Kansas City motivational speaker Ryan Harvey thought his dreams had come true when a duo from Los Angeles offered him a job creating videos for their up-and-coming self-help company, he recalled. To the community thought leader’s shock, the two took the revenue from the company and disappeared — leaving Harvey to answer to upset clients from across the globe.
The experience helped inspire the concept behind “Creating Your World,” an ebook recently released by Harvey to showcase the power of individual intentionality.
“[These scammers] had already created their own world. They had already created what they wanted to do and how they wanted to do it,” he said. “They found someone who did not create their own world — and since I didn’t, I was always going to be the casualty to someone else’s world.”
The mantra behind the book demands the reader establish their own non-negotiable values — the core principles for how they want to live, explained Harvey who also is a consultant and east side advocate.
The scam’s aftermath left Harvey at his lowest, he said, explaining that the LA company’s inauthenticity spiraled him into a depression. At the same time, his mentor Dr. Lawrence McNair — a professional men’s empowerment coach — asked him a weighted question, “What do you want your world to look like?”
Excitedly, Harvey told McNair about fantasies of eating fancy food, driving a nice car and traveling to wherever he desired.
“He said to me, ‘You sound like an Instagram feed. What do you want your world to feel like? Do you want it to be full of love? Happiness? Do you want it to be full of courageousness? Bravery? Do you want sacrifice? What do you want? Give me your top three.’
“I want adventure. I want growth, and I want authenticity,” Harvey told McNair, who then urged him to start by diving deep into what he meant by adventure.
“I was like, ‘Man, I want to go to the rainforest. There are some places in Africa that I’d love to visit.’ He stopped me and pointed out how, again, I was talking about everything outside of myself. He goes, ‘When was the last time you took the adventure into parts of you that you’ve chosen to neglect?’ I was stumped.”
After further reflection, Harvey came to realize the untimely deaths of his father, uncle and older brother were all parts of him that he hadn’t addressed, he shared. By looking inward, he found himself in his second value of growth.
“And if you continue to grow, you have no other place to be but your authentic self,” he noted. “If I had created my own world before going to LA, I would have asked those individuals different questions. I would have demanded different, because I’d have demanded different of myself.”
Living on his own terms
Through creating his own world, Harvey discovered he has the power to manifest opportunities; the LA incident wasn’t his ending, but rather a catalyst for writing and narrating his first book, he said.
“I was like, ‘Why am I acting like someone else has to manifest this opportunity for me?’ Then in that mindset, I was able to write my book [‘Creating Your World’],” he explained. “We get lost in making sure we are pleasing to everyone else — or if our energy is safe enough for everyone else — instead of just living on our own terms.”
“Creating Your World” takes readers through Harvey’s personal journey of loss, reflection and happiness; then invites the reader to think about their own journey through prompts and questions.
“[Readers] have come to me in ways I hadn’t expected,” he said. “… People have used the book to talk to their kids about creating their own world before they get a real taste of what society is. People in relationships have told me about how they’ve used this book as a couple to ask each other what they want their world to look like, so they can better communicate and understand one another.”
As a single father, Harvey’s biggest accomplishment has been watching his 13-year-old daughter read his book and go on to tackle the prompts, he shared.
“She’s created her own world and has even pinned up what she wants it to look like on her wall; so she visually sees that every day before she leaves her room,” Harvey said. “Before things went downhill with the [LA] company, I was in 25 countries with the videos I created; yet watching my daughter live out the message of my book — that was more overwhelming for me.”
Writing and narrating “Creating Your World” has brought Harvey a sense of strength that he hadn’t before seen in himself, he shared. With it, he is now working on a second book.
“This one is actually going to be a hardcover,” Harvey said. “I am very, very excited about it. I just want people to believe in themselves, as much as humanly possible … and I hope these books can be a really good tool to help people do just that.”
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that seeks to build inclusive prosperity through a prepared workforce and entrepreneur-focused economic development. The Foundation works to change conditions, address root causes, and break down systemic barriers so that all people – regardless of race, gender, or geography – have the opportunity to achieve economic stability, mobility, and prosperity.