• Why I’m Building a Mobile App

    If you glance back through the pages of recent history, you’ll come to the realization that many of the best modern businesses today were created for one reason.

    Because they solved a pain point or a problem “the founder” wanted to solve personally for themselves…..

    Facebook was not started because Mark Zuckerberg wanted to create a social network that the whole world & your mother could use. Initially, he just wanted to build a small network (Harvard Connection) for his own personal use as a social network with his friends.

    Google came to inception because Sergei Brin & Larry Page thought that search engines stunk. They set out to create the best search engine. One that indexed/crawled more pages, based ranking (originally) on quality incoming links, & wasn’t invasive to users with ads.

    Travis Kalanick & Garrett Camp, the founders of Uber, came up with the idea for Uber when they couldn’t find a cab at night in downtown Paris. They complained about it & thought, “wouldn’t it be cool to press a button on your phone & a black car would pick you up?” Eight years later, the company is now valued (on paper) at over $60 Billion.

    Yes, I know…..these are 3 ultra successful businesses.

    I use these examples though to help validate that in almost all startup ventures, money is not the #1 driving force from Day 1.

    Solving a pain point & providing value to people in the real world is.

    My pain point & why I’m Building a Mobile App

    The pain point (& hypothesis) that I see in the world with the new Prolific Fitness Mobile App we’re building is three-fold:

    Millions of people have the desire to be in better physical shape, but they either:

    1. don’t know what proper program and/or exercises they should be doing when they are about to start a workout for the day
    2. can’t afford the high cost of working with a professional (certified personal trainer) in some capacity- it’s too expensive
    3. can’t commit time to workout with a trainer in person or at a gym based on their already busy schedule

    Let me dive into each of these one by one.

    1. Direction

    Let’s face it.

    The majority of people don’t truly know what proper exercise program they should be on based on their goals & what daily exercises they need to be doing (volume/intensity, sets/reps/rest intervals, etc).

    Sure……….you can keep doing the same routine you’ve always done at the gym & maybe even watch occasional “cookie cutter” youtube videos when you’re feeling inspired.

    That can’t compare to working closely with a professional though.

    Our mobile app removes the guessing of what to do & allows you with the ability to work closely with your own certified personal trainer, directly from your phone.

    2. Affordability

    The average cost of a session with a personal trainer is astronomical!!!!

    Ranges from $50-100/hour in a gym.

    If someone works with a personal trainer even once per week every month (which isn’t much)…..that’s still an extra few hundred dollars ($200-400) being spent each month.

    For the large percentage of people, putting this chunk of money aside for a luxury every single month is not feasible or realistic.

    This is unfortunately the #1 Reason why most people don’t work with a personal trainer in some capacity (or it’s why they cancel).

    People think it’s too expensive & they are right.

    It currently is………

    Our mobile app is going to drastically lower the price point to work closely 1-on-1 with your own personal trainer.

    As opposed to paying $50 per hour session with an “in person” trainer, app users will pay less than that hourly cost per month to use our app & have their very own trainer.

    We’re completely eliminating the high financial barrier of entry to work with a trainer.

    3. Time Commitment

    In today’s age, we value our time very highly.

    From work & social schedules to driving kids to practice & grocery shopping, we can never seem to find enough time in a day to accomplish everything we want.

    With that being said, this raises the 3rd & final part of our hypothesis:

    Millions of people have the desire to be in better physical shape, but can’t commit time to workout with a trainer in person or at a gym (based on their already busy schedule).

    Working out at a gym can be great, but not everyone wants or has the time to commute to/from each workout several times a week.

    Our app allows you to decide your preferred workout environment (your living room floor, the gym, the park, etc) & then your trainer plans your daily exercise regimens based on that.

    With our mobile app, you’re always a “one-second” tap away from your daily workout & your trainer.………so whether you’re at home or at the gym, you’ll simply press a button to get started.

    We’re erasing this barrier & are giving people back valuable time based on the technology available to us & the software we’ve built.

    Every great venture has critics…..& I’m certain we’ll have our share of them as well.

    No great endeavor came to fruition without haters 🙂 I welcome it.

    One of the main concerns a few people initially raised about our mobile app idea was how we’ll be able to replicate the experience of working with a trainer in person as closely as possible.

    I’m currently addressing this while the app is being built & developing some key app features.

    Two of those features are:

    1. Direct Messaging- 24/7 msg with your trainer.
    2. Video Capture- share video clip performing an exercise directly with your trainer within the app.

    To show that 1-on-1 personal services (tutoring, personal trainers, therapists, etc) can work just as well in an online environment via a mobile app, a great business example I looked at is Better Help.

    Better Help is an online portal that connects therapists & patients via the platform. Instead of clients going to a therapists office, they could now choose to communicate with a therapist via mobile app messaging & communication.

    Better Help was acquired by Teladoc last year for $4.5 Million in cash & stock.

    If a behavioral health services company (therapists) can succeed 100% in an online setting, an improved platform in the personal health/fitness space certainly can as well.

    Our niche has a much larger market size.

    I feel we can confidently gain venture funding after launch, once we’ve gained consistent user growth several months in.

    In the coming weeks & months leading up to the big launch, I will spill some further details on the app to keep you in the loop.

    We’re building this app to solve some major problems.

    What I want most though is to be able to make a positive impact on other people’s lives.

    I want to play a direct role in knowing that an app user from the US, Poland, Brazil, Denmark, China, and so on got into better shape & is living a healthier lifestyle because of using the app we built for them.

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  • Encouraging a Gap Year: How, Why, & What the Heck Is It?

    Before reading any further……you first may be wondering, what the heck is a gap year?

    By definition, a gap year is a period (typically an academic year) that’s taken by a student as a break between secondary school (high school) and higher education (college).

    Gap years are also common for recent college graduates & young professionals (in their 20’s-30’s) that desperately need a change of pace…….Read more

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  • How to get out of your Comfort Zone- Email & Coffee Challenges

    If you’re not completely satisfied with where you currently are in a particular area of your life (work, health, relationships, etc), chances are that your willingness to NOT reach out of your comfort zone enough has played a direct role in where you’re currently at.

    Whether you’re naturally an extrovert or naturally an introvert, we all place invisible limitations on ourselves that keep us in our comfort zone (our own version of it).

    Not all of these constraints are bad (some of them are good), but the ones that are bad severely hinder us from reaching our full potential.

    As human beings, we are all “creatures of habit” to some extent……..

    When you were 9 years old, you probably:

    • sat in the same seat on the bus everyday
    • ate lunch at the same table at school.
    • talked the same people (your friends)

    When you were 19 years old, you probably:

    • drove/walked to class the exact same route every single day
    • drink the same cheap brand of beer/liquor you were accustomed too week after week

    Today you still follow many of the same habits in your everyday life, but you also carry with you many bad habits that involve imagined fear, uncertainty, and risk.

    Maybe you fear making a sales or business call at work……..

    Maybe you fear saying hello to the pedestrian you walk past on the sidewalk everyday……

    Maybe you fear ordering something new at a restaurant (even though you’ve order the same 1st dish you tried there the past 27 times in a row)…..

    Overtime though as we get older……………too many people unknowingly constrict their comfort zones to the extent that it prohibits us.

    My intention with this post is to leave you with 3 challenge activities to help you get out of your comfort zone further than you currently do. Even if you’re already super outgoing, I still strongly recommend them.

    You may be surprised on certain ways you still hold yourself back, without even noticing it.

    Note: It’s not necessary to perform all 3. You can if you’d like, but I would suggest trying 1-2.

    1. The Sidewalk Smile

    The Sidewalk Smile

    Don’t let the odd name for you. This entry-level challenge may be easier for some than it is for others, but it will be sure to make you a more likable person nonetheless.

    Challenge: for the next three days, every single time you walk by someone, I want you to make eye contact & smile at them.

    This could be as you are:

    • walking down the aisle at the grocery store
    • making your commute to work
    • taking your dog/cat for a walk (okay….maybe not your cat)

    ***If it so happens that you live in a densely populated city such as New York City, San Francisco, and so on, you can limit your count a little. Making eye contact and smiling at 135 people one by one in a 2 minute time span in Manhattan train station would be a little creepy.

    Make sure you remember to blink too (equally important).

    This challenge may feel uncomfortable at the beginning, but get past that & you’ll be fine………it’s for 3 days!

    Whether you know this already or not, it is good to hear it repeated:

    Human beings use body language mirroring. We subconsciously copy facial expressions of others. In social groups, this can be even more evident (laughing at parties, etc).

    As Dr. Adrian Furnham eludes to in a piece here on Psychology Today, “people respond to, and evaluate, those who smile differently and more positively than to those who do not.”

    While everyone else is busy with their face buried in their smart phone, you’ll be busy brightening other people’s days while simultaneously enhancing your social skills.

    By you smiling at a stranger, you’ll trigger positive emotions in them as well as yourself.

    It’s a win-win!!!

    2. The Email Elevator

    The Email Elevator

    Ever felt a little nervous at first when you were communicating with a high profile individual? (celebrity, sports star, successful business person, etc)

    We all have at one time or another……..whether it has happened yesterday or 20 years ago, it happens to the best of us.

    Last time I can remember that happening to me a little bit was during the 2012-2013 NHL Lockout when I trained with the Buffalo Sabres.

    At the first skate, each guy introduced themselves as they came into the locker room one at a time by first name:

    Them: “Hi, I’m _______.”

    Me: “Hi, I’m __Ryan__.”

    (in my head, I’m thinking…..I’ve watched you play hockey on TV since middle school, I know your name man).

    The point of this challenge is not only to reach high profile people…………but to confirm that they are indeed reachable with the proper approach.

    An amazing luxury the world wide web provides us with today is that a vast amount of people who used to be unreachable (just 10-15 years ago) are now accessible to some degree to outsiders…….via email, social media platforms, a website, and so on.

    Of course if you go about your outreach in a lazy/unprofessional manner, you won’t get far at all.

    We’re not here to do that…………we are here to do it the right way!

    Challenge: The challenge is to get in contact with 3 influential people online via email/messaging in the next 30 days.

    In order for a person to count, you just need a response back from them.

    It’s up to you to set the bar as high or as low as you please (getting in touch with a state Senator will often be much harder than say a local musician or author).

    Here’s some examples (feel free to use them in your outreach):

    • favorite author– they are usually accessible via their website or you can interact via their social media pages. If you email them, keep it short & sweet (they are busy people too). If you go the social media route, leave some comments first to build up some rapport.
    • musician/band– most musicians are much more accessible than you think. The more interaction they have with fans, the better their brand. Put some thought into your outreach & you’ll increase your odds.
    • a hard to reach person who’s very well known & respected your industry/field
    • sports star/athlete– most are usually very accessible via social media (Twitter & Facebook- just figure out which platform works for each)
    • business leader– start building a relationship with a business person you look up to by reaching out to them. Show gratitude & respect their time (more times than not, you can get a response if you craft a solid intro)
    • Anybody you admire or who you find interesting

    When I was writing a blog piece this February, titled 14 Experts Key Advice on Starting Your Own Online Business, I needed to figure out a way to get in contact with various highly influential business people (ranging from CEO’s, multi-millionaires, authors/speakers) to get personal quotes from them in a span of 2 weeks.

    I used the following email script below to reach out to many of them (each varied a little bit):

    My response rate back was 70% (which is astronomically high- email open rates are at an all time low today).

    The email script I used is just an example to give you for reference…….but feel free to use parts of it in your outreach.

    Your email will look different since you’ll be trying to ask different questions than I was for my piece.

    If you’re unsure what to say, ask your favorite author/athlete/mentor a question you’re curious on. Another idea is to mention something you have in common with them, followed by a question…………

    Not only will it be cool to communicate with these people, but you’ll be surprised with how much you also learn on communication skills along the way.

    Since you’re already this far into reading this challenge, I urge you to give it a try.

    If you don’t at least attempt it, you’re selling yourself short………only good can come from it 🙂

    With having 30 days time to hear back from 3 of them, I’d first jot down a list of 10-20 people you have interest in even talking to first this week. Then browse the web (google) to determine the best means of getting into contact with them.

    Then reach out to 5-10 within a few days of your research……….all this only takes a few hours total!!

    If you don’t hear back from anyone after a week, tweak your strategy/pitch a little & measure your 2nd approach results.

    Note: please email me with your results if you do hear back (I’d love to hear about it). If you’re having trouble hearing back & getting responses, email me your strategy & I can give you some solid pointers.

    3. The Coffee Challenge

    The Coffee Challenge

    The Coffee Challenge is a favorite amongst the startup & entrepreneur communities, but you may not have heard of it before. Noah Kagan (an awesome internet entrepreneur who’s CEO of AppSumo & also created the “status update” when working for Facebook) popularized this challenge a few years back.

    The challenge is easy & straight forward.

    Challenge: Walk into your local coffee shop & ask for 10% off your coffee (then wait for their reaction).

    Depending on the establishment you’re in & how flexible the employee is able to be, you may or may not get a discount on your coffee.

    Whether you do or not doesn’t really matter……..the point of this challenge is to better get over fear.

    Even though this challenge seems silly, we all shy away from certain types of confrontations like this at times & can all benefit from this exercise.

    Why do some people keep paying annual price increases for cable/internet bills year after year? You know you can call them up & haggle them out of it……it costs them more money to acquire a new customer than it does to keep your rate where it currently sits.

    Why do some people leave car dealerships without bargaining them down on the sale price? You know you have more leverage as the buyer than they do & you can walk out to choose a different dealership.

    These are just two examples, but there are countless others…….

    By doing challenges that push us out of our comfort zones, such as The Coffee Challenge, we realize that it’s not too hard to “just ask.”

    Just ask for 10% off your coffee.

    Just ask yourself why you don’t smile more often at people as they pass you during the day.

    Just ask someone you admire to talk to you via email/messaging & you’ll realize that it’s possible to reach them.

    As I eluded to earlier in the post, most of the limitations we face are ones that we unknowingly impose upon ourselves.

    So go out there………and get out of your comfort zone.


    With the 3 challenges that I’ve shared………….my hope is that you’ll now go ahead & take action in attempting 1-2 of them (maybe even all 3 if you’re feeling ambitious). I’ve done all three & have certainly learned a ton from each one.

    Share this with someone 🙂

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  • Ryan Malinowski | Online Business

    How To Build An Online Business For Under $100

    Starting an online business can seem like a daunting task for any aspiring entrepreneurs that is new to the online business world.

    Don’t worry…..you’re not alone!!

    When I was just getting started in online business…….I felt pretty overwhelmed too.

    Some things you might be wondering:

    1. How do I choose the right website hosting/domain name?
    2. I’m on a tight budget. How can I build professional looking website that is affordable?
    3. How will I ever get search engines to find my website?

    These are all important questions……..

    In this post, we’re going to lay out exactly how to get your online business up & running for less than $100 in 3 East Steps.

    Before we dive into that, let me briefly explain why this is so ESSENTIAL.

    When you’re starting out online………the very last thing you want to do is spend thousands of dollars from day one. That’d be pretty silly!

    I’ve been in the online business ecosystem as an entrepreneur for a while & I’ve witnessed my fair share of failures & successes.

    Want to know what alarms me the most?

    The #1 FACTOR that holds most new & aspiring entrepreneurs back from becoming successful from the very beginning is this…….

    They think they need the perfect:

    • website
    • laptop
    • video equipment

    ………in order to initially start building an online business.

    In reality though, the majority of all the successful entrepreneurs you see online today got their start with the bare essentials too.

    They didn’t start out online with a fancy $3,950+ website…..

    They didn’t need the newest model Macbook Pro 15’…..

    They didn’t need a high priced DSLR video camera to shoot videos…..

    Here’s a perfect example:

    Look at a screenshot below of Derek Halpern’s first video on YouTube.

    It’s the opposite of fancy……but that doesn’t matter!!!

    The content Derek has delivered on the web from his beginnings is extremely valuable. His business, Social Triggers, now brings in millions of dollars in revenue every single year.

    Renowned video blogger/film producer Casey Neistat says it best:

    “Gear doesn’t matter, story is king.”

    Instead of convincing yourself that you need the perfect website/gear/email service/etc to begin your online business endeavor………you just need to get STARTED!!

    In order to do this for less than $100, we just need 3 fundamental components set in place to get you up & running.

    Then you’re ready to go………

    Starting An Online Business For Under $100

    Start An Online Business For Less Than $100

    The very first step anyone needs to take is this: purchase a domain name.

    1. Domain Name

    Think of a domain name like it’s the street address of a house or business. It’s a way for other people to find where you’re located on the world wide web.

    Example: Hey Rick, visit my website, it’s………..www._______.com (or it could end with .org, .edu, .gov, etc)

    To get a domain name of your choosing, you just need to purchase one through a domain registrar.

    A few popular domain registrars are:

    Domain names costs roughly $10/year.

    Roughly the equivalent cost of 1.5 Venti “Caramel Macchiato’s” from Starbucks.

    ……is Venti the large or small?????? I can never remember that 🙂

    If you’re unsure if a website that you’d like is already taken, you can go to Instant Domain Search to see what website names are available.

    As you can see below, RyanMalinowski.com is already taken

    RyanMalinowski.com

    But if a website shows in GREEN on Instant Domain Search (screenshot below),  that means the website name is up for grabs.

    Once you’ve found a domain name that you desire, simply go to one of the 3 popular domain registrars listed above in this post & buy one.

    2. Website Hosting

    Web hosting is a necessity if you want to allow visitors to view your website online. Web hosts are just data companies that provide space on a server.

    Since we don’t want to spend a ton of money, the type of hosting you will want to go with when starting out for your online business will be shared hosting.

    Shared hosting is similar to an apartment building, in that you rent a portion of the entire building. Much like an apartment, your website runs on a server (the building) & lives on the premises with various other sites (your neighbors).

    A good shared hosting plan will on average cost about $50-75/year.

    Here’s a couple solid places you can get shared hosting from:

    3. Website Theme

    Once you’ve purchased a domain name & have chosen a shared hosting plan, it’s time to select a professional looking website theme.

    If you build your website on WordPress, your site will come packaged with various “free themes.”

    You want your website to look professional though, so investing $20-30 on a professional website theme is money well spent.

    By using a professional theme, your website will have the ability to STAND OUT more over competitors, depending on what you do with the theme.

    Theme Forest is a great place for you to start browsing professional website themes.

    (here’s a quick screenshot below of what a site on Theme Forest looks like)

    Their website themes are super affordable & it’s likely you’ll find a style that fits the type of website you’re building.

    Tesla Themes is another great option.

    I use Tesla Themes for a few of my websites……I highly recommend them.

    Tesla Themes offers a wide variety of website themes (50+) and their support tech team is second to none!

    Note: Make sure you take your time when choosing a website theme for your website.

    There is no reason to rush……

    Do some research for a few days. Then make your final decision once you’ve narrowed it down to a few themes that you really like.

    A few important aspects to consider on themes are:

    1. Mobile Responsiveness- you want a website theme that  is responsive & performs well on mobile devices (almost 50% of internet users are on mobile).
    2. Technical Expertise For Using Theme- some themes are harder to work with than others, depending on your technical experience.
    3. Support- if you have technical questions or hit roadblocks along the way while using your website theme, it’s nice to have a support team to help assist you.

    In closing of this post, let’s do a quick recap of the costs associated with getting your site live on the web for your online business:

    • Domain Name– $10
    • Hosting– $50-75
    • Professional Website Theme– $20-30

    If you have any questions on what the best type of hosting, theme, or domain name registrar to go with, please feel free to ask.

    **To learn even further on how you can build/grow a successful online business, grab your free copy of Ten Pages To Creating A Location Independent Business. The eBook will dive into the basics on how to start an online business that you can run from your laptop, giving you the freedom to start working for yourself.

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  • Ryan Malinowski Blog

    Fitness, Gratitude, & Happiness Hacks: Weekly Q & A #1

    In today’s weekly Question & Answer video segment, I share with you 5 specific questions that my readers have asked me over this past week.

    Questions range from favorite current books to gratitude, fitness to “not” calling it networking.

    Below are the listed questions with bullets on each as a refresher. Enjoy….

    1. What do you do to stay in shape?

    • Exercise 4-5 times a week.
    • No diet- go by pluses & minuses system. If you cheat on meals, spend more time at the gym working it off.
    • Consistency is key- set a consistent weekly exercise plan that works best for you personally.

    2. What books are you currently reading?

    I just read & have finished Future Crimes by Marc Goodman. I have recommended this book in previous posts since I began reading it, but I think it’s eye opening. Whether you’re a rookie on the web or a seasoned veteran, you’re sure to gain knowledge from this read.

    3. What life lesson do you have for the week?

    Being grateful for what you have each and everyday.

    Each day, I pick three things I’m thankful for. Pick small things that aren’t, “I’m thankful for a nice car” type. That stuffs materialistic. Think more in terms of acts of kindness & lesser known parts of your day that you can sit back to appreciate.

    4. Best tip on Networking?

    For starters, it’s important to stop “referring” to it as networking. It is your goal to build lasting & meaningful relationships with real people you desire to associate with. The test will take care of itself if you handle yourself in a professional manner while providing a ton of value.

    5. Name one goal of yours for 2016?

    Completely un-business related, one of my main goals for the start of the year is to get my teeth fixed from the dentist (hockey problems :))

    Random Thought of The Day

    Set a few hours aside each week to go “cell phone free.” You’ll be better off because of it & will begin to enjoy your separation for your mobile device.

    Many of us are attached at the hip to our devices…..this exercise helps to alleviate the mobile dependence.

    Have a great rest of the day!!!

    -Ryan Malinowski

    Feel free to share below…….

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