By Alison Storm
At the age of 26, Dave Ramsey had a 4-million dollar real estate portfolio, and four years later it was all gone. He was in debt and out of hope until he was able to turn his life around using sound financial principles that he now teaches to millions of people through his books, radio show, live events and classes. All of this work, coordination, and counseling happens from Financial Peace Plaza, a four-story brick building in Brentwood, Tennessee. During a recent trip to Nashville I made plans to stop by Dave Ramsey headquarters. I thought I knew a lot about Dave Ramsey and his work, but there were still some surprising things revealed during my behind-the-scenes tour.
The Dave Ramsey Empire
I’ve been a serious fan of Dave’s for about five years. The week before my husband and I got married we had the opportunity to go to our first Dave Ramsey live event and it really set our marriage on a course for financial success. Ever since that experience I have been hooked on Dave’s radio show, books and other live events– but so are millions of other people.
The Dave Ramsey Show
More than 5 million listeners tune in five days a week to hear The Dave Ramsey Show, which Dave has hosted for 18 years. It’s currently heard on more than 500 radio stations. Every day callers talk to Dave about their financial questions and concerns. Dave responds by offering his guidance and wisdom.
Financial Peace University
Financial Peace University is a 13-week course lead in churches and communities across the country. On average, families who participate pay off $5,300 in debt and save $2,700 within the first three months. So far more than 1.25 million families have gone through the class.
Not only is Dave a broadcaster, he’s also an author. He’s written four New York Times best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover, and Entreleadership. Combined, they’ve sold more than 6 million copies. Not to mention, Dave also has a series of children’s financial books and games aimed at a much younger audience.
Lessons from a Behind-the-Scenes Tour
As a writer who often focuses on financial topics, I’ve worked with the Dave Ramsey team on many stories. So when I knew I’d be in Nashville for a business trip recently, I asked if I could stop in for a behind-the-scenes tour. The public relations team was very inviting and ushered me around all four floors of Financial Peace Plaza. Even though I thought I knew a lot about Dave Ramsey, I learned some surprising things during my visit.
It’s a Family Affair
Many of Dave’s family members work on his team. Of the approximately 300 employees that work at Financial Peace Plaza several of them are related to Dave. In fact, two of his three children work for him. One of his daughters, Rachel Ramsey Cruze, is a financial speaker. Her job is to reach out to the younger generation. She spends quite a bit of time on the road, visiting schools and universities. Rachel doesn’t have a corner office; she works at a small desk just like most of the other employees. One floor up in another cubicle is her husband, Dave’s son-in-law, Winston. And Dave’s other daughter works for the foundation established by Dave Ramsey to support charitable efforts.
Dave Ramsey is Hiring
The Lampo Group, the official name of Dave Ramsey’s business, has been named one of Nashville Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work” for several straight years. The team currently consists of more than 300 employees, but they’re looking to expand by 10 percent, according to staff members. They’re currently hiring about 30 positions – many of which are computer programmers. So if you’re looking for a full-time job and you’re willing to move to Nashville, check out The Lampo Group.
The Work Environment is Casual
While The Lampo Group’s offices are very nice, they’re not fussy. Most of the artwork on the walls consists of collages of cut up credit cards. There’s one of a cross, another of a shark and, my favorite, one of a gazelle. Dave wears jeans to work nearly every day and therefore his employees aren’t required to dress up either.
Plan Ahead for Your Visit
Most people who visit Financial Peace Plaza are welcome to roam the lobby. Here you can shop for books or merchandise, enjoy a free treat or coffee in Martha’s Place, and watch Dave Ramsey broadcast live in the afternoons. Some people who visit the studio hope to be included in the broadcast by celebrating paying off debt. But if you want to do your debt-free scream live on the air from the lobby you will have to plan ahead. According to Martha herself who takes the reservations, she’s currently booked two months out. The best thing to do is fill out this online contact form before you plan your visit.
It was exciting to see where the magic happens every day as hundreds of people focus on helping Americans get out of debt and take control of their finances. And if I didn’t love my job as a writer so much, I might just apply at The Lampo Group.