“O, the overwhelming, never-ending reckless love of God. O, it chases me down, fights ‘til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine.” God spoke to me through this lyric from Cory Asbury’s song Reckless Love as I tried to figure out who I was going to serve with my new firm and what I would name it. Leaving my old firm was not an easy decision, but it was made prayerfully. I wanted to work through these decisions in the same way.
As I asked God who He wanted me to serve, I heard “my lost sheep.” This seemed like a strange answer and didn’t really make sense. I also thought to myself, “I doubt anyone would want to be thought of as a lost sheep or any type of sheep for that matter.”
I continued to pray and began asking what I should name my firm as well. I kept hearing Shepherd. I didn’t understand this, but I continued to pray and listen. I also started doing some research.
Lead By Following
I knew the importance of the term as it relates to my faith. Jesus is known as the Good Shepherd. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11. “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” John 10:14.
How does this relate to me and the relationship I have with my clients?
- First, Jesus “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28. I see my role as one who serves those I get the opportunity to work with.
- Second, Jesus was a guide and a teacher. I see my role as someone who helps educate those I get to work with as well as guide them towards the things that are most important to them.
- Third, as Jesus says above; He knows His sheep and they know Him. I don’t consider my clients to be sheep, but the principle still applies. I hope to have deep and meaningful relationships where I truly know my clients and they know me and that I’m here for them.
The faith component made sense to me, but I wanted to learn more so I looked up the definition of shepherd. What I found started to connect the dots for me a little bit more.
-a person who protects or guides a person or a group.
-to watch over carefully
-guide or direct in a particular direction.
This speaks directly to what I see my role as in working with clients. I see myself as a guide. My job is to understand the people I get to serve and their desires. Then I become a guide in helping them go after what’s possible. Lastly, I’m there to protect them from making mistakes along the way that would undermine their dreams.
After reading the above, it would seem like a slam dunk that I named my firm Shepherd something, but it wasn’t. You see, before starting my firm I’d considered setting up a DBA (doing business as). At the time, I was only considering names based on my last name.
After I left, I had several people recommend that I name my firm using my last name. They gave some good reasons for doing so as well. This led me to ask more people what they thought and eventually to me making a list of twenty plus different names and variations. This list included shepherd and Hyde variations but also some other words that I liked the meaning of.
After going through the list with my wife and striking out the names that just didn’t sound right, we landed on two. Shepherd Financial and Hyde Wealth Management. I like the sound of both of them, but was leaning towards Shepherd Financial. I wasn’t ready to make a final decision though.
God’s Different Voices
Over the next few weeks, I would get guidance and eventually confirmation on how I should name my firm. As I started the article, Cory Asbury’s song Reckless Love seemed to follow me everywhere. Particularly the verse about leaving the ninety-nine.
For those not familiar, that line is referring to one of Jesus’s parables in which a shepherd of a flock of one hundred sheep loses one of them. He then leaves the ninety-nine to go find the one and then rejoices when he does.
During this same period, I had an unexpected conversation that turned out to be a divine encounter. I volunteer in the children’s ministry at our church (UpStreet) and get the opportunity to teach kindergartners about Jesus, how He loves them, and they are special.
One Sunday after almost everyone had left, one of the girls in my group asked me a question. She said: “Did you know I’m going to have a baby brother?” I said, “No, but that’s so cool!” She then asked if I wanted to know what his name was going to be and I said yes. She said “Shepard.” I was speechless. I didn’t know anyone with that name and wasn’t expecting to have this conversation. It caught me completely off guard, but it is something I will remember forever.
About a week later, I was in Orlando for the Kingdom Advisors conference. There was a great lineup of speakers, but I was most excited to hear from two: Dr. Henry Cloud and Randy Alcorn. Both have written books that had a big impact on me.
Dr. Cloud opened day two of the conference. Less than a minute into his talk, he defined what he thought our role was. He said: “We are not financial advisors, we are shepherds.” When he said this, several people at my table turned and looked at me because they knew I had been praying about what to name my firm. This was the final affirmation that I needed to make my final decision.
While the process of naming my firm was somewhat drawn out, I’m happy with where I landed. I did learn some things along the way though.
- God speaks to us in many different ways. This was the most evident. He spoke directly to me, through music, a speaker at a conference, and lastly through a sweet little girl in my UpStreet small group.
- Cool things happen when you actively seek the voice and wisdom of God. Having prayerfully walked through this journey of leaving my old firm to starting and naming my new firm opened my eyes to what it looks like to be dependent solely on God.
- Answers get cloudy when we start relying on our own. I say the above fully acknowledging I would lose sight sometimes and start to try and figure it out on my own again. This showed me that I need to let go and fully surrender.
Am I A Sheep?
I could see how someone might read this and think “does he want me to be a sheep?” It doesn’t have the best ring to it and that’s a valid question.
The answer is no. I don’t want to work with someone who blindly follows my advice. I want to work with people who ask great questions, are willing to learn, and hoping for a long term and meaningful relationship. If that is you, please sign up for a free consultation to see if we would be a good fit.