“Even when you think something is set in stone—literal, actual stone—it changes.” Take it from actor-turned-entrepreneur and rock-climbing aficionado Ryan Devlin: successful pivots involve constant micro-adjustments. Even when you feel most stuck, you can find a new way forward, but you’ll need to double down on your unique skills and abilities.
I had so much fun chatting with Ryan about starting his give-back company, This Saves Lives, and his journey from a successful actor living the Hollywood life to an experimental entrepreneur piloting a new podcast based on his passion.
Ryan shares why chasing celebrity can be a slippery slope, how getting used to rejection helps with business-building, contributing to something bigger than you, finding flow, and why getting bored in your career isn’t always bad.
More About Ryan: Ryan Devlin is a social entrepreneur, rock climbing enthusiast, and actor known for roles on shows like Brothers & Sisters, Veronica Mars, Cougar Town, Jane the Virgin, and Grey’s Anatomy. He hosts The Struggle Climbing podcast, where climbers share their struggles and breakthroughs in nutrition, training, tactics, and the mental game. He is also co-founder of This Saves Lives, a company dedicated to feeding children and helping them thrive.
🌟3 Key Takeaways:
What are the unique things that only you can do? What connections, skills, or insights do you have that no one else does? There are opportunities that only you can identify and take advantage of because of the skills, abilities, and connections that are unique to you.
From Tony Hsieh’s book, Delivering Happiness, consider three levels of happiness: something ephemeral (like shopping), flow state (over when the activity is over), and service (being part of something bigger than yourself).
The more you pivot, the more comfortable you become with change. Take comfort in knowing that if your next move doesn’t work, you can figure out how to adapt from there.
✅Next Action: Pick a niche passion of yours that has a zing of energy and excitement to it; what is one creative project you might be able to tackle in and for this area? Bonus: go to a local climbing wall!
Free Time: Lose The Busywork, Love Your Business
Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One
Life After College
Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good by Paul Newman
The Status Game: On Human Life and How to Play It by Will Storr
Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life by Luke Burgis
Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh
Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel
Ryan Devlin on the web, Instagram: @ryandevlinoutside and @thestruggleclimbingshow
Company: This Saves Lives
Podcast: The Struggle Climbing Show, Guests: Tommy Caldwell, Lynn Hill, Alex Honnold
Emily Holland: Podcast Coach, host of the Nature Untold Podcast
🎧Related Podcast Episodes:
242: Nahko—Take Your Power Back + "Love Letters to God" Live
305: Is What You’re Wanting Actually What’s Best For You? With Luke Burgis
136: Why I Stopped Exploring Selling the Pivot Brand and Business
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Always insightful and thought provoking. interesting that your guest referenced turning off feedback and comments as feedback both positive and negative can be useful in calibrating against one's own blind spots. If commentators like Joe Rogan, as she illustrated and someone who is a lightning rod for controversial statements finds comments to be negative or as she indicated "sting" then perhaps they should recognize that extreme views come with equally direct and pointed feedback.