For the last three years Kylee Karns has worked as a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch, the corporate and investment banking division at Bank of America. She works with clients to create detailed financial plans and steer them toward achieving their financial goals.
More recently, Kylee has begun working as a distributor for Kyani – a nutraceutical company.
Career Success Q&A
How long have you worked in this role?
I started with Merrill Lynch right out of college and have been employed with them for three years. I’ve been with Kyani for three months.
What do you like most about your job?
I’m licensed in all states, and I love being able to work with families all over the country.
Many people are unfamiliar with basic financial principles and I’m very passionate about educating them so they can focus on their priorities.
What kind of formal training do you have?
I graduated in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago. I earned my Series 7 and Series 66 financial licenses in 2014.
This year I have been extremely focused on developing my career and earned the Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC) designation as well as my Series 9 and Series 10. These licenses allow me to manage and oversee brokers.
What kind of experience did you have before you began your current position?
Zero. None. I had NO experience before I began my career. I majored in management with a certification in entrepreneurship – not finance – and I was a server throughout college.
I knew that I wanted a change of scenery after I graduated and blindly moved to Scottsdale where I did not know a single sole. I began serving at Culinary Dropout to pay the bills until I was able to land a professional position.
One day on a slow lunch shift I had the pleasure of serving one of the compliance managers at Merrill Lynch. We chatted for quite some time before she gave me her card and told me to apply with her company. After several weeks and many interviews I was hired.
Never discount any opportunity and always do the best you can at any job, you never know what may come of it. People always recognize hard work and passion.
Do you have a mission statement or a guiding philosophy for your career?
I only see my goals, I don’t believe in failure.
What excites you most about your career right now?
As much as I love my weekday job, my passion is helping people live a healthier life and achieve financial freedom through Kyani.
Our products are very powerful and our business model has helped many people earn income that they are incapable of earning in a traditional business setting. Nothing is better than someone telling you that you have changed his or her life!
What excites you about the future of your career?
I’m excited to see where I end up in ten years. I’m very proud of what I’ve accomplished at a young age and I always keep my options open.
I hope to one-day start a non-profit organization focused on providing financial education to our youth. The most exciting part about the future is that the opportunities are endless.
How often do you read?
Recently, I have been reading a lot more and I believe it is very important in personal development.
I’m embarrassed to say how often I read, so because of this I will commit to reading weekly moving forward.
What book would you recommend to others?
If there is one thing you take away from this entire Q&A, please do yourself a favor and read The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. This single book continues to motivate me every day.
Is there another type of media you regularly consume as a means of continuing your professional education?
I’m a big fan of documentaries and motivational videos. They may not relate to my advisory career, but they certainly provoke my interests around how to live a happy life and how to help others succeed.
If you have a chance take the time to watch Tony Robbins I Am Not Your Guru. It’s on Netflix- no excuses.
While I don’t have many other blogs or videos to share with you, touch back in a few months – I’m still working on it.
Do you have a set of fundamental principles you follow as a conscious way of ensuring you’re always improving yourself professionally?
I can’t pinpoint a particular set of practices, but I do make sure that I’m always conscious of my attitude.
I have learned that you are always being watched, and how you present yourself even on your worst day is never unnoticed.
Also – I’m very particular with how I use social media. This is extremely important because large companies and hiring managers do look at social media. Many younger individuals overlook this and you MUST pay attention to the image you are presenting to the outside world.
What is the best career advice you ever received?
Always maintain a high level of integrity and work ethic.
Who are your most influential mentors and why do you admire them?
Hands down my mom. She sacrificed a lot when I was younger to ensure I was able to be involved in every activity I wanted and she is by far the hardest worker I know.
It’s sad that my generation doesn’t seem to understand that hard work is the answer to achieving success – both financially and personally. I believe many young people seem to be waiting for something to happen or be given to them.
I know that will never be the case; you must work hard every single day.
Would you consider yourself a goal-setter?
Am I a goal setter? Ask any of my friends and they will say I’m a freak. You will always find me with a full size planner in my purse.
Writing down your goals is the most important thing you can do to be successful. You must be very specific with WHY you are setting a goal, how long you are giving yourself to achieve it, and how you will measure your progress.
Without goals what are you working for?
Has there been a specific method of goal setting that has contributed to your career successes?
At the beginning of every year and quarter I create a goal-sheet. I outline what goals I want to accomplish and when I will do it by.
I also include pictures and keep a visual in my office. It serves as a daily reminder to continue working hard.
What are a few of your career goals?
My long-term goal is to be self-employed and to be involved in multiple business ventures to create a diversified income stream.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced?
The biggest challenge I have faced is coming to the understanding that no matter how much money you make, it cannot buy you time.
I’m training myself to be as efficient as possible so that I can accomplish more in less time.
One of the main reasons I joined Kyani was to venture out of my comfort zone, to see if I could create success without working a traditional 8-5 job.
What have you found to work really well for fostering your own professional growth?
I always stay focused on myself and my own goals. I do not let the opinions of others or what they are doing in their careers affect me.
What is a professional challenge you’re still looking for a solutions to?
My age. I’m a 25 year old female. My lack of experience can hurt my career progression, but it inspires me to prove people wrong and do whatever I can to further educate myself and create credibility.
Are you currently working on any projects we should be aware of?
Kyani. If you are not involved in a network marketing company you should be.
I was very negative about it in the beginning, because like many of you I have heard the negative stories people share about network marketing.
However, I have learned that it is a great way to meet like-minded successful people and add income to your current salary.
To create real wealth you must have multiple income streams. These products are changing people’s lives every day, and it’s great to be part of this positive organization.
I’m currently looking to build my Arizona team. So, if you are interested at all, please message me. I would love to mentor you and help you achieve financial freedom.
Hint: You do not need any formal education or experience.
What is the best way for people to connect with you?
Feel free to reach out to me via email, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
I’d love to network with you!
Have questions about your own professional development or the details of Kylee’s career path?
Ask your questions in the comments below and we’ll be sure to help in anyway we can!
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