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Steve Diggs

Steve Diggs

Steve Diggs is a nationally recognized motivational and life-skills speaker. He has also distinguished himself as the author of seven books, a TV and radio personality, and a leadership trainer.

As one of America’s busiest communicators, he has spoken over 3000 times in more than a dozen countries on four continents. He visits business, professional, church, college, and non-profit groups doing keynotes, after-dinner, and personal development presentations on a host of topics.

Steve is probably best known for four multi-session seminars that he has presented over 500 times: No Debt No Sweat: The Money Seminar, ReTooled & ReFueled: Essential Life-Skills Event, Person-to-Personal: Workplace Training, and NexGen Selling & Closing. Some of his other topics include: Brand YOU, An Attitude of Gratitude, Overcoming Conflict, The Traits of the Great Mentors, Free to Succeed, Alternative Success, The Keys to a Worry-Free Money Life, and ReDefining Success.

Diggs is the author of seven books, including: Putting Your Best Foot Forward, Free To Succeed, No Debt No Sweat, How to Speak Like a Superhero, Life’s Too Short to Miss the Big Picture, and Stop Running On Empty. He has also written 100’s of published articles and is the creator of The NDNS Money Boot Camp, a popular personal finance study used by thousands nationwide. Diggs was also a contributor to Promise Keepers’ bestseller, What Makes a Man?

CNN has called Steve a “public relations expert.” Steve worked on Nashville television as FOX/17’s on-air “Resident Money & Life-Skills Expert.” In addition to CNN, he has also appeared on CNN, CBS/Radio, Crosswalk.com, CBN.com, Business Talk Radio Network, Christian Television Network, etc.

Steve began his business career early. As a boy he traveled the neighborhood with his red wagon selling everything from greeting cards to flower seeds, from light bulbs to brooms, and from fire extinguishers to household cleaners. By his teens, Steve was running several profitable businesses including a photography company. In 1970, he became an award-winning salesman for the Southwestern Company, a Nashville-based publisher that sends college students throughout the country selling books door-to-door. In 1974, after college graduation, Diggs began selling real estate for Dave Floyd & Associates Realtors in Nashville. By 1976, he was in the top ten percent of all middle Tennessee Realtors, and had begun recruiting and training other salespeople.

By the late 1960’s, Steve was determined to get into show business. Into the early 1970’s, he found himself behind the microphone at four radio stations in the Knoxville and Nashville area. With guitar in hand, Steve was also performing his songs on various radio, TV, and stage shows in the area. In 1972, he released “Flight 408” on Sincere Records, a small independent label in Nashville. When the record began to enjoy some chart action, Steve began traveling the region showing up at radio stations to promote the record. By year’s end, the popular Knoxville radio personality, Bobby Denton, met Steve. Denton immediately liked “Flight 408” – and it’s twist ending. He called his friend Ricci Mareno, one of Nashville’s top record producers to tell him about Steve and his record. Within a week, under Mareno’s tutelage and record mogel, Jim Fogelsong, directive, Steve was signed to the Dot Record Label (a Paramount company.)

Steve would be the first to admit that his show business ambitions far exceeded his raw talent. Today, he frequently tells his audiences that, “My voice has been known to kill small animals!” Although the record had some regional success, it was never a national hit. It all turned out for the best, because Steve was finding it increasingly difficult to reconcile the entertainment business with his Christian beliefs.

Never one to waste what he’d learned, Steve used his experiences in the radio and recording world to launch a broadcast production and advertising company in 1973 while still in college. By the mid-70’s, the business opened as a full fledged group of businesses called The Franklin Group, Inc. FGI had for divisions: Steve Diggs & Friends Advertising Agency; Bonner Jingles, Bonnie-Lou Music Publishing, and Kyte Records. With remarkable growth and success, Steve Diggs & Friends and Bonner Jingles became leaders in the field by the late 1980’s. FGI won scores of local, regional, national, and international awards. Much of the firm’s success came because Steve and his associates determined not to be a typical ad agency. In a world where many agencies seemed more interested in wining and dining clients, Diggs’ firm made a conscientious effort to simply treat their clients the way that they would want to be treated. The agency kept prices reasonable—and their invoices transparent. They did not require clients to sign retainer agreements. And the results spoke for themselves. There was limited client turnover. The firm never had a layoff or a major cash flow problem. And it was consistently profitable.

During the 1980’s and 1990’s, while still running FGI, Steve Diggs involved himself in several other endeavors. In the mid-80’s he returned to his alma mater, David Lipscomb College, as a teacher in that school’s business department where he taught advertising and marketing. After the release of his first two books: Putting Your Best Foot Forward and Free to Succeed, Steve traveled the United States, Russia, Poland, Germany, Egypt and Central America speaking on advertising, marketing, and and Christian life-skills.

In the late 1990’s, Steve launched Coast to Coast Gold with Steve Diggs. This was a nationally syndicated radio show where each week he interviewed stars from that the 1950’s and 1960’s including Pat Boone, Bobby Vinton, Martha Reeves, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys and shared his encyclopedic knowledge of the music from that era. In 2000, Steve sold The Franklin Group, Inc. In the years since, on average, he speaks more than 200 times each year to audiences around the world. He is, also a busy writer, a private investor, and the owner of a publishing company and an investment real estate business.

Christian Worldview

Steve grew up in a committed Christian family. He says, “It was a rare night when we went to bed without listening to one of our parents read a Bible story book, or in later years, from the Bible itself.” He goes on, “Saturday afternoons were spent filling out the answers in our Sunday School lesson books in preparation for Sunday worship and class. It was a good time.”

After becoming a baptized Christian at age eight, Diggs became increasingly committed to his walk with Jesus. Over the years, he has had opportunity to teach and preach across America, and in a host of foreign countries. Many of his writings are Christian based including his work as a regular contributor to Crosswalk.com, a leading Christian website owned by Salem Communications. He has served on councils at two Christian universities. Steve has served in the various capacities of a deacon, adult Sunday School teacher, and minister at the Antioch Church of Christ in Nashville since 1977.

Today, his goal is to reflect his Christian worldview in all his business, personal, and social contacts. He provides a weekend leadership seminar that teaches principled leadership in business.

Early Life

Born in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Diggs grew up is a very traditional home. His mother, Verna Diggs, was a retired schoolteacher who set a strict regiment of homework and early Bible study. His father, Herbert B. Diggs, owned a successful general insurance agency and held high-ranking positions in the Lions Club International organization. Arguably, watching his father travel the world as a popular speaker was an early incentive for Steve’s later career. The oldest of the children, Diggs has twin sisters.

Diggs graduated from Oak Ridge High School in 1970 where a committee of students and teachers invited him to speak at the large school’s commencement. His speech, “A Solitary Life,” was an early pronouncement of Diggs’ Christian faith. In 1970, Diggs began his college efforts at David Lipscomb College (now, Lipscomb University) in Nashville, Tennessee. He graduated as a “Deans’ List Honor Student” in 1974.

Family

Steve and Bonnie have been married since 1976. But their love story actually began in February of 1972 when, on their first date, Steve told Bonnie that he was going to marry her. Steve says, “So far, so good…she’s been picking my option up every year since!” The couple has four grown children (Megan, Joshua, Emilee and Mary Grace) and three grandchildren. Home is Brentwood, Tennessee, a Nashville suburb. For more information, see Steve's website.

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