I had the pleasure of interviewing Ryan Hintze, founder of Hintze Media, Wilhelmina fitness model, and former college football player.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
Thanks so much for the opportunity to speak with you. When I was young my parents didn’t spoil me rotten. They told me that they would support me with every I “need” but when it came to things I “want” I would have to work to earn them.
When I was nine, I started selling things on eBay that I no longer wanted like Pokémon cards, Gameboy games, golf clubs and even started making my own products and listing them. I found that I really enjoyed selling online and I have been doing so ever since.
As I got older I started getting more involved with tech while I was in school. All throughout middle school and high school I was a member of the Technology Student Association. My experience in that organization really impacted my life and developed my passion for technology. In high school I got industry certified in nineteen computer programs. The school district sponsored me and covered the costs of the tests. Towards the end of my high school career, I noticed that I was everyone’s “Tech Guy”. Once a noticed a demand for my expertise, I started a company offering tech services that people needed. Web design, hosting, graphic design, aerial photography, and cinematography with drones and started selling other peoples items online. Throughout high school, I also played 6 varsity sports.
After high school, I played college basketball for two years at State College of Florida and then transferred to the University of South Florida to finish my college career playing division 1 football.
My company today has evolved and I no longer offer web design, hosting and graphic design services. My company now focuses on sourcing, marketing, and selling products online. I am also a tech consultant for RevLabs, a large supplements company, as well as manage my personal brand as a signed fitness model with Wilhelmina.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company?
When I was a senior in high school I was hired by my school board to take aerial traffic surveys, with my drone, at all 54 schools in the county. I finished surveying about 14 schools and then had to go off to college. Before I went off to college I was hired as a consultant to purchase a drone for the school district and then teach high-level school board employees how to fly them. I thought it was funny that I was teaching a boardroom full of some of the biggest decision makers in the county, how to fly a drone.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Our customers know who to go to for technical guidance. Tech can be your best friend or your worst nightmare, we ensure that it’s your best friend. Our customers are lifelong customers that choose us because they know that we will go above and beyond the call of duty to improve their business. A few months ago I was on my favorite supplement company’s website and noticed that a few of the links were broken. I messaged one of the owners to inform them of the issue and they were grateful and expressed some of their pain points. After learning that I specialize in resolving technical headaches, they hired us on the spot to help manage their web presence. Ever since we have been working with the company and they have been very grateful for our services.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I am grateful for my parents, grandparents and my mentor. Whenever I’m stuck or need to discuss an issue with something pertaining to business or just life I can go to them. My grandparents have lots of experience running companies that rubbed off on my parents that in turn rubbed off on me. We all have the same values and work ethic to always do the right thing and get the job done. My mentor is a selfless person who helped me define who I am better as a person and has helped me level up in so many different ways.
Are you working on any exciting projects now?
Right now we’re working on sourcing a few new products and planning to be on the market just in time for Q4.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I have taken pride in providing my audience that follows me an abundance of motivational content. I started a motivational Monday newsletter as well as post images and quotes up to 3 times per day. Many of my supporters have told me that they follow me because of my looks but stayed because of the motivational content that I include with the pictures I post. I’ve had so many people reach out to me and tell me amazing stories ranging from “I lost 100lbs” to “You inspired me to quit my job and started my own business”. It’s the best feeling in the world to know that you impact others lives for the better.
Do you have a favorite book that made a deep impact on your life? Can you share a story?
I don’t read many books but I do like to listen to audiobooks. I enjoyed listening to the 4 Hour Work Week and the Millionaire Fast Lane. It really opened up my eyes to the opportunities there are online. Every day I drove to school I would listen.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company” and why? Please share a story or an example for each.
Don’t think about things too much. For the longest time, I got caught up in the process of naming my company when at the end of the day it really doesn’t matter and you can always change it.
If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. Greatness is achieved by surrounding yourself with people that you aspire to be like and who have things figured out better than you. Once you stop hiring smart people and telling them what to do and start hiring smart people and letting them tell you what to do you’ll experience great innovation and growth.
Fall in love with the process and let money be a byproduct, not the main focus. When I first started I was all concerned about making money but once I shifted my focus from only making money and more on how can I provide more value to more people the money just started coming.
Pick your business partners very carefully. When I first started my company one of my friends from school wanted to be a 30% owner and be the companies head of marketing and PR. But once I consulted my silent partner I realized it was a stupid idea and they suggested I just hire him as a subcontractor.
Nobody is going to work as hard for your company as you are. Just because you own a company doesn’t mean you can just chill all day and do nothing. You are the one everyone comes to when there are issues, you are the one that puts out the fires and you are the first person in the office and the last person out.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂
I would love to shadow Gary Vaynerchuk or Casey Neistat for just one day. I just love their grind and outlook on life and think I could gain a lot of value seeing how they operate for an entire day. I’ve met both of them before but would definitely like to spend an entire day learning from them.
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