Dear Dave Ramsey,
Previously I promised that I would chase my potential naming issue in a very direct manner… this process is underway. Below is a copy of the letter I have sent to Dave Ramsey to tell my story and seek his approval.
In the meantime, my spirit is buoyed by my finding 2 3 other ‘tribute’ sites that invoke the name of Dave Ramsey – and in perhaps a more assumptive or ‘aligned’ manner given their titles and content - see blogroll to the right.
In any event, I remain hopeful for his support in which case I’ll add one of the many link-back banners advertising his site (currently available free on his website). If he asks me to stop - at least as part of a positive discussion I would hope - I will take measures to change my name with no ill will towards him or his organization.
I will add, that based on the comments I have received – either posted here or received via direct emails - my sense is that I have already steered a couple folks to Ramsey’s books and radio show. But that could simply be wishful thinking on my part.
Stay tuned for more updates as they unfold. I commit to being as transparent as I know how to be as part of this process… I think this ideal comes across in my letter and letter attachements as well.
If you have other clever naming ideas – or want to voice your support (or dislike) for this name – please drop them in the comments portion!
And now on to the letter… unedited from the version mailed last week:
February 11, 2009
Dave Ramsey -
Hello, my name is Dave Ozment and I am writing to achieve two purposes – first to express a word of gratitude and second to seek your approval.
First, I am truly grateful to you for your ministry. My wife and I have paid off nearly $200k in the last ~20 months following your plan. I was recently offered a buyout and as a direct result of our Baby-Stepping we were in position to recognize it as an opportunity for blessing rather than as a risk of ruin. Sincerely, we thank you for what you do and as soon as I land a new job we’ll almost immediately finish the Snowball and have our Emergency Fund in place. I look forward to calling to offer our Debt Free scream once this happens.
Second – and this is the true motivation behind my letter. I have recently launched a personal finance blog which I have, I think, cleverly named www.DoYouDaveRamsey.com. While my intentions are pure, I fear that I may be infringing upon your copyright. Ideally, I would like your approval to continue but I understand if your policy is to deny such requests. In either case, I wanted to confront the issue sooner than later.
I am including attachments to better explain how I arrived at this point – an active website bearing your name, as well as, sample posts to help establish a feel for my content. Further, I welcome you to visit the site for additional materials and contextual aids.
Thank you for your time and I look forward to your reply.
How did I arrive at this point, having a live website with Dave Ramsey’s name attached but yet no previous contact with Mr. Ramsey? First, I admit fault. I could have stopped and sought approval at any step along the way. This is not intended as an excuse but rather a flow of events.
I am the budget nerd in our household. As such, I could not devour enough books and podcasts on the topic nor could I spend enough time working through my budget spreadsheets. As my passion overflowed these vessels I did what any other reasoned person would do… I started to Google.
A quick “Dave Ramsey” entry into Google yielded a high ranking blog post challenging Ramsey’s ability to do math. From there the obvious happened, I began devouring personal finance blogs. Some were pretty good and others not so much. “I can do this” entered my mind and then I realized that folks actually made money doing this… (I did start this from a position of naivety) so I thought I’d give it a ride.
I first decided to write a handful of articles to test my passion… here’s where I started to cloud my judgment. Nearly every blog I read had what I call a “Dave Ramsey position statement”. Makes sense, it carves out a mental model and helps with search rankings. I wanted a similar article but didn’t want it to sound like a regurgitation of all the others.
Meanwhile, I was trying to think of a clever name for the blog.
Then one day inspiration struck… Dave Ramsey is a brand, a methodology, a metaphor (if you will) for taking control of one’s finances. In this way, do you budget or do you plan your personal finances becomes Do You Dave Ramsey? Wow, a neat concept and a brilliant name for an article. But wait, why stop there? Just as rock bands often name their album after its best track, I thought this article name would make a great name for a website… and I still think it does but suddenly it seems in my excitement and haste I’ve stepped beyond a reasonable checkpoint. I’ve failed to seek permission from the individual for whom I am an advocate and fan but of whom I’ve turned into a metaphor.
So if I am treading on policy ground previously marked black or white then I’ll respond accordingly.
However, if this represents a shade of grey in which conditions can be negotiated then I invite and welcome the discussion.
Again, thank you for your time and I look forward to your reply.
Attachment: Sample Articles*
I am including a few sample articles to help provide further context as to nature and content on this site. As this is but a sample, I welcome you to visit the site for additional materials for your review.
- Do You Dave Ramsey? – the site’s title track… in this article I use 3 personal examples to argue how Dave Ramsey’s plan was better for my family than my own plan
- 7 Shades of Dave – humor piece intersecting Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps with Dave Letterman’s Top 10
- Thanks Dave Ramsey – A story of how I overcame my mental obstacles to become a Dave Ramsey fan and follower
- DYDR Tool Overview – As a budget nerd I’ve created many spreadsheets to help me track our spending and saving over the years… this is an overview of my tools – which are all available free on the site
- Getting out of Debt is Impossible – another humor piece written from the perspective of the masses who believe debt is good
*each of my initial articles were written in Word rather than into the blog tool. For this reason each provided article will appear in a more ‘raw’ version than what is published on the website.
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