Skip to content
Connect with us here

086 – Leveraging a PhD in Psychology into a lucrative speaking career and helping people create wealth through behavioural finance (w/ Dr Daniel Crosby)

Dr Daniel Crosby is a Psychologist, he has a PhD in psychology and behavioural finance specialising in helping people and organisations understand the cross over between the mind and the financial markets. He is a co-author of a New York Times best seller “Personal Benchmark” and also authored the “Laws of Wealth“. Daniel is the founder and CEO of Nocturne Capital – an investment management firm whose approach is rooted in the science of behavioral finance.

Daniel has a growing family, based in Atlanta Georgia from where he runs his business which he has been running full time for the last 10 years.

Check out the full show with detailed show notes and episode links:

Lets talk core revenue streams
Daniel shares how he started off doing speaking engagement to market his other services in his company but it has since taken off and become a major part of his revenue stream. An early take away from Daniel is not to underestimate the power of speaking as an extra revenue stream in your business!

Daniel also manages money on behalf of clients, teaches online courses in behavioural finance and provides consulting services and content development.

While speaking is Daniel’s number one income stream it’s not completely scalable due to the time commitment and extensive travel requirements so Daniel has a focus to grow the other income streams. Daniel has been on the speaking circuit for the last 10 years, and cautions that it is taxing for someone with a young family.

Childhood inspiration

Growing up Daniel was inspired by his dad who is an investment manager, after getting into college Daniel loved the study of psychology, helping and teaching people – but part way through his PhD he felt emotionally burned out as a clinical psychologist. A conversation with his dad about his next options turned him down the road of understanding the intersection between psychology and stock market investing.

Why a PhD and not just a Degree

Daniel says in his experience a psychology degree in the US, does not get you very far in your career as a psychologist. The PhD paid off for Daniel as clients more readily hired his consulting services as a PhD graduate even though he was only 28. While the PhD opened doors for Daniel he says he doesn’t actually use it in its direct form because he is trained to conduct therapy sessions as a clinical psychologist but he now picks stocks for a living.

The skills learned however, of being non defensive, hard work, accepting feedback, critiquing and taking action – are life skills he has taken from his PhD that have helped him in his business.

First paying client and a speaking career

Daniel managed to secure his first client before he resigned from his job, he recommends that you find a way to get at least one good client account before stepping out on your own.

He quickly moved into the world of speaking and in the beginning all his presentations were at no charge, he would look for places to speak at in his city as a way of marketing his consultancy services.

After quiet a number of free events Daniel recalls an attendee asking if they could book him for a paid speaking engagement and he began a new journey where he would eventually be charging between $1,000 and $2,000 to speak. A mistake he shares is saying yes to all speaking requests and having to create a special bespoke keynote each time he got an invitation, this would wear Daniel out and he looked for a different solution.

Major turning points in speaking and some key lessons

  1. After a season of providing bespoke keynotes, Daniel put together half a dozen key notes that covered a few generic topics related to his core message of behavioural finance. This helped his clients focus in on which key note they felt was best for them and this worked well for Daniel as he wasn’t building a new presentation but rather using material that had received positive feedback from previous events and that people benefit the most from.
  2. Daniel decided to start saying No to speaking opportunities that were outside of his core focus of behavioural finance and investment management. This was a difficult decision but it paid dividends as he became more specialized and the market rewarded his expertise with increased demand and increased bookings.
  3. Another key thing Daniel changed was his pricing. An event attendee really loved Daniel’s keynote but privately told Daniel that his company would love to hire Daniel more but probably won’t because they didn’t think he was any good based how low his prices were! Daniel decided to triple his prices. This created a renewed demand for his speaking services and created great growth in the business.
  4. A final piece to Daniel’s successful multiple six figure speaking business came through a bold moment were he decided to jump on a plane to go and have lunch with a prospective client who had been not so responsive to Daniel’s emails. With no guarantee of winning any new business it would have been a costly lunch for Daniel’s growing business, but the move paid off, the prospect became a client and opened the doors to many more such clients who were in the financial management space that Daniel had keenly niched into.

 Key lessons in these turning points that I take away are:

  • Don’t be afraid to create systems that allow you to scale and replicate your effort
  • Say no to requests that take you away from your core strength and niche
  • Keep an eye on your pricing model and optimize it – cheap is not always attractive
  • Take some risks with your target prospects and do something your competition will not do

Other great topics you will not want to miss as you listen to the show:

  1. Why you cannot create wealth from savings alone and why you need to invest
  2. The hedonic treadmill principle and how Daniel believes you can turn this negative human bias to your financial advantage
  3. Financial accountability, mentorship and why people who use a financial adviser double their retirement wealth over a typical working career
  4. How to build towards a million dollar speaking business

Recommended entrepreneurial reading

  1. Man’s Search for Meaning – Victor Frankl
  2. Thinking Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman
  3. Daniel’s Curated Inspirational and Business Reading List

Reach out and contact Daniel

Nocturne Capital
Daniel’s TedTalk

Make sure you grab a copy of Daniel’s Bestselling Book

Laws of Wealth – Daniel Crosby

Daniel shares what he feels he would love to leave as a legacy, check it out on the podcast.

Quote of the show!
“I want to leave my kids enough money so that they feel they can do anything, but not so much that they can do nothing.” Warren Buffet

Look forward to serving you again on our next show. Till then keep your hopes up and remember that you are good enough to chase to dreams!

You are a TRUE Business General.


About the author, Davis

My Dream of sharing inspirational success stories started many years ago and so we created the Business Generals Podcast an amazing show that brings some of those conversations to light. Combined with our blog, a case study based coverage of inspirational business stories we show case what is possible for you who has a dream and a burning desire to see your dream come alive.

I truly believe you have greatness inside of you 🙂

Leave a Comment