Ep 386: How To Turn Your Job Into Your Calling with Ryan Blair

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Turning your job into your calling is a process that takes time and effort.

By focusing on your values, building positive relationships, and taking ownership of your work, you can find greater fulfillment and purpose in your job.

In this episode, we talk to Ryan Blair, a bestselling author and successful entrepreneur about the secrets to success.

Despite growing up in a tough environment and being involved in gang activity as a teenager, Ryan turned his life around and became a thriving entrepreneur, author, and thought leader.

In our conversation, Ryan shares his incredible journey from gang member to multimillionaire entrepreneur and discusses the key strategies he used to build an influential personal brand.

We delve into how he has been able to turn the personal aspects of his life into a business, crafting the hero in his story, the role of mentors, keeping a healthy balance between your personal and professional lives, embracing your faith, and how God uses clues to guide you.

We also dive into his fascination with technology, the ways technology is impacting business, why AI might replace your job but not your calling, AI-powered coaching, and building your business based on purpose instead of profit.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, business leader, or aspiring thought leader, you won’t want to miss this insightful conversation.

KEY POINTS FROM THIS EPISODE

  • A brief background and Ryan and his journey from gang member to entrepreneur.
  • The power of mentorship and coaching in achieving success.
  • Embracing his faith not only in his personal life but also in his professional life.
  • Learn the difference between a secular and spiritual entrepreneur.
  • Why he shifted from a product-orientated business to a service-orientated one.
  • Discover the importance of knowing what you want in life.
  • We discuss how the rise in technology, like AI, is going to influence business.
  • Find out about AlterCall and the motivation behind starting the company.
  • Reasons for the boom of the coaching industry and the role of AI-powered coaching.
  • What jobs he thinks will be lost to AI and how to effectively leverage AI as a tool.
  • He shares how the rise of AI will impact higher education in the traditional sense.
  • A final takeaway for listeners: get better at the delivery of wisdom.

TWEETABLE MOMENTS

“I had forgotten the power that a book has to change your life.” — @AJ_vaden [0:08:35]

“[Balancing faith with business] is very hard because the business world has removed God from the conversation.” — @RyanBlair [0:09:33]

“Every relationship that we have should be treated as sacred.” — @RyanBlair [0:13:00]

“My dream was to build a legacy. Build a company that makes the deepest impact possible, not the widest impact possible.” — @RyanBlair [0:18:19]

“We have millions of coaches because we have a deficit of millions of teachers.” — @RyanBlair [0:29:05]

About Ryan Blair

Ryan Blair is a #1 New York Times Best Selling Author and Serial Entrepreneur. Blair went from a gang member to a businessman with over $2 billion in company sales. After decades of building successful companies, Blair began his latest company, AlterCall, which uplifts and helps entrepreneurs scale their companies using spiritual modalities.

LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Ryan Blair on LinkedIn

Ryan Blair on Twitter

Ryan Blair on Instagram

AlterCall

The Circle Maker

How Successful People Think

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AJ Vaden on LinkedIn

AJ Vaden on Twitter

Rory Vaden

Rory Vaden on LinkedIn

Rory Vaden on Twitter

Take the Stairs

Brand Builders Group

Brand Builders Group Free Call

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AJV (00:02): Hey everybody, and welcome to another episode on the influential personal brand, AJ Vaden here, one of your co-hosts. I am joined today by a newer friend. However, although he and I are just getting acquainted to each other, I have heard about Ryan Blair for years, and we have lots of mutual friends. And then a good friend and team member of mine joined his mastermind this year. And praises just come every day if not every hour, about Ryan and what you’re doing with your new company Alter Call. And so just mad kudos in respect all that you’ve built and all that you’re building. And so I feel super honored to get to have you on the show today and to get like the next 40 minutes of your brilliance and wisdom, and to get to share that to our awesome community with Brand Builders and the influential personal brand podcast. AJV (00:55): So I could continue complimenting you or we could get to it. Let’s go, let’s, let’s dive in. Everybody who’s listening, if you’re not familiar with Ryan Blair, let me just give you a very high level, quick background. He’s a number one New York Times bestselling author. He’s a serial entrepreneur. And by that I mean like a whole bunch, like a $2 billion company is what he built as an entrepreneur. But it’s some really fascinating background information is was gang member turned businessman, and, you know, talking about billion dollar sales. And, you know, just like, that’s kind of an interesting story we’re gonna have to hear a little bit about. But your, your newest company, alter Cloud is the one that you’re building and growing right now and touching so many lives, including the lives of people that I know and hold super near and dear to my heart. AJV (01:51): You’ve been a c e o, you were part of visas, you’ve got books, you’ve got all these inspirational messages. I could go on and on and I’ll just tell everyone the reason that I wanted to have Ryan on today is selfishly because I really want to learn about how he’s been able to include the personal aspects of his life into his business, right? And so if there are things that you’re trying to figure out of, you know, for me personally, it’s like, as you guys listen, you hear this all the time, you know, I’m really into Jesus and I’m really into my faith. And it’s always like, what’s that fine balance of bringing that into my work, right? So if there are things that you believe in or, you know, the world can be unfortunately really polarizing right now, doesn’t matter which way you look, there’s something that somebody’s for or against and you’re trying to figure out, like, do I bring that into my business? AJV (02:45): Do I keep it separate? Thus keeping you separate from your business and your message, or can you find a happy medium of a way filled with, you know, acceptance and grace, but also truth and love of how do I combine what I personally believe into what I’m building in a business? So that is why I wanted to have Ryan on, but also mad businessman, building wicked awesome companies. Plus a lot of, I think the emerging trends that everyone’s talking about with AI and technology are all gonna be a part of our discussion today. So the point is, stick around. It’s gonna give fun. Brian, welcome to the show. RB (03:22): Thank you for having me, aj. I’m a big fan of your work and thank you for the kind words. AJV (03:25): Oh my gosh, I’m so excited. So give us just high level, like when you say was gang member, turn to businessman, like, let people know, like, what does that actually mean? RB (03:36): Well, you know, I have to because we’re among fellow brand people. I have to tell you, I’m a good storyteller, , and I went through a very difficult set of adversities as a child, but I packaged them into a story that made me the hero in my hero’s journey. Hmm. And I needed to do that to get through those difficult times of being a gang member, losing my family. I went through a lot of adversity. I could, I could give you a long list of, you know, some pretty difficult things that I’ve experienced, but I’ve just crafted a story and I’ve made myself the hero in the journey. And I’ve told that story to millions of people. And that story resonated because it was truthful. And yet I dealt with a lot of adversity. I overcame it. I was vulnerable in the telling of the story. RB (04:24): So I could go into the art and technique of sharing your adversity, or I could tell you specifically about mine. But you know, when I looked at the pattern from a spiritual standpoint and I saw all these crazy things happening, and then a mentor showed up into my life and it changed my life forever. And another mentor showed up and another mentor showed up, I said, God’s gotta be at work here. And so it was my duty to explain God’s work in my life and to put it into books and movies and some of the other things that I’ve done, because I could just see the creator’s craftsmanship at work in the crafting of my character and my competency to be the man that I am today. AJV (05:05): I love that. And so I would love to know, cause I think mentors and rather they’re people who come alongside you and do it in a loving just free or their paid coaches or whatever it is, like the power of mentorship in your life. Can you just talk about that for like 60 seconds? RB (05:25): It’s the most important thing. I I’m praying for a mentor now on a particular subject, a spiritual subject that I, I need somebody who’s in office who anoint people in their callings. And I need to, to talk to this person about exactly what they do and how they do it. I need people to teach me different gifts of discernment, or I’m learning to sing. I have a mentor that teaches me that I’m learning to box. I have a mentor that teaches me that, you know, I, I used to spend a lot of money on stupid stuff like bottle service and lavish vacations. Now I spend even more, more money on mentors and I’m growing like crazy because of it. And I’m in the greatest season I’ve ever had because I have all these great coaches that are teaching me how to become a better individual and how to enjoy life more and, and how to, you know, put together different skills that I wouldn’t learn otherwise. RB (06:14): So mentorship is extremely important. But before I could afford mentors, I pursued people. And when people showed up with information that I felt that I needed to have in order for me to achieve my goals, I extracted that information. I was very prepared, very diligent. I’d write up hundreds of questions in preparations for these meetings, even as a young 20 something year old want to be entrepreneur. And if I could get an entrepreneur in front of me that knew more about entrepreneurship than I did, I wanted to close the gap as much as I possibly could. And I valued every single meeting as though God had sent the person to me to transfer this information that I needed to be able to further my journey. Mm. So it’s, it’s been a part of my process since I was 17 years old and I’m now going on 46 and I’m investing more in the process now than ever. AJV (07:06): You know, it’s interesting, I just had a very similar conversation with my husband Rory. And I was in a, an unusual season for me in 2021, where just found myself in a funk. And I didn’t really pinpoint why. And it’s because I spent all of 2020 trying to be the problem solver. Mm-Hmm. versus being the learner and kind of spent the whole year working versus learning. And in 2021, I recommitted and I said, I’m gonna read the Bible cover to cover every page. I’m going to read, you know, two books a month. I hired a business coach, a personal coach. I was like, I can’t, I hired, I had a therapist. It was like, I went and you know what’s so funny? It’s like I look back now and I’ve continued, I’m reading the Bible again. I’m still doing two books a month. I still have all these coaches. AJV (07:55): And my husband literally gave me one of the greatest compliments of my life the other day. And he said, babe, like I can see not only like do are you happier? He goes, but I can literally see you growing. Hmm. And it was like, that’s beautiful. The greatest compliment of my life. And like to that about, you know, free mentors, it’s like I had forgotten the power that a book has to change your life. And it’s like, for those of you who can’t find a free mentor, it’s like, get yourself a good book. It’s like, you know, it’s years of preparation to get those words on pages sometimes that ultimately can really change your life. So I love that. And I, I think this is really good cuz you’ve already brought it up a couple of different times around this idea of like, God orchestrating things in your life. AJV (08:41): And you know, one of the things that I love about what you do is you don’t shy away from your faith. And you actually do the opposite, right? Yeah. You run right into it and go, now this is a part of my business. It’s a part of what, what I do, how I do it. And that’s a part of your uniqueness. And I’m curious to know how did that decision come about? And for those of us out here that are struggling to balance that line with what’s personal, what’s business? Any advice you have around that? RB (09:15): Yeah, it, it’s very hard. Because the business world has removed God from the conversation. They have made it a completely secular conversation for the most part. Majority of, we’re not supposed to bring our faith to work with us. We’re supposed to separate that and our work, if not properly, boundaried will take over our entire lives, especially as entrepreneur. So for those of us who are entrepreneurs, we have to boundary work, right? For those of us who are underachievers, let’s say you got a boundary life because life will take all the available space and you don’t get enough work done for the overachiever and the entrepreneur. You got a boundary of work cuz it will take all the appro, all the space and then you won’t have a life. And I’ve been on that side of the equation for far too long. So, you know, the way that it came about was simple. RB (10:07): I had built a business that was built on the greet of Wall Street. You know, I was a publicly traded company about making my numbers. It was filled with ego, it was filled with just non-spiritual activity, let’s say, for lack of better words. And when I had stepped down as c e o of that company and take care of some family matters, I thought I was done with entrepreneurship. I thought that you could not be a spiritual and be an entrepreneur at the same time. Like people talk about being conscious and a capitalist, I thought those two things were mutually exclusive. Like this isn’t gonna happen. And in a lot of contemplation, a lot of you know, getting deeply connected to my faith, I realized that my calling was to fuse the two together to teach people how to be spiritual entrepreneurs. And in order for me to step into that calling, I had to learn to embody both the spiritual and the entrepreneurial gifts that I had been able to obtain throughout my walk. RB (11:02): Mm-Hmm. . So I, it was very hard though because I had to walk away from making hundreds of millions of dollars and I had to walk away from an older version of me and I had to learn how to become a spiritual leader. Mm-Hmm. . And I had no idea what it took to be a spiritual leader. It is not easy. It looks easy on paper. It is hard work to learn and craft yourself and grow yourself in such a way that you can be relied upon spiritually by the people that you’re called to lead. Mm-Hmm. . And it’s the hardest work in my life. It’s harder than any athletic endeavor I’ve ever done. It’s harder than any New York Times bestselling campaign I’ve ever worked. It’s harder than any I p O I’ve ever pursued. It’s harder than all of that because you are going to constantly be greeted with challenges and opportunities to change, to change your character. And you have to embrace that. And each person that you get that gets called into your life is going to bring you things about you that you need to, to work on and change. So it’s the fastest, most conducive to growth environment that you can ever participate in. But because it’s conducive to growth, it’s also conducive to lots of challenges that stimulate that growth. AJV (12:17): Mm-Hmm. , I I love that so much cuz it’s, you know, as you’re talking, you think it’s like I literally can think of like, you know, two or three people in my life where I’m like, oh yeah, they definitely present the biggest areas of growth for me and to people. I do what those people are my three-year-old and six year old where I’m like, well, I need more patience. Like, God help me can but more patience. I need that. But it’s like, I’ve never been so in tune with my impatience Yeah. As I have been trying to raise to godly men. And I think that’s really powerful. But you gotta be willing to embrace it. RB (12:56): Yeah. Every, every relationship that we have should be treated as sacred. Mm-Hmm. , the real difference between a spiritual entrepreneur and a secular entrepreneur is a spiritual entrepreneur sees their work as sacred, and therefore they treat the work as sacred. They treat the relationships as sacred. And if you’re a spiritual leader, you are, you are, you’re convincing those that work with you to treat the work as sacred too. And if you can get everyone treating your company and your work as sacred and your customers as sacred, for that matter, you’ll have a blessed business and it will grow. It will thrive. It’ll be the greatest opportunity for not only your personal growth, but for the personal growth of everyone connected to the the business. And so the, you know, people ask me how I’m able to recruit such talented talent, and the answer’s simple. There’s no greater growth opportunity in the world than this vessel that I’ve created. And that’s my belief system. So when they show up here, I say, if you’re, if you’re interested in growing and you’re interested in really getting to know what you’re capable of, this is what we stand for. And this is what we do here. And that’s why we’re able to attract some of the engineering talent and some of the scientific talent that we’ve attracted because we believe that we’ve created the greatest growth engine for our people possible because we treat our businesses sacred in our relationships as sacred. AJV (14:14): Hmm. Those are just two good life lessons. I don’t care what your business is, . Right. Those are just good life lessons, right. On the note of what you’re creating, right? So you go from this you know, very, pretty well known right. Product business with visas to this what I would call more of a, you know, services personal per professional development world. Like why this shift from a very productized business to something that is more development oriented. And I think for a lot of our clients and a lot of people listening, the reason I ask is they’re leaving one thing to do a new thing. And, and some of ’em, lots of them struggle with, well, what is this new thing? This is what I’ve been known for, this is what I know how to do, and now I’m heading into this uncharted territory, and am I really equipped for this? Am I really good enough for this? Does anyone really wanna learn from me? RB (15:10): Yeah. Yeah. You know, God doesn’t call the qualified, he, he qualifies the called as the old saying goes. And I’ve certainly been getting qualified in, in this, this calling of mine. You know, I, I didn’t think I’d ever be a one-on-one coach with people. You know, I used to sell out stadiums and now, you know, I’m doing thousands of hours of one-on-one coaching calls, and I’m learning to be a better coach. I’m learning to listen better to, you know, to counsel people and to, to help people on a one-on-one basis. And I’m also called to work with groups. So we have experiences and so forth. The the thing that I’ll, I’ll tell with you other than just that, or tell you other than just that spiritual belief that you know, that I’m being qualified in this calling and that I’ll, you know, I’ll have the right people come to teach me the skills that I need in order to, you know, fulfill God’s purpose in my life and my personal mission and that. RB (16:02): But I, I also have always looked at the analogies between businesses. So yes, I was in the consumer product space and I learned a lot about consumer products, shipping billions of dollars with the computer consumer products around the world. I’m taking those best practices and those learnings, and I’m applying them now to a technological product that we’re building here at Alter Call. So prior to that, I was in broadband wireless, I was in telecommunications, and I took a lot of the best practices from that business. And I created all visas in our, a lot of our pricing models and shipping models. And our financial models were all, because I had brought with me prior experiences and prior investors and prior business understanding, and it in a completely outside business, that’s where real innovation occurs. Because if you have experience in one business and you can apply it to another sector, that’s where innovation happens. RB (16:54): If I was born and raised in Tony Robbins, you know, and, and I showed up and I worked with him and I learned all about what he does and everything he does and how he runs a business, and then I went to start my own, it would just be a knockoff of Tony Robbins, right? Mm-Hmm. , that’s, it wouldn’t be anything different or maybe subtly different, but I wasn’t, I was born and raised in a totally different business. So I’m applying all that I’ve learned in those different businesses to this concept of, of how do I heal at scale? That’s my personal mission. So I’m taking the technological insights that I’ve obtained to the various tech companies I’ve invested in. I’m taking the personal growth insights I’ve obtained, and I’m, I’m building a business model that’s different in the personal growth industry. Mm-Hmm. But that said, the, the last, you know, item that, that really surfaced was, you know, at Visa Salas, I was in the weight loss business and I went really wide in the way that I impacted people. RB (17:47): So think of it like going wide like width, not to use a weight loss analogy, but I went for a billion pe millions of people, 3 million people. Now I’m going deep in the impact that I want to make. Eventually I will be called, as I master that deep impact, I’ll be called to go wider and wider and wider, but I’m called now in a season in my personal life as a leader and in the business that I’m creating to create the deepest impact that I can. And then from that deep impact, we will start to go wider as we go. So it’s, it’s very, I could very much see the creator’s craftsmanship. And then one other item I’ll just mention to you, you gotta be willing to walk away from something. And what I walked away from expertise in the direct selling industry, expertise in consumer products. RB (18:33): Mm-Hmm. , billion dollar dreams. Those were no longer my dreams. My, my dream was to build a legacy, build a company that makes the deepest impact possible, not the widest impact possible. I’ve already done billions a year in revenue. I’ve already made many millions of dollars. So I’m looking for depth. Not with, but a lot of entrepreneurs haven’t had a, a massive hit yet. They haven’t had a company on Wall Street or a number one New York Times bestselling book. So they’re, they’re called to go wide. Yeah. And that’s great. Once you’re called to go wide, then you might be called in another season to go deep as I am now. AJV (19:07): I love that. I I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of or read the book, the Circle Maker? RB (19:13): I have not. AJV (19:15): So this is a new book I just started reading and you just said something and I had just read this yesterday in this book. And I, I loved this description of it. It’s that, you know, if you’re searching for your purpose for what’s next, it’s, it’s often has nothing to do with God. It has everything to do with us. And they said, the problem isn’t that God doesn’t give you what you want, it’s that we don’t know what we want, so we don’t know what to ask for. Mm-Hmm. And I feel like that’s a lot of people today, it’s like they think they want something because they’ve seen it somewhere else. But it’s really come down to redefining what does success look like in your life? Like, what is this thing I’m going after? RB (19:54): Yeah. When you’re, but when you’re on the spiritual walk, there’ll be a resonance. And if you really get to know your soul and you do the internal work, you might help one person and you’ll be like, that lit me up that I felt something there. And that’s a clue. And with obedience, you go, you move toward that clue. God uses clues for you to really determine your calling. He doesn’t just tell you what your calling is because then you wouldn’t discover it. It wouldn’t, you wouldn’t earn it. Right. So God uses clues. And what I do is I just, I conduct a number of experiments and the ones that completely fail, I had no business experiment. You know, that, that experiment didn’t work. That wasn’t my purpose. The ones that succeed, I know okay, that experiment, it had some light to it, it had, it had some energy to it. RB (20:39): The Holy Spirit was in that experiment. And I then go deeper into that experiment. And, and that’s the process that I use. But I’ll, I’ll tell you with regard to purpose, we all have the exact same purpose. And that is to leave the world better than we found it. And to share our love and wisdom abundantly. That’s it. Now the vehicle for expressing that changes. Yeah. But we shouldn’t get caught up in the vehicle. We should get caught up in the fact that I’m here to serve. I’m here to make the world a better place than I’ve found it. I’m here to leave behind my love and wisdom to my son and to all that I mentor and my true legacy. I’ll never be able to calculate it. Cuz I have no idea how many people my son’s gonna make an impact in the lives of, or his son or their sons or anybody’s children. RB (21:26): I have no idea what my true legacy is going to be. So I should just focus on service. The more that I serve, the more that I’m able to step into that calling. And then I get the feedback in real time when I’m on path. And when I’m not on path, God will use detours and close doors to get you back focused on your calling. So if a friend of mine says, let’s go invest in Bitcoin, and I entertain the idea, next thing you know, I’m heading in that direction, I’ll start to have some feelings that I’m, I’m not on the right path right now. And then I’ll get redirected. Mm. Like, you know, to, to where I need to, you know, to focus. AJV (22:00): I love that. My friend always says, and I’m sure she got this from somewhere else, but I love what she said. It’s like what often we feel as rejection is simply God’s protection. Right. I love that old saying. Now you mentioned something about now the way you do it and the way we all do it will change over the course of time. And I feel like we would be remiss if we didn’t talk about some things that are inevitably changing in the way that we work and do business. And you’re kind of at the forefront a lot of this and the technology companies that you’re investing in and AI and just what that looks like for business today and what it’s gonna look like in the future. So let’s shift a little bit and talk about Yeah. Technology as it is just warp speed, changing the way that we work and live and communicate and do life. But then also some specifics around like what, what you’re finding in ai. So this was open up that Pandora’s box. RB (23:01): Yeah. Let me, well, you know, I, my background, I started my career in technology and I’ve always viewed myself as a technologist at Visas. I, I saw the cloud as, you know, my work and then everything else was just a product of that. So I’ve always been heavily invested and involved in technology. I, I, I knew that AI was going to change some industries, and I got that insight about five years ago before I started alter call. And I started looking at AI in the addiction industry because I lost my mother to addiction. And I’ve lost many friends. And my family’s had a very difficult time with it, and I had some challenges with it as well. And so I thought, is there a way that AI will make an impact there? And, and so I’ve started my, my research five years ago. RB (23:48): And then I decided to set my sites on the coaching industry because the accuracy of the AI wasn’t at the level that where we could detect addiction and and improve outcomes. But the accuracy has improved. And so now we’ve been investing heavily in AI powered coaching. We have three AI scientists on the team right now as well as number of engineers. And we’re expanding our team and we’re building AI powered coaching. So I just got off a call before this one where I was having my coaching calls reviewed where it would tell me the sentiment, the questions asked and answered the use of language that the onwards and transition words and, and a full analysis of my coaching calls to help me become a better coach. And so that’s some of the innovations that we’re doing. We’re, our goal is not to eliminate the coach. RB (24:34): Our goal is to power the coach and to augment the coach. Yeah. but there are a number of jobs that will be eliminated as a result of ai. And if your job is one of those that you’re worried about being eliminated, my advice to you is simple callings will not be eliminated. Mm-Hmm. jobs will be, careers will be, but when a person is called to the highest level of mission, no employer is gonna wanna remove a person that is working in their calling. Mm-Hmm. , we can look at a job and we can rationalize, you know, the removal of a job or even the removal of a career from our container. But if a person’s operating at that calling level, they are so valuable to us that we would never want to remove them. We would reskill them, retool them, give them a new role, get them empowered in a new role. RB (25:25): Right. So my advice to each of you listening in, if you’re worried about your job or your career being taken by ai, you need to learn how to step into a calling and need to learn to greet your work as such. Because if you do that, you are irreplaceable. And if your employer wants to replace you, there’s many of us that are gonna pick up people that are, that are gonna be called to the work. And that’s what I’m looking for when I’m working with people. I’m not looking for people to take a job with me. I’m looking for people to share in this calling with me. Mm-Hmm. . So that’s extremely important and that’s part of the work that we’re doing at Al Alter call. One of the reasons why I believe we are called to heal at scale and, and in utilize AI is the scale part of that is because there’s going to be a huge need for coaching coming up here to retrain and retool people Yeah. That are losing their identity as a result of their careers and their jobs being taken over by, you know, robots, so to speak. Hmm. AJV (26:19): You know, it’s interesting and I think, you know, even pre ai I would say it’s like I kinda, you know, I loved what Ariana Huffington said, it’s, it wasn’t the great resignation, it was the great like reassessment, I forget the exact words. Yeah. But it was the, it wasn’t a great resignation. It was the great, you know, like reassessment of like, what am I doing with my life? Yeah. Like, what, what am I doing? And do I even know who I am? Because my entire identity has become my job. Right. Yeah. You know, and I think that’s just unfortunately a lot of the work culture in Americas, you know, we all do this, we all suffer from this. As soon as you meet someone, it’s, my name is and your name is, and then what do you do? RB (27:08): Yeah. AJV (27:09): Right? Yeah. Have you ever had anyone say, so tell me who you are, right? No. It’s like, what do you do? Right. And I think that there’s a lot of doing that happens and that all of our identities have got sucked into this doing part of why versus just who you are innately. And I think there’s, I think the reason in my opinion that the coaching industry has blown up so much, had very little to do with everything going digital or the great, you know, quote unquote resignation and much more of going like, I, I wanna find who I am again. And the demand for that desire has created a booming industry. Right. The coaching industry just in the US will do more than 20 billion this year. There’s more than 1.2 million people just on LinkedIn in the US who identify as a coach. RB (27:59): Yeah. AJV (27:59): Right? Yeah. And it’s like, those may not be full-time jobs, but there’s a demand of going like, teach me a new way. Teach me a better way. Someone show me, guide me, mentor me. And that’s what you’re doing with this. So I’m so fascinated. So I literally, I wrote this down and I was like, AI powered coaching. So like, tangibly speaking, like what is this? Like how, like what is this? RB (28:25): Well, one and I’ll, I’ll just give you an insight that I’ve pondered recently is the reason why we have so many coaches is because the education system has failed us completely. And we should have had great teachers that taught us how to know our body, taught us how to balance a checkbook, taught us how to be an entrepreneur. And instead we got Henry Rockefeller and or Henry Ford and Rockefeller education system to turn us into industrialists to identify with creating products for others. Yep. Basically we became worker bees. That’s right. And and that’s the entire education system that we’re in, and it is failing us. And that’s why we need coaches to go find a level of mastery and the internal skills or external skills mm-hmm. and then bring those to us. So that’s why we have a million coaches because we have a deficit of millions of teachers. RB (29:13): And so I’m a huge fan of the coaching industry. It’s expanding everyone moving into the coaching industry. I see it as the age of the messenger. Like we have people out there with the message and they’re sharing it. And so I applaud everyone who proudly says, I’m gonna become a messenger, a messenger of yoga, a messenger of, of whatever practices and so forth. So that’s where I see us from a macro basis and from a historical basis. But, and that’s why I’m so excited by the, the investments that we’re making in AI and so forth, but what, what AI powered coaching is going to do, because it’s such an unregulated industry what we are doing is we are extracting the best practices and we’re doing so by evaluating the outcomes from the clients. And then we’re taking those best practices and training our coaches and how they can model those best practices to accelerate outcomes for clients. RB (30:07): Our vision is that we can reduce the time that it takes to get to an outcome. We can and, and also make it more affordable to get to an outcome so that we can make coaching available to the masses. I believe that everyone should have a coach. And, and if you think about it, our family structure is disintegrated as such that we just don’t have fathers as coaches anymore, or mothers as coaches anymore. Even when we have mothers and fathers, oftentimes they have to go work, you know, like a slave and somebody else’s job, and they can’t bring back their best selves to coach the children. So we, we have to solve this problem through this new you know approach. And so we’re using AI and technology to make our coaches more efficient, to improve our client outcomes, and to to eventually make coaching faster and more afford more affordable. AJV (30:57): I love this. This is so cool. And I honestly, what I think is so cool about it is, again, this isn’t replacing coaches, this is empowering coaches. It’s allowing you to do what you can do at a more rapid impact, right? Yeah. And it’s like, man, just the learn to, to shorten the learning curve for people. Yeah. RB (31:19): So, yeah. One of the, one of the things that we, we do analysis on is the emotionality of the coach and the correspondence to that of the client outcome. So like, I get a feedback report after every call, and on some calls it says like, my sentiment was neutral. And I’m like, that’s not what I wanna bring to my clients. They pay me a lot of money. Right. I want, I wanna bring the best sentiment. And so just because I’m able to have AI evaluate and, and run models and tell me my sentiment, my tonality, and tell me the use of questions and answers and the amount of presence that I bring to my calls, I’m now a better coach because of that. That’s our mission, is to take an unregulated industry and to give frameworks and teaching, teaching methodologies, and then use ai to evaluate these coaches so that way they can become more efficient and more productive and create greater results in the marketplace. AJV (32:10): Love that. Fascinating. all right. So I know I’m watching the clock. I’m always trying to be sensitive. We got about like five minutes last here and I have a, a couple of random q and as that I wanna just like hit you with, so you mentioned earlier, yeah, some jobs will be eliminated, not callings, but jobs. So what do you foresee other jobs that are likely gonna pass away with the future of ai? RB (32:35): Well, a lot of ’em in, in, in my, my particular case, you know, you know, teachers are you know, there’s going to be a a front on teachers, any, any job where people are not doing a good job at it, where the industry is being cornered by unions, by, you know, and teachers is one of those, there’s some good teachers out there, don’t get me wrong, but then there’s some terrible teachers out there. And so the opportunity to re you know, eliminate those jobs and disrupt those jobs is very high. So you’re gonna, you’re gonna see any of those jobs where people are not serving at their highest level are, are going to be highly impacted. But it’s also going to force us to evolve. And just, for example, chat, G P T, which we’re all very familiar with, when, when I go on there, I ask great questions and I evolve the quality of my questions and I get nuanced answers as I am able to ask better questions. RB (33:36): So just that large language model is gonna teach us as human beings to ask better questions. Mm-Hmm. , which is one of the most important things that we can learn in the personal development journey, is to ask very intelligent, nuanced, precise questions. Mm-Hmm. . And so here’s a feedback engine that’ll tell you whether or not your questions, you know, are, are very good because you’re, you know, you’ll, you’ll, you’ll get better information or richer information by the quality, by the merit of your question and by the quality of your question. Mm-Hmm. . So there’s, there’s a huge evolutionary component to what AI is going to do to us. So many of the jobs that’ll eliminate that are eliminated are going to forge people to expand their skillsets. Mm-Hmm. expand their way of, of doing business and make new jobs. And I think that we’re gonna have a massive renaissance of new jobs created because of these things that will certainly replace the jobs that are taken away in the short term. AJV (34:30): Well, yeah. You know, it’s like too that I’ve already seen this pop up in a few places is, you know, I, I live in Nashville, right. Music city, and there’s just like, I get bombarded with like all these different webinars and stuff going on in the city, and it’s like, is AI going to destroy music city, the songwriting business? You know, that just like something flew across my inbox and it’s like, I have a lot of friends who are singer songwriters and I’m like, no, it should make them better. Yeah. Right. It should. It’s, it’s, the collaboration should be quicker, faster. What did take months could now take days. And, you know, we live in the, you know, creator economy in the world that, you know, we are in, we, you know, we serve the expert, right? We say our target audience is the mission driven messenger. There’s been a lot of talk about like, is AI gonna completely replace copywriters and graphic designers? And I’m like, no, unless you’re not good at it. Unless you’re not efficient. So I had this great conversation with a good friend of mine where he’s got a full-time copywriter on his staff and his, his outcome, like his output every week is one blog. AJV (35:36): Hmm. And we’re like, not now. should RB (35:41): Be 10 blogs a day. AJV (35:42): Not now . It’s like, we’re gonna need to see that increase. And so what I have found in like, similar to what you’re saying, it’s like it’s going to disrupt the areas that need disrupting. Yeah. But if you are good and you can use, like, this is a tool just like anything, but you gotta learn how to use the tool and that is going to require coaches. Yeah. And I’ve already seen this pop up, all these classes of going, let me teach you how to ask, you know, AI the right questions. Yeah. And it’s like there’s already this new era of education. RB (36:13): Yeah. It will, it’s going to certainly improve efficiencies for all of us, which is a good thing because the more efficient we are as entrepreneurs, the more income we can generate, the more income we can generate, the more we can pay salaries and, and all of the things that we get to share our wealth with. So that’s, that’s gonna be a magical boomer, a coaching business for example, that had one blog a week, you know, and, and, and couldn’t hire another blogger to do another blog per week, can now get 10 blogs out there a week, and that’s gonna spread their wings and, and spread their message and, and generate more revenue. So we’re gonna see an expansion and many industries and companies would get capped at a certain revenue size, cuz it was just extremely hard to build beyond say, 30 million a year. Mm-Hmm. RB (36:54): now with these tools, the, those 30 million year companies have the opportunity to become 300 million a year companies. So you’re gonna see an expansion in the capacity of the small business. Yeah. Which is going to create a lot more revenue for all of us to be able to share with our stakeholders and so forth. So that, that’s gonna be you know a huge you know, a huge benefit that we’re, we’re at the very beginning of, no one is the, the company that got stopped at the scale of 30 million has yet to learn how to use these new tools to break through to 300 million mm-hmm. . But those cases, those use cases will start to emerge and you’ll be like, wow, this industry we only thought was capable of getting to 30 million a year was the max that you could do in a coaching business, for example. And now there’s a company utilizing these modern tools and they’ve gotten to, you know, 3 billion a year. So you’ll start to see the expansion of the market caps as a result of these tools. AJV (37:46): Mm. It’s gonna be interesting fascinating. I think it’s the word. It’s gonna just be interesting and fascinating. All all right. Next question, because you mentioned this a few times, and this is something that is a constant conversation in our house, is how do you think this impacts, or just what is your personal opinion on the future of college and higher education in the traditional sense? RB (38:11): Well, there’ll always be a marketplace for ego and greed and you know, many people that go to colleges are sent there by way of ego and greed. Right. So, you know, I I get personal identity outta my son going to Harvard, so I’m gonna insist that my son goes to Harvard, I’m gonna make this poor kid go to Harvard. You know, that’s gonna be in our, our, our ecosystem for quite some time. Yeah. But you know, it, it’s, it’s not going to be a necessity. It’ll give you bragging rights. It’ll give you ego benefits, but it’s not going to be a necessity. So I, I went to a, a decent little school called Cal Lutheran University, and then I dropped out my senior year and I’ve never cared whatsoever about, you know, any of that because I’m learning and growing each and every day, and I’m applying skills and getting feedback as an entrepreneur. You know, these things are only as good as the belief that they create within you. Mm-Hmm. . And so, you know, college is good to create some belief within you and give you some structure around learning. And that’s worth a hundred thousand dollars or 200,000 if you’re gonna make, you know, millions a year. But it’s certainly not worth $200,000 if you’re only gonna make 30 or $40,000 a year. AJV (39:26): Unfortunately, the only thing I retained from college was how to play corn hole and beer pong RB (39:31): . AJV (39:32): But I got a lot of practice. Yeah, right. I’m really good at that. RB (39:36): That’s priceless though. That’s priceless. I imagine that family outings. AJV (39:42): Oh, I dominate, dominate. But it is, you know, it’s interesting. So you have a son RB (39:48): Yeah. AJV (39:49): Who’s how old RB (39:51): Reagan is 14 years old. AJV (39:53): He’s 14. So to college you’re not with Reagan. RB (39:57): It’s whatever he wants, you know whatever he wants. If, if he wants to go to college, you go to college. If he wants to start a business, he is got a VC in me to help him start a business, whatever he wants. I my parenting method is a little bit different in that I’m looking for what is his personal calling, what is his soul called to do? And then I want to put everything I can to support that. So if he’s called to be a musician, I don’t care if there’s any money in musicianship mm-hmm. , if he’s called to be a, a botanist, I don’t care if there’s any money in botany, I want him to do whatever he’s called to do. And I’m here to support that. Help him identify that, witness him when he is in his calling, witness him when he is in his higher self versus his lower self and help him, you know, learn how to step powerfully into a calling. Of course, I would dream that one day he would take over his dad’s work, but if he chooses to do something completely different, then you know, I’m gonna be his number one supporter and I’m gonna invest in him every step of the way. AJV (40:56): Good answer, Ryan. You know, mine are little, right? So I’ve got a three-year-old and a six-year-old and, you know, we are on the homeschool path. My kids are homeschooled now, and, you know, we’ve taken the stance of if you wanna go to college, that’s fine. If you want us to pay for it, you’re gonna have to convince us why it’s the good idea. You’re gonna have to convince us of why, what exactly are you going to be doing? Because I know what I did. But I think Yeah, I love that. You know, I just finished reading how successful people think by John Maxwell. Yeah. And like, my biggest takeaway from that entire book was don’t build your business based on profits. Build your business based on purpose. Yeah. Right. And it’s RB (41:39): Like, yeah, I love John. John mentored me for a couple of years. I I have a personal relationship with him and I love him dearly. He’s one of the he’s a great source of wisdom and for all of us, Steve, it, it, it is by Reagan’s 14 by the time that he enters the workforce. Yeah. It’s gonna be about callings and whatever that calling is. And the last thing I, I do wanna share with you something that you mentioned about the national concept. You know, my words are going to be easily replicated via ai, but the delivery of those words is unique to me. Yeah. So I need to work on the artistry of my delivery. So does every musician, right. Because it’s going to be the way you deliver that song that’s going to be the essence of mm-hmm. of, of you. And so we need as speakers and, and lecturers and teachers, we need to work on becoming better artists. That’s good. Because AI will give our information away to everyone, but the artistry of our delivery is what we need to go to work on. AJV (42:32): That is so good. And, and, you know, honestly, that’s so true. It’s like reading something versus hearing it and feeling it. Yeah. You know, it’s, I always tease, it’s like I often don’t want to see some of my favorite authors speak in person because I love their words so much, but then when I hear them as presenters, I’m like, well, that ruined it. It RB (42:54): Ruined, right. Yeah. AJV (42:56): Right. Totally ruined it. RB (42:57): Yeah. You’ll more vice versa, right? Yeah. You’ll, well, we’ll no longer pay a person to do research and organize the information then deliver us information. Because I could do, I could ask Ja G b t Yeah. What are the benefits of it all plant-based diet compared to X or Y I don’t need to go to a seminar, you know, for that information anymore. So the, the people that are in the delivery of knowledge and wisdom are gonna have to become better artists and get, and, and, and go on a growth path where they’re bringing in more information from consciousness or from the Holy Spirit and they’re delivering it to the world. So it’s going to eliminate the people that have earned false wisdom. Yeah. Or un or they have unearned wisdom. They just got it through a bunch of research. It’s gonna eliminate that job. And those of us that are wisdom holders and, and, and growing in that we’re gonna have to get better at the delivery of that wisdom. AJV (43:48): That’s so good. Like that’s gonna be the big takeaway from this for me is like, don’t be concerned with what’s gonna go, but like, focus on your artistry. Yeah. That’s the thing that no one can take, no one can replace. It’s, it’s yours. But you can work on it and fine tune it. Ryan, thank you so much. Y’all, if y’all wanna catch up with Ryan it’s at Real Ryan Blair on Instagram. So you follow him on the gram, but also check out Al Alter call this amazing program that has coaching. You’ve got masterminds, you’ve got all types of things involved in it. And so go to alter call.com. I’ll put both of those links in the show notes. Ryan, is there anywhere else that you should tell people to go find you learning RB (44:34): You? No. No. I, I love meeting new people, so if you hit me up on Instagram we could start a conversation. AJV (44:40): Awesome. Y’all, thank you so much for sticking around. Be sure to tune in to the Cliff Notes version of this episode on the podcast, and we’ll catch you next time on the influential Personal brand. See you later.

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25 of the World's Most Recognizable Influencers Share Their Tips on How to Build and Monetize a Personal Brand

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