Season 2 is out! Listen now.
April 1, 2022

Leading a Professonal Services Firm & Building Trust in your community | Nate Ryan

Leading a Professonal Services Firm & Building Trust in your community | Nate Ryan

Today, I’m excited to talk to someone I admire and call a friend, Nathan “Nate” Ryan.

He’s the co-founder and CEO of Blue Sky Partners, an executive operations consulting firm in Austin which helps growing companies navigate their problems around growth.

Nate is also the founder of Good Politics, Director at LBJ Presidential Library Future Forum, Appointed Commissioner for the City of Austin.



Today we have Nate Ryan on the show, Nate, how are you?

I'm doing great. How are you?

It's good to see you.

It's good to see you as well.

I feel like I've seen you in this background. Often during this last, what? 25 years in the pandemic.

for real, as it only been 25. And I, and I feel like I have not changed this at all. Actually I was looking at this earlier today on another zoom call and I was like, I really need to update this. This is looking cluttered and maybe a little boring at this point. I need to change it. It's not for anybody else. I feel like I need to change it for myself.

Yeah. Sometimes it helps us chain stuff. Yeah. So let's get the controversial and extremely pressing questions out of the way first. You've been in Austin for a long time. You've been in Texas, you know, a lot of people, you network, you're an extrovert I've been at your events. They're fantastic. Yeah.

What's your favorite taco? I know, I love for everybody, anybody listening.

Do you want to talk about your events that you did? Cocktails and conversations first? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I mean, I really miss those. I mean, events are kind of back and I'm kind of out there as much as I feel comfortable being out there, but, you know, we would host these events, but we would come to these called cocktails and conversations and it was just a super casual thing once a month on a Friday.

And. We'd get 250 people on a Friday at this hotel bar until 3:00 AM. And it was just casual and just. Members of Congress rolling through and like big time VCs. And like you just never know, knew who would be there. I never knew who would be there. And it was just a ton of fun. And it was a good time to get people who were in different industries that may never run into one another in the same room to talk to one another.

So it was, it was a lot of fun. I can't wait till we can bring that back. We were going to do it in December, but then Omicron happened. And so we're waiting for that wave to go down and hopefully we can do on this. Absolutely.

That was one of my favorite events because I got to see a lot of people from the startup world.

Not that that was the only world represented. It was just cool to meet people. Absolutely. I completely agree. I miss it. We'll get, we'll get. We will we win and we will. So when I look at that, okay, so favorite taco, starting with the controversial ones, like you said you know, I'm going to have to go with Pablo Pueblo, VA, have they got a couple locations here in town?

I'm at the cosmic one down on south Congress quite frequently. And so I think those are they've got a, they've got a. It's just like a tiny, it's like a kid, they call it a case of DIA taco, but it's basically, it's just a case of DIA. That's the size of a taco and their steak with Rojas is just like, it blows my mind every time.

All right. You have it? No, I love that. They used to have one right next to Bruin brew. I think they still have it on fifth. It's so good. It is a favorite barbecue. That's actually an easy one for me. That's Micklethwait over on east 11th. Really? I've never heard Micklethwait yeah. Micklethwait spelled like Mikel.

Wait, there's a T H in there, but you don't pronounce it. A it's just ridiculously. Like right down the street from Franklin. I believe the Pitmaster studied under Aaron Franklin and then went and started his own spot. It's so good. All right. Oh, another pro another pro tip on spot. Also one 11 called old thousand as Chinese restaurant and they do brisket fried rice and they use brisket from

Oh, all right. So. If you want a little, if you want a little like further action for your barbecue in a different setting, that's great. And favorite Texan, our local beer Texan or local beer, you know, I got to go with independence. Brewings native. Actually boom on brand too, by the way. Nice. It is perfect.

It's just such a good beer and it's a great can cause it's just the Texas flag. It just says native texts and real big. So it hits all the marks there. Absolutely. And for everybody listening, what's your are you. I am. Yeah, I was born in Conroe, Texas down near Houston, and then spent the first three years of my life in a place that sounds made up called cut and shoot Texas, like cut and shoot.

Yeah. Love it. What brought you to Austin? So I, like I said, I was born in Texas, but my dad was a pastor. So we moved to Southern California when I was about three for him to be become senior pastor out there. And every summer we would come and, you know, I got family all over. So we'd drive in. We'd go to San Antonio.

We'd go to Houston. We'd go to Whitney. We'd go to. Dallas Dennison. We'd go to Brownwood. We'd go to Midland-Odessa. I mean, almost every summer we came and we did this whole tour of the state. But we'd always skip Austin cause it's a godless heathen town. And then, you know, as I grew up and became one Amanda and I came here and my wife, Amanda and I came here in 2014 and we spent about 40.

In Austin together and just fell in love. And we moved here partially for work. I was CEO at a marketing agency at that point. She worked for whole foods, still works for whole foods. And my company was looking to open its fourth office. And we also came here because the people here are incredible and, you know it's.

I think it's pretty hard to spend a day in Austin and not feel like you made a genuine connection with somebody. And, you know, I love that. And that, and that has not changed. Even as it's grown over the last seven years. And actually we got here January 15th, 2015. So it's almost. Seven years to the day that we're having this conversation and I'm getting on the Seljuk now.

So stop me before we go down that rabbit hole. No, I, I love that. And you're right. I think the spirit of Austin is something else it's very clear. Extremely. Yeah. When people say they want to help you, they mean it. If somebody says they're going to do something, they do it. I appreciate that about this place.

I agree and shifting gears. There's a, so for everybody listening, you might've heard this in the intro. Nate does a lot and if we were to ask him everything about it, we'd be here until two, two weeks from now, actually. So I'd love to talk about something that you have been working on for a while. It's kind of your baby blue sky partners.

What is blue sky partners and what is. Yeah, so blue sky partners at its core as a consulting firm we help organizations grow and make more money or make more impact by providing capacity for executive leaders and teams to focus on growing their business. While we work with them to run their business.

Sometimes that means we're helping an organization rethink a business model or an org chart, a communications marketing, or sales strategy. Sometimes it means running accelerators to help emerging leaders and organizations build a solid foundation for future. But when we started blue sky in 2017, I think we had a loose idea for what our own business model could be.

My background is marketing and communications. Like I said, I was CEO at a marketing agency before this, but always felt like the marketing agency model could be used for professional services. As well. So at the beginning, BSP was pretty much just taking on any organizational capacity issue to help run project management.

But over time, we've discovered that we're best when we function as a part of our client's teams, you know, fully embedded working directly with executive leadership or management, and essentially seeing the client's budget that they spend with us as a kind of. Budget. So that means if it's part of our scope and it's under our purview to manage, we don't pass costs for additional subject matter expert or consulting, help onto the client.

We manage that on our own, the way that a marketing agency would. So that's proved to be a really good model for us. And it's kind of a, an addicting model for our clients because it means that they know when they give us a project, we'll give them time back because we'll manage the project. I'm on budget.

And they'll have more time to make more money or impact for their organization. From the last part you said, it feels like you really make your clients feel that somebody has their back. Yeah, absolutely. You know, and, and so much, you know, in the leadership position, if you're growing something we, you know, we were talking with a client earlier this week and they mentioned, you know, it's just so good to have somebody around to bounce ideas off of.

At a certain stage, you know, I think leadership is always kinda lonely. But when you're smaller and you're growing, I mean, it can feel really, really lonely. You don't always have somebody at the executive level with you that you can bounce ideas off of and that they can, you know, take and turn into reality really quickly.

And so we become that for our clients. Would you call yourself a management consulting company or not? Yeah, I mean, what our organizational were, were operational consulting decent amount of leadership, coaching and facil, cultural facilitation as a part of that. So I would say operational consulting is how.

Describe ourselves. Nice. And so, oh, you said that before you started this, you were looking at what you learned from your agency where you were CEO and then moving into this realm. How did you guys start? And like, what was the first year like, cause you know, it's never easy to start a business. That's what I've heard.

And so,

yeah, I mean, you know, our first year really was kind of. Getting a sense for the market. I mean, you know, people know what a marketing agency is, they know what, you know, a sales, like I think people are very familiar with the idea of outsourcing a particular function of a company. They're not really used to helping outsource you know, some of the more organizational executive level thinking.

Right? So like for us, I think one of the biggest challenges in their first. And for clients and for us to fit for us to figure out how this worked and for our clients to, to understand it. I think we needed to understand what it felt like to do this kind of work so that we could describe it and our clients needed, we needed to see how our clients felt about the results that they were seeing from working with us.

So, you know, that first year was really a lot of kind of experimenting as far as what services we offer. What clients or potential clients said they wanted, and then what they actually had us doing. You know, so we had some pretty competitive rates at the beginning. I think when we started in 2018, really, we started in December, 2017, but in 2018, you know, I think we were charging an average retainer fee of about four grand a month for access to our whole.

And now we're now we're, we're upwards of 10, you know, as our, our normal retainer fee. We understand what we're good at. You know, we know the value that we bring into the organizations that we work with. And that wouldn't happen if we didn't give ourselves a little bit of time to kick the tires and, and see what the market wanted and figure out how to talk about.

Yeah, I think what services, one thing is really unique. You're getting paid to learn the value of what you're doing for them, because your services will change over time. And I think this is a conversation that I've had probably four or five times over the last two weeks, which is about pricing. The more you price, the higher your price, the easier life.

Because you're attracting a different kind of client and it's just, I find that people who pay a lot more are for some reason, so much. Yeah, totally. Yeah. Well, and you know, I mean, you've got to build your brand, I think to the point where, you know, people expect that kind of pricing and, or you've got to be in a market, you've got to just, you know, find yourself in a market where those budgets exist.

And I think that was a big part of this for us as well. Right. Is. You know, so much of the work that we do because you know, managing an executive level project could mean you're managing an executive level marketing project. It could mean you're managing an executive level, you know, operational projects.

So for us, we had to figure out which slice of a company's budget are we pulling from, you know? And if we're pulling. If we're, if we're pulling primarily from the operating budget, that we need to be figuring out how to get in front of, and talk to, you know, VP of ops and COO and things like that, as opposed to spending our time talking with other members of the organization.

So that's really interesting. You bring that out because I think when we start off something, we have. An idea solid is it may seem, it might be vague, which is who exactly our target market is. We exactly the right decision maker is and what they're, what exactly they're looking for help with. Once we understand that while being paid to learn that it, the rest becomes easier because we can actually target them and start building those relationships.

Absolutely. And I would say, you know, for us, we had to figure out that, you know, for the most part we are speaking with a COO or a CEO. You know or a chief of staff or a VP of ops, you know, but somebody who is running point on those projects that only the executive level team would manage otherwise.

Absolutely. And so shifting gears a little bit to methodology, because that is something that service firms always find themselves developing over time, as they learn about exactly what value they're providing. What's the ROI. I know we've talked a little bit about. I know we've talked about this a little bit over email, but what is blue skies methodology as it's being developed?

Yeah. I mean, you know, the last few years have been really good for us because we've been able to kind of test some theories and some ideas you know, as we go and now I think we've got a really good idea of what exactly we do and why we do it and why it's valuable. And I think what we've figured out is that we.

We help companies measure their capacity as it relates to their effectiveness and then increase their capacity based on you know, what their goals are for the future. Right? So, you know, some companies start with a vision that is relatively achievable and then achieve that. And then they need to build some capacity capacity.

On their vision, they need to have a new vision for what the future of the organization could look like. So, you know, one of the areas that we help companies establish and build capacity is their vision for the future. The other side of it would be their plan, you know, do they have really good plan in place?

Do they have capacity? On the, you know, within their executive team to actually put plans in place to make their vision a reality. Do they have the right people in place? Do they have capacity? Do their people have capacity? Do their people have time? So that's another area. And then our people overextending their time and then their capacity on the health side is really bad.

Right. And then finally, and maybe. I mean, just as important as any of these is the financial side. Are you actually building a financial plan that allows you capacity to. You know, produce what you need to produce to fulfill your vision. So those six areas are really where we tend to want to spend our time with our clients regardless of what we're working on.

Right. And we think each of these six areas, you know, vision plan people, time, health and finance play a part in just about every project that we pick up. And so that's what we're going to be really focusing on in rolling out. I think in the next year, Yeah. I wonder if there's a visual model for that.

I'd love to share that there is perfect. Yeah, we're building it right now. Hey, fantastic. So that executive level thinking when it comes to both effectiveness and capacity, when you were starting out or when you are now. Boiling down what you do and saying, Hey, we help you with that executive level thinking.

Do you ever find any friction from people who are like, no, we don't want to outsource that, or we don't want to give that to somebody who's not on this team. Right. Do you ever experience that? Not a ton. I think. I think, and I think that's because typically when we're talking to a client, it's because they are they're overwhelmed, but they have, they have more ideas of either what they need to build a strategy around.

And they just don't have time to build that strategy or they have, they have built a strategy, but they don't have a partner to help validate it or you know look for holes. You know, and they don't have the, a partner or the capacity to actually get it done. And so I don't think, I don't know that we've ever had an instance where somebody is nervous to work with us because they're afraid of having a partner.

I think by the time they speak with us, they know they need a partner at that level to help them see the results they want to see. And so they're already feeling. Before they even come out and talk to you, and I'm guessing for us, you know, something which is very strategic as an engagement and also for lack of a better word, weight intimate, because you're working with a whole lot of people in the company.

How did you start first getting your first clients? Was it inbound? Did you do, what was the process like? We, I mean, as you mentioned before, Involved in quite a few things. And so for me, when we started, you know, it was really just about being in as many rooms as I could possibly be in and making sure people knew.

Blue sky partners, you know, and it was really about just making sure that it was, it had been established that there was a new brand in town that was focused on operational consulting that was focused on working with scale, the companies that were scaling up and that when people, so that people would start to think, oh, I know this company.

that's Having this, you know, capacity issue or they're starting to scale, they're starting to grow, they should talk to blue sky partners. So it was really just about, you know, initially a lot of it was inbound, I'd say still, you know, 80% of what we get is inbound or renewal, which is great. That's exactly where we want to be.

And I think that's a result of us working is really as much as we could early on to make sure that as many people recognize the name blue sky partners, that they'd shake in my hand or something like that. And that even if they didn't know exactly what we did, they thought, well, if the company is, if a company is growing or I hear of a company that's growing and they're stressed out, then they should talk to me.

That's great. And I think 80% of your clientele and coming from inbound is a great thing because. When we work with customers, it's usually three problems that we see with B2B sales. Number one, it's hard to reach decision makers unless you know them cause they're busy and they get pitches all the time.

Right? Second, it's really hard to build trust and authority with somebody that you don't know, you haven't interacted with. If I send you Nate a cold email and I'm like, Hey, I can make you more money. Delete. I think I get like 20 of those on LinkedIn a day. Exactly. Exactly. If you have the term founder or CEO in your title or any kind of, sort of C-suite, you're going to get bombarded a hundred percent.

And the third problem is sales cycles of very long. Yep. And I remember all true a hundred percent. And I remember a few years ago you told me maybe this is a year or two ago. You were like every quarter. Or every year I make a list of everybody I know, and I start reaching out to them and be like, Hey, we'd love to catch up.

How's everything going? So you maintain those relationships. And I think you've done an exceptional job at being out there in the market that you serve and not just, you know, sharing what you do in building your brand, but also capturing. For what you do I think kudos to duke kudos to you because that's the CEO's job capturing demand.

Yeah. Well, and you know, to your point, I mean, I think especially so much of consulting is about like, are you being helpful or not? And you know, to me, I think whether it's in some of the civic stuff that I'm doing or political work or whatever, you know in addition to this stuff that we do with blue sky, you know, I just want people to feel.

Oh, yeah, Nate, Nate's helpful if you need, if you need help with something like you should talk to Nate, like, you know, like that is generally what I hope my brand is as an individual and then, you know, blue sky can also be helpful if you need help with anything related to helping grow your company, you know?

And so it is genuine for me. I genuinely just want to be a helpful dude and You know, if there are opportunities as I'm meeting people for blue sky to be helpful as their company's scaling up or their organization's growing or whatever, then great. You know, that's an opportunity there. I'm not, you know, your traditional sales person.

I think I'd probably find a corner at a sales conference and like sit alone. But I think I'm very good at building relations. And that's where a lot of inbound for professional sales services up Preston services comes in because people need to know like, and trust you without a relationship that's not going to happen.

Right. Exactly. For other people who are listening, especially who might already be in services for a while, whether it's 10 years, five years, or just starting I'd love to hear some stories of great wins and also great failures. I'll I'll tell you one of my examples, which is I started off in very like content marketing heavy.

This was where the agency was. Fire show media. We'll help people make their content. And that was my thing. But over time I realized that content was just a mechanism to get people what they wanted. And I've taught people, wanting customers, which they do, but I didn't really have a good grasp on it. So last year I said, okay, we're going to be a lead generation company.

I have no idea how to do this and could do four months of conversation to actually understand what's valuable to people. When it comes to getting what they want with customers, what kind of leads they want, and then what actually works. And I feel like it's a journey. Do you have any stories that you could share about some big epiphany or aha moments you had in the business?

Yeah. I will share one story. That was a failure that turned into a success, and then I'll share what I learned through that. So I now currently own a small stake in a hard ginger beer company out of the Napa area. The founder's name is Donna Katz. She and I are great friends. But our friendship started because she had hired.

My previous company, my previous marketing agency to do some work for an app that she wanted to develop to help trade wines. And so when Donna and I met, I think it was probably in 2014 she had contracted us to build an app for her. But I don't remember who on our team put the contract or the proposal together for her, but they didn't fill out the details of this proposal.

They didn't put anything other than, I think they spelled her name wrong. I think the company's name was not on this, right. Or there was like another company's name on it. There was basically, there was no. There was just the prices and the invoice information. And I didn't know this because I wasn't involved in sales at that point.

I was director of operations and, you know, I was just looped in onto emails and was told we're starting this project with Donna. You know, and I was told. This is, we're just doing prototyping, right? We're just building we're just building the screens and then we're building a clickable prototype, you know, at that point it was in envision.

But that was not Donna's expectation. Donna's expectation was that this was that we were building the whole app for, you know, I think it was a $30,000 contract and I remember. Running this process and feeling really good about where we were and emailing Donna and saying, you know, now that we're coming up to the last few weeks here and that email launch a very long phone call between me and Donna, where I had to be.

Hi, I just, I see where this misdemeanor, I see where this miscommunication happened. I just looked at our proposal and it turns out we did not write anything into the scope for what your expectations should be. It also turns out that you signed it with unclear expectations. And so I was like, I can either.

We can either just package all this up, hand it to you and say, we'll help you find another agency that can develop this. Cause I can understand if you wouldn't trust us ever again, or you can know that I'm going to shoot really straight with you. And this is probably going to cost two X more, what you've already paid or more than that, even potentially to develop it.

You're going to get, you're going to get nothing, but the facts from me from moving forward and she decided to continue working with us. And so two lessons that I pulled from that are one, make sure you set expectations early and often, and that you got checked with them as often as possible. And then two.

You know, be as honest as you can throughout those processes. I think, you know, there's a lot of in B2B, like you said, it's all about relationships. You can't have a good relationship without having a clear expectations, healthy expectations. And then as you kind of feel out that relationship, you can't continue to have healthy expectations if you're not being honest about what's happening.

New blockers might exist. What new opportunities might exist, things like that. So that I think is a failure that turned into a wind that I learned some stuff from. That's a great, that's a great story. And I think the lesson there is. While it's important to make your client happy. It's very important to be honest with them, regardless of where you are in the process, whether you're in the early sales talk proposal execution, post interview have to be honest for them because they'll appreciate it a lot.

Well, and I, you know, there were multiple times, I mean, she wanted to do some really interesting stuff with this app. And. The, some of the technology didn't exist at that point, you know? And so talking through what is actually possible from a database standpoint, what is actually possible, you know, this is early days of like AR you know, augmented reality on a phone.

So, you know, what is actually possible as far as like scanning a barcode and having that pull into the app and having that pull all the right information in and yada yada yada. So we had to have a lot of conversations with her and. I think you're absolutely right. I mean, there's so much, so much of client services business.

The business is making sure that people are aware of not only limitations upfront or expectations up front, but as you're learning together what that means as far as either the challenges, the opportunities or the, the, the blockers you might have that you didn't know what exists that you didn't know existed until you actually.

Absolutely. And I think what you said about managing line expectations and communicating your expectations, I think that's true. If even when he would look at our companies from an internal standpoint, we manage people's work. We make sure they're effective, but a lot of times we're also managing, helping manage people's emotions.

When any person that works for you, they're very uncertain or they're doubting themselves because something's going wrong. It's your job to make sure that they still have. What it takes to make sure they get the job done and also feeling. About it. Can you, you're going through a period of growth right now, is that correct?

Because I'm seeing it from your Instagram, which is really well done by the way. Yeah. Thank you. That's all. All credit to Cali Kurbo acid. Perfect. We'll link Kelly's LinkedIn and Instagram or hello? How's is this a new phase? Has this been going on for a while? Is this a slow boil or just like right now, just growing, growing, growing, you know, I think we're at that point right now where.

There's a decent amount of brand recognition. People do know blue sky partners. They know me, they know my other partners as well. They know Tim, they know Matt, they know Shayna, who's our new hire. They know Kelly, they know Siri, you know, so like I think everybody on our team has a pretty good individual brand.

We've got a good brand as blue sky partners. We relaunched the brand itself last year with a redesign. And so I think. So there's a decent amount of market saturation with just our name and us as individuals now. And that means that people have. You know, five years when they see a company that's growing or they see a an executive leader that is stressed out and struggling to stay on top of everything they've got going on and they don't have the budget to hire somebody else in a C-suite level position.

They're immediately thinking you have to talk to blue sky. And so we are getting a lot of in, in an influx of referrals are going a lot of people coming back to us And so,  I do think it's been a little bit of a slow boil and I think we're kind of on the precipice of I don't want to call it a hockey stick, but definitely much more of a vertical incline as far as our growth is concerned this year.

And as we were talking about earlier with growth comes its own sets of problems. Are you, would you, are you seeing any the same problems in your business right now that you've seen in clients for awhile now? Are they different? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think, you know, one thing. We've been very good about trying to think about what's that next step.

What's that next level of problems we're going to have to have thought about. Right. So, you know for example, I don't know that a lot of companies or partners revisit like their operating agreement very often. You know, so we're last year we made it a point to make sure that we revised and revisited our operating agreement as partners so that we, we re-established expectations with one another.

We've done a very good job of staying on top of our, our financials, our finances, and our projections. And we tried to get out ahead of, you know, legal and HR and things like that by starting to work with a PEO to handle healthcare and benefits and all that kind of stuff. But all that being said, you know, absolutely.

I mean, you know, there's always with the agency, with, with the agency I was at before, you know, we used to always talk about how the, the agency's website is always the last one to be updated. You know, it's the cobbler's kids have no shoes sort of scenario. And with blue sky, sometimes that is the case.

As well, where, you know, we've got internal systems and internal things that we need to work out in the same way that our, our client, we help our clients get that stuff done. And it's a, it's a little bit of like who watches the Watchman, you know, sort of scenario. But I would say for the most part, I think we are pretty good at making sure that the next level of growth related problems is something that we're addressing.

Even if we have to, you know, turn them into a sprint at some point to get out ahead of it. Cause it fell behind. So. Your reference to the cobbler's kids have no shoes that, so that can be so true for anybody, you know, doing something for other people. I remember this is a very recent conversation I was having with my coach and I was like, I'm having these problems, these problems.

And she listened as I vented. And I was like, oh my God, the world's ending. And she's like, well, okay. So it seems like you have similar problems that your clients would have. What would you do if you were in your own car? Yeah. And I sat back with her in seconds. I was like, do this, this, this it's very clear to me.

I'm like, I didn't do that. I was like, isn't that the worst?

It's too real. It's too real. Do you ever find yourself in moments like that? Oh yeah, absolutely. I mean, you know, I'm thankful to have like a good. Group of friends around me and other executives that, you know, I can talk to that. I really look up to whose advice I, I take frequently, you know, people who are willing to sit down with me when I'm having a moment where I'm not inspired or I'm exhausted and feeling burnt out, or, you know, I've got a thing I need to vent about for some reason or another.

But, but yeah, I mean, you know, it, it can be tough when you are a service provider to provide those services, you know, within your own organization as well. So I think, you know, and some of that just boils down to, like, I think people get so burnt out from doing that thing that, you know doing it for your own organization, just furthers that.

You know, but again, I think blue sky. Has done a good job up to this point of staying on top of what we need to, as it related to our growth. Absolutely. And touching on the, the burnout piece for kind of like the tail end of this conversation. I know that you're never sure. As your Instagram tells me. And I liked the depth of books that you read.

I'm like, Ooh, why am I reading fiction here? And he's reading this though. Cool. I w in everyone's conversations, you like, you know, I try to make myself workout and emotional fortitude for any entrepreneur or CEO of any stage is a very big thing, because we're good at what we do. We like working and there's always ups and downs, and we really have to check our own emotions.

Throughout the wins and the losses and the failures and the uncertainty. What's how do you over like a week or weeks at a time, what's your routine to make yourself just be stable as a CEO? Yeah, that's a good question. I mean, I, you know, over the last year, I think, so a few things I've always been a piece of this.

I mean, absolutely. Fitness schedule, you know, staying on, on some kind of a schedule with with workouts thinking time with my wife, with, with friends. Those are the things that are most important to me that gives me a lot of energy. And then, you know, I think I think. This is probably something I took from reading a lot about, you know, our former president Obama, where he talked a lot about you know, not letting the highs feel too high and not letting the lows feel too low.

And to me, that's always been kind of a mindset that I've tried to have to, you know, you have a really big win, you know, Take the win, you know, acknowledge it, celebrate it. And they're like, get back into the work. You get a big loss, feel it for a minute, let it hurt, you know, and then move on and get onto the next thing.

You know, we had a new hire, send out a proposal a couple of weeks ago and we got word back that we didn't land it, you know? And I just said, It was a great proposal. We put it together super well and you can't get a win without some losses. I mean, and that's really what this is. Right. You don't get any wins without losses.

You don't get any losses without a few wins as well in there. So I think for me, that's the, that's the mindset I try to stick to, you know? And, and I would say, you know, you know, this, especially doing the work you do on the sales side, you know, you, you better get used to hearing no, a lot. Before you start hearing those yeses, you know, and one, yes.

Every 10 nos is pretty good, actually. So the, the game is how many nos can you get? You know, in what yet? So it's, yeah, I don't know. I didn't, I didn't land that plane, but that is how I, that's how I think about all this. I hear that just for this might amuse you and well, so anybody listening, the last comment of, what am I, YouTube videos.

This is so dumb.

It was great. You're going to frame it.

Perfect. So that's awesome. I should frame it. You're right. You're right. Where can people find more about you and blue sky partners? Yeah. So my personal website is Nathan Ryan without any aids. So in T H N R Y and you can find me on every social network with that exact same NTA gen ed. Perfect.

And then blue sky partners is blue sky That's our website, blue sky partners dot C O M. And then we're on every social network. Boom with those beautiful blue colors. Absolutely. Well, thank you so much for joining me today, Nate.

Nathan RyanProfile Photo

Nathan Ryan

CEO, Blue Sky Partners

Nate Ryan is the co-founder and CEO of Blue Sky Partners, an executive operations consulting firm in Austin which helps growing companies navigate their problems around growth.

Nate is also the founder of Good Policies, Director at LBJ Presidential Library Future Forum, Appointed Commissioner for the City of Austin.