Be vulnerable. Sharing your story, your struggle, and past pains will impact others who are stuck. So being raw and honest is almost your duty as an author. The story I shared about my childhood is a great example, I want my story to give hope to those who endured a similar experience.
As part of my interview series on the five things you need to know to become a great author, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ray Higdon.
Ray Higdon is the co-founder of the Higdon Group, author, and a mentor and guide to network marketers all over the world. Through struggling with abuse as a child, highlighted in ‘Time, Money, Freedom’, Ray quickly learned how to empathize with others, understanding that everyone has a story. Using his drive, determination, and resilience, Ray developed a career in real estate and set himself on track for a successful life.
Unfortunately, Ray would have to lose everything to build himself back up. During the real estate crash of 08’, Ray lost everything and had to start again from scratch. Living on his friend’s couch, having drained his 401k, selling his furniture, and foreclosing his home, Ray hit a turning point in his life. This was when he was approached about network marketing, an opportunity he seized on immediately.
Combining his love of inspiring entrepreneurs and his genuine talent for making money, Ray built the Higdon Group with the goal of reaching as many people as he could, knowing that he could help change their lives. He and his wife have trained and mentored hundreds and their passion for building strong relationships and growing young businesses is effervescent. His students’ success gives him significance and purpose, which drives him to reach more people every day.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share a story about what brought you to this particular career path?
I lost everything in the real estate crash of 2008. My credit was shot, no one was hiring, and I didn’t know what I was going to do. I had also gone through a divorce, a foreclosure and found myself sleeping on my married buddy’s couch. A friend invited me to a “home meeting.” I knew what it was and honestly, I swore I would never do another one of those network marketing things but this time, I didn’t have another option. I went to that meeting and it changed my life. Long story short, I became the top salesman in that company, made millions of dollars, and then started training people on just how I became a top earner.
Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?
Early in my career, I used to speak at high schools about being an entrepreneur. Most of the time, the kids didn’t pay much attention, to be honest. I recall one day wondering if it mattered whether I continued giving these talks or not. Shortly after wondering that, I got a message on Facebook from a kid who had been in one of those classes. He told me that he had never heard that kind of talk before and after hearing it, he and a buddy started a landscaping business and were making thousands of dollars during the summer. That was super cool to hear and then, five years later, that same kid showed up in one of my seminars as a successful insurance salesman.
What was the biggest challenge you faced in your journey to becoming an author? How did you overcome it? Can you share a story about that that other aspiring writers can learn from?
I failed English in high school and although I have improved, my grammar has been far from perfect. Fortunately, as an author, you get the opportunity to collaborate with friends and even get yourself an editor. This should NOT be an obstacle to getting your first or next book published. What’s important is if you have value to share and you know that you can help those who read your book, you have a duty to share it. Don’t get hung up on trying to be perfect, that’s why we have editors.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I am working with my friend who counsels kids in foster care. Our goal is to raise enough money to build a crisis house. A crisis house would be a safe place for children who were removed from the home where kids could be placed that have parents that were involved in any type of criminal activity. Currently, in our area the kids are placed with DCF with no counseling just attempts at placement. This would be a place where they would get counseling and love while they bide their time in the system.
Can you share the most interesting story that you shared in your book?
My wife and I were at a charity auction and a friend of ours pointed out that there was an amazing trip to Belize — 5 couples only — private jet, private island, private yacht, private chef. Jess’ eyes lit up, what an amazing opportunity, right? Well, that’s not how I felt about it. To me, it sounded like hell. I didn’t like my reaction because Jess was so excited, and I didn’t want to be a stick in the mud, so I decided to pluck that weed. I wanted to figure out why I had such an adverse reaction. I worked with one of my mindset coaches, Elliot Roe, to figure out where the root was. It stemmed from a devastating betrayal by a guidance counselor in third grade. Because of that betrayal, I spent many years keeping everyone at arm’s length. That trust that was broken as a child manifested itself throughout my life, and I always wanted to avoid social situations because I was trying to protect myself from being betrayed or hurt again. Once I became aware of why I had that reaction, I was able to work on letting people in, which has been very liberating.
What is the main empowering lesson you want your readers to take away after finishing your book?
If they have the desire to improve their finances and relationships, this book will help you get there step by step. We’ve made the mistakes and learned some things the hard way. So we wanted to share our story to make the journey of our readers a bit easier.
Based on your experience, what are the “5 Things You Need to Know to Become a Great Author”? Please share a story or example for each.
1. Be vulnerable. Sharing your story, your struggle, and past pains will impact others who are stuck. So being raw and honest is almost your duty as an author. The story I shared about my childhood is a great example, I want my story to give hope to those who endured a similar experience.
2. Don’t overthink it. As I mentioned before, we work with editors and proofreaders — just tell your story and worry about fine-tuning it later.
3. Find mentors. Take note of the books that impacted your life — what did you resonate with? What inspired you about those books?
4. Use any self-doubt you feel to fuel you.
5. Hone your craft. If you want to be a writer, always be writing. The more you write, the better you get at it.
What is the one habit you believe contributed the most to you becoming a great writer? (i.e. perseverance, discipline, play, craft study) Can you share a story or example?
Being with the people I am serving. Other than writing a few books I have done at least one video a day, every day, for 11 years and have read the comments and seen how my training has affected people and also where maybe I didn’t see a perspective.
Which literature do you draw inspiration from? Why?
I love literature that highlights underdogs and overcoming obstacles. My favorite living author is Ryan Holiday and in all his books he shares stories of people who had big obstacles to overcome or had to make tough choices.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
My wife and I started a movement in our private coaching group. It’s a practice that works on the money mindset for those who participate, but it’s also something that will make the world a better place. Every Wednesday, we encourage the group to do a random act of kindness for a stranger involving a financial exchange. When you start to draw the very real conclusion that the more money you make, the more impact you have, then you will start to change the way you show up in your business. We’ve had thousands of people participate and brighten the day of a fellow human while making a positive impact on their own money mindset.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Instagram, Twitter, Clubhouse, TikTok: @rayhigdon
Thank you so much for this. This was very inspiring!