Sean Lourdes is a futurist, a passionate champion for youth and social responsibility. As Chairman of The Lourdes Foundation, an organization dedicated to empowering others, and President of the 60-year-old publishing giant Auge Media, Lourdes leads with an indomitable Sense of Purpose. Inspired by a meeting with the Dalai Lama in 2012, Lourdes felt called to share his Holiness’ message of tolerance and compassion with others. Demonstrating rare conviction, with little more than a dream, a blessing, and a host of naysayers, Lourdes hosted two groundbreaking events, the largest at the Los Angeles Forum included 15,000 Angelinos and a group of 5000 children brought in by his foundation. Many thousands of lives were touched, even changed by this once in a lifetime opportunity and the Dalai Lama no longer addresses public audiences. Lourdes is following up the visit with a documentary, and a celebratory book on Los Angeles. Both which are nearing completion.
Humanitarian work might not be the expected path for the third generation heir to a global media conglomerate. However, Sean Lourdes’ life has never been typical. A mini ambassador, born in Los Angeles, growing up in Switzerland, Germany, Italy and New Zealand, the Lourdes family worked alongside Prime Ministers, Presidents, and Royalty. Through these early interactions Lourdes discovered all have the ability to inspire, and work for positive change. Finishing up his time in New Zealand, Lourdes attended the prestigious Kings School before matriculating at St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy back in the States. A B.A. from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Nevertheless, it is the culmination of all Sean Lourdes’ life and learning experiences that have deepened his resolve to identify and create opportunities for disenfranchised youth.
Where is Sean now?
Sean is an investor/philanthropist and travels the world. Sean can work from anywhere, and has the luxury of living in places, such as on the beach in Malibu, in a condo overlooking Central Park, in a Hollywood Hills mansion, etc. He is planning a new program for his foundation, which provides internships to underprivileged youth with special talents.
I took chances, believed in myself and had faith/ believed in God to lead me where I am today. Growing up, I could never get hired because I was either too young, had no experience, or I would think outside of the box too much. This led me to create my own job.
How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?
I got started with my investment fund by accident, really. I believe in surrounding yourself with good people and the way to do that is giving people the chance to show you what they have to offer and for you to have the criteria to identify if they have something valuable to offer. I was lucky enough to meet the right people and that’s how I started my stock portfolio.
Also, my inspiration has a lot to do with my family. I want to pass on a remarkable legacy to my son, that he sees hard work and gratitude from a very young age so he can copy that and be the example for the upcoming generations.
How do you make money?
I mostly buy stock from companies and make money back from the investment. This is more complicated than it sounds since you’re betting on the success of a company in a specific niche.
You never know what’s going to happen and I had a lot of learning to do before mastering stocks. Once you know how it flows, you can see some sort of pattern (that’s not always accurate) that gives you some path to walk on. Always talk to people that could bring value to the situation, people you can learn from.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
It took years through trial and error to finally find a niche that worked. I’m not able to mention an exact period of time since I started from a young age and it’s been a constant learning process.
What I can ensure people is that it takes time to master any niche, there’s always new trends coming in and that when you prove your capacity of adaptation, just don’t give up. It’s worth it.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
Yes of course, but I like to obsess in a project I’m about to do and learn every angle there is to it through research and asking questions. I am not afraid to ask a question. Once I understand it and can see the path to success is possible, that’s when I jump in the deep end.
Now, there’s always going to be people that will have doubts about you and your projects, but as long as you study the field and you know it’s worth the try, go for it.
How did you get interested in stocks and investing?
Let’s say I have faith in people’s ideas and companies. In a very strategic way and based on my own business experience, I already know which business models are worth investing in.
I got very interested in this industry since I see it as a nice and efficient way to be part of successful companies and contributing to their growth and development. This is the future.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
Marketing strategies clearly depend on the niche. Referrals are for sure an efficient way to do marketing or ‘affiliate’ marketing but based on my business and the way we operate, I’d say social events are the greatest way to network and that way, getting to know people with the same interests. If you’re into buying stock, the best way to get good or early ‘deals’ is by talking to people in the business, so what’s a better way to do so than at social events around a nice meal and drink.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
The toughest decision was deciding where I want to live. Putting your roots somewhere and developing a home for yourself and your family is a very difficult task I found out recently.
I’m lucky enough to be able to work from anywhere in the world but I’m not alone, I have a family that’s very supportive and loving. They are my number one priority and that’s why it’s also my priority to give them great stability; even though they come with me wherever I go, it’s also nice to have a place to call home and now we have it. Best decision so far.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
My communication skills, tireless effort to keep going and not accepting a “no” for an answer allows me to be successful. In today’s changing world and competitive markets, persistence should always be your main asset, people notice, and they like it. I was raised in an environment when even if I had it all I had to fight and work for it, earn it. That’s mainly how I learned how to negotiate and find my way with words and cleverness.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Standing on stage with 15,000 people looking at me, almost every news outlet shining on me, and the Dalai Lama, Maria Shriver and the mayor sitting behind me; everyone listening to what I had to say, which was merely a “thank you.”
Other people would dream of that moment and I had it, I experienced it. You can bet that it humbled me even more; it made it all worth it that’s why it was so satisfying, and it still is.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
Our new vegan chapter. We have a lot of new things coming up that we are excited about.
My entrepreneurial spirit wants to spread consciousness about health, smart nutrition, and compassion. That means that we’re definitely developing a project related to veganism that people will feel identified with, just like we did when we started this journey.
What business books have inspired you?
How to Win Friends and Influence People & How To Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie. It gives you real life examples and I thank a lot of my success to that book.
Nowadays, being influential is essential and my mission is to leave a mark in our society. Winning allies, friends and connections is all I am about. I get to learn from people, they get to learn from me and it’s an endless learning process while growing my circle. This book gave me the tools to take advantage of my social skills in order to succeed in the scene.
What’s something you do every single morning that gets you ready for the day?
I wake up very early every day, so that’s definitely number one. A habit that helps kick start my day would be reviewing my tasks for the day which I had prepared at the beginning of the week. That way I know exactly what to do and when. It makes me feel in control of my day even though not everything goes as planned all the time.