Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain: How I Went from Gang Member to Multimillionaire Entrepreneur

( 121 )

Overview

Ryan Blair knows about building a business from the ground up. Like many entrepreneurs he had no formal business education. But he had great survival instincts, tenacity, and, above all, a "nothing to lose" mindset.

Blair's middle-class childhood came to an abrupt end when his abusive father succumbed to drug addiction and abandoned the family. Blair and his mother moved to a bad neighborhood, and soon he was in and out of juvenile detention, ...

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Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain: How I Went from Gang Member to Multimillionaire Entrepreneur

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Overview

Ryan Blair knows about building a business from the ground up. Like many entrepreneurs he had no formal business education. But he had great survival instincts, tenacity, and, above all, a "nothing to lose" mindset.

Blair's middle-class childhood came to an abrupt end when his abusive father succumbed to drug addiction and abandoned the family. Blair and his mother moved to a bad neighborhood, and soon he was in and out of juvenile detention, joining a gang just to survive.

Then his mother fell in love with a successful entrepreneur who took Ryan under his wing. With his mentor's help, Blair turned himself into a wildly successful businessman. He started his first company, 24/7 Tech, at the age of twenty-one, and since then has created and sold several companies for hundreds of millions of dollars.

Now Blair teaches listeners how to start and grow their own profitable businesses by following his often contrarian philosophies. For instance:

—In juvenile detention, if you let someone take your milk the first day, he'll take it every day. The same is true in business.

—When you're dealing with an investor's money, you have to act as if God Himself wrote you the check.

—Most business plans aren't worth the paper they're written on.

—Efforts don't pay the rent. Have no sympathy for employees who talk about how hard they're trying.

—Entrepreneurship is great because you can set your own hours—any seventeen hours of the day, seven days a week. But if you're doing what you love, it doesn't drain you as much as the nine-to-five death cycle.

This is an inspirational guide for people who are willing to put in the hard work, time, and dedication needed to see their vision through to the end. Blair shares lessons from his mentors and advice from his own life-changing experiences and provides a road map for entrepreneurial success.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bad boy makes good in this energetically recounted rags-to-riches success story. Blair's placid middle-class family was abruptly disrupted when his father became hooked on drugs and abandoned the family. Blair got involved with a gang, and had multiple and violent run-ins with the law, but salvation came in the form of a successful and encouraging stepfather, who started him working and became his first real mentor. The survival instincts he earned in his scrappy adolescence became his greatest asset as he created his first company, and Blair tells the story of his rise to success in the hopes that readers might benefit from his philosophies, from the jail cell to the boardroom. His failures and successes, along with a little input from his gurus, coupled with his solid commonsense advice and entrepreneurial life lessons offer an inspiring and helpful story. Readers will find the "nothing-to-lose" mindset and his optimistic, do-anything attitude both charming and encouraging. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"His failures and successes, along with a little input from his gurus, coupled with his solid commonsense advice and entrepreneurial life lessons offer an inspiring and helpful story." —-Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591845997
  • Publisher: Portfolio Trade
  • Publication date: 3/26/2013
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 170,452
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 8.47 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Ryan Blair

Ryan Blair is a self-made multimillionaire and serial entrepreneur who has created and actively invested in multiple start-up companies.

Don Yaeger is a former associate editor for Sports Illustrated.

Johnny Heller has narrated some five hundred books and garnered a bunch of swell awards and accolades, including Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Awards, Audie Awards and nominations, AudioFile Earphones Awards, and selection as one of AudioFile magazine's Top 50 Narrators of the 20th Century.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 121 )
Rating Distribution

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4 Star

(16)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 121 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 21, 2011

    Well worth the money, time and experience

    I've been following Ryan's career ever since I found out about him over two years ago. I found his story to be interesting in interviews on Your Business on MSNBC, The Big Idea on CNBC, The Larry Elder Show, etc. Ok, let's get to the point, his story from those interviews pretty much paralleled of where my life was turning out to be. He gave his testimonies of how he overcame adversity and made something out of himself from himself. In the book he gives greater detail as to how he faced a similar troubled childhood and grew to become a teenage troublemaker. But his life was turned around as he found himself a mentor through his stepfather. What's most important to the reader is his words of wisdom that he provides those that want to also become a success in the business world. For example, he covers things like recognizing in this ever-changing, yet heartless business world how to recognize who has your best interest at heart and how to choose a loyal business partner through his experiences. He covers a wide range of topics that give both his life story and a learning experience for the reader. I would recommend this book to anyone that wants to make a positive difference in their lives as well as others. Fire your boss and become your own.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 15, 2011

    title should be: "How my Mom hooked up with a Rich Guy and helped me"

    The good: This guy was very lucky. He could have very easily remained a "gang member" and wound up dead or in jail. He did take advantage of opportunities that were presented to him. He did show initiative and followed through and was rewarded.

    The bad: 99% of his success was due to his Mom hooking up with a rich guy. Real Dad was an executive and also an over-extended meth head. His Mom only left after things got so bad that the authorities got involved and they move from a nice neighborhood to the bad part of the town.

    While in a bad part of the town Ryan became "gangster" (in quotes as it didn't seem like real gangland more like suburban gangland) and was incarcerated twice meaning he actually crossed the line and may even have hurt people. Luckily for Ryan he was never tried as an adult and his juvenile records are sealed.

    A few years later Mom hooks up with a wealthy guy while she was working at the local deli who opens up a lot of doors for young Ryan. The book implied he pulled himself out of the "gang life", but it was all the result of his step-dad who saved Ryan's family. Good thing his mom looked like Farrah Fawcett ( Ryan's description )

    The rest of the book is your basic popular biz/self-help schlock that you find in the Multi-Level-Marketing industry (Ryan's company, Amway, Shaklee, Mary Kay, etc..) where employees/distributors are also customers.

    The real hero in the book is his wonderful stepfather. It is a lot easier to make it in life when you have the support and encouragement of a wealthy, well connected, stepfather holding you by the hand.

    To his credit, Ryan listened to his stepfather and followed through. But, without his stepfather, it is likely Ryan would have remained a petty criminal and been eaten up by the streets.

    I was very disappointed and regret this purchase.

    8 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 24, 2011

    Outstanding

    I read Ryan's first book `Nothing to Lose: How to Find Your Passion, Fire Your Boss, and Become an Entrepreneur' and enjoyed and learned from it. Once I got this book and picked it up I could not put it down. It proves that anyone is able to accomplish anything they set their desire to do. It shows the more personal side of Ryan and what he went through to get to where he is today! If I feel in doubt in my business I look back to the '10 TO DO's' and know that I am going to be successful! Thank you Ryan for writing these books and creating a business that we ALL CAN BE SUCCESSFUL IN!!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 22, 2011

    Everyone Gains by Reading Ryan's Book!

    Ryan shows that with desire and work ethic, anyone can become a millionaire in America. Past history is not important and we can all be overcomers when we have an attitude of wanting to succeed rather than believing someone owes us a living. This book is inspiring and should be read by everyone who wants to have a great life both personally and financially.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2011

    Definitely a recommended read for any entrepreneur.

    Ryan has a great personal story and is very well written. There are many things that can be learned from "mistakes" and not to make them as a new entrepreneur. I recommend anyone who is wishing to become an entrepreneur to read this book.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2011

    Very inspirational

    Ryan proves that you don't have to be a product of your environment. With a good work ethic and perservearance anyone can be anything they want. Only you can stand in your own way. Very inspirational, happy he shared his story.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2011

    great book Highly Recommended - you must check it out

    i can say i dont read alot. but this book hit home for me i can relate to lot of ryan issuses.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 21, 2011

    Great Read for Everyone...

    Ryan Blair's book Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain has inspirted me to get out of my comfort zone. Go out and reach my dreams. I learned from this book, I can do anything I set my mind to. I do not have to sit and watch everyone make while I was to scared to try something new. Ryan is a true person, He has put his life experience out for everyone to read, and for everyone to learn how you can be a succesful person with whatever you are doing. This book has helped me so much, and I would recommend it to everyone that wants to gain more knowledge about how to make your business more successful.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 21, 2011

    Inspiring!!! Must Read

    This guy is unbelievable and really has an incredible story. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that is thinking about being an entrepreneur or someone that already is. We can always walk away with a little bit of knowledge from anyone that we meet, however very few people leave you feeling inspired and motivated like Ryan Blair does. Get it today...you won't regret it.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 21, 2011

    Ryan Blair and his story are amazing!

    I downloaded this book and immediately started reading and couldn't put it down. Ryan's message and style of writing is stellar! I am a Rising Star Director with Visalus, have lost weight, inches; have gained better health, a new business and a vision. This book has me motivated and pumped up to do what I was made to do; become the entrepreneur I am! His story is amazing and his teachings are essential if you want to get ahead and understand that entrepreneurship is vital in our economy! Buy it today!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 20, 2011

    awesome book

    I read this book from cover to cover twice. I was so impressed with the lessons to be learned I bought two more copies to send to friends.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 20, 2011

    Refreshing transparency and hope - reading it w my 11yr old!

    This is an excellent read. Not sure why there any any negative reviews at all. Anyone who has ever made it in business will tell you 'luck' has nothing to do with it. There are plenty of 'lucky' people whop screw things up, and never make it. This is a great story about a man who grasped opportunity and held on to it through many struggles. Someone who sought success not just for himself, but so that he could help others too. He used what he knew, and the wisdom of the people around him to advance himself, and that to me is what overcoming is all about. Bottom line - this book qualifies the unqualified and gives entrepreneurs everywhere a reason to keep pushing. Not to mention - all the proceeds are going for an amazing cause. Ryan Blair is what we need to see more of in the business world. Maybe if there were more people like him making an honest million then kids would stop thinking that crime is the only thing that pays.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2011

    Discovering What Drives You...

    In reading Ryan Blair's book "Nothing To Lose, Everything To Gain", I have been able to identify what drives me to be a entrepreneur and what is my passion. One question he asked in his book, has changed my entire focus and outlook on my business. "What would you choose as a career if you were guaranteed a steady income for the rest of your life, provided that you pursued this one thing?" This question made me think hard and do some serious soul searching to really figure out where my strengths are and what my passion is. This one question, allowed me to clearly see the future of my business. For the first time, I know where I am headed and I am excited. Thank you Ryan!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Recommended

    I really enjoyed the point of view of this book! After reading books from other leadership writers (including Zig Ziglar, John C Maxwell and Jim Rohn) I appreciate a voice from today! As a direct seller myself I needed a fresh voice from someone who didn't allow mistakes, and a checkered past to stand in his way! Also I learned more about Blyth who owns my direct selling business!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 20, 2011

    FABulous book!

    I have not finished a book in years until this one! I loved the honesty in this book. Ryan's life could of gone many ways. He chose the right path and to go for it. Many people regardless of who they do or do not know can still make they wrong decisions. He chose to have a better life and put in his time to have it. He is living proof that if you work hard, you can have a better life. People need to stop waiting and complaining and just go out and work for what they want! Gave me hope again!!!!! P.Martin

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 20, 2011

    Not your everyday business book

    An interesting read from a way different perspective. This is an honest account of a "past life" very few CEO's would be willing to admit. This story definitely comes from a younger generation that believes in complete transparency. It's a great rags to riches story about a young man with ambitions who believed he deserved better and took action to change his life, and is now working on inspiring others to do the same. A timely book for today's world.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2013

    This is a must read for everyone who has ever had at least a lit

    This is a must read for everyone who has ever had at least a little bit of entrepreneurial spirit inside them....unbelievable what can be accomplished if you put your mind to it and have laser focus on something better! Thank you Ryan for sharing a truly inspirational personal story!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2013

    A must read... Makes you think... extremely interesting and info

    A must read... Makes you think... extremely interesting and informative... it is on of those books you will not want to put down

    Steven Dixon

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2011

    Terrible read and worthless from a business point of view.

    Just not a very good read. I wish there were previous reviews before I bought this book as the background sounded interesting, but the content was far from it.

    5 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 20, 2011

    Highly Recommended!!! Specially if you are or thinking about becoming an entrepreneur!!!

    This book is awesome!! Must read!!! Ryan Blair is the CEO of my company Visalus Sciences and trust me this is who he is.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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