10 Questions with Corbin Blackburn, Financial Planner, Cleveland

He is an approachable and friendly family man with a competitive streak that particularly comes out when one-upping his brothers!  In the latest of our “Making It Personal” Q&A series, we discover a little more about one of our young and upcoming financial planners, Corbin Blackburn.

Could you tell us about your journey to becoming a financial planner – what attracted you to the industry?

When I was at college I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to be.  What I did know was that I wanted a job where I could interact with and help people and families.  Also, the idea of being an entrepreneur appealed to me.  My dad was an entrepreneur and I knew that at some point I wanted to follow in his footsteps.

I was studying Finance at Ashland University as it has a top program. Through this, I got involved in the Stock/Trading group which manages endowments and I discovered I really enjoyed the investment side.  So, putting all these things together a career in financial planning began to seem like a natural fit as it meshed together my interests.  An internship at an insurance company, followed by an internship at Skylight gave me a taste of what the career would be like and I knew this was the right career for me.

As a millennial, what matters most to you in your career?

For me, it is having the ability to take control of the direction of my career.  I don’t want someone telling me this is your career path and here are your goals.  I want to set that for myself.

I got into this career when I didn’t have a ton of responsibilities, so it gave me a chance to get a jump start.  Now I’m married and have a young baby, so I have more priorities outside of work.  I still work very hard, but being an entrepreneur gives me great flexibility to be able to control my schedule.  I work differently now to make time for work and family.

Are you from Cleveland and what’s your favorite thing about the city?

Yes, I live in Westlake and have lived there throughout my childhood. I love Cleveland and the big attraction for me is the sports.   I’m a huge fan of the Browns, Cavs and the Indians!

What’s it like working in Ohio City?

I love working in Ohio City.  We moved offices from downtown and it’s a very different atmosphere with lots of cool places to eat and drink but it’s still professional.  My clients enjoy coming to the office and meetings often get scheduled for 11 am or 4 pm so that they can grab some food or dinner after the meeting.  I also find it’s good from a networking perspective as people like coming to this side of town.

What do you like to do outside of work to relax and chill out?

To relax and chill, I like to spend time with my family – my wife, my daughter, and my wider family. I also play lots of golf which I have done since I was a kid.  My seven-month-old daughter is just starting to attempt to crawl and I’ve been busy lately childproofing the house!

Can you tell us something you are passionate about?

Yes, I’m passionate about working out.  I’ve been lifting weights since I’ve been in high school and college and have competed in Powerlifting.  It’s a good mental break.

I am also passionate about staying involved and supporting my former high school, Lutheran West.

Who do you most admire and why?

My dad.  I model my life and career on him.  Even though he always worked hard, took risks in his business, and changed roles, he always managed to be a family man first.  He was (and still is) always there to support us and found time in the evenings for playing golf with us kids after work.  I admire him greatly for finding a way to be successful in both his business life and family life.  Anyone I talk to always has positive things to say about my dad.

What was your childhood ambition?

I didn’t have one, but I was always hugely competitive with my younger and older brother.  They both have always been incredibly talented in many areas, so I always wanted to work to be more successful, be better than them and get one up on them – all in a brotherly way of course!

What’s the most interesting place you have ever visited and why?

Greece.  It’s my only time in Europe and I found it so cool.  The culture is very different, and I was lucky to be there during the World Cup 2006 and soak up a different sporting atmosphere.  Greece is a beautiful part of the world and steeped in history.  The weather was also lovely, hot, but without the humidity you get here in Cleveland.

What’s your advice to a young person starting out in the financial services industry?

I would say to work hard and try and meet as many new and different people as you can and look for ways to be of service.  It doesn’t have to be work related – you can connect someone you meet with someone else that can help them and make an important difference in each of their lives.  Over the years this has come back to help me.

Thanks Corbin for sharing!

Corbin Blackburn is a registered representative of and offers securities, investment advisory and financial planning through MML Investors Services, LLC.  Member SIPC. OSJ:2012 W. 25th Street, Suite 900, Cleveland OH 44113. 216-621-5680. CRN202008-235117