Robyn Mancell is the Co-Founder and Mindset Coach for Girls Gone Forex, an online trading academy that teaches women across the globe how to trade in the foreign exchange (Forex) market.Before the Forex business and the nonprofit, Robyn was self-employed for over twenty-five years in almost that many industries. After her divorce in 1990, she left corporate America, going from stable, salaried nine-to-five employee to a commission-only entrepreneur. All while raising her children as a single mom.
Tools / Books / Resources mentioned:Tools: None
What is ForEx business? Why is it interesting?
How Robyn got into Foreign Exchange investing and how she met her co-founder.
Details on how Robyn and her co-founder used Facebook to start a contest to recruit first 15 or so women out of hundreds of applications for their first course and used social media to track their progress.
Robyn shares details on how started multiple businesses over a period of 25 years spanning from restaurant business to insurance sales to ladies fitness center.
Robyn’s motivation of ‘being afraid of not doing new things’ as opposed to ‘being afraid of doing new things’.
Robyn’s observations on characteristics of people who do well in her classes as well as life. #1 is mindset. People who can focus, persevering, and not quitting. People with a drive and purpose and not looking at failures as failures.
Robyn’s reflections of things that she could have differently. 1. Connect with mentors early on 2. Be willing to listen to people with more experience.Final advice to aspiring entrepreneurs; 1. Just go for it. 2. Have a network of mentors, supporters, and collaborators. 3. Don’t look at failures as failures but as learning lessons.
Episode Transcript (Click to expand)
Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to the agile entrepreneur podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dontha. This podcast is about starting and building your own business with purpose, passion, perseverance, and possibilities. Today we have a guest dabbling in a business or build a business that we don't come across that often. So I'm a very honored to have you know, a person from investing and trading side. Her name is Robyn Mancell. Robyn, welcome to the podcast.
Robyn: Thank you so much, Ramesh. I'm happy to be here.
Ramesh: Excellent. Let me first introduce your business and then we'll get into the discussion. Okay. Robyn Mancell is the Co-founder of a business called girls gone forex. Okay, we'll get into that business in a second. And she's also a mindset coach. So Robyn, very first I know you know, the name itself is pretty interesting. Just let's go over what your business is about.
Robyn: Okay. So girls gone forex is a company that was started to empower women to learn how to day trade. We specifically trade in the a foreign exchange or the forex market as it's been called. And that is a $5.3 trillion business a day. So girls gone forex is on online trading academy where we teach women all across the globe how to trade in the foreign exchange market and how to be profitable in that market.
Ramesh: So first I think it's very interesting that you chose a specific area. How did you get started with the forex business?
Robyn: Well, I actually had seen a lot of people talking about it on social media. I really didn't know anything about it even though my background had been in sales and insurance. I did not know anything about the foreign exchange market. I think most of us have heard of people day trading, typically stock options. And I ran into a woman who had been trading for 20 years. And one of the things that she said to me that got my attention was that all you need was a laptop and Internet access and anyone, no matter what their background was, could learn how to trade and that you also, it was one of the markets where you needed the least amount of money to get started. And she was very successful at it and I totally respected her. And so just the fact that she said she knew a lot of people did not have access to this information, that I saw as a problem that I was hoping to be able to solve.
Ramesh: So you decided, I mean, you found a really good partner and then you decided to go into business with her. And how long ago was this?
Robyn: So in 2000 and I'm going to say around 2016 is when I started seeing people talking about forex most of the time. And in 2016 I had not met my business partner yet. I was actually, I'm a serial entrepreneur. I've been self-employed over 25 years. One of the businesses that I had was showing people how to go green in their homes. So I literally met her on a trip to Dallas to shoot a pilot for my company that at the time was called green makeover team. So I didn't even know her. I literally tell people that the stars aligned, and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. That's literally how I met her.
Ramesh: Can you believe it? Some of this happening’s occurrences are so serendipitous. It just happened.
Robyn: Oh yeah. It was amazing because her ex-husband is, he was actually a life coach. And so when I went into do people's homes, I didn't just, you know, put solar and do that. I wanted your home to be peaceful inside also. So I brought in a life coach. We were filming at the house he sent us to was actually her house. And I told him, I said, I'm excited about what I'm doing, helping people go green, but what I really want to learn, but I really feel passionate about bringing to the world is teaching people how to trade forex, but I don't know how to trade forex. And he at that point started laughing and he said, that's my ex-wife right there. she's been trading at that time; she'd been trading for 15 years and I was blown away because his name was Chance. And so I tell everybody that I met her by chance.
Ramesh: Yeah, that's a good one. That's a good one. And you found a partner, you decided to start the business. So tell us about how it got started. I mean, how long did it take for you to incorporate and then how did you go about pricing your coaching and all that stuff?
Robyn: So it really, okay. So I am a big science of getting rich fans. I even teach that course. And so first it started with a thought. I had a thought and before I even met her, I was literally writing things as though it had happened on my social media. So I would say I'm going to teach a hundred women how to learn how to trade. And I didn't even have anything at that point. And so I was putting that out there. And what's great about the social media and the memories that come up is that it's just, it is that confirmation that I was manifesting this years ago. So I was reading book called Turtle Traders and turtle traders is about the gentleman, Roger Dennis who is a multimillionaire and he ran an ad in the Wall Street Journal to find people, he told his business partner, I bet you I could take 15 people, teach them my system and turn them into millionaires. I was reading that book and I remember as I was done reading it, I called her on the phone. And I said, look, because she told me no, actually she didn't want to teach. And I said, look do an experiment with me. Play along with me. I just finished turtle trader. She had read it also. I said, I want to do something different. I said, I've already come up with the name girls on forex. I said, what if we did our own experiment, but we just did it with women. Because he only had one woman in his, in the story of the turtle traders. And so I told her, let's do something different. Let's just do women. Let's run a contest. Let's pick our women. And I've been very big on social media for the last 10 years or so. And so we got a hundred applications literally in 48 hours. we gave away the first classes to 15 people. Those 15 women had to go through the entire course. And they actually all 15 completed the course, but 10 actually graduated with the title we now call trade like a girl. and so those women basically, they had met the criteria that Linda had set for them to be able to graduate. So once they graduated, they were given those tools. And there are four of those ladies who are now coaches and they are now helping women who go through the academy to have more success. So that was 2016, the idea was birthed. in 2017, March of 2017 we put on the first class. And we've been going strong ever since then.
Ramesh: So how long is your class?
Robyn: So the class initially when we first started it would take you about six months to get started. There were three phases, four existential, prep school and then university. And you had to actually pass each of those classes to be able to go to the next one. And it would take you about six months to do that. So this year, the end of this year, almost like at our anniversary for when we first came up with the idea, we're now trying something different where we have everything together, including the mindset courses which I teach, we put everything together and accelerated it to where now people can be done in 12 weeks.
Ramesh: Okay. It's about three months. All right. How many people do you take per class? I mean, were you taking and are you planning to take going forward?
Robyn: So we moving forward now we have had classes as big as a hundred and that's too many, but we found that out after doing it. So now we try to keep classes because it looks like this is our first test on what we call the accelerated training program. We believe that we don't want more than 50 people in a class so that we can give them the attention they really need.
Ramesh: Okay. So roughly you will have about four classes per year then going forward.
Robyn: Exactly. Exactly. Three to four. I'm going to say three to four because we typically take off that when the holidays start around Thanksgiving, we know people are not focused and they're not paying attention. So we have been pretty much shutting down around Thursday. I'm sorry, around Thanksgiving and Christmas. And you probably know this. A market tends to be a little erratic around that time too.
Ramesh: Yup, exactly. So you're right. Okay. So let's say three courses. That's good. and I think I'm assuming that between these courses and all that stuff. So this is your full-time business. This is not your side hustle, is that right?
10:15 Robyn: No, this is not a side hustle. This is, it literally incorporates everything around it. We have been building it out to where we now have a nonprofit called trade by girl foundation. We want to be able to help those that don't have the money to afford the classes. We want to be able to give away scholarships to the entire course.
Ramesh: Wow. I mean, just, its mind boggling what you guys are able to do here. It's awesome. So Robin, let me ask a little bit about the operational aspects of your business because the way I found you was when I was inquiring about how people got their first paying customers in different ways and then you responded a very unique way that you found you’re paying customers. Let's, can we go through how you found your first paying customers for your coaching academy?
Robyn: Oh, absolutely. So by using social media and letting people know, because we did get a hundred applications for people who wanted that free class. We kept people abreast of the success of these ladies. We literally let them participate in the journey. And we shared a lot of information. We created a group on Facebook, and we had everybody. So I guess that was kind of our first funnel. So we let everybody know what was going on. So literally when those ladies graduated, everybody was watching it. It was almost like a story that people were waiting for it to unfold. And so we made the big announcement after, you know, proving that what we were doing was working. We then announced our first classes and we literally had people signing up left and right.
Ramesh: Excellent. Wow. That I taught was a very unique way where it is not just a contest, but it's a public contest where other people could see the journey themselves. That's very good.
Ramesh: Very nice. So let me switch gears a little bit and then let's talk a little bit about Robyn Mancell the person here. So Robyn, you've been in the business for 20, I mean like you've been self-employed for 25 years, so why you decided to become self-employed? What were you doing before?
Robyn: I was working for the phone company. I had worked for both here in California. The Mobil was going through that breakup at the time. So I was going through a divorce. I have three sons who are now grown, but at the time I was working for the phone company driving in all of that traffic. And because of seniority, because I was low seniority, they were going to change my hours. I wasn't going to be able to pick up my kids from daycare in time. They literally changed, I mean I used to work eight to five and they decided that because you're low seniority, you now get off at six. Well, back then six o'clock there weren't a lot of daycares open past six o'clock. So I literally had to make a decision. It was emotional at that time because not only going through a divorce. but my kids, what am I going to do? So I ventured out into the, you know, the 1099 world and that again was something that kind of happened, I don't want to say by accident, but a young lady was came out to talk to me about insurance. And when she did, I asked her, how did she get to do this? Does she make her own hours? She said, yeah. And I said, well, you think I could apply? she said all across the world. And I said, well, what do you need? And she said well you should have a four-year degree. I said, well, I have a two-year degree. She says, well why don't you give it a shot? I went to the interview, I learned about, I didn't know anything about stocks and bonds and the insurance world. I knew nothing about it. They seem to be impressed with my interviews. So they brought me on, and I would leave work early as the phone company. They would say it's slow, who wants to go? And I'd raise my hand and I would drive about 40 minutes so that I could study because they don't pay you while you're going through that process. You guys have to do that all on your own time.
Ramesh: How long is that?
Robyn: Oh my gosh. I think it was like three or four months and I went and then I passed my insurance tests. Then I had to pass the series six test knowing nothing about that industry. I did pass it the first time and then it was you got to go out to the world and find business. You've got to go find customers, right? Yeah. I hadn't done that before. I was working nine to five. I came in and I knew what my check was going to be and all that and so I was the only, at the time I was the only female, the only African American woman in that office, and I broke every record they had in that office. I really believe it came out of; I was excited about helping people learn about something I didn't know anything about. But I was also needed to take care of my kids.
Ramesh: Wow. Robyn, I think that's a, you gave another good strategy for starting your business. When somebody comes to your house selling something, ask them about what they do and how you can get into their business. Excellent.
Robyn: Yeah, that's what I did. And I stayed in that industry for about three years. And once you do that, once you learn that you can create the kind of income you want, it just really has to do with how much time you're willing to put into it. Then the world is wide open at that point. You realize that you control this, not other people. You get to control it. Yeah. So that's what I did. I literally, I've done, you know, I'm kind of a serial entrepreneur, but the one thing that never changed was that I was able to create my own destiny at that point.
Ramesh: Correct. So, Robyn, let's talk about other business. So you were there for three years and then so what other businesses did you work in?
Robyn: Oh Gosh. I owned an executive recruiting company as a headhunter. I owned a restaurant; I did for eight years. I owned a ladies' fitness center. I've done sales in a number of areas. I've even done direct sales and been a top, a top 20 incomer in direct sales.
Ramesh: So it looks like a, you have a compulsive behavior that you have to, after some time you have to start a different business.
Robyn: You know what it is. I typically, if I see a void in the market or if I, you know, the world is so big and there's so many different things out there, you can't possibly know about them all. If I see something and I think it's going to help people and I think that people don't really understand or know about it. I do tend to jump into the ring. I will honestly say that I do.
Ramesh: So a little bit about your motivation, your drive, right. So the original drive, we understand from it life changing event in your life that it started that and then afterwards, so what's driving you to like, for example, why didn't you stick to one business? like you know, why you wanted to start different businesses? What's the motivation?
Robyn: You know, it really, that's an excellent question because it's on probably why I couldn't stay on the job for that length of time. I really find out that I think the world is so much in the world and I don't, here's the thing, I'm not interested in it everything. But if I see that there is an opportunity, if I start feeling really passionate about something, like when did sell insurance, I could see the true value in people taking care and providing for their families. I could see that a lot of people didn't know that there are things that you can do to plan your future. So I get excited about that. When I had my gym, it was health, people need to take better care of their health and maybe women will feel more comfortable in a place that's just for them. When I had the restaurant, oh, which was one of my most favorite businesses, it was building community. So we had kids that used to bring the parents in because we were all about community. We were all about people coming in and feeling like they were at home. We knew everybody by name and everybody, they used to write stories about us that they said we reminded them of cheers because nobody was a stranger there. So this with the, with forex, it became when that, when the woman said to me, who is a millionaire I would add, when she said people don't have access to this information. I said, well what do we need to do to give them access?
Ramesh: Right, right. That's awesome Robyn. So as you were going through these changes, were you ever afraid of what their fears that you're going to fail may not work out? I mean, how did you navigate them?
Robyn: I am more afraid of what my life looked like if I don't do something. I'm not afraid of trying new things. I mean, I have an extremely spiritual feel about just life period. And so I'm more afraid of what it'll look like. Having regrets or not doing. I think money is the easiest thing in the world, but make to be quite honest with you, you just have to find what works for you.
Ramesh: Excellent. So Robyn I mean, that's a very good mindset there. So let me switch a little bit into because you've been dealing with a lot of people, right? coaching a lot of people. So I wanted to ask you about the characteristics or the attributes of the people who are successful. You know, who find success in life because you've been dealing with many people. So we can take the forex as an example, right. So out of these people, like the first class you said 10 people graduated, but likewise you know so what are the common characteristics that you see in the people who are doing well?
Robyn: Yeah. Well t that right there is the, probably the million-dollar question, but there are obviously key characteristics and being the mindset coach, 90% of people fail because of mindset. Not just in trading, but in most things in life. So the characteristics are people who are able to focus, know what it is that they want, their why fuels their decision to keep going and to not quit. There's something that, and usually again, that is their why that's bigger than just needing the money, because money is not what fuels, I mean, obviously for some people that's what it is. But I think the majority of people, they're looking for something to be fulfilled. They're looking for purpose. They are driven. They don't look at failure as failure. They look at it as a learning or a steppingstone to getting to where they need to be. All of that rolled into one thing is their mindset. And that, you know, it sounds like a cliché when people say, how do you do one thing is how you do everything. But it is 100% is, and some of that fortunately is how some people grew up. It's passed on from families. It's passed on from the people that are around you. And a lot of times unless you make the decision to do something different, you get stuck and what you know as normal around you.
Ramesh: Yeah. I mean the other thing, the other question that a lot of people ask is can you change people's mindset? some life changing events of course could do that. Are people just like, they been like that forever. And then let's say somebody who's pessimistic and looking at the negative side of things, they continue to be that way. Or people are generally optimistic. And then looking at the positive side of things, probably you know, will get into this kind of mindset you're talking about. Is that what you observed?
Robyn: I don't think you can. Honestly, I don't think you can change people. I think people have to make the decision to change themselves. I think I know I can give them the tools. I know I can guide them in the right direction. But something has to click for them. I cannot motivate you to do, that has come from within. And that doesn't mean that you can't get to that point. It doesn't mean that you can't have some experience, or you just can't make up your mind that you've had enough, and you can do that. it’s not going to be because of me. It's going to be because of something inside of you.
Ramesh: I'm 100% with you Robyn there. So as we come to the final stretch here now, first let look at your journey. the different steps you have taken. And definitely you already said that you don't want to have regrets. But from a learning perspective, what are the things that you think you could have done differently in this journey?
Robyn: Some of the things I would've done differently is I think from the very beginning of being going on this entrepreneurial journey, I would have made more context with mentors earlier on. I would have met them. I would have, I would have really cherished those relationships a lot more because sometimes you're so young and you hear things and you think, I'm experiencing this now because at my age, a lot of young people, they think you're just, you know, just kind of talking at them like their parents and they don't always value the experience of your wisdom. And so I definitely, this is what I do try to tell my sons that I have and anyone who will listen. Yeah. That although you may feel like you have all the answers, there are some of us who have actually experienced what you have yet to experience. And most things are not that different. I have this saying that technology has changed, people not so much. The way we think and the way we process information that has pretty much stayed the same. It's just technology is what is different. So the other thing about being this age too is that I can pretty much see what's going to happen before it even happens. That's what wisdom does to you. You're kind of like, oh, I've seen that before. but I'm not cynical about it at all. It is just that there are certain things in life that are going to be what they are. Some of these clichés that people don't, you know, that they think are corny and stuff. There's a reason they been around as long as they have because they're the truth.
Ramesh: Yeah. I mean, that's why I think a lot of this information keeps getting repeated because we don't get it. And Robyn, so as the last question. So what advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs or people who are already started a business, but they want to grow their business.
Robyn: The advice that I would give you is to really just go for it. Make the decision that you believe you have something that works. Do Your homework. There's so much access to information is, I mean, and I know sometimes it’s too much information. But choose a select tribe of mentors, supporters, collaborators. Find that circle, create your circle very early. And then go ahead and do whatever you need to do to make it happen. There's a lot of free resources, there are so, oh my gosh, there's so much out there. Companies just wanting to help you. I just finished a workshop called elevate your business and that was, they did an article on it in Forbes magazine and it was priceless. Oh my God, priceless thing. You just would be really surprised, but also get with people who are willing to support you. who believe in your vision and just create that circle of people that think like you do and then put on your blinders and just go. You will be surprised how far you will get from not overthinking things and just having the right people that are around you to support you.
Ramesh: Excellent advice Robyn I can't disagree with any of the things that you said. I mean I'm a firm believer that you get started as soon as possible and especially if you want to do something and then you keep evolving, right. And you learn more about you and more about the business and then you keep evolving.
Robyn: Absolutely. I totally agree.
Ramesh: Hey Robyn a very fascinating background, and an excellent discussion. I really, really enjoyed this discussion, Robyn. Thank you very much.
Robyn: Oh, thank you for having me. I really appreciate it. I'm so excited and I've already shared your information with some group of business owners that I have. I think you're doing amazing work.
Ramesh: Thank you, Robyn. I Appreciate it.