M&M 62: Rachel Cruze on Her Journey to Making Money Fun [Bonus Content: FinTech Competition w/ Bobby Lee]

As the daughter of Dave Ramsey, Rachel Cruze uses the knowledge and experiences from growing up in the Ramsey household to educate others in the area of personal finance.

In today’s episode of the Money & Media podcast, Rachel shares about her journey to becoming a public speaker. She also discusses her process for creating videos, the importance of monetizing your content, and placing your audience as the hero.

We are excited to feature Rachel as a #FinCon18 keynote speaker at this year’s event. Hear more of her story as well as a bonus interview with Bobby Lee about this year’s FinTech competition all in one incredible episode.

Time Stamp

Intro Rachel Cruze – author, speaker, podcaster
2:06  A Common Misconception About Rachel
6:24  Learning How to Be A Speaker
11:32  Seeing A Book Need and Filling It
17:24  Rachel’s Rules of the Road
19:36  From a Flip Camera to The Rachel Cruze Show

A Common Misconception About Rachel Cruze

One common misconception about Rachel is that because her dad is ​Dave Ramsey​, she was destined to go into the family business of finances. Her parents always taught their children that if they decided to join the family business, they had to be passionate about it and love the message. They didn’t try to push them away from the business but made sure they knew they would have to work really hard.

Early on, Rachel realized she loved public speaking. She was 15 years old when she first started speaking at conferences with her dad. Her “lightbulb moment” happened in college when she was interacting with peers concerning their money. She felt the urge to help them and spread the message of handling your finances well.

Learning How to Be A Speaker

Rachel Cruze landed her first speaking gig four days after her college graduation. She had just gotten married and was in the process of moving back home to Nashville. Though she had a speech written for her, as she read it, she realized it just didn’t sound like her. She started typing out every word of her speeches and the more she spoke, the more she realized what was working and what wasn’t.

The best thing you can do as a new speaker is to video yourself speaking and then watch the playback. It can be brutal because no one likes to hear themselves on video, but you’ll be able to recognize your nervous tics.

A lot of Rachel’s “speech choreography” is natural. She leans into the audience and squares her shoulders when she’s trying to really draw them in. Instead of getting louder, she tends to lower her voice. Her voice coach encouraged Rachel to be methodical about her speaking.

Seeing A Book Need and Filling It

Writing doesn’t come naturally to Rachel. Her two books have come from needs that are seen in the marketplace. She was speaking to high school students at the time, and their parents had a desire for them to understand money, so​ Smart Money Smart Kids​ was a logical next step. Her next book ​Love Your Life Not Theirs is a foundational money book. Her books come from needs that she notices haven’t been fulfilled yet.

A lot of Rachel’s writing comes from experiences she has had over the course of her life. There’s a team of about 8 people who sit in a room with her and they come up with the content of the book before they even think about a title. They outline the chapters, and then Rachel gets up at 4:30 every morning to get the writing done. She uses a daily word count goal to stay on track.

Rachel’s Rules of the Road

As an author and a speaker for Ramsey Solutions, Rachel has to do a good bit of traveling for work. Anybody who travels for work knows that you have to have some hard and fast “rules” to follow so that you avoid burnout.

One of Rachel’s main rules of the road is to know yourself. She always takes direct flights if possible. Additionally, she knows exactly how many hours of sleep she needs, and she doesn’t view her work travel as a vacation. At times, all she ever sees is the conference room and her hotel!

Sometimes it is hard to visit cities that have exciting things to experience, but you’re either too tired or have too tight of a schedule to enjoy them. Rachel says, “Travel seems glamorous only to those who don’t have to do it on a regular basis. Eating Nutrigrain bars at 5:00 in the morning because there aren’t any restaurants open isn’t glamorous.”

From a Flip Camera to The Rachel Cruze Show

In the beginning, Rachel did video blogs on Youtube that were 3-4 minutes long. She used a little flip camera on a tripod and then used her Mac to edit on iMovie. She did it all herself because she didn’t have a team at the time. If you’re at that point, don’t be discouraged. You move at the speed of cash. If there’s no money to fund it, then you do what it takes to grow and monetize.

Rachel grew into a team, a real camera and lighting team. Now she has ​The Rachel Cruze Show, which is a 30-minute show that launches every other week. There are sets, sponsors, and content meetings involved in that.

Storytelling is so important in the finance world. Rachel recommends Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen ​by Donald Miller. Miller takes you through people and companies that win in the marketplace and also place audience as the hero of the story.

Your purpose is to help guide, not to stroke your own ego! It’s not about the author or the speaker; it’s about the audience.

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About Our Host

Joe Saul-Sehy is the co-host of the Stacking Benjamins personal finance podcast and operates the Stacking Benjamins blog.

Join Us for #FinCon18

Hear from over 200 speakers, like Rachel Cruze, at FinCon18 September 26-29 in Orlando, Florida. Register for your pass today!

#FinCon18 takes place at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel where we have a discounted block rate. This block is close to selling out so don’t wait to make your reservation.


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