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The Minimalist Marketer – Part III

In Part I of this ongoing series, I talked about clearing out the clutter. In Part II – I discussed my “desk”.

Now, in Part III, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get serious.

Let’s talk about your “briefcase”. That’s right, we are going there.

For years, I had a cheap, beat-up bag to carry my laptop. I probably paid around $20 for it at Staples 5 years ago. That bag went with me everywhere.

Now it was starting to rip and it was time for an upgrade.

Of course, the first thing I did was go through the dozens of “secret” pockets in that old bag and threw everything out. Old, tattered business cards. Badges from events where I rocked the stage. And an unopened pack of gum that was likely older than two of my children.


It’s weird. I have no problem paying thousands of dollars for a good domain name, but a bag that I use everyday is something I put off buying for years. I kept saying to myself, “my current bag is fine, I don’t need another one”. But I couldn’t put it off anymore. It was time to man-up!

On Sunday, my wife and I took our kids to the mall for pictures with the Easter Bunny (while we are raising our kids Jewish, we still celebrate all the holidays). The line to see the Mr. Easter bunny was long, so while my wife held our place in line, I took all 4 of my kids to Tumi.

That’s right, it was time for a major upgrade and Tumi has really high quality products that look good.

I’m still not sure why I took all of my kids to the store – but they had a great time touching EVERYTHING in sight. So in between saying, “(insert name), stop touching that”, every 30 seconds – I had a few moments to browse the selection.

There were dozens of choices – but since I’m obsessed with “minimalism” and “simplicity”, I opted for the messenger bag. I couldn’t resist those clean lines and only a few “secret” pockets all inside the bag.

It was around $175 – and yes, they even engraved it for free. (see the pic below of my new pride and joy)

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Here’s what goes in my bag every day on my way to Starbucks.

My 11″ MacBook Air Laptop & charger
80 sheet composition notebook
3 pens
1 pack of gum

That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.

Here’s a pic of my entire “virtual office” laid out on my table at Starbucks.

Yes, I run ALL of my businesses with everything that can fit in my new Tumi bag.

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What’s the point of this post?

Not sure. Maybe it’s to show you it’s possible to build a super-profitable business without traditional overhead. Or without a big office with expensive furniture. Or without the stress of overhead choking you.

Or, perhaps, it’s just because I love writing about this and sharing it with you with the hope it can inspire you to live the life of your dreams too.


P.S. Here’s a cool tool that let’s you simplify all of your traffic and marketing.

P.P.S. If you enjoyed this, please like, tweet and share it below.

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Titan Of The Month: Aviv Vana (Big League Film School)

Each month, I will highlight a member of my Titanium Coaching group who is kicking serious butt.

For March, it’s Aviv Vana. He’s a cinematographer from Israel who lives and breathes cinematography.

He only joined the group about 2 months ago with no idea what he was going to do. But after giving him some direction – in a couple of weeks, he now has a brand, is putting out content and connecting with lots of BIG players in the industry.

His site is now: Big League Film School

Screen shot 2013-03-27 at 9.27.45 AM



After spending some time with Aviv – I knew he had to stick to his passion. Cinematography. It was completely obvious.

He knows the industry and can talk about it all day long.

For me, it was a hands-down “no-brainer” for Aviv play in this sandbox. And by going after the professionals – they will be much easier to reach through industry publications, associations and events.

We also wanted the BENEFIT to be straightforward, hence the headline “The #1 Resource for Serious Cinematographers”.

Notice the word SERIOUS. Right away, we are positioning him and being laser-focused on exactly who he is targeting. Newbies  this isn’t for you. But if you are a SERIOUS cinematographer – you have found the right place!

It’s those small tweaks that make a massive difference.

Aviv didn’t have any Hollywood connections. It’s a common mistake (or excuse) for people to say things like, “Sure Ryan, it’s easy for you because you know a lot of people already”. Of course, it’s complete bull.

We ALL start from ground zero, just like Aviv. When I built my first site in 1999, I was living with my parents and working in a rehab hospital!

But with some hustle and connections – things happen fast. Really, really fast.

With our “daily challenges”, he has gotten out of his comfort zone and now making some massive inroads in the industry. Soon, HE will be the “top dog” in cinematography.

And he goes to prove you CAN build a business that has nothing to do with “making money online” or “weight loss”. I will be sharing more Titanium success stories in upcoming posts to give you some sites to model, inspiration and a swift kick-in-the-can.


Myself and his fellow “Titans” (our nickname for Titanium members) have helped create the name, the branding look and the “hook”. Now, with some strategic content and purposeful promotions – Aviv will make this a profitable business that he loves running.

After all, isn’t that what it’s all about?



P.S. If you want to become a member of my Titanium group, I am accepting a few more members as it’s almost full. It’s $5K for the entire year and it includes weekly skype text chats with me, daily access through a private FB group, daily marketing tasks and a private 2-day workshop with me and fellow “Titans”. (Yes, I know it’s WAY too inexpensive, but I love to overdeliver). If you want a spot – email me right away at ryan (at) with SUBJECT=TITAN. Tell me your goals and what you can bring to the group.

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Free Publicity: Looking for Guests

After writing the post yesterday about “staying in your lane”, a few people asked what’s in MY lane.

One thing I love to do (and I think I’m pretty good at) is playing the “host”.

Live events. Webinars. Interviews. Workshops.

I love to find great people and introduce them to you.

With that being said – here are a few things I’ll be ramping up this year and I need to find even MORE great people.
microphone1. Online Events: I will be doing a series of online events that have a big tie-in to charity. The first in a series of online events will be Continuity Summit 4 (CS4). And after CS4, I need more great guest speakers.

2. Podcast: I am going to release a new DAILY podcast! That’s right, it’s time to raise the game and I need to find more awesome entrepreneurs (maybe it’s you?).

3. In-Person Events: DotComXpo II is on for September 2013. And while most spots are filled – I am willing to look at more great speakers.
So here’s what I would love help with…

Do YOU know someone who would be a great speaker for one of my events? Or a great guest on my new podcast? Please mention their name here below (and you would make a great guest/contributor, dont be shy – tell me about you!).


P.S. Do you want to be a “host”? Discover the host model in here.

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Stay In Your Lane

A few weeks ago, my brother-in-law Robert suffered a stroke. They caught it quickly, he’s working hard in rehab and making great progress every day.

Recently, my wife and I were visiting him and he said one of his favorite lines… “stay in your lane”. He was referring to a person doing something that is way out of their expertise.

The minute he said those words, I told him I will write a blog post about it. And here we are…



What is in YOUR lane? In other words – what are you really good at?

Here are some questions to ask yourself…

  • Do you enjoy doing live speaking? (create live events/workshops)
  • Are you analytical? (consider media buying)
  • Are you creative? (create innovative front-end products)
  • Do you motivate others? (start coaching)
  • Do you like writing (blog more!)
  • Are you good at interviewing people? (start a podcast)
  • Do you like creating videos (marketing via youtube)
  • Are you a natural deal-maker? (become a JV broker)
  • Are you great at finding deals? (resell on Amazon or eBay)

Do you see where I’m going with this?

This is where wannabe entrepreneurs get into trouble – they get out of their lane.

They are awful at statistics and analytics but they hear about “media buying”. Then, they spend thousands of dollars on a course only to never make it past the first module. Or if they do try it, it’s an utter failure. Believe me, I’ve been there and done that.

The reason one of my most well-known students, Mike Geary, has been so successful with his ebook “The Truth About Abs” is because Mike is an analytical machine. The guy LOVES buying traffic. And doing split tests. And trying new sales letters. And all the hard work that’s required to make it a huge windfall. He did NOT just write an ebook, close his eyes and hope for the best.

Another long-time client, Zach Even-esh is also highly successful in the fitness industry but the opposite of Mike Geary. He is a product creation machine and a natural coach. Zach has created dozens and dozens of products. He opened a training gym and even started a certification. You won’t find him spending hours doing split tests – you’ll find him being prolific. For Zach, it’s a perfect fit and works for him.

Mike Geary stayed in his lane.

Zach Even-esh stayed in his lane.

Two different paths. And yet, both paths have led to success.

But there’s one more thing about Mike and Zach… besides staying in their lane, they both put their foot on the gas and never let up.

Playing to your strengths and continuing to hustle – that, my friend, is what leads to success.

What’s your lane?



P.S. Need help finding your lane? Here’s my most complete training system.




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Letting Go…

I’ve done a lot of free strategy calls over the past few months.

And there are some really interesting themes I see repeated over and over.

But there’s one that’s so damaging – and it’s one thing that almost destroyed me too.


That’s right – the dreaded bitterness.

I recently did a call with a strength coach – and after about 30 seconds, I could tell he was very bitter. He mentioned how “other” strength coaches were making money online and he wasn’t. And it wasn’t fair – he’s better than them.

He showed me his website that he paid close to $10K for – and when I was honest and told him it wasn’t good, he got angry. I could just hear the frustration in his voice.

Instead of focusing on his CUSTOMERS – he was putting all of his energy into negativity. He was enraged about the competition and how he worked so hard, but couldn’t make money at it while some of them were raking it in (especially most of them are my clients).

Were there flaws in his site? In his programs? In his branding?

Yes, yes, yes.

But it’s bigger than that – it all starts with what’s INSIDE YOU.

I could redo his site. And give create a new program for him, but it wouldn’t matter. The truth will be revealed soon enough – you simply can’t hide it. People are smarter and more intuitive than you give them credit for.

It drives me crazy when people just focus on “tactics” and “facebook tricks” when they need to work on themselves first BEFORE they can help other people. And I don’t care how good the next “$2K program” is, if YOU are broken, it simply won’t work.

If you are angry. If you are jealous. If you don’t embrace abundance. If you think the world “owes you”. Then you are in big, big trouble.

People will not only ignore you, they will do everything they can to AVOID you.

Even if you think you are hiding it from the public and putting on a good show, you aren’t. Like I said, it’s impossible to hide.

We all go through ups and downs. That’s life. No one is immune from it.

When I was in a bad place emotionally, my blog posts started to get dark. REALLY dark. I was on the attack and was cursing like a madman. I started to become something I wasn’t – and I didn’t like it.

You can’t go down that path.

Will your anger and venom attract some die-hard fans? Absolutely. But, I don’t think it’s the right way to go. And there’s a fine line between being a leader on-the-edge and looking like a downright bitter person. And “bitter” is not what you want to be.


While it’s easier said than done, you just have to “let go” of all that baggage. I still struggle with this, especially when I see someone put out a product that’s an obvious scam – and I know they are ripping off people. As a New Yorker, I do have a tough time bitting my tongue and not wanted to kick some butt. But I take a deep breath and let it go…

If someone is making money and you KNOW you are better than them, don’t get angry. Or jealous.

Instead, focus all of your energy on your customer and put yourself in their shoes. Then, put your head down and create programs that are so much better than your competitor – people WILL come running to you.

Are you ready to let go?

Coach Lee, out.


P.S. Want me to help you? Let’s talk.

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Get To The Money…

I see it every single day.

Wannabe entrepreneurs who find hundreds of excuses to stall and delay.

They’ll spend weeks reshooting their “welcome” video dozens of times.

They will spend months agonizing over a logo. And even more time on a tagline.

But none of that matters until you can answer one, very important question…

“Will people buy it?”

That’s right.. the video, the logo and the tagline don’t mean a thing unless you get to the core of the issue. And that is if people are willing to take out their wallet and BUY your product.

This is everything – and when you want to sell products and services, you should be focusing on MAKING SALES. Period.

I’m not talking about all of the stuff that happens before a sale is made (like relationship building, blogging, social media, etc.). I’m talking about selling the actual product.

In my Titanium group – I’m always getting on my clients. I continue to say things like, “the sales video is good enough to get out there and start selling”. I’m sure they will chime in here to back up that I’m relentless.

Why do people stall? Why don’t they just get their products out there to see if it resonates with the market?

I’m no psychologist.. it might be fear of failure or rejection? Or they are perfectionists? Or they do not embrace abundance? Or maybe it’s all tied together?


I admit, as someone who works FAST, it can get frustrating when I see really smart, caring entrepreneurs not make a dime online. And spend years spinning their wheels.

So I just take a deep breath, realize that everyone is NOT like me – and keep saying the same thing to them as I’m saying to you now… to just “get to the money”.


P.S. Want me to coach you? Here’s your chance.

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The Minimalist Marketer – Part II

In part I of this series, I discussed the idea of CLEARING your bookshelves and removing distractions.

Since I’m on my “minimalist” kick – let’s continue with my office.

It’s no secret I spend every morning working from coffee shops (usually Starbucks), but I also have another “office”. It used to be a large 3-office suite with a conference room, but I ditched that last year. I’ll get into that in a future blog post (how I structure my minimalist marketing day).

For now, I’d like to focus on my DESK.

That’s right, a desk.

In my home office, I used to have a massive pottery barn desk system.

It had a corner desk with 6 drawers. Plus another longer desk which had another 6 drawers. The thing was huge and took up half of my small basement office. (yes, I have my office in the basement to escape the noise my 4 kids can make!).

And even after I spend hours cleaning the desk out, more stuff would find it’s way in eventually.

Papers. Letters. CDs…. Rubberbands? Thumbtacks? (I don’t even have a bulletin board so I have no idea why I would have thumb tacks!)


I went with a radical solution.

First, I went on craigslist and sold my massive desk.

Next, I created a “temporary” desk with a simple 6′ folding table. I already had the table at the house – and it cost around $30 or so.


It’s about as “no frills” as you can get. No drawers. Made of hard plastic with not an ounce of wood in sight.

And here’s the funny thing…

By limiting myself to the one surface – it FORCED me to reduce clutter.

Just my 27″ iMac and a small printer. And I’m getting rid of the printer soon.

When I started working from the “temporary” desk – I found myself even more focused. More productive. I loved it.

Now, this folding table has taken over and is my regular home-office desk.

So the next time you find yourself making excuses such as “well, I can’t get started until I have a fancy desk” or “I need new office space” – just know that it’s all in your head.

Be lean. Be agile. And be fast to the money.

Coach Lee.. out.


P.S. If you enjoyed this, please like, share and +1 it.

P.P.S. If you’d like to build a dream lifestyle business, let’s talk.

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The Minimalist Marketer – Part I

Over the years, I’ve found my obsession with keeping my work (and life) uncluttered continuing to grow.

What started with an desk filled drawers overflowing with papers – has now become a simple 6 foot folding table (seriously). My workouts are simplified (more bodyweight training and sports like platform tennis).

I’ll get to more of that in a future post, but for now I’d like to tell you about another part of my office that was out of control.

And it’s something that might strike up some controversy…


That’s right – my good old friend, books.

I used to have hundreds and hundreds of books in my office. Everything from marketing and personal development (the last fiction book I read was a John Grisham novel about 10 years ago).

Today, my collection of books is down to less than 20. And those 20 include my own (I gotta keep some copies) and books that have been signed by my clients with special messages to me.

And all those other books? I donated them to the local library and gave many away to friends.


This is probably deeply upsetting to a few of my readers. They consider books “old friends” and would never part with them. And I totally get it. I used to feel that way too.

However, since I read all the books – I took notes on the few action items from each one. So everything is now at my fingertips in one notebook.

To me – you cannot measure success by how “big your library is”, it’s about how much of the information you have actually applied in your life that matters.

You can READ my books, but if you don’t apply what you learn, then the book doesn’t help you. The author can’t build your business for you – it’s up to YOU to get off your butt and do it.

And my need for a clutter-free environment won out over the need to be surrounded by books.

I found it difficult to concentrate when I was surrounded by clutter. Whether is was clutter on my desk or in my bookshelves.


Over the past 2 years, I either buy a book on my Kindle or listen as an audiobook.

When I travel, my Kindle has dozens of books and I don’t need to schlep around 5-6 books. I move fast – and can’t have those books slow me down, heck no!

Don’t get me wrong, there is something special about an actual printed book. Do I still buy regular print books? Yes, but after I read it and take notes, I will donate it to the library. If I really like it, I’ll buy the audio book and listen many more times to catch new information I might have missed.

I’m on a minimalist marketing mission… my mind is clear. My business is laser-focused. I’m more focused on helping my clients. I’m more “present” emotionally when I’m with my wife and kids. And the results have been outstanding.

Now, here’s the question for you…


P.S. Here’s my most simple marketing program. One product and six figures.

P.P.S. If you like this, please “like”, “tweet” and “+1” the heck out of it.

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The TRUTH About Working from Starbucks: Part II

Last week, I wrote a post about working from Starbucks.

And the most I write about this topic of a “virtual office” – the more I realize how far from the norm this way of thinking truly is. We are in the minority.

I was born and raised in U.S. and I’m proud to be an American. Are we a perfect country? Of course not, but I wouldn’t trade my citizenship for anything in the world – and there’s no place I’d rather be.

My father-in-law came to this country when he was 18 with absolutely nothing – and built a very successful contracting company with his own hands.

Now, I’m certainly not an expert in history (far from it), but I do know a couple of hundred years ago we were ALL in business for ourselves.

Ok – instead of selling ebooks, we were making horseshoes – but it’s the idea of INDEPENDENCE that drove this country. It was not about relying on other people or having a sense of entitlement – it was getting off your butt and taking control of your own destiny.

No excuses.

No paychecks.

No benefits.

You don’t sell – you don’t eat.

But something changed. Maybe it was the Industrial revolution, steam engines or the cotton gin (I clearly wasn’t paying close attention in my social studies classes – but I seem to remember everything having to do with the cotton gin in school!).


Fast forward to today – and we’ve become a nation of whiners. And excuse makers. And blamers.

We teach our children from a young age to study hard so they can get a “good job”. Heck, there are industries built around resume writing.

And look, I get it. We need workers. Not everyone can be an entrepreneur. Not everyone should be an entrepreneur – our society would fall apart. We need teachers, police, etc.

What’s my point?

Stop listening to people who try to impose their beliefs on you.

Just because they are perfectly happy commuting 45 minutes in the car to sit in a cubicle, it doesn’t mean you have to settle for that life.

The number of people who embrace independence and a balanced lifestyle is growing. Technology has changed the game forever.

You can download wordpress for free. Get hosting for $4. And start selling with Clickbank for a one-time fee of $49. When else in the history of the world could you start a business for less than $50, reach millions of people and make virtually unlimited income?

Yes, all from a coffee shop.

No need for office space. No need for the expensive overhead that can choke you. No need for a staff of dozens to manage.

Just you. A laptop and an Internet connection is all you truly need.


Above is an actual picture of my “office” today – while I’m writing this very blog post.

Stick around people who “get it”. It’s absolutely possible – I believe it with every fiber of my being.

I have literally thousands of people I’ve helped build profitable, agile businesses who are living life on their terms. And anyone who tells you it’s impossible… well, just smile and nod your head. No need to argue – you know THE TRUTH.


P.S. Want to talk with me about your business? Schedule a free call here.

P.P.S. If this resonates with you, please help spread the word by “like”, “tweet” and “+1” below.

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The TRUTH About Working from Starbucks…

I recently received an email from a passionate fitness professional. He’s applying to attend my upcoming Premium Continuity workshop – and wants to do what I’m doing.

In other words.. spend most of his day on a laptop working from the local Starbucks.

He mentioned he was in a mastermind and a bunch of the attendees knew of me. And they said “You can NEVER run a BIG business from a coffee shop!”.

Of course, I strongly disagree.


Yes, I do work from a Starbucks every morning. I usually get there around 9am, put my head down and work hard until Noon-ish.

That’s my focus time. No distractions. No phone calls. Nobody popping in to “ask me a quick question”. It’s just me, my 11″ MacBook Air, and a free Internet connection (courtesy of Starbucks, thank you very much).

After lunch is when I do coaching calls. Strategy calls. Or, if I leave free blocks in my afternoon, catch a movie.

Does that mean I don’t have a “team”?

Of course not.

For my “Ryan Lee” branded business, I have two support people Demetria and Jennifer (who both work virtually from their home). Everyone else is on a project-by-project basis. That includes tech and graphics.

For my other companies (where I have partners), they all work “virtually” as well. That includes our CFO and customer support team.

Are there some things I sacrifice by not having everyone in a centralized office? Absolutely.

Could my businesses generate even more income by all being together? I’m pretty sure the answer is yes.

BUT, and this is a big but, for me – it’s about LIFESTYLE.

I CHOOSE to work from a different coffee shop each morning.

I CHOOSE when to wake up in the morning (ok, well my kids choose when I wake up by jumping into our bed and asking me to make them breakfast – but that’s another story).

I CHOOSE run a streamlined, agile business that is still very profitable, but doesn’t consume my life.

When it’s my time to leave this world, I want to have no regrets. And running the business the way I do, helping millions of people and giving me lots of free time to spend with my family (and generates more than enough income)… well, that’s good enough for me.

Is it good enough for you?


P.S. Let’s chat and discuss your goals.

P.P.S. If this post resonates with you, please like, tweet or +1 below.

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