Entreprenuer Ryan Lee on Balance, Productivity, and Speed Reading

Entreprenuer Ryan Lee on Balance, Productivity, and Speed Reading

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Ryan Lee is a leading lifestyle entrepreneur.

The founder of Freedym Lifestyle, Ryan was one of the first online fitness coaches and this week he's on the Optimal Performance Podcast to share knowledge on using diet to control auto-immune disorders, finding balance between work and play, beating stress, building relationships and more!

An entrepreneur since he was 12, Ryan Lee is former college sprinter, was one of the first online fitness coaches, writes for Entrepreneur magazine, father of 4 and launched the brand new Freedym.

Ryan shares a TON of knowledge in this episode, including: how he built his dream life, achieving balance, applying fitness lessons to life and business, and how to read 2X faster INSTANTLY!


What You'll Hear From Ryan Lee is this episode:

  • How dietary changes healed Ryan's arthritis and other auto-immune symptoms.[Tweet "3 foods to avoid for arthritis and other auto-immune diseases: sugar, dairy, & wheat."]
  • AUDITING YOUR BODY: how and where to find naturopaths and ALCAT test sites
  • Using routines and systems to achieve balance
  • Finding your ONE THING to drive yourself forward each day.
  • How Ryan stays fit and healthy with only 20 minutes of lifting 4-5 days a week...
  • Chunking or 'batching" activities to optimize productivity
  • Why this successful entrepreneur says 24/7 "grinding" is a mistake.
  • Stop answering your phone!
  • Ryan tips to recharge and de-stress
  • 3 books to help optimize your mental, spiritual, and creative performance
  • How to go from "nobody" to "knows everybody" & why relationships are #1.
  • How offering to pay can help you get FREE mentoring
  • What is the Freedym Lifestyle?
  • Supplement recommendations from a 20-year fitness industry veteran (HINT: longevity & resiliency)
  • Where to find more of Ryan Lee
  • Ryan's Top 3 tips to Live Optimal

"Set your audio books to 2X speed to consume information in 1/2 the time!" - @_ryanlee


Where to find Ryan: Ryan Lee's website


Social Media

Freedym breakfast

Links & Resources

Bottom Line Health





Natural Stacks Performance Optimizers

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Serotonin Brain Food

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Ryan Lee on Balance, Productivity & Speed Reading

Ryan M: You are listening to the Optimal Performance Podcast sponsored by Natural Stacks. If you're into biohacking, performance or getting more out of life, this is the show for you! For more on building optimal performance, check out

Alright, happy Thursday all you optimal performers! I'm your host Ryan Munsey and today I'm joined by another Ryan, Mr. Ryan Lee. Ryan, thanks for hanging out with us!

Ryan L: I am excited to be here, Ryan!

Ryan M: Well we really appreciate you being here with us today. So for our listeners, Ryan is the leading lifestyle entrepreneur, he was the first to do online fitness coaching, membership sites, he's the host of the Freedym podcast now and we're gonna talk about a lot of really cool stuff today, both in terms of life, business and physical performance. So sit back, get ready for an awesome episode. Before we do that, a couple of housekeeping notes, as always make sure you go to to see the video version of this along with show notes and any links and resources that Ryan brings up today. And make sure you head on over to iTunes, we love those 5* reviews so please let us know how much you enjoy the show. And let's get to it. Ryan!

Ryan L: Yo, Ryan!

Ryan M: We talked a little bit before we came on the air. Last year you were diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. Tell us a little bit what that was and how you've been able to overcome it.

Ryan L: So, you know, I'd started a couple of years ago playing tennis and I've always been pretty active, just as way of background. Yeah, I was a trainer for years and I ran track in college, I was captain of my track team and a sprinter, and I loved just training and training hard. But about a year and a half ago I was playing tennis and my feet were really sore like, hurting a lot. I'd never felt that kind of pain. I went to a podiatrist, I went to my friend who's an orthopedic surgeon and he looked and they did X-ray after X-ray and they couldn't find what was going on. I went to my general practitioner, he didn't know. And then one morning I woke up and I can barely move my hands, like my fingers were so stiff! I'm like: 'Alright, something's goin' on.' I went to more doctors. Finally I went to a rheumatologist and they took the blood test and he said: 'Well you have - ' and he saw my fingers and my toes were all really swollen. And he said: 'Well you have -'. He's like: 'There's no way to exactly diagnose it, but based on what I see and the blood test and everything that's coming back, you have what's called psoriatic arthritis.' Which is the - basically an autoimmune disease which causes arthritis, I mean that's really what it was and it was in my fingers, in my toes and I was so, so exhausted I could barely keep my eyes open. I would sleep in the middle of the day; I'd fall asleep for like 2 or 3 hours. I'd wake up and I was still tired, I couldn't figure it out. So the rheumatologist said: 'Okay, well we're gonna out you on methotrexate.' I'm like: 'Wait, wait, wait, wait! Hold on. Hold on. What is that?' He's like: 'Well it's, you know, it's a chemo drug.' I said: 'Well isn't that kind of dangerous?' He said: 'Well yeah, it's gonna - it's gonna, you know, we'll put you on it for a year, you have to come in every week, we'll have to monitor all your stuff in your kidney and your this or that and it could be - you know, you have to be careful if you're around sick people.' I'm like: 'Well, what do you mean? I have 4 kids!' Like, kids are always sick!

Ryan M: Right!

Ryan L: And I said: 'So you're telling me every single person who has this diagnosis that comes in to you, you put them on methotrexate?' He says: '100%.' And I look and I walk out into his, his waiting room. Everyone there just looks so sick and his, the guy at the front desk - and not to be, I'm not trying to be anti-obese - but he was like 500 lbs and just, it felt sick. I'm like: 'Well, before I do anything I'm gettin' a 2nd and 3rd opinion.' He's like: 'Well, you'll see. Nothing else is gonna work.' I said: 'Well isn't this just -.' So anyway, I went to like 2 different naturopaths and they said: 'Absolutely you can reverse it.' So I changed my nutrition, changed my exercise, changed my stress level, reduced it. And a year later, I'm back, I'm playing tennis, I'm playing paddle tennis, I'm able to spring, I'm coaching baseball again. And it's so weird, like, the little things like, I literally, Ryan, for like 8 months I couldn't snap my fingers. I - it hurt, it hurt that much! I couldn't snap my fingers, like: 'Ow!' And now like I can move, I have full range of motion, I can do this. I couldn't do this! And all without taking any of the drugs, just doing it naturally through supplementation, reduction of stress and changing my diet.

Ryan M: That's amazing! We've had - we've actually had a naturopath on the show already, Dr. Alexis Shields and we talked in that episode about how diet can influence autoimmune disorders and actually exacerbate 'em and maybe in your case, cause them. Were you able to pinpoint what was causing?

Ryan L: You know, based on the different tests they did - and one of the naturopaths took all these different tests to see which moves affected me the most and caused the most inflammation within me - the three not surprising were - number one for me was cane sugar. Natural cane. That was number one by far. So sugars had made it worse, dairy, especially yogurt and the third one - again, not surprising - was gluten. So for the first I'd say 6 months I was completely gluten-free, dairy-free, as much sugar-free as possible being a dad with 4 kids. And I immediately started to feel better, started to lose weight. I've slowly reintroduced some things but, you know, the more I veer off and like if I'll have, at a birthday party I'll have 1 or 2 slices of pizza like the next day I'm like: 'Oh, I don't feel 100%.' So, it's not easy because between gluten, dairy and sugar, I mean it's in a lot of foods.

Ryan M: Yeah, it's everywhere.

Ryan L: It's - it, I mean, it's funny. And there's this place near us called Stew Leonard's and they make these great like, natural rice cakes. I'm like okay, a rice cake I could have. And you look at the first ingredient: wheat! I'm like: 'Why in - why the hell are they putting wheat in rice cake!' Like it doesn't make any sense!

Ryan M: Right. 

Ryan L: So there's a lot of things - but, again, I'll have things but I just don't go overboard, I'm not gonna have 2 or 3 slices of pizza. I just - I try to keep everything in moderation and I feel so much better. I know I could still - you know, I'm not perfect - I know I could still eat even better 'cause when I'm 100% clean I'm like, so much better. So I try. I try as hard as I can, Ryan.

Ryan M: So two questions for you on that. The - the hours a year - the test that you took, was that an ALCAT?

Ryan L: That's a great question.

Ryan M: Okay!

Ryan L: I have - I - if I tell you I took 50 tests, I'm sure I did.

Ryan M: Okay.

Ryan L: Every single test you could imagine. The one that was with the nutrition, she gave me a whole report. She did a whole bunch of blood tests, like 5 or 10 different skin finger pricks and sent it all in and it showed every single food and on a scale of like 0 to 100 how much it's affecting me. And like, the cane sugar was like, you know, 89 where everything else was like 1, 2, 5. So, I couldn't - it was like a year ago I don't remember.

Ryan M: Okay. So that - that's something, we'll put that in the show notes for folks to be able to go check that out. It's a very valuable thing. I know, even if somebody doesn't have the full symptoms the way you're talking about, our mutual friend Paul Reddick was a - he's been a previous guest on the show and he talked about doing the ALCAT and found out that - he used to put lime in his water and he had developed a sensitivity to lime. And you know that's something that, you know, you're mentioning things that we would commonly think of as things to avoid for autoimmune disorders, you know, whether it's gluten or dairy or added sugar. But, even in his case it was something like lime, whey protein for him. So, things that if you've been eating it every single day for 5, for 10 years, your body may be saying: 'Whoa, we need a break from this.' 

Ryan L: Yeah! And, you know, if you think about it, I know this show is about like, optimal health, optimal performance; it just makes sense to take this test to kinda audit and say - 'cause you might, you're so used to being at a certain level and that's kinda your norm, and you just - you don't know, 'cause you don't know how everyone else feels. But you adapt to whatever it is, so after a while you kind of don't feel that great but it's your norm, but - 

Ryan M: Right.

Ryan L: Unless you start then looking and say: 'Oh wow, let me eliminate this and my god, I feel so - !' It's almost like look, you and I, Ryan, have been working out all our lives. We know how good it feels to work out. And if you've ever been off and hurt yourself and you can't work out for a couple of weeks you're like just dragging and you're like, how does anyone else survive? Like how do they live like that? But yeah I definitely recommend figuring out what are those things that are affecting you that you don't even realize. Like with me a big one is dairy. Like, I was - without getting graphic - I felt, I would eat cereal. I love cereal man.

Ryan M: I'm right there with you! 

Ryan L: I'm a kid from the 80's, so I grew up with cereal! And I was like, always in the bathroom, I always felt bloated and just - and I'm like that's probably how everyone is. The minute I stopped that dairy I'm like: 'Oh my god! I'm not running to the bathroom every 5 minutes!' Like: 'I'm not bloated, my stomach's not growling!' So, and if I have some now I feel it again. 

Ryan M: Yeah, I'm right there with you. I, you know, I've never been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder but I have made the personal choice not to eat any dairy or gluten and even if we have cheat meals or if I go out, you know, I still try to avoid dairy because, you know, I can have a little bit of dairy and the next day skin's all filmy, you just retain water everywhere, you have that really - you know again not to be graphic - but the gas is just, you know.

Ryan L: It's off the charts! I know. So I switched everywhere I possibly can to almond milk.

Ryan M: Yes!

Ryan L: And even, you know, I was having - I'm known as the guy who works from Starbucks, I built my whole business basically working from Starbucks in the morning.

Ryan M: Right.

Ryan L: And for a long time I was having a latte and that obviously has milk and I just cut it out and just, like, having just a regular coffee or a tea or something and it just - it feels better!

Ryan M: Yeah. Um, it, you know, I've even had to cut out whey protein. And until I found the Natural Stacks whey protein, that's the only way that I can use without experiencing the gassy symptoms. So, that's another thing that really drew me to Natural Stacks, you know to shamelessly plug one of our products go check out the Natural Protein. It's all grass-fed whey, it's got breast milk colostrum in it and it's a 2 to 1 blend of whey and collagen.

Ryan L: Was that a good way - you said to do a whole 20-minute lead up to the plug?

Ryan M: Yeah, yeah! So, but let's go back to naturopath. How did you find naturopathic doctors in your area?

Ryan L: Um, the first one was recommended. He's kinda the only one in our area and it's funny I have a friend who has been a client of mine, who I coached on marketing and he was working in marketing with this guy. So I found him when - very smart guy, he actually teaches at the local college that has a naturopathic program. There's not that many that do, he's one of the professors there. Former accountant. The problem was though he said: 'Okay, I'm gonna put you on a - like a 7 or 14-day detox thing and take this shake.' It was so disgu - like I literally for like 2 whole days - I was just ga - I was dry heaving - I couldn't do it. I'm like: 'I literally can't do it.' And he basically, essentially wanted me to go vegetarian, almost even vegan. I'm like: 'Look I just - I just - I don't think this is right for me.' And um, and again I don't want to sound - without talking about people based on their weight and look but he looked kind of big and soft, it almost reminded me - and I don't want to take a jab at Dr. Andrew Weil who's a very well-known naturopath but, you know, the beard kinda heavy and I'm just like - that's not the look I'm going for! Not that I need him to be a swimsuit model, but I want to be vibrant!

Ryan M: I mean, we both come from that fitness background. I mean, you're not gonna take advice from somebody on how to get stronger if you're already stronger than they are!

Ryan L: Yeah! Yeah, so, I went to him, I went - yeah and I'm like - I didn't love it then. It's funny what I did was - my good friend Brian Kurtz, he at the time was president of this company called Boardroom. They have the world's largest paid health newsletter for 30 years, that's what they do, they're kind of like the bloodhounds for health, and all about natural health. So I called him I said: 'I need a naturopath.' He put me in touch with the editor of the newsletter and said - and it's funny 'cause they're in Stanford which is 10 minutes from me, they said: 'We have a great naturopath we use personally. She's like, a young doctor, very smart, great.' And I went to her and it was just right away like, I just felt like we were on the same wavelength. She's like - she's like: 'No, you don't need the detox thing. It's gonna be - it's too hard to do. Let's just make these subtle changes, let me do some of these extra tests.' And right away I started feeling better and I just - that's how I found her though, I literally went to the world's largest health newsletter and said: 'Who do you recommend?' I mean, I'm blessed to have the resources but I recommended her to like 7 of my friends. 

Ryan M: What was the newsletter? Can you tell us?

Ryan L: Yeah, it's um - it's called 'Bottom Line Health'. 

Ryan M: Okay.

Ryan L: 'Bottom Line Health'. So it's - it's literally like a print newsletter they have 4 or 5 hundred thousand subscribers and it's been around for decades.

Ryan M: Okay. Yeah, we'll put that in the show notes, too. So folks if they wanna find a naturopath in their area they can do that. So, you've already mentioned that you've got 4 children, you run a very successful business, you've got a lot going on. How do you balance work, family, rest? Obviously with the fitness background you're still getting some workout in. You know, how do you do that and still stay healthy?

Ryan L: Routines and systems and being as focused and efficient as possible. And I - well it's not proven, I know when you're stressed it's gonna take its effect on your health. And I think for so long I was just burning out my adrenals, I was taking on too many things, I was known as the guy in the industry who could run 100 different things at once and, you know, almost to the point of mania, like just doing so many things. And I think it just burned me out. So I just said: 'That's it.' I sold off some things, closed down some others, condensed some others into just one brand, which by the way - my plug, Freedym! So, I just - that was the one thing that helped me get my schedule organized. I'm like: 'Okay, so here's what I'm doing.' Now whatever business you're in, whether you're an entrepreneur or you work for someone else, whatever it is, you always have to figure out what's that one most important thing. What's the one thing - the driver of what it is? For me it's my daily e-mails. So that's the first thing I do. I make sure I'm out of the house early because my kids they all take baths every morning, believe it or not. So my first, my oldest is about - she just turned 12. She gets up at 5:30 in the morning, so I usually get up when she does and I'm out of the house by like 6:30, go to Starbucks 'cause that's like my writing space. That's the other little tip is find your creative space. I go there, I get my newsletter done, all the things I need to do to drive my business forward. And then, so for a couple hours I do that, then I go to the gym and I do about the most - every single workout is exactly 20 minutes. I'm always experimenting with different workouts but what I've found that works for me, mentally I need to know I'm going to be out at a certain time. I just know that. So if I'm at the gym at 9, I go in, I warm up for a few minutes, do some dynamic warm up for like 3 minutes, set my stop - my thing on my iPhone for 20 minutes and I'll do just different circuits for exactly 20 - the minute 'beep! beep! beep!' 20 minutes in, I'm done! Like that's it. I just literally go - I go on the foam roller for like 2 minutes and I hit the shower and I'm out. So my - my workout, should I tell a little bit of like, my work? Like, what [unclear 00:15:28].

Ryan M: Yeah, yeah! I mean, I was gonna ask, what are you doing? Are you focusing on, you know, big movements and then beach work? Is this every day? Is it 3, 4 days a week?

Ryan L: Yeah I try to go - during the week I try to go at least 4 times a week, sometimes 5. And I just kinda go what I'm feeling. I'm not just - I'm not doing a lot of heavy weights anymore, I used to do that. I just don't - I just don't need to; I don't want to. You know, I'm gonna be 43 I just - I will tell you, and I know some guys lift really heavy. I've been in the industry a long time. I know every single - and you probably know a lot of the same guys, Ryan - every single guy, every trainer, every hard core lifter I've known that's been doing it for 20, 25 years, without exception, they all have should issues, they all end up getting surgery, back surgery, shoulder surgery, knee surgery. I just don't want that!

Ryan M: Right!

Ryan L: I don't - 

Ryan M: Yeah, and it's - it's goal dependent. We've talked about this a lot before on the show, too. Like, why are you doing what you're doing? And, you know, if you're a competitive power lifter, if your job is to, you know, lift more weight than anybody else in the world then yeah, the juice is worth the squeeze in that case but you know, for you and I we're not doing that anymore.

Ryan L: Yeah, I'm not doing - I'm not doing power lifting. So I'll do, like today, right before this, I knew I was doing this interview earlier so I came home to do the workout. Here was my exact workout: 5 pull-ups, and none of these B.S. Kipping, like real pull-ups, old school! 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 body weight squats and 20 abdominal exercises. Sometimes it's a bicycle crunch, sometimes it's a hanging knee lift, I just kind of vary that each time. Then that's it: 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 body weight squats, 20 type of ab thing core exercise. I just repeat that as many times in 20 minutes, and that's it! I'm breaking a sweat I've got a - and then sometimes I'll do a kettlebell thing where I'll do 10 kettlebell swings, 10 push-ups, 10 kettlebell dead lifts, 10 push-ups and keep kinda alternating. And I just kinda - full body, multi-joint, not too much stress but I feel like I get a good workout in, I feel strong, working all the different body parts. And so that's pretty much, like, my morning. I come home, try to have a healthy lunch, and then afternoon is the time when I just have between 12 and 3:30 is when I do all my coaching calls, interviews like this, my podcast recordings, everything's kind of - I'm a big fan of chunking things together, chunking like activities. Like I'm not - if you schedule something to talk with me or interview with me, it's gonna be between 12 and 3. That's it! I'm not doing interviews at 8 o'clock in the morning and running home and running back, that's when you start to get into trouble and that's when you can't get hold of your schedule. And then by 3:30 I'm done with everything, my kids start coming home at 3:30 and then in the afternoon, like today I'm coaching baseball. I coach my 6-year-old son's baseball team. You know, tomorrow I take another kid to tennis. So I'm - afternoons are all, from 3:30 to like, whenever, it's kid time and I really try to not get back on the computer. Like, and I think it's important and, you know, I know this is about optimal performance and I'll tell you my theory. I think we put a lot of pressure on our self and there's a lot of hustle, hustle, hustle, work your face off, never stop grinding. And it's one thing if you're 20 and 22 and 25, when you start hitting 30, you start hitting 40, you know, I'm about to be 43 like, no I don't want to hustle and grind. I've got 4 kids, I want to be with them and I think you need to recharge your batteries. And I used to feel guilty, like if I'd watch TV. I'd be like: 'Oh man, I shouldn't be watching TV. I should be working I should be - ' like competitor of hustle. You know what? Now at night, like, after the kids are sleeping if I just wanna watch an hour of the like, kind of mindless TV, watch some character development, some good stuff to just recharge and then I do it and I don't feel bad about it. And I feel better physically, mentally, I get - and I try to get to sleep by like 10 o'clock and get a really good night's sleep, like a solid 7, 8 hours and I feel so much better. That's - and that's it. So I get to spend as much time as I want with my kids, I get all my work done, I do it in chunks. So morning is my big driver, my e-mail, my marketing, my traffic, my coffee; afternoon is coaching or sometimes I'll see a movie, I'll get a massage and then, later afternoon is kid time. So that's - that's my day! 

Ryan M: Yeah, that's awesome! So - so let's recap that for our listeners. Essentially we're saying, you know, find the biggest bang for your buck, focus on the things that bring you the most return for your investment.

Ryan L: The number one thing!

Ryan M: Yeah.

Ryan L: Like, that's the first thing you do in the morning before checking e-mail.

Ryan M: Put that at the very top of your to-do list.

Ryan L: Right, right.

Ryan M: Yeah I like that. I like that. Put it even before you check e-mail or Facebook notifications, any of that stuff.

Ryan L: Yeah! Right!

Ryan M: And then being very vigilant and, you know, protective of your time. You know, time management, set boundaries. You know, that's a very Tim Ferriss kind of thing, what you mentioned with kind of grouping or batching things. I remember that from The 4-Hour Workweek. 

Ryan L: Yeah I was doing it for - I was doing it forever. And everything! And I don't take phone calls, like, when I'm working my phone is - the only, I mean the ringer's not on so if it's my wife I'll answer but no one else, I don't take phone calls. If you want to do a phone call you have to schedule it. And if you can, I use an online calendar system. I use something called Calendly, and it's great! So if you - like, everything, it's just booked through the calendar. I don't have to do a thing, my assistant doesn't have to do anything, people just book it and it’s in. And it's only - I set perimeters and boundaries on when they can make the calls, and that's when I chunk the calls.

Ryan M: Awesome. You mentioned kind of de-stressing and recharging. Aside from mindless TV, which I'm right there with you, I'm a big Simpsons, Family Guy, you know just, at the end of the day you just shut it down, laugh, you know. What are some of your other de-stress, recharge practices?

Ryan L: Well obviously, you know, the little, the quick workout. The 20 minutes feels - like if I don't do it, I don't feel well. Believe it or not, just taking a walk. When the weather's even half-decent just going outside and walking for 20, 30 minutes. Sometimes I'll walk in the silence, sometimes I'll put an audio book on. And I'm, you know, in terms of hacking, like if I listen to an audio - I'm a big audio book fan, I love audio books. I listen to it, I buy it on iTunes and I listen to it in double speed. 'Cause every book there's that little button in iTunes, you press it and you can listen in double speed. So, I'll listen to a 5-hour book in 2.5 hours. And you're so - I get - I'm so used to this speed of the - I can't listen to it in regular time. Even talking to someone I'm like: 'Okay!' 

Ryan M: Like: 'Dude, speak faster! Hurry up!'

Ryan L: So here's a - so a normal audio book would be like: 'Okay. And then you want to put the thing in the -.' This'll be like: 'Okay, then you want to put in the e-mail.' You just - your brain just adapts to it. So, taking a walk. I try to take a daily walk, 20 minutes. Sometimes at night I'll do it, like before I go to bed I'll just get on the treadmill for 20 minutes, just nice and easy. I'll do it like 3.3 miles an hour but like a 10% incline and just walk. And I like - there's a place in town that does reflexology and it is the most incredible place. It's like 40 bucks for an hour, and you lay back and they massage your arms, your hands, your feet, your toes for like an - and I fall asleep every time. And that's like my, man that's like my favorite thing in the world. So between that and then at night sometimes um, I'll just take a warm bath. I'll put like relaxing spa music on and I put the lavender sea salts in. I am such a big wuss. But, you know - look but if you're not taking care of yourself, right?

Ryan M: Right!

Ryan L: I mean, no one else is gonna take - you've gotta do it!

Ryan M: Right!

Ryan L: Take care of it. You need that mental and physical just stopping, again I - I have no problem with hustle, I have no problem with working hard but you've gotta get - you've gotta take your foot off the gas. You've gotta take care of yourself and just [exhales]. People don't breathe anymore! Just relax, man, it's not - it's funny even we said TV even now, and I used to love Shark Tank. I even had Daymond John speak at one of my events and what I find now is I can't even watch Shark Tank because it feels like work sometimes, 'cause my brain - my brain never stops. Oh, they could do this, so I'm like, I can't even watch Shark Tank! I need something even more mindless.

Ryan M: I'm the same way. I got into that, I got into The Prophet and it's fun to watch 'em, but I'm like you like that's not relaxing to me. That - that gets my wheel spinning and I start thinking business.

Ryan L: I know, I know.

Ryan M: It's like how can I do this with what I'm doing? And, you know, yeah, so that's why I like the mindless stuff, too. But those are great shows! So, the double speed reading on audio, that's awesome, I had not thought about that. I listen to - 

Ryan L: And podcasts as well, by the way!

Ryan M: Okay, okay. So I listen to things on Audible. I'm gonna have to check in on that and see if we can double-speed that there. While we're talking about books, I know the name of the show is Optimal Performance but you know, we're all about living optimal and that does kind of encompass everything. So, you know, we've got a lot of people who like to read. Give us 3 good books that you have read or listened to recently that you might recommend.

Ryan L: Okay. Business. I mean I - I've been trying to read more fiction as well but I'll just stick to fiction - to non-fiction. What have I read lately that I've liked? I liked 'The One Thing' which is by um, god I'm not gonna remember any of their names. 

Ryan M: That's alright.

Ryan L: But it's called 'The One Thing' and it's essentially what I was saying before: doing that one thing! Not priorities, priority. It's - it's - that's kind of the whole book. But on audio book, I've listened to it. It's weird, for me when I feel like I'm getting unfocused and there's too many opportunities I listen to it again. And it just - it centers me, it's bizarre. That's a good one. A really good just overall business entrepreneurial book is 'Ready, Fire, Aim' by Michael Masterson. Really good, like foundational business stuff, real world business. What else? I'm trying to think of what's on my - my iPod right now - my iPhone right now. You know, it's - it's funny that I listen to and it's bizarre because I'm Jewish and I'm not religious either way, like I just, we celebrate the holidays and I had a bar mitzvah. But I listen to sometimes Joel Osteen. He's the - you know who he is? He's like a motivational - but I mean he talks a lot about, like, the Bible stuff and I don't - I never read the Bible I have no idea Levitic - I don't know any of that stuff! But his messages, like he's just so positive and if I feel like I'm a little down I just listen to him and he's like: 'You can do it!' Like it's just - I smile. And I just - I like it! So that's kind of like a feel-good one. And, you know, obviously like anything by Les Brown and Bryan Tracy, like the motivational stuff that's always - Tony Robbins um, so yeah I listen to a lot of audio books but I'm telling you that that double speed is like unbe- oh and there's also an app on the computer! And let me just see what - if I have it. It's called MySpeed, M-Y-S-P-E-E-D. I don't remember the name of the company that makes it, just look up MySpeed in Google. And what you do is you install it on your computer and then you could watch every video as fast as you want. So if I'm watching - if I buy a course and it's a video training course, I can watch it in double speed. So again, I'm absorbing twice as much material in, you know, in the same amount of time it would normally take. 

Ryan M: That's awesome! Okay, this is some great stuff!

Ryan L: [laughs] What did you think, I'm just gonna come up with fluff, Ryan? Come on!

Ryan M: No, I knew that! I just didn't know it was gonna be this good! Alright, so let's - one of the things that I think, you know, when I read your stuff and when I kinda look at you and - and was planning and trying to prep for this podcast, I see you as a guy who's well connected and has done a great job of nurturing and building relationships both professionally and personally. Talk a little bit about, you know, why that's so important. Both for your health and for, you know, the performance of your business. You know, and any tips that you might have for somebody who's still in that grind phase, maybe a 20 to 30-year-old.

Ryan L: Relationships are everything. They really are! You know they - you'll see someone who has a big launch or a big success in their business and you look and it has - 99% of the time it's relationships. And they don't see it from the outside, they'll be like: 'Oh man, you're lucky!' or 'Well, it's easy for you, Ryan.' Whether it's Ryan Munsey or Ryan Lee, 'It's easy for you 'cause you know everybody.' But we all start somewhere.

Ryan M: Right.

Ryan L: Right? I started my first business, I was still working full-time in a children's rehab hospital and I was building the site in my parent's basement. I didn't know anyone. So, you can't - like you've gotta start somewhere! But relationships are everything. You've gotta nurture them, you've gotta treat people well. And not just relationships with, you know, everyone of influence but everybody. And it gets me crazy when, like you go to an event, a business event, a marketing event and the speakers are like, kinda arrogant and they're just - they're only talking to other speakers and you know: 'Oh, you can't talk to me, you gotta go through my assistant,' it's like, come on, man, just cut it out, be - like I will treat the speaker as well as the guy valet parking my car. Like, to me every - and I really, I truly learned that from my parents, especially my dad like he's just always, always about that, like treating everyone really well. So you just gotta treat everyone well and treat everyone with respect and try as best you can to stay in touch. Like I'll - I have a pretty long list of people in my contact list and I'll just, as I'm driving if I have like 10 free minutes I'll just call someone randomly. Hey just, calling to say hi. Like, there's no hidden agenda, there's nothing that I want, I just wanna say hi. Like my friend I've known - another one of the marketer - Yanik Silver for like, a decade and it was - we're both Jewish - so it was Rosh Hashanah about a week ago which is the Jewish New Year and I just sent him a text and said: 'Hey, Happy New Year!' That's it, like, just staying in touch, you know, trying to be a good person. I - I don't know, it's weird that we even have to talk about this, you know? Just, I don't know.

Ryan M: And it - well, we're in an age of, you know, where connection is easier than it's ever been but I think real interaction and real connection, real relationships may be not as strong as, as they've ever been.

Ryan L: Yeah! And there's nothing that's going to build a relationship better than like, actually picking up the phone. It's one thing to e-mail someone, but talking on the phone, like even you and I, like we didn't know each other before! We got on the phone, I interviewed you and like, we're starting a connection, a relationship, we're staying in touch with each other, I mean that's where it starts. But, you know, here's the thing what not to do: if you see someone who's, you know kind of well-known in your industry and you'd love to connect with them - and it's funny I just wrote a Facebook post about this like 2 hours ago - don't, don't, don't, don't say to them: 'Hey, Ryan Munsey, I'm a big fan of your show. Can I pick your brain?' You know, 'Can I talk to you for an hour and pick your brain?' No! What you do is you say: 'Hey Ryan, I'm a fan of your work, I love what you're doing, I love your show, you know, I'd love to, you know, can I buy an hour of your time?' ', you know, 'What's your rate? I would love to just talk to you.' And, you know, 'Look, can I buy - ', like offer to pay. There's - it's amazing, the difference that - 'cause sometimes people do and they're like: 'Look, I don't want your money, let's get on the phone.' Right, I have a friend I've known since 8 years old and he's getting into this world and he said: 'Ryan, I wanna do what you're doing, can I buy some time with you?' He didn't just say: 'Hey man, we go back a long ways, you should do this for me.'

Ryan M: Right.

Ryan L: I said, you know: 'Ken, we've known each other forever, let's get on a call.'  So, you do that - and then if you meet someone at an actual even like face-to-face, again, worse thing to say is: 'Ryan Munsey, man, I know you've got a big fitness list, how big is your list? 10,000? Okay! I've got a new product, it's how to get 6-pack abs in 6 minutes. It sells for 39 bucks, I'll give you 50%, could you promote it to your list?' You're laughing 'cause you know. You have no idea how much, how often that happens! That's why I don't even go to events anymore. As opposed to - and the best line that someone ever put on me, which I loved was Carrie Wilkerson and she said to me, we were at an event and she said: 'Ryan, I love what you're doing, your stuff helped me so much, how can I support you?' Like all of the sudden the fences go down, fences go down. 'How can you help me? How can I suppo - wow! Well Carrie, tell me about you? What do you do?' Like, and that - and now the conversation begins. It doesn't always have to be 50/50, right, it could be 0/100, it doesn't matter but if you come first and you give and you support, things have a way of working out. And if it's not reciprocated and it doesn't come back and it's only one-sided then that's up to you to decide look, this isn't - fully isn't a relationship. And then you move on! And that's - that's kinda it. I mean that's the way the network and build relation - and just try to do the right thing. You know, if you have an e-mail list, your e-mail people and marketing people, treat them how you would treat your own family. My dad's on my e-mail list, my wife, my sister, my cousins, my friends I've known forever, they're all on my e-mail - my business list. So I know when I e-mail I'm gonna treat them with respect and I'm never gonna promote anything that I wouldn't buy myself or have them buy. And that's what most people think short-term and they don't think about long-term and that - it's about - it's really about trust. Right? It really comes - everything kind of comes down to trust. 

Ryan M: Yeah. I'm laughing because my mom is also on my business e-mail list and at least once a week I get a reply to one of the newsletter broadcasts from my mom. So, yeah.

Ryan L: But doesn't that make you write - like, you think twice when you write. 

Ryan M: Yeah!

Ryan L: You know, before you write something like: 'Eh, maybe I shouldn't say that.'

Ryan M: Right.

Ryan L: But it's good! I mean, when someone gets an e-mail from me, I don't care if you own a dry-cleaning shop or a gym or a business, online marketing business like, treat them like your friends, treat them with respect. And even my e-mails are very friendly in tone and story-telling and they're not hype-y and pitch-y, it's just here's the story, here's what we're doing, here's what I can help you with and that's it! That's the key.

Ryan M: Yeah. So, this - it sounds - a lot of what you're saying sounds like the message, you know, the heart-centric lifestyle entrepreneur that is associated with your new, your consolidated - the Freedym. Tell us a little bit about what's going on with that.

Ryan L: It's a new - it's kind of like a multi-step phase we're launching with so, we have the Freedym show which is a podcast that's only 10 minutes long and I interview different lifestyle entrepreneurs and we kind of cut right to it. We don't really talk about the store much we just like, okay, even when you were on it's like: 'What's kind of your superpower? And give me the number one thing you've gotta do. How do you make that successful?' And then I have a coaching group on the back end of that called Freedym Academy and it's - I'm on there every day and that's where I coach my clients. And then we're gonna start coming out soon with some new training products, some new newsletters but right now it's the show and it's Freedym Academy and then we just did our first big event, we had about 3 or 400 people come to FreedymFest which was in Stanford, Connecticut. And it was - it was like the first marketing event for lifestyle entrepreneurs with zero pitching. 'Cause you go to some events, and they're pitch fests. And every guy, they give their 20-minute story, 2 minutes of content and the 30-minute pitch. This was every speaker had just 20 minutes, kind of like TED, come on, give us your best thing and then get off the stage and there's no pitching. And, man, just feedback, I've been reading the feedback forms, every single person, every person said: 'This is the best even I've ever attended.' I know it sounds arrogant but I'm gonna put them on like I'm gonna scan them in and show everyone that it's just, people were just blown away. I just like doing business like that, so that's kind of where we are with Freedym and yeah we're gonna launch some new products and programs and it's gonna be good, you know, high value. And people are gonna be - they can get tactical stuff and they know they can trust us.

Ryan M: Okay. Very cool, very cool. So, you already talked to us a little bit about your creative process. Now I want to know some of your favorite diet tricks, and supplements that you might take to, you know, help with your performance, whether it's your 20-minute workout or whether it's the actual creative process.

Ryan L: Yeah, so the - the registered dietician had a whole list of these different supplements. Half of them I'm still not even sure. I know I take a really strong omega-3 which has the balance - you'll know better than me, I don't even know what it is but it's really - it's like, whatever the most powerful one is, that's what I'm taking. 

Ryan M: Okay.

Ryan L: I have another one that is actually, it's um, it's like an omega-3 but it's actually from whitefish. And she said that's gonna help more with the lining of the intestines and more of the - all that stuff going on. [laughs]

Ryan M: Yeah! And that's something we've talked about on the show before with gut health and how that - 

Ryan L: Exactly!

Ryan M: How that connects to your brain, your gut actually does talk to your brain, it's going to influence your mood, your creativity - 

Ryan L: So a lot of it, yeah a lot of the stuff has to do with gut health. Another one is um, the cumin, the turmeric? To help with the inflammation. And then one I just started taking about a month ago, which is a special formula just for adrenals. It's supposed to be for adrenal health. And I feel great! I don't even know what the hell's in it. I trust the guy, he's an incredible nutritionist he's like: 'Take this.' And I'm like: 'Alright!' I'll take - what have I got to lose it's like, you know? So I take it and I'm like, alright, maybe I had some adrenal issues so, those are the main ones I'm taking right now.

Ryan M: Okay, so it's very similar to what a lot of our other guests have talked about, you know, fix your gut, reduce inflammation, make sure everything is functioning correctly at that foundational level, then you'll be able to express, you know, the optimal performance that you want.

Ryan L: Right, yeah. And nutritionally really kind of varies but I try - I used to always have breakfast right when I woke up, whether I was hungry or not and, you know, I wouldn't always feel that great in the morning. I'd feel a little tired and slow and lethargic and now I usually don't have breakfast in the morning. Like I'll wake up, I have - if I go to Starbucks or a coffee shop I have like, one coffee. I'm not even a big coffee drinker, it's like really small. And then I'll work out and then after is when I'll have lunch. I'll have lunch at maybe like 11 o'clock and then I'll have sometimes a snack in between lunch and dinner and then I'll have dinner. But that's it, so lunch might be a salad, it might be soup. What did I just have, just now? I had, from the supermarket it's like this crunchy vegetable salad which all these vegetables crunched.  I don't know - I don't know what the hell is in 'em. [laughs] It's a lot of vegetables! I'll tell you one of my favorite lunches that's really quick and easy and a lot of people don't like it. I grew up with this: sardines.

Ryan M: I knew that's what you were gonna say! [laughs]

Ryan L: Sardines, man! The, like sea fins or I get them from Trader Joe's and just, I literally open up the can of sardines, I dump it in a bowl with all the oils and I just eat it. And even today I had it with, I have gluten-free crackers so I put - I'll chop 'em in little pieces and put it on the gluten-free cracker. I - it's - I love it! I think it's like the greatest thing in the world!

Ryan M: Yeah, yeah!

Ryan L: And people think it's disgu - I - and it's so good for - like if you look at all the nutrient power and how good it is for you, it's like the best food in the world!

Ryan M: Sardines may be the most perfect single meal.

Ryan L: Honestly!

Ryan M: You've got protein, you've got fat, you have all kinds of micro-nutrients, you know, you get calcium from all the bones in there, it's, yeah. As soon as you said: 'Most people don't like this,' I knew you were going sardines.

Ryan L: Oh my god, I could have sardines. And my mom, she used to eat sardines like every single day. So I grew up on that, I love sar- and my kids like 'em now, too.

Ryan M: I think it's one of those things that you either love it or you hate it.  

Ryan L: I think you've gotta start as a kid. Like you have to start. So, all of my kids will eat it, like they'll - like my 7-year-old and my 9-year-old - they'll eat it out of the can.

Ryan M: Yeah.

Ryan L: Which is like, kids don't do that! But yeah, if you're an adult and you haven't eaten it by the time you're 40, you're probably not gonna try it.

Ryan M: No. [laughs]

Ryan L: [laughs] And I love it, it's such a great - it's such a great lunch and it's not expensive. You can buy it in a, you know, just get 'em in a can, you can take it with you to the gym, you can eat it anywhere. Just, you know, make sure to brush your teeth after or have some gum, you know, it doesn't smell the best but it's really good.

Ryan M: Yeah.  That's awesome.

Ryan L: I'm a big fan of sardines.

Ryan M: Alright, so, Ryan, we're gonna have to close this out.

Ryan L: Oh we're just gettin' started Munsey, come on!

Ryan M: You got something else? No, no! You - trust me, there's some good stuff comin', there's some good stuff comin'! Where can our listeners get more of you?

Ryan L: You can go to, F-R-E-E-D-Y-M .com. I put together a free report. I've basically taken 15 years of my best income-creating strategies, lifestyle entrepreneurs, I condensed it down to just 3 pages, like so it's literally all my best stuff. And I also, I haven't updated it in a while but I'm doing a new version of, R-Y-A-N-L-E-E .com and you can listen to my free podcasts through Freedym. I'm also with Facebook, And I have a free group I just started on Facebook, you can go and it's 'Breakfast with Ryan Lee' which is bizarre 'cause I said I usually don't eat breakfast. But it's just a free group [unclear 00:40:22]. And we just kinda hang out.

Ryan M: Alright! Now, like I said, there's more good stuff coming. So, every guest has to close the episode with their top 3 tips to live optimal. So, don't let me down, Ryan, I'm expecting big things here.

Ryan L: Man! I gave you all my good stuff, I'm out! 

Ryan M: [laughs] Hey you said we were just gettin' started!

Ryan L: Oh yeah, no I was just kidding. Um, I mean we're just ending. Let me see, my 3 best tips for living optimally. I'm trying not to be repetitive in what I just said but it's gonna be a little repetitive 'cause it's so important. Number one is definitely that - figure out that one thing, that one driver of - and for me it's, you know, I usually talk in terms of business but it really could be in terms of health. You know, if the driver for you is a certain food you've gotta eat or thing you've gotta eliminate, like what's that one priority and do that first thing in the morning. So that's number one. Number two. You know, it's - I'm sure a lot of people have said this before Ryan, but I - I can't stress it enough, is rest and recover. You know, get a good night's sleep. Don't think that sleeping 4 hours is like a badge of honor, 'cause it's not. You're doing the opposite, you're hurting yourself. Sleep. Don't be afraid if you're tired in the middle of the day to sneak off and take a little nap. You know, recovery is just as important, you don't need to work out 10 hours a day, you don't need to work 10 hours a day. And number three. You know, to really live a great life, it's about - and I'm gonna use a Yiddish term here - it's about being a mensch. And a mensch is like, essentially means just be a good person. Like if everything you do you just try to do the right thing, you treat people with respect, if you create a product, you put out the best product you can, being good to other people and it just - it just comes back to you. The universe has a really great way of working. So, treating your family well, your friends well, people you don't know well, strangers well, just be good. Just be a good person. Like stop being a jerk, don't be so selfish, just be good and give and it makes like just that much sweeter. There you go.

Ryan M: That's awesome! Yeah. Ryan, I'm speechless, that's great. Hey, thanks for hanging out with us today. For all of our listeners, make sure you guys go to and you can see the video version, get the show notes, the links. We'll have tons of links to all the things that Ryan shared with us today. And make sure you go to iTunes, leave us a 5* review, tell us how much you love the show. And 'til next Thursday! Hope you guys have a good one! Ryan, thanks a lot for hanging out with us!

Ryan L: Thanks for having me, Ryan. Give him 10 stars!

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