Preventing Every Day Mediocrity with Ryan McRae – Episode 60

If you’ve been watching The SHUT UP Show for awhile now, you know our guests have often jumped out of their corporate outfit to start their own entrepreneurial pursuits. Today’s guest is not your usual suspect. In this episode you’ll hear from Ryan McRae. This guy spent the majority of his career in higher education, with two degrees under his belt, and left his job to go to Afghanistan (had a charitable campaign go viral while he was there) and is now searching for the next thing.


Watch the show (uncensored & unedited)

Share Some Shut Up Love –> I didn’t understand the big world out there, I was the Jane Goodall in a forest of college students. @TheRyanMcRae #shutupshow (click to tweet)

Fun Facts:

  • Ryan McRae is a professional speaker, author and consultant around entrepreneurship and friendship.
  • Ryan is an expert in higher education, personal development and, most recently, traveling around Afghanistan.
  • Ryan graduated with two degrees from Illinois State University and a Master of Divinity from Moody Bible Institute.
  • Ryan’s book is The Quick and Easy Parent’s Guide to College and can be found on Amazon.
  • Ryan can help you rock your PowerPoint slides with affordable presentation design consulting.

Defining Shut Up Moment:

I went from higher ed to quitting my job and moving to Afghanistan. I was on R&R from Afghanistan and I’m listening to Scott Harrison talk about charity: water, and it really touched me. I’m sitting in my 10×10 room and wondering “How can I make a difference?” So, I challenged my friends and family that if they send $25 for my campaign to support this charity, I’ll send back a postcard with a haiku. For $45, I’d send two.

I ended up writing over 171 haikus and raising about $6000 for charity: water. It got their attention and it blew up Twitter a little bit. It kind of made it profound. If I could do it from Afghanistan, anybody can raise money. What worked well was I offered something so unique that people had a hard time saying no. Offering something unique that was completely transparent–people knew where their money was going–and for a limited time only forced-multiplied the deal and people had to expedite it quickly.

Shut Up Tips:

In higher education, we can be insulated to only learn about what higher ed is doing. So I didn’t have an understanding of the big world out there because I was the Jane Goodall in a forest of college students. – Ryan

How I scale in my life is little experiments. – Ryan

I try to work out on my own and I fail. I’m not good at doing it alone. I have to go to CrossFit to have someone yell at me. – Ryan

You’re not scaling automatedly, you’re human. – Phil

It’s about being authentic about who you’re not. – Phil

Any failed Kickstarter, even if it didn’t kick, that’s your next customer list. – Ryan

I’m afraid I will go to my grave with things left undone. That I will not live up to my potential and the ideas I have, and that fear will take the driving seat. – Ryan

Ryan Recommends:

Ryan believes every man should have the right to carry a MAN card. As men, you have to defend what you like all the time that doesn’t fit the stereotypical, historical view. If you don’t like sports, if your favorite color is purple, or you have a liking for Dance Moms… then you’ve got to get this stainless steel card that cannot be taken—ever.

It makes a great stocking stuffer as a symbol of commemoration when a MAN in your life does something awesome. Get your Steel Man Card at Steel Man Card

Find Ryan:

Ryan’s web site is