3:18– A little bit of my background
5:29–Education and the start of my career
9:17–My start in coffee shops
17:33– About Innova Coffee
25:41–The 4:23 Question
 
Full Transcript:
 
Ray: Well, hello everyone, this is Ray Hilbert I am your host here at Bottom Line Fath, we’d like to welcome you back to another edition of the program and kind of the analogy that we liked around here at Bottom Line Faith is we’re going to lift the hood and tinker around in the engine of Christian leadership of Christ followers who are in business and in the marketplace and we have the incredible pleasure and privilege of traveling all over the country and interviewing business owners and doctors and attorneys and accountants and celebrities and folks who are really intentionally living out their faith in the marketplace. If this s your first time listening to Bottom Line Faith, welcome, we’re so glad you’ve chosen to join us today if you want to I check out the other interviews that we have on the program go to bottomlinefaith.org, that’s bottomlinefaith.org, where you can scroll down to the bottom of the page there and you can become a subscriber to this weekly program whether it’s on Stitcher, iTunes, Google Play, a number of different platforms there you can become a regular subscriber to the program. If you’re a regular listener, thanks for coming back again for this week’s program. If you are a follower of Christ and you’re a business owner if your president you’re a CEO and you are interested in learning more about what it could be like to be in a community of like-minded peers who want to build and run their businesses to God’s glory, check out truthatwork.org, that’s trueatwork.org, Truth At Work is the host ministry for the Bottom Line Faith program, click there on the tab that says roundtables and you can learn all about our Roundtable program for Christ following business owners and leaders. We have chapters and roundtables in dozens of cities across the country. Well, folks, we’re ready to get started and my guest, my friend, who I’m getting to know and we’re going to get to know better together on the program today is Tyler Nash and Tyler is the owner of Innova Coffee and we are in Birmingham Alabama I’ve said on a couple previous interviews that I’m starting to feel like Birmingham is my home away from home and we are not only in the Bible Belt but we are in the shiny Buckle of the Bible Belt here in Birmingham and it’s awesome God has placed so many Christ-following Business Leaders in this community, Tyler, welcome to Bottom Line Faith.
 
Tyler: Ray, thank you it is a pleasure and just want to be real with you and the listeners and share my heart.
 
Ray: Yeah, that’s awesome. Tyler, we’re going to learn about your company and this unique concept that God has giving you and that you’re building in business, but take just a couple of moments share with our audience a little bit of your background, a little bit of from your childhood, you know, how you came to Christ, just help us get to know a little bit of the foundation of who you are.
Well, hello everyone, this is Ray Hilbert I am your host here at Bottom Line Fath, we’d like to welcome you back to another edition of the program and kind of the analogy that we liked around here at Bottom Line Faith is we’re going to lift the hood and tinker around in the engine of Christian leadership of Christ followers who are in business and in the marketplace and we have the incredible pleasure and privilege of traveling all over the country and interviewing business owners and doctors and attorneys and accountants and celebrities and folks who are really intentionally living out their faith in the marketplace. If this s your first time listening to Bottom Line Faith, welcome, we’re so glad you’ve chosen to join us today if you want to I check out the other interviews that we have on the program go to bottomlinefaith.org, that’s bottomlinefaith.org, where you can scroll down to the bottom of the page there and you can become a subscriber to this weekly program whether it’s on Stitcher, iTunes, Google Play, a number of different platforms there you can become a regular subscriber to the program.

If you’re a regular listener, thanks for coming back again for this week’s program. If you are a follower of Christ and you’re a business owner if your president you’re a CEO and you are interested in learning more about what it could be like to be in a community of like-minded peers who want to build and run their businesses to God’s glory, check out truthatwork.org, that’s trueatwork.org, Truth At Work is the host ministry for the Bottom Line Faith program, click there on the tab that says roundtables and you can learn all about our Roundtable program for Christ following business owners and leaders. We have chapters and roundtables in dozens of cities across the country. Well, folks, we’re ready to get started and my guest, my friend, who I’m getting to know and we’re going to get to know better together on the program today is Tyler Nash and Tyler is the owner of Innova Coffee and we are in Birmingham Alabama I’ve said on a couple previous interviews that I’m starting to feel like Birmingham is my home away from home and we are not only in the Bible Belt but we are in the shiny Buckle of the Bible Belt here in Birmingham and it’s awesome God has placed so many Christ-following Business Leaders in this community, Tyler, welcome to Bottom Line Faith.

 

Tyler: Ray, thank you it is a pleasure and just want to be real with you and the listeners and share my heart.

 

Ray: Yeah, that’s awesome. Tyler, we’re going to learn about your company and this unique concept that God has giving you and that you’re building in business, but take just a couple of moments share with our audience a little bit of your background, a little bit of from your childhood, you know, how you came to Christ, just help us get to know a little bit of the foundation of who you are.

 

Tyler: Sure, Ray. Born and raised here in Birmingham family of four, my mom and dad and then I have a brother five years older than me and my mom and dad were married for over fifty years so there was a home that was intact for sure and a lot of commitment primarily on my mother’s part to keep it that way through some difficult times, you know, you mentioned that we’re in the heart of the Bible Belt and so that’s a wonderful thing and can be a very challenging thing where there’s every appearance that were in the Bible Belt, but as you said when you look under the hood maybe in a home or in your heart, for sure, there’s some things that really don’t add up, you know, that’s true with all of us, and so I want this time of my life to be about being honest and real, so we did have some real struggles in our home, anger issues, areas where it was hard to measure up that I think went through with me in life, but my dad was very successful in his business and so in terms of, you know, physical trappings, home and everything around that we had a very, very nice. My dad has since passed away, he was if I didn’t mention, he was fifty when I was born. My mom is still living she’s 92 and delightful and, you know, it would really be the backbone of our homegrown up.

 

Ray: So thanks for sharing that. So you’re from Birmingham but you went off to school out of state. Why don’t you talk a little bit about that, what you thought life might have in store and then kind of tell us what about the career pathway?

 

Tyler: Sure, yeah. So, I went to school in a small liberal arts Christian school in Mississippi, Belhaven College great to setting in terms of professors and in people that really cared, they had a Christian Counseling degree and that’s what I was pursuing I do, I felt then and I still believe, that there are some gift mixes that go well counseling or just listening and being empathetic and getting into someone’s story, went there to pursue that, never, except for maybe a short time, really, really got into that as a as a career path but that’s what took me to Belhaven, finish there and went for the next fourteen years with a concrete company Sherman Industries, headquartered here in Birmingham, there was a mentor there just a delightful man, Danny Rogers, that wanted to use some of my gifting to influence the blue collar segment of that company and so there were some things that took place, kind of along those lines from a counseling standpoint but the next fourteen years were spent in that industry primally in sales that was where I was most comfortable, relational sales, what what really took me from that company is my dad had dissolved a trust in my name and my brother’s name as well separate trusts, and so that was in around 2000 and in my mind like overnight I became an investor and went about trying to do that I would say by year three to five, I knew that things weren’t going well and really the accounts were just dwindling year-by-year, but, I part of disappearance that that that we talked about I could not bring myself to admit it to myself and particularly to others and so, Ray, I just continued to the very end until the bank helped me admit, you know, you failed at this, and so my wife, Anna, and I had built a home a few years prior, we sold that, moved into a rental house. I did some yard work for family and acquaintances and then also began working in a coffee shop just us an hourly worker.

 

Ray: So let me get this straight, just to follow, so you’re somewhere, what, forty-seven, forty-eight years old?

 

Tyler: I  was actually fifty.

 

Ray: Fifty-years-old, okay thank you, and your financial world collapsed, the home that you had built, you sold a home, you’re now in a rental home and you’re working in a coffee shop as an hourly employee. Pick up the story from there.

 

Tyler: I guess the contrast, you know, if you took a snapshot of a moment in the coffee shop versus maybe a year or two prior to snapshot the contrast of those two primarily again in terms of what I wanted to look like to other people, it was just a night and day, even until the end I wanted to look successful, look confident and that was more, I mentioned to you before we got on the air, but that was more of survival than just outright deceit I just there was such fear and insecurity and pain I could not kind of revel my heart to people. So, then fast forward and I’m behind the counter as a fifty-year-old barista and those two don’t even mix fifty-year-old and barista, it was just a very humbling scenario but exactly by God’s grace what I needed to begin chipping away at this facade that I had really, really carefully put together.

 

Ray: So what would you have to say to somebody who’s listening right now, who has yet to really come to grips about that matching of that external appearance with the internal authenticity and their life is all about appearances, even their faith that they may be trying to look like that poster child for Christianity, they’re serving in their church, they’re in leadership, what have you, but they know that in their heart of hearts that that there is a-, those were your words, an incongruence there, what would you say to that person who’s having a hard time matching up the external and the internal?

 

Tyler: Ray,  that just resonates with me because it is that God is a god of hope, you know, if I had been God and I have been dealing with somebody like me, I would have said twenty-thirty years ago, you know, I am finished I have giving you every opportunity and you have thrown it in the toilet, and that is never, till even this moment, what happened, you know, what I didn’t get into is when that financial meltdown happened in my life you know, my cover was blown in a sense and so there was really no reason to keep up appearances and so I right or wrong and in there’s a lot of wrong in it, I sort of stiff-armed must everything spiritual in my life in, terms of small groups and because of it all been an act to me I was not going to keep up that appearance, there was no reason to, I was exposed already, so there was no reason to but before that there’d been kind of a quid pro quo in my mind, relationship with God, I do my part and you do yours and, you know, we get along fine. All of a sudden I wasn’t doing my part, I never had done my part ever, of course, I hadn’t, but even outwardly that wasn’t doing my part but He was still doing His and the reality of that began to break my heart, of His grace and so without a doubt, again even to this moment, what I would say is that “God is a god of hope.” there has not been a last chance in my life where he is concerned, there’s love, there’s acceptance, there’s forgiveness and they’re still tremendous struggles in my life, but He has, you know, brought me to this place of greater and greater transparency and it’s a great place to live.

 

Ray: I appreciate your transparency and authenticity even in this conversation, you know and in this interview. Is this difficult? Is this easy? Is this something that you’re growing in, learning how to better share and maybe help others get out of their life of appearances in until life of authenticity, what’s that like for you at this point in the journey?

 

Tyler: I would say that as you begin to taste authenticity and that you don’t have to hide behind appearances there’s a hunger for more of that so I would say in a lot of ways it’s not difficult but that you really want that. I mean we all want to be true to ourselves, there’s Freedom there Jesus promised that and so, you know, every day in the coffee shop behind the counter and it is really, I’m telling you, just a pleasure to be as transparent with people as possible. That setting is just natural for short conversations but sometimes they continue day, after day, after day and so it can be real and authentic and you know I can receive hope from people if I’m being transparent as well as hopefully give encouragement to people.

 

Ray: I have a,I don’t know, if you would call it a statement, a principal, a philosophy I’m not exactly how to categorize it, but this sentence is one that I’ve really grown to embrace, really over the last year, and that’s this “That when your walk with Christ is maturing, if it’s becoming more mature and your level of self-awareness is really high those two factors we have a mature relationship that God is God he’s got a plan for everything and our own level of self-awareness is really really high we know our strengths we know our weaknesses we know what we’re good at we know or not good at and all those things that when those two factors are combined we are nearly impossible to offend or embarrass and it has been very freeing for me because I found myself in many conversations that could be very conflict oriented, maybe I get a strong statement to me about a criticism about “Ray, you really did that badly, or boy you’re really bad” and I say “You know what, you ought to try living with me I’m actually worse than that.” because I’m not offended by that because I know I have these blind spots, I know I have the shortcomings, and I also know in the book of Isaiah says “Even my very best is a stench in the nostrils of the Lord” so why should I feel like I’m going to be offended by that, right, and that’s what I’m hearing in this conversation and I’m really excited that you know your story can be an encouragement to others the good thing, that’s really cool is that God has given you a new chapter here, you’re now, you started a company, you’ve started a business, let’s talk about that, I want to learn about this, what is what is- and by the way folks we are talking with Tyler Nash, he is the owner of  Innova coffee in Birmingham, Alabama, the website is Innova, that’s  i-n-n-o-v-a coffee.com, tell us about this, how did you get this idea, what’s going on with this, what’s God doing with this new Venture now and what does it mean, what does Innova mean? A lot of questions there I know.

 

Tyler: Well, you’d have to bring in the real CEO and that’s my wife Anna.

 

Ray: Okay.

 

Tyler: Just a delightful lady who is a small business coach at heart, so she sat me down one day and so we got to figure out a name and so I just want to brainstorm with you about what words come to mind when you think about this the shop that you want to open, you know, what’s your vision? And so pretty quickly the word renew came to mind both in terms of my life, what had happened recently, in recent years but also without being corny you know what we’d love to give away a little bit of time to anybody that comes in, a sense of renewal, a sense of encouragement. So Innova is the Latin, Latin for a form of the word renew, that’s where we came up with that. Back at the previous coffee shop, where I worked, as God was chipping away at this facade, what was happening was, I was more free than ever to live in my nature gifting just, not anything I conjured up, just natural and that is in serving people, it’s not again, it’s not something I have to really work on, it’s just something that God wired in there, I love taking care of people so it’s for the sense of how to create that atmosphere, how to create systems that run pretty well, how to keep a shop running where people feel good coming in that there’s a dozen atmosphere there that draws people in, I think, and that’s just natural. So we, Anna and I began thinking about, if we did our own shop, you know what would it look like? And based on, you know, my success as an investor we had nothing to work with, financially so we started, this past January we launched our website, our name by serving coffee in our home.

 

Ray: Oh, is that right?

 

Tyler: Absolutely, every Saturday in January we literally rearrange the house into a coffee shop setting and we’d have anywhere between fifteen to fifty people on a Saturday come in we would serve our coffee single-origin craft coffee and pour-over brewing method and just introducing that to the area and introducing our name and our story and I was using equipment that our kids had bought for us, I mean really it was probably $150 worth of equipment, that’s all we had. That led to some people that had visited those coffee gathering saying “We’d like to do this in our home, in our neighborhood, invite our neighbors in.” so we did that for the next month, for February, and then we begin to do little pop-ups in a couple of businesses here in town. The amazing story, what we thought we would at that point was maybe do a kick-starter type campaign and raise some money, spent eight or nine months sitting idle while we did a build-out. God brought about a beautiful space that was already built out, it’s inside an apartment Clubhouse and that name really doesn’t do it justice, but, Ray, we pay nothing to be there, we’ve moved our stuff in, its an amazing, really a hotel like setting. A hotel lobby typesetting. People comment on it all the time and God provided that for us just four months into this little launch, and so that’s where we are.

 

Ray: That is one of the most fascinating stories, literary oping up your home like we see in Scriptures and bringing community and fellowship, that’s the foundation of the company and I’m on the website now, and it talks a little bit about this story. Where do you see it going from here? Has God given you any insight to it yet?     

 

Tyler: I’m not great on the numbers, that’s how we got into this coffee thing.

 

Ray: Should we get Anna in here?

 

Tyler: So, pretty quickly I turned to a local university and their Masters in Business program and said “Would Y’all have any NBA students who would take us on as a project and kind of help us with a business plan?” and we had five delightful young men that stepped forward, I think they thought we’d be young people, but they said yes before they met us and did a delightful plan, anyway one of the early questions was, you know, what’s your exit strategy for Innova coffee and honestly this is not any kind of hype I said “Guys, I’d love to die right here behind the counter. I’m in my sweet spot behind the counter.” and that really has some negatives to it, you know, as a business owner you need to be doing some other things, but that’s what I really love. So I’m not sure, exactly, it is it’s not to build a bunch of locations, we don’t know where this might go.I’d love to, because we need help, include some fresh, young people, at some point pretty soon. My wife and I are doing most of it right now but the key is community, I mean this is just natural for a coffee shop, it’s just is a natural outflow of a coffee shop.

 

Ray: As I’m listing to this I’m thinking about the verse in Zachariah “Do not despise the day of humble.” what humble beginnings, and it doesn’t feel to me like you’re holding too tightly under this, you’re like God where do You want to take this and I think that in of itself is an encouragement, because so often we have our dreams, and our plans, and our visions and all sorts of things and we kinda get going down this pathway and then we say “Hey God, You what to bless what I’m doing here?” I don’t feel that at all, I really feel like you’re just seeking the Lord. This is about community, this is about an experience and this is about ministry for you and I know it. Did I nail it?

 

Tyler: And Ray I would just say, that is not my plan, you know, I would have stayed at the previous coffee shop upteen years, but there were closed doors behind me that pushed me so God has ordained this, that might be too strong word, but I feel like He is just-

 

Ray: I’m not sure that it’s too strong of a word, it might be quite appropriate, actually. Well, Tyler, are we are at the end of our program and I promise this is the one question I ask every guest, it is based out of Proverbs 4:23, we call this our 4:23 question where Solomon writes “Above all else guard your heart for from it flows the wellspring of life.” So, Tyler let’s just wind the clock forward, push it forward, you have an opportunity, you’re towards the tail end of your time, this side of eternity here on Earth and you have a chance to gather your family, to gather your friends, gather your loved ones and you have a chance to pass along one piece of advice, you’re above all else what would you say above all else…

 

Tyler: Ray, I think I would say, you know “My life has been such an isolated one internally and, you know, the freedom because of the Gospel to look honestly at myself and so connection with God and connection with other people so pursuing that community I struggle with that but when I taste it, it pushes me more toward that and so a delightful way to live is in connection is in transparency and that is kind of the light that has begun to dawn by God’s Grace, even in my middle age, and praise God it’s not too late.”

 

Ray: That is absolutely incredible, encouragement, and counsel, and advice for our friend, Tyler Nash, and you don’t know this Tyler but I have a series of personal core values, my number one core value is authenticity, I get so weary of people wearing masks, you know talking with Christians “How are you?” “Brother, I’m just perfect, you know, everything is just great.” and that’s just not my experience, right, there is hope though in our imperfection, and we’re all broken and I just appreciate you sharing your story of brokenness and renewal I love this, the Latin word for renewal is Innova, and you founded a company on it. Thanks for being our guest today on Bottom Line Faith.

 

Tyler: Glad to be here, thank you, Ray.

 

Ray: Well, folks, thank you for listening to the program today here at Bottom Line Face, I am your host, Ray Hilbert, again check out all of our other episodes of interviews at bottomlinefaith.org, scroll down to the bottom of the page and subscribe there. Become a weekly listener we promise if you listen to program week after week you will be encouraged, you will be inspired to live out your face in the marketplace. If you’re a Christ follower and wanting to check out community with other Christ-followers, who own and run businesses go to our website at Truthatwork.org, click on the “roundtable” tab there and you can learn how to participate in a monthly roundtable with other Christ-following business owners around the country. Again, folks, this is Ray Hilbert at Bottom Line Faith and until next time God bless and we’ll see you soon.