Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain: How I Went from Gang Member to Multimillionaire Entrepreneur
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Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain: How I Went from Gang Member to Multimillionaire Entrepreneur

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  270 ratings  ·  39 reviews
The incredible story of a gang member who became a multimillionaire CEO.
Ryan Blair's middle-class upbringing came to an abrupt end when his father succumbed to drug addiction and abandoned his family. Blair and his mother moved to a dangerous neighborhood, and soon he was in and out of juvenile detention, joining a gang just to survive. Then his mother fell in love with...more
ebook, 240 pages
Published August 1st 2011 by Portfolio (first published January 1st 2011)
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Nov 12, 2011 Lisa rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all teenagers/young adults--at least read the first half!
Ryan Blair started his life in the middle class until his engineer Dad got hooked on meth and started beating his Mom. Previously Ryan had always been enterprising, taking on paper routes and other jobs. When his life was disrupted by poverty, Ryan got caught up in the gang life all around him. He was arrested numerous times and seemed destined for a life in and out of jail. Then his mom started dating a successful businessman who took Ryan under his wing and reignited Ryan's own entrepreneurial...more
As a recent MBA graduate, I have read countless books, articles, HBR studies, etc, regarding business. One complaint I have had is the lack of entrepreneurial conversation in business studies. This book helps rectify that. It is a well writen, clear, concise melding of Porter, Hill, Carnegy, Gladwell and the like.

This book will be my Christmas gift to my friends and peers.
The book is fluff, much like the businesses built by the author.
Awful: proof of the love of money leading to nothing.
Ben Love
This one literally turned up on my doorstep. Twice! The book fairies don’t visit often, but when they do it’s a fantastic surprise. (I still don’t know who sent me this, but thank you – whoever you are!!!)
Looking at the cover, the first thing that sprung to mind was The 50th Law – a book I intended to dislike but was somewhat blown away with by the time I finished the last page. Hard, edgy lessons from a life I have thankfully never lived.
I guess I was spoiled first time around because I didn’t...more
Andrea St.
I spent quite a bit of time pondering what I wanted to say about Ryan's book, and the impact it had on me. That's mainly because there are so many things I found helpful and inspiring. It was hard to narrow it down to one specific thing, or even just one generalization. It's true that the book offers lots of insight into the world of entrepreneurship, gives lots of practical advice about running a business, and teaches some important life lessons. The thing that kept coming to mind though, as I...more
Pretty quick read. While you may question the validity of the multi-level marketing business model, you should come away from this book having a good sense of what being an entrepreneur means. He speaks frankly about sacrifice,reinvestment and being a guardian for your investors. Many business owners should learn the lessons from this book.
Thought that the book lacked useful advice for the start-up entrepreneur.
Juliana Barker
Can wait to Read this book... received it on Sunday from Ryan :)
The second part of the title in Ryan Blair’s book is what struck me. “How I went from Gang Member to Multi Millionaire Entrepreneur” seems like other great American rags to riches story. I was a little disappointed however when I read that his transformation from gang member was because his mother married a wealthy real estate magnate when Ryan was a young teenager. Then his step-father dragged him from “the streets” into a very hospitable and pleasant existence.

That being said, Ryan still prope...more
Sharon Carroll
Dec 09, 2012 Sharon Carroll rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All Youth, Young Adults, those who can effect change
Recommended to Sharon by:
Shelves: audio-book
OMG!! This has to be if not the most, it's definitely in the top three of the most profound autobiography's I've ever read. Actually, I listened to it on which made it even better than reading for me. His story is freakin amazing! Every young person needs to be introduced and made to read or listen to Ryan Blair's story. What he did was nothing short of a miracle and guess what, they will see they too can over come anything! Any labels or titles that society has placed on you, any mi...more
Lita Browning
Apr 04, 2013 Lita Browning rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone that is interested in owning thier own business
Recommended to Lita by: Ryan Blair
I started reading Ryan's book the evening I received it. I start reading and have a hard time putting it down. Most amazing book so far on Entrepreneurship that I have read to date. One of the most difficult things that I have done is try and figure out which one I desire the most. "Independence, Wealth, Recognition & Fame, or feeling of contribution" I had to write down what drives me. The biggest driver for me is Independence, I have worked myself out of so many positions by giving 100 to...more
I’d say I’m lukewarm on this one. Ryan certainly has a compelling story (which I like) but the book seemed to focus a lot on start-ups from the venture capital-backed world, rather than simple start-ups like mine. That world doesn’t hold any interest to me so I didn’t really find reading about it very interesting. The most interesting things to me were when Ryan talked about his life growing up, how he now recognizes the lessons his parents taught him and how he uses them in business.
Fuyuko Gratton
somewhat inspirational...not a profound one but definitely a motivator; good starting point for small business newbies like myself; easy reading, i.e. not too complicated, not in a good that even you are not an expert you get the ideas. I'm not in par with some of his visions but like his solid philosophy and strive for fairness and high ethic.
Kenya Alu
Incredible and inspiring story. A good shot in the arm for anyone who thinks they can't accomplish much because of their background or circumstances. Should be required reading for every high school aged student.
Aug 08, 2011 Frederick marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
just received this book as an anonymous gift
Jennifer Dalton
Ryan Blair shares his soul in this book! And some very valuable lessons. His honesty is refreshing and as he tells of all of the horrible conditions he fought his way out of, your heart will break. Even if you have no intentions of becoming an entrepreneur, you can still benefit from reading this book. The lessons taught can be applied to your own circumstances and how to adapt your attitude in order to turn things around for yourself. Ryan will also make you laugh with his wit and teach you imp...more
Ryan Blair is one of my biggest inspirations, this even before I read his book, but once I read it I was humbled even more at how he's gotten to where he is. He managed to turn his entire life around and has become a leader of leaders. The advice he gives the reader is second to none, being transparent and candid he manages to give us a glimpse into what makes him stand out as an entrepreneur. He most definitely deserved to win the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year! He leads from the he...more
Kathy Rodriguez
This book was nothing more then a marketing peace from a CEO that Crammed it down his network marketers throats. I bought one copy to read and low and behold I got two other complimentary copies mailed to me. This is what he did company wide to get his book to rank high and become a best seller. Reading this book states nothing more then Ryan Blair had a Rich Stepfather that opened doors for him. Most gang members don't get that chance. I would have more respect if he would have done what he did...more
I really liked this book. He had a ton of good tips, quotes and references for further understanding about starting your own business. He breaks the process down and remains relatable the entire time. I marked all over the book LOL! I wasn't expecting anything ground-breaking and a some of the things I already knew but I def recommend the book for anyone thinking of starting their own business. If you already know a lot you won't feel like you wasted your time and if you are an absolute beginner...more
Michael Bond
This started as a compelling story that I hoped would share rough-and-tumble business lessons, but after the initial chapters detailing his early life, we are suddenly launched into a business to-do list without describing where the lessons came from. It was about 70 pages into the book before we even find out what his main business does, and I was disappointed to learn it was selling diet supplements, which always rings of scam (like in the Four-Hour Work Week). The book itself ended up feeling...more
Carl Wescott
It had some great moments and is an inspiring book, especially if you have experienced some of the things the author has experienced.
Aug 17, 2012 Createpei rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: aspiring entrepreneurs
An interesting look into Ryan Blair's someone who came from wealth, lost it all, struggled an ultimately thrived in the world of crime and gangs -> then turned it all around to become a multi-millionaire in his twenties.

Blair offers his advice based on his hard learned lessons on things you need to consider in starting and successfully running your own business.

This book is an easy and entertaining read. Highly recommended for aspiring entrepreneurs!
Mike McArtor
This book is mostly a memoir of a millionaire, although it does have a bit of business advice worked into it. It's an interesting read but it doesn't seem to really know what it wants to be. I'd like it more if it were more focused either on being a memoir (because reading about how other entrepreneurs succeeded is inspiring) or being a book filled with advice culled from Ryan's experience. It's a little too disjointed in trying to do both.
Chadwick Ray
Great read for people looking to step up their entrepreneur career. It's not a how to exactly, but it has great guidance. The only thing I did not like is that most of his model for entrepreneurship deals with Network Marketing, or Pyramid Marketing. Something I'm not fond of, because I don't fully think you can really make a million with easily. I know some people do, but not most.
I would've enjoyed more of a story / autobiography when it was more of an advice / mentor book. If you are inspiring to be an entrepreneur then definitely read the book! But if you are looking for a good story of their experience in business book then do not read this.. it was extremely boring and lacking in the story / personal connection department.
Anthony Jenkins
This book started out with a good story. It got kind of slow during the "how to start your own business" chapters (since that is not necessarily why I picked up the book to begin with).

The epilogue was great though. He tells about how the struggles and trials make us all stronger and ready for the next adventure in life.
Luke Harold
I always like hearing success stories and learning about the processes people used to become successful. Not five stars because I feel like the author glazes over some parts that could have used more depth.
I loved this story about a young man who, with the guidance of a caring role model, made himself into a successful business man. I love the edge he continues to exhibit, mixed with his newly found ability to steer corporate politics. His moxie is admirable.
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