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How to Win in Life and Business | JM Ryerson | #58

Live in the Lab with Keith Bilous | Episode #58

Hey Bapl Nation,

How is your end-of-the-year accountability to yourself holding up?

Yeah, it’s that time of year where we go, “Hm… I wouldn’t normally do this, but…”

  • Food.

  • More food.

  • Chocolates.

  • Yummy carbs.

  • Peanut butter.

  • Just one more slice of pizza.

They seem more irresistible this time of year, don’t they?

Why is that?

Why do we disregard our regular good intentions come the festive season?

No judgement, Nation. I’m battling to keep my peanut butter jar taped shut too.


Recently, I had a chat with JM Ryerson, from Lets go Win. He’s a leadership and performance coach, and we had a great conversation around the theme of accountability.

JM Ryerson has a passion for inspiring people to live their best lives and helping them be open to all the possibilities life can offer them.

His mission?

Giving his fellow humans the tools to transcend their limiting beliefs.

Listen to the audio clip below to learn more about JM.

This is JM

The Story Behind Let’s Go Win

It started with accountability—a promise to his kids to write them a book. But it lagged for years as JM focused on building his career.

One day, his son asked, “Hey dad, how’s that book coming along?”

“… my accountability buddies are my family—my two sons and my wife. I will never lie to them. I'll lie to myself all day long. But I'll never lie to my kids.
—JM Ryerson

The question was a pivotal moment for JM. Watch the interview to learn what happened. Here’s the gist of it:

JM is a man who knows what it’s like to be on the brink of losing his family to ambition.

Above that, he’s a man who decided that wasn’t the story he wanted to tell down the line. So, he reassessed his choices, told himself things needed change, and used accountability as fuel to rewrite his life.

5 Reasons You Should Care about this Interview

1. Struggling with accountability?

This interview will give you a new appreciation for its power to influence every aspect of your life in positive ways.

2. A real-life story of transformation

JM's story resonates deeply with ambitious guys working hard to support their families. Ironically, it’s that focus on working hard for them that often leaves them feeling neglected. The resentment and misunderstandings that ensue can be fatal for marriages and life-altering.

If you’re at a crossroads like JM was, you’ll find hope and motivation in his story.

3. Discover the Joy of the Journey

We talked about the philosophy of enjoying life's journey instead of fixating on “one day”—that illusive final destination when all is said and done. If chasing the end result or a “one day” destination is something you tend to do, you’ll want to take the time to tune in to the conversation for a new perspective.

4. Motivation to embrace authenticity

JM encourages everyone to be authentic, to remove our metaphorical masks, and really engage in self-discovery. His approach to being true to yourself and not conforming to societal expectations is a powerful message.

“You know what I would say, is take the masks off because masks are meant for parties … Take it off man. That s*** is heavy.
—JM Ryerson

5. Master your personal happiness

Dive into JM’s philosophy on personal happiness and growth. His take on changing your perspective to improve your life is enlightening. It's about taking charge of your happiness and not waiting for external factors to change.

Get more from Keith Bilous in the Substack app
Available for iOS and Android

The JM Ryerson Content Collection

How To Win in Life and Business with JM Ryerson

This is the show broken up into a series of digestible BAPL Blocks; little blocks of inspiration to keep you motivated throughout the day. Each block has a cube in the upper-right corner that tells you how long it will take to consume the block.

Enjoy, Bapl Nation!

“… you're literally talking about one of my favorite words. I don't know, man, this could be a lot of fun. Accountability often gets a bad rap, and I'm listening to you talk about it, thinking, 'holy s***, he's speaking my language—this is my guy!' This is going to be awesome. Boom.”
—JM Ryerson

This Bapl Block is gold for anyone grappling with the concept of accountability.

Here's why:

  1. The Accountability Conundrum: We dive deep into why so many of us struggle with being accountable, not just to others, but to ourselves. It's an eye-opener about respecting our own time and the time of others.

  2. The Power of Perspective: JM Ryerson drops some serious knowledge bombs about shifting our perspective on accountability. He shares how considering who we don't want to let down, like our family, can radically change how we view and honor commitments.

  3. The Real Cost of 'Yes': We also touch on the trap of over-committing. JM and I discuss how constantly saying 'yes' can lead to stress and ultimately means saying 'no' to other important aspects of our lives, like health and family.

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You've journeyed from being a successful entrepreneur to a leadership and performance coach. What was that turning point that, that ‘aha’ moment that made you go, ‘I need to shift my focus over there; my next is now over there.’
—Keith Bilous

JM’s turning point started with an eye-opening moment involving his youngest son and a book he promised to write. This experience not only led to the completion of the book but also sparked a new path for JM, one where he helps others live their best lives. He talks about the realization that sharing his knowledge and experience can expand beyond his family.


  1. The Accountability Buddy: JM's story about how his son's simple question about the book he was writing sparked a complete transformation in the direction of his life and career.

  2. Finding True Passion: JM talks about the realization that what he was good at wasn't necessarily what he loved doing. This led to his discovery of a more fulfilling career in coaching and inspiring others.

  3. Embracing Failure as Learning: JM emphasizes the importance of learning from failures, a philosophy he lives by every day. He encourages embracing adversity as a stepping stone to growth and success.

    Leave a comment

This block dives into the essence of personal accountability and the power of self-care in leading a successful life.

JM opens up about the concept of non-negotiables, those crucial activities that set the tone for every day. He shares the transformative impact of dedicating time to yourself, be it for your mind, body, or soul—even if it's just 15 minutes a day.


  1. The 15-Minute Strategy: JM introduces a simple yet powerful strategy: dedicating five minutes each to your mind, five minutes to your body, and five minutes to your soul. It’s an approach that can drastically change how you tackle your day, especially for those transitioning from structured environments like athletes or corporate professionals.

  2. Self-Care as a Non-negotiable: JM discusses how taking care of yourself is not selfish, but the most selfless thing you can do if you want to give the best version of yourself to others.

  3. Beyond Labels and Identities: We touch on the idea of life beyond professional labels. JM encourages exploring different facets of yourself and not being confined to a single identity.

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JM, your second company brought on a pivotal moment in your life. You've opened up about what was happening on the inside. On the outside, everything seemed great, right? The world thought JM was doing great; successful, flying high… But behind the curtain, behind JM’s mirror—as I like to call it—your body, your marriage, probably your mind, your own self, were struggling. Talk about that.
—Keith Bilous

In this block, we touch on the transformative power of personal accountability and making intentional choices for self-improvement.

JM talks candidly about his separation, challenges with weight, and the overall dissatisfaction with life despite his external success. This moment of realization led him to make significant changes, focusing on being his authentic self and improving his relationship with his wife and kids.


  • Choice and Accountability: JM emphasizes the power of choosing to change and being accountable to happiness and health, rather than playing the victim.

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JM, many of our listeners are transitioning athletes and business leaders facing the identity shifts that you speak of.

It's a common theme here in the Lab, man.

I know it's been part of my journey. It's been very much part of my vulnerability of coming out to my audience that it took this show for me to make my shift, for me to understand who I am now. I'm no longer the social media guy that had a big social media company. It's been a journey for me, man.

Based on your expertise, because clearly you have been there as well, What are three practical steps that our audience can take to redefine their purpose and their identity?
—Keith Bilous

Highlights from this block:

  1. Three Practical Questions: JM suggests asking yourself three critical questions:

    1. Why do I believe what I believe?
    2. Is it true?
    3. And how is it serving me now?

    These questions can help you challenge your beliefs and perceptions, leading to meaningful personal growth every time.

  2. Embracing Each Chapter: We discuss the idea of life as a book, where past experiences are valuable chapters that shape us, but don't have to define our future. This metaphor illustrates the importance of moving forward and writing new, fulfilling chapters in our lives.

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Men don't like to reach out. Men don't like to talk to their buddies. Men don't like to say, ‘Hey, JM, man, I appreciate you.’ ‘Hey, JM, I love you.’ ‘Hey, JM, I really appreciate our friendship. I really value our friendship.’

… by the way, guys, if you're listening right now, I would encourage you to pause and reach out to a buddy to say, ‘I'm thinking about you.’
—Keith Bilous

JM and I talk about the loneliness that many men experience, especially as they age. This part of our discussion is a powerful reminder of the importance of reaching out and connecting with those around you.

JM shares his personal experience with the loss of his best friend—his dad—and how he coped by turning to writing as a form of expression before reaching out to his wife, friends, and mentors for support. This leads into a broader discussion about the importance of expressing emotions and the harmful effects of bottling them up, a common issue among men.


  1. The Importance of Expressing Emotions: JM talks about the detrimental effects of the "boys don't cry" mentality and how important it is for men to acknowledge and express their emotions.

  2. Sending Love and Support: JM shares his daily practice of sending texts to three people he cares about, highlighting the importance of expressing gratitude and love without expectation.

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How to connect with JM

Get more from Keith Bilous in the Substack app
Available for iOS and Android

Thanks for your time, Bapl Nation. I hope you found this interview inspiring and motivating.

Until next time, stay accountable to yourself. It’s the only way you can show up and give your best to those around you.

Keith, your Chief Baplete.

Inside The Business Athlete Performance Lab is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

Live in the Lab with Keith Bilous
Live in the Lab with Keith Bilous
Live in the Lab with Keith Bilous is a daily LIVE talk show for creators, entrepreneurs, business leaders, athletes and startup founders. We share interesting stories from interesting people to entertain, inspire, and inform you.
We like to dig into the moment behind the moment while digging even deeper into the next moment using curiosity as the driving principle of our conversation.
If you are looking for content and conversation designed to move you, inspire you and help you be accountable to your next in life. Live in the Lab with Keith Bilous is the place for you.