#159: Conscious Business with Ryan Blair
#159: Conscious Business with Ryan Blair
Have you ever wanted to start a business, but felt like you lacked the proper resources? Good news: you already have all that you need!
This week on YAP we’re chatting with Ryan Blair, a massively successful entrepreneur, author, and spiritualist.
While Ryan’s accomplishments are incredibly impressive on their own, they’re even more shocking when you learn about his backstory. He grew up in an abusive household that drove him to criminal activity from a very early age, dropping out of high school after his freshman year.
Ryan’s story is all about LEARNING how to become profitable, even when life deals you the worst hands possible. In this episode, you’ll learn how he built his most successful businesses and the mistakes he made in the process. Tune in to find out how to grow your financial capital from ground zero through investing, saving, and building a successful company!
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Check out our website to meet the team, view show notes and transcripts: www.youngandprofiting.com
1:30 – Ryan describes the abuse he endured as a childhood and how it led to his family losing all his money
2:57 – Ryan explains his view on suffering and the lessons he’s gained from his challenges
4:48 – Ryan talks about how schools fail to teach students to be entrepreneurs
8:26 – Ryan tells us about his first mentor and how he started trading stocks
11:19 – Ryan explains why people try to tear him down
12:01 – Ryan reveals what he looks for in potential employees and friends
13:13 – Ryan talks about his first company and becoming a millionaire
15:13 – Ryan describes how he designs businesses and the value of starting businesses for the purpose of exiting them
17:43 – Ryan explains the importance of hiring great employees and partnering with the right people
19:18 – Ryan reveals the importance of growth and how to strike the right balance between profit growth and revenue growth
21:10 – Ryan talks about selling your business at the right time
23:36 – Ryan describes the importance of failure
27:20- Ryan talks about how to build a successful Return on Investment strategy
30:41- Ryan describes how he connects spirituality to entrepreneurship
32:45 – Ryan explains the difference between a conscious company and an unconscious company
34:14 – Ryan talks about his desire to be catalyst in the marketplace with AlterCall
37:32 – Ryan reveals his current relationship with money, saving, and investments
39:04 – Ryan explains his secrets to profiting in life
39:35 – Ryan talks about how he is constantly learning and documenting the lessons he learns
Mentioned In The Episode:
Ryan’s first book, Everything To again, Nothing To Lose: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/308391/nothing-to-lose-everything-to-gain-by-ryan-blair-with-don-yaeger/
Ryan’s newest company, AlterCall: https://altercall.com
Ryan’s Instagram: @RealRyanBlair
#159 Ryan Blair
Hala Taha: Hey, Ryan, welcome to Young and Profiting Podcast.
Ryan Blair: Thank you for having me.
Hala Taha: I'm super excited to have you on. And for those of our listeners who may not be familiar with you, you are a best selling author of two books. You're a serial entrepreneur of many extremely successful companies that have exited for hundreds of millions of dollars.
You've and you first became a millionaire in your early twenties. You're also a philanthropist and a social media influencer on top of all of that. And there's so much to talk about in terms of business and failures, but first I want to skip to your journey. And in some instances I don't talk a lot about journey on YAP but in your case, it's really important.
And I think it's really inspirational. And I think it can show people who listened to our podcast, that you can overcome adversity and poverty and you can become successful. No matter of your past. And no matter of your childhood. So I love the stories of transformation. And after doing my research, I found out that you actually gained your first business experiences through gang activity.
You struggled as a kid, uh, you suffered with ADD dyslexia among other things, and you even faced jail time at just 16 years old. So what was your family like? What was your childhood and teenage years like?
Ryan Blair: My childhood was filled with a lot of suffering and a lot of trauma. My dad was very violent individual and, you know, he had a lot of trauma himself that he had never healed.
And he took that out on his, his wife, my mother, and, and the children. So early childhood was filled with a lot of very scary things. Uh, my mom and dad both were addicted to drugs and alcohol. And as a result of that, I didn't really have much of a mother or a father growing up and early on in my life, my dad was very successful as an engineer and then the drugs took him over and got the better of him.
And we lost our middle class environment, we lost the house, the cars we lost everything basically. And so at a young age, around 13 years old, I had everything ripped away from me. And at that point I had to move into poverty and I started hanging around the wrong kids and got jumped into a gang and was basically forced in.
And next thing you know, I'm, you know, I'm living a life filled with crime on the streets, in and out of juvenile hall and make it a lot of bad decisions. You know, up until about 17 years old into my life changed dramatically. When I got my first mentor.
Hala Taha: And looking back on those experiences and being involved in those kinds of activities, is it something that you regret or do you feel like it's an advantage now?
Ryan Blair: It's definitely advantage. Suffering is an advantage. Suffering is the best teacher that you can learn from. So all of the suffering that I've experienced has just taught me so much about life. And I would not be the man that I am today, if it were not for the suffering. So I believe that from a spiritual basis, my soul needed to go through and, and really learn suffering so that I could now learn the other side of it. And, and to live a life that's not suffering at all.
Hala Taha: And so how did you do in school? Would you say that you naturally excelled at school or was it something very difficult for you?
Ryan Blair: I was terrible at school. I dropped out of high school. My freshman year. I could never pass a math test or an English test. I couldn't pass a basic proficiency test to go from freshmen grade to sophomore.
And I was considered to be. Learning disabled, a disadvantaged ever since early childhood. And it turned out that that was more of a product of my environment rather than a product of my aptitude and capacity. Because once I started to dream about entrepreneurship and become an entrepreneur, I then went and got my college degree.
Uh, my, sorry, my high school degree, and then went into college. And accelerated in school. So I always thought that I was terrible at school. I bought into that story. I believe that story, that the teachers and administrators told me, but then when I found a love for something, I learned how to learn. And then once I learned how to learn, I was able to make up for a lot of the ground that I lost.
Hala Taha: Hmm. I love that, that you say that you feel like your, your failure in school was really as a result of your environment and also your sense of purpose, I guess, and your passion for what you were actually learning. So I think that's a really great point.
Ryan Blair: Yeah, well the school system teaches you how not to be an entrepreneur. Right? So the entire system is structured to teach you how not to be an entrepreneur. And that's why they, you know, they tell you, I go to school to become a doctor, become a lawyer, but no one tells you to become the person that pays the doctors and the lawyers. Being an entrepreneur, would you rather be a doctor?
Would you rather be the person that employs the doctor? And when I learned that I was like, wait, why didn't they explain to me that career option? You know, I didn't know. I could skip med school in law school and go straight to employing doctors and lawyers. And I was like, that's a better track than the $200,000 law school track or the $300,000 med school.
Hala Taha: Yeah, totally agree there. So, okay. How did you end up getting the experiences to become an entrepreneur? I know a lot about your story and we're going to get into like, you know, how you made your first million at 22 and all of that, but what were the experiences before that, that gave you the foundation to become the amazing entrepreneur that you ended up becoming on so early?
Ryan Blair: Well, I had no choice and I was not afraid to take risk when you've suffered. Like I have, and you've been beaten up and you've gone to jail and you're, you know, you lost your dad and your mom's an alcoholic. You know, you understand how difficult life can be and being an entrepreneur, it can be difficult, but it's not that difficult.
You know, I, I would tell people like I've been shot at like, I've literally had people try to take my life on a number of occasions. And when you have that degree of, of survival instincts and difficulty being an entrepreneur as a cakewalk. And so the contrast of my life lended itself very well to the field of entrepreneurship and.
You know, and, and so that, that, I guess that would be the first element of it. Also early on in life, my father would incent to me through compensation. So he would give me money if I pulled weeds or cleaned his car, or he give me money. If I got a base hit and the baseball game, I did good in sports and stuff.
I had instilled in me and I love my dad very much. Although, you know, he, uh, you know, projected a very terrible experience on to us. I still love him. He gave me some foundations in terms of, you know, being driven to achieve certain success and to receive money for that success. And I had that instilled in me very early on that I had to make my own money and he never gave it to me.
He made me earn every penny of it. And so, because I, compensation was instilled in me, the behavior of around compensation was instilled in me early that I was able to accelerate my compensation at a very early age.
Hala Taha: Um, that makes a lot of sense. So it's like, you knew that if you provided value, you got money, it didn't just get handed to you. You had to work for it and you got it on your own. So that makes total sense.
Ryan Blair: I would go practice baseball, not because I wanted to be great at baseball because I wanted my dad to give me the money. He promised me if I got three base hits, so I'd be out there all day long practicing. So that way I could get paid after the baseball game. So like technically. I was a professional athlete at a very young age because I was getting paid to play sports basically.
Hala Taha: Oh, my God. That's so funny. Okay. So you started making some real cash, uh, aside from baseball, when you were 20 years old, uh, trading stocks of all things, and you made over a hundred grand.
When you're that young, I guess you were in college. Where did you get, you know, information about trading stocks? How did you get into that? Where'd you even get the money to trade? Tell us about that.
Ryan Blair: My first mentor was he had a company called TriCore securities. And I was his apprentice and TriCore securities was, uh, equities, commodities and real estate.
So they had a portfolio in all three of those categories. And so I was exposed to the way he traded stocks. And so I just mirrored him and mimicked him. And my initial cash I got from it was through school grants and school loans. So, because I was awarded the court, I was able to apply for certain grants.
And as a result of the grants that I received, I would then invest and I would shadow invest him. And, you know, I'd pick my own stocks, but I'd also listen to the stocks he was picking and I would shadow invest him, basically. And that was how I was able to accumulate a hundred over a hundred thousand in trading profits within about a year's time as a very young man.
Hala Taha: And so you ended up getting your first sports car, your first house, when you were very young, how did your family and friends treat you with all this new found money? Did they treat you nicely?
Ryan Blair: No um, they still don't treat me nicely. No one. When, when people are stuck in belief systems and you are not, it is going to make them very uncomfortable.
And the more successful you are, the more uncomfortable you will make them because you represent a challenge to their beliefs. If their belief is that. They only deserve a medial existence. And you're saying, I don't believe that. I believe I deserve a hundred times that, and I'll tell you another challenge.
You know, I've profited from my story. And some of my family members, they have done anything but profit from it. In fact, it has been their excuse for not being profitable. And so when they see me making money off a shared story and they're losing money on that story, it can be a conflict to their values, their beliefs, and it can create jealousy and it can create, you know, a lot of negative energy around it.
So I I've dealt with that my entire life. I've also dealt with that in my career. And I still deal with that when you write books and you put yourself out there as a public figure, you're going to have to get used to people that are just going to try to tear you apart.
Hala Taha: And I've had that same experience.
You know, I'm a young entrepreneur. I have a team of 70 all around the world and I find that my family is supportive now, you know, the come up journey. They were not, you know, with that, my family is supportive now, but my friends, like, especially my high school friends, the people that I grew up with in the same town and everything.
They can't stand it. Like I'm on the cover of podcasts magazine. They don't even share it. You know what I mean? Like they can't stand to see that success. And it's just funny how the closer people are to you or them, or the more close they are to where you came from, the harder it is for them to actually support you and just like respect the hard work that you put in to get where, where you're at.
So I can totally relate there.
Ryan Blair: They don't see the hard work. They don't understand it because they're not doing the hard work. And so they're suffering. If you're not fulfilling your soul's purpose and you're not extracting everything this life can give you, like, you're not extracting out of life.
Everything that it can possibly give you, you're technically going to be suffering and those people are suffering. And so they believe that if they try to make you suffer, they'll suffer a little less. So they'll gossip about you. They'll tell lies about you they'll criticize you because they believe by making you suffer, that they suffer a little less. And in fact, it's the exact opposite when they try to make you suffer, they actually suffer from.
Hala Taha: Hmm. So how do you go about picking the people you surround yourself with now?
Ryan Blair: Now it's a little different I look for well, so I've become very skilled at identifying personality traits. And I have an intuition about where a person is at in their lives.
And I attempt to surround myself with people that I can align with, um, that can provide value to me and that I can provide value to them. The value exchange has to be mutual for them to be a friend. Now, my colleagues, my team. You know, I'm looking for people that have a hunger they're driven, they're they're growth oriented.
They're willing to, to make the adjustments and make the changes necessary for them to grow. Because when you're growing an organization, you can only grow to the extent that your team is growing. So if you grow your team, you by default, grow your business. And so I look for people that are serious about their growth and that are willing to do whatever it takes to, to accelerate their growth.
And I'm very particular about that in the recruiting for my team members. And then for my friends, I look for people that are going to inspire me because I know that I'm going to inspire them.
Hala Taha: I love that advice. Uh, so let's talk about how you got to your first million. I read that you got to your first million at 22. What did that look like?
Ryan Blair: Yeah, I don't know. I started a company that was a multi-million dollar company at 22. By the time I was 24, I'd sold it in a $25 million transaction. So. Well, I'll tell everyone is when you start a company that is going to be valuable and you create, and you put a lot of work into that.
You could become a millionaire very quickly. You might not, uh, there'll be on paper. Of course you might not receive the million dollars yet, but you can get there very quickly. So I was first a millionaire on paper, and then after a few exits and a few transactions, I then became a millionaire in cash. A lot of people don't realize the distinction between the two. Because there's a number of people walking around there and touting that they're millionaires, but they haven't yet become a millionaire when it comes to cash in the bank or assets on hand, they're just simply a millionaire perhaps on paper, based on the evaluation of, you know, their business or whatever it is.
And you hear a lot of people saying they're billionaires. Using the same valuation metrics. So, you know, there's, there's kind of a difference between when you're there in cash and when you're there on paper, but it's still a meaningful thing to be there in paper. And then the next step after you get there in paper is to figure out how to get there in cash.
I got there by building a valuable company and then by exiting that company and I've done that a number of times, but that would be the first way that I got to the millionaire status.
Hala Taha: I definitely want to dig into exit strategy because I am one of those paper millionaires, not yet a cash millionaire, but a paper millionaire, multimillionaire, and, um, you know, exiting a company is a big part of creating generational wealth. It is the way that people become billionaires and, you know, a hundred millionaires it's by exiting companies, not necessarily just creating them and running a business.
Right. So do you actually plan your exit strategy? As you're entering a business, like, do you always know that you're going to exit a business or do you just create companies and then it just naturally kind of happens?
Ryan Blair: Well, you, you always design a business to go public. Which is a form of an exit. So the way you're designing it and architecting, it should always be with an exit in mind.
The other way that we exit is through dividends. So you can own a longterm company and the profits of that company get dividend and out to shareholders of which you're, you know, the, the most, the largest one, for example. And so that's a form of exit too, but in order to dividend, in order to go public, you have to have your financial house in order, you have to have a company that's providing value that has a defensible a product in the marketplace or defensible competitive proposition.
There's a lot of attributes that are necessary to have a company that is going to either exit by paying you dividends, to where you literally have other people running it. And that company continues to pay you or by way of being acquired by another party, um, a joint venture, uh, or a public offering.
I always designed the business with the intention to go public even if I plan to maintain it to be private because when you design it with that level of, of foundation, uh, it's going to lend itself to, uh, exit events or opportunities to extract some liquidity from the business more often. So you always designed with that intention now in some businesses.
I knew I would exit it like sky pipeline. I knew it was an exit play. I was designing it for the short-term to take advantage of an opportunity in the marketplace. And I took advantage of that opportunity and sold Visalia. So I knew I was going to exit that business too. I actually bought the company at 20,000 a month, scaled it to 65 million a month and then sold it in a $792 million transaction.
And I knew from the minute I stepped foot in that business, that I was going to build it for an exit. Now I'm building more for a public offering. If I sell this, I sold it and then I filed it for IPO and I went through a public offering process and then ended up canceling that and remained. Uh, and, and completing a transaction with the acquire, which was a public company.
And so having experienced, having been a part of public company transactions, and I was the CEO of the largest division of the public company that acquired me. So I have a lot of public market experience on building a company that will one day go public now.
Hala Taha: That's super interesting. I'd love to kind of like pause and backtrack on how you actually grew those two companies and then exited them.
Like, what was your actual plan? Like how did you build that business in a way that it would actually be sellable afterwards?
Ryan Blair: One get people on your board, investors or mentors that have bought and sold companies? So I had no idea what I was doing, but I had great people mutually invested in, in my future.
That we're experts at buying and selling companies. And they insisted that I build the company so that they could excuse me one day exist. So it's so important to make sure that you're surrounding yourself with great mentors and you have great people that are going to help you. Secondly, is hire the best talent that you can that have also been through these processes because when you have talent that has gone through exits or talents that have done strategic ventures or venture capital investing and things like that, those talented individuals are going to give you the knowledge that you know, that, that you don't have yet to get to where you want to go.
Every one of us has a knowledge gap. You know, the difference between me and a person that has yet to build a multi-million dollar company is just simply a gap of knowledge. Um, and once you've filled out, the way you fill that gap of knowledge is you get people around you that have done what you want to do. You pay them well and generously, and then, you know, you, you drive toward the collective vision of the group.
Hala Taha: And so in your experience selling all these companies. So I am, I'm asking so many questions because a lot of people that come on my show actually, don't really exit, like, you know, don't have so much exiting experience and you do.
And I actually had Sharon Letcher on the show recently, and she talked a bit about this. So it's fresh on my mind. So talk to us about what were the metrics that these people were looking for when they were evaluating your business when you were trying to sell it?
Ryan Blair: Yeah. That's good question. Number one, everyone wants growth.
So, if you have to have a growth company, a company that's growing revenue line, profit line, and that has a tremendous market opportunity for growth. That's what people are buying. They're buying your growth. So you want to be in a category that's growing and you want to have a unique approach to that category that has an opportunity for growth.
And then you want to build on. Uh, religion in your company around growth. And so that's extremely important. The market pays for growth and it pays a multiple for growth, which is what you're looking for. You know, I exited at an eight times multiple on my, my profits. And so that's because there was growth that was projected.
That was well beyond a single year's worth of profits. So your growth and your growth productions are going to be important to that. The other ratios that you have to have in alignment, the most important. What percentage of profit are you delivering to the bottom line of your, um, total revenue? So in the case of, of Visalia, I was doing 635 million in revenue, and I did 97 million in profit that year.
So I had a great revenue to profit ratio. There was conducive to, you know, a company that could continue to invest in its growth and invest in its expansion. Now how you get to that level of profit, there's a combination of things that you have to be able to do, but ultimately it comes down to your revenue growth and your profit and your profit growth.
So your revenue growth should match your I'm sorry, your profit growth should match your revenue growth. Your profit shouldn't go down as your revenue goes up.
Hala Taha: Very very interesting. And I love the fact that you said you have to be in a growth category and be in a growth state. A lot of people, I think, wait too long and sell their business when they're at a low point or they're desperate. And instead of selling their business, when it's actually the best time to sell, which is when it's going really great. Isn't that right?
Ryan Blair: Yeah. I mentoring an entrepreneur right now. Who's about to complete a $75 million transaction to sell those business. And he's selling at the very peak is a young man is just turned 30 and he's selling right at that cusp.
And part of the dilemma that we've, you know, we've worked through in my mentoring of him, is it, you know, should he keep the business or should he sell the business? And after doing some analysis and having some deep discussion. He's selling at the perfect time. And so, you know, timing is everything on these things.
If he stuck around another year or two, he might not get $75 million to his business. He might get $7.5 million for his business.
Hala Taha: But can, can you dig deeper on that? What, what makes it the perfect time to sell?
Ryan Blair: Well for him, it's the amount of market share that is captured in the marketplace and how ripe the marketplace is for his product.
And so it's, it's a timing thing. Now you're not always going to get this right. Another entrepreneur that I helped mentor the sell of his business was a gentleman by the name of Gerard Adams. And he had a company called Elite Daily and they had just gotten to a place where their website had 70 million unique views happening a month.
And then they sold it to a publicly traded company. Now it still remains seen if they'd held onto it, could they have done something with those 70 million uniques that was beyond the 50 million that they received. They decided to sell because they were young and they wanted that cash. If I had owned the company, I wouldn't have sold because I've already made 50 million.
I would've tried to hold out for 500 million, but I would have been willing to risk the 50 million. And so that's the, the, the barometer is like, how would you feel if you didn't sell and you could've made 50 million and you didn't sell and you made 5 million, like, how would that affect you for me? I can stomach a loss like that because I have such a, a broad view on risk.
And I can take risks. I have a lot of capability to do that. It's like if I, I I've left a billion on the table before. And so things like that, you know, it, it bothers me. It teaches me, but I so believe in myself that I believe I will leverage the fact that I left a billion on the table to make more than that.
Um, and so I don't get too caught up in that, but some people would be devastated. Like they would never be able to live life the same way, knowing that they've left a billion dollars on the table.
Hala Taha: I think this is a great segue to something that you talk about often, which is risk quotient and failure quotient. Could you explain those two concepts to us?
Ryan Blair: Yeah. You just gotta be good at failing. You gotta love and embrace failure. Every successful company has failed its way to that success. Every failure. If you, if you view every project and every product as an experiment and experiments fail all the time, that's what they're designed to do.
But from those experiments, you're going to extract best practices you're going to learn. And then the next time around, you're going to do a better. I equate entrepreneurship to house building. You know, I, my first house that I built in the field of entrepreneurship, you know, it wasn't that great of a house, but you know, it ended up being worth $25 million.
And then I built another house. It was worth $700 million. The third house that I'm going to build I'm building, I'm I'm a hundred percent sure it's going to be worth something far greater than the last house that I built because I'm taking with, with me into my new house, all of the old house, best practices.
And I'm learning from and leaving behind all the failures and all the short-sightedness and challenges that I face. So, you know, entrepreneurship is building and building is failure. Building is learning, building is trial and error, and you just have to get good at that. So, you know, I, I really embrace failure.
I look forward to the learning summit and I plan my experiments in a very meticulous way so that I could extract the data from it. And then I can apply the successes toward future endeavors.
Hala Taha: And then in terms of, so you have this concept, risk quotient, failure, quotient. And I think the failure quotion is when you're evaluating whether or not to do something you think about what would happen, like, what is the risk of, of failing?
Like if I'm going to be an entrepreneur and I suck, and my business tanks, and I'm embarrassed with my friends and families, like weighing that risk of everything as well. Can you talk to us about that kind of decision-making.
Ryan Blair: You really, th the reason why my book is called Nothing To Lose is, you know, that was the mindset that I had.
I, I didn't fear. I, when I really looked at what do I really have to lose, especially for the younger audience, you really don't have anything to lose. It is critical though, to not worry about the opinions of others in your thought process, and to realize if you're not taking the action necessary or taking the risk necessarily.
Then it might be because you're worried too much about what other people believe. But when I realized, like there was no way I was going to go back to the poverty and to the gang infested crack house that I was living in, I knew that that was not an option. Then I realized I really had nothing to lose.
And that's why it's so easy to take out. As a younger person, because you don't have a mortgage yet. You're not paying for kids yet. You don't have kids in school and a variety of different, other different responsibilities that prohibit you from taking action. So as an entrepreneur and a young entrepreneur, it's like, you should be the most deadly entrepreneur in the marketplace because you truly don't have anything to lose.
You know, you can get by with very little and you can put all of your time, effort, energy, and money back into the business. And even now, as I have a small startup, that's only a couple of years old. I pour every dollar that that company makes back into the business. You know, it's making millions of dollars a year.
I'm not out buying Lamborghini's and buying those things with the money. It's like, no, not a chance because the return on investment that I received by reinvesting that money back into the business is far greater than anything else I can spend that money on. There is no better return on investment than investing in your business and scaling your business.
Hala Taha: I definitely agree. I invest all the money that I make from sponsorships on my podcasts, back into my marketing and podcasts agency. And it is the best decision because what's better than investing in yourself and the business that you own. So I totally agree there.
Ryan Blair: You, you, you mind the return on investment.
If you can get, you know, if you're running advertising, for example, and you have a row as a five X, like there is nothing you can't buy Bitcoin and get a five X row as in a month. You can't buy NFTs. I mean, you can in rare circumstances, but not, you know, not in a predictable duplicatable fashion day in and day out and get five extra money.
Every time you trade a Bitcoin, you're just not going to do that, but you get five extra money. If you can build a company that gets a five times rollout. So, you know, there's just no better profitability than, uh, having a return on investment strategy that has a high yield within your own company, much better than going after this shiny object to that shiny object in the marketplace.
Hala Taha: Yeah. So I'd love to kind of pick your brain in terms of why your current company, and I think, are you, when you're saying IPO, are you talking about Altar Call? Are you talking about a different company? Okay. Okay, cool. So I guess I'm wondering why you decided that that company is worth an IPO versus just selling.
Ryan Blair: Yeah. I don't want to sell again, because I've done that. I've already done that a few times and I have that experience. And when you sell, it's like you're selling your baby and all of your children that are part of this company, your customers, your team members, you're like packaging them up and you're saying, okay, you have a new father.
And it's really that way. And it's can be terrible for some of them. And it's tough to rebuild a team again. And so I I'm at I'm 44 years old. And so at this stage in my life, I'm building my last team. I'm building a team for the next 20, 30 years, however long, you know, I, I decide to continue to, to build teams, uh, building a last team.
And so I'm building this in a way that is going to create a legacy, you know? And so the IPO strategy is a way to create that legacy in a way to make sure that I'm able to preserve the team. And continue to have the legacy that my family can participate in. Well, beyond my act of years in building business.
Hala Taha: Yeah. And it seems like Alter Call speaks to a mission in terms of how you want to impact the world that maybe some of your other companies didn't necessarily do. So talk to us about the mission of that company.
Ryan Blair: Well, we, we are a conscious company and so we are building a model of, of, of how to operate as a conscious company.
And we're a coaching platform. So we coach entrepreneurs, we have a number of different people that we've taught different practices and different frameworks and curriculum and so forth that I've shared with you a little bit here. And then we deploy that into the field and we help entrepreneurs create conscious companies.
The individual I was telling you about that I'm mentoring on a $75 million exit is one of our customers. And so we help them develop and scale and build their business in a conscious way. And by conscious, I mean, Making an impact. Um, you know, seeing their business entrepreneurs see their business vehicles as an opportunity for them to manifest their soul's purpose in the marketplace.
And so we're helping entrepreneurs make an impact and their business vehicles or the way that they're actually achieving that.
Hala Taha: From my understanding, there's a lot of like spirituality and meditation involved. So what is kind of the intersection of that? What's the relationship between spirituality and entrepreneurship?
Ryan Blair: The relationship between spirituality and entrepreneurship is to the individual entrepreneur, the entrepreneurs that we tend to attract all have their own unique faith.
That's not what we're teaching. We're teaching them how to connect to their own unique, specific faith. Utilize the tools of meditation, breath work, mindfulness, and a variety of other modalities that we teach. So that way they can bring their best energy to their work product. So they can be more decisive, had better discernment execute with greater efficiency and productivity and ultimately be more generous.
And so we teach entrepreneurs that duality between productivity and generosity. Spirituality is an important element of our entrepreneurial success. Because, each one that's been attracted to our movement has their own spiritual faith. When we have Muslims, we have Buddhists, we have Christians. We're not specific to that.
We just want them to see that this is in connection, that the work that they're doing is a calling on their life is connected to their higher power. And then the tools that we use to help them express that calling are the ones that I just shared such as meditation and so forth. Now it is our job. at Alter Call to model a higher level of efficiency as a result of being a more conscious company.
And to spread that model and that level of productivity on to the other companies that we teach and mentor, and ultimately to shift the culture of business, to being more mindful, it is our belief that business is right for a disruption as a whole, and that we can help a business as a category, become more spiritual, become more mindful.
And as a result of that, solve some of the problems that are, that exist in our marketplace. Right now, the business world is creating a lot of suffering and a lot of pain for our planet. A lot of suffering, a lot of pain for their employees and their team members. That's why we're seeing the great resignation.
And so we're creating a new model of business that we hope will spread a light into many different businesses, uh, in the world.
Hala Taha: I would love to understand what a conscious company is. Exactly. So why don't you compare and contrast a conscious company versus an unconscious company?
Ryan Blair: Well, a conscious company would put their impact and their purpose first and they would operationalize to that impact in that purpose and unconscious company might put their greed.
Their ego first. Right? So it might be the desire of the owners, you know, the owner to receive power. And, uh, and so the company exists for the owners power or the company exists to profit above all else. And that might mean that they would damage the environment that might mean that they, uh, use, uh, child labor and in third world countries, that might mean that the decisions that they use or that they deploy are counterproductive to a society that desperately is suffering and desperately needs to be healed.
So a conscious company is building a product and a service in such a way that it's actually maximizing the impact that it can make and making the world better, making the team that they're working with better and their customers better.
And they're focused on that purpose as being their highest order, as opposed to their profits or their, their, uh, their desire for wealth or status.
Hala Taha: This is like a key theme that I've been hearing lately. You know, I've been doing this podcast for about four years and more and more am I hearing people talk about this, need to put a cost, your cash, you know, a purpose to your profits, that kind of a thing.
Um, you know, some people call it the generosity purpose. Everybody has their own kind of like, you know, phrase for it, but it's becoming more of a thing. This, this, uh, social entrepreneurship essentially.
Ryan Blair: It is an awakening. You're you're and the cool thing is, is capitalism is, is one of my favorite subjects to talk about because when capitalism sees a company like Alter Call build a coaching platform, utilizing these new methods.
It will automatically adopt these new methods because the marketplace will reward those people that utilize these methods. And if these people utilize these methods and turn out a higher degree of profitability, the rest of capitalism will have no choice, but to adopt or parish. And so it was my mission to be a catalyst for that disruption in the marketplace.
Hala Taha: Super super interesting. So I'd love to go back to some of your failure because when I was reading your story, it was a roller coaster of ups and downs. And from my understanding, and not all instances where you that great with your money, like you made a lot of money, but then you would like lose it. So talk to us about the importance of like, how to manage your money. If you end up making a lot of money and selling your company and becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Ryan Blair: The best way I could describe this. I put all of my energy in making money and I didn't put any energy into saving it. And now that I'm a little older, I realized you kind of have to do both, but I developed the skills to make it.
And I have to tell you that is the most important part of a business. If you get the top line, right, and you have a skill of making money, you can figure out how to save it. You can hire people. That'll help you save it. But if you never developed a skill of making it, you know, you're going to have a lot of trouble in business.
So I put all of my energy into that, but I made so much of it that I didn't have a respect for money, you know, because I made so much so fast, so early. I didn't care. Like people would see me throw a million dollars away and I just didn't care because I knew I could make it. And that's not a long-term strategy because it becomes more fun to spend the money than it becomes to make the money.
So eventually you start spending the money and you receive a lot of pleasure in spending money and there's more pleasure in spending it than making it. And then you become out of balance. And next thing you know, you have no money. So I've learned in my later years, how to have a balance between making it and receiving pleasure from it and investing it and so forth.
So it's important to learn both of those two modalities, but what happens when you start making a lot of money is you just gain, you know, you have a lot more options.. And when you're young and single, like, you know, I was an am, I don't spend money. Like I used to you just, you tend to experiment a lot more with all your newfound wealth.
And I, I made a lot of dumb investments. I bet millions of dollars on bad companies. I wasted millions of dollars in stupid things like bottle service, uh, and you know, PRI private jets and stuff like that that I had to do. I have no regrets. And I, I could say that I have at least $50 million that I just lit on fire in my life to the point where now I don't have to do that.
I got it out of my system. And now I'm a much better steward of money.
Hala Taha: Yeah. So do you have any sort of methodologies for saving or are you just like, I just need to at least save, you know, Millions of dollars. Like, is there any methodology or, or is it just?
Ryan Blair: Yeah, you know, I, I have, um, a very conservative approach to money now because I'm 44 years old.
And, you know, I, I want to make sure that when I'm 84 years old, that you know that I'm, I'm not, uh, thinking about making money. Right. I shouldn't have that thought process. My mind whatsoever. I should be spending time. My goal is to spend time in philanthropy. And so forth. So my, um, my saving strategy is very conservative.
I don't invest in volatile things. I know a lot of people are going to hate to hear this, but I don't run in on, you know, the game stock or this stock or this Bitcoin or this NFT. And the reason why is I have a son who's 12 years old, I want to make sure that I'm preserving a significant portion of the wealth that I'm creating today.
Uh, to make sure that I can see that into the hands of my son and you know, my errors and that they can continue to create a legacy with it. So I'm much more conservative now. And so, you know, my mindset is I save a significant sum of my money and I put it in very conservative items, but to be specific, I'm, I'm saving at least 10% of every dollar that I bring.
Hala Taha: I think that's a great rule of thumb. So as we start to approach the end of this interview, I do ask my guests some of the same questions at the end of the show. And then, you know, we chop them up at the end of the year and do fun things with them. So one of the last questions I ask is what is one actionable thing our young and profiters can do today to become more profiting tomorrow?
Ryan Blair: Learn how to generate revenue, sharpen up your skills when it comes to sales and marketing, those are the two things that drive revenue. And if you become very good at sales and marketing, the rest of everything will fall into place.
Hala Taha: Um, I think that is really, really important sales and marketing. I feel like people don't realize that, especially as an entrepreneur, no matter what you do, you need to be great at sales and marketing. So that's a great tip. Okay. And what is your secret to profiting in life?
Ryan Blair: I try to extract as much value out of every moment as I possibly can. And every experience I am constantly learning. And so I look at everything that I'm doing as an opportunity to learn each day, I re reflect on what I learned the day prior.
And I set my sights on what I want to learn today. They're not always the same. And I sometimes I, I learned something I didn't expect to learn, but each day I learn. And so each day I grow and as a result of that, you know, I'm constantly transforming.
Hala Taha: And are you reflecting in a journal or in your head?
Like, what does that practice like?
Ryan Blair: For me, the contemplation is in a journal and, um, I jot a few notes, not too extensive for me personally, because I have a decent memory. So each day I just go back, but I, I spend the time contemplating, I spend at least an hour each morning and total contemplation where I'm philosophically thinking about my experience from the day prior, what I want to like.
What I want to carry forward. And then what I want to achieve today, I've done that enough days in a row to where I look forward to each day. Like I literally go to sleep so excited to be able to take on the next day, each day. And you can program your brain that way. You just have to do the practice that I just shared with you enough times.
Hala Taha: Um, I love that. And where can our listeners go to learn more about you and everything that you do?
Ryan Blair: You can go to alter call.com. It's a L T E R C a L l.com. Or you can catch me on Instagram. I'm @ real Ryan Blair and just shoot me a DM.
Hala Taha: Awesome. I love this conversation. So many tips for entrepreneurship. Thank you so much.
Ryan Blair: Thank you Hala.
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