Posted in Finances

Original Observations from an Entrepreneur about Debt and Money - By Steven Ciantro

Steven Ciantro is a certified credit counselor, a management representative of American Debt Enders, and a former finalist in Inc. magazine and Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year contest. He is also a Talk-Show Radio Host and successful published songwriter and musician (his album January Tyme can be heard on YouTube), the inventor of a patented medical device, a public speaker on debt issues, and the official debt expert for motivational speaker Gail Kasper’s Top 1% Club.



Not to worry, I promise to keep it short and sweet. This idea came from watching Neil Cavuto interview Carl Icahn on Fox’s business channel. A few decades ago, Carl Icahn was known as a corporate raider. I don’t know about raiding, but I do know that his venture capital firm stepped in at the right time to save a lot of companies along with a lot of jobs.

What struck me about the interview was how unassuming he was. Sitting with Neil on a snowy day in NY, Carl sat drinking what I am sure was coffee from a brown cup. He was very self-assured, like a man who knew his place in life, and being showy was not it. Like so many others in business, he found financial success not so much as a result of focusing on making money, but from knowing what his life work was and carrying it out. He even talked briefly about the fact that his children were all taken care of, but would not be inheriting his empire.


I have no doubt that he endured plenty of hard times in his life, and yet nothing stopped him from completing his life’s work. Isn’t the hard times part just like the rest of us? What about the continuing with our life’s work (whatever that is)?


I counsel people every day whose stories could make you cry; after all, the idea of what I do is to help them see the forest for the trees so they can move on. Many times, it seems like the debt is the problem, when in fact the problem is what led to the debt and total imbalance of everything else. So, here is a good place to start if you are in heavy debt and feel like the debt is the anchor holding you back from all good things. If you realize that you have a serious debt problem and desperately want to get back on an even keel, then, as with anything else, know that help is available. In today’s world, every debt problem can be dealt with, but yes, it will take more than a magic wand. There are excellent debt relief programs available, and not everyone is looking to rip you off.


A really good thing to do would be to pull everything back and start with baby steps, so you can see the debt picture clearly. Don’t let anyone sell you on the idea that debt is good—especially if it prevents you from meeting your current everyday obligations. Start to realize the mindset that got you into debt and the very simple steps you can take to keep it from ever happening again.


If you stop living on credit, that would be a great first step. Realize that the people who provide you services deserve to get paid. Pull back your expenses to whatever it takes to slowly meet your obligations and then pay them. It will change your outlook.


Well, I hope these thoughts have helped. They come from someone who is not big on serving up platitudes, but has walked the journey. About Steven Ciantro Steven is a certified credit counselor and management representative of American Debt Enders, as well as a former finalist in Inc Magazine and Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Contest. He is also a successful published songwriter and musician (his album January Tyme can be heard on YouTube), the inventor of a patented medical device, and a public speaker about debt issues.


ABOUT STEVEN CIANTRO: Steven is well suited to advising on debt issues. Growing up from humble beginnings, he personally made a fortune from nothing in his earlier years and lost it. The experience completely altered his value system. It seemed every professional debt expert Steven and his wife spoke to wanted to put them into even more debt to help them. It took years for them to untangle the financial mess, which they ultimately did on their own, gaining a tremendous education in the process. However, the experience left Steven with chronic kidney disease, which he still battles today. In 2004, Steven found work at a national nonprofit credit counseling company. After six months, he became regional manager; Steven had found a new calling. He is in the unique position of not only being a true expert on debt relief issues, but also understanding firsthand how oppressive debt can be. In 2006, American Debt Enders was started as a company that would offer free credit counseling; it was among the first companies in the nation to use the business model of offering multiple debt relief programs and solutions under the same roof.


This article is courtesy of the Top 1% Club and the Top 1% Club Mentor Gail Kasper. For additional information on Gail Kasper, her television appearances and speaking engagements, please visit