Kay Lynn Mayhue, President of Merit, discusses how to overcome the fear and anxiety that often surfaces with financial planning, and offers her advice on how to make room for generosity.
You can listen to more of our conversation with Kay Lynn on our podcast, Work, Love, Pray! Listen below or click here to find your preferred listening platform.
Why do some Christians view financial planning as a bad thing?
I love that question. It’s definitely an individual conversation that needs to be had. You need to balance fear and discernment when it comes to financial planning. When you find that something is stealing from you by keeping you up at at night or stealing your joy from being present in your current career or with your family, I do believe that that’s fear. When it’s a tug or when you have that intuition to take action on something, that’s discernment.
If you find yourself not enjoying things or getting caught in anxiety or worry about things, and you’ve already done everything that you can do to prepare, that’s not healthy. As Christians, handing that trust of our future over is what we’re called to do—what we need to do. Years ago, I had a good friend who was unemployed and I would meet with her on a regular basis for coffee or for lunch. She wasn’t really doing what she needed to do to network and get out there to find another job. I would bring her specific suggestions like about job fairs in the industry that she was in, and yet, she just had the attitude that she was trusting the Lord to provide the opportunity. I don’t think that’s what God intended for us. Financial planning is what we are called to do and is in our path to do. We need to hand that over to God after we’ve put in some groundwork and checked those boxes.
How can someone make room in their financial planning for giving and for being generous?
That is probably one of the hardest things I’ve dealt with over the last 25 years. I can remember finding myself judging, and I know I’m not called to judge, but I would look at someone’s balance sheet and I would say, “Wow, they have the potential to really, really help a lot of different organizations or impact a lot of different lives and people and causes.” But they weren’t generous by what my definition would’ve been. I figured out that sometimes as advisors, were called to educate our clients, to give them the comfort and encouragement to be generous.
Financial advisors often need to paint the picture and illustrate to our clients that they’re going to be just fine if they give. I look at being generous through the lens of joyful giving. That’s the test that I give myself and my family when we find a cause or organization that we want to support. We ask ourselves if this is something that we would joyfully give to.
I believe in finding the folks that can inspire you with their giving. I’ll give you one example of how this has helped in my family. I firmly believe that God has put certain things on our hearts and that we are called in a certain direction to really make an impact. Even before I had a personal relationship with Jesus and was not really understanding that this calling was inspired from God, I had a heart for orphans. The thought of children growing up without a mother and a father really inspired me and my family as it relates to where we’re pooling our time and our resources. My 21-year-old daughter has a huge heart for homeless people. I can remember when she was six years old, she was sitting in the backseat of our car. As we’re driving, I look back and she has tears rolling down her face, because we had just passed a group of homeless people on the side of the road that were clearly carrying all of their belongings. She had asked me, “Why did those people have those trash bags?” My explanation to her was so emotional for her. So when you plan your generosity, you’re going to find joy when you answer the callings for the things that God has put on your heart.
What is your favorite way to be generous?
Right now, it’s easier to write a check, but I would say I get the most pleasure and the most satisfaction from the hardest thing to give right now: time.
Kay Lynn has played many roles in the financial advisory industry: as a successor, partner, seller, and buyer. This unique and diverse background allows her to be able to relate to advisors in all phases of their careers and mergers and acquisitions. With a background in financial planning and leadership, her career expands over several areas, including advising clients, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic growth.
Kay Lynn worked her way up from an entry-level position to earn her seat at the C-Suites table as President of Merit, which manages over 5 billion in RIA and Brokerage assets under management. She holds her CFP®, AEP®, and RFC® and has been a critical decision-maker for two firms over the past twenty years. Kay Lynn has overseen multiple mergers and acquisitions over the past four years and has been recognized for her position as a female leader in the financial services industry.
She is passionate about helping people take their careers – and themselves – to exceptional levels. Kay Lynn’s influence in the industry and her drive for success is a driving factor in Merit’s ongoing growth and appeal to growth-oriented advisors.