011: From $400k in Debt to a 7-Figure Business with Ronsley Vaz

Ronsley Vaz is the founder of Amplify, an award-winning content marketing agency. In the course of three years, Ronsley dug himself out of massive debt from his failed restaurant to starting this seven figure business. He also hosts the podcasts Bon Appétit and Should I Start a Podcast, and launched We Are Podcast, the first podcasting conference in the southern hemisphere. Ronsley sits on the board of Free to Shine, an organization that prevents sex trafficking by fostering community and education in impoverished parts of the world.

In this episode, Ronsley discusses his long but ultimately fruitful climb out of debt, how he became involved in anti-sex trafficking initiatives, and how to go about approaching our own daunting debts.

 

Show Notes:

  • What is Ronsley most excited about right now?
    • The upcoming We Are Podcast conference (October 18-20 this year), where he and his group will launch the Amplify Impact sustainability and anti-sex trafficking initiative.
  • What beliefs did Ronsley hold about money growing up and how did they influence his success?
    • Used to hold deeply ingrained belief that money corrupted people, but after realizing how greatly he valued freedom he started to view money as a tool to enable freedom.
  • Where was Ronsley in his personal journey when he came to this realization?
    • His restaurant had just failed, leaving him over $470,000 in debt.
    • Experience taught him that running a successful business requires many skills, some of them not formally obtained.
  • How did the failure of Ronsley’s restaurant and being so in debt impacted his mindset about money?
    • Felt that he lacked self-worth and didn’t have anything to give.
    • Money didn’t feel important in and of itself, more that by not making money and being so in debt he didn’t feel like he was contributing to society.
  • What’s Ronsley’s advice for those wanting to take control of their debt?
    • Taking it one step at a time and trying not to think of his debt as a mountain to climb.
    • Never stop following your gut instinct.
  • How did Amplify begin and grow?
    • After losing his restaurant and going through several jobs, Ronsley took an entrepreneurial course called Key Person of Influence; helped him get out of his head.
    • Started and sold podcast training program Broadcast Your Message, earning him $32,000 in a week. Built up from that training program, ultimately creating the We Are Podcast conference and then Amplify.
  • Does Ronsley think that trying to enact his goals right away rather than plan them contributed to his success?
    • He sees the benefit in going “all out” and figuring out what does and doesn’t work along the way.
  • What were the biggest challenges in getting that first We Are Podcast off the ground?
    • Wasn’t worried so much about losing money as hurting the credibility of his clients and collaborators if the conference didn’t work out.
    • Countered this by creating a backup plan for every conceivable scenario.
  • What challenges is the Free to Shine initiative trying to address?
    • Many girls who become victims of sex trafficking are sold because of the very poor economic conditions of their communities. Traffickers only tell parents that the girls will have a better life.
    • Free to Shine provides basic needs (food, water, shelter, clothing) and education to these locations and helps to foster an important sense of community.
  • How does Ronsley feel that achieving professional success has allowed him to give back?
    • He has always been one to give, even during his period of intense debt after the closure of his restaurant.
    • Giving back is basic decency, and financial success makes that all the more easier.
  • Who has been the most impactful person in Ronsley’s journey to do well and achieve financial success?
    • Himself
  • Who has been the most impactful person in Ronsley’s drive to do good?
    • Everyone around him; he can see inspiration anywhere.
  • When Ronsley is having a bad day, what does he do to get himself out of his funk?
    • Ten minutes on the Calm meditation app; getting out of his own head helps.
  • What are the worst and best pieces of advice Ronsley has received?
    • Worst: “Build it and they will come.”.
    • Best: “It’s not about achieving the goal; it’s the person who you become as a result of trying to achieve that goal.”

Do Well & Do Good Challenge Nomination: Free to Shine

Mission: We prevent the trafficking and exploitation of girls by strengthening family and community systems to prioritise the safety and education of their children.

Vision: Educated girls, free from sex trafficking, leading and shaping their communities and country.

Values: Safety, Education, Community, Equity and Strength”

About Free to Shine

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About the author, Dorothy

Dorothy Illson is the founder of Needle's Eye Media, a full-service Facebook advertising agency. She's also the host of Do Well & Do Good, a podcast dedicated to telling the stories of people who have created financial success and leveraged it to increase their positive impact on the world.

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