On the surface, Rick Boxx’s life looked pretty typical. He was raised in a Christian home, went to church, and had learned the stories and principles of God’s Word as a young boy. When Rick became a teenager, he walked away from God and everything he learned as a boy. He remained distant from God well into his twenties until God began to orchestrate a series of events that would get his attention…and draw him back.
Throughout his college years, Rick studied to be a CPA. Having achieved that goal, he soon realized being a public accountant was not what he wanted to do. So, at the age of 25 he started his first business—a car rental agency. Taking out a small business loan, he soon ran into trouble as the interest rates skyrocketed and unemployment weakened the economy. He struggled to pay back his loans at a whopping 21% and soon realized he needed to liquidate the business and move on. This brutal lesson learned at young age stayed with him as he began to rebuild his professional life.
Landing in the banking industry, Rick spent the next 14 years managing commercial lending departments for some of the major banks in the Kansas City area. He’ll never forget the day he met a bank president who challenged his thinking and would eventually alter the course of his career. According to Rick, “In our first meeting he said to me, ‘If you’re going to work for me, Rick, you need to understand my priorities in life. God is first, family second, and this job is third.’.
This didn’t make any sense to Rick who was at the time a self-acclaimed “workaholic.” The idea of a career being third on a list of priorities just didn’t compute. However, it did get his attention.
He became very observant of this bank president and found it fascinating to work for him. Every decision was punctuated with references to God’s Word or biblical principles. Over the years the president’s track record impressed Rick as he realized the wisdom behind his decisions.
Principles that Stand the Test of Time
With Rick’s background in the church, he knew the Bible pretty well but he had never seen it used in such a practical way. And seeing it in the business world had a major impact on Rick. He realized that God’s principles were solid and true. This realization drew him back to his Christian roots and put his life back on the right path; a path that would eventually include him becoming a leader, teacher, and advisor to many other young business leaders.
Shortly after this experience, Rick stumbled onto a ministry called Crown Financial Ministries run by Larry Burkett. He studied their materials and eventually completed their teacher counselor training program. With his CPA background, it was a natural fit when he began helping individuals with their personal finances and teaching at churches. While he saw the importance of this work, he began to wonder why these same principles weren’t being taught to business leaders. He knew firsthand how powerful this could be in the corporate world.
Years later, Rick was running a small community bank with some family friends and ultimately decided to sell the business to a major holding company. During that transition, God reminded Rick of his question about teaching Godly principles to business leaders. As Rick prayed about what was next, God answered him clearly, “You keep asking who’s teaching that stuff. You are.”
Shortly after that, Rick left the banking business and started his consulting practice. When that began to swell into a business counseling and training business, he changed direction and Unconventional Business Network (formerly Integrity Resource Center) was born.