Ryan Moran on Creating a Profitable Business at Home

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Katie: Hello, and welcome to “The Wellness Mama Podcast.” I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com and wellnesse.com, my new line of completely natural personal care products that benefit your body from the outside in.

This episode is all about finances, side hustles, entrepreneurship, and creating businesses. I’m here with Ryan Moran, who is the founder of capitalism.com, where he teaches entrepreneurs to build businesses and invest the profits. He’s best known for turning a $600 investment into an eight-figure company and selling it. But today, his podcasts and videos have been downloaded millions of times and he has hundreds of successful students who credit his trainings with helping them build seven-figure businesses.

The reason I wanted to bring him on, many people are certainly, understandably, feeling financial stress right now, especially, and Ryan believes that this is actually the best time there has ever been to create a business and a side income or a full-time income, and we go into the specifics of that today. I hope that you will enjoy this episode as much as I did. So without further ado, let’s jump in. Ryan, welcome. Thanks for being here.

Ryan: Katie, thanks so much for having me. I’ve been excited to chat with you.

Katie: I am excited to chat with you too, because I talk a lot about health on this podcast and other topics like parenting and homeschooling, but I haven’t really covered the financial side very much. And just before we started recording, you and I chatted about how that is very much a part of health when it comes to realizing that financial stress can cause stress that bleeds over into other areas of life.

And the reason I’m so excited to have you on specifically is that I know that you have a very, I would say, positive and action-oriented approach to finances that I think could really help a lot of people right now as some people feel a lot of uncertainty with everything going on in the world and potentially changes in family finances or job security and all those kinds of things. So I think the time could not be better to bring this topic on, and I’m so glad to have you on.

Ryan: Well, I’ve been excited to chat with you because it feels like the world has kind of come your/our way. I mean, it seems like the homeschooling approach is about to be normalized because people are looking for alternative schools at this point. We’re more aware of our health than ever before and all of the junk that we have kept in the system has to be flushed out in order for us to get through this. And the traditional business approach is going away and giving way for the kinds of businesses that excite you and I and people like us. So it kind of feels like the whole world is starting to come our way.

Katie: I agree completely. It’s actually sent me into a lot of work recently because, for the past 10 years, I’ve been developing a curriculum for my own kids that started with the idea when our first was getting ready to enter school age. We looked at, “Should we homeschool, should we send him to school?” And to answer that question, we had to kind of step back and say, “Well, which of those options best prepares him for life?” And we realized that of that, none of the current options actually best prepared him for the future that he would likely have in this very technological world.

So I built a curriculum from the ground up that kind of rethought all of those questions about education, of what if they didn’t need to sit still for eight hours? What if that wasn’t a variable? What if books aren’t the only/best way to learn? How can we best prepare our kids from a skills-up perspective versus a knowledge-down perspective? And I built this whole curriculum that I thought, “Okay. In like 10 years, maybe people will be more on board with virtual and I’ll turn it into an actual curriculum and share with other families.” And then everything hit over the last six months, and I went, “Oh, okay. The time is now. Virtual is now accepted. I need to get this out to other families.”

So I have been, you know, heads down working on that because I’m so passionate about it, but I think you’re right. I think it’s all often in life our lens and our filter of how we look at things. And to your point, things have potentially, maybe never been better when we look at things through that lens. So you always take a very optimistic approach to business and finance. Can you explain to the audience why you still feel like this is one of the best times in history ever to start a business or for financially?

Ryan: A hundred percent. Absolutely. So the world is kind of stacked in our favor right now if you’re looking to take a nontraditional path, a nontraditional path in education, a nontraditional path in business, a nontraditional path. And to carve out your own way is now accessible in all areas of life. My specialty has been in business, but it’s the case in all areas of life. But if we look at business and finances specifically, I always bet on things expanding. The stock market is gonna continue to hit new highs over time. There’s gonna continue to be new inventions, new technologies. There’s gonna continue to be new opportunities. There’s gonna continue to be more money in the system than there was 25 years ago, or there’ll be more money 25 years from now than there will be today.

So a fun story that I like to tell is my dad used to joke when I was a kid that I was gonna be the world’s first trillionaire. He was joking because that amount of money didn’t even really exist. And now, just recently, the biggest company in the world, Apple, crossed $2 trillion in market cap. That’s an absurd amount of money. Now, we could either bemoan the fact that the world has changed and someone has expanded that much or we could simply recognize that the universe expands, economies expand, and if you want to succeed, you bet on things expanding.

And so right now, we’re in this interesting time where we’re having this great reset, but things are always gonna continue to expand. And so if we look 5, 10, 25 years out, the repercussions of where we are right now, there’s all kinds of beautiful opportunities that are being set up right now. So one of the opportunities, and Katie, you’re such a great example of this, is the ability to build an audience around your passions or around whatever it is that excites you. That old way of working for someone else and stressing yourself out for 30 years so that then you can relax is a dinosaur that is finally ending. It’s no longer necessary. And so there’s this opportunity for you to carve out an audience and to speak to the people that you want to serve that is now wide open.

There are no hidden platforms, there’s no gatekeeper, and anyone now can build a raving fan base. And even with just a few 100 people that follow you, we can use that as leverage to build a seven-figure business. And I can kind of walk through the stages of how that looks, but now we have this wide-open space for people to be able to speak to their ideal client, their ideal customer, their ideal follower and get them into a process in which they’re engaged and following them with their content. That’s wide open now.

We now have also, for the first time… I never thought I would see this again, but we now have cheaper ad costs. With this great reset, we’ve had a lot of the big players exit the space in the sense that they’re no longer advertising on some of the big platforms. So it’s now actually cheaper to advertise products, services, and content than it was just 12 months ago. And there’s more inventory too, meaning there’s more places to advertise than there’s ever been.

And then the third thing that has happened is that with retail really struggling right now, it’s giving way for more smaller brands to get a foothold and to capture market share. So my favorite example of this is our buddy, Mark Sisson. Mark started as a small blog. It grew an audience over time. It’s not like it was anything complex. He did a lot with a written word and he had that then recorded into podcasts and he built a loyal following as a result. And then he started Primal Kitchen, which got a life of its own. One, two, skip a few 99, he sells it for a tremendous exit and the man was in his 60s.

So it’s not like you need to be a young tech entrepreneur to be able to do this. This was someone who started somewhat later in life and had an unbelievable exit. And we could debate the ethics of it being bought by Heinz, but the truth is that the big brands are now paying attention to small people like you and me who have audiences that are loyal and that want to support new products and services.

Another great example of this would be Dave Asprey. Dave Asprey has a blog and a podcast. Who was talking about moldy coffee 10 years ago? Only one person. There was no market for it. He just started talking about it, built a loyal following, started launching products, has raised some money, and now has this company that is known all over the world.

And so we see this happening more and more where small bloggers, podcasters, Instagram influencers can have an impact on what we do as a culture and the products that we buy and that we sell. And so if you have an interest, a hobby, or something that lights you up, there are now more opportunities to get exposure, there are more places to have products made, it’s faster to take things to market, and there’s cheaper advertising. So we just have this beautiful Petri dish for us to play in to where I believe that right now is the best time ever to be an entrepreneur to start something new and that once again the world has started to come our way.

Katie: I love that perspective. And to speak to a couple of things that you pointed out, with Mark Sisson, he’s a mutual friend and I love him. And I know there were some people who were concerned when he sold to Heinz, but he was able to maintain the integrity of Primal Kitchen when he sold. And I’ve said from the beginning, if we’re gonna see lasting change in an industry like health or food, certainly, it requires all of us making changes on the micro-level in our homes.

And that absolutely should happen, and I’ve been talking about that for over a decade, but it also requires big brands getting on board. Because if you and I change our eating habits, we have made a small but meaningful change, and hopefully a lot of us do that. But when a big brand changes its supply chain or changes its sourcing, that makes a massive impact overnight. So we need both. It’s not either-or, it’s both-and. So I love that you brought that up.

I also think a lot of people listening… You make a strong case for why this is so important, and I fully agree with you. I would guess there’s people listening, going, “Yeah, that works out well for the Mark Sissons of the world and the Dave Asprey’s of the world, but I don’t know how to do that.” So let’s start with how can someone who has never maybe started a business from scratch before start by identifying an idea, or a niche, or a place that they can start their own path?

And to give some examples that I can think of off the top of my head, it doesn’t have to be a massive brand. You don’t have to set out to build a Primal Kitchen. I’ve seen moms from home who are great at art, for instance, start teaching art classes online for other families and build a six or seven-figure business easily doing that and get to do the thing they love and still be home with their kids. But can you kind of walk us through, maybe, some ideas of how do you identify where to start?

Ryan: Yeah. So to stay consistent with the example, it’s easy for us to compare ourselves to Mark Sisson or Dave Asprey now. But if you look at where they started, both of them had very small blogs and followings, and then they started selling one or two things. There was not a big market for paleo condiments. Mark just decided to take a very micro change to the marketplace. And Dave did exactly the same thing. So it starts with you. It starts with that micro change that you and your family want to make and then it becomes sharing that micro change with a small following and then doing that over time enough to where the big brands say, “This is a change that is lasting and we’re going to help get this out to everybody by bringing it into our systems.”

Now, how someone starts that process is in a few steps. The first is recognizing that a million-dollar business is simply for products that sell 25 sales a day, that’s 100 sales a day, at a $30 price point. So 100 sales a day, 4 products, 25 sales a day at a $30 price point is $3,000 a day, which is about $1.085-something million a year. Now, that’s top-line revenue, but that’s enough of a business to be a fulltime entrepreneur and for something to be scalable and possibly sellable.

So how do you identify those first four products that you’re going to sell and get to 25 sales a day and then have a million-dollar business? Well, my favorite way to do this is by identifying one person who is starting a new journey. So for identifying the person who is going on the journey of losing weight, can we identify four to eight products that somebody will buy when they’re going on the journey to lose weight. They’re probably gonna buy protein drinks and workout bands and maybe at-home workout equipment and sweatbands. And depending on what diet they’re going after, they’re gonna buy certain products or different supplements or certain foods.

So can we deepen a list of at least four to eight products that somebody will buy at the beginning of a new journey? At the same light, we would look at somebody who’s trying to get fit or someone who is homeschooling their kids, or someone who is retiring and going into the golden years of their life. Can we make a list of a few things that that person buys when they’re going into that new journey? The example that I like to give is before I was a father, I gave zero attention to strollers.

They were this annoying thing that those people carried around and pushed up the ramp instead of taking the little stair. You don’t give any attention to them if you’re not a parent. But once you become a parent, strollers are the most interesting thing. You’re like, “Oh, this one has an amazing turning radius. Look how this one folds up.” These are things I never thought of when I didn’t have any kids. But I went on a new journey, the journey of becoming a father, and I buy things like diapers, and strollers, and baby clothes, and all kinds of stuff that I did not know existed that now my house is filled with.

Same thing happens when you adopt a pet, or you start eating different, or you start working out, or you meet the love of your life. You buy new things that you did not buy before. And so all of us have these moments in our life that changed our experience of life and that we have overcome challenges along the way. That is really the identifier that we have a market that we can sell to.

So if you have homeschooled your kids, there are other people who want to go on that journey that you can serve with a list of a few products. If you have lost weight, there are millions of people who want to go on that journey that are looking for people to help guide that journey. If you’ve started a business, if you have become a parent, if you have retired young, these are all areas that if you’ve gone through that journey, your job is to serve as the mentor to other people who are going along that journey.

So how do we then break into we’re creating a following or a small customer base that wants to follow that? Well, when we realize that we only need 25 people a day to buy our products, when we know that we have a suite of products that people can buy and we only need a handful of them every day, then we don’t need to have a million followers on Instagram, or a number one podcast, or a blog with a million followers.

We only need a few hundred people to care about the journey that we’re helping them on in order to have a scalable and sellable business. So the job is to identify that person who’s going on a new journey and to be able to serve them by helping them overcome challenges along the way and then making product recommendations that will be yours or someone else’s and do that enough over time to have a six or a seven-figure business. That’s the model in four minutes or less.

Katie: I love that. That’s so helpful and practical. So then from there, like, let’s walk through some of the practical ways that people can do that. I know you’ve mentioned a few as part of that explanation, but I agree with your perspective. Today is one of the best times in history to do this, and there’s almost infinite possibilities, but walk us through some of those steps and maybe give a couple of examples.

Ryan: Yeah. Sure. So one of the steps to do is to simply choose the person that it is that you want to serve. The most commonly asked question that I’m asked is, “What product do I sell? This all sounds great, how do I narrow this into, ‘What the heck am I gonna sell?’” And I flip this back on them and say, “You got the order wrong.” The first thing that we have to do is identify who the person is that we want to serve.

Dave Asprey served people who are interested in the biohacking world, and so his early content was about Modafinil and like biohacking hormones. It wasn’t until later that he started talking about putting stuff in your coffee. And it started as butter and coconut oil. You might remember that. And then it became MCT Oil and then he came out with his own.

So Dave started by serving the upgraded executive, the Bulletproof executive. It was really high-end people that he was serving at the beginning, and then he narrowed it down over time and it became wider and more publicly distributed. But we start by saying, “Who’s our ideal person? Who is the person that we want to serve? And how do they identify?” And so, again, another example of this is RxBar, started by Peter Rohal in his basement, might’ve been his parents’ basement.

He was a CrossFitter. And at the time, there was no paleo recovery bar or protein bar that he didn’t think tasted like dirt. And so he developed this thing that he called the RxBar as a throwback to CrossFit references because Rx is a CrossFit term and he made this bar out of natural paleo ingredients, and he was just making it for him and his CrossFit buddies.

So the CrossFitter doesn’t necessarily need another protein bar. There were plenty of protein. There was Clif Bar on the market. There was PowerBar on the market. There were all these other bars on the market. The world didn’t need another protein bar, but there was no protein bar or food bar specifically for CrossFitters. And so Peter makes this bar and he starts distributing it out to his CrossFit buddies and then he starts selling it. And he starts selling more and there’s more demand and more demand and it becomes a business. Four years later, he’s had such a foothold in the marketplace that Kellogg’s buys that company for $600 million.

So it starts by identifying probably a smaller group of people than most people think about. Once again, Dave Asprey was not targeting the paleo or keto crowd. He was targeting executives who wanted to perform better. And he started talking about some cutting edge or weird stuff. One of those weird things was he puts butter in his coffee, and that became the beginning of Bulletproof Coffee. And so we’re always looking at the person that we want to serve.

And we can practice by just speaking to that ideal avatar in written, spoken word, or video content, and by going in on every follower, by being accessible to everyone who is following our content, and then listening to where they are in that customer journey. What are they trying to accomplish? Where are they dissatisfied in the marketplace? What are you doing that they find most interesting? And then we zoom in on creating the solution to exactly that.

And, Katie, it always starts really small. One of the biggest mistakes I see entrepreneurs make is they try to come out of the gate, guns are blazing. They try to go to that 100 sales a day right away. But I titled my book “12 Months to $1 Million” cause it takes a full 12 months to hit that 100 sales a day mark. And that starts with the first product taking one sale.

In fact, I was working with a student a couple weeks ago, and this person was feeling really frustrated that their product was only doing like three or five sales a day. And she had just launched it and she wasn’t getting the type of momentum that she really wanted. And she has a blog, she has a following, and it serves moms and she had this supplement to help nursing moms produce the right gut bacteria to help their infants. And she was feeling frustrated over not going from 5 sales a day to 100 sales a day.

And so my job is to get her to slow down and say, “Okay. Do you have any customer testimonials of how much that your products helped them?” She’s like, “Yes. So many of them. Everyone who buys it loves it.” “Okay. How many of those pieces of feedback are you posting on Instagram, or emailing to your list, or uploading to your Amazon Checkout page?” And she said, “Zero.” “Okay, great. So let’s start there.”

And that’s how we start to turn the dial from a product that we’re proud of to taking a few sales a day to then scaling to 25 sales a day and repeating that process over and over again. Katie, would it be okay if I kind of walked through the three stages to the million and give kind of the full layout of going from zero to a million-dollar business? Would that be okay?

Katie: Absolutely. And I’m gonna take notes and I’ll circle back with some specific questions after you do that.

Ryan: Okay. Great. So I break the 12-month journey into three stages, and they’re each four-month stages, so 3, 4 months stages for a 12-month process. And remember, the goal is to have four products that sell 25 sales a day at a $30 price point, which is thus a million-dollar business. So the first stage I call the grind. The grind is those first four months where you’re just making hard decisions.

The decisions are things like, “What product am I gonna sell? Who is my person that I’m targeting? How am I gonna fund this thing? What am I gonna call it?” And we want to make those decisions as quickly as possible, even if they’re messy, because the goal of those first four months is to take one sale. That’s all. We don’t have to condor a gate at a million-dollar business. In four months, our only job is to sell one product. That’s it. So we answer those questions as quickly as we can so that we can take one sale at the end of four months.

That opens up the next stage, which I call the growth. The growth is going from 1 sale to 25 sales a day on that first product. So the way that we do that is by screenshotting every review we get on our products. It’s by replying to every comment. It’s by getting on the phone with the customer when we have to. It’s by going on other podcasts or writing blog posts in order to get the word out about our product and doing those micro unscalable things to go from 1 sale to 25 sales a day. And it happens very slowly until it hits kind of an exponential growth curve.

And that 25 sales a day mark is when we really start to hit that curve. So again, we are in this growth period where we are saying yes to every opportunity in order to spread the word and go from 1 sale to 25 sales a day. And once again, that’s when it’s important to be replying to every comment, screenshotting reviews and sharing them on social media, to be reaching out to our network of peers or friends and asking them to share the product or share our message. That’s when we’re really stoking the fire.

And then the third stage is what I call the gold. And that’s when we are releasing products, 2, 3, and 4 to get to that 100 sales a day mark. So once you’ve built the road to get to 25 sales a day, I mean, that’s a process that is really like…it’s like building a road. It takes some grunt work, but once the road is built, it’s paved and we can add additional products, additional cars onto the road that will move a lot faster. So once that has been built, we now have the customer base, the momentum, the following, and the exposure to be able to release a second product that goes to 25 sales a day much quicker.

Now, an interesting thing happens at that point. In my experience, I released my first product in 2013 or ’14, and I hit 25 sales a day within a few months and I thought that was the top end of the market. I thought I had really maximized the market at 25 sales a day. But then I released my second product. And when I released my second product, it went to 25 sales a day in about half the time.

But a weird thing happened. When that hit 25 sales a day, my first product jumped from 25 sales a day to 50 sales a day. “What’s happening here.” And what was happening was you now had repeat customers. You had people who found the first product and came back and bought the second and vice versa. You had Subscribe & Save kicking in on Amazon. You had more people picking up the product and talking about it.

And so there was an exponential effect that happened. And at the peak of that business, I later sold that business, but at its peak, that product that I thought had maxed out at 25 sales a day was doing 300 sales a day. So where I thought I had captured as much of the market as existed, I was actually building the market. I was making the pie bigger. And so what happens is when you hit that 25 sales a day mark and you release product two and three, the pie gets much bigger and all of a sudden getting to 100 sales a day becomes much faster and easier, and it can happen a few months after that.

So, again, that first stage, the grind, is just about making those decisions that we need to make in order to get that first sale, the second four months is about getting that sales machine to get to 25 sales a day, and then that third stage, the gold, is when we release additional products so that we’ve got four products doing at least 25 sales a day at a $30 price point, and that’s when we have a million-dollar business.

When you demystify it that way, you realize this is gonna take a year, it’s gonna take some effort, but it’s not complicated and mysterious when you break it down into that simple formula. And, once again, to kind of bring it full circle, we live in a time in which there’s more consumption of online content than ever before, ad costs have fallen, and big brands are hungry for these small micro brands like we like to build, and as a result, the world has kind of stacked the deck for people to go through this process and to build these types of companies.

Katie: I’m so glad that you brought up multiple times about the reviews and paying attention to the customer feedback. I think that is often an overlooked part of this, especially like you said, when people just want to go from 0 to 60 overnight. And that was, I think, a huge key for me as well in building Wellness Mama was for those first years, and even now I still read every piece of customer feedback. But for those first years, I personally responded to every single person, and I knew my top 1,000 readers by name.

Like, I actually cared about these people, I knew about their families, and that still is very much true for the larger community. There’s just more people that keep track of now. But I think that piece often gets overlooked and you can’t outsource or commodify human kindness or actually caring about your customer in that way. And I think that builds a business so much stronger over time like you said. You created the community, you created the market, and then you had built-in metrics like reorders and things that are important from the business side, but you built it by caring about your customer.

Ryan: That’s right. You know, it’s funny you say that because there was someone who posted in our community yesterday. They built a Facebook group of 13,000 people in about six months, and he gave his step-by-step plan and how he built this Facebook group. And it was a really responsive Facebook group. And I love working with Facebook groups because they tend to adopt products really, really quickly. So doing a launch to a Facebook group is really fun.

But this was a step-by-step plan. It was step one, care about your followers. Step two, revisit step one. And so the more that you are engaged with those people who actually pay attention when it’s only 5 people, the faster that becomes 15, 50, 500, 5,000, and then everybody asks, “How did you do this? What was the step-by-step strategy that you did to build this following?” And the truth is that you just cared and you created content and you helped people along their journey.

My favorite way to phrase this is if you’ve done any reading on “The Hero’s Journey.” The hero’s journey is always someone going out on an adventure, meeting a mentor, and the mentor helping them overcome challenges until they come full circle. That’s the hero’s journey. Most people think that their business is the hero in the journey. It’s not. Your customer is the hero in the journey. Your job is to play Yoda to Luke Skywalkers of the world.

Your job is to be the person who has already gone through this journey and you’re now mentoring people on the same journey. Your job is to not convince people that you’re Yoda, it’s to convince them that they’re Luke Skywalker, to convince them that they are the hero in their own story. And when you do that, you have followers and customers for life, and it becomes easy for you to provide the solutions, the products, and the services that help them on their hero’s journey.

Katie: Great point. And I’m so glad you brought that up. I’ll link to some resources about that in the show notes for anyone who isn’t familiar with that yet. And you made me think of several other businesses that I feel like are great like mom businesses from home too, and I’ll just name a couple of them. There’s a woman who, her business is called Knottie Tottie and she makes these amazing earrings. And she makes them from home and she’s built this incredible business. And she’s working toward a goal in her life personally and using the money for that, that she’s able to do that from home with her kids. And another called Crunchy Betty, which is a personal care and deodorant and a bunch of other products. And it’s run by…

Ryan: Love Crunchy Betty. Love Crunchy Betty.

Katie: And it’s run by two moms who are also homeschooling their kids, and it allows them to be able to do that. Locally, there’s one that makes paleo, vegan, organic baked goods, and she just distributes them in our local area but that’s become a side business that has opened up so many aspects in their life. And so I think there are so many areas. Like you said, if you can start thinking in what your own passions are and what your own expertise is, there’s really so many options that expand from there.

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And the other thing I think about on a personal level is the idea of kind of like a target monthly income.

Because I think a lot of people, when starting a business, it’s easy to kind of overestimate what you think you want to do. And not all of us need to create a $20 million or $100 million brand. I find if you work backwards of like, what are my actual goals, what does an amazing ideal life look like for my family, it’s often much less monthly income than we think it is.

And so figuring out what those goals are, it makes it seem much more reachable much more quickly, and then it just makes that not seem like such a big hurdle. I’m curious for you also if you have any tips another aspect of this. To me seems like the idea of financial management once you start creating a side income because you can then use that income in so many other ways to leverage in positive ways in your life. Do you have any strategies on the personal side for financial management and running a family?

Ryan: Yeah. So a couple of things here. First, if you’re building a business, you have to accept the fact that you’re gonna eat dirt for about a year because your business is your number one asset and all of the money is rolled into that. And I don’t take money off the table until my business is pacing about a million dollars in sales. A million dollars in sales, you can bet on about 30% profit margins. That’s enough for most people to be a full-time entrepreneur.

And so we have to put everything that we have from the business back into the business. So this is kind of something you can do on the side as you are ramping things up. I’ve worked with a lot of entrepreneurs who have been working full time while they have been building their side hustle, which very quickly becomes their full-time thing. From there, my own strategy that I teach is that I’m always taking 10% of my take-home income and I am putting that into long-term assets that I don’t plan to touch for at least a decade.

And so, my favorite way to do that is just by buying dividend-paying stock. That’s mature companies that have reached a point in which they’re paying a portion of their profits to their investors, and those are the really established old blue-chip companies that are growing over time, acquiring other businesses over time, and are paying part of those profits back to investors. That’s my personal strategy.

I’m not a wealth management expert. You should probably shouldn’t listen to anything that I have to say on the topic, but I take 10% of my personal income and put it into long-term dividend-paying stock. And then from there, if I have profits at the end of the year, I’m putting that into other businesses or other areas of what I would call passive income. So from my businesses, I’m living off a salary. I’m putting 10% of what I take home into the market without thinking about it, and then I’m taking the profits of my business and I’m putting it into other assets, other cashflow pieces. So we can go into the weeds of that if you would like, but there’s a ton of podcasts and books out there that could probably do a deeper job of it that we could go into here.

Katie: I agree. And I’ll link to a few of my favorites in the show notes. And if you have any favorites, let me know. It can be after this, and I’ll link to those as well. Another area I know you have specific expertise is when it comes to Amazon business or Amazon side businesses. And this is an area where I feel like this is also easier in some ways than it’s ever been before. And I know several people who have Amazon-based businesses. Can you give us some specifics on that and starting point of even learning about those kinds of businesses?

Ryan: So I have a big distinction here that is a little bit different than a lot of people who talk about what I talk about, and that’s, I don’t believe in Amazon businesses. I believe in building businesses that take their sales on Amazon. And the difference of that is monumental. So when someone tells you that they have an Amazon business or they teach people to build Amazon businesses, I cringe because that means that we’re not building our own business, we’re building Amazon’s business, and we’re siphoning off of the pie that is Amazon.

I instead like to build businesses that have products that people love and then I start them by taking the sale on Amazon because Amazon is just the easiest way to take the sale because the credit cards already on there, Amazon does billions, and billions, and billions of dollars in sales per day, and it’s just an ease of transaction. It’s what’s best for the customer. And so I have a big distinction in, I start my businesses by saying, “Who is the ideal person that I’m serving, and then what products do they buy?

How do I go all in on them? How do I make their customer journey as amazing as possible? How do I serve the person rather than sell them a product?” And most of the time, the best way to serve them is by taking the order on Amazon because most people prefer having their transactions done on Amazon as of right now and probably for the next decade. And so some people will come out and say, “All right. I’m looking at the Amazon marketplace, what’s a good product to sell on Amazon?” That’s not my approach. It’s not the approach that I like. I don’t think that is a scalable, sellable business.

Amazon is the best place in the world to take a sale. It’s the best place in the world to build your customer base because your customers already prefer it. In fact, during the height of quarantine of 2020, even Walmart shoppers were starting to move over to walmart.com and amazon.com. That’s like full market saturation, that is full market maturation when the Walmart customer is now no longer going into retail stores, but they’re buying online.

So the customer prefers the ease of consumption from Amazon. But I’m never starting the conversation by saying, “What is a good product to sell?” I’m looking at, “Okay, who is my customer, and how do I serve them on their journey? What is the challenge that they want to overcome, and how do I create an experience that really lights them up and helps them overcome the challenge that is preventing them from being the hero in their own story?”

And so, an example of this is if we’re targeting moms, then we’re looking at, “How do we build a product base of products that are going to serve the new mom in a way that makes them feel seen, and heard, and purposeful, and honors the journey that they’re on?” And part of that is going to be, “Let’s take the sale on Amazon because that’s the fastest way that we can get the product into their hands.” But never for a second do I forget that my job is to serve the customer and build a brand because the minute you do that, then you’re just another Amazon business, and that’s when I think people start to struggle.

Katie: That’s a really important distinction. I’m glad you kind of explained all of that. Another thing I’d love to delve into, I would guess we probably have similar thoughts on this, but I don’t think we’ve talked about it is when someone becomes an entrepreneur or built a side business like this. I know in our family this is an important core value for our family and something we wanted to make sure that we passed on to our kids as well. And they’ve seen us build businesses their whole lives, but I know that you also have kids. I’m curious if you have any specific ways that you are working, as they get older, to teach these same things to your kids.

Ryan: I’m so glad you asked me this. So, well, first of all, it’s important for me to note that I have no interest in trying to make my kids entrepreneurs. If my kids want to be entrepreneurs, absolutely, you better believe I will support them and encourage them. But I have zero interest in trying to persuade my kids to be entrepreneurs. I went to college thinking I was gonna be a pastor, and I had a professor, to her credit, her name was Dr. Constance Cherry. She said, “If you can do anything else but be in the ministry and still be happy, please go do that thing.” Basically saying, “You need to prioritize what makes you happy. And if the ministry is not that, please go do that other thing because it’s a hard life being in the ministry if you’re not called into it.”

And similarly, it’s just a hard life trying to make yourself do something that you don’t want to do. I feel the same way about being an entrepreneur. I came out of the womb an entrepreneur, and I have no interest in trying to persuade someone who is not interested in being an entrepreneur that they should start their own business. Everything that you decide to go on is hard and so you might as well pick the things that are exciting to you. With that caveat in mind, if you do feel that twinge, that twinge of excitement about starting your own thing, if a kid has that, then the first thing I ask them is I just like to ask them how much money they want to make when they grow up, not what do they want to be when they grow up, but, “How much money do you want to make?”

And I just listen to see what they say. And it’s so funny you asked me this because yesterday I was doing a Facebook live for my customers. I have a community called The One Percent, about 1% of any kind of group of people tends to be entrepreneurs, it’s like 1% to 3%, but our group is called The One Percent. And I was live on Facebook just answering some of their questions, and I was visiting family and my nephew came up to me. He interrupted the live and he’s nine years old.

And he comes up to me and he’s like, “What are you doing?” And I told him, and it was cute. And I asked him what he wants to be when he grows up and how much money he wants to make, and then I looked at him and I said…his name is Dylan. I said, “Dylan, I want you to know something. Not a lot of kids know this, but uncle Ryan wants you to know that you can make as much money as you want and it doesn’t threaten anybody else. In fact, when you make a lot of money, you’re actually helping a lot of people because if you’re making a lot of money, it means you’re doing something good enough that other people find valuable to spend money on.

And so you help a lot of people when you make a lot of money. And when you make a lot of money, you can do even more good by investing in other people’s businesses or helping other people in need. So I want you to know that money is a good thing. It doesn’t threaten anybody else. It’s a sign that you’ve done something good in the world. You got it?” He was like, “Okay. Yeah. Thanks, uncle Ryan.”

That’s the only message that I care to give my kids about money. I don’t need to encourage them to be entrepreneurs. If they’re entrepreneurs, I will help them and they will find their way. But what I do want to deliver to them is the message that money is good. Money is how we exchange value, and so money is neutral energy that tends to flow to areas of positivity.

And so if you know that, then your job is to be a source of positivity, a source of creativity, a source of growth. And since the world is always gonna expand, if you expand with it, the money will show up to support those efforts. And so you never need to chase the money. You need to chase creativity, you need to chase creation, you need to chase service, you need to chase solving problems. And money is simply the blood flow that allows those things to thrive, that allows those things to maintain a pulse.

The purpose of business is to create change. And so if you create change, the profitability shows up to make that happen. Look at Elon Musk for goodness sake. Elon Musk risked everything in order to create change, didn’t make money for a decade, and now he’s one of the top 10 richest people in the world, not because of cashflow, but because of net worth reflected by the value of the stock of Tesla.

When you prioritize the service to other people, heck, your brain gives you happy chemicals and happy hormones and the world rewards you in dollars. The world is stocked for us to collaborate with one another. And when you focus on that, you do what I call collaborative capitalism, which is when you and I come together to create something new, we do more good than we could have done on our own. That’s why the pie continues to get bigger and bigger.

So I’m on my high horse a little bit, Katie. You put me there because you’re talking about the message that we want to give kids. And I think the world will be so much better if every child knew that if you are creative and in service to fellow human beings, that’s how money is made. And therefore, money is not a bad thing, it’s not something to run away from, it’s something to create, and it’s a sign that you’re doing something good and you should go all in on that.

Katie: Definitely an alignment on that, and I love the messaging of money itself not being bad at all and it being a vehicle for change in the world and an exchange of value. And we talk about the same thing for our kids. All of ours have demonstrated interest in entrepreneurship early, but we tell them the same thing, “If you want to make money, don’t let that be the focus. Focus on solving problems and helping people and the money will flow from that.” And because ours have showed interest, we also have kind of built-in a business incubator as part of homeschooling them.

And people might’ve heard me mentioned this before, but they finish up their regular homeschool curriculum by about 13 and then during the high school years, they start a business or businesses with us helping them with the idea that I think so many practical life skills can be taught through running a business. And so letting us help them learn all of those things, things that we had to learn as adults and fail a few times, which is often part of it, which is great. I personally think failures are a blessing if you learn from them, but letting them have all of those experiences young, and with our help if they need it, so that they have those skills when they leave our house, whether that’s to college, or I suspect for most of us, probably not to college, actually.

Ryan: I’m with you. I mean, if we play this out… I mean, my kids are five and just under one. If we play this out over 12 to 15 years when they’re thinking about going to college, there’s a good chance that college doesn’t exist in its current form. Especially reflected with the events of 2020, we can see that most education is going online, and I’m not sure that the traditional college education is going to exist.

And if it does, I think it’s going to be different than it looks right now and much, much cheaper. So we’ll see. But one thing is for certain, the world of entrepreneurship has opened up and there’s no reason for them to wait to go to or to graduate college in order to start something that excites them, whether that is a career or that is a business. You can start that now and carry that through college or whatever the educational system is at that point. There’s no reason to wait for certification to go, you can just go make mistakes and get better along the way.

Katie: Fully agree on that. I think that’s a great message for our kids just like you mentioned at the beginning of the episode, that the time has never been easier. And even for people under 18, they don’t have to wait anymore. And my thought being, it’s not that they still couldn’t choose college if they wanted to, but I fully agree with you that I think it’s going to drastically change and I’m hoping to actually help create some of the things that lead to that change through the curriculum I mentioned to you.

I feel like this has been hugely helpful. I’ll make sure I link to some of the resources you have online, you have so many, so that people can continue learning and kind of figure out which path they want to take and go deeper if this is a topic of interest for them. But a couple of questions I love to ask toward the end of interviews, the first being, if there are a few things that are misunderstood or not understood at all when it comes to your area of expertise, so in this case, entrepreneurship and finance.

Ryan: So what areas are misunderstood about finance and entrepreneurship? Is that right?

Katie: Yeah. And I’m sure you can recap, because you’ve mentioned a couple for sure already, but I’d love to hear if there’s any others.

Ryan: The biggest one, the biggest misconception is that there’s a fixed pie. I mean, I was on stage once with Alicia Silverstone, the actress who started a company called mykind Organics. So I’m interviewing her about being an entrepreneur after having kind of a celebrity career, and she said something, she said, “Yeah, I kind of feel bad sometimes as an entrepreneur because if somebody spends a dollar with me, it’s a dollar they don’t have anymore.” I’m like, “What are you talking about?” The biggest misconception that people have is that there’s a fixed amount.

We’re creating the pie. The pie is way bigger than it was 100 years ago. It’s crazy how much bigger it is. What do you think is going to be 50 to 100 years from now? We are creators. We are not managers or moving the pie around. We’re creating this thing. And so the more that you understand that, the more liberated you are to just go create as much as you want. You can be as healthy as you want, and it not impact the health of other people.

It would only improve other people’s health. You not eating calories does not pass the calories onto someone else. And you eating calories does not take away the calories from somebody else. We make them. And the same is true with money. And so the biggest misconception is that by you earning a dollar, you’re taking from someone else. You are earning a dollar, you are creating value that didn’t previously exist and that is an infinite pie. It’s not fixed.

Katie: And lastly, is there a book or a number of books that have had a dramatic impact on your life, and if so, what are they, and why? They could be business-related or not.

Ryan: You know, one of my favorite books, and I’ll go on a few. My most gifted books are “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson. It argues that our life is the accumulation of small things that we do on a daily basis, not big jumps in progress. So it is about things that compound over time rather than some big jumps in progress. That’s the summary in 30 seconds. My second most gifted book is actually “The Primal Connection” by Mark Sisson. So a lot of people know about his bestselling books, but one of the ones that didn’t perform all that well and doesn’t have a lot of attention was “The Primal Connection.”

And it was about our connection to nature beyond just food. And it’s like, to me, the entrepreneurial handbook to being balanced and healthy. So that’s my second most gifted book. My third most gifted book is called “Straight-Line Leadership,” and it’s by somebody’s name who I cannot pronounce so I’m not going to try to. It’s hard to find, but the Kindle version is available on Amazon. It’s called “Straight-Line “leadership,” and just every chapter in there is just clarifying for where you’re going in your life. So those are my three most gifted books.

Katie: I love it. I will make sure those are linked in the show notes at wellnessmama.fm along with ways to find and keep learning from you. Ryan, I know how busy life can be as an entrepreneur, and I’m really grateful for you spending time today and sharing with us.

Ryan: Well, thank you so much. And I must say that working with health influencers is my favorite thing to do. I just love the health and wellness space. And so if you’ve got a blog, or a podcast, or a following, please DM me. I’m @ryandanielmoran on Instagram, and I’d love to give you a couple of tips that would help you make the change that you want to see in the world.

Katie: Awesome. Thank you so much, Ryan. And thanks, as always, to all of you for listening, for sharing your most valuable asset, your time with both of us today. We’re so grateful that you did, and I hope that you will join me again on the next episode of “The Wellness Mama Podcast.”

If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.