By Jess Perez

A tycoon is a powerful person in a business or industry. Normally, pictures of white men in suits pop up if you research the word. I set out to change people’s perceptions of what a tycoon could look like. I wanted people to associate the name with models and other people in our industry. I wanted to help people like us with the one thing that is usually put on the bottom of our ‘to-do’ list: financial management.

Why models don’t prioritize finances

The problem starts with the fact that we are very young when we start modeling and most teenagers don’t think about anything long-term. The other problem is that it takes time to start making money as a model so early on we are taught to focus our attention on booking editorials, fashion shows, improving our image and more recently, increasing our social media following.

Why tracking our finances is so damned hard

Working for multiple agencies throughout the world, having to ask about payments coming in from various countries, getting account statements that look like they’ve been written in a language you don’t understand (sometimes they are), receiving deposits for jobs you don’t even remember doing, is nothing but a recipe for financial disaster. This is why I developed Tycoon, an app that makes job and income tracking an easy experience for models.  Ultimately, models should be aware that if they want to succeed financially, they have to take as much control of this process as they possibly can.

How Tycoon helps models like you succeed financially

– It helps organize you. You can enter your job into the app when you’re getting your hair/makeup done. Now you have your job rate and date recorded.

– It helps you follow up on payments. The app reminds you when you should ask your agency about a job payment.

– It separates your income into different buckets. You can now mentally organize your income between jobs that have been paid and ones that you’re still waiting on.

– It shows you how much money you are paying in commissions and how much money you should be saving for taxes.

What I want to change

I saw many of my friends reach the end of their careers with nothing (or not much) to show for it and I knew the reason for this was a lack of financial awareness while they were making money. I want models to feel empowered with our app and I want them to know that Tycoon is a resource for them if they have financial questions. I heard someone once say, “You can’t eat a tear sheet”. Doing photo shoots for magazines is a great accomplishment but in the end what matters the most is whether or not you can afford the lifestyle you want to have.