Relationships Are The Ultimate Currency with Chris Ryan – EP 93

Interview with Chris Ryan

Relationships Are The Ultimate Currency with Chris Ryan

We’re often so focused on maximum achievement that we forget true success lies in serving others and providing value to them.

As you’ll hear from today’s guest, Chris Ryan, investing in relationships with other people is one of the best things you can do for your personal and professional life.

Chris has a 25+ year career dedicated to guiding individuals and organizations to maximize their potential and exceed the expectations they set for themselves. He’s the CEO of GoBundance, a collective of 800+ healthy, wealthy, and generous men seeking to live life to its fullest. He’s also a Founding Partner at R360, leading groups of sophisticated investors, philanthropists, and intellectuals who seek to grow in all areas of life.

In today’s episode, we dig into the power of relationships for living a life of purpose and fulfillment, the key lessons he learned from some of the world’s most successful people, the importance of being grateful no matter the circumstances, and much more.

Featured on This Episode: Chris Ryan

✅ What he does: Chris is an experienced entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist. He’s the CEO of GoBundance, a collective of 800+ men seeking to live life to the fullest, and he’s also the Founding Partner at R360, a group of leading philanthropists, investors and intellectuals that are seeking to expand their potential to even greater heights. His career spans over 25 years dedicated to people and purpose, creating a culture of care in both individuals and organizations. Chris previously served as Chair at TIGER 21, the premier peer-to-peer learning organization for ultra-high-net-worth individuals. His ability to formulate a vision, create a strategy, and plan execution, allows him to guide individuals and organizations to develop a culture of self-reliance and perseverance and maximize their potential beyond their expectations.

💬 Words of wisdom: In times of adversity or challenge, you can always invest in yourself.” – Chris Ryan

🔎 Where to find him: Chris Ryan on LinkedIn | Facebook

Key Takeaways with Chris Ryan

  • How Justin and Chris met and what made them instantly hit it off.
  • What Chris learned from hanging out with Sir Richard Branson.
  • Learn the key traits that make people successful.
  • The quality of your relationships determines the quality of your life. Do something that will improve the lives of those around you today!
  • How to build an attitude of gratitude, both in the good and the bad.
  • Practice extreme ownership in all walks of life. You are responsible for your current circumstances, and you have the power to change them.
  • The most important things in life aren’t related to profit. Success without fulfillment leads to misery.
  • Adversity can be a pathway to growth. Learn how Chris bounced back from the pandemic more equipped to handle life’s challenges.
  • Find your “tribe” that will lift you when needed but will also be brutally honest with you. Return the favor.

Chris Ryan – Finding Purpose and Fulfillment By Creating Real Change

Chris Ryan Tweetables

“No matter what happens, there's an infinite return on you reading, learning, growing, bettering yourself in whatever aspect of life that you want to do.” - Chris Ryan Click To Tweet “We need to make sure that we're investing in our long-term future just as much as we're investing in the next deal that comes our way.” - Chris Ryan Click To Tweet

Resources

Rate & Review The Lifestyle Investor Podcast

If you enjoyed today’s episode of The Lifestyle Investor, hit the subscribe button on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, or wherever you listen, so future episodes are automatically downloaded directly to your device.

You can also help by providing an honest rating & review over on Apple Podcasts. Reviews go a long way in helping us build awareness so that we can impact even more people. THANK YOU!

Connect with Justin Donald

Get the Lifestyle Investor Book!

To get access to The Lifestyle Investor: The 10 Commandments of Cashflow Investing for Passive Income and Financial Freedom visit JustinDonald.com/book

Read the Full Transcript with Chris Ryan

Justin Donald: What’s up, Chris? It’s so great to have you on the show.

 

Chris Ryan: Hey. You have no idea. First and foremost, let me come from gratitude. I am so honored to not only be here but you and I, my friend, have spent so much time recently together. I’m grateful to know you, I’m grateful to be your friend, and I’m honored that you would have me on your podcast.

 

Justin Donald: Well, it’s an honor to have you on the show. I just want more people to meet you and learn about you and see all the cool stuff you’re doing. And so, you and I, we go back a while. For those that don’t know, you were my original TIGER 21 chair. So, TIGER 21 is a really cool investment community. A lot of people that have had exits and really don’t know what to do with the cash that they have sitting around. And so, you ran the Austin chapter for a long time, and that’s how we first met. And we developed a great friendship and even moving on to bigger and better things that you’re doing. You know, we’ve stayed close and we’ve done some epic journeys, adventures, trips, and I’m excited to even chat about some of them.

 

Chris Ryan: Yeah. Absolutely. Same here. And it’s been such a joy spending the better part of the last decade getting to know you and the worlds, plural, that you inhabit. So, I’m excited to be here and I’m looking forward to this podcast tremendously.

 

Justin Donald: Well, thanks. And you know what? You are officially my first guest, Chris, in my new studio that is finally done. Our home was supposed to be completed a year prior to when we actually moved in. So, I have been floating around in podcast studios. I actually had one at a place that I was working downtown, just a coworking space that we flipped from an office or like a conference room into a podcast studio. So, you’re officially my first person, the very first episode in my new office. I’m glad to have you. And it just is so fitting that you are kicking off this next session of the podcast.

 

Chris Ryan: Outstanding. Glad to be here again.

 

Justin Donald: So fun. So, I feel like we should share with the audience an incredible trip that we just went on not too long ago, a handful of months back. We had a chance because of some of the connections that you have to go to Necker Island and hang out with Richard Branson and have just this epic experience. And I really haven’t talked about it very much in my podcast episodes. And so, for some people that follow me on social media, they probably saw some of the pictures that I posted but I haven’t really discussed it to any of the podcast listeners. So, what a perfect time to talk about what I think is one of the most impressive people on planet Earth who is just so generous, so giving of his time, an absolute gentleman. And you’ve got a great relationship with him.

 

Chris Ryan: You know, it’s been a fantastic journey in terms of my friendship with Richard Branson. I met him originally in 2015, and with the exception of COVID in the year that the two tsunamis rolled in, I’ve had the privilege of going in at least once a year to Necker Island. And, yeah, what I have found in no small way is that that man is probably one of the most genuine, one of the most real, one of the most grounded, kindest, smartest individuals that I’m lucky to call friend. We’re both tennis players, as you know, and so on the tennis court, he has some choice words for me when we’re playing against one another. We’re great when we play doubles as partners together and it’s been a great relationship. And thanks to that relationship, I’m able to host events like what we did earlier and bring you and others into the experience and the world that is Necker Island and Sir Richard Branson.

 

Justin Donald: Yeah. You know, I had these lofty expectations of probably getting a little bit of time with him. Maybe he’d show up to a meal or two but we hung out with him every day and we got like, I mean, for me specifically, I got one-on-one time with him literally every day. It was incredible. We went on some walks. We played tennis. We talked investing and legacy. He made just an epic video for my daughter who you figured out has dyslexia and he’s a dyslexic and he talked about how that was one of the greatest superpowers he’s ever been blessed with and wants to turn it from a learning disability into the opportunity and the strength that it is for more people to know about it. And so, I mean, I was just so impressed with how present he was. I went kitesurfing. Actually, I want to say I went kitesurfing with him but really what happened is he glided by me gracefully just so effortlessly on his surfboard while I got dragged in the water because it is not as easy as you think, especially as a first-timer. So, just such a fun experience.

 

Chris Ryan: Yeah. He’s a wonderful human being. And my experience has been that he does not spend as much time with his guests as he has done in the past for the folks that I’ve been able to bring there. And it’s a real pleasure because you get to know not the legend but you really get to know the person and you get to know the father and the husband and the tennis player and the entrepreneur and the visionary and the philanthropist. And so, you really get an immersive experience, not only with him but with the island and also with all of the other guests that are there, because it’s not good enough just to bring a bunch of folks to Necker Island. We curate the audience, we curate the programing, we curate the experiences. And the idea here is it’s not just a boondoggle with Richard Branson. My goal with a lot of the trips and activities that I do is you have to have a network of new people to meet, you have to have some learning and some engagement and some action item, and then you have to have epic experiences.

 

And when you put all of that together, it creates a magical, memorable role and hopefully a valuable experience where the value far exceeds what actually went on the trip or the vacation, and hopefully the friendships and the camaraderie and the connections that you’ve made. And because we’ve kept up I know you, be it my brother or some of the other folks, I mean, you’ve kept up with them. And that’s where I think the real long-term value is for any of these experiences. And I get tremendous fulfillment and satisfaction out of creating opportunities like this.

 

Justin Donald: Yeah. And you did such a great job curating speakers, content, but also just an epic group of people. And it’s a small group but it’s the right group like you leave feeling like, “Man, what an incredible human being I just got a chance to break bread with or that I just had this cool conversation with.” I mean marine biologists and Head of Treasury at Citadel. I mean, the list goes on. Some of the smartest people in health care and healthcare technology specifically. I mean, it was just unbelievable. And then you top that off with just hanging one-on-one here and who Richard really is, having the luxury that I had of sitting down and playing a few games of chess with him at his private residence, nonetheless, which is really neat.

 

Chris Ryan: Yeah. I’m super glad you went on the trip. And that’s something that you and I and the other folks that were there can share for the rest of our lives. So, great, great bonding experience, great learning, and experiential opportunity as well.

 

Justin Donald: No doubt. And by the way, I feel like I could do a whole episode just on that trip, like just how epic the island is, the food, the people, the one-on-one conversations. I mean, it was just an amazing experience, the views, everything, just going boating, island hopping. But what I would love to do is talk about another really cool experience that you put together and you – and I’m going to connect the dots for a bunch of our listeners because you introduced me to Britnie Turner and Aerial or The Aerial, as she likes to call it, AerialBVI.com, just an incredible oasis and amazing place. So, Britnie, for those of you that haven’t had a chance, one of the most downloaded, most talked about, most impressive podcast episodes I’ve done is the episode with Britnie Turner. So, go back and check that one out. But I met her because of you, Chris, and I’d love for you to talk about that island and what it means to you and why you put this trip together because it’s something special.

 

Chris Ryan: So, I’ll back it up a notch. Britnie Faith Turner is an exceptional human being, and you think about the people that you meet in your life and those that make a real impact on you. And I tend to think that they do a few things really well. First, in the case of Britnie Faith Turner, she’s incredibly successful by all definitions of success. She’s a monster real estate person out of Nashville. She’s been called the Queen of Nashville real estate, little darling, all of that stuff. That’s great. But as you well know, there are a lot of people that are successful and success is kind of transitory. It’s fleeting. You know, there’s always someone who has more of this, that, or the other. And so, in our lives and in the lives of your listeners, you meet a lot of people who you can deem successful. That’s great. What I find infinitely more interesting, engaging, and at least to me, important, are the people that really focus on creating significance in this life. And back in 1996, I had the privilege of meeting a guy named Bob Buford, wrote a book called Halftime. You know it because you’ve mentioned it before.

 

Justin Donald: Yeah. Great book. Great book.

 

Chris Ryan: And it’s all about man’s transition from success to significance. Britnie found not only her purpose in life but found what she wanted to do to be significant at a relatively young age. And as you well know, the purpose of Aerial BVI, which is an island that she owns in the British Virgin Islands, is less about, again, creating a boondoggle and a vacation spot. It’s more about setting itself up as a catalyst for change in the lives of people that attend and go there, not too dissimilar to what we were doing in Necker Island. And then, of course, as you know, we literally did these trips back to back. We were on Necker better part of the week. We were on Aerial BVI, I think three days, four days. And what’s interesting is I’ve been heavily involved with not only Aerial BVI as an island and as an opportunity and a platform for conferences and fellowship among like-minded folks and driven to create change in the world but I’ve also been involved with the Aerial Recovery Group, which is their nonprofit side of her Aerial platform that right now is doing a lot of work in Ukraine, helping move orphaned children from war areas to safe areas both in Ukraine and then also over the border into Poland.

 

And I think as of my last conversation with her team, they have moved, I think, 1,300 or 1,400 orphans out of harm’s way. And what I find really compelling about this 38-year-old incredibly smart, dynamic, engaged, beautiful, wonderful person along with her husband is that they are on a mission to change the world and to better the world, literally, at this point in time one orphan at a time. And what I resonate with in a very core level is that manifestation of creating real change and significance in the world because I think all of us have an opportunity to do it. A lot of us miss it. And so, the Aerial BVI is a wonderful venue but it’s a purposeful venue in terms of creating change. And I get pretty excited, as you well know, when it comes to moving the needle in the lives of especially the ultra-high net worth folks that I engage with across my different communities. And I find that that is my purpose in terms of creating that change and creating that significance. And that’s where I find fulfillment in my life.

 

Justin Donald: Yeah. And really what separates that from many of the other islands I’ve been to, I’ve been to a lot of the British Virgin Islands and the US Virgin Islands. That one’s special though because there is this focus on overall wellness and health and rejuvenation and obviously the scenery makes that easy. But the food they serve, the incredible chefs, the drinks that they have, just the meals, the community that is created around breaking bread and the conversation that is created, this focus on living your purpose and doing better than what you’re doing and bringing other people along with you is just so cool. And so, it’s refreshing and rejuvenating but then top-down like holistically, it’s just this great step in a direction of a true legacy and true really like support and helping other people along the way. It’s really special.

 

Chris Ryan: Yeah. I’m really glad that you went and I’m glad you speak so highly of it.

 

Justin Donald: Yeah. So, let’s talk about what you’re doing now because, I mean, you kind of had the pick of the litter. You had one of the most successful and when I say you were a TIGER 21 chair for my chapter, what I failed to mention is that you were the chair of three other chapters in Dallas. You had four different chapters that you were running, which is the most in all of TIGER 21. You had people coming after you to run different groups. You had another organization that you were already part of that you had created but you decided to make the move to really run and become the President of GoBundance. And I’d love to hear your why behind that. Obviously, I’ve had several of the GoBundance members and specifically founders between David Osborn and Mike McCarthy. I had them both on the podcast, just an incredible episode. Hans Box, who’s a member, he was on, I mean, I’ve probably interviewed 7 to 10 different GoBundance members, people that either currently are at one point were members. And I’d love to hear about this chapter of your life.

 

Chris Ryan: You know, it’s a pretty straightforward story. So, I started working with TIGER 21 in January of 2013. Ran it. At Dallas, ran Dallas, ran Austin, ran San Juan, Puerto Rico, helped with the launch of Hong Kong, and did all of that in the course of about nine years. And then the pandemic hit. And I had achieved everything I wanted to do with TIGER 21 and realized that my next step was to look at other organizations in the mastermind space. And when I resigned from TIGER 21, I sent out a letter to about 400 folks that I had befriended and known over the years. You got it. And David Osborn reached out to me literally within about 75 minutes of receiving the email from me and said, “Don’t do anything until I get a chance to talk to you about GoBundance.” And like all the chapters in our life, I kind of wanted to grieve the passing and the almost nine-some odd years that I had been there.

 

And so, I waited a little bit of time, jumped into GoBundance, took on the role of CEO in July of 2020, and have been rocking and rolling with an exceptional group of both men and women. I think Tamar was one of the women that was on your Lifestyle Investor as well. I remember that from the Dallas conference that you spoke at not that long ago with the GoBundance women. And, you know, I believe truly, as I mentioned earlier, my calling in life is to move the needle of significance in the lives of others. And one of the great gifts of GoBundance, as opposed to what I was doing with TIGER 21, is, as you know, the average age of a TIGER 21 member is probably 55, 57 years old. The average age of a GoBundance member is probably early to mid-forties. And so, that delta in terms of years actually I think provides for an opportunity for the GoBundance men and women to miss one or two landmines, unintentional accidents, side mistakes, whatever you want to call it.

 

And so, my thinking is that if we can help these younger millionaires and billionaires, these younger entrepreneurs, these younger husbands and fathers avoid some of the pitfalls and some of the regrets that I saw coming out of the TIGER 21 members then I think we can do a lot to not only change the trajectory of their lives, the GoBundance men, the GoBundance women, and their spouses but also their children. And it’s great. If you are a GoBundance member and we did something that impacted your life, that’s awesome. That’s great. We did that, as you well know, when we were in TIGER 21. But how much more meaningful is it if we can do something that can positively affect you as a couple, you and your wife, or even mic drop moment, if we do something that positively affects the trajectory of your daughter, I mean, I know how much of a father you are and how important your family is to you as is to me and there’s nothing like it.

 

I have a 20-year-old daughter named Bishop. If something occurs where it positively impacts Bishop’s life in my world of TIGER 21 or GoBundance or R360 or any other groups that I’ve run or I’m running now, that becomes kind of the ultimate gift of what I hope and believe that GoBundance can offer right now.

 

Justin Donald: Well, I love the way that you set that up and the way that you frame it. And I just want everyone who’s watching this, everyone who’s listening to know that, Chris, you are the networker of networkers. You’re like the master connector. You know anyone and everyone, all the who’s who, whoever is the best in whatever space it is, whether it be financial, whether it be health, whether it be relationships like you know all the big names, the people that have the track record and you love bringing them in to teach as well. And so, when I think about like your superpower, to me is creating an epic community, facilitating great discussion, and then intertwining and weaving in just high-level expert of expert type of speakers or professionals in whatever industry they are best in class at, which is something I also work extremely hard at for the Lifestyle Investor Mastermind because I think there are very few places out there that are like really getting the world’s best at whatever topic it is. And you’ve done a great job of that.

 

Chris Ryan: Well, thank you. Kind words. Let me tell you one of the areas that I think you and I are actually very much alike. So, we’ve known each other for seven or eight years, however long since you first joined TIGER 21 and my experience of you is that you’re incredibly relationally driven. And I know that I hold my relationships as probably the most valuable, important, fulfilling, satiating asset that I have. And what I discovered a long time ago and I see this very much in you as well is we invest in our relationships. And so, when I need a speaker for a GoBundance event or when I call Virgin Unite to show up on Necker Island and put a trip together, it’s not done in a vacuum. It’s done with a history of real, meaningful, sincere, without any form of agenda, sense of care and fellowship in relationship. There’s probably some love in that as well. And at the end of the day, you do things for your friends and your friends do things for you and it’s its own currency. It’s its own marketplace. It’s its own exchange that has nothing to do with the dollar and cents but is of unbelievable value in creating meaningful life experiences and friendships. I mean, when you and I leave this world, brother, we’re not taking a buffalo nickel with us.

 

Justin Donald: That’s right.

 

Chris Ryan: I hope that I’m a good friend to my friends. My friends, for sure, are great friends to me. And I find that those relationships, ever since I was a little boy, have probably done more to serve me in my life’s journey, success with businesses, success with relationships, success with family, success with my friends. More than anything else, as I look back on my life, my relationships are probably what I’m most proud of. My money says you’d say the same thing, buddy.

 

Justin Donald: Yeah. There’s no doubt. I mean, I think relationships are our life, right? The quality of your relationships is in direct relationship to the quality of your life or in direct proportion. And so, yeah, I think that’s top of the food chain to me is pouring into the people that are most important, that I have the deepest roots with, or finding the people that maybe I don’t have that relationship with yet and creating it, being intentional to foster a relationship, especially in an area where maybe I need to learn more, I need to grow more, I need to find the master of whatever that that particular craft is. And so, it’s not just the relationships you have but it’s who are the relationships that you want to have. Are you just going through life on autopilot, letting life happen to you? Or are you intentionally carving out like, “Hey, here are the people that I want to see. Here are the trips I’m going to book with them or the calls or the time?” I’m going to carve this out in my calendar. I’m going to let that take priority versus life just happening because we all have experienced what it’s like when the calendar just goes on its own. It goes on autopilot versus intentionally crafting and creating the ideal life or the ideal calendar or pouring into the top ten relationships that are most important or most meaningful at this moment of life right now.

 

Chris Ryan: You know, it’s interesting. There are two things that I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned to you that I really admire about you. The first one is you are deliberate in everything that you do. And it’s not obsessive, it’s not compulsive, but there is an intelligence behind every activity, every program, every trip that you take. And I’ve noticed that and I really respect that. And then probably even more important than that, you made a comment when we were on Necker Island in terms of how you have traded money for time and that your focus is on building the greatest life that you can have. And your focus on material wealth and financial gain is a distant, distant second to that. And in your constant prioritization of activities as a husband, as a father, as a friend, as an adventurer, as a world traveler, you more than anybody else that I know have really done such an impressive job of carving out the life that you want to live. And everything that you do is done in support of that.

 

And that clarity of mind, that clarity of direction is something that I really appreciate about you. I try to model it myself, probably nowhere near as good a job as you do, and I find it inspirational for me as I assume all of you are members of the lifestyle investor community, all of your listeners, everyone who knows you, probably gets that whether they necessarily acknowledge it or not.

 

Justin Donald: Well, thank you for the kind words and for identifying that. Those are really important things to me. And the way I spend my time and who I spend it with just matters so much. And there’s this danger that I have even found myself at many different periods of time slipping into, which is whatever your goals are, you work hard to achieve them, whether they be health, whether they be financial, relationships, whatever it is. And the goalposts move, though, and especially with the finances. So, if you’re not careful, you fall into a trap of what society values more than maybe what you should or could value. And I remember at one point in life the goal was like, “Hey, how can I earn six figures? That would be incredible. I’d love to be able to do that. If I could ever do that, that would be the most epic thing ever. Like, that’s life on my terms.” But then when you get there, you’ve got to find the next thing.

 

And if you’re not careful and if you’re not deliberate with what it is that you want to get out of life, you can fall into this trap of chasing or wanting more or wanting to build bigger and better. And I just want to default into building lifestyle, building relationships more so than building wealth. And I think if you make good decisions and surround yourself with the right people, I think that that wealth part can grow alongside it as a natural byproduct. But I see too many people that are infinitely wealthy working crazy hours to make whatever else more they need to make. And that to me is very empty and I just don’t want to fall into that trap.

 

Chris Ryan: Well, you are the poster person for the guy who hasn’t fallen to that trap knowing you as I do. And you’re absolutely right. At the end of the day, it’s easy to default to society’s standards that are in no way, shape, or form our own. You know, candidly, all of us are kings and queens. We live better than 99.999% of the population in the history of mankind. So, congratulations. We’ve all arrived. And so, one of the things that I learned a long time ago is I use gratitude as a buffer against either feeling overly inflated in terms of my opinion of myself or deflated. And I have this simple practice where every morning and every night I do a gratitude prayer and I think of three things I’m grateful for. It usually involves my family, usually involves my friends, maybe it’s a work accomplishment. But I find that gratitude is a fantastic gift when things are going well and it’s a great resiliency tool when you’re dealing with adversity. And it’s also humbling because I think all of us are lucky, blessed to be in the world that we’re in. Just to be able to listen to this podcast and be involved in the Justin Donald: community, there’s so much that we have to be thankful for.

 

And oftentimes when we lose sight of that and maybe we jump on the dotted treadmill, I think we get focused up on what is unimportant. And often, at times, especially as I saw a trend into the TIGER 21 group, it comes at a cost. And if you’re on marriage number five, it’s not her, brother. It’s not her.

 

Justin Donald: That’s right.

 

Chris Ryan: If you’re estranged from your kids, it’s you. If you’re 150 pounds overweight, it’s you. If, Ebenezer, you’ve never donated a dollar to charity. You know, you can live a very myopic life if you just focus on the dollars and cents. And I think that has a place. That’s fuel for a lot of the other things that we do but if we don’t focus on the other things, it truly comes, especially as we get older at the cost of quality of life.

 

Justin Donald: Yeah. You made a comment that really resonated where you just don’t want to live in these extremes and it brought back this quote or this ideology that the great John Wooden, one of the greatest basketball coaches, I think most people would still say is the greatest college basketball coach ever, most winningest coach in terms of titles with UCLA, just a juggernaut. And one of the big things I always remember him saying is, “No excessive dejection and no excessive jubilation.” And that has always stuck with me that you don’t want to be on either of those extremes. You don’t want to live there. You want to kind of live in the middle. I just think that’s, you know.

 

Chris Ryan: Yup. Totally agree. And life is never as good or as bad as you think it is in the moment. So, we have the storms of happiness and adulation. We have the storms of defeat and despair. None of that in the grand scheme of life is as extreme as it sometimes feels. If there is an issue or a challenge or a problem that you can solve with a credit card or a bank account, it’s an inconvenience. You know, what is important are your health. It’s your family. It’s the happiness of your children and your spouse. Those are the things that ultimately matter. Everything else we can kind of manage, especially as the type-A heat-seeking missile entrepreneurial men that we are and the audience that you have, both men and women, we can manage the day-to-day grind stuff. It’s the family. It’s the friendship. It’s the health. It’s the willingness to be greater and to seek things out that are greater than ourselves. Those are the things that I think truly make life meaningful and fulfilling.

 

Justin Donald: That is powerful, Chris. Thanks for sharing that. That’s awesome. You know, it’s interesting because you just talked about having all this gratitude for what you do have. If you’re lost on what you don’t have, this is the whole idea of that new book, The Gap and the Gain, right? And it’s kind of I’ve got another friend that describes it as the integrity gap. And it’s this, you know, are you living in this world of what you don’t have based on what everyone else has or based on what you want? Or are you living where you do have it and you’re grateful for what you have? And I think most people are always searching, seeking things that aren’t good enough. And if we lived in this world where what you have is enough that you’re living a better life than 99% of the world, probably 99.9% of the world more accurately for anyone in a first-world country listening or watching this. But that also makes me think and makes me wonder about times ahead.

 

I mean, you stay grateful and I think great things are going to happen to you but it becomes a lot more challenging to stay grateful when we have economic turbulence, which we’re starting to see some signs of that. And by the time this episode comes out, I mean, we don’t know where we’ll be but we’re already seeing a little turbulence. I think most of the experts feel like there’s going to be a downturn that is much more excessive than it is right now. And so, I’m curious on your thoughts because you know a lot of successful people, you know a lot of high net-worth individuals, you know a lot of successful entrepreneurs and business owners and executives. I’m curious, what do you think are the best things to do in a recession and rough economic times?

 

Chris Ryan: So, it’s interesting because it feels like we’re getting the ultimate two-shot of two years of COVID and all the craziness that expired through that. And then now we’re in definitely a recession, probably well on our way to a depression. And it’s not just the economic times that we face. We’re also in a weird geopolitical space. You’ve got Russia doing its dance on Ukraine. You got China saber-rattling towards Taiwan. I mean, definitely the word unprecedented seems a little bit overused right now but there’s definitely a lot of uncertainty. We’ll leave it at that. So, the first thought that comes to mind is in times of adversity or challenge, you can always invest in yourself. So, COVID had me watching Netflix and ordering Uber Eats for about two weeks before I got sick of that. And as you know me, my ADHD kicked in early so I had to read. I probably read 60 or 70 books over the course of COVID because that was good to do. The gap in the game was actually recommended to me by my younger brother, Scott.

 

And so, that’s going to hit my end table at some point in the not too distant future. But you can always invest in yourself. So, no matter what happens, there’s an infinite return on you reading, learning, growing, bettering yourself in whatever aspect of life that you want to do that. Having that aside, the other thought that occurs to me and you live this too, my friend, is you got to surround yourself with quality people. And I’m not just talking about friends in high school and college or maybe it’s couples that you and your wife or you and your husband engage with. Every one of us does better, I believe, when they find their tribe. And you want to find people that not only support you and encourage you but also you can be authentic with. They can offer you constructive criticism. You know, all of us at some point in time need a little kick to the behind and we all need to be held accountable to our stuff. And by the way, we’re all carrying a bag of issues and challenges, blind spots, whatever the case may be.

 

And one of the things that I really appreciate about GoBundance, the mastermind group that I now run, is that as we have come into these challenging times, we’ve kind of doubled down on the relationships and the camaraderie and the learning with each other. We launched a series about a month ago called Navigating Through Choppy Waters. And what we’ve been doing is we’ve been seeking out experts across multiple domains. So, we had David Osborn, who you of course know, speak on everything that he’s doing to not only protect his wealth and his positions in real estate but where do you hold dry powder for investments that’ll show up six months, a year, 18 months from now? How do you protect yourself and your family, not only against the tsunami of whatever it is that’s coming at us? But there’s a great quote that I have no idea where it came from but it said, in a bear market, I’m sorry, “In a bull market, you can make money. In a bear market, you can get rich.”

 

And so, by having our community come together, and especially for some of the younger men and women of GoBundance that may not have been through this before, there’s a lot of wisdom and experience and battle scars maybe from some of the older gentlemen and ladies that is applicable that may help them avoid some of those landmines. And so, my suggestion and recommendation to your audience is it doesn’t need to be GoBundance but you should, all of us should have a community. Maybe it’s a mastermind group, maybe it’s a group of coworkers, but it’s some community that you can rally behind and really take away the collective learnings and knowledge and be able to make better decisions as a result of it for you, for your family, for your investments, and for your future.

 

Justin Donald: Yeah. I talk about this all the time and you hit the nail on the head because that’s it. It is surrounding yourself with people that are smarter than you, people that have a different perspective than you, people that have a track record of success, people that are playing the game of life and business and investing or whatever it is that you want to get better at, at a higher level than you. That’s where you want to be. And again, you said it. I just want to reiterate it. It doesn’t have to be GoBundance or The Lifestyle Investor Mastermind community. It can be any community where you’re upping the level of your game. I mean, to a certain degree, price point on these is going to help people select in or auto select out. And so, you can kind of gravitate to groups that make the most sense where you can get a return in many different ways on the value that you’re getting, whether it be through the relationships, the community, the education,

 

I mean, even I like to call it like avoiding the stupid tax or you made a poor decision but had you run that by other smarter people or people that have been there, wiser people that have been there, you can make less mistakes. And then I just also think like tax strategy and finding, you know, I call them invisible deals that are just not open to the general public. You just want to be around people that push you, that help you grow, that help you think differently, that get you out of your comfort zone. So, whatever shape or form an organization or group looks like to get you there, that’s the group. You know, the original mastermind was it the Junto Group or the Juntu Group, which was like a group with like Benjamin Franklin and like many of the household names that we know today, they would get together. They were the original mastermind and they made each other smarter. They supported each other in their endeavors.

 

I just think that is smart business to have a peer group that you’re connecting with on an intimate level and then having experts, advisors, coaches, mentors that can guide you through that, most importantly, have done the thing that you want to do. Not people that say that they’re a coach, people that have actually done and performed and have a track record of doing exactly what it is that you want to do since in today’s day and age, everyone’s a coach and everyone’s a mentor. But I think you’ve got to find the people that have the track record.

 

Chris Ryan: And you also want to find the folks that keep you honest to the path that you’re on because it’s easy to get distracted. I mean, you and I both know there’s a ton of change coming down the pipe and no different than COVID. You know, COVID, I think if we look back at it 20 years from now, there will be some silver linings in terms of how we all developed and grew as people. It was The Great Reset. You know, a lot of my friends have spent more time with their families in terms of dinners at night or weekends with the kids than they ever had previously. And so, there’s definitely some silver lining that came out of that. But in addition to everything you said, we also want to keep each other honest in terms of what is most important in life. And with the stress that naturally comes with all this change, it’s easy to lose sight of that. You get caught up in the deals but you’re not present at home with your family. Not acceptable. You get caught up in investment opportunities. You’re having too much Uber Eats and pizza at night, you put on 35 pounds. Not acceptable.

 

You know, at the end of our days as we get older, it’s amazing how much more important health and longevity becomes. I’m down in Costa Rica right now going through a stem cell program because I want to start making investments in my future years in my eighties and nineties now. And so, it’s great to be successful. It’s great to be wealthy. It’s great to be significant, but I also want to spend as much time with my friends, with my family as I possibly can and I want to do it as healthy as I possibly can. And so, we need to make sure that we’re investing in our long-term future just as much as we’re investing in the next deal that comes our way.

 

Justin Donald: Totally. I couldn’t agree with you more. And that was so eloquently said. Thank you, Chris, just for spending time with us here today. This is so much fun and I love your perspective and I love the way you live life. It’s so refreshing to hear. Where can our audience learn more about you and about GoBundance?

 

Chris Ryan: So, I thought you were kind enough to ask me that question before we started the recording, and I thought about what could be helpful to you and your audience. So, as I mentioned, we started the series called Navigating Through Choppy Waters. It’s a four-part series. Our last broadcast for this first series will be a week from today. And then we have a conference coming up in Detroit, the 21st through the 24th of July, and then we’re probably going to relaunch the series in August. What I would like to offer up as a free offer, no obligation, no expectation is if any of your audience members would be interested in auditing one of those calls. It’s a Zoom call set up as a webinar, right about 90 minutes, and the only agenda is we want to educate our audience on what they can do to best prepare for whatever is coming our way. If anyone wants to go on to the GoBundance website, it’s www.GoBundance.com. There’s a place for a member application. Not looking for anybody to join but if they fill that out and in the comments section put, “Lifestyle Investor interested in looking at one of the Zoom calls,” we’ll be able to filter that through our program, get them a link, and get them to show up as a guest.

 

That’s something that I can easily offer up to your audience and hopefully, they get some value out of it and can join us. And if that’s a value to them, fantastic. So, happy to do that. The website, as you know, is www.GoBundance.com. They’re welcome to get a hold of me. My email is chris.ryan@gobundance.com. I’m pretty accessible and regardless of whether or not your audience is interested in joining GoBundance, we truly come from a place of abundance. And I believe that if you help enough people in this world, it typically comes back tenfold to you. So, if there’s anything that I can do for you or your audience, I’m pretty open, pretty available to do it.

 

Justin Donald: I love it. Well, thank you so much for joining. This has been an awesome episode. I love kind of wrapping up with a single question that I ask our audience. Before I do that, though, I was actually going to share one other thing, which I’ve never done before but I’ve had so many people reaching out and so much feedback, so I figured I would take an opportunity just to say, hey, for anyone that wants to apply to the world’s most exclusive mastermind, for savvy investors looking to gain control of their time, build their net worth by looking at what I call invisible deals that are not available to the public with preferred terms already negotiated that amplify kind of return on capital but also de-risk the deal, you can visit LifestyleInvestor.com/Mastermind. And I’ll end with the one question I like to ask you every single week, which is this: What’s one step, one form of action you can take today to move towards financial freedom and living a life on your terms, a life that you truly desire, not by default, but rather by design? We’ll catch you next week.

Keep Learning

Relationships Are The Ultimate Currency with Chris Ryan – EP 93

Interview with Chris Ryan 
Relationships Are The Ultimate Currency with...

Scale Up On Your Own Terms with Taylor Welch – EP 92

Interview with Taylor Welch 
Scale Up On Your Own Terms...

Building Recession-Proof Businesses with David Lawver – EP 91

Interview with David Lawver 
Building Recession-Proof Businesses with David Lawver...