Ryan is the founder of REWIND – home of the world’s first nutrition “Superbar”. He’s also the author of The Millionaire Workout, Passion to Profits, was featured on the front page of The Wall Street Journal, and was called “the world’s #1 lifestyle entrepreneur” by Entrepreneur.
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3 Key Points:
- Just do the right thing even though the right thing is the hard thing. When you do that, good things happen.
- It’s hard enough to get traction and momentum with one brand, but it’s infinitely more difficult to do it with multiple brands – unless you have a lot of resources and manpower available.
- Do things that don’t scale, because you can’t scale relationships.
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Audio Masterclass Show Notes
**Click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.
- Today’s Audio MASTERCLASS: How to Stand Out In a Crowded Market and Build a Business with SOUL with Ryan Lee
- [01:14] – Ryan shares something about himself that most people don’t know.
- [04:31] – Ryan gives a few teasers of what he’ll be talking about today
- Coming back, shifting, and building a business.
- What is means to build a long-term business that you feel proud of.
- [05:45] – Why do most entrepreneurs fail?
- They’re scared to take a chance and to take a risk.
- Entrepreneurship is probably the hardest thing that you’re going to do.
- Some entrepreneurs’ ideas are not thought through. They’re not strategic about it. They see someone do something and they try to copy it online. There’s no long-term vision.
- Some entrepreneurs might have the fortitude to get back up, but they get too emotionally attached to their idea and they won’t let it go.
- There’s a big difference between what people want and what they need.
- You can’t out-hustle a bad idea.
- [11:49] – How do you come up with a perfect business name?
- Sometimes, it’s instinct. Sometimes, it takes weeks. The first thing you’ve got to do is clear your head and go to places where you feel relaxed.
- You have to differentiate between your product and your company.
- If you’ve come up with a good name, you might not be the first person… check if the name is trademarked.
- Find people who are going to tell you the truth and give you honest input.
- It’s hard enough to get traction and momentum with one brand, but it’s infinitely more difficult to do it with multiple brands – unless you have a lot of resources and manpower available.
- [21:14] – Ryan shares how he balances business with life.
- The key is simplicity.
- You have to win the morning and start the day right.
- [28:03] – The easiest way to triple your productivity.
- You have to first figure out that number one driver for whatever your big goal is.
- Even if you’re being “productive”, you might be being productive in the wrong areas.
- [33:36] – How to build the right relationships with your tribe.
- Do the right thing. Treat your customers the way you want to be treated.
- It’s not about how we can extract as much money from people as possible, or how we can up-sell them.
- In a long-term business, you have to build a long-term relationship with your customers. You have to create a really good product and make it personal.
- A little personal touch goes a long way. When you build a business like that, you can’t lose. Everything becomes better, easier, and effortless. It makes business sense because customers stick around longer.
- Do things that don’t scale, because you can’t scale relationships.
- [40:58] – Ryan’s parting piece of guidance:
JLD: Who is ready to rock today Fire Nation? JLD here, coming at you with an audio master class with none other than Ryan Lee. We’re going to be talking about how to stand out in a crowded market and build a business with soul. I can’t wait. We’re going to be talking about why most entrepreneurs fail, how to come up with a perfect business name, so key, why hustle and close doesn’t work, how to balance your business with an actual lifestyle, the best ways to triple your productivity, so key and the right way to build relationships with your tribe and how to build a rabid community. I mean, are you not going to stick around for this class because it’s going to be amazing.
And who is Ryan Lee? He’s the founder of Rewind which is home of the world’s first nutrition super bar. He’s also the author of The Millionaire Workout, Passion to Profits and was featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal and called the world’s number one lifestyle entrepreneur by Entrepreneur. I mean, who else is going to give you that kind of title? And we will be with Ryan and all that great content as soon as we get back from thanking our sponsor. Ryan say what’s up to Fire Nation and then share something interesting about yourself that most people don’t know.
Ryan Lee: What’s up Fire Nation! I am fired up. What’s something people don’t know about me? Okay, back in college I was captain of my track team and I was on my relay, we set the school and conference record in the four by 100 meter relay and I held the record for 17 years.
JLD: What? That’s actually amazing. Most of those things usually go in a couple years.
Ryan: 17, and I was a little upset when they broke it. But that’s something people might not know.
JLD: Well something that they also might not know, Fire Nation that’s you, is that Ryan Lee was episode 47 of Entrepreneurs on Fire. You were one of my power 50 that I reached out to. So you were, prelaunch I interviewed you as one of my power 50, so I hadn’t even gone live yet. I interviewed you, I literally man crush fell in love with you in that man crush kind of way, so much so that I then went and invested in myself to go learn from you in person down in Connecticut and we’ve really built a great relationship and you were a huge inspiration for my first ever Mastermind Fire Nation Elite.
You told me how to put all that together, so much great stuff came out of me and Ryan Lee, Fire Nation. I just have to say it’s not just the name Lee we have in common, but it’s just wanting to build businesses with soul which is so key. And so here you are Ryan, over 2,000 episodes later by the way, this is episode 2,053. Did you ever think that was going to happen?
Ryan: You know what, yes and no. I didn’t think it was possible but if anyone was going to do it, it was you. I mean I still remember when you reached out to me before it went live and immediately we connected and then I was doing an event and I said you’ve got to come. And I remember you set up a booth and you met people to interview there and I’m like, there was something about you that was different than so many other people who wanted to build a business and it was, you just used a word like soul. And I’m not doing this kiss your butt, I’m not going to change my name to Ryan Lee Dumas, but you could tell a lot about a person like when they’re behind the scenes and the cameras are not rolling.
And you and I have spent a lot of time together off line, we’ve had dinner together, like I’ve spent a lot of time with you and it’s so rare to see someone who’s, you like your on fire persona, is you off line and you’re always thinking of your customers, your tribe, your finest, you’re always putting them first and if it doesn’t serve them, it doesn’t matter if it makes you money, you won’t do it. Which is, it’s not very common. And I’ve always, I still watch everything you’re doing. You know me, I’m always messaging you stuff, like I’ve just been in awe of what you’ve done and you’ve done it the right way, you’ve done it ethically and you’ve done it by helping people and changing lives. But I knew if someone could do it, it was going to be you.
JLD: Well thank you Ryan, I really do receive that, I appreciate it and that’s why I knew that you are the perfect person to deliver this audio master class on how to stand out in a crowded market and build a business with soul because you’ve done it multiple times. You’ve helped me do, so give Fire Nation a few little teasers about what we’re going to be talking about today.
Ryan: We’ll talk about kind of coming back and shifting and building a business because sometimes we go in one direction and we think it’s the right thing and then it’s not. We’re scared to kind of shift and building a business, everyone says just build it around your passion, but I think it goes deeper than that and building something that’s not a short term, let me make money fast, let me kind of do a turn and burn method, this is building a long term business that you feel proud of, that you can wear on your t-shirt. Like I have four kids and they love coming to our space here, they love talking about my business.
One of them now, actually two of them have been working with me and helping us fulfill orders and one is helping run our Instagram account. So building a business that I’m proud of, that you guys are proud of, that you’re family is proud of, just that you wake up every morning smiling and saying I’m ready to ignite.
JLD: Fire Nation you see why I love this guy, do you see why I love this guy? So obviously you’re going to want to stick around for the entire master class because Ryan is going to be dropping value bombs on all of those things. Let’s just dive into the first specific topic which is just so key and it’s just so prevalent in the world that we live in today. Why do most entrepreneurs flat out fail, Ryan?
Ryan: They’re scared. They’re scared to take a chance, scared to take a risk so they procrastinate and they keep waiting and they kind of suffer from the paralysis analysis and they overanalyze, like what if people don’t like me, what if they don’t buy and they never actually get it out there. They never get it out there and those that do finally get up the nerve to say this is me, this is my product, this is my vision, this is what I want to do, the minute they hit a road block, they retreat. And entrepreneurship as you know John, and most people who’ve started businesses in the real world, not theory, not a professor who never built the business, I’m talking like real world entrepreneur, you are going to get your butt kicked almost on a daily basis.
You’re going to have wins and everyone on Facebook and Instagram takes their selfies and celebrates, hey I just did this, just did this sale, but what they don’t share often is how hard it is. And it’s probably the hardest thing you’re ever going to do, it really is. And I saw you from day one, like it’s hard and you have to get back up. There’s just no other way to say it, you’ve got to get back up and those who don’t just end up stopping. There’s also, look here’s another thing, and I’m always going to tell it real, some people, how do I put this bluntly, their ideas suck. Right, like and their friends and their family, oh I love it, oh it’s a great idea, oh I love that idea and it’s just not thought through.
They’re not strategic about it, they see someone do something and they try to copy it online and there’s no long term vision, there’s no brand, there’s nothing it’s just like this one off product and it doesn’t resonate with the market. It’s not a strong hook, there’s no lead, there’s no back end so there’s no way to really pay for traffic so you can’t grow and it’s just not a good idea. And what happens is some entrepreneurs, they get up the nerve and let’s say they have to fortitude to kind of get back up, but they get too emotionally attached to their idea and they won’t let it go. There has to come a point when you’re like okay I tried this, I gave it my all, I tried everything, it’s just not working, it’s time to move, it’s time to shift, it’s time to pivot, let me try something different and some people won’t.
And they want to force their ideas and maybe the market just doesn’t want it. It’s the typical and I’ve used this example, one of the first coaching calls I ever did was a guy who was a strength and conditioning professional. And he had this successful strength and conditioning gym, he had trained thousands of athletes and he said, you know I created this product online and no one is buying it. I said, okay what’s the product? He said how to prevent hamstring injuries. I said well okay, you’ve trained 3,000 clients in person, how many people, how many athletes have ever come to you and said, let’s call him Rob, you know what Rob I just don’t want to get a hamstring injury.
He’s like, well no one says that. I’m like, okay well why would they buy a product like that? But people, they never get told the truth and he was just you know, just so stubborn, like well they’re going to buy this and they need this. And there’s a big difference between what people want and what they need. And they’re going to pay for what they want, not necessarily what they need, so you’ve got to find that balance. So those are just a few reasons. I could, John we could spend 75 hours in this audio master class kind of going through all of the things people screw up. I mean there is math that you know you can’t—everyone says hustle, hustle, hustle but you can’t out hustle a bad idea, you can’t out hustle bad math.
And if your whole, I just did a group coaching call a couple hours ago and one woman said she has a product, a 49 dollar product, okay well what else do you sell, nothing. Okay well that’s not a business, it’s a one product. You can’t have a one product business. I don’t care how many hours a day you work, it just, the economics don’t warrant it. It’s not a business because there’s no way to generate new customers, you’re going to lose money on the front and if you’re losing money on the front, there’s nothing else to sell, then it’s not a business, you’re going to be losing money.
JLD: Ryan I want to take you up on that. Someday you and I are going to sit down and we’re going to create the first ever 75 hour podcast about why entrepreneurs fail and it’s going to be amazing and it’s going to break records and I can’t wait!
Ryan: First of all, anytime you want, if you ever want to do a longer, maybe not 75 hours, maybe 74, and just I could go for hours. We could just go back and forth because there’s a lot of wisdom to be learned and like the mistakes that people make and sometimes they’ll listen and be like, oh my God it’s almost like you’re talking to me. But I just, I’m always going to tell people the truth and the truth is it’s hard, it’s the hardest thing you’re ever going to do. And you have to mentally and physically prepare, you know not just prepare to ignite, prepare to get back up and prepare to be an entrepreneur. Like we talked mentally, but I’m telling you physical, you’ve got to physically eat well and exercise and just get yourself ready for the challenge because it’s going to kick your butt and if you’re not in top physical/mental/emotional state, it’s going to be very hard to do.
JLD: It’s a full spectrum and that’s something I admired about you from day one was that you really got all sides of that equation. I can remember so clearly Ryan, back in 2012, I don’t know if you even can remember this, but you sent an email out where you wanted to sell or at least divest some of the hundreds of dot coms that you had because you’re like, I just want to share some of these ideas. And I remember going through that list and was just like, this guy is so genius, these dot coms are brilliant, this branding is amazing. I mean, you are a master at coming up with the perfect business names.
I just love it. I’m not going to lie, I hit a grand slam with Entrepreneurs on Fire for sure, but that’s like a one in 100 for me, I strike out 99 times. You’re batting like 754 right now from the play for business names, so share with Fire Nation, how do you come up with the perfect business name?
Ryan: Sometimes it’s instinct, I’m like that’s the name. And there are sometimes it takes weeks. The first thing you’ve got to do is kind of clear your head. You need to almost get off line and get into places and environments where you feel relaxed. I have some of my best ideas either driving or I get reflexology a few times a week and I’ll get back from that and it’s like I’m ready to rock, I just come up with these great ideas. But I start to look at okay, what’s kind of the feel, what’s the emotion, what’s the benefit that someone is going to get from your product or service? And what I find is most people name their companies or products—let me stop there for a sec and I know I sound like a lunatic jumping around.
But the first thing you’ve got to do, before you even do this, and this is really important John, you have to differentiate between your product and your company and most people don’t and they blur the lines. So John, name an topic.
Ryan: Okay give me something more specific, dive in, give me a specific sport or something that someone might want to create.
Ryan: Okay, so what would an entrepreneur want to do in the badminton space? Create a?
JLD: Create a better racquet.
Ryan: I’m going to nix your idea. Let’s say they want to become…
JLD: I hate my idea too.
Ryan: You’re idea is yeah, stick with Entrepreneur on Fire and just stay.
JLD: I told you I’m one for 100 right now.
Ryan: So let’s say it’s badminton and they want to become a better badminton player, so what they’ll do is they’ll say okay I’m going to create this thing and it’s called you know, badmintonpowercourse.com and that’s the name of their product but then they also want to call the business that. But there’s a difference between a business and a product and you have to start thinking of okay, what’s the business, what’s the brand so then it can create multiple products under it. So maybe the product is badminton something. So I like in terms of tactical stuff, I like to think of the company first and from the company and the business name, you could then create different products under that.
So like you have Entrepreneur on Fire and then you have your Entrepreneur on Fire Mastermind, so you have all these different kind of products under the EO Fire brand. When possible, a literation is nice. I like the literation, so if it was badminton, I would then start to think of okay, what’s B, what are some benefit words that start with B and then you could even go online and start looking at synonyms and say okay, what are some things I want to have. Okay power, what are some other words that start with B power, maybe it’s like badminton batty. Or, and then you start kind of melting these words and your benefits and what’s the feeling and what’s that brand.
Like yours on fire and like ignite, that totally fits your personality. But you’ve got to kind of match it and if you’re going to be kind of like the on fire, excited guy, then on fire makes sense. And there are some people who are in the space and maybe they’re much more serious and maybe more methodical and more like kind of slow and soft spoken, Entrepreneur on Fire just wouldn’t match them. Even if it’s a good name, you’ve got to go with the company that could potentially match it. So you start looking at the literation, you think of it as a brand versus a product so it doesn’t have to be so specific, you don’t have to spell out every freaking benefit.
With the previous company I started called Freedom, I was just trying to get to the idea, that was teaching entrepreneurs how to build their business and it was like well what’s the real thing that people want? It wasn’t money, it was what money gives them and it was freedom. So I’m like Freedom is great, there are two syllables, Freedom and I love if you can get a brand that’s two syllables, Freedom. And then I went online and I was typing in different versions of it and then I found, and I’m like what about different spellings. So sometimes you could spell it differently and I did Freedym with a Y and it worked.
Then there are times, so my newest business which is just my life, it’s called Rewind. And it’s a health company and it has multiple meanings because it’s about rewinding the clock and rewinding the years and knocking years off your body and the fact I overcame this autoimmune and I lost 30 pounds and I’m going to be 46 and I feel like I’m 20 and I’m back to the same weight and pants size I was in high school. So Rewind also has that double meaning of I love the nostalgia and the retro and the 80s and our you know, kind of rewinding a cassette tape and rewinding a VHS tape, it has that double meaning.
So that was like the perfect name. Now don’t let the fact that the domain name is not available, don’t let that stop you. So for example, this is another tactical thing that people do, they’ll say I wanted to call my company Rewind but rewind.com is taken so I can’t call it that. Well yeah you can. You could just, so we found the name rewindtoday.com and all of our social media, Instagram and Facebook is /rewindtoday, not a big deal. There’s a popular cosmetic company called Lush, it’s lushusa.com. Right, they probably couldn’t get lush.com, it doesn’t matter. You could still incorporate the name in there, just make sure it’s not trademarked. I know you’ve been through some trademark issues in the past.
JLD: We all have, if you come up with a good enough name, guess what you might not be the first person.
Ryan: Right, so you’ve got to check the trademark office, you could do a free uspto.gov search and a literation if you can or two syllables. And again, the difference between a product and a business, two separate things to create that big, on brand, that umbrella, then you can create products underneath that. And make it easy to, the spelling is important but it’s got to roll off the tongue too. It has to be easy to say, if it’s something that is hard to say and you know, you get tongue tied just saying it, you have to say it really slow then you have to spell it out, it might not be the best name.
JLD: You know one thing that I do Ryan that’s pretty interesting is, when I come up with a new idea for a product or service or even a business, I’ll sit down and talk with Kate about it and I’ll like tell her what the name is and kind of leave it at that. And then I’ll let at least two days pass and I’ll be like, hey babe remember a couple days ago we were talking about my new idea? Yeah, yeah, yeah, well what was the name? And if she literally can’t recall it, that’s a really bad sign. This is somebody who was sitting down with me, listening to me, caring about what I was saying and if she can’t recall it, that’s a red flag right there. So I mean, you have to have these kind of conversations absolutely.
Ryan: Right and if she can’t even remember you, that’s an even bigger red flag.
JLD: I’m John Lee, JLD, I sleep next to you every night.
Ryan: JLD. Oh and the other thing, another important thing is find people who are going to tell you the truth. The worst thing you could do is hire or work with a yes man or a yes woman or someone who is always, you know a few of us. So let’s say she was just, Kate was just someone who just agreed with everything. Oh it’s great JLD, it’s great, it’s great, it’s great. It doesn’t really serve you which my final barrier, my final test is my wife because we’ve been together 25 years since college and she knew me when I worked in the children’s hospital. So she’s always going to tell me the truth and I’ll say like a name to her, she will be like ugh, that’s awful, but if I do a name and she’s like hm, not bad, I’m like that’s it, I register the name, I’m off to the races.
JLD: Wait, you register a domain? That’s never happened before.
Ryan: I know but you know what, oh in my heyday John I was registering 3-4 a day. I mean I at one time had about 1200.
JLD: I saw the email, the email was just a list of all those dot coms, I was like holy crap.
Ryan: Yeah but now I think I’m down to like 70. Like I just let them all go, I could care less. I just, I’m really, really focused. Oh by the way, that’s another reason why entrepreneurs don’t succeed, they’re not focused. They’re trying to do 100 things at once. It’s hard enough to get traction and momentum with one brand, it’s infinitely more difficult to do it with multiple brands unless you have a lot of resources available and a lot of man and woman power.
JLD: And that’s why when Ryan said hey you know this new company Rewind is my life, he means it because that’s his focus. He is following one course until success, focus and Fire Nation if you think we’ve been dropping value bombs you’re right. We’re going to thank our sponsor, we’re going to be right back with some more value bombs with J Lee D and Ryan Lee so don’t you go anywhere. So Ryan we’re back and I’m going to be honest, you have a large family. At one point you were 30 pounds heavier than you are now, you were 30 pounds maybe we can say overweight, you were dealing with an autoimmune disorder, you had a lot of things going on in your life but you were able to pull it all together. And to pull it all together there needs to be balance and you were able to balance business with lifestyle. So tell Fire Nation how you figured that out.
Ryan: I had a really, really rough patch. You know you mentioned my health and I think the autoimmune was caused by, stress is definitely a big component. My mom had just passed away who I was really close with, just devastated my family. Then right at the time one of our businesses, we were generating seven figures a month in revenue to millions of dollars of debt within like a few weeks. Just something bad happened and one person left and our number one promoter left to start his own competing company, like everything kind of fell apart right when we did a multi-million dollar blanket order. So I had all this stress of the business, of losing my mom and then I started to eat more and we had just had our fourth child.
And I was traveling, I would stay up late and I was drinking, it was just I was a disaster and I said that’s it. I need to turn this around. I was trying to put on a brave face in public but inside I was hurting. So the key for me was one word, and it was simplicity. In each area of my life I was just going to say let me kind of do a restart, let me redo and figure out what can I do to simplify each area of my life. Number one with the business was get back to, and that was probably right around the time I started, when you got that email, when I started selling my domain names. Let me simplify, even just getting rid of those names, it’s like it’s not even in my head anymore.
Let me get rid of that stuff, let me focus on one business instead of creating 50 different products and trying to run 100 different things. So we ended up closing down our nutrition company at the time. I had some partners, so we phased that out, paid off all our debts, took us years to pay off the debt, then finally got out of that. Then closing down all these other products, saying no to a lot. I still have opportunities to speak just about every weekend if I wanted to and I just say no. I say no to everything and for six years I did not travel once. The only time we traveled was vacation with my family. So I simplified what I was doing, my schedule, I simplified my business where I focused, that was when I started building the company called Freedym.
I said it’s going to be one site, one product we’re going to start with and it was a membership site with recurring revenue and that was my sole focus for a few years. And then just making sure I was physically, emotionally more present for my kids and not traveling helped. I didn’t miss any games or sports events and I started, well I’ve always coached, but I coached even more stuff and I’ve coached now for all my kids.
JLD: And speaking of all your kids, like that’s not a small statement, you have a lot of kids.
Ryan: Well we have four. Which is unreal because my oldest is now about to be a sophomore in high school.
JLD: They’re getting ready for college, any front runners?
Ryan: College? I don’t know.
JLD: I want to nominate Providence College, just saying I am alumni.
Ryan: All right, yeah that’s amazing. I’m Ithica College, go bombers!
JLD: All right, cool.
Ryan: And she’s a really good tennis player, USTA tennis player so we’ll see if she wants to play in college.
JLD: If she wants to play in the big east then yeah, Providence College would be great for her.
Ryan: Big east, we’ll go Providence. What are you guys the Friars?
JLD: The Friars, I love that you knew that and by the way I’m not going to say that I have a connection in the admissions but I have a connection.
Ryan: Okay and we will call you on that, and by the way I remember Billy Donovan when he played for Providence.
JLD: Oh back in ’87 took us to the Final Four and Rick Betino. That was awesome.
Ryan: I remember but and now I don’t remember—simplify. Simplify and then I went kind of ups and downs with my health and I really got it dialed, it took me awhile of ups and downs. About a year ago I just said that’s it. We came back from our February vacation, the jeans I wore down I couldn’t put back on coming back. I told my wife I’m like, what the hell happened? Did you wash my pants? She’s like no I didn’t wash your pants. I couldn’t fit in anymore and I had an ear infection like right when I got home. I went to the doctor and I was almost 200 pounds. I’m only 5’8, my joints were killing me from the autoimmune disorder, everything was flaring up, my blood pressure was borderline hypertensive, I said that’s it.
And I knew for simplification, the key for me was going to be I’ve got to win the morning. I’ve got to start my day off right and that was the idea, that was kind of the germ of the idea for where I am now with this new company that I just launched Rewind. But it was really simplify my business, simplify my relationship, every time I go home my phone goes off, I’m present with my kids and I’ve got my routine is really locked in. Simplifying my health, simplifying my workout. My workout is 20 minutes every day from home so I know exactly how long it’s going to take and just saying no to a lot. And it’s just amazing when you start to live a really simple life, how you just wake up every morning smiling.
JLD: Fire Nation there’s a few things I really want to highlight that Ryan was talking about. Obviously we’ve used the word simplify a few times but we can’t stress that enough, you have to simplify your life, you have to say no. I love the quote by Derek Sivers, “If it’s not a heck yes, it’s an absolute no.” You have to win the morning. That’s w-i-n the morning Fire Nation. I’ll tell you straight up, my morning routine is absolutely non-negotiable. I wake up, I hydrate first thing, I’m just dehydrated for the last eight hours. And then guess what, I go down and I slowly warm my body up into a nice exercise session, non-negotiable.
Then I meditate, I journal and then I read, all the while I’m out in the Caribbean sun and getting my nice, fresh Vitamin D. That’s the way that I get going in the morning, that is a non-negotiable routine. By the way, I do 30 minutes in my infrared sauna every single morning to sweat out some of those toxins, it’s an amazing part of my morning routine that I say is non-negotiable. And guess what, since I say it’s non-negotiable, it happens every single morning. Now Ryan, I want to move into something that I really admire about you and I’m obsessed with it by the way, productivity. I launched an entire journal on productivity, the master journal is all focused on being more productive, disciplined and focused.
I’m obsessed with this topic because when you’re productive like I am today by the way, doing nine interviews in one day, that’s productive as heck. So I can go on a 65 day European trip and my show is still going live every single Monday and every single Thursday and absolutely rocking it. I love productivity, so you have a great way to tell us the easiest way to not just single or double, but to triple your productivity. Take it away.
Ryan: Number one is you have to first figure out what is that number one driver of what ever it is, your big goal. So let’s say it’s your business, what’s the number one thing that’s going to move the needle most, that’s going to get you the most business, that’s going to grow the most, that’s the thing. Like there’s got to be the number one thing. So maybe if someone else is listening to this and they’re a podcaster, I know you’ve helped thousands of podcasters, maybe their biggest thing is they’re at the starter phase so it’s getting new guests. So maybe it’s the first half hour or 45 minutes that you sit down to work and you said I am doing nothing, I’m not checking my email, I’m not checking my phone, my phone goes off until I email seven people, eight people, ten people to be potential guests on my podcast.
Or maybe the podcast is already happening and now your job is to promote the podcast. Whatever way it is, maybe you’re like an Instagram or YouTube person and that’s the first thing you do. So you’ve got to find that thing and do that first and remove all other distractions. I mean that really is the key and so few people do it. Everyone wakes up in the morning, they check email and now they’re playing defense all day. So you do that and what you do is you have your routine as well, and I don’t live in the Caribbean, it would be nice. I’m listening to your routine and I’m like, damn mine sucks.
JLD: Mine is awesome.
Ryan: Yours is a pretty good one. No, you have the world’s best routine by the way.
JLD: You’re just thinking about me in the Caribbean sun right now, reading a book.
Ryan: Yeah, yeah, it’s not bad. But the key though, and you said the Caribbean sun, is figure out the environment that you feel best in and is your most productive and creative. So what I used to do is every six months, I’d rent a different office and I’d think this is going to be the office, I’m going to be productive there. And I’d go into one of these shared offices or co-working and I get a space and then after a couple days I’d be sitting in a little white room, I’m like this is awful. I don’t feel productive at all. I felt terrible and then I’d end up saying I’m going to the coffee shop and then for years I was doing that because you “need an office”.
And then I realized I am so much more productive and better when I go to the coffee shop. So I stopped getting an office and I just started going to the coffee shop and that’s my non-negotiable. Every morning I wake up, I also have water, got to rehydrate, I have my Rewind super bar of course, which is how for me that’s the calories in the morning. That’s how I created this whole company and then I go to the coffee shop. And I put my headset on and I’ll listen to, for me I love music, and I’ll find one song for whatever mood I feel like I’m in and I’ll listen to the one song on repeat. And I just almost get in this hypnotic state, I take my first sip of the latte and I just do my most important thing which is usually sending out my daily email.
It’s amazing when you have that environment, that separate environment, and everyone is different. Some people might say well Ryan I work in the morning so I can’t work in the morning, you know I have a full time job so I have to do it at night. That’s fine, whatever your time is going to be, your time is going to be and I live in the real world, I understand everyone has different schedules. So block off that time, make that as you say, I’m going to use the JLD non-negotiable. That’s your time, find your space. It might be the kitchen table, it might be your local bookstore, Starbucks, or hotel lobbies are a great place to get work done.
Free Wi-Fi, some comfortable tables and chairs, libraries, a park, whatever the space is going to be, make that your creative space. It should be different than the space you pay your bills. Make it, if there’s a space that you just don’t feel good in, you can’t work from there. Put your headset on, whatever song you like, get in that hypnotic state and shut off all of the distractions and just go.
JLD: Fire Nation, I couple of things I definitely want to highlight from that section, what is your number one driver in your business? Like if you don’t have that identified, if you don’t have that focus, then even if you are being “productive”, you’re going to be productive in the wrong areas. You’re going to be producing content or results in the wrong things, you need to know your number one driver. And then as Ryan just went through, you have to figure out your environment. You have to know your environment. For me I created what I consider the perfect environment, my little “EO Fire Studios”, just my spare bedroom here in my house.
I walk ten feet from my bedroom but it’s a whole new world when I close the door. Orange walls, there’s microphones with fire here, there’s awesome things going on, it just has a completely different vibe than anywhere else in my house, period. I’ve figured out my environment and you need to as well.
Ryan: And I bet you feel great when you walk in.
JLD: I close the door and I’m like, ahh! Like it’s amazing, I love the feeling, I love the environment and guess what, I didn’t get it over night. It takes time to figure that out Fire Nation but work towards that. One thing that you do Ryan, better than most maybe, better than anybody that I know is build relationships with your tribe. I mean we were talking pre-interview about some things you’re doing with Rewind right now, when people actually purchased from you with handwritten notes and some other things. Take us through this. Take us through the right way to build relationships with your tribe, give us some examples of what you’re doing with Rewind. I’m definitely taking notes and I’m definitely not forgetting your offer of sending me a bunch of these bars.
Ryan: You’re getting a few bars, except you’re paying shipping.
JLD: No, no, it’s Puerto Rico, it’s just like USPS, it’s fine.
Ryan: So the first thing you have to do with your business is have kind of what’s your overall philosophy, what’s the thing that drives it so that everyone is on the same page. How has this always been, you just do the right thing. You treat your customers how you’d want to be treated. That’s the filter. So if someone says hey I did this and can I get a refund, even if they’re not “entitled” to one, even if they’re not supposed to get one, you say to yourself if I were the customer how would I want to be treated? What would I want? Well I’d want the refund, well that’s what we do and everyone that works for my team gets full, whatever you need to do to do the right thing, that’s what you do.
So that’s the overall philosophy. It’s not how do we “extract” as much money from people or how do we upsell them. It’s not that at all, it’s more the Zappos mentality. So and then we look at this, this is a long term business, this is long term relationship. So we create a really good product and we just make it really personal. Our nutrition bars are, the box because it’s called Rewind, it looks like a boom box like from the 80s. It’s a little blank cassette tape and it says these bars were mixed just for and this is a blank space, and we write their name in it. So if you ordered a boom box of bars, you’re going to get your box and it’s going to say these bars were mixed just for John or JLD.
And it just feels good and then we write hand written notes, thanks for ordering. We notice things, there was someone who ordered recently and I hand pack a lot of them because I still want to really feel, I just like, there’s something about the physical analog state of a product. And I love writing notes to people, and someone ordered and she was from Suffern, New York which is in Rockland County. That’s where I’m from, so I wrote her a note and then wrote p.s. I’m also from Rockland County. And she got it. Oh my God, and she emailed us, she’s like oh my God, it’s a small world, and I can’t believe you’re from Rockland and then I reply and they can’t believe we reply to them.
Just treating people amazing and giving little, I don’t want to say the surprise gifts because I don’t want people, I want people to be surprised with what they get, but everyone gets little surprises and little things that they weren’t expecting. Sometimes we’ll upgrade a box and give them extra bars without them even knowing, just little things. If we see someone doing something nice. So someone, we just got an order this morning and the person emailed us personally and said thank you so much. Jenny told me about your bars, she gave me one of hers and said I was going to be addicted, she’s right, I love them.
And then Jenny now, who is one of our customers, I told and I have a Kate as well, Kate works with me here is running like all the behind the scenes stuff. And I said, Kate let’s go on Facebook, let’s go on social media of Jenny, let’s see what she does, let’s see what she likes and let’s get her a little personal gift, something. So let’s say we look at Jenny and maybe on her Facebook page, maybe she posted a picture of you know, hey the Mets win. Or hey go Patriots, or maybe it’s a picture of some kind of I don’t know, maybe she’s into Hello Kitty, who knows. But we find something personal and we’re going to send a gift to her to thank her for referring a customer as opposed to the easy way out, hey Jenny here’s a water bottle with Rewind on it.
So self serving. It’s the little personal touch and we’re just blowing people away and they can’t believe what we’re doing for them and how much we just really, really, really want them to succeed. We want them to feel better and when you build a business like that, man you can’t lose. Everything becomes better, easier, more effortless and not just, you talked about soul. It doesn’t just feel better from a soul perspective because you’re doing good work, it makes business sense because they stick around longer. You don’t have to keep acquiring new customers and they become your biggest fans. You should see on social how much they’re sharing.
We just had someone who was on a local news station in San Diego, your old stomping ground, and she’s an author and she said like, here’s my favorite things. And she had her Rewind bar with her and it was on the news and then on social media she said, when I left the host said oh my God, what’s that bar? And she said, and I gave her like one of my last bars. And you know what we’re going to do, what do you think we’re going to do? We’re going to send her now, a box of bars to thank her. So it’s a lot of things like that, it’s paying attention and it’s sometimes doing things that don’t scale. Everyone talks about scale but a lot of the times is about doing the things that don’t scale because you can’t scale relationships.
So that’s the heart and soul of our company. I’ve learned so much over the past almost 20 years of being an entrepreneur and now I’ve taken all that into the vision and just building this company like my dream business. Coming from a non-profit and coming from spending six years working at a children’s rehab hospital, then I was a gym teacher in the south Bronx. Like coming from a place of giving and serving, I got away from that for a few years and went down the dark path and now just being back, man all these little things, the little things add up. Even shipping. So some people might have a physical product or maybe not, we do a physical product.
We do all of our own fulfillment, we set up a whole space here. Everything is, we have records all over the place, it has that comfortable environment, we get orders out the door the same day. Even I come in on Saturday or Kate comes on a Saturday and we get the orders out that day because even though most warehouses don’t do that, right? They’re like well if you order Friday night, you’re not going to get it out until Monday. No, we’re getting it out Saturday. We get out as fast as we can to get it to someone a day quicker. And people say oh my God, I ordered this and I got this like the next day, what are you guys doing? So it’s all those little touches and just showing people you really, really, really care, not just lip service but actually caring.
JLD: And what is all this doing Fire Nation? This is causing conversations. What do you think Sally, or Tom or Dick or Harry are saying to their friends, their family, their loved ones, when they’re eating a Rewind bar? They’re going to be talking about it, can you believe what this company did, or XYZ, or when they see somebody else eating some kind of super food bar, they’re going to be like, did your bar company do this or that or that? I mean think of the conversations that this is starting. You’re turning your customers into evangelists for you and that is so powerful. So you need to ask yourself, what is your philosophy Fire Nation?
What is your philosophy and you’ve got to figure it out. I love how you said that Ryan, ask yourself if I were the customer, what would I want. That’s how you need to operate and that quote you can’t scale relationships is so true, #truth. So Ryan you shared so much today, take this home with just a final parting piece of guidance that you just want to make sure that Fire Nation really gets from this audio master class. Of course any kind of call to action or ways that we could find out more about you or what you have going on, and then we’ll say goodbye.
Ryan: Do the right thing. Spike Lee had it right, just do the right thing. Even though the right thing is sometimes the hard thing, it’s harder to get a product out the same day, it’s harder to reply to every single email, those things are harder but they’re the right thing. And when you do that, good things happen. So that would be my word of advice. Check us out at rewindtoday.com and pick up a boom box of bars. We actually are doing a little promotion, it depends when people are going to listen to this interview where you could even try three bars for free. Oh yeah, that’s the way we’re doing it.
JLD: Oh man, get in my belly!
Ryan: It’s the URL, I do a special one, freesuperbars.com and go get three bars for free.
JLD: Wow you and your domains, so amazing. I love them all. Fire Nation, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with and guess what, you’ve been hanging out with Ryan Lee and John Lee today. So keep up the heat and of course head over to EOfire.com. If you type Ryan, you’re going to be able to get to the show page of this episode with all the links of what we’ve been talking about. But go back and listen to episode 47, like I’m actually really tempted to go back and listen to that episode right now because man, Ryan was still dropping heat not doubt but I was, oh my God, oh my goodness, I was just before my show even went live, I was a nervous little ninny. I can guarantee you that, that absolutely happened.
Ryan: Ninny on fire! I just registered the domain name.
JLD: You literally did, that’s how fast it goes. So Fire Nation, my call to action for you is to head over to rewindtoday.com to check out what Ryan has going on there and what was the other one? It was free super bar?
Ryan: Yeah, free super bars.
JLD: Bars with an S.
Ryan: You can try three of them for free.
JLD: Freesuperbars.com, get three for free and make it happen Fire Nation. I can’t wait until mine come in, they’re going to be free as well. I can’t wait, Ryan said he’s going to pay for shipping, that’s so incredible. Ryan thank you for sharing your truth with Fire Nation today. For that we salute you brother.
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