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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

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  754 ratings  ·  78 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
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published August 4th 2011 by Portfolio
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Average rating 3.57  · 
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 ·  754 ratings  ·  78 reviews

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Start your review of Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain: How I Went from Gang Member to Multimillionaire Entrepreneur
Oct 30, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Sep 06, 2012 rated it liked it
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.
Winter Sophia Rose
Aug 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Heartfelt, Inspirational, Empowering & Motivating! A Powerful Life Changing Read! I Loved It!
Oct 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Aug 23, 2011 rated it did not like it
The book is fluff, much like the businesses built by the author.
Sep 13, 2011 rated it did not like it
Awful: proof of the love of money leading to nothing.
Sep 22, 2011 rated it did not like it
Thought that the book lacked useful advice for the start-up entrepreneur.
Juliana Barker
Jan 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Can wait to Read this book... received it on Sunday from Ryan :)
Andrea St.
Apr 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Ben Love
Dec 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Oct 09, 2011 rated it liked it
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.
Aug 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Lita Browning
Apr 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 150% ...more
Sharon Carroll
Dec 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Fuyuko Gratton
Aug 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Kenya Alu
Apr 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
I will give this book one positive remark, and that is it includes a few great tips and explanations about how to work effectively in the business realm.

Other than the few moments I felt Ryan provided useful information I did not like nor did I believe most of this book. To keep this review concise I'll list the things I did not enjoy.

1. He started the book by bragging about the artwork and amount of material items he has that he stated was to encourage the reader, but I felt it was more to show
Katya Bychkova
Aug 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I like to read books written by people that are street smart (not necessarily book smart). Perhaps, such taste in books formed because I grew up under my parents wing, reading lots of classic literature. I really didn’t have a chance to really figure out how things work in the “real,” not academic, world until I started my first job. About that time, I picked up the book Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain: How I Went from Gang Member to Multimillionaire Entrepreneur (2011) because it promised t ...more
David Kudlinski
Sep 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a business book which is not too much of a chore to read. The lessons are very concise and to the point. Although the author, Ryan Blair, grew up under very harsh circumstances, he seems to have the innate competitiveness and drive to succeed. He is a very bright and astute business man, who networked well through groups of investors and mentors, and he received his main direction in life from his wealthy and shrewd step father. I admire his humility and religious moral perspective. But ...more
Daniel Ferreira
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nothing to lose, Everything to gain,

I found this book in my local Goodwill, and bought it for one whole Dollar, and I am glad I did, the title was what caught my interest.

4 starts not for the incredible story, but just the way it was written. Could of been a little more entertaining, but I did learn A LOT. From how to hire people, to who to keep in your company.

Our lives are a series of unrelated events until we connect them, from Ryan and his mother being beaten by his abuse Dad, his mom fina
Ruby Annette
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An absolute must read!

I really appreciated the raw advice that Ryan Blair recommends. It’s honest, it’s real and it’s worth implementing it. There are several sections of the book that were most profound.

Chapter 4 - philosophies from the jail cell to the boardroom: never express a negative emotion in email or text; praise in public and reprimand in private; compensation drives behavior

Chapter 7 - smarten up: do your research and get yourself a mentor

Chapter 11 - risk and sacrifice: don’t be
Troy Swinehart
Jan 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book #22 - I have owned this for quite some time but ended up following Ryan through his blog posts and just never got around to it.

(Typical me, always doing things out of order. This will be #21. I really need something after Zen Mind. Maybe this will align my chakras!)

Fantastic book! I finished this in 3 marathon sessions and ran the batter out of my iPad TWICE! It's not often that a "I did it my way" book catches my eye and I must say that Ryan Blair really put himself out there. Offering sou
Abhinav Shrivastava
Jul 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
To be very honest I found the book to be good but not a life changing or anything out of the ordinary. The differentiation (and good too) was how at one time in his life the author was at the bottom and from there he was about to turn his life around. The title is well thought out too, when you really have nothing to lose you have a very different take on the situation and things around you. That’s how Blair started his career and many times practiced in negotiations or to build his business. Th ...more
Dec 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Much better than I expected given the cheesy cover. It's a bit Hollywood polished and you can tell it's written for the mainstream, but there's a ton good info in here. He provides practical advice directly from the trenches on everything from hiring, pitching to investors, lawyering up, cashing out, the whole cycle. His business was a weight loss nutritional line distributed through network marketing, which to me doesn't have a great connotation, but anyone who has built a business up to hundre ...more
Robert Chapman
My favorite books tend to be short and concise in the value they offer. Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain fits this style perfectly. I would not call this book a self-help book, instead it's an honest account of what the author has learned throughout his travels from humble beginnings to business success.

When someone learns something through failure or making a mistake, it always lends credibility to the lesson they are trying to teach. The linkage between the authors missteps and what he lear
Jun 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 heart ...more
Jennifer Dalton
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 30, 2013 added it
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
Kathy Rodriguez
May 28, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
Michael Bond
Jun 19, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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