You know him as the voice of the EntreLeadership Podcast and the host of The Dave Ramsey Show video channel and Ramsey live events. But there is so much more to Ken Coleman. Besides being a master interviewer—he’s been called a young Charlie Rose— he’s a pretty amazing guy. We’re proud to have him on our team. So we thought it would be fun for you to get to know him better by asking 10 random questions.
To start, here’s a quick background. First and foremost, Ken is a family man. He and his wife, Stacy, have been married for 18 years. They have three kids: Ty, Chase and Josie. They are Ken’s everything.
Professionally, besides his regular gig at Ramsey Solutions, Ken is the occasional host of The Dave Ramsey Show and author of One Question, which features advice from today’s top leaders, including Tony Dungy, Malcolm Gladwell and President Jimmy Carter. He’s also a bit basketball crazy. So, with pun intended, let’s put the ball in his court. Without further ado, here’s Ken.
EL: How did you meet Stacy?
Ken: I was working on a congressional race in 1994. She was an intern at Christian World News. She walked in to interview my candidate. This beautiful reporter came in, and I was very helpful.
We didn’t go out on a date until several years later. I was intimidated because she was a grad student and I was just a sophomore in college, but thankfully I asked her out and she said yes. I am a fortunate man who married a beautiful woman with really poor judgment.
EL: What’s the best thing about being a dad?
Ken: For me, it’s watching our kids achieve something. It could be watching them treat someone the right way without us telling them or excelling in school or the athletic field.
It’s hard to express how proud we are of our kids. It’s impossible, actually. Watching them begin to fulfill who they are created to be is my greatest joy. Our job as parents is to launch them into adulthood. I don’t lose sight of that.
EL: On the flip side, what is the toughest challenge of fatherhood?
Ken: It’s watching my kids fail. There is this natural paternal instinct to stop the hurt from happening. Many times, you can see it coming. If you are a mature parent, you let the failure happen. It’s essential so they can learn, but it still hurts.
EL: What was the last book you read?
Ken: I’m a history freak and I’m on a biography kick. I read nine last year. The last one was American Lion, which is a biography of Andrew Jackson in the White House. I believe biographies are one of the best resources for personal growth. He was the seventh president of the United States and a fascinating individual. We’re also in Nashville, his home area. I went to the Hermitage (Andrew Jackson’s home) recently with the kids and decided, I need to read about this man.
EL: Since you are so into history, what historical figure would you like to take to lunch?
Ken: Hands down, it has to be Thomas Jefferson. I admire him more than any public servant in the history of America. It would be a fascinating conversation. This is a guy you could talk to about government, agriculture, architecture or the arts.
He was a tremendous communicator. He was not an extrovert, but he had an unbelievable power of the pen. He was brilliant at giving words to huge ideas and making them transferable to an entire country.
Consider his position in history. He was a law student at William and Mary and was leaning on the doorframe of St. John’s church in Richmond, Virginia, when Patrick Henry gave his famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech.
He became Washington’s first secretary of state and then the third president of the United States. He mentored two presidents: James Madison and James Monroe. This is all after penning the Declaration of Independence. I just love the man, can you tell?
EL: What are you most excited about right now at work?
Ken: I’m excited about the potential growth of the EntreLeadership Podcast, which is one of the top podcasts in the country in its space. That’s a big deal. I also love guest hosting The Dave Ramsey Show. My goal has always been to do media that matters, and I’m blessed to be able to do it every day.
EL: Name three things you can’t live without.
Ken: My family, coffee and great conversations.
EL: We get family and coffee, but tell us more about your love of conversations.
Ken: I’m an extrovert. As you know, extroverts get a lot of energy exchange from people. But for me, it’s not as much about being around a lot of people as having good conversations. I love conversations where I’m learning or being challenged. I get a lot of that from the EntreLeadership Podcast. And then there are conversations when I need to be encouraged. I have a couple of guys in my life who I can just be vulnerable with. That’s huge. And sometimes you just need rip-roaring conversations, where your jaw hurts from laughing so much. If I couldn’t have good conversations, I would wither away.
EL: Describe your best day ever.
Ken: It would be to get up and have a cup of coffee and a phenomenal breakfast on a spring morning. We would get the kids off to school, and I would go to work and get to host a national show that is helping people live lives of significance. Then, I would come home to a great dinner with family and close friends—everybody gathered around. It would be just a big old party that night at the house. That would be a great day for me because it’s a fulfillment of everything that’s important to me—work that matters, family and friends.
EL: What would be your top three pieces of advice for small-business owners?
Ken: First, it would be know your why and plaster it everywhere, broadcast it everywhere. You need to make sure that everybody who works with you, whether it’s a customer, contractor or someone on your team, understands the why. You can’t ever, ever forget the why.
Secondly, it’s all about people. Get great people before you get a great product. Your business will only be as successful as the people around you. Don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s all you. People are the greatest differentiator, especially in small business.
Finally, give a good portion away, whether it’s money, your product or service, or your time. I think companies that are serving others win.
Want to hear more from Ken? Check out our latest podcasts featuring interviews from Main Street to the top leadership and business experts in the world.