Super-Serve Your Niche… 4 Things I Learned About Business from Edward Burns

My incredible wife knows how much I love movies and surprised me with tickets to a movie opening followed by a Q/A with it’s star/director. 

The movie was called The Fitzgerald Family Christmas by Edward Burns (picture of my wife Janet, myself and Edward Burns to the right)

If you are not familiar with Edward Burns, he burst onto the movie scene in 1995 with his first movie, The Brothers McMullen which he created for just $25,000. It was based on his childhood of growing in up a middle-class Irish neighborhood in Long Island and it was a BIG hit.

His next movie, She’s The One, was set in the same type of family/neighborhood. Again, another hit.

But after that film, he explored different movies, themes and settings. He went away from movies set in Long Island. We went away from the Irish family. And he admitted it’s been ups and downs.

After the screening of this new film, The Fitzgerald Family Christmas, he sat on stage (we had a nice seat in the front row), and did about an hour of Q&A with the audience.

When asked about returning back to his roots and basing a film on what he knows. What he lives and breathes. He told a story about what Tyler Perry said to him over a year ago.

Perry is a massively commercially successful producer/director creates a very specific type of movie for a very specific type of audience. He asked Edward how come he hasn’t create a movie his AUDIENCE loves? Why did he get away from movies like Brothers McMullen and She’s the One?

Then Tyler Perry summed it up with these words…


Think about it for a minute.

Whatever you are creating – whether it’s Edward Burns writing a movie about an Irish family in Long Island, or you creating a kettlebell fitness product your customers love – give people what they want.

So he took that advice and wrote a movie about what he knows (and he knows resonates with his core fans).

I’ve been guilty of straying away from what I know as well. But whenever I get back into what I do best – it works with almost 100% certainty. And the process is always more fun too.



Another reason why Edward Burn’s movies that are set in his “wheelhouse” work so well are because of the authenticity.

It’s what he knows and no one tells those stories better. In fact, he filmed his latest movie just 7 houses from the house he was raised in. How’s that for REAL?

When you watch those movies, they just feel real. The emotion is palpable. The characters feel like people you might know.

Following the lead of my new best friend, Edward Burns (ok, we only chatted for about 2 minutes – but I instantly liked the guy), here are 4 ways to grow your business…

#1 – LOVE What You Do: There’s no doubt about it, Edward Burns LOVES to make movies. What do you LOVE to do? What would you do for free? Start there.

#2 – Make it Personal: Tell more stories. It’s not just about “selling products”, it’s about connecting on a deeper level with your customers. Open up, be real and be authentic. Talk about things you know like the back of your hand.

#3 – Super-Serve Your Niche: And once you connect with that source – go deep into your market. Know your market. Find out what they want – and simply give it to them. You can make a VERY good living serving a focused niche market.

#4 – Be Likable: After the Q/A he stayed around to shake hands and take pics with everyone! I’ve met other celebrities (and even non-celebrities) who can’t wait to get off the stage and get away from people. Not Burns and he instantly won over EVERY person in the audience. Never underestimate the likable factor and always show people you care.

Oh yeah – my wife and I really enjoyed the movie. So if you’d like to support Edward Burns go to iTunes or Amazon and buy/ rent The Fitzgerald Family Christmas.


STORY UPDATE!!! Edward Burns liked this so much – he’s posting it above his computer. Pretty cool (and I think I’m starting to develop a man-crush.. don’t tell my wife).



 P.S. If you’d like to see 9 ways to build a loyal following, check this out.


  1. Hey Ryan!

    That was an AWESOME story with some rock solid advice! By simply focusing on those 4 things people can build a very successful business and actually enjoy the process!



    1. Author

      Thanks Jit.

      And I know you always focus on building your business the right way. I truly appreciate your friendship!


    1. Author

      Phil – I remember seeing Brothers McMullen in the theaters in ’95 and loved it. This new one feels just like it.

      Rock ‘on

  2. LOVE it, Dude!!! I think MANY entrepreneurs have a story of when they strayed from their true love, passion and expertise and it didn’t work as planned.

    I agree with ALL points as well as how Ed treated everyone afterwards like a real person.

    When asked how to be successful by others, I always reply with a key point being, “Be YOU!!”

    U da man, brutha!

    1. Author

      It’s why YOU are successful Zach – but you NEVER strayed. Not even an inch.

      And I also loved the fact he got right off the stage and met everyone in the audience. It definitely spoke volumes to his character.

      Keep on rockin’

  3. Ryan,

    Like posts like these. Good story and good takeaways. Just a few nuggests of key info.
    No hype, no bs, selling – keep it like this:)

    Kudos to your wife – nice gift for you.

    1. Author

      Thank you Paul.

      And yes, my wife should get the kudos – I’m very blessed.

      More good stuff to come…


  4. A great 3-fer Ryan…

    Edward’s story and advice…

    Tyler’s advice (and if you know his whole back story — it’s remarkable ).

    And then of course, YOU constantly helping others to connect the dots just by being you.

    Wish I had been there.

    Thanks my friend!


    1. Author

      Hey Valerie,

      There were even more takeaways – like how he filmed his first movie in just 12 days on money he borrowed from his dad.

      I love finding inspiration outside of this crazy world of Internet marketing.


  5. I love that. “Super serve your niche”. You won’t just jump from niche to niche if you’re super serving your niche. You can’t go from one shady marketing scheme to another if you’re super serving your niche. It’s such a powerful filter for defining the things you do on a daily basis. “Will this help me super serve my niche?”

    I gotta tell you Ryan, you gave me the words for it here but you’ve been showing it for years.

    Thanks man!


    1. Author

      Always super serve your niche.

      I think we’re onto something…

      Thanks for your ongoing support Alex!


  6. Hey Ryan,
    Great post. Finally have a clear picture of what I want to contribute to the golf world, and this story hits home in a number of areas. Thanks as always.

    Golf Pro Paul

  7. That’s a great story Ryan! How coincidental is this?I’m currently listening to the book 22 Immutable Laws Of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout and one of their arguments is basically saying that you need to stick to the thing that you are good at. “We are in the age of the expert”. When a company tries to be all things to all people it inevitably fails. They told a quick story about White Castle hamburgers and how successful they were (at the time they wrote this book) because after 20 years in business they still focused on and sold the same style hamburgers and didn’t deviate from it. While it’s so tempting as an entrepreneur to jump into everything that sounds or looks so appealing, the laws of life and business never change. “Stick to what you know” is what one successful business owner told me early on and has stuck with me ever since. Just need to practice that more often LOL.

    1. Author

      Hi Nick,

      It’s funny – I LOVED that book. I’ve read it probably 10 times.

      Niche and dominate.


  8. Definitely need to work on the tell more stories and be more imperfect side of myself and “work”. Thanks for the tips Ryan!

    1. Author


      There’s nothing more powerful than stories.

      Tell more stories and connect with your audience.


    1. Author

      Hey Kyle,

      He is 100% the real deal. I’ve been a fan since day 1.

      Glad you enjoyed it.


  9. Ryan,

    So true about finding the niche.Everytime I try and stray from my “true north” I am never as happay or fulfilled as I am when I do the things I love.


    Brian Meisenburg

    1. Author


      I’m glad this resonated with you.

      Keep heading in the right direction – you’ll know it when you feel it.


  10. 7 months after my mother passed away, i came to a major life decision.

    I am no longer OK with status quo existence, and I am going to DO something about it.

    I am changing from a life of inaction to a life of action.

    I am returning to what I know, which is why this post in particular resonated so deeply with me (you’re 2 for 2 on posts that resonated deeply with me — the first being the story about your dear mother who is no longer with us).

    I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. And I really am sick. I have AIDS, and have for 16 years.

    With what time I have left on this planet….be it one year or forty, I am going to make my time worth more by doing what I do best.

    Communicate and resonate with everyday people.

    People are my passion, and who am I to say my voice or my opinion doesn’t matter?

    It’s time for me to buck up and rejoin society. It’s a big world out there, and I am missing it.

    I am reminded of a quote from the Lucille Ball movie version of “Mame” when the little grandson parroted his grandmother when he said, “Life is a Banquet and Most Sons Of Bitches are Starving To Death!”.

    1. Todd,

      Your response resonated with me. It’s truly wonderful that you have decided to get back into society and give ’em hell. We need more people like you…someone who has decided not to sit on the sidelines, but to get out there and make their voice heard.

      Thanks so much for speaking up here.

    2. Author


      Your post was so powerful, I’m literally speechless.

      Go for all your dreams – we’ve all got your back here at RyNation.


  11. I hit the SUBMIT button a bit too early…LOL!

    After the quote I meant to end with, “May you Never Go Hungry!”.

    I leave you with that.


  12. as always Ryan, well stated and written. Clearly you love to do this stuff as you are very good at it.

    1. Author

      Thank you Todd.

      And you’re right – I LOVE to write articles like this!


  13. Ryan,

    I love your posts! You are truly authentic and people see it and respond. I know I did.

    I have always loved Edward Burns…(I’m jealous you met him). I love your take home message, but I want to play devil’s advocate. What if you are passionate about and good at several different things??

    What do you do then???

    All the best,

    1. Author

      Hi Lisa,

      Good question and the answer is pretty simple.

      Just PICK ONE thing first. You have to make a choice – and do that one thing. Be the best at it.


  14. Another great post – it reminds that I really need to tell more stories and let people get to know me – I tend to create posts that are all business. Thanks again for the timely reminder.

    1. Author


      You are not alone – most people have posts that are “all business”.

      Open up and be you!


    1. Author


      I know he is checking out this blog post – so you never know…


  15. Dang ,would have loved to be at the show. I really think your wife must love ya! The one thing you and Ed have is that you give so much back and are so real. Thanks for being you

    1. Author


      It was definitely a good time – and a GREAT movie!

      And thanks for your compliment – I’m just being me.


  16. Can’t wait to check out the new flick, I’ve always thought Edward Burns was a great actor and I’ve been trying to think of one film in particular that I really enjoyed but can’t think of it for the life of me and can’t find it online. I’ll just have to rack my brain. Great post about Edward’s story, and the advice about Super Serving your niche from Tyler.

    Glad your pops pulled through just fine. (=

    1. Author

      Hi Mateo,

      Thanks for the note – my dad is doing great.

      And I’m glad you enjoyed the post… please help spread the word…


  17. This is awesome. He commented your post, and is gonna tape it over his computer!

    Remi Gaillard (guy doing pranks in public on youtube) clicked like on one of our prank videos the other day. But a comment like that would really shake me.

    Nice to be back reading your posts Ryan.

    I don’t read any marketing emails anymore, really. I unsubscribe from almost everyone, except you and a couple more. But I read yours the most.

    Been away for a while… but, you’ve seduced me back to your blog again.

    I think you write in a very likeable and positive tone. Way better than a few months ago, even though I still liked to read the posts.

    The design is cool too:)

    Hope I’ll meet you again this winter. That mastermind day last year was really motivating.

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