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

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


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Like many entrepreneurs, Ryan Blair had no formal business education. But he had great survival instincts, tenacity, and, above all, a "nothing to lose" mindset. His middle-class childhood ended abruptly when his abusive father succumbed to drug addiction and abandoned the family. Blair and his mother moved to a rough 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 guidance, Blair started his first company, 24/7 Tech, at age twenty-one. He has since created and sold several companies for hundreds of millions of dollars. This is an inspirational guide full of powerful stories and lessons and a road map for entrepreneurial success.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781591845997
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/26/2013
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 426,723
Product dimensions: 5.45(w) x 8.35(h) x 0.64(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Ryan Blair is a self-made multimillionaire and serial entrepreneur. He established his first company, 24/7 Tech, when he was twenty-one years old and has since created and actively invested in multiple start-ups. As the CEO of ViSalus, Blair turned the company around during the 2009 recession and, in three years , took it from $600,000 in monthly sales to $600 million in annual sales. He lives in Detroit, with his son, Reagan. 


Table of Contents

Foreword xiii

Read this First 1

1 Where I'm From 9

Welcome to Poverty 15

You're Not My Father 17

2 The Nothing-to-Lose Mind-Set 23

3 Hustlers, Charlatans, … and Tony Robbins 27

4 Philosophies from the Jail Cell to the Boardroom 32

Golden Rules 33

5 Seize the Day 49

6 Honor Your Deals 66

7 Smarten Up 73

Who's Your Mentoren? 77

8 First Things First 84

Watch Your Wallet 89

9 What's Driving You? 91

You're Not a Stereotype 96

10 Tap Those Assets 101

11 Risk and Sacrifice 108

Get Really Uncomfortable 114

12 Million-Dollar Mistakes 120

13 I Hate Business Plans 135

Your Business Name, Not Your Porn Name 138

Game Theory 140

14 Pros and Cons of a Home-Based Business 146

It's All About Recruiting 154

Choosing a Home 156

15 Launching Your Business 159

That's My Story, and I'm Sticking with It 162

Sell First, Ask Questions Later 165

16 Raising Money 168

Venture Capitalists: Swimming with the Sharks 174

17 Growing, Hiring, and Firing 178

The Connect Four Technique 184

18 Cashing Out 194

Lawyer Up 200

19 Told U So 208

Epilogue: On to the Next One 211

Acknowledgments 221

Special Acknowledgments 223

Index 225

What People are Saying About This

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

Customer Reviews

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Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 119 reviews.
MLCurtis More than 1 year ago
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.
Medic70 More than 1 year ago
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!!
AZLaRose More than 1 year ago
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.
ReStore More than 1 year ago
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.
soontobesuccessful More than 1 year ago
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.
Insureman66 More than 1 year ago
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 won't regret it.
amyo49 More than 1 year ago
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!
JenniferJeanHoover More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
jennthewarrior More than 1 year ago
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.
mysteryreaderCT More than 1 year ago
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!
fueledby More than 1 year ago
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
Clary_Diaz More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
icemanchef More than 1 year ago
i can say i dont read alot. but this book hit home for me i can relate to lot of ryan issuses.
JK73 More than 1 year ago
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!
StevenDixon More than 1 year ago
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
Deya920 More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome!! Must read!!! Ryan Blair is the CEO of my company Visalus Sciences and trust me this is who he is.
SuzMac More than 1 year ago
I am so impressed by this young man - to come from the bottom, having nothing to show, living in a shack in his sister's backyard to building a (now) BILLION dollar business - it's just incredible!!! I started the book on a Friday and was done on Sunday. I just couldn't put it down. Every enterpreneur should pick this one up.... anyone who wants to be successful in ANY area of life should pick this one up. Thank you, Ryan Blair, for sharing your incredible story and I look forward to following your success!
Telynher More than 1 year ago
This book is absolutely inspiring and very motivational. It is an easy read, even if you don't understand entrepreneurial language. Many of the principles outlined within the text can be applied to all situations, and ages. I have let my middle school students read the book and they find it encouraging! A definite win, therefore go ahead and buy this book. You will not regret it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am not good at reading but wanting to change my life I found Ryan's transparent story of his life from a troubled child to a successful entrepreneur most inspiring. He holds nothing back and shares his how to's and secrets. A must read for anyone who want to make something out of their life and has been holding back.
JennHutchins More than 1 year ago
I have had the honor of meeting Ryan Blair in person twice now, and hearing him speak multiple times. He tells little bits of his story when he speaks, but this book covers the whole deal. This guy is amazing. He is seriously the most inspiring person I've ever met or read about or heard speak in my entire life. He's not just a motivational speaker who is regurgitating the same old crap, but has never actually accomplished anything special. He truly HAS has several amazing business successes, and some heart-breaking failures, but he is completely transparent about his path to where he is today. You come away from this book wiser, with clearer vision and believing that ANYONE can have success if only they work hard. This man is going to be a name that people know generations from now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely love this book...shows how anyone can change their life around if you just put forth the effort... wish I had a dozen copies to give out to college kids I know from the inner city to show them what is possible and to help inspire them. :)  Highly recommend !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Being an entrepreneur, I am constantly deepening my personal development. Ryan Blair's book covered all the bases. Inspirational experience combined with season Entrepreneurial Experience. Highly recommend, get one for yourself and one for the school library!
murphyfitz More than 1 year ago
I loved the book.  It is a story that could be your own.  When bad things happen, you make the most out of them!  I gave this book to my son in hopes that he will see the potential that is in him! Thank you, Ryan for your honest and heartfelt story.   I love how you love your Mom!