Shrugged Collective

Real Chalk  — Be a Nice Asshole w/ Ryan Williams  — 20

Ryan Williams is a serial entrepreneur, a former navy SEAL, and founder of Industry Threadworks, a private label apparel production company.

Having successfully launched and sold multiple businesses, ranging from apparel brands to equipment manufacturing companies, Ryan has learned invaluable lessons about people, mindset, and the principles of building a successful organization.

In this episode, Ryan takes us on his journey from an unstable childhood, through his experiences in the military, to becoming a wildly successful entrepreneur. Ryan shares his strategies, perspectives, and lessons learned through his various business experiences.


– Ryan and Yaya

Moving towards difficulty

Ryan Williams takes us on his journey from an unstable childhood, through his experiences in the military, to becoming a wildly successful entrepreneur. He offers pieces of advice on where to start as well as the do’s and don’ts when it comes to scaling a business. In a constantly evolving world, Ryan encourages entrepreneurs to keep a beginners approach and keep the ego at bay.

Once in a lifetime opportunities happen a couple times a week if you know what to look for.” — Ryan Williams

Key Takeaways

  • Be a people person —  90% of growing and scaling a business is based on how you interact with other humans. It is crucial to have a deep understanding for not only your customer’s needs, but also your team members’ needs. We all experience love and recognition in different ways. Ryan attributes his ability to relate to others to The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts.
  • Be willing to take steps back —  Often times, especially when coming from previous success, it is hard for us to take a step backward. When getting into a new field or industry, silence the ego and be willing to be the “new guy”.
  • The execution is what matters —  Your first product will not be perfect, so do not spend all of your time and energy on perfecting it. Throw something out there that you believe in and run with it. Be open to the feedback.
  • Add a personal touch —  Especially in apparel, people are buying a lifestyle, not a product. Customers are buying into a community. Add a personal touch, like a handwritten thank you card. It goes a long way with customers and keeping their loyalty.
  • Ryan’s four idea filters:
    • How profitable will it be?
    • How easy is it to execute?
    • How much capital will it take up?
    • How fast can I get it to the point it is making money?

At the end of the day, as long as you are trying to get better, you are going to learn.” — Ryan Williams

Mike Bledsoe

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