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April Is National Financial Literacy Month

41 min read

Do What You Say You Will and Be Who You Say You Are

By NAIFA on 2/16/24 11:17 AM

Topics: Podcast
Glenn Crawford

Glenn Crawford is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA®) and a licensed insurance agent holding a Series 65 Investment Advisor Representative distinction. His mission is to support better financial outcomes for clients by educating, enabling, and empowering them to make sound decisions about their financial well-being. Glenn has also dedicated a significant part of his practice to advising clients on the financial aspects of divorce. Before entering the wealth management industry, he enjoyed a career in information technology and was a partner in a $65 million consultancy firm.


Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • Glenn Crawford talks about how he entered the insurance and financial services industry 
  • Transitioning from IT to financial services 
  • How Glenn obtained the courage to change careers and industries through visualization and affirmations
  • The correlation between sports and financial services 
  • Leadership lessons learned from being raised by a colonel 
  • What inspired Glenn to join NAIFA?
  • Glenn shares his financial coaching strategies 
  • Insights on race, identity, and inclusivity

In this episode…

Imagine waking up every day excited to work because you're doing what you love. It's not just a dream; it can be your reality! By taking the courageous step to change your career, you can become the person you've always wanted to be and achieve your full potential. 

Shifting careers can be daunting, especially if you’ve dedicated most of your life to a single field. Yet hoping for change without taking action leads to complacency. Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA®) Glenn Crawford's journey is an inspiring example of how visualization and affirmations can help you achieve your goals. By focusing on what he wanted and believing in himself, he transitioned from IT to financial services at 57 years old. As Glenn’s experience demonstrates, it's never too late to transition to a new industry you love. By taking the leap to fulfill your desires, you can live and work authentically. 

In this episode of Advisor Today, Chris Gandy and Suzanne Carawan sit down with Glenn Crawford, a Series 65 Investment Advisor Representative distinction holder, to discuss his journey transitioning careers. Glenn talks about how he got into the insurance and financial services industry, transitioning from IT to financial services, the correlation between sports and financial services, and his involvement with NAIFA.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode...

This episode is brought to you by the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, or NAIFA, the #1 association for producers in financial services.

At NAIFA, we enhance professional skills, promote ethical conduct, and advocate for legislative and regulatory environments.

By joining NAIFA, you gain access to a partnership that elevates your performance while providing greater purpose to your professional work. NAIFA members are happier, make more money, and stay in the business longer.

Get in touch with NAIFA and learn more about how to join NAIFA by visiting NAIFA.org.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:02 

Welcome to NAIFA's Advisor Today podcast series, where we focus on how financial advisors work, live and give to their local communities and our greater financial services industry. Now, let's get started with the show.

Chris Gandy 0:20 

Everyone out there and NAIFA nation this is your co-host Chris Gandy and I'm here with my wonderful superstar co-host of Advisor Today's podcast, Suzanne Carawan Hi, Suzanne.

Suzanne Carawan 0:31 

Hi everybody.

Chris Gandy 0:33 

It's so good to see you. We're so close to Valentine's Day. So, if we don't tell you, we love you, we love you NAIFA's nation, we love Suzanne and all she does. So with that being said, we look forward to today's guest. But before we get going Suzanne, who is our sponsor for today's podcast.

Suzanne Carawan 0:51 

So today we're sponsored by Stonewood Financial, they're a new partner to NAIFA. They do a lot of, they do a couple of things. They do a lot of training for advisors. And they do that around the idea, a lot of times of legislative risk. So how do you take legislative risks, especially the tax challenges that should come and increase your book of business with new top line growth they've got great software to help you do that, training, seminars, etc. And we've partnered together with them. And I'm excited to announce they're actually going to deliver a pre-con workshop this year, I congressional conference to all those in attendance completely sponsored by NAIFA and given by Stonewood Financial. So we're really happy to partner with them. They're out of Louisville, Kentucky, but they've got some great synergies with NAIFA. And we're so happy to have them aboard.

Chris Gandy 1:43 

Thanks, Suzanne. That's amazing. So new partnerships, those out there and NAIFA nation, want to connect, collaborate, we at NAIFA, we do that and we look to promote each other along the way with no further ado, Suzanne, would you please introduce our guest for today?

Suzanne Carawan 2:01 

I'd be delighted to so today we're delighted and so honored, have Glenn Crawford on with us and said, Glenn, you and I have known each other a couple of years now I think. And he's one of my favorite one because we can talk football together. We always like to do and then Glenn is just an onion and his life is an onion, so many layers to Glenn Crawford. And every time you talked about there's something new about him. He especially coming up into date, Chris, before you hopped on, I learned that today is Glenn's birthday. So we have birthday boy here with us as well. And I'm sure Glenn is going to talk about that. And on top of that another topic to delve into is that Glenn is, let him talk about it. But I would note that we are really officially kicking off Black History Month. So I'm really delighted to have everybody on the call today to talk about this. And Glenn has something I think that uniquely ties in with black history month, a couple of things actually, we were going through the hey, do you know who else was born on your birthday and I was telling him I don't really have the best, most illustrious people. And then Glenn came right at me with like, he's got Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin and Bill Russell. So he's got a power birthday, which makes sense and Mr. Blank Crawford would be born on that day too. So we're happy to have you Glenn.

Chris Gandy 3:19 

With no further ado, welcome Glenn to Advisor Today's podcast, you got our millions of NAIFA listeners that will repeat this numerous times. And I'll tell you that the gauntlet has been laid because there are people that have their podcasts played 1000s and 1000s of times, so you want to get your ears on repeat. So with that being said, welcome.

Glenn Crawford 3:40 

Beautiful. Well, thanks. Thanks for having me. I'm ready for the moment. I appreciate the opportunity to talk to you guys.

Chris Gandy 3:47 

So if you don't mind me asking Glenn you met Suzanne and Suzanne is all things NAIFA. I mean, you talk about NAIFA and Suzanne's there, Suzanne's marketing, she's doing this, she's doing this. So share with us how you met Suzanne and share with us a little bit about your role in the industry and kind of how you got going in this wonderful industry of insurance and financial services.

Glenn Crawford 4:14 

Okay, so yes, I met Suzanne, we had an immediate connection. Her boys are big sports guys, and she's a big sports lady and sports has played a very pivotal, important part in my life and my formation. And so we had that right off from the beginning. I got into the industry I was already in NAIFA before so we do all have many layers. We all have a book inside of us. We all have movies inside of us and one of my skill sets is coaching. So I coached my first sports team in high school little track team and then I coached my adult life, 10 years year round, you know, running basketball, baseball, football, soccer, and as many things I would come up with Coach is like a sacred thing to me because you change people inspire people and nothing more pure than someone who follows some of your advice or teachings on just pure blind faith. And so that is a tremendous banner or mantle to carry, one of my sayings is, I would tell the kids be a participant in life, not a spectator in life. And I espouse to that, everything I say sometimes sounds a little corny, but I believe in it, and I walked that walk. So I got into NAIFA, I got into the financial wellness insurance business, at the tender young age of 57. I learned very early in my life, I played football in college, and one of the, I believe, arguably the toughest college football coach who have ever lived Mr. Frank Coach, I'm a son of an army colonel, I learned that you could do anything that you want to do if you set your mind to it, if you visualize it, affirm it, and you're willing to work for it hard enough. So I had a big IT practice that made the classic mistake a lot of business owners do, that we now work with, and that I had a whole lot of my energy, my investment in that business. And we made the mistake of not selling it when we should have sold it. And then we had an incident with a completely frivolous baseless class action lawsuit exempt versus nonexempt employee spent a million dollars defending ourselves, we won but the time, the energy, the effort, right before the Great Recession crippled our firm, and I decided, I don't want any more employees, I decided that I could depend on myself. And I was praying, affirming, visualizing for change in my life. And a young man introduced me to the business. And he said this world that we live in helping people financially, it's like your medical health, your physical health, your financial health, your spiritual health, this is equally as important as any of those things. And that no one had a perfect hand. Anyone, could be someone you could help. And you can make a positive impact on people's lives. And that appealed to me. So again, at the tender young age 57, I reengineered myself out of IT, I was in IT most of my adult life in some fashion, into the world of financial wellness. And it started with insurance, which is certainly one of the pillars the financial cornerstones.

Chris Gandy 8:01 

So with that being said, let's, let's go back even a little bit further. I'm sure with the illustrious career you had in IT, I'm sure you had lots of options. But there was time where you had this pivot. And we've talked about pivoting and the importance of having the ability to do that. So one is, when you were in that moment, thinking about reinventing yourself, can you walk us through can you share with us some of the thoughts you had as you were trying to identify your next move?

Glenn Crawford 8:47 

Hmm, that's the question. And now that's about 12 years ago, I just knew that I needed change in my life, I knew that wasn't gonna be my life. So, we were doing the IT firm that I had, and you're talking to a guy who was selling the first microcomputers back in the day with two floppy drives the seven inch screen. But fast forward to this business that we had. We were doing 65 mil we were rolling, and we had opportunity to sell I wanted to sell one of my partners didn't fortunately I love my partners, then I love them now. But in oh seven we're doing 65 mil, and 2012. We're doing 15 mil. So now my partner say let's sell it I said great. They said well to make it look good. We won't take a paycheck. We paid everybody but ourselves for a year. And I just realized, three kids in private school and I'm like, I'm a I'm a black Viking I'm a burn the ship guy. Okay, but you do have to be decisive. I say it takes courage to change your life, no matter what endeavor whether it's a personal relationship of business a new endeavor takes courage to change your life when your life isn't right. And I just simply knew that, or believed had the belief that, it just was not something that I could turn around. So I just had to look in my heart and say, and just start, we really just being quiet, just visualizing for prosperity and abundance and meaning in my life, and those were the core kind of thoughts. I have a wise man who gets sayings from everyone. But I had a real incredible experience in my life. And a guy when I was in high school in El Paso, Texas, he used to actually take my ankles, and he only did so for one year. And I was kind of the top of the cart there. And we hadn't talked for years. And then he reached out to me, and he's written a New York Times Wall Street Journal, best seller book, and is a consultant to the biggest companies in the world. The book was called The Breakthrough Company. And it looked at similarities between different, very successful companies. What was similar about them? How are they built? How did they run? He has a saying, he told me a story of a man who was one of the key personalities, at the time used to entertain folks that have these big dinner parties. And they were talking about the meaning of life and why we're here and all this stuff. And he would pontificate this gentleman would pontificate on his thoughts. And someone asked him, hey, what is the meaning of life? What is the meaning of happiness? And he said, and everyone gasped and said, Oh, now we're gonna go, he's gonna go on a long hour long diatribe about the meaning of happiness. And he said it very succinctly, he said, someone to love, something to believe in, and meaningful work. And so, that would be kind of the thought that I embraced, I didn't know what it was, I had no idea what it was, I didn't know if we would still be in the IT business, I didn't know if we'd be starting a different business, or a different industry. But when I was introduced to this business, that is certainly something that is meaningful. Because the gratitude, the feeling that you get, knowing that you help someone navigate this very important part of their life where most people spend more time planning a vacation than they do plotting what they're going to do when work becomes something optional in their life. I don't use the word retire, I said, the goal should be to make work optional in your life. So I just came and I started delving into it while I was still working, essentially for free for the corporation and found that I had an aptitude for it. And I had affinity for it, and that there was great opportunity in it. I did study business when I was in college. So I had been exposed to the tenets and the principles of insurance, then, in fact, I bought my first policy crew person, Suzanne, on myself when I was 24. Long before I ever got married, one of the best things I did. By personal experience, I can tell people about the tenets of it.

Suzanne Carawan 13:40 

So you started all I don't think I knew this about you, Glenn. So you actually took the courage to start all over? You had a full career and you started completely over. Can you talk about that, yet courage is not talked about enough. And I'm glad you brought up the topic of courage. People always give you credit when you've actually changed and it succeeded, but not the actual process of trying to make the change. Most people tried to tell you're crazy during that time, you actually get a lot of negativity, but you somehow are able to keep that positivity and push through it and start completely over. And that's a great, I mean, what a great message. And so can you talk a little bit about that about the fortitude for doing that piece of it?

Glenn Crawford 14:22 

Where the fortitude comes from is easy. Of course, I had great parents. So my dad was a colonel in the army and all the men that came to our house, they weren't only men of this category, but most of the men were black, college educated, confident, intelligent men who struck a striking regal figure in their uniforms. Like that. Yeah. People would salute my dad. I've encountered hostility, every place that I've lived, but people would salute my dad and my dad and my beautiful, beautiful mom who was beautiful like Nina horn, but she'll cut you if you mess with one of her kids, she would cut you. I never had any thought that I wasn't as good as anybody. When I walked in a room. I knew I was as good as any man in that room. And listen, my dad said you can't be black, you are black. We're talking about Black History Month. First off, I believe there's only one race, that's the human race. I believe all this other stuff is stuff of this world. We live in this world, but we are not of this world. But my mom kept me in check and also said you're not better than anybody in that room either. You're not better than anybody you think you're fine. And just because you can run fast and you can catch a ball. You're not better than anybody. So they gave me that humbleness and that confidence from the very early age. In college, I played for guys I said Frank Corrosion and really super successful like a 750 winning percentage 12 and oh beat Nebraska. And if you ask the ball 1975 I got to let people know that we did used to be something, play with a lot of guys. My cane is in the NFL all-time 100 top 100 Hall of Fame. Lot of all pros, a lot of guys who played in the pros, but here I am there. I was widely recruited. So what am I questions? I'm very curious about people. I'll give you a great question. I'll give everybody in the audience a great question. Describe your life in three movies. One of my movies is Remember The Titans that was my high school. One of my movies is Blindside because I was recruited by every damn near every college coach in the country was coming to my house. My dad was in Korea at the time, but they're all coming to my house. And the third one is Brian Song because my visual roommate at Arizona State was my arch enemy and my high school with El Paso, Texas. And then we find out we're both going to Arizona State and we're like, well, we're roommates. So we're the only black white roommate on campus. Not on campus on a football team. So my coach and I was the kind of kid that if I dropped the ball, the coaches is like given the ball again. But Coach Kirsch expected perfection. From the moment you stepped on that field in practice, if a ball touch you, you better catch that ball. If it touches you anywhere you better catch it, you better not jump off sides. You need to cut your powder to 15 if it's 15, not 14 and a half and he motivated I wouldn't necessarily wish it on anyone but we were the strongest tempered steel we went through the highest seat he motivated by negative reinforcement and physicality. So here's a guy if I dropped the ball, he jumped off side literally would walk me across the head and he broke a lot of guys at camp we practice three times a day when we went up to champ there was guys in the first week that were high school all Americans walking down the hill, I'm out of here. But so here's a guy slapped me upside the head, play with the boss. He's a freshman. get my butt kicked all the time. didn't suit up for the first four home games traveled for the first four games didn't suit up for the first part four home game. He kicked me out I do somebody kicked me down the freshman team. I'm telling people on the team I'm not suiting up. Well, second year olds redshirted and now try and shorten this third year I decided I'm starting I don't care what happened. I'm starting. And they sent us to someone that in fact, my coach, he almost brought me to I was so uncertain, uncertain Chris and Suzanne, that I was a wide receiver and I didn't want him to throw me the ball. Because I thought I might drop that ball. He's gonna beat the hell out of me and my coach, he looked and sounded like the devil incarnate. And they sent us to a sports psychologist who taught us the power of visualization and affirmation. And I starred in it said there's no difference between you actually doing an action or visualizing Number Four vivid living color in your mind, your body didn't know the difference. So when it came time to do it, you would do it. Visualizing all my patterns, I could feel the air, the heat, I could smell the grass, I could see the vivid colors, I can see the dastardly DB in front of me. I started running those images of my different patterns on the way to class waiting in line at lunch on the way to the stadium and I started affirming those things. I had a little three by five index card, I drew a picture of the ball on the card down to the nipples, wide receiver Sunbow on number 81 Catch, fast, courageous score. 4.4 was my time in the for young grass. 3.2 was my grade point average. And my life changed. It didn't take 10 days. I became the captain of my ship, the master of my soul, I knew I controlled my destiny. I believe that your faith in your God, your love, your ability to do something is nothing unless you had a true question of faith until someone made you ask or something made you think can I do this. And he made me look in my heart deep in my heart and I looked deep in my heart and excuse my language. I said, I'm a wide receiver. You ain't taking this from me. And I've applied that many times in my life. I applied it when I reengineered myself out of it into the world of financial wellness, so and that bond that we have all the guys who went through that is unbreakable. So anyway, that that's what fortified me and gave me the courage to make a change at the tender young age of 57.

Chris Gandy 21:54 

So Glenn, I played sports too. And no sports, sort of interesting sports is sometimes a catalyst, and also sometimes a obstacle for others. So question for you. It's always a dream with a deadline, because there are no 16 year old wide receivers out there, there may be that in the back net planet. So my question for you is, let's fast forward the tape to 2022. Right. And you observe the young, aspiring sports, young guys now. And now you have NIL now you have the changing world of sports, you have the world in between there where everyone got a trophy and you couldn't say no one could say anything, they could they could hurt anyone's feelings and compare to where'd. So where's the happy medium? Let me ask the perspective of someone who went through the fire, who understands what it takes to exceed in a let's call it a hostile environment in a challenging, personally and professional way to now where it's different. Right. So what would you say? Because there's some things that happen to you, if you were coaching today, you wouldn't do there's some things that you would do. So where is that happy medium that exists? And I mentioned this because I think advisors now they get into the business with the idea that, we like all the things it'll be when we win. But when it comes down to it, I believe there still are the basic fundamentals that exist that you have to figure out along the way. So let me just throw that back to you, what are some of the things that you see that are similar in today's kind of even sports world or financial service, whatever it may be competitive world, and in some of the things that are completely different, right. And in your perspective on those good batter in there.

Glenn Crawford 24:29 

Well, so you played at the highest level. I remember seeing you okay, I remember seeing you. Well, before I knew you, you played in the show. Yeah, there's no 60 year old wide receivers, but I can tell you in my heart of hearts, I'm still the best wide receiver you've never seen. And nobody can dispute that. Okay. And I say if you think I'm wrong, just look at my look at my seed. My daughter looks like Mohammed, I mean she looks like Leila. Alicia is beautiful but she boxes and she became a mad athlete. My oldest son played basketball in college. My youngest son played football in college, he started at Michigan wearing the number one finish that cow and was in the Chiefs camp this year got hurt and wade through the injury. So I say just look at my seed. But that's a great question. There's a documentary that you may have seen. Both of you Chris Adler, Suzanne, it's called Basketball, A Love Story. It was done by ESPN. It's like a 10 episode documentary on the history of basketball from the beginning. It's fascinating. And as you know, sports and music, reflect society a lot and help change society. And one of the things I got out of that many, many things, but it's changed now, when you talk about denial, and that whole thing the trolls role changed everything when he grabbed his coach around his head. Okay, because pushing back at a coach was like something you'd never did. By the way, I thought about leaving Arizona state when my buddies were leaving, but I never quit anything. And I never knew that it would necessarily be different anyplace else. So I didn't know if I might go somewhere. It might be the same thing. This is what it is. By the way, I called the colonel one day and I said, dad, I said, this guy is beating the crap out of me. Colonel never laid a hand on me during the story with my mom. But the colonel never laid a hand on me. And he said, does he beat the other boys? And I said, yeah. And you know what the colonel said, well, that's all he said. I said, okay, Dad, I got it. I got you. So what I learned Basketball, A Love Story. And you know, all coaches are crazy. They're all crazy. It's just a matter what degree of craziness and how often they get crazy. With coaching is like playing when you're coaching the team, you're in the game. But I learned this. Players do want to be coached up they do want to be pushed. People in financial services should want to be coached up, they should be able to take criticism and not take it emotionally, and take it constructively and learn from it. If it's true, take it constructively. If it's not true, let it roll off your back. But I learned that a coach can coach as hard as he or she wants as long as the player knows you're doing it from a place of love. And there are coaches like I'm a Miami Dolphin mans and 72 the perfect season my senior year in high school when they went undefeated and yours truly through a halfback, we've heard the past and the last play of the game, from 20,000 to my quarterback to win the game come from behind. Mike McDaniel, you look at Mike McDaniel, or Campbell or Detroit or some of these other coaches, it started it was Cheryl, you can be hard, but you can be encouraging and loving at the same time. You can still expect people to perform. My dad said, you can't be perfect. Don't strive to be perfect. Strive to excel consistently at what you do. And I don't think Mike McDaniel or Dan Campbell or some of these that are Pete Carroll are less demanding they demand a lot but they come with all this beautiful love and positive energy. I think that's the medium and above last thing I'll say real quick you mentioned the NIL I think the NIL is well intending and poorly implemented. Okay, because I never wanted for anything and when I went to college, I went to class which was not necessarily something that helped me with my coach or you know, a lot of my teammates wouldn't but I knew I was more than a football player. But I do know that there would be guys they would might steal a phone card or do this or that and get in trouble because they didn't have enough money, take their girl out for a movie or buy a meal on a Friday or Saturday night. And Marvin Miller the great lawyer who argued what we now know is free agent tree says either the either the owners get it or players get it somebody gets it. So the NCA got all the money the players got none of the money. I believe they should get some but the way it's implemented, were guys driving Rolls Royces up to campus. To me, it's divisive, because if I'm the guy that comes from a place So I don't have enough money at the end of the month to do anything you guys are driving up in his Bentley, there's something wrong with that to me. So anyway, my answer to the happy medium is that there is one and it can be coming from, I believe in positive reinforcement more than I do, and certainly over negative reinforcement.

Suzanne Carawan 30:23 

I do think that there's such a fear now, for people to have those five standards and hold people accountable to them. Like I agree completely, because there's such the fear of like, the cancel culture and the whole thing and it's become, that's why I think so many people love NAIFA that we're all based on meritocracy, like they want it to be based on meritocracy and earn it not just given. Right. And that kind of piece of it is important. But it's a fine line nowadays. It's tough.

Chris Gandy 30:55 

I noticed, Glenn, respectful. I noticed that you still call your dad Colonel. Right, when you refer to him as Colonel, can you share with us the kind of the mental piece of that? Is it the idea that you still won't let me just is the idea you see him as a leader as the ideas that because you saw others respect him that way? That that's how you envision, share with us a little bit about that piece if you wouldn't mind?

Glenn Crawford 31:30 

Oh, well, all those things, I just have such high regard for him. And it was a different time. My dad never told me, he loved me. He never told me, he loved me, but I knew he loved me intensely. And he knew I loved him. And I was on his deathbed. And I said the words I love you. And even though he couldn't respond verbally, I can see in his eyes. I do have great regard, certainly for him, and my mom, I don't want to discount that at all. I mean, your mother generally is the one that shapes you and gives you your character, and that was definitely my mom, you know, no question about it. But I just, I guess it is just a matter of respect, because I did, people will see people salute him all the time. And he never raised his voice to me even once, every night and give him costume. He was a man who was very analytical. He was reasonable. I could change his mind. If he had a position. But I had an argument that was better he would have his mind change. And so he taught me to whoever's in the room where the best idea, you should go with that, you know, period. So, it's interesting that you notice that, and I don't, I guess, you know, maybe to the, just kind of subliminal way to let people know, where I come from. I told you what that gave me about being able to hold my head high period and in any instance. So, give me an example. When I was in high school, my dad at a Cherry 67 red convertible Mustang, and at on Friday night after the game, and I had privilege of the car if my curfew was 12:30. And I got in at 12:29, I could probably have the car on Saturday night. But if I got it at 12:31, I probably wouldn't get the car on Saturday night. So it's just a matter of, here's one of my other adages, I tell the kids all the time, do what you say you'll do, and be what you say you are. And I imagine you both are that type of person in college, I'm the guy you call when you had a yummy, we had these things called payphones and you had a dime, you put it in there, you'd call someone. I'd be the guy my teammates would call if they had one die. And I'm not bragging, I just think that you hold yourself to a high standard you hold the people that you surround yourself with to a high standard, that doesn't mean that you're looking to be critical. And oh, I got you on that one. It means we hold each other to a high standard, and I set each other to a high standard. If I'm not up to standard, you need to be able to tell me that I'm not up to standard and I need to be able to deal with it. So I guess it's an interesting observation and that's my answer.

Chris Gandy 35:05 

So let's even go a little bit further. Obviously, you've had some success, but you joined NAIFA, you mentioned at the age of 50, you joined the association, you joined the calling the journey, financial services, and financial well, being at the age of 57. However, you didn't just say, hey, I'm joining the industry looks like you joined NAIFA. And since then, you've been part of kind of, let's call it not just sitting on the sidelines, but you've had your hand up, to kind of lead along the way. So share with us a little bit about your relationship, how you got into NAIFA. And then a little bit about, I'd love to if people haven't looked it up yet, the NAIFA's Spotlight, there's a spotlight on you and that you serve some important roles in the NAIFA leadership opportunity. One is the president elect of Los Angeles NAIFA. So share with us a little bit about that journey and why you said, hey, you know what, I can't just sit on the sidelines, I need to be not only part of this, but I need to be part of leadership, because we always ask about, listen, you can't lead from the back, you got to step up and lead others. So. So what inspired you to do those things? And then why not just coming to financial service, make money and do your thing. And again, your goal was not to have employees. So now, it's just you.

Glenn Crawford 36:44 

Well, that doesn't mean that people that surround you that helped me, do what I need to do team. I definitely believe in a team is more powerful than an individual. Okay, absolutely. So you need a great team and support, and supporting services around you. I'm actually the past president of NAIFA LA. So I serve my role there I am on the board. Now, I you know, you have to temper this a little bit too, because every place I go people tapped me on the shoulder, and say, hey, well, you know, I was on the board of the kids Elementary School of the booster club, high school, I served on the board of the business college at Arizona State I served on the General Alumni. Well, alumni at large and at Arizona State. So again, kind of temper that between, being productive, but it's always about giving back is nothing here can you take with you? Can't take anything here that you can touch, see or feel. I believe that your spirit is eternal, and it's about how many people did you touch along the way and how many people out there that says, well, why is Siri talking to me? I don't know why, how many people you touch along the way, and that I alluded to it earlier that things of this world opinions of others opinions from others, tribal thinking, whether it's your religion, your country, your race, or whatever material possessions I'm striving to live at a higher level of self-actualization. Where I'm at peace with where I'm at today peace with the past. Peace with whatever is coming peace with my present station. That's the highest level of self-actualization. And I'm not afraid I have had some people very dear to me leave this earth but they're still with me. So yeah, I got it the NAIFA tapped in the shoulder. Did my thing it's a great group of people and again, it's just it's not about yes, we all want to live handsomely. But that's not what it's about. It's about doing good for others and doing good for others then you do good for yourself as well.

Chris Gandy 39:25 

So, you still sit on the board and you are an advisor to NAIFA on the front. So what aspects of your coach do you still utilize in those situations?

Glenn Crawford 39:44 

Well, sports has helped shape me, probably I demand from the first time you saw a basketball you had a basketball in your hand you had an affinity to it. And the first time I saw football above for mom took me to the park I said all about implants. So that's what I want to do and so, it is ingrained in me and I told you how my life was changed in college when we saw the sports psychologist so I am I believe very good at sharing analogies when it comes to talking to people about their financial wellness. So I have two specialties I have one specialty where I work with people teaching them how to play the whole game. Most people pay half the game half the game is accumulation the other half is distribution without a bounded plan for distribution you're only playing half the game a lot of people do a great job and the first half and are not mindful of the second half in fact I espouse you should prepare for postgame, post-game is after the game when you're not of this earth and your children and your grandchildren your great grandchildren say papa was a rolling stone. Papa we're still benefiting from Papa so I teach people how to play the whole game I use a lot of analogies when it comes to instruments I use analogies like offense and defense stocks bonds and mutual funds real estate business cryptocurrency all those things those are offense they can generate one way to get income, which is the ultimate goal for all of us and things that we acquire. But it has to be off the withdrawal rate, the withdrawal rate is not guaranteed. And then there's defense now I was a wide receiver I want to throw the ball every play. I want to throw it downfield. But even I know that there's been no great team no great military, no great leader no great company president that didn't understand the tenets of offense and defense insurance and annuities are contractual, they're guaranteed I know what they're gonna do. You can't win a world championship Super Bowl without like a Ray Lewis in the middle. So that is one example. And then the my other specialty I turned lemons into lemonade. So I'm now in my my second marriage, I was married for 24 years. I had to muster up my courage for that too, because just like the business that I told you about that I had to go tell my partners that I loved that I had to go a different route. Or else I was basically I had to cut off my arm in order to live, I felt the same way about the circumstance that I was in, in my marriage, and what the toughest things I ever had to do and I'm hurt, and it's painful. But I felt unless I do this, I'm not living my life like this anymore. I felt like I exhausted everything that I could exhaust and make it work and that whatever you do, if you feel like you've done everything you can to make it work and you realize that it does it or you don't think it will, you got two choices, you can stay in bondage, your pain, or you can have some courage and have a little I'm not saying we'll be without some pain it will be for you to have some courage to change your life. So my second specialty is that as of a CDFA. I'm a certified divorce financial analyst. That means I help people understand how to equitably negotiate the dissolution of the marital enterprise. And moreover, I help them understand it view and that I take into account taxes, risks, liquidity and income. So I answered the question what it means to you. Lawyers can advise legally what you're entitled to, but they can't value access properly they don't take those things into consideration. So what I do is I also give you a glimpse, this is what your life looks like the day you sign your settlement five years, 10 years, 15 years down the road, I turn lemons into lemonade with that. And just in the same I have many analogies that I can use to explain concepts and strategies and whatnot using either a sports analogy or a life experience analogy having been around the sun being doing today 69 times.

Chris Gandy 44:23 

Very interesting. So we are in the middle of Black History Month. And sounds like you've been around some successful and aspiring minority and diverse and black professionals, leaders, coaches, or others, sisters, whatever it may be for yourself. Share with us a little bit about your perspective and your connection with black history. Specifically and this month, I mean, we get a unique opportunity to celebrate this month. But it goes beyond this month. So would you take a minute or so and kind of give us kind of a reflection on your perspective Black History Month.

Glenn Crawford 45:15 

That's interesting. That's a great question. I mentioned earlier. Look, I told you my dad said, son, you can't be black, you are black. You can't be black, you are black. And because, again, the colonel, and people saluted him and I went to school and I was good in school, and I had good diction and whatnot. In college, some of my brothers were like, what are you with the whiteboard for? And so a lot of the guys would tell him what do you want that for? And why are you going to class so you're not talking you know, black? What is spoken talking black? What is black? Black comes in all shades. It's a kind of interesting, you could see like, anything other than black is white. So I don't ignore the plight, the experience of black men and women in America, in the world. But I also have not limited as I mentioned, I walk in the room, I don't walk in room thinking, hey, I'm a black. I'm the only black men in this room, which happens a lot. I'm walking in real my I'm a man in this room, like anyone else. Why do I have to beat the find or act different by my blackness? So to me it goes both ways. You can't expect people to be tolerant, if you are intolerant. You can't, to me expect for others to accept you if you're an accepting. And I'm not looking for an apology for what has happened or really reparation. All I'm looking for people to do is to acknowledge of the systematic, categorical, institutional things that have been put upon us. I'm a proud black man. But I'm a man first. And I am intolerant of intolerance. From anybody, from anybody. But it's interesting question, Martin, we just celebrated Martin Luther King's birthday. And I had a business when Martin Luther King birthday became a national holiday, I had a little computer business. I had nine people working for me about 30. And it's a national holiday. I believe it should be recognized app. Absolutely. But when it first started happening, I said, you know what, what would probably make my dad was alive. What would what would probably make the people before me most proud was to see a young black man who had a business employing nine other people in his business. I'm working today. And I do work this year was the first year that I can remember that said, you know what, okay, I'm taking the day off today. So I just wish and there's a clip, I saw a clip on Marley which I went to Jimmy, I can't believe this man changed the world as much as he did coming from where he came from. He said, I but one wishes that someday people would be able to learn to live together without this divisiveness in opinions and whatnot. So every day black history or not black history, because most of the imprint on me is in Texas, because I grew up saying Yes, sir. No, sir and whatnot. And because I grew up if I walked by you on the street, up to greet you. I don't want anything from you. I think we should acknowledge one another that hey, we're both here. This is the knowledge man. And that's all that I want. So I'm 69, excuse my language. And during the George Floyd thing and the riots in the street. I remember being in the shower. And you see every morning I have a daily playlist of four or five songs. I have one for every day of the month. That's gonna get me up and going. And one of the songs was black men by Stevie Wonder. It says, he says, the ground where we stand, he says the ground where we stand was a red man oh, I'm missing the lyrics but he talks about incandescent light was given to good sight by a white man, so sorry I'm I usually have right at my tips I'm forgetting the lyrics are basically it talks about all the different contributions from all the different colors of people in this, that helped this land great and I believe in this land that's I grew up believing in this land I do. And the key the refrain. The chorus says we pledge allegiance, all our life to the magic colors red, blue and white. But we pledge allegiance all of life to the magic colors red, blue and light but unless liberty is given to all that have helped defend this world was made for all men. I was listen to that in the shower. This world was made for all men. And I'm thinking about growing up and living all the places that I live the negative place I lived, I would have to fight I would look for a fight with someone would fight me in every place I lived. I've been chased and called that word, including California when I got a young man and thought I was liberated. Right. And I started crying in the shower because I was just so downhearted about Wow. And at the time, maybe I was 65 I'm 65 or whatever, and I'm still dealing with this and my kids got to deal with it. And then I came out of the shower and my wife consoled me and then I was okay the next day but I choose to remain eternally optimistic. One of my mentors Dr. Wayne Dyer, imagine you've heard of him one of the most written published speakers that is like a spiritual self-actualization type of leader says, when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change, and you know what you look for, you will find if you are looking for someone or something, or injustices, that's what you're gonna find. But if you look for the good, so I just try and look for the good in everybody and not allow them to be to drag me down to things as I keep referring to as things of this world that bring you down because it doesn't make any sense. So I'm a little bit I know I'm giving you this real roundabout answer and Morgan Freeman says there shouldn't be a Black History Month, black history is our history. It should be all the time. Why do we need a month for it? So I have and here's a nugget for one of the questions I think you guy thought you might have asked what you give, you know, someone younger where to get your business, you know what, if I'm standing next to the line and you are five minutes, we were gonna talk for a minute, I'm not going to talk your head off, but I'm going to ask you, hey, what did you learn new? Or you know what brought you here? Or when you're not doing what you do for your family and your business what do you do for you? Or if I see music hey, what's your latest musical discovery? That's how I get my new music. So what am I pieces of advice would be just to have a genuine curiosity for your fellow man without judgment. And woman. got to be careful everything you say now, look in a person's eyes, not their pocketbook. Now with their drive and not the clothes that they're wearing. And just have a generous just a conversation without intention without some where you're trying to maneuver because it'll come to you. Anyway, that's what I have to say on that.

Chris Gandy 54:28 

Suzanne. Yep, we're absolutely lost Suzanne.

Suzanne Carawan 54:35 

It's time for us.

Chris Gandy 54:38 

We got to go to a lightning round. Glen. We got to go to lightning round. I like as it how fast you can run the 40. Like, right, this is lightning round. Where people will after this. They'll Google you'll say okay, who's this young man Glenn, what's he about? Well, you know, that type of thing. But, you know, the one thing we don't know is we may know about you, we may know of you, we don't know about you. So this objective is kind of just a series of questions. So the first thing that comes to mind, this is how it works. It's about minute long, not even a minute long. So it will be quick, we'll wrap up. But the goal is for other people at NAIFA, they see you, they'll be like, okay, I feel like I know him, right? Even though they may not know you, they want to feel like they do so. So that is the purpose of this round. And so it's really easy. Whatever comes top of mind, that's what you say. Don't overthink it. It's pretty easy. Like they used to do this. It's called a hot potato when we were in school, but sports and whoever held the ball last had to run sprints, right? So this is how that goes. And we're not going to ask you questions that you don't know the answer to. Okay, so they're going to be easy questions. Like, I'll give you an example. One here. What position did you play in college?

Glenn Crawford 55:54 

Oh, I'm the best wide receiver you've never seen my brother.

Chris Gandy 55:57 

See and do the answer to that. Right. Well, I received, right. Okay, so we'll go with that. Okay, so with that being said, let's we'll move forward. Favorite food?

Glenn Crawford 56:09 

Oh, favorite food cheese?

Suzanne Carawan 56:15 

Now you got to know his wife isn't a master.

Glenn Crawford 56:18 

My wife is a crazy cook. Yeah, I'm gonna say her Italian chili. Italian chili. Got it? Our second? Big second would be cioppino. Go ahead.

Chris Gandy 56:30 

Next thing. What is it that the one lesson you learned from your dad? Colonel?

Glenn Crawford 56:39 

I should already do you say you'll do and be what you say you are going to do what you say you will do and you are what you say you are everybody be happy with you. And moreover, you'll be happy with yourself.

Chris Gandy 56:50 

Mentors. The one mentor that you would say changed your life or had the largest impact on your life.

Glenn Crawford 56:58 

The largest impact was my dear friend who left this earth Bo Warren. Clarence Warren went to Gardena High School in LA. He was my host when I went to Arizona State. He was the DB in front of me that had to go against every day and until you know, but year he beat me up every day. And then one day I got a little brother mad and I said we're fighting today. I don't care what happened. We are fighting today. I don't care what happens. Math today I became a Sun Devil but he's one of the most courageous, vibrant, born leader intelligent, unbelievable, guy just to be around and he came to our house and I was divorced in those living with now my wife and I'm very deliberate. I've always been very deliberate. And he was dying yet bone cancer throughout his body. The doctor told him son, you have the life expectancy of a milk carton. And he told the doctor you practice medicine, right doc? And the doc said, yeah. And he said, well, you better keep practicing because you are he never met it like me. And he lived another five, seven years and he came to our house. He ate the food. He saw how I looked at her. He saw how she looked at me. He walked me to my little office at the house, no separate office or Crawford, when you're going to marry this girl. I said Bo, I'm really deliberately in my brother who is dying, who I love when you're going to marry this girl. And as the first time I said I got another chapter in my life and to close it. I'd go have no thing about me. I played guitar, I started playing guitar again, like at 40. I said if I get better, I'll get another guitar. Now I got 26 guitars, okay. And I would take my guitar and play for him. And when I went he was in hospice. He had a gleam in his eye and a smile on his face and a big old blood in his heart. And he was teaching me he was Big Brother meet even then on how to prepare for things and he wasn't fronting he wasn't acting. So anyway, that's the biggest mentor on me in my life.

Chris Gandy 59:12 

Your proudest moment in this industry so far.

Glenn Crawford 59:20 

Been so many. My proudest moment in the industry. Give us one, I guess it wouldn't be necessarily doing a case. I've done cases and I felt people with things is probably at like, I don't know 63, 64 I got my series 65. So, I could do stock portfolio management and passing that test while working knew it at 63 or whatever it was like you know, so I would say that's probably the proudest thing.

Chris Gandy 59:50 

Got it. Last thing. You are of NAIFA nation. If you could tell somebody in our industry today about why do they wanted to be a part of NAIFA and part of this industry? What would you tell them?

Glenn Crawford 1:00:08 

All you got to do is look at the Superbowl yesterday and say, and it's about being a part of something that's bigger than you. And that you are benefiting by the great work that NAIFA does advocating on behalf of the people we serve, and the people who serve in this industry, whether you're in NAIFA or not, so it's kind of like, pay when you go over your uncle's house, and everybody's supposed to bring something and you know, and then there's one person doesn't bring anything but they three or four plates, you want to come to the picnic, you got to bring something with you. So to me if you're going to be in the industry, simply, be it be all on it all about it all over it. Not halfway.

Chris Gandy 1:00:55 


Suzanne Carawan 1:00:56 

Love that. Yeah.

Chris Gandy 1:00:58 

All right, Suzanne. Glenn, I mean, I can't say anything more than that, I think be exactly when you say you're going to be a do what you say you're going to do, right. And we call that reverse to step up and be a part of that, in our request to continue to grow and develop as a professional organization.

Glenn Crawford 1:01:20 

Thank you both so much for having me. I had fun with you. Thank you.

Chris Gandy 1:01:26 

Suzanne, do you have anything before I close this?

Suzanne Carawan 1:01:28 

Hey, I love you both. Thank you so much for doing this. Love you NAIFA's nation and everybody have a great Valentine's week this week.

Chris Gandy 1:01:35 

All right. Take care of the ones that you love. Yes. I'll close this up. Thanks, everyone for tuning into Advisor Today's podcast. You can find Glenn out there. He's probably not that hard to read. He's the fastest wide receiver that you may not know but tune in to the podcast. Take some notes. I actually took some good notes today. You heard a lot of good things for him today. Go back and relook relook at this and re listen to this podcast. But thanks for tuning in to advisor day podcast where we uplift promote and support the growth and development of advisors around NAIFA nation. We look forward to seeing you in the next week or so. Good luck. Have a great day.

Outro 1:02:22 

Thanks for joining us for NAIFA's Advisor Today podcast series. Make sure to subscribe to get future episodes. And if you're interested in coming on the show, let us know.



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