Ryan McLean : Slightly Unconventional

I Am An Entrepreneur…Not a Pastor

I love reading books. Two of the most recent books I have read are Richard Branson’s books “Losing My Virginity” and “Business Stripped Bare”. Richard Branson has recently become one of my heroes (in the last few years) ever since I found out about Virgin Galactic.

It has long been my dream to go into space. So much so that in year 11 in high school I went to not one but TWO space camps…did someone say nerd? Branson is making space travel available to the general public for a few hundred thousand dollars and for that I admire him. Soon I will be able to achieve my dream of space travel…once I am a roaring business success.

REVOLUTIONISING AN INDUSTRY

Branson’s books are basically an autobiography of his life. He tells in great details the things he has done, and how he has achieved them. Branson looks for industries where there is little competition and he feels the customer is getting ripped off. He then launches business to offer and better service for cheaper to his customers.

Virgin Blue in Australia is one of the top low fare airlines, it came into the game when Quantas and Ansett were the only real competitors and it revolutionized cheap airfare in Australia. Virgin mobile was launched by offering prepaid to customers who couldn’t get a plan (this was before prepaid was the norm). He launched Virgin Record stores to offer discounted records and a better buying experience for customers who were getting ripped off. Branson makes billions by finding industries where the customer is being sold a raw deal. He has revolutionized many industries by providing more for less.

HOW I WANT TO DO BUSINESS

My current business idea that I am working on is in an industry where I feel customers are being sold a raw deal. It is my aim to offer customers a great service for a fraction of the cost they would currently have to pay.

I really like Branson’s method of creating a lot of businesses in different sectors. Most people focus on one area of expertise and stop there. I think that I want to be like Branson in the fact that I want to start businesses in lots of different areas. I want to find industries where the customer is getting a raw deal and I want to offer a better service at a better price.

I am working on one at the moment, and when that is successful I already have another business idea that I want to work on. My second idea will be offline and will require some capital first, so it requires the success of at least one business before it.

Gone are the days of trying to make money blogging. I feel I am really developing as an entrepreneur and moving up to bigger and better things. I want to start and run businesses that hire other people, that stimulate the economy more than just my own pocket.

MOVING INTO COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

In the future I want to start businesses and use them to buy property. The cash from my first business I will use to invest in property and achieve financial freedom. I will also use it to fund my next few businesses. Eventually I want to start businesses and use them to buy the real estate they operate on. Then sell the business and keep the real estate. Something like a restaurant. Start a restaurant and use it to buy it’s location, then sell the restaurant and charge rent for the property. This sounds like a good way for me to move into commercial property.

MY JOURNEY FROM WANABE PASTOR TO ENTREPRENEUR

I have had an interesting journey over the last few years. In 2006 I started bible college with the goal to be a youth pastor. In 2008 I quit college and got married and decided that being a pastor was not for me.

Firstly, I don’t have the mercy to be a pastor. I am blunt, which is often interpreted as being rude, and I just don’t have much empathy for people. Being a pastor would drive me crazy…all the hugs and the caring just isn’t my style. I would prefer to live an exceptional life and just show people how to do the same…not cuddle them through their problems.

I did a spiritual gift test and Mercy was my lowest ranking gift, I got HALF the points for mercy as I did for the 2nd lowest gift. I figure I am better off focusing on my strengths (which I am told by the test that they are teaching and preaching) than trying to fix what is obviously a weakness. Just my opinion.

The change from pastor to entrepreneur happened as I began to find myself not achieving much in the church environment. I was leading a small group, but as far as being pastoral went I wasn’t very good at it. I think this is partly caused by me trying to be ‘the perfect christian’ on the outside, but not being real with who I actually was on the inside.

Throughout bible college I explored ways to make money online. I tried designing tshirts, I tried blogging and ran over 50 failed blogs. When I finished college in 2008 I was making money as a freelance writer online, but this was cheap work and I wasn’t making much money.

It wasn’t until last year when I decided to stop my attempts to make money in each and every way online that I started to get focused. I realised that trying to make money 100 different ways meant I made almost nothing. So I decided to take a time out and then focus.

In the last half of 2009 I pretty much gave up blogging and spent my time reading book after book on finance and investing. Robert Kiyosaki changed the way I thought about money and business. Now I am a changed man, and I have a clear vision about what I want to achieve and how I want to achieve it.

Moving from a bible college student to an entrepreneur was a gradual process. I love the challenge of starting and running business and I love the positive change you can create. I now doubt I would ever be a pastor, it seems to limiting for me.

I will definately minister the good news, but it will look different to what I thought it would be like when I started bible college in 2006. I love business and I am definately glad to be making it my life.

I am happier now than I can ever remember being in my entire life, and that joy spreads through my family. It benefits my wife and my daughter. I am exactly the man I want to be right now, and I am so happy to be real with myself and who I am. I hated being a fake Christian…pretending I was holy and ignoring the real me. I am so glad to be me and my relationship with God has only grown because of it.



One response to “I Am An Entrepreneur…Not a Pastor”

  1. Hey Ryan,

    Nice post. I recently read two of Robert Kiyosaki’s books, “Rich Dad Poor Dad” and “Cashflow Quadrant.” They really helped me too. Sounds like you’re taking his advice well and trying to be a business owner.

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