Robyn Crane is a Money & Business Growth Expert, TV and radio show host, and best-selling author. She started her career as a financial advisor because she wanted to help people achieve their dreams by helping them gain control of their finances.
We talked to her about taking risks, forging her own path, the importance of setting goals—and how understanding money is the first step for children to take towards building 21st century skills and recognizing their power of voice and choice.
Read what she has to say in the second edition of our 5 Questions interview series.
Before I was a financial advisor and money coach, I was a singer-songwriter. When I decided to stop doing that and started looking for a job, I had no idea what to do.
I didn’t care about making money and I had a misconception about financial advisors, thinking they were greedy and money hungry, but I realized that actually it was a noble profession. Surprising even to myself, I decided to become an advisor, so I could help people while learning how to be better with money and make smart financial choices. At that point I had a lot of anxiety about spending money and was very scarcity minded.
I didn’t have any background or skills in finance. I studied hard, took exams and learned what I needed to know in six weeks.
I was in the business for over a decade, and what I loved most was helping people shift their beliefs and behaviors about money. I loved seeing the transformation. If you can change the way someone thinks about money and change their habits, you can change their life forever. Now, I’m able to make that impact on a larger scale. Today, I help female advisors provide even more transformational value to their clients and grow their business so they can help more people in this area.
The first was when I decided that writing music wasn’t for me. I had booked a music tour, and I was driving up and down the East Coast. Getting gigs was hard, and after a few gigs I got sick and couldn’t sing. I had worked so hard to create something, and it was taken completely out my control. I asked myself, “What is this for? Why am I doing this?”
I realized that I was putting in all of this effort for something I didn’t really want. The ultimate goal I was chasing wasn’t in line with the ultimate goal I wanted. What I wanted was to help people and though performing was fun, I didn’t feel like I was changing lives. I wanted to make more of an impact and have some control over my own destiny.
Another important moment happened when I moved back to the Silicon Valley to start looking for a job. I posted by resume everywhere, and I got a call back about a job as a financial advisor. I had no interest in the job, but I went to the interview because I needed the practice, and I happened to be moving to San Francisco on the day of the interview and the office was on the way to the city. I drove my packed car to the interview, and left feeling intrigued, excited and quite shocked that I was seriously considering taking the job.
I found out it was a commission-only job and I had to pay $800 to take the exams, but I decided to go for it, because I thought at a minimum, I’d learn how to make better decisions with my money. And, I was very attracted to the idea of being able to help people. The part of my brain that was searching for fulfillment—which wasn’t met by my career in music—was firing in all sorts of directions out of excitement.
I’ve never been much of a follower, but I’ve always been interested in mentors. I was a good student and worked very hard to get good grades (mostly because I didn’t want others to think I was stupid). That was how I figured out that if I worked hard, I could always find a way to be successful. So, I did feel confident that I could do anything, as long as I had the right person helping me.
The first interview for the financial advisor position was actually a presentation. The woman who was speaking, named Maria, impressed me. I liked her, and I wanted to be around her. And, I was inspired to join the business because she was young and successful and partly because she’s female.
After I got into the business, I still struggled. But I worked hard and was persistent. I went to seminars. I found them transformational, but they didn’t help me make money. Eventually I found a business coach, who has become my mentor for the last 10 years. He’s been an inspiration and gave me systems to succeed, get results and help a ton of people.
Because money impacts you every single day—your stress, anxiety, health, relationships…everything.
Money doesn’t buy happiness but it does give you choices, and the more money you make, the more people you can help.
A child’s beliefs about money are developed between the ages of 3 and 5. These beliefs have been imprinted on you by your parents, and these are the beliefs that you will imprint on your kids, as well. As a young adult, now is the age when you get to shift your beliefs and determine what choices you make about your money.
As a young person, it’s important to be intentional and proactive about your choices. The choices you make right now affect how you feel today and will affect tomorrow. You can’t pretend they won’t. It’s exciting! You get to decide now what you get to do and the life you get to live.
Don’t forget that the amount of money you make does not determine how much you have. YOU do.
Number one, you need to have clarity about your money. You need to understand how a choice you make today affects tomorrow, in addition to how it affects how you feel today. This goes hand-in-hand with recognizing the consequences of the choices you make. Everything starts with a choice, and recognizing that you have choices empowers you to make good financial decisions.
Step outside your comfort zone. Every time you make a choice, ask yourself if you’re making it based on fear or empowerment. If you’re constantly listening to the fear and not willing to take a risk, you’ll have an unhappy life because you’ll be hiding from opportunities. Keep stepping outside your comfort zone. Stretch a little bit, every day, just enough so that you can thrive, not just survive.
Be willing to be wrong. If you’re unsure of a choice but you know that your heart is in it, that’s enough to know that it’s the right thing for now. Trust yourself, and you’ll be right more often than you’ll be wrong. And when you’re wrong, correct yourself. Every entrepreneur, business owner, and successful person is wrong sometimes. But, they course correct, learn and keep growing. Success is never a straight line. It goes up and down. But you have to endure the downs to get more of the ups.