Ryan D Mason is always looking to grow smarter. He’s often quoted as saying: “If you are the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room,” a sentiment he carries into much of his work as the founder & CEO behind Luxe Brand, America’s leading luxury shoelace provider, of which has been featured on Good Morning America, NFL Network, Foot Locker stores, and on over 40 athletes and celebrities; and BizBuzz, providing integrated marketing automation software and services for over 250 local businesses. On top of all the industry success he’s seen, Ryan is also a bestselling author. His new book, The Digital Playbook, is an Amazon bestseller, and shares the secrets of using digital marketing as a tool for building repeatable and sustainable revenue streams.
Ryan remains proof of the outcomes that come from perseverance, a character trait that pushes a person through to the end of difficult challenges. When faced with physical, mental, or emotional challenges, Ryan is strong in his ability to persevere, never seeing giving up as an option. This attitude has brought him opportunities such as public speaking for Adidas and working with Bloomberg’s hit TV show, 2 Minute Drill, with David Meltzer, one of the biggest names in business, sports, and marketing. In addition, Ryan will be working towards his lofty goal of being featured as a TedTalk speaker and becoming a prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 nominee by 2022.
David Meltzer, in fact, is a big fan of Ryan, saying of Ryan, “You are an example of when somebody comes on here and just lights it up. Just energetically, you would not have to say a thing, because I know you are a person who is sharing light.”
“I consider myself a disruptive force in the professional world, building my philosophy for building businesses using three key ingredients: people, process, and platform. I’ve been fortunate that my passion and hard work have brought me countless accomplishments in the business world, even though my story originally began on a very different path, trying and dreaming of playing football professionally for the NFL,” Ryan recalls.
After his NFL dreams did not come to fruition, Ryan reminded himself of the inspiration that came before that dream, recounting the examples given to him by his father, uncle, grandfather, and his grandfather’s five brothers, as they lived out the kind of life Ryan aspired to. The men in his family were incredibly hard-working as they took on the responsibilities of providing for their families, being a part of their communities, and building their own local businesses.
“No matter the situation, they woke up every day, put their pants on one leg at a time, and gave it their very best effort. Each of them would give the shirt off of their backs to people in need whether they truly deserved it or not. Today, I can say those same principles have influenced me to do the same. This is the exact reason why I’ve decided to help local businesses tell their stories because it’s those stories that help provide for families and communities all across the country,” Ryan says.
As he had great examples in those who led him down the right path, Ryan now stands as an example for others. When encouraging others to start their own businesses, he tells them to define their “why” – by having a full understanding of their motivations to starting a business, the path to success becomes clearer.
After that, Ryan encourages others to invest in themselves, and above all else, to start as soon as possible. With those stepping stones in place, it can become easier to overcome any fear that may come with starting and navigating a new venture like a business.
“Fear is not a lack of courage. Actually, it is most often the brain’s attempt to avoid a situation it is uncomfortable with. Fear, or False Evidence Appearing Real, is something we fabricate in our own minds and pretend is real. It’s a fairy tale we tell ourselves that keeps us from doing what we really want. By giving into our fears, we are allowing something outside of us to have more power than we believe we have ourselves. If you sit down with your grandparents, none of them will tell you that they were happy with playing it safe. And to me, this means that everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear,” Ryan outlines.
Overcoming his fear has allowed Ryan to find success and financial freedom. While most of us are taught to go to school, get a job, then save for 40+ years until we retire, Ryan quickly realized that this did not work for him as a lifestyle choice.
“It is assumed that our lives should stay linear from childhood to death, spending most of our time working, attempting to rise up the corporate ladder, to get a raise, and then to buy a multitude of useless possessions that provide little joy. And it’s only after retirement that you’re free to explore, relax, or spend time with the people you love,” Ryan explains.