In the beginning, how did you go about establishing yourself as a financial counselor that people could trust? Did you initially offer free counseling to help build a reputation?
I never worried about whether or not people could trust me. I think knowledge helped offset reputation (or lack of one, back then), and I knew in my heart that I was an honest guy who had the ability to help people with their money.
I began doing financial counseling free of charge as a ministry at my church, but I have a degree in finance, and I had bought and sold more than 1,000 foreclosures at that point. That taught me a lot about the business and the bankruptcy side of things. And experiencing them for myself when I went broke gave me a unique perspective into what happens in those situations.
But it's probably safe to say that people trust me more now than when I first started. There definitely wasn't a line of people backed up around the block to see me in those days!
* For more financial help, please visit daveramsey.com.