I’m considering both John Cummuta’s and Dave Ramsey’s systems to get out of debt and build wealth.
Which is better?
Your question really made me stop and think and more importantly analyze what I was feeling about both.
I’ve never met John but Dave and I crossed paths when I was the money coach on the television show, Starting Over. Oh yes, and I almost got hit by a bus with his poster on the side of it.
I understand where they are both coming from. They are offering good and valuable advice in a packaged program that you can purchase. There is nothing wrong with paying for good advice. Both men have created systems that they believe in and stand behind, that’s good also.
But where I struggle is that what they have both morphed into a enterprises that are focused on sales and selling you products and services. This includes starting your own debt counseling business. From John’s site he has a package that will show you:
- how to sell the TDIW “back of the room” products to your attendees to double your profits
- how to “backend” market additional products and services to your attendees after the seminar is over
- how to effectively market your seminar business to adult continuing education, corporations, churches, small businesses, and public venues
- how to follow up with personal consultations and coaching for higher profits and increased business
- Providing personalized consultations and coaching means greater back-end profit potential for you and your TDIW business.
- This means developing and profiting from life-long customer relationships, not just one-time seminar attendees.
Plus, I can’t help but be a bit freaked out that John looks so much like Karl Rove.
Now, Dave Ramsey has parlayed his small time radio show into a national event and become a “multi-millionaire” to boot. He not only does his television show on FOX and he continues to do his radio show, but he’s developed a very broad line of products, classes and services that he sells as well. Just take a look at his online store for hundreds of products you can buy. Maybe you are more interested in becoming a certified Dave Ramsey counselor for $3,950.
I don’t know where the line is drawn between being a debt advisor and being a marketer of your products but I think both John Cummuta and Dave Ramsey have crossed it. That does not make their advice less valuable but it is certainly more suspect to drifting towards the goal of selling products and services rather than individually helping people, like yourself, to get out of debt.
This argument is a real slippery slope and it is exactly why I have struggled with answering the question. I praise both men for dedicating their life energy to providing education and advice on how to deal with money issues but it just appears to me, IMHO, that they’ve gone too far and are drawn by the desire to sell hope or access to answers. Take for example, Dave Says, “Most bankruptcy cases can be avoided with proper help, such as our certified counselors and the Total Money Makeover.” But you’ve got to buy access to the Total Money Makeover section.
My approach is completely different, maybe that’s the source of my struggle. What I do is answer questions for free and post the answers online so everyone has the benefit of the question and answer. Visitors don’t pay for my help, they ask me a debt question, I answer it and I give it all away for free. Instead, the site is supported by advertisers. Using this model people in financial trouble don’t have to pay for help, they get that for free but I realize that the model that I have adopted will not make me a multi-millionaire like Dave Ramsey or even as rich as John Cummuta, but this is what I choose to do.
So in the end I don’t know if it is the prejudice of my choice or the path that Dave Ramsey and John Cummuta have adopted that leaves me less than thrilled. Obviously that’s my issue.
In the end, follow the path that you feel most attracted to and that you will follow and implement. Ask me your questions for free or pay a fee to Dave or John, just remember that advice not implemented is not going to make a damn bit of difference.