Building A Business That Enables Your Dream Lifestyle – Ryan Salinas / URBN Events

EPISODE 3 – Ryan Salinas, Founder of URBN events.

Ryan shares:

  • how he went from helping a friend set up an event to building a major operation working events for people like Oprah, the Obamas and high profile events like the Super Bowl and NBA Finals
  • how he got so big that he burned out and decided to focus on getting his business lean, mean and efficient (while still pulling in massive revenue)
  • how he’s scaled his business and implemented systems to allow him to live a lifestyle most people would envy

Course – Automate Your Business (coming soon!)

[expand title=”Click here for the raw, unedited transcript:”]

This transcript was automatically generated using Descript.

Ismail: [00:00:00] Welcome to the bound to be rich podcast, where I attempt to reverse engineer people who seem to be successful, no matter the circumstances, so that you can apply those lessons to your own life. I’m your host is Mel me. In this episode, we are joined by Ryan Salinas, founder of urban events. And my co-host on another podcast.

Super booths. Ryan started by just helping out a friend at one event and ended up growing a large operation that expanded into multiple states. He’s done several high profile events, such as a super bowl, as well as for people like Oprah. Baracka Michelle Obama, et cetera. We even get into how he got so big that he burned out and how he decided to make his operation more lean mean and efficient while still keeping revenue.

Let’s jump right in

Ryan. What’s up, man. [00:01:00] Thank you for coming on the show. Good 

Ryan: morning. Thank you so much for having me. It’s 

Ismail: always a pleasure, uh, for those of the people who are listening that don’t know Ryan and I, co-host the number one podcast in the photo booth industry. So we’ve had many, many, many conversations together.

Uh, I was a little bit nervous for this one because we’ve already talked together so often, but I’m gonna try to dig into some things that, uh, maybe people haven’t heard or haven’t heard the full story about before. So hopefully your, your game 

Ryan: dig away. Let’s John Deere. This let’s do this. John Deere sponsor me.

Ismail: always sell and look at that. That’s less number one, right? People 

Ryan: ABCs always be closing. 

Backstory of Ryan.

Ismail: For people who haven’t heard the story, Ryan, and I’m not even sure I know the full story. Can you tell us, like, go back to the beginning? Uh, how did you get into urban events? How did you start that company? What were you doing 

Ryan: before?

Well, so, uh, this is urban events has kind of been, I think the third [00:02:00] iteration of my, not necessarily my business, but I guess how, I guess just my career has progressed. Um, the interesting thing was I like, do you want me to go full, full back? Let’s do it. Oh, okay. Well when a boy and a girl love each other very much.

Oh, little bit, a little bit. a little bit past that. Alright. Oh, let’s go a little bit forward. Uh, so I was in college and I had a friend from high school that needed help with a wedding. Um, she was working with an events company. And she needed help, uh, breaking down an event. And so she’s like, Hey, will you go with me now?

She, I believe at the time had just became pregnant. So she was like getting to the point where she’s having a hard time moving around. Um, so she needed some extra help. So I was like, yeah, sure. Like, let’s go, like, we’ll have fun. We went out 

Ismail: after, at this, at [00:03:00] this time, this was just like a side gig. One time.

Were you doing anything else at that? Did you 

Ryan: have another job? I was in school. Uh, okay. My, my, my degree was radio TV film. I was on a different trajectory and, uh, she was like, Hey, like, can you help me out next weekend? I was like, yeah, sure. No big deal. And then 16 years later, I’m still schlepping stuff around

Um, but I eventually started working with them during the week and then. Started offering, you know, my own services. And then I started doing wedding planning and then, you know, recession hit and market crashed. And then everyone kind of like started scrambling Texas really didn’t I don’t think experienced this as much, but I think that, like, for example, we had, uh, like a state school and they were funded.

This particular department was privately funded, not [00:04:00] funded by state money. However, it’s still apparent that it would look like it would be spent with state money. So everyone was just like really careful with how they spent money. Like Christmas parties were not, you know, one uping from the year before.

Like everyone was just kind of just concerned with how everything was perceived with money because no one wanted to be, you know, tone deaf and then. I moved to Houston and I had to start, uh, an event production business there because I didn’t want to do it in San Antonio where I was, because I had, I didn’t too many close friends and I don’t want to compete with someone like that.


Ismail: you went from helping someone to moving and starting your own event, production company. How did, how did it go from a side gig to something that you wanted to build 

Ryan: yourself? I don’t know. I think I just realized that I was good at it. And other people recognized that I was good at it, and I was really good with clients and selling, just selling has always just come easy to me.

[00:05:00] Um, I don’t know. I don’t know why that is. Uh, I guess just some people may maybe just have it. Some people don’t, I don’t know. Um, but I moved to Houston because it was a bigger market and I didn’t wanna compete. My friends kind of on that level, moved away and just started working nonstop. And I mean, working nonstop like morning, noon, and night living and breathing it.

And, you know, they were, the highs were high and the lows were low. I mean, it was a great experience. I would never change it. I learned a lot, uh, I was able to do work with celebrities. I got to do, uh, you know, a dinner for Barack and Michelle Obama. I got to do, uh, really, this is gonna sound strange, but a really prominent funeral that changed my career.

Um, it was just, it was such a great experience. And as such, I got burnt out. [00:06:00] 

Ismail: I feel like, I feel like you, you read my notes because you’re going down like exactly the path that I was gonna lead you. I really him. Yeah, really. Cause I was,

More about Ryan’s business.

Ismail: I was gonna ask you like, uh, you know, people and I’ve, I’ve asked this in the last couple conversations.

When you tell someone, Hey, I’ve got like a photo booth company, at least in my experience, people are like, oh, that’s cute. You know, those things that people have at parties. Uh, so I’d like to ask people to kinda describe how, like, how big can it get? So urban events, you mentioned celebrities. I know you’ve done some crazy events.

Like I know there’s the Oprah event, the professional sports team, super bowl. Can you describe a little bit about that? So people can get an idea of how big a photo booth company can actually be. 

Ryan: So I don’t, I think that people realize, like I’ve had a conversation with a friend before they were, I’ve asked him, you know, how do you explain, how do you answer the question?

What do you do? And he says, I’m an artist, which to me says unemployed cause [00:07:00] everything, everyone has like certain preconceptions or, you know, these predetermined notions of what they think, you know, your job is. So I, I’m not gonna, whenever someone asks me what I do. I’m gonna say a photographer because it’s just easy for people to comprehend.

Whenever I say that people’s minds go straight to wedding photographer. I have no idea why that is. I wish it went to portrait photographer at Sears, but they don’t. It goes to wedding 

Ismail: photographer. It’s sad. It’s fascinating though, because like someone I know says, says he, he thinks carefully about how he described himself.

Like for example, people say I’m a writer and you know, you might think of a blogger in their mouse’s basement. So he says I’m an author. And that one word difference. Sure. Paints a whole different picture. So I think maybe, uh, instead of saying photo booth photographer puts you in a different, uh, perceptions level maybe.

Ryan: Well, well, and I think that whenever you say writer, author is almost like, I’m not gonna say past tense, [00:08:00] but it means that you’ve already published. So. Like you’re already further along, not writer seems to almost denote some sort of like aspiration, you know? Yeah. So I say photographer, and then some, if it’s in person, someone will say, oh, like you do weddings.

And I, I always joke. I say, no, I make money . And, and, and that really just because whenever I get in depth to it, well, I really do large scale photo marketing is what I is the subset of the type of photography that I do. And then kind of go on to explain like, oh, like Pepsi will pay me to create something that someone can’t do on their phone at an event.

We collect all that data and then give it to them. Now for 

Type of Data

Ismail: people who don’t know, what kind of data do you collect? Like what kind of data would a company like Pepsi be interested in, 

Ryan: uh, emails, phone numbers. [00:09:00] I mean, that stuff is just so important whenever, you know, you’re kind of trying to get a product out there.

So how did 

 From weddings to corporate events.

Ismail: you transition from weddings to these corporate type events? How did happen? You mentioned a funeral that changed the career. Was there like a switch that happened at some point made that easy to, from one to the other? 

Ryan: Um, you know, I, I talk about that. There are just certain milestones in my business.

Actually. I can’t even say business because it really goes beyond that. So more career whenever I started taking credit cards was like, okay, now my business is kind of like leveling up and it just was easier for, you know, clients to pay me almost to the point where I almost started exclusively taking credit cards, just because I would not like to mess with checks because of the time that it would take and just the business moves faster than that.

And then the second time I noticed a change was whenever I got my building. And, you know, [00:10:00] we had, you know, a production house and then, uh, you know, the next part of the business was, you know, whenever you get this one client that is just such a connector that changes everything, you know, and then doing my first destination wedding and then Oprah and then super bowl.

And that, it’s just these things that just keep getting bigger and bigger and bigger. 

Ismail: So, so do you think you kind of like, do you take credit for having that happen or do you think it’s an organic thing that happens once you’re in business long enough, like getting those bigger and bigger events, 

Ryan: you know, it’s just kind of bound to happen.

I ha I think what happened was the first time I got a sports event was for the spurs and I got a phone call from, uh, a marketing agency out in LA and the at and T was their client. And at the time we were pushing Uverse, which is the. Uh, cable [00:11:00] box. And we were at every playoff game. And then in 2014, whenever they won the whole thing, I essentially got paid every, you know, home playoff game.

And they went all the way that year. Then, you know, the same thing the, the following year. So that little event opened up the doors to everything else. All of a sudden I’m in sports world. I have no idea how I ended up with that. And I, we talked about this in, um, the other podcast where, well, how’d you get that client?

I picked up the phone. I literal 

Ismail: that. That’s literally my next note right here is, cause

Power of YES!

Ismail: I knew you were gonna go here picking up the phone. Right? I know that you, you always talk about this. Why is it so important and why do people not 

Ryan: do it? I don’t understand why people don’t do it. That will always boggle my mind.

[00:12:00] Another thing is I also just recognize the, the power of saying yes, in this physical world that we occupy, if it is possible for me to be in Los Angeles and do an event, get on a red eye, fly to New York and be there in the morning to do another event, I will do it. I mean, I am just always open to opportunities like that.

I will never say no. If I can make a flight work, if there is, I remember I was in funny enough, this is just such a weird random thing. Uh, if you are in port of a yard of Mexico, which is where I was, I needed to be in Cabo. There is no flight from Porto Vita to Cabo. You have to either go into Mexico city back into the us.

There is no direct flight. This is the craziest thing ever. And funny enough, I have a friend that’s like really big into trouble and he’s like, oh, let me find this da, da, and sure enough. Go on Expedia. Look at this. I mean, I will always [00:13:00] figure a way out to kind of make this stuff happen. 

Ismail: I mean, maybe it’s just, uh, with technology, people get more and more antisocial.

They’re used to texting and chatting and all these other things, and there’s a little bit of resistance or nerves or whatever, anxiety that picking up the phone and actually talking to a human that’s. The only thing I can think of. Uh, but you don’t have that problem, thankfully. 

Ryan: well, I, I did. I did though.

Okay. I did. And you were shy. Yeah. Well, I’m not sure about that, but , you know, so this is the thing is I think that people aren’t confident with what they sell or how they sell, or I think that you’re more knowledgeable than you actually are, or you think you are rather. Because you know how to do this, you know, all the steps that you need to get to, to accomplish it.

If you don’t know how to do something, you at least know of the resources and how to figure it out. And they think that people don’t give themselves out of credit for that, you know, whenever I would get a phone call, [00:14:00] well, oh, what are they gonna ask me? Or, oh, you know, you kind of have like a million things running through your head.

I, I am the king of just figuring it out. And I, I notice that people, whenever they pick up the phone, there’s always that kind of weird, awkward moment where, okay, well, well, well, you know, what do you need? Like, and the way I’ve how I’ve always just kind of figured it out is, you know, everyone has that like hotel voice where, you know, hello, that just kind of like, you know, upbeat sort of greeting and, you know, I’ll pick up the phone.

Hi, you know, I’m just calling to see, uh, how much, blah, blah, blah, of course, how else can I help you? You know, you’re just kind of like leading on that conversation, let people talk, people want to talk, people want to tell you about their event. People want to tell you, you know, about whatever it is that they’re planning and it’s your job just to kind of help ’em.

Yeah. I 

Ismail: mean, what’s the worst that can happen. I, I think I just thought of this. That happened to me. True story is in the beginning, when I started picking up the phone, you know, you’re nervous. I find that you can [00:15:00] always deflect and say, Hey, lemme get back to you. Let me look into that. Uh, and even if you can’t, it becomes a funny story to laugh at later.

Like I remember one person I kid you not, I don’t know why this happened, but I was taking their, I was, I think I was taking their number down to call them back on or something like that. And I, I had to ask them to repeat it like five or six times in no exaggeration. I don’t know. Maybe it was the way they were speaking or the connection.

I could not hear the digits and it was so embarrassing, but I just kept asking and I couldn’t LA laugh at it now, but. What’s the big deal you get over it, you move on and that’s that. Um, one, one thing

Work ethics

Ismail: I wanted to touch on that you alluded to Ryan is the work ethic and being someone that’s been around you for so long, you have an incredible work ethic.

Sometimes you take a break, um, because you need to, but there are sometimes when you’re just on and you’re just like a steam trained Rowan, where does 

Ryan: that come from? Yeah. Uh, fear. It is the fear that I [00:16:00] will never work again. And this might be the last woman. Uh, one of my friends, um, Graham Reed. He was Joan river’s assistant before she passed away.

And he made a comment to me one time that Joan and I have the same work ethic, and she’s done millions of interviews on this, uh, particular topic and how it just comes down to fear. Uh, Boggles my mind and it never gets old. Whenever someone hires me to do an event, whenever someone like I did, uh, an event in New York last year at Christmas party.

And funny enough, it was, uh, I, I went there, I think like on, I think I did like a Saturday event. Uh, I was living in Vegas, flew back to Vegas on Sunday. The client called me on Monday and she was like, Hey, I have this event on Wednesday. Can you do this? Uh, you know, can you come do this event at Taven on [00:17:00] the green?

And I was like, yeah, sure. And I flew back. She thought I lived in New York. She didn’t know that I lived on the west coast after we did that event. There was someone at that event, who’s doing a 40th birthday in Cabo and they paid me and flew me out to Cabo to shoot her. And it just, it boggles my mind every time someone does this.

And, you know, I had a very long conversation with one of my friends yesterday about, I have never won an award in the events industry. I have never really had anything published. I have never had like big media coverage over really kind of anything that I’ve done. And what’s really kind of difficult is whenever I see someone that does something that gets like media coverage and I’m like, wait a minute.

I did that two years ago. I, I tried out to let it get to me sometimes it does, [00:18:00] but at the same time, one of my friends, she has this ability just to kind of like bring me in and kind of ground me a little bit. And she’s like, Ryan, you’ve been doing this 16 years. The fact that you’re still working, that people still call you that your phone still rings, that your email still blows up.

that is the accolade. That is the trophy. That is the award that you’re still working because, you know, we all love applause, but I’d rather have it in my bank account. 

Ismail: and we’ve, we we’ve talked about this so many times where it’s like the media likes to show these outliers. You know, these kid billionaires are these really uncommon stories of success and not enough attention is paid to like people that are just grinding it and putting the work in for years and decades and living very successfully.

Uh, but you, you and I always talk about, uh, 

Frustrate on others’ easy success.

Ismail: it seems like some people, like I just alluded to your work ethic, but it seems like some people kind of fall [00:19:00] into huge success or they have it really easy or you watch shark tank and there’s a guy selling a potato and making millions of dollars by putting someone’s face on a potato.

Yeah, male. Does that frustrate you or like, or do you not care? 

Ryan: Like, so it doesn’t necessarily frustrate me, but at the same time, I, I, I really had a kind of a catharsis really yesterday. Uh, and the issue here was, you know, I, I I’m, I’m my hardest critic. I hold myself just to a different standard. I hold the people that work for me to a different standard.

I, you know, I, I really cannot stand it whenever someone, you know, does something, you know, halfway that, that just boggles my mind. I really want someone to put out the, I’m not gonna ask you to do anything. I wouldn’t do myself. Like, I’m just not gonna do that. Like I will do SCT work, just like [00:20:00] the rest of them.

However, Um, whenever going back to like media stuff and whenever there’s like, I don’t know, this has happened a couple times in our industry and not really having to get into something like super specific. There are times where, you know, something in the media will come out well, you know, I already did that or whatever, and I have to recognize, yes, I’ve been working for 16 years.

Yes. People still pick up the phone. I drive a nice car. I live in a nice place. I have nothing to complain about. And I think that that’s what I really have to kind of reign in on a little bit is I, I, I need to learn to be more in the moment and more thankful for what I have, because I think that sometimes that gets lost.


Ismail: for everybody not just you common, 

Ryan: definitely common thing. No. Absolutely. So, you know, if you have kids, that’s clearly why you’re doing this me. I like luggage. [00:21:00] 

Ismail: the fancy, the fancy kind. But 

Ryan: I, I, I, I do, I mean, I travel a little bit so I can use it, but anyways, no, but I think that people just need to recognize that there is a reward in just working.

Like you don’t necessarily need a parade. Yeah. 

Ismail: I, I, thinking back to a conversation I had with a friend where I guess I was venting about something similar. He said, do you enjoy your work? Do you enjoy building your company? Uh, and focus on that more than all the other stuff like, oh, this person made X dollars more than me, or had Xed more than me.

If you love what you’re doing, that’s a huge win in itself. Like a lot of people are miserable every day, going to work, going to their job. So if you’re not miserable, you’re doing something right? 

Ryan: Yeah. I don’t think, I mean, I have, I, well, funny enough ever since kind of, you know, pandemic has started, people are working from home.

I, I I’ve worked from home for the last 16 years. It is nothing [00:22:00] new to me. And everyone is just a piece of garbage, just like I have been . I mean, there are days where you’ll just take your laptop and you’ll work in bed and maybe you’ll take a shower at about four. Um, that’s just kind of how it is. First of all, I also think that’s also, that’s also part of a creative process is I, I go 120% or I go 5%.

There is no in between. Like, there are times where I will overly exhaust myself and I need that time to recharge. And I’ve recognized that I do this. So I will go to bed one night. Let’s just say, I’m watching a movie. Lord knows, I’ll see something. And I. We’ll get up at one in the morning and be like, oh my God, I need to redo my website.

I will make some coffee, drink an energy drink, whatever I need to do. I will sit at my computer and I will work for literally 48 hours straight until it’s entirely [00:23:00] done. I will take little cat napped. And literally once I get focused on a project, that’s all I can think about. Like I am all consumed and I have no idea why I’m like this.

Please help . 

Ismail: This is fascinating. It’s something I’ve noticed about you is when you wanna do something and you have an idea, you just take action right away. Um, they don’t always work out like this is, this is what happened with our podcast too, where we just talked about it and you just threw it together and like less than a day and ended up being the number one podcasting industry.

Uh, can you talk a little bit about what’s? 

Taking action is important for success.

Ismail: Why is it so important to move quick and take action and like throwing these things on the wall, but being okay if they don’t all stick. Perfect 

Ryan: example is funny enough. Joan Rivers is just kind of like a, she just plays really important figure in my life. So Joan Rivers has this documentary.

It’s called a piece of work. And in there, her manager, uh, who was also flip Wilson’s manager at the time, um, made a comment about, you know, [00:24:00] a work ethic and what have you. And the expression that he used is to get struck by lightning. You have to stand out in the rain and no one can stand out in the rain longer.

And I think that if you are putting things out there, whether that be, you know, I’m gonna do a website, I’m gonna do a podcast, I’m gonna do a blog. I’m gonna do this. I’m gonna do a YouTube channel. I’m gonna do, you know, TikTok or whatever. If you’re doing all these things and you are doing all of these things at a hundred, 10%, one of them is bound to hit.

So even though. You know, and I’ve, I’ve talked about this previously, whenever, like, you know, I’m creating content for a client that doesn’t get used. Uh, there was, you know, the fire breathing, one that I did where, you know, this client was doing like this, you know, magic show, circus kind of theme. And every idea that we came out with, she, they just didn’t like, and they went for the most basic thing, which was just mind [00:25:00] boggling to me.

But that didn’t matter to me because I was able to take that content and use it elsewhere. Same thing for, you know, like, uh, like a mock up for a client. Well, I’m just gonna reuse that and put on the website now as just, and then that becomes Instagram content or whatever. So I think that just so long as you’re doing, you’re learning, you’re still experiencing, you’re able to kind of progress yourself, even if it doesn’t 

Ismail: make you.

That’s an interesting thing that we’re, and I know some things that you’ve tried that didn’t take off right. You don’t have an emotional attachment though. Can you talk a little bit about why you don’t like, all right, you’re gonna trial extension. No, you don’t really, you do care, but it doesn’t really hurt you if they don’t all 

Ryan: hit it.

I can’t tell you how many times I will send out a mockup. Like, let’s just say like, it’s actually, it’s, I’m noticing it’s a little bit different because right now I’m doing mockups for free to earn the business and it’s [00:26:00] worked almost a hundred percent of the time. Every time I’ve sent out a like, Hey, let’s do a mockup.

I’ve sent out a full fledged mockup. Like this thing works. People have booked. And actually it happened this morning. Um, previously, if the client pays me first and then we do the mockup, that is kind of a different tone, uh, because then they’re a little bit more, not necessarily demanding, but they, they just know a little bit more of what they want.

I ha I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sent out a mockup again, that’s already paid because that’s the difference. And the client, you know, either calls me, well, I don’t know how to tell you. Please tell me I do not get offended. It is just like I have had people flip out on me. This is the wrong color, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

That’s fine. We’ll change it. Is there anything else that I can help with? Like I don’t, I don’t have that. I don’t know if it’s like a com compartmentalizing thing. The same thing goes for anything else in my life. And [00:27:00] actually I’ve, I’ve had an issue or you’ve brought this up, you know, whenever we’ve recorded a podcast before there have been times where something horrible has happened during the day, and I have, you know, talked to you in the pre-show and, you know, I’m really depressed and whatever, and just really sounds sad.

And I think there was one instance where I was like about to cry or if not crying already, which is rare. And then the red light comes on. Hello. Thank you so much for having, like you just keep talk. Like, and I, I, I don’t know why I’m like that. , um, it’s just shutting off things I found is just easier.

Whenever someone, you know, how like you have that first job, like in high school and, well, not me. Well, not me, but you know, you have that first job in high school and your boyfriend or your girlfriend breaks up with you and you come into work crying, and then you’re working, crying. And then, you know, the little [00:28:00] manager at the fast food restaurant says, leave it at the door.

I have learned to leave it at the door. Whenever I walk into an event, I don’t care what’s happened before. I don’t care. What’s happening after all I have to care about is what’s happening right then and there at that event, same thing. Like whenever I’m recording, like this podcast right now, I can’t think about what’s happening after.

I can’t think of about what just happened. I have to think about what’s happening right now. Yeah, 

Ismail: I dunno if it’s just a personality trait or something that can be learned, but definitely being present in the work that you’re doing. Um, and leaving, like you said, leaving everything else at the door obviously would be very helpful, but just some people just have a very hard time with it.

They’re just more, I guess, emotional or maybe more emotionally invested in their work where they, they get personally offended. Where, what do you mean? You didn’t like my mockup, I worked hard on it. That’s my mockup, but it’s not about you, right? It’s 

Ryan: about the client. It’s not, yeah. It’s not about you. It’s about the work that you’re putting out.

And I think at the same time, you [00:29:00] also have to recognize that, you know, maybe this also has to come with volume. I mean, if I have a hundred clients and I’m just trying to bang it out, you know, and client 45, doesn’t like, what’s going on. You know, I, I have 99 other clients to deal with, but if you have five clients, you know, that’s 20% of your time.

So. Let’s get into 

Ismail: trauma. Uh, oh, um, I know, I know this, some of this story, so it, whatever you’re open to getting into, um, you, lemme set this up this way. There are people that are just so focused on growth, right? Growing their business, whatever that is. And once they get to that level, they realize it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

Um, whether it’s going from 1 million to 5 million and seeing that it’s crazy and saying, you know what? I was happier at 1 million, you make enough money. Your fine life is great. [00:30:00] And you get into the story, um, 

Building business & enjoying it.

Ismail: where you really like built an incredible, huge number business. Um, and then I think you decided to bring it down to a level that you enjoyed more, 

Ryan: uh, that whole story.

Yeah. So this was in Houston, uh, in year one. We did 108,000 in year four. Uh, we did like 1.4 million and the big difference was, first of all, I was knocking on doors. I was going to venues. I was reaching out for clients. We were active. I mean, talk about putting in the work. Like that’s what was happening.

I got to a point in my life personally, where I couldn’t handle it anymore and I didn’t want it anymore. And I would much rather live in, you know, an efficiency than deal with, you know, the gigantic mess that I created, you know, this huge [00:31:00] monstrosity I, that it was like Mariah carry breakdown. Like, you know, pure exhaustion from, you know, working so much, but funny enough, you know, we work in a glamor business and where everything is pretty.

And that’s what I mean by that is everything. Everyone thinks that it’s one thing when really it’s not, you know, whenever I say like, Maria, carry a breakdown, I mean, oh, oh, how can you break down? You know, your life is so pretty. How, how, how could this happen is, you know, kind of the thought process. I guess whenever I made the decision to scale down, I didn’t want the responsibility anymore because at the time I couldn’t handle myself.

And what I mean by that is like, I couldn’t handle my own emotions on my own life, but whenever, you know, you’re pulling big numbers, you are responsible to other people. Other people have families, other people have kids, they rely on the paycheck that you give them. So there was just a certain larger responsibility.

I was 

Ismail: just gonna ask you, you mentioned you didn’t [00:32:00] like it anymore. What was it specifically? You didn’t like, was it just, you didn’t hire enough? People was more stuff on your plate. Was it too many clients? What did you despise 

Ryan: at that level? Uh, I didn’t enjoy it anymore. The way how it worked out was at the beginning of the month, we would see how much money was coming in.

Uh, so that’s kind of where, I guess it, uh, whatever the month turned, that’s just kind of where we knew where we were in August. This was, I don’t know, eight, nine years ago. I don’t remember. Uh, the month turned and there was 500 bucks coming in and I was like, I am done. I’m done trying. And that day I sent everyone home.

I went back to bed the next day I made the decision to close, uh, and the way how it was working out was we were gonna close at the end of the year. And it might have taken me a couple days to figure this out. So. What we would do is we’d go gangbusters [00:33:00] between August and December. And after that close after January one, while I still had three events, one in January, one in February and one in Decem or, uh, one in March and January and February went fine.

And the March one, the client, um, I really enjoyed the bride in the groom. I was doing flowers for this particular event. I really enjoyed the bride in the groom. And we did a mockup and, you know, I agreed to do a lot more for less money just because I liked them. And the mother came in and ripped apart my work.

And at the time I know it shouldn’t have got to me, but it did. And I think it was just because she was such a Karen. And actually this was before even Karen was a term, but that’s like the exact way I would describe her. It just reaffirmed. Okay. I can’t do this anymore just because. I can’t, I don’t have the mental capacity to [00:34:00] handle other people right now.

I just recognize in myself, I, I can’t be in a customer service based industry at this point in time. Um, I ended up finishing out those last events and it was just, um, it, I just had enough and I think that just for my own sanity, I needed to stop doing it. And I think that that should be the case. No matter what, if you’re not happy with something, you really shouldn’t continue doing it.

Life is just too short for that. Don’t I’ve always said this. Don’t worry about the money. The money will come. Like money always has its way of finding its way to you. Yeah. 

Ismail: I, I was gonna say that. How did you get over the ego of no making more? Money’s great. More money, more money, more money, maybe it’s because you get to a point where you get slapped in the face and your body’s like falling apart and your brain’s falling apart and you realize it’s not worth it.

But a lot of people don’t realize that until I get to that point. So I guess I’m trying to [00:35:00] segue this into the next topic. Like you also are now are really like, you’re the self-care guru where you’re always like hanging out by the pool, traveling at the beach wherever. 

Ryan: Well, not anymore, but actually that is such a lie because I was in cobble like a month ago.


Ismail: I, I know it’s I know it’s still happening. 

Importance of Self-care.

Ismail: So how did you arrive at that? Or did you, were you always like that? And I guess tell people how important, uh, no. How important the selfcare is, especially compared to what you were just talking about, where things were getting to a point where you just couldn’t deal 

Ryan: with it anymore.

Yeah. You know, self self-care isn’t selfish. Uh, you need to put your mask on before you put the mask on for others. You know, I think that you, if you yourself, if you aren’t taking care of yourself, there’s no way that you can help anyone else. And granted, I probably do this a little bit more than I used to.

Um, However, I think that was a conscious decision because for five years, [00:36:00] I, I, I mean, I didn’t go to so much as an outlet mall or if I went to an outlet mall that was the vacation 

Ismail: to be, to be fair of the outlet malls. Uh I’m from New York, you know, we don’t have outdoor malls. I’ve been to some of the, yeah, really nice out there, man.

It’s it’s like a nice little break walking around, outside 

Ryan: shopping. Well, like I’m going to Passaic New Jersey. Yeah, right. No, , there’s, 

Ismail: you’re 

Ryan: not missing out there. I was like, if anyone is listening from Passaic, New Jersey, my sincere apologies. Um, no, so actually I remember this just like it was yesterday.

I was, I was in such a, a bad relationship, which that can hinder things. Um, but you know, I would just, uh, my, my partner at the time. Was like, oh, you know, for Christmas, like I wanna get you this chair. And this chair was super and I mean, super expensive then was probably [00:37:00] about 300 bucks. And I’m like, no, no, my chair’s fine.

I will just continue to use the chair that I have. We have, you know, other things that that $300 can go to. There was one time where we had an opportunity to go to Chicago for funny enough, around Christmas. And I’m like, no, no, no. We could use the money to spend it somewhere else. Let’s just stay here. I made so many excuses and didn’t take care of my, I should have just bought the stupid chair because it probably would’ve made my life better for a little bit.

If you’re sitting in that chair, you know, 8, 9, 10 hours a day, just buy the stupid. Little things like that very much add up to your sanity. I get that. Not everyone is in a financial position to do whatever, you know, if you have an opportunity and you could afford it, just [00:38:00] do it, it truthfully, it’ll just because I have spent so much time making excuses for other people’s happiness or for just plain guilt of, well, you know what?

I don’t need this, you know, let’s just, you know, you get whatever you need for you. I don’t need it. 

Ismail: Something that you’re reminding of that, that I’ve seen, like when people are selling their car or their home, right. I’ve noticed that, you know, they gotta fix it up before they can sell it. Yeah. They gotta make it nice for the next person.

They gotta remodel that kitchen. Um, so they can make it easier to sell a home. Uh, why didn’t you remodel the kitchen for yourself? If you were gonna do it for the next person. Why didn’t you just do it from the beginning and take care of yourself? I dunno if that’s a, it’s a good analogy, but that’s the first one that came to my mind.


Ryan: know, I think that it is a little bit is, you know, it, yeah. I can completely see that. Why do we have to sunk in a sink in all this money for something that [00:39:00] we don’t even get to enjoy? Like, that’s just, that just is a little depressing, but, you know, um, there, there is a happy medium to some of this stuff.

Like whenever I was buying a car or a bed or whatever, you know, a bed you’re, what’s the statistic you spend, like, you know, 20 years of your life in bed, like you might as well get the good one. I mean, , I mean, just think about it. Like, if, if things that affect you on an everyday basis, you know, I, I, I do this with my car.

I’m in my car a lot. I might as well have a better one, you know, 

Ismail: That’s definitely true. I, I look at it the same way when I’m buying something that I use like daily, whether it’s your phone, your computer, the bed that you sleep in, the car that you drive, you probably should get the good one. Uh, the things that you don’t really use, you don’t have to splurge on those things.

Right. But the things that you use a lot might as well get the good one. Um, 

Grateful for your struggles.

Ismail: do you find yourself [00:40:00] grateful for the struggles that you had? Like the one that you mentioned as an example of getting the business so big, that you just couldn’t deal with it anymore? Are you grateful for that stuff? Or do you, would, do you wish you would’ve 

Ryan: avoided it?

No. Um, and this goes back to the conversation that I had with my friend yesterday. I wouldn’t change anything for the world. There have been times where I have been, we were doing linens and, you know, there’s a huge pile of linens at the end of the night, alcohol soaked. And, you know, you’re so tired. You just sit down on there because it’s a soft service and you pass out.

I mean, I, I, I, I have had a lot of struggle. I have put in the time I’ve put in the effort I have paid my dues. You know, again, I don’t, that’s why no one can tell me, you know, try me. I mean, everything that has happened or could potentially go wrong, has gone wrong. I mean, there are times where [00:41:00] I, we did an event, uh, for, it was a bridal show and it was a really high end bridal show.

I spent all my money. I spent three grand on that thing. I had about 150 bucks left in my bank account that night we took everyone to a restaurant and the bill came out to, I don’t know, 1 25. So I was able to do that in cover tip. To where I woke up on Monday with $3 of my account. I mean, I, I have had amazing highs.

I’ve had amazing lows. Um, I don’t think I would change that for anything. I mean, I think that whenever someone has, you know, a struggle, yeah. I’ve been there. I’ve done that. And then some I’ve, you know, grabbed a filet from the kitchen and eaten it with my bare hands. I’ve done it. I’ve been there. 

Ismail: I don’t mean to laugh because I know we’ve talked about this so many [00:42:00] times in private where I, I, well, I find that the people that make it all have stories like that, where they struggle and maybe that’s why, like, I’ve been with you in high stress situations.

I’ve seen how you operate. You’re so calm. Yeah. And maybe it’s because you’ve been through worse. I have. You just did. I’ve I, I ate food with my bare hands. Like I had $3 in my bank account. Do you think this is gonna worry me? Like, we’ll just figure it out. Um, so going through those tough times may help people, uh, when, when those types of situations come up, that panic.

Ryan: No, I think it’s silly to panic. I think that if you, everything is figure outable, everything, and usually you should be able to figure out in 20 minutes, there is no problem so big that you can’t figure it out in that amount 

Ismail: of time. And just to paint the pig. I, I, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you panic.

Like the building could little be grumbling around you on fire and Ryan would be there saying, oh yeah, it’s not big deal. We’ll figure it out. We’ll we’ll do the, we’ll do the [00:43:00] wedding in the backyard. I got the tent ready. Let’s just go. I’m not exaggerating. I think, I think that’s the personality that you have in those 

Ryan: high stresses, you know?

And I don’t, I don’t know why that is. I’m sure I have a deer in headlights. Look, I mean there this, I think in Fe I think, I think in February we were doing a 360 booth and the, the it wasn’t working. You know, we were all set up, we were running test. This thing was not working. The planner comes over to me and she’s like, okay, we should be ready to go in 15 minutes.

And I was like, absolutely. This thing not working. And I sent someone out to best buy, to go get another camera, spent 400 bucks reinstalled. It that’s not working. Finally. We ended up figuring out that it was a cord that had gone bad between, I guess the battery and the camera. I don’t know what was going on.

Fix that. We’re good to go. 30 seconds spare, no joke. [00:44:00] You know, I think that it’s not gonna be the end of the world. Things go wrong. You know, it’s just your job to kind of mitigate that, you know, as much as possible. 

Ismail: We talked earlier about, um, you mentioned the high standards you have. Yeah. Like in your work and the high expectations you have of yourself.

Uh, I, I feel like I’ve noticed, and I don’t think I’ve ever asked you about this, but I’ve noticed that you also have high standards and who you surround yourself with. right.

Power of Inner Circle.

Ismail: Why do you do that? Is there, is it like a rational thing or is it just a instinctual thing, but you seem to have a high bar for the people that you allow in your circle.

Ryan: I think as I get older, my circle gets smaller. Like right now, if something good were to happen, I would call four people versus 10 years ago. I’d probably call 12. Uh, and I don’t know if that’s just like a self protection thing. Um, I have become very protective of who [00:45:00] I spend my time with probably more seriously, I think, in the last year and a half.

Um, I don’t particularly care for superfluous relationships anymore. I think that if I’m gonna spend time with you, it means that I, I want to spend time with you. There is a reason for me to spend time with you. Um, I, I don’t know why that is. I think it’s just because, you know, I don’t know if it’s, um, if it’s a Vegas thing, because in Vegas there’s a lot of superfluous people and a lot of superfluous people just blowing air.

And I think that has a lot to do with in events industry. It’s the same way. Um, there was one instance a while back, uh, actually this is kind of a juicy story. Uh, there was an instance where this new planner on the block comes out and does this brittle show. And he goes, oh, we booked 15 events. And I’m like, and [00:46:00] he’s saying this at a group of people.

I’m like Nike didn’t, like, no one books specifically at this stuff, you might get one or two, you know, back in the day, you know, someone gives you cash. Like, Hey, let’s secure date, whatever. But you can’t tell me that you booked that many right now. Well, fast forward a few years, uh, he randomly got this government contract.

Oh, this is so horrible. Um, he got this government contract. I have no idea how and failed miserably to where it’s on, like the front page of the newspaper. I mean, it’s just there. People will tell you whatever it is they think you want to hear. I, I, again, I’ve been there done that and truthfully, I don’t, I don’t care, but I think that you just have to recognize there are always gonna be people out there that will, and this is just, this goes with everything.

This goes, this is a horrible time [00:47:00] to, to be alive right now, specifically because of social media, social media paints. Big. Beautiful. Pretty picture. I’ve done this this day. I’ve done it, but you have to you, but you have to recognize that that’s not reality, you know? No, one’s gonna tell you what it takes to get to that picture.


Ismail: we’ll get into social media next, but one, I just wanna touch on because I find it interesting that you said, you know, you had 12 people you go through now you have four. Um, because having having said that, 

 Building relationships.

Ismail: one of the things that you’re so good at is like networking and building relationships authentically.

And I’ve seen you become like best friends with your partners and clients and, and it helps your business. Is that something you do intentionally as a sales tool? Do you just look to work with people that you enjoy being around? How do you build that kind of relationship? Because a lot of people wanna grow their business and they can’t do that.

They can’t build those kind of relationships. So 

Ryan: I’ve, uh, this is also a blessing and a [00:48:00] curse. And I think that I have recognized, you know, yes, there are, uh, vendors that I have worked with that I have just become really good friends with. You know, just last week I went to bingo with a planner and granted we haven’t done event and Lord knows how long.

So, you know, there’s no, there’s no ulterior motive there. She has been outta work since, you know, March or whatever. Um, it’s just because I generally enjoy them as a person. Um, I, I think it started out as that, but it just, you just naturally gravitate towards, you know, these people, someone will, Ryan, let me bounce this idea off of you.

I have just always been that person. I think it’s because I always give a 100% honest unvarnished opinion. I mean, you are getting the raw opinion. If you ask me something crazy, I’m gonna [00:49:00] slap you upside the head and be like, what are you thinking? You know, just, just this last week, one of my friends wants to open up a restaurant out of the blue.

What are you, what are you doing at two o’clock today? I’m like, what? Where wherever you tell me to be, well, I need you to meet me at this restaurant. I’m meeting with a contractor. Come let me know what you think. We walked the space. Didn’t say anything at all, no words exchange going through this walkthrough.

And you know, the contractor leaves. And he looks at me and I was like, shall we go elsewhere to discuss? And he’s like, let’s we went to a very horrible hole in the wall, Mexican restaurant. And I loved it. And we, because I love real estate dealings at, you know, just crappy places like that, just because it just makes it, you know, so much better.

I have no idea why this is. And he goes, what do you think? And I said, no, just out. I go, [00:50:00] I, I go, no. And he goes, I was thinking the same thing only because, uh, there was just gonna be, so just to get the place to open the doors to be workable was easily gonna cost upwards of 800,000. 

Ismail: But, but how many friends would be like, oh, this is a great idea.

You’ll do great. Go for it. Pursue your dreams. Yeah, it’s gonna, it’s gonna be wonderful. No, not a lot of people are willing to tell felt like it is no. And, and truthfully it’s because you’re looking out for them. Not because you wanna see them fail. No. If you wanted to see them fail, you just let them 

Ryan: do it.

Your me, your meanest friend is the one that cares about you. The most, I, I, I, I was like, you attested this, I’m your meanest friend. 

Ismail: well, so, alright, so he, here’s another aspect of this, cause it’s, multi-layered right. Where what you, everything you just said is true. Um, but I’ve also seen the side of you where, and people may not know.

You’re [00:51:00] so loyal and generous to your friends. Right. And I don’t know like why that is. Um, because oftentimes, and I relate to this too, where you’re people rely on you, whether it’s your, your colleagues, your family, and you just give them everything. Yeah. Like all you’ve got you’re there for them. You don’t necessarily get that in return.

Right. So sometimes you feel a little bit underappreciated. I’m not saying you I’m speaking generally and, and for myself as well. So

Your Loyalty & Generosity.

Ismail: why are you still so loyal and generous to your friends? Like I’ve seen you do things, uh, that most people wouldn’t do to help your friends. Where does that come from? Why do you do that?

Is that, uh, is there an altered motive or is that just what you do? 

Ryan: I, I think it’s just how I am. Uh, and I don’t know where I get it from because there is no one in my family that’s like that. Uh, maybe, maybe, maybe a little bit of my grandmother, uh, but. You know, I, I, I don’t know where it comes [00:52:00] from. I think that actually, uh, what was it LA uh, last year 20?

Yeah. Uh, yeah, 2019. Um, I was in New York for my birthday and I had, what was it? Eight, 10 people people-ish to dinner. 

Ismail: Oh yeah. I was there. Yeah, it was . Yeah, it was like, uh, I would say under 10 or 10, something like that. Yeah. 

Ryan: Uh, for my birthday and I went to the restroom and I took care of the bill. I came back and 

Ismail: everybody very, very sneakily, very sneakily.

That was very, still 


Ryan: cool. Very still. Um, and you gave people 

Ismail: presents? I 

Ryan: did. I had birthday favors. Yeah. That were hand selected for every individual. Um, I, I, I actually forgot about that. Um but I think I’ve just always been like that. And [00:53:00] there’s just, I mean, there’s nothing I have to gain from that.

Um, if anything, everyone was pissed at me right after, but what I really hate is like, if I’m in a situation like that, I it’s just all that I wanted. I just wanted to be around closer friends. That’s literally all that I wanted. Um, 

Ismail: that’s something you and I relate on and I just find it weird. Like even in my birthdays, in the past where I would invite people, I find it weird to invite people in my birthday and like have them pay for everything.

Yeah. It’s like, I’m inviting, I’m inviting you to my birthday at the party or at the club or at the restaurant. And I just expect everyone else to pay for it. I just find that a odd, I don’t know. It’s normal though. I, 

Ryan: well, I mean, I think it’s normal for, you know, people to pay for themselves or what have you, but.

I don’t know. I’ve just, I’ve just never been one to do that. And I don’t know why that is, but do you, do you 

Ismail: feel like, and, and [00:54:00] I’ve seen you, like, even with me and you, where you just say like, yeah, whatever, just tell me what you need and I’ll do it. Just tell me what you want and I’ll get it. Um, a lot of people don’t do that authentically.

Right. And there’s never anything in it for you, but you just do it. I imagine that, and I know people in your family, you’re there for your family as well. Do you get to a point where you just feel underappreciated? Um, 

Ryan: like why don’t people do this for me? No, I, I think that if you’re doing that, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.

Um, there, there are times where, uh, so my grandfather is getting up in age and it’s, it’s hard. And anyone, anyone that is listening to this that has dealt with any sort of end of life situation knows how difficult it is. It is hard on the caregiver. Uh, and, and I, I only, uh, am a caregiver to my grandfather, you know, a quarter of the time and it’s still stressful.

Um, my [00:55:00] little brother lives with him full time, so I can only imagine how stressful it is on him. You know, I think that if you’re doing, if you’re wondering, well, what’s in it for me, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. And, uh, you know, I, I, I, I truly believe that if you just put the good out there into the world, it’s gonna come back to you.

I, I, I truly believe that, you know, have 

Ismail: you found that, have you found that this helps you and your business, even though you don’t do it for that reason? I’m not 

Ryan: sure about the business part of it, but most definitely the personal, and I think that maybe the, that spills over into the business, but I don’t, I don’t go out there with that intention, I don’t think.

Okay. So 

Ismail: on the flip side of all this stuff, you mentioned earlier that you. You know, you participated in social media and you you’re really effective at social media for your personal brand, as well as your company stuff as well. And getting leads from there. Um, people seem to see you as a social media expert.

Advice to aspiring entrepreneurs.

Ismail: Do you have [00:56:00] any general advice for people that are trying to start their side household, uh, and hoping to get clients on social media, how to think about it, how to go about it 

Ryan: in general? I think the whole purpose is just to be intentional with whatever it is you’re posting. You know, I think that if you’re putting a little bit of thought into it and there’s some effort, then that’s gonna go a long way because you know, people can talk about hashtags and algorithms all day.

But at the end of the day, what keeps people coming back is the content and how people are engaging with it. So if you’re truly putting out good content, it’s gonna come back to you. 

Taking social media break

Ismail: You’ve also been known to love your social media, but go on breaks, right? Yeah. Is that, is that more like, do you take the break on business or is it only personal and is that.

To what you were saying about, um, the self-care aspect. 

Ryan: I think it’s only, I think it’s only personal. I think that if you’re doing something like that nonstop, it’s gonna get to you. Um, I, I, again, this I’m either 120% or [00:57:00] 5%. There’s nowhere in between. And this, this I’m recognizing is kind of a theme. You know, I think that if I’m one thing that I do is with my photo business, if I’m at an event, it’s a cool event, I’ll film the event and we’ll do a promo video out of it.

That’ll become content for everything else. So we, I will eventually start a YouTube, um, with, you know, all these videos, but for now it just goes to a blog and then goes to Instagram and then I read it on proposals. You know, some, a. Let’s just say we do an event at, you know, Omnia in Las Vegas. Another client comes to me and says, oh, we’re at Omnia or, oh, we’re at marque day club or whatever.

Oh, here’s the event that we just did, you know, whatever. And then slap in that little video. So they know, oh, they’ve done this before. So it just creates a little bit of, I guess, social proof. Um, I, I think that people just see social media as just a way to put out stuff. And I think that if you’re just more [00:58:00] intentional about it and thoughtful about it and can reuse it, then creating more thoughtful content, you know, will just benefit you in the long run. 

 Way to connect with Ryan.

Ryan: You are also incredible for putting together like really helpful, well designed content. And speaking of the social media, I know, uh, you have a PDF on your site for Instagram, how to get leads from Instagram and you have a bunch of other content there. Uh, one of my favorite ones was. I think you did a video webinar on how to create the promo videos you were just talking about.

Ismail: So yeah. People wanna find out more about those types of things. Can you tell a little bit about that? Yeah. 

Ryan: So in Australia, uh, in January this year, I, uh, did a talk on how I create these videos. Um, and you know, the apps that I use, the music that I use and all the things that kind of go into it. Um, so that’s, that’s available on Ryan

New course on Wizard platform.

Ryan: You also are 

Ismail: working on a top secret new course on the wizard platform, 

Ryan: is that correct? Yes. Yes, yes, yes. [00:59:00] Uh, we’re doing, uh, do tell detail. So I have always been at the forefront of this. Uh, I remember whenever I would go to, uh, actually sunny gang Goli at, uh, wedding wire, did. They did like a little mini conference in Houston, long, long time ago.

And they were kind of saying, Hey, here’s all the things that I’m gonna do on this platform, which they actually ended up doing. So you can essentially run your business using, you know, wedding wire, if you wanted to, which is such a great tool prior to that, I was already kind of doing this stuff. Um, I, I have always been very forward thinking in that I want to be able to, if I’m going to have a leg up on my competition, it’s gonna be with technology just because that’s just kind of how I am.

I’m the first person to do all the things to in my house with smart house, like put in the doorbell, you know, do all the [01:00:00] lights, push a button, have all this stuff sort of happen. You know, I’m, I’m the first person to do all that. And I, I, I really was doing that with my business. Um, I searched long and hard and.

I was one of the first people to do online payment for, you know, wedding industry, because previously you couldn’t do that. Uh, we would, was actually talking with, uh, one of my other friends. Um, whenever she would do proposals, she would put them in the mail. And the big tip back in the day was to have a self-addressed stamped envelope for the deposit.

And then to send it back to you, that was the hot tip of wedding industry, you know, back in , you know, back in late nineties you’ve come so far. No, it really has. So with me, uh, you know, we would, we would talk about how, uh, it went from the average time that it would take for someone to book. So [01:01:00] let’s say you meet with a client.

So I’m talking with flowers here because that’s a little bit of a longer thing. You have a client that comes in to meet with you. Hey, here’s all the things that we want to do for our wedding. You take about a day or two or three, depending on how big it is, type up your proposal, pop it in the mail, send it to them with the self-addressed stamp envelopes so that they can send you the deposit back.

And then they review it, go back and forth with changes. What have you, they put that check in the mail. They send it back to you that whole time takes two weeks. And whenever email kind of came along, you know, oh, let’s just email a proposal and then send me a check or a credit card. What have you, that process would take about a week?

Uh, whenever you’re able to do online payment that got shortened to three days. That’s the average time it takes [01:02:00] for someone to make a purchase? Um, I haven’t checked on what my time to close is now, but I’d imagine it’s within three days. It’s just, we have come so far and technology helps us do that sort of stuff.

There are times where I have been abled my website to do a million different things to where I will wake up to money. And that has just, it’s just always been, my passion is, you know, we call it midnight money where you’re making money in your sleep. And I think that, and what’s interesting is right now it’s such a huge thing.

I’ve been doing this, you know, for 16 years. Like, and now just now it’s kind of like coming around. 

Ismail: Yeah. It’s the best feeling when you wake up and you’ve got money notifications while you’re sleeping, it, it does happen folks. Um, so I, I do think that you are definitely, you’ve been at the forefront at this, and we talked about the, the story in the beginning where you scaled up to [01:03:00] crazy numbers and you decided to downsize.

You didn’t. I mean, just because you downsize doesn’t mean you didn’t generate, you don’t generate big numbers anymore. Yeah. Right. It’s just about being efficient. Yeah. And being like, I, I always refer to you as the guy with lean and mean operation where you don’t wanna deal with all the stress of a huge, like corporate type of entity, but you can still generate massive numbers if you leverage technology.

Um, and, and I think that the great thing about this course is that it’s not just for photo with people or for event people it’s applicable to anybody doing any business, uh, people that are doing different side hustles or whatever. Now you wanna obviously know how to leverage your time, uh, leverage technology.

So you can maximize your output, but minimize the input that you are personally responsible for. So for people who are interested in that, they can check out the link in the show notes and, uh, had suggested you talked about this topic at a conference. 

 Helping others.

Ismail: Organized. And it was fascinating. I think, uh, it’s applicable to anybody.

You know, I have 

Ryan: helped, I have helped a lot of people in a lot of industries. I have, [01:04:00] uh, someone that does nails that I, I help with. Um, she was able to do, she created a coloring book during quarantine and her coloring book has taken off and we’ve been able to put, you know, a PDF of this coloring book on her website.

So now people are going in purchasing her coloring book. Uh, we’ve done it with a salsa. Um, there’s a salsa company that I’ve done all the things with. She’s doing holiday packages. Uh, th there’s just a, a million different things. This can be done to any business. It’s not just limited to anything with just events.

Ismail: Since you had experience putting together a lot of content, a lot of courses. I mean, you speak all the time. You, um, have webinars and you’ve also worked with me. So if anyone that’s listening to this is considering. Collaborating with me or creating a course on the wizard platform. What would you tell them based on your experience, whether it’s putting that content together and putting it out in the world, or whether it’s working with me and my platform, [01:05:00] 

Ryan: just go for it.

The hardest part is getting on camera and filming this stuff, because whenever you do it, it’s going to sound stupid. It’s going to look stupid, but at the same time, you have to recognize that this isn’t for you. You know, this really is to channel whatever knowledge you’ve had and put yourself out there.

That’s the hardest part. 

Ismail: All right. So a as we wrap, let me, I have you like rapid fire questions. The answers on have to be rapid fire, but a few questions that I want get to with all your experience. 

Common things people get wrong.

Ismail: What have you, and you, you mentioned you’ve helped a lot of people in different industries. What do you find are the most common things that people get wrong 

Ryan: that people 

Ismail: get wrong?

Yeah. Like what, I guess what makes a difference? People who make it like you and people who don’t, 

Ryan: uh, people really do things more for themselves than they do for the customer. And that’s a problem. Uh, I have noticed more times than not people will create something for themselves that not [01:06:00] necessarily other people want.

And there is a little bit of emotion with that. And there’s a little bit of, I’m sure there’s ego with that as well. Um, but at the same time, like you have to recognize that while. So I have, I had a friend that did rentals and he was like, I would never purchase a rental that I wouldn’t have in my own home.

That was his barometer for his inventory purchasing. You know, I think that if you’re gonna try something out and I always do this, I always get, you know, 10, 15 friends. Tell me what you think I did this recently with even just a promo video. What is your opinion of this video? What do you think the tone is?

Do you think that this is, I did this with you? What do you think that this is? How is this going to be perceived? Because I think that if you’re gonna make any money, you have to recognize that this needs to be appealing to, you know, more people than it does less in other words, get over yourself. [01:07:00] 

Ismail: yeah.

And not, it’s a great takeaway because a lot of times people try to build something that they want, which works in a lot of cases, but you’re not the only customer of your business. Right. You have to kind of get ahead and, and understand what the clients want and serve them as opposed to serving yourself.

Right. Yeah. All right. So let’s take, 

Any hint of a future successful entrepreneur as a young kid.

Ismail: take me back to young Ryan, and I don’t think I know young Ryan, other than some embarrassing photos that I’ve seen. Sure. Um, but if I interviewed people around you at that time, uh, how would they have described you? Is there any hint of a future successful entrepreneur, uh, from back then?

How would you 

Ryan: feature that? Uh, Gosh, this is such an interesting thing. Um, whenever, so I, this is gonna be a twofold answer. I have been told my entire life that I’m going to be something big my entire life from a lot of people. And it, it, to me really hasn’t happened yet. [01:08:00] Um, and that’s been kind of something, a little difficult that I’ve just kind of had to wrap my brain around whenever I was in second grade, uh, there was a, uh, we had a Mardi Graw competition where we had a piece of construction paper that had like a Mardi Graw mask printed on it.

And we had to decorate the Mardi GRA mask and they would lay out all the, I remember this, like it was flipping yesterday. I think there was like 15 kids in my class. They had a, a U shape of all the desks in the room and. One by one, we put our names on a piece of paper with a number and you know, that way they were all shuffled and they had teachers come in and vote and I won, and this is gonna sound so stupid from, you know, second grade.

But that I never [01:09:00] recognized talent kind of, that I had until then. I’ve always been told that I had it, but never, it, it, it never, uh, really occurred to me. So whenever I won, I was like, I won really? Like, I’ve never, I’ve never taken it for granted. I’ve always, um, and to this day, I’m still unsure about work that I put out.

I mean, the night before something launches, I’m still freaking out. Like it never gets old. I, I always think I’m gonna get an angry phone call on Monday. You know, thinking that someone didn’t like the work that I did and that really hasn’t been the case. I, it it’s taken me a long time to realize, Hey, I have this talent and I can, you know, really utilize it.

All these people that were 

Ismail: telling you your whole life, Hey, you’re gonna be someone big. Yeah. What do they see to make them say that? 

Ryan: Um, you know, whenever I was first starting out a wedding industry and I would go to every networking thing, I went to every, you know, [01:10:00] every meeting nonstop, if there was a luncheon, if there was a dinner, if there was an after bar, I was there primarily because I had nothing else to do, but I, I just loved it.

And funny enough, I had the nickname, uh, the boy wonder because I would just like, have an idea and it would be, you know, up and running in a day and a half. I mean, I I’ve just literally always been like this. I can’t explain it. So 

Ismail: has that, um, you know, has that put pressure on you cuz. You kind of then start to build this expectation of yourself, where I have to have this much success and whether you achieve it or you never achieve it, or once you get there, you think you should have more, does it make it harder to be happy?

Ryan: No. Uh, I, I have, I have learned to be content now. Uh, I don’t, I’m not all about the one upping I’m just looking at right now. Like, even with like my microphone, like I’ve had this microphone for like, I don’t know, three years, I love this thing. [01:11:00] Like I have no reason to get another one. This one works fine.

And I think, I think that’s also a big misconception of me, uh, is that I’m like that. Um, I’ve always been told that like, people think that my, whenever people come to my house, they think that it’s gonna be like, you know, loft and all white walls and all white furniture and whatever. And it’s not like there’s.

I, I live in a jungle. There’s a lot of plants in my house. Like , there’s a lot of books and there’s, you know, Browns and woods and it’s, it’s, it’s a house and people, I think get a little, uh, thrown off by that because they don’t think that that’s how I 

Ismail: live. 

Role of luck in your success.

Ismail: How much would you say lock has played in your success?

Is it like, versus your ability of hard work intelligence, stuff like that? Is it a lot of luck or is it mostly what you 

Ryan: put in I’ve Al I’ve always been told that luck is when [01:12:00] opportunity and timing collide. Uh, I, I have worked hard for the times where I’ve just been well prepared, you know, a bullet’s coming towards me and I take that opportunity and then it explodes.

It’s just hard work and being prepared. Meets opportunity. It’s literally all it is. Um, I think I’m knowledgeable enough actually. Uh, so I, I, I love Broadway and, uh, a couple years ago, Billy Porter got put on the spot by James Corden. Uh, if you Google like or YouTube, Billy Porter at the Emmy’s, you’ll see this during a commercial break, James Gordon, hands him a mic and says, what song do you wanna sing?

Billy opens up the book and goes the first one, he belts out, everything’s coming up, roses from gypsy gets on the stage. And it was this massive moment that was never on television. [01:13:00] And it was just, he got so much credit for that. And actually, uh, they ended up putting him on, um, James was like, this was such a big thing that happened.

He ended up putting it on the late, late show. And what I really appreciated about it is that stuff just doesn’t happen. That is hard work that is being prepared. And I just think that whenever you’re all of those things and the opportunity comes up, you really can snatch it. And I think that, you know, that’s, maybe there’s a little bit of luck.

I’m not gonna lie. I think that, you know, but whenever we talk about the, you know, getting the spurs client and picking up the phone, that just didn’t happen. That means that my website had to be up to par enough for somebody to be like, okay, I trust this person. Okay. This person knows what they’re doing.

Wow. I like the output to pick up the phone to even call the opportunity was just me picking up the phone. Yeah. I guess 

Ismail: luck can find you, but you still have to deliver, you still have [01:14:00] to seize it. Um, you still have to be prepared. There’s a lot of other elements to it while it’s not just people become rich and successful, cuz they’re lucky.

Um, and, and, and the final question that we’ve talked about a ton of stuff in this conversation, 

 What is a rich life to you?

Ismail: Obviously a rich life. Isn’t just about money. Right. And you’ve kind of alluded to that with your story. What is a rich life to you? 

Ryan: Uh, my family truly, um, just being, oh my God, I’m gonna lose it right now. Why do you do this?

This is like the Oprah Marvel Walters interview. Um, I think your family is just the reason why you do this. Um, you know, I was able to put together a small party for my grandfather’s 80th. Ugh, Jesus Ismail, why are you making me do this? It was just, um, the greatest honor that I could ever have to do that.

And I wouldn’t be able to do that if it not had been for my career. 

Ismail: No, no. I appreciate you getting into that. I, the reason I [01:15:00] end the show with this question to everybody is that, uh, I find that the most successful people understand what they’re doing it for, right. And when you make that connection, why you’re working so hard, it, it allows you to keep going and keep building because you know, the end game.

Right. And I see you, you know, I know the event that you refer to with your grandfather. I see you do those things all the time. And that seems to be the times that you’re the happiest, right? So maybe that fuels you to work hard and to keep building the things that you’re building, because you know what you’re doing it for.


Ryan: I think it does. And I think that if you lose sight of that, it, you know, you’re, you’re gonna have like this like existential crisis of well, well, well, what am I doing this for? I mean, I, I, to say that, oh, I’m gonna buy a Tesla or, oh, I’m gonna, you know, buy a condo at this place or, oh, I need a second home.

Or all those things are really fine and dandy. But at the same time, I don’t think that’s very, at least for me, [01:16:00] hasn’t been fulfilling. There have been times where whenever I was younger, first of all, I didn’t know. I didn’t know the concept of money. Money was coming in, left right. And sideways. And I would, you know, go to sax, buy some shoes, you know, do that a couple times a week.

And then I remember one time I got like, I landed a super big client. I was like, I’m gonna go shopping. And I went, uh, into the store and I was like, I have everything. There’s literally nothing left for me to purchase. And it was just such, it was such a weird feeling because that’s when you kind of recognize that, well, Hey, material things really don’t matter.

Ismail: Yeah. That’s such, it’s such a great place to be at too. Or like E even when you get to a certain age, you can buy everything you want. Right. Yeah. Hopefully. And your friends ask you, what do you want for your birthday? What do you want for this? And nothing. If you, if you can say I have everything I need, I don’t need anything.

I think that’s a great place. Yeah. To be, and you should be grateful for me. [01:17:00] 

Ryan: I need you to bring a bottle of wine and then we can, you know, Chi on for three hours. 

Ismail: I think that’s a great place to leave it, Ryan,

Thank You & Wrap up!

Ismail: thank you so much for coming on. I appreciate you getting into lessons you’ve learned and, and spreading some wisdom to people listening.

Thank you. Where’s the Kleenex. 

Ryan: sorry about that. I have a mental breakdown now. Thank you so much. I appreciate it. 

Ismail: And there you have it. If you enjoy this episode, please remember to leave a review. I may even give you a shout out and reads out on the show for any and all resources that we discussed.

Check out the show notes or head on over to bound to be rich com until next time.[/expand]