Our inaugural Storyline Webinar featured Brent Hines, co-founder and Executive Director of Foundation for Financial Wellness! Read on for key takeaways from the conversation, and keep an eye out for details on our next Storyline Webinar for more leadership impact stories to sharpen, challenge, and inspire.

After years of pouring his heart and soul into attaining a materially successful, high-performing life, Brent Hines lost everything at the age of 33 – and it was his own fault. His career, dreams, and very identity seemed to disappear down the drain overnight, and the aftermath of that experience still deeply informs his life and purpose today.

Brent is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Foundation for Financial Wellness, an organization that uniquely addresses the wellness world’s “elephant in the room”– financial distress. For him, this topic is deeply personal. After growing up bouncing between rental homes and family members’ basements with his single mother, Brent stepped into adulthood intent on escaping his socioeconomic environment and pursuing the high life. He worked his way through business school, joined a high-end wealth management business immediately after graduation, and poured himself into the task of achieving outward-facing material success through high performance.

This meant long hours at the office, a focus on shallow and hollow indicators of prosperity, and – ultimately – utter misery.

When Brent finally determined that he needed a change from the rat race, his boss and former mentor went on the attack – legally, monetarily, and personally. In his burnout and frantic scramble towards success, Brent had made mistakes and taken shortcuts that left him vulnerable to the ensuing destruction of his life as he knew it. Unsurprisingly, it took years for both Brent and his wife to recover emotionally from the experience, but this traumatic collapse ultimately spurred a massive and positive recalibration for their family, and brought Brent to his current life’s purpose and role.


Key Takeaways from the Webinar

Put your soul before your role.

You embody so many roles as you walk through life – you’re a parent, sibling, friend, spouse, business leader, community member, and so much more. And if you’re anything like most members of humanity, your performance in each of those roles will fluctuate wildly from day to day. Too often, we give others the ability to assign our performance values for each role (as young Brent did in his desperate and failed search for success). What is the only value that can’t be touched by anyone but you and isn’t affected by your performance in any of your roles? Your soul – the real, intrinsically valuable you. Check out Brent’s unique method for considering and evaluating the balance between role vs. soul here.


Be a goldfish.

As Ted Lasso advises – let go of past mistakes before they gain ownership of you. Baseball hitters fail 7 out of 10 times. If your soul value is tied to role performance, every choice we make is a massive risk, and you will find yourself far less likely to make even well-calculated, intelligent risks. Shift your thinking, and put your soul first. In order to perform well in any of your roles, that soul score has to be sky high. What you do is not who you are.

Walk into the storm.

When we were children, life seemed endlessly sunny. As adults, we know that the storms tend to come thick and fast. Hope they won’t come, but prepare for when they do. Be like a buffalo, and walk into those storms with your shoulders squared.


Like what you’re reading? You can watch the full webinar recording here, and be sure to register for our next Storyline Webinar (details coming soon) for more leadership impact stories.