Do you want a wealthy retirement without worrying about money? Welcome to “Retire in Texas”, where you will discover how to enjoy your faith, your family, and your freedom in the state of Texas—and, now, here's your host financial advisor, author, and all-around good Texan, Darryl Lyons.
Darryl: Hey, this is Darryl Lyons, CEO and co-founder of PAX Financial Group, and you're listening to Retire in Texas. Thanks for tuning in.
I’ve got to tell you the disclosure. This information is intended to be not specific to your needs of investment advice or tax advice or legal advice, and so we encourage you to visit PAXFinancialGroup.com for all the legal disclosures. Also, I want to encourage you to text the number 74868, if you need to speak to one of our advisors. It'll be 15 minutes. It'll be a consultation. It won't cost you anything, but you just need to text “Texas” to 74868. [01:04.0]
All right, I’ve got Brad Hobbs here today. I'm excited to have Brad. You're going to hear a little bit more about his story and his background and expertise, and, actually, we're going to get into some little personality profiles. Is that cool? A little bit there?
Brad: Yeah, it’s perfect.
Darryl: Okay, good. Brad, before we jump into the personality profile stuff, which I nerd out on a lot, we won't nerd out with our audience.
Brad: Right, okay.
Darryl: We'll keep it very high-level. But before we get to that, you're originally from Georgia, right? Is that right?
Brad: I grew up in South Georgia. In South Georgia, anything below Atlanta is South Georgia, and so a small rural town, called that home.
Darryl: I love Georgia, but I’ve never been to all of Georgia. Is it a pretty part or what is it like there? I mean, what's the topography?
Brad: Yeah, North Georgia is pretty, got some mountains, tall trees. In Georgia they have the unofficial, what they call the Gnat Line, and so it's this line that runs through the state. Everybody above the Gnat Line gets to enjoy all the beauty, sometimes four seasons. Everybody below the Gnat Line has to fight these little bugs that come around that are called gnats, and so there's literally a split in the state, and so if you're from Georgia, you kind of like, Are you below the Gnat Line or above the Gnat Line? [02:14.3]
Darryl: Oh, okay, all right. Everyone knows this.
Brad: Everybody kind of knows, if you're from Georgia, because you can't go outside without fighting the gnats, if you're below. I grew up below the Gnat Line and had to figure out all the tricks, growing up in sports and stuff, of how do you keep gnats from inside your helmet and underneath your hat and all that kind of stuff, because it's sort of like the plague and we all have those things. Right?
Darryl: That’s so annoying, oh my gosh. It’s like when I get to heaven, I probably won't ask about gnats first. I’ll ask about mosquitoes, the first question.
Brad: There you go, there you go, the benefit of gnats. They're just annoying. They don't really bite, but mosquitoes, I'm pretty sure they were not a part of creation before Genesis 3, and then there's a great fall and mosquitoes came out of that.
Darryl: It was the one little scripture that was left out.
Brad: Yeah, yeah, I'm sure that doesn’t theologically line up, but in my head, I'm just thinking, surely, God didn't create these things to do this. [03:01.1]
Darryl: Exactly, and then we're going to get to heaven with flat foreheads and God is going to tell us why He has it. We're like, Oh, that's why you did it.
Brad: That's why.
Darryl: Because the whole ecosystem would've fallen apart, Darryl. Of course.
Brad: Right, right.
Darryl: Then we'll learn that later.
Brad: Yes, we will. We will.
Darryl: How did you get to Texas?
Brad: Yeah, about four years ago, I was working for a cool foundation in Charlotte, North Carolina, and we were doing a lot of work overseas, economic development, pastor development, in East Africa, West Africa, and a good friend of mine was a pastor in town and they had just basically said, “Hey, we want to do some things that are very unique in the mission world, church planting, local community engagement, international engagement. Would you come build out an organization to do that?” Darryl, I’ll be honest with you, it was not the most intriguing idea at first and we turned it down for several months.
Darryl: When you say “we”?
Brad: My wife and I.
Brad: Big move for us. We were really enjoying what we were doing in Charlotte and felt that was home. We’d actually just bought our dream house, so we were living on a cul-de-sac, a big Carolina mansion. We moved in it for three months. [04:05.3]
January 6, 2019, that date has a different meaning now, but my wife and I were reading Genesis 12, and in Genesis 12, God calls Abraham to leave his family and go to a land that he's never been to before and he doesn't know where he is actually headed. So, we met each other in our living room and it was like, we have to pick up and move to San Antonio. We moved to San Antonio about four years ago.
Darryl: Wow, wow. Financially, that's another conversation, right? Just the idea behind saying, “Okay, kids, I know you've got friends here. We're out.” How did the kids handle it?
Brad: My kids were young at the time we’d made that decision, and for them, we had always kind of baked into our family that we build deep friendships and deep-rooted lives, we live open-handedly, and so if God picks up and tells us to move, then we're going to pick up a move and it's going to be a great adventure. We don't know what's on the other side of it, but it's going to be a great adventure.
Darryl: Is that how you were raised? Did your mom and dad raise you that way? [05:00.5]
Brad: There were a lot of things, I look back in my life, that they just kind of sowed into us very open-handedly. Didn't have a lot growing up of everything, but they taught us to love Jesus under trust Jesus more than common sense sometimes.
Darryl: Were they pastors?
Brad: They were not. My parents were really first-- I call them first-generation Christians that came from broken homes. Had some religious influences from their grandparents, but not necessarily so much from their parents.
Brad: They came to follow Jesus in college, got married and, basically, said, “We're not going to repeat the mistakes of our parents.” And they drug my brother and I to church every chance they could get.
Darryl: They were “drug” dealers.
Brad: They were, they were, so they drug us there. But one of the things, the two things I remember growing up is my dad would wake up early in the morning. When I say early, about 4:30 in the morning, and when I would come downstairs, he was always on his knees praying for our family, and so that's the spiritual legacy he began to build.
Then, on the flip side of it, we didn't play sports, if there was a church activity going on. My family would get, my parents would get me a game ball for every game I missed because of the church activity, so they'd get a game ball. [06:02.3]
I've got a dozen baseballs or so around my parents' house of like this day, this time—and I always knew because my mom had really nice handwriting. It was not a coach's handwriting—of the game balls that they were taking a stand. We weren’t going to miss church. We were not going to miss church for a sporting event. That's a little bit of the background that I grew up in.
Darryl: That's fascinating and, I mean, what a legacy it is.
Brad: It is.
Darryl: Gosh. Do you find yourself adopting elements of what they've taught you?
Brad: You know what? I think it's really hard for us to get away from the way that our parents raised us, good or bad, and so I definitely see some things where I was like, man, I said I would never do that and I'm doing that, but I also see a lot of good things that my parents were intentional about that we're trying to pass on to our kids.
Darryl: Yeah. Wow, that's powerful. I'm in the money business, so I always tell people that inheritance is what you leave to someone, but a legacy is what you leave in someone.
Brad: Wow, that's a great word. [06:57.7]
Darryl: And to know that they left that legacy and that's going to be passed down for multiple generations. Then I deal with people with lots of money and some not, but when I'm talking to business owners and they're struggling to leave the business to the kids, almost the odds of leaving it successfully to the kids is very low, and the third or fourth generation, forget about it. I say all that because what your parents did, I mean—and they're still alive, right?
Darryl: They may have not left you a lot of money or may not leave you a business, but they left you that.
Darryl: That's amazing.
Brad: Which will far outlive if they had left me a financial inheritance, because that's shaping my kids and, Lord willing, will shape my grandkids one day.
Darryl: Yeah, you should be proud for that. So, you get to San Antonio and giving God the credit for nudging you, and I give you the credit for listening. I always talk about our responsibility as Christians is to respond to his ability, right?
Darryl: And so, I give you credit and your wife credit for responding to that, and then, of course, your parents for instilling that in you. But you made it to San Antonio. Did you decide to join the San Antonio community in the summer or was it time you like there? You might have just driven right back. [08:15.2]
Brad: Yeah, sure, I had done some work in San Antonio in the past, which is why I was kind of so hesitant to move here because the best part of San Antonio is its people, not its weather or its geography. It took us a little bit to survive this summer heat, but then it just came, we tell ourselves, it's like living in North Dakota in the winter. I'm not sure really how bad it is to live in North Dakota in the winter, but living in San Antonio in the summer feels about the same. It's just hot. It's just visceral. You gear up for it, you survive it, and we are very grateful that the temperatures are slowly starting to drop below 100 degrees now.
Darryl: Exactly, with the cloud and a breeze and under 100 degrees, it feels like it's fall. So, Pastor calls you. How did a pastor in San Antonio find you?
Brad: Yeah, so my very first job was running leadership development conferences and programs around the country and across the globe, and so we had connected while I was doing that. I actually got to travel together a good bit, and so we had lots of shared meals in hotel rooms and waffle houses across the country. [09:17.0]
Darryl: Can you tell us who that pastor is?
Brad: Yeah, it's Pastor Ed Newton at Community Bible Church.
Darryl: Yeah, okay, and so he knew you, he had broken bread with you, hung out with you and said, “Hey, I’ve got a vision of doing more.” I mean, the church is already doing it a lot, and he had a vision. He just hadn't found the person to really execute this vision, and so he called you up. Is that right?
Brad: That's pretty much the short version of the story.
Darryl: Yeah. Are you employed by Community Bible Church?
Brad: Yeah, you talk about it, here's the great way that God works. We got here and Covid hits. My job went from creating something new to really how do we respond as a church to the Covid crisis in our community, and so really had the opportunity to work alongside him and crafting how do we love a community that's going through something that obviously the world had never experienced before in the present time. [10:03.8]
Brad: And so, once we got through that, the Lord began to stir in our heart, just some different opportunities to see how the kingdom of God was moving, not just in the church from a church-building standpoint, but also through kingdom businesses and then nonprofit and church work, all working collaboratively together. We stepped out about a year ago and have really been working in that space, helping business leaders and Kingdom-minded leaders execute what they believe is God's vision for whatever their entity or company is.
Darryl: Here's what's kind of cool. It's kind of one of those Romans 8:28 things, right? I mean, Covid shook up the church.
Brad: It did.
Darryl: And it probably needed a good shaking.
Darryl: And here we have, Ed is an incredible guy, a gifted guy, but just like any other leader, we have a lot of ideas, ideas like I had an idea two minutes ago, and before that, it was five minutes ago. Then you execute and then, all of a sudden, the pandemic has hit and you're like, Okay, that was a great idea, but now here's the resources I have. What do I do? Where are the needs? It got kind of like, Eh, reorganize that, and so now I don't want to put words in your mouth, but you started collaborating with businesses and nonprofits and churches and saying, “How do we serve?” Is that right? [11:15.4]
Brad: You hit the nail right on the head there.
Darryl: And serving is ambiguous.
Darryl: So, you're trying to respond to needs. You're not saying this is what we're going to do. Are you just kind of taking inventory of what the needs are? Is that what you were doing for a while?
Brad: It's a both-end, and what I'd say, both ends is I believe God gives us passions and competencies for the burdens or the heartache of the city and in the time at which we live. A lot of what we do is we sit with leaders and say, “What really has God put on your heart that's a burden? Let's fine tune that,” because if it's not birthed out of your heart, it's another program. It's another activity. We can throw some money at it.
But what we want to do is help every leader fulfill the reason that God has put him on this earth, and a lot of times, what that looks like is we find what God has put as a passion, as a burden, and then we go, “Okay, these are all the resources that God has given you to execute that. Let's match it up with where it can make its greatest Kingdom contribution in the city.” [12:10.3]
Darryl: Some of that requires a little self-reflection as a business owner and a leader of a nonprofit, and therein lies your ability to take your leadership skills that you kind of were trained up on early in your life and that the low-hanging fruit there is saying, “I think I can help you understand who you are as a person,” and use some personality profiles to do that. Is that right?
Brad: We do, and I’ll be honest with you, the hang up that we find, whether it's in the church, the business sector, the nonprofit sector, it’s really helping leaders identify who Go ha's made them to be and living out that identity in the workplace.
Darryl: For those that don't know, I'm actually writing my fourth book and I spent some time working on that this weekend, and one of the cool things about writing is you just get to crystallize your thought and what I recognize is how understated it is for somebody to transition from their occupation into retirement, and not having gone through that cerebral, emotional and spiritual exercise of saying, “Who did God make me to be? What's my purpose here?” [13:06.8]
When people jump from “I'm working and my identity has been my occupation until I'm retired,” what I was reading is that heart attacks go up 40 percent, and it's not because the environment changed. It's because, all of a sudden, you don't know your purpose anymore. You have some tools that you've been able to use to get in front of that before people retire, right?
Brad: Yeah, right.
Darryl: Tell me about some of those tools and maybe, actually, more importantly, tell me about how people can use different and various personality profiles to understand who they are.
Brad: Yeah, let's unpack identity a little bit because I think our identity of who God has made us to be is really a combination of three pieces. One would be that the personality traits or profiles that there's introvert, introvert, Myers-Briggs or DiSC Personality, Enneagram, these are ways that we start to discover who God made us to be, wired us, so our internal wiring. [13:58.3]
The second thing is really our past. We talked about my parents earlier. My parents have actually shaped, God used my parents to shape who He wanted me to be, and so our past, we actually have to dig through that to figure out our identity.
Then, the third thing we would look at is just what are the natural skill sets, the competencies or the resources that God has put at our disposal. You're highly gifted and we can spend this podcast talking about what you're gifted in, but really taking your history, your personality, and your gifts, and finding the webbing between those three, make up our identity.
When we talk about those pieces, what we're looking at is matching our identity to our heart, and our heart, as you've probably read, it really is always asking three questions: Why do I belong in matter? What makes me safe and secure? Why am I here? If we answer those three questions with a proper, rooted identity, then we actually get to live at our highest and best. [14:56.1]
Oftentimes, you mentioned a retiree, so those inflection points when we change careers, we change jobs, we change cities, a lot of times, we've answered the three questions that our heart asks. Why do I belong here? Why am I safe and secure? What am I supposed to do? We've answered that through our vocation or through our people, and when that's ripped away, our heart is left asking, “Wait, why am I here?”
Darryl: I even see this with the most loving moms who become empty nesters.
Brad: A hundred percent.
Darryl: I see this with executives that got the gold watch and then the next day business is still running, but they're not taking calls anymore. This is not just a minor point, and so you're getting in front of that, obviously.
Brad: And we're trying to get in front of it because I think the next wave of really the results of our pandemic, our global pandemic, as we're talking about, is the fallout of Kingdom-minded faith leaders who are wrestling, trying to answer their heart's questions. If they fall away or they're no longer leading with the same courage, then our cities and our communities actually pay a great price for that. [16:03.7]
So, if you were to be half the leader that you were for Jesus in the future that you are now, the community actually suffers from that, so what we're trying to do is help leaders go, let's make sure you lead for the long haul and that you leave a wake and a legacy behind you.
Darryl: I'm finding that comfort is one of the enemies here that tends to take us away from digesting this thing because, look, why do I need to dig into this when I'm pretty comfortable right now? My kids are good. They're kind of messed up or whatever. And I’ve got a good job. I've got money in the bank. I check all the boxes. I'm comfortable. I'm playing golf. Why even mess with this right now? What would you say to somebody like that?
Brad: I think the question becomes, what type of fruit are we trying to leave in our legacy? And there's the fruit of comfortability where everything is good, but it's not necessarily great. The first piece I'd say is, hey, let's not settle for goodness when God designed us to experience His greatness. [17:00.5]
The second piece of that is we're always one day away from the next crisis, and a crisis, it can happen from a phone call from a doctor. It can happen from you not seeing something in the markets. Whatever it is, however it hits us, that crisis tends to shake our identity at its core, and if it's not a solid, we haven't worked through the pieces of saying, “This is really who I am and this is how I answer my heart's questions,” then that really rocks and shakes our world in a way that can sometimes be debilitating to our future.
Darryl: Going back to what you do every day, are you still working closely with Community Bible and or is it a separate entity no, or is it locked arms? How does that look?
Brad: Yeah. It's a separate entity now, but we work to cheer Community Bible Church on in every way possible we can in the city.
Darryl: Oh, okay, so that's still a good rapport.
Darryl: Yeah, because I'd be surprised how many people are listening to this and they're like, “I know Ed Newton.”
Brad: Ed, one, he’s one of the greatest communicators, but just one of the greatest guys you'll meet.
Darryl: And a good dresser.
Brad: Yeah, I'm not going to throw that out there because it just makes me look really bad with the way that I dress next to him. [18:01.8]
Brad: His Nike collection is next level.
Darryl: Yeah, that's awesome. I say all that because now it's an independent organization that you're responsible for still driving this mission and vision that God put on you and your wife's heart. Is that right?
Brad: That's right.
Darryl: Has anything changed or has it just been more refined?
Brad: I think last September there was a massive shift where the Lord really just kind of led us apart to separate the entity and what he'd put on our heart from Community Bible. But, really, it's been a refinement process outside of that one major shift when we got here of really why he designed us and wired us, and how do those, her identity and calling, really, how is it complimentary to mine and how is mine complimentary to hers? And so that we both get to live out what God made us to be and to do.
Darryl: Wow. There's so many more things to ask, but I need to get into some of the nuts and bolts real quick. What's the name of the business now?
Brad: The name of the business is called Luminary Global, and the name “Luminary” was really taken from the idea of lights that shine in the darkness.
Brad: And so, what we're really working on is to make sure there are leaders and companies that are shining in the midst of a complex broken world for Jesus. [19:08.6]
Darryl: And who hires you? The business or the leader?
Brad: Both, and so leaders and businesses both hire us. Typically, if a business hires us, there's a problem that they're trying to diagnose where they're trying to grow, and the reality is it's always tied back to the leader. I’ve yet to come to a place where the leader's identity is not one of the contributing factors to the growth.
Darryl: Everything rises and falls on leadership and I’ve said that for years, and it sounds like a cliché, but it's a truth.
Brad: It's a truth.
Darryl: Yeah, the leader may come in and say, “Look, I’ve got organizational issues,” and you're like, Okay, I hear you, but I really know it's you, and now I’ve got to find a way to get to you. You're working with business leaders in the city, predominantly the City of San Antonio or is it Texas?
Brad: We have some businesses in Texas, and then we have some organizations that work nationally and internationally that we're working with. [20:00.0]
Darryl: Okay. What you're going to do is, they're going to come to you with a problem, right?
Darryl: And so, then you're going to try to find the very heart of the problem, which is very much, gosh, this goes really deep, but it's transformative. You're going to find the identity of the leaders of the organization, and then once they truly own their identity, then we're talking about right seat stuff. Right?
Brad: That's it, and so much of a leader, when there's a problem, there's a lot of activity going on and what we're trying to do is go, “Okay, why are we doing those activities and why are we getting this result?” and if we can unpack really-- earlier I mentioned why we have to get to the heart of the leader. It’s because if something doesn't flow from the heart, it's really going to be difficult to change the culture of the organization long term. We can go for some quick wins, but really changing the organization, we have to identify what is in the heart of the leader and be able to work from that space.
Darryl: Do you know this is a countrywide issue, though?
Brad: It's countrywide.
Darryl: Yeah, this is really, really good stuff. For those that are listening, you may want to listen to this again, because there's some things that Brad had mentioned that is just really, really impactful, and he's bringing, I think from what I’ve [heard], and I do leadership stuff all the time, but what you're bringing is gold, so thank you. [21:08.9]
Brad: I appreciate that.
Darryl: Suppose somebody wants to hire you individually, can they hire you individually?
Brad: They can. This morning, I spent time with individual leaders and, actually, a couple retirees who are trying to figure out, Okay, I'm here, but I've kind of played enough golf and I’ve ridden the boat enough. What's next?
Darryl: It is really, really important for somebody to connect with you. I mean, I’ve seen it over and over and over and over again, so I'm glad that you're a resource. Do they go to your website?
Brad: Yeah, the best way to do that is LuminaryGlobal.org and they can contact me there, and we'll figure out time to sit down together.
Darryl: Yeah, and, also, if you want to text 74868 and you put in “Texas” and you say, “Hey, I want to talk to that leadership guy,” we'll connect you, so we do it that way, too.
Brad: That’d be great. I appreciate that.
Darryl: Some people are driving and don't drive and text, but it's easier to remember 74868.
Brad: It is. It's a great resource that you've developed.
Darryl: Yeah, thank you. We've covered a lot of ground. I had a list of questions here. I don't know which ones I hit, which ones I missed—but the most important question I never forget, and that's what's your favorite salsa? [22:08.2]
Brad: Oh, that's a great question. My wife makes a good homemade salsa, but in our family, we're queso people and so we have a queso rating score, and we're big fans of blanco queso or white caso.
Brad: And if it's a yellow queso, it, it automatically gets deducted three or four points.
Darryl: No kidding, okay, all right.
Brad: It's personal bias, but if you've got a good white queso with some sauces in there and some add-ons, typically, some guacamole thrown in there and some peppers, you're going to get way up there in our rating score.
Darryl: This is a really good insight from a guy from Georgia.
Brad: Hey, just it’s…
Darryl: You acclimated quickly.
Brad: We tried. We tried hard. We're big fans of tacos and lots of queso, which is not good for your waistline, but really good for San Antonio.
Darryl: Exactly. You're in.
Brad: I'm in.
Darryl: Thank you so much, Brad. This has been a pleasure and a blessing. Thank you.
Brad: Thank you, sir. [23:00.6]
Darryl: Hey, thanks for listening to Retire in Texas, and I want to remind everyone to visit PAXFinancialGroup.com or text “Texas” to 74868—and, of course, I want to remind everyone listening that you think different when you think long term. Have a great day.
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