Show #350: Dave Ramsey cites fear as the #1 enemy of change

Show #350: Dave Ramsey cites fear as the #1 enemy of change

Hey Ziglar evangelists! Today I bring you a big Ziglar fan. One of THE biggest. An advocate. A supporter. A chief evangelist. And one of the top radio and podcast kings on planet earth. Best selling author many, many times over. Mr. Financial Peace…Dave Ramsey.

For anyone listening to this show, there is less than 1% chance you aren’t fully aware of Dave Ramsey. If you are one of the 1%, Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He’s authored five New York Times best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough,The Total Money Makeover, EntreLeadership and Smart Money Smart Kids. “The Dave Ramsey Show” is heard by more than 11 million listeners each week on more than 550 radio stations and digitally through podcasts, online audio streaming and a 24-hour online streaming video channel. You can follow Ramsey on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and and find out all you desire on the web at

And hey, check out their brand new online budget tool EveryDollar. It’s free and helps users get on track and stay on track with their budget. I checked it out and think I’m going to start using it too!

The reason we have Dave on the show today, is threefold:

  1. He’s a chief purveyor of the Ziglar message,
  2. He’s a rockstar celebrity with a message that has spawned a movement in America and beyond,
  3. I have a history with Dave reaching back 25 years!

Friends, in this podcast, I’m not going to give much focus to asking Dave the same questions most interviewers ask. He hasn’t been prepped on my questions, and I’m going to hit at some root issues of personal development that, well…I’m honestly not sure how he’ll respond. It will be as interesting to me as it is to you. He’ll join us shortly.

But first! Let’s talk about Ziglar, whom we all love. We have obviously hit a vein with this year’s Ziglar Christmas Specials, as they are being purchased in record numbers. Don’t let your Christmas shopping end without taking advantage of one of the best product-package offers Ziglar has ever allowed…and without blessing someone’s life in a dramatic way! Give some gifts that will be remembered forever. That will change lives for the better and create legacies. Right now, get the specials immediately by texting ZIGLAR to this number: 38470. Again, text ZIGLAR to this number, 38470. Be a hero this Christmas. Get everything you want from life, by helping others get what they want.

OK, we’re going to kick off by listening to an 18 minute audio of Dave sharing his story. It’s profound and recorded recently. I was impacted by it, and I thought I knew his story already. He takes us through the journey of his early rise to wealth, his catastrophic crash, then what led him in the direction of his current business that has changed our nation. But more importantly he gives us some incredible insights. Listen in, then I’m bringing Dave and Tom Ziglar into the studio to dig into those insights.

Here is Dave's incredible VIDEO:

Alright folks, if you’re ready to dive into some uncharted territory with Dave Ramsey and discuss some specific personal development issues…here we go. Let’s bring him, and Tom Ziglar…into the show.

Dave Ramsey! Welcome. I can’t exactly remember when I last saw you in person. It was either at your lake house, or at the Eagles Club that you and my Dad have lead for so many years. But just really, really grateful to have you on the show. I trust you are well, but I’ll lead off by asking you what are you…today…excited about?

Hear Dave's answer and get the whole show here!

So in the show intro, I shared with folks that we have a little history. You and your bride Sharon have been close friends with my parents, Dan and Joanne Miller, for decades. I met you through Mike Hardwick and Christ Church somewhere around early 1993 when I was newly married. My wife Teri worked for you, out of your home in Antioch, some of the cheap seats of Nashville, as you were recovering from the story we just heard about in your incredible video and story. I worked for you a bit too. I don’t remember much other than taking those blue, paper backed Financial Peace books, of which I still have a couple, around to places you’d talked into carrying them. From small bookstores, to gas stations, literally. And we babysat your three little kids. You had a fledgling radio show called The Money Game. That was a brief time.

Years later after you’d grown dramatically, I had my one “real job” for two years as an employee with Churchill Mortgage. They did some primary advertising with you. I was VP of Marketing and the owner, Mike Hardwick, was very intent on us getting more business from sources other than your show, as to not be dependent upon you. That was wise. Though nearly two decades later, you’ve made Churchill nearly a household name, franchised in about half the states in America, just as you’ve made so many other businesses household names. I just looked at their website and BOOM, you're right on the front page.

Fast forward many more years and we went with my parents to your, I think first, lake house. And water skied. A couple years later my oldest daughter Autumn was visiting “Nana and Papa” and they went to your lake house, and you taught Autumn to ski.

I haven’t seen nor talked to you in years. But am well aware of the monumental influence you’ve had on our nation, and beyond. Just yesterday I was browsing radio stations on my 5-minute commute to my office and as usual, came upon you giving incredible heart and financial wisdom to the world. Counsel to a guy whose granddaughter was in a car wreck and is now paralyzed and in a wheel chair.

You’ve built an empire and established a movement in the culture that will forever be memorialized. So here on the Ziglar show, I want to dig in to some of your story Dave.

First off though, just briefly, I want to hear how you came to know of, and be such a fervent evangelist of Zig Ziglar and the message he started. The message Ziglar Inc. is spreading today. I know you were one of the first people, along with Seth Godin, to sign up as a testimony in the upcoming Zig documentary. So, what’s your personal Zig story?!

> > Dave shares his early experience with Zig, and onto an eventual friendship.

Dave, you tell your story of wild success in real estate. $20k per month in income, which is comparable to even more today of course, over two decades later. But you were enjoying and reveling in all that money can buy. You had some great connections, but took big risks, and went big. Then you lost it all. Today, you’ve come back with a healthy, true platform to far surpass your wildest dreams back then, and become fabulously wealthy, famous, honored, revered, and relevant to changing lives on a huge scale. Far more than the American dream, but literally world class celebrity status.

I don’t say that to flatter, it’s just a true story. But I want to help people relate to the story! Because that IS what you’ve done. It may not be millions of dollars people have lost, as I’ve seen people crushed by $500.

Though your story has been unbelievably redeemed, do you also feel your personal story was a cornerstone and in many ways, unique in it’s depth of crisis, in order to help many others not go through such trials?

> > Dave sites Larry Crabb and "walking with a limp".

Here though, is something I’ve always pondered. Many, if not most big success stories such as your own, come on the heels of massive failures. Such as your own! Then you go forth with your hard earned wisdom to help others not suffer such immense trials. Which of course is completely logical and vitally relevant. And I am not at ALL making a debate against that! At all.

But I’m curious. It’s the big dive that in so many ways made you. So I have no point other than just asking your take on it. In some ways you, and so many other massively influential people, are working to save people from the trial that in so many ways, paved your way to success. I’m talking beyond the amazing work you’ve done to help legions of people get out of debt and have financial peace. Right now I’m just talking personal development journeys. To the statement you made of, “having a testimony is great. Getting one is a pain.” You state in the clip, “The trial produces a harvest of righteousness and peace by those who have been trained by it.”

But a significant part of your calling, like Zig’s calling to his audience, is to help people avoid the fire. It almost presents a bit of a conundrum on the personal development side. I’ve literally thought about asking my Dad this, but never did. So here I am asking you today. Your thoughts?! We want to save people from the tragedy that in so many ways made us who we are?! How do you reconcile that?

> > Dave hits on a big issue of relying on self only and not relying on God, or relying on God only and not doing anything. And the power of peer pressure.

OK, let’s talk about belief. You cite so much of your effort is to make people BELIEVE. And you say, “If you believe, you can do a lot of things that really, don’t even make sense. It’s crazy what people can pull off when they believe they can. And it’s crazy what they can’t pull off when they don’t believe they can.” And further, “That broken spirit, there is almost nothing that can be done to overcome it.”

Which now puts you right with Zig. Whether the topic is Faith, Marriage, Money, Business…all the steps-to-success are moot if you don’t get to the core root. Money and finances is where you began, and now you have a big focus on business, but at the core, you’re still coming back to the core root of a person. And their personal belief. Which is fueled by…HOPE.

And you say, “That sense of hopelessness…I have a barometer, I can smell it on people. They weren’t looking for a book, they were looking to believe again.”

So when you get down to it, is that your core calling? To help people believe they can overcome in their lives? Whether it’s finances, or self image, or whatever is their primary obstacle or achilles heal?

> > Dave's answer is inspirational​

Your mission statement for the Lampo group, which you cite in the clip. I really, really don’t like memorization. So can you state the essence for us?

> > This is a very, very solid mission statement!

So you say “common sense”. But as you well know and I think have said, in today’s culture, most wisdom is NOT common anymore. If it were, we wouldn’t have a need for you. Or Zig. Or so many other world changers. The truth is, we DO die for a lack of knowledge. Me, chiefly, included. I want you to speak on this, as there are so many people who have a passion for a topic and issue that is hurting people, and they can help provide solutions! But they so often think, “Someone else has already said it. Isn’t it common sense?” They know the info is available and is in essence, common sense, so, who are they to try to be a purveyor of it?

But the world needs new voices, right Dave? Even though you are the current, biggest voice in money and finance, will you be the biggest and last?? Is there room for others?! Not after you’re gone, but today!?

> > How do you think Dave answered?!

You tell the story of life by the lake. the kids would be asked to light a fire, using driftwood. Which was always wet and “one of the old redneck guys” would throw gas on it and “instant fire”. And you say, that’s what hope is, like gasoline on a wet log. It sets you on fire and allows you to do things you never dreamed you could do!

So Dave, this is huge. This is the crux of all personal development. Whether you’re talking financial peace, or weight loss and fitness and wellness, or psychological health or relational/marital harmony, or career or business success. The key, the crux, the holy grail, is finding the inspiration and motivation and FIRE to fuel hope. Belief.

Of course through your company, you offer incredible resources, tools, programs and products. Like a world class health club for physical fitness, you provide a financial health club for financial fitness. But also like a regular health club, the tools are only good if someone commits to using them. Which they won’t unless they believe. Believe they can change!

In all your years of doing this Dave, why is it so hard for us as people, to change? What is at the root of our stubborn inertia that is so hard to stop… and redirect? > Here we come to the crux of the show. Listen. Learn. Except. Overcome!

The whole Dave Ramsey company we know today, you said in the video, “Started from such primitive, humble beginnings, that would give you no indication that it was going to succeed.” And you said, “Everyone’s story has a problem.”

I love the focus in recent years regarding personal life and in business, of story. I’m a fan of Donald Miller, and in his book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, where he said, “A good story is about a character who wants something and overcomes conflict to get it.”

Today a primary focus of your company is helping people build and grow businesses. Self-employment, one of my favorite topics. Do you find business success often comes from “primitive, humble beginnings” and often involves offering a solution to a primary problem in people’s own lives? A conflict they’ve overcome, like you did?

> > This is is...tune in!