Have you ever wondered what life looks like after the Olympics for some of the top athletes in the country? In this episode of Lift U Up: Inspiring Health Stories we are joined by Lauryn Williams, Olympic athlete turned financial planner, author, podcaster, motivational speaker, and volunteer. While her journey through sports was an incredible experience, Lauryn shares her story of the challenges she faced post-Olympics and the drive she needed to be prepared for life off the field.
Journey to the Olympics
Growing up, Lauryn Williams did a little bit of everything when it came to sports. Naturally athletic, with a competitive spirit, she found herself good enough to be successful in competitive sports. When she realized her track and field career could help her pay for college, Lauryn worked even harder – knowing that this was her shot to afford a good education. Lauryn joined the University of Miami Track & Field team and by junior year won her national championship, becoming the second fastest in the world that year. Lauryn was then offered a spot on the Olympic team, and after some discussion with her coach she decided to take the opportunity.
Her Olympic Career
Lauryn competed in her first Olympic Games in Athens, Greece in 2004. She says that she never felt pressure, but instead was excited for the life-changing experience. Her family supported her, came out to cheer her on, and Lauryn walked away with a silver medal. After four trips to the Olympics, Lauryn ended her Olympic career as the first American woman to earn a medal in both the summer and winter Olympics.
Upon returning home from the Olympics, Lauryn started to realize that getting back to “normal” was a difficult adjustment after working so hard in her sport. With support from her family, she realized she is more than an athlete – but not before struggling to come to terms with this new identity. After a loss in her family in 2008, she was forced to slow down and focus on herself as a person, and decided where she wanted to take her life.
The Next Leg
As a young adult earning good money as an athlete, Lauryn reflects on some negative experiences she had with financial advisors, as she was never able to find the right person to help her manage her money responsibly. She decided she was going to learn things herself. Lauryn earned a BA and an MBA in Finance and Business while competing, and after retiring she found passion in empowering others with financial literacy. She became a Certified Financial Planner and has not looked back. She realized that if she was having trouble getting the help she needed, she was confident that other young people and athletes were having the same difficulties.
In 2016, Lauyrn started her own financial planning company, Worth Winning, helping young professionals and athletes organize and optimize their finances. Today, she helps people “just start” and take the first steps towards financial security.
What else can you expect in this episode?
- Why Lauryn had hesitations about joining the Olympic team.
- The story of how Lauryn’s family was able to support her in Athens for the 2004 Olympic Games.
- The Difference between certified financial planners and titles like “wealth manager” and “financial advisor”
- The three requirements Lauryn says are necessary when hiring a financial professional.
- How Lauryn persisted to get her first internship in the financial industry.
- The shift happening with young professionals and people of color when it comes to taking control of their finances.
Where to find Lauryn Williams and Worth Winning: