Things That We Learn about Forbes Riley
Forbes Riley is the Billion-Dollar Host, author, television personality, entrepreneur, health and fitness guru and creator of the SpinGym fitness sensation who models what it means to be an Empowered Woman. When you encounter Forbes Riley, her bold confidence is evident. Forbes is the archetype for every woman who has created a brand from nothing. She is open about her journey and clear with her purpose. This focused 59-year-old is a walking success story and yet she has declared that she still has more to accomplish. She is on a mission. Forbes has the face of a woman that you know you have seen somewhere, her signature look is precise and bright. The chances are that you have seen Forbes on television, after all, she has created a brand with a footprint in the celebrity world and health and wellness community that is not only unforgettable but will reverberate for generations to come. In this refreshing exclusive, Forbes shares her life as an open book to show us this very human side of such a successful businesswoman.
On Personal Magnetism: “You are the sum of the obstacles you overcome. If you’ve had really bad things happen to you, Yay. And if you’re still here, that means you’ve created great strategies for moving forward because the thing is that life happens for you, not to you. You shouldn’t say ‘Why me?’ Things happen to people all the time. Simply say, instead, ‘Why not me? And then find the reasons to make the stories powerful for yourself and others and then share those stories with other people; be a mentor and pay it forward. Don’t let your pain go wasted. I have suffered alone. I have been miserable. I have been screwed over. I’ve been hurt. I take those stories, morals and lessons and use them to pay it forward. Here is the other thing about my lessons, the crazy thing about life right now is that my reality has completely outshined my greatest dreams.”
On Vulnerability: “That’s the other secret to being a successful female. It is your obligation to be vulnerable. If you are too perfect girl, we can’t get you. We don’t understand you. We don’t. It’s why JLo is doing her whole YouTube behind the scenes because we need nowadays to see authentic real flaws. Perfection is not reality. And that’s not what I think we want. So I’m going to use this platform. I get to be a role model.”
On Forbes Factor: “I push people to find out what their masculine and feminine energy is in the training because it changed my life… I find that so many women who come to me with a lack of confidence. Where the heck do you go to get confidence? You have to go through some experiences, some training or some coach to pull that back out of you, especially as a woman when you’ve been beaten down by this world. Wouldn’t it be nice for me to push you to your greatest levels? We need to be given our power and voice back. The problem is that we, as women, universally play small. When you play small, the world is robbed of your beauty and your genius and your talents. I devote training to help you learn how to play big in this world, to remember to dream again, and to have hope that you can be way more than people around you tell you, you can.”
On Finding Love: “I hit an interesting rock bottom. One of my friends called me and said, ‘Are you in love?’ I said, ‘What does that have to do with anything?’’ He said, ‘I have noticed there’s not a lot of love in your work.’ I said, ‘Excuse me. I love everybody. What are you talking about?’ He says, “No, it’s more basic than that, and you ought to start exploring it.’ Thank God I started to. I started to ask myself, what would it look like if I wanted to get married again? This led to a new thought, looking at power couples, I saw Rande Gerber and Cindy Crawford, Gabby Reece and Laird Hamilton, Tom Brady and Gisele… What does it look like to have somebody with me that I want to change the world with? And I’d never thought about love in that way… Is that okay to say when you’re in your 50s, we want somebody who’s really good looking? I wanted someone who was funny and compassionate and smart. And the funny thing is when I met the person that I’m involved with now, who I’m head over heels about, he is exactly what I asked the Universe for.”
On Limiting Beliefs: “I decided a long time ago to redefine words for myself. It wasn’t working for me. I was an awkward, ugly little girl. I had a broken nose and frizzy hair and it was really tough. I was overweight. I just didn’t fit in. So probably for the first 25 or so years of my life, I was very lonely… I actually teach this. ‘What do you want?’ Is a great question, because I have this philosophy that life is a little like Grub Hub. So when I call Grub Hub, they said, ‘Yes ma’am. What do you want?’ I say, ‘Well, I’m hungry.’ He will say, ‘That’s nice. What do you want? Call us back when you know what you want.’ That’s how God is. You have to be a whole lot more specific, then the universe can go your way. So many people can’t answer that. So if you called Grub Hub and said, ‘Hey, I would like a Caesar Salad with extra chicken and croutons on the side.’ Fifteen minutes later, you know what shows up to your door? Caesar Salad, chicken and croutons on the side. How did they know? Because you told them what you wanted. “Most of us don’t have the courage to ask for what we want because people think that to dream too big might be conceited. They think that they couldn’t possibly get that. And so I deal with people’s limiting beliefs all the time.”
On Vulnerability: “That’s the other secret to being a successful female. It is your obligation to be vulnerable. If you are too perfect girl, we can’t get you. We don’t understand you. We don’t. It’s why JLo is doing her whole youtube behind the scenes because we need to nowadays see authentic real flaws. Perfection is not reality. And that’s not what I think we want. So I’m going to use this platform. It’s funny, I am, I do get to be a role model.”
Her Role as a Female Leader Caught in the middle of the Vegas shooting, Forbes fell into autopilot.
“ ‘So at that moment I thought, is that part of what I’m on this planet to do?’ We have a huge issue about being a girl. I often speak on stage in front of all men panelists. They are all men speakers. I’m not quite sure why there is a shortage of women in this country. If you can name all of the motivational speakers, I love my Tony Robbins, my Les Brown, Grant Cardone, Gary V, Lewis Howes, Zig Ziglar. It’ll go down the list. Give me one female motivational speaker. I feel at this point in my life that I have a role to play. And I’m loving it. And that’s why you honoring me is does so much more than just honoring me. If I can lead by example and come from nothing… I created all of this with hard work, dedication and perseverance….
BEHIND THE SCENES INTERVIEW [NOT IN PRINT]
During our interview, she takes the opportunity to share mini-coaching moments with us, she is a natural guide.
Forbes on the Asking: “I actually teach this. What do you want? ‘What do I want?’ It’s a great question, because I have this philosophy that life is a little like Grub Hub. So when I call Grub Hub, they said, ‘Yes ma’am. What do you want?’ I say, ‘Well, I’m hungry.’ He will say, ‘That’s nice. What do you want? I’ve have Chinese or maybe a hamburger. Call us back when you know what you want.’ That’s how God is. Because God is like, you have to be a whole lot more specific, then the universe can go your way. So many people can’t answer that. So if you called Grub Hub and said, ‘Hey, I would like a Caesar Salad with extra chicken and croutons on the side.’ Fifteen minutes later, you know what shows up to your door? Caesar Salad, chicken and croutons on the side. How did they know? Because you told them what you wanted.
The slight wind is perfect as we are in this intense conversation. Forbes continues with her usual direct tone. “Most of us don’t have the courage to ask for what we want because people think that to dream too big might be conceited they think that they couldn’t possibly get that. And so I deal with people’s limiting beliefs all the time.”
The Stories Make Messages
Q: How does it feel to be at that place where the stories maybe make a little sense now? “You’re going to make me cry. It feels like my whole life made sense. I had been through some personal tragedies that I wouldn’t trade with anybody. I have the honor of raising a little boy from south-central when I first moved here. And I come from a culture where black and white is a big deal. I grew up in Long Island in the 70s and my parents were Jewish and they literally said out loud, we don’t want to use faxes in the neighborhood because that would ruin everything. And with these horrible acts, I’m like, mom, I don’t understand. Nobody likes juice. So you actually, back then it was a Jewish and Italian was the entire neighborhood. Everyone was very white. And they did an experiment when I was in fifth grade where everybody with Brown eyes, we all kind of had brown eyes had to stay after school and pick up the dirt and get extra homework and kids who have blue eyes and green eyes and mine are actually Hazel. So I tried to fight this. I’ve got to go home early and got extra credit and they do that all week long to the point where they made us nuts… At the end of the week and said, how does that feel? And it felt horrible and said, well that’s how people in this country feel about their skin color. You can’t change your eye color and they can’t change their skin color. So I have always been very colorblind. Well, that got tested when I moved here and my husband and I got Dexter into our lives from south central. He was a little darker than your shirt and not a very nice kid; he was kind of angry. He thought white people lived on a hill, that we’re better because they had this or that. I spent 12 years of my life teaching and hanging out with Dexter every weekend and every vacation. He was best man at my wedding. I mean, I love my boy so much. Right after I gave birth to my twin, six months later, Dexter, was right down the street there, you can actually see it from here. He was walking from his haircut to church on a Sunday morning on Hover street and a gang banger who didn’t have a mentor like Dexter had, who didn’t have somebody who loved him, who when Dexter’s mom, when he found Dexter’s mom’s gun, we took it away from him. Michael just walked up behind my boy and shot him 10 times in the back and left for dead as a color shirt. Well, it was his initiation into this game. He’s now spending 52 years to life in jail. And I don’t actually feel great about that either because you already had two little girls. So, but I understand what it’s like to, so it’s interesting to, that’s a pretty crazy tragedy to have to live with. Then my husband’s best friend was shot in the face and killed in a pharmacy right in Long Beach. She’s like, wait a second. Hugo a was very upstanding citizens. How did that happen? And these are the headlines that everybody reads every day that they don’t pay a lot of attention to. So then last October 1st, you’re all watching the news in Las Vegas. I was the news I was on right there. Mandalay Bay, don’t have any idea why I was right there. Walk out to take a picture of me and my new love right on the strip. About a minute and a half before we heard pop pop pop. And the guy on the left was killing the people at the concert on our right. And all of it’s on my iPhone. So part of me as I’m Facebooking live the entire night and I end up on good morning Britain arguing about gun control with Pierce Morgan. And I ended up in on CBS News and all of these other places. Not that I was seeking that kind of attention. And then my daughter said something that just hurt my heart. She said, mom, she said, do you really need the publicity of that bad? I’m like, excuse me, why would you do that? I said, well, because I was in the middle of this, I’m a broadcaster and I felt an obligation. I’m watching this, it’s on my phone. I’m here and I have the ability to tell the world about it.
Caught in the middle of the Vegas shooting, Forbes fell into autopilot.
“So at that moment I thought, is that part of what I’m on this planet to do?”
We have a huge issue about being a girl. I often speak on stage in front of all men panelists. They are all men speakers. I’m not quite sure why there is a shortage of women in this country. If you can name all of the motivational speakers, I love my Tony Robbins, my Les Brown, Grant Cardone, Gary V, Lewis Howes, Zig Ziglar. It’ll go down the list. Give me one female motivational speaker. Go.
Forbes Riley: Me!
LASM: Brene Brown.
Forbes Riley: Brene Brown. She’s one, yes, but not, and I love her
LASM: But she’s not getting notoriety.
Forbes Riley: …It’s funny, she’s got millions of views and people love her. You’re going to hear about Mel Robbins cause she’s got a new talk show coming out and yeah. Am I going to stand up and keep doing what I do? Because as the whole me too thing happened. I don’t care where you feel about that. All of a sudden women are just standing up and going, you know what? Let’s take a little more control. Now you’ve been in the military as a woman. How is that?
LASM: I am very aware that I have a role to play in regards to setting the standard straight as a female and a minority representing women in the military.
Forbes Riley: “Right. And you do. That’s it. You have a role to play. I love that you’re embracing that. And I feel at this point in my life that I have a role to play. And I’m loving it. And that’s why you honoring me is does so much more than just honoring me. Little girl inside of me is going, Yo, yo, yo yo, don’t go. No, it’s true. But the rest of me is going. If I can lead by example and come from nothing, I had a little boy and walk into my house the other day. My son’s on the football team, he’s a quarterback and he’s a sophomore. And he had two kids come in from south central. And one walked into the house. We had this moment where he looked around at my house. He’s like, man, how do I get to live in a place like this? And I thought back to Dexter and I looked at Leon and I said, dude, I said, I did this. I created all of this with hard work, dedication and perseverance. And it was not easy. Don’t let anybody tell you it was easy. And I said, next. He said, well, I have a dream. He said, but my dream is silly and people keep telling me no. I said, oh cause he said his dream was to be like Tupac on Martin Luther and get his message out there. I said, you know what, I have a feeling when Martin Luther told his friends about his dream, they thought it was silly too.”
On Vulnerability: “Well, but see, that’s the other secret to being a female success is your obligation to be vulnerable. If you are too perfect girl, we can’t get you. We don’t understand you. We don’t. It’s why JLo is doing her whole youtube behind the scenes because we need to nowadays see authentic real flaws because in the old days, Marilyn Monroe was not perfect. They were all perfect back then. Every hair was in place. That’s not reality. And that’s not what I think we want. So I’m going to use this platform. I’m going to burn the boats and this is my path and no matter what happens, and I will tell you when you do that, the wind comes very strong and you do blow off course a lot. So my theory is now or that life is not a motorboat, like does a sailboat number one. If you’re a sailboat and you’re off one degree over time, you end up in a different place. That’s good and or bad. But if you can learn to course correct quickly because you will always get blown off course. And how dare you go. Why me? Why you? Because it’s life. Because how dare you expect it to be perfect. That’s just what it is.”
On SPINGYM: “I met Christina in the park and she’s in a wheelchair and I am relentless. If you’ve ever met me, I don’t care if you’re in the bathroom, naked it in the sauna where I happened to be. You are spin gyming okay. I think it’s the greatest one. So she’s in a wheelchair, she’s got cerebral palsy, but she’s got this huge infectious smile. My daughter and I are playing with her and her mom was like, oh, I don’t know if she can do it. I said, stop saying what you think your daughter can and cannot do. Stop putting limiting beliefs on somebody else because we do that all the time. I’m going to say that she can do it. And we stood there for two hours and we videotaped while she tried to, and the cool thing about Christine’s, she never gave up. And that smile informed me and about, just how to be in life. She’s a girl who’s had hundreds of operations, hundreds. We’ll never get up and go to the bathroom herself or take a shower on her own. But she’s beautiful inside and out. So I did a fundraiser for her birthday when you’re where we all run roller skates so she can wheel around and enjoy it with us. I was there when she graduated Valedictorian at 19 and she just sent a message to me on my cell phone three weeks ago. She just won Miss Florida wheelchair 2019. My little girl now, and then when she said, and I owe it to you, I’m like, no god the, I appreciate you saying that. But what she meant was that she hears me in her head when she can’t go anymore because we all get that moment. But she told me many years ago, that I was the most successful person she knew. And I said, well, is that because I’m on TV, cause I’ve got all this? She says, no. She says it’s because you can get up and high heels and walk across the floor and a tight skirt and I never will. There are days when I don’t feel so successful. There are days when I don’t feel so beautiful. There are days when I’ll meet somebody more important, rich, more famous than I am. And I’m kind of feeling like, oh, and I remember, you know what, I’m successful just cause I can walk in high heels no matter what. You can’t take that away from me. So when I asked people if they’re successful, they’ll go, I’m like stop at the end own that. You are enough right now and that you, this is, you can always do better. Be More. That’s okay. That’s tomorrow. Right now…”
FORBES FACTOR IS THE FUTURE
Q: What’s next? How do you take that on when you’ve perhaps checked every box or… “Oh baby girl. That’s a beautiful question. I have not checked every box. So if there’s a whole lot of boxes unchecked. One of the big ones professionally is in being a New York Times bestselling book. I have a whole bunch of books, but I haven’t hit that stature with my theory about life, which I will not say out loud just yet, but I would like to see that. I would like to see, I’d had two national talk shows. I would like one more right next to Ellen. She can have NBC and I’ll take ABC and I’m not kidding. I have a skill when it comes to interviewing and talking and hosting and I’ve done that my whole life. I just recently met with someone one more time about this though. Oh, well you’re not quite famous enough. And I’m like, okay. So the goal now is to get so rapidly famous that I can do that because that’s what I think I’m here to do. Uncover other people’s stories, share the joys, be controversial. All of the things that I want to do, the way we live our lives. And then when somebody asks me what I want and this is where you, it’s funny, you know what I want?”
On LOVE: “One, I want somebody to tell me everyday that I inspired them. Number two, I want to be told that I’m amazing. Now I know that sounds totally cheesy, but I grew up now, I grew up, my dad was a magician and I grew up doing magic tricks and when you see a magic trick like Oh my God, that’s amazing. That’s a great word. I’m amazing. When people touch this thing, they go, wow, that’s amazing. So now people introduced me go, wow, it’s the amazing Forbes Riley. I’m like, yes, it is funny. The third thing I want is I want to be able to write a $10,000 check anytime I want to anybody I want. And you know how empowered I’ve done this. Let me tell you something. Your life changes when you change somebody else’s and you have the freedom and the power and the passion and you don’t have to wait to get a $10,000 check. Sometimes a hundred old check is enough. Sometimes just your time is enough. And I’ve truly discovered that giving more. But the last two things that I want is I do want as much time on this planet as I can enjoy my two babies, two or 16 years old and growing up in weight too fast. And then I fell in love. I fell in love with the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen and I want to wake up every morning like I do enroll over and have him tell me how beautiful I am even though my hair is weird, my breath stinks. And I got Mascara down my face. He looks and he goes, yeah, you’re so beautiful. And I’m like, oh my God, I waited for that. Life is good and that’s what I want and I want that every day for the next 50 years and I’ll finally be happy.”
Q: Give us a call to action for women and men, for somebody who’s perhaps a little stuck, they don’t know what next. They have that big idea and they want to go after it. “So I’m going to share something with you and I’ll look right in the camera. If you don’t have a coach or a mentor, you’re missing out because you are the coffee in your own cup. And without someone to tell you what’s going on, you’re gonna keep sloshing around trying to figure out what it says on the outside of the cup. Most successful people, most athletes, I mean pick an athlete. Who’s your favorite athlete between Serena Williams and Michael Jordan? Okay. Pick one. Serena Williams. She has five coaches. I know her. I’m a business partner of her in cool towels. She has a strength coach. He has a tennis coach. Who was better than Serena so that she have a coach. It doesn’t matter. Her tennis coach doesn’t even have to play tennis. It just has to not be her so that she can see the game. So that’s the first thing. Second thing is I teach a thing. I teach a thing called Forbes factor live because I love doing this. I have a course that I do four times a year and going to keep doing it. It’s fine days long where I take people who are stuck, who can’t see their own outside at all, who have no confidence. Who have been sexually molested. And that is about 85% of the people that I meet. I am blown away by how many people have been physically hurt. So they keep holding that in and I do this five day training and it pretty much, the idea behind the training as a friend loves you the way you are. Think about this, your friend will go, oh, it’s going to be okay. Bullshit, it’s not going to be okay. I love you way too much to leave you the way you are. And so I invite people watching this to go online and look up Youtube and go to Forbes factor live and see some of the breakthrough transformational trainings that we do because I don’t know anyone else in the planet who dares does this. It is tough. It is powerful. It is passionate, but it is not an easy thing to do. In fact, I just think captain America just walked in over there, come here for a second. I don’t think he were like, no, no, no. Come here. Come on. You kill here. He just finished working out. But that’s a great question. So come, because I don’t think you can do it on your own. And do me a favor. Stop being stuck. Stop thinking tomorrow because you will grow old and die like my parents did. Thinking it’s going to get better and it doesn’t, it takes work. It takes perseverance. It takes people around you. It takes teamwork. You cannot do it on your own. So we were just talking about you Joshua. Come here for a second. I was, I was, and you guys have a real treat. He just came back from the gym. He’s going for his Mister Universe title. He just won Mr. World come here. Can we can give me that and come sit on your lap. Come here. I’m just going to let that fall down here.
Q: Joshua, tell us something we should know about Forbes [speaking to her boyfriend]. “Her kind heart is the thing that sticks out the most to me. So she always wants to help and sincerely care about people. So you probably already knew that, right?
Forbes Riley: “Well, I don’t think people do. And I think you said it, I think people look at someone like me and they don’t realize, how often I do things that I do. I mean, people crying to grocery store, I will heal people if you happen to come up to me wherever it is. And I don’t really think I say no to people because I can feel people’s pain. And so I take the time to transition a lot. I mean literally do something.”