Wrapping Up 2014

Overall in my personal life things have been amazing with one major highlight – I’m going to be a father in less than a month. Earlier this year my beautiful girlfriend got pregnant with my child and at the time it was one of the scariest times of our life. The pregnancy was a complete surprise and bluntly speaking we didn’t even think it was a remote possibility due to complications. It’s crazy how we both had preconceived notions of what we would do in the case of a pregnancy and just how much it changed when we were thrown in the mix. We could sit back and speculate on what we would have done but it’s completely different knowing there is an actual life in there, one that both Katie and I brought into the world.

Katie Wagner PregnantWhen we found out I immediately let my girlfriend know that I would support her with whatever decision she decided to make – and reassured her than if we were to keep the child, regardless of the timing, it would be the best thing to ever happen to us. Katie decided to keep and and thus began our journey as future parents, and quite the exciting one at that! Over the past several months I’ve been able to see my girlfriend slowly grow, see the baby through the ultrasound for the first time, feel the baby move (finally, after trying to feel something about 100 times!), to now seeing my poor girlfriend carry so much around it’s slowly driving her crazy. To say the least, she is ready to pop this child out! We’re both in for one of the best surprises of our life considering we don’t know what the sex is of the baby (which is driving Katie crazy). We’re only a couple weeks out now and we still have not solidified a damn name if we get a boy – but we do have some final contenders!

It’s been a mad rush the last month: baby showers, meeting pediatricians, interviewing nannies, getting construction done, moving furniture, receiving furniture, and buying necessities. Combine all this with the fact that I have very little exposure to newborns and you end up with a pretty nervous and excited person at the same time. Having a child is a true responsibility, it’s a life that will depend on me. It’s someone that will be with me for the rest of my life, want to learn from me, and will follow my example. I can’t just go around and do as I please anymore because now I will have a someone following my example. It’s an experience I’m absolutely excited for.

In the business world, things have been busy as hell and I’m grateful for it because I love the hustle. Earlier this year I spoke about some companies that I had been working on, quite a few to say the least. I’ve been asked many times why start so many and the answer is simple : I throw a bunch of shit at the wall and see what sticks, what makes money and most importantly what keeps my interest. I’ve made a rule for myself that I will only do things that are personally enjoyable for me and not sacrifice on that rule for things that simply make money. It would have been very easy for me to dump all my personal efforts into affiliate marketing, the comfort-zone that I had stuck in for years. I refused to do that this time.

Three companies of mine kept my interest and I’ve been building them up behind the scenes. I didn’t want to go the whole, ‘brand Ryan Eagle to brand my company’ route like I had done before. There are upsides to this model, but definite downsides which I experienced before. The three entities that took most my interest are Sidago Integrated Solutions, ECC Investments and xCell Fund. The other companies that I had started are either running by themselves or I’ve refocused efforts onto these three.

All of the business that I have gotten for my companies thus far have been from word of mouth referrals and they have kept me busy to such a degree that I have not even had the need or time to finish the development of the corporate sites. That’s changing in 2015 as I’ve worked the past month to completely manage all the existing operations and setup the sales and account management to take on exterior clients. Sidago Integrated Solutions is an outsourcing company that provides solutions to businesses in multiple different industries. We have about two dozen clients right now and have grown the company quite large to fit their needs – we actively interview over 500 people a month for jobs within the company. We service businesses in the healthcare, advertising, technology, and legal world now actively.

ECC InvestmentsECC Investments is an asset management fund that I launched a bit ago in non-US markets due to domestic regulation. My partner and I have been doing FOREX trading for a combined ten years together and we’ve focused our combined efforts to create the public fund today. We utilize algorithmic high frequency trading technology to execute thousands of trades a day for us and our customers. Our technology and algorithms automatically analyze charts and produce strong returns with minimum risk. We’ve been able to yield hugely successful returns with minimum drawdown (1.7% daily for the past three months average!). We are in the process of opening up operations in North America and going through all the requirements necessary to do so. There isn’t much salesmanship needed to get people interested – all we have to do is show them a live trading chart, let them watch it, and let our trading technology speak for itself. I won’t speak too much more about this for the time being, but I have a strong feeling this is going to be a frontrunner for 2015.

Last but not least is xCell Fund, an angel investment and holding company. I’ve been doing angel investing on and off (mostly on!) since 2010 and it’s always been a great way to diversify my business. Unlike my approach in the past which is to exclusively deal with technology businesses, I’ve expanded it out to other industries I wouldn’t normally work in. The reason for expanding outside of the tech arena is that last time I had invested into companies, I ended up essentially franchising business models out or investing in businesses too similar. When one business had a problem, they all got gravely effected and the whole point of the diversification failed. By stepping outside of my comfort zone this time around it’ll allow me to be a more rounded business. The yields on “the outside world” are not nearly as high as inside the tech industry, but I’ve found them to be far more stable and time-tested.

Four Years Later

Ryan Eagle GirlfriendToday my girlfriend and mother of my future child celebrated four years together, sharing the longest relationship we’ve both had. I vividly remember my first interaction with her and as much as I’d like to front being confident (maybe that’s an understatement, more like cocky or arrogant), I had butterflies in my stomach approaching her. We had apparently been going to the same place for months without me noticing her probably becuase I’m so full of myself. Months before I had just gotten out of my first adult relationship so I wasn’t in a state of mind to meet new people. She, too, didn’t really know who I was up until the day we locked eyes from across the room. The funny thing is that I was with a bunch of trusted friends and they all immediately noticed the interaction and began pushing me to go up and talk with her. The pressure from my friends compounded my nervousness but also put me into a good position where I was pushed to talk to her. I gathered up the man-strength and approached her, began talking, asked her if she wanted to go for a brief drive in the spaceship, and asked for her number. I was leaving on a business trip the next day and was to return about a week later. I knew I had something special and wanted to make sure I could seal the first date in.

When I returned we linked up and I planned a romantic dinner with her, reserving a special seat that overviewed Chicago. It was funny just how opposite our world’s where – months before she had graduated high school and had lived a more ‘regular’ life. I, on the other hand, had dropped out of college years before and had lived a very unique and lavish life – traveling, running large companies, exotic cars and expensive food. I remember the server asked us if we wanted still or sparkling water and she had never of heard that before. I laughed to myself but I knew one thing – I knew that I wanted to share the world with this girl.

Katie WagnerThree months into dating I asked her mother if we could go to Fiji together and essentially got a firm, “hell no.” Her mother was wise enough to know that guys like me, full of themselves with fast cars where bad news. She was probably right! We settled on California and had a great time regardless. Let’s say that over the years we have leveled up our destinations and her mother has (unfortunately for her) loosened up to me. I could go on and on about all of the fun times we’ve had, nice dinners, funny stories we’ve shared and more but I would end up writing a book. She’s my companion, she’s my partner in crime, she’s the person I want to share the rest of my life with.

Sometimes I wonder how the hell we where and continue to be attracted to each other. You know how opposites attract? That’s us, completely. I like spicy food, she thinks pepper is too spicy. I like being social, she’d rather spend the evening talking to our dog Tydus (probably because he doesn’t have anything to say back). When she gets angry, I laugh. I want a castle, she wants a 1 story ranch. I like to stay up all night, she’s in bed at 10pm. I don’t get it, but somehow it works. It brings balance to both of our extremely different personalities. We always find a medium ground which ends up calming me down and getting her out. If I had any other girl even remotely like me in my life, I would have been bankrupt years ago and we would have driven each other crazy. I don’t get it, but it somehow works and we are not going to try to fix something that’s not broken.

Katie Wagner and Ryan EagleI wish I could say everything is perfect between us, but we’re human. Just last week someone said that I traumatized her – I guess surviving four years with my drastic ups and downs is like surviving world war three. I’m grateful I have this beautiful woman in my life – she balances me and makes me want to become a better man. Months ago we got the news that she was pregnant and as shocking as the news was, I couldn’t have been happier becuase she is the only woman that I want having my child. I’ve made a lot of poor decisions in my life but I can confidently say that building a relationship with her was one of the best decisions I’ve made. Katherine, you are my everything.

How I Started Response Commodities

I was asked on my Ask.fm account to make a short blog post about how I started Response Commodities so I decided to follow through and make a post about it. Pardon my rambling here, I just whipped this up quick and didn’t go through the editing process much.

Response CommoditiesI’m not going to go into too much detail because a lot of it is trade secret, but I’ll go through the common sense stuff. I was interested in trade for a long time before starting the business and I first began networking with other people in the industry. I did research and first thing I found where niches that had high profit margins and new trendy items. I picked tobacco products, electronics, and clothing – all high profit niches.

The next thing I did was look on Alibaba for people selling products in those niches. I found sellers, contacted every single one, then negotiated test buys. Most people selling things, I’ve found, are scammers. I negotiated smaller buys upfront, purchased from multiple people, got their skype screen names, and waited for the orders to come in. Some purchases came in, some didn’t – I had to cut my losses.

When the small ones came in I tested selling retail to gauge interest. I also looked at the quality of items I was buying to see if it would be suitable to sell without having to deal with complaints. After selling the items retail and building relationships with the merchants that delivered high quality product fast, I slowly increased my order size until I reached a point where I was ordering in bulk.

Obviously, the larger the order the lower the price per unit. To experiment, I opened up an operation that cold called businesses in my related niches to open up a line of communication where I could begin negotiating rates for bulk orders. In many cases, I ended up being able to drastically undercut their prices off the bat. To propel sales, I fronted inventory to retail operations so they could sell and pay once items where sold.
I slowly began getting into bigger ticket items like electronics, which ended up being bigger margins for me. The biggest challenge with the business now is ordering the correct amount of product, keeping up with the latest technology, and maintaining cashflow while I front product to retail outlets.

Now, I’m still at the very early stages of the business and other things have caught my interest more – but the company has potential and is earning money. Obviously I’m not in Wal-Mart or anything like that yet – but if I put my full focus on it I could grow is dramatically. The biggest challenges I’ve faced with the business is the cashflow required to scale it, and the risk I take when I over order product inventory and it doesn’t sell. For example, I didn’t predict trends correctly in my electronics division and over ordered hundreds of a certain product, only to have the next version released. Now, I’m sitting on inventory of a product that it far more difficult to sell because it’s old technology and I’m going to have to take a loss selling it – plus it’s very difficult to find someone to buy it.

Ramblings…. My Digital Journal

Publicly talking about my struggles, goals and businesses has always been a major personal motivator in keeping me accountable to both myself and the public. Since launching this blog I’ve had so many ideas for topics that I would like to discuss ranging from posts about hobbies, to advice on managing development tasks, to short product reviews, to personal posts about my inner struggles and challenges. Lately, I’ve been dealing with some extremely challenging and important changes in my life that deserve a mention but I can’t get the motivation to start the post. I’m hitting a roadblock every time I want to write…

The Perfectionist inside me…
perfectionsimBecause of my self-moderation, review, obsession with formatting and endless revising it’s nearly impossible to get any ideas out. I overthink every written word that leaves my mouth from my seemingly meaningless Twitter posts to the articles that end up on here. I even created a short posts category and the most simple posts probably end up with 30+ revisions! Besides making things take far longer than they should, the honesty behind the message gets lost through editing alone.

This blog is my personal space, it’s not my business profile or resume. It’s something I want to be able to look back on and reflect. If I’m unable to get my ideas out whatever they may be, it’s limiting my growth as an individual. If I can’t post, I can’t look back to see the mind-state I was in. Looking at my past is one of the most vital tools I use for self-improvement both as a person and as a businessman.

I’ve come up with a solution…
tumblrI’ve decided to use my Ryan Eagle Tumblr and challenge myself to post whatever is on my mind, when it’s on my mind, completely unedited and honest. I want the truth even if makes no sense or is embarrassing – not carefully constructed sentences. I don’t want drafts, edits or revisions. I want to see what really goes on in my head. I started making my first rambling posts a couple days ago.

The goal is to be able to review what I’ve written, edit it, and compose structurally organized blog posts. It’s my goal to review a dozen rambles that I barely understand and try to produce one meaningful post I can publish and reflect on later. The goal is to jot down anything on my mind, get it out, and laugh about how stupid it was or how much I was over-analyzing myself. I understand how a lot of people work but there is one person that baffles me still : myself. I feel sorry for the haters that try to interpret my actions because they’re going to end up more confused than me. (more…)

We Are Keeping It

I woke up and my entire life changed.
Literally days after making a tumblr post about my future I wake up to news that I would have never expected. I’m still in shock it happened in the first place (I’m not that reckless) considering the protective measures we took. I had no clue that sje would ever even consider keeping a baby considering the circumstances, but life takes you directions you had no clue you were going to go. All I knew is that I had to man up and support whatever decision she made.

For me, the decision was pretty clear cut and logical. But for my girlfriend, the decision wasn’t as easy as even she expected. When you’re detached from situations like this it’s very easy to say what you’d do, but when real life hits it was a lot more challenging for her. She didn’t know what to do and I had to support her the best I could, sharing my opinion but not pushing it. The back and forth struggle she went through killed me more than anything, I didn’t know what to expect. To be honest, I’m just glad we have a final decision. I couldn’t see her like that anymore and I couldn’t survive another week with the pressure. I’m scared to death for a dozen reasons and happy for a dozen more, but I’ll reserve that for a blog post down the line.