We had the good fortune of connecting with Ryan Young and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ryan, let’s talk legacy – what do you want yours to be?
Out of all the questions, this is the one that stood out. That word, “Legacy”, is defined as “money or property left to a person by someone who has died” and the second definition is “something that is a result of events in the past.” If you had asked me this a decade ago, I would have given a completely different answer than today. When I was younger, I thought that money equaled success. Coming from poverty and being raised by a single mother, the thought of leaving nothing behind for my family after all the years of hard work and heartache, would make me cringe. It drove me and caused me to lose sight of what this life is all about. Now that I have found success, even though it is precarious at times, I see now what I would want my legacy to be. Kindness. Oh sure, “Ryan was an artist”, “Ryan was a great businessman”, “Ryan was a leader” would all be great things to hear whispered around my passing. But, if I am to be honest, I would smile down from above if people were to say to my daughter or wife: “He was kind, he was good, he kept his word and he was always there for me.” Two very important things that were taught to me were: “Life is all about relationships” and “We are all on this ride together. It’s about me loving you and you loving me.” Once I tried to make those my guidelines for living, everything else became easier. Money will come and go if you’re Self-employed, believe me. But lasting relationships based on respect and love are the treasure of life.Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Residential Structural Steel is the majority of my business, but I do my fair share of commercial steel work as well. When someone needs to remove a load bearing wall to open up their home with as little collateral damage as possible, they call me. The clients that I typically work with are very selective and require a more personal level of care. I also do quite a bit of custom interior or architectural pieces, and those are the most enjoyable because I get to be more creative. It is very satisfying knowing that these pieces will be highlighted in the space, instead of hidden in the walls like the structural work. I have several sculptures in homes around the country and some for the public to enjoy in Fort Worth. Was it easy? I’ve been in this industry for over 25 years now and I have definitely experienced my share of struggles and hard times. When I started my welding company in 09′ I had a young baby, no money, horrible credit and I was working with borrowed tools and a $1200 jeep cherokee that I had on a payment plan. I would sell a job and then go research how to actually do the job that evening. Thank you YouTube! I would not recommend following that path. You could say I received my MBA from the school of Hard Knocks and looking back, it would’ve been cheaper to go through a program at TCU. But, I managed to survive that and build a reputable business through determination, great mentors and a little bit of luck. Some lessons that i’ve learned along the way? It’s all about relationships; treat people well, under-promise and over-deliver, keep your word and continue to hone your craft. The most important and also most difficult one for me to implement, was to ask for what I am worth and don’t race other contractors to the bottom. If someone says “We want to work with you, but the guy down the road is $100 cheaper.” I thank them for their time and move on. Always ask for what you’re worth and don’t budge.Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The itinerary would depend on the person. I think the first stop would be something outdoors like mountain biking at one of the many awesome trails around Fort Worth, Shooting guns out at Triple C Range in Cresson, or a run along the river on the Trinity trails. Then we would definitely go to HG Supply for brunch on the patio. After lunch we could drive around Colonial, River Crest and Westover Hills to look at all the amazing architecture and then finish up the afternoon at the Museums. If we were really out to celebrate, I would think Capitol Grill or Del Friscos would be a great place for dinner, but the gorgonzola fries and homemade donuts at Lili’s are hard to beat. After that I think we would try to find some live music somewhere… but, to be honest, I would be ready to crash after those donuts.Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The key to this is to surround yourself with people that are better. I’ve had several mentors and I’m sure they wish to remain nameless. But, I could not have made it this far without the support and encouragement of my wife, Marty Young. She is the most genuine and brilliant person I know. She is a beacon of strength and positivity for many, and I am so proud to be on this journey with her at my side. The book that has influenced me the most is called “Strong fathers, strong daughters.” By Dr. Meg Meeker. I have a daughter and I came across that book when she was very young. It taught me the importance of a father’s role in a little girl’s life. It changed how I approach raising my daughter, how I speak to women and how I love my wife. Growing up without a father put me at a disadvantage in this area, and I am so grateful to have found that book when I did. It revealed to me that my true passion was helping other men become better fathers and husbands. It also was the catalyst to me starting a Facebook group called “The Circle of Dads”, which has now turned into a podcast of the same name.
Other: If you are interested in hearing the Circle of Dads Podcast, you can find it here: http://thecircleofdads.blubrry.net/