Lauryn Williams competed at the elite level in two Olympic sports – track and bobsled - earning one gold and two silver medals over a 12 year athletic career. She holds the distinction of being the first American woman to earn medals in both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games.
After realizing at age 20 that she was financially illiterate - despite earning a 6 figure income - she hired a financial planner, but didn’t feel informed about her whole financial picture or how to make financial goals.
Finding fellow athletes also felt only enabled by their financial planners or left in the dark, Williams realized a gap in the market and founded Worth Winning after retiring from sport.
Today, she is a certified financial planner, author of The Oval Office: A Four-Time Olympian’s Guide to Professional Track and Field, a podcaster and motivational speaker.
In her spare time, Williams volunteers for US Track and Field, managing youth teams, and she’s on the USA Bobsled Foundation Board where she raises money for current athletes. Outside of sport, she volunteers for Our Friends Place (OFP), which teaches life skills to young homeless women.
Residing in Dallas, Texas, with her husband and Great Dane, Lauryn says she is on a mission to impact as many people as she can in her lifetime.
What did you learn through sports that helped you thrive in the business world? And how did it prepare you?
The biggest thing is perseverance. When competing you’re sore but you’ve got to go to practice the next day anyway. You’re building on a foundation of what is eventually going to become a great race, which then becomes a championship opportunity. But along the way there’s hard times and you just have to keep showing up, so persistence is a big deal.
What are you doing today that you would love our athlete network to know about (current projects/partnerships etc.)?
In October, I’m hosting a 12-week online money school-type program, for people to learn the financial foundational pieces of the puzzle in adult life, because so many of us don’t know the basics. (www.worth-winning.com)
But my main focus this year is my financial retreats. I’m taking 8 women for a vacation plus financial planning advice – first to Columbia and later on to Bali. Everyone wants to go on vacation so why not learn something on vacation?!
What advice would you give our Uru athlete community as they're looking for 'what's next?' and seeking to build meaningful careers off the field?
People always say is ‘your network is your net worth’. But many athletes don’t capitalize on the people who like to be around us. The people who always say ‘Nice to meet you, is there anything I can do?’ and give you their card.
Follow up with them now, while you’re competing so you can build a relationship. Because I guarantee you won’t feel comfortable reaching out to them in life after sport, when you need something and you’re lost. Invest time in building relationships now, even if you don’t know the point or don’t know what you’re going to get out of it. Focus on having the relationship because you’ll always get something out of it in the form of value or friendship.
Also, financially prepare for what comes next, because you won’t be earning the same as you when you’re an athlete. I founded Worth Winning because I felt young professionals deserve something better. We’re getting better and better earnings for our age group but if you don’t know what to do with it you can end up broke.
Why are you excited about Uru's mission and what made you get involved?
I just really love the Uru Team, especially Patty. They have been awesome in living out what they want Uru to be. Patty has helped me multiple times as an athlete in transition, by reaching out to me to see how I’m doing and introducing new opportunities to see if I’m interested. I can see Uru's vision for helping other athletes on a larger scale because Patty's already been true to living that out via me. It’s always nice to be tied to something where you can believe the people behind the scenes are really thinking about the athlete’s interest.