As chief business officer at Cape Coral natural health company Mercola, Ryan Boland has his hands in a lot of facets of the business, overseeing teams involved in marketing, wholesaling, product development, inventory and customer service. “I love that I get to be involved in not just creating a product and bringing it to market and actually selling it, but I also get to be on the cutting edge of a lot of unique developments here,” he says.
A key to his leadership style is he gives his teams freedom to make decisions. “I try not to get too involved unless I really need to be,” he says. “It allows the teams to grow.”
And if they make mistakes? “I believe through those mistakes we can actually make things better,” he says. “We learn from our mistakes; we adjust them and get better and better over time.”
He considers his mom, Jamie, the mentor who’s had the biggest impact on him. Her tenacity and persistence has inspired Boland throughout his career, and he learned from her the importance of following through on your word. “It really helps you build trust with people, and that’s how you build relationships in business,” he says.
Boland’s mother also encouraged her sons to stand up for what they believe in. “You have to stand in your convictions and say this is what we stand for and this is what we need to do,” he says. “Sometimes people have a tough time doing that, but my mom always taught me to stand my ground.”
Boland now strives to serve as a mentor to his team members — as well as his two sons — and he finds honesty an important part of that work. “Sometimes the truth can hurt,” he says. “My mom was always honest with me; she was brutal sometimes. But it’s always how you learn.”
Name: Ryan Boland
City of Residence: Fort Myers
Title: Chief Business Officer
Birthplace: Staten Island, New York
Years in the area: Five
Marital Status/Children: Married to Karol. Two sons – Jack, 10 and Brandon, 8
Alma Mater/Degree: University of Albany/Bachelor’s in Communications, Minor in Business
What community group or organization are you most involved with? I am most involved in the South Fort Myers Little League, where my boys also play and I’ve volunteered for two years.
What's the weirdest job you've ever had? The most unique gig I’ve ever had was as a cafeteria assistant during my college lunch hall, flipping burgers. I had the hair net and everything – back when I had hair.
What's your top tip for being productive? My top tip for being productive is you just have to dive in and do it. Sometimes we have to forget the formal planning or procedures to allow ourselves to be productive, creative and motivated. “Perfection is the enemy of progress” – Winston Churchill. Perfection, if possible, should be obtained over time; otherwise, you can become overwhelmed or exhausted by striving for that perfection, and you end up never doing what it was that you were trying to accomplish.
If you could have a side hustle, what would it be? If I had the free time, I would definitely get back into selling baseball cards. It’s something I used to do solely for fun in the past. I would sell baseball cards on eBay and use my profits to buy more!
What's your favorite off-hours activity? My favorite go-to activity after hours is definitely cooking. I love to cook for my family and just be creative in the kitchen, giving me the chance to indulge in different recipes and flavors. I even created and cooked the entire menu for my wedding.
Have you gone to the movies in 2021? If yes, what did you see? My family and I have recently gone to the movies this year, which is actually a good time to go for the unlimited seating! We saw Peter Rabbit 2 – Remember… I have kids.
What's the top item on your bucket list? Travelling may look a little different these days, but I’ve always wanted to visit Michelin 5-Star Restaurants in Spain with my wife Karol, combining my love for food and history.
What's your favorite podcast? This may be an unpopular opinion, but I don’t really listen to podcasts for pleasure. I’m more of a music guy. When I do listen, I’ll tune into The Joe Rogan Experience, which are usually always insightful, conversations with interesting guests.
Where is your happy place? My happy place is definitely at home with my family. There’s something about your home and the people who make it. Whether it’s a large family gathering or a quiet evening on the couch, home will be where I go to for comfort, to recharge, or just be me.
Describe yourself in three words: Passionate, ambitious and intentional.
Who is your mentor for your career and why? My mom, Jamie, is an incredible example of a bold leader with a kind heart. She ran our household of boys much like how I run business. She’s consistent and firm but intuitively knows when to give grace. She lives deliberately and is genuinely humble.
What are the biggest lessons you have learned from your mentor? The biggest lessons I’ve learned from my mom are the qualities about her that she holds true in her daily life. She’s full of tenacity and acts with persistence to achieve her goals — never giving up. With this, she’s taught me to be strong in my convictions and brave enough to stand up for what I believe in, even if it means I’m standing alone. She’s always encouraged me as a person, leader and father to follow through on my word, making sure to maintain my integrity and respect for others. She lives and nurtures deliberately, carefully balancing the life of a working mom and prioritizing the things the matter most — like family.