I’m shocked. Words can’t describe the way I feel right now. If Aaron hadn’t bumped this thread I would still be in bed, probably asleep by now, instead of at my office at 12:30 AM deep in thought. I keep writing and rewriting this post and questioning about whether or not to post it. I’m not a big contributor or poster on BP, but I guess this is the best way I can think of to honor my friend Ryan because he loved BP because he loved helping people.
I’m not a big social network guy. I don’t currently tweet, blog, or even have a Facebook page. My friends are my friends, not my “online friends”. So when I found BP a few years ago I reluctantly went to the BP summit. I’m glad I did, because I found an awesome friend in Ryan. He was honestly the best thing I got out of the BP summit. He and I spent hours and hours that weekend talking about life, business, and everything else. Have you ever met someone that you had an almost instant rapport with? Like you had been friends forever? He helped me to push my limits of what I thought was possible. He was exactly what I needed.
After the BP Summit we decided to set monthly goals and keep each other accountable. We would then call at the end of the month to see how we did. We would talk for hours about life, family, and eventually business. I can tell you he was the real deal. He had his priorities straight. Two of his favorite thoughts about success were:
“If I arrive at my grave and all I've really done with my life is traded it for a giant pile of gold, then I've made a very bad trade.”
“Live your life around what is most important to you and then fill it in with all the other details.”
Our January 9th, 2013 phone call where we shared our business goals for the year was really weird. I had big goals and plans for the year in business and for some reason he wasn’t pushing as hard. He was still super driven in his life (family, gym, church, service, etc.) but for some reason I felt like I was having to talk him into going bigger in his business.
I’m sad to say we haven’t spoken as consistently this year. We both got busy and the monthly phone calls turned into every other month. The last time I spoke with him was a couple months ago and he had just returned from a “sabbatical” of sorts. He spent some time away from the constant reaction to email and phone calls. He seemed really good and had clarity. I invited he and Lillian to come out to Utah in the spring and stay with my family and he said they would. I’ve thought about calling him a lot the last month and I didn’t. You never think that you won’t get another chance to talk. I’m really going to miss Ryan.
I had a project I was working on last year and I asked for Ryan’s input. Basically I wanted to know what books and quotes had had the greatest effect on his life to this point and here was his response on 10/8/12:
“Alright, Andy, here you go.
The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandido
I've read this one twice and it deeply impacted my thinking about success and the basic principles of success; takes 10 months to read as instructed
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell
I've read this one at least 3 or 4 times; phenomenal leadership teacher; I've read probably a dozen of his books
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
Deeply influenced my ideas about money, investments, and business; I've read 4 or 5 of his books and highly recommend playing his Cash Flow Game to beginning investors
The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason
A huge influence on my ideas about money management
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
Phenomenal book about success in life
The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris
This book is insane; a book about the balance of what wealth and lifestyle really means; this is a paradigm changer
The Millionaire Mind by Thomas Stanley
Excellent research based book on what a millionaire really looks like; about consumerism and money management
How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Foundational book about people skills
The E-Myth by Michael Gerber
An excellent book about business systems
Skill With People by Les Giblin
A very short and very practical book about people skills
The Traveler's Gift by Andy Andrews
A great fiction book about success principles
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Foundational book about wealth mentality
A couple of biographies that I remember off the top of my head:
Sam Walton, Made in America by Sam Walton
Trump, The Art of the Deal by Donald Trump
And some biographies that I don't remember the title but their general stories had profound effects on my thinking: Andrew Carnegie, Martin Luther King Jr, Teddy Roosevelt, and Mohandas Gandhi.
Quotes - I've referenced ones that I've come back to over and over throughout my life.
"Failure will never overtake you if your determination to succeed is strong enough" From The Greatest Salesman in the World
". . . I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life . . ." Henry David Thoreau
"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat." Teddy Roosevelt
General Thoughts About Success
If I arrive at my grave and all I've really done with my life is traded it for a giant pile of gold, then I've made a very bad trade.
Live your life around what is most important to you and then fill it in with all the other details
Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they are yours.
Success in any great venture, financial or otherwise, is more about determination than anything else.
Consistent and persistent action are the foundations of success.”
Ryan, you made this world a better place, I’m really going to miss you buddy!! I know I’ll see you again on the other side.