From Olympic Medalist to Financial Advisor

June 05, 2018

By Kendra Parks

When Lauryn Williams started running track at 9-years-old, she never imagined that she was building the foundation for her future career as an Olympic athlete and, eventually, a financial advisor.
 
At that time, Lauryn was mostly concerned with improving her athletic abilities to hopefully one day obtain an academic scholarship to attend college.

That is exactly what she did.

In 2001, Lauryn was able to attend the University of Miami as an athletic scholar running track. Besides sports, she was also focused on studying finance at the Miami Business School.

During that time, Lauryn’s main concern was repaying her coach for the opportunity to have a college education. She wanted to be sure her coach was satisfied with her performance.
 
Then, one day, everything changed when Lauryn’s coach informed her that she ran the second-fastest time in the world. That was when the possibility of becoming an Olympic athlete first entered Lauryn’s mind.
 
During her junior year of college, after discussing everything with her coach and parents, Lauryn decided it was more lucrative to take time off from college to pursue a career as a professional athlete. She negotiated a contract to finish her education at UM, and then concentrated on becoming a future Olympic athlete.

Lauryn first competed in the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where she took home a gold medal in the 100-meter track race. This particular competition takes place among all the countries within the Americas.
 
Lauryn’s first Olympic competition was in Summer 2004 in Athens, Greece. She won the silver medal, running 100-meters in women’s track for the United States. At this time, she held the record as the fastest American in the world.
 
In 2012, Lauryn competed in the Summer 2012 Olympics in London, England, and won a gold medal for competing in the 4x100-meter relay.
 
For the next 10 years, Lauryn continued her career as a professional athlete, competing in track and field. Then, one day, another professional athlete suggested she change things up and join the American Olympic bobsled team.
 
In 2014, Lauryn participated in the two-woman bobsled competition in the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Lauryn and her teammate, Elana Meyers, won a silver medal for the United States.
 
Lauryn is the first American woman to earn a medal in both the Winter and Summer Olympics. She is a four-time Olympian and three-time Olympic medalist.
 
While she was competing in sports, Lauryn finished her degree from UM and then obtained her MBA from the University of Phoenix. Once she finished her education, she contemplated what she wanted to do next. That’s when her personal, athletic experience came into play.
 
“Professional athletes make a lot of money, but I wanted to make good decisions,” said Lauryn. “I wanted to get a professional to help me make good decisions.”
 
At that time, Lauryn was unaware that there are various types of financial advisors. After working with two advisors and being unhappy with both experiences, she decided to take matters into her own hands.

Like anything in the world, you make mistakes, dust yourself off, get back up, and keep on moving.

Lauryn Williams

After completing a year-and-a-half financial planning certification class, which focused on six areas, including budgeting debt, insurance, retirement, investing, taxes, and estate planning, Lauryn decided it was best to look out for others, especially after her own experiences.

That is when Lauryn came up with the idea to create Worth Winning, her own financial advising company. Since it is based online, she is able to serve clients all over the United States.

Lauryn is adamant about having quality clients, as opposed to a large quantity of clients, as well as helping young professionals and professional athletes, like herself. Lauryn’s perspective on financial advising is best summarized on her website: “Welcome to Financial Planning Recreated.”

The best way to become a Worth Winning client is to schedule an initial phone call with Lauryn through her website, www.worth-winning.com. The first 30-minute consultation call is free. Then, if Lauryn and the client feel like they are a good fit, she decides to work with them.

“The word ‘no’ is really the hardest, even as a financial planner,” said Lauryn. “Being able to say no to friends and family when you can’t afford something is important. It adds up, so you have to think about your goals, aspirations, and what you want to achieve in the long term.”

Though she wants her clients to make the right financial decisions, she knows it is her job to tell someone what not to do if it does not benefit their financial future.

To create your own financial success, Lauryn believes everyone should start with a budget. She suggests using a phone application to help monitor your spending, such as the app “You Need A Budget.”

She also suggests automating your savings by paying yourself 10% of your paycheck every time you are paid.

If you are not able to become a client, Lauryn also offers free financial advice through her podcast, available on iTunes, Google Play, or her website.

Launched in January 2018, Lauryn debuts a new podcast every Tuesday. Most of her podcasts feature young professionals or professional athletes, mostly in their 20s to 30s. In every podcast, Lauryn interviews whomever is willing to come on her show and be transparent with their finances.

The biggest financial problem in the United States that most young professionals face is paying off their student loans. Most referrals Lauryn receives comes from other financial planners, who do not necessarily have the expertise to provide advice in this area.

Most individuals do not know that you can go on an income-based payment plan for student loans. It is possible to have a lower payment, and then increase the payment as the individual’s salary grows.  

“There’s lots of strategy with getting a plan to pay student loans back,” said Lauryn. “People don’t know it, and that’s where mistakes are made.”

Lauryn has always been a dedicated professional, whether as an athlete or now as a financial advisor. Looking ahead, Lauryn wants to keep her business running as a one-woman show, but one day, she would like to hire freelancers and possibly an executive assistant.

For now, she wants to focus on building a profitable practice and just doing what she loves.

“I am trying to do a really good job for a small pool of people that I can serve,” said Lauryn.

If you would like to be a guest on Lauryn’s podcast, please send your request via email to:  podcast@worth-listening.com

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