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Life and Work with Courtney Ramsey

Today we’d like to introduce you to Courtney Ramsey.

Courtney, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Everyone has a story! Mine starts back in eighth grade when I had to do an impromptu speech in English class. I quickly found out that I was one of the few people that loved public speaking! That love continued in high school, where I competed in weekend speech and debate tournaments.

Yeah, I wasn’t exactly the cool kid, but I’m okay with it! I’m one of the lucky few that found something they love to do before I even graduated high school.

Oddly enough, I didn’t pursue speaking in college. I decided to major in marketing, more because it sounded fun than anything else. I graduated and took my first job here in Dallas as part of Neiman Marcus’ Executive Development Program. (That’s just a fancy way of saying “training program” for Assistant Buyers.)

While this sounds like a fun job to most, it wasn’t for me! Being a buyer is more about the numbers than the product, and I realized it wasn’t a fit pretty quickly. I went back to school for my MBA and transitioned into recruiting for Zale Corporation. That role led me to a job in Talent Development as a trainer, and I was eventually recruited by JCPenney. I worked there for over ten years in several training and recruiting roles.

Around 2015, I had an epiphany. I did not want to continue to climb the corporate ladder. I loved doing the work of training and development and being in front of audiences. (There is no better feeling than when someone comes up to you after a presentation to thank you for helping them in some way!) I knew that the more I moved up the ladder, the more my role would be around managing the work—not doing it. I left JCP in 2017 to start my own business, Courtney Ramsey Speaks, LLC.

I’m currently a keynote speaker and trainer. I also help speakers, authors and coaches create their training to share their genius!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I’d say I’ve had a mix of both in my journey. Some years came easy. I had great support from my boss, a fantastic team, and I was doing work that I loved. Other years… not so much!

I remember receiving some negative feedback about a year after I took on a leadership role. It was devastating, and it made me question everything. I knew my intentions were good and that I was working harder than I ever had before, but it wasn’t paying off. The people that could “make or break” my career weren’t supportive, and it seemed like there was nothing I could do to fix it.

What I learned from that time in my life was to be more authentic and ask for help. I was trying so hard to keep it together and give this perception of perfection. I didn’t want anyone to know that I was struggling, so I kept people at a distance and wore the “everything is great” mask. I think it’s something that a lot of women feel they have to do, especially when social media makes it seem like everyone else is living their dream life.

I want women to know we’re all going through some struggle, and it’s okay not to be perfect. We learn the most through our failures, as painful as they might be! The key is finding people that will support you through it, and that begins with being yourself. Show people your flaws. Ask for help. That’s how the best connections, and relationships, are built. (And it’s something I have to continue to work at every day. Old habits die hard!)

Please tell us about Courtney Ramsey Speaks.
I speak to businesses and associations focused on engaging and retaining top talent. Being a good leader is hard, and it’s even harder to focus on the things that matter to employees because you’re always putting out “fires,” in a meeting, returning email, or doing something else that eats up your entire day! I help leaders stop putting off the things that matter.

What makes me different from other speakers is my background in training. I’ve trained thousands of leaders over the years, and I’ve seen firsthand how hard it is to become the leader you want to be. In my talks, I don’t just give the WHY. I give the HOW. I’m big on tangible takeaways and action plans! My audiences often tell me I’m “real and relatable,” which is the biggest compliment I can receive.

Another part of my businesses is helping speakers, authors, and coaches create their own training programs to share their message and generate additional revenue. My first book, Share Your Genius: 35 Tips to Create Training That Transforms, was released earlier this year.

Who have you been inspired by?
The women that I find most inspirational show me what’s possible and believe in me… often more than I believe in myself!

My mom is certainly one of those people. I’m so blessed to have someone that supports me fully and always tells me how proud she is of the woman I’ve become. I’m inspired to push past my self-imposed boundaries because I know she’ll always be there to catch me when, not if, I fall. I consider myself lucky to be her daughter.

Another woman who constantly inspires me is one of your featured Trailblazers, Krista Hayes. This woman embodies so much of what I want to be, and she’s way younger than I am! I’m frequently blown away by her courage to be herself, put herself “out there,” and take on any new challenge. She’s also one of the most intelligent and supportive people I know, constantly building others up.


  • Share Your Genius: 35 Tips to Create Training That Transforms (; $11.99)

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Image Credit:
CharCole Photography, ISP Studios, Kelly Williams Photography

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