In the Financial Independence (FI) community, the name Dave Ramsey always stirs up some debate. I get it, but Dave Ramsey was really the first catalyst for me to overcome some limiting beliefs. I am a fan of giving credit where credit is due. Here are five reasons why I chose to share my testimony on the Dave Ramsey Radio Show.
Gratitude For My Mentors
I couldn’t have achieved what I had on my own. Certainly, my faith plays a huge part in it and then there are all the people who have helped me along the way. Some up close and some from afar. I thought this victory lap would be a great way to give credit to my mentors.
I was able to take my friend, Tricia, who was the first person to sit down with me and help me get on a budget. Now when I work with women looking to gain control of their finances, this is the first thing I do with them. Tricia formerly taught at Financial Peace University and was equally excited to meet Dave and the team. It seemed apropos to take her.
Tricia & I were able to enjoy the fun town of Nashville together, have quality time reflecting on the journey, and meet awesome people. Tricia and I have been friends for four years and recently became co-workers when she joined the team I work on. Additionally, we took advantage of this time away to talk about our professional growth goals. Here are some pictures of our time in Nashville:
When you do a debt-free scream, you are able to send in pictures that get posted on the YouTube video. This was another way I could pay homage to the phenomenal people who have walked me on my journey.
My boss was one of my biggest cheerleaders while I was getting out of debt (also now while I am building wealth). As a thank you, Tricia & I were able to purchase EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey and get it signed for our boss.
Celebrating Debt Freedom
This is the obvious reason and, I think, a reason in and of itself worthy of this trip. On December 29, 2017, I made my final payment towards my student loan debt and became 100% debt-free for the first time in 23 years! What better way to celebrate than by going to Nashville to meet Dave Ramsey and shout “I am debt free” in front of millions of listeners and viewers? Actually, I could take or leave the screaming part but to tell my extraordinary story on his radio show, now that is totally worth it.
For me stopping and recognizing how far I have come was important. This is probably because nine years ago, I was in such a dark place. It is quite miraculous that I am now above the line and working towards FI.
There are other perspectives to take on this. Consider my fellow Generation X blogger, Good Life Better, who wrote a post titled, Letting The Days Go By. In it, she pondered on when getting out of debt was a non-event and came to the conclusion, that, “It’s because it was a non-event to the person I am now.” I can appreciate that! The best thing about any process is the transformation that occurs.
Meet Amazing People
There is no doubt that I was excited to meet Dave and his team. Ramsey Solutions is filled with exhilarating energy and his team totally blew me away. Every single one of them was genuine in their care about my story, worked to make sure I felt at ease, treated me like family, and made the atmosphere fun! They hear some amazing stories every day but they somehow treated me like I was unique.
I lucked out on the day of my debt-free scream as two other Dave Ramsey personalities were in the studio. Rachel Cruze, #1 NY Times best-selling author and daughter of Dave Ramsey, was in the studio for a segment to talk about how to teach kids how to handle money I got to meet her and get a few pictures, NBD. Hopefully, I’ll get to see her again if I can go to FinCon…
Chris Hogan, the author of Retired Inspired, was also on the show talking about his research into studying millionaires (my next goal). Not only did I get a signed copy of his book, but he personalized it.
This is the most important reason I am so raw about my testimony. My story is crazy messy and it is a miracle that I am even alive, let alone be on the path to FI. Once I got sober and did all the hard work that comes with such a recovery, I knew my redemption would come in helping others. Since then I have been pouring myself into assisting others, particularly women coming out of a similar darkness.
The years I wasted drinking/drugging are a painful memory and while I cannot change the past, I can rewrite my future. That is exactly what I have been doing over the last 8.5 years. Those lost years can be redeemed by using my experience to help others come to know the same freedom I’ve found. Addiction and alcoholism can be a very dark and lonely place. While I always believe in the power of choice, I also know that when in the throes of addiction, one can feel like they have no choice. At least that is how I felt. I now embrace all of my opportunities and choose to help others.
By telling my story on the Dave Ramsey Radio Show and Podcast I can reach 14 million people and certainly some who might be struggling. Since it also gets filmed and aired on YouTube, I can reach another 8 million people and potentially some who think it is too late. He has such a large fan base that I couldn’t pass up this opportunity. However, I’d tell my story if it even helped just one person. That is how important you are.
Dave Ramsey is absolute in his advice. He helps millions of people who have no control of their money, gain control of their money. The purpose of this article is not to analyze and critique Dave’s advice. But I do want to say it is okay to see different perspectives. It is okay to personalize your journey. Dave helped me realize I could climb and conquer my mountain of debt. The fact that he is so good and inspiring people to consider what they thought impossible, to be possible, makes him a gift to the world.
When you are drowning in debt, following a proven plan can free up your headspace to focus on executing rather than trying to formulate that plan. Of course, there are Dave Ramsey’s baby steps I also wrote a post titled, A Roadmap Out of Debt, when I was reflecting on what I did.
I say we should embrace our differences and glean from one another. Employ what works for you and your journey. Don’t get hung up on dogmatic advice but rather find the gems of wisdom. Think outside the box and lastly, have fun while doing all of it!