Ryan Paugh | How to Turn Community into Business – with Forbes and YEC

We are living in a time of worldwide connectedness and social media.

But having a connection is not the same as being a part of a community.

Ryan Paugh has made it his passion to bridge that gap.

Ryan Paugh is an author, entrepreneur, and successful community builder. He is the co-founder and COO of The Community Company, which helps businesses and organizations to build thriving communities. He was also responsible for creating YEC and the Forbes Coaches Councils. 

This week John sits down with Ryan to discuss what inspired him to become an entrepreneur, the differences between young professionals and entrepreneurs, and the importance of building a community for any business or organization.

In this episode, we also talk about:

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Sponsor: Rise25

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Rise25 Media was created by myself and my business partner, Dr. Jeremy Weisz, and is part of our mission to help connect more entrepreneurs with their ideal prospects and referral partners.

We do this through lead generation and proactive outreach, and we do this through our done for you podcast service, which is the #1 thing I’ve done in my business and life.

To learn more, book a call with us here.

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Episode Transcript

John Corcoran  0:40  

Alright, welcome everybody. My guest on the show is Ryan Paugh, who is the co founder of the young entrepreneur council YEC, which then was and is now an invite only organization for top entrepreneurs 40 and under Entrepreneur Magazine actually called said it was quickly became one of the most elite organizations of its clients kind. Before that he also founded brazen calm, a career management site for high achieving young professionals. And now he is the co founder of the community company, a company that helps launch vetted communities designed to help ambitious professionals grow their network and expand business opportunity. So this is gonna be a fun discussion, talking about how you build community, which is such a struggle for so many different businesses today. But first, before we dive into that this podcast is brought to you by rise 25 media, which I’ve done for you, agency focusing on helping b2b businesses, to get more clients referral partners and strategic partners through done for you podcast and done for you content marketing, and lead generation using LinkedIn. Our company has over 20 years of experience at podcasting, we believe starting a podcast is one of the best things you can do for your business. And for you personally. So if you have any questions about that, if you’re interested in learning more, go right to our website, rise 25 dot com. But more importantly, you know, our mission through rise 25 This is why wanted to have Ryan on the show is really to make the world a smaller place by creating connections, helping people to connect, helping, particularly entrepreneurs and business owners to connect with their ideal prospects, and referral partners who they love to work with. And that’s why I asked for Ryan to come here on this show. And Ryan, I’m interested in diving into your background and your history. Now we were talking beforehand, and you graduate from Penn State. And like many young, ambitious professionals, go into a corporate job and you decide it’s not for you. And so you decided you’re going to give entrepreneurship ago. So tell me a little bit about how you got started as an entrepreneur.

Ryan Paugh  2:39  

Yeah, sure. Happy to. And first off, thanks for having me. Absolutely. Cool. So um, you know, again, like you said, I got started just in a typical cubicle setting, really was unhappy with what the real world had to offer me at first, as most young people are. And I was lucky enough to have surrounded myself in college in my early adult life with a lot of people who were entrepreneurial. Many of many of which would be the type of entrepreneur that you expect, just have it in their DNA. And I wasn’t one of those people. I’m not a DNA style entrepreneur. And I think I’m one of the people that just sort of fell into it and was lucky enough to be surrounded with great mentors and peers. One of those peers was my partner in my first venture, also named Ryan, Ryan Healy. him and I were both feeling sort of the same way, when we graduated, we had desk jobs that we didn’t like, and we spent a lot of time just talking to each other about it. And we knew something was out there for us. And we didn’t know how to get started. But we used all of the great technology we had at our disposal at the time to start making connections. And at the time, blogging was really kind of the big thing. You know, everyone was starting a blog to share their ideas, it was really considered by a lot of people to be like, an extension of a resume. And a lot of ways it still is, although I think we’ve evolved a little bit with other social platforms. And our niche was really talking about Generation Y, our generation, entering the workforce, and all the trials and tribulations that came along with it, as well as kind of being the the voice for our generation at the time. There are a lot of older folks in the workforce Gen X and baby boomers, who were just starting to work with young people like ourselves, and they were finding that we were just difficult to work with. And it was leading to a lot of negative press around us being narcissistic, difficult to work with and just demanding the world. And we wanted to kind of bust these myths, so to speak and speak for our generation. So lo and behold, we ended up being one the first teams of Gen Y people talking about this. And we were starting to get calls from really interesting people about it. The New York Times The Wall Street Journal, we even did an interview with 2020. At one point, the late Morley safer interviewed us talking about millennials entering the workforce. Who better millennials then? Exactly. But, you know, we found this niche and we were one of the first people on the scene talking about it, and people were looking to hear from Gen Y. And that just got us a lot of really great exposure. And that’s how we met our third co founder, a woman named Penelope trunk she had written a book called brazen careers had a popular column with the Boston Globe called brazen careers, then at a popular blog called brazen careerist. And together we knew we wanted to create a network and a community for Gen Y professionals entering the workforce. And we took the name, brazen careerist and transform that into this community. We had a forum full of young people connecting and helping people through helping each other through these challenges. We had content they were publishing regularly to support them. It was really one of I mean, I’ve created a lot of communities, but I’m really still very proud of what we did there. But ultimately, we just failed miserably, because it was one of those communities like most of them that just fail to go from just community to a sustainable business that can actually feed your family. That’s so

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