Ep 34: A Posture of Gratitude with Christy Wright

RV: (00:06)
Hey Brand Builder, Rory Vaden here. Thank you so much for taking the time to check out this interview. As always, it’s our honor to provide it to you for free and wanted to let you know there’s no big sales pitch or anything coming at the end. However, if you are someone who is looking to build and monetize your personal brand, we would love to talk to you and get to know you a little bit and hear about some of your dreams and visions and share with you a little bit about what we’re up to see if we might be a fit. So if you’re interested in a free strategy call with someone from our team, we would love to hear from you. You can do that at brand builders, group.com/pod call brand builders group.com/pod call. We hope to talk to you soon.

RV: (00:55)
Christy is someone who’s been a friend now for like a couple of years. She is a number one national bestselling author of a book called business boutique. She hosts the business boutique podcast, which is a huge podcast. They have an annual event, which is also huge, and she is a certified business coach and she is one of the Ramsey personalities which we’re going to talk a lot about. So she has specifically a passion for flipping women with the knowledge and steps they need to successfully grow a business. So she joined Ramsey solutions in 2009. She’s spoken to tens of thousands of people across the country at their events, other events, national conferences, and they have built a huge, huge brand for her in, you know, very, very short order. And so we’re going to just talk to her about, you know, I think her path, which is very, very unique path and then also some of the lessons that she has learned and that she shares with her audience. So they’re going to love her if you don’t already know her. So Christie, welcome to the show.

CW: (01:56)
Rory, thanks so much for having me. You have been such a great friend to me and I will do anything for you. I’m just so grateful to be here. This is going to be fun.

RV: (02:03)
Yeah, totally. Well, I appreciate that. And you know, I’ve always been dear to you. I think you, you have such an endearing presence and such a you know, like a passion for serving. And I think to jump right into it, can you explain what it means to a Ramsey personality?

CW: (02:21)
Yes. Let’s start with that. That’s a good starting point.

RV: (02:27)
You know, either under don’t understand it and, and specifically I think, I think it’s a lot of people when they think of building their personal brand, the natural thing is I have to do this all on my own. I have to like control it. I have to own it, I have to do all of it. But there are other paths and other options and I think yours is kind of more of a nontraditional one. So just like give us the background.

CW: (02:51)
Yeah, for sure. Well, let me just start with kind of why this position even evolved because really I got the same question for my friends family when I announced to them, Oh, you know, I’m going to become a Ramsey personality. They’re like, awesome. What does that mean? I’m like, well, because this is all very new for us, but really where it started for us as a company, as an organization of now 800 people led by our CEO nationally syndicated radio show host, obviously multiple New York times bestselling author, Dave Ramsey, which many people know. He’s at the stage of life where he’s starting to look at this company and the hundreds of people. It was a little less when, when it started back in 2012 but he’s starting to look at the success and plan and say, okay, what is the future look like for this company that is completely built on one man?

CW: (03:38)
The entire brand was one man, the Dave Ramsey show, all of the books, everything was driven by Dave Ramsey, the personality, but it was also led by Dave Ramsey demand, the leader, the CEO. And so he started to realize, you know, if I’m going to have a transition plan for the future for these hundreds of team members, for the millions of people that we are helping them want to continue to help in the future, then we need to have a plan for that. And so over many, many years and lots of research and sitting with some of the most brilliant minds in the country, in the world of how they’ve made transitional movements through their company, whether it’s generational movements to, you know, passing down ownership to the kids or leadership transitions. And he really started to come up with a plan. And that plan is threefold. Obviously there’s going to be a handoff from him, him to his three kids and ownership.

CW: (04:26)
But then he created a board. He diversified as leaderships read it out where it used to be just three guys and a lot of bottlenecks. He now has an entire board that’s growing. But then he thought, how do I transition the brand? How do I transition the trust, the content, the life change and transformation that, you know, he’s built over 25, 30 years of doing this. And he said, you know, we need more people doing what I’m doing. And what he was doing and still is doing is writing and speaking and doing media and helping people as the personality and the face of this company. And and so they looked at creating a new position called the Ramsey personalities. And it’s a very unique role because you have to have someone that has something to say. They have great content that helps people and an area of their life, but they also have to have the heart of a servant where they’re not a diva, you know, thinking they’re going to roll into a speaking event and have only green M&Ms and white couches. You need to have someone that is teachable and coachable and not too far along where they’ve got their own thing going, where this isn’t a value to them because they’re a part of a bigger team and a bigger company. But that has the skills and the talent that can be cultivated. And so we formed the Ramsey personality back into, I guess it was 2012 but 2014 in that transition. And I’ve been a speaker for years. Huh.

RV: (05:47)
But that sounds about right. Cause I think the first time, you know, I, I met Ramsey really I was a fan and then there was an employee there who threw my name in the hat. I came to at Divo. Like I remember I was here, it was a while ago though. That was probably like when you first got there that it would’ve been like 2010. Yep. And I remember talking to Jeremy Breland and some of the people, cause I was really close with Zig Ziglar, Zig bee. I know Dave was close with him as well. Yeah. Interesting to see, you know, the Ziglar organization kind of like sort of stumble through in some ways. They didn’t, they didn’t have as much time to kind of plan. And I think that was just one of several things that kind of Dave was like, okay, right, we got to do this. But there was only 250 people there and now there’s 850 and correct me if I’m wrong, but I was just over there. I was just over there with you because one of our clients, Lewis house was your show and he was on Dave’s show. And I think I heard Dave say something like 15 million people a week are just his brand alone. Right.

CW: (06:57)
And just that’s just the radio show. That’s not any of the other books or platforms or social media. That’s just the radio show. It’s crazy. Yeah, know it’s a lot of responsibility, right? Like to carry this thing that he’s built. And and so I think that’s where, like you said, he started coming up with a plan, but then it, it was a gradual rollout. It wasn’t an overnight thing, but we had, we had formed the speaker’s group back in 2010 and that was really our response just to speaking needs because Dave at that time in 2010 was turning down 3000 requests a year for speaking that he couldn’t do. Those are just the ones that he couldn’t do. And he was speaking much more at that time. And I thought, you know what, we need more speakers. This was way before Ramsey personalities was even a thought on anybody’s radar.

CW: (07:42)
And so they formed the speakers group and it was five men and two women, Rachel Cruz and myself. And I kind of was slid into that group. I was a youth project coordinator, worry like I was doing products like piggy banks and kids’ books and Bible studies. But I hopped in there and filled in for Rachel on this particular conference, this one summer and I did a really good job. So that’s all. They kind of slid me in to this group. No audition, no application, no interview. It’s like, Oh, she did a good job. Like, we’re literally flying by the seat of our pants here at the staff. And because I tell people all the time, you know, in Sheryl Sandberg’s book, lean in, she says, some of the most amazing career opportunities are not positions that are posted but problems that you solve and that thing becomes your job.

CW: (08:23)
And that’s really what happened. They needed a speaker and I raised my hand and I was like, well, I’ll just, I’ll just do it. And they’re like, can you speak? I was like, I don’t know, think so. I never spoke to them all, but I’ll figure it out. And so that turned into the speaker’s group, which then evolved with more intention over time into the Ramsey personality. So we really are the message bearers for the future of this company in different areas. Anything from obviously money with Rachel Cruz and Chris Hogan. I’m Anthony O’Neil, but then even can Coleman as in the career space. And I really have been in the business space for women and also a little bit of personal development. So we’re trying to go into more markets, spread the message wider. Really just to help more people and go into the future.

RV: (09:03)
Yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s amazing. And everyone on the team there, I mean on top of just, you know, transforming our life personally, financially. Then getting to meet Dave, then meeting the team now seeing all of you, like we just think so, so highly of you all and you’re doing such great work. Mmm. So yeah, hopefully you don’t mind me asking this. No. I want to talk to you about the ego part of this. You know, Dave is, Dave is as big as it gets as a personal brand and you know, there has to be a little bit of feeling like, Oh we’re, we’re in Dave’s shadow also. You know, you look to other people going, okay, they’re building their own thing and it’s like they’re in full control. And how have you sort of reconciled, not caring about it being like all your thing and your ownership and how have you kind of moved beyond the light? I guess what I would assume is kind of a natural ego struggle to like want to be the main personality and the owner and the like.

CW: (10:07)
Yeah. Yeah. It’s a combination of things. I’ll tell you, people have asked me so many times like, you know, when you, when you, when I came out with my book, they’re like, Oh my gosh, is this just a dream come true? And I’m like, well, not technically because I never dreamt to write a book. And I know this sounds silly. Like, Oh, I’ve just woke up here. It’s not that. It’s not like I just woke up here because it was a lot of hard work and God opening doors. The thing is, has God opened doors? I didn’t know I wanted to walk through. I never had the dream to be a speaker, to be an author, to be a personality, a business coach. I never had those dreams story. Like I thought I was going to work at an advertising agency. And so I think for me, as God has opened doors and I have walked through those doors, I’m discovering things about myself.

CW: (10:50)
I didn’t know existed. And so every day to me is just incredibly grateful. Like I feel like I won the lottery, that I get to do this because it wasn’t even on my radar that I wanted to do this. There’s a quote that I love. It says, I didn’t know that I was a bell until someone picked me up and rang me. And that’s all I feel like I didn’t know I could write. And then I’ve had all these opportunities to write and Oh my gosh, turns out I could write and I really enjoy it. I’m fast and it’s good. And that’s a gift God has given me. I didn’t even know I had. And so I think it has created in me a very natural, very effortless posture of gratitude. But I just feel so grateful to get to do this because it doesn’t matter if I’m the greatest speaker in the world.

CW: (11:29)
If I’m the greatest you know, author in the world, greatest business coach, if no one knows about it, then I’m not able to help people. And so Dave Ramsey in this company took a chance on me, put me in a lot of money behind me on their platform. There’s a lot of trust there. I mean, he’s built this thing over 30 years and he said, Hey, I’m gonna hand you a piece of this and lets you run with it. So that’s one piece of it. I think just, I never sought this. And so I know I have a very natural posture of gratitude. Like, wow, this is so cool, I get to do this. But then on the other side of it, the nature of what I do I have been able to carve it out for myself within this platform. And so Dave is the first to recognize that my market is not his market.

CW: (12:11)
And there might be some overlap, but I mean, we’ll, we’ll go head to head and meetings where I will fight for things that he doesn’t agree with and there will always win. Sometimes I lose, but I will fight for things because I’m kind of in this sandbox where he’s like, I don’t know. It’s not how market, you know, I don’t use a planner, I don’t, I don’t do these things. I’m telling you my market does. This is what they need and here’s, here’s the approach at my event, we dance to shake it off. You’re never going to dance to check it off. Like he lets me kind of get away with stuff and I kind of love that. And so Dave is very entrepreneurial. Our culture is very entrepreneurial and I am very entrepreneurial. My mom and dad are both entrepreneurs and so I feel like I get to exercise all of the entrepreneurial skills, skills within this sandbox where I kind of get to break the rules and fly under the radar and they’re like, Oh, it’s Christie’s thing.

CW: (13:00)
Just let her go do whatever. And it’s not completely like that. Like there’s oversight, there’s approvals, there’s processes. We’re part of a bigger organization. But it’s amazing how much I feel like I get to exercise that. But then I get the benefit of I have an entire social media team. I have an entire video team, I have an entire content team that’s going to clean up my grammar. And so it’s like what I love about this from my perspective, that’s right for me, to your point, that’s not for everybody, but I get to do [inaudible] best dad. I get to do all the coaching, all the speaking and all the writing. And I’m not over here trying to figure out social media algorithms cause there’s somebody really smart doing that for me and I’m not creating graphics. There’s somebody really great at graphics that are creating that for my, and so to me it’s just a win win situation that again, I just feel so grateful for. So it’s interesting how I feel like the diva or the ego has been such a nonissue because I get to exercise that freedom and creativity in owning what I’ve created here with the team to support it and still be a part of the bigger picture of what we’re trying to do.

RV: (14:02)
Yeah, yeah. I love that. And I think the part about the team is powerful. It speaks to just the reality of it does, it takes a team I think. I think in a lot of ways brand builders group is becoming four people for individuals.

CW: (14:17)
That’s awesome. It’s needed. It’s a very, it’s a very big need.

RV: (14:21)
It’s hard to, it’s like, I mean there’s, so, there’s so many pieces of video editing and con like

CW: (14:26)
SEO, email marketing, all those pieces that if your speaker and author are trying to build a brand, you don’t, it’s not just that you don’t even know how to do it. Usually you don’t have the time to cause you need to be doing what you’re good at.

RV: (14:37)
Yeah. Yeah. And I love you know, thinking about that idea of just a natural posture of gratitude. What a great, eloquent phrase of just the [inaudible] regardless of, of what your personal brand is. I think one of the things that I kind of love about your situation is you stepped into it and I think for a brand, when they’re just by themselves, they have to get to the same place. But it’s usually along the road because they have to the, there is the option of the ego settling in. They own everything and they’re in control a hundred percent and they have to get past that mature to where they’re just serving their audience and they’re just grateful to be there.

CW: (15:21)
And to your point, you’ve gotta be like when you’re starting out, and, and I experienced this even before I became a Ramsey personality when I was doing some other stuff. You have to be scrappy. You got to elbow your way a little bit in there. You got to make sure you’re not taking advantage of where everyone wants you to speak for free. Like you still need to protect yourself. And it’s not an ego. It’s a balance there of like, I’m going to be wise and be smart and be scrappy to get going, but then maintain that posture of gratitude along the way. So it really is a, to your point, it’s about, I’ll tell you one of the things that I’ve noticed as a pattern, Marina, I was just talking about this the other day. So at my events or or any event, if you don’t have a book signing line and people are coming up to talk to me, I often have people tell me, and I’m sure you do too.

CW: (16:03)
Hey, I want to do what you do. I want to, I want to speak, I want to write how do I do what you do? And what’s amazing to me is I ask them one question every single time in response to that. I said, what do you want to say? And if they don’t have an answer about what they want to say or who they want to help or how they want to help them, it’s pretty indicative to me that they want the fame, they want the spotlight, they’re approaching this whole thing from what’s in it for me? What can I get? What can I get? Can I get likes? Can I get approval? Can I get high fives? Can I get money? Can I get opportunities? Can I get, you know, relationships with really important people? Can I get fame? And if you approach anything like that in life, whether it’s a relationship or a business or a platform, or even a stage talk, if you walk on stage as a keynote speaker thinking, how can I get last?

CW: (16:52)
How can I get a standing ovation? You’ve lost, you’ve lost, you’ve lost before. You’ve even begun because you think somehow it’s about you and it’s not. Business is not. Life is not a keynote. Presentation is not being an author is not. It’s not about what you can get. It’s about what you can give and if you approach your business or your platform or your brand or anything from the perspective and the posture of what can I give, how can I give value? How can I add life change? How can I provide information or inspiration or transformation? How can I give something? You’ll get all that in more. You’ll get the applause. You’ll get the legs, you’ll get the, you’ll get the standing ovation, but people can feel it, and I know you know this from being a speaker, like people think when they’re in the audience that they’re anonymous, like we can’t see them.

CW: (17:42)
I’m like, I think like we see you, but you could feel the energy in an audience and an audience can feel the energy from you. And if you walk on stage trying to be cute and be funny and, and somehow it’s all about you in the spotlight, they will feel that energy. And they also feel it when it’s the opposite. They feel it when you walk out there and you give it all you’ve got because you genuinely care about how they feel and what they need and adding value. And so I would just say my advice for anybody as they’re building a brand or a business, social media, apply it to anything. Don’t focus on what you can get focused on what you can give and you will get all that. But you have to have the right posture going into it at any stage of the game, whether you have one follower or 1 million, it doesn’t matter. That’s the posture you have to maintain.

RV: (18:28)
Hey men for reject girl, like rent a man. I love that. And it’s so, so powerful. Well, hearing that from someone like you who has great, it’s such a huge monster platform over the years. And, and just so you know, by the way, next time somebody comes up and says, I want to do what you do, if you say go talk to brand builders group and we will help you and we will send you a commission check. And then we will send them this interview and be like, do what Christie says

CW: (19:06)
It’s a win, win, win,

RV: (19:08)
Serve, serve, serve, serve. You know, I, I think, I feel like that’s also calling right there. There’s something in Proverbs. I don’t know the exact words, but it’s something about like a man creates plans, but the Lord determines his steps. And you are such a, you know, your story is like such a great example that you never asked to do this. You never saw this, but clearly like God had a plan to use you to reach all these people. And I just, I just, I think that’s, I think that’s really, really wonderful. Go ahead.

CW: (19:46)
I was just going to say one of the things that’s so amazing about what you just said is if you’re a believer and you remember that, then it really does take the pressure off. Now I’m not saying you don’t need to work hard or be excellent because I have put in lots of hard work and I’m the first person say it takes a lot of hard work. It’s a lot of daily grind. It’s a lot of speaking at Kentucky County libraries on a Friday night in high school, your evenings, which I have done plenty of times. It’s a lot of getting in. The reps I’m practicing preparing. It’s a lot of that. However, I still at times if I’m at a new event, it’s a big arena. It’s a larger crowd than I’ve ever spoken to or I feel out of my league in some way.

CW: (20:23)
I’m standing behind backstage waiting for them to call my name and I’ve got those jitters which still come up sometimes if something’s new and I just remind myself, God put me here. I did not put myself here. God put me here and if God put me here, he wants to use me in some way. He knows something I don’t know. So I don’t need to focus on all my limitations or flaws or what if I screw up or what if I’ll fall and my heels. I don’t need to focus on all that. All I need to think about is doing what I came here to do because God’s going to do the rest. And so it really does kind of take the pressure off that if God calls you to it, he’s going to bring you through it. The cliche thing we hear all the time, but it helps you remember if I got myself there then I’d be like, Oh gosh, I’m got to maintain this thing.

CW: (21:05)
It’s like I didn’t get myself there. Like God put me there because God wants to do something. And so I think that helps me. At any stage when there’s some fear that creeps up, it’s like, I love the verse actually from first Thessalonians five 24 it’s in the front of my book business boutique. It says, the one who calls you is baseball and he will do it. He will do it, not you. He will do it. He will be the one to pull this off. Now you’ve got to be excellent, do hard work, prepare all that. But he’s going to be the one to pull it off. He’s going to be the one to transform those lots in the audience or the readers of your book. And so man, it takes the pressure off when you, if you’re a believer then it really does take the pressure off when you realize you’re partnering with God and he brought you there and he’s got things he’s going to do through you. If you just get out of your own way.

RV: (21:48)
Yeah. Amen. I love it. Although I will say my only prayer is that hopefully he didn’t bring there. Bring me there to trip in my stilettos. So

CW: (21:58)
Crosses your mind a lot. It definitely does. So well Christie, I have one more question for you, but before that,

RV: (22:07)
Where should people go if they want to connect with you? If they want to check out business boutique? I mean your events have gotten so like spectacular.

CW: (22:14)
Oh well thank you. It’s been a lot of fun. It’s been fun to see it grow over the last five years or so. Business boutique.com you can find the book, the podcast, my coaching group, all that. And then on Instagram it’s Christy, right? Twitter’s the same. Facebook I think is Facebook I think is official Christie, right? [inaudible] Online business. Boutique.Com is probably the easiest.

RV: (22:34)
Yeah. So, so the last little thing I want to leave you with is, is let’s say that somebody, somebody out there is watching right now and I think there are a lot of people who we come in touch with it at brand builders who it’s like they’re the people who come up to you and say, you know, how do I do what you do? I want to be not there. I want to be a speaker, but I want you to talk to the person who is maybe watching or listening who didn’t have that clear path. It didn’t have that like clear vision that’s more like you, but now they somehow are feeling like this is coming up. Like there’s opportunities coming there. What advice would you give to someone who never thought they would actually be doing this? Yeah, planned to build a personal brand, but now they’re sort of sensing either their intuition or do they feel the spirit moving or the calling or what do you say? [inaudible] And maybe they’re a little resistant even. Yeah. Yeah. W what would you, what would you say to that person?

CW: (23:38)
Well, two things, and I’m sure you have run into this with sales, Rory, because you are just such a brilliant sales teacher. But I think think of sales as a personality style. It’s for the extrovert, it’s for the social, it’s for the, you know, I’m super energetic and competent people, but I want to tell people all the time is sales is not a personality style. It’s a skill and skills can be learned. And that’s true for authors and speakers as well. It’s not a personality style that you’re a certain type of speaker. You’re an extrovert, you’re social, you’re funny, you’re charismatic, it’s a skill and it’s a skill that can be learned. Regardless of your personality style. And I’ll give you a great example. I was on the propel women’s tour in the fall of 2017 and one of the speakers that I had the privilege of hearing that I’d never heard before is Sarah Jakes Roberts.

CW: (24:26)
And I’m sitting in the audience and she comes on stage and Rory, she is one of the most fantastic communicators I’ve ever heard. And I promise you, I have heard a lot of good speakers. She owned that crowd. She was hilarious. Her stories were amazing. Her points were amazing. Her story arc, her flow, the entire thing. Cause you know, as a speaker you can’t just sit there and consume speakers as speakers. You’re also like, Oh, I see what you did there. That was brilliant. She was absolutely brilliant. I mean sassy, all that. So we got back in the green room and I’m trying to find her because I want to go up to her and be like, Oh my gosh, you are amazing. Well done. You know, that kind of thing. I so enjoyed your session and I couldn’t find her. And eventually I found her and she’s over in the corner sitting in a high top table with one other person and kind of an intimate setting and conversation. And a little bit later when it seemed like there was a break in their conversation, I went up, I was like, Hey, I don’t want to bother you. I just wanted to say what a great job. Thank you. Thank you.

CW: (25:27)
She was the most soft spoken, quiet. Her natural personality is incredibly introverted and she would be quick to say that she’s very introverted, very quiet. She’d prefer to be one on one and be the center of a crowd like me or Christine Kane, you know, telling stories and holding court type of thing. And I just found that so fascinating that she was so brilliant. And I actually talked to her about that on my podcast when she was on my podcast and I said, tell me what that’s like. And she was like, God asked me to do it. He’s going to give me the ability to do what he’s asked me to do, even if it’s not in my comfort zone. And often if you look at scripture, that’s exactly what he does. He uses unlikely people to do unlikely things in unlikely places. And I’ll tell you a verse that God took me to it was the fall of 2015 when we were just, it was our very first business boutique event.

CW: (26:14)
So again, this is completely unknown. I’m writing a three day event, I’m a new personality. I felt this pressure to prove myself and like make sure Dave Ramsey doesn’t regret taking this chance on me. And I’m having this complete meltdown. It’s like the month before the event, I’m like, I can’t do it. I can’t do it. I can’t do it. I’m not the person they’ve got the wrong girl. Like, what am I doing? What am I doing? And I opened my Bible and it went to Exodus and it was the part where the Lord is telling Moses what to say. And Moses like, Oh, I can’t speak. I’m not eloquent of speech. I’m not, you know, I don’t know what to say. And God said, who gains man his mouth? Who tells him what to say or when to go? He said, go. And I will tell you what to say.

CW: (26:55)
I will teach you what to say. And it was the most perfectly timed messaged for me of like Christy who gave man or woman their mouth. I will teach you what to say. And so regardless of your personality style, just encourage you that if God is stirring something in you, it’s because he has plans for people and you’re going to be a vessel for that that he’s going to use. So get out of your own way and let him do what only he can do because I promise you, he will teach you what to say and he will show you where to go. He will give you the ability to do that thing even if it doesn’t feel comfortable for you. Oh wow. I got goosies. I absolutely, I love it.

RV: (27:35)
Well, Christy, thank you so much for just kind of the transparent conversation and a little bit of like behind the scenes, the walls. I think it’s just, I just wanted people to get to chance to hear your heart and like get a little insight into just your desire to serve and, and to be led to be. I think there’s no doubt that that’s why the work you’re doing is so impactful and you’re reaching so many people and we’re just, we’re fans and we’re cheering you on and you know that if there’s anything we can ever do for you, let us know. And we wish you all the best.

CW: (28:08)
Well, likewise. Thanks so much for, I’m grateful for your friendship. Grateful for what you’re doing. I’m so excited about this next chapter. So anything I can do to support you, I’m in [inaudible].