Coach Ryan's Corner: Hiding Behind Intellect


Sometimes I think I use my mind as a crutch.

This is a funny statement for someone who is so proud of his intellect. And do not get me wrong, I am very proud of my intellect.

But I use that as a crutch.

Sometimes I use my intellect as a mask to cover up the real Ryan. The real King Ryan, if you will.

If someone asks me a potentially vulnerable question, I’ll answer with a self-deprecating joke to try and distract the asker from their point. “Hey, Ryan made a funny. What did I ask again?”

This denies people the real me. Because while I am proud of my intellect and my wit, that is not who I am.

Who I am beats inside my chest. Who I am is the lifeblood of love. Who I am is my purpose on this planet.

And my purpose is to be a warrior for love and transformation.

One of the ways this intellectual crutch shows up in how I speak.

When I show up real, I speak slowly and deliberately. I don’t stutter and stammer. And my voice even gets deeper.

But when I’m trying to use that intellectual crutch, I speak quickly. My voice gets higher. I stutter and stammer. And I am not as careful of what I say.

I’m heard more when I speak slowly.

People don’t hear me as easily when I speak quickly. Keep in mind, it’s not because they can’t understand what I’m saying. I believe it’s because my voice isn’t as weighty when I’m trying to be Mr. Smart Funny-Man.

I am a funny man. I love making people laugh. It’s a drug, I’m not exaggerating.

But I’m funniest when I’m not trying as hard.

It’s like when I ran into a guy at the gym a few weeks ago. I was wearing a Bama t-shirt and the old fella asks, “What do you know about Alabama Crimson Tide?”

Funny guy wanted to answer. “Dude, I’ve been to 50+ games, grew up 10 minutes from Bryant Denny Stadium, I have a degree from there…”

I didn’t give him the funny guy answer. I forget what I said. But I did give him my Bama resume.

But how I showed up was real and authentic and I built a connection with the guy in a short amount of time.

I didn’t use my intellect as a crutch. I came from my heart.

Because THAT is who I am.

I like to say that my mind allows me to write. But my heart is what makes me an author.

Folks, who you are isn’t on the end of your neck. Who you are beats inside your chest. And let that be your legacy.

Coach Ryan's Corner: Be A Warrior for Love


Since last we spoke, I have learned a lesson of a lifetime. Every time I turn on the news, I see this lesson. Every time I go out in the world, I feel it.

Life is just too short.

Life is too short for holding grudges against people.

Life is too short for incompletion.

Life is too short for the unsaid and unshared “I love you.”

Life is just too short.

Last week, I learned of the passing of the best friend I have ever had. She and I never met in person or spoke, it was all by email and Facebook messenger. Noreen Jent passed away in July of 2016.

Noreen and I were friends for better than 12 years. In that time, she taught me two major things about life.

·      A fellow author, she helped me to discover my voice as a writer.

·      She helped me to find my voice as a man.

You don’t have to be a certain way. You don’t have to say certain things. You’re under one obligation as a man – as a human – and that’s to be unapologetically yourself.

And part of who I am, is – let’s face it – I’m a teddy bear. I’m an easy, warm guy. But do not mess with me.

I like to think of myself as a warrior for love.

If we had more warriors for love, then those 20 kids in Newtown would have just started Middle School by now. Instead, there were way too many caskets that were way too small. If we had more warriors for love, those 58 families wouldn’t be burying their loved ones after going to a concert in Vegas – to say nothing of the over 500 wounded. If we had more warriors for love, the Twin Towers might still be standing in Downtown Manhattan. If we had more warriors for love, we might not have seen Hitler’s rise to power.

Life is too short for grudges.

Life is too short for incompletion.

Life is too short to keep “I love you” in your pocket.

Life is just too short.

Noreen, thank you for this. Thank you for helping me find my voice. And thank you for helping lay the groundwork for me being a warrior for love.


Love Warrior Image - by Chastity Hoff


Coach Ryan's Corner: What's Your Story?


Someone asked me a pretty fascinating question today.

“How’d you get into your field?” My field being coaching.

I’ve told the story of how I met my original coach probably 100 times. From my end, it almost comes off as rote and routine.

But I added something in the story that I hadn’t before. And it’s something that really sourced me in discovering my purpose and the point of all the work I’m doing.

“I want to use my story to inspire people.”

Those words landed, to me, like a giant blast of power. And this is something I haven’t always been able to say.

Lemme ‘splain.

In my transformation, sharing my story is a major step. It’s a crucial sign that I have put some stuff behind me.

The fact that I can share my story with no shame, that’s a big deal.

In episode one of Magic Time (which you should listen to…NOW) I mentioned that my late parents were both addicts. It’s a fact of my life and part of my truth that will be written in my stone (I’m all about the shameless plugs today.)

But before I went into the story, for some reason, I used the word “unfortunately.”

Why? Why did I do that? Why did I say “Unfortunately, I am (an adult child of two alcoholics)?”

I can’t speak for all men here, but I think I can speak for a lot of us. We don’t like to show vulnerability.

My parents were brilliant people. Mom was a brilliant educator and my dad was a gifted musician and songwriter. They were amazing people who just happened to be stricken with the disease of substance addiction.

My point is this: my story can inspire. The fact that I have overcome so much in my life can inspire. The fact that I have had life kick me over and over and yet I still get up, that can inspire.

My life can inspire others to tap into their own greatness. My life can inspire others to tap into their own royal heart to move their lives from peasant to king.

Let me let you in on a secret…your story can inspire others too.

I’m not that special, y’all. I’m a man, with above average intellect, above average creativity, and above average presence. I’m doing my best with the skills that I have.

But when I tap into my greatness, there’s nothing I can’t do or create. I am truly – as my friend and fellow podcaster Emily calls me – the Maestro. There’s nothing I can’t do.

Let me support you in tapping into your own greatness. Shoot me an email at and we can set up a sample coaching session.

One of the definitions of “inspire” is literally “to breathe life” into something. My story breathes life into people. And yours can do.

What’s your story?

Coach Ryan's Corner: Struggle Bus or Magic Bus?


Ever since I moved up here to New York, I’ve been seeing way more buses. Way more public transportation buses.

I probably should have taken one out to Tarrytown for that Boz Scaggs concert last week, but I digress.

I want you to imagine two buses. They both look the same, but they are totally and completely different.

Struggle Bus:  you hop on this bus and you’re constantly in a state of struggle. You’re breaking down. You’re losing gears when you’re going up hills. You hit every nail and screw in the road – constant flat tires. It’s the Struggle Bus.

Magic Bus: the magic bus is the one where you’re running on fairy dust and possibility. You may not know where you’re going, but you know the destination is going to be magical. And keep in mind, black magic exists.

I’ve had a long relationship with Magic. Safely put, I’ve related to magic since before I got my Fisher-Price Magic Show toy. And that was my second grade talent show.

I mean, I am a host of a podcast about magic. It’s universal in my life nowadays.

The Magic Bus is the bus of possibility.

The Struggle Bus is easy.

Let me ‘splain.

Choosing to take a ride on the Magic Bus isn’t the easy choice. That’s the bus that drops you off at Willy Wonka’s. It may get lost, take many detours, and forget how to get to Willy’s…but it’ll get there.

The Struggle Bus is the one that is going to break down where you have to walk to the nearest police station in the middle of nowhere. But at least you know where the Struggle Bus is supposed to go.

Magic Bus, you may not know where it’ll go. You may not know where it’ll land. But the destination will be magical. You might not know where the heck that is.

What do you choose? Magic or Struggle?

Think about this: those two buses won’t ever be seen at the same stop. Magic cannot exist inside struggle.

You may get to the same destination. But you may have to walk the last mile after the struggle bus breaks down. The magic bus may take twenty different detours on its way to the destination. And it may even fly a little because it’s powered by fairy dust.

The Magic Bus is more fun. That’s what I choose.

Now to leave the Struggle Bus behind.


Coach Ryan's Corner: It's been a busy summer

It’s been a busy summer for Coach Ryan. And as the summer winds down, I’d love to catch y’all up with what I’ve been up to.

And yes, you’re right, I don’t have anything deep to share and coach you on today. So let's catch up!

Royal Hearts (4).png
  •  I have totally re-launched my coaching business. Team Ryan Coaching is no more. Long life Royal Hearts Coaching: Life Coaching for Kings. If you’re a king or have a royal heart, please go check out my new website: You’ll find information about my new vision and how we can support you in that vision. 
  • And while you’re there, go nominate who you want to see as “King of the Week.”
  • Magic Time: The Podcast: we’ve just uploaded episode 2. Our guest is Michelle Akin. She’s a very dear friend of mine. She’s my original coach and has become a real mentor since I became a coach. It’s an incredible conversation. It’s deep, intimate, and a ton of fun. Emily and I have huge plans for this show and we’re excited to share with you the beginnings of a real empire.

o   Subscribe on iTunes:

o   Subscribe on Podbean:

o   Listen, subscribe, and review!

  • Just to pat myself on the back, I have re-doubled my efforts in healthy eating and it’s paying off. Your humble coach is down about 6 pounds in the last couple weeks. I feel incredible and I’m in the best shape of my life at 40.
  • And finally, following my first love, I am neck deep in a new novel. Working title is Hello Again, and all I’m going to say is that it’s a love letter to the healing power of music. You’ll see it soon…just not REAL soon. #gnomesayin’?

And that’s just for starters. This fall is going to be crazy. I’m planning a trip back to Alabama this fall (with a special someone.) I’m exploring my new home every day. And I’m just scratching the surface.

So there you have it. It’s been a crazy summer and we’re just warming up!

Coach Ryan's Corner: Your Presence is a Gift


Today’s Coach Ryan’s Corner is about presence. And just how much your mere presence can affect change in the people in your life.

Sometimes I go along in life thinking just “what am I doing here?”

I’ve devoted a lot of time, energy, and money into personal transformation. My entire business is built around personal transformation.

But even before I started working as a coach – way before – my presence has always been a gift to the people in my life.

Let’s travel back to the year 2005.

Consider an ex coworker of mine. She – to put it mildly – was weird. And I barely hid my disdain for her. It wasn’t an active dislike, she just annoyed me

She and I were part of a six-week training course at this call center we used to work for. Before we took a call, we went through this paid training course.

I believe she lasted two weeks on the phones after graduation, but I digress.

One day I was headed to the men’s room and passed her in the hallway. She turns around and says to me:

“Ryan, I don’t know what it is but every time I see you I can’t help but smile.”

Here I was thinking I was simply making fun of her behind her back. My presence left an impact on her without even intending to.

And here recently I had to board my dog Pete for a few days. I took him to the pet hotel at PetSmart in Stamford, CT.


Side note: they aren’t cheap but they do a phenomenal job.

The young lady who helped me came up to the counter in a bad mood. I couldn’t put my finger on the why, but she was just grumpy and surly.

By the end of this interaction, something really cool happened without my even trying.

She was laughing. She was smiling. She was enjoying herself. She was enjoying Pete. She was making fun of my southern accent (even though she said she was from North Carolina.)

She was a brand-new woman when I left that interaction. She was brand new because my mere presence was a gift to her on that day and to her life.

These are two of many examples of this in my life. And I’m seeing this more and more every day.

My challenge to you is to take a look at your lives. Where can you see that your presence has been a gift in someone else’s life just by being yourself?

I’d love to get your feedback on this.

Shoot me an email at!

Your presence is a gift. That’s why it’s called a presents…I mean presence.


Photos by Emil Athanasiou and Ryan Hall

Coach Ryan's Corner: Let's Get Real

Let’s get real with each other.

I’m serious, let’s get real with each other. Because – simply put – we don’t do that.

So many of us (and I’m guilty of this too on many occasions) simply see people for their what, and not their who.

For example, I’m a man. I’m 40 years old. I’m white. I have dark hair. I have facial hair. I’m left handed.

Those are my whats. And none of those whats I just listed are real. They’re real things, but I’m not a human thing.

And you’re not either. I’m just saying.

I see things in the news every day that remind me of this. From Sandy Hook to Charlottesville and all stops in between, I see this every time.

People just don’t take the time to see human beings for who they are. They only see what they perceive human beings to be.

Consider that planet Earth has better than 7.4 billion people. And every last one of us look different from each other.

Even identical twins don’t look identically to each other.

Let’s take two random people and take out their hearts and put them on a table. I understand that they’d both die, but I’m just saying.

Who could tell which heart belonged to which person?

We’re all cut from the same cloth. We’re all the same inside. And the sooner we can see that, the sooner we can get real with each other as the most important race – the human race.

What can we do today to start seeing people for their who?

The first step, I believe, is to start seeing ourselves as our who.

Because if we see ourselves as our who, we can start to see others as their who. And if we see our brothers and sisters as their who, that’s what makes this world works!

Coach Ryan's Corner: Your Voice Can Move Mountains

“This is the time of Jed Bartlet, old friend. You’re gonna open your mouth and lift houses off the ground. Whole houses, clear off the ground.” – Leo McGarry (The West Wing – In the Shadow of Two Gunmen – part II)


There are a lot of life lessons in The West Wing. I could have chosen any – especially from season 2. In my mind, those are the 22 best episodes of any TV show I’ve ever seen.

Who says that TV can’t be smart and literate anymore? (It’s been off the air since 2006…I’m just sayin’.)

For a little context, this was in a flashback between Leo and Bartlet when Jed was running for president. Leo was trying to instill Bartlet with a bolt of confidence.

He was trying to show his old friend that his voice carried the weight of the world. He could open his mouth and move mountains.

I recently learned a hugely powerful lesson about myself. And this scene is the one that really brought it home.

I was exchanging emails with someone about someone else (no names, gotta keep this vague.) And I made a petty joke about the person I’m writing the email about. And the person to whom I wrote the email called me out on it.

I’ve always used my sense of humor as a crutch. Self-deprecation has been how I got (or so I thought) people to like me. If I could get people to laugh at me, then I’d be liked and appreciated.

While this call out triggered me, I treated it as an opportunity to take a look at something within myself. I treated it as an opportunity to grow.

Ah, who am I kidding? I was kicking and screaming!

But as I was getting complete around this, it hit me.

My voice is important. I’m no longer simply a face in the crowd. My voice is read every week on the Good Men Project – a worldwide platform. My books have a following. My clients hang onto my words. My voice has weight and gravitas in my relationships.

My voice is important. When I empower my voice and the things I say, I could lift houses off the ground. I could move mountains.

And I’ve got something to share with you. You ready?

Come closer…move your phone closer…your computer screen…ready?

I’m serious, can you take this? Can you handle this?

You have the power to move mountains in your life. With only your word, you have the power to move mountains. All you have to do is light your fire and spray it with diesel and kerosene!

Be a king! Be a queen! Go move some houses!


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Let’s inspire each other. Let’s encourage each other. Let’s lift each other up.