Career 101: Gang Member Turned Millionaire Entrepreneur Shares His Business Tips


Ryan Blair has achieved quite a lot at such a young age. The multimillionaire CEO and venture capitalist was not always as successful as he is now, though.

According to Yahoo, Blair is a high school dropout and was a former Los Angeles gang member. This makes his accomplishments even more note-worthy.

He has also become a best-selling author. His first book was "Nothing to Lose and Everything to Gain." He has a new book entitled "Rock Bottom to Rock Star."

"'Nothing to Lose' is how I did it. 'Rock Bottom to Rock Star' is how my readers can do it, too," he said. "I got a lot of feedback of people asking me specifics about how and the prescriptive advice."

He ran away from home while he was still an adolescent and lived in a toolshed for a year. By the time he was 16 years old, he had already been arrested 10 times. Eventually, though, his mom's boyfriend became his mentor who gave him his first job at computer support provider Logix Development.

Blair started his own tech support firm called 24/7 Tech when he was 21 years old. Since 2005, he has been the CEO of ViSalus, a company that sells weight management products and energy drinks.

Inc. shared a few pieces of advice from Blair's new book. This can help college students plan their future careers.

1. Know your priorities. Blair emphasized on putting your principles and values above all else.

2. Hire great people but master the entire process, too. He recruits the best of the best but he also does things himself to master the process.

3. Keep on moving forward. He warns against getting comfortable since it would make entrepreneurs lose their grit and the attitude of having "nothing to lose."

"Most people don't start businesses because they're afraid that they have something to lose," he said. "For example, the middle class, they may have a mortgage, they may have a car payment, they may be trying to keep up with the Joneses and so they're afraid to start a business or they may be comfortable in the middle class. I didn't have that comfort zone. I was always uncomfortable."

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