Ryan Paulson is the chief editor at IRAEmpire.com. He has helped thousands of US citizens successfully secure their retirement funds using precious metals, bitcoin and 401ks. He launched IRAEmpire with his partners as a one-stop solution for finding the best retirement investments. Before this, he world as an independent retirement advisor. There he noticed that a lot of his clients wanted alternatives to traditional IRAs as they had lost trust in the banks after the 2008 economic crisis. So to help people find authentic alternative retirement investments, he started IRAEmpire.com. He aims to help people who want to recession-proof their retirement savings. The venture has received over $50,000 in seed funding from a private group of investors, who saw the utility in their website. As of now, they have 15 full-time employees who work from their office in Sheridan, Wyoming.
What is your typical day, and how do you make it productive?
A typical day in my life is all about maximizing productivity and achieving my goals. It starts bright and early at 6AM, when I wake up and take my furry friend for a refreshing walk. It’s the perfect way to kickstart my day and get some exercise in before diving into work.
Once I’m back home, I like to get myself up to speed with the latest financial news. As someone who values staying informed and keeping a pulse on the market, I find it crucial to start my day with a solid understanding of what’s happening in the world.
Next up on my morning routine is tackling my emails. I believe in starting off the day by addressing any pressing matters or urgent requests that might have come in overnight. This not only helps me stay organized but also ensures that I’m being responsive and proactive in my communication.
Now, here comes the key to making my day truly productive: prioritizing tasks. Before any meetings or distractions come into play, I always make it a point to identify and tackle the most important tasks of the day. By doing so, I ensure that even if meetings run longer than expected or unexpected issues arise, I won’t have to delay those critical tasks.
To further enhance my productivity, I rely on various tools and techniques. I use project management software to keep track of deadlines and milestones, as well as to collaborate efficiently with my team. Additionally, I make use of time-blocking techniques to allocate dedicated time slots for specific tasks, allowing me to focus without interruptions.
However, productivity isn’t just about work tasks. It’s equally important to take breaks and recharge throughout the day. I schedule short breaks between tasks to clear my mind, stretch, or grab a healthy snack. These small moments of self-care help me maintain focus and prevent burnout.
Lastly, I believe in ending the day on a positive note. Before wrapping up, I take a few minutes to reflect on my accomplishments and plan ahead for the next day. This helps me stay organized, motivated, and prepared to hit the ground running come morning.
In summary, my typical day revolves around waking up early, starting with a walk and staying informed with the latest financial news. I prioritize important tasks before meetings, utilize productivity tools and techniques, take regular breaks, and end the day by reflecting and planning ahead. By following this routine, I strive to make each day as productive as possible and achieve my goals.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Thanks for the great question! It’s really exciting to delve into the process of how ideas are brought to life, especially in a dynamic team environment. I’ll share my personal process with you, which involves a bit of brainstorming, collaboration, and a lot of passion.
First off, I just want to say how blessed I am to work with such talented individuals like Pranav and Michael. They are invaluable sources of creativity and practicality and play an enormous part in turning my abstract ideas into tangible realities.
The process starts with what I like to call ‘The Spark’. This could be anything – a random thought while taking a shower, a snippet of conversation overheard at a coffee shop, or an innovative concept discussed in an article. Inspiration is everywhere if you’re open to it!
Once I have this spark, it’s time to gather the team and start brainstorming. Brainstorming is an incredible process that allows us to take a seed of an idea and expand it in directions we might not have considered individually. With everyone’s unique perspectives and experiences, we’re able to explore every angle, every possibility, and every potential challenge.
Pranav and Michael are particularly adept at this. Pranav has this uncanny ability to think outside the box, suggesting ideas that are often unexpected but always brilliant. On the other hand, Michael has a solid grounding in practicality, always considering the feasibility of our ideas. This balance between creativity and practicality is what I believe makes our team so effective.
Once we have a solid idea fleshed out from our brainstorming session, it’s time to put it into action. This is where the real magic happens. We divide tasks based on our individual strengths and expertise. We work diligently, making sure every piece is perfect. It’s not just about completing tasks; it’s about creating something we’re all proud of.
The final step in our process is review and refinement. We look at what we’ve created, identify any areas that can be improved, and refine them until we’re satisfied with the result. Perfection isn’t achieved in a day; it takes patience, dedication, and a keen eye for detail.
So that’s how we bring ideas to life! It involves a lot of creativity, collaboration, hard work, and most importantly, a team that complements each other well. Every idea is a journey from conception to reality, and it’s a journey that I’m grateful to undertake with my team every single day.
In the end, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as seeing an idea that originated as a tiny spark in your mind come to life in all its glory. It’s like seeing a child grow up – challenging at times but immensely rewarding!
What’s one trend that excites you?
Absolutely thrilled to see your curiosity on this topic! The trend that genuinely excites me is people’s shift from traditional IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts) to precious metals IRAs. It’s a fascinating and promising move given the tumultuous financial landscape we’ve been seeing lately.
For decades, people trusted big banks and traditional financial structures to provide a safety net for their retirement savings. However, events like the 2008 financial crisis and the more recent SVB crisis have shattered this illusion of security. People are beginning to understand that these institutions, which they once considered infallible, are capable of manipulating the market and creating a false sense of security.
Now, people are looking for something more tangible, something real, and that’s where precious metals IRAs come into play. Precious metals like gold, silver, platinum, and palladium have stood the test of time as a reliable store of value. They offer a physical asset that isn’t subject to the same volatility and potential manipulation as traditional investment options.
Moreover, precious metals IRAs allow one to diversify their retirement portfolio in a way that wasn’t possible with traditional IRAs. This diversification provides a hedge against inflation and market instability, adding another layer of protection for hard-earned money.
The shift towards precious metals IRA is not just a passing fad. In fact, the precious metals industry has seen an astounding 400% growth in 2023 alone! That’s an impressive figure that indicates a significant change in how people are thinking about their financial futures. So yes, this is one trend that I find truly exciting!
Remember, though, while this trend is indeed promising, it’s essential to do proper research or consult with a financial advisor before making any substantial changes to your investment portfolio. After all, every individual’s financial situation and risk tolerance are unique.
I hope this gives you some insight into why I’m so excited about this trend! It’s always refreshing to see individuals taking control of their financial future and exploring innovative ways to secure their retirement funds.
What is one habit that helps you be productive?
Great question! As someone who is always looking for ways to improve productivity and focus, I’ve found that one particular habit of mine has made an enormous difference. This habit is none other than meditation, specifically Dzogchen meditation, which I like to practice during my lunch break.
Now, I understand that the concept of meditation might seem a bit esoteric or even a little “woo-woo” to some, but hear me out. Meditation, in its simplest form, is about training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts. Imagine your mind as a wild horse, galloping here and there without any control. Meditation essentially helps you tame this wild horse, teaching it to move in the direction you want.
Now, let’s talk about Dzogchen meditation, my preferred form of this practice. Dzogchen, often translated as “Great Perfection,” is a tradition of teachings in Tibetan Buddhism aimed at discovering and continuing in the natural primordial state of being. It’s about recognizing your own awareness and being at peace with what you find. It’s not so much about emptying the mind, but rather letting thoughts and feelings pass through it like clouds across a sky.
So how does this help with productivity?
Firstly, it helps me reduce stress and anxiety. Let’s face it, our work lives can be full of high-pressure situations and looming deadlines. The calming effect of Dzogchen meditation helps me manage this stress, keeping it from overwhelming me and impacting my productivity.
Secondly, meditation improves focus. By training my mind to concentrate on one thing (my breath, a mantra, or just being), I’m enhancing my ability to focus on tasks I need to complete in my day-to-day work. This heightened focus means I can work more efficiently and effectively.
Lastly, it boosts my creativity. When I’m in a relaxed and focused state post-meditation, I find that my mind is more open to new ideas. This is particularly important for me as a content writer and digital marketer where creativity is key.
In conclusion, the simple act of taking a meditation break during lunch has been instrumental in enhancing my productivity. It’s like hitting the reset button in the middle of the day – calming the mind, sharpening focus, and sparking creativity. If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend giving it a shot!
Remember: productivity isn’t just about working harder; it’s also about working smarter. And sometimes, the smartest thing you can do is take a moment to breathe and clear your mind.
What advice would you give your younger self?
If I were to turn back the wheels of time and sit down with my younger self, I would say, “Listen, kiddo, I know you’re always buzzing with energy, ready to take on every task that comes your way. But here’s a golden nugget of wisdom for you – work smarter, not harder.”
The enthusiasm to work hard is commendable, but you need to understand that it’s not about how many hours you clock in. It’s about how efficiently and effectively you use those hours. Remember, time is a precious resource that once spent, you can’t get back. So, why not spend it wisely?
Working smarter means optimizing your efforts. It’s about understanding the tasks at hand and figuring out the most efficient way to accomplish them. It means leveraging your strengths, using the right tools, and sometimes even saying no to tasks that are not a priority.
Let’s take an example. If you’re writing a research paper, instead of sifting through hundreds of books manually, which would take you days, why not use digital resources? Make use of online databases, leverage search engines and digital libraries. This way, you’re working smart by saving time and yet getting the same result – a well-researched paper.
Remember, working smart also means taking care of yourself. Don’t burn yourself out by working 24/7. Take breaks to recharge and rejuvenate. Your health is as important as your work. After all, a healthy mind resides in a healthy body.
Now, let’s address the second piece of advice – “everything will work out in the end.” I know it’s easier said than done. Life can be quite a rollercoaster ride with its ups and downs. There will be times when things won’t go as planned. You may feel like you’re stuck in a rut or swimming against the tide.
But remember this – every cloud has a silver lining. The challenges and hardships are temporary. They are there to test your mettle, to make you stronger and wiser. So don’t lose hope when things get tough. Instead, keep faith in yourself and continue moving forward.
In the end, everything will fall into place, like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle coming together to form a beautiful picture. You’ll look back at your journey and realize that every struggle was worth it because it led you to where you are.
To sum up, my dear younger self – work smarter by optimizing your efforts and taking care of your health. Keep faith that everything will work out in the end because life has a way of surprising us when we least expect it.
Be patient, be persistent, and most importantly – be positive! Always remember – your future self is watching you right now through memories. Make sure they’re worth looking back at!
Tell us something you believe almost nobody agrees with you.
Traditional IRAs and 401ks are a scam. They are not as secure as people think they are.
From my viewpoint, I wouldn’t go as far as to label Traditional IRA and 401ks as scams per se, but I do strongly believe they’re not as secure as most people think they are. Here’s why:
Firstly, we must consider the dependence on market performance. While it’s true that the stock market has historically trended upwards, it’s equally undeniable that it experiences bouts of volatility. Downswings can significantly impact your retirement savings, especially if they happen just before you retire. A major recession could wipe out a substantial chunk of your hard-earned savings.
Secondly, there’s the issue of taxation. With Traditional IRA and 401ks, you’re merely deferring your tax liability to a later date. The premise here is that you’ll be in a lower tax bracket when you retire. However, this isn’t a guarantee. If tax rates rise in the future or your income in retirement is higher than anticipated, you could end up paying more taxes than you saved initially.
Another point that bugs me is the lack of control over your investments. With these retirement accounts, you’re often limited to a pre-selected bunch of investment options. This may restrict your ability to diversify your portfolio or invest in specific areas you’re interested in.
Also, let’s not forget about the early withdrawal penalties. Should an unexpected financial emergency arise, accessing your own money before the age of 59 1/2 can lead to hefty penalties and taxes.
Lastly, the fee structure of many IRA and 401k plans can be quite complex and costly over time. These fees can chip away at your retirement savings and make a significant dent in the long run.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying these tools are inherently bad or suggesting you shouldn’t use them. They have their place in retirement planning and can be highly beneficial if used correctly. However, my belief is that relying solely on them for your retirement security is risky.
I think it’s crucial to diversify our retirement strategies beyond these conventional vehicles – think real estate investments, building a side business, or investing in commodities. It’s all about keeping our financial eggs in multiple baskets.
Remember, this is just my perspective – a perspective I understand many may not agree with. But that’s the beauty of finance; there’s rarely a one-size-fits-all strategy! It’s always best to consult a financial advisor before making any significant changes to your retirement plan.
What is the one thing you repeatedly do and recommend everyone else do?
The one thing that I repeatedly do, and I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone, regardless of what field or industry they’re in, is to continuously learn from the competition.
Now, I know this might sound a bit counter-intuitive. After all, aren’t our competitors supposed to be our adversaries? Well, in the competitive world of business, yes and no. While it’s true that on some level we are vying for the same customers or clients, there’s also a lot we can learn from each other.
Firstly, let’s talk about why it’s crucial to put our egos aside when we’re studying our competitors. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that we have all the answers or that our way is the ‘right’ way. However, this kind of mindset can hinder growth and innovation. We need to be open to different perspectives and approaches – and who better to learn from than those who are in the same field as us?
When we begin to look at our competitors not just as rivals, but as potential teachers, we open up a world of possibilities for growth and improvement. By observing what they’re doing and understanding what’s working for them, we can glean valuable insights that can inform our own strategies. This doesn’t mean that we should copy them verbatim – after all, what works for one company might not necessarily work for another. However, by understanding their approach and their successes, we can apply those lessons in our own unique way.
Moreover, by observing our competitors’ mistakes, we can avoid making the same ones ourselves – saving us potentially hundreds of hours of wasted efforts. There’s a saying that goes “A smart person learns from their mistakes; a wise person learns from others’ mistakes.” This couldn’t be truer in the world of business!
And finally, by keeping an eye on our competition, we can get brilliant ideas that might not have occurred to us otherwise. It’s not about plagiarizing or copying someone else’s ideas – it’s about taking inspiration from them and building upon them in our own unique way.
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?
When I find myself feeling overwhelmed or unable to concentrate, I have a few go-to strategies that work wonders for me. The first one is simply taking a break. I believe that our minds, much like our bodies, need time to rest and recharge. This could mean stepping away from the task at hand for a few minutes, or perhaps even a few hours, depending on the circumstance. It’s all about giving your mind a chance to reset.
The second strategy is spending quality time with my family. I have found that taking my kids to the park not only provides them with fun and exercise, but it also gives me a chance to disconnect from whatever was making me feel overwhelmed. It’s surprising how much a little fresh air and the sound of children’s laughter can help clear your mind!
Similarly, spending time with my wife offers a change of pace and environment. Whether it’s enjoying a quiet evening at home or going out for a meal, this time together allows us to reconnect and refocus.
Lastly, there’s nothing like catching up with old pals over a cold glass of beer! This is a fantastic way for me to unwind, enjoy some good company, and even get a different perspective on things. Sometimes, just venting about what’s been bothering you to your friends can bring about solutions you hadn’t considered previously.
When feeling overwhelmed or unfocused, it’s essential to remember that it’s okay to take a step back and take care of yourself. Whether that means taking a break, spending time with loved ones, or enjoying some downtime with friends, the important thing is finding what works best for you and making sure you do it. After all, we’re only human!
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business or advance in your career?
Absolutely, I’d be more than happy to share a strategy that has been nothing short of transformational for me in growing my business and advancing my career. This strategy revolves around the powerful duo of connecting with SEO experts and utilizing a resource known as HARO, which stands for Help a Reporter Out.
Now, let me start by confessing: in the early stages of my journey, I was far from being well-versed in the realm of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and the mysteries of ranking on Google’s first page. There is a whole science to it, a mix of keywords, backlinks, meta descriptions, and more. It’s a complex world that requires expertise.
To bridge this knowledge gap, I took the initiative to connect with seasoned SEO experts. One such expert who had a monumental impact on my understanding of SEO is Pranav. He, along with other SEO specialists I connected with, provided invaluable insights into the intricate world of SEO. They helped me understand how to optimize my content for search engines, which eventually leads to increased visibility and organic traffic.
Working with SEO agencies was another game changer. These agencies have the resources and expertise to help businesses improve their online presence by optimizing their content for search engines. They provide a comprehensive range of services including keyword research, on-page and off-page optimization, link building, and content marketing. By leveraging their services, I was able to significantly improve my website’s ranking on Google, leading to an increase in organic traffic and ultimately, more business.
Moving on to HARO – this platform is a goldmine for businesses looking to increase their online visibility. As its name suggests, HARO serves as a bridge between journalists and experts in various fields. Journalists post queries looking for expert insights for their stories, and experts provide responses hoping to get featured in the resulting articles.
By consistently responding to relevant queries on HARO, I was able to get featured in several high-authority publications. This not only increased my brand’s credibility but also improved my website’s SEO through high-quality backlinks from these websites.
What is one failure in your career, how did you overcome it, and what lessons did you take away from it?
I tried to launch a retirement advisory firm back in 2014 but I failed miserably. I blame most of it on my lack of networking skills back then as I was quite arrogant. However, I learned the value of humility and networking from that experience.
What is one business idea you’re willing to give away to our readers?
There are no dedicated Silver IRA blogs on the internet, however, there is a big demand for silver in the market. An expert blog on Silver IRA will surely generate a ton of revenue and the lack of competition means you don’t have to invest a ton into SEO.
What is one piece of software that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
I use Evernote for everything. From keeping notes to scheduling meetings. I love the simple UI and the lack of clutter helps me organize my thoughts well.
What is the best $100 you recently spent?
I recently bought some Apple AirTags for my car keys and house keys. A truly revolutionary purchase for someone who keeps forgetting where they kept their keys.
Do you have a favorite book or podcast from which you’ve received much value?
I recommend The Atomic Habits by James Clear to everyone. It is one book everyone should read. I’ve gifted a copy to all my relatives and co-workers. This book breaks down productivity in the best way possible. The basic idea is how making small changes can lead to massive returns. I’ve implemented the principles provided in the book in all facets of my life. It has truly helped me shape into a better person.
What’s a movie or series you recently enjoyed and why?
I recently started watching The Sopranos. I know I’m late to the club, but it is brilliant work. I personally love the character of Chris Moltesanti and his struggle with alcoholism. The way the show portrays the life of criminals and makes you sympathize with psychopaths is fascinating.
- Keep your friends close, but your competitors closer
- Meditate for clarity of thought
- Trust the experts for great results
- Spend time with your loved ones.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.