Everyone is a Leader - Andrew Ryder

ghost writing leadership podcast Jun 26, 2021
Mark Struczewski, Andrew Ryder

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Andrew Ryder is a writer and a teacher exploring strategies for knowledge business owners to become better leaders.

His website

UNEDITED TRANSCRIPT

Mark Struczewski
This is the Mark Struczewski podcast. Andrew Ryder is my guest today he is a writer and a teacher exploring strategies for knowledge business owners to become better leaders. Andrew, welcome to the show.

Andrew Ryder
Ski, thanks so much for having me. I'm excited to be here.

Mark Struczewski
And thank you for calling me Ski. I tell the story. I've told this story a couple of times on my podcast. When I married my wife back in 2003, we went to a local restaurant here in Houston, Texas. And at the time, there was a wait. And so I went up there and told the hostess Ski, party of two, went and siat in the waiting area. And about five minutes later, we hear sky, party of two. And I looked at my wife. I'm like, is that us? That's us. The schools are failing us. And so I went up there. I'm like, Did you mean to call ski? She goes, yeah, sky. No, ski. You don't go to Colorado and sky down the slopes. But I always thought that was so funny. So when someone says ski correctly, it gives me warm fuzzies because you obviously are educated correctly.

Andrew Ryder
Well, I'm a big-time skier myself. I've been downhill skiing probably since I could walk. So...

Mark Struczewski
Wow. Well, I went skiing once and that was one too many. I know my limitations. I don't belong on skis. I was born in New York, Rochester, New York. And I used to ice skate a lot. But skis, we don't get along very well. So I'll leave that to you.

Andrew Ryder
Yeah, there's not a ton of good skiing down there in Houston.

Mark Struczewski
No, there's not a matter of fact, we had a winter storm about three and a half months ago, we had three inches of snow. And everybody got so excited. Like, oh, it's winter here. I'm like, No, I'm from New York. Okay, where there are blizzards and snowstorms and single-degree temperatures. Do you think you like snow? There's a reason why you live in the south. There's a reason why I moved here in 1997 to get away from that stuff. I love my family up there. But I love it in January when it's four degrees up there. And it's 75 down here in Houston. So it's all good. So you're a writer,

Andrew Ryder
I never would have thought that I would be someone who enjoys writing and sort of looking back on it reflecting on it. Now it makes a lot more sense to me. But growing up, I was always a math guy. Science, really sort of anti-reading, anti-writing, hated it. My parents had to do all of these things to get me to sit down and, and to read a book. And, you know, I went to school for engineering and did all this science stuff and tried to avoid all the things I could do to avoid writing. And got an engineering job and started an online business. And I was at the time working with my now-fiance, girlfriend at the time, but she was starting a health-related business. And she needed my help writing content and landing pages and sales letters and things. And I took a liking to all of the marketing things and found out that I was not only a decent writer, but that I really enjoyed that time. And I think now looking back at it, I've really I've always been a builder. You know, my parents have this picture of me from when I was like three years old. I was over at my grandparents' house and there's some construction going on next door. And I was obsessed with all of these different types of construction equipment. And at you know, three or four years old, I could tell you all the different names of all the different types of construction vehicles and equipment they used. And I'd even go around correcting adults who didn't didn't know what the equipment was. And I couldn't tell you what it all is today, the difference between like a backhoe and an excavator and all that stuff. And anyway, I have this picture, where I'm sitting up there in in a backhoe, messing around with the levers it was off, of course, but I started out building in wanting to build things. And then it was Legos and building all of these creations and worlds and things and from there it became engineering and building data centers or water treatment plants. And now you know, I realized how much I love building businesses and building worlds of you know, where I can make up stories or make up different ways of seeing problems and solving problems that people are having. And that's that's one of the reasons why I love writing so much is it's it gives you this opportunity to create these worlds and create these experiences for the people who are reading what you're writing.

Mark Struczewski
A few weeks ago, I had a ghostwriter on my podcast. Her name is Laura Gale. And what she does is five to seven times a week she sends an email out to her list, right. And I have had an email list for about three years, you know How to be more productive how to deal with email. You know, nobody replied, nothing I'm like, is anyone listening? And then I started reading her emails, and she just like, sits at a computer, writes an email, sends out whatever is on her heart. So I said, I want to try that. And you know what, all of a sudden, I'm sending four to seven emails out a week. And people are replying now, because it's not static, boring, here's how to do social media. Now. It's like, Hey, here's what's on my heart today. And it's amazing, because I'm just letting my words flow from my brain, onto the computer, into cyberspace, into someone's ears, and brains. And it's amazing to me, how when you really write what you want to write, and then you share it with the world how people go, Wow, I haven't thought about this. This is fascinating. So what I want the listener to understand is, if you've ever wanted to write, but you're afraid of what people are going to think, here's my advice, just write, start with a post on Facebook, start with a free blog, start with an email, something just start writing, the more you write, the better you get. Now, you're not going to be a Stephen King tomorrow. But he wasn't Stephen King, when he was born, he became a writer. And I like writing because for, like you said, it's your words, and everyone wants to write, but very few people write everyone who wants to start a podcast, very few people start a podcast, everyone's gonna want to start a YouTube channel, very few people do. So be the exception listener, I'm talking to you; the one that you're walking your dog with the air pods in, you be the difference you do what you want to do. So what I want to do is I want to pivot into how we can become better leaders. Now. I used to think that salesmen or salespeople to be politically correct, we're only the people who were in the car dealership or knocked on your door to sell you a vacuum cleaner. But now I realize everyone is a salesperson, the best salespeople in the world, our kids, we all know that. But I also think everyone is a leader. Do you agree with that?

Andrew Ryder
Absolutely. Yeah, everyone is a leader. And that's like, it's perfect that you said that, because that's always the first thing that I like to get, get everyone straight on is that, even if you're not a big business owner, you don't have a million followers on Instagram, you got a small email list, maybe you're just getting started. Even if you only have one person on your list view of one follower that makes you their leader, right? They're coming to you for advice, and whatever it is that that you teach, or whatever it is that you sell in your business, whatever products and services you have, but even to take it one step further than that. Everyone is the leader of themselves. So to go back to what you were saying about everybody wants to start a podcast, everybody wants to email, seven days a week, everybody wants to start a YouTube channel, but they just you know, maybe they get two episodes out, and then somebody cancels on them, and they miss a week, and then they miss another week, right? It's so easy to just stop the habit to just fall out of practice, let it go. That consistency in making that when you make that promise to yourself when you say I'm going to start a podcast, you do three episodes, and then you just kind of give up, you don't get a whole bunch of response, you know, there's, there's all of these programs and courses that you can take that promise that you're going to make, you're going to get a million followers by next week. And so when you go out there and you get five followers, it's a little bit discouraging, right. But that ability to stay consistent, and to stick with whatever promise you make to yourself or whatever promise you make to your audience to say, you know, I'm going to publish an email five days a week, just stream of consciousness gonna tell you what I'm thinking about what I'm experiencing and relate that back to whatever it is that that you do whatever they're following you for, you know, you got Facebook. Well, getting out there and getting it done, no matter what is. I mean, that's the best way to lead is to go first to demonstrate that you believe in and you follow the principles that you teach. And by being consistent. You're demonstrating not only to your audience, but to yourself that you believe In what you're doing, and I know, personally and for a lot of entrepreneurs that I talked to, they're right on the edge of believing in themselves. And you know, if you're having a good day, they're like, Yes, I can do this. But then you go to bed, you wake up the next morning, and it's just mentally is a disaster, and you can't do it. not cut out for this. Nobody's following me, nobody's listening, like, why can't I get more, you know, and you start to go down this negative self-talk, having that consistency to fall back on, because it's so easy to say, Oh, you know, if if I, if I was, you know, really meant to do this, all these things would, would fall in place, but just to have that consistency to fall back on to do it. Because you believe it matters because it matters for you. And not because you're driving some benefit from some external validation that someone in your audience is giving you or some number of views or something like that. But just getting it done every day. And the metrics will come over time.

Mark Struczewski
I'm so glad you said that because I was off Instagram for about four months. And one of the big reasons why I left Instagram is there was no way to wipe out that I know of, to wipe out all your posts. There's no way to do it and Instagram doesn't want you to do that. So I had to delete my profile. And wait, I guess 30 days it's gone. And I waited three more months, I just went back on Instagram, about a week ago. And I noticed they have a new feature now that you can hide like counts. And I'm so glad they did that. Because I know for a fact because I've done it. That's all I can say I know for a fact that people evaluate a post based on the number of likes. And now you can turn that off. Because let's face it, you're scrolling through Instagram, scrolling through Facebook, scrolling through LinkedIn, you're like, Ah, this is only a couple comments, couple likes, I'm going to skip it. But it may be a post that's awesome. But you didn't look at the post, you didn't look at the picture. You didn't watch the video, you looked at the metrics, and you evaluated it based on what other people thought. And I don't think that's being a leader. I think a leader saying look at I'm gonna put this out there people like it, they like it. They don't they don't we all know about the millennials, who if they don't get a certain number of likes, within a certain amount of time they delete the picture. That's not being a leader that's being hey, no one's liking it. So I'm going to take it off. Listen, not everything any leader did, whether you're talking about Mark Cuban, or Steve Jobs, or you know, the guys from Google, not everything hits, you try something it fails. Okay, that didn't work. Let me try something else. That's what a leader does a leader doesn't quit?

Andrew Ryder
Absolutely. And, you know, he touched on a really important thing. It's human nature, and the platforms play on this, but we've replaced value with virality. Right? So we're judging the value of content by how many other people like it because there's too much content to consume. So we have to see what other people are, are consuming in order to know if it's worth our time, right. And, and that sometimes is an OK, metric, but it's not the, it's not the best way to do it. You know, and if you think about just the real definition of likes, not some metric of you know, if you double-tap on the photo or not, but a lot of times, my audience doesn't like my content, because it's tough love. Yeah, it's not something that's pleasant to hear. But it's something that is designed to make them think in a different way, or to reevaluate how they're approaching a problem. And to inspire them to do the work to solve it. You know, my job isn't to make everyone feel good. My job is to convince people to put in the hard work to become a better leader. And those two things don't coexist. You know, it's not just easy and fun all the time to, to step out in front and to, you know, to bear that burden. So that, you know, your audience doesn't have to. And so it's not always about you know, obviously likes and likes are different. I'm doing air quotes for the listeners, but it's not the same thing. So there's, there's definitely an opportunity to when I think about the content that I go back to all the time, you know, I don't really use social media, very much I use it in a very limited capacity because I don't have a good track record of being able to differentiate between just spending all my time scrolling and looking at other people and wishing that I was more successful. So I just stay off it altogether, I get all of my news, I get all of my training and learning, I do all of that through specific channels that are, it's coming from people I trust, who are, you know, established business owners, you know, a lot of the problems that I got into early on in my business career with buying programs, or just getting into bad situations, wasting money, getting ripped off, all of that was because I saw an ad on social media and I watched the webinar and I ended up buying it right. But if you're, if you're really vetting the people who you're learning from, instead of just going out and seeing what everyone else is doing, listening to the testimonials or listening, letting the likes tell you what's valuable, but finding people who you trust, who have a track record in doing what it is that they teach, getting, you know, 2-3-4 of those people, learning from them. And then if you need to learn something else you can branch out based on a lot of people will have close groups or networks, or relationships with people that they trust. And you can slowly start to branch out and add new connections. But really, you know, I'm looking for who is sending me information and not what information are they sending and or how valuable it is.

Mark Struczewski
That is so important because I'm like you. I am on social media because the world is on social media. But I don't spend a lot of time-consuming social media. And there's a big difference between consuming and using social media to build people in to not build bring people into your inner circle. So I will I am on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. But I don't scroll the timeline, I've got work to do, I got content to create. And that's my approach. But I think people are getting lost in the world of social media. And like you, I am really particular about what I'm reading, or what I'm listening to, and who I'm reading or who I'm listening to. I love print books and audiobooks. I listen to audiobooks when I'm out on my daily runs. And I like print books because there's something very powerful about holding a book. But more so than that. When I'm outside in the backyard getting my vitamin D and my dogs out there. I'm just out there with my book, there are no pop-up notifications, you can't call me on my book. And I kind of like that. But I won't just read a book I will ask people around what books do you recommend because if I want to learn about topic x, I don't want to learn about a guy who went to school and study topic x. Now he wrote a book on I want to know a guy that was in the weeds with topic x. And here are the mistakes I made. And here's how I overcome those mistakes. Because that's important to me. And so I think you bring up a very, very valid point. Be very careful who you're learning from, because we toss the word influence around a lot in this in this day and Emily's vernacular, and we're all being influenced, whether you realize it or not, you're being influenced by people all day long. The question is, what is the quality of that influence? is it helping you? Is it pulling you towards your goals? Or is it pulling you away from your goals? And so what I really encourage I beg even people to really stop and think who has influenced you? Social media, the books you read, the TV shows, you watch the people you hang around? Who's influencing you? Because if you're hanging around the wrong people, because the late Charlie "Tremendous" Jones once said, In five years, you'll be the same person you are today, except for the people you meet and the books you read. I love that quote.

Andrew Ryder
Yeah, that's a really nice quote. I haven't heard that before.

Mark Struczewski
What do you think about what I just said about you know, being careful who influences you?

Andrew Ryder
Yeah, that's, yeah, there's another quote that I can't remember who said it, but I've heard it so many times. That you're the average of the five people you associate with most, something like that, anyway, it's it includes books you read, it includes videos that you watch. It doesn't just include people who you sit down face to face and have a conversation with. But like you say, You're being influenced by the people you follow on social media, even the people that send you ads on social media, you keep seeing them over and over again, until you can pretty much recite what they're going to tell you. And you know, all that advertising gets mixed around in your brain and makes you think a certain way that a lot of times you don't even realize you're thinking that way. Yeah, you know, I was just watching. Last weekend, I watched this documentary on Amazon called the creepy line. And it's about, it's about how Google and Facebook, take your user data, they look at what you're doing. And then they use that to serve you ads, basically. And one of the things they did this study with search results, and they were able to, they sent people some information on a couple of political candidates that it was like an Australian election and using American people. So they didn't have any preconceived notions about the candidates. And they showed them, gave them a bio of each candidate, and asked them a few questions. And then they showed them some search results, like you would if you searched, you know who is so and so on Google, they showed him search results. And by manipulating whether the search results were positive or negative, where the negative ones were in relation to the positive ones, things like that, they were able to change people's minds about which candidate they were going to vote for, without them knowing that the search results influenced that decision. And so it's not only just the media that you're consuming intentionally, but it's everything that you do, is being tracked, it's being measured, and then you're being served information in a very specific way that's designed to get you to think, in a way that ultimately is in someone else's best interest. So it's it's not an easy thing to deal with, but and I'm not gonna claim to have the answer to how you solve that problem. But I think that really getting in and defining how you interact with the media in your life is a really important place to start. And I think, you know, like, we've been talking about just taking a step back from scrolling, making sure you're using social media to grow your business, you're not letting social media use you. And being intentional with what you're trying to do with it, you know, if you're trying to learn something, can you go out and find that information directly? If you're trying to post or create some content? Can you create it offline, write it in a, you know, document, and then transfer it over to the platform, you know, there's, there's a whole bunch of different things you can do to sort of insulate yourself as much as you can.

Mark Struczewski
Yeah, and I think a lot of people, and I know, I know, a lot of people are experts on all the social media platforms. And everybody's trying to spend so much time figuring out the secret that the algorithm, and I have come to realize, if you want to do well, on any social media platform, don't try to figure out the algorithm just provide value for everyone watching your stuff. That's the big secret. Everyone is trying to find out what's the secret? Don't do clickbait stuff. Be a leader and say look, like I'm known as Mr. Productivity on many social media platforms. I'm going to tell people how to be more productive. I'm not going to tell them about give them a clickbait title that actually gets them over to here. Just be honest, just serve people. And then you'll be fine. But if you look at the big influencers out there, Gary Vaynerchuk, and you know, Daymond John, and a lot of these people, they're not out there trying to figure out the algorithm or trying to figure out what words to use. They're just posting trying to serve people. They're doing really well. Meanwhile, the other people are, they're obsessed with the algorithm which can change every hour. I mean, what are you going to waste your time? I think it's a waste of time. And I just want people to understand if you truly want to be a leader, whether you're an entrepreneur, a small business owner, you're leading a team, just show up authentically, show up and serve and everything will take care of itself. I'll give you the last word on that.

Andrew Ryder
Yeah. It's a people don't want if you think about the content that you consume, it's, it's not clickbait headlines that are supposed to be valuable. But it's really just a sales pitch in disguise. It's not the copy and paste infographics or anything that you can find in a swipe file, what people want to hear if it really was if they wanted information, they'd Google it, what people want to hear is they want to hear stories about how to solve their problem. They want to hear inspirational content, they want to hear valuable content, that changes the way they think about different things. And you have an opportunity to provide 100% unique content that no one else is capable of providing, because nobody else has that exact same method, all methodology for solving a problem that's based in your unique skill set, your worldview, your beliefs, all the things that make you different from everyone else. And when you spend so much time trying to get headlines, swipe files and infographics and all of these, you know, software that increases your engagement, you're focusing on the wrong thing, you're focusing on the algorithm, you're focusing on trying to game the system. But if you want to get your content, read by more people, you need to write content that's actually interesting that people actually want to read, it's so much easier to actually get people to like your stuff than it is to trick people into reading your stuff. Especially if you want them to read it again. Yep, so 100% of my focus, and especially, you know, to tie this back to leadership, all of the content that you produce, is your way of leading through the words that you put out there, it's thought leadership, and your audience is going to be looking to you looking to the content that you produce, to see how to proceed to see what you're doing, to see what you think about, you know, maybe you do talk about how the algorithm is changing, and maybe your Instagram coach or whatever. And, and that's a relevant topic for you, right is, here's, you know, we believe these things, and here's how we proceed in light of these changes, right, any type of current event that happens, oh, you know, the iPhone is changing its privacy settings and the new update? Well, here's how we're gonna proceed because we, as you know, this group of people, if you're following me, you believe in these things, this is what we're going to do to continue to grow our businesses in light of this news, right? Or, or maybe it's just a story about something that happened to you over the weekend. And it reminded you of a way that you can help your audience you know, it's, it's so much simpler to create content consistently, you know, six, seven days a week to just talk about what's going on in your life what's going on in the world through that unique lens that only you have. Hmm, I love it.

Mark Struczewski
I love it. Well, Andrew, where can people go to find out more about you and what you're doing in the world?

Andrew Ryder
Yeah, you can find me at andrewbryder.com. If you haven't guessed it yet, I write a daily email newsletter. I'm not really on social media too much like I said, so don't go looking for me there. But if you want to become a better leader, if you want to create better content, and you want to grow your audience and lead them to a better future, you can find me at andrewbryder.com.

Mark Struczewski
Well, Andrew, I want to thank you for being on the show today sharing your insights with us. I really appreciate you, man.

Andrew Ryder
Thanks, Ski. Appreciate it.

 

 

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