From Campus Ministry to Building Relationships in Financial Services

Brian Evans

Key Takeaways

Brian's journey offers several valuable takeaways for individuals contemplating a career change:

  • Pursue Purpose Over Income: Prioritize career fulfillment and purpose, as these elements can bring greater happiness and satisfaction than a higher salary alone.
  • Embrace Discomfort: Don't shy away from discomfort; it can be the catalyst for personal and professional growth.
  • Seek Support: Engage in open and honest discussions with loved ones about career changes, ensuring alignment with family priorities.
  • Explore Opportunities: Research firms and organizations that share your values and offer the support and mentorship necessary for a successful transition.
  • Build a Legacy: Consider how your career can contribute to creating a lasting impact and legacy for both your family and your clients.

Brian's story serves as a compelling reminder that a purpose-driven career can lead to greater fulfillment and happiness, even when it necessitates venturing into the unknown.

Relationships have always been part of Brian Evans’ career. After a decade-long role in campus ministry, he transitioned to a career with Strategic Financial Planners centered around building relationships and providing financial guidance. Brian's story emphasizes the significance of aligning one's career with personal values and priorities while navigating a career change.


Brian dedicated ten years of his life to campus ministry, a role he loved. However, around the nine-year mark, a growing family and medical bills prompted a reevaluation of his career. The demanding hours of campus ministry, often extending late into the night, clashed with his desire to be present for his children's bedtime and family life. Seeking a balance between his calling to family and a career that allowed more flexibility and income became a priority. Also, medical bills and finances were causing him to work side jobs.

“We decided to start looking for a change just for us. Be faithful to our calling to family first, and then obviously moving towards a direction where there's a little bit more flexibility in the schedule,” Brian said. “Whether it was this year and the coming years, as we continue to build. Knowing that there's an opportunity to be the family man and husband and father that I want to be, that was the big picture.”

Discovery of Purpose

As Brian embarked on his career transition, he met with around 35 to 40 Memphis business leaders in a month. During these meetings, Strategic Financial Partners (SFP) was recommended four times with positive endorsements from individuals who had worked with or alongside Strategic Financial Partners. Brian's interest was piqued by the firm’s emphasis on relationships and long-term client partnerships, which resonated with his desire to assist individuals in planning their financial futures.

“I needed something where I felt like I was going to get to impact people and build long-term relationships,” Brian said. “I think that as I heard more about SFP from some of those mentors and people speaking in my life, it was really clear that relationships were a huge part of SFP and that the goal was long-term relationships with clients and helping them plan for their financial future. And that was a huge part of my story, not having anyone to help me do that. And so I think there was an opportunity there to meet a need that I didn't have met in my life, as well as to build relationships with people for a long time.”

Transition to a Purposeful Career

Brian's journey toward a financial services career evolved as he sought roles that aligned with his passion for building relationships and helping others make informed financial decisions. He recognized that Strategic Financial Partner’s emphasis on fostering meaningful, long-lasting client relationships was a perfect match for his vision of serving others in a vital aspect of their lives.

Brian embraced his new career with enthusiasm, understanding that it might lead him into unfamiliar territory. He valued the growth that discomfort could bring and saw it as an opportunity to expand his personal and professional horizons.

“The ability to come in here and see other people who have very different giftings but are thriving and succeeding and knowing there are multiple paths to success in this business, I think, was really exciting for me,” Brian said.

Brian's wife played a pivotal role in his career transition. Their discussions revolved around their family's priorities, with an emphasis on providing more financial stability while affording Brian the flexibility to be a present father and husband. They decided that fulfilling a purpose-driven career was more valuable than pursuing a higher income.

Unique Aspects of Strategic Financial Partners

Brian's exploration of career options involved evaluating various firms. What stood out about Strategic Financial Partners was the firm's dedication to each professional’s success, its collaborative atmosphere, and the opportunity for autonomy while benefiting from the guidance of experienced mentors.

“The relationships I've built here within the firm have been sweet, meaningful, as well as extremely supportive. The management team, as well as other professionals, really look out for a way for me to thrive based on my gifting or personality, even if it looks completely different than what their thriving has looked like,” Brian said.

Advice for Those Considering a Career Change

When he was considering a career transition, Brian spent a lot of time thinking about his passions and how he could continue to make a meaningful impact on others. His advice to someone considering a career change is this:

“I would ask a lot of questions:

  • What are things that you're passionate about?
  • What are things that burden you?
  • What are opportunities where you see in the world to help and serve people?

Because at the end of the day, for me, that is what in the Lord provides satisfaction, is those things: serving people, ministering to people.”

He also emphasized the importance of finding an opportunity that offers support as you transition. “The people that you work with make a huge difference,” Brian said.

“For me, as a career changer, I was going from a world that was very known and comfortable into a world that was very unknown. I needed really good people to enter into that world with me as well as to walk alongside me,” he said.

“I would encourage people to find a place where there are good people who will walk alongside them in the beginning years to help them establish where they’re going, as well as to help them learn who they are so that they might land a better trajectory for your future.”

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What other career allows you to make a tremendous difference in the lives of people and still meet your income aspirations? This Financial Advisor career is different. It is empowering to the people who enter its service. It is impactful to the individuals and families it can help. You don’t need a Finance degree, but a high sense of motivation and determination are essential. It’s not always easy, and it’s always a challenge. You may not be able to change the world, but you can help change the future for your clients. It is a career where you see the positive outcomes of your best efforts.  Read on for more details on careers at our firm.