Multitalented entertainment entrepreneur Ryan Glen can literally do it all.
With singer, songwriter, author, poet, entrepreneur and mobile app creator all within his repertoire, Glen has repeatedly proved there isn’t much that he can’t do. the possibilities are endless. Perhaps best known for his internationally played apps “UnWord” and “Word Palooza,” Glen was recognized by the White House as a 2012 honoree for being an outstanding entrepreneur. He has also been profiled by some of the world’s most recognized TV, radio, magazine, print, and social media outlets, including NBC and Oprah Winfrey Network.
Rolling out recently sat down with Glen to discuss his business principles, his new book, Abused By the Thought of Leaving, and his latest project, BiziBoard.
Did you always know you’d be an entrepreneur?
Yes, although I didn’t necessarily refer to it as that in my earlier days. I was different as a kid. Very goal driven and a leader. I definitely had a mind of my own, which wasn’t always a good thing, as I can recall a few well deserved spankings because of it. I must say a lot of my inspiration came from the Martin Luther King Jrs, the Rosa Parks, and Harriet Tubmans of the world. People who stood out for their resilience and tenacity due to their love for society and justice. I wanted to be one of those people. So I started by volunteering my time to different organizations and companies around my city. Ronald McDonald House, Great Lake Science Center, National History Museum, anything I could get involved with, I did. Volunteering is a key component to successful entrepreneurship. I’ll never forget at age 9, getting a call to guest co-host Good Morning America for winning Contact Kids Magazine’s “Volunteer of the Year” competition nationwide. It gave me the extra conformation and drive that I needed. At 11, I called the mayor’s office to try and turn an abandoned school building into a haven for the homeless. *Laughs* My mind was always running with ideas. As long as I had my typewriter, a stack of papers, and my briefcase which I took everywhere, you couldn’t tell me anything!
How did you get your start in the business world?
Honestly my mom is the most “entrepreneurial” person I know. And I must say I’ve met quite a few in my day. I mean, from a private school, to her own haircare product, a furniture store, consignment shop, book, and everything in between she’s done it all! I’m just trying to follow in her footsteps.
Tell us about your popular “UnWord” and “Word Palooza” apps and the inspiration for creating them.
It’s funny: UnWord came from a bad case of writer’s block. I was working on my debut book Abused By the Thought of Leaving but could no longer write, so instead I stared at my computer screen and begin to “UnWord” (take letters from a word to create more words) the word “understanding” (under, stand, at, the,..) and thought, “Wow, this would make a fun game to play with friends.” From there I decided to turn it into an app and now it has downloads in over 200 Countries. A true blessing. Who knew? Since then I’ve launched my company G&G Games, and a few other apps as well. “Word Palooza”, “Word Palooza Lite”, “C2KSU” (an app for Kent State University), and my latest, “Biziboard”.
Speaking of which, what can you tell us about your latest project, “Biziboard” and your company, DreamFishLabs?
Dreamfish Labs, of which I am now co-owner, actually reached out to me last year to be the face of the company. After a few conversations and negotiations I thought it would be advantages for me to take on a larger role as I believed in the company and where it was headed. Our newest project “Biziboard” brings the latest in innovation and technology right to your fingertips, literally! From its built-in Google Image search feature, to our state-of-the-art marketplace full of custom images, emojis, stickers, GIFs, memes, eCards and more; all while staying up to date on current events and breaking news stories. No other keyboard was designed to keep you this “Bizi.” I’m pretty sure this app will be a fan favorite.
What can readers expect from your new book, Abused By the Thought of Leaving?
Abused By the Thought of Leaving is a novel that centers on Winter Mildred, an abused woman who blames herself for her husband’s erratic behavior. Throughout the story she finds herself becoming more and more immune to the verbal, mental, and physical abuse but discovers that it is the thought of leaving that abuses her the most. Readers can expect to go on a roller-coaster of emotions, ranging from the joyful cries of laughter billowing out from the pits of their stomachs, to the gut wrenching moments that tug at the heartstrings, making it hard to fathom, difficult to read, blinded by tears of sorrow, sadness, and anger. It’s just that kind of novel. It will definitely inspire you to move out of your comfort zone, eliminate fear, and live life to its fullest potential.
Like the novel’s main character, there are thousands of women who feel stuck in an abusive relationship for one reason or another. And thus, I am looking for women who have successfully made it out of an abusive relationship to submit a two-page story describing their journey to freedom and survival to [email protected]. My team and I will go through each story, and then pick a few to place in the “I Made It Out” section at the end of the novel. So far we’ve been getting some amazing stories of survival!
What are three principles you always try to adhere to in your business dealings?
1. Never overpromise and underdeliver. That to me is most important as people oversell themselves more often than not in business. It’s my biggest pet peeve. Be who you say you are and do what you say you can do, period. Sounds simple, right? Ha! You’d be surprised.
2. Honesty is the best policy.
3. Lastly, the Golden Rule. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
How do you utilize social media to your advantage?
In this day and age, social media is very important for branding. It is also a way to have direct contact with some of your biggest supporters, which is equally as important. Be it arrogance or ignorance, so many fail to realize this. Be careful not to bit the hand that feeds you or it could very well be your last supper. You can never get to a place in your career where you’re “above” your fan base, never! We all need each other too badly.
Is there a book you’d recommend for beginning entrepreneurs?
The Bible! “I can do all things …” No, I can’t say that I’m a huge reader of books for beginning entrepreneurs. I do however encourage people to do as much research on their brand/product as possible. Know your brand like the back of your hand. That’s very important.
Any favorite quotes or affirmations?
Yes; three personal quotes of mine that I reference in my book. They keep me inspired during the good and complicated times of life and entrepreneurship.
1. “Nothing’s impossible when you’re unstoppable.” – Ryan Glen
2. “Be unstoppable, for we have the power to change the world. Be humble, for we are all created equal.” – Ryan Glen
3. “A man who believes the sky is the limit will stop at the sky. But a man, who finds his limits in his ability to believe, will never stop.” – Ryan Glen
What’s next for Ryan Glen?
In addition to the book and “Biziboard,” I’m preparing to launch Bizibid, a network I created to help eliminate unemployment. On Bizibid, users can post odd jobs at a price that they can afford while local job hunters or those looking to make a little extra cash can find work and get paid the same day. It’s that easy! Someone tell President Barack Obama that Bizibid is the answer to lowering these astronomical unemployment rates. Need a thousand dollars to pay this month’s rent? Go to Bizibid.com and complete a thousand dollars’ worth of jobs. Think of it as, “Priceline meets Craigslist meets eBay.” Speaking of Priceline, I must say I’m pretty honored to have my friend and founder of Priceline, Jeff Hoffman, as an adviser/contributor on this project. No better person to have on the team right? It’s a true blessing indeed. There’s so much more in store in the near future; endless possibilities! I’m happy to be in a really good space. The best part about success is that there’s enough out here for everyone, and that’s a beautiful thing. Each one reach one; we’re all in this thing together. That’s the way it should be anyway.
For more information on Glen’s work, please visit www.BiziBoardApp.com or www.DreamFishLabs.com
You can also interact with Glen on the following social media sites: