Ryan Blair – Founder & CEO Altercall

Episode 250

How do you go from gang member to become a successful serial entrepreneur? You believe you have everything to gain! Listen how Ryan Blair of AlterCall inspires on this episode of #TheKaraGoldinShow.

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Kara Goldin 0:00
I am unwilling to give up that I will start over from scratch as many times as it takes to get where I want to be I want to be, you just want to make sure you will get knocked down. But just make sure you don’t get knocked down knocked out. So your only choice should be go focus on what you can control control control. Hi, everyone and welcome to the Kara Goldin show. Join me each week for inspiring conversations with some of the world’s greatest leaders. We’ll talk with founders, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and really some of the most interesting people of our time. Can’t wait to get started. Let’s go. Let’s go. Hi, everyone, it’s Kara Goldin from the Kara Goldin show. And I’m super thrilled to have my next guest. Here we have Ryan Blair, who is the founder and CEO of altar call. And he is recording from Los Angeles. And we’re so so thrilled to have him here, I’m actually just read his book, it was an older book, I guess, 2016, but still completely inspiring, called Rock Bottom to rock star, in case you happen to be watching this on YouTube as well. Really, really thrilled. So Ryan is a serial entrepreneur. And as I mentioned, and an author, a New York Times best selling author, despite growing up in a kind of crazy household, somewhat abusive household, joining a gang, I couldn’t believe this as a teenager, when I was reading this definitely found opportunity out there and didn’t allow the walls of society to stop him from being able to go out and achieve what he has companies that he has started like Sky pipeline and Vista lists. Really, really incredible. And then the most recent startup altar call is a coaching program that focuses on conscious leadership. So we’ll learn a lot more about that. And more than anything, I just want to hear about Ryan’s journey to as I am such a big proponent of the backstories of so many founders. And I think especially people who are listening to this podcast, know that it doesn’t, it’s not always smooth sailing along the way. And we have to always know that we have to figure out how do we move forward and not be stopped by crap along the way. So welcome, Ryan, thrilled to have you here.

Ryan Blair 2:35
They enjoy having me and I appreciate the kind words in the introduction. And it’s also a privilege to learn from you and to have you ever respected experience at this table here, because you’ve done quite a lot as well. So it’s an honor to be here is honored to speak to you and your audience, for that matter.

Kara Goldin 2:51
Thank you. Thanks so much. So take me back to like the early days of Ryan. So did you always know that you were going to start companies when you grew up? Or what was? What was life? Like? I mean, it sounds like it was, you know, not perfect? Yeah,

Ryan Blair 3:09
well, it wasn’t perfect at all. No, I was raised in a very traumatic environment, both my mother and father had a lot of unhealed trauma. And as a result of that, I had to, you know, bear the blood of, you know, their lights, they were addicted to alcohol and drugs. My father was very violent, violent, primarily to my mother, but to me and to my brothers and sisters, as well. And, and so, you know, a young child, I on the youngest of five on the youngest by such an extreme that all my older brothers and siblings had already moved out. And since a young child, I was forced into a survival at a really early age, and I was forced to grow up very early. By the time I was 13 years old, I had to flee the house, I lived in a turkey shed and, you know, in a bad neighborhood, and I was forced to gang related activity as a result of the neighborhood that I lived in the affiliations that some of my older siblings, so you know, wasn’t it environment by design at all. And the way I like to explain it to people is, you know, I came into the world in a very low vibrational energy, just extremely low, very negative, very violent, always afraid for my survival. And my process of evolution has been to raise my vibration, you know, throughout the security. That’s

Kara Goldin 4:33
incredible. So you touched on this, but so you were really on your own feet had to sort of force to go and figure stuff out. I think that we’ve had a few people, as guests on our podcasts that have gone on to do incredible things. And I think like the difference between your story and many other people, is that you decided that this was your situation. All right, and that you had a choice that you were either going to have a pity party and not do it. Right, or you were going to try and figure out how to get out and make some make it a better situation. And I think it’s, it’s awesome what you’ve been able to accomplish. But one of the things I read is that just during that time, when you were so young, you were 13. You know, and you sort of fell into a gang. And and I mean, that’s just wild, that you kind of learned about running a business. I mean, tell tell me a little bit more about that experience.

Ryan Blair 5:43
Well, Jay, is just simply an illegal enterprise. And most people don’t understand that it’s got a hierarchy, there’s leadership. Now, the difficulties that you have to deal with in terms of the organization of the game are quite violent, and you’re, you’re facing constant intimidation, you know, threat of your life, you’re worried about getting arrested, you’re worried about rival gangs, finding out where you live targeting you and your family, you know, so there’s a lot of complications to this form of entrepreneurship that don’t exist, illegal entrepreneurship, that I had to learn about the hard way. But, you know, I was an entrepreneur when I was in that gang. In fact, that’s how I got involved in technology. I discovered this was in the early to mid 90s. So I discovered that there was a big marketplace for scrolling computers at that time, and not every household had a computer in the early 90s. And so I got involved in buying stolen computers, and went to a software store called Egghead software. And I sold every book that I could on computer programming, reformatting and rebuilding computers, and I rebuilt computers and sold them on the streets. And that was how I learned, you know, the fundamentals of computers. And then that would be gave me the appropriate training to enter into the workforce at a pretty early age. So one of the things you said earlier, it’s like I see all of my past experiences my advantage in any scenario, now it’s my disadvantage because of what I’ve gone through, and the resilience and the survival skills and, and nothing to lose mindset that I adopted as a result of the experiences I had, I believe that I’ve been able to be successful as a result of that, in spite of that.

Kara Goldin 7:25
And thanks, incredible. So what was your first company kind of getting out of the illegal stuff? I mean, you had you had sort of done stuff that you sound like, you know, you definitely learned from some of those experiences. But you also decided, okay, we need to get on the up and up now and make, you know, do do business the way that is legal? Well,

Ryan Blair 7:49
fortunately, I didn’t like Jim. Yeah, yeah, um, so one thing that I wasn’t into, I didn’t enjoy it in there at all. Some people do, believe it or not, plenty of people I was housing with it, you know, ended up spending the rest of their lives in there. And for me, I was like, this is the last place that I want to be. So I had no choice but to reform. And I had a tough judge that told me if I didn’t reform that he was going to send me away the president, you know, for a long time. And so I took that lesson seriously, and made the decision I was going to reform and then a mentor came into my life, and I’m very spiritual. And so I believe that this is very exciting, because that mentor came into my life. And he needed some help and computers. For his real estate firm. It was, you know, Legacy real estate firm that was just advancing into things like email, and, you know, in the air, for that matter to do their real estate business. And so I helped set up that computer operation, it was very small, like four or five people then got a job at a technology firm, why I got a job in your engineering group, and ended up being promoted into management running a data center, and being a part of software development teams. And this was all about 20 years old. So I already had some pretty significant responsibility. And I wasn’t afraid of leadership, I wasn’t afraid of leading, growing mid 20 years old, because I’ve done that in gaming. So like, I no problem taking charge, and, you know, leading initiatives at a young age, just results that, you know, accelerated pretty quickly as incorporated in a corporate role. And then I kind of saw how I was involved in every part of the supply chain, you know, they would bring me in to actually develop the product and bring it in to sell the product to potential clients. And it was a small company of about 80 people and I saw that I could do pretty much every piece of the supply chain there. And that’s when I decided to venture out on my own. With my first company was you could tell I had some early guests or marketing it was called 24/7 Tech. And the idea of it was if your network so rack, called 24/7 Tech in New Orleans truly would basically answer the phone and repair people’s technology. 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That was my initial idea, because at that time we face the blue screen of death like every 10 minutes, it seemed like and corporate operations were constantly disrupted as a result of computer failure, and network delays about monitoring. So that was my first venture.

Kara Goldin 10:09
So I feel like you just figured stuff out, you were self taught, you’re obviously smart, and you just went and figured it out. And you also knew how to network with people. Right? So you were definitely, you know, able to go into companies, they would put you out there to learn, I think that one of the things that I think stops us from actually being able to be successful is that we work inside of most people work inside lines, right? Like they’re told, you know, this is what this is how you have to do things, you have to wear a certain thing, you have to live in a certain neighborhood, you have to do all these things, and you have to get an internship, whatever that is along the way. I think instead, you just threw yourself in, and you thought it’s gotta be better than where I am today.

Ryan Blair 11:04
My lack of education was my advantage. I didn’t know anything, I didn’t know any math or science or anything, when I first started in computer science. And so I, you know, basically picked and choose what I wanted to learn. And I became obsessed about learning business, you know, this was at the beginning of the.com. First era, and, you know, I’d read Fortune and Forbes magazine, and I’d see about, you know, young prodigies starting businesses and, and, you know, I dream at a young age could be a successful entrepreneur. And so I consumed as many books, as many audio tapes at the time, isn’t prior to YouTube, and so forth. And I just, I knew that I had a gap between why it wasn’t why I wanted to be, but I knew that I had the ability to fill that gap. And I, I spent every minute of the day, doing whatever I could to fill that gap. And I still have zoom approach. You know, today, as I did when I was 20 years old,

Kara Goldin 11:59
do you feel like these companies? So you founded sky pipeline and physalis as well? Did you? Were you always this person who saw problems? And and, you know, and just decided, did you test the market before you actually started these companies? Or it feels like you would be that? No? interested? You just said, This is great. There’s going to be lots of people that are interested in this, and I’m going to just go for it.

Ryan Blair 12:24
Yeah, my my intuition on if I could see myself needing the solution, then I would always just remind myself, there’s one there’s many. And then I would go out through solving a problem. Now, in retrospect, that wasn’t always the best idea. Because there’s a lot of information that I didn’t have and approaching problems that way. It’s not when I look at things, I look at it a little bit differently, because I have more data through my own experience that I can, you know, look back on. But early on, I was, you know, it, Scott pipeline, for example, it was one of the first pioneers of broadband wireless internet in the California region. And I saw that I wanted broadband wireless, and I couldn’t get it from my local telephone company or cable company at the time. And so I thought there must be lots of people out there. And if I could solve this problem for me, I could likely solve it. For me. It was more complicated than that. You know, I had to build a network, and I had to scale and raise venture capital. And I was too ignorant to know how complicated the problem was, I thought I’ll be bigger than att. And, and then, you know, we sold for over $25 million, because it was much more complicated. And I did not have the leadership and project management skills necessary to, you know, build a company that was formidable in the telecom space. It sounded like venture capitalists, you know, they got impatient with me, and we, you know, we exited the business, probably at a pretty early age. But I totally those skills and experiences into then starting another company that wasn’t as capital intensive in the nutraceutical consumer product space, and it scaled out winning to 600 plus million dollar annual revenue. And the next thing that is, you know, so each time I started a business, you know, I do my best to carry with me the past experience. And, you know, the lessons learned into the new business and, you know, multiple iterations now and, you know, the current product project that I’m building now, you know, I’ll be able to tell you that five years from now, you know, not all the learnings from you know, the past experiences apply to the present.

Kara Goldin 14:24
I think it’s, it’s so interesting hearing your story. I whenever I meet with entrepreneurs and see plans, say yeah, and three years, we’re gonna be you know, 200 million and we’re gonna flip it and we’re gonna, you know, it’s just like, whoa, you know, it just would you agree, they take way longer. You don’t even know what the problems are going to be in front of you. And it’s, it’s it’s great to have the vision but I think that execution is the I always say ideas are a dime a dozen, but the execution and is just It can. It’s so key

Ryan Blair 15:03
on both sides of the transaction to your point, I was a venture capitalist for a minute very small edit $20 million fund that I invested in a Personal Capital and some of my partner’s capitals, I invest in various projects. And you’re absolutely right, what the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make is, you know, they, they get playing with their spreadsheets, and next thing, you know, they’ve convinced themselves and others, that they’re going to be $100 million company inside of, say, two or three years. And, you know, if you do have that, you know, that success, it comes with a whole suite of other problems, I apply styles, we went from 9 million in sales to 635 million in sales in 24 months. And, you know, you would think that is the dream, and that is the most painful process that I’ve ever lived through. And I would never go to that process again. Because ultimately, that limited the sustainability of the company because of the amount of pain that we went through, you know, through such explosive growth. So, you know, there’s, there’s, there’s a method of building a business, it’s conscious and sustainable that I’m really keen on now that I wasn’t so much for before. Before. I think I was more competitively driven. And now instead, I’m more driven to build sustainably.

Kara Goldin 16:14
If you’ve been listening to the Kara Goldin show for a while, you may have heard about my book undaunted, which by the way, is now a Wall Street Journal, and Amazon Best Seller. In undaunted, you will learn about my journey not only how I came up with the idea for hint, but also the ups and downs, twists and turns along the way. I learned from stories, and I guess my own story is no exception, you will definitely hear it all in undaunted, listening to books is one of my favorite secrets to getting more books under my belt, I find that I can always get a bit of listening in whether it’s on my lunch break, or even on a hike. Probably the thing that has made me happiest about writing this book is hearing from people, hearing how this book has helped them push through hard things that they are dealing with, and try new ones. I’ve heard from countless people how Donald has helped them see that they are not alone in their difficult times, but also how pushing forward. And finding a way is usually what it takes. Looking back on my stories and sharing observations about how I got through just those sticky moments might help you think about some of your own sticky situations as well. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something, it’s time to move past your fears and defy the doubters to my book. And Don it is available everywhere books are sold on Amazon and audible as well. And shoot me a DM and tell me what you think back to the show. So you started your newest venture called altar call. Can you talk a little bit about that? What gave you the idea? And why did you decide that you wanted to start this?

Ryan Blair 17:56
Well, I took a couple of years off after a personal difficulty when I lost my mother, she fell down a flight of stairs after sorry, alcoholism. And for two years, he was in a coma. And by the grace of God and a lot of prayer, she woke up. And then she was severely handicapped for another four years from there. Were literally for every single day for the total, almost seven years. You know, I would wonder if today was the last day I would see my mother and wife I’d ever be able to talk to her again, like Wonder a lot of things. And so I had seven years of trauma in high pressure. And I had a lot of success during those seven years. And I published a couple of books received some notoriety as a result of some business success. And you know, I I tried to escape reality as best as I could through business. And then also through some decadent living that, you know, that took its toll as well. So my mother passed away, I had what I would call an awakening and I look myself in the mirror and realize I was not happy with the person I was being a 12 year old son that was dealing with difficulties with regard to autism. And I realized I was not being a father I was capable of being and I had made a dramatic change to my life. So at that point, I started pursuing mindfulness and various healing modalities and going deep to know myself in to do the healing that I had never done. The traumatic upbringing that I had had been perfect fuel for status peaking success, because I wanted to prove to everyone that I was enough that in spite of my lack of education, or in spite of being poor, that I could be wealthy and successful and smart and all those other things. But my mother passed away, I would have done anything, just have another minute with her. And I wasted a lot of minutes that I did have with her as a result of the lifestyle that I was living as a burning the candle on both ends entrepreneur. So it was a real dramatic awakening for the lack, you know, I call it a nuclear explosion. And so I took two years and did nothing but To heal, and, and just regroup, I resigned from boards, I exited investments, I stepped down as CEO of myself. So I sold off entities, I basically paired my lifestyle down. I didn’t respond to emails or text messages or anything for two years. And during that period of time, I decided that I was going to reemerge out of the cave, and mentor people and just teach them what I learned. And I didn’t realize that, you know, there was a big appetite for that mentorship. So the idea of altar call is to help people onto their lives. So they can answer their calling. In order innovating and technology, we’re working with biometrics, that we’re doing some things to make our coaching platform more efficient, but it’s a nature or an essence, I should say. It’s a constant coaching platform, that specifically working with entrepreneurs to help them, you know, be able to have the energy and, and have the mindset and psychology necessary for them to be able to, you know, make the impact. It’s our calling to,

Kara Goldin 20:58
that’s incredible. And when did you actually start altar call,

Ryan Blair 21:03
I started writing COVID hit, which was probably not the best idea in retrospect, I, you know, I thought, I’m ready, I’ve regrouped. I’ve, you know, I’ve rebuilt and reevaluate in my entire life and gone back through almost every memory I could find, and, you know, came up with some new principles and philosophies and, you know, really connected deeply to some values that I had in the past. And the moment I started the business, and started hiring team members, COVID hit, and pretty much everything shut down. So you know, I got to go through that adversity, but I was able to lean heavily on the adversity that I went through in 2008, when the recession hit, and I just told my business go publicly traded company, and I had to weather, you know, that very difficult environment. So I was well equipped to get through COVID in stock started two years ago, pretty much the day, right, and COVID, we all locked down. And, you know, and basically, I’ve been two years, living pretty much in isolation. And I went back into isolation for two years. But this time around, you know, I’m blessed to have a house with multiple stories inside, setup, some offices, the bonds, stories, and I can basically work, you know, at my home during COVID, and build the, the foundation of the entity, although I really couldn’t do much customer acquisition, during those times, I can work on some foundational things.

Kara Goldin 22:26
That’s awesome. What do you think is the thing that most people get wrong about healing? What’s kind of the key thing that you’re saying?

Ryan Blair 22:34
Well, you’re never healed, you know, you’re always healing, which is if you’re growing, and if you’re not growing, you’re going to be tearing muscle, basically, in the morning, rather, the more muscle you tear, the more that you have to heal. And so you’re constantly in this pattern of growing and healing. And, you know, so what I did is I looked at the process of healing. And so Calvin figured out that piece, because I figured out growth, but not healing. And so I would grow and then I would, you know, sabotage my growth, right fall back, or, you know, I grow in miserable fashion and not in a, you know, focused concentrated fashion. And so I I developed methodologies and practices, that basically enables healing and growth simultaneously. And by healing, you have to heal your, your belief system, you have to heal your mindset, you have to heal your psychology, you have to heal relationships, you know, you have to heal all the time in order for you to step into an entrepreneur, that that has the capacity to run a large scale business. And that’s oftentimes why many founders, you know, they, they age out of their businesses, because they haven’t grown his yield till the level of the business that they built. And so, sometimes founders are very good at building businesses early on, and then they gotta go, because, you know, they’re no longer at a place where they’re able to, you know, continue to lead in and build a business on a go forward basis. And so, you know, most people get that wrong, I think the only Yelder they don’t want to look at the things that they have to heal. And the method of healing I have gone through is one where you look deeply at the shadow and you look deeply at the things that need to be healed. Every single day, you’re doing the work to heal those things.

Kara Goldin 24:17
Hey, Kara, here, we are thrilled you’re listening with us. And I hope you’re enjoying this episode. I have had the pleasure of interviewing so many amazing guests over the past few years, and there are so many more to come. I cannot wait. And my focus is on entrepreneurs and CEOs, real innovators and leaders who are making a difference. That’s what I’m looking forward to bringing you. One of the reasons I enjoy interviewing many of my guests is that I get to learn. We all need to hear stories that teach us to be better, inspire us and help us get through those challenging moments. I can’t remember the last time I had to guess that didn’t leave me feeling like a major hurdle had been overcome. We just don’t hear the stories enough. And when we do, we learn to be smarter and stronger. Don’t you agree? Episodes are concise, but packed with amazing info that you will surely be inspired by, do me a favor and send me a DM, and tell me what you think about each interview that you get a chance to be inspired by. And if you are so inclined, please leave one of those five star reviews for the Kara Goldin show on one of your favorite podcast platforms as well. Reviews really, really help. Now, let’s get back to this episode. So talk to me about the seven qualities of conscious team members,

Ryan Blair 25:46
well, you know, you’re gonna have purpose, so that we were the most important qualities, you’re gonna be purpose and mission driven, to you’re going to, you know, be excellence focus, you’re going to have a level of impeccability, you’re going to negotiate consciously, you know, because you’re always negotiating for resources, when you’re a part of the team. You’ve got to coordinate and collaborate consciously as well. There’s a couple more, I can’t really think of him right now. But in general, the qualities that the conscious person has, are, you know, really around their growth in their mindset, to constantly want to elevate the environment they’re in, and continue to raise their performance and raise the performance as a whole, and hold each other accountable to being at their higher selves at all times. Because I’m in the middle of an experimentation of building a conscious team right now. And I want to call it I only have about 20 team members, but this is a new experimentation of entrepreneurship that I’m venturing into now.

Kara Goldin 26:48
I feel like a lot of what you’re talking about, is culture to write for, for companies. Yeah, I mean, it’s really and so it’s not just I think that the thing, the more research I did on altar call, I think it’s not just about the founder and about the CEO and about leadership, I really think it’s about culture, right? I would think that heads of HR would be, you know, and even to some extent, you know, heads of culture, or whoever is handling kind of what the, what the feel of the organization, because I think like part of it, I’m sure you went through this at your company was such huge growth. But I think part of what’s really, really tough is, as you’re bringing in people and growing your team, you know, people are not necessarily coming for the purpose, right, you can start and and you can start a great idea and have an I think, the more successful you are on the sales side, the more poll, you have to get great talent in the door, but they don’t necessarily care about the vision and the purpose. And I think it’s really, really tough. Do you have any suggestions for people to as they’re growing their teams,

Ryan Blair 27:59
would you have to be very intentional, and who you’re seeking to attract. And, you know, you you, although we have processed your recruiting, running through HR, we want to make sure that that process eliminates people that are not purpose driven, you will find people that really have a deep innate desire to make an impact in the world. And they see that, you know, their opportunity in their affiliation with your company, as a way for them to fulfill that purpose, and that that impact. So you have to be intentional, you got to recruit people, that that show signs of that nature. And you have to be very careful. One of the things that I’ve mentored many entrepreneurs, because that’s the primary people that I serve entrepreneurs, is, you know, we, we can easily design a business that we hate, and we can do that unconsciously. So the idea of conscious business and conscious leadership is to intentionally design business we’re going to love working in, that isn’t going to be solely dependent on OS that is going to be collaborative, and members within the company, are going to be nurturers of the culture, as opposed to us having to be there every step of the way. For every meeting, and every project, we want to build a business that is going to do great work, even in our absence, and many entrepreneurs never get to that level, they tend to have a challenge during that. So I would agree with you 100% It’s about culture. And it’s about creating a culture that’s conscious because it is so easy to have unconscious behaviors rule the culture and unconscious behaviors might be scarcity, for example, as an unconscious mindset and behavior that rules cultures, status taking, you know, people that are politicking and, and there’s a lot of behaviors in the culture that if you don’t have a conscious approach to it will emerge. And part of developing cultures is to recognize those behaviors that are in alignment with your values and in alignment with your cultural mandate and to you know, correct those behaviors that are not in alignment with those and get people out out as fast as you possibly can, that bring behaviors to the table that are going to affect the energy of the entire culture. And that’s a mistake that I made so many times is, you know, I’ve hired because I wanted to make a plan, I wanted to hit revenue numbers. And I hired because I, Mike border told me you got to get these hires done. And I didn’t hire, you know, specifically, intentionally around culture around values and hire people that I want to spend a lot of time with outside of the office. And so there’s a lot of work done and culture building on mentors that I’ve had in business, that have run very large companies that I’ve learned, you know about that with, what I’m building out to call is a is a, you know, an experiment, as I mentioned, of a new way of doing business, particularly around coaching around a coaching platform for entrepreneurs, that embodies those virtues that I just shared with you.

Kara Goldin 30:53
I think it’s great to it, it seems a lot easier to grow an organization, as you’re describing it, what if you have an organization that you’re leading, and it’s broken, right, and you’ve got these problems? And it’s not just one problem? It’s, you know, here, right? And yet, it’s high. When it’s high performing, it’s even tougher, right? Yeah, I mentor a lot of entrepreneurs as well. And, you know, it’s easy for me to say, well, you know, let them go and get rid of, right, but then it’s like, oh, no, he does a lot. So we can’t do that. And it’s just, it’s putting the bandaid on, and I think it’s, it’s, it’s a constant problem and, and dilemma,

Ryan Blair 31:37
well, that’s where leadership comes in you, you you want DeBose in your corporation, you want people that really believe in themselves, that are high performers, and you don’t want to manage them out, because then you’ll get mediocracy. But if you do have a person that is poisoning the culture, that is breaching integrity, in their their way of doing business, then even at the risk of losing their productivity or their production, you know, you have to either, you know, have them take corrective action, or you have to get them out. And that’s just the nature of knowing that you will attract a talented person that is both productive and matches the values of the corporation. And so we as entrepreneurs cannot operate from scarcity, we can’t believe that, you know, by removing this one person, that there will be five other people that are highly qualified and capable of fulfilling their role. If we leave that person in a position, they’re more damaging than if we remove them. Yes, we might take a short term hit. But I’ve had the same, you know, conversation about, you know, these types of employment, employee matters, and HR matters. And I’ll tell you, what I have struggled the most is when I’ve chucked the person in for the production at the expense of the team’s collective consciousness. And it always comes back to haunt you, and you’ve always pay a large price for it. If not, now you pay it later.

Kara Goldin 32:56
Definitely. And what about investors? You’ve you’ve got investors that are sort of not not dancing in the same direction. I mean, what how do you deal with that you’ve built a lot of companies and and you’ve got an entrepreneur that is coming to you and feeling you know that there’s problems everywhere, what do you do?

Ryan Blair 33:18
Well, you have to become good at negotiating conflict. And you have to look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourselves, you know, how can I approach this situation, coming with an intention of learning and understanding and seeking to find a way to resolve whatever conflict is in the system, when we don’t resolve conflict, whether it be with our investors or team members, is when you know, the challenges pile up. And the process of healing is I have to heal these relationships. So it looks out miscommunicate to industrial retirement many times in my life, I have to go out there and explain to the industry that I miscommunicated and, and find common ground and agree to some form of a go forward plan for us to have solid communication on a go forward basis. And it’s caught, it’s a constant work in progress. You know, entrepreneurs are about solving problems in the marketplace, right. And in order to some of those problems in the marketplace, we have to get very good at solving internal problems, because the way we solve the external problem, because we solved the internal problem. And so I used to, you know, dreaded days filled with 25 internal problems. And now my mindset is, this is the work because when I solved the internal problems, then the external problems are going to be solved in a beautiful way. But if I neglecting the internal problems, and I’m letting these internal problems pile up, then I’m never going to solve the external problem in a meaningful way.

Kara Goldin 34:44
So what is the number one thing when people are coming to you with altar call? What problem do they see that they want help with?

Ryan Blair 34:52
Generally, I deal with a lot of clients that, you know, they haven’t figured out the cultural side of it. They’re entrepreneurs that, you know, maybe they haven’t Are you a million dollar business or a $15 million business and they want to grow beyond that, and they’ve relied too much upon themselves. And so now, they might have a little bit of money in their pocket, and that are contemplating the meaning of life, like, do I want to continue doing this? Do I want to sell the business. And I’ve helped a few turnarounds, because going by sales was a turnaround. And I’ve helped a few turnarounds, you know, where entrepreneurs are key back in and re architected their business, and created more meaning and more purpose around it, and created it in such a way where they could enjoy their self love time, their adventure their childhood, and still have a business that’s growing and operating, you know, in a way that, you know, that serves them, as opposed to, you know, a business that is basically controlling them, and sucking the life out of them. I help them redesign the culture of their business to, you know, to energize it and bring more life to them. And so that’s my favorite clients I work with, I just helped the young entrepreneur self business and a $75 million transaction the other day, now in helping him think about his life as went therapist and think about what he’s going to be doing next. He’s only 30 years old. And, you know, now we’re, you know, talking to him about, you know, having him start his unconscious experiment in a new category that he’s interested in, participating in. So, you know, those are my favorite businesses value. And I’ve dealt with businesses that you know, all levels on the spectrum, I just want solving problems. And if I can work with a willing participant, that you know, that is open to change that wants to grow and is willing to, you know, to continue to heal and grow, then no onboarding, to help them grow as much as I possibly can.

Kara Goldin 36:34
That’s awesome. Well, I love your commitment to helping, because I really do believe that there’s room for companies services, that are actually have that mindfulness to them. As you know, I founded hint, and I didn’t do it to start a beverage company, I did it because I really saw this problem. And I thought I could help a lot of people get healthy just by enjoying water. And definitely we’ve done that with that brand. But I’d love to hear a story about a challenge or maybe a failure along the way that, you know, you really hit a wall, it seems like you’ve solved a lot of problems along the way, but you hit a wall? And what did you learn from those experiences that you can share with us?

Ryan Blair 37:24
Well, you know, I’ll tell you that I’ve hit more walls than, you know, then, that I can imagine I’ve made a lot of walls, I’ve had the privilege of having about $2 billion rolled through my hands as an entrepreneur. So I’ve, you know, I’ve deployed that money in many different ways come up with to return to investors, we do now acquisitions and a variety of different experimentation. So I, I’ve had a lot of failures in order to, you know, to have the success that I have. And, you know, I mean, I can give you stories about PR crisis, I can give you stories about canceling an IPO, I had one time where we got an ingredient wrong and a consumer product, and it cost us 25 million in cash. And, you know, I learned all about supply chain as a result of that, like, literally lighting a fire and 25 million in cash, right. And, you know, being raised poor, it’s a pretty traumatic experience to think about, like, I just fire 25 million. And, you know, in order to grow at the speed that I grew into scale, you know, to the extent that I did, we broke a lot of stuff and made a lot of mistakes. So there has been tons of it, what I’m talking about all too now, as you know, I have learned to embrace everything, as an entrepreneurs as an experiment to me, I no longer emotionally attached. So I attempt to do my very best in every experiment. And I, I just am not here per se, emotionally attached. But I have the ability to detach emotionally, and to look at the results objectively. And when I do fail, you know, I get over it pretty quick. You know, it’s a situation where I’ll stomach it, contemplate examine it, think through it, and then I’ll move very quickly, and let it go. And I do this every single day. I used to accumulate the burden. And then over a period of time, I had such negativity over certain subjects that I didn’t even want to look at them anymore. Because, you know, I didn’t develop a process for clearing the heaviness around failed endeavors and projects and relationships and so forth. And so, now I do the daily process, I examine the prior day, I locate what I learned what to let go of, and then I move into the next day with a fresh set of eyes and a high level of positivity. Knowing that I’m going to embrace whatever challenge comes my way during that day, and the next day, I’m gonna clear it and move on to the next set of challenges.

Kara Goldin 39:49
That’s such great advice. I love that and I practice something really, really similar. You were speaking music to me for for sure. So Well, thank you, Ryan, so much. Where do people find out more about altar call and, and get more information about you as well.

Ryan Blair 40:09
You can go to altar call.com It’s A L T A R C A L L .com. Or you can catch them on Instagram at real Ryan Blair. If you DM me, I’d be happy to engage with you. And I love talking with entrepreneurs and learning about different ideas about ways that I can serve.

Kara Goldin 40:26
That’s awesome. Well, thank you so much for coming on. And thanks, everybody, for listening to this episode. And don’t forget to subscribe to the Kara Goldin show. So you’re sure not to miss incredible guests like Ryan, where you can hear not only about his business, but about his journey and all the fun elements along the way and lessons learned and definitely send in those five star ratings. The algorithm definitely picks up on on those five star ratings. So we would really appreciate it if you would take the time to do that. And I can be found on all platforms that Kara Goldin and if you haven’t already picked up a copy of my book or downloaded it on Audible, please do. It’s called undaunted. And that’s my story of my life and also building hint and we’re here every monday wednesday. We’re actually adding Friday now. Super, super exciting. So hopefully, everybody will continue listening and have an excellent rest of the week. Thanks again, Ryan. Thank you. Before we sign off, I want to talk to you about fear. People like to talk about fearless leaders. But achieving big goals isn’t about fearlessness. Successful leaders recognize their fears and decide to deal with them head on in order to move forward. This is where my new book undaunted comes in. This book is designed for anyone who wants to succeed in the face of fear, overcome doubts and live a little undaunted. Order your copy today at undaunted, the book.com and learn how to look your doubts and doubters in the eye and achieve your dreams. For a limited time. You’ll also receive a free case of hint water. Do you have a question for me or want to nominate an innovator to spotlight send me a tweet at Kara Goldin and let me know. And if you liked what you heard, please leave me a review on Apple podcasts. You can also follow along with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn at Kara Goldin. Thanks for listening