2009 was the toughest, and yet the most rewarding, year in our company’s history. For the last 10 years we have been dragging around a huge anchor of debt that we had gotten the old fashioned way – we earned it! Like a boil on our backside, this debt always seemed to make itself known just as we were about to move into position to do something big. There were several times when we put a lot of padding around it so we didn’t notice it so much, but still every time we needed a little extra help or we were ready to go to the next level, the protective bandages would come off and it would ooze its poison throughout our company.
A few years back I started listening to a dude named Dave Ramsey. From the minute I started listening to Dave I knew he was a good guy (mainly because he quotes Dad a lot!) and he knows what he is talking about when it comes to debt. I started reading his books and listening to his podcasts, and before I knew it I was infected. Then, in 2008, I got to attend the Entreleadership program in Cancun. That’s when I realized two big things: Debt was killing us and keeping us from achieving our mission, and getting rid of it was MY CHOICE and MY RESPONSIBILITY.
There is no doubt that the Dave Ramsey system for getting rid of personal debt or business debt works. But here is the key: If you have a big boil like we did, nobody can lance that sucker but YOU! Dave can provide the lance, but YOU have to take it in your own hands and OWN it. It’s no fun to start lancing away, but the immediate pressure release is amazing, and soon, as the poison is squeezed out of your body, you find you can sleep in any position and run as fast as you want.
Thank you, Dave Ramsey, for all that you and your team do. We officially became 100% debt free in November of 2009. We owe more than you will ever know to you guys, possibly even our company’s future. You see, while we were getting out of debt, the economy took a turn for the worse and our revenue went down 40%. I mention this to let everyone who is reading this know that the time to start getting out of debt is right now, and no matter the circumstances surrounding your situation, you can do something to improve your position.
No matter what 2010 brings, I know this: Our chance for fulfilling our mission as a company is infinitely better because we are DEBT FREE!!!!!!!!!!!