WHO IS RYAN FOLAND?

Ryan is a high energy speaker, educator, and proud Ginger, who specializes in helping leaders harness the power of authenticity by teaching them how to create content that reveals their whole self to drive differentiation, growth, and loyalty. His 3-1-3® Method uncovers core brand messaging to guide bespoke branding strategies. In his book, Ditch the Act, Ryan shares the art of being perfectly imperfect. Ryan is also the Interim Director at the ANTrepreneur Center, at the University of California, Irvine. Ryan is a four-time TEDx speaker and has been featured in Forbes, Fortune, Inc., Entrepreneur, and more. For fun, Ryan sails, draws stick figures, and raps.

PROBLEM

People are getting weary of—and frankly, seeing right through—the oversized egos dominating the business world today.

SOLUTION

By building a personal brand that is honest and authentic and that reveals personal struggles, you can build stronger, longer-lasting relationships—and achieve greater success.

MY MARKET

Business professionals who are finding it harder and harder to break through the noise, who want to gain more respect and more followers by being their natural, flawed self instead of pretending to be perfect.

PROBLEM

People are getting weary of—and frankly, seeing right through—the oversized egos dominating the business world today.

SOLUTION

By building a personal brand that is honest and authentic and that reveals personal struggles, you can build stronger, longer-lasting relationships—and achieve greater success.

MY MARKET

Business professionals who are finding it harder and harder to break through the noise, who want to gain more respect and more followers by being their natural, flawed self instead of pretending to be perfect.

FYI, GINGERS DO HAVE SOULS

I grew up in Huntington Beach, California. I was the freckle-faced kid at school who got made fun of, not only because of my freckles and sun-bleached hair but I think my favorite my red suspenders flagged me as a “nerd.” To make matters worse, both of my parents were principals.

Thankfully not at my school, otherwise life would have even more miserable. But, I still felt like an outcast and struggled with fitting in. I was an eager student, which was great for teachers, but not so great for making friends. My neighbor hated me so much that he kicked me and bit me on many occasions. It was terribly painful!

CHANNELING MY INNER RYAN-SAN

Martial Arts gave me confidence and I loved it. I went on to earn my black belt and have continued training on and off ever since.

I enjoyed teaching martial arts because it gave me the opportunity to teach and empower children with the same valuable lessons I had learned myself: to have the confidence to stand up and speak out against bullies.

WHAT WOULD KELLY HRUDLEY DO?

I was a devoted Los Angeles Kings fan and played ice hockey my entire youth, and of all positions, I chose to be the goaltender. I idolized the King’s goaltended Kelly Hrudey, and one time I snuck into their locker room, met him, and for a moment, the world stopped. I might have been small for a goalie (as most covered the entire goal with their bodies), but I was the fastest goalie in town and had moves that put Mick Jagger to shame. Losing only fueled my fire to be an even better goalie. I ate pucks for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It was a great time.

GIVING BACK

I enjoy giving back to the community. In 2011, I turned my focus to my passion for helping kids who were being bullied. I started a program called Bully Buster USA®, and traveled around Orange County, putting on Anti-Bullying workshops that I developed for middle school and high school students. The work was extremely rewarding and marked the beginning of my pursuit to improve my public speaking skills.

Recognizing the rise of cyberbullying, especially as the use of cellphones rapidly increased across all ages, I took to technology and helped create one of the first anti-cyberbullying apps called WordBully. The app prevented identified words from reaching targeted phones and notified parents if their children were either being bullied or were being bullies.

THE BIGGEST LESSON I’VE LEARNED FROM CREATING MY OWN BUSINESSES

If I look back on the successes, and more importantly the failures, I think the biggest takeaway I’ve learned in being patient in finding the right business partner.

I’m guilty of getting very excited by new opportunities, especially ones that have the potential of turning into a successful, profitable, and sustainable business. But just like a romantic relationship, when you are starting with a new business partner, people are usually on their best behavior during the courtship and honeymoon phases. What I have learned, and I can’t stress enough to fellow entrepreneurs, is the importance of really getting to know a potential partner before you start a new venture.

MY BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT

My biggest accomplishment is my loving relationship with my wife. We have been together for more than a decade, and like most relationships, there have been ups and downs. But I am so proud of how we continue to support each other no matter what life throws our way.

So much of our lives are dedicated to work and working. Business partners have come and gone, but Cyn is always there for me. She recently finished her PhD at UCLA and I am so crazy proud of her. She is the best thing that ever happened to me, and I’m excited about the life we have built together!

IF I’M NOT SPEAKING, I’D RATHER BE SAILING

My favorite place to travel is located 26 miles off the coast of Southern California, an island called Catalina. My family spent a lot of time there as I was growing up and I have a deep connection to the raw and untouched feeling of the Island. I like to call Catalina the closest furthest place we can get. It truly is an untouched part of California that we are so lucky to have access to.

Cyn and I have a ‘77 Cal 34 sailboat named BINGO and we sail over to the Island as much as we can. When I’m sailing I can disconnect from technology and connect with nature. Being around nature and appreciating the ocean and its wildlife truly centers me to my core. It makes me better at my job, in my life and in how I relate to the world around me.

FULL CIRCLE AT UCI

I’ve recently accepted a new position as Interim Director of the UCI UCI ANTrepreneur Center at UC Irvine.

Backstory: This new role is quite special, as my UCI journey started in 2014 when I was brought to UCI as the Assistant Director of the same ANTrepreneur Center.

I’ve been asked to go back to my roots, where it all started, to be captain of the ANTrepreneur”SHIP.” I can’t wait to get things in ship shape, get the Center’s sails up, and sailing fast.

MY BUSINESS

People are getting weary of—and frankly, seeing right through—the oversized egos dominating the business world today.

MY WHY

By building a personal brand that is honest and authentic and that reveals personal struggles, you can build stronger, longer-lasting relationships—and achieve greater success.

MY ACHIEVEMENTS

Helping business professionals who want to break through the noise, who want to gain more respect and more followers, by being their authentic selves.

MY BUSINESS

People are getting weary of—and frankly, seeing right through—the oversized egos dominating the business world today.

MY WHY

By building a personal brand that is honest and authentic and that reveals personal struggles, you can build stronger, longer-lasting relationships—and achieve greater success.

MY ACHIEVEMENTS

Business professionals who are finding it harder and harder to break through the noise, who want to gain more respect and more followers by being their natural, flawed self instead of pretending to be perfect.