Ryan Blair (born July 14, 1977) is an American entrepreneur and author. He is the co-founder and chief executive officer of ViSalus Sciences, a subsidiary of the publicly traded company Blyth, Inc. In 2011 he wrote a book titled Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain: How I Went from Gang Member to Multimillionaire Entrepreneur which reached The New York Times Best Seller list in its category. Media outlets have characterized Blair's transition from gang member to entrepreneur as an inspirational story.Ernst & Young named Blair as Entrepreneur of the Year in 2012.
Blair was raised in Southern California. As an adolescent, Blair suffered from Attention Deficit Disorder and struggled with his father's violent behavior and addiction to methamphetamines. He dropped out of high school in the 9th grade, left home, and became a gang member in his home-town of Los Angeles. He lived in a toolshed for a year and was arrested 10 times by the time he was sixteen, facing a four-year jail sentence for his last arrest. When he was 18, Blair's mother began dating a successful real-estate entrepreneur who became Blair's mentor and gave him his first job. At 21, after serving as Logix Development Corp's vice president, he founded his first company.
Business and writing:
In 2005 Blair became the CEO of the multi-level marketing company ViSalus Sciences. Shortly after the acquisition, ViSalus was in debt and facing bankruptcy. Blair was responsible for bringing the company from $6 million in debt to $150 million in revenue. In 2008 the company was sold to Blyth Inc., with Blair remaining as CEO. As of 2012, ViSalus is valued at $600 million.
Before ViSalus, Blair started six companies, including a computer support firm named 24/7 Tech when he was 19.
In 2011, Blair released his autobiography Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain: How I Went from Gang Member to Multimillionaire Entrepreneur. The book was ranked 3rd in The New York Times Best Seller list for August 2011 and was a number one New York Times Hardcover Business Book bestseller in September of that year.
Blair is a contributing editor for Forbes Magazine.