Des Moines, Iowa…not so much on the wrong side of the tracks but on the tracks themselves. What we lacked in resources though we always made up for in family. I think it’s those early years that have driven my love of building a community online and the desire to be successful so my kids can have more than I did.

I worked hard in high school but wasn’t ready for the independence of college and failed miserably. In fact, for someone that has done well in finance and investment analysis as a career, it may surprise readers that I got a D in my first corporate finance class. Needing more discipline, I dropped out of college and joined the Marine Corps at 22 years old.

I did well in the structured environment of the Marines, graduating in the top spot at boot camp and reaching the rank of Corporal in less than two years. I returned to college at Iowa State University after the Marines and finished with a 3.6 GPA and a double major in Finance and Communication Studies. From there I worked in commercial real estate and instantly fell in love with investment analysis and the idea of making money off my money. Since then I’ve worked in venture capital, equity analysis and as an economist for the State of Iowa.

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?

I grew up very shy and with a total lack of self-confidence. I didn’t date until my junior year of high school, not for lack of wanting but because I was so shy I rarely talked to anyone outside a small group of friends. So when I started going to conferences for my job in venture capital and later as an online entrepreneur…I knew it was going to be a problem. How could I make the connections I needed if I couldn’t even talk to anyone? I had to force myself to talk to others, jump into conversations and carry an ear-to-ear smile everywhere. I hate the cliché ‘fake it until you make it’ but amazingly, acting the part of the social butterfly enough times and I did become more open and outgoing. The persona I built by forcing myself to be upbeat and positive is a 180 from my younger self and has helped not only to be successful in my career but my whole outlook on life.

You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Discipline — it’s the ‘work hard’ mindset that has helped me more than anything, the idea that there is a job to do and you just need to do it. I came to the realization early that words like ‘inspiration’ and ‘motivation’ were created to sell books but do little to help real people. Maybe it’s too cynical but I’ve lost too much time hopelessly searching for the motivation to work on a project or my business. I’ve realized that just working…just sitting down and starting, is progress and since 99% of the people out there are waiting for their ‘inspiration’ to get started, any progress is success!

Goal Driven — I’m a very Type-A person with the need to be organized and working towards a goal. Having clear goals helps me focus and manage my time rather than depend on the motivation to get something done. The book, The 12-Week Year by Moran, was game-changing in helping me use this goal-driven trait to its fullest. I set three-month goals in each of four areas of my life; family, health, business and community and then the weekly tasks and milestones I need to accomplish each. This keeps me from procrastinating and I am always making progress to the goals.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the concept of becoming free from failure. Let’s zoom in a bit. From your experience, why exactly are people so afraid of failure? Why is failure so frightening to us?

Fear of failure is so frightening because people see it as an end, a rejection or mistake that will ruin everything and colors their lives forever. They think people will attach a stigma of failure to them that they will never change. I think a big part of this comes from everyone’s perception that they are living the starring role of this movie called life. Shakespeare may have alleged, “All the world’s a stage,” but instead of merely the players, everyone imagines themselves as the lead character. That means all eyes are on them and any failure is followed by laughs and admonishment.

Fear of failure is such a hurdle because we all believe we are the ‘stars’ of this movie called life. We imagine the plot through our own perspective, where even the slightest change can make the movie a blockbuster or a dud. That fear of failure changes though when you realize…you are NOT the star of this movie. In fact, at best you are a walk-on extra in the background. It might seem a little depressing at first to think that, just as an extra stumbling in the background of a movie has little effect on the plot, your actions will ultimately mean little in the collective movie in which we all act.

What are the downsides of being afraid of failure? How can it limit people?

Failure not only limits us but it also keeps us from being our true selves. We’re not only afraid to try new or challenging things but many people are afraid to say or be who they really are. We fear the judgement of others so much that we hide behind a mask we imagine people want to see. It’s much more than just something limiting what we can become but an identity crisis.

In contrast, can you help articulate a few ways how becoming free from the free of failure can help improve our lives?

Not constantly worrying about how failure will affect our identity frees us to become more and explore new identities. Embracing the fact that we are not the ‘star’ of this movie frees us to do anything and everything. Just like that extra falling in the background of a movie is likely to become nothing more than a cult meme, your perceived failures are of importance to no one but yourself. Go ahead, try and fail and try again. No failure big or small will change the plot of this movie. That freedom to try new things and challenge ourselves without the fear of failure leads to unimaginable success because of the new world that is now open.

We would love to hear your story about your experience dealing with failure. Would you be able to share a story about that with us?

By 2013, I had built a good career as a freelance equity analyst and a stable job as an economist for the State of Iowa…but something was missing. I knew I wanted to have greater control over my work, my financial future and to own my own business. My wife had been talking about moving with our son back to her native Colombia and it was going to be a big change on many different levels. Not only would we both be leaving jobs with great benefits in the public sector, but I would be trying to grow my online business in a country 2,000 miles from home.

We made the move in 2013 and it wasn’t an instant success. Being thousands of miles away made it difficult connecting with people in the investment industry, not being able to go to conferences or meetings. There was also the separation from family. My mother’s cancer came out of remission and it was difficult being separated for months at a time before we could visit.

How did you rebound and recover after that? What did you learn from this whole episode? What advice would you give to others based on that story?

There are benefits and challenges to any project and failures are the best way to learn what those are. I learned that while I had more time to work on the business, not being pulled into countless meetings, I needed to spend more time connecting with others and making business relationships. The sense of control I had over my business and future felt great but there was also the risk and fear that the business would not grow fast enough to support my family. When you learn the specific benefits and challenges to your situation, you have to learn how to use the benefits to help limit or work on the challenges. I used the additional time I had to make those business connections and the sense of control to drive my motivation to work harder and grow the business.

Since making the move in 2013, I’ve built a million-dollar online business reaching over 1.5 million people a month across three blogs and a YouTube channel with over 560,000 subscribers. I love the challenge from running my own business and the face-to-face interaction I get with members of my community.

Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that everyone can take to become free from the fear of failure”? Please share a story or an example for each.

1) Embrace the fact that you are not the ‘star’ of this movie and more likely is a walk-on extra at best. That means your actions and even your biggest failures mean less than you think. A favorite quote of mine from David Wallace goes, “You stop caring what people think about you when you realize how seldom they do.”

2) Use this new freedom to brainstorm all the things you’ve always dreamed of doing but were too worried wouldn’t work. These can be anything from travel or living somewhere else to start a business or a new job…really anything you want to do. It’s about questioning the identity you’ve held to and finding other identities you can become.

3) These are big life changes so you’ll want to talk them over with people in your life. Announcing to your family that you’re moving to Colombia to start an online business might lead to another life change in that you’ll be moving alone. You don’t have to check everything off your bucket list all at once. Find the changes you can make as a family.

4) Plan thoroughly before making the change. Try to predict all the challenges you’ll have to overcome and how you’ll do that. Not being afraid of failure is no excuse to run blindly into it.

5) When you do stumble over hurdles… you will use it as a learning experience. Evaluate what went well and what could be improved. Understand, that you don’t always have to focus exclusively on your weaknesses or challenges. If you can limit the weaknesses and get more done by working from the strengths then that’s a more efficient use of your time.

The famous Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, “It is possible to fail in many ways…while to succeed is possible only in one way.” Based on your experience, have you found this quote to be true? What do you think Aristotle really meant?

It sounds good but I’m not convinced. It may seem like there is only one path to success because people assume their path is the only possible, that it was fated. It’s like the saying, “it’s always the last place you look.” Of course, it is, once you find something…you stop looking and once someone succeeds, they stop trying other paths. In my experience and looking at others, in every endeavor, there are always multiple paths to success.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

Change your perspective! Understand that there are eight billion other stories playing out in this movie called life. Get to know a few of them, especially the ones with whom you don’t agree or who come from different backgrounds. Get to know their hopes and goals. I think this act of understanding others as people rather than an ‘us vs them’ mentality or as part of ‘groups’ can go a long way to bringing people together to reduce hate and everything that comes from it.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

I love the community we’ve built on the YouTube channel, Let’s Talk Money. We also have a private Facebook group and some great conversations about personal finance and investing.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent on this. We wish you only continued success.

About The Interviewer: Savio P. Clemente coaches cancer survivors to overcome the confusion and gain the clarity needed to get busy living in mind, body, and spirit. He inspires health and wellness seekers to find meaning in the “why” and to cultivate resilience in their mindset. Savio is a Board Certified wellness coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), stage 3 cancer survivor, podcaster, writer, and founder of The Human Resolve LLC.

Savio pens a weekly newsletter at where he delves into secrets from living smarter to feeding your “three brains” — head 🧠, heart 💓, and gut 🤰 — in hopes of connecting the dots to those sticky parts in our nature that matter.

He has been featured on Fox News, and has collaborated with Authority Magazine, Thrive Global, Food Network, WW, and Bloomberg. His mission is to offer clients, listeners, and viewers alike tangible takeaways in living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle.

Savio lives in the suburbs of Westchester County, New York and continues to follow his boundless curiosity. He hopes to one day live out a childhood fantasy and explore outer space.



Savio P. Clemente
Authority Magazine

Board Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC), Journalist, Best-selling Author, Podcaster, and Stage 3 Cancer Survivor