We are pleased to introduce Ryan J. Bondy. Ryan recently published Joyful Finances with us, which was shortlisted for our 2020 Braun Book Awards and is currently available through the Word Alive Press Bookstore, and everywhere fine Christian books are sold. We asked Ryan to share a little bit about his writing, and new book. But first, a little bit about him.
Beginning at a young age of ten, Ryan began recognizing financial opportunities where most people could not. Turning trash to cash was his first exposure to passive income, and it directed him on a path that would find him challenging nearly every financial principle his family had raised him in.
Born into a loving family from southwestern Ontario, Canada, Ryan grew up in a community-driven by the automotive industry. His home was on the opposite side of the Detroit River, across from Detroit, Michigan—Motor City. Blue-collar families kept the industry in motion, and these middle-class people were continuously affected by the performance of each vehicle introduced to the market. His family’s discussions around the dinner table included shift work, two-week summer holidays, commuter vans, and overtime opportunities.
With the spirit of an entrepreneur, Ryan realized early that there had to be other ways to meet his financial goals than committing to the life of a factory worker. Although it was an unpopular decision at the time, he decided to end his post-secondary education after completing just one year, accepting an entry-level job to earn enough money to survive. But most importantly, Ryan began to blaze his own path to financial prosperity.
Nearly thirty years into his career, when faced with extreme adversity, Ryan recognized the voice of God calling him to turn the wheel and head in a new direction.
In Joyful Finances, Ryan shares significant insights on how to turn a gloomy financial forecast into something you can get excited about and look forward to.
Q: As a thriving business owner, what makes someone decide to stop and write a book?
A: In what always seemed like the perpetual pursuit of happiness, we lived in a world where joy was always one more business deal away. Something was missing and we knew it, but neither Megan nor I could figure out how to get off the track we had created for ourselves. One day, on our way home for a long weekend vacation, I heard God’s voice say very clearly to me, “It is time to write”. Within days the entire series began to form itself and the first book was underway. Writing seemed therapeutic to me, an escape from business and an opportunity to focus on the message God wanted me to hear.
Q: What is The Joyful Series and why have you created it?
A: Recognizing that any given book title will only reach a small percentage of readers, Megan and I decided that one way we could increase the readership was to establish an ongoing stream of communication. The Joyful Series consists of hard copy full chapter books as well as an online digital community forum. Currently hosted on Facebook, we, along with a number of other contributors, aim to post daily joy generating messages. Currently we are working on the manuscript of the third book within The Joyful Series, but content is being added online daily. We look very much forward to developing other tools that will help our friends and families recognize and optimize the joy in their lives, regardless of where they may be physically, spiritually, emotionally, or financially, at any given time.
Q: Your first book is Joyful Wealth and the second is Joyful Finances, they sound very similar, can you describe the difference?
A: It was very clear to me that God wanted me to share a message about wealth in both books, but having been a chaser of financial independence most of my natural life, He really wanted me to focus on a different kind of wealth. My first book brings the message of having a “Joy” account, and making deposits into that account. While money is part of a much larger equation surrounding a joyful life, Joyful Wealth is about recognizing joy in all areas of your life and making deposits into your joy account. Amazingly, we have discovered that once one realizes the abundance of joy that already exists in their life, wealth follows. Our second title, Joyful Finances, is a playbook for those that are struggling financially. We define Joyful Finances as one’s ability to look at their financial future with optimism and enthusiasm, not necessarily by how rich they are. Joyful Finances is loaded with strategies and maps on how to layout a prosperous, but more importantly, a joyful financial future for any person or family.
Q: If you were able to leave listeners/readers with one piece of advice what would it be?
A: If I could leave just one piece of advice it would be this, embrace what you have and be grateful for it. People waste so much time focusing on all that they are missing in their lives. If only they spent half that amount of time identifying all that they do have they would realize how incredibly blessed they are. A grateful heart is one that will never go without. The more grateful you are for what you have, the more I believe you will be blessed with. If you are unable to appreciate what you have now, why would anyone entrust you with more? Embrace and be grateful for it all.
Q: What message about God do you hope readers will take from this book?
A: Throughout my entire life God has spoken to me, as I believe He does to every believer. Until my mid-thirties, however, I was so busy chasing financial success that I could not hear His message. I believed that there was a god but simultaneously I was trying to be my own god. As a workaholic with a gambling addiction, I woke before most and could be found sitting at my computer until the early hours of the morning most nights. Success seemed to elude me and joy was absolutely nowhere to be found. Failing to listen to His subtle messages, signs continued to become more and more intense. Finally, to ensure He got our attention, God arranged it so that both Megan and I were forced to stop and listen to what He wanted to speak into our lives. It is critically important that we stop, listen and obey the calling God has placed on our hearts. Once on the path that has already been paved for you, He will pour out joyful success in more abundance than you ever dreamed possible, but you must ensure you are on the proper path, otherwise, you may always feel like your running uphill and not gaining on your desired destination.
Q: Can you describe your writing process?
A: If you are clear about your message, and the source that has provided it, putting your message on paper may be much easier than you think. There were many writing sessions throughout my first book whereby Megan would ask “how did (writing) go this morning?” and my response would be “I sat down to write about blue shoes, for example, but when I read over what I had written, it was about pink sunglasses. Until I read it over, I had nearly no idea what or where the content was coming from.” It is my belief that Holy Spirit was guiding many of my thoughts and that my fingers were merely an instrument for His message. When you set your heart on the path that God has intended for you, you quickly find that a paved road is much smoother to follow than the one you may be attempting to carve out of the forest you feel lost in.
Q: How do you approach editing, revisions, and rewriting?
A: Being relatively new to this process altogether, we feel so blessed to have been lead to Word Alive Press. While generating nearly endless amounts of content is relatively simple for me, ensuring that it is clearly written and easy to follow has been greatly aided by the efforts of their team. Most of what has been written for the purpose of our books is done so on a two-pass process prior to reaching our publisher. Once Megan and I discuss something that we believe would be a valuable addition to The Joyful Series somehow, I spend the necessary time composing a chapter or two to cover that idea. Once completed, Megan reads over the material to ensure that it capitulates the idea and message we were aiming for. If the content meets both our approvals, we place the content in a separate document and store the file individually to be added to other chapters when we feel that a book is ready. The collection of those chapters becomes our manuscript and thus, we have the beginning of another publishing process.
Q: How does your Christian faith inform your writing process?
A: It is very clear throughout our materials that as Christians we feel accountable to a higher authority. We have been blessed beyond explanation and our joy comes from a source outside of earthly possessions. Chasing more “stuff” in search of happiness during the first 35 years of my life always left me empty and in search of more. When Megan and I made a commitment to put our faith in Him alone, to take our hands off the wheel for a moment and see where He wanted to guide us, our lives began to change in some drastic ways. We have a strong belief that there is an abundant supply of joy, wealth, health and happiness for any believer to receive, and the messages within our books is loaded with tips and hints on how to inject that same positive outcome into your own life.
Q: What advice would you offer to writers thinking of entering the Braun Book Awards?
A: Life really isn’t about winning or losing competitions or contests, it’s about being a participant and putting yourself out there. If you need an incentive to take an initiative to complete something, then the Braun Book Award is a great target for a writer to participate in. Do not, however, allow yourself to be discouraged by the results of a competition or contest, just keep participating. First, fifth or last is irrelevant to the long-term success of your life. If you feel called to write as a published author, take action. Write what you feel lead to write, submit your transcript if the timing is right, but regardless of how you do in the contest, get your transcript into the hands of those that can help you make it the best it can be, and experience the joyful satisfaction of following your path. If you are truly lead to take this path, you may be surprised at how smoothly paved it will become as you take your journey.
Ryan J. Bondy is the author of Joyful Wealth, the first book in The Joyful Series. His second book, Joyful Finances, was shortlisted for the 2020 Braun Book Awards. Born into a loving family in southwestern Ontario, Canada, Ryan was raised with the spirit of an entrepreneur. Ryan shares insight into how he blazed his own path into financial success. Together with his wife Megan, they have three children. Find Ryan through:
Facebook: Ryan Bondy/The Joyful Series