Jeffrey F. Bill / Baltimore Sun
March 8, 2013
On his LinkedIn profile, Ryan Hogan calls himself an "Active Duty Entrepreneur," which, though awesome, is a bit puzzling at first. That is until you realize that he's serving in the United States Navy but also extremely busy.
When reached by phone, he was in one of his rush-hour commutes to College Park, where he's studying business at the University of Maryland, after a day filled with meetings at the event management/production company he co-founded, Reed Street Productions. And then there's planning the yearly, already mega-popular Run For Your Lives 5K, a zombie obstacle race launched in Harford County that he and his business partner created.
"I'm the type of guy who does a bunch of stuff at once. It's always an experiment for me," said Hogan, who is also married with three children, ranging from 7 years old to 10 months. "The question I get asked the most is how do I do it all. There's no secret sauce -- something suffers."
But it doesn't suffer much. He's gone from being a guy who never got good grades in college to succeeding in the Navy and starting his own clothing line, Warwear, training gear oriented toward military members. After two years of "not being able to sell clothing," Hogan jumped on the burgeoning obstacle race industry, founding Run For Your Lives two years ago as a way to push his merchandise.
It was successful right out of the gate, and more are coming. Hogan said he expects more than 20 Run For Your Lives races across the country this year.
Simultaneously, he began Reed Street productions to oversee not only his adventure race, but to also work on future music festivals and fundraising events. He even hinted that a feature film could happen soon. Reed Street also recently produced The Dare Theory, a 24-hour scavenger hunt in Baltimore that attracted more than 45 teams.
"I like the creativeness of leading a company, like being served 100 problems and coming up with solutions for every problem," said Hogan, who grew up in Bel Air and now lives in Woodbine.
His bachelor's degree studies at the University of Maryland have helped him hone his business skills, and the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship has produced valuable business contacts. Last year, Hogan and Reed Street Productions won the Cupid's Cup, the University of Maryland business competition.
"It's all about nurturing and creating something from scratch," said Hogan. "This isn't about the money -- trust me. Maybe one day the money will come. There's just a great feeling with turning around and looking at something and saying, 'I created that.'"