How Student, Anthony Ryan, Made His First $5000 (And The Mindset That Made That Possible)

Editor’s Note: Ask any successful entrepreneur what’s their secret and they’ll tell you one thing: mindset. In fact, hustling isn’t so much a set of steps as much as a mindset.

In this illuminating story, Anthony Ryan shares how he salvaged his first startup to make $5000 and start another. But more importantly, he shared the mindset that drove his actions – something we can all learn from.


Everyone has the ability to hustle. Dan Martell described being a hustler under five headings; I believe it starts with one – JTA. Just Take Action. The initial jump over the cliff is the scariest thing a person can do, a jump into the abyss, the unknown. Once you jump there is no turning back.

But once you make the jump, the qualities of belief, energy and speed all start coming together. Socrates explained this concept over 1500 years ago through the saying ‘to be is to do’.

Many of us are scared of what uncertainty holds and will take years to realise that the road to success is lined with failure.

My first venture was a business called Free Treasure. I jumped into it thinking I was going to make a splash, like many young entrepreneurs before me holding a degree in naivety 101. We were going to revolutionise the way recycling of large household items were done in the future, eliminating waste from our landfills and saving the world one used couch at a time.

After writing email after email to obtain media exposure it started to take off, but with no real strategy in place it crashed right back down after the hype wore off.  From this ‘failure’ I realised I had a lot to learn, and that is exactly what I did.

Any entrepreneur needs to be able to sell. You can have the greatest idea in the world, but without any idea about how to get your customer wanting it, its useless. In my spare time in between Uni I learnt as much as I could about selling. I was also testing new ideas all through this time, like importing limited edition oil paintings that I sold to small businesses.

I can be proud to say some of my paintings are now hanging from boardrooms and after talking to some of the clients they have already agreed to sign up to the Beta testing of Social Hands. After learning I can upsell clients, the hustle started to become addictive.

Realising that the paintings weren’t going to change the world, I needed some funds to develop an idea. Now I knew Free Treasure, a site earning a measly $24 a month was worth near to nothing, but I remembered that potential I once saw in it. And with some great copy I ended up getting two offers, $5000 and $4000.

As a kid in uni, I snapped up the $4000 offer. Then my hustling instincts kicked in and whilst I told the buyer I won’t go back on an offer I’ve already agreed upon, I could build him a brand new site that was better than the one currently on sale for $5000. He took the offer.

Dan Martell not only wrote a great article about hustling. He gave every young entrepreneur the keys to knowledge. I’ve been a fan of his site for a while. It allows anyone to get advice from people that were successful at what they did and were further into the journey than I.

Many aspiring entrepreneurs ask ‘how do I get mentors’. I’ve learnt that in this world we need to give and we shall receive ten times as much.

So that’s what I did.

I sent nearly 200 emails to people off the site through their personal blogs. Offering to donate funds to a charity of their choice for a quick 5 minutes of their time.

Whilst every entrepreneur loves money, and would flourish with the $2000 scholarship, I see the benefits of being able to spend time at Pocketbook and Zookal as something money can’t buy. Time is something we never get back and because Alvin apparently hates doing his taxes, I’ll offer to do them for free.

This brings me to my current project, Social Hands. I realised just how precious time was to everyone, especially young parents who seemingly have no time to do anything except look after their children. The vast amount of times I’ve heard parents complain about never being able to find a trusted reliable babysitter made me realise that there was a major opportunity in the market.

Everyone is always learning and I look forward to getting the opportunity to meet with the teams that are making this amazing scholarship possible.

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