Delivering hope through the biblical narrative of money
Jordan Raynor sits down with Rachel Cruze, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Smart Money, Smart Kids, at Ramsey Solution’s amazing new headquarters in Franklin, Tennessee to talk about the cautionary advice Rachel's dad (Dave Ramsey) gave her before she joined the family business, the hard things Rachel's leaders have required her to do in order to become a masterful teacher, and why Dave Ramsey’s team believes that their work has great eternal significance.
[0:00:05.3] JR: Hey everybody, welcome to the Call to Mastery. I’m Jordan Raynor. This is a podcast for Christians who want to do their most exceptional work, for the glory of God and the good of others. Each week, I’m hosting a conversation with a Christian who is pursuing world class mastery of their jobs, of their vocation. We’re talking about their path to mastery, their daily habits and routines and how their faith influences their work.
Today, I’m thrilled to share our conversation I recently had with Rachel Cruze, the number one New York Times bestselling author of multiple books and she’s also the daughter of Dave Ramsey, the CEO and founder of course of Ramsey Solutions. I think you guys have heard of this venture before. But I say, I’m so impressed with Rachel, she’s such an impressive author and speaker in her own right, helping people manage their money well, helping people think through the spiritual components of contentment.
And Rachel does a lot of things but as we talked about in this episode, like her dad, she is clearly a masterful teacher, that’s the thing that they’re both pursuing mastery of. I was in Franklin, Tennessee, Rachel invited me over, allowed us to use their incredible news studios at their new headquarters down in Franklin and we sat down Franklin and we sat down, we talked about the cautionary advice that Dave Ramsey gave Rachel before she decided to join the family business. We talked about the hard things that Rachel does that make Ray more masterful teacher. We talked about why Dave Ramsey’s team, all 1,000 employees over there at Ramsey Solutions believe that they work manners and most of them understand this eternal significance of their work.
And we spend a few minutes talking about pizza. Yeah, right at the beginning of the conversation, Rachel and I talked about our favorite pizza places throughout Nashville. If you're traveling to Nashville or live in Nashville, you’ll get a kick out of that. Without further ado, please enjoy this conversation I recently had with Rachel Cruze.
[0:02:08.9] JR: Rachel, thanks so much for letting us use this great space at the new Ramsey Solutions offices, this is incredible.
[0:02:13.5] RC: Yeah, absolutely, I’m glad you're here, we were just saying that you’re at the old building and then you’ve been able to experience the new with us.
[0:02:20.3] JR: And I learned something new. Your husband was managing this project for four years?
[0:02:24.5] RC: Yes.
[0:02:26.0] JR: You're very happy it’s over?
[0:02:27.4] RC: I know, I was laughing like Ramsey Solutions is happy it’s over because we’ve been talking about this move forever but we had the ribbon cutting ceremony last week and all of it and now, Winston’s like, “okay”, it’s like a relief within the family of the Cruze’s, by me. Family, not just the company.
[0:02:44.4] JR: If you're a fan of Dave Ramsey which I know a lot of people listening to this episode are, if you’re a fan or Rachel’s, you got to come see this place, it’s incredible, the whole entrance floor here is filled with Dave memorabilia and timelines of the company, it’s fantastic. Hey, I want to ask a softball question to get us started.
My team discovered your bio, which is not hard to find, and the second line here bio makes you very endearing to me.
[0:03:08.6] RC: Very great.
[0:03:09.0] JR: yeah, you probably don’t remember it. You talk about how much you love pizza which is something I could do a whole episode on. So, here in Franklin in Nashville, I have a favorite spot but I’m curious what’s yours, what’s your favorite pizza spot?
[0:03:22.3] RC: Gosh, it’s like picking between my children.
[0:03:23.7] JR: Yeah.
[0:03:26.3] RC: Five Points Pizza in east Nashville fantastic. MAFIAoZA’s. is pretty good, I enjoy that one. If I was going like chain, way to pick it up. Mellow Mushroom.
[0:03:36.9] JR: Yes. I almost feel guilty how much we eat at Mellow Mushroom, I’m like, “it’s a chain,” but we go nonstop.
[0:03:44.0] RC: Okay, Emmy Squared?
[0:03:45.5] JR: No.
[0:03:47.4] RC: So, it’s down in the Gulch, if you’re not a Nashville person, downtown and it is like deep dish, not Chicago deep dish, right? Because we’re very specific that Chicago deep dish sauce is on top of all things.
[0:03:58.5] JR: I’m not about sauce on top.
[0:04:00.3] RC: Yeah, this is more like Detroit style which is a real style but it is a real style. That’s Emmy Squared and that pizza’s so good.
[0:04:09.4] JR: All right, next time I’m in town. Well so, I love Desano’s.
[0:04:14.3] RC: Yeah, that’s a great one.
[0:04:16.0] JR: I’ve been to Desanos a few times. Where is that? Near Vanderbilt ish?
[0:04:19.4] RC: Yeah, it’s more of like midtown, closer downtown, yes.
[0:04:21.8] JR: Yeah. Desanos is just dynamite.
[0:04:23.4] RC: Yeah, that’s great, good pizza.
[0:04:25.6] JR: Yeah, I feel like I’m getting up to Nashville every three or four months now so now I got to like try new places every time.
[0:04:31.2] RC: Emmy Squared. Put that one on your list.
[0:04:33.8] JR: it’s on the list, great. You grew up in the household of Dave and Sharon Ramsey, take us back to 18 year old Rachel. I’m very curious about your path and decision work. So, you’re 18 years old, you’re graduating high school, you’re heading off to college, did you know that you were going to come back and work in the family business alongside your dad?
[0:04:53.5] RC: No, not at that point. I mean, we grew up in it, so I obviously have this love for the business itself. I mean, from working like the shipping department as like a little kid on. It was just like was a part of our life. And I actually started traveling with my dad at 15 to all of like he had these huge live events, they used to do on Saturdays called The Total Money Makeover Events and I would spend a lot of my weekends in high school traveling with him and pitching our kid’s products that we had at one of the breaks.
[0:05:20.5] JR: That’s great. I remember being 15, 16, 17. Sophomore, junior, senior and high school and loving it and I mean, this will be like with sometimes you know, 10, 12,000 people in an arena and learning that public speaking was not fun for most people in life. I remember thinking, “oh, that’s interesting because I really enjoyed it.” And granted, it was an easy crowd, I mean, they paid a ticket, take your helm and as his daughter. It’s not like I was going in trying to like swoop over a bunch of business owner or something like this was an easy crowd.
But, I loved it, I really did. And so I had that in my mind, I probably didn’t make the connection that I would use that and my career at the time by any means at 18 because I went to college, did sorority, did young life, met my husband there, we started dating sophomore year, I mean, I was just kind of just doing life. But around that time, in college is when I realized that people my age, whether it was my friends from high school that I was still in communication with or meeting new people at the University of Tennessee, but money which just come up randomly in conversation and you know, people start talking about their credit cards or their student loans.
I remember thinking,” you know, I’m 19 years old, I don’t have all the answers but I know that there’s a better way to do this.” Because I had traveled and talked to so many people previously that were getting out of the mistakes they made in college, right?
I mean, I remember thinking, “wow, okay.” If I have this like common sense knowledge that obviously some of my peers don’t have and never been taught this stuff. I could take that and take speaking that I love and create this maybe type of career and plug in. And so, it really wasn’t until my senior year of college when I really got serious of, “okay, what do I want to do?” And it just sounded fun, which sounds kind of just like generic and probably very millennial-esque but it did.
I was like, “it would be so fun to travel and high school students and college students and college students and give this message.” And so, we now have Ramsey personalities and so Chris Hogan, Christy Wright, Anthony ONeal, myself and there’s kind of this formula now that we have, we didn’t have that 10 years ago when I joined the team.
[0:07:22.1] RC: Yeah, so, you didn’t have that. What did that look like? You’re graduating from – you went to the University of Tennessee? You’re graduating to figure out what’s next, you don’t have a personality program so what did those first few years look like working here at Ramsey Solutions.
[0:07:35.1] RC: Yeah, so, I was a project manager in our publishing department for some of our kids products and our curriculum team, we have a high school curriculum, so I helped on sales calls with that, so I kind of split my time and then when the random high school in like Nebraska was like, “we’d love to have someone come speak.”They were like, “well, Rachel can,” so, I’d jump on a plane and go.
So, it was like, super organic, there wasn’t a big formula to it but we got more sophisticated over the years as a company, but that’s where it started and I love it because it started with zero pressure because some people do think like, “okay, your Dave Ramsey’s kid. You were expected to work or that there was some type of pressure,” and I remember talking to mom and dad and I remember them even saying, dad specifically.
He was like, “do you understand if you choose to come work here, it’s going to be harder for you to work here than just go find something else? You need to understand that you're going to work twice as hard as everyone else because you already are like a few rungs below the ladder on people’s – just because you’re the boss’s kid, it happens and so you – it’s going to be harder.”
I remember thinking, because my sister and my older sister didn’t work at the company. I was like, “okay, okay,”it was not assumed by any means that we would just join so some people have that.
[0:08:42.4] JR: That’s interesting that when you had that inkling of I think I want to do this that your dad wasn’t immediately like, “oh, my gosh, this is great, yes.”
[0:08:49.7] RC: No, it was like the air of parents, says, seen the light, it was like, you really need to make sure that this is what you want to do and especially a family business. If you’re not called to it, you're miserable than your relationships are miserable, the family dynamic is miserable, people at work are miserable. You know what I mean? The complications can just be like, 10 fold, than just a normal team member, right? So, it was a discussion for sure.
[0:09:12.2] JR: I think there’s a lot of wisdom there too in saying yes very slowly and very carefully, right? I think a lot of times, we commit to things without fully thinking through the implications and you know, we read in scripture, our yes is to be yes. If we’re going to commit to something we didn’t count the cost. Consider what it’s actually going to take to do it well. That’s very interesting.
Hey, I think it’s hard to find somebody who doesn’t know Dave Ramsey and increasingly hard to find somebody who doesn’t know Rachel Cruze, but most people I think don’t realize the magnitude of a Ramsey Solutions or Lampo Licensing, the parent company, the family business. So, we’re sitting here in this office, you guys are close to a thousand employees now, is that right?
[0:09:52.4] RC: Yes, like close to nine hundred, yeah.
[0:09:54.2] JR: Which is wild, you built this incredible space here in Franklin, Tennessee. How do you, when somebody asks you for an overview of the company and what these thousand people do every day.
[0:10:04.6] RC: I know, yeah.
[0:10:07.0] JR: How do you succinctly describe that?
[0:10:08.6] RC: That’s a great question. Well, our mission statement is that we give hope to everyone in every walk of life and so we’re obviously more known for the money piece of that, getting people out of debt, helping them get out of debt and living on a budget, all of that. But we’ve expanded into career and other aspects for sure. But yeah, it’s a big deal, if someone really wants to sit down, I mean, I’ll walk them through like the fourteen PNLs if they really want to know, this is how it’s structured.
[0:10:32.1] JR: I would love to know and it’s definitely a conversation, yeah.
[0:10:33.9] RC: Yeah, that’s right. But yeah, most people have no idea that the size of it which is fine, we always laugh, I mean, most people think that The Dave Ramsey Show’s done like in a trailer somewhere of the side of the road, you know what I mean like. It’s been a huge blessing, we’ve been able to touch people in every aspect of their life and especially with their money and it’s a fun company to work for because people are so passionate about it.
When you have your why, no matter what you’re doing in life, it just brings fuel and passion and energy to what you do and so it’s yeah, it’s 900 people all in the same mission which is really exciting.
[0:11:06.2] JR: We’re going to talk about that mission a bit, but you mentioned this term Ramsey Personality. You are within this bucket of Ramsey Personalities here. Can you tell our listeners who don’t know what in the world is a Ramsey Personality, what is a Ramsey Personality do?
[0:11:19.7] RC: Sure, this is kind of part of really the succession plan of the company because it’s all personality based was on just Dave himself and so, realizing okay, when something happens to him because it will, what happens? What happens to the company? What happens to the message, what happens to the hope that we’re delivering to America and a one to one hand of is really difficult and so from the message bearer, you could say to message bearer, people don’t receive that as well.
And so it’s like, “ hey, what if we spread it out?” And we had people in – That literally have different personalities, we have different views, we have the same principles, but that we go about the message a little differently and we can expand into other areas of people’s lives, like personal development and career and parenting and marriage.
Yeah, that’s kind of what took place, that was the main purpose behind why we have multiple personalities, multiple Ramsey Personalities. It’s always kind of funny, it’s kind of a funny play on words. And so, yeah, it’s really a big part of the succession plan of the company, but mostly because we want to just continue to deliver hope to people and that if something happens to Dave or when it does, that it just doesn’t stop. We want to continue it on.
[0:12:29.3] JR: And how do you describe to people who don’t know you, the content vertical, right? That you’re really focused on. What are you teaching on in The Rachel Cruze Show and everything else that you're doing?
[0:12:39.6] RC: Yes, it is personal financed based for sure, but just honestly, the season I’m in which I’m so grateful I get to create content out of things that I love. I have been married almost 10 years in December. Two kids, one on the way and being a working mom like all of my content kind of comes out of my life and what I enjoy too. So, it’s everything as tactical as we talk about grocery shopping, I mean, I just did a segment on like foods to freeze to save money, save’s probably not going to do that, all the way to retirement investing.
I mean, it kind of runs the gamut and kind of my line that I tell people is like learn to control your money and create a life that you love. How do you create a life you love, letting money be the tool that fuels it versus money being the thing that’s in control of your life, you’re controlling it instead?
[0:13:24.5] JR: I love that. So, I’ve always loved and respected your dad as a world class personality, a world class founder. I mean, I think your dad’s an exceptional entrepreneur, I’m an entrepreneur myself. But at the end of the day, I have a hypothesis about this, I want you to tell me if I’m wrong. I actually think his super power is something more broad. I think he’s a truly world class teacher. That’s the thing that seems to be the overarching thing that’s made this thing grow. I mean, you guys teach content, would you agree with that?
[0:13:53.8] RC: Yeah, absolutely. He’s a fabulous teacher. Taking a subject that is so intimidating and so complicated to a lot of people 30 years ago when – I mean, there was – but there are few people in the space but taking it in this common sense approach and kind of with his Dave personality of being a little bit bold, a little bit in your face, some attitude. It created just common sense for people that they could actually grasp.
When you do that well, you’re a really good teacher. He’s been able to create that brilliantly.
[0:14:24.1] JR: Is teaching the thing that you’re pursuing mastery of and your craft in your career here at Ramsey Solutions?
[0:14:29.3] RC: Overall? That’s a good question. I would say yes because every piece of content we put out is one that hopefully is instructional and inspirational and so part of that yeah, is teaching someone something new. And again, there’s always new listeners and money is continue – again, not just a complicated subject, but money, it’s about your behavior change.
It’s less about the head knowledge. So, I can teach you the principles and you can get them pretty quickly. Most anyone can. Again, they’re common sense. But walking people through the life change and their behavior change is what I think we’re really good at as well.
[0:15:02.2] JR: It’s also highly practical, right? All the personalities here are very inspiring but at the end of the day, if you're reading a book, if you’re watching a speech, if you’re listening to an episode of the podcast, it’s also highly practical, you guys are good teachers.
[0:15:14.4] RC: Yes, we always say, our content, we want to be instructional and inspirational because if it was just inspirational, you walk like,” that was amazing. I have no idea what they said but it was so good.” Or if it’s just instructional, you’re going to fall asleep. It’s like okay, how do you make it all tie together? That is one of the goals that we have.
[0:15:30.8] JR: You’ve been in the business for how many years now? 10?
[0:15:32.8] RC: Almost 10.
[0:15:34.3] JR: I’m curious and I obviously, you’ve been studying the business for longer than that growing up in the Ramsey household. What have you learned from your dad as to what it takes to become a masterful teacher? What are the elements that separate world-class teachers from simply good or adequate teachers?
[0:15:51.9] RC: I think one of the benefits that we have is we get to be face to face with our customer a lot. And so, whether that’s via the Dave Ramsey Show, Chris Hogan, I just did an hour of that live because Dave’s out of town right now and so we’re interacting with callers or you're on the road and you’re on a book signing line or you're at an event teaching from stage and you get people’s reaction.
Literally having your customer right there all the time and you're engaging with them constantly has been one of the best benefits. We always say that even just about Dave is like our CEO of the company is talking to our customer three hours a day on this radio show.
And having that element of connection and knowing what works, what doesn’t, even something as simple as a joke when you're teaching, right? You’re telling a story and sometimes it falls flat and you’re like, “okay,” but you learn it in real time, that’s one of the benefits that we have, it’s a little unique, not everyone has that ability to just interact with our customer constantly and that’s what we do.
That’s a huge part I think of being a good teacher, it’s not just knowing the information, but knowing how people are receiving it.
[0:16:53.8] JR: So, my next book, Random House is releasing in January called Master of One and it’s basically about, how do you master the thing that you’re pursuing vocationally? And one of the things that kept coming up in interview after interview for the book and research book after research book, we study is masters of any craft deliberately seek out feedback rapidly. They get feedback all the time.
I mean, I think the best picture of this is like standup comedy, right? When you’re doing a routine and getting feedback in real time, then go in the next night. You guys do that.
[0:17:23.9] RC: Yes, that’s exactly right.
[0:17:25.0] JR: That’s one of the benefits of that live radio show.
[0:17:27.8] RC: Yes, for sure. And from people that are working close to you that you trust, right? When they come in and they’re like, “that just didn’t land,” you know? To take it like, “okay, that’s good to know, thank you.”
[0:17:37.4] JR: You have those people here, even though you’re the boss’s daughter.
[0:17:40.8] RC: Yes.
[0:17:41.4] JR: You have this people would come to you and say hard truths.
[0:17:43.4] RC: I have three layers technically between me and the CEO of Dave. Somewhere within those layers, we’ll have thoughts about different things. But it’s great, I’m like, “yeah, I want to know, right?” Even Elizabeth, our publicist, she’s sitting right over there but we’ll get down with the media hit and she’ll be like, “okay. This was – this landed so good. Next time, you could do this.”
It’s like, “yeah, that’s great.” You want to know what you can perfect because you want to be the best that you can, right?
[0:18:09.7] JR: Do you watch yourself speak? Do you watch old episodes of the show?
[0:18:13.4] RC: I hate it.
[0:18:13.4] JR: You hate it? But do you do it?
[0:18:15.7] RC: I will for The Rachel Cruze Show. Speaking, that was one of the actual requirements when I was out doing my high school assemblies in Nebraska or wherever I was early on is I took a flip camera and a tripod –
[0:18:28.1] JR: A flip camera! That’s amazing.
[0:18:28.9] RC: I traveled with it and I set it up at every event and that was one of the requirements I had to watch myself back. I did that for about three years straight. Every single talk for three years and it’s terrible, right? You just cringe at yourself on stage. You’re like, “oh, that was so terrible, why am I being so awkward with my hands?” You know, you see all these things but you’re your worst critic and you can perfect some things really quickly when you see it.
I’ve gotten a little bit out of that habit, I hate to say it, I should get back in probably wit speaking. But The Rachel Cruze Show, I do try to watch every episode before it releases.
[0:19:01.5] JR: Really? The whole thing?
[0:19:02.9] RC: Yes.
[0:19:03.4] JR: What are you taking notes on?
[0:19:05.0] RC: It is 28-30 minutes and I have a great team around me and they filtered out probably all the crazy stuff too.
[0:19:10.5] JR: Were those things early on that you were taking notes on that, “man, I’ve got to fix this.”
[0:19:15.9] RC: With speaking? I was fast and I am probably fast in this interview. I am a fast talker so that was big. My pacing almost didn’t line, this was a critique from –
[0:19:26.1] JR: Like physical pacing?
[0:19:26.7] RC: Physical pacing from the stage because a movement and I move my hands and all of that but it almost wasn’t on pace with what I was talking about. I was talking about something serious. but I was walking so fast and so I had to learn to be comfortable. It is probably a nervous tick and so to be still at certain points and just physically stand still and have those moments with the audience when you are making a point because it is so much more effective versus it feels like you are playing tennis or something. That was the feedback I got from someone like, “it looks like you are playing tennis.”
[0:19:54.6] JR: Yeah, have you heard of this podcast called Mortified?
[0:19:58.6] RC: No.
[0:19:59.5] JR: So my editor was telling me about this yesterday. It is the funniest concept I have ever heard from a podcast. So they take people who are adults now and they have them read their teenage diaries on the podcast. I’m like, “oh, that is what I would feel like if I had a teenage diary watching myself speak and critiquing myself speaking.” I will never listen to an episode of that. No, I want to listen to an episode of that podcast because I want to get better, but that is what masters do.
So you’ve helped thousands, millions of people budget their money right? Get control of their personal finances. I am really curious about how you budget your time, right? So you got a lot going on, you are helping build this venture, you’re personality, you’re teaching, you’re a mother, you’re a wife, how practically do you budget out your days?
[0:20:47.7] RC: Early on when I decided to have kids, I had the discussion with our board and some leadership team and my dad. Because, I was like, “if I continue my schedule,” my travel schedule was nuts before kids, “I can’t continue to do that and be a mom.”
[0:21:00.2] JR: How much were you travelling?
[0:21:01.2] RC: At the time? Oh gosh I was gone probably 30 times a year. Yeah so it is was a lot.
[0:21:09.2] JR: So you come to the board you’re like, “I can’t do this anymore.”
[0:21:11.3] RC: Yeah, I want to have kids and I just can’t keep that lifestyle but travelling is part of my job and I mean speaking that is a big part of it. So what does that balance look like? So they were great on some of the flexibility, which was huge for me in the office. So, that was a big turning point for me because I feel like having that balance and I wouldn’t say balance, but you know it depends on the season. It allows me to be intentional in the work days.
And then on the days home, I can be mom. So I am really thankful for that and Christy Wright, who’s one of our Ramsey Personalities, she always says that life balance is not about being 50-50. It is about being 100% presence and so learning with my time to get out ahead of it. So being really like Winston, my husband and I we are master schedulers. Even our family and his family and our friends they laugh at us because even with kids, planning out kids.
We’re like, “okay here is our timeline, here’s what we want.” I mean it is wild but we have to because then our time gets away and life and –
[0:22:11.5] JR: Same thing with money right?
[0:22:12.3] RC: Yes, exactly so just being real – so we are super pro-active. We’re really good at calendars and we communicate everything and it is funny because my husband is an introvert. I am extrovert, are you into the Enneagram at all?
[0:22:24.6] JR: So now that I am travelling to Nashville, I feel an obligation to be into Enneagram. You guys are oddly obsessed with this. So I know my number if that is what you are asking.
[0:22:34.6] RC: Okay what is it?
[0:22:35.0] JR: I am a three.
[0:22:35.6] RC: I am too! Okay so most of us we enjoy doing things. We can make changes on the fly if we’re effective and all of that. This is getting off topic, where my husband, he is a five. He is the investigator so for him making plans on the fly it is a stress point. He just doesn’t do well with it. And so we have learned that in marriage. “Okay let’s literally book out our month and our nights and say okay what nights are we home, what nights are we out?”
So all that to say super proactive and then when I am at the place whether it is work, dinner with friends, with the kids, back to that quote I am a 100% present where I am is where I really, really try to be and that’s it but I mean it is messy, right?
[0:23:16.6] JR: So I am the same way. I plan out my days meticulously. I have calendar templates for different days of the week. We’re freaks. This is like so weird.
[0:23:26.2] RC: I know it is like a control thing. I love my schedule.
[0:23:28.9] JR: It totally is. So what is your calendar look like today like from the moment you woke up to the moment you go to bed, take us through a day in Rachel Cruze’s life.
[0:23:37.2] RC: A day okay. Well I am 34 weeks pregnant. So I am usually having pregnancy insomnia. So I am up anywhere from 4:00-ish every morning because I just can’t sleep. So I go get a bowl – if you literally want to know what my – I go get a bowl of cereal every morning around 4:00 because I am starving. Yeah, Winston and I, my husband and I we’ve gotten a great routine. It sounds super spiritual and we’re not perfect at is, so I don’t want us to sound like such like a Bible answer but it is true but we spend time on the Word together.
We have been really intentional with prayer together as a couple. We have not been great at that in the past but we are in a really good season of that right now, which is so great. That is changes so much in such a great way for your day. So we spend time there before the girls get up and then around 6:30 the two little ones are usually coming down and talking and starting parenting around 6:30.
[0:24:25.3] JR: Their energy is at a 100%.
[0:24:26.4] RC: Yeah that’s it. Yeah then get ready for work, coming to work, again meetings and show. I am shooting a ton of Rachel Cruze Show content right now because I am on maternity leave for four months coming up. So a lot of days are filled with content for that.
[0:24:40.1] JR: What is the first thing you do when you get to the office?
[0:24:42.8] RC: When I get to the office, it depends on the day. We have company-wide meetings Mondays and Wednesday mornings, so I will usually come right in and go straight to those meetings. I mean these days I am not even in my desk, really. I am starting off on a meeting honestly. So yeah, I don’t know if that is good or bad.
[0:25:00.4] JR: Yeah and I think it is a season like you said. I am really curious what – so you mentioned praying with your husband. Something that my wife and I aren’t great at, something I want to get better at. I am curious if you guys prayed together for the business, for Ramsay Solutions? Or if you on your own pray for the business and if so, what do those prayers look like? Obviously you want to pray that the business grows, but what are those other dimensions to how you think about praying for Ramsay Solutions?
[0:25:27.2] RC: Yeah, I think it depends on the season. I mean recently because of like this like being Winston’s job, the building itself literally moving in, it was a lot around that of like peace and direction and clarity when there was a lot of high stress points and all of that. So honestly, we probably get – our prayers literally are more tactical with day to day and upcoming projects that we have, versus pulling out in the scope of it all.
But there have been events, things that have pulled both of us. We both sit in our operating board and so we have visibility into everything going on in the company and so yeah, there is definitely been events that have pulled us up and our prayers around that but these days probably because I am so far – I hate to say it is such a – this episode of your podcast is going to be so niche because I wasn’t 36 weeks pregnant a lot of my answers would be so different.
But it is. It is like,” give Rachel the strength to get through the day,” kind of thing. So it is more tactical day to day stuff, our prayers of what it looks like and the projects we have going on.
[0:26:23.3] JR: Yeah the large part is like survival like please get me through the finish line.
[0:26:27.1] RC: It is a little bit of that Jordan honestly, yeah.
[0:26:28.3] JR: Yeah, I know. I totally get it. So the official Ramsey Solutions mission statement, reading this to you. I know you know it by heart. So Ramsey Solutions provides Biblically based common sense education and empowerment that give hope to everyone in every walk of life. So, you mentioned Biblically based. I am curious, how does God’s word shape the content that you are producing, right? Under your personal brand at rachelcruze.com, how do you think about how God’s word influences that content?
[0:26:57.3] RC: Well on the foundation and the money principles I mean it is everything. It is what it is built on. I mean everything from how is the wiser stores the choice food and oil, a foolish man devours all he has. Save money, what does saving money look like? And you can go in a thousand different directions with that. The borrower is slave to the lender, when we talk about debt.
And so all of our money principles, it is based on common sense Biblical approach. So everything that we come out of is a spring board out of scripture and you can touch into more of the heart aspects of money too, which we do on the show as well. But I would say the foundational principles of what we teach comes from the scripture. I mean it is. It is scripture, it is Biblically based.
[0:27:38.2] JR: So you published The Contentment Journal, when did that come up?
[0:27:43.7] RC: Yes, that came out earlier this year.
[0:27:46.0] JR: Early in 2019.
[0:27:47.5] RC: 2019. Yes, April of 2019.
[0:27:49.5] JR: I forget one of my books came out too. Yeah, no I totally get it.
[0:27:53.3] RC: I am going to blame the baby on everything on this podcast that goes wrong. It’s just because I am pregnant.
[0:27:57.4] JR: Yeah absolutely. So I am curious what led you to commit to that topic. I think it is a big topic. It is a big felt need this lack of content in our lives, in our careers, was there a spiritual element of that for you? How did you faith influenced the development of that content topic?
[0:28:14.7] RC: Yes, well it came out honestly more out of my last book, Love Your Life Not Theirs, because there was a whole part on a theme of comparison living and when you are not content with yourself, you are constantly going to compare your life to everyone else’s. And so that contentment piece is one that a lot of people continue to bring up and we are asking questions about. It really is a felt need.
So diving into that topic specifically of content it was an important one because it is the heart issue, the heart foundation of money. And a lot of people’s money problems comes out of being discontent and looking for other things to fulfill them and realizing that stuff is not going to make you happy. And we know that. A lot of people know that in their brain, but yet we don’t live it out and so money problems are a symptom of usually a greater issue. And I think in our culture today, I’m like we are just constantly bombarded with buy this, do this, look this way, it is all about you, your image, what you’re doing.
The clothes you’re wearing, the vacations you are taking, oh if you are not happy with you here is some social media so you can see what everyone else is doing out there that you are missing out on. And so it is this it really is a very materialistic feeling more than ever. I feel like in our culture today and so I am like, “man we are just bombarded with just stuff,” and I am like, “We can just get the crap out of our lives” stop going into debt for stuff we don’t need and fix our situation with our money.
But man in the process, learning to be content with where we are and learning to say, “you know what? God has me in this place for a reason and godliness with contentment is great gain.” And having that gain in your life, in your heart, spiritually speaking that is when you truly I think can start to win with money. It is very hard to win with money when you are not content. It is hard to sacrifice your lifestyle and get that stuff out of your life and get out of debt when you are not content.
It is hard to save money when you are not content. It is hard to give when you are not content. And so contentment is a huge piece but it is so hard to find in our world today and so it is, it is a big topic like you said earlier, but touching on it and learning that it is a progression and so I talk about how it starts with being grateful and a heart that is filled with gratitude, there is no room for being discontent. When you are just grateful from where you are and what you have, that covers a multitude of sins.
So starting with gratitude, so in the journal we spend 30 days in gratitude and then move to 30 days of humility and I based it off C.S. Lewis’s quote where he said that humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less. And I love that because it is this picture of like you get to look up and look out and see other people. When you start to live your life where other people are valued and you want to serve, your life becomes richer and then being content is the next 30 days after that.
Which is just – not to say it is not an easy slide in, but it kind of is. Once you have mastered gratitude and humility there is just this new outlook you have on life.
[0:31:11.7] JR: Have you ever read anything by Tim Keller?
[0:31:13.7] RC: Yes, oh yeah I love Tim Keller.
[0:31:15.2] JR: Yeah, so a huge Keller fan. So the first Keller book I ever read was this little tiny book. I don’t even know if it was traditionally published. It might just be an e-book.
[0:31:22.5] RC: Not The Prodigal God?
[0:31:23.6] JR: Not Prodigal God, no which I love. Yeah, we could talk about that.
[0:31:26.5] RC: That will rock your world.
[0:31:27.2] JR: Yes. No it is this little book that you would love. It is called the Freedom of Self Forgetfulness.
[0:31:32.2] RC: Oh I have never heard of it.
[0:31:33.6] JR: Yeah, I think it was only an ebook but I read this thing in, I don’t know, an hour and a half sitting down my couch. I’m like, I have to read everything this guy has ever written, but it was exactly that. It is you know humility is not thinking less of ourselves. It is just thinking about ourselves less. There is this great passage of Paul in the New Testament talking about how his identity isn’t what he believes about himself, but it is also not what other people say about them self.
It said, who Christ says he is. So it is this dying to self, forgetting about self and living in humility and thinking about others first. So I have been learning a lot about Ramsey Solutions over the last few months, read through some of the core values. I think one of my favorites is you guys don’t like expound upon this deeply in some of your external documents but I am hoping you will here. Yeah, it is this crusade core value. This idea that quote we are crusaders doing work that matters here at Ramsey Solutions. Can you talk about what you guys mean by that?
[0:32:31.2] RC: Yes, we look at ourselves as going into battle a lot because there is a toxic money culture with banks and credit card industries that have way more money than we do and a lot of influence on America and the culture that we sit in to the point that they have convinced people over decades that to not have a credit card is weird, you know what I mean?
We are fighting against these cultural norms to speak truth and give people a plan in peace and so it is, it is battle. So that is how we look at ourselves. It is a crusade, you can’t go in timid, you can’t go in passive. You have to go in knowing your conviction, knowing what you believe and teaching it unapologetically and so that’s it. And then the work that matters, we say that all the time. We do work for people that aren’t here. So when we’re as a staff meeting, I sit in almost every staff meeting and people probably get tired of it, I hope they don’t.
But it is true, I’m like this building was built to even for not just Ramsay Solutions, but for the people outside these walls and doing work and you could say this about any line of work. You could find value in anything you do out there as a listener. But for us to just focus on like we do work that matters. We are not just collecting a paycheck here. We are doing stuff that is changing people’s lives. It is changing their family trees, the way that they talk to their kids, even to the point of what they do financially.
And all of this aspects when it comes to money when you can give people hope in that and this area that is so hopeless for a lot that’s it. And so just being reminded that yeah it is a battle and we’re doing it because it matters.
[0:34:00.0] JR: Yeah, I got quite a few friends here at Ramsey Solutions now and one thing I’ve been really impressed with, one, a lot of them are very serious, very faithful followers of Jesus Christ. But secondly, they very much view the work they do here as ministry. Even if it’s not overtly evangelical, even if you’re not preaching Jesus’ name at every event or in every book. The work you’re doing is helping to restore creation, to restore people’s perspective on money, on career, on contentment and living in line with God’s word and I think that’s a really beautiful thing and I think it’s what inspires so many people that work here. So, thank you for that.
All right, three questions to wrap up. I like to ask every guest, what books are your recommending the most or buying as gifts for others right now?
[0:34:48.7] RC: business wise, I would say, Prodigal God is a great one. Something about that is on my head. No, but Hungry, Humble, Smart is one that we’ve been talking a lot about as a company and leadership team that we used, that’s a great one. It’s short but it’s so applicable and if you have someone on your team that something’s just not working those three areas, humble, hungry, smart, when you look, it’s just one of those lightbulb moments, where it’s like, “that’s so good. I’d say, business wise, I love that one.”
[0:35:17.4] JR: That’s good. Who do you know, who is a Christian, not in full time “ministry”that is really exceptional at what they do?
[0:35:25.3] RC: Okay, it’s not a household name, but I love her and so she’s on top of my mind right now because she has a book coming on, just talked to her. Paula Faris from Good Morning America, she’s an anchor and she did the weekend Good Morning America. She was one of the head anchors there and so she actually stepped away from that to be with family.
She’s writing a whole book on her intersection of faith in her career.
[0:35:45.9] JR: Interesting.
[0:35:46.7] RC: yes, I love media, it’s like one of my favorite parts of my job, I love doing, going up to New York and doing shows and all that, it’s so fun for me, I love it. And people in that world that are believers are always so intriguing to me and she’s won. I love her and as a mom and you know, she’s kind of in a season ahead of me in life. Yeah, she’s fantastic.
[0:36:06.5] JR: That sounds like that would be a great conversation. I hear she’s promoting a book so I mean, come on, I’m sure she’d be wanting to do this.
[0:36:12.5] RC: Thanks Rachel.
[0:36:13.6] JR: Yeah, exactly. All right, last question. What one piece of advice would you give to somebody who like you is pursuing mastery at this art of teaching specifically and communicating ideas and content?
[0:36:24.4] RC: I would say, get around and watch and consume the ones that you relate to because there’s some teachers that you see and you’re like, “wow, they’re a great teacher but that’s not my personality, you’re like, that’s not my gifting that style.” But find someone that’s like kind of with your personality that you see and you’re like, “okay, I could emulate that.” I could learn from them because a lot of – especially with teaching, it comes out of your own story and your own life and so being yourself is so important, it’s being authentic because if you’re trying to be someone else, it’s very draining and you don’t want your work to be training.
To finding someone that you can kind of relate to even on a personality level and be like, “okay, yes.” Learning from them.
[0:37:03.7] JR: I love that, Rachel, I just want to thank you for the work that you and the team are doing here. Thank you for serving the Lord and serving the world and your customers through just the ministry of excellence, right? You guys do such an excellent job and everything you do, thank you for helping people live in line with God’s word and what God has to say about money and finances and thank you for convincing these thousands people here that their work is important, not just temporally, eternally, it’s significant, it matters.
Hey, if you want to learn more about Rachel and her work, visit rachelcruze.com. You want to spell that for us?
[0:37:37.1] RC: Yes, C R U Z E.
[0:37:38.5] JR: cruze.com. Rachel, thanks for hanging out with me.
[0:37:41.6] RC: Yeah, thanks for having me on, I appreciate it.
[0:37:43.5] JR: What a great conversation with Rachel. Thanks again to her, thanks for the entire team at Ramsey Solutions. They were so hospitable, setting us up there in their studios. I hope you guys enjoyed this episode as much as I enjoyed producing it. Hey, if you’re enjoying the podcast, make sure you subscribe to the call to mastery so you never miss an episode that we release in the future.
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