He grew up under poor conditions and therefore probably developed the right sense for financial matters. Confucius said, Qiu might be employed as a "governor" (zai 宰), and that he was a man of various ability. He accompanied his Master on his travels from court to court, and managed his finances.
When Confucius left his home state of Lu 魯, Ran Qiu stayed and became the counsellor (zai) of the regent Ji Kangzi 季康子, in which position he was able to ameliorate the economical situation of Lu. In 484, he even lead an army defending Lu against the invading troops of the state of Qi 齊. At that moment, he suggested to the regent that, after 14 years of travelling abroad from country to country, it might be appropriate to invite Confucius to come back.
Ran Qiu's economic management of the field tax (tianfu 田賦) so successful that Ji Kangzi was a rich man, and Ran Qiu himself made a fortune. Confucius was angry that he had such a disciple and ordered his other disciples to "beat the drum and assail him". The Master also criticized him for his involvement in the domestic campaign against Zhuan Yu 顓臾.