Steven Ciantro is a certified credit counselor, a management representative of American Debt Enders, and a former finalist in Inc. magazine and Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year contest. He is also a Talk-Show Radio Host and successful published songwriter and musician (his album January Tyme can be heard on YouTube), the inventor of a patented medical device, a public speaker on debt issues, and the official debt expert for motivational speaker Gail Kasper’s Top 1% Club.
No, not the John Lennon song (I never agreed with the premise, but as a songwriter myself, I did like the melody). If all you do is read this article and feel good for a moment, I won’t have accomplished my goal. Every day, I listen to people describe their debt situations in order to allow me to help them, and make no mistake, I count it a privilege to help them.
You see, I have been through my own debt struggles, and I have yet to meet anyone whose financial problems were as bad and complicated as my own. I’m not ashamed to say this. It is the reason I work so many hours each day one-on-one with people who are hurting financially. You see, there is no such thing as only hurting financially. Financial problems are like an ill-fitting pair of shoes: the problem affects your whole body. To take the analogy further, financial oppression day after day affects your entire outlook on life.
Remember, I’ve been there. If you can relate to anything I’ve said so far, then just imagine. Imagine that, as you begin another day, you realize that you have the resources to pay your housing, clothing, and food bills with no real struggle involved, and the only time the phone rings is when a friend is calling. I’m not being cute. Would it affect your outlook? Perhaps put a little spring in your step? Yes, it would. But I hope it would also do something far greater—perhaps remove the focus on yourself (pain will do that), and help you begin to realize that the numbers of people living in pain each day are overwhelming. Perhaps, if you could get your own financial house in order and relieve the stress, you could begin to realize what a contribution you could make to those you meet each day.
So, what is it that causes inaction by people who are buried in debt? Quite often, inertia—the idea that a body at rest tends to want to stay at rest. I have observed after 10 years that those who take action are not those who have mountains of debt, but rather those whose debt is causing them great discomfort. It is the prime motivating factor to action. They have had a moment of enlightenment and decided to act on it to relieve the pain.
So, when and if your moment comes, whether you have credit card debt, federal student loan debt, or payday loan debt, or you just need debt advice, I assure you, we can help and are more than willing to do so.
ABOUT STEVEN CIANTRO: Steven is well suited to advising on debt issues. Growing up from humble beginnings, he personally made a fortune from nothing in his earlier years and lost it. The experience completely altered his value system. It seemed every professional debt expert Steven and his wife spoke to wanted to put them into even more debt to help them. It took years for them to untangle the financial mess, which they ultimately did on their own, gaining a tremendous education in the process. However, the experience left Steven with chronic kidney disease, which he still battles today. In 2004, Steven found work at a national nonprofit credit counseling company. After six months, he became regional manager; Steven had found a new calling. He is in the unique position of not only being a true expert on debt relief issues, but also understanding firsthand how oppressive debt can be. In 2006, American Debt Enders was started as a company that would offer free credit counseling; it was among the first companies in the nation to use the business model of offering multiple debt relief programs and solutions under the same roof.
This article is courtesy of the Top 1% Club and the Top 1% Club Mentor Gail Kasper. For additional information on Gail Kasper, her television appearances and speaking engagements, please visit gailkasper.com.