About Early To Rise

About Early To Rise

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.


  1. Jerome Bethea on 01/25/2011 at 4:05 pm

    Great tips. Around 10-seconds after the 15-min tip I pulled out my pen and paper and went to it =) I respect Trump’s get knocked down but get right but up attitude and have a buddy who just finished working with him and his children.

    QUESTION! I’ve been an entrepreneur my whole life and have a lot of mediocre streams of income coming in and when I saw the gent as you if you did one on one consulting you said no. I try everything at least once and I personally would probably have said, ‘yes’, and then come up with a plan, price, site, and quick campaign within one day. So I wouldn’t spend a lot of time but I would likely start with the one client who is already in my pocket.

    Is that a no-no? Is that being un-focused? Or is it taking advantage of an opportunity and seeing what happens?

    Thanks for you help!

  2. John S. Hull on 02/17/2011 at 8:32 pm

    With over 25 years in the industry of Mergers & Acquisitions, in 2006 I decided to automate the highly fragmented process of how businesses are bought and sold world wide. All of the components are in place except the actual automated database, and how to market, and reach the 18 million retiring baby boomer business owners in the USA that would have an interest in this process. I will be ready for this final step later this year and was wondering if you had experience in this arena. We will become to the M&A World, what E-Bay has become to the ubiquitous Yard / Garage Sale.

    • Anonymous on 02/18/2011 at 2:00 am

      No, sorry John. I don’t think I do have experience with that.

  3. Brett Anderson on 02/21/2011 at 7:42 am

    I’m new to this. Your site has great aesthetics. I’ve been looking into web hosting and site design for a handful of projects and was wondering could you offer any general tips to steer a beginner in the right direction? Who/what service do you trust for hosting? How do you choose to approach site design?

    Your articles are great. Rock on.

  4. Mike Navin on 03/23/2011 at 6:35 pm

    Craig, first, you’ve got some great stuff out here.

    One thing that I want to start doing is interviewing experts on my blog. It helps them, and in return helps me. Do you have any tips or suggestions on how to go about doing that, Basic questions to ask, etc?



  5. Tom on 03/31/2011 at 8:32 am

    Hi Craig– found you through Sovereign Man. I don’t know when I’ve read so much good information on a website where someone wasn’t trying to club me over the head incessantly with an offer. I hope the goodwill you’re establishing by doing this translates into real rewards to you; keep it up and I am 100% sure it will.
    I am creating a product on how to retire early in SE Asia. People like you help me keep my eye on the ball. Thanks.–Tom

    • Anonymous on 03/31/2011 at 9:04 am

      Thank you Tom, I sincerely appreciate your feedback. Please keep me up to date on your success.


  6. Julian Angel on 04/8/2011 at 11:24 am

    Hi Craig,

    since you are selling digital products I was wondering if illegal file sharing has become an issue?


    • Anonymous on 04/8/2011 at 6:55 pm

      I know filesharing occurs, but there is nothing I plan to do about it. Most customers are still honest and I do not know of a convenient way to stop it. There are methods, but it would dramatically increase the amount of customer service, and therefore, I doubt it would be worth the effort.


  7. Julian Angel on 04/11/2011 at 2:01 pm

    Thank you, Craig. Sounds encouraging…

  8. Pete DiOrio on 05/6/2011 at 10:16 pm

    What e-mail program do you use for your Email Newsletter?

    • Anonymous on 05/8/2011 at 2:50 pm




  9. Brent Lipke on 07/14/2011 at 2:15 pm

    Hi Craig,

    Thank you for every mission-based, vision-filled, value-added word since January.

    I have soaked them all in and have taken Massive Action despite being a very busy Chiropractor and father of 5 young children.

    You are great at writing e-mails that generate interest and anticipation for the reader, so let me give you this….

    I have an idea and have started a business, using every strategy you’ve given me over the past 6 months, that is UNIQUE, in a market that I believe to be HUNGRY and as of yet UNTAPPED. And the BEST part is, it is in the totally saturated FITNESS market, to a MASSIVE niche group from an angle that I believe has NEVER BEEN DONE.

    The BEST part is it’s totally RELATIONSHIP based and will hit the market with Beiber-like fury!

    The best part?

    It’s all thanks to you.

    I am writing this to let you know that I plan on giving you an awesome testimonial after the initial launch, to show your readers that what you have given them is truly Plug-and-Play technology and about as close to “Internet Marketing For Dummies” as you can get.

    I was discouraged for you that, with all of the fantastic information and motivation you’ve shared over the past 6 months, there were only a couple of submissions to your Contest.

    Hang in there lil’ Craigy you’re doing great things! 😉


    • Anonymous on 07/14/2011 at 8:20 pm

      Right on Brent, thanks.


  10. Brent Lipke on 08/9/2011 at 12:21 pm

    Hi Craig,

    I’ve been following your blog since January and have taken MASSIVE ACTION using all of the fantastic info you’ve been dishing out, despite being a busy Chiropractor and father of 5.

    I have started a web-based business “Doctor-designed fitness taught by girls for girls” that I believe (Rick does too) has not yet been done yet. So dominating the market should be easy.

    See powergirlfitness.com.

    Basically it’s an untapped market. Girls ages 8-16. Young and motivated to look and perform their best (with parents who want to help them do it safely). As a father of 5 believe me, I know what parents will do (and pay) to motivate and help their kids excel.

    I’ve shot 2 high-quality videos, designed an e-book, website etc…

    Recently I was talking to Rick about SEO for the site and he hooked me up with Dustin Maher which rocks because his business perfectly compliments mine. He has the Moms who want their daughters to get in great shape, but their daughter’s would rather be taught by, and have relationships with other girls their age.

    But I’m at a bit of a cross-roads with where to go from here, so maybe you can help direct me.

    My barrier is that I’m not sure how to approach the promo/marketing and sales side of it.
    I haven’t launched my product yet and haven’t made any money yet as a result.

    My daughter, Jessy has a You Tube “following” as a competitive dancer and I am hoping this catches fire through social media. So it is a “personality-based” unique niche market.

    I was thinking of releasing the first video free through You Tube which directs them to the site and builds a list where they opt in for the ebook and fitness newsletter. Then they would be able to buy other videos and products from there.

    I was planning on switching up the “FREE workout of the month” so that they stay interested but need to buy the old videos that they have been using.

    Does $19.95 sound too expensive for a single 20 minute workout?

    I know you’ve been blogging about product launches and I’m thinking that instead maybe I should be holding off selling the first workout until I set up a bunch of affiliates and get things started with a BANG with a big product launch!

    So I’m not sure if I should wait until I have an established list, build a relationship with them, create more products to sell and then use Rick’s SEO services to blow it up, or use his SEO service now to increase traffic, even though I have nothing to sell, keep making products and build a list and relationships to sell to in the future.

    Any advice would be great!

    Thanks a bunch,


    • Anonymous on 08/16/2011 at 9:27 am

      Hi Brent,

      You are not going to like this, but I don’t see a business here.

      There will be no affiliate support for it.

      It will be difficult for you to get in front of the audience.

      I don’t think the audience is big enough anyways.



  11. Pedro Reis on 09/29/2011 at 1:58 pm

    Hi Craig,

    I am a Personal Trainer and I have a blog ready…
    I would like to know if you have any active coaching/mentoring program open?

    Thank You
    Kind Regards

    • Anonymous on 09/29/2011 at 4:00 pm

      Hi Pedro,

      I run a MM group with Bedros Keuilian that meets in person. Three times per year. Mostly in Las Vegas.

      If you are interested in more information, send an email to Lesa at TurbulenceTrainingHelp@gmail.com

  12. Alain ("Alan") Diza on 02/20/2012 at 3:00 pm

    Hey Craig!

    I’ve just linked this page (Your ‘About Craig Ballantyne’) and your “Mission” page to my personal Blog @ http://www.AlainDiza.com !!!

    You’re recent email (re: “Is this too much to ask (my greedy request)”), really, really, really hit me straight in my freakin’ Heart, Bro!

    It’s been a looooooong time since any website, message, letter, media,…let alone email,….hit me like that! Serious!

    Thanks Craig B.! This will no doubt get you some (if not, ALL of my persoanl followers and inspired subscribers). 🙂

    You got me, Brother! Thank YOU!

    Sincerely in Admiration & Respect,

    One of your inspired subscribers,
    Alain (“Alan”) Diza
    a.k.a. ‘thetrusted1’

    • Anonymous on 02/23/2012 at 6:11 pm

      Nice, greatly appreciated.

  13. Mary Simon on 03/8/2012 at 3:56 am

    Do you have anything published on the training in Denver on June 8, 9?
    If so where would I find that.

    • Anonymous on 03/8/2012 at 9:49 pm

      Hi Mary, no we do not. It will not be announced until May. That coaching day is only ONE day, just on June 8th.

      We will be announcing a 2-day event on March 30th and 31st this week.

      Thank you,


  14. Amos on 05/15/2012 at 3:14 pm

    Hi Craig,

    Can you recommend a website designer in Toronto?

    My family is in a period of change and we are trying to develop our new business. Small Space Innovations, downsize into luxury.

    My mother was laid off from her high tech job before Christmas, and next week we are moving her into a condo she is renting. Things are changing.

    We are a little confused about the best way to generate revenue.
    We have contacted suppliers and have secured a small discount when a customer orders one of these high end furniture pieces from us . Murphy beds, folding tables, hidden desks etc….
    Honestly, we don’t know if we will able to sustain us financially.
    I have mentioned to my mother about the possibility of linking to other products through the website, but my Mom can’t understand how she could make money . Unless she actually sells the $ 2000 product.

    I really do think you put out great content Craig. Thank you and don’t stop.
    Our business needs help, first and foremost, a good looking website.
    Can you recommend any here in Toronto?


    • Anonymous on 05/15/2012 at 9:51 pm

      I don’t know any web designers in Toronto, I’m sorry. You can try Craigslist or Elance.com or Guru.com or Odesk.com.

  15. JORDAN K on 09/18/2012 at 3:20 pm


    I cant seem to find John Romaniello’s and Sean Hyson proven guide to getting published ?

    You mention in your email

    Roman’ has a proven guide to making money online

    You give us a link

    Grab it and save $50 during their book release sale

    I cant seem to find this book to order

    Kind regards.

    Jordan Kelly

    • Anonymous on 09/18/2012 at 3:39 pm

      Hi Jordan, I made a mistake. The product will not be ready until tomorrow. Sorry.