Featured Guest: Apple Crider
Apple Crider first got into the world of entrepreneurship and personal finance in 2014 when he started a somewhat illegal flipping business in high school. Although he quickly realized that he’d be better off running above-the-board businesses, this first business set the stage for many more to come.
Since then, Apple has scaled multiple internet businesses to over 5 figures per month in the digital marketing and content production industries. Throughout growing these businesses, he’s documented his process through his YouTube channel and podcast that have received over one million views.
Apple’s true passion has always been for personal finance though. As a credit card enthusiast and avid tax code reader, Apple is a personal finance nerd at heart. He’s currently pursuing his next major project, building a wealth management company for other online entrepreneurs who want to focus on their business and not their personal finances.
Apple recently passed the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER exam and is currently taking on clients for financial coaching.
David Reiling is an innovative social entrepreneur focused on empowering individuals through community banking and financial technology. David is the Chief Executive Officer of Sunrise Banks and has been in the community development banking industry for more than 25 years.
[00:00:00] Apple Crider: People don’t trust financial institutions a lot of times, because they don’t understand how they work. They don’t even, like, I really do believe that if you asked like most high schoolers, if they understood how banks made money, they would have no idea. They would have no clue. And so I think that’s one of the big things is like, I think especially like the younger people, these days are getting more and more skeptical of the institutions out there, whether that’s apps, whether that’s websites, whether that’s whatever. And like, if they don’t understand how an app or website or a bank makes money that breeds a lot of skepticism. So I think that’s one of the core roots is like, people don’t even know how banks make money and people don’t even know like how the different products work.
They hear these things like IRAs. And, and 401ks and like they don’t know what these things mean.
[00:00:45] David Reiling: Welcome to the NextGen Banker , the podcast that is discovering the talent, technology and treasure that is changing financial services. I’m your host, David Reiling. Today’s guest is Apple Crider, entrepreneur, successful podcast host and passionate [00:01:00] person around investing, entrepreneurship and personal finance.
Apple, welcome to the show,
[00:01:05] Apple Crider: David, it’s a pleasure to be here.
[00:01:07] David Reiling: So Apple, you host a podcast called Young Smart Money. It is a top 100 business podcast. So please just tell our listeners a little bit about your podcast and how it got started. What got you into that gig?
[00:01:21] Apple Crider: Yeah, great question. So the podcast has come a long way. There’ve been a lot of iterations as anything that lasts for three plus years tends to have some twists and turns. So, yeah. Um, currently the podcast is focused on personal finance, specifically for young people. And even more specifically geared towards young entrepreneurs because I’m a young entrepreneur myself.
I’m very passionate about personal finance. And so I love talking about this stuff, sharing the lessons that I’ve learned with other young people, specifically young entrepreneurs, cause like there’s so much that goes into running your own business beyond just the actual business side of it. Like the whole money stuff can be so foreign to people, even if they’re like they have the business side down, they love what they do, but they have no idea how the money stuff works. So that’s kinda where I come in and I’m like, Hey, you’ve got this crazy business. It’s doing amazing things, but now how do you make sure it’s actually profitable?
How do you make sure you’re doing your taxes right? How do you make sure that all this other stuff is falling into place so you can stay in your zone of genius? You don’t have to worry about all this stuff, but you know, that’s being taken care of. So that’s the gist of the show.
Um, and I started when I was in school. My first semester of college, I was very disillusioned with the whole college thing. I was, uh, very bent on dropping out and I was like, I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to do this. Like, I’m going to go be an entrepreneur. Um, and so I was starting a bunch of side businesses and that kind of led me to get interviewed on the local college radio station, which I was like, whoa, this is such a cool platform, I love this so much. How can I do more of this myself? And so that was kind of the seed that grew into, into the podcast. Now, like three years later here we are.
[00:02:47] David Reiling: Very cool. And so just for our audience, I just want to give them a taste of maybe some of the topics that you covered in your podcasts. So, um, income tax for entrepreneurs, how to diagnose and solve a profitability problem, legal structures for entrepreneurs, credit cards. How to invest in real estate with retirement funds.
So this is not your, some of your basic stuff. This is some pretty cool, and I think kind of meaty topics in which to get in. So if you are a young, smart entrepreneur in this particular case, uh, it’s really something to listen to. And I think inspirational in terms of how to kind of get into your business and improve it and make it better as well as what you talked about is reflect on your own self as that entrepreneur, how do I do what I do best and try to leave the other stuff to others who are experts in their field, which I think is absolutely a key. You know, I just got to share one personal thing cause you and I have a lot of, I think, uh, entrepreneurial genes that are related.
And that is so I was, I was very much like you when I was in college. Um, uh, I went to school at the University of San Diego and beyond surfing, I thought school was kind of boring. So I started a t-shirt business there and just because I thought it was fun and gave me a way to meet people and engage. And so it was really cool. So anyways, along those lines, I can definitely, you know, appreciate where you are.
Um, but I want to dive a little bit deeper into your podcast audience. And who are they? What do they feel like? Or what’s their demographic? I don’t even know if that’s a great way to describe them.
[00:04:19] Apple Crider: Yeah, no, that’s a great question. So I specifically tailor a lot of my stuff, like I said, to young people. I’m a young person myself and I found that just throughout the years of putting out content, um, I personally tend to resonate a lot more with young people than I do with older people and that’s for a number of reasons.
Um, but, but one of the big ones is that when older people uh, here, um, any kind of like money advice, or really just advice in general from someone who’s younger than them and who looks like I do, and who has crazy hair and wears a bandana and is as flamboyant a person as I am they, they tend to tune out pretty quickly.
So, um, that was a, that was an obstacle that I encountered pretty quickly. And I was like, well, I think maybe one of the best ways to get around this is to talk to people who look like me. And who are more, um, willing to, to accept information and new ideas from someone who is younger. So that’s, that’s one of the main reasons why I started off trying to, trying to skew more towards the younger demographic.
They’re just more receptive. Um, and then they tend to have more of an open mind cause they don’t have, uh, many of these ideas or these habit patterns formed already. There are a lot more malleable to, to take on new ideas and to do, to try different things because they haven’t gotten set in their ways of, oh, this is the way I do things. This is the way things are. So for me, it’s, it’s been a lot easier to make an actual impact with these people and to help them actually change their behaviors than it is to, to try to like work at these, these older individuals who aren’t as receptive to, to someone like me.
[00:05:41] David Reiling: Yeah, definitely. Uh, I totally can understand that. And you know, the other approach that I see in some of your podcasts is you’re kind of telling people from experience like, you know, this was my experience, good, bad or indifferent. This is what I learned. And this is what I think. And I think that really that authentic way of saying this is what I experienced, what do you think? And then bring in some experts to kind of describe it is really a differentiator in terms of A) being authentic, but to me, it’s like, oh, I really, I can understand that experience because my mind might’ve worked the same way.
[00:06:15] Apple Crider: Yeah. I totally agree. And that’s been something that’s been like very core to the content that I’ve been putting out for a long time. I, I never want to position myself as like, oh, look at me. I’m this 21 year old personal finance guru. Like obviously I have so much more to learn. But I think there is real value in me um, having a platform and saying, Hey, this is what I did. These are the results that I got. If you want results similar to this, maybe try something similar to what I tried.
If you don’t want results like this, maybe try something different. So I think that’s a lot more of a beneficial way to just like, think about this kind of stuff, especially when you’re younger, because I find a lot of young people have this idea in their head that, oh, if I’m not the end all be all expert on whatever I’m not qualified to even talk about this kind of stuff, because, because somebody else is way further out there. And so if I had that mindset, I would look and see Dave Ramsey and I’d say, well, I can’t talk about personal finance because Dave Ramsey has been doing it for 30, 40 years. And he’s the pro.
So like who am I to even say anything, but I think it’s just important to realize if you have experiences, you can share those experiences with people and they can really provide value to people and you don’t have to be this end all be all expert guru sitting on the top of your mountain.
[00:07:23] David Reiling: Absolutely. So let me shift gears on you a little bit, and let’s talk about your YouTube channel and you know, the one thing that I would say having owned a bank for like 25 years is we’ve always known the criticalness around financial literacy and trying to teach people how to kind of understand banking or finance or insurance or various aspects. And I can tell you, we have failed like over and over again.
And usually, for me, failure is just kind of that learning and the tuition that you pay. And I keep paying tuition and it just doesn’t, we just don’t quite seem to get it very well.
Um, on your YouTube channel, you do some financial literacy videos, but they’re really kind of, I would assume directed towards high school, college students. Tell us a little bit about that and how you approach that, um, from those, from those YouTube channels.
[00:08:13] Apple Crider: Yeah, for sure. So that was, that was something that I also started in college and I’m getting back into that right now. Actually, I’ve got big plans to, to kind of revamp that whole thing. Cause it’s been laying kind of dormant with the last couple of projects that I’ve been working on, but, uh, the whole premise there again was very similar to the podcast. I wanted to share, uh, my experiences and what I was what I was doing and the results that I was getting from them.
So talking about things like Roth, IRAs and credit cards, I’m a huge credit card nerd. Um, I’ve got, I just applied for a new one today, actually, which brings me up to about 12 or 13. Um, so I, I talk about that a lot. I talk about investing for retirement ,Roth, IRAs. I’m a huge proponent of Roth IRAs for young people.
I’ve gotten dozens of my friends to create Roth IRAs for themselves and start funding those, which is one of my proudest accomplishments, because I feel like just that compounded over time is going to have such a huge impact on their lives. So just, just, I I’m a big, I’m a big proponent of like the little habits that you can start early on that are going to have a huge impact in your life over time.
Just like finding those areas in your life, where you can take advantage of compound interest, whether that’s monetary, whether that’s knowledge whether that’s, uh, really anywhere, because it’s such a powerful force that if you can get compound interest on your side with just little habits that you’re just building on every single day or every single week, every single month, like that kind of stuff, you lock that in it at 18, 19, 20 years old.
And like, You just look at that over time. And it’s, it’s crazy the kind of results that, that just these small little habits can have. So that’s, that’s really what I love talking about. And so that’s what a lot of my YouTube channel is like, what are these small money habits or just like life habits that you can form now that are going to pay you huge dividends to after the coming decades.
[00:09:50] David Reiling: Yeah. And you know, I have never seen anyone talk so passionately about IRAs and Roth IRAs in my entire life. It is fantastic. I mean, as a, you know, compound interest nerd, if you will, I just, I was just reveling in the beauty of how successful and how little things can grow to be so great. And so you just like knocked it out of the park.
Um, so I have to ask it. So from the standpoint of your perspective and maybe your audience’s perspective, how relevant is a bank? I mean, how skeptical are you of banks or financial institutions in general?
[00:10:25] Apple Crider: That’s a great question. So like personally, uh, because I’m so deep in like the finance space, like I’m not very skeptical of financial institutions really at all, because I’m familiar with kind of how they work.
And I know kind of like what a bank’s business model is and like how they make money and how uh, just like how the different products work. But I think for young people, it is kind of scary because like, there’s, there’s this, there’s this age around like 22, 23 years old. If you, if you go to school, that’s like, right when you’re getting out of school, you’re entering the real world. You’re getting your first like big kid job. You’re, you’re actually making some serious money. You have to figure out what to do with it. And so I think at this point in time, it’s kind of like a make or break moment for people with financial institutions, because um, a lot of them are just they’re they’re too scared to even like go somewhere and ask questions because they’re like, oh, that’s a stupid question. Or all of those people are just gonna try to take advantage of me. They’re gonna, I’m going to walk in there with my paycheck and they try to sell me an annuity.
You know, like people don’t trust, uh, financial institutions a lot of times because they don’t understand how they work. They don’t even like. I, I really do believe that if you asked like most high schoolers, if they understood how banks made money, they would have no idea. They would have no clue. And so I think that’s one of the big things is like, I think especially like, like younger people, these days are getting more and more skeptical of the institutions out there, whether that’s apps, whether that’s websites, whether that’s whatever.
And like, if they don’t understand how an app or website or a bank makes money like that, that breeds a lot of skepticism. So I think that’s one of the core roots is like, people don’t even know how banks make money and people don’t even know like how the different products work. They hear these things like IRAs and 401ks. And like they don’t know what these things mean. So I think there’s a lot of, of skepticism there because of the lack of information. And so I think it’s, it’s a tough thing to do though, because like, it’s hard to teach you about this stuff because when they hear it, they tune out and they’re like, oh my gosh, that’s so intimidating.
But at the same time, if they never get to understand what those things mean, then they never build that trust in the first place. So it’s a tough problem to solve it. It’s one of the bigger ones that I’m working at. But I do think that there is a lot of, uh, just, just, just not that much trust in financial institutions as a whole, especially in young people, because they just don’t understand what’s going on.
[00:12:41] David Reiling: Yeah, I would agree. And I have to tell you from explaining how a bank makes money pretty much my entire life from my professional career um, it doesn’t matter if you’re a high school college student, or if you’re 40 or 50 years old, most people don’t know how a bank makes money. And so, um, I’ve been able to draw pictures over time and so forth to be able to describe that as a way to open up the conversation and so forth.
But, um, I think you’re right. I think the skepticism is there. Um, I gotta just take a twist on this question. What do you think about, uh, kind of what I would call the neo banks or the digital banks, like the Chimes, the Daves, the Varos that are coming out? Is there appeal there? Is that same amount of skepticism there? Or how do you feel about those?
[00:13:24] Apple Crider: I, I personally really like them and I’ve seen a lot of my peers being more receptive to them. Um, I think one of the main reasons for that is a lot of them are, uh, they’re able to really, because they’re so niche, they’re able to really like, uh, really speak to a target persona. And so if that target persona is you and you’re getting this messaging from this bank, like it can really resonate with you it can be like, oh, that is exactly that’s exactly, the question I have. That’s exactly how I was feeling. And just like how these things look, how these websites look like it’s so, uh, it’s so much more fresh than like, if you go to US Bank’s website, you know, like when I go to US Bank’s website or like even Chase’s website, like like, they’re just that they’re not built for us. You know, it’s like, it’s not built with a 21 year old in mind, but a lot of these apps, because they are so focused on young people, like they really resonate a lot more because, uh, they, they really just feel more like, like, like the apps on our phone, they look a lot more like Instagram or like these different apps that we use on a daily basis where as your um, more traditional banks, the interfaces aren’t really there. They don’t really resonate as much with us and like the messaging isn’t as, um, attuned, because again, they’re, they’re, they’re tailored to a much wider audience, so naturally they can’t be as specific in their messaging on their, on their website, because like it’s trying to speak to everyone instead of just this very narrow persona.
So, uh, personally, I I’ve seen a lot of my peers kind of catching on with these, with these smaller, more niche um, startup kind of banks, but, um, personally I don’t use any of them, but I have seen some momentum there, um, with my peers at least.
[00:14:57] David Reiling: Yeah, definitely. And there are, um, I mean, they’re there to deliver that customer and user experience that’s unique and customized and tailored and so you speak to that very well. And I mean, ultimately a lot of the newer neobanks, uh, digital banks have really kind of come out and done well, um, the economic models still need to be proven out a little bit as they give it all away for free, but you know what, they are onto something in terms of that user experience and what they’re delivering in terms of service. And so, yeah, that’s very good.
[00:15:28] So Apple, you’re an entrepreneur, you own a business called Podblade. Uh, tell us a little about Podblade and how you got into that.
[00:15:35] Apple Crider: Yeah. So a recent development is that I no longer own part of Podblade I actually recently exited that business. Um, and so now thank you. Yeah, that happened a couple of weeks ago and so now I’m kind of moving on to this next chapter of kind of thinking about what’s next. And so um, I’m really focusing my efforts more in the personal finance space because I do love podcasting and I plan to continue podcasting, but like personal finance is like my passion. And that’s like, what really lights me up every single day.
So right now it’s kind of just this, like, it’s this weird phase for me because I’ve been working on Podblade I had been working on Podblade for, for over a year. And so every day I woke up and I knew what I could work on to kind of move the needle in my business. But now it’s kind of like, well, what needle do I even want to move?
You know, like where do I go next? And what, what, what project do I start next? So at the moment, I’m just kind of working on a lot of, um, little things and trying to figure out like what I want to do. So getting back into YouTube and doing some freelance writing in the personal finance space, and I actually just built this, this cool tool on my website that people can use.
And it like it tells you what credit card you should get next. It basically, it’s this chatbot that I built that’ll ask you a bunch of questions and like tell you, like, what’s the best next credit card for you. So like, I’m just trying to work on some, some cool stuff like that while I figure out, like, what do I actually want to like, be my next thing that I work on?
But yeah. So for now, it’s, it’s, it’s this weird transition period where I’m just kind of figuring it out.
[00:16:55] David Reiling: Very cool. Well, it’s a great opportunity to do that and I can totally understand now as we go back to Thailand, um, that ability to travel and get that introspection to really, what is it that I’m the most passionate about? And I heard you on another podcast, do a little exercise where I think you were working on a whole bunch of things like 20 or 30 different things. And then you started to narrow them down with dollar signs and happy faces or frowns. And, um, maybe tell us a little bit about that in terms of how your mind works to, to narrow your focus down entrepreneurly.
[00:17:27] Apple Crider: Yeah, a hundred percent. Yeah. I haven’t done that exercise in a while, but it might actually be a useful one for me right now, but yeah, so essentially how the exercise goes and uh, it, it, it’s kind of an exercise to narrow down your focus into the things that really matter to you because, um, I’m the type of person that likes to always be executing, I like to like work on projects and like really see progress in the things that I’m doing, and I like to always be executing. So I’m not as naturally inclined to, to self-reflection as some other people might be. So for me, what’s really helpful is kind of prioritizing my projects so that I’m only working on a couple core things and I’m not, my energy is not spread so thin because if it spreads so thin, I’m not really making real progress in anything, I’m just kind of like staying busy.
So what I kind of realized, and this was kind of middle of college, I was working on so many different projects and I didn’t feel like I was really going anywhere. So what I decided to do was take a big whiteboard um, that I have, and I listed out every single project that I was working on. By the end of this list, I had 27 things on this list. It was crazy. Like, I don’t understand how someone could, could even think that they can do 27 things at a time at, at some kind of reasonable level. I mean, it was, it was, it was a disaster. My life was a disaster at that point.
So I made this list of 27 things and then, um, a buddy of mine, he said, you know, what you gotta do is next to each thing you should categorize them on these three different criteria levels, and this will make it really clear to you, which one you should actually be spending your time on. So the three criteria where, how much time is it going to take you to do this thing at the level that you want to do it at? Okay that’s criteria one. Criteria two is what’s the income potential from this thing? Like how does this have the potential to actually like turn into a real income source for you? Could this scale into a real business? Is it more just a side, project for fun? And then the third thing is like, how do you feel when you’re actually doing it? Does it fill you up? Does it drain you? Just, how do you feel?
So, um, I basically categorize these things very simply. And so for the time commitment, um, I would draw next to each of the things I drew either one, two or three clocks and that kind of symbolized like on a monthly basis, is this going to take a little bit of time, a medium amount of time, or a lot of time?
Um, so I did that on all of them. And then I went through and did the same thing, but with dollar signs, so one to three dollar signs, is this gonna make me maybe a little bit of money? Or some of them were blank. Some of them were like this, there’s no income potential here. This is just like, kinda for fun. Um, but like one, two or three, and then, um, either a smiley face, a medium face or a frowny face, um, depending on how the thing made me feel when I was doing it.
So that made it really clear to me which things were actually like filling the bucket and filling me up and like have potential for me to like stay with for a long time. And which things didn’t really make sense right now, but maybe you can make sense later. And so this last part, this is the most important part is you don’t just look at that list and be like, oh, that’s interesting. I’m just going to go back to my every day. But what I did was I said, okay, I’m going to pick three things on this list. And these are gonna be my three things, and I’m going to go all in on these three things and not just that, but I’m going to actively avoid the 24 things that are not my three things.
Because if I just say, oh, these three are my priority, and these 24 will just be on the back burner. I haven’t really gotten anywhere. You know, like maybe I got a little bit more self-awareness, but like, I haven’t really gotten anywhere because I’m still going to let these 24 things creep in and steal my attention, steal my energy and steal my focus from my core three.
So it was a really tough process, but I was able to, um, it took me probably about a day to just like, really think through that and just really think about, okay, like, cause I was studying this for the next three months of my life. I was like, okay, for the next three months, what are my three things going to be?
And so, uh, that after doing that, it was really helpful for me. And I really just like in those next three months saw a lot more progress in those three areas than I would have had I not done that. So. Um, I think it’s a really, really good thing to come back to.
[00:21:04] David Reiling: Yeah. A great exercise, not only from the standpoint of what’s maybe going to be the most likely, or probable thing to make money, but what fills up your tank in terms of energy .That’s usually the place where if you can keep your energy high and you’re interested and focused, the money will come. It’s just finding that unique ability that you have and, and just, uh, working within it. That’s the, that’s the great joy of being an entrepreneur.
Let me ask you this in terms of, um, do you study entrepreneurship? Do you have a favorite entrepreneur? Do you, uh, is it a podcast or how do you get your education around entrepreneurship?
[00:21:39] Apple Crider: Yeah, so, I mean, I bounce around, it really just depends on what kind of stage I’m at and what kind of issues I’m running into. I find that it’s very easy for me to just like take in a ton of information and it’s not always super beneficial for me. So I like to, to try to intentionally practice just in time learning, which is basically not seeking out the information until I get to the point where like, oh, I’m stuck. I need the info to move forward. Because if I don’t do that, then it can be really easy to just like taking a bunch of info, not really do as much with it.
So, um, I like to just kind of execute and execute and execute. And then when I get to that hurdle, I’m like, okay, this is my issue. Let’s try some solutions. And then if I can’t figure it out myself, then I’ll go and try to learn from somebody else on it. So with this chatbot, for example, that I just built, like I had no idea, I built it on AWS and I had no clue how AWS works.
I’ve taken like two coding classes throughout my life. So I have like very minimal coding knowledge, but like I had to really like go out there and like learn some stuff and learn from some new people and build some new skills to do this thing. But, um, It wasn’t just like me sitting down and like learning, learning, learning, learning.
It was like, okay, let’s try something. Let’s get stuck. Let’s try, let’s learn, try something else, get stuck. So for me, it’s a lot more of that. And so I don’t really have like people that I’m constantly looking up to , I’m always reading books about entrepreneurship. And I’m trying to just like, get as many of like the, the classics under my belt as I can.
So, uh, but, but personally, I don’t really have any like huge, I mean, uh, my mom for one, I mean, she’s an entrepreneur and I look up to her a lot and she gives me a lot of, um, advice and stuff when it comes to entrepreneurship and stuff. She’s been a public speaker for about 10 years now and an executive coach.
So, um, that’s, it’s really cool to have her in my corner, but, um, other than that, not, not too many people that I’m, that I’m constantly studying.
[00:23:21] David Reiling: Okay. Very good. Uh, that’s really interesting. So, um, one that you might check out is, uh, for the past 12 years, every quarter for the past 12 years, I attend a, uh, entrepreneurial coaching program, by a guy by the name of Dan Sullivan and he’s the owner of Strategic Coach. And I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned and enjoyed that. Talking about filling my energy bucket up. It’s just been fantastic. And, uh, things like the unique ability that we were talking about and how to narrow your focus. Um, he does a great job of, so I’m a big fan of his, but, um, so when I, when I heard that exercise that you had gone through, I have gone through that similar thing probably 50, if not a hundred times through my course of my life and my career saying, okay, why do I feel so worn down? It’s like, well, I got 27 projects, of course. And then, you know, you really focus internally as to what it is that you want so.
Well, Apple, thank you for being on the show today. It is great to see you for one thing and hear from you, uh, and your perspectives on finance and entrepreneurship and your passion and excitement around really helping people really explore the beauty, I think of, uh, financial literacy and products and services and entrepreneurship. So thanks for being on the show today.
[00:24:34] Apple Crider: It’s been a pleasure, David. Thanks for having me.
[00:24:38]David Reiling: For this episodes’ musical feature, we are showcasing The Choir. The Choir is a Nashville based Grammy nominated alternative rock band whose music has been described by the Los Angeles Times as “magical songs that combine the strains of murky psychedelia with pure pop.” Here is Summer Rain by The Choir.
That was Summer Rain by The Choir. You can find The Choir’s music on Spotify, Apple Music, and most other streaming platforms. If you’d like your music featured on the NextGengen Banker podcast, email firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to your music and website. Thanks for listening to the NextGen Banker podcast and we’ll see you soon.