Early To Rise delivers science-based systems and structures to help people achieve a higher level of performance. We share proven strategies for success and help our readers steer clear of fads, gimmicks, and frauds. This ensures a win-win relationship between our readers and ETR, and creates faster results for everyone.
Present day Early to Rise (ETR) is really a tale of two products. First, there’s ETR itself. This began in in 2000 when Mark Ford began writing success memos to his employees at Agora (the publishing company that is a small owner in ETR today).
Ford soon realized that his memos would make great essays for anyone looking to get ahead in life. He started publishing these under the pen name Michael Masterson, and ETR was born.
For the next 11 years, Ford/Masterson published thousands of essays, seven books (including his best seller, Ready, Fire, Aim), launched dozens of products, and built the business up to a peak of over $15 million a year in revenue. Along the way he inspired thousands of “Reluctant Entrepreneurs” (the title of one of his books) to shed their day jobs and create 6-figure and 7-figure businesses from their passions and expertise.
That’s just one of the roads that brought us here. The second is a fitness road, paved through the work of Craig Ballantyne, one of the current co-owners of ETR, along with Matt Smith.
In 1999, while still a graduate student in the Exercise Physiology Department at McMaster University, Ballantyne started an email newsletter. His weekly articles taught his readers (a collection of friends, work colleagues in the fitness industry, University professors, and athletes) how to get faster results in and out of the gym using unconventional training methods at the time (such as interval training). Ballantyne soon developed a reputation for being the “anti-cardio” guy.
In the summer of 2000, Ballantyne had his first article published in Men’s Health magazine, one of the biggest fitness publication in the world. He still writes for them today, and this association brought instant credibility to his work.
A year later, in the fall of 2001, Ballantyne released his most famous product, Turbulence Training, a home workout system promising faster fat loss and muscle building gains. The program went on to sell over 100,000 copies and influence millions of people through its YouTube videos and TT Certification.
But Ballantyne was not satisfied with being a famous fitness guru like Tony Horton. He knew there was something more. In 2006, which was a pivotal year for Ballantyne, he hired his first business coach, Tom V. This was also the year Ballantyne suffered from, and eventually overcame, crippling anxiety attacks brought on from what he calls, “The Paradox of Freedom.” More about that in a moment… but first, the coaching…
The very first question on the very first call, Tom asked a fateful question that started Ballantyne down a long road of self-improvement, culminating in the achievement of his greater career goal. The question was:
“What do you want your business to look like in five years?”
“I want to have a business like Early To Rise,” Ballantyne replied.
Tom knew of the website, and the two put together a long-term plan for Ballantyne to become a coach, start a Mastermind program serving fitness entrepreneurs, do more public speaking, and improve his writing skills.
After several years of following this path and growing Turbulence Training, Ballantyne had another fateful discussion with Matt Smith, who at the time was just a friend. They were in the Tucson airport in October of 2010 waiting for a flight back to Denver after a weekend spent shooting guns and driving cars at a military training center with Tim Ferriss and Yanik Silver.
“So,” Smith said, “What’s your plan for your business next year?”
“I still want to model Early To Rise,” Ballantyne said, “I want to move away from fitness. I want to help more people build online businesses so they can live the life of their dreams.”
Two months later, Smith helped Ballantyne launch a website called InternetIndependence.com catering to online entrepreneurs. Ballantyne published daily essays on setting up websites, copywriting, email marketing, product creation, and more.
Then in the spring of 2011 a chance encounter between Smith and Ford led to a remarkable opportunity for Ballantyne’s dream to come true. At a break during an investment seminar, Ford casually mentioned to Smith that he was ready to sell Early to Rise and move on to a new project. Minutes later Smith sent an email to Ballantyne asking him, “Are you still interested in running Early To Rise?”
A few weeks later Ballantyne and Smith flew to Florida to meet Mark Ford at Ford’s favorite cigar bar in Delray Beach. It was there that a handshake deal was made for Ballantyne and Smith to purchase ETR and for it to begin its second life under the care of new owners.
Remarkably, the deal was made just over 5 years after Ballantyne declared to his first coach that he wanted to own a business like Early To Rise in 5 years.
That’s the power of having a clear and concise vision for your life. When you know exactly what you want, you’ll know exactly what you need to do to get there. Then it’s simply a matter of putting your head down, doing the work, meeting the people you need to meet, and communicating your big goals and dreams to the right people that can move you forward to your destination every day.
Since 2011 the “New” Early to Rise has focused on improving the health, wealth, and personal relationships of its nearly 150,000 readers every day. Ballantyne and his team created new products, such as Home Workout Revolution, the Virtual Mastermind Program, The Perfect Day Formula, and Management Rhythms Blueprints, to serve busy men and women who want extraordinary results in every area of life. Today the focus of the company has shifted slightly to work specifically with high-achieving entrepreneurs with businesses in the $1 million to $20 million range.