I love conferences… even as an introvert! Anything that helps me grow personally or professionally is always time and money well spent.
So this year when Mr. SimpOL asked what I wanted for my birthday, I told him I would like to go to the Dave Ramsey Smart Conference. After staring at me for an uncomfortable minute or so (guessing it was not what he was expecting) he said ooookayyy… and I penciled it in on the calendar 🙂
It turned out to be one of my most favorite conferences of the year! The day was filled with eight speakers, including Dave, who had the final presentation of the day. Every single one of them blew me away! They were amazing speakers. You could feel their energy, enthusiasm, and passion about their topics.
I left the conference inspired to be, do and give more. Although Dave Ramsey is typically associated with budgeting, personal finances or Dave Ramsey’s Steps, that was only a small portion of the presentations shared at the Smart Conference.
The topics from the conference fit in every single area that I focus on as a blogger, yay!
Here were my top ten takeaways:
1. Share Withholds. Dr. Les Parrott
Withholds are things you are thinking but don’t say, both positive and negative. Dr. Parrott discussed a unique, balanced way to share withholds.
This made me realize how much the people in our lives need to hear our positive thoughts. It seems like the negative thoughts come out so easily but the positive ones get lost in the day to day rushing around. Just like putting things in their place helps keep our home in order, saying positive things when we think about them helps keeps our relationships in order.
2. Quit the comparisons. Rachel Cruze
Rachel talked about seeing a picture on facebook of what looked like the perfect family having a perfect picnic. She talked about how we start comparing ourselves to that family. It can lead to guilt, discontentment and a serious case of keeping up with the Jones’.
She did a great job of explaining what we don’t see in facebook pictures, which is the debt, the struggles, and basically, the reality. Rachel has a new book out and, although she didn’t promote it during the presentation, the scenario she described is the whole idea behind her book, Love Your Life Not Theirs. I plan on adding it to my reading list next year.
I wrote an entire post called “Overcoming Shiny Object Syndrome” and I believe it’s the reason so many families can’t get ahead. We (literally) buy into the false belief that things will make us happier. When we quit the comparisons and focus on getting our finances in order, it has a positive impact on ourselves and everyone around us.
3. Smart people are grateful. Chris Brown
Chris did a brief talk on living generously and the power of gratitude. He said “generosity is gratitude in action.”
I totally believe what you pour into others (with a genuine desire to improve someone’s life) will do more for you than it does for them. Whenever I’m feeling down, I can always improve the situation by doing or saying something kind to someone else. It’s strange how that works, but it always does!
4. Have a dream meeting with your spouse. Chris Hogan
This guy was 90% hilarious and 10% brilliant. It worked! He described his “big (retirement) dream” in such vivid detail that it’s been several weeks since the conference and I can still picture it, clear as day. (It involves a vacation, white socks with flip-flops and a custom made t-shirt!) In preparing for retirement, he recommends having a dream meeting with your spouse so you can make sure you are on the same page and are working on the same goals.
Awesome advice. Mr. SimpOL and I did this exercise and we have similar retirement goals but found out some surprises about each other too. I didn’t realize he wanted to travel as much as he does. He didn’t know about some part-time professional goals I have for retirement. I highly recommend this conversation for spouses, sooner than later.
5. Numbers change when people do. Chris Hogan
Yes, I agree! Chris talked about what you might be giving up now but, in doing so, what you can gain later. More solid advice.
6. Perspective can be your passport or your prison. Inky Johnson
Inky’s testimony is truly one of overcoming adversity and deciding to find the good in bad situations. My favorite quote from him was “Only two things matter in life. Who we become and what we give. That’s our legacy.”
7. Strong Fathers, Strong Mothers. Dr. Meg Meeker
Dr. Meeker’s thoughts on how our culture treats men as fathers was very thought provoking. One of the best things we can do for our kids as moms is to build up their fathers in front of them.
She also talked about just spending quality time with our kids, not running them from activity to activity, but truly just spending time with them.
8. Don’t let your comfort zone kill your dreams. Anthony O’Neal
This young guy was overflowing with energy and enthusiasm, every time I saw him, and not just on the stage. He talked about learning some life lessons the hard way (such as his credit card debt in college) and getting out of your comfort zone to pursue your dreams. Definitely an encouraging message for a blogger!
9. You become what you think about. Dave Ramsey
One of the best “secrets” Dave shared was this one… The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale.
Mr. SimpOL said the entire conference was worth it just to find out about this 30 minute inspirational speech. Although Mr. SimpOL listens to the Dave Ramsey radio show, he’s not as enthusiastic about conferences so I was glad he made this statement! Give up a t.v. show or listen when you’re going down the road- it is worth it! If you don’t believe me and you’re reading this because you’re a Dave Ramsey fan, believe him! It’s so good.
10. Goals must be in writing. Dave Ramsey
I strongly believe in writing goals down. I already had a goal/vision board but after this conference Mr. SimpOL and I sat down together and did 1, 3 and 5 year written goals and put them on our bathroom mirror in full view every single day. It’s that important. One of those goals involves finding out how to email Dave Ramsey to schedule the debt free scream… we have big goals for year 5!
These were my top 10 takeaways from the Dave Ramsey Smart Conference. Obviously, I have nothing but positive things to say about the day and would recommend it to anyone. However, this post is not affiliated in any way with the Dave Ramsey Organization other than linking personal websites above because it’s the right thing to do.
What’s the most inspiring conference you have attended?