Christina: [00:00:00] Welcome to Episode 22, Unwrapped Gifts, with author Ron Cunningham. Ron Cunningham is a business development manager for BMI Federal Credit Union in Central Ohio and the author of Unwrapped Gifts, a book designed to assist in overcoming obstacles in delivering your reason for existing in this lifetime.
Ron is also a passionate speaker with the remarkable ability to maintain the engagement of his audience. Ron has many achievements, however, he primarily focuses on those that help with his emphasis on improving others. Ron is a graduate of Wittenberg University, a husband and proud father of two daughters.
His personal quote is, Your choice is your superpower. Listen to today’s episode as we discuss Ron’s journey as an author and his message for solopreneurs. We coach on selling authentically and how not to be salesy when you have an important gift to give. Find the full episode and transcript at richlysuccessful.com/22.[00:01:00]
You’re listening to Richly Successful Solopreneur. With host Christina Ranzelli, helping you learn to trust your gut and follow your heart so you can set your business up for success. Podcast episodes will help you build better business relationships, network in an authentic way, and learn to love selling as you grow your business beyond the time for money model.
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Ron: Did the show. Hey, thank you so much Christina. How are you today? I’m
Christina: good. I’m excited to talk to you more about your book Unwrapped Gifts.
Ron: Uh, I’m excited to talk about it. .
Christina: Yeah, usually we have solopreneurs, but an author is something extra special for today. So tell me about your story. What led you to write your book?
Ron: Yeah, so, um, It’s, it’s very interesting in regards to how I came about that. And I’m going to rewind a little bit just to kind of give you some context. And, uh, basically there was a point in my life where I was just kind of reading a lot and just doing things that I felt, uh, would, would kind of enhance me.
And someone introduced me to this book called outwitting the devil. And it’s a book by Napoleon Hill, who is one of my favorite authors and it shaped the landscape of my purpose, so to speak. And what it did, uh, without going too much or too far into detail about that book in general, is it forced me to answer the question of, are you happy?
Mm. A lot of times people don’t ask themselves that question and to be honest with you, most of the time, even if people ask themselves that question, they don’t give the [00:03:00] answer that they want, um, others to know, you know, or even themselves to know they don’t want to give themselves a true answer. So, um.
When I, uh, when I actually read that book, uh, it led me to eventually hear my inner self speak on my purpose, uh, which is to help people. And eventually, uh, my desire to help people actually turned into, uh, wanting to write books, uh, as a resource for people to be able to go back and read, read again, and even for myself.
To go back and read, read again, uh, just to have context in regards to the things that are important to us.
Christina: Wow, that’s really important. I think it’s true that a lot of us go through life not even questioning if we’re happy or not. We kind of hit the default button.
Ron: Yeah, that is absolutely right. I mean, uh, we, uh, we, we go about.
Each day, never, never, never [00:04:00] really asking ourselves the question and internalizing things that are going on within us and saying, you know, did I get the most out of my day? Was I happy about the day that I’ve had? Things like that. But in the longer scheme of it, we really don’t ask ourselves, am I happy?
And what are the root causes to my unhappiness and where I am? And when you ask yourself that question. And you are very, very true with yourself, you will find out that there are, there’s a greater pull or a greater tug on you, uh, in regards to what you should be doing in this lifetime.
Christina: Mm hmm. Absolutely.
So that kind of answers my next question, which is what motivates you as an author?
Ron: Yeah. So I think one of the things is that that’s very interesting is, is that people actually, uh, only receive help when they’re ready. Right. They really, when you’re looking for help, help will find [00:05:00] you, but you have to be wanting that help, uh, to be able to make a difference in your own personal self.
So what the book actually does is, is it gives people the opportunity to engage with that help when they’re ready. So I don’t have to be in your space to be able to help you. You can find that book and when you’re ready to actually go into it, you may find it to be a resource, which is what made me feel like being an author was important.
Christina: Well, I’ve read it and I’m going to read it again because it’s amazing. It’s so full of different inspirational stories and sad stories. Um, there was something in there unexpected that. Well, several things that really got me emotional.
Ron: Yeah, yeah, definitely. Um, and it’s, it’s part of the motivation, um, so to speak, that kind of, and you know, hopefully we can engage with this a little [00:06:00] bit later, but you know, I talk about the sense of urgency in the book, but, uh, in any case, I think those things that happened in the beginning of the book kind of leads to the emotional roller coaster that you speak of.
You know, there’s definitely some Some sad things that happened. There’s some things that are funny. There’s some things that you look at and you say, man, that I’m living that now, you know? So, uh, it’s it’s definitely one of those things where, uh, there are some things that are happening, uh, in the book that literally leads us to begin to question, you know, where we are in our own space.
Christina: What do you love most about being an author?
Ron: So I think for me, what I really, really enjoy about being the, you know, being an author is the discussion that connects or, you know, that comes after the book or after the book has touched someone. Those are the moments where we get to [00:07:00] have authentic discussion.
And things that actually expand into other scenarios and people share their stories with me. And I think that is the important piece because even as the author, I’m just telling my side or seeing it from my perspective. But once someone reads it, they have their own perspective and they begin to share that and they begin to share these stories that are powerful and impactful.
And those are the teaching moments that we all have for each other. So it’s iron sharpens iron in regards to, uh, how we communicate and, and what we see and how we teach and how we learn from each other. So that is really, really the thing that drives me from the author’s perspective now.
Christina: Yeah. I feel like your book aligns so much with this podcast, the message of this podcast, um, finding those gifts inside.
And putting them out into the world to [00:08:00] create that ripple effect.
Ron: Oh, yeah, I agree. And I think what’s interesting is, especially from the solopreneur perspective, the thing that really is important for people to know, Is that we all have a, a sense of individualization within ourselves and we’re all trying to find some way, shape, form, or fashion to impact, uh, our communities, uh, the people that are around us.
Even outside of that, we’re trying to dive into these things that actually are rewarding for us and sometimes. You know, it’s, it’s money that drives us. Sometimes it’s the socialization that drives us, but there is some sort of drive that’s happening. And even in the sense of being a solopreneur, there is a, an opportunity to be able to find that and engage in these different things.
Once we know what’s inside of us, that’s driving us to be able to get to where we want to be.
Christina: Yes, I agree. So where can we find your book?
Ron: So, uh, right now I’m, I [00:09:00] always keep a copy, but those are, you know, for people local, right? A lot of times people local, hey man, you got a copy of your book on you? I’m like, haha, I just happen to have one in my book bag here.
Uh, but, um, I’m also, uh, found on Amazon. So you can, if you look up, uh, uh, Unwrapped Gifts under Ron Buster Cunningham, uh, you’ll, you’ll find it there.
Christina: Okay, thank you. I got mine there. And I’m gonna buy another gift, one for a gift.
Christina: awesome. Thank you. So when you completed the journey of publishing your book, how did that make you feel?
Ron: Wow. Uh, Christina, let me, let me tell you, it was one of the most liberating things that I’ve ever. done in my life. I mean, I’ve had some great things happen to me in my life. I’ve been inducted to my university’s Hall of Fame as a as an athlete. I’ve had kids. I’ve had some really, really special moments in my life where I’ve been awarded and rewarded for different [00:10:00] things.
But I think one of the things that happened for me in regards to writing, completing and publishing my book was the sense of liberation. I was totally free and thought afterwards and I just felt like, wow, this is, this is something that was embedded inside of me, a purpose that I had and I was able to get to the finish line.
And that was a magnificent feeling. I mean, it’s almost, it was, it was almost, After I got, it was almost like being in a euphoric state, you know, just where you’re, you’re kind of like, wow, you know, I’m, I, I did this. I was, I, it was set in motion and I, I finished the task. I completed the journey and although it’s not complete, you know, there are some other things that I need to do.
The, the meat of it. Uh, was done because of course there’s an audience that I need to be able to reach. There’s, uh, other things that I need to be able to do as it relates to this. And there are some people [00:11:00] that need, um, the support from it. So those things made me feel extremely euphoric in regards to just having one of the most liberating feelings of my life.
So it was, it was really good. experience to have. And I would tell, you know, anyone out there that’s listening. If you’re you’re a solopreneur, if you’re in the vein of doing something that you feel is part of the purpose that you’ve been intended to do once you know that once you complete that journey, you will feel the sense of accomplishment, the sense that you’ve left something in this lifetime that is going to be impactful for others.
And that is the importance of life.
Christina: Yeah, it’s living life without purpose and knowing that your gift is being used for good.
Christina: Now you mentioned the law of attraction in your book. Can you explain how that helped you on the journey to completing and publishing it?
Ron: Absolutely. Absolutely. And [00:12:00] for those who don’t know, uh, what the Law of Attraction is, the Law of Attraction basically means that when you set something in motion, uh, that will require certain attraction, the other things that you set in motion from yourself, that vibration that you…
you give will attract similar vibrations. So for example, if you’re in a bad mood and you, you’re going to attract other things that are going to cater to that bad mood. So for example, if you said, man, I’m having a terrible day, the day is going to continue to be terrible. It all
Christina: goes downhill.
Ron: All goes downhill.
You’re absolutely right. Um, so that, that is kind of what the law of attraction is. So there were certain things that begin to happen for me in regards of how that law of attraction worked. So I’ll kind of start like in the beginning side of it. So when I really committed to writing the book and making sure that I actually, [00:13:00] uh, Started focusing on it.
Things that I needed resources that I needed actually begin to take shape. So, for example, I, I didn’t really have a clue of being an author was what, how to publish the book, even how to, to, to make the book look like a book, so to speak. I didn’t have any of that information. And, uh, I remember going and this, this is just a quick story.
I remember going to, uh, the library because I started actually researching. And I needed some resources that kind of helped me, me go through that. So I go online, you know, I start Googling things like how to write a book, how to self publish, etc. And, uh, I go to, uh, I live in, uh, Ohio, Westerville, Ohio, actually, to be exact.
And, uh, I go to the Westerville Library. And in the Westerville library, I kind of crossed this gentleman and I’m like, Hey, can you point me to these books? So I thought I was doing something. I had to call numbers. I had the [00:14:00] book titles and whatnot. So he was like, Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. I can take you there. So we go down there and he tells me these books are here.
And he was like, Oh, you’re, you know, you’re thinking about writing a book. And I’m like, yeah, you know, so I’m researching on how to do it. So he was like, well, these are some nice books. Uh, but you know, if you don’t mind, I’d love to show you this other book. Now me, I was kind of like, oh man, I don’t have time for this.
Uh, you know, I, I really already done all the research that I needed, et cetera. So he was like, so he showed me this book and, uh, the book is actually, um, a book. Let me, uh, I’m trying to remember here. Uh, it’s called how, how to self publish your book, uh, a complete guide to writing, um, editing. Marketing and selling your own book.
I think that’s the full title, but it’s by a lady by the name of Jan Yeager. Uh, Jan Yeager. So in any case, he shows me this book and I’m like, Oh, okay. Well, thanks. The new book looked a little generic to me, so [00:15:00] I want to put it back. And, uh, he said, okay, well, you know, whenever you’re ready to check out, you know, we can go ahead and check you out.
So I put the book back and then, uh, he walked away and then I kind of was. Standing there in the library, still kind of looking at some things on the shelf. But for some reason, my attention kept going back to this book. And, uh, I walked away from it again. I went all the way to checkout and he said, Oh, well, you didn’t get the book.
And I said, nah, I said, uh, I’ve got these three books. I’m going to read these first. And if I don’t find what I’m looking for in this, these books, I’ll come back and get that one. And he was like, Oh, okay. You know, and I said, well, thank you for showing it to me. So then I was about to check out and something was just inside of me just kept saying, yeah, go get the book.
So, um, what’s funny is, is I happened to, uh, uh, before I go to check out, he put the book back. Well, somebody, well. No, I put the book back because I had it and I [00:16:00] put the book back. So I go down there and I’m thinking, okay, I’m going to go get this book. And, uh, so when I go back down there, I’m like, man, I forget where he told me.
Why was the book literally like standing out? Just like, you know, Hey, I’m right here. They wanted you to find it. It wanted me to find it the law of attraction. So I went back, I got that book and that book was really instrumental on me being able to complete that journey, uh, from the technical side of things.
So from start to finish, how to organize the book, you know, things like table of contents, you know, what, uh, things that I should be strategizing when doing it and how to actually even publish it. things that I needed, like ISBN numbers and, and those types of things. So it was very, very good for me in regards to a resource, but not only was, you know, things like that happening from the law of attraction, there was things like, you know, financial scenarios.
Like I was like, wow, how am I going to publish this? You know, I’m, I’m [00:17:00] working, you know, I’m just like everyone else living day to day. Uh, a plan ended up coming into my mind, you know, um, I was like literally taking a small portion of funds and I, and, and the things that I knew that I needed to have, uh, or not needed to have, but wanted to have, I was like, you know what, I’m going to sacrifice and, you know, whatever happens happens.
If I collect enough money, great. If I don’t, then we’ll figure it out when it comes to it. Well, I collected some money, but then, you know, as I was talking to a few other people. They were like, Hey, I really, really liked this book. I think that people need to hear it. So I’m just going to seed you some money.
They basically was like, I’m going to give you some money. And I said, well, you know, Hey, I can pay you. And they were like, I’m not looking for repayment. This is my gift to be able to give to other people. Because it, you know, when I was discussing how the book was going and what was the, you know, content of the book, they really felt the need for other people to be, um, able to find [00:18:00] their gifts.
So they resource these things to me financially to be able to help me with that.
Christina: Wow. That’s amazing. I also love how your journey as an author kind of parallels the journey of a solopreneur. It is a journey.
Ron: Absolutely. Absolutely. But, you know, there’s just kind of square away that question. Um, you know, especially for those who feel like time, time is of the essence, right? We, we don’t necessarily, um, think that we have enough time to do so or to, to complete whatever it is that we’re doing. If you are focused, if you commit to what it is that you’re trying to do, the law of attraction will send you the time that you don’t even think that you have.
And that was important for me to, to know as well, because, um, or for any solopreneur to know, because if you’re trying to start this journey and you’re saying, I don’t have enough time to do it, I’m working and I’m trying to balance this because I don’t want to lose money in [00:19:00] the process of transitioning and doing all those other things.
You will find it if you are focused enough and your heart is, is in that space. So I just wanted people to know that. It includes that the law of attraction will include that I found myself finding time and what was weird about it, Christina was, is sometimes it would be, you know, I would wake up in the middle of the night while I am right.
And I would think that I would be exhausted when I would get up in the morning. I would get up in the morning at the time that I would normally get up and I would feel like I was rested throughout the night. It was just your energy. Yes, it gave me exactly right. It gave me that energy that I needed to be able to complete the journey.
And I was so thankful that, uh, you know, my body would hold up because I was going to work and I was like, man, where, where’s all this energy coming from? I thought I was going to be tired, but it really, it didn’t happen for me that way. Well,
Christina: you tapped into it. So, so. In your book, you discuss the sense of urgency, and we’ve [00:20:00] talked about that a little.
Um, and you cite examples that remind us what respect for time is, that is important. Can you tell us more about how urgency can help solopreneurs?
Ron: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So, one of the things that I, I think is, is interesting is, is this. This is the first thing that I want people to know. Someone out there needs you.
Absolutely need you. You may not necessarily know it there. The law of attraction knows it. And that urgency that you have to have around that is necessary for someone to get to you before they move from this lifetime, before they transition out of this life, or even more importantly, before you transition out of this life with that gift, um, wrapped inside of you.
And that’s, what’s really important. And one of the, the. things that had touched me the most. There’s a person that I quoted in the book and his name is Neil deGrasse Tyson. [00:21:00] And one of the things that he said that stood out to me was he says that it is the knowledge that I am going to die that creates the focus that I bring to being alive.
And that, that was interesting to me. And he says the urgency of accomplishment, that urgency of a constant of accomplishment and the need to express love now, not later. Our gift is a gift of love. What we give, we give out of love. So that gift that we have inside of us, that solopreneur, that business that you want to start, those are things that are absolutely necessary for someone.
And if we live forever, why even get out of bed in the morning? because you always know that you have tomorrow, especially if you don’t have the sense of urgency of doing it today. And that’s one of the reasons why in this lifetime, in this life form that we have, it is important to know why death is what it is.
It is important to know that the sense of urgency is built around that. And that is, is one of the [00:22:00] things that I wanted to drive home, especially to those people who are gifted and have the, The, uh, the, the strategies, the sense of business, the business acumen with inside of themselves to go out and push and do these things.
So whatever it is, you know, find the urgency to drive yourself to do it. And the law of attraction, all of those things will follow. Everything
Christina: will fall into place because it’s true. Life is temporary and we all have gifts that we need to use and give to others.
Ron: You are absolutely right.
Christina: Oh, thank you for that.
So what challenges have you had along your journey as a, as an author?
Ron: Yeah, so all of the other things they fall into place, right? You know, you feel like, oh, this is dropping, right? This is good. This is excellent. All of these things are happening. But here’s, here’s my interesting challenge. My challenge is wanting more people to know that they have a gift and know that their gift is good enough, right?
That’s my challenge. [00:23:00] And, and, It’s basically to know that whether it’s for one or millions, you matter because someone needs what you offer. And that is what my challenge has been is, is I almost feel like, you know, I’m not necessarily trying to push those things because as I said, and I mentioned earlier, people actually receive things when they are ready.
So, uh, with that premise in mind, it makes it, um, a little bit more challenging to be, to, to force it, to push it, to say, Hey, here, grab my book. You need to read it. Um, and the only reason why I, I wish that, you know, if I hit the lottery and I was able to, to gift this book to as many people as I can gift it to, I would use those resources for that reason.
Because my intent of Writing the book was not so much to make money from it. And I know that that sounds weird, although the money has [00:24:00] actually been a resource for me being able to print more. and do other things that I need to do to make it available. And at the end of the day, you know, other things have happened for me as a result of my desire to to make it, you know, as affordable as possible and being as resourceful as possible.
So that that is the challenge that I have is, you know, one making it available to people, um, with minimized cost or, you know, with minimized Uh, push on my end as far as being salesy. Mm
Christina: hmm. So is that the part you want coaching on today for our coaching segment?
Ron: How to know how to position
my gift, um, from a marketing perspective, um, as a need and not to come off as trying to be salesy in the process.
Christina: Well, I love this question because a lot of [00:25:00] solopreneurs especially ones who are service based service minded, they really have a hard time going into the sales part of everything because it’s almost like it feels wrong.
So I love this question. So what have you done so far for the marketing?
Ron: Yeah, absolutely. So I do a lot of social media. Um, so I’ll go out and I’ll, well, I won’t say I do a lot. I do social media to make people aware that the book is out there. Um, and when I say aware, it’s, it’s more like, um, Hey, uh, you know, somebody will send me a picture like, Hey, I got your book or, you know, they’ll send me something, you know, I got your book here or, you know, something to let people know.
And I’ll just kind of post that without necessarily boosting it. You know, I just use that. And then the other side of it, of course, is, uh, I’ve, I’ve. I’ve gone on a few podcasts, uh, and then also [00:26:00] I’ll, I’ll do speaking engagement. So I’m not really out there marketing it quite a bit and not pushing it from, you know, my marketing side.
But I would say that my social media has been my biggest advocate in regards to, uh, how I’ve been pushing
Christina: it. Okay. You mentioned speaking engagements. Is that something you enjoy? You’re really good at it, I’m sure.
Ron: I love it actually. Um, because it gives people a chance to see my energy, you know, the energy that I have, the passion that I have and what I’m trying to say.
And I think that’s been one of the biggest things and The challenge is, is I also don’t force that, like I, you know, people, I don’t push it out there to say, Hey, look, you know, invite me to speak. Usually what happens is if somebody hears me speak and then they’re inviting me to speak from, for that reason.
Christina: Okay. So what do you think is stopping you from maybe inviting yourself or [00:27:00] offering, making an offer to speak?
Ron: I think I would say that it is probably. The desire for someone to want it or to find the need to have it in themselves or to say. Someone else needs this without me saying, Hey, you know, you know, you need this, you know, you know, you know, almost kind of like they use cards, you know, running numbers for you and make it better.
Christina: Right? Ron, we did an episode on this about being salesy, like the fear of being salesy stopped so many of us from putting our gifts into the world. Um, in fact, I think I said what
Ron: episode? What episode was that? Christina? Make sure that everybody else I
Christina: remember, but I believe it was, if you’re too humble to sell, you’re too humble to serve.
Ah, that’s awesome. That might have been my [00:28:00] quote that I made up. Um, so do you feel like this be popping you from putting your gift?
Ron: Um, yeah. I, you know what? It, it, it, it very well be, you know, uh, I, I don’t know if it’s stopping me because I’ve executed the gift inside of me. I think, um, That’s a portion of the responsibility that I took, uh, when, when traveling on this journey, I think that, um, I always say this and, and I say it in this way, um, my book will land on the person it needs to at the right time and for the right reason.
And usually, and I don’t want to necessarily say that that minimizes me. But at the same time, I know that it, it’s a slow growth model. Mm hmm.
Christina: Can I ask you a question? Absolutely. What if you had the can the, the cure for a terrible disease like cancer? What if you just had the, the [00:29:00] cure? Ooh. What would you do with that?
Would you just wait for people to come and ask you, ask you, say, Ron, do you happen to have the cure for cancer?
Ron: That’s, that’s very good. That’s very good. Did you have that, that bullet loaded in the chamber?
Christina: No. But I just feel like you have this gift. You are the gift. Yeah. Go give
Ron: it. That’s, that’s, that’s a very, very good analogy.
And the question is, uh, to that answer, no, I would not, uh, wait to give people the cure to cancer.
Christina: Yeah. So don’t wait. People your gift.
Ron: Well said. Well said.
Christina: Well, do you feel complete with that question?
Ron: Answer? Yeah, that’s very good. It was very clever to you that I am student.
Christina: Well, also, you remind me of that quote.
Um, When the student’s ready, the teacher [00:30:00] will appear. And I do agree that when people are ready, look, they’ll find, but let’s hope we can get it out there quicker.
Ron: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I appreciate that. That was very good.
Christina: All right. Thank you so much, Ron.
Ron: Hey, this has been a wonderful experience. Um, also too, I just want you to know, I, I’ve been on your website.
I dig it. I, I started, uh, listening to, uh, some of your podcasts already, so it’s a good learning space. So great job, and thank you for the invitation and the support.
Christina: Thanks, Ron. Thanks so much
Ron: for being here. Absolutely. Thank you so much. Thanks.
Christina: Thanks for listening to Richly Successful Solopreneur.
Remember, you can trust yourself and follow your heart. If you’re ready to find your flow and grow your business, I want to invite you to head over to richlysuccessful.com where you’ll find more valuable resources. If you’re getting value from this podcast, please [00:31:00] leave a review and share it with a fellow solopreneur.