About

BORN in NEW YORK and raised in LOS ANGELES, Cliff and his rescue-pup Lucy live in Del Mar, California. Over 30 years, Cliff has served thousands of clients as a broker, angel investor, strategic coach, real-estate expert, and social entrepreneur. Founded in 1992 as a consulting firm for executives, creative artists, and wealth advisors, Cliff Michaels & Associates provides nationwide resources to accelerate personal & professional growth.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER: Launched #1 on Amazon, The 4 Essentials: A Misfit’s Journey to Mindset, Strategies, Values & Purpose) is Cliff’s tour de force on personal life lessons and inspirations from over 100 mentors (Socrates to Spielberg and Artists to Entrepreneurs). Originally published as “The 4 Essentials of Entrepreneurial Thinking: What Successful People Didn’t Learn in School”, the title was changed to honor a student group who “felt like Misfits too.”

A GAME-CHANGER: In 1999, Cliff Co-Founded First-Use Digital Notary, the world’s first Internet platform for time-sealing digital files (10 years before blockchain). FirstUse didn’t survive the 2000 DotCom Crash, but was a groundbreaker for protecting intellectual property. The suspense-filled drama is featured in The 4 Essentials (Lessons From the Edge: Chapter 7, Diary of a Dotcom).

TEACHING it FORWARD: Cliff is the Creator of 1-Day MBA E-Courses (Masterclasses in Basic Abilities) a fun, fast-paced curriculum of essential life & business skills. In 2016, he featured 1-Day MBA lessons in the first “Imagineering Ideas Dinner Workshop” at TEDxLA Imagine Week. In 2018, Cliff joined USC’s Ed-Tech Cohort at the Rossier School of Education where entrepreneurs build solutions for remote-learning. As Past President of the Young Entrepreneurs’ Organization L.A., Cliff launched YEO’s first charity galas & student-mentor programs. 

GIVING BACK 1-for-1: With each sale, FREE Books & E-Courses go to students & schools in need. If you know a SPONSOR who can support an underserved community, Visit our SPONSOR PAGE!


WHAT PEERS & CLIENTS SAY…

“Cliff’s writing is full of inspiration & practical lessons. I highly recommend The 4 Essentials.” Blake Mycoskie • Founder/CEO, TOMS Shoes, NYT Bestseller “Start Something That Matters”

“When Cliff presented his real-world essentials to 300 students at USC’s #1 Entrepreneur Class, the response was amazing. We’re all big fans.” Blake Spencer, Class President ’12, USC Marshall School of Business

“Cliff Michaels delivers a powerful path to profits, passion, and purpose.” Tony Hsieh • CEO, Zappos, NYT Bestseller “Delivering Happiness”

“From negotiator to boardroom brain & amazing mentor for our kids, Cliff Michaels has been a trusted confidant over 25 years.” Jim Weldon • Founder/CEO, Trovo

“I’ve co-brokered deals with Cliff over 30 years. He’s an asset to buyers, sellers, and brokers on all sides of the table.” Barbara Lipkin • Top 1% Estate Agent, Sotheby’s Int’l Realty

“Cliff has been my real estate broker, mortgage expert, and coach over 25 years. His insight & negotiation skills are priceless.” Jayme Riggio • CEO, Riggio Allstate, Top 1% Nationwide

“Cliff is the consummate strategist & entrepreneur. His life lessons are riveting & I’m proud to call him a friend.” Mary Mazzio • Award-Winning Filmmaker, Attorney, Social Documentarian

“A visionary leader & pioneering entrepreneur, Cliff sets a winning bar for life & business training.” Peter Thomas • Chairman Emeritus, Young Entrepreneurs’ Org (YEO)

“The 4 Essentials is a fun read. Like Cliff, it’s full of passion with new ideas and timeless wisdom.” Dave Logan • USC Professor, NYT Bestseller “Tribal Leadership”

“Cliff Michaels provides entrepreneurial conditioning with an achiever’s mindset.” Darren Hardy • Success Magazine