Kirkus Reviews QR Code
NOTHING TO LOSE, EVERYTHING TO GAIN by Ryan Blair

NOTHING TO LOSE, EVERYTHING TO GAIN

How I Went From Gang Member to Multimillionaire Entrepreneur

By Ryan Blair (Author) , Don Yaeger (Author)

Pub Date: Aug. 4th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-59184-403-7
Publisher: Portfolio

With veteran co-author Yaeger (with Rex Ryan: Play It Like You Mean It, 2011, etc.), millionaire entrepreneur Blair tells his compelling story: a troubled street kid overcomes a broken home and a drug-addled father to amass a vast fortune before the age of 30.

As tantalizing as that history is, however, the author never really digs into it here beyond referencing his time as a somewhat incongruous Southern California gang-banger. Readers hoping to learn exactly how a scrawny white kid from a formerly stable middle-class life transformed himself into a hard-edged hoodlum—only to renounce it all—will be somewhat disappointed. Rather, Blair provides a course in Entrepreneurism 101 with a rather vague and ill-defined human-interest back story for inspiration. Nonetheless, the author’s experience growing small companies and then selling them to larger ones is insightful. In addition to outlining the intricate issues involved in creating a thriving business, he also provides thoughtful commentary on the psyche required by newly minted titans of industry. Could you fire a friend? How about carry a mountain of debt on your back without any clear means of repaying it? Blair asks some seriously tough questions while also illuminating would-be tycoons about the cutthroat nature of the environment they hope to conquer. His candid recounting of his own failures is easily the most enlightening and potentially beneficial part of the book.

Readers may never attain the author’s heights, but his advice should help nascent entrepreneurs skirt at least some of the pitfalls ahead.