Ryan is founder of Rewind: A non-inflammatory feel-good food bar.
Ryan has been featured in many media outlets, including the front page of the Wall Street Journal and the cover of Millionaire Blueprints magazine. He’s also written two books, The Millionaire Workout and Passion to Profits (and has been thinking about writing his third… for about 10 years!)
While he’s not changing lives.. he’s either binge-watching a Netflix show or coaching his four kids in every sport imaginable – from baseball and basketball to lacrosse and tennis (he just can’t coach hockey, because he’s a terrible skater!).
Sean: We are so excited to have our good buddy Ryan Lee on the program today. Ryan, I want to jump right into it. You’re kind of the anti-hustle guy, which I love about you. Because we are living in an entrepreneurial age where hustle and having artwork on the wall that says No Days Off and Grind and all these conversations that I and Mindie really disagree with and it’s so refreshing that a human such as yourself agrees with us. But can you talk to us about like if somebody’s not super-hustle-focused, what are they? How can you grow a business if you’re not in hustle, grind mode?
Ryan Lee: Yeah, I mean, look, I’ve always been obsessed with the opposite. Not that I want to sit around and be lazy. I’ve been really purposeful in building all my businesses and companies around my lifestyle, around my family and my wife and my four kids. So everything I do is run through the filter of, you know, is this gonna allow me to spend more time with them or less time with them. And even now we’re doing this interview right before we started, I said, okay, I just have to be done, you know, in 45 minutes because I have to pick up my other two kids. So I’m really purposeful in that. But what it does is it makes you really efficient with your time. There’s the old, I’m kind of paraphrasing is if you want something done, ask the busiest person you know. I have no, I don’t have any room to kind of do all this stuff.
So if I want to be with my kids and if I want to be done by 3:30 every day and drive them and coach, and I coach all the different sports, I have to get stuff done. And nor do I want to work it at 10 o’clock, 11 o’clock at night. That sounds exhausting. Like, and look, everyone’s got their own thing, right? But so in your free time, if you like to hike or bike or watch movies. Like I love at night when my kids are sleeping, sitting with my wife or whatever, just watching Netflix and I shouldn’t have to feel guilty that I love that. I was so excited that the new episode of Stranger Things was up. And people make you feel guilty. So I’ve never been about the hustle, the grind. I’ve always been about building it around my family.
And I’m trying to show that you can have it all. You can have a really great business and have a great life. And even, I’ll give an example. Even before I was an entrepreneur, there was six months of my life, which were the worst six months of my life where I had a quote-unquote corporate job. I took a train into the city and I remember she said, you’re, you’re, you’re going to be nine to six. Those are my hours, nine to six. And I had just gotten married, we didn’t have any kids yet. And I said, okay, that’s cool. But if it ends at six, I’m not going to get home till seven. I’m not gonna be able to have dinner with my wife. I said I’ll get up at four in the morning. I don’t care, but can I do it seven to four?
Wait, what was it? Whatever that was. Yeah. I said I’ll take the six o’clock train. I’ll be in by 7:00 AM, out by four and then I’ll be home by five. And they said yes. And I was the first one every single morning in the office, got my work done, out of there by four o’clock. So I made my priority… Even though it, quote-unquote didn’t look as good because everyone’s like, oh, I’m staying till 10 o’clock at night. Here I am. Zoom. I am out that door. And I was purposeful. I wanted to spend more time with my wife. Just as you guys want to spend more time together. So even from early on in my career, that was always my priority.
Mindie: I love that. And Ryan, clearly you and I don’t know each other as well as you and Sean know each other because I don’t want to spend that much time with him. [Laughing]
Sean: Yeah, it was really sweet… And then, you know, the truth had to come out.
Ryan Lee: You’re the opposite. You’re like, oh damn, I’ve got to start hustling and get the hell out of the house.
Mindie: Exactly. No, you know what’s so fun about our connection with you? Obviously, you and Sean know each other pretty well. You guys go way back and I had always heard of you in these conversations and stories from Brian Kurtz and some of our other friends and then when you and I finally met I was like, yeah, like I finally get to put the face to the name and like experience this guy. So since then, I’ve really been watching what you are up to now in business and online and I want to talk a little bit about Rewind and get into that. I’d love for you to talk a little bit about it so our listeners know what your intention is with that. But also my question is, I love that you’ve merged something that you seemingly love and adore with business. That to me is the ultimate win because you, you’re like playing every day. Can you talk a little bit about that, how it came about or what your initial intention was?
Ryan Lee: Sure. I mean, I started online, well, my first job I worked in a children’s rehab hospital with kids of all different… everything you can imagine. I remember when I first met Sean, I said one of my favorite clients was dealing with the same issue Sean’s dealt with like just immediately I was just drawn to Sean and that was my norm every day. All the kids I worked with were in wheelchairs and we had a lot of kids with CP and spina bifida and just such amazing, amazing kids. So my life was recreation and sports and fitness and nonprofit world. And when I started getting into the online thing, I started doing fitness online and I was fit and I was captain of my college track team. But over time I started to morph into this kind of teaching entrepreneurship cause that’s what everyone wanted to know. They didn’t really care about the fitness stuff. And somewhere along the way, I started getting off track and then my wife and I had the first kid and the second and the third and the fourth. And you, I’m eating a little chicken finger here off the plate. You know, I’m gaining weight with my wife. And before I know it, like I start gaining weight and one of my businesses started failing and my health started failing and everything really started to fall apart right around the time, a little bit, right around the time I met Sean actually cause my mom passed away.
Sean: That’s usually when things fall apart.
Mindie: You meet him and it all goes south.
Ryan Lee: I meet Sean and next day everything falls apart. But I’ll never forget this. This is why I have such affection for Sean is that it was nine years ago and then my mom passed away really quickly from cancer within like two months.
She was only 63 and I remember Sean was one of the first people who reached out to me. My sister was having a really tough time and he talked to her like he was so good and my health was, I started gaining weight. I was diagnosed with autoimmune disorder. I think from all this stress and the bad eating and a couple of years ago I’m like, that’s it. Like I’m done. You reach kind of that breaking point and I said I need to simplify and turn around my health. And I’d been out of the health field for so long. I said, now that I’ve sold all my companies almost, I have a chance to kind of have a rebirth, what am I going to do now that I love in the health field that I’m excited about? And I’m like, let me make a bar.
Cause that’s what I want to have. I want to find a good nutrition bar that doesn’t have any inflammatory ingredients, that’s vegan and gluten-free and all this great stuff I can have every day. And I can have every morning. And then, well, how do I make it fun? As you said, play. People don’t know this, my major in college was I was a recreation major. I was a therapeutic recreation specialist, I was a play therapist. So my whole life is about play and I start thinking back to when did I feel good and when did I feel great? I was blessed with a really great childhood and I just came up with this name, Rewind, like rewinding the years and rewind has that meaning of rewinding a VHS tape and rewinding cassette tapes. I know Sean’s like 70, so he remembers that stuff.
But all of those fun kind of imagery. And I said you know what? All the health food industry, and there’s nothing wrong with them. Look, every health food company, but they all say the same thing. Best ingredients for organic, you know, or from mother nature and everything is green with leaves and blueberries and blah, blah blah. I’m like, screw that. What am I going to do to have fun and just be different and have some personality? And we just kind of leaned into the retro stuff a little bit, you know, the music, some of the 80s stuff.
Mindie: I would say you leaned into it a lot.
Sean: Yeah, I don’t think it was a little bit.
Ryan Lee: Well, you know what? It’s funny on my own Facebook page and all that, I talk more about it, but in our actual, like on the page, on our site, it’s there and someone we’re both close with Michael Fishman.
I was talking with him and he said it perfectly. He said that stuff, the retro, the music, all that. That’s like the wallpaper. Well, that’s not the main thing, but that’s kind of there in the backdrop. So we play into that. Even our emails are music lyrics. So, Oh, the email the other day was was it “Every Breath I Take.” Another one was “Come On Eileen.” One was “Wake Me Up Before You Go.” So just kind of having fun and we’re saying, you know, we’re not going to take it too seriously. Look, if you do keto and it works for you, great. If you do paleo and it works for you, great. We’re not going to judge. And if you want a good bar, here you go. And if not, that’s cool too. We’re just going to do our own thing.
And for the most part, people really like it. Although it’s funny, we got our first, man, we got someone last week and you know it’s not going to be good when the first thing is “As a highly educated woman, I’m offended by your email.” It’s “you take health too lightly.” Like she went on and on and yeah, so, but that was the first one though, out of tens and tens of thousand people. That’s okay. You know, you can’t please everybody, which is another lesson. But I just found a way to kind of merge this, this fun, like it’s all going to be good. Don’t take it too seriously with a really good product. And this retro 80’s stuff and lots of Sean Stephenson references. And yeah, and I, I truly believe in that. Like I wake up in the morning and I say, I get to play today instead of I have to work. Even our space, arcade machines, and music videos, and cool movie posters. And I think if all of us approached business and life with more play, we’d be so much happier. We lose that along the way. I don’t know. We get older, we’re like, Oh, we have to be so serious, you know, speak like we’re professors. Man, just have some fun.
Mindie: Right? This is exactly why I wanted you on this show because the whole point of everything that we’re doing here is looking at that intersection of wealth and happiness. And I’m sure you do too. You know, so many people that have done really well, they’re uber-successful, but they’re miserable. And then we know people who are happy and broke. We’re like how do we look at the merging of those two? And Rewind is such a great example of that because you have combined both of those things into the business.
Ryan Lee: Thank you. And I think everyone can, I think we can all combine fun and play into everything we do. Really. There’s no topic. I mean, if you think about it, my company was built because my mom passed away. I gained 40 pounds and I had an autoimmune disorder. I mean, talk about a bummer. It’s like, what the hell does that have to do with a Duran Duran record? Right? If I can figure that out, you can too. And even, you know, it’s funny, you start to go down a path and then you look back and you’re like, did I do that before? And even when I think about my last company Freedym, which I had sold, it was all about entrepreneurship and teaching business, but I combined it a lot with, Hey, I’m at a coffee shop and Starbucks and all this kind of lighter, fun coffee shop imagery. And you’re like, well, how does that fit?
Okay? It starts to fit together. So I think we could all find ways to do that. It doesn’t have to be one or the other, but I dunno, you know, it’s funny I learned this, well first I was very fortunate, as I said earlier, from working for spending so many years working in the children’s hospital because I got to see like real strength. And you want to talk about going through hardness? I mean Sean, I haven’t talked to you about it, but I could imagine, I can’t imagine how many surgeries you’ve probably had, right?
Sean: Surgeries weren’t… I opted out of them.
Ryan Lee: Oh, you opted out of them? Okay.
Sean: They wanted me to have multiple surgeries and I had two and I said this is not the life I want.
Ryan Lee: Yeah. And some of them, some kids didn’t make that decision, whatever, whether their parents did or not. But I mean, I had one kid who, like every two months they had another surgery and then they’d be in a leg cast and they’d be in PT for two or three hours a day. But I saw such strength in these kids and I saw how tough it could be. And it just gives you a perspective on life. Like I was seeing that at 20 years old, 21 and then I’d come home and someone would be like, Oh man, I’m so pissed off. I missed Seinfeld. I’m like not a big deal. You’re okay in the scope of life. So having that perspective has really helped. It’s like everything’s going to be cool and let’s just lean into life a little bit and have some fun.
I remember when my grandmother passed away in, I think it was ’94, we went to the cemetery and I’ll never forget, the rabbi said these words, he said, if you look around at every single headstone, it all says beloved mother, husband, father, daughter, son… Not one of them will you find how much was in their bank account or how successful their business was. He’s like, cause at the end of the day and look around, look who’s here, it’s family. He’s like, that’s the most important thing in life. And I’ll never forget those words. I’m like, you know what, you’re right. Like that’s it. So I’ve never let that go. Even when I started to kind of drift, that’s always brought me back to center. And now I’m on a mission to just show people you can do it all. You can have a business that’s fun and you’re passionate about and put out good things in the world. I mean, I love watching what you guys do with your marketing and where Sean could combine professional speaking and joking around and having fun. It’s so much easier to market and to build your business when it’s something you’re excited about too. It’s infinitely easier than coming up with all this, all these words to make you sound smarter than you are. Cause we know how smart Sean is. [Laughing]
Sean: So, let’s talk mistakes. Let’s talk about…
Ryan Lee: How much time you got?
Sean: Yeah, exactly. What are some of the mistakes you see entrepreneurs making these days?
Ryan Lee: If we want to get kind of really, you know, either strategic or tactical… I think strategy-wise, so let’s say even with the business model itself, I don’t want to say it’s a mistake because it can work, but I think in terms of if we’re keeping with that theme of a business that really makes you happy and gives fulfillment, I think if you build a business, if you go to Amazon and say, let me see the top 10 bestsellers. Okay, this is the bestseller. Let me rip it off. Let me go to Alibaba and find a company in China that can make it for $2 and I’ll sell it for six and make $3. It’s not really going to give you like fulfillment, right? So there are some people who are so analytical and that’s their whole thing and it’s just about numbers and making money.
Again, I’m not judging, but I think that’s a mistake. If you really, really want to be happy, right? I was so excited about building a business and a space that my kids would come to and be proud of. I gotta show you my… No one’s watching video. But my kids during Father’s Day, all their cards had the words rewind on it cause they so proud of what I’m doing and they feel like they’re a part of it. But I don’t think they’re going to have the same thing if I’m a, you know, Hey, my dad made $3 on a toaster last week. You know? I don’t think they’re writing that in my thank you card. Hey dad, congratulations on that 30 cents on a fly swatter. Way to go!
So I think that’s one thing, just the balance of if you’re going through Google keywords and seeing what’s search most or what’s a bestseller is, that’s not really gonna lead that path of like, Oh my God, that’s the greatest thing in the world. In terms of really tactical, we had a couple of companies in the past that have grown really well, but we relied too much on other people to drive traffic. We had affiliates, and I don’t know how much into that people in your world are like affiliates and JVs and launches and relying on other people to promote. It’s like a drug. It can be really good because you just pay out commission, but it’s really bad because you rely on other people. And even social media, social media is cool and it’s great. And oh, look at this Instagram post and I’m taking a selfie.
Look at my cool cars. But it’s not really predictable. It’s not predictably scalable because you don’t know. And you don’t know that post. Okay, we got 3000 likes, but how many sales did you actually make? Go to the bank and say, you know what, I’d like to take a $300,000 mortgage out. Well, how much money? Well, you know, I got 3000 likes in this last post. It’s not gonna cut it. So if you can build, if you can find step one, that business that you’re really excited about, that you’re passionate about and that’s like the heart stuff and you combine it with the smarts. We said, how can I build this? How do the numbers work? Do they back out where I can actually acquire a customer? Because if you can’t acquire a customer, you really don’t have a business.
So we’ve spent a year with Rewind. We have not had one affiliate. We didn’t launch an affiliate program. We dedicate maybe five minutes a day to social media. Like if that. Everything is paid traffic and customer acquisition and if we can get profitable there or even break even, we know we’re in really good shape cause then we can scale it. So that’s like the heart stuff and the smarts and that’s where you got to combine it. Because I think some people are too much in the woo-woo crystals, let me manifest it and shit’s all going to happen for me. No, it’s not. That’s cool. You want the positive mindset, but you still have to take action. However, and again, on the other hand, if it’s only about the numbers and all that, I think you miss the happiness. So you got to find that nice combination, which it sounds like that’s what you’re both teaching, which is amazing. I feel like you scripted this for me. Like I’m just, you know, I’m just helping you guys with retention now and I was like, yeah, Sean and Mindie really know their stuff.
Mindie: It’s so true. You’re totally speaking our language. Totally love it. I love, too, that you’ve added in that word fulfillment because that is to me the linchpin of like, what’s the point of all of this stuff? You know, we can get this great number in our bank account or we can get a great number of likes on social media, but if we’re not having fulfillment or feeling fulfillment, then what’s the point? So I wanted to ask you, Ryan, because I love asking this question because I love all the different variations of answers that we get. How do you define wealth? Like, what does that mean to you?
Ryan Lee: That’s a great question. Well, financial wealth, it’d be no pressure. You know, just having no pressure. You’re not stressed about the bills. You’re not stressed about, well, can we go on that vacation or not or can I take a day off? That to me is like the ultimate wealth success/freedom. You know, financially speaking, it’s not having 5 million in the bank or 10 million in the bank. It’s just, phew, I can breathe. Cause we’ve all been there. Every one of us where, you’re like, man, I’m like one paycheck away from how am I going to pay my rent or my mortgage or my car? We’ve all been there. And the tightness in your chest. We you’re like, what am I going to do? And never having to worry about that again financially is amazing. You know, the happiness stuff and everyone has their own thing from, you know, some people have kids, some people don’t.
And that’s cool. But for me it’s, it’s with my kids. So even yesterday… It was Sunday, it was beautiful outside. I woke up early, I said, you know what kids, we’re going to the amusement park and we had the greatest day, just me and the kids, just the amusement park, roller coasters, all that fun stuff. That was it. The ability to do that, no pressure, no stress, and just go for a day and have the time to be able to do that was amazing. For me, it’s about freedom. It really is about freedom. It’s freedom.
Sean: So from that, we want to know when it comes to the intellectual freedom, I know you love to learn new things. I’m curious, we have this concept over here that we love to ask and that is what are you curious about? If you could give us like your top five or 10 things that you are super curious about.
Ryan Lee: That’s a great question. Man, I’m curious about everything. I love music. Even when I hear a song, Oh man. Like, who are the musicians playing in that, who was the producer, who wrote the song? Almost being able to hear a song and be like, I bet you… I’ll hear a guitar and be like, Oh, that was Steve Lukather from Toto, you know, or, Oh man, I bet you that was produced by this person or that songwriter. And it almost sounds the same. So I love that. And even with movies too, and I teach my kids that, we’ll look at that and be like, Oh, I think that was directed by whoever or who composed it. What’s his name? The guy who does Tim Burton’s music? I forget his name, but his music all kind of sounds the same, so you could hear it right away. So I love that kind of stuff. I love reading. I love reading fiction, action, like political thrillers type stuff.
Mindie: Who’s one of your favorite authors political-thriller-wise?
Ryan Lee: I’m really into David Baldacci now. He’s got some really cool political thrillers, especially secret service agents. I find that stuff, I’m so fascinated with that.
Mindie: You and Sean both.
Ryan Lee: Oh, you like that too?
Sean: Oh, well, the reason why I worked in the White House had nothing to do with the president, I just wanted to be around the secret service. I’m a secret service history buff.
Ryan Lee: Oh, I love that. And I love there are shows on The History Channel about the secret service and the white house. And I binge on that. Oh, then you’ll like Baldacci, he has a series called King and Maxwell and it’s about two secret service agents. Oh, you’ve got to read that series. It’s great.
Sean: Have you read the book Standing Next to Greatness?
Ryan Lee: No.
Sean: Yeah. So it’s written by a secret service agent that followed like three or four presidents. Yeah. So you would like that.
Ryan Lee: I’m really curious. I’m fascinated. And one of my good friends was a secret service agent, so he must be like, are you like from the CIA? Like he must, cause I’m always just grilling him about that stuff. It’s amazing that they could stand there for hours and like you can’t move and the focus. My God. So that kind of stuff, you know?
Mindie: This is my favorite thing about this kind of question because how often does somebody get asked what are you curious about?
Ryan Lee: Never.
Mindie: But then the things that come out of people’s mouths, like you didn’t know that Sean was also a crazy secret service buff. Why would you have talked about that in the past? And it’s like, oh, I’m curious about this. Oh my gosh, so am I. It’s so fun to see that. So what else you got? What else are you curious about?
Ryan Lee: I don’t know. I mean, I’m a pretty simple guy. I’m curious. I do love business models. I love studying different businesses, especially a business that seems to come out of nowhere and breaks all the rules. Like even when Dollar Shave Club came and be like, all right, we’re now a subscription model for a dollar a month and they just take the legs out of the big companies. So I love that. And what’s going through their mind and how they think about it. I love science fiction movies and stuff, but I admit, sometimes I feel I’m not really, like, I’m not studying NASA. And there’s other things. Everyone’s like, Oh, the financial banking industry. I’m like, eh, I don’t really care. Like I’d rather watch a good TV show. You know what it is? It’s crazy. I get so I have so much stuff going on, especially with my family and my business and running the businesses and all that stuff. I feel like there’s only so much brain space and sometimes by the end of the day, I’m so mentally and physically drained. I’m like, I don’t want to think too hard. Like, let me just kind of relax and I don’t want to read like Carl Sagan. Some other people do that and give me the CliffsNotes to it.
Mindie: Yeah. To me, I always say this to my clients, anyone who has children, I’m like, honestly, I don’t know how you get anything done because it’s so difficult for us to get something done and we don’t even have kids. And you’ve got four. I mean geez, by the time the day is over, I too would be completely exhausted and done.
Ryan Lee: Yeah, it is. It’s a good tired, but especially just, you know, mentally when you guys are working and you’re like in that deep work mode and it’s great, it feels effortless. Like you’re not working. But, and I’ve done physical labor jobs and been outside and doing stuff and it’s a different type of tired. There is that physical like, Oh my God, I just want to rest. And then there’s the mental, I can’t even think anymore. Give me something like, let me plop in front of the tube for an hour and just like fade away or read a good book for like an hour. That’s kinda light. And also if it’s something that’s really heavy mental work, even what I watch has to be light. Everyone’s like, Oh, you gotta watch, which I love, Breaking Bad. I’m like, that’s great. And I love that, but it’s almost too heavy right now. Give me something light. Like I love the show Psych. It’s like this fun, light, there’s a murder mystery, but it’s fun and it’s like eighties references. That all right. That’s like candy for me.
Sean: So we have a four-part question for you here and I’ll walk you through each of them.
Ryan Lee: Uh oh.
Sean: It’s an acronym. HERB. The H stands for habits. What are some of the habits that make you into the man that you are?
Ryan Lee: I mean, I think with my habit, this morning routine where I got away from and now I’m back to every morning having the same every morning, having the bar, having my supplements, having a glass of water, I’m going to the same coffee shop, focusing on doing my big stuff first work-wise. Like that’s gotta be the thing. And I spend a good two hours at the coffee shop, 100% focused. So I get 95% of my work done. So I know by the end of the day, by 3:30/4:00 I’ll be done and be able to be with my kids. So that to me has really transformed my life by just getting that down to the point where I’m like a Pavlovian dog. Like I go into that coffee shop and I smell it. They even know, they’ve seen me pull into the parking lot and the guy starts getting the drink ready.
It’s funny, I actually walked in the other day. I was sitting in the car for an extra two or three minutes and I come and I usually sit in the same seat and the guy has the drink ready and person’s like, how the heck did that happen? I didn’t even see you order. Like they already had everything set for me. So that was my habit of just, and I have the little thing I came up with called win the morning. And that’s a really important one. And getting my daily exercise in–20 minutes a day. Just, you know, body-mind. Like it’s really important.
Sean: Yeah. From habits, the E in HERB is environment. How do you keep your home, your office, your vehicle? What do you allow in? What do you not allow into your space?
Ryan Lee: In our house, we’re really strict with screen usage. Even with my kids, you don’t have a phone. And the only one who has a phone is my oldest, who’s, she’s going to be a junior in high school. She only got her phone when she started high school. My 13-year-old wants a phone, she doesn’t have one. And we have a safe in our house. All the electronics go in the safe. There is no law that says you have to have a phone and we could take it away. So even with me, when I’m home, that’s one thing I don’t bring, like the phone goes downstairs in the kitchen. It’s not here. I’m not going to be distracted. I’m going to be just focused on my family. So that’s one thing I try to have like separation of church and state.
I don’t want it. And it’s really easy as entrepreneurs or speakers, people who work for themselves to have everything kind of start to blend together and then all of a sudden you’re on the phone all the time. And I do not want that. So I keep that with my environment. My home is my home. When I’m out, I’m out. Like I tell my wife when I’m out. Like I get out of the house quick in the morning, you help with the kids, get them showered. I’ll be here in the afternoon, but I need my really strong time in that environment. My work environment, that’s work time. When I’m home, I’m home. So I really try to separate the two.
Sean: So from environment, R stands for resources. What are some really good books or courses that you have gone through? Either personal development, business side, spiritual, doesn’t matter, but what are some of the resources that have made you into the man you are?
Ryan Lee: Book-wise. God, there’s so many books. You know it’s funny with books, I read different books based on where I am with my business, I feel like if I need, if I’m like overwhelmed and I need like more motivational stuff, then I, and I do a lot of audiobooks. A lot of the business stuff is audiobooks and the reading of actual physical books are the fiction secret service thrillers of course.
Mindie: I’m exactly the same way. I do that precisely. Business is audio. Novels are real books.
Ryan Lee: Right, right. And so the books, if it’s going to be more like mental stuff where I’m just overwhelmed, I’ll go personal development. Like you know, you can’t go wrong with an old Jim Roan or Les Brown or something like that or Brian Tracy. If I feel like I’m starting something new and I really want to dive in, then I’ll listen to specific podcasts that are tactical.
If I want more business strategy going with books, you know, sometimes some Seth Godin stuff, there’s a, there’s a cool one I just read called a shortcut startup shortcut, a shortcut startup. Then there’s books on copy. It just depends where I am. A really good one overall was The One Thing. That was good to just kind of straighten you out. Like just do one thing and do it really well. And Essentialism is the other one, which they’re very, very similar. I mean the whole book could be summarized in one sentence, just do one thing. But when I feel like I’m getting distracted, I’ll re-listen to that book to set me straight. But I do think, and I love listening to podcasts and books, but I think sometimes people use it as a crutch and they don’t take action because they say, well I… You’ll see this, I’m sure you guys see this all the time.
I’m sure this happens in your private groups and Facebook groups. You know, I want to write my own sales letter for my site. What are the seven best books on copy to read? You know? And now all of a sudden they have list of everyone’s doing 10, I’ll get it, I’ll get it. And now, three years later, they’re still reading the books. It’s like there comes a day when… Read something, learn it, but implement it. And I don’t even have like books in my house. If I, if I get a book, I’ll, sometimes I’ll get it from the library or if I buy one I’ll read it and then I donate it back. I’ll donate it to the library. But I don’t want to be distracted. I like to have a minimalist environment. Get the thing, take a note. What’s the one or two big takeaways in the book? Implement and then move on to the next one.
Sean: Well, that makes it a lot easier if you have to move and not carry books like we have every single place.
Ryan Lee: We did it for a while. For years I was doing that and we moved from Connecticut to Florida back and my wife has a PhD in psychology. So I mean, I can’t tell you how many times we moved all her books. I said, Janet, you’re not even practicing anymore. You don’t need the neuroscience of psychol… I’m like, you don’t need this textbook from 25 years ago. You’re not doing neuroscience. But that’s not an argument I’m going to win so I just go with it.
Sean: So we covered your habits, your environment, your resources. And we’re going to finish out the acronym with B which stands for beliefs. What are some core beliefs that you have that I think would be so valuable to learn from you?
Ryan Lee: I mean, Spike Lee said it best, “Do the right thing.” I just try to live my life. Just treat people really well. Do the right thing. Our whole customer support, everything in our business is run with one parameter. It’s, you don’t have to ask me anything. As a business owner, you don’t have to ask me. You have the right to run it through this filter of what would I want, what outcome would I want? How would I want to be treated if I were that customer? Okay, they’re not entitled to a refund. What would I want if I were the customer? I’d want a refund. You give them the refund. It’s so easy to run a business like that. I really try to instill in my kids like the two things I think you need to really be successful in life.
I think there’s resilience cause you got to get back up. You’re going to get your ass kicked on a daily basis. You’re gonna have obstacles. You’re gonna run into a wall. I mean, Sean, you’re a living embodiment of that. Like you just don’t give up and when you fall down, you get back up. Because what choice do you have? And that’s why I love that all my kids are active in sports because I don’t care if they win or lose. And I say, okay, you lost that match. How are you gonna improve and get back up? Like, let’s go. You didn’t make the travel team. Okay, get back up. Life isn’t always so fair and easy. So resilience and grit, but still be kind, be a good human being. Be nice to everyone. Treat the busboy just as nice as you would treat the president of the United States.
And I truly mean that and believe that. That’s why I never got wrapped up in the selfie with this person and oh, I’m on this Island and look at me. I’m with, Oh, and who’s this influencer? And I’m going out to California to film a video. I could give a crap about any of that. I’ve never been impressed by any of that. It doesn’t matter to me. Which is good because, and I think my oldest daughter has that. She’s like, she doesn’t care. She’s like, who cares? So you know, you combine the grit with the kindness. You treat everyone well and I think you could have a pretty good life.
Sean: So I always say that I graduated first at GBU, get back up.
Ryan Lee: Oh yeah. Get back up. It really is everything. Especially as an entrepreneur, professional speaker all the roadblocks you’re going to face, getting rejected for a speaking gig or having a speaking gig that doesn’t go well or all of a sudden you’re, maybe you’re supposed to be a main-stage speaker and you get put in a different room or maybe you’re doing, maybe you’re selling from the stage and it didn’t go as well. Whatever it is, there’s always going to be setbacks. Get back up. That’s it. The ones that I’ve coached in business over the years that have been most successful are the ones who have that resilience. They’re like, I’m not going to stop and I’m going to get back up and that’s it. Get back up, baby. What was it? What was your book? Something with but.. Wait… Get Off Your But?
Ryan Lee: Get Off Your But. Yeah,
Mindie: That’s exactly right. So, Ryan, this has been absolutely awesome. It’s always a joy to chat with you. I wish we could do that more often and we will look forward to seeing you hopefully in real life sometime soon. I’d love to know, if our folks are interested in learning more about you, where would you send them?
Ryan Lee: Sure. If you want the best tasting bar on the planet, vegan, gluten-free, no artificial, anything. Rewindbars.com. Check it out. Try a box. And I think you’re going to like it.
Mindie: Awesome. We’ll also link to that in our show notes. I have a question for you on that. Which one is your favorite flavor?
Ryan Lee: We have one. Well, as of this recording, almond butter and jelly is coming out, but we have one coming out in about eight weeks, which is my favorite, cinnamon coffee cake. Cause I grew up with… I mean that’s like my crack, like a good coffee cake and cinnamon. Woo. And the bar’s so good. So I’m like, all right, we need to produce this quickly. So that’s the one I like. Although my 13-year-old loves, and it’s not out yet, mint chocolate chip. If you like mint chocolate, everyone who likes mint chocolate, who tried it flips out. I’m not a big mint guy. It was good though, cause we use real peppermint oil. So, but I like all the bars. I’m so lucky I get to eat my own product.
Mindie: That’s the best way to do it. So again, thank you so much for your time, for your enthusiasm, for your just sharing with us your life. Thanks again, Ryan.
Ryan Lee: Thank you. Anytime you guys want me, just continue to pay my fee and I will be here for you because I love you guys and everyone listening, thank you. Thank you, Sean and Mindie. There we go.