Join us today for the Interview with Ralph Estep, from the Ask Ralph podcast...

This is the interview I had with speaker, podcast host, and author Ralph Estep.  

In today’s podcast I interview Ralph Estep.  I ask Ralph about how our faith and business are related. Ralph also shares how he works with clients as an accountant to help them inject faith into their finances. Ralph also shares why he’s found a new calling in his walk.

Join in on the Chat below.

Episode 1435: Interview with Ralph Estep About Living Your Faith in Business

[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining us on episode 1435 of the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.

[00:00:08] Ralph Estep: I'm Ralph Estep Jr. from the Ask Ralph Podcast, mastering your finances with a Christian perspective. I challenge you to invest in yourself. Invest in others, develop your influence, and impact the world by using your time, your talents, and your treasures to live out your calling.

[00:00:26] Having the ability to grow in your purpose and faith is key, and one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this. The Inspired Stewardship Podcast with my friend, Scott Maderer.

[00:00:44] It can be taken away from you in a moment. I don't think people, a lot of people get that, like a lot of people who are in small business right on this high cloud of they're doing fantastic. Well, guess what? What if you had a stroke this afternoon? What if you had a heart attack this afternoon? [00:01:00] See, I live in a reality, Scott, that this could all go be taken from me this afternoon.

[00:01:05] It could be taken from me tomorrow.

[00:01:07] Scott Maderer: Welcome and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent, and your treasures for your true calling. In the Inspired Stewardship Podcast, you will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, and develop your influence so that you can impact the world.

[00:01:40] In today's podcast, I interview Ralph Eastup. I asked Ralph about how our faith and business are related. Ralph also shares how he works with clients as an accountant to help them inject faith into their finances. And Ralph shares why he's found a new calling in his walk. I've got a new book coming out coming up.[00:02:00]

[00:02:00] called Inspired Living. Assembling the puzzle of your call by mastering your time, your talent, and your treasures. You can find out more about it and sign up for getting more information over at inspiredstewardship. com Inspired Living. That's inspiredstewardship. com Inspired Living. Ralph Estep is a highly accomplished professional with a diverse background in finance, accounting, technology, and entrepreneurship.

[00:02:30] As the principal at Saggio Management Group Incorporated, he has demonstrated exceptional leadership and expertise in various roles throughout his career. Back in 2003, Ralph established the Estep Group as a public accounting firm based in Townsend, Delaware. He has an emphasis on leveraging cutting edge cloud technology and adopting paperless office practices, and he built a world class technology accounting practice that catered to hundreds of businesses and individual clients.

[00:02:58] Later, he rebranded as Saggio [00:03:00] Management Group and Saggio Accounting Plus, and he relocated to Middleton, Delaware. Outside of his professional pursuits, Ralph is happily married to Jennifer and together they have two sons. His dedication extends beyond work, fostering strong family bonds alongside career accomplishments.

[00:03:17] In addition to his professional endeavors, Ralph co founded Estep Farm LLC in 2014, where they raise Black Angus cows. He also created the Ask Ralph podcast back in 2017, where he shares valuable insights on finance, taxation, and entrepreneurship. Ralph has even hosted Ask Ralph show on radio platforms, enabling him to reach a wider audience with expert advice.

[00:03:43] Welcome to the show, Ralph!

[00:03:45] Ralph Estep: Thank you, Scott. I really appreciate you having me on today.

[00:03:48] Scott Maderer: Absolutely. So I shared a lot in the intro about some of the things you've done and how you've gotten to the point now of living on the farm and doing your business from there and all [00:04:00] of these things.

[00:04:00] But I always joke and tell people that I think our intros when we write them. They're like the Instagram photo. You make sure the dirty laundry is not in the back of the photo. If you take the Instagram shot, would you share a little bit more about your journey and what's brought you to the point of doing what you do today?

[00:04:19] Ralph Estep: Absolutely. So I'll say this, which I don't think I have in my bio, and that is I really got into the accounting field when I was eight years old. And a lot of people scratch their head and they say, Ralph, what do you mean eight years old? My family has accounting practices. So when everyone else was having conversation at the dinner table about this and that, we were talking about accounting.

[00:04:38] So The truth is, since I was

[00:04:41] Scott Maderer: eight years old

[00:04:43] Ralph Estep: But that was formative to me though, Scott, in that I heard about what works, what doesn't work. I learned about small business people from actual people who were actually working in small business, not from books. I started my own practice back in 2004.

[00:04:59] [00:05:00] So it's been 20 years as of this year that I've been doing it. I found salvation at age 13. So there was a time from 13 till I hit 50. And that's what I'm gonna talk about here in a second. To where I I live with one toe in the faith and one toe in the finance. When I hit 50 a year and a half ago, came to a realization that my tank wasn't filled anymore.

[00:05:22] The success that God has shown me, and he's shown me great success those are great things. I've had new cars, I've had Corvettes, I've had Rolex watches, all those things, but I was always empty inside. And I really, and I'm, listen, I'm not crazy, I don't think the Lord spoke to me like this loud voice like, Ralph, you must do this.

[00:05:39] But suddenly over time, I realized that I needed to find my purpose. I needed to find my mission. So I really focused on that. I had been doing a podcast back in 2017. I did it for 2 years and I let it go by the wayside and back in November. I said, you know what? I think this is my purpose and my purpose is to reach people.

[00:05:59] And that [00:06:00] is to marry two completely different worlds. And that's the world of faith and finance. So that's what really brought me to where I am today. My goal is I do a daily podcast. It's usually between eight and 12 minutes, but my goal is to take a piece of scripture or take a finance topic and meld those things together in the real world and show people that they have to either be all in or all out when it comes to your faith, you got to be all in and all out.

[00:06:24] So that's where I'm at now, Scott. I'm trying to live out. What I feel is God's purpose for my life.

[00:06:30] Scott Maderer: So as you talk about I made the joke of the, Oh, I'm sure that was scintillating conversation. Yeah. I think that is a perception that a lot of people have about money is not only is it a topic that we don't talk about in polite company, but it's also a boring it's a necessary evil.

[00:06:48] When you think about finance and money how do you see that? And now, especially with. What you were just talking about in terms of marrying faith [00:07:00] and finance, how has that realization come about?

[00:07:03] Ralph Estep: I think that the first thing you need to do as a person is assess where you are financially.

[00:07:09] I wrote a book a year ago called Mastering Your Finances and the whole basic contention of that book is you have to start off understanding where you are and then once you understand where you are, We can help you take it to the next level. You also have to come to a realization that, and this is the stewardship model, and it's very basic.

[00:07:31] What you have is not yours. You've been entrusted with it. God has given you this, he's given you these talents. He's given you this, whatever you want to call it. Those things that you've acquired. For his kingdom, and you can either choose to use them for that, or you can choose these motherwise and listen, you can fill your bank accounts.

[00:07:51] You can make yourself beautiful homes and all kinds of cars and jewelry and all those type of things, but you'll be spiritually bankrupt. And so [00:08:00] I think that it starts, Scott, with a belief that you have to figure out how to grow your spiritual bank account. Now, there are practical ways to do that within your finances.

[00:08:11] So I think that's where it starts, Scott.

[00:08:14] Scott Maderer: So talk a little bit you mentioned that you you were a believer, but you were also not really fully quote in until here, not too long ago. Talk a little bit about your faith journey and how did that affect your life journey?

[00:08:30] And then how did your life journey feed back into your faith journey?

[00:08:34] Ralph Estep: I finally realized that you either have to put Christ at the center of your life or not. That's a decision you have to make. And the world speaks against that. In the business world, one of the things I say all the time is you don't have to check your Christianity at the door.

[00:08:48] And I tried to live this life of I go to church on Sunday I read the Bible occasionally. I try to live to be a quote, good person. But do people know my [00:09:00] faith when they walk through the door of my practice? Do people hear my faith when I talk? Do people understand what my guiding principles are?

[00:09:08] So when I finally said to myself, you know what, Ralph, you might lose some clients over this. You might have people that say, oh watch out. Ralph's a holy roller now. He's going to hit you over the head with his Bible or something like that. But I realized that if I'm going to live out the purpose that God has for my life, Then I've got to put him at the center.

[00:09:28] You can't have your toes in the world and in your faith. You have to go all in. So I think Chris, or Scott, that's really what answered the question for me is that I had to go all in. What did that look like for me? That meant that, as an example, in my office, when you walk in the front door of my office, I have a stack of Bibles there.

[00:09:46] Take one. It meant for me that I'm going to talk about faith to people. Now, I'm not one of these people to hit them over their head with it. Don't misunderstand me. But if somebody says to me, Hey, Ralph I see that you're a Christian guy. What does that mean to you? [00:10:00] I'm going to share that. I think this is my mission field, Scott, to be very blunt.

[00:10:04] And so when I finally was able to say, look, Ralph, we all have a mission. We all have a purpose. When I made my mission field, my business, Things happen. Did I lose clients? Absolutely. I had people to say to me, Oh, Ralph, you know that you're a little too strong on that. But what I'm finding Scott is I've gotten more people who have come in and said, you know what, Ralph, there's a lot of accountants out there.

[00:10:25] There's a lot of tax preparers out there, a lot of financial people. But when I went to your website and I saw some faith statements, I saw your podcast and it talks about your journey of faith. That really made it. what I wanted to do to come and see you. And so was it a risk? Absolutely. Is it scary? Sure, because the world tells you that you're some kind of holy roller off the plantation joined a cult or something like that.

[00:10:50] But when you really invest in that, God rewards that investment. He truly does. And he's done it for me.

[00:10:56] Scott Maderer: So what brought you to that point? What changed for you?

[00:10:59] Ralph Estep: Like I [00:11:00] said, I think when I turned 50 and I said, you know what, I'm, I've got fewer years ahead of me than I have behind me. And I said Ralph, what is your kingdom purpose?

[00:11:09] One of the questions you sent me before the interview is how do you know when you're doing well, I think is the way you phrase, you may, and I apologize if I'm phrasing quickly. So here's my deal at this point, Scott. If I can reach one person with a message that improves their world, if I can reach one person with a message that helps them financially, if I can reach one person that never even thought about how their faith and their finances intersect, then I chalk that up as a good day, because that's really what drives me at this point.

[00:11:40] The truth is, Scott I was driving around in a brand new Corvette, I was loving life, my friend. But then I realized, wait a minute, Ralph, you can have all of this, but are you spiritually wealthy or are you spiritually bankrupt? And when I had that difficult place in my life, I had to say, you know what, Ralph, [00:12:00] you need to work on your spiritual bank account.

[00:12:03] And actually what did it for me, Scott, there wasn't any miraculous, perhaps, moment. Other than Ralph, where are you going? What is it your purpose is? I got two boys, one's 23 and one's 26, so they don't live at home anymore. So just my wife and I. And I said, you know what, Ralph, what are you going to do to fulfill your purpose?

[00:12:21] So that was really what did it, Scott. There's nothing more complicated than that.

[00:12:26] Scott Maderer: So when you're working with people I think a lot of times we look at what you were just sharing, that success in terms of our financial lives, in terms of the things we have the toys we've got the nice car, the nice house, the nice, whatever.

[00:12:47] What do you see as the real measure of success for people in life and in business?

[00:12:55] Ralph Estep: And let me be careful, Scott. I'm not saying you shouldn't have those things. I'm not by [00:13:00] any stretch saying don't be, I'm saying be financially successful. That's fantastic, but don't make that the measurement point.

[00:13:07] So you asked me, Ralph, what do you see the measurement points? The measurement points are. Are you reaching people? Do you see, I'll give you a great example. So I did a podcast last Sunday and it was all about intentionally choosing Christ. And I don't get a ton of feedback. The next morning, Monday morning, I got a Facebook messenger from somebody that said, Ralph, it's like you were speaking to me directly.

[00:13:32] Scott, you could have paid me a million dollars to do that episode. I got more value from that person sending me that Facebook message. So Then I would have fill in my bank account and it might sound silly, but that is the honest to God. True. So how do you measure that? Are you making a difference in people's lives?

[00:13:52] Do you, are you making people better than they were before they met you? In my practice, when somebody comes in and they're struggling financially, I [00:14:00] do a lot of financial counseling. Now, if I can show them here's what, here's where you are now. Where do you want to be? It's not for me to tell them where to go, where do they want to be?

[00:14:09] What are their things that are important to them? And when we work with them for a few months and then they come back and they say, Ralph, man, I can't even imagine where we were before. Now. Look where we are. That's the measurement. The ultimate measurement is going to be when I stand before Christ himself and he says, well done, good and faithful servant.

[00:14:27] I hope i'm worthy to get to that point, but that's my goal. That's my measurements guy. It's not worldly things. You know you listen here. You can be a rascal and be extremely successful from the world's perspective. You can have bank accounts. And here's the other sad thing. I meet a lot of wealthy people.

[00:14:48] They're some of the most unhappy people I've ever known. Because I think at some point, if they don't understand that their purpose is more than what's in their bank account, or their purpose is more than how many social media [00:15:00] followers they have, then they come to a realization of like, why am I here?

[00:15:04] What is my purpose? And I see so many wealthy people that just struggle with that and they go and acquire something else and they go after this business goal or they, maybe they change wives. That's a whole nother thing we could talk about, but you see so many people struggling and flailing.

[00:15:19] Scott Maderer: Or they don't change wives, but then end up having to change wives.

[00:15:22] Yeah absolutely. And that's what I'm saying. So you look at the behaviors. My goal is at the end of the day, I want to be able to put my pillow, my head on the pillow at night and say, you know what, Ralph? I have no regrets. Every person I interacted with today, I did my best. Because here's the deal seriously, this is the truth, Scott.

[00:15:42] Ralph Estep: If you're called as a Christian, then every single thing you do, you should do to the extreme of the best you can do. Cause that's what we're called to do. You can't work halfway I meet people all the time. Yeah, Ralph, I go to my nine to five. I do the best I can, but are you really doing the best you [00:16:00] can?

[00:16:00] You're your own critic. You're your own measurement device. And as Christians, we're called to do that in whatever that vocation is. If you want to be a male person, you want to deliver mail. Fantastic. Be a fantastic Christian based male person. If you want to be a plumber, be a fantastic Christian based plumber.

[00:16:17] Don't cheat people. Don't rip people off. If you're going to give it, it's funny, Scott, I have people come into my office sometimes clients and they'll say, Ralph, I just don't understand why I'm not getting ahead. I feel like I'm doing all the right things, but then they tell me they're cheating this one.

[00:16:31] They're ripping this one off on their billing systems. They're doing all these using cut rate equipment. And I say, wait a minute. Yeah. You're not even honoring your customers and you expect God to honor your business and honor your finances. There's the disconnect, Scott. It's huge.

[00:16:50] Scott Maderer: So when you think about that I think a lot of times people, when they think about their financial decisions, they think about the tools, the techniques, the how do I mechanically, [00:17:00] practically do it.

[00:17:01] But a lot of what you were just talking about is more fit, tithing into the why and the philosophy and the thinking the behavior, the motivations behind it. How do you help people realize that it's less about the tools and more about the mindset.

[00:17:21] Ralph Estep: And that's really why I wrote my second book.

[00:17:22] And that's the gospel of entrepreneurship bringing Jesus along in your business journey. I talk about there starting out with a strong foundation in your faith. You have to know where your faith is. What is it you stand for? And then you have to lead. You have to have what we call servant leadership in the book.

[00:17:39] Lead as a servant that works both for your customers, your employees, the people in your community, you've got to take a servant's approach to that. That's a really strong thing to do. That's a whole mentality shift. You got to have that stewardship mentality. It's the realization that what I have is not truly mine, but I'm [00:18:00] entrusted with this.

[00:18:01] And I've got to make sure that if I have a business, I'm taking care of my employees. I'm treating them fairly. I'm taking care of my customers. I'm treating them fairly. It's all about this, what I call purpose driven entrepreneurship. You will be successful if you live out the purpose that God has intended for your life.

[00:18:20] Now that is sometimes easier said than done. As I talk about in my book, it's not always going to work out very well for you. You are going to have times where you're going to be pushed to the extreme. You're like, God, I don't think I can take anymore. But what he says in the word is he says, I'll never leave you nor forsake you.

[00:18:37] So even more important, Scott, some people think I'm going to take this journey to be a Christian and everything is going to be fantastic. Guess what? It doesn't work that way all the time. There are times when your faith is going to be shaken to its core. And that's one of the things I tell my clients is start off with a strong foundation in faith.

[00:18:55] Because you're going to need that. Because you're going to get attacked for living different than, [00:19:00] excuse me, you're going to live, You're going to get attacked for living differently than the world. It's just a fact. There are going to be times in your business when you're like, God, I don't think I can do this anymore.

[00:19:10] I'm struggling here. So I tell them to go back to their prayer life. Go back to following up with people in maybe a small group or their church, find people that they can mentor with, or people can mentor them because you can't do this alone. That's the whole thing. See, and this is where I think God plays games with us a little bit and games is probably not the right word to use, but I used it.

[00:19:32] And what I mean by that is, I think sometimes God wants to push you to the point where you have to rely on him. And that's tough as a business person. It's been tough for me because there have been times in my business Listen, when we started our practice back in 2004, we literally started at our dining room table.

[00:19:50] I borrowed 15, 000 from a friend to get started. I had left my dad's practice. It was a bad situation. But what was amazing to me, Scott, is that [00:20:00] every month, A check would show up every month. A new client would walk through the door every month. Something would happen that made it work. Now I'm 20 years into this.

[00:20:11] There have been times in my business life where I'll give you a great example about 6 months into our business. My wife and I did together. My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. That was she was 33 years old. What's amazing about that Scott is the month before we were able to afford health insurance.

[00:20:29] That's not magic. That's faith. Now, she's doing fantastic now, but that is what I'm talking about. There are going to be obstacles. My counterpoint to your question is really, how do you get through a business life without that faith? How do you grow a business without having that to fall back on?

[00:20:50] Because I think actually, those of us who are Christians and those of us who live in the faith actually have it a little bit easier because we're not doing it all by ourselves. [00:21:00] We can go to God. Listen, there are days when my mind, my, my mind is tested to the extreme. I got a little porch here in my office at the farm and I go out and sit in a rocking chair and I just rock.

[00:21:10] And I say, God, you know what? I'm going to be quiet for a minute. The Bible says, be still and know that I am God. How many times are we still, how many times do we listen? See, it's real easy to chat chat. Listen, I talk for a living on my podcast, but I think sometimes, We get more from the quiet times when God can speak to us about it.

[00:21:31] So that's what I tell people in the business isn't let the control go. You're not going to control this Anyway, do the best you can put a hundred and fifty percent of effort into it Treat your customers fairly treat your employees fairly and be prepared that God may walk you through a desert that you're not prepared to go Through but he'll be with you the whole time and that it's hard, but Scott that's really the answer

[00:21:57] Scott Maderer: And when you think [00:22:00] about, the business owner right now that's hearing you talk and hearing your message what is the single most important thing that they need to hear from you or need to realize to begin to move in that direction of looking at it differently?

[00:22:26] Ralph Estep: I think the single most important thing is that you have to recognize that. Your Christianity is the core of who you are. Everything else goes from that. Like I said a little while ago, you don't have to check your Christianity at the door. It can permeate your whole life. Now, but the world speaks against that, right?

[00:22:49] Because the world says, oh you can't do that. You got to keep that Christianity to yourself. You got to, don't talk about that in your business. But I'm gonna challenge people to say, you know what, maybe that's the most [00:23:00] important thing to talk about in your business. Because guess what?

[00:23:04] Like minded people are going to say, Oh, that's Scott. He's got that inspired stewardship podcast. I trust him. Why do I trust him? Cause he speaks truth. He quotes the Bible. I listened to your podcast this morning as I was exercising and I say, he's just reading from the Bible. Like I can go check him. One of the things my grandfather used to say, seek your own salvation.

[00:23:22] He would say to me, listen, if you go to church on Sunday, when you get home from church, write down all of the passages, the pastor, the minister talked about and go double check them. That's because you want to have credibility and see, that's what you can do as a small business owner or a business owner in general.

[00:23:38] Have credibility. What's the easiest way to grow that credibility? And that is stand for something. As a country song says, you better stand for something or you'll fall for anything. I think that's the key, Scott, is that you don't have to check your Christianity door, you can live it out loud. And the louder you live it, and I'm a example of this, [00:24:00] people will understand it, people will see it, and people will gravitate towards you.

[00:24:04] You're gonna turn some people off, there's gonna be some people that are gonna slam the door in your face. But guess what? That's fine with me. Because there's enough people out there, and especially in this time, we're going through a really difficult financial time. I don't think people understand just how bad things are.

[00:24:21] And I think they're fixing to get worse. I honestly think after the election, we're going into great depression number two, and a lot of people don't think like that, but I honestly do. We are at a precipice. We are at a financial cliff in this country. I don't care whether you're an R or a D. We've got to make some difficult decisions in this country.

[00:24:39] But here's the deal. I did a podcast interview a few days ago with somebody else and they said, okay Ralph, what does the average person do about that? Get your financial house in order. You can't control how government spends money. I get it. You can't control what's going on in the world. I get it.

[00:24:54] But what you can do is you can get your house in order. So the other thing I would say, [00:25:00] Scott, is get your financial house in order, whether that's your individual financial house. Or your business financial house. If you're a business owner, you better know where your money's going. If you're a business owner, you better have a budget.

[00:25:12] The problem is, I see so many business people fail because they fail to plan. You can't just spend every day putting out fires. You've gotta do strategic planning. You gotta do strategic thinking. I did a podcast episode a few days ago called Big Hairy, audacious Goals. How many business people sit down and say, what are my big, hairy, audacious goals?

[00:25:37] If you don't have a goal in mind, you're never going to get there. What gets measured gets done. So many small business people, especially I see, they spend their days going after, I gotta go fix this, I gotta go do this. And I'll say to them, what's your strategic plan? They look at me like I have horns.

[00:25:53] Ralph, what do you mean by strategic plan? Where do you want to be in a month? Where do you want to be in six months? Where do you want to be in a year? Okay, how are you going [00:26:00] to get there? What's your plan? I don't know. And you wonder why your business isn't going to thrive. When we're going through tough times, financial times, if your business house isn't in order, or if your financial house individually isn't in order, you're not prepared for that.

[00:26:18] Scott Maderer: So I've got a few questions that I like to ask all of my guests, but before I go there, is there anything else about the work or your books that you'd like to share?

[00:26:26] Ralph Estep: And like I said, I just say the main thing about this is. Your faith at the center of your world and let it permeate out from there. Let it impact every decision you make, whether it be a financial decision, whether it be a decision about your family, if you put that at the center, then you're going to have a center that is going to be able to back up those decisions.

[00:26:53] So my brand is Inspired

[00:26:55] Scott Maderer: Stewardship and I run things through that lens of [00:27:00] stewardship. And of course, you talked a couple of times during the, as we've been chatting already about that word stewardship. And yet I've discovered that's a word that means a lot of different things to a lot of different people.

[00:27:11] So when you hear the word stewardship, what does that word mean to you and how has it impacted you?

[00:27:17] Ralph Estep: So I guess I'll give you a simple way I look at it. In my view, biblical stewardship is the realization that you really have nothing. But Christ has entrusted you with resources. He's given you gifts. He's given you talents and your Objective is to live out those kingdom things that you've been given those talents those resources You have for good for the kingdom at its core You have to have the realization that it's not yours.

[00:27:55] It's being entrusted to you It can be taken away from you in a moment. [00:28:00] I don't think people, a lot of people get that. Like a lot of people who are in small business, right on this high cloud of they're doing fantastic. Guess what? What if you had a stroke this afternoon? What if you had a heart attack this afternoon?

[00:28:13] So I live in a reality, Scott, that this could all go be taken from me this afternoon, it could be taken from me tomorrow, but what can't be taken from me. and this is where the stewardship comes into it, is my relationship with Christ. Because stewardship actually, in my view at its core, means a relationship.

[00:28:31] You're stewarding for someone else. When I help clients make decisions in their business, what am I doing? I'm stewarding their resources. I'm showing them how to use their resources to get to the goals and the things they want to achieve. So stewardship is the center of that relationship in a lot of ways.

[00:28:49] You've been stewarded with gifts. You've been stewarded with talents. You've been stewarded with all kinds of things that the Lord wants you to use for the kingdom. Are you using them? [00:29:00] That's really the issue.

[00:29:02] Scott Maderer: So this is my favorite question that I like to ask everybody imagine for a moment that I invented this magical machine and with this machine, I could pluck you from the farm where you are today and transport you into the future, maybe 150, maybe 250 years, but through the power of this machine, you were able to look back and see your entire life, see all of the connections, all of the ripples, all of the impacts you've left behind, what impact do you hope you've left to the world?

[00:29:30] Ralph Estep: This is going to sound funny when I say that. I want one person to say that. I found salvation because of Ralph. I want one person to say that guy made a difference in my life. I want one person to say that I found a relationship with the savior because of something I heard Ralph say or something I saw Ralph do.

[00:29:54] It's really that linear for me, Scott. And I hate to say it might sound like I'm being funny [00:30:00] about it, but I really do. I feel I feel right now, like my mission field is I'm a podcasting accountant evangelist. So when we look back at evangelists that we've known well, what do we remember from them?

[00:30:14] One of my favorites is Billy Graham as an example. When I look back at Billy Graham, I see the stadiums he filled with people that's measurable, right? But then I think about how many people did he touch that touched a million people from that or a thousand people from that? See in my goal in life, we're all entrusted with planting Seeds of faith now each of us does different things with those seeds.

[00:30:39] Maybe we plant them. Maybe we cultivate them Maybe we fertilize them. Maybe we water them So looking back in 200 years if I could say look at the garden that Ralph planted Look at how many seeds are growing. Look at how many people who heard Ralph's message on his podcast and changed their dynamic and saved [00:31:00] their marriage, or saved their relationship with their children, or saved their business, or their employees didn't have to go on unemployment, because guess what happens?

[00:31:10] It spirals from there because then that marriage that was saved, then maybe their children are inspired by that and they go cr, they grow closer in their faith. They go stronger in their faith. I know that might sound like a pie in the sky idea, but it's really that simple for me.

[00:31:31] Scott Maderer: So what's coming next?

[00:31:32] What's on the roadmap as you continue on the year?

[00:31:35] Ralph Estep: You know what? I'll tell you this, Scott. My daily prayer is for God to use me. My daily prayer is for God to tell me what's next on the journey and to live out His will for my life. Because what I've realized is it's not about a destination. It's all about the journey.

[00:31:53] So my goal is about finding joy in the journey. I don't know where that leads me. I never expected I'd be [00:32:00] talking to you here today, but it's all part of the journey, right? And where he takes me next. I don't know. Like I said, I feel like I'm a, I'm an evangelizing podcaster. Where does that end up?

[00:32:13] Do I write more books? Maybe I'm doing a daily podcast, which I never realized how much effort that was going to take. And two weeks ago, I started releasing it on video, which hasn't added a ton of time to it. But what's interesting about that, Scott, is I'm reaching more people. I'm seeing it grow.

[00:32:30] Now, a lot of people get hung up on measuring. How many downloads did I have? How many of this, how many of that? I don't know. That sounds good. And my fleshly self wants to see it be 10, 000 downloads a month. That'd be fantastic. But if I can keep getting an occasional text or an email or a Facebook message that says right on, like one of the things I do now is I release these YouTube shorts.

[00:32:51] And it's amazing to me, like how many people take a minute to watch something that I put together. I'm just Ralph. I'm just this, I'm this accountant over here in Middletown, [00:33:00] Delaware. I had a comment the other day from a lady in Australia. I did a. I did a short about what I call tipflation, how tipping has gotten out of control.

[00:33:08] I reached somebody in Australia. I'm just a simple guy here from Middletown, Delaware. If that's what God has for me and my plan, then I'm going to, I'm going to embrace the journey.

[00:33:25] Scott Maderer: You can find out more about Ralph Estep over at askralphpodcast. com. Of course, I'll have a link to that over in the show notes as well. Ralph, is there anything else you'd like to share with the listener?

[00:33:39] Ralph Estep: Like I said, if you are suffering or struggling in your financial journey, listen to my podcast. Go to my podcast site, like Scott said, askralpodcast.

[00:33:49] com. I do a daily podcast. It's not a long podcast. You can do it. You can listen to it. You can go to YouTube. You can go to Rumble. The other thing I do every day is I write a blog or [00:34:00] blog article about the podcast. In addition to that, If you go to our website, there's a little button that says store. I've got two books for sale there and here's a big thing you can do if you need my specific assistance.

[00:34:14] You can actually schedule an appointment with me right there. I meet with clients from all over the world. That's the cool thing about zoom and technology is we've been able to meet with people wherever they're located. So I would encourage you now do charge a consultation fee, but this is the thing I always say to people.

[00:34:31] You will get 10 times the value of what you pay me for a consultation fee. Once we have a meeting and sit down and talk, and I can help you. Maybe you get my first book. It's 47 pages. It's called mastering your finances. I guarantee when you read that book and you put those things into practice, you are going to see immediate results.

[00:34:51] You just have to be willing to take action. That's the key to all of this, Scott. We can have a great discussion about all these fantastic pie in the sky things, but it comes down [00:35:00] to action. So my encouragement to people today is take action. Take ownership of your finances. Take ownership of what God has entrusted to you and steward it for him.

[00:35:16] That's the key, but you've got to take action. It's not going to do it on its own. There's not going to be some magic day where you're going to find this a bucket of gold at the end of a rainbow. It doesn't work like that. It takes hard work. It takes persistence, but it takes action. And that is dedicated action with a plan.

[00:35:40] Scott Maderer: Thanks so much for listening to the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen. but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this episode please do us a [00:36:00] favor. Go over to inspired stewardship.

[00:36:03] com slash iTunes rate. All one word. iTunes rate. It'll take you through how to leave a rating and review and how to make sure you're subscribed to the podcast so that you can get every episode as it comes out in your feed. Until next time, invest your time, your talent, and your treasures, develop your influence, and impact the world.

In today's episode, I ask Ralph about:

  • How our faith and business are related...  
  • How he works with clients as an accountant to help them inject faith into their finances...
  • Why he’s found a new calling in his walk...
  • and more.....

Some of the Resources recommended in this episode: 

I make a commission for purchases made through the following link.

It can be taken away from you in a moment. I don’t think a lot of people get that. A lot of people in small business ride on this cloud of I’m doing fantastic. – Ralph Estep

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About the Author Scott

Helping people to be better Stewards of God's gifts. Because Stewardship is about more than money.

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