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Ryan Blair's true-life story of gang member turned entrepreneur is remarkable

By Jonathan Farrell
Posted May 9, 2012 in Business
Ryan Blair's true life account of how he went from being a member of a gang to a multi-millionaire entrepreneur is fascinating and shocking in some points. What was unsettling to this reporter is that the difficult conditions that Blair had to deal with are becoming more common-place. At least this is what is presented in Blair's story.
Blair talks about a regular middle-class life that is torn apart by his father's drug addiction and all the aspects that go along with it. The loss of job, ruining of a marriage and the loss of a home-life. As a result Blair dropped out of school and went on a downward spiral.
Blair is then is vulnerable to all the negative and harmful aspects of a life with no foundation or purpose can cause. Reading his life story is similar in a way, to a contemporary version of a Greek tragedy.
Yet, by some fortunate chances he sees a way out of his condition and aims for success. He is very fortunate. Blair is not alone. Many young people in similar circumstances are not as fortunate.
What is unique about Blair at least as this reporter understands it, is that he was able to take his ambition, drive and the aggressive edge of his negative circumstances and turn his life around. Much of what this reporter sees in today's society is edgy, abrasive and an unusual sensitivity that borders on the combustible.
It seems to me, that Blair was and is able to take that aspect and make a connection to business that is dynamic. Even if some of that business is fleeting as trends come and go. Yet, it is his ability to know his "gut-level" instincts that help him in some of the hard business decisions.
For me the mystery in a life like this is "where does he keep his feelings?" Business on a massive scale requires tough choices and yet a passionate determination. Blair noted that one of his motto's is "The Path is all math" (or another way to say it, "a numbers game?")
Yet, there are some very important things that have little to do with money and are not able to be logical in the purely analytical sense. For example giving someone a second chance when the odds are not good. Or having compassion, and knowing where to place that compassion?
There is so much about Blair's story that is about the contemporary person of today. So many of the young people emerging are struggling against difficult and unusual odds. Maybe the answer at least as Blair sees it is "focus."
To be able to concentrate and focus, maybe that is where is secret of success and transformation is.
Blair's life is an illustration of what contemporary people can do to succeed in the world of today with all its pitfalls, temptations and unpredictable aspects. This might be the type of book you want to take notes on. If you like a gritty "rags to riches" type of story, "Nothing to lose, Everything to Gain" is an interesting book to read.

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