Posted tagged ‘Dave Ramsey’

Debt Free!

December 21, 2009

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!!!!!!!!!!!

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Michael Jackson, Peggy Noonan, Dave Ramsey, and Health Care

July 25, 2009

Years ago (about 25 to be more precise), I learned a valuable lesson about money.  A friend of mine was really excited about buying a new car, but after negotiating he realized he was $500 short on the down payment.  He figured it would take him three months to earn the extra money and get the car.

Being what I thought was a good friend, I went to him and offered to lend him the money.  I had the money, I didn’t need it right then, it would all be paid back in three months, and he would get his car right away.  I was feeling really proud of my idea since it was 100% mine – he didn’t ask me for it.  He took the money and the next day we were riding around in his brand new car.  Life was good!

If only Dave Ramsey had been around back then!

Pretty soon it became apparent that the $500 loan was a mistake.  I was counting on at least 25 bucks a week in payback, but, strangely, that never happened.  Instead, every time we would go out in his car it seemed he had a new music cassette tape to show off on his new car stereo!  I can still remember driving around listening to Michael Jackson, wishing I had my $500 back.  While we were listening to the music he would also fill me in on the great fun he had that week on dates at dance clubs and at concerts.

Soon I realized I didn’t help pay for his car – I had paid for his lifestyle.

I wish I could say I got past it, but it became a nagging thing to me and eventually led to our friendship dissolving.  The $500 didn’t really matter in the big scheme of things.  If he had suffered a hardship and couldn’t pay it back, I would have gladly forgiven it and moved on, and we’d still be friends.  But every time that stereo got cranked up it was salt in the wounds.  I still remember to this day getting angry inside every time he spent money on “stuff” rather than on paying back what I thought was a symbol of friendship.  If I had had the power to divert his money from “stuff” to me, I think I would have used it.

Peggy Noonan covers this concept in the health care debate in the article “Common Sense May Sink ObamaCare.” The socially elite “smart people” who advocate the ObamaCare program also realize that people will choose “stuff” over what they should be spending their money on.  The big problem is they have the power to penalize people for buying the wrong “stuff.”  Even worse, they will get to decide what “stuff” is wrong.  This is a LOSS of FREEDOM, pure and simple.

Bottom line, when the government “pays” for health care for everyone (uh, the government doesn’t “pay,” they take money from money earners called taxpayers and spread it around to those who don’t earn enough to pay their own way), they will soon realize that some people receiving the health care are making really bad choices about what “stuff” they buy.  It won’t be long before you are required to get a physical, and if you are overweight or have other issues, you will be in jeopardy of losing your “free” health care, or you will be denied aggressive treatments because the risk/reward scenario doesn’t justify it.  In order to avoid this, socially elite “smart people” will then tell us what “stuff” we can’t buy.  Things like beer, cigarettes, Krispy Kreme doughnuts, Twinkies, and tattoos, because all of these things have health risks.

I guess at the end of the day the government is promising everyone a new car.  The only problem is they will tell us what to listen to on the radio, and where we can drive it.

A Quote to Live By

January 20, 2009

“You are what you are and where you are because of what has gone into your mind. You can change what you are and where you are by changing what goes into your mind.” Zig Ziglar

This is one of my top three quotes from Dad because it has so directly impacted my life. It is Ziglar wisdom Pure and Simple! What are you putting into your mind?

Following is a list of Podcasts found on iTunes that has really impacted me. I listen to them on my iPod when I work out or when I am in my car. Just go to iTunes and check for them in the Podcast section in the Business or Religion categories.

The List:

Zig Ziglar (of course!) Inspiring Words of Encouragement

Dave Ramsey

Dan Miller – 48 Days

Internet Business Mastery

John Maxwell

Catalyst

Charles Stanley – In Touch

John Eldridge

Ravi Zacharias – Let My People Think

Andy Stanley – North Point

Greg Laurie – A New Beginning

James McDonald – Walk in the Word

Chuck Swindoll – Insight for Living

Matt Chandler – The Village Church

You Must Be Smoking Something!

December 16, 2008

We are moving our offices today. Life will be interesting for the next week, for sure. One of the things we are excited about is our new internet VOIP phone system. It will allow much easier remote officing, and it is going to save us close to $1000 a month with better service.

 Of course, in order to make this happen, we needed to invest in new phone hardware, $19K worth, to be exact. It’s a no-brainer business decision, but $19K is a lot of money! The folks selling us the phone said not to worry, they could hook us up with a leasing company that would make it pain-free. Well, I have to tell you, any time I hear the word “lease” I think of Dave Ramsey and how he pronounces it: “Fleece.”

www.daveramsey.com

 We decided to listen to their proposal. Their pain-free proposal was simple, we just needed to pay them $1050 a month for 24 months and we could get our phones! I am not great at math, but 24 X $1050 is more than $24,000 which is $5000 more than the cost of the phones! I thought to myself, “YOU MUST BE SMOKING SOMETHING!”

 Bottom line is a 22% interest rate is crazy, and borrowing money for most things makes very little sense at all. So we sucked it up and paid cash. We have been saving for months for just these kinds of things and it is amazing how discipline and a time of need pair up and save you five grand!

 But here is the best part of the story. Yesterday, the same day all of this got finalized, we got an unexpected check in the mail. Over six months ago we requested an audit on an account that we pay into every month. It turns out we had overpaid (by a lot, in fact, way more than we would ever have thought). You guessed it, the check we got in the mail was for $19K! Dad says, “Coincidence is just God’s way of staying anonymous.” Thank you Lord!

 

The River of Life

December 5, 2008

I have been doing a lot of planning for 2009.  Reviewing our Mission Statement, refining our Vision, and outlining our Corporate Objectives. 

 

I have come across a concept (not new, I am sure) that I am calling The River of Life that I think could make a huge impact in your business life or even your personal life.  Follow along with me as I explain some things about our company and what I am calling The River of Life.

 

The Mission Statement of Ziglar is: 

 

To be the Difference Maker in the Personal, Family, Professional, and Spiritual lives of enough people to make a Positive Difference in the World.

 

I recognize this is a pretty big mission, but Dad just doesn’t settle for average when it comes to changing people lives!  So I was thinking on this and trying to refine our Vision to make it a little easier to go after.

 

The Vision for Ziglar (now this is a work still in progress, but I think it’s pretty close):

 

To change lives by delivering our content to people, building relationships with them, and exceeding their expectations.

 

I came up with the above Vision by asking a series of questions, and many of the questions were inspired by a new book, Strategic Acceleration, I am reading by Tony Jeary.  The book is not out yet, but you definitely need to get it when it comes out in March 2009.  You can get information about Strategic Acceleration at www.tonyjeary.com. 

 

The first question I asked myself was What is it that we do that changes people’s lives?  We have thousands of testimonials and in reflecting on them I realized the common thread is people’s lives are changed when they hear our message and then incorporate it into their lives.  So, the first big thing we have to do is get our message, our content into the hands of as many people as possible.  What is the first big thing that you have to do?

 

Digging a little deeper, I asked the next question, What is it that we do that really, RADICALLY changes people and businesses that differs from the answer to the first question?  The answer is:  We build relationships with them.  Stunning, I know!  How are you building relationships in your personal and professional life?

 

Let me brag a minute about our sales team, and really, our entire company.  I trust all of them!  They do a great job building relationships.  If you have a problem or a need, or just want to get better, our team does a fantastic job.

 

Ok, so now for the third question: How do we build such great relationships?  We exceed expectations!  I got this nugget right of Strategic Acceleration.  Not rocket science, but how Pure and Simple is that?

 

Now comes the “AHA!” moment:  The River of Life.

 

Every day thousands of people are touched by our content.  They read this blog, get our newsletter, listen to our podcast, pop Dad into their CD player on the way to work, attend one of our seminars or training events, and participate in our webinars.  Every day some of these people raise their hands and say, “I need a little more help, do you have any ideas?”

 

And, unfortunately for most, their request falls into a cyber black hole.  This happens for a couple of reasons: We don’t make it unbelievably easy for them to respond, or their response falls into the “Inbox to be Handled Later” category.  YIKES!

 

So here we are, a company with an incredible mission and incredible people, and The River of Life is just flowing by.  I call it The River of Life for two reasons:  The people in the river are asking about life-changing matters, and the life of our company depends on how well we help them!

 

The answer is simple:  We have to facilitate the relationship process.  We have to connect you to our team, one to one!  In 2009 if you are on any of our lists you will still receive the same great information, but five or six times a year you are going to get a different kind of email, a personal email from a team member.  If you “raise your hand” and reply, you will get a response back right away from them.

 

One last thought.  The River of Life concept came out of a conversation I had with Debbie Locurto, one of the leaders with Dave Ramsey www.daveramsey.com .  I asked Debbie about their sales focus, and she mentioned that one of her top people does a fantastic job of managing a huge amount of contacts by emailing a large number of them on a regular basis.  The emails provide value and a small percentage reply.  This allows the relationship to grow and lives to be changed.  Pretty simple, very effective!

 

 

 

Leadership Dave Ramsey Style

November 13, 2008

 

I have been at Dave’s leadership conference in Cancun this week and have learned a ton.  Here is one of the bigger keys that struck me:

 

The difference between a leader and a manager is that a leader’s presence creates incredible energy on the team.  A great leader develops young leaders that also create energy so that the leader is not required to be there 24/7, but a great leader knows they can never totally disengage. 

 

Does your team or your family “light up” when you are with them?

Yeah For Me! Pure Success!

November 7, 2008

 

Yesterday morning at 7:27 a.m. CST  I hit my goal weight of 175 pounds.  I know the time exactly because I started sitting in the sauna at 6:40 a.m. trying to get rid of that last almost two pounds.  When you are hyper focused and almost there, even a sauna feels great.  That’s 80 pound total I have lost on the Purity Diet.  Check out my other posts on Purity Diet for the details.  Bottom line is I feel great.

 

More good news is on Sunday when I get to Cancun I can look Dave Ramsey in the eye and tell him I hit my goal before the www.entreleadership.com seminar.   I am fired up about the event and am really looking forward to learning more about running a lean and profitable debt free business.  (Ziglar is not debt free…yet, but the company is on a corporate version of my Purity Diet and we are moving that way fast).

 

Here are some things you really need to check out.  We have two Webcasts coming up next week.  Go to www.ziglar.com/webinar and  http://www.passionfire.com/Zig.html. 

 

Dad has really been blessed.  Check out the video at www.zigziglaraward.com.