HOW I DID IT

'Why I Carry This Reminder'

Ryan Blair, CEO of ViSalus, opens up about facing tragedy while running a business.

Perspective: On Ryan Blair's arm are the Roman numerals for 8-4-11.

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Ryan Blair is the CEO of the nutritional-supplement company ViSalus and author of the book Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain. On August 4, 2011, the day his book was published, Blair went to court to get custodianship of his mother, who had been in a coma for five months. That same day, his son was found to have autism. The date is now tattooed on his left forearm. As told to Issie Lapowsky.

There are no two human beings I've ever loved more than my mother and my son, and I'd trade all of my success to have them healthy again.

Entrepreneurs go crazy thinking that every little business issue is the end of the world. Now I understand it isn't.

That helps me approach serious problems with a different kind of poise, because I think, Hey, I can get through this.

Nothing will ever be as difficult as the loss I feel for my mom or the pain I feel for my son. There's a bit of strengthening that comes from tough times.

That's why I got the tattoo. I want the memory of that day to be with me the rest of my life.

Last updated: Jun 28, 2012




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