Ryan Blair is the New York Times bestselling author of Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain and a multi-millionaire serial entrepreneur and CEO of ViSalus. We had the opportunity to pick Ryan’s brain and asked one simple question…
“How do we get filthy rich before out 30th birthday?”
Ryan was open, honest and his answers seemed pretty simple to execute. Here’s what he had to say.
So, you want to become a millionaire by the time you’re 30 do you? Why stop there? Why not multimillionaire? I did it and you can too, if you’re cut out for it. In this article, I’ll give you the inside scoop, the secret sauce that every young entrepreneur needs to know to make it… and make it rain.
First, a little back-story might be fitting. I didn’t grow up privileged. I started at the bottom, had an extremely dysfunctional home life… turned to gang life and was on track to have no life. But eventually that all changed. I developed a Nothing To Lose mindset that enabled me to overcome my obstacles and adversity. That NTL mindset eventually led me to start several successful businesses, become a multimillionaire and go from gang signs to New York Times (bestseller that is).
I often get asked… “Can anyone become a multimillionaire entrepreneur?” The answer is, “No.”
There are two types of people in the world, domesticated and undomesticated. Some are so domesticated, so employee minded, that they could never be entrepreneurs. And they shouldn’t even bother trying. To be an entrepreneur, you have to have fighting instincts. So first, you have to ask yourself… “Am I willing to fight for it?”
If you’re a fighter, if the causes is worth more than the applause, and if you are driven… then you can make it.
Here are 5 tips to help you find your way…
Don’t buy into “the secret sauce”
First, you need to understand that there is no such thing as secret sauce. There is no magic bullet to success so if you’re looking for it, stop. A great product (or service) and hard work mixed in with determination, persistence and a willingness not to quit is the only way. If it were easy, everyone would do it. Where I come from, nothing worth having ever comes easy.
Ditch the business plan
Starting a new business is like wanting to learn how to play the guitar in high school. You can’t wait until you’re good at it, and all you can think about is how many girls (or guys) you’re going to get, and how awesome it’s going feel when you’re a rock star. But if you don’t start practicing and playing before your passion fades, soon you’ll be hanging your shirt on that expensive guitar you invested in instead of playing it.
When you’ve really got the entrepreneurial bug, the last thing you want to do is sit down and write a business plan. It’s the equivalent of writing a book about playing the guitar before actually knowing how to play the guitar. You can spend a lot of money buying out-of-the-box business plan creation software, or hiring expensive consultants, and yes, that probably works for some people, but ultimately, the goal isn’t to write a book about playing the guitar. Pick up the guitar and start playing it. Otherwise you’ll have a whole lot of rhetoric for a business that might never exist.
In short, your business plan should be in your head not in a book. And I say, ‘in your head’ because you’ve obsessed about every detail of how you’re going to become a business rock star. Write it down if you want but don’t let the stress of crafting a master plan stop you from starting.
Tap those assets
Take an inventory of your network. I cover this process in detail in chapter ten of my book, aptly titled Tap Those Assets. What skills do you have, and what are you lacking? The key is to partner with people who are knowledgeable or good at doing the things you aren’t.
For instance, if you have an idea for an online business or an app but lack Internet and marketing skills then you need a partner who excels in areas that you don’t. Focus on your strengths and bring in the necessary people to help you execute your ideas in the best ways. Note: You might be thinking, what if I can’t afford those people? Good question but it’s an excuse and excuses don’t pay the rent.
Your vision for where you want to go must not only be compelling to you, it must compel others. You might not be able to afford everyone you want at first but if you cast your vision to the right people, you’ll find someone willing to partner and help you get to the next phase.
Don’t let anyone steal your milk
One of the biggest lessons I learned in Juvenile Hall was that new guys always get tested. When I went in the first time, I was just a skinny little white kid and I had to learn fast. People will be bumping into you on the basketball court, or asking you for things, testing to see if you’re tough. And everyone knew that if a guy let someone take their milk during lunchtime, they weren’t as tough as they looked. Soon you’d be taking their milk everyday, and so would everyone else. It’s the same for business, if you give people the impression that you can be taken, you will be.
Don’t try to do too much all at once. You hear about all the parallel entrepreneurs, like Steve Jobs running Apple and Pixar at the same time. Make sure you have the aptitude to run one business well, with one product line, before you start a couple more. As a new entrepreneur the temptation to try multiple things is dangerous. Find that one thing and own it. Focus is chasing one rabbit at a time.
“If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. If it’s not, you’ll find an excuse.” — Ryan Blair