Laura Crowell considered a career change in 2000 after her son, Lowman, turned 1. She was a high school teacher with degrees in chemistry and physics, and a master's in education from the University of Arkansas. While she thought of pursuing another Ph.D., she decided she wanted a different challenge.
Crowell was already volunteering with her church’s financial ministry, teaching people how to live debt free and budget within their means. After doing an online search, she stumbled on a financial adviser position with Edward Jones, a firm she admits she had never heard of until then. Other companies with similar opportunities had positions two hours from home. Edward Jones, however, offered her the chance to work in her hometown of Nashville, Ark.
"Edward Jones took a chance with me," she recalls, grateful she could work and still stay close to her family.
The job came with a new office, she says, which also meant "no clients." But tenacity paid off for Crowell, who began building a successful practice over the course of the next ten years. Impressed by her work ethic and commitment to helping others, her mentor — who also was her field trainer and regional leader — decided to retire after 34 years in the industry and named Crowell to be the successor of his practice in Magnolia.
Taking over for her mentor "made my business jump 20 years," she says. She is now Edward Jones' top female adviser in Arkansas, as well as ranked in the firm's top 2% of advisers nationwide.
Crowell credits her drive to succeed in large part from being a mother of four kids. Lowman is now 17; her daughter, Olivia, 12; Charlee, 4; and Scarlet, 14 months. Her youngest requires special attention due to severe silent reflux, a condition which requires close monitoring and frequent trips to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for treatment. She says most people have come to know of her devotion to her daughter, as well as her passion for all her children.
And she professes a similar devotion to her clients.
"They deserve 100% from me,” she says, “They have come to know that I love them like my own family. My team and I give our full attention to them every appointment (and) call.”
Follow through is essential to Crowell. “I make a commitment to them, to do what I say I will do,” she says.
Her most important life lesson was becoming, "aware of the moments with my kids." She's learned not to miss the good times with her young ones and continues to channel her motherly drive into her practice. Whether its family or work she asks, “Who can I impact today?” It's become her motto, she says for being both a mom and adviser.