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The Beginning of Everything We Want with James Lenhoff

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James Lenhoff is a graduate of Miami University with a degree in marketing. A Certified Financial Planner, he worked in financial planning with a large national firm before helping to found Wealthquest Corporation in 2006.
 
James helped build the company on a model of comprehensive, long-term service to clients. Through nearly 20 years of working with clients, he has come to understand that what people really struggle with are the emotional aspects of money. The math is the easy part. So, he has devoted his practice to helping families manage their finances in a way that addresses the emotions they have and protects them from future regrets.
 
James is the Author of, “Living a Rich Life: The No-Regrets Guide to Building and Spending Wealth,” which offers real-life examples of people facing financial challenges. Throughout the book, James offers simple advice on keeping fear, anxiety and misinformation from derailing your peace of mind about money.
 
Married and the father of three, James spends much of his free time on service projects through his church, including financial literacy education programs, and mission work in Haiti.
 
Full transcript:
 
Ray: Well, hello everyone. This is Ray Hilbert and I am your host here at Bottom Line Faith, and we would like to welcome you back for another edition of the program where we get the opportunity to literally travel across the country to speak with some of America’s greatest Christ-following business leaders, marketplace leaders, actors, celebrities, and sports figures as well. We want to find out and discover how these great men and women of God, how they think, how they plan, how they succeed, how they fail, how they integrate and live out their faith on a daily basis in the marketplace. If this is your first time joining us here at Bottom Line Faith, welcome to the program. You could go to our website at bottomlinefaith.org and you can scroll there and see the dozens of interviews that we have posted there. You can also scroll to the bottom of the page there at bottomlinefaith.org and you could become a regular subscriber and receive these interviews on your mobile device, on your laptop or what have you on a regular basis.
 
Also, if you’re a Christ follower in Europe, business owner, a president or CEO, and you would be interested in learning about Christ-centered peer groups that we host at Truth At Work, Truth At Work is the host ministry here at Bottom Line Faith. Check out our website at truthatwork.org that’s truthatwork.org. Okay gang. So enough of those shameless plugs. I am really, really excited to welcome our guest to today’s program. I am in Cincinnati, Ohio, which is kind of a home away from home. I have family that live in the area and those who’ve listened to the program, you know I’m a lifelong Cincinnati Reds fan. So I’ve been kind of in the desert for a few years as a Reds fan. We all have, right. But we are in Cincinnati, Ohio, and I am interviewing James Lenhoff who is the president at Wealthquest. James, welcome to Bottom Line Faith.
 
James: Thank you so much. Great to be here.
 
Ray: I have to tell you, it’s a real honor to get to interview you today. We got a chance to speak on the phone probably a couple of months ago and I was just really encouraged after our conversation that you really, really love Jesus.
 
James: I do. Yes.
 
Ray: He’s the cornerstone of your life.
 
James: Absolutely.
 
Ray: And as it relates to what we do and what we talk about here at Bottom Line Faith, you don’t leave your faith at home. Do you really bring it in here to the company?
 
James: I try my best to have it. Not be a different person that shows up here every day. I want to be the same man, no matter what situation I’m in.
 
Ray: Fantastic. And I’m really looking forward to our conversation where we’re going to learn some of the ways you integrate your faith and live out your faith and those sorts of things and best practices centered around your faith and we’ll get to that. But if we could just kind of maybe hit the rewind button a little bit and give the audience just a little bit of background on you, how you came to Christ, just a little bit of your early years.
 
James: Yeah, absolutely. So I grew up a Catholic, actually part of my family tradition. And when I was a high schooler I got connected to Young Life. And so I met Jesus through a Young Life ministry, which I’m a huge fan of and still connected to today. I actually went on into college and was a leader for Young Life at Colrain high school here in Cincinnati and met my wife there. It’s actually a joke. Meet your wife and Young Life, you know, it’s kind of a natural fit. Surrounded by believers and it’s just a great connecting point. So that’s been my background.
 
Ray: And so tell us then a little bit about your early career years and then of course we’ll learn more about Wealthquest as we go along here, but help us understand a little bit about your early career.
 
James: Yeah. I graduated from Miami early. I thought I wanted to, you know, enter the real world as fast as possible. Which, you know, now I look back and God’s sovereignty is all over this story. So I went into the financial services industry in the year 2000. Had I graduated on time, I would’ve gone in in 2001 when no one was hiring because the tech bubble was popping. And so I started 17 guys were hired in the same group as I was and a year later I was the only one left. And so it was a very difficult kind of trial by fire to start in a business where everyone was running away and having to kind of deal with that strain and stress to stay afloat in a sinking environment. So I was in this business and had kind of risen relatively quickly into management. And the guy that had brought me into the business, retired. And at that point, the guy that came in was someone I didn’t have a lot of respect for.
 
I thought at the ripe old age of 25, my career was over cause I can’t work for this guy. And so, I quit. Six months later that guy was fired and they actually replaced him with someone else. So again, all throughout my story, there’s these stages where at the moment I thought this is a terrible, you know, time, this is a really difficult season. And I look back and it’s the best thing that ever happened to me cause I moved away from that company, ended up starting Wealthquest with my business partner.
 
Ray: Wait, so James, we’re going to learn more about Wealthquest and why and how you started the firm and what you do here. But I’d like to just for a moment, hit the rewind button and I’d like to go back to those first couple of years right out of school. And did you feel a natural affinity in this industry or was it something that kind of had to grow on you, or just help us understand that a little bit?
 
James: Yeah. I never really knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up. I just knew I wanted to work with people. I’ve always enjoyed the human interaction that we get to have in this industry. So I wasn’t really excited about necessarily being in financial services. It was more about being in relationship and connection with families and with parents as they’re struggling to figure out how to make some of these decisions that impact their kids. And yeah, so it’s just something I naturally was drawn to because of the relationship aspect, not so much the nuts and bolts of financial planning.
 
Ray: Okay. And so you shared then you kind of gotten frustrated and as we know, usually people do quit a manager and not a company. So that definitely sounds like that was part of your journey. You had a leader that you are not maybe connecting with very well. So you left that firm. Then what led you, and it sounds like at a very young age to start this firm, Wealthquest. What led that; help us understand that.
 
James: Yeah, it was a very young age. I was 26 when we started Wealthquest. And my, what really happened was this awareness being in a large firm and working for this established kind of market leader, but still recognizing all the limitations that we weren’t allowed to give tax advice. We weren’t allowed to be connected to estate plan design. We weren’t allowed to do a lot of things that people needed. And so one of the things that happened was, as Wade and I were talking about this business, it was where is the industry broken?
 
And what we found is it’s broken in that everyone is operating in these silos. The accountant’s over here, the attorney’s over there, there’s four or five different places where money’s invested and none of those people talk to each other. And so the client is left dealing with the confusion of all these different advisors, all these experts that are giving conflicting advice. And a lot of ways. And so we decided to bring that whole team under one roof instead of having them operate in these independent silos. And that’s really been the motivation to build this firm was to meet clients of what they really needed, which is a really coordinated effort rather than these individual players.
 
Ray: Before we move on now, as I was listing another question kind of popped into my mind. We have a pretty wide variety of folks who, you know, view the Bottom Line Faith program or listen to it if they’re doing it via podcast. And we have young leaders, you know, people perhaps like you were a few years ago, early to mid twenties, and they’re there, maybe they’re wrestling through God’s calling their life and where they’re heading vocationally. Right? And maybe they’re confused, maybe they’re scared or whatever. But just let’s take a moment. What advice or encouragement would you have for that young leader who’s, you know, listening to our conversation and maybe could use a little encouragement.
 
James: Oh man, you know, I think if I were to go back to a 20 something year old version of me, I would really want help understanding that God is for me. God is for you. God is always for us. And so in the midst of the pain points, in the midst of things that in the moment seem like the end of something, right? How do you face those things fearlessly? You know, how do you get to a place where you recognize, God is for me in this? And so I started understanding that in the rearview mirror and want to really approach all of these difficult times with that same thought for, you know, going forward. How do I enter into something that seems stressful and chaotic and painful and ask the question, what do you have for me dad, instead of what, you know, what am I going to do about, right?
 
Ray: Yeah, and so I’m also curious, you know, as a young emerging, you know, adviser and you’re growing in your expertise, but I’m going back to your mid twenties. Was it difficult for you to gain the trust of older clients? Kind of maybe looking, you know, and saying, what could this young whippersnapper have to offer? You know, I’m thinking of the passage, it says, don’t let it look down on you because you’re young, right? First Timothy. So how did you deal with that?
 
James: Well, one of the things I did was grow a beard. You know, I wish I could look like I’m 12 and so now I just look like a 12 year old that grew a beard. But no, I think the thing that I have struggled all throughout my career because I started when I was 21. Proving that I know what I’m talking about. Gaining that credibility and the change for me where I really started to gain freedom from that need to prove myself was when I started asking more questions and leaning into the client, you know, I would say there was a point in time where up until there I was talking to clients about their money. Now I talked to them about them and then we get to talk about their money eventually. But that change is really what added the credibility is the more that I was trying to prove my knowledge and prove my value, the less I was actually accomplishing it, the more of that I was meeting them where they were and going in deep relationship, credibility was not a problem. That’s because they trusted who I was.
 
Ray: And you connected. That point their heart had been opened up and then you were just able to step right in and meet that need. I think that’s fantastic. And I also think that that’s really great advice if you will, or a great model for any of us, regardless of ages. We probably would be wise to take a step back and worry a whole lot less about proving ourselves and a whole lot more about serving others. That’s what I’m hearing in that.
 
James: One of my all time favorite books is The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness by Tim Keller. It’s a 50 page book. It’s a sermon that he did that they turned into a book. And I read it once every month or so. It’s 50 pages. It takes no time. But the concept is that we as Christians need to spend, it’s not that we need to think more highly of ourselves or think less of ourselves. It’s that we need to think about ourselves less. And so the more that we have freedom to just be selfless and engage in relationship, the more that we actually get to be an expert in what we do. It’s amazing how much more important that is than the math and the tax law and the data.
 
Ray: Yeah, it’s actually less valuable. It’s biblical principles that work, right?
 
James: That’s right.
 
Ray: And fantastic. So now let’s talk about Wealthquest. So you started the firm, what year did we start here?
 
James: In 2006.
 
Ray: Okay, so 2006. And you started out probably small and humble and of course we always are small and humble, those sorts of things. But walk us through, help us understand what the firm is all about, what you’ve done. We’ll talk about some of your, you know, business model or things like that and some of the neat things you’re doing here. But walk us through what the firm’s all about.
 
James: Yeah. We’ve really built this thing around the idea of open-ended relationships. So clients, when we work for a client, we do their estate plan design, we do their tax work, including their tax preparation. We do all their financial planning, we do their investment management and it’s all included. All these different services, one stop shop, all that’s right. It’s all in one place and it’s all for one fee. So we don’t charge hourly or separately for any of the services. It’s all wrapped up in the investment management fee. And so the advantage to that from the client standpoint of what we really thought was, Hey, the results are better cause we’re all coordinated and it makes sense. And that’s true. But the bigger aha for us is that all the barriers to engagement go away. So you know, when you work with a traditional model where every time you interact with the person, you get a bill in the mail, we just don’t interact with them. You just don’t call, you’ll Google the answer yourself or you’ll do the best you can to figure it out on your own because you don’t want to pay for asking a 20 minute question. Our clients, we’ve found, they engage us on things that feel kind of goofy that they even call us about it, but yeah, they can. And so there’s just way more freedom and depth of relationship cause we don’t have those barriers there.
 
Ray: So any type of particular client ideal or do you serve across a wide variety of socioeconomic spectrum? Just so I want to understand the model.
 
James: Sure. Yeah. So we broke our clients into three different models and it really is about where they’re at in the life stages. So we have a product called Ascend, which is really for young families that are just getting started, just trying to figure things out. And the truth is that if we map out 70 years of projections, those numbers are all wrong. There’s really not a lot of value to it. So it’s much more about these are the blocking and tackling things you need to do as a young family to get going and set the trajectory of your future.
 
Then we have Expeditions, which is kind of our core client base where you know, they’ve got $500,000 to a couple of million dollars that they’ve invested and they’ve got, you know, resources, but they’re aiming at six or seven priorities at the same time and they’re overwhelmed and they’re confused and they don’t know exactly how to prioritize things.
 
And then we have our Summit level, which is where you get to a place where you say, Hey, I’m not going to run out of money. That’s not a worry anymore. So now what? And that conversation turns to advanced charitable planning and really sophisticated estate design.
 
So we can leave a thumbprint on our heirs rather than just dump a bunch of money in their laps. And that’s actually one of our favorite conversations is what do we do with these resources to really make an impact rather than just like a big deposit in someone’s bank account.
 
Ray: Yeah. So, James, I had a chance to, you know, look through the book and see some of the main things that you’re passionate about and wanting to communicate. What are, what’s one or two myths or what’s one or two like mindsets that you really believe is important for people to overcome when it comes to wealth, when it comes to finances? Maybe just give us one or two tips there.
 
James: You know, the biggest thing is that I think people are under the impression that money is about math. It’s not. It’s very emotional. Money is about our passions. It’s about our fear. It’s about greed. It’s about all these feelings that we have. It’s really not about just formulas and numbers. And so the problem is a lot of what we do in the traditional sense of financial advice is very focused on numbers and so it would always lead people to make whichever decision is going to give them more money at each fork in the road. If there’s an option that actually tugs at our heart, but we end up with a little less money or an option that leads to a raise or a bigger title or a more sophisticated or significant role. We pick the wrong direction that’s away from our heart and towards a bigger raise. And I have the clients, they’re in their eighties that look back in their nineties and have all this regret. And then I would be sitting across the table from a 30 year old and they’re about to make all the decisions that that 80 year old regrets.
 
And I can say, Oh, I have you as a client when you’re 80 and they would tell you don’t do what you’re about to do. And so that’s really what the book is about, is trying to help people tap into the emotion. Because we really skip that. We tend to really think in math, no one ever outlives their means or lives at a level that can’t afford because they don’t understand math. They’re doing it because they haven’t really figured out the emotion behind them.
 
Ray: And so for those of you who are watching this on video, I’m going to hold up a copy of the book here. It’s called Living a Rich Life: The No Regrets Guide to Building and Spending Wealth. And you do talk a lot about regrets and do you see that as a common theme for those middle to older, middle aged, older clients? Is regret a big part of what you experience in your work?
 
James: It is. I think, you know, the regret compounds just like money does. All the decision points that people walk through, they end up having these regrets that make it harder for them to make decisions going forward. So it’s definitely something I see. What I think is surprising for people is the regrets that they have aren’t what they expected. You know? So I’ll have a client who at every stage made the decision that was the traditionally right decision. They always picked the path that led to kind of more, and then they find themselves at 80 something with millions of dollars in the bank account, but a lot of coulda, woulda, shoulda. And so that’s really what I tend to fight more about because I’ve seen it. The client’s not seen it yet. The first time they get to a place where they’re making that decision.
 
I’ve seen it 743 times. They’ve never seen it yet. And so I can let them know, Hey, this is how this movie ends. I’ve seen this go this way. And you know, gives them perspective that they don’t otherwise have.
 
Ray: I really appreciate that and I really, really trust and pray that as someone is listening to this, that they’ll take this to heart and to really make some decisions around living, making decisions with no regrets or less regrets. That would be success, right?
 
James: Absolutely. That’s right.
 
Ray: So you’ve talked a few moments ago about some of the unique things about what the firm offers your client, but you’ve also built some things internally that are unique in this business. The employee benefits, ownership, their hours, demands on workers, and those sorts of things on your teammates. And talk a little bit about that. What have you done here that’s a little bit different and unique?
 
James: Yeah. One of the things that has been a huge gift for me is that my partner, my business partner, Wade and I are constantly challenging each other. How do we live this out with abundance and with a sense of obligation to help our employees live the way they want to live? And we got to give them the opportunity to go home and be with their family. If we’re going to go home and be with their family, we can’t just kind of take advantage of them. And so a couple of things we did from the beginning of the firm is we always close at noon, every Friday. We want our employees to be home and have a bit of a long weekend with their families. One of the things I learned somewhere along the way is that the concept of Sabbath is deeply valuable and that we want to launch into work from a state of rest rather than the other way.
 
Most of the time people work, work, work, and then fall into kind of collapse into rest because their body basically forces it on them. They’re just exhausted, right? But if we set a pattern of being rested, then launched into work, we’re actually better workers. And so we tell our families, go home, be with your family, enjoy your weekend. And that way when they come back on Monday, they’re ready to go. They don’t walk in like zombies. The second thing is we really want to enable them to engage in the ministry work that they’re called to. And so for some people that’s relief missions. When the hurricane happens or the flooding happens down in Texas or what have you. We pay for our employees to go and one of their family members to go on mission trips or bill on relief trips. And we want them to engage in a story that’s bigger than themselves.
 
We want them to feel connected to those that are in need, those that are hurting because it makes them more selfless. And we’re in a service business. The more selfless our people are, the better we are giving that service. And so we just want to give them access to whatever they feel called to. We don’t want the cost of those things to be a problem. And then the other thing that we do is we help pay for adoption. We have had a few of our employees that have adopted children, one from China, one from here in the U S and we really want to further that model of adoption because that is who we are. We’ve been adopted as children of God.
 
Ray: Well, I’m going to just maybe ask a little bit of a challenging question around this topic and as I’ve kind of just read about the history, you know, you’ve got a very sizable firm now, thousand or more clients. If I’m not necessarily taken, at what point, so it might be easier to make those kinds of decisions now, right? So maybe somebody is listening and say, Oh, that’s easy now James, because you guys have arrived and you’ve got a lot of excess, and so forth, but you didn’t make those decisions. You didn’t put those things in place yesterday.
 
James: Right. That’s right.
 
Ray: How did you come to the conclusion earlier in the business when maybe it was more financially difficult to make those kinds of decisions? What drove that?
 
James: You know, I get that statement a lot. Well now you can do it. We’ve always done it. And the challenge is, I’m not sure which came first, was it because we set limitations and kind of said this is as far as we go and no more because we will be home for dinner with our families and we will spend the time in relationship with our kids and with our spouses. Did that create the success, because we were healthy and stable and comfortable because we’ve always done it. So the where it came from really was this conviction that Wade and I had that if we’re going to want to take advantage of the fact that we own this business in order to have the freedom and the connection with the people that we love, we can’t steal that from our employees, no matter how much that might cost.
 
And so it was always from the beginning because we just felt like it was the right way to honor God with this thing. The other thing that I always do, I joke with people around here that I say, look, I’m not here past five. And so if you’re here past five, you are winning no brownie points. Because I won’t know. And if they’re overwhelmed and they’re over their capacity, we really need to be in a place where we’re hiring the next person and we’re doing what it takes rather than allowing them to sacrifice their life for the good of the company. That’s not why we’re here.
 
Ray: And going back to perhaps a lot of the theme in your book here, living a rich life, you’re not going to have regrets in that. You overworked your people are there and took advantage of them. You’re living this out from day one in the company, right?
 
James: That’s right. That’s right.
 
Ray: I think that’s really great.
 
James: Well, thank you.
 
Ray: And I think it’s also perhaps an encouragement, perhaps even James, a little bit of a challenge we probably have, while we do have hundreds if not thousands of business owners that listen to this program, presidents, CEOs, high capacity leaders. And there’s always that tension between, you know, meeting the needs of the firm or the organization and their employees. But you’re saying serve the people first and the organization will take care of itself. Is that what I’m hearing?
 
James: That’s exactly right. I mean, if your workers are well-balanced and aren’t grinding themselves into a pulp, then everything gets more efficient. And I think that’s what we tend to lose sight of. You know, cause we could always ask for more. We could always demand more and it’s cheaper to demand more from what you’re already paying for and just kind of, you know, whipped them a little harder so to speak. But eventually they become less and less valuable to you because you’re pulling all the resources they have to give. And so, you know, we are big believers in this idea of work life balance and if we’re going to take advantage of that ourselves, we’ve got to make sure our employees get the advantage of that too. And I just have a strong conviction that that’s our role as Christian leaders.
 
Ray: Yeah, that’s a great segue actually, kind of the last section of our conversation today. We’ve talked about a little bit about your background, how and why you started the firm, some of the unique aspects of what you offer clients and then of course some of the unique aspects of the infrastructure and how your business model. But let’s talk now about your Christian faith. Let’s talk about the intentionality behind your Christian faith into the business. What would be maybe a biblical principle or two, I mean, we’ve been hearing it throughout this conversation, but just kind of like tie it into some Scripture for us. What would be a biblical principle or two that really does drive or influence your leadership?
 
James: Yeah, I think the biggest thing that I feel called to is generosity. You know, and, and there’s Scripture all over the place that talks about this idea of giving selflessly and we want to give without hesitation. And so my main driver is I’ve never met an unhappy, generous person. I’ve never interacted with someone who was always looking for opportunities to impact others and was miserable. And so that’s our biggest focus, is the more that we can give, the more we actually get to enjoy this life. We connect to the father’s purpose. Because he is about the widow. He is about the orphan. He is about connecting to those that are broken. And that is really what we’re trying to model. Not only in a business sense, but you know, I volunteer. I leave Thursday at noon. I leave here and I volunteer the men’s pastor at our church because I’m connected to all these men that are in these different stages of life. And God and just convicted me one day. I didn’t give you access to all these lives for your own good. I didn’t give you this perspective of how this all goes just for your own benefit. And so I three or four years ago now took a cut in time and pay here to go and spend time with men, talk about fatherhood, talk about how to be a good husband and how to make some of these decisions that don’t ultimately lead to pulling away from the roles where we are the only people on the planet that can play them.
 
Ray: I love that and thank you for that. That’s a real encouragement to me and I’m sure to our listeners as well. So think back and gosh, where we get near the end of our time together. It always goes so fast. We say it’s the fastest 30 minutes on air, but it does feel that way. What’s maybe the hardest thing you’ve been through as an owner, as a leader in business and how, how did your faith pull you through that hard season?
 
James: Yeah, the hardest season I’ve ever been through was 2008, 2009. Everyone would assume cause it was miserable. I don’t ever want to do it again. You know, there was a tremendous amount of fear and a tremendous amount of panic. I mean, we had clients where I would be on the phone with someone and while I was on the phone, I would have 14 messages to return phone calls. And that math doesn’t work very well. I couldn’t stay ahead of all of the people that were in a panic. And I’m watching our revenue implode. And Wade and I are constantly looking at the budget and taking personal pay cuts and trying to just make it through. And we had to come to a point of do we let some people go? And we had kind of cut to the bone and a lot of different ways to kind of just weather the storm.
 
And we ended up going to the employees and saying, look, here’s the deal. We really don’t want to kick anybody out in the midst of this mess. And so we’re going to all participate in a reduction in income in order to make sure that everybody still has a paycheck. And it was really hard. And it was really scary. But what I found is because we had built this sense of abundance into the culture, people responded with, I’m okay with that, I want to make sure we all make it through this, you know? And so we really ended up rallying closer together as a result of that trial rather than, you know, backbiting and hurting each other. It was, again, I don’t ever want to do it again. But I am really grateful for what God taught us in that crisis.
 
Ray: There’s two or three things that I take away from that. One is you had that pre-established foundation with your teammates here and your workers and your employees. So you had that foundation to draw upon. Secondly, you just came to them as a person, as a human being with authenticity and transparency and say, look, here is the deal. We’re not hiding anything. You know, we’re participating in the sacrifice as well. And then thirdly, everybody was in it together. And my guess is, you came out of it stronger as an organization as well.
 
James: Absolutely. Yeah, without question.
 
Ray: That’s a great lesson there for us. So, we probably just have time for maybe a couple more questions. Maybe we can get you back on the program again, a second time. I have a whole list of things I wanted to ask but we’re not going to have time today, but I would like to ask you this and you touched on this a few moments ago, but I’d like you to give the best advice to your 20 year old self. We’ve probably got some young leaders coming along that are listening this. So if you could go back and say to your 20 year old self, make sure you do this or make sure you do that, what would that be?
 
James: Yeah, I would say a couple things. One is, I started studying the fear of the Lord. You know, maybe a decade or so ago. I wish I’d have started earlier. What I’ve discovered is scripture says fear the Lord is the beginning of everything I want. It’s the beginning of wisdom. It’s the beginning of friendship with the Lord. It is the source of so many good things. And so anything that I’m fearing that is outside of the Lord is detrimental to my experience here on earth. I feel really confident that fear is our worst enemy. And the twenty-something version of me was afraid of everything, was convinced that things were broken, that I was not going to make it, that it wasn’t going to work. And now years later I can look back and I would tell that that 20 something version of me just trust God’s process. He is fully sovereign and I only have him to fear. There is nothing else on this planet that I should face with fear. And fearlessness is what makes us, I think, make generous decisions. It makes us lean into opportunities to be selfless because we’re not self-preservation motivated.
 
Ray: Yeah, and I got to believe in your line of work here in financial advisory and wealth management services that taking away that fear of what the client is going to think or say or whether they’re going to fire you, gives you that freedom to speak the truth and love to them to help them not have so many regrets. That’s what I’m hearing.
 
James: Absolutely. Yeah. That the client wants to talk about the numbers and ultimately again, what changed for me at some point, and I think it has been deeply valuable, is the conversation went from me trying to convince them that I’m right or convince them that we know what we’re doing. And it moved instead to listening to them. Hearing them, you know, they’re scared. I get it. Let’s talk about that. You know, instead of, well, you shouldn’t be. You know, that’s not valuable. So connecting to what they’re really feeling and allowing them to feel that, you know, has been really where things started to change.
 
Ray: That’s incredible. And I just really appreciate that there’s so much wisdom there. So much value in that than any of us in the marketplace can take away from that and speaking the truth in love and not being fearful of man, not being fearful of the consequences of loving people well. Well, gosh, we’re down to our last question. Oh gosh. I can’t believe this has been this fast. And for our regular listeners, James, it’s always the last question that I ask in every interview and okay, it’s based out of Proverbs 4:23. So I call it my 4:23 question where Solomon writes above all else, guard your heart for from it flows all of life. Everything comes out of our heart in life. So I’d like you to just kind of fast forward the clock. You’re still a reasonably young man, of course. But fast forward the clock to say the end of your time, this side of eternity here on earth. And you have a chance for one last conversation with the most precious people on the planet, to your family, your friends, your loved ones, maybe some clients, whatever the case may be. But you have a chance to pass along your above all else advice. So fill in the blank for us. Above all else.
 
James: Seek wisdom. I have been blessed with a series of spiritual fathers that are at each stage of my life. I actively sought their leadership. I actively said, please mentor me. And I think in our generational dichotomy, people that are millennials are afraid to ask. And people who are baby boomers feel like they have nothing to offer. And that is a huge missed opportunity. And so I would tell young people, please seek those spiritual parents that can nurture you and impart wisdom to you because of their life experience. And for the people who have lived those lives. Don’t stay out of the game. Don’t turn into this solitary person. You have so much to offer. Invest in that next generation instead of just ridiculing them. And then the last thing, Dallas Willard has aligned that I absolutely love, I forget who was interviewing him, but he said, the one piece of advice you would give is ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life. Just being present and not feeling this rush to move on and go to the next thing has been a huge blessing to me. If I can just be still and engage with what God has for me right now and not worry about what’s next.
 
Ray: James Lenhoff. I want to thank you for the time that you’ve invested with us today here at Bottom Line Faith. It’s just very encouraging and very refreshing to hear how God has used, is using you, how you’re living your life and your business to glorify him. So I just can’t thank you enough.
 
James: Oh my pleasure. I really enjoyed it. Let’s do it again.
 
Ray: We’ll do it again. We’ll folks, I have been here with James Lenhoff and his headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio. Wealthquest is his firm. And let me just give you a couple of ways to connect with James and his team here. One is WQCorp.com that’s WQCorp.com That’s the website for Wealthquest and learn about their various offerings of a wealth management and frankly biblical worldview management as it relates to financial resources. He and his team would be delighted to speak with you there and then of course check out his book. It’s really a wonderful read. It’s called Living a Rich Life: The No-Regrets Guide to Building and Spending Wealth. And you can learn about that or pick a copy of that up at livingarichlife.com. There’s also some great videos there that James will guide you through some great perspectives on living a life with no regrets.
 
And so, I just really appreciate James being our guest today and again, as we close our program today, check out BottomLineFaith.org. Not only is this interview there of course, but the dozens of other interviews from leaders from around the country. Man, I just sometimes feel like I’m the luckiest guy on the planet that I get to have these kinds of conversations. And I don’t know if any of you care, but I care cause I learn a lot in these conversations and I get so inspired and so encouraged and I believe that’s why you plug in and tune in as well. So until next time here at Bottom Line Faith, I am your host, Ray Hilbert, saying God bless and serve him faithfully in the marketplace.

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