Ladder to Leader

My Journey from Failure to Fire to Financial Freedom


This book is the story of the son of a working-class couple in Arizona who grew up thinking he’d never succeed in life because he wasn’t a good student. When high school sports didn’t earn him a college scholarship he felt doomed. But the story doesn’t end there. In his debut business memoir, Ryan shares his struggles in school, feeling like an outsider at home, and the unexpected twists and turns during the lowest points in his life that got him to where he is now which he shares in this short video from his company’s website.

Today Ryan D. Larson is 4 years away from retiring as a full-time firefighter, and the principal Investment Advisor, and Founder of FirstLine Financial, LLC.

Founded in 2015, FirstLine Financial earned a Service Mark from the US Patent office for the company’s intake process in 2020.

Larson credits his time in the Phoenix Fire and other Arizona Fire Departments for teaching him organization and planning skills that inspired the company’s intake process.

Larson shares childhood struggles which lead to his failures and frustrations as a high school graduate. A twist of fate led Larson to the Fire Department Explorer Program, which fueled his interest in becoming a firefighter. The fire department entrance exam changed his mindset, giving him the confidence he gained carried him through the many challenges he had yet to face.



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