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Chris Ryan | Relationships are the Ultimate Currency of Our Lives

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On this episode of Investing for Freedom, Mike is joined by guest Chris Ryan. Mike and Chris discuss the importance of relationships, learning and growing from your failures, and how we can win in any environment if we keep the right mindset. Mike and Chris also share information about GoBundance and how impactful GoBundance has been on their success.

“I learned early on that being a good friend to others, being someone who others can rely upon, not for what anyone can do, but for the genuine nature of the friendship itself, those tend to be the things that have, over the span of my life, propelled me the farthest, what I’ve relied upon, what have helped me.”




0:00 – Intro
5:17 – Chris explains how the relationships he has in his life have had the greatest impact on his success
6:53 – Mike asks Chris what his greatest set back was and what he learned from it
8:56 – Chris states that if you’re not failing, you’re not growing
9:03 – Mike asks Chris what the piece of advice he finds himself sharing the most is
13:38 – Mike asks Chris how he manages all his relationships
18:48 – The core of managing relationships starts with having real care for the people in your life
23:39 – Mike discusses how GoBundance has impacted his life
27:30 – Chris states that “the pleasure of GoBundance is that all of our fellow GoBundance brothers have the same agenda that we have – help someone else out selflessly”
32:47 – Chris talks about what GoBundance is
35:19 – Chris speaks to us about the Emerge and Ascend programs. Chris mentions how Emerge is for aspiring entrepreneurs and Ascend is qualified based on those who complete the Emerge program.
36:43 – We can win in any environment when we keep our mindset straight and we’re surrounded by the right people
39:11 – Chris shares his opinion on success, failure, and adversity
40:18 – “No man can ever exceed the opinion of his child”
43:55 – It is so much more important to be interested than to try to be interesting
44:55 – Mike speaks about the 6 pillars of GoBundance; age-defying health, authentic relationships, horizontal income, extreme accountability, bucket list adventures, and genuine contribution
48:39 – For more GoBundance information from Mike, text the word “GOBUNDANCE” to 480-531-7519


Mike Ayala: Thank you for joining me on the Investing for Freedom podcast. Today, we are in for a treat because we’ve got one of my favorite people in the world. I haven’t known this guy for very long, but he has quickly risen to the top of my list of people that I enjoy spending time with. The energy’s always good. The experience is always good and probably one of the most well-connected guys that I know, which I’m sure we’re going to get into that. But Chris Ryan, thank you for being on the show, man.

Chris Ryan: Mike, it’s a pleasure. And I can’t begin to tell you first and foremost how grateful I am for your friendship and then for the opportunity to join you on this podcast.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. We’re going to have a great time. I’ve never had a conversation with you that wasn’t inspiring and amazing, and you just tend to surround yourself with the best people, which I really want to dig into at some point, but we’ll save that for a little bit. So Chris, let’s jump into the four questions. So who has had the greatest impact on your life?

Chris Ryan: So there are a few people that come to mind, and I have been blessed with a succession of mentors over the course of my life. The person who stands out first and foremost that I had the privilege of knowing from about 1996 through about 2001 is Bob Buford. Bob was the author of the book halftime, which is all about man’s transition from success to significance. I read the book at the ripe old age of about 27. It absolutely got ahold of my soul. And I decided that I was going to search this guy out. He happened to be in Dallas, Texas, which is where I live. And I became a disciple of his for about three and a half, four years until he unfortunately had a stroke. And we would meet for typically coffee or lunch once or twice a month.

And he would literally pour himself into me in terms of sharing what he felt was all of our journey towards significance. And that was probably one of the most meaningful times in my life, especially in like Mike of what I’m doing now. My father was also a great influence on me, both good and bad. I’ve had teachers over the course of the years that have really inspired me. I’ve also had business partners both good and bad. And as you will know, sometimes some of the best learnings that we have aren’t necessarily from the biggest successes we’ve had, but rather the opposite, the biggest failures we’ve had. So I’ve had a few mentors that have propelled me forward, not based on accomplishment, success, but absolutely opposite based on failure. So all of those have influenced kind of the direction and course of my life and have hopefully allowed me then to turn around and mentor and help others.

Mike Ayala: You know, it’s so interesting because you talked about the succession of mentors and I want to dig into this a little bit more as we get further into the show. But the way that I know Chris is through GoBundance. Chris came on as the CEO of GoBundance what Chris, maybe a year ago? Is it even been a year?

Chris Ryan: Not even, so I kicked off end of July, beginning part of August. So it’s been a whopping nine months. And I don’t know about you, but for me, at least the last nine months, it felt like I’ve grown up in dog years. So it feels like about five and a half years just in terms of the quantitative amount of activity. And thankfully some of the accomplishment that falls behind that, but it’s been nine months and first and foremost, I’m really grateful for the opportunity that Mike, Tim, Dave, and Pat gave me the elders of GoBundance, and the owners and it’s given me an opportunity to meet with an exceptional group of people across the entire spectrum. And it’s also created the opportunity for you and I to connect buddy.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. And it’s been so amazing. And again, we’ll get into this a little bit more, but I wanted to throw that out there because I don’t think that there’s any organization or group of men that I mentioned more in this podcast or that has had a greater impact on my life than GoBundance and so it’s going to be a pretty interesting conversation as we get into it, like, you know, how this all came about. But if you could narrow it down to one thing that has had the greatest impact on your success, what would it be? And I’m actually really excited. I’m always excited, but I’m very excited to hear your answer to this because I’ve been watching you lately and there’s a lot that I want to unpackage. We probably won’t even get to it in this show. So what’s had the greatest impact on your success?

Chris Ryan: So it’s the relationships that I have first and foremost.  And let’s unpack that a few different ways. So I believe that relationships are the ultimate currency of our lives and that there’s nothing more important. There’s nothing more valuable. There’s nothing more influential than the people you surround yourself with. And over the span of my whopping 53 years, I learned early on that being a good friend to others, being someone who others can rely upon, finding and seeking out friendships that are meaningful and important, not for what anyone can do, but for the genuine nature of the friendship itself, those tend to be the things that have over the span of my life, propelled me the farthest, what I’ve relied upon, what have helped me, what I hopefully have helped in others’ lives. And so without a doubt, relationships, and then right behind that is a very strong Puritan work ethic that was instilled in me as a child. If you have great relationships, if you know how to work hard, if you’re high integrity, all of those things tend to move the needle forward in your life, in whatever pursuit you have.

Mike Ayala: I love it, man. I kind of figured that’s what you was going to say the ultimate relationships being the ultimate currency of our lives. I see that in you. So I appreciate the way that you show up with that and around that, what was your greatest setback and what’d you learn from it?

Chris Ryan: Oh, wow. So there are a few. So I am the first person in my family ever to get divorced. And as a child growing up, there were three things that were critically important. It was and they were all equally, it was education, it was athleticism and specifically tennis and it was religion. And so I was in church probably five, six times a week and the gospel was the law. And so fast forward I wound up getting married at the ripe old age of 33, by 35 things are on the rails by 36, I’m divorced and the guilt and the shame and the sense of failure is kind of crippling. And so that’s probably the one that comes most readily to mind. The second part of your question is what did I learn from it? I learned that life is messy and all that you hope for, aspire for all of the fantasies that we all have as young men and women life throws you curveballs, and it’s how you deal with adversity that’s the greatest measure of your character and value and ethical and moral set. And so what I learned from it is, I am not my failures rather I am an imperfect man doing the best that he can. And I suspect that we’ll have failures along the road. That’s okay. If you’re not trying, if you’re not pushing, if you’re not stretching yourself and if you’re not failing, you’re not growing.

Mike Ayala: I love it. I am not my failures. That’s good stuff, man. What is the piece of advice that you find yourself sharing the most?

Chris Ryan: It hearkens back to what I first said in terms of the importance of relationships You know, you think about your life and your life’s journey. And my suspicion is no different than many of us, there are a dozen people that have moved the needle in your life, some for the good, some for the bad, but all collectively helping you become the person you are. I think that gets lost in our society for a few reasons. Number one, I think in the world of social media, in the world of swipe left, swipe right, relationships can get transactional lies and it can be more about what someone can do for somebody else or working some form of an agenda that tends to dominate. You know I’m lucky in so much as I have friends from grade school, high school, college, tennis, church, charities, work, and beyond that are all different communities, all of which have impact on me. And so without these relationships, I am less. They say that you’re the sum of the five people you hang around with. I’m lucky to be the sum or the average of the five people I hang around. Because I’m blessed to hang out with some pretty cool folks and hopefully, they would say the same.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. I actually want to tie into something and we’re going to get to GoBundance cause I’m super interested to actually just let you kind of tell the story on how you got here. Cause I’m sure that’s going to just unpackage fabulous stuff anyway, but I have a really specific you know, I guess agenda that I really wanted to unpack with you and just really understand. And there’s a part of this that’s selfish for me. Because I watch you and I’m like, I want to figure out how this guy does this. And so it kind of comes back to you know, several things that I heard you say here that I really just kind of, again, want to dig into a little bit. So you said that relationships are the ultimate currency of our lives, and I’ve seen that with you. And so I’m going to just kind of say a few things and then really just get into this and see how the hell you do this because it’s magical. So when you talked about, we are the average of the five people that we spend the most time with, I’ve actually had the privilege getting to know Kyle Wilson, who’s Jim Rohn’s, he was Jim Rohn’s business partner behind the scenes for many, many years. And that whole saying kind of revolutionized my life. I left Nevada in early, well it was late 2016. Because of that, I was looking for, you know, just a new sphere, a new influence, and I was flying. I was having to literally fly out of this little town that I lived in you know, going and meeting in masterminds and joining groups like GoBundance. And that really like resonated with me. I’m the average of the five people that I spend the most time with. But what I quickly realized is like, I have to become a different person in order for five amazing people to let me into their world. Because while we’re always thinking about the fact that, we’re the average of those five people. And we want them to help us level us up. I really quickly realized that I’ve got to start living life on a different level if I want five people to hang around with me or let me hang around with them. And so it was again, a couple of specific questions, but when you’re talking about Bob Buford coffee or lunch once a month, like how this is a twofold question. So, number one, how have you positioned yourself along those lines to get around the people that you do? Because it’s no bullshit when I say like Chris is probably one of the most connected guys I know. I could probably say Chris, I, and I’ve yet to use this Trump card with Chris, but someday I’ll need to call in a favor. I could probably say to Chris, Chris, I want to get to XYZ. And Chris would probably, his brain would calculate. And then he would say, okay, well, this person knows that person or he might even just say, Mike, I know that guy, you’re like the most connected guy in the world. And so I’m really curious number one, I’m guessing this is just how you show up, but number two, even more important. And I think this is a tactical takeaway. How the hell do you manage all those relationships? Because I read a statistic that, you know, we can have like 120 authentic relationships that we can really manage in our lives. And I’m seeing you manage way more than that. So how do you do this?

Chris Ryan: So it’s like a five-part question. So here’s the most important thing. And there’s a takeaway from this. Here’s what I want you to hold on to. The only person that you can be is yourself. And it is critically important that you get to your authentic self as soon as you can. You talked about wanting to hang out with five great people and you had to change. Nah, not really. What you needed to do is you need to be your authentic self because Mike it’s the only person you’re good at being. Anything else feels ingenuine, unauthentic, fake. And I’ve had that beaten into me many, many times, you know, as you well know I ran an organization in Texas called tiger 21 for eight years. Specifically the Dallas and the Austin offices. And when I first came into that organization, I had insane imposter syndrome. I felt unworthy, undeserving. Well, let’s see. The average net wealth of that organization is probably about a hundred million dollars a guy, I’m not worth that. These guys have had multiple exits, great investments, super financial acumen, and intelligence in the room. Oh shit, I don’t have that either. Why would these people ever listen to me? What do I have to say? And so I realized, I realized early on that unless I changed the conversation, changed the dynamic and focused on something that I actually had some knowledge about, I was doomed to fail. And what I discovered going back to the conversations I had with Bob Buford is success is fleeting. We’re all successful. And if you think about the world that you inhabit and I inhabit, we’re all Kings in our worlds, right? We live better than, 99 plus 59 after that, people that have ever walked this earth. So we’re all successful. I think the much greater calling is the journey of significance and in the journey of significance, we’re all struggling. We’re struggling in the context of our relationships, starting with our family, with our friends, with the communities that we serve. We’re struggling sometimes with our health. That’s another big thing. We’re struggling in our desire to give back and to find mission and causes that are greater than ourselves and the gift, the real, it’s a real turning point of my life. With respect to my conversations with Bob Buford is it’s much more important, meaningful, and significant to focus on significance than it is success. And so I decided early on that, although I couldn’t help these guys nearly as much as I would have normally thought to want to with their finances and their investments and their estate plans and their tax programs. What I could do is I could pour into them as it relates to their significance. And then what I found is Holy cow, all of these people were super hungry to improve their relationships, improve their contribution to move into that significance quadrant. And that’s what I did for eight years and candidly of my professional career those eight years at tiger 21 offered me were probably the most meaningful, purposeful, and fulfilling time that I had. And the gift of it is it set me up perfectly for what I’m doing now with GoBundance.

Mike Ayala: So good. So I want to ask you a tactical question. It’s kind of a follow-up or an add-on to that, and maybe you already answered it, but I really want to understand this. So your fourth, your answer to the fourth question about the piece of advice, you said, relationships, you got to be careful because they can become transactionalized. And so again, I really want to understand how do you manage so many relationships? And I know that’s a, probably a horrible word manage, but you’ve got a lot of relationships that you keep track of and people I don’t know that the average person can even remember that many people’s names. So walk me through like, is it natural? Is it a gift?

Chris Ryan: So it starts with a real sense of care, right? So these relationships are super important to me. So let’s talk about you and me. We’ve known each other for six, seven months. You absolutely moved my soul when you presented in Austin. And if you remember, we had a coffee before your delivery and for your listeners and viewers, Mike actually wrote and gave his eulogy to a group of about 30 of us in Austin, Texas in the fall of last year. And before you did that, we sat down and we had a coffee in the coffee shop in the bottom of the hotel, and I realized a few things about you. Number one, you are absolutely relational in the way that you show up. You are highly intelligent, you’re very successful. You’re a great family guy and you bring a tremendous amount of care in the way you show up. You’re curious, you’re happy, you’re fun. But you’re also willing to take a risk and there’s no bigger risk that I could have ever asked of you when we first met then, hey buddy, good to know you, glad to meet you. Would you mind sharing your eulogy with a group of folks the following day, but not only did you take it, you embraced it and then you delivered it the next day. And it was life-changing for everyone in that room. And you’ve also mentioned the fact that it was life-changing for you. And so my spirit resonates with that. And so I knew, and there that, you know, I wanted to build a genuine and real friendship with you. Well, beyond just the GoBundance work that we do together. So fast forward to the end of that program. And you still inspired me that if you recall my commitment to the group was, I was going to read my eulogy that I would write at the next GoBundance champions event. Then it was in January, it pushed back into February, beginning part of March. And then of course, I asked you if I should read it for the champions event, or if it warranted being read to the larger group, your response was read it for everybody to hear. And then there was only one person that I could think of that could actually do that introduction and set that up for a room of what was then probably about 170 or so folks in the room, and then people watching it streaming. And so you and I, in the course of the last six months have built a meaningful, significant tapestry of a friendship together that I hope will carry us through the rest of our lives. And it’s the gift of being able to meet folks like you realizing that there’s a friendship here that will transcend just these activity or the business or the you know, whatever first brought us together and to prioritize that in a way that you and I both know that if three months from now, if we haven’t spoken, you call me, I call you and need a favor or a connection to your point. It’s not even a question. Of course, we’ll do it for one another because the respect and the trust and the care is already there, and it’s curating those across multiple audiences, really believing that it’s the most important thing in my world and showing up authentically and with a true sense of care that tends to allow these friendships to not just start, but develop, deepen, and create benefit for both of us over time.

Mike Ayala: Thank you for expanding on that. And I know it’s probably just second nature to you, but I talk to people so many times that just really have a challenge with this and unpackaging that, you know, the relationships not being transactionalized. And I think a lot of people would think that, you know, keeping track of all these relationships is literally putting them into my CRM or giving them to my assistant and telling me, Hey, remind me to follow up with this guy in six months, which maybe we need to do some of that when it comes to our business and whatever. But what I really just heard you say is when you, like, when a relationship comes into your life, you really just anchor that through spending time and not letting it, it’s literally just flipping that. It’s just making sure that it doesn’t become transactionalized and just creating relationship. And I think people really have a challenge with that. I want to get into GoBundance after this, but I’ll tell you what GoBundance did for me. And I don’t know that I’ve ever even shared this with you, but I’m so honored to be part of this group and to even be on this call with you in this podcast, because GoBundance has literally changed my life and my entire audience knows this. But when GoBundance found me and it’s crazy because GoBundance did find me, my wife actually told me to go to GoBundance because she knew Hal Elrod and David Osborne. And so you’d be surprised Chris how many guys I’ve heard say when GoBundance found me, which I think is interesting because I hardly ever hear that you’ll hear it every once in a while, but I’ve heard so many guys say that. And so with GoBundance, I literally set a goal just back to the relationship piece and I’ll tie this together. And then let’s talk about GoBundance. When I was looking for GoBundance, so I grew up with an abusive father drunk alcoholic, missing half my life, like, you know, as a little guy, I didn’t even know what the heck was going on. Like, I didn’t know if dad was off working or what he was absolutely not working. But what I realized the year that I found GoBundance I have a really challenging time. I had a really challenging time before building authentic relationships with males. I had something in my life that was hindering that. And so when I joined GoBundance it was number one, just addressing it. But then when GoBundance found me, it was like what set me free. And I literally set a goal on my one-sheet after the first winter meeting of building one authentic relationship per quarter. And this was my journey. And this was just like three years ago, Chris, this was my journey of understanding, like truly how to build authentic relationships. And I thought literally coming out of that event, I was unpackaging personally what I’m asking you. And I went on this journey to figure this out, but I thought I was literally going to have to set a reminder to call these guys and like, turn this into a process because I didn’t know how to do it. And I ended up with hundreds and hundreds of authentic relationships since then. And I didn’t have to set reminders. I mean, in fact, I’m having to, at times like you know, almost triaged and schedule out, my assistant literally has GoBundance time on my calendar that she can put any GoBundance guide that reaches out. Because the organization’s growing so fast and it’s so spectacular. I went from having almost zero authentic male relationships to more than I can even like handle. And so I appreciate the way that you answered that and turn that because it isn’t a process. It isn’t about a CRM. It’s about how you show up. And so I love the way that you’ve pulled this together.

Chris Ryan: You know you said GoBundance found you, let me reframe that a little bit. So, you know, the cliche that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. So I believe I know you well, based on the conversations that we’ve had, not based on the time, but the conversations we’ve had, you are at your core, a human being.  You value friendship, you value loyalty, trust, respect, care, family. So when you look to your GoBundance brothers or our friendship, there is such a real character alignment, no wonder we’re friends and the gift, the gift of GoBundance is that we get to create a community, tribe, family of folks that are all aligned similarly. And the pleasure of GoBundance is the fact that all of our fellow GoBundance brothers have the same agenda that we have. How can we help somebody else out selflessly? No one’s keeping score, and everyone wants to see everybody else in this organization succeed. Talk about falling into a great place at a great time with a great group of folks.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. Amazing. It’s such a good organization. On that note, I would love to get your two cents, cause I’ve tried to figure this out and you’ve probably figured this out. You probably knew it ahead of time, or maybe it’s intentional, but how in the world did the elders build what they built and how do you scale that? Like those are like my two, and then we can go wherever you want with GoBundance.

Chris Ryan: So kudos to David Osborne, Pat Hyman, and Tim for doing what they did back in 2012. The vision and the passion for what they created at first, it was just, it’s inspiring. And then fast forward to 2015, I got my undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin was up in Dallas doing my Tiger 21 thing and realized that I would love to get back to central Texas and started Tiger 21 chapter in Austin. And David Osborne was one of the founding members of that group. And from early 2015 through late or middle part of May of 2020 he was one of my members and just a phenomenal individual. I saw him grow a lot personally, professionally and he always kept me informed of what was going on with GoBundance and it was great to see this group grow for a few reasons. Number one, unlike the folks in tiger 21 GoBundance caters to a younger audience. And so as such they have less battle scars, war wounds, missteps, just because they are younger. Second thing is the focus around all of the different pillars and the different gardens really speaks to a more holistic view than what I was dealing with in my previous position. And candidly from a character value, moral and ethical set, we just aligned well. And so, when I resigned from Tiger 21, it was within a few hours of an email that I sent out to David Osborn called me. He said, Chris, I know what you’re going to be doing next. And I said, David, I need a little bit of time there, killer. And you know, let’s talk in a month, which we did. And then the rest, as they say is GoBundance history. And I was privileged, grateful, and honored to come on board in August. And I got to tell you, in terms of my professional career, I am beyond proud, excited, happy, grateful, and appreciative of the opportunity I had with GoBundance and the collective change, all of us are making in this organization.

Mike Ayala: Yeah, it’s amazing. And I don’t think that there’s a better person, you know, to be heading this up and again really, you know, pick up where they left off. I’ve seen this so many times in my life. I’m a visionary at my core, and I’m really good at starting organizations. And you know, I’ve done a great job building businesses, but I’m very clear on what I’m not good at. And that’s a lot of times you know, taking things to the next level. And when I accepted that and put my ego out of the way. That’s when I really started thriving. And so I’ve really seen just in the short period of time that you’ve been here. That’s what GoBundance really needed was somebody to come in, step in and figure out how to really manage all of us yahoos and keep us all organized and all that. And you’ve just built out an amazing team. And so I’m excited to see where this goes. For my audience, because I’ve never really specifically said, what is GoBundance I talk about it all the time, just because I love it. Like half of my guests are probably GoBundance members, but there’s two things. And I love the tagline healthy, wealthy, generous men, who lead epic lives. But what is GoBundance number one? And then it’s also exciting because there’s some new things happening that are kind of like, it’s another part of GoBundance that people can take advantage of. So I’d love to hear, I’d love to hear your words, what is GoBundance.

Chris Ryan: Yeah. So there are a few ways of skinning that cat. First and foremost, GoBundance is a community of like-minded men. There are about 420 of us and also, we have a GoBundance women’s organization there are about 60 or so women in the GoBundance women’s group. And we align on, as I said earlier, kind of character and values. Everybody is relationally driven. Everybody is very successful in their own, right? We’re all on this journey of significance that I mentioned, and everyone’s focus is on not only growing themselves but in helping everyone around them succeed as well in whatever life pursuits we have. We talk about business, we talk about health, talk about family. We talk about philanthropy and the importance of giving back. We talk about bringing significance into our lives and the opportunity that we have in GoBundance is the fact that, and Mike we’ll use you as an example, you know, if GoBundance does his job well, not only do we impact your life and move your needle, but what a gift to be able to do that through you, with your wife in the context of your relationship and the context per growth, much less, you know, the Mastercard moment is if we can positively affect your kids. And the opportunity that we have with GoBundance is all of that is open to us. And so, you know, my mission in leading GoBundance is to build out choice programs, opportunity and the ability for you, your spouse, and your kids to all benefit from this tribe, this community, this fellowship, this family called GoBundance. And if we can do that brother, talk about living a purposeful life for ourselves, for our family and for this organization.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. I love it. You know, I’ve been asked the question, like, what do I have to do to qualify for GoBundance? And, you know, there is a barrier to entry in GoBundance itself, but we have kind of two new groups too, that are coming on the scene that open up a huge opportunity for more people, right? You want to talk about Emerge and Ascend a little bit.

Chris Ryan: You know we’re lucky to have Jamie Gruber, who’s running both of those programs right now and Emerge are for aspiring entrepreneurs, Ascend is qualified based on those to complete the Emerge programs. Those programs are really gaining traction this year. And it’s interesting, but almost in spite of what has been a challenging last 12, 13 months with COVID-19 we’ve seen real growth in building all of these communities. You have the champions, you have the elite, you have Ascend and you have Emerge. And for aspiring folks professionally aspiring folks in life, there is a program within GoBundance for you and happy to entertain that at all of the different levels.

Mike Ayala: Yeah, it’s amazing. And I love just watching, you know, how the organization has expanded to, literally what you just said. I mean, there’s something for everyone. And almost every single person that I know in GoBundance has through what you said. I mean, even the challenging year that we had last year has grown not only personally, but in their businesses and everything else. And I fully believe that that’s because of the type of people that we surround ourselves with. And I think we can win in any environment when we keep our mindset straight and we’re surrounded with the right people.

Chris Ryan: You know. There’s a lot to be taught through challenge and adversity. You know, one of the big life lessons is there’s never a time when you should not be working on yourself. Your ultimate return on investment. Your ultimate return on time is reinvesting back in yourself. That’s a fact. Because just like we talk about the mentors who have impacted our life, part of our responsibility in our growth path is then to turn around and mentor others. That gift of GoBundance is that whether you realize it or not, everybody is a potential teacher for you, right? Both those that are above, to the side, below you name it. And so if you can keep a curious mindset, if you can place your ego aside, if you can be open to listening and learning, you never know where the next big nuggets going to be coming from. But the good news is if you surround yourself with a number of people that are all kind of on the same life journey as you, inevitably those things show up, and when they do, yabba dabba doo.

Mike Ayala: I love it. Chris, we’ll edit this out. I have more time, but I want to be sensitive to your time too. And if there’s anywhere else we want to go.

Chris Ryan: What’s most valuable to you. What else do we need to cover that you think your listeners would really get value out of?

Mike Ayala: Ah, man, you’ve covered it, you know, Okay, I got it. So you’re good for five more minutes?

Chris Ryan:  Oh yeah. I got another 20 minutes on this one. My daughter knows, I sent her a text message. Don’t roll in. Don’t scream at me until 9:00 AM.

Mike Ayala: Okay, Cool. Yeah. I just wanted to be sensitive to you and make sure that you’re not missing anything. So yeah, I think if we kind of unpackage, I would love to get your perspective on just success and keeping those relationships straight. Cause I’m sure you’ve seen it all. You’ve already talked about relationships a lot, but I think if we hit that, you know, head on and again, you know, we all face adversity and we’re not our failures, but I’d love to jump into that a little bit. Could you go there?

Chris Ryan: Yeah. Happy to. So as I said earlier, success is kind of fleeting and every one of us gets to define success however we want it. You know, it’s easy in our society to define success based on the hedonic treadmill, how much money’s in the bank, how big is your house, how pretty is your wife? What car are you driving? You know, what private school are you sending your kids to? And there’s nothing wrong with that. But my experience is that leads to a very shallow existence. If you put your head down at night and you think about what’s most important to you, rarely is it the size of your plane, the size of your boat or you know, the tiling in your third house. It really doesn’t matter. You recall at the event that we just did in Lake Tahoe that one of the things that I shared that I had heard from somebody else, it was a quote from my friend, Todd Wagner. He’s a pastor at a church called Watermark in Dallas, Texas and his saying was, no man can ever exceed the opinion of his child. And I don’t know about you, but when I first heard that literally about 20 years ago, it hit me like a stack of bricks. Because it’s so well defined how important our relationships are starting with our own family, our spouse, our kids.  You know, I have a 19-year-old who’s a music business major in Nashville, Tennessee, which is where I am right now. And I’m here for the next three days because she’s going into a recording studio to record some songs. Now I have a thousand things going on, but nothing is more important to me than supporting her in achieving her dreams and everything else takes a distance second, arguably third place to that because that’s how I prioritize my life. And here’s the great news. You think about all of our fellow GoBundance brothers, I don’t think anyone would not be exactly where I am right now if the situation was reversed. If it was your kids, or if it was David Osborne or Tim Road, or Mike McCarthy’s kids, we’d all be doing the same thing. And it’s that alignment of values that makes it so easy in a relatively short span of time for us to develop really deep, meaningful, significant, and fulfilling relationships. You asked me earlier why I have so many relationships and it’s not really a focus on quantity. It’s a focus on quality. And one of the easiest answers for me to give you is I get real joy in the friendships I have. So, you know, like the little kid on Christmas morning, I get up this morning. I knew we were on early up. And you know, I got on 15 minutes early, cause I’m happy to spend time with you. It’s great to see you. I’m glad we’re doing all this stuff. But this truly brings me joy.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. I love how you repositioned that for me. And again, I think a lot of people you know, you said this, relationships can become transactionalized. That’s going to like anchor for me because again, it can, but the reality is when you, you can have, if you keep it the way that you have, like with quality, and I’m seeing this in you, and I appreciate you for this, if we keep that first and right. The quality of the relationship, and it’s a true relationship, then you can build on the quantity. Because I think the reason why we have such a challenge building quantity of relationships is because we’re trying to force ourselves to remember all this stuff. But you asked me to coffee. We sat down, when you were talking about that, that really anchored for me because you can’t spend an hour with someone or 15 minutes. It doesn’t have to be an hour all the time, but you can’t spend time with someone if you’re present and not walk away knowing them and feeling better about your relationship. And so I think just flipping that for us is a huge, huge takeaway for me. And I think I’m pretty good at building authentic relationships anyway, but I really wanted to unpackage that for you cause you’re just a master at it. And now what I’m understanding is that you’re just genuinely interested in other people.

Chris Ryan:  And, as you know, it’s so easy, especially when you meet new folks. It’s so easy to try to be interesting. Your word resonates with me because it’s much more important to be interested than to try to be interesting. And there’s a genuineness about relational people that when you put that forward when you share the fact that you’re relational and that you’re looking to understand, explore and determine if this is a friendship worth having if you’re authentic about that, it tends to come back and it allows for the connection, like what you and I have to not only start but really germinate into ways that neither one of us necessarily needs to know other than Mike’s a friend. You know, when he calls, I smile, when we get on the phone, we have great conversations, and we find ways to help each other’s worlds out.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. I love it. It’s so good. Well, I appreciate all the value you’ve brought in. I just, you know, I was sitting here thinking about this and, you know, what’s made GoBundance amazing. There are six pillars that we have, and you kind of alluded to this, but age-defying health, authentic relationships, horizontal income, extreme accountability, bucket list adventures, and genuine contribution. I love the six pillars and I just couldn’t say enough about what the elders have built at GoBundance and what you’re going to take and add on. So what are you excited about?

Chris Ryan: I’m excited about the fact that we’ve hit this tipping point with GoBundance where, to the comment that you made earlier GoBundance is finding not just the entrepreneurs and quantitatively the folks out there, but we’re really being focused on the quality, the value, the character set of the people that we’re bringing on board, as a result, we’re not only growing in terms of membership, but we are deepening in terms of the quality of the people that we’re attracting, in terms of the optionality and the values and the choices that we’re providing the members. And candidly to my comment earlier to the reach that we have, not only with the members, but with their spouses, with their families, and then with their business partners, into the communities that they serve, be it, the charity, be it, their spiritual, you name it. You know, if, if we can help through GoBundance all of our members be the best men and women that they can be, that has a viral effect, where if you’re the best Mike that you can be, your wife is almost unconsciously motivated and excited about being the best bride that she can be. It raises the water level with your kids. And so the opportunity to impact the lives and the legacy of all of these members and their families is something that absolutely gets me excited each and every day.

Mike Ayala: That’s amazing. I love it. Well, I really appreciate you being with us. And one of the things that I really loved again, you said relationships are the ultimate currency of our lives. And if you’re out there listening to this and you’re looking for a new tribe, GoBundance literally has something for everyone as we’ve started building this out. Whether it’s FamBundance, whether it’s Emerge, whether it’s GoBundance women there’s something for everyone. So Chris, how can people find you? GoBundance? What’s the best way for people to get engaged if they want.

Chris Ryan: The best way to learn about GoBundance is through the website. And we’re constantly looking at ways to build that out. The website is Beyond that, my email is pretty simple. It’s You’re welcome to reach out to me direct. I’ll do whatever I can to help. And then, you know, my recommendation to anyone who’s interested is let’s figure out how GoBundance can best support you and what that looks like and then make the decision to get involved and make the decision to get involved, be authentic, be real, you know, exercise your relational muscles, and learn more about our trial.

Mike Ayala: Yeah, I love it. And I love what you said there at the end. Just show up and be you you’ve told me that a couple of times through this podcast. I appreciate that. And if you’re listening and you know, obviously I’m a fan of GoBundance, but if you want or need any input from me, just text the word GoBundance to (480) 531-7519. Happy to answer any questions you have, but yeah, go to and let’s get you signed up because this is going to be life-changing.

Chris Ryan: Yeah. And just as we close gratitude to you, I’m grateful that you asked me on, I really have enjoyed as I always do our time together. And this is really my life’s calling in terms of what I’m doing with GoBundance now. And thank you for being an important part of that journey.

Mike Ayala: Thank you, Chris. You got big stuff going on in the world and I appreciate the way you show up every day. Thank you.

Chris Ryan: Thank you, brother. Thank you.

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Episode 122