The ability to persevere through hardships is a skill that few possess from birth. By definition, perseverance is the character trait that pushes a person through to the end of difficult challenges. When faced with trials, those with this skill can apply their bodies and minds to demolish the task at hand. Whether physical, mental, or emotional challenges arise, the ability to persevere means giving up is never an option.
Enter Ryan Mason. Recently named by Yahoo as 1 of the Top 12 Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2020 and former athlete, Ryan is living proof that, through perseverance, anyone can find success. A disruptive force in the professional world, he’s built a philosophy for building businesses using three key factors: people, process, and platform. Ryan’s passion and hard work have brought him countless accomplishments in the business world, but his story originally began on a very different path.
Ryan’s biggest dream growing up was to play football in the NFL. His father, Larry Mason, played collegiately at the University of Southern Mississippi and Troy State University. He also played professionally in the NFL, CFL, and USFL. Football was in Ryan’s blood, and he only hoped to follow in his father’s footsteps. When asked for advice, Larry gave Ryan one word: perform.
Working his tail off for four years, Ryan proved himself as one of the premier high school players in Alabama. In 2011, he had broken state records for total tackles in both a single game and in a career. At the Nike Combine, Ryan ranked in the top 3% nationwide for the 5-10-5 drill, but scouts counted him out for one uncontrollable reason. For the top-level colleges, Ryan was undersized.
Exiting his high school career, Ryan was offered full-ride scholarships from only two colleges. Despite taking official visits to major Division I schools, size remained a major cause for concern. Ryan decided to accept an offer to attend the University of North Alabama, a small Division I school, on a full football scholarship. While not the level of competition he had hoped for, Ryan remained optimistic about his future ahead in the sport.
What began as the next opportunity for Ryan to fulfill his lifelong dream quickly turned out to be more different than expected. Almost 3 years into his collegiate career, Ryan faced uncontrollable obstacles that kept him sidelined and unhappy. His future in football looked dim, and the chances of ever making it to the NFL was extremely low. The pressures and demands of the student-athlete life left Ryan torn, and he eventually had to make the biggest and toughest decision of his life: stepping out on faith and leaving the game of football.
Previously relying on his athleticism and raw talent to pay for his college degree, Ryan was quickly hit with the financial demands of schooling. Through his hard work and perseverance, he was able to land another full scholarship for academics, making his transition into the business world much smoother. Ryan eventually graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Finance and two minors in Business Administration and Innovation Engineering from the University of North Alabama.
While attending UNA, Ryan was pushed by his mentors to create something revolutionary. With their knowledge and assistance, he launched a ground-breaking company in 2015 that took the shoe industry by storm: Luxe Brand Luxury Shoelaces.
Ryan’s new company struggled at first, as he failed to crowdfund the project. Despite winning state-wide business competitions, his project never took off on Kickstarter and his campaign was a bust. Eventually, Luxe Brand became a huge success, as Ryan’s luxury shoelaces landed on Good Morning America, NFL Network, in Foot Locker stores, and have been worn by athletes and celebrities including DJ Khaled and Kevin Gates.
For the first time in a long time, Ryan had truly found happiness. And in 2016, Ryan took another huge step forward in his business career, launching BizBuzz Digital. For him, this was his chance to teach entrepreneurs the power of people, processes, and platforms through digital marketing.
Now, BizBuzz provides integrated marketing automation software and services to over 250 small businesses.
With his experience and success as a businessman, Ryan is now reaching out to up-and-coming entrepreneurs. His path took many unexpected turns, but he ultimately persevered. Ryan wants to inspire others to do the same, and to give them hope when difficult trials lie ahead. To do so, he’s turned to writing books.
Tested and proven by Ryan in the business world, the strategies and advice within this book are aimed at small businesses looking to take the next step in their development. Outlined within are methods to increase brand visibility, grow awareness within a company, how to supercharge engagement, and ways to drive both leads and conversions.
Ryan is passionate about sharing his approach to business with others of similar charisma and is always looking to inspire innovation amongst other entrepreneurs. His personal success as a professional has provided him with opportunities to gain experience and knowledge, and now wishes that his book will guide others down a similar path.