From Humble Beginnings


Welcome to a journey through the heart of Nixland, a tale of resilience, entrepreneurship, and unwavering commitment to community service. My name is Tom Nix, and I'm here to share with you my wild ride in the inner city check cashing industry, from the streets of San Pedro to creating Southern California's largest check cashing chain. Our story is one of overcoming obstacles, facing fierce competition, and standing strong in the tumult of the L.A. Riots, all while maintaining integrity and support for the underserved communities of South Central Los Angeles.

From Humble Beginnings

My journey wasn't easy. It began with a small family business, venturing into the unknown world of check cashing with nothing but a dream and a steadfast dedication to fairness. We had a vision: to serve those in need, to provide a reliable financial service to communities that were largely ignored by traditional banking institutions. This vision propelled us forward, guiding every decision, every investment, and every risk we took.

Overcoming Challenges

The path was fraught with challenges. Armed robberies, economic downturns, and societal unrest tested our resolve. Yet, these obstacles only strengthened our commitment to our mission. We learned to navigate these tumultuous waters with innovation, developing robust security measures and fostering a deep understanding of our clientele's needs. This resilience not only helped us survive but thrive, expanding our reach and solidifying our place within the community.

Building Community Trust

Trust was our currency. In an industry often marred by skepticism, we set ourselves apart by prioritizing the well-being of our customers. We became more than a check cashing service; we were a pillar of support, offering financial advice, and even a friendly ear. Our commitment to fairness and integrity resonated with the communities we served, cementing Nix Check Cashing as a trusted institution within South Central Los Angeles.

Nixland: My Wild Ride

My book, "Nixland: My Wild Ride in the Inner City Check Cashing Industry," is a collection of anecdotes and lessons learned from decades at the helm of this challenging yet rewarding enterprise. These stories are meant to entertain, inspire, and impart wisdom to anyone facing their own entrepreneurial battles. From nail-biting encounters to heartwarming community interactions, "Nixland" is a testament to the power of perseverance, the importance of community, and the spirit of entrepreneurship.

Shaping the Future

Looking ahead, the legacy of Nix Check Cashing and the lessons from Nixland continue to shape the future of financial services in underserved communities. By championing fairness and accessibility, we've sparked a conversation about the role of alternative financial services in society. As the industry evolves, we remain committed to advocating for those in need, inspiring a new generation of entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams with integrity and determination.

On the Speaking Circuit

My journey has taken me beyond the check cashing industry and into the realm of public speaking, where I share my insights and experiences with audiences across the country. Addressing business conferences, community forums, and educational seminars, my talks delve into the strategies and mindset techniques that propelled me to success. Each presentation is crafted to inspire, challenge, and motivate others to embrace their potential and strive for greatness.

Invitation to Engage

I invite you to join me on this journey. Whether through the pages of "Nixland," in the audience of my next speaking engagement, or as a fellow traveler on the path of entrepreneurship, there's a place for you in this story. Together, we can explore the complexities of small business ownership, navigate the challenges of the financial industry, and celebrate the triumphs of perseverance and community support. Welcome to Nixland, where every challenge is an opportunity, and every dream is within reach.


In conclusion, the story of Nixland is more than the sum of its parts. It's a narrative of transformation, both of an industry and of a community. It's a reflection of the power of human spirit, the value of hard work, and the importance of maintaining one's integrity in the face of adversity. My journey from the streets of San Pedro to the creation of Southern California's largest check cashing chain is a testament to what can be achieved with resilience, entrepreneurship, and a commitment to serving those in need. Thank you for exploring Nixland with me.

Nixland: My Wild Ride

What inspired you to start Nix Check Cashing and how did you maintain its integrity in the face of challenges?

My inspiration for starting Nix Check Cashing was rooted in a simple yet profound desire to serve underserved communities. Witnessing firsthand the struggles of those who were largely ignored by traditional banking institutions, I was motivated to create a reliable financial service that catered to their needs. Maintaining the company's integrity amidst an array of challenges, including armed robberies and the L.A. Riots, was no small feat. It required a deep commitment to our mission, innovative security measures, and a continuous effort to understand and meet the needs of our clients. By remaining steadfast in our values and always putting the well-being of our customers first, we not only survived but thrived, becoming a trusted institution within South Central Los Angeles.

How has Nix Check Cashing engaged with and supported the community throughout its existence?

Engagement and support of the community have been the cornerstone of our operations at Nix Check Cashing. We went beyond being just a financial service provider; we acted as a pillar of support. This involved offering financial advice, being a friendly ear, and even stepping in to help during tough times. Our commitment to the community was further demonstrated through our investment in understanding the unique needs of our customers, which allowed us to tailor our services accordingly. Trust was our currency, and we earned it by consistently prioritizing the well-being of our customers, thus cementing our place as a trusted institution within the communities we served.

Can you share some key lessons learned from your time in the check cashing industry?

Decades in the check cashing industry have taught me invaluable lessons, the most significant being the importance of resilience, the value of community, and the power of integrity. Resilience was crucial in navigating the numerous obstacles we faced, allowing us to adapt and thrive in tumultuous times. Recognizing the value of community led us to foster strong relationships with our customers, understanding their needs, and supporting them beyond just financial transactions. Lastly, maintaining integrity, especially in an industry often marred by skepticism, was instrumental in building trust and solidifying our reputation. These lessons not only propelled my business but also shaped my approach to life and entrepreneurship, emphasizing that success is about more than just profit--it's about making a positive impact.

How do you see the role of alternative financial services evolving in the future?

The future of alternative financial services is poised for significant evolution, driven by the increasing recognition of the need for inclusivity and accessibility in the financial sector. With advancements in technology and a growing awareness of the limitations of traditional banking for underserved communities, alternative services like check cashing can play a pivotal role in bridging the gap. However, it's not just about providing alternatives; it's about integrating these services with financial education, innovation in product offerings, and leveraging technology to enhance accessibility and efficiency. The conversation around alternative financial services is expanding, and I believe they will continue to adapt, becoming more integrated into the broader financial ecosystem, ultimately serving a wider range of needs for a diverse customer base. What are your thoughts on how technology can further aid in this evolution?

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs hoping to make a similar impact in their communities?

To aspiring entrepreneurs aiming to make an impact, my advice is to start with a clear vision rooted in serving the needs of your community. Understand that success is not just measured by financial gain but by the positive influence you have on the lives of those you serve. Embrace resilience; the path of entrepreneurship is full of challenges, but it is your determination and commitment to your vision that will see you through. Foster integrity in all your dealings; trust is your most valuable asset. Lastly, never underestimate the power of community support--engage with your community, listen to their needs, and be ready to adapt. Your journey may not be easy, but the impact you can have is immeasurable. Are you ready to take the first step?



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