Transcript: Branding vs. Marketing (& Why It’s Important to You), with Ryan Holtz

July 22, 2021

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AMY PORTERFIELD: My guest has been an entrepreneur since the age of eighteen. Now, I don't know about you, but when I see someone who has been an entrepreneur for that many years, and a successful one at that, I'm thinking, okay, what can I learn from them? because clearly they're doing something right. And my guest today, Ryan Holtz, definitely is. 

Fun fact. I was on Ryan's podcast, The Ryan Holtz Show, a while back, and we hit it off right from the start. And after learning more and more about him, I thought, he's got to come on my show. And since this show is called Online Marketing Made Easy, what better topic to cover than branding your online business? because Ryan is the expert of all experts in the area of branding. This episode is tactical, actionable, and will have you ready to implement some new strategies in your business right away. 

INTRO: I'm Amy Porterfield, and this is Online Marketing Made Easy. 

AMY: So, let's talk about my guest today, Ryan Holtz. Not only is he the host of a top one hundred Apple podcast, but he's also a renowned speaker, expert marketer, a wealth of entrepreneurial knowledge, a dad, and a husband. We actually met on Clubhouse—imagine that—and I loved his energy. I was drawn in by his knowledge and confidence and how he delivered his expertise. And I know you're going to feel the same about this interview.  

So today we're chatting about how to set yourself apart from others in your industry, how to diversify your community, what branding is and what it is not, as well as the difference between branding and marketing. So grab your coffee or kombucha, and let's get into this episode of Online Marketing Made Easy, with Ryan Holtz. 

Well, well, well. Look who it is. Ryan, I’m so glad to finally have you on the show. So thank you so much for being here. 

RYAN HOLTZ: Thank you so much, Amy, for having me. I mean, the show you and I did when you were a guest on mine, I'm still getting feedback from it. It was such a great, deep, profound conversation. And I just love everything you do, so it's an honor. Thank you. 

AMY: Well, your show was so much fun. I mean, we went there. You asked some hard questions. You made me nervous, but, like, in a really good way. I'm so glad we had a deep conversation.  

RYAN: You know what. I like that, though, because we all see Amy Porterfield, and you do one thing great, and that's teaching people how to create their courses and stuff like that. But, you know, you have such a great story personally and professionally, and for me, I really like tapping on a human-to-human level. And we did that together. And I always feel like those make those episodes and those connections a little more special, in my opinion.  

AMY: I totally agree. So, just so you all know, I will be linking you to the episode I did with Ryan, a totally different conversation. And I think it's worth listening to both—I mean, I'm biased—so we're going to link to that, for sure. 

So, okay. So, Ryan, you've got to give us a rundown of who you are, what you're all about, and how you became an entrepreneur. I mean, give us all the good stuff. 

RYAN: You know what. It's interesting, because if we go on the personal side, I became an entrepreneur by survival. And I did it when the whole word entrepreneur wasn't, like, this rock star, you know, the Gary Vs and yous and everybody who's—you know, everybody’s, “Let's be an entrepreneur,” and all that. I literally did it, Amy, out of a place of darkness, just complete hardship. You know, I lost my mom at thirteen years old, and I started playing football, and football saved my life, literally, and did that all the way into college.  

And then, I just felt, Amy, that I couldn't look at it—like, I didn't look at the university or the prospectus or the course offering and say, “I can't pick something I love.” Like, I didn't love the idea of being a doctor or a lawyer or an engineer or an accountant. I just, I couldn't fit in the box. And I did choose business eventually because I had to choose something. But then I just thought, like, “This still isn't doing it for me. And I need to create my own job, essentially. And I just don't see it on a listing.”  

And I also wanted to create my own success path, Amy, and I wanted to—I come from very humble beginnings. I didn’t get any money left for me. I don’t come from any—it just was really tough. And I said, “You know, Ryan, I can't depend on a boss or somebody else to tell me what my worth is. I need to figure this out, and I need to start making my own worth known.” And I did that at the age of eighteen years old. 

AMY: Okay. So, I wanted you to talk about your story of where you got here and some of the things you've gone through, because it says so much about you. And to my listeners, when you dive into learning more about Ryan, and I hope you do after this episode, he's really a special guy with so many talents.  

And so I’m actually going to take a sharp turn here because this podcast is all about online marketing, and I wanted Ryan to talk about the difference between marketing versus branding, something I've never talked about on the show before.  

But before we even get there—so, we're going to get there in just a second—but before we get there, Ryan, what do we mean when we talk brand? Like, why is this important as an online entrepreneur? because I think people get confused about what brand or branding even means. 

RYAN: One of the best definitions I've always loved behind brand, and there's so many and there's so many advanced ones, but I love to “keep it stupid simple,” KISS method always. I like simplicity. Marty Neumeier said this, and I agree with him. He said, “Listen, the brand means this. It is a person's gut feeling towards a product, service, or organization,” meaning I'm going to go and sign up with Amy. I want her to teach me how to build a course. How do I feel about her? What's her credibility? What are some of her past students saying about her? It's literally my gut feeling of how I feel about you. That's why when we talk about, let's take, like, okay, let's talk about Jay-Z or Madonna or Cher or the Beatles. Like, you automatically start getting these triggers in your brain when I start saying these big brands who are major, major brands. Coca-Cola, you know. Like, I could go on and on. So the brand is a person's gut feeling towards you and your business.  

Now, here's the kicker. You have zero—this is what I love about businesses, and I know you have a lot of business people listening—but I always tell business owners, if you really want a great brand, you need to get out of your own way and start asking the only question that matters: what's in it for them? You know when somebody comes to me and says, “Hey, Ryan. Why should we use your marketing agency as opposed to marketing agency B?” You know what I rebuttal to them? I don't get in the whole, like, whose arms are bigger. I don't care about that. I couldn’t care less of all that. I get into this. I literally turn it around to them, and I say, “Well, what's in it for them, business owner A or B?” They're like, “Whoa, whoa. What do you mean?” I'm like, “Well, let's talk about your customer. What's in it for them?” And then once they start unpacking what's in it for them, I take my answer and I reverse engineer it and say, “Well, let's get that answer together so that we can answer that question beautifully and simply.”  

And, you know, people think their logos and their fonts and their galleries on Instagram and all these things are what's really going to drive a brand. And I disagree. I think there's some good things in esthetic appeal to it. I do it. My colors are black, white, and orange. I know you got your colors. But at the end of the day, it's what's coming out of your mouth, how are you interacting with the people, and how are you making them feel?  

So when I post something on my social media, Amy, honestly, on 99.9 percent of my posts, before I even post it, I just ask, like, what's in it for them? And it could be something as simple as, I just want to make you laugh today. I post a picture of my kids, and we're walking on a thing. Maybe I don't have—I don’t want to be this, like, wisdom every single day in my life. I’m just a normal guy. Like, I want to ask things like, who should pay the bill on the first date? Like, I just want to ask normal, simple questions. I want to show the world I'm a human. And that's branding. That is the definition of branding. 

AMY: Okay. So then that leads us to, what's the difference between branding and marketing? 

RYAN: Okay, I love that. So branding says, “Hey, Amy. I want a relationship with you.” Marketing says, “Well, let's start moving to the transaction.” Okay? So, I see you come down my Instagram, and I'm like, “Oh, who's that? Oh, let's click on her. Oh, oh, wow. Okay, branding. Oh, wow. Okay, she’s talking about courses. Oh, wow. Okay, cool. Oh, jeez. She knows what she's talking about. Okay, boom.”  

Now here's where marketing comes in, Amy. You know this because you do it. Re-marketing. “Hey, Ryan. I see that you went to my website, but you just got to the checkout and you didn't click Add to Cart. Like, you didn't finish. So tell me some of your apprehensions. Is it that you don't know which topic to choose? Is it that you don't think your opinion matters most?” Now you're marketing, because now you're taking the hand of marketing and you're saying, “Come on. I'm going to walk beside you. I'm going to guide you down the path that I think you should be on.” That's marketing. We're leading you to the transaction. The branding’s like, “Hello.”  

I'm going to give a funny example. And I've been out of the dating game a long time because I'm married. But I've heard from the kids on the ground now that are doing all this online and swipe to the right and swipe to the left and Tinder and all these things. If somebody has, like let's talk about LinkedIn and social media. Let's have a nice headshot. Let's have a good bio that's simple and easy to understand what the person does. These are all branding things, because we want people to click. We want them to say, “Oh, my gosh. Look at that. So handsome, so beautiful. Wow.” Now that's branding. Branding got you in the door. Then, the marketing is, “Well, let's start talking. Let's start doing the transaction. Let's take them to the path of where we want them to go.”  

People who are dating right now, people who are looking for a job right now, people who are trying to look for clients right now, you are consistently always branding and marketing yourself. That’s why I always kind of giggle when people come at me and they say, “Ryan, I don’t have a business.” I’m like, “So what. You're still branding yourself. Are you telling me you're not selling yourself to your future in-laws, why you should be in their family when you marry their daughter or son? You're damn right you're branding yourself. Otherwise, you're going to have a really bumpy ride at Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner.” Right? 

 AMY: The two work at the same time, your branding and marketing at the same time, would you say?  

RYAN: Absolutely. Because think about it. Have you ever been in a situation where you just want to, like, walk in a room? Like, just imagine you come in with your—what's the drink? I always forget it. It’s the— 

AMY: Margarita. 

RYAN: But then you have your cup that’s the—it’s, like, the rusted-color cup. What drink is that, again? 

AMY: Oh, a Moscow mule? 

RYAN: Oh, my gosh. Yes, yes, yes, because I remember that about you. But— 

AMY: Wow! That's impressive because I don't talk about that one that much, but I love it. 

RYAN: That was in my research when you came on mine, because I just started going through stuff. But imagine you just had your, you know—you got Hobie, right, because I know that’s your man; you got the dog; your stepson.  

Now, imagine you just walk into a party one day. You got your Moscow mule in your hand. You open up the door, and you're like, “Hi, I'm Amy Porterfield.” Well, that would be awkward. Like, that would be— 

AMY: I am not doing that. 

RYAN: Yeah. So— 

AMY: You just made me super nervous. Like, oh, my gosh. I would hate that. 

RYAN: No. But it’s like you just stand there. Like, okay. So you branded yourself, but then everybody's like, “Uh-huh. So,  what would you like me to do now? because this is awkward.” So as soon as you say, “Hi, I'm Amy Porterfield,” well, take them down the path. What would you like them do? Do you want them to come over and say hello? Do you want them just to stand there? Like, get to the message quick or there's going to be that awkwardness and it's all going to be messed up, right? But that’s why marketing and branding, it’s like peanut butter and jelly. 

AMY: It’s true. And I think it’s important to see the difference in both so that you are giving both the attention that they need and because the branding is where you are truly connecting. That is, to me, the part where you’re building those lifelong relationships with your audience. 

RYAN: Well—and this is why you see people in sales, and you've experienced this tons, when somebody connects with you and then they try to sell you something right away, you're kind of put off, like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, what are you doing? I don't even know you. I don't even know what you're about. I don't even know who you are. I don’t what you're offering. Like, I don't know anything.” Just don't do that.  

And, you know, Tim Storey says it best. He says you can't get an FM frequency on an AM dial. So understand how to read a room. Understand who you're talking to. People that can do that is huge. You know, I know I'm talking to Amy Porterfield, and you have a certain brand and vibe about you. You're talking to me, and I have a certain brand and vibe. So I can hop on the mic and talk to everybody the same because we're all different individuals. That is excellent marketing and branding. 

Now, the sales aspect has to come in for me shutting up and listening to what your problem is and then taking my beautiful branding and marketing and understanding that, well, that's Ryan's cue now to shut up. The person said hello. So let's figure out, make it all about them, and then let's answer the question of what's in it for them.  

But here's where people—it's just crazy. And I don't mean to go on a tangent here, but I think your listeners would really benefit is how do you know what Amy's problem is until we start having a conversation? 

AMY: Exactly. My dad always says it's better to listen than to talk. And I've taken that into my business because if I just get quiet more often, my audience will tell me what they're struggling with and what they want from me. But it's when we're on social-media platforms and we're building a brand and we're marketing, we want to talk, talk, talk, talk, talk. But the power, the magic happens in being quiet. 

RYAN: It’s so true. Just such a simple example. When we push out a post on Instagram or LinkedIn or social media, people are like, “Oh, great. That's an awesome piece of content. Loved it. It was value based.” So people ask me, “Ryan, what's the best part of the post?” They get so hopped up. “Oh, I love the content.” I'm like, “That's not the best part of the post. The best part of the post is when somebody sends you a message or they get in your comments.” Now I'm like, “Okay, I threw the ball. I threw the ball. Okay, that's great. Now who's going to catch it?” So somebody is catching it. I'm like, “Okay, so come sit down. Let's have some popcorn.”  

You know, that's where the magic's happening, in the direct messages. And people go to my social, go to my Instagram account, and go into my comments. You will literally be like this guy's having a paragraph conversation about somebody and their child or that it's hot outside. But I'm not just being like, “Parents, thank you.” No. I’m talking to the person as a human. I'm having really in-depth conversations right in the comments. And people are like, “How do you scale that?” And everybody's so fixated on scaling. And I'm like, “Listen. It's a big question, I know. You grow, you need to scale and automate, but the magic is in the dirt always. You can't scale dirt. You got to roll up your sleeves. You got to say hello. You got to keep having the conversations, right?” We are coming into the automation portion of our society, especially with the pandemic, but people are craving human interaction more than ever now.  

You know, I look at the average person on Instagram. They have maybe two, three hundred followers, maybe three to seven hundred followers on Instagram. So imagine when you come in their comments and you're like, “I really like your hair today. Oh, wow. Is that your husband? That's awesome. Cute dog.” And they're like, “Who the hell’s this? I only going two comments on my life.” 

AMY: It's so true. And I got to take you back to something you just said, because I am a systems girl. I literally have a program called Systems that Scale, so I'm also very much about scaling.  

RYAN: Yes. 

AMY: But I love what you just said. Not everything we do, my friends, has to be scalable. And when Ryan was starting to say he has a paragraph, in-depth conversation about how hot it is, I knew that some of you are thinking, “But you can't do that for everyone. How do you scale that?” and the answer is you don't. You've identified what sets you apart from others. And I knew that the minute you interviewed me on your show, I was like, this is what's special about him. So it's something that I admire about you. You set yourself apart. You stand out from other people in your industry.  

And this is a big struggle for some of my listeners. Some of my listeners right now are shaking their head like, “Yes, I want to stand out. I don't know what makes me different.” They want to differentiate themselves from their competitors or those in their industry, they don't want to blend in, but sometimes that's hard for them. So I wanted to ask you, what advice could you share of how we can identify what sets us apart from others?  

RYAN: The first answer I'm going to give you for people to really unpack and say, “This is what makes me different,”—and by the way, people listening to this podcast right now, the only way you're going to ever break through the noise is figuring out what Amy just asked me, and that’s, what is your magic? What is that thing that really does separate you? because the beauty of life is that, again, Tim Storey quote, you're born an original; don't die a copy. So the original is always going to be what makes you different, and you need to unpack that by looking deep within yourself. 

People literally go and sit at a job that they don't like. And you know this all too well. You made a whole business around solving this problem. Woman in the cubicle, not feeling good. You told me. I know who I'm talking to. But people literally go and do this their whole life, Amy, and they don't even know why they're working at the job they are. And this is because it's been programed: go to high school, pick something that you want to do for the rest of your life.  

Here's what I'm going to say, Amy. Imagine this. I think this is the one flawed thing about everything. How do we tell a seventeen- to eighteen-year-old to go to college and pick what they want to do for the rest of their life? They don't have any frickin’ clue what the heck they're even doing at that age. I didn't know crap at my seventeen, eighteen Ryan self. 

AMY: Amen. 

RYAN: I'm still learning about myself. Like, you know? It's just—and then you want them to—and if you don't come from a wealthy family, you're going to go take this loan; you're going to get all this debt accrued. Do you know how many people that go and get a degree that are not working in their degree—you probably know this.  

AMY: Oh, many, many. So true. 

RYAN: But that's what I'm saying to your listeners. You need to identify why you're doing what you're doing and identify who you're doing it for, because what happens is you're usually not doing it for yourself, and why you're doing it is usually for somebody else.  

AMY: Oh, so true. I do feel like, you know, I've talked a lot about how I started to build this business, and two years in I realized I just built a business I absolutely hate. I was doing consulting for [unclear 19:05]. 

RYAN: Mm. 

AMY: I did not enjoy it.  

RYAN: Mm. 

AMY: And I realized I was doing that because it made me money, and I was on a path, and I was raised by my dad to always know you always have to have a plan. You always have to have a path. You got to make good money because I was capable of it. And so I was doing it for my dad.  

RYAN: Mm. 

AMY: I mean, he didn’t ask me to do it, but you know what I mean. 

RYAN: Mm-hmm. 

AMY: So I had to stop myself. I would not be where I am today if I kept on the path of entrepreneurship. Like, that's the embarrassing part. I say embarrassing, but I left corporate to be an entrepreneur, and then I was an entrepreneur and hated it. And I tell that story to say it's okay if you've built a business you don't love. Even if you're doing it on your terms and you're the boss and you're the entrepreneur, you still get to change it if you want to.  

RYAN: You know, I totally agree with you. It's such a relevant point. When you say it to me, it actually makes me somewhat emotional. And the reason I see that is we say all these buzzwords and talk in sound bites, but these are people's lives, and for somebody to wake up every day and feel lost, it's a frickin’ terrible feeling, okay? 

AMY: Oh, yeah. 

RYAN: And we know how short life is already. And it's something as an entrepreneur or somebody who's driven, I think you continuously go through, because I've talked to all kinds of people, too, and they’ve had uber successful businesses and dah, dah, dah, dahdah, and it's amazing to hear them at the highest level—they’re performing in the 1 percent—and they're still doubting themselves, saying, “Is this really what I want to do?”  

When you're so driven, you know how you opened up and said, “Hey, Ryan. You have so many different talents. I understand what sets you apart,” my immediate—I had two thoughts. “Thank you, Amy. I appreciate that. I receive that.” And then my other thought is, “But Amy, this has also been my biggest weakness. It's been my biggest frustration because we talk about the whole niching-down thing.”  

When I created my podcast—and we talked about this when you came on my show—I've always loved Joe Rogan. I love Joe Rogan, the way he could bring on Elon Musk and then bring on a doctor and then bring on… The guy’s talking to everybody. He talks about all kinds of subjects. And it was the first person that I’d seen in the public space that I'm like, “He's not niching own. He's just talking about what he wants to talk about.” Now, he's a unicorn, and of course, he's done Fear Factor and all these different things prior. But I just thought for my podcast, I'm like, “Well, okay. You love business; talk about business.” But it's funny. As you build, you start realizing more and more that I love business, but I love talking about personal development. I love talking about financial literacy. I love talking about important issues sometimes that's going on in the world. And I'm like, I just don't want to silence myself to fill my niche.  

So now, Amy, I'm flipping this interview on you because you're going to help me out here. You know what I just said is shared by many people because they love a lot of different things. What would you say to the Ryans and the Susans and the Sarahs and the Marcs and the whoever the heck’s listening that says that statement? And I’m doing this in a—please don’t edit this out, because I want you to keep this in. I think that I can get away with it. I think that I can pull it off successfully. That's my belief. I think I can talk about many things without niching down.  

Now, here's what I will say to people listening. I think if you niche down, you're going to go quicker. You're going to be clearer. I'm doing it the hard route right now, Amy. I'll be honest. I'm doing the hard route because I'm doing a little generalist. I'm talking about a lot of different things. Listeners could come on a Monday and say, “Hey, Ryan. Ryan just had on this person, and they talked about branding and marketing. I'm not even kidding you. The next one, Ryan just had on somebody that played in the NHL and NFL or whatever, and they're going to talk about poverty.” So listeners are entering my world for so many different things at so many different times. And people would argue with me and say, “Ryan, that could not be a good thing, because somebody is coming for the popcorn, and you're giving them the Moscow mule. What if they're not a drinker?” What do you say to that?  

AMY: Mm. I have to think about it. I can't just jump in with how I feel because, Ryan, I've always been someone that says it's important to choose your niche.  

RYAN: Yes.  

AMY: I'm glad we're having this conversation. Two things. Number one, I agree with you. I think it can be done. I would never say it can't. I do believe it can be done. You're doing it. And number two, I do think it's a slower process, but we don't need to rush to get to where we're going. I think there's value in slowing down and taking in this journey and doing it the way you want to do it, because one thing I learned when I worked with Tony Robbins is you've got to create a life, and in my case a business, what I teach, on your terms. 

RYAN: Mm. 

AMY: And when you start doing it in a way that you think you have to do it, you will be resentful, and there will come a time that it gets so hard that you quit because you don't even want to do it anyway. So I think there's power in that. 

RYAN: Oh, my goodness.  

AMY: The last thing I'll say that totally is a different direction, I also don't believe we have to get paid for everything we love to do and talk about and share. So there could be one area that we're getting paid for and another area that we just love to share, we talk about, and we embrace, but it's not necessarily where our bread and butter is coming from. So that’s a different way to look for it.  

RYAN: Mm, interesting.  

AMY: I don’t know. These are just my different takes on it. But I'm so glad we're talking about this because you and I have different experiences, and there's somebody right now that might have just pulled over their car and they're like, “I got to stop driving because she or he is talking to me.” 

RYAN: When you do the general and you're kind of really following your heart and your passion about the topics you want to discuss and the people you want to connect with, it's really crazy because your brand will go—if you do it good, your brand can get really good. But what happens is, let's talk about the marketing. Now, where are we leading these people who are coming from 60 million different directions? How are we going to get them to click on the Buy Now button, Amy? And I know you. You're thinking in your head, “Well, yeah, that's the hard part, Ryan.” Branding, sure. Hey, people will know your name, but how many people that know their name are broke? Let's talk about—that's a true statement, by the way. Big names. And then you're like, whoa. It's like seeing somebody that has a million Instagram followers, and then literally somebody has got fifty thousand and they're just crushing it. They’re making way more money than the person that has a million. That happens all the time because you're talking, you're filling such a specific problem.  

But here's what's crazy. What if you go down the general, what I figured out is if you do it consistently and good and are very passionate about, if you do it long enough, I find that you start getting big things coming on your plate, like, big opportunities, and you start really kind of—you know, I've had listeners that would—and I get them all the time—they're messaging me, and they’re saying, “You know, Ryan. I was really excited to come to your podcast, and I love the interview you did or the topic you did. And then you launched the next one the next week, and I was kind of disappointed,” and then it goes, dot, dot, dot.  

I am so happy I found your podcast because you have given me a clinic on our show’s mandate, and our show, The Ryan Holtz podcast, we're all about how to upgrade your life personally and professionally and have safe spaces to have unsafe conversations, right? And so when we bring on certain people like yourself, I'm trying—you know what my goal is, Amy—my goal when I talk to somebody like you is well, I don't want to ask Amy all the same questions that everybody else asked or that I could find out by going to her website or Googling her. I want to get into the mind of Amy. I want, when Amy gets off the podcast with Ryan, I want you to remember me. You know? I want you to remember that conversation. I want you to be a little taken back from and be like, “This person actually cared to talk to me today. They weren't just having me on to get my expertise on how to create a course. They wanted to really chat to Amy Porterfield.” And I think that's one of the best and biggest respects you could ever give to somebody, in my opinion. 

AMY: Ah, so very true. I love this, and I love that, like I said, that we got into this topic, because I do believe that there, yes, I believe in niching yourself down, and I believe there's proof, such as in what Ryan does, that you can be more of a generalist and it can work for you and exactly what you said, but you're playing the long game. You're not looking for the quick hit, get rich quick kind of thing, and I think that makes a difference. 

Okay. So I got to take you in a different direction— 

RYAN: Sure.  

AMY: —because there’s something I've been dying to talk to you about— 

RYAN: Sure. 

AMY: —and when we confirmed this interview, I thought, “Oh, good, because there's something I've been wanting to talk to Ryan about that I didn't get to really get into when I was on your podcast.” 

RYAN: Mm. 

AMY: And that is around proactive inclusivity. 

RYAN: Oh. 

AMY: So, one of our core values in our company is proactive inclusivity, and we deliberately make inclusion a part of everything we do. This is something very important to us. And over the last few years, it's brought richness to the business. Like, I’ve seen a difference. This is something that I've heard you talk about and I want you to talk about here. How can we as entrepreneurs diversify our community and make sure we're serving the entire community who needs what we have to offer? 

RYAN: Well, I think you have to look at the life you lead on a daily basis. 

AMY: Oh, yes. 

RYAN: Yeah. I mean, it's all micro. That's my whole answer is going to be micro. It's who you're shaking hands or who you're saying hello to, who you're having drinks with, who’s your husband's friends, who's your friends, what's going on, what circles are you running in, are you only on the golf course, are you going down and having a nasty southern meal? Just your whole life. Like, open up your sensories to different things, because we all can smell companies that are trying to tick a box, okay? This is a very big statement. You know, when somebody's saying, hey, we're opening, we're applying, we have this position. We're trying to fill this position. We need to have—and I hate to say it because I swear companies do this and I've seen it—we need to have this many from this background, this many—like, you're literally having a quota. Don't do a quota. That is the most disingenuous thing you can do. You need to make this a culture, a lifestyle. Hey, we're going to understand people that come from different backgrounds. We're going to understand some history. But we're also going to understand where we're at today.  

I think social media is a great tool for this because it's the same person says, “Oh, my god, Amy. Social media is so bad.” No, it's not. It's what you're putting in and who you're following, what you're putting out. Like, yeah, you want to go down the bad path of social media and get some nasty content in your face, you can find it. But if you want some of the most amazing, inspirational, educational, entertaining content, you can find that, too.  

So my answer to you is you have to make the effort. So you say, “Hey, I'm being proactive.” Well, that to me is you're making the effort, and that's where it starts. And after you say, “Well, I'm going to make the effort. I'm going to open my mind. I'm going to go down this path,” let the path unfold the way it should unfold, and just try to get in that culture aspect of it. Have conversations. You have a podcast. I see that. Bring on guests. Get into the dialog.  

I talk to a lot of business owners, and so many of them say this to me now, they're petrified because they’re like, “Ryan, I don't want to say anything. Like, what if we do this? This cancel culture, just, it's freaking us out. We don't want to say or do or do the wrong thing.” And I say, well, listen. I give the analogy of this. If you see a crime happening and you drove by and you let this crime persist, I think you're just as guilty. That’s my statement, okay, because you were scared that you were going to be canceled. No. I was raised with character. And the character was, if you see something wrong, you need to speak up, okay? And it might be really bad short term, but I promise you this: people will love it long term.  

I'm going to say this right now. Marketing campaigns—and I'm not turning this into a marketing campaign, but I'm giving the analogy since we are talking about marketing and branding—marketing campaigns that make people cry also make them want to buy, okay? So what I mean by that is when we show we're human and we actually care, scalability, niching down, all that, might not look good on the balance sheet short term, but I promise you, long term you will be paid ten times in full for it. Not only is that—it’s not just money currency, Amy. There is soulful currency, vibe currency, karma currency, life currency. There's so many currencies we're living by. Money is only one of them, right? How-do-you-sleep-at-night currencies.  

So, you know, I just think that people know there's so many people right now that I'm surprised. They have really great characters, and they're keeping their mouths closed about certain things. And it's, well, quite frankly, I'm going to take them off my contact list because I'm just so ashamed, because I just think no way. I know you, and you're a great person, and for you just to stand and be a witness, well, I think you should be in the courtroom right next to the person. That's what I think, because I'm a human. I'm half German, I'm half Jamaican, I'm Canadian, I'm half black, half white. I have friends of all ethnicities, backgrounds. I love—I'm team human. And I don't care who it’s happening to or what it’s happening to, I never would drive by and not speak up. I wasn't raised to be that way. And I think people that are doing that, it just shows the lack of character that you have, and that's it.  

But I think, yeah, on just a really micro level, be proactive about it. Understand it, and just create that open conversation around it. I think it's important.  

AMY: Love what you said about soulful currency— 

RYAN: Mm-hmm. 

AMY: —and it's not all about the money. And each day I feel like I get a little bit braver and more courageous to speak up, because I definitely—we've talked about this on your show, where I feel like I went wrong and what I need to do differently and the feelings that went along with that. And I've noticed that sometimes when I have spoken up or said different things in support of I saw a wrongdoing, I get a lot of negative DMs, people stop following me, all of that. And in that moment, to think soulful currency and different types of currency other than money in my pocket, one million percent worth it. You just gave words to something I was feeling and couldn't really express. 

RYAN: Because think about it, Amy, and I love what you said there. It's not about them. It's not about the DMs. It's not about what somebody thinks about you. It's not. Who gives a shit what somebody thinks about you. Come on. Does your dog love you? Does Hobie love you? Does your stepson love you? Let's take inventory on what matters. 

But my point is this. It doesn't matter what anybody else thinks of you other than the people that truly do matter. So I always like to ask people, well, could you imagine your kids see this or mom and dad, like, oh, you're just driving by, mind your own business, or this or that. Like, you can't play both cards. I'm not a big fan of fence sitters, Amy. And fence sitters to me are sometimes dangerous.  

It's like a friend. I'll give you example. You have one friend, and they ask the friend, “Hey, tell me about Amy.” So, she says that, gossips, dah, dah, dah, dah. Then the friend comes back to you and says that. You know who becomes nonfriends to me at that point? Both of them, because I'm looking at the person saying, “Wow, so you were willing to have that, to facilitate that, and now you're coming to report back to me. Well, I know you're just going to do that about me to the other person.” That’s why somebody comes and says bad things about somebody to me, they're automatically eliminated right after that conversation. They're eliminated because I'm like, “Oh, if you're doing that to me about them, you're doing that about me to them.”  

AMY: Yes. I'm glad you brought that up, because I really have to push myself sometimes. I get nervous. I'm one of those that I don't want to say the wrong thing. I want to be respectful, all of that. But I really do push myself to say, “All right, Amy. You got to get off the fence now because you can't play it safe all the time because there's people that need you. You need to speak up. You are seeing things that aren't right.” And I want to be a good example for Kade. You’re totally right. Or when you think, what would my mom think? Like, that stuff, those are important questions. So, Ryan, I just appreciate you encouraging me more so. It’s big. It’s so incredibly important, especially as we're entrepreneurs and leading the way and building something on our terms. We have to keep our word to ourselves. And it's easier said than done, I totally get that. 

RYAN: Oh, yes, it is. 

AMY: But, oh— 

RYAN: Oh, yes, it is. But you know what it is, though, Amy? That's like the, I call it kind of when you get into the preaching mentality. And sometimes my inner child always comes out again. And that's why I kind of, I’ll say something, and I always go the empathy card, because I'm like, listen, none of what I said is easy, and the whole key to it, in my opinion, is to constantly be present. But just be patient with yourself. You know, I tell myself daily, “Ryan, be patient with yourself. You know, just be patient. Look at those small wins.” You know this, too, as an entrepreneur. People come and say, “Oh, you've had success in all this.” In my mind, I've done zero. People say, “Well, look what you've done.” I'm like, “Look what's left.” 

AMY: Yes. Look what’s left. Oh, my goodness. I've never thought of it that way, but pretty much how my mind works. 

RYAN: Like, that's a quote, right? “Look what you've done.” But I'm like, “But, Amy, look what's left.”  

AMY: Yes. 

RYAN: Help me out, Amy.  

AMY: That's not always good, because we really do need— 

RYAN: Yes.  

AMY: —to take a moment and celebrate, and say, like, “Wow, we're so proud of ourselves,” but it does keep me moving forward to do better. 

RYAN: Stay humble, keep hungry. I'm circling all the way back because those four words are so empowering. 

AMY: Oh, my gosh. Ryan, I feel like we could talk for like a whole other hour about tons more different things related to [unclear 37:42]— 

RYAN: You know where to find me.  

AMY: —and entrepreneurship. But, okay. So, [unclear 37:47)]— 

RYAN: Amy, how do I become friends with you? How do I become friends with you, Amy? 

AMY: We are friends. This is— 

RYAN: No. Like, I need your cell-phone-number status. And I do do this to guests sometimes because I’m like, I connect with you. I’m like, no. I need cell-phone-number status. Like, “Amy, I’m checking in. I just want to say, how are you? How’s your family? and just say hello.” 

AMY: [unclear 38:05] Ryan, that could get me through a day sometime. So that’s happening. So, I’ll be sending it to you, for sure. 

RYAN: Okay. Thank you. 

AMY: Definitely.  

Ryan, thank you so, so much for being on the show. I always, always have a good time with you. It's so fun talking to you. So you have to tell people, number one, what's the name of your podcast? And number two, where else can they find you? 

RYAN: Sure. Yeah. The name of our podcast is The Ryan Holtz Show Podcast. We're based in Canada. Number one black-host podcast here in Canada. And we bring on people, you know, every day, from the Kevin O'Learys, Amy Porterfields, SWV is a recording artist, to everyday people. And we just try to unpack our ultimate goal, and that is how we can get people to live their full selves on purpose. We're very, very heavy on business, but we're also heavy on the personal because we find personal and business kind of go together. So it's The Ryan Holtz Show Podcast. Anywhere you listen to your podcasts, you can grab it.  

And then my bread-and-butter company is Ryan Holtz Marketing, which is a branding and creative agency. And all we do is help customers, people find their customer; build the relationship with the customer, past, present, and future, and do it in a way that's memorable and is not just boring marketing, but just an absolute powerhouse. So we work with a lot of companies that are very social-cause oriented, and it's been nice to see. 

And Amy, I cannot thank you enough for having me on your show.  

AMY: Thank you. 

RYAN: You are great, my friend.  

AMY: Thank you. And everybody, just so you know, it's H-O-L-T-Z. Ryan says his last name so fast— 

RYAN: Yes. 

AMY:  —that I don’t know if you all knew that. So H-O-L-T-Z. But I'll put everything in the show notes. 

And Ryan, thanks again for being here.  

RYAN: You betcha. Thank you, Amy. 

AMY: So, there you have it. I hope you loved this chat I had with Ryan as much as I have. Wow. We covered a lot and definitely got into some topics that I didn't plan to dive into, but I'm so glad the conversation went there. I hope you're walking away with new insights and some strategies or tactics that you can apply right away. In fact, I want to challenge you. You learned something here today that I'm sure really resonated with you. So take one thing and commit to doing something about it, taking action in the next twenty-four or forty-eight hours. I promise you, if you start putting into action what you learn here, you will feel so much growth in just three months or six months from now. So use my podcast as many lessons that you learn every week, and I promise you, the stacking effect, if you implement, will make a big difference in your business. 

All right, my friends, make sure to follow Ryan. I'll post links to his social and to his website in the show notes. And I can't wait to see you next week, same time, same place. Bye for now. 

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