Ryan Stewman is the rock star CEO of Hardcore Closer. He became a household name...by accident. “I started this not thinking it would take off under that name; people started calling me that.” And although the people proclaimed Ryan as the Hardcore Closer neither Google or Facebook liked it much. His tribe came because his content was good. He had a powerful message to share, and nothing was going to stop him. Ryan started the Hardcore Blog as a means to Jumpstart Break Free Academy, a sales training course. “It all starts with a three-day, intensive, get shit done event and is followed by six weeks of accountability, continuing education, and support.”
To say Ryan doesn’t care what you think about him is an understatement. He is comfortable in his skin, saying what he feels and open to anything. This in part comes from Ryan’s background. “I remember with serious clarity, in prison at age 21 and coming back from snack and shit line; a couple of older black dudes said, “Hey man nothing like snack Tuesday.” For those men in prison, it was the highlight of the week, and Ryan knew that he had something more to do in
Making a choice to change was the first step. However, it seemed that Ryan would have to fight for his freedom. After the passing of the Dodd-Frank Act, he was back at square one. “In 2010 the Government passed the Dodd-Frank Act, and due to my felony gun charges, I was unable to get a Federal mortgage license. I went from being one of the top producing mortgage people on the planet to nothing. Overnight.”
At this point, Ryan shares the story of Joseph in the the Bible. Taking liberties with the story and peppering with a lot of profanities he understood and felt a connection to what Joseph went through. From being sold into slavery to winning favor with his owner then being chased off for assumed adultery. Finally, Joseph was in prison when he was summoned by the Pharaoh to interpret his dream. As a result, Joseph saves Egypt from a famine, and the Pharaoh makes him second in command. Ryan went through many trials just like Joseph “If I let prison define me I could have been like, ‘nothing has been right since prison,’ I’ve chosen not to let that stop me.”
Now Ryan has produced funnels that have generated millions. He says it’s like getting a black belt in karate. For anyone struggling to make it you first have to get your white belt then yellow and green and so on. When something isn’t working in the process, Ryan states, “It’s not working because you’re stopping because they didn’t work.” If you just spend a little bit more time and become slightly more resilient, that is where success will happen.
As the Hardcore Closer Ryan has learned the in’s and out’s of sales. I asked him to teach me something about sales, and he said this: “The #1 thing about sales objections, they are nothing more than buying signals. Some people say, ‘Oh they gave me objections it’s time to stop.’ When someone wants something, they are scared to make a bad decision. They have objections because they want to make a good decision. When you offer someone something, and they say no, it’s pretty firm. I say ‘I appreciate your time’ unless I know better. I need to think about it, I don’t have the money, they haven’t said no they are just feeling blocks. Objections will be the stopping point, so you need to help the people move through. People are wanting to say yes and are just not certain about it yet.”
"We are all sitting here with specific DNA code...”
What’s unusual about Ryan is that although he comes off as this tough ex-con who’s made some serious cash is that he has a big heart. “I care about the people that we help because I’m one of them. Most of us are damaged goods, especially in sales. I didn’t grow up in the Ivy League with a silver spoon. So I got into sales, I wanted to be a leader, and I have experiences that I’ve gone though and a lot of the selling community goes through. This is my Calling.”
While Ryan doesn’t consider himself a religious person, he says that what he does is a lot like being a pastor or priest. And he feels that this is his divine calling. “We are all sitting with specific DNA code, like an operating code for a computer, when you figure out the DNA code and follow it, which is not external, success comes from doing what you were put on this earth to do. I’m a success because I’m doing what I’ve been called to do. My family said I should be a preacher… which means I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.”
Now Ryan has his own strategy for his success. “I wake up and do the work that needs to be done. Those that do the most work get the most money. It is not difficult, delegate, I workout most days, and I don’t stop working till I’m done. I have a great balance with family by using a calendar system. Date night gets put on the calendar. You set appointments in business, and I treat my personal calendar the same way.” Ryan has a lot of saying in the business world calling them Stewmanisms. He claims to have about 14,000 of them. So when it’s time to create content, there is no short supply. His #1 Stewmanisms is this “Knowledge + Action = Success, which not the same as being successful.” Ryan says.
Kate: What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?
Ryan: Somebody sent me a picture of caterpillar in Africa that looked like a dick. Someone your audience knows.
K: What’s your one biggest pet peeve?
R: People that complain and don’t want a solution. My team knows better. They complain to each other than come to me with a solution.
K: If there was a movie produced about your life, who would play you and why?
R: Ryan Gosling or Justin Timberlake - someone who looks better than you. Cool guys, good looking good guys, just not Will Ferrell he’s funny but not good looking.
K: What’s on your iPod during workouts?
R: This morning - Audible, Art of Not Giving a Fuck, Mark Manson.
K: What is your Superpower?
R: I see through the bullshit. I can tell if someone is full of shit or not in minutes.
Free +Shipping Funnel
For Ryan’s book funnel, he has already given away 1900 books. With a 21% conversation rate that means he has had a reach of 9047. So you don’t need to get 1MM people to be successful.
Time and again people say they want to make 1 million dollars, but you make a lot of money with a break even funnel like this one.
On the horizon, Ryan has a new book out Elevator to the Top. He is using the Free + Shipping model to sell the book. “This book arms you with the information you need to close more sales in the modern marketplace. Whether it’s your first day in sales, or you’re a 40-year sales-dawg veteran, this book is full of awesome badassery that you can see results from with ease. Many readers have told me this book is an absolute game changer for them. My goal is for you to say the same thing. Grab your copy of Elevator To The Top, and I’ll see you in the penthouse.” (Ryan went from living in prison to life in a penthouse.)
When Ryan isn’t giving his book away for free, he is focusing on the next chapter for Break Free Academy. He is looking to see, “How can we make it better, further fill that gap, take it from online/seminar to a full-blown school.” Ryan eventually would like to have multiple locations for the Break Free Academy. Ryan has a clear vision and a fantastic team to achieve that.