Darryl Lyons is the CEO and co-founder of the PAX Financial Group which helps people improve their financial planning and quality of life through strategies for investing. He is a licensed financial planner and the author of Small Business, Big Pressure. Darryl began his career in the financial sector right after university and throughout his career; he had won awards for recruiting and development form Fortune 100 companies.
He started PAX Financial Group back in January 2007 with his co-founders Andres Gutierrez and Joseph Schuetze. He has built the company to officially become “one of the best places” to work in San Antonio.
Darryl also served as the Chairman for the Brooks Development Authority which earned him the honor of having Mayor Julian Castro name a park “The Darryl W Lyons Park”. He was also named to the 2010 San Antonio Business Journal’s “40 Under 40 Rising Stars” which honors people making a difference in business and the community
Period in full–time business
Started out alone about 12 years ago and after 2 years, brought in 2 partners to form PAX Financial Group. In the beginning he had a sole proprietorship business.
Current Revenue streams
The main revenue sources for PAX Financial are managing people’s money, insurance services and group retirement accounts. Darryl and his team take pride in liberating people when it comes to managing their money. Their services enable their clients to focus on what they are good at.
Starting out in business
His entrepreneurial journey started while in college. He used to work at a bank full-time to pay for college and that’s where he developed his interest in finance. Decided to study accounting and finance which enabled him to go into the banking and investment world. He started by working for big companies. Started his own firm about 5 years later.
Transition from formal employment into self-employment
It was a painful process for Darryl. His father had always motivated him to be an entrepreneur. Getting his first child was the first factor that pushed him to quit his formal job because he had the fear of losing his job while having so many personal responsibilities. A series of other difficulties eventually led him to go into entrepreneurship and despite the challenges he faced in the beginning, he persevered until he achieved success. His faith in God played a major role in his success to date.
Working on his new business
Working in the corporate world taught him how to create a habit of excellence. He used to do aggressive cold calling coupled with direct marketing and they helped him achieve solid sales leads which turned into long term clients. He applied the same to his new business and it helped him achieve sales while also maintaining his previous clients.
Getting the first set of clients
He engaged in a lot of networking which helped him get a fresh list of clients after losing all the previous clients he had when starting out. One of the people he met at a networking event appreciated Darryl’s level of integrity in his work, which led to Darryl being endorsed by Dave Ramsey. That endorsement became the new catalyst to his growth. He started getting 100 referrals per month from Dave Ramsey. Still works with Dave’s team to date.
Working towards getting endorsed
Darryl had a high degree of authenticity in his work and that naturally led to influential people endorsing his work.
Tip: Doing what you are passionate about will eventually make you visible in your area of business and if you maintain a high level of integrity and professionalism in your work, the right people will endorse and validate your work.
3 minute talk to 30,000 people
Darryl was offered an opportunity by his pastor to talk to his 30,000 strong congregation about financial and investment management. He enjoyed making the talk.
Growing the business
PAX Financial currently has 18 employees and more than 2,000 clients. They have been facing some challenging regulatory changes but they have managed to overcome them while still achieving considerable growth in the market. They have been doing a lot brand development activities to ensure that whenever people need financial advice, PAX is at the top of their minds.
Darryl doesn’t like branding since it takes too long to generate solid sales leads but he recognizes its importance in the overall long-term growth of a business.
Major challenges PAX helps people overcome
Darryl says the biggest one is helping clients determine how much money they have and how long it can last. They give their clients informed financial and investment advice to help them achieve self-sustainability and contentment in life.
Moments of failure
When Darryl was struggling with getting the business off the ground, he was also experiencing a lot of difficulties in his personal life. He decided to seek advice from an older Christian who inspired him to become more faithful in God. That gave him a renewed strength, fearlessness and zeal to work towards achieving entrepreneurial and personal success. Darryl says it was the biggest catalyst for his growth.
Faith, Fun, Family, Finances, and Friendships
Faith definitely comes first and it’s very important, then Family and fun, Finances and Friends.
A day in life when starting PAX Vs. a day in life now
When starting out he would always be in front of people or figuring out how to be in front of people. He would get to work at 7am, make phone calls, and drive to 5 potential clients’ homes or offices every day.
Today, he plans his day in advance by writing down the 6 most important things he needs to accomplish. He starts the day by praying before going to work. Meets 5 or 6 clients every day at his office. Leaves work by 5.30pm to spend time with his family.
Darryl’s book “Small Business Big Pressure: A Faith-Based Approach to Guide the Ambitious Entrepreneur”
He wrote the book to teach business owners how to integrate faith into their work. People refer to it as a reference book for small business owners. Darryl gets good feedback on the book from people all over the world. The book can be found at Amazon, Barnes & Nobles and Darryl’s website.
The biggest thing that people resonate with in the book is the fact that it’s all across the board. People mostly enjoy topics like “how to manufacture a vision and mission statement”, the hiring and interview questions, and the leadership habits. The book helps different business owners at different stages in their businesses
Book recommendation for entrepreneurs:
- Great By Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck–Why Some Thrive Despite Them All – Jim Collins
- The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company – Joseph Michelli
To leave behind a strong reputation and positive principles for his children to live by – Darryl.
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