We had the good fortune of connecting with Ryan Sharman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ryan, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I had been teaching CPR courses for a company for several years as well as teaching Emergency Medical Services programs at a career college. I felt that I had reached a certain level of mastery and expertise in the fields. I wanted to have the freedom to design my own courses that incorporated my knowledge, experience, and personality. I wanted to deliver the product to people in a personalized setting and where emergencies occur most often, inside the home. The intention was to make CPR and Life Safety training more accessible, entertaining, and engaging for participants. Traditional CPR and Life Safety training courses can be so mundane, daunting, and monotonous. The subject matter and training itself, however, is extremely important and can determine the outcome in an emergency situation. There was a void of training available that is specific to new parents and caretakers of young children. Working as Firefighter/Paramedic for the past decade, I have run countless calls on pediatric patients where the parents or caretakers felt helpless due to a lack of basic knowledge and training in common infant/child emergencies. This inspired me to develop our “Parenting Safety Course” that incorporates both prevention practices and life safety training specific to home-based pediatric emergencies. It has since been my most popular course with a consistently increasing demand.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I graduated college in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management. Due to the fact that I was playing baseball on scholarships throughout the course of my college career, I left school at 23 years old with little to no job experience and a very naïve misconception of the difficulty involved in establishing a career. I had no real guidance or specific goals for myself career wise other than just assuming that because I had a bachelor’s degree I would immediately stumble upon some amazing job opportunity that paid well and was fulfilling. I couldn’t have been more wrong. After spending a few years bouncing around aimlessly between various jobs in several different fields and failing to find my stride, I landed hard at the lowest point in my life. I found myself sleeping on a friend’s sofa, on government assistance, and without any hope for my future. At this low point, I realized that I wasn’t going to find peace within myself unless I pursued my passion full force. I had always desired becoming a Firefighter. I decided to enroll in EMT school and picked up two jobs waiting tables just to put a roof over my head and food in my mouth. I continued to do the same over the next few years while attending Fire Academy and then Paramedic school. Although I was struggling financially and it was extremely hard to balance all of my responsibilities, I began to regain hope and confidence. I was applying myself in a way that I never had before and I was the sole owner of my life, regardless of how unimpressive it looked at the time. A little over a year after completing Paramedic school and at 30 years old, I was hired by the city of West Palm Beach Fire Department. I was over the moon. Becoming a Firefighter/Paramedic has fundamentally changed my life. I work with an amazing collection of people and I get to perform a service that is both exciting and gratifying. I am now 8 years into my career and I have travelled to over 20 countries, I own a home and have a family, I own my own business, and I am a promoted Lieutenant. I have peace. Although it is cliché to say, it is absolutely the truth for me- I wouldn’t change anything. I learned that every task has significance, that hard work and perseverance works, that we are capable of so much more than we think, and that no one else can do it for you. I am very grateful for where I am and excited for everything the future holds for me.
“As you start to walk on the way, the way appears” -Rumi
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live in Palm Beach County but I am a big fan of weekend excursions to Miami! For those travelling from my area I would suggest the following itinerary:
Saturday morning- Take the Brightline south from the downtown West Palm Beach station.
Saturday afternoon- Take the Metro Mover to your hotel in Brickell and hang out poolside.
Saturday evening- Have sunset drinks rooftop at Sugar then head to Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ for dinner and Sake.
Saturday night- Bar hop between Blackbird Ordinary, Better Days, and The Foxhole.
Sunday morning- Uber to Wynwood for brunch and walk the neighborhood.
Sunday afternoon- Board the Brightline back to West Palm Beach.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I attribute any success that I’ve had in my life and career to every person or situation that ever caused me to be uncomfortable. There were many times in my life where if the situation I was in had been a comfortable one for me, I’m not convinced that I would have continued pushing forward the way that I did. It was in those situations that I found the courage, confidence, wisdom, and strength to inch closer to becoming the best version of myself and being able to serve this world the way that I was meant to.