Ryan is an Inventor, Entrepreneur, and Musician residing in Franklin, Tennessee. He creates patentable products and takes them to market, as well as helps other entrepreneurs do the same.
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3 Value Bombs
1) Do your due diligence when it comes choosing your partner.
2) 3D printing gives you the ability to have a prototype in your hands within hours.
3) Go out there and create NEW ideas!
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(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
[00:58] – Ryan started out in the music industry and toured for 10 years
[01:11] – He married his tour bus driver’s step-daughter
[01:17] – He started a family and settled down in Nashville
[01:25] – He has a knack for finding himself in unique situations
[02:29] – You never know when an opportunity will arrive
[02:41] – Ryan’s area of expertise is dealing with patents and prototyping 3D printing
[03:31] – Share something we don’t know about your area of expertise that as Entrepreneurs, we probably should: With the rapid growth of 3D printing technology, you can have a prototype of an idea in a matter of hours!
[04:28] – Worst Entrepreneurial Moment: When Ryan and his wife moved to Nashville, he started a business with a couple of partners. It turned out that the one partner, who tanked their money and time, was previously convicted for fraud and is now in jail
[05:35] – If you’re starting a partnership, take the time and money to do a background check on the people you’re partnering up with
[06:27] – Entrepreneurial AH-HA Moment: Ryan was working with a company in product design. When he left the company he had so many ideas that he didn’t know where to start. He thought, why not take action? So, he bought a 3D printer and started creating prototypes
[08:48] – What is the one thing you are most FIRED up about today? “I have a few mentors that are just absolutely mind-boggling, smart people”
[11:45] – The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – “Being self-employed”
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “People are either assets or liabilities”
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – “I am an evergreen student at Tesla University”
- Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation – The Magic of Not Giving A F***
- If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? – 6 Months to 6 Figures – “it really helps to get your mindset on track”
[15:32] – Selling products gives you no control if that’s the only thing you’re doing
[15:45] – “Go out there, create new ideas”
[16:04] – Go back to the assets and liabilities
Interviewee: Absolutely sir, let’s make it happen.
Interviewer: Yes – Ryan’s an inventor, entrepreneur, and musician residing in Franklin, Tennessee. He creates products that can be patented, and then takes them to markets, as well as helping other entrepreneurs do the same. Ryan, take a minute, fill in the gaps from that intro, and give us just a little glimpse of your personal life.
Interviewee: Awesome – thank you, JLD. So, my background – I started out in the music industry. I toured for about ten years. I worked with a lot of multi-platinum and Grammy-winning artists. I visited 49 out of 50 states and about 35 countries until I actually married our tour bus driver’s step-daughter. And then that was the end of touring.
I started a family, settled here in Nashville. And then kicked off the business with the patents and a few various other businesses in there. I’m also a huge Tesla fan, and I just seem to have a knack for finding myself in very unique situations.
Interviewer: Well, give us one unique situation you think would be interesting.
Interviewee: A great example is when I first got engaged. I was actually on tour in Germany, and then I had a festival in London. And my now-wife flew over and surprised me. And, it’s a funny story, but we were standing on the side of the stage watching a band called Soundgarden, and I feel somebody standing next to me. And I look over, and it is Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin.
And I kind of elbowed my wife. And I’m like, Babe, that’s Jimmy Page. And she’s like – the grandpa? So, yeah, I’m like – facepalm moment. But just very, very interesting situations. I landed my first studio gig with a Grammy-winning multi-platinum band just by sitting in a sushi restaurant. The producer happened to just walk down and sit next to me. And we struck up a conversation, and he needed somebody who had the exact skillset and certifications that I had. So, boom – a few days later, I’m sitting in a studio.
Interviewer: Fire Nation, we never know when opportunities are going to arise. So, just put yourselves in situations and be open to the universe. And Ryan, what would you say, today, your area of expertise is?
Interviewee: Today my area of expertise is dealing with patents and prototyping 3D printing, really just creating products that people – you can’t just go on Alibaba and buy it and be under the control of the commodities and private labeling things. Anybody can go do that. So, we actually really focus on creating patentable products, taking them to market, and most people don’t realize that you can actually do this without having the patent issued. So, you’ve got a year, year and a half that you can test the market, test the waters, and see how that works without having to fully invest in the patent.
Interviewer: So, beyond that – let’s dig a little bit deeper.
Interviewer: What’s something that we, as entrepreneurs, don’t know about patents that we probably should?
Interviewee: Well, not necessarily the patent process, but what I think a lot of people don’t really realize yet, and it’s coming in a hurry, is that with the rapid increase in 3D printing technology, is that you can have a prototype from an idea in your head, and literally in an amount of hours, you can go online. There’s several different 3D printing softwares that are free.
And if you can visit YouTube University for a few hours and teach yourself how to do this, you can create basic prototypes of products in hours. And get that fit and feel, and touch it, and see it, and see if it’s something that you really like. And beyond that, then you can move into actually creating the product.
Interviewer: So, Ryan, you’re not always standing next to Jimmy Page at a Soundgarden concert.
Interviewer: You’ve had your struggles. You’ve had your obstacles. You’ve had your tough moments, too. And I want to talk about one of those. Take us to your worst entrepreneurial moment to date. Tell us that story.
Interviewee: That is actually fairly recently as far as the entrepreneurial moments. So, when we moved to Nashville, I started a business with a couple partners. And I don’t remember the exact phrase you say, but it ends in I like a lot of ships, but I don’t like partnerships.
That was the biggest bell ding in my head when you said that because it just perfectly resonates with this story, but if I have any partnership moving forward, I will absolutely do a background check on whoever that is I’m starting a business with because as it turns out, I started this business with a couple partners – one of them, who turned out to have been a felon, previously convicted for fraud – and he totally tanked our business. He is now currently in jail,
Interviewee: But it just totally tanked a year of our time and money. And awful – just absolutely awful. So, be careful. Be extremely careful with who you go into business with.
Interviewer: Well, looking back, what’s something that you would have done that would have avoided that situation, or what’s the specific advice you would give to our listeners, so they can avoid that situation?
Interviewee: If you’re really starting a partnership, and it’s something that you see seven, eight figure income, absolutely take the time and the money to do a background check on this person. Find out who they are because it’s very easy for someone to change a name. And then you don’t know who they actually were.
Interviewer: Did this person change his name?
Interviewee: Oh, yeah, yeah.
Interviewer: Oh, wow.
Interviewee: Totally changed his name. He went through a lot of different efforts to hide his past. I’m not saying that you can’t come back from having been convicted for something, but this guy did not.
Interviewee: We started to sniff it pretty quick, but by the time we found really what was going on, it was far too late.
Interviewer: Well, Ryan, let’s shift now, and talk about another story.
Interviewer: This is one of the greatest ideas that you had to date. Bring us that AH-HA moment. Tell us that story.
Interviewee: My biggest AH-HA moment kind of goes back to the whole 3D printing thing. That was when my eyes really opened up. At the time, this was one of the only actual jobs that I had ever had. But I was working with a company. And my actual role was graphic design and web design, but I was doing a lot of their product design just because I naturally use the products that they make.
And when I left this company, there were a lot of ideas that I had that I had not started there and had not taken those to market. So, I thought, why not try that on my own and see if I can. So, that was when I just, on a whim, bought my first 3D printer. It was just a few hundred bucks. And it was like you could print a 4 inch by 4 inch by 4 inch cube, basically.
But that little 4 inch by 4 inch by 4 inch cube has completely changed my life. That is something that now I have millions of dollars’ worth of printing equipment right at my fingertips I can use. And I’ve created a whole lot of products in a business outside of that, specifically off of what I learned off that little $400.00 deal.
Interviewer: So, you know how we’re going throughout our days, and we’re like, oh man, I really wish that I had this in my life. And does a 3D printer allow you to just go ahead and make that thing?
Interviewee: Yeah, it really does. I’m – and this is a little odd – but I’m a huge space nerd and a Tesla fan. And I find myself wanting to consume as much content as I can. So, even when I’m on my desk working, I have a documentary or something playing just in the background, just monotonous stuff that keeps you occupied, so you’re just not in silence. And to keep my phone at the right angle where I needed it, I just measured the height of my desk, and in five minutes, drew something up, printed it out. And now I have a phone holder that perfectly fits on my desk. So, anything you can dream up, you can make it.
Interviewer: Basically, make your life perfect. That’s what 3D printing does, Fire Nation.
Interviewee: Anything you need. And you start finding yourself looking for stuff. So, that’s when you’ve got to be careful. Maybe I need a new knob here. I want to put my initials in my dryer timer or something. You can take it too far.
Interviewer: I love it. So, let’s talk about today, Ryan. You have a lot of cool things going on. You have your 3D printer going 24/7. What’s the one thing that you’re most fired up about today?
Interviewee: The main thing that I’m fired up about is that I have a few mentors that are just absolutely mind-boggling smart and awesome people. And every time that I sit down with them, I leave a smarter person than when I got there. And seriously, I look forward – I’m gonna meet one, or maybe even two of them tomorrow. There are basically three main ones, and I meet them at least once a week, and it’s just amazing. And it keeps me fired up because every time I leave, I really do learn every single time I go there.
Interviewer: Fire Nation, Ryan has been dropping value bombs this entire interview, and more are coming in the lightning round. So, don’t you go anywhere, because when we get back from thanking our sponsors, the bombs will continue.
Ryan, are you ready to rock the lightning rounds?
Interviewee: Let’s do it.
Interviewer: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Interviewee: Really, what was holding me back was being self-employed, and I know that sounds crazy, but the two are absolutely not the same. While I was in the music industry, it was – I had no control over my time or schedule; I was on planes all the time. So, a lot of time went by, and a lot of cool things were done, but that’s not really scalable or you don’t really own it, so to speak. You’re just a cog in the wheel, so to speak.
Interviewer: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Interviewee: People are either assets or liabilities. And we need more assets, fewer liabilities. Draw a line in the sand; figure out what side people are on, and dedicate your time and energy to those that help you and push you forward.
Interviewer: Now, a lot of people listening right now, Ryan, are thinking of the liabilities in their life. I mean, they are. You are, Fire Nation, I know you are. What’s something that we can do to gently push these liabilities lower down our totem pole?
Interviewee: There is actually a TED Talk that is great, and it’s called The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Blank, by Sarah Knight. And it is about 12 minutes long, and if you go watch that, you’ll fully understand what I’m referring to.
Interviewer: Love it. What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success?
Interviewee: I am an EverGreen student at Tesla University. While I am a musician, I do not listen to music while I drive. I listen to podcasts. I listen to audio books, YouTube videos. I can tell you I have listened to every single EOFire episode –
Interviewee: – since probably May of last year – literally every single day.
Interviewer: Wow. That’s over 400 episodes.
Interviewee: Yeah, and I tell you what – I’ve learned a lot from it, too. But I do that because I just don’t listen – while you drive, that’s so much wasted time if you’re just listening to the same four-chord song over and over.
Interviewer: And this is coming from a musician, Fire Nation, somebody who loves music. Speaking of which, this is random, but have you watched that video on YouTube about the four chords and how they like create so many different songs in this world? It has like 37 million views.
Interviewee: Yes, absolutely. And I’ve seen it happen a lot, too. And I have had that happen where I’ve had to fill in with musicians on tour. And they want to teach me their songs, and it’s the same thing.
Interviewer: What do we type in Google to find that? If you just type in four-chord songs, that might come up. But do you know a better way?
Interviewee: That’s probably the best way to find it. I can put a link on the page that I’m gonna have for you guys.
Interviewer: Yeah, you do that, too. We’ll both do that. It’s worth it, Fire Nation, you’ll have a lot of fun.
Interviewer: In fact, whenever I get to go with my friends, and we’re hanging out, just doing whatever – I will put that song on in the background because it’s like a six or seven-minute song. And it’s just all the best songs. And it’s fun to listen to. Recommend one book and share why.
Interviewee: The book I would recommend is 6 Months to 6 Figures by Peter Voogd. It really helps get your mindset on track. It makes you aware of the things that you’re doing right and the things you’re doing wrong. And it’s not necessarily like a sell your stuff on Amazon, or create a Facebook ads company. It’s really just an overall mindset, getting you conditioned to do whatever it is that you want to do.
Interviewer: He’s a great example of somebody who’s actually been able to build an amazing brand in business off of a successful book launch. So, definitely worth reading that book, or listening to the audio version, because he rocks it there as well. You can check that out at eofirebook.com. And Peter’s actually been a repeat guest on EOFire. I definitely recommend listening to his episodes. He’s a very young, energized, value bomb-dropping entrepreneur.
And Ryan, I want to end Today on Fire, brother, with you giving us a parting piece of guidance, then sharing the best way that we can connect with you. And then we’ll say bye-bye.
Interviewee: Selling products, even private label products, is a great way to earn income, but you really don’t have any control over the red ocean/blue ocean, if that’s all you’re doing. So, whether you want to work with me or not is regardless. But go out there, create new products – ideas – everybody has ideas in their head. And just like you say to niche down, do the same thing with physical products. You can create things very quick, get a patent pending, put it out there, and see what happens. It doesn’t take a lot of time and money to make that happen.
Interviewer: And a parting piece of guidance.
Interviewee: Go back to the assets and liabilities. If you’re not elevating yourself daily, you are descending daily. So, make sure that you surround yourself with people that are like-minded and have the same outlook on life that you do.
Interviewer: And watch that TED talk video. Again, Ryan, what was that girl’s name?
Interviewee: Sarah Knight – and I have that link on the page, as well.
Interviewer: Oh, well, tell us that page, too.
Interviewee: That is landsharkmedia.com/fire.
Interviewer: landsharkmedia.com/fire – get over there, Fire Nation. Ryan’s gonna have a lot of cool stuff linked up over there. And you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. It’s kind of been a theme of this episode today. And you’ve been hanging out with RG and JLD today, so keep up the heat and head over to eofire.com. If you type Ryan in the search bar, his show notes page will pop up. And this is the best show notes in the biz, Fire Nation, timestamps of our conversation, links galore. It’s gonna be a great place for you to hang out.
And Ryan, thank you for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that, we salute you. And we’ll catch you on the flip side.
Interviewee: Well, thank you.
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