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Create Your Own Life with Jeremy Ryan Slate

In this episode, we have Jeremy Ryan Slate. He's the Founder of the Create Your Own Life Podcast, which is dedicated to helping people create life on their own terms.

He studied literature at Oxford University and is a former champion power lifter turned new media entrepreneur. He specializes in using podcasting and new media to create celebrity and was ranked number one in iTunes in the new and noteworthy and 26th in the business category, which is an amazing accomplishment. He was named one of the top podcasters by multiple publications and Millennial Influencer to Follow in 2018 by Buzzfeed. His show, the Create Your Own Life Podcast, has been downloaded a quarter million times.

He is extremely knowledgeable in connecting with influencers, adding value and taking it to the next level.
In this show, we talked about a lot of different things. We talked about powerlifting and towing a semi-truck with your body. In terms of the tactical in this episode, you're going to find how do you connect with influencers, how do you use this new media to make a difference.

This show is definitely geared toward my entrepreneurs or entrepreneurs in training. If you want to connect with people, if you want to make a name for yourself or maybe you want to create your own personal brand which is applicable anywhere, then you're going to want to pay extra close attention to what Jeremy shares with us.

Dustin
I'm excited because this guy is responsible for some of the guests that you've been hearing from and also for the ones that are coming up. He always comes with a place of value, a place of service, which is the way to rock in business. With that said, Jeremy, I’m excited to have you.
Jeremy Ryan
Dustin, I'm stoked to be here. You’ve got a great voice for podcasting. There’s a nice amount of bass to it.
Dustin
Jeremy, you've been blowing up so many accolades and so many things. I want to capture the story of how anyone essentially can create their own life, which is something that you live by and subscribe to.Let's lay the foundation here and give people a little background on how you've arrived to now.
Jeremy Ryan
It's funny because I hear Grant Cardone talking about this again and again that there's no overnight success and I am the true definition of that statement because I've been going out this for a long time. My background is I was a high school teacher for a couple of years after I got my Master’s in Ancient History. I have a seven-foot tall bookshelf in my room filled with medieval and ancient history books. I've read most of them and my wife's shocked because she's like, “What is that?” That's where I came from. I was a teacher. I was not very happy in what I was doing. I did that for about two years until my wife was introduced to a network marketing opportunity. I didn't know what that was so I saw this presentation.
I'm like, “I'm going to make $1 million in three days, why isn't everybody doing this?” This is a great opportunity. I did not make $1 million in three days. I did make a few thousands a month, which is enough for me to quit my job a little bit on a whim and get moving from there as my first entrepreneurial business journey. It was something that burnt me out very quickly and I did some things that I recommend to people that they do not do. I was doing network marketing, making a little bit of money and I'm like, “It's not enough money so let's add something else.” I started selling life insurance. It’s super tough but I am so grateful for making 100 to 250 calls a day because it taught me so much, but I wasn't making any money there.
I started selling products on Amazon like private labeling. I'm doing three things at the same time not making any money and I'm super burnt out. It wasn't until 2015 when I finally decided like, “What am I doing here?” I went to Peru for a month and did a mission trip with Rotary International and it gave me a little bit of time to get out of my space and think. I decided I was going to start a podcast so I came back and I did. It was the worst thing that any human being ever created. I quit after about 30 days and six months later after I got married, I started my current show, the Create Your Own Life Podcast, which is over 450 episodes. We've interviewed people like Grant Cardone and Seth Godin.We booked Tony Hawk and Mark Cuban.We've got a lot of cool people on that show. It led me building a brand, which was initially known as Get Featured and later morphed into Command Your Brand Media where we help people build their brand ontop-rated podcasts.
Dustin
There are a couple of things that I want to highlight there. You studied ancient history and did you teach on that? Is that the thing that you went into teaching?
Jeremy Ryan
No.This was the funny part. I was obsessed with Alexander the Great. Everything I did in grad school had to do with either one of two people, Alexander the Great or Cesare Borgia, who was the conquering son of Pope Alexander VI. I loved doing that. I got out of school and they’re like, “We don't do ancient history in high school, so we want you to teach American history.” American history is one of those classes that I snoozed through in school. What I would do is the night before I was going to teach every class, I would read the textbook and try to desperately teach to the kids. It was part of why both of us weren't being served very well because I was prepping the night before and then trying to teach them something that I didn't quite understand.
Dustin
You speak to your entrepreneurial spirit there of hacking your way through it. I'm curious about the life insurance part that you talked about where you did 150 calls per day. Describe that a little bit more what that was like and what that taught you.
Jeremy Ryan
First off, I sold fraternal insurance. Meaning you had to be part of an organization to sell to people. The Knights of Columbus, anytime somebody joined the Knights of Columbus or I got them to join the Knights of Columbus, I could sell them life insurance. The policies were good, but it's tough to commit somebody to join an organization and then to try and sell them life insurance. It was a weird thing to deal with and part of the way that that works is after 70 years old, you can't sell somebody a new policy anymore because you're coming up to the end anyway so you can't sell somebody a new policy, but we still have a responsibility to visit the people that were in our organization.
This taught me a lot about preparation because it wasn't something I did a lot before I sold life insurance. I went to visit this one guy. He was 80 years old, I knew nothing about him and I didn't realize his wife had just passed away. I go to visit him and I knock on the door and he goes, “What do you want?” “We had talked and I was here to visit you. I wanted to see how you're doing because it's part of my fraternal responsibility to do that.” He says,“Come in and talk to me for a couple minutes,” and he says his wife just passed away. He tells me about all these health challenges he’s having. The worst thing you could say in that situation is, “Sir, I understand,” because how could I understand? I don't have his life perspective, his viewpoint and things like that. He went off on me, “How could you understand? You're young and you're healthy and you've got your life to live ahead of you and you haven't lost a wife.” It taught me a huge thing about preparation.
It taught me to study or at least learn about the people that I'm going to go meet because if you don't, you're putting yourself in a bad situation that you can prevent. The other thing is you asked about those cold calls. That was the biggest thing for me because one of the reasons I don't think I did as well in network marketing as I could have is either accrued a lot of people to do very well and I didn't do the level of action that I needed to do that. What I realized is if I was going to make money in life insurance, to get one to two appointments, I was going to have to make 20to 30 calls. What I realized I could do is if I kept upping the number of calls and the number of people I was talking to within the organization, I could start making sales that way.Had I went outside of fraternal insurance, I probably could have done significantly better because it's a smaller pool of people you're pulling from but it taught me to deal with failure. It taught me to deal with understanding how hard you're going to have to work to get what you want. I still look at that as the biggest single learning experience I've gotten to this day is the number of whether it be emails or calls or whatever it may be. I've taken that into every project or every business I built since then.
Dustin
Do you think entrepreneurs or people that want to start a businessthink it's mission critical that they go cold calling, they do door knocking, they do this old school grunt work, picking up the phones? Do you think it's critical for them to have that?
Jeremy Ryan
I honestly do. Have you heard of a company called Vivint Energy?
Dustin
No.
Jeremy Ryan
Vivint is an energy company where they go door-to-door and they do sales and that's how a lot of these guys cut their teeth and it's pretty incredible. For me, I did door-to-door when I was a personal trainer. I was a personal trainer for eight years and it was the way I've got a lot of my first clients. You learn to communicate to people better because you need to be able to handle people that may be very unhappy that you're at their door or you have a short period of time to get that message across and you can deal with rejection very well. Anybody should have either a direct sales job or they're making a lot of phone calls or something where they're selling door-to-door if you want to be an entrepreneur because you are going to get that level of ability and understanding that a lot of people don't have because it's drilled into you.
Dustin
You need to get rejected 1,000 times or 10,000 times. It's mission critical. There are exceptions to the rule but I'm in that same boat. For folks that want to start a business, go get that rejection badge of honor.
Jeremy Ryan
Do you know who Noah Kagan is? He has the company Sumo.com. One of the things he does with new employees is he calls it the coffee challenge. Every time he brings on somebody new they have to go to Starbucks and ask for a 10% discount or free muffin. It's something you're probably going to get a no on. You do it expecting a no and when you expect noes, it's a lot easier to achieve yeses.
Dustin
I did this. It was so out of my comfort zone. I heard somebody say,“Go do this,” and so I did it. I got rejected totally and I got a no in the face. I'm used to rejection but it's like, “I've never tried this, this would make me uncomfortable.”
Jeremy Ryan
It's interesting because you can deal with a lot of situations that a lot of people can't deal with under fire because you're like, “If I'm wrong, I'm wrong but I'm going to go for it. I'm going to burn the boat and just do it.”
Dustin
Let's talk about Peru. What prompted you to go down to Peru?
Jeremy Ryan
I wish I would say that it was this beautiful mission or whatever, but we've always done a lot of stuff in the local community. My wife read this article in the newspaper that they were looking for people to be youth ambassadors to Peru. I went, I applied, I went to this whole application process, I had to speak in front of a group of 50 people and convince them why my mission was important enough to go on this trip. Basically, what we did is we then visited and spoke to 40 different Rotary Clubs across the country of Peru. I did a lot of speaking on that trip, which helped me. We would then look at how careers were in the country we lived in versus Peru. At that point in time, I was looking at eCommerce and stuff like that, which did not exist in Peru at that standpoint. There were about ten years behind us. They’re still doing text call-to-actions and stuff like that. That’s their big marketing thing.
We would study that but we'd also take a look at service projects because they have a lot of problems there like lack of clean water, lack of food, lack of things like that. A lot of what we did was visit these different areas and take a look and also review careers, but then we had come back here and we had to raise money to handle a lot of the service projects that we saw were needed while we were in Peru. That was a cool experience. Number one, I speak no Spanish, so I had to learn Spanish on the fly because you live with a family that speaks Spanish. Then number two, you have to learn to deal with situations that are not your typical situation. That's something as well and also the last thing would be the level of poverty. I have never seen people that poor as I have, living at the base of the Andes mountains. These buildings are falling down, the schools have tarps over them and it makes you appreciative for what you have.It also makes your purpose to help people a little bit bigger because you realize, “I’m taking this for granted. My parents were right about something.”
Dustin
When you were in Peru, you mentioned this podcast. Did you get the idea down in Peru or what spawned you to move in to create that first failed podcast?
Jeremy Ryan
Part of the problem is, and a lot of entrepreneurs have this problem, especially when you're creating your first thing, you're so engaged in it that this has to be everything for you that you don't think about the future. You can't think of the future because you’re saying, “Now, cope and organized,” and you're not thinking in the future. What happened is being out of my space. I'm like, “What do I want to do?” For me I always love teaching. It always was about educating others, but I didn't know how I was going to do that. I had been a podcast listener since 2007. I've listened to a podcast called No Agenda. Adam Curry, who used to be on MTV, has a show where he makes fun of the news twice a week and it's great.I've been a podcast listener forever and I feel like I could help a lot of people that way. I was blogging before that so I could probably get some interviews that way. For me, that's what I came back and wanted to do, but I didn't know a lot of what I was doing. That was why it failed so royally and for me, going and taking a course and deciding that I'm going to do this and I’m going to do it very well and do it as a professional was the difference the second time around.
Dustin
You made that commitment mentally like you’re going to go at this again and you're bringing in the fire.
Jeremy Ryan
The way I had looked at it, I had failed at everything I've tried up to this point. I figured what could trying something, giving it its best shot do? I had done a lot of things that were half. I had never went all out at something. For me, creating a podcast, I went all out at it. I went all out at everything I could do with it. That showed me what I could do and showed me where my passion lies. That was what helped us to build what we're doing now.
Dustin
Do you think every entrepreneur or business owner should launch a podcast? Is that 100% a certain thing?
Jeremy Ryan
There are two different things to that. Podcasting is an amazing medium to reach new people and build an audience. The thing I'll say is too many people start podcasts and they don't have a unique thing to say. There are too many people that are trying to recreate what John Lee Dumas has done with Entrepreneur on Fire, which he's done an amazing job there but there are too many people trying to do what John did. If you have a unique perspective and a unique way to help people, I absolutely think you should start a podcast.If you don't, it may not be the right way to go for you, because the biggest thing I try to explain to people is this is not a medium where you can start selling ads and start making a whole bunch of money. It's a medium to do two things.One to get you press and notoriety and number two, to help promote your current business or the business you're building. It's most likely not a business in itself for 98% of the people out there. I would say if you can get those things out of the way in the beginning and after taking a look at that and it still rings true for you, then totally go for it.
Dustin
You touched on this a little bit and I want you to go even further. You get press, you get notoriety, so for somebody that wants to create celebrity, number one is why should someone be in the spotlight? There's a plus and minus to that.Two, what are the benefits that you've experienced with that?
Jeremy Ryan
Especially online, number one is you need credibility to sell anything. Most businesses are 90% online. It’s the way the world works and you want to be the name in your space.Like in social media, the name is Gary Vaynerchuk. In sales, the name is Grant Cardone. That's what creating celebrity within your niche allows you to do and that's what a lot of people are benefiting off of. I like podcasting for that reason I blogged for years. I blog since 2008 and it did not get me anywhere. The thing about podcasting is the audience has much easier to reach because 80% of them are listening to audio only anyway and they're usually listening to you when they're doing something else so you're getting somebody mindshare. That's what's important.
First off, it's a great platform in that way. The other way is you have a platform yourself and you can interview people within your niche and grow your own knowledge, which is amazing but also grow your own celebrity. This is one of the things that I like to talk about is take a look at who are the people that are in your niche and who are the ones that are the opinion leaders and the experts and what you want to do is make a list of those. A lot of times people are like, “How am I going to go out and find these people?” The easiest way is to go on Amazon and look for the people that are writing books about that topic and start interviewing those people because you're creating content that's a lot easier to create because you're not the expert. Number two, every time you're seen with somebody that has some credibility in their space, your credibility grows a little bit.
When I interviewed Grant Cardone, it was a big deal for my brand because I got a chance to interview Grant Cardone. When I interviewed Dustin Mathews, that was when I broke through. I interviewed Dustin Mathews. It helps you to grow your brand and your own credibility while at the same time you're becoming the expert. It's almost like being the Napoleon Hill of your business or your niche because that's what Napoleon Hill did.He interviewed these highly successful people. What is cool as well is where a lot of people fall off and a lot of people don't do the basic, which is something we've done since the beginning. It's because my wife's in PR, I can't take credit for what she taught me.
What we did is every time we had something exciting going on with the show, whether it be a new high download number, when we launched the show, when we’ve got a great guest, we write a press release and send it to the local newspaper. I live in a town like there's nothing there, so every time we talked about something it got printed in the newspaper. There are a couple different things that go here. Number one, you'd be surprised if you have an SEO background. What the authority score of your local newspaper is online. A lot of them are very high. My local newspaper was a 61, which is good. That helped to rank my website but it also helped me to get smaller pieces of press to build a press portfolio.When you're talking about things you're doing in terms of a podcast, it's easy to do that. Then another thing you can do is there are some podcasts that publish to larger publications like Inc., Entrepreneur, Forbes. I then built relationships with a lot of those podcasts hosts that ran those shows and appeared on those shows. I was able to get my first big press features. That's what people don't realize. They don't keep the podcasts this center vehicle to get you a lot of these other things and to help you educate other people. For me, I don't see what I've done being possible without having a podcast. I don't see how you would do it.
Dustin
It's your platform. That's interesting because a lot of people are trying to monetize so quickly and they put that focus on it. You've outlined some great points for how to leverage it and then also having the mindset that maybe you're not going to monetize it right away. That's a huge distinction for folks.
Jeremy Ryan
I've been touting this for years like don't worry about making sponsorships. My podcast has grown so much recently that we're filled up on sponsors through the month of October. Go figure two years in, we're making money off of the show directly rather than indirectly.
Dustin
At a national level, podcasting makes sense. It's not necessarily geo-targeted like it's not localized for folks, but let's say I have a local business. I'm a plumber. I'm somebody at the local level.Can they benefit from this?
Jeremy Ryan
I'd like to tell you,yes but I have to be honest with you and tell you, most likely no. If you're not going to go national, global or statewide, it doesn't make sense for you. It doesn't because for a lot of times it's about client acquisition and things like that.It doesn't make sense for a plumber, unless he wants to teach other plumbers, which in that case would make a ton of sense or work with people on a bigger level than it doesn't make sense.If you want to have that local or hyper-local business, it doesn't make as much sense to have a podcast.
Dustin
Part of this is a bigger strategy. If you're that person, you can benefit big time from the bigger concept that you talked about was finding the influencers in your marketplace. The burning question for most folks interested in the conversation is how do I get ahold of these influencers? What are the strategies to connect with them?
Jeremy Ryan
There have been a couple of different ways I've done it. First of all, it started with email with my original reach out and it started with cold emailing. I avoid contact forms like the plague. I will never ever fill out a contact form on a website because it's never going to reach the person that I want. I got a Chrome extension called Hunter.io and what it will do is it will show you all registered emails at a website. I can then contact the exact person I want to talk to and then pour my heart out to them in an email because what they've done matters to me and I want to share that with other people. That was the first way I got started.
That's how I got connected with Seth Godin. It took us three years to book it, but then there have been other ways like building relationships. I've built a lot of relationships that have gotten me high-level guests as well. I’ve got Hal Elrod on my show through a friend. I've gotten some big-name NFL players coming on very soon through people I know. That's one thing as well is you need to also be building relationships and not with the thought of,“I'm doing this to get something.” Building relationships where people are your friends. The other thing I've had a lot of success with since I have a verified Twitter account, when I reach out to other big name, people with verified accounts as well, they see my messages. A lot of times if you're reaching out to people on Twitter, if you don't have a blue checkmark verified account, they don't see your messages. You get a different feed on Twitter when you have that.
Dustin
I was going to jump in here because I'm sure people are like, “Are there any secrets for getting the famous blue check?”
Jeremy Ryan
On Facebook, I haven't figured it out yet. I’m in some sandbox because every time I apply, I get denied in ten seconds. Twitter, I've been verified for about two years and the formula that worked there was pretty consistent. Last February, they verified a white supremacist on Twitter. They have not verified anyone since.That application process is still closed, but it was talking about other verified accounts in your bio. It was about having press features and stuff in your headline and finding press pieces for yourself online and mentioning those in your verification process. I don't have any idea what that looks like because it's changed so drastically, but Twitter has been good for me.
Ever since they had that issue where they closed down lots of accounts about three or four months ago, my response rate from people on Twitter has dropped probably by about 60%. It hasn't been something I've been able to rely on as well. We've moved over to contacting influencers on Instagram because anybody that you follow on Instagram, once you follow them you have the ability to send them a private message. Since I've built up my account, I have 33,000 followers on Instagram. It helps for people to see that credibility and to see he does have a top-rated podcast. He does have these things that he has because he has the following for it. That's where I've been able to reach out and get a lot of those influencers or whatnot recently.
Dustin
I love that you're bringing it out. I love these resources. It's great and I definitely want to continue on that. I would do myself a disservice to the Wealth Fit Nation if we didn't slow it down a little and talk about a little bit of your story, which we touched on. I want to share your story, which is pretty crazy in your bio or your background, you talk about nearly dying at nineteen. Can you share that?
Jeremy Ryan
When I was nineteen years old, we were playing a football game. It was pickup football, it was not this real organized thing. I didn't play football in school, but we took it way too seriously. Everybody wears their cleats and they'd wear theirUnder Armour sleeves and all this stuff. We tackled each other, we were violent. I was playing cornerback, I’m backpedaling five yards. I plant my foot to go turn with the run with the receiver and I tore three major ligaments in my knee. I fall down because when something so severe like that happens, you don't feel it. I'm on the ground. I can't figure out why I can't stand up and I figure out this issue so we go a month later for surgery. It was a similar surgery, the one that Tom Brady had when we had that bad infection a few years ago. I didn't have the issue with the knee infection but I did have an issue with the anesthesia and they don't know if they either messed up how it worked or I was allergic to it.
I had my right lung over expanded and my left lung collapsed. It still has scar tissue to this day and my blood oxygen level rapidly started dropping. They couldn't keep me conscious, I kept being awake, being asleep, being awake, being asleep. I had this experience where I was exterior to my body, which is weird. It was like being in this room, floating around this room, you can feel anything, you can sense everything but there's no conception of time whatsoever. About three days into this, they bring in a priest and they gave me what used to be called last rites and sounds a whole lot more dangerous but it's called the anointing of the sick. They brought in a priest and did that and at the end of that day, I started breathing again and they couldn't explain it.
I don't know if they couldn't explain or didn't want to explain it because they may be afraid we'd sue them or something. Anyway, that was a crazy experience.What was weird about it is it didn't change anything for me.It was like, “That wasn't fun. Let's keep going.”It didn't impact me. A lot of people have these stories like this was the thing, they snapped and they were going to go, speak on stages and change the world and do all this stuff. It didn't impact me. I don't know if it’s because I was nineteen, I thought I was invincible, whatever it may be. This hits me five years later when my mom had a stroke when I was 24 and I found her after she'd been on the ground for about 40 minutes.
There was a substantial amount of brain death by that point. She's lost control of the right side of her body. She can walk using a brace and she lost her language skills. She can understand what you're saying to her and the communication that's coming in but she can't put communication out. That was tough for me and it hit me so hard.What happened to me at nineteen finally hit me. I was like, “You can die, that can happen.”Because it was somebody outside of myself like being my mom at that point, it made sense and it impacted me but when it was me, it didn't hit me hard. 2012 was a tough year in my life. I decided then that I wanted to do something different but I didn't know what it looks like because I come from a very blue-collar family.
My dad didn't graduate high school. My mom was a high school graduate. She didn't go into college because her dad had cancer in her senior year. It was not in the cards for me. I talked about this recently too there's this concept of modeling. If you know somebody that's an entrepreneur, you'd think,“That's something I can do. That's an ability that I can model myself off.” I didn't have that because I came from a very blue-collar background. I knew I wanted something different but it wasn't until in 2013 when I saw that first network marketing opportunity.Maybe it wasn't what I'm doing now.It wasn't what made me the big bucks but it was something that made me see I can do something else other than just getting a degree and getting this job where you stay for 40 years or whatever.
Dustin
Do you think that's propelled you in your life? Have you used that? You talked about it didn't hit you at first but then what happened with your mother. Do you use that as something to this day that drives you or you have other outside motivation?
Jeremy Ryan
It’s absolutely has been something that drives me because for me, stories are very important. Stories matter because stories have the power to change. When it was my mom, it was like this can end, this can be something that doesn't continue. It gave me this inkling that I wanted to help other people tell their story, I didn't know how yet. Had I not had the life experiences and things that I had after that point, I don't know how I would have found that mission or how I would have helped other people do that or even knowing how.
Dustin
Let's unpack story a little bit. What makes a good story?
Jeremy Ryan
I found this a lot on LinkedIn because the way a lot of people are connected on LinkedIn is by these long-form stories and the biggest thing is emotion. I know it's been said again and again, but Maya Angelou has this thing where she says, “People won't remember what you do, they won't remember what you say, but they will remember how you made them feel.” That's the biggest thing, that feeling can hook somebody, that feeling can make somebody understand where you are. That to me is first and foremost the most important thing. It’s helping someone else to feel what you felt, to see what you saw because then whether they remember your story or not, they're going to remember that feeling.They're going to feel like they had a moment with you.They're going to feel a connection there. You will find when you establish that connection, people will remember your story more often than not because you transported them somewhere, you took them on a journey or adventure with you. It doesn't always have to be a negative emotion. I find in the entrepreneurial world that's what we end up talking about a lot is the failures because failures are where people can agree with, that they say,“I've been there.”
When I first started that network marketing business, I put $12,000 on credit cards year one without much of an income. That was tough and it was something that I paid for the next year and a half, but I'm sure everybody's done something like that. They can understand like,“I took some risks.That was me.” That what makes a great story is first and foremost that emotion. The second thing is it should be something that teaches because if a story doesn't teach and doesn't show you a lesson, there's not that much value in it. That's what's so beautiful in the podcast that there's nothing else like the way podcast audio has a power to transport you somewhere else and help you feel what someone else is feeling.
Dustin
How do you help people tell their story?
Jeremy Ryan
Originally, I started out as building podcasts for people. We’re doing a model where we were putting into their whole podcast. We were putting them on a press before they did shows and it was great but it was tough. It was a lot of work to put something like that together and I don't have a huge audio background. We found that the 20% of what we did that people enjoyed was appearing on podcasts. We started putting people on podcasts but were always looking to do what we do better. We started that first and then we realized there are three component parts to every interview. Their story, messaging, call to action. We started working backward because we found a lot of people don't know where to send people on a podcast interview. You'd get to the end of an interview and they say, “You can find me on blahblah.com. I'm here on Twitter, I'm here on Instagram. Here's my grandmother's address, here's my cell phone number.”
Being a direct response guy, you get this. There needs to be one place that you send people. We start from the end of, where do you want to arrive?What is that thing that's going to help them apply your message? Then we work back to what does the message look like? What does the personal story look like that's going to help that all make sense? A story gives you permission to give a message so it has to come first. Once we get those lined up, we look at the correct shows or people. We help get them on those shows.The biggest thing we've added in the last nine months is we're teaching our clients content marketing and repurposing content because that's one of the biggest things that is missed in the podcast world. There's part one when you appear on a show and you're going to get attention and you're going to acquire celebrity and things like that, but then there's also what you do with it. You could repurpose it as an audiogram, which is a 30-second audio clip with a background on it or you could write long-form content on LinkedIn or you could do something else on Facebook. We teach a lot of our clients what to do with content after it's out because it becomes a very powerful thing when you're able to do that.
Dustin
You mentioned story. I'm curious to know because you've got tremendous mindshare, you've interviewed over 375 guests from everyday household names that people would know to experts in niches. What do you think are some big takeaways from running your show or running your podcasts have been?
Jeremy Ryan
It's something I find myself looking at more and more. I chatted with a guy, you may know him, his name is Nick Nanton. Nick and I were talking about this concept of finding specialists and putting them around you. I'm like, “Why are your documentaries so great?” He was like, “I put people around me that are world class.” I'm like, “What does world class look like?” He says,“They're specialists. They’re experts because it's hard for one person to be an expert in many different things.” That's what I'm finding about highly successful people. They put a lot of experts around them because they know what they are good at and they know what they're bad at. They want to fill in those holes so they can be the best.
The other thing is like a viewpoint thing. I talked to Nick about this but I also had a big conversation with Andy Frisella and also Grant Cardone is they realize that in order to build the business they want they have to help a lot of people. It's one of the hardest mind-shifts to make but once you make it, success becomes effortless. You're realizing,“How can I help people more?” That's when you see your brand and your company and yourself grow, but it's a very hard shift to make because you're worrying about surviving day-to-day. Once you take your attention off surviving day-to-day and putting a future there, you're going to see a lot of that. Those are the biggest lessons I've learned. I've also learned that there are big learners. The people that are succeeding are always willing to learn and they're willing to be wrong because if they're wrong, it means they learn something new. That's what's interesting to me from the most successful people I've got a chance to talk to.
Dustin
I'm curious as to your personal routines. You're catching fire, life is great and you've got more to go, but what has helped you in the last couple years propel your success in terms of routines that you do?
Jeremy Ryan
Number one is I put a lot of attention on my personal development, which wasn't something I did until the last few years. That's first and foremost, I always make sure I'm taking time for me. How I start the day is important as well. I was a competitive powerlifter for fourteen years. I had pulled an 80,000-pound army tank, all kinds of stuff like that. I don't do those things anymore but fitness has always been first and foremost for me. That happens the first thing every day. I get back. That's followed by a threeto five-minute cold shower because what that then does is it helps your immune system. It wakes you up better than anything else you've ever done and it accelerates your body's ability to burn body fat. That's something I picked up from Tim Ferriss number of years ago and I've continued to do and see the benefits from.
Then I get down and I write down my battle plan for the day.What are the major targets I want to accomplish and get done by noon? I know by noon there's going to be more things that I'm going to have to do that I wasn't planning on. I get all those major targets up by noon. The other thing is how I set my schedule up. We are a rapidly growing company but I wear a lot of hats in our business. I set up certain hours for certain things. I will only take sales calls on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Tuesday and Thursday, I'm doing content for our Facebook group. I am doing content for other people's podcasts, things like that and I set definite hours on them.Here's a two-hour block where I may be doing email reach out or here's a three-hour block of I’m going to be doing phone calls.Something I had to do which was very tough for me early on because I feel like I'm very much an artist, but I had to do something about it was I stop doing podcasts interviews every day.
Basically, whenever an influencer could do a podcast, I was doing it. What I did, and this is also a little bit of growing your show to the point that people are willing to be more flexible, I only do interviews every other Friday, but I do them for eight hours in a clip. What that helps me to do is get content to my team for editing and not be thinking about that podcasts all week because it can jumble up your schedule when you're doing interviews and things like that. For me, it's eight hours of interviews twice a month and I have full month content. The stuff for me like that and looking at my schedule and blocks scheduling and making sure that I am in an area where I can succeed fitness wise is huge for me.
Dustin
You mentioned you pulled an 80,000-pound tank. You’ve got to share that with us.
Jeremy Ryan
It was a fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project.What they basically did is they had teams that could pull an army tank.There were six people and it was the quickest time to pull it. Our team pulled in fourteen seconds. It was me and five guys over 50. I was 24, 25 at the time. Then it was low body weight to pull it. I pulled 80,000-pound army tank, twelve feet. There is a video if you want to see it. It’s a lot of fun, but I finished second because I lost to a 143-pound woman. She wasn't a bodybuilder or jacked or anything like that. I don't know how it happened. I was in disbelief when I watched it. It's all about how low can you get because it's on the back of an eighteen-wheeler that's in neutral. If you get high and pull up on that bumper, it's not going to move. You have to get low and pull down and back and once you get it rolling you're in good shape but you’ve got to get that momentum moving.
Dustin
You’re going to explain it a little bit about powerlifting. What got you into powerlifting?
Jeremy Ryan
Do you want the honest answer or the answer I make-up?
Dustin
Let's go both.
Jeremy Ryan
The one I make up is I was a wrestler and I wanted to stay fit, which is true but the real answer is I was picked on mercilessly in school. For me, the thing that made me feel better about myself and have more confidence was working out and lifting heavy things. Once you get strong, people look at you a little bit differently. It helped me during that time. I realized that was a bad plan, but that was the thing that got me into it. After I got out of school because I didn't wrestle in college, it filled that space that wrestling had for me because it's a very similar environment, it's a very competitive individualized environment. It's a lot of fun. To give you my best lifts, I’m 165 pounds. I was 192 pounds at 5’7” when I was doing this stuff. I benched 455 on a single, deadlifted 635, squat at 705 and leg pressed 1,525. I was a powerhouse back in the day.
Dustin
I see in your story in your life the development, whether you were powerlifting or developing your body, whether the MLM that helped you go on your path, interviewing people. It’s got to be uncomfortable sometimes with some of the guests that you get, meaning you look up to these folks. Am I right about that?
Jeremy Ryan
It was tough at first because first of all, I hadn't done an interview when I did my first interview. I had 30 questions and it was more like a jail cell interrogation to the poor guy. You find a lot of these guys that are willing to do interviews which is super nice. You have to get in communication with people. I find that you'll get responses that feel canned a lot of times. What you have to do is find those things that people aren't asking them. One of my favorite questions to ask people is,“What is something that you believed at 21 that you don't believe now?” Somebody has to think to find an answer to that. You get true communication with somebody and you feel the whole thing shifts once you get that communication with somebody. To me, it's been very cool and I look forward to it. I've had some interviews I was freaked out about it first like, “Oh my God, I'm talking to Grant Cardone, this is scarier. Oh my God, I'm doing a live event with James Altucher.” It was a lot of different things that once you do it, you feel like you can do about anything because you can talk to these people that to you seem like almost heroes.
Dustin
I'm always conscious. You and me for sure are positive-minded guys. We see the world, we want to go out and get it, we're positive. We understand there are obstacles along the way. I want to ask you, what does Create Your Own Life mean? I want you to speak to somebody that maybe isn't in a great place like, “Just go out and be positive,” isn't resonating.
Jeremy Ryan
It's funny because you know me like that, I'm a positive guy but I'm not like, “Just sprinkle some fairy dust and we're good to go.” That's not me. I’m more like a no BS type guy. There has been a couple of things I've learned on like when I was introduced to Grant Cardone’s 10X Rule that was a world-changer for me. Understanding that it's going to take a lot more effort than you think it's going to take, be willing to put in the time, be willing to put in the effort, be willing to just go for it. That was part one, part two is another book I read by Cal Newport called So Good They Can't Ignore You because I feel like there is a big problem in my generation. I'm 31 so I'm technically a Millennial. There are a lot of people in my generation like, “I haven't found my passion yet so I'm going to sit on my parents' couch until I find it.”
It's not what it's like. You can't expect to find your passion in life. It's about finding something you're good at and becoming so good at it that it becomes effortless fun and the passion follows. That's what it's about. Creating your own life is understanding that you have so much more ability than anybody else has ever told you and you need to give yourself permission to go do it and do it like a banshee and do it hard and do it long and make it happen. It doesn't mean that you need to think like the Gary Vee hustle and never sleep. That's not part of it. You do need to address your family, yourself and everything else but it's about understanding that first and foremost that you are the driver of this whole thing. Total responsibility comes back to you.When you take full responsibly for your life and everything else you do see what you can create, it's awesome.
Dustin
You've had all this success, you’re rolling with folks that are household names and icons of business. Do you ever have any doubts about the path that you’re on or where you're headed in life?
Jeremy Ryan
If you asked me that question years ago, I would have said yes, but if you ask me that question, I'd say no because I feel like I'm totally on the path for me. I say that because I have fun every day I'm at work like this isn't work. This is a lot of fun. I feel like when your work becomes effortless and becomes a passion and becomes something that you can do something different in, it's not something that you're grinding at. Not any more do I have trouble with that. One of the things is I use a tool in my business in my life called the administrative scale. What you basically do is you look at a bunch of key elements in your life and make sure they’re lined up and make sure you always move in the right direction.I've used that as my compass. Do my goals match my purposes? Do the plans I'm using match that? When you are continually using something like that and moving in the right direction you can also gauge where you're at. I don't question that anymore like,“Two years ago, three years ago, sure.” I don't want to say I have it all figured out because I don't think any of us ever has all figured it out, but I feel like I'm doing what my genius is and what I can help other people with.
Dustin
Where do you have fear then with what you're doing?
Jeremy Ryan
I don't know if you push me out of an airplane maybe. That would make me afraid of that. If I had to speak naked in front of a room, I'd maybe afraid of that. I don't know. I'm a,“Go for it, do anything,” type of guy. I don't want to say there aren't moments where I'm afraid but there's nothing I outright fear anymore because I feel a lot of times that's irrational anyway. You can do anything we set our minds to. I don't think there's anything I outright like, “I'm so afraid of that.” I want to scale my business more and I'm trying to figure out how to put more systems to do that. That's what I'm working on, but it's not something I'm afraid of or scared of. There may be some parts that I don't have knowledge in and so I find mentors to seek that knowledge from, but I don't think there's necessarily that I'm scared of.
Dustin
What would you say to the person that has fear like they're afraid of success? Maybe they are afraid of leaving their job. They're afraid to take that first step. What are you coaching or your insights to them?
Jeremy Ryan
I would speak mostly to the person that is in a job and afraid to leave that job because I've done it two ways. I've done it the way where you jump off and it doesn't work so well and I've done it the other way where I spent a year building a podcast while I was running somebody else's digital marketing and content marketing program. You make better decisions when you have a job than when you have to do to feed yourself day in and day out. For me, it's how I built something more stable and better because I wasn't thinking short-sighted. I know Gary Vee talks about entrepreneurs have to be able to think six months, six hours, six days and six years out. They have to be able to look at each one of those things and if you can't, you're going to have a lot of trouble in creating something.
Build it as a side hustle first and once you're feeling a little bit better for it, just go for it. We had somebody that emailed me and that's been listening to my show for two years and he started a side hustle. Few hundred episodes into my show, he started a side hustle where he's building these cool plans to make beds forcars and trucks and stuff like that. He sold 1,600 of them in 2017, which is another $50,000 for himself and his family. That's a side hustle and it’s different from his business or his job. Let's think about if he can scale that up a little bit more, he can leave that job. That to me is the better way to do it.
Dustin
What's the best investment you've ever made?
Jeremy Ryan
I’m going to go a little bit sentimental here. I'm going to go with an engagement ring because my wife is the best thing that ever happened to me. She is my best friend, she's my business partner and she understands me like nobody else does. We're very lucky in that because do we end up talking business on the couch some nights? We do because that's how we are. We're junkies for this stuff and we love it. We also enjoy a lot of the same things. We love to travel. We talk all the time. To me, that was the best investment I ever made.
Dustin
I'm going to flip it on you. What do you think is the worst investment you've made? The one that you don't want to talk about?
Jeremy Ryan
When I was seventeen, I paid $600 via a money order on eBay to buy a car body kit that never arrived because you'd never send somebody a money order on eBay because you'll never hear from them again.
Dustin
You've been interviewed a ton. You've been on a lot of other podcasts. What's one question that people don't ask you that they should ask you?
Jeremy Ryan
It's funny because you told me about this too. I guess what I'm reading because I'm not reading what people think I'm reading. I don't read business books except for no BS presentations, I read that. I don't read business books. I have some on my shelf, I haven't opened them. For me, I like to read stories of big characters in history and I feel like I learn way more from that than I'm ever going to learn from Walter Isaacson and Steve Jobs or something like that, which is on my bookshelf but I never opened. I’m sure it has some benefit to me.To me, people that built big things and have big dreams and big ideas in history are empowering and inspiring.
Dustin
Do you pull that into your content or your storytelling? Do you make the business parleys?
Jeremy Ryan
I've tried to do that a lot more. I feel like it's come up a lot more like I've been reading this book. I don't know if I mentioned it to you but it's called The Borgias. It's about Pope Alexander VI, then his son Cesare that conquered all of Italy. That's come up for me a lot recently because I find that guy very intriguing. He was this very diametrically opposed person and Machiavelli's The Prince is based on him. He said that Cesare was the perfect prince had he not relied on his father, the Pope, for most of his power because when the Pope died, he didn't have any power. To me, I feel like it's come off my content a lot more but I also feel like I can become too significant about it because maybe my audience doesn't understand as much of what I'm talking about. If I'm throwing words at people who don't get it, it also doesn't make me smarter.
Dustin
I don't know if it's because I'm like that but I find it fascinating. I always like to learn people in history and try to parley it to business or at least when I read books that have done that, I'm like,“That's fascinating.” I'm into stoics. In college, I was going to be philosophy major, the parents said no and they made me pivot. What I would do was I would still go to the philosophy, I would sit in and do it and then I filed that away and then I've rediscovered it and it's been amazing.
Jeremy Ryan
Thank God for Audible.com because I like listening to audio books. I’ve also been bingeing on a lot of history podcasts. I did Tides of History, Hardcore History, stuff like that. There is so much benefit in it. There's a part of me that's like, “I enjoy that, I wonder if I was there in one lifetime.”
Dustin
You have been absolutely amazing.Thank you for being on the show. I want folks to know about what you're up to, so where can they connect with you?
Jeremy Ryan
There are two places.One being if they want to be an amazing podcast guest, we put together a worksheet for them that’s going to help them do that. That is over at CommandYourBrand.media/Checklist or if they want to check anything else out on the podcast side the personal brand side that's over at JeremyRyanSlate.com.
Dustin
Thanks again. It’s very productive and thanks for sharing and giving some amazing resources.More important than the resources as you pointed out are the stories that move people to get into action and start creating their own life.
Jeremy Ryan
Thank you so much for having me. I hope I was able to serve your audience.
Dustin
I had fun. Thank you.

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