124: Ryan Smith | Separating Emotions From Experiences

Ryan Smith is the founder of The Advisor, where he uses his mental performance skills to help executives, entrepreneurs, and professional athletes take their careers to the next level.

In this episode, he talks about working on your business versus working in your business. He also explains to us how he helps his clients understand the current sphere of an already existing network and dives into how we are able to separate our emotions from our specific experiences throughout our life. Check it out!

Ryan Smith’s Learning Journey and Masterminds


The Mastermind Effect:  02:24

Let’s jump into it. Our ability to learn and access people had drastically changed over the last 5 to 10 years. When you and I were younger, they were textbooks, teachers, friends, family, parents, and co-workers, but that’s a sliver of what is possible. How has your learning changed from your early years versus today?

Ryan Smith:  02:46

I went the traditional route of a college education. I was trying to go into computer science and engineering, and I  ended up going into physical education and got a master’s degree in exercise science. That’s the whole education thing. And then there’s this whole world of certifications. It’s about egos and baseline education that people use for marketing.

I’ve spent 30 years working through different things. It becomes how do I dive into something and integrate this into my life. I learned probably ten years out of school that I had no idea of actually how money flowed and money work. So I became a stockbroker for ten years, and I was a compliance officer. I was a registered options principal. I traded things, and I did the compliance part of it. I had to understand how money flowed. I also worked with high-net-worth individuals. It’s like the people that had millions of dollars in there and working with them. Understanding how they worked with money was probably the game-changer more than college could ever do for me for the way money worked.

The Mastermind Effect:  04:10

He kind of goes back to the opening line of what I say we learn through other people’s experiences. That’s what it sounds like how you were able to get a wrap-around of how money flow, where it began, how it was created, what to do with it, and then kind of go from there. Do you still take those life lessons and utilize that in what you do today?

Ryan Smith:  04:28

Absolutely. I had entrepreneurial parents. They owned small businesses, or small businesses owned them. I knew that I didn’t want to necessarily, like always, work for a corporation. I learned that independence from them, but I didn’t know how all the aspects of it worked, not just to be small. So I needed to learn how the people that thought bigger knew how to think bigger. Those lessons were huge. They’ve added up over the years. They play hugely into what I do, how I advise, and how I work with people.

The Mastermind Effect:  05:32

You mentioned something that stood out to me: they either own small businesses or small businesses owned them. That’s something that I’ve realized over the last couple of years.  You either work on your business, or you work in your business. Can you differentiate that from your own family life experiences

working “on” versus “in”?

Ryan Smith:  05:34

The “in” is where you go in, and you’re trading that time for dollars. Whether you are an employee or the owner who goes into the does the job every day,  you’re paying yourself. You may own the business, but you are the employee of the business. The ups and downs of the business all have that effect on you. But there’s not the freedom that most people want out of owning a business.

Whereas, if you’re working “on”  your business, you’re doing things that are actually helping you to apply it, to grow it,  to learn from it, and to change it to whatever you need to do versus you just trading the time for dollars in your business.

The Mastermind Effect:  06:22

It’s a lesson that business owners across the board take time to learn, and sometimes, “hey, you might have to step back in that business.” And that’s okay. The quicker you can get working on the business; you can make a bigger impact and not be an employee of what you’ve built. I love that you delve a little bit deeper for that on there.

We’ve got more ways to take in information than ever before. Some people learn from mentors, masterminds, coaches, accountability partners, and online courses. Lotts of ways to learn. Who are you currently learning from, and more importantly, how did you connect with them?

Ryan Smith:  07:03

One of the biggest people I’m learning from and who has been the biggest influence recently on me is our mentor, Steve Sims. That’s how we connected at the Speakeasy. That one went back to his book, following Joe Polish and following several other influencers of people who have influenced me in business and got me to think bigger. I picked up his book when it first came out because of them. I have an original hard-bound version of the book, but I put it on the shelf. I didn’t read it. It wasn’t time until that for me to read that book yet. Then when I picked up the book, I read it, and I immediately reread it. Then I immediately regretted it again because there were so many things between the words that he said resonated with me. It was the attitudes, the thinking, and all of those things, versus here’s the strategies of how you become successful. That resonated with me and drove me into that rabbit hole that is the Speakeasy life and connecting with people like you.

I love the mind, the neuroscience, the brain, like understanding how we think, why we think, how we influence, how we manipulate all of those things, and influence manipulation is two sides of the same coin. So Chase Hughes is a 20 year former Naval Intelligence Officer. He wrote several books, and one’s called the Ellipsis Manual. It is about how you read body language, how you influence people, and how you change people. He would have to work with getting people to literally go against their country to commit treason in an hour or less.  You would have to have those kinds of conversations, and these are life or death situations. So how do you work with these people, change them, and get them to do something they normally wouldn’t do? So understanding how the brain works, how cults work, and all of this stuff that goes, how do you use all this information to help people change?

The Mastermind Effect:  09:20

A common theme that comes back is when you know who you’re working with and networking with, it’s almost like you digest something that they’ve done.  Then you continue to do that because of the impact that it makes. Then you reach out to that person. We’ll get into the accessibility of people and why it’s so much easier today. If you’re involved in their world and what they’re doing and vice versa, they’ll end up involved in your world in some form or fashion.

Ryan Smith:  09:53

Absolutely. I think that’s one of the biggest misconceptions about mentors. Mentors are not people that you necessarily typically pay to help you. Mentors are somebody that you have added enough value that they’re willing to invest in you, and their ROI is your success, versus having somebody that is a business coach, advisor, or whatever that is and that’s somebody that you’re investing in so that you get an ROI. There’s a distinction between having a mentor and adding value to get that from them and to learn from them versus actually just saying, “Hey, teach me what you need, and teach me what I need to do to change.”

The Mastermind Effect:  10:34

I think both have their areas. I’ve had mentors for decades but realized the coaching and the mastermind world last few years.

A lot of people get stuck, and they don’t know how to execute what’s in their heads. We’re still going through a pandemic. So I feel that is allowing for a reset in how we’re able to accomplish things. How have masterminds helped you when you’re looking to reset yourself, and how do you get unstuck?

Ryan Smith:  11:07

I was involved in some masterminds, like maybe 2009 to 2013, that were really just certifications. But I met some awesome people that were in there that I still have lifelong relationships with, right. So the mastermind himself back in that day we’re not necessarily the thing that impacted me. It was the people that were impacted me. And the same thing now,  it’s the education I can get that’s in a mastermind, but again, it’s the relationships of the people around me that I built. That is the absolute most valuable thing that I can get out. The connection that you and I have and the connection that several other people and I’ve developed from the speakeasy we are at and other masterminds are lifelong relationships that I continue to build. I’ve never been one of those people that build huge relationships over a long period of time, but I do pick very specific ones that are impactful in my life, and I get to be impactful in their life, too.

Self-Education and Ryan’s Experience


The Mastermind Effect:  12:09

That’s a big thing you just said, “they’re impactful in your life, and you can be impactful in their life.” It’s a symbiotic relationship. Sometimes it’s 60-30, 70-30, or 60- 40. But it’s important to make sure that it’s a two-way street.

Speaking of masterminds, they’ve been around for a while; probably the first one was the apostles. Then Benjamin Franklin creates the Judo Club or the Leather Apron Club. And then Napoleon Hill solidifies it and writes a book centering on what masterminds are. There continues to be such a large boom in self-education. Where do you see the parallels going between self-education versus standardized education?

Ryan Smith:  13:00

It’s almost, in some ways, goes back to the pre-University days of apprenticeships. It’s standardized education versus formal education. Formal education may be an apprenticeship. If you’re going to be a carpenter, here’s how we do it. If you’re going to be a business owner, here’s how we do it. Many times in that standardized education of the university setting, you have people teaching it that may or may not have been out in the world to do it. So it’s here’s how in we’ve got the list, here’s how we’ve done it, here’s the research studies of how we do it but yet, we’ve never applied it. So I think it is applied versus standardized.

The Mastermind Effect:  13:48

Typically, when someone invests in their future, they’ve got a better than a vague idea of what the outcome could be. What should people expect when they start working with you and enter Ryan’s reality?

Ryan Smith:  14:16

There are a few things that are going to happen with them. Number one, they’re going to understand the people around them and the people in their sphere of influence because that will be one of the big keys to their success. Do those people in their sphere of influence have their best interest in mind?

We see it a lot of times in professional athletes. They’ll have professional athletes that are now making big chunks of money. Then you’re going to see the people that are in that surrounding are people that really come and trying to live off of that person’s influence in the fact that they’ve got big chunks of money. Are they helping them do the right thing to grow and to be better? Do we have the right people in there that are really pushing them to be better and helping them grow? Looking at the personal advisors in there, whether it’s financial advisors, attorneys, or whatever it is, guiding them in the right direction. If they found the ones that are like cutting corners and doing the things that are, while they may grow for a period of time, it’s going to come back to bite them in the bud at some point time.

The Mastermind Effect:  15:41

If I’m understanding that, you’re taking what their current sphere is and helping them explain if we have challengers, cheerleaders, or crabs and what order they need to be in, what you need to get rid of them, and what you might want to bring in?

Ryan Smith:  15:55

Exactly. That’s partly looking at the body language, looking at what the people are saying and the linguistics of it. So that’s a big part of what it is. Part of it is also we have these traumas. We talked about the military with PTSD and all of that. We all have traumas. We are all wearing a mask. We are all in some ways, I don’t like to say broken, but we all have damage. No matter who it is, and we’re all trying to hide that stuff.

Until we address it and overcome a lot of it, whatever those things are, we were not going to do it. That’s some neuroscience, psychology, and hypnosis. I’ve got a background in hypnosis as well. So it’s like, how do we take those skills and help you to overcome those things that are holding you back?

The Mastermind Effect:  17:05

I feel that people have a way of surprising us from time to time, whether it’s their willingness to learn, their ingenuity, their grit, or the grind. Give us a success story of someone that’s worked with you. What was the outcome because of that partnership and that coaching relationship when they came to you?

Ryan Smith:  17:26

This is a little bit off from that. I’m just going to talk about this. This happened just a couple of weeks ago. I was sitting in a room with another friend who does a lot of body language stuff. She does search and rescue stuff with dogs and works with police departments. We’re sitting in a room, and a canine officer came into the room with a weather dog. We’re all talking, and in the process of just this conversation, it came up that this officer, the sheriff’s deputy, has a lot of trouble sleeping. It came up that she had this trauma that was actually where an uncle had murdered his brother’s wife and the daughter. Such a huge trauma. She was one of the responders that were on this—even though she didn’t have children of her own, she had to be part of the scene of horrific things. It was a couple of years ago.

Since then, she’s had horrible nightmares, as you can imagine. Every time she talks about it, she relives it. She is fully feeling everything that’s happened there. She can see it, feel it, touch it, smell it, hear it, and all of those things. We were talking about that, and I just went down to a  series a couple of questions. We hit on some of those feelings in some control mindset way. I hate the word mindset, by the way, we’ll talk about that. Like I physically reached in and pulled this thing out of her right. So she identified it, and she put a color to it. I had her imagine I pulled this thing out, and you just see this wave of just stuff relieve and relief from this sheriff’s deputy.

Then a couple of days later, I had my friend messaged her and said, “how are you sleeping?” She’s like,
“I have not slept that well for consecutive days for the three years since this trauma that’s happened. We allowed her brain to process the fact that this happened. She dealt with it and how do we disassociate the emotion from it. That’s not a normal client thing. That was an impromptu thing that I did for somebody because she was suffering.

The Mastermind Effect:  20:07

I want to set in real quick that if you’re able to work with impromptu per se, and have that kind of an impact on someone that’s been suffering for three years, just think of what Ryan’s able to do on something that is not as complex per se, as the death the murder of a loved one.

You had mentioned something in there about mindset. I’d love for you to go down that a little bit further and explain what you were talking about when you’re just like, mindset.

Ryan Smith:  20:48

Mindset is one of those words, especially in the coaching world, that gets used a lot, right. So you’ve got to have a good mindset or a bad mindset. I don’t know if you notice, but the brain doesn’t work with a set. It doesn’t like, “here’s the thing, here’s this line in the sand, and this is what we’re going to do.” It doesn’t work that way. The brain likes to ebb and flow. The mind wants to be able to change. The human mind and human brain don’t work in binary of we’re on or off. We’re going to constantly change here. I think, linguistically, and the way we think about things, whenever I draw a line in the sand in the brain, it goes, “hmm, watch this.”

The Mastermind Effect:  21:59

It’s going to prove a point here. As I said, there’s no set. You would also talk a little bit about taking the emotion out of action or taking the emotion out of something that happened. For me, I wear my emotions on my sleeve, and sometimes, I wish that just was not the case.

I’m going to put you on the spot a little bit. Walkthrough on how someone’s able to take the emotion out of action, intention, or something that’s happened, if you wouldn’t mind.

Ryan Smith:  22:34

It’s really two parts. So when we have something, say it’s a trauma, and that could be anything. It could be the fact that you failed a quiz in middle school. That could be just as silly as that may sound to most people, but that could be a trauma to somebody versus having other childhood traumas of abuse. So those are all traumas, but they’re in different ways.

When that trauma happens, the easiest way to describe it is our mind takes a snapshot of what that is, what it feels like, and all of the senses that are happening around the trauma. You don’t remember everything that happened in your childhood, but you remember those emotions,  feelings, and all the things.  It looks through life, and every time you go through something, it says, “Wait, does this look like that? Oh, wait, it kind of looks like that. It may not be exact, but we need to make you feel the same way so that we can protect you.” And that’s the emotion that’s attached to the memory.

If it’s the memory thing that we need to protect us, it’s not the emotion necessarily. I want to separate the emotion and the memory. The memory is there to protect you. You get mugged walking down a dark alley. Therefore you don’t walk down a dark alley anymore. But if you see a dark alley on a TV screen, you don’t want that emotion, trauma, and all that stuff to come back. So the memory is there, but I don’t need all the emotion. I don’t need to feel the anxiety of seeing a dark alley on a picture, TV screen, or any of those things. So separate those, process the emotion, and let it go because there’s no time and space for it in the brain.  Let the memory do its thing.

Defining Success


The Mastermind Effect:  24:26

You’ve gone a little bit deeper in some of the things, but when you have someone of your caliber and expertise, I want people to hear what it is they’re able to get out of that. I’m getting a lot out of myself selfishly. I’m digging everything you’re saying over here.

We’re getting a little bit closer to the end here. Typically on our solo shows, we talk about the pillars of success. I think there are many different ingredients to be successful like, mentorship, coach, experimentation, partnerships, and willingness to fail. And on the flip side, willingness to succeed, because when you define success, you, in essence, define what failure is.  What do you feel is a key ingredient when it comes to being successful?

Ryan Smith:  25:16

The big part is not being stuck in and inflexible on how you were going to achieve that success. It’s the journey portion of it. Maybe it’s something happens, and I was going to be successful in this one thing, but whatever changed it, I now need to pivot and take that experience that I’ve had and now put it into a new direction. This no longer applies to where I want to go. I’ve learned a new bit of information. So most people get stuck in a paradigm of whatever it is that they think success looks like, and if they don’t achieve it, they’re going to get failure along with that. If they haven’t achieved that specific thing, how do I take that pivot and figure out what my new success looks like?

The Mastermind Effect:  26:08

When times are good, it’s easy to be successful. But the world is still feeling the squeeze, and I think ingenuity and creativity come out of those moments in life. What are you working on right now that will take place over the next 12 months that excites you?

Ryan Smith:  26:35

There are so many things. I never sit down to think about all the things because it’s so organic for me. Over the next 12 months, the thing is continuing to invest in the relationships of the people that I work with and that I am in the masterminds with that I have gone back. I need to reconnect from previous masterminds and previous business things. That connection of those people is the thing that helped me to grow. Another certification might be a base of information, but it’s not the thing that’s really going to help me to grow. It’s the people that helped me to grow.

The Mastermind Effect:  27:14

It’s the people around us. They might not be in the same industry, but the cards that we hold in our hand are so intricate because you can plug and play tiny little things that have made them successful, or a landmine that they’ve stepped on to avoid for yourself, even if they’re in different industries. That’s the power of a mastermind. That’s the power of the people that you choose to be around.

Ryan Smith:  27:37

A lot of people get stuck in a state trying to stay within their own little industry, right. So look outside of your industry, and learn from those people. There are some intelligent people that have some great experiences outside of your industry. Look at them, find them and, and use them to grow to

The Mastermind Effect:  27:54

I can tell you, I stayed inside my industry for so long and just shelter myself because I need to be around the same people to understand the same thing. Probably over 90% of my network, my friends, the people that I’m around have nothing to do with directly something that I’ve built, excluding The Success Finder. That one is growing, but I’m still not in the industry of coaching and masterminds. I’m just surrounding myself with those smarter people because of the impact that it’s able to make personally and professionally.

So one last thing, what is a tip, a tactic, or an actionable item, that if someone listening to this, implemented it over the next 30, 60, or 90 days, they’d see a real impact on their personal or business life?

Ryan Smith:  28:39

We’ve talked about books early on. With books, I think what most people do is they’re like, “Hey, I’m going to go read 100 books this year. I’m going to read 20 books over the next whatever time.”  Instead of trying to figure out how many books I can read, pick one book, and digest it. Read a page, read a section, read something and go and implement it versus just trying to absorb it and just read it and go, “Hey, I know this because I read it in the book.”

If you pick up Chris Voss’s book  Never Split The Difference, there is so much stuff in there on negotiation.  Most people are going to read it, and then they take it. They put it inside and think that they haven’t. There’s so much stuff in there. You need to read it, slow down, think it, take that section, and implement. Integrate it in your life, and then do the same thing. If you can take somebody’s life experience and integrate it versus just read it, it’s a game-changer.

The Mastermind Effect:  29:59

It’s so important if you’re able to take that information and implemented it. Someone that we’ve interviewed before said one of the ways called it the intention intervention gap. It’s like, so I read something great, but how can I plug and play and make that meaningful to what I’m doing around me?

We have got the founder of The Advisor, Ryan Smith. Ryan, thank you so much for what you have instilled in us today and your time. I appreciate it.

Tweetable Quotes:

“When you’re working on the business, you are actually doing things that are helping you to apply it, to grow it, to learn from it, to change it, to whatever it is that you need to do vs. you just trading the time for dollars in your business .” – Ryan Smith 

“It’s not the thing that’s really going to help you to grow, it’s the people that help you to grow.” -Ryan Smith 

Connect with Ryan Smith on Voxer and LinkedIn. Check out his website https://ryansmithadvisor.com/.

It’s time to Stand Up, Show Up, and Level Up! Download The Success Finder on Apple and Google Play Store.

You can connect with me, Brandon Straza, on LinkedIn, Instagram, or send me an email at brandon@thesuccessfinder.com. I’d love to get in touch and talk more about personal development and how you can move beyond your limits.

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