Don Padilla started his career in insurance and financial services, pivoting to the world of sports and entertainment management. Padilla is CEO of MVP Sports & Entertainment Management in Los Angeles. Ten years ago, he started his MBA at California Lutheran University and passed his CFP®in 2014.  

Returning to His MBA

Fast forward to the present and Padilla has now had his CFP® for about seven years but he did not finish his MBA. After COVID-19 began, Padilla decided it was time to return to California Lutheran University to finish the program. “I’m so glad I did return. I’ve seen a difference in the program on what I had to learn the hard way with clients and employees. There’s a lot of soft skills, selling skills, and empowering associates and employees skills to help you with what to do. It made me really want to finish my MBA!” he said. 

Padilla’s Key Values of the Program

Working in the financial service industry for over 20 years, he sold his practice and naturally found himself going down the route of entertainment and sport through his young children and their activities. Previously he earned an undergraduate degree in business administration, marketing at California State University, Northridge. “I went back to start my MBA as I only had a few classes left. I see the value in the program. If I was just starting out or starting another financial service practice, I would definitely want to do this program. It provides value and it’s really practical. I highly recommend anyone in the financial services to go through this program,” he said. 

One of the key values that Padilla found in the program was the topic of financial counseling. “As an advisor and business owner, I never thought about financial counseling. I didn’t know you could earn a certification in it,” he said. Padilla also mentioned that he recently started thinking about succession planning due to a class and wished he had known more about it to use in his previous financial services business. 

Don Padilla Quote

Padilla also found value in the practical learning and skills that he developed from the program. “Before I was going through the motions to get the piece of paper, but now I’m really finding a use for it and I’m learning from it. I wanted to go back and get my MBA to also show my kids there is value in education,” he said. 

Earning an MBA and CFP ® 

California Lutheran University meets the CFP ® education requirements and students can earn an MBA at the same time. This was the main reason why Padilla chose the program, what’s more, the classes were convenient for his schedule and also local to where he is based. To Padilla, it was important for him to earn the CFP® to help clients and be respected in the financial services industry. 

To the Future

In five to ten years time, Padilla sees his company, MVP Sports & Entertainment Management, as one of the biggest firms that provide a variety of services for athletes and entertainers. “I feel the program is very revolutionary and it provides a lot of value to relay the direction that financial planning services are going. This program gives people the tools to go in the direction of an ensemble practice,” he explained. An ensemble practice is a type of practice where multiple partners come together to provide more values to the clients instead of the traditional idea of just one advisor in a practice acting as a lone ranger. 

Don Padilla Quote

Advice to Others

Padilla’s advice to someone who is starting a career in financial planning is to find someone who is successful and to learn about what they do. “Continue to educate yourself, whether that is a program at California Lutheran University, getting coached, going to conventions to learn more and make connections. Model from those who know what they are doing,” he said. He also mentioned the importance of finding mentors that you can model.

Making Time for Sport

In his free time, Padilla enjoys coaching volleyball and being active in his children’s sports. He also enjoys traveling, particularly to cold, snowy places where he can snowboard. 

About Don Padilla: 

Don PadillaDon Padilla is CEO of MVP Sports & Entertainment Management, a Talent Manager, Certified Financial Planner™, public speaker, and published author of “Not Another Broke Athlete.” He was former National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) Registered Player Financial Advisor. Don has taught and lectured retirement and life planning courses at various universities and colleges. He has been in the financial services industry for over 20 years and has managed over a quarter of a billion dollars. He has two children, Naiya (10) and Elijah (8), and enjoys coaching volleyball and snowboarding during his free time. 

About the Author:

Rosie-7 (2)Rosie Baker graduated Magna Cum Laude from California Lutheran University in May 2021 with honors and departmental distinction. Her bachelor’s degree is in Communication emphasizing in PR and Advertising, minoring in Creative Writing. In July 2020, she published her first book, Mirrors & Windows: Unlocking a New Framework to Envision Your Successwith New Degree Press.