A chat with Ryan Blaser, CEO and co-founder of Test My Home, about what drives a great business.
5 min read
In this ongoing series, we are sharing advice, tips and insights from real entrepreneurs who are out there doing business battle on a daily basis. (Answers have been edited and condensed for clarity.)
Who are you and what’s your business?
I’m Ryan Blaser, the CEO and co-founder of Test My Home. We are building biologists drawing upon the principles of cutting-edge environmental science to offer a full range of environmental testing services. We take scientific measurements with the latest in advanced technology to detect toxic exposures in the built environment that can cause harmful health effects. Ultimately we help people create healthy living environments to improve their overall health and quality of life, and, in some cases, our work can be life-saving.
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What inspired you to create this product?
I’ve been studying environmental science and electrical engineering for over 25 years now. But It wasn’t until I started struggling with my own health that I realized something wasn’t right. I wasn’t getting quality sleep, I felt sluggish to get through the day and couldn’t seem to figure out why my health was declining. I’d seen a lot of mind-blowing data and research that led me into more extensive research and analysis regarding the chemicals we use, water, air, mold, EMFs and everything in my surrounding environment. I began testing all my family and friends’ homes and as I did, I started to find many problems that were negatively affecting their health and productivity. I began to discover that many people were missing a key component to their overall health, a non-toxic environment! To have good health is a right that everyone should be able to enjoy! So Test My Home was born and we began improving people’s health one home at a time. We have since done work across the nation including the homes of many influencers and celebrities.
What has been your biggest challenge during the pandemic and how did you pivot to overcome it?
When the stay-at-home orders were first put in place, we initially saw a decline in business but we used the pandemic as an opportunity to educate people on their health and their environment to promote strong immunity to battle the virus. People that were originally at work and school all day were now at home all day! We started getting phone calls from clients who were getting sick from being home so much. Their homes, their place of refuge and safety were making them sick. So we would go into their homes and test and find the root of the problem, help them fix the problem, and people got better. So overall the pandemic created an opportunity for people to become aware of their home environment and the importance of strong health. Test My Home experienced massive amounts of growth from the pandemic and is expanding and training new technicians to keep up with the demand.
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What advice would you give entrepreneurs looking for funding?
I’m a believer in letting money follow your passion. If you do something you love really well, people and money will find you. Everyone is in a rush to get funding when instead they should just focus on doing a job really well. When you get paid to do something you love, your work no longer becomes a job and getting paid to do it becomes very rewarding. Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Do all that you can do, with whatever you have, wherever you are.” Focus on that and money will find you.
What does the word “entrepreneur” mean to you?
An entrepreneur believes in their product or service with passion and obsession. They take the relentless action necessary to see it through the hard times.
What is something many aspiring business owners think they need that they really don’t?
I believe that aspiring business owners think they need a bunch of money to get started and this is simply not true. Just get started with what you’ve got! Read the biographies of the most successful people in history and you will find that most of them built the greatest products in a basement or garage utilizing the limited resources they had. Steve Jobs built Apple with a friend in their garage while attending college after selling a car to buy computer parts. Elon musk worked with his brother day and night in a small studio office they also slept in and took showers at a YMCA. Sara Blakely, the creator of SPANX, cut the feet out of her pantyhose, slipped them underneath her white pants and went to the party that led her to build it into a billion-dollar fortune.
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Is there a particular quote or saying that you use as personal motivation?
“Focus on helping one person and 10 of their friends will come knocking.” No person ever became something until they had helped another. Business isn’t just about building a money empire. It’s about helping our friends and family live a better life and the rest of what you want follows.