He has also helped over 300 entrepreneurs launch and grow seven figure businesses on places like Amazon by encouraging them to ask and answer three simple questions that guides them through these stages.
In this interview, Moran explains:
- The three questions every entrepreneur (and author) should ask themselves before launching a product or selling book
- Why he wrote a book even though it’s not necessarily the fastest way to build a business
- What his writing process looks like
- Why he teaches his ideas in different media, from books to podcasts to videos
- How he manages his time as an author, entrepreneur and coach
And lots more.
Ryan Moran: Sure. So, capitalism.com is media property for entrepreneurs. We focus on the two steps to creating wealth, which are build a business, and invest the profits. It’s my opinion that individuals, and capitalists, and entrepreneurs are the single greatest force for change in the world, so our tagline is, “Create the change.” We focus on building businesses, investing the profits, and helping entrepreneurs create the change that they want to see in their world. Whether that is creating financial abundance, or that is solving global warming. I’m of the opinion that entrepreneurship through capitalism, is the greatest opportunity for us to solve any problem that we want to solve. We give entrepreneurs the platform, the training ground, and the network for them to be able to impact the world how they want to impact the world. And we do that through podcasts, video training, courses, and conferences, and networking opportunities.
Bryan Collins: And you’ve written a book as well, Ryan. Is that right?
Ryan Moran: I am. I am, yeah. I have a book out in May 2020, which is called 12 Months to One Million, which is the one year plan to go from no idea, to having a seven-figure business.
Bryan Collins: Wow. That sounds like a great book. I’m sure you’re still working on it, but would you to maybe give us the preview of what the book is going to be about, maybe what some of that plan looks like?
Ryan Moran: Of course. Yeah, of course. Funny you should ask, because my final draft deadline is Monday, so you got me at a great time. The book is about … is made for people who wanted to be entrepreneurs ever since they were kids, people who were born with the itch and never had the predictable plan to build a seven-figure business. I actually have YouTube videos and podcasts that have been downloaded well over 10 million times on this topic, and I have, over the last five years or so, been personally approached by well over 300 individuals who have said that they found me on the internet and used this plan and built a seven-figure business. That’s without soliciting, that’s just people reaching out to me and saying, “Yeah. Your work changed my life.”
Ryan Moran: The book walks them through the three stages of building a million-dollar business. Those three stages tend to be what I call the grind. The grind is from month zero to month four. This is when you have no idea what you want to sell, no idea what you want your business to be, no idea how you’re going to take a sale, or build a million-dollar business, and this stage is all about decisions. It is about deciding what your product is going to be. It’s deciding how you’re going to bring that product to market, and it’s deciding who your customer is going to be. We get them really, really clear on that within the first couple months, and then, in months three and four, we help them … The book is about making a prototype, bringing that prototype to market, and getting a sale. One sale. If we can get one sale within about four months, we are off to the races. And it’s a grind. It is making messy decisions, it is making hard choices, all in favor of moving forward and moving the ball closer to the hole, which is getting that first sale.
Ryan Moran: The second stage I call the growth, which tends to be between months five and eight. Our whole goal here is to get our product to at least a consistent 25 sales per day. I have made it famous, the simple math equation, that if you can have three to five products selling on average of 25 sales a day, at an average price point of about $30, that’s a million-dollar business. Three to five products, 25 sales a day, and about a $30 price point, is million-dollar business.
Ryan Moran: We have to get that first product to 25 sales a day, and we’re going to do that by selling it on amazon.com in most cases, because amazon.com does all of the fulfillment, all of the shipping, most of the customer service. The reviews are easy to get if you have some strategies. So in this block of time, that month five to eight, we’ll launch the product, we build an audience for the product, we advertise the product, we get reviews for the product, until it is at 25 sales a day.
Ryan Moran: The final third, the months eight through 12, are about repeating the process through products two, three, four, and five. So, releasing those next products through the same engine, the same system, until we have three products, selling 25 sales a day, at about $30 prince point. And 12 Months to One Million is the step-by-step plan to walk through those stages, so at the end of the process, you have a seven-figure business that you can either scale or sell for a big payday, and I’ve had students go in either direction.
Bryan Collins: Sounds like a great idea for a book-
Ryan Moran: Thank you.
Bryan Collins: Could you give me an example of the type of products that people are selling on Amazon with using that process?
Ryan Moran: Oh sure, sure. I have one student, his name is Jeremiah. Jeremiah’s first product was a running straps like you’d put your iPhone in it. Running gear, we’ll say. He found my work, hit a million within a year or so, and sold that business for a few million dollars at the age of 22 years old. So, at the age of 22 years old, if he invests the profits well, he’ll never have to work a day in his life.
Bryan Collins: That’s a great story, and especially for someone who’s 22. I’m sure the same process, or a similar process, must apply for somebody creating an information product that they’re selling through their own website, for example.
Ryan Moran: Right. The only thing that would change if you’re selling an information product, is where you would sell it. Although you could also sell books on Amazon, which would be an information product all on its own. But, yeah, the process would just sub out the place that you would make the transaction. That’d be the only thing that would change.
Bryan Collins: Your students who are following your process that you outline in your book, are they doing this full-time, or is it a side hustle?
Ryan Moran: Most of the people who find my work start on the side, but my recommendation is that as soon as you prove that you can take consistent sales, somewhere in that growth period where you’re on your way to 25 sales a day, it’s time to go all in. Because if you can prove that a product has life in the marketplace, which is I think going to be the meat of today. If you can prove that then you have something really special. You have the ability to bring a product to market and make it profitable, and that’s when you need to go all in on a business.
Bryan Collins: I’m curious about why you decided to write a book about the topic. A book is probably not the fastest way to build a business. So what made you decide to turn what you’ve learned into a book?
Ryan Moran: You are correct about that one. To be quite honest with you, when you speak about something publicly for long enough, it is very easy to get pigeon-holed into being a certain type of person. So, for example, I have built businesses on Amazon for many years. I have a student who has sold millions of dollars on Amazon. I have several students who do over $50 million a year in sales, just on amazon.com alone.
Ryan Moran: To be quite honest with you, I feel that I have said everything that there is to say on the topic of building a business, taking it to seven figures, and scaling it or selling it. I’m at the point in my life where I’m very interested in exploring other topics. I felt the call to wrap up everything that I know into a very tight step-by-step process, that I could give anyone, instead of talking about it all of the time, give someone the roadmap to go from no idea to hitting seven figures in their first year.
Bryan Collins: I think it’ll be a great book to read, and I find a lot of people who have accomplished something like to teach what they’ve learned, particularly non-fiction authors. I’m also curious about these three questions that you ask entrepreneurs to reflect on when they’re considering their businesses.
Ryan Moran: The first thing that I’m asking them is who is the person behind the product? Or who is the person behind the purchase? And if their answer starts with the word anyone, or anyone who, I know why they’re stuck. In a lot of cases, people ask me what’s a good product to see if I want to make money, and it’s the wrong question to ask. The question to ask is who is the person that you’re targeting? For example, if you go into business and you are just absolutely committed to selling CrossFit knee sleeves, you’re gong to have a hard time. You could be the number one knee sleeve seller in history, and you are still going to run into a barrier, because there are only so many people buying knee sleeves. But if you tell me that my market is the sport of CrossFit, and people who are insane, insanely passionate about this sport of CrossFit, my next question to you is, “Great. What are the three to five products that that person already buys?”
Ryan Moran: And we can look at each other and say, “They buy food bars, they buy at-home workout bands, they buy recovery creams, they buy knee sleeves, they buy …” and we could give the list, “They buy RXBARS,” they go on, and on, and on down the list. So, if we start the question around who the person is rather than what the product is, or even what the challenge is, we have a higher chance of being able to identify how we create a solution for that specific customer.
Ryan Moran: I think a lot of entrepreneurs make the mistake of forgetting that the way that a business is successful, is by creating a meaningful change in the eyes of someone else, in the eyes of a customer, and we forget that. So, we often think about what’s best for the business, what’s best for ourselves, what is best for profit margins, how do I get through this hurdle, but if we can reframe how it’s best for the customer, who that customer is, that’s the first thing that we go back to in order to get the business back on track. That’s the first question that I ask them.
Ryan Moran: Do you want to [inaudible 00:12:36] anything there, or should I keep going?
Bryan Collins: Please keep going, yeah.
Ryan Moran: All right. Great. The second question that I ask is if an entrepreneur is deciding on a new idea, or they’re going in a new direction, or they’re facing a tough decision, and the question that I ask them is, “Has the idea been tested in the form of sales? Has money been collected to validate the idea?” Most entrepreneurs validate their idea by going to friends and family, going to peers, even doing what would be normal market research in order to vet their idea, or to get clarity on idea. But people are different when it comes to pulling out their wallets and buying. The way we really know if a business has legs, or if an idea is going to be profitable, is if people are paying for it.
Ryan Moran: Now, on the internat, sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter have opened up brand new opportunities for entrepreneurs, because you can literally sell an idea before it’s real. But before that, it was even the idea that you could collect a check for something before fulfilling the service. Are people willing to buy something based on the idea? In some ways, we could also scratch this itch by pitching investors. Are investors willing to put money into it based on the market size, based on the idea, based on the team that you have assembled? In other words, has your idea been vetted in the form of dollars? Have dollars been collected in order to validate your idea? That’s the only form of validation that actually matters in the marketplace.
Ryan Moran: Most people are assuming that if they get enough, “Yes, sirs,” if they get enough people to get excited about something, that that is actually going to move the needle. It doesn’t. Money is what ultimately determines whether or not your business is going to be successful. That is question number two.
Bryan Collins: Makes sense, makes sense, and the third question?
Ryan Moran: [crosstalk 00:15:17] So, we talked about the people, we talked about has it been proven, so the third question that I would ask an entrepreneur that was validating whether or not they were going to build a seven-figure business, is can we name at least three to five products that that person already buys? Can we name three to five products that that person is going to buy? Now, in question number one we talked about that person. We looked at who that person is, how they identify … We used the example of CrossFit. We named four products that they might buy.
Ryan Moran: In number two, we could look at, “Okay. They’re already buying this, this, this, this, and this.” So question three, “Can we identify those three to five products that the person is already buying?” Because in that world, we can simply look at real examples of crossfitters are already spending their money in these three to five areas. Because you need to have those three to five products selling at least 25 sales a day, at that $30 prince point. Most people will obsess over what that first product is going to be. I instead like to look at a bigger landscape. Three to five products that person already buys, and then I’m going to look at, “Okay, which one of these five products might be the first one that my person is going to buy?”
Ryan Moran: If I’m selling to yogis, people who do yoga, and I know that they buy yoga mats, yoga blocks, yoga towels, yoga clothes, and tea, I’m going to look at, “Okay, which of these five products are they probably going to buy first on their journey to be a proficient yogi?” And I’m going to say, “Yoga mat.” Okay, cool. So a yoga mat is probably going to be the first product that they buy on that journey, and then they’re going to buy a yoga block, and then they might buy yoga clothes, and on and on it goes from there.
Ryan Moran: I look at that entrepreneur and I try to get them to relax their addiction to that first product, and instead look at the total landscape of what that person buys, and then look for the first product that that person on that journey.
Bryan Collins: Interestingly enough. I actually take part in CrossFit and I bought CrossFit knee socks some time ago.
Ryan Moran: Oh great.
Bryan Collins: [crosstalk 00:18:00] the fifth or sixth product that I bought. I think runners were the first, or Metcons as they’re called in CrossFit. I’m just curious, then, for your book did you follow a similar process when you were considering who was going to buy your book on Amazon?
Ryan Moran: My book is through a traditional publisher, so it’s a little bit of different process. I will say this, my market is entrepreneurs and capitalists, and I already speak to them in YouTube form and podcast form, and now we’re adding that third product to the list, I guess, which is the written form, and that’s the 12 Months to One Million book.
Bryan Collins: Yeah, that makes sense. How did you find the writing process for the book versus podcasting or creating videos or courses, or even creating products that you’re selling on Amazon?
Ryan Moran: You know what’s funny, is I have no problem firing up a microphone and talking all day. When it
to the written word, I think it’s Tim Ferris who says, “Writing a book is like cutting yourself open on a piece of paper, or bleeding onto a paper, for nine months.” That’s what it feels like. It feels like there’s a lot more judgment that goes into both how I approach my writing, and the fact that it’s like a finished product that I can’t go back and edit, makes me feel heavier about the process. It does feel like a life’s work in 200 pages, which is both exciting and humbling at the same time.
Ryan Moran: The process has been fun, it feels really complete, but it also feels like birthing a small child all at the same time.
Bryan Collins: That’s a good metaphor. Ryan, you strike me as somebody who has a lot of different business ventures, from writing a book to running capitalism.com, and coaching, and podcasting, and so on. So, what do you know now about time management that you wish you’d known when you started your business?
Ryan Moran: Hmm, about time management. There’s actually several things that come to mind, Bryan. When it comes to time management, the first thing is that not everything matters. In fact, most things don’t matter. When I am stressed, it seems like my to-do list gets longer, and vice versa. My to-do list gets longer, I get more stressed. I used to think that more was better, getting more done was better, accomplishing more tasks was better. But what I have found instead is nothing is ever really done. Things move forward, but managing multiple things, multiple projects, multiple tasks, is actually counter-productive. Because I got into this game, because I wanted a more fulfilling life. I love business, I enjoy business, and I want to be in that process as part of my life. But we’ve all experienced moments in which our business feels like it takes up our life rather than the opposite. Our business is our life. Our business has taken over our life. We don’t have a life anymore.
Ryan Moran: There are certain things in business that we are better at doing than almost anyone in the world. For me, it’s communicating through written word, and through spoken word. It’s what I’m really good at. It’s what I really enjoy doing. And every minute that I spent outside of that sweet spot is a colossal waste of my time.
Ryan Moran: Now, there are some things that need to get done. There are still tasks on the list. But the truth of the matter is that I got into this game because I wanted to double down on my strengths, be rewarded for those strengths in the marketplace, and to enjoy the process of being in that. That needs to become the 80% of our time. That needs to be the thing we do during the time we are fresh during the day, which is usually first thing when you are working until just after lunch. That’s our sweet spot in terms of getting things done. And it just seems that all of the things that are left can be fit into a one to two-hour period at the end of the day.
Ryan Moran: In terms of time management it’s more like energy management. The amount that you get done is direct correlation to the energy that you have, and there’s some activities that give you energy, and there are lots of activities that drain your energy. So, for me, it has been about prioritizing the formal, and delegating or eliminating the things that don’t give me that energy. More is not better. And I have a phrase that I really have grown fond of, which is, “Most of us got into this game because we wanted freedom, but freedom is the doing, freedom is the doing of the thing that we want to be doing, of the things that give us energy.” And in today’s hustle culture, I think we forget that. I think we forget that the point of the process is to be in the process, not to be building something for a later date.
Ryan Moran: That’s what I wish somebody had told me about time management when I began.
Bryan Collins: I like that. That’s pretty good. What about your early-morning routine? Do you have an ideal one?
Ryan Moran: Yeah. If I have an uninterrupted 60 minutes at the beginning of my day, it usually starts first thing in the morning. I’m going through my supplement routine. Which, right now, is a multivitamin, fish oil, Metformin … What else is there? Vitamin D. There’s my first thing that I do in the morning. I actually immediately then go into stretching routine. I sit at a computer more than I would like, and I’ve found … but I also work out every day, so I have pretty intense stretching routine that I go through in order to break up tension in my hips and my lower back and my hamstrings, which have been built up over sitting at a computer screen for way too many years, way too many hours in way too many years.
Ryan Moran: Ideally I would then go for a walk outside. I live out in nature, so getting that mile or two on a walk. Then coming back and doing a 10 to 20-minute meditation. I like the Sam Harris app, which is called Waking Up. That’s the meditation app that I personally use. And then I begin my day, and my day is usually front-loaded with some sort of creative activity. Right now that has been writing, or it is recording a podcast, it’s making a video, or something that gives me energy. If I have nothing else going on, I might go live to my audience, or write an email to my newsletter. But just some sort of creative pursuit because that’s the activity that gives me energy.
Ryan Moran: That’s usually how my day starts.
Ryan Moran: I have a podcast at capitalism.com. It’s called The 1%, or you can just look at my website, which is capitalism.com. Pretty much the easiest domain name for entrepreneurs to remember. There we have a list of podcasts and videos about building businesses and investing the profits.
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