Welcome to Eventual Millionaire. I’m Jaime Tardy and today we have Yanik Silver on the show. I’m really excited. He’s a serial entrepreneur. If you haven’t ever heard of him he has a bazillion companies. He is doing Underground Online Seminar, Surefire Marketing, Maverick Business Adventures, Maverick MBA, many, many, many things, bestselling author, blah, blah, blah. One of the best things that I love though, when I saw him speak at a conference, is I wanted to shake his hand because he is No. 144 for going into space and I think that is one of the coolest things ever. Thank you so much for coming on the show today, Yanik.
YANIK SILVER: Thanks, Jaime, yeah I’m excited.
JAIME TARDY: Well I’ll shake your hand again because space is like the biggest thing for me. That’s one of my goals. One of the reasons why?
YS: Give you a high five.
JT: Yeah, I know, right, sweet! Virtual high five. Let’s first start out with sort of the evolution because you have done so much it’s a little bit ridiculous. When I read stuff like that people go wow, okay, he’s done a lot of really crazy stuff but I am sort of at the beginning. What I would love to do is sort of have you tell maybe two or three pivotal moments that you’ve had that have sort of happened on this journey that have really changed you.
YS: I love pivotal moments when you go back and can think about what really was, I look at those as almost like synchronistic destiny business moments or something like that. I mean the first one has to be, our family is from Russia and I was born there and came over when I was about 2?, 3 years old and I think just that immigrant mentality growing up was really pivotal where my dad came over $256 in his pocket for me, my mom, my grandmother and didn’t know much of the English language and went to work and within about a year he basically got fired. His choice was to get fired or to leave and he left the hospital he was working at because he was moonlighting on the side repairing medical equipment for other doctors.
That was kind of a pivotal moment where I didn’t really have much say in it but it really opened up this amazing path for me because growing up in a family business ? medical equipment sales and service ? I don’t know, since I was like 11 or 12, I was doing odd jobs. But then at 14 I was on the phone telemarketing to sell latex gloves so that was probably one because getting that confidence of selling and doing your own leads and follow up and so forth and then 16 I got a car but the car came with a string which was I had to go cold call on doctors. My dad, he was a Russian immigrant, so he was like “Go Mr. Yanik; go make some sales.”
I actually do a really good Russian Joe impression. My dad’s name is Joe but otherwise every other impression always turns into like a Russian immigrant but I can do the Russian immigrant one good. That turned into this other sort of pivotal moment where I had this one doctor client of mine; first of all, I can’t even imagine what these doctors are thinking talking to a 16 year old kid and I hated cold calling, but this one doctor of mine who I had sold this entire office suite to, he and I had become pretty good friends because I had seen him bunch, he gave me a Jay Abraham tape and he was like you know you sort of seem like you’re into this marketing stuff. Here I just went to this $5,000 seminar and check this out.
That was one of those huge pivotal moments where I was like the lights turned on. I’m like wow there’s better ways of doing this than just cold calling and that I could actually use direct response marketing. I didn’t even know what it was called at the time, listening to Jay, but that was the first door opening to it. That kind of led me on this path of just immersing myself in direct response marketing where I was just obsessed with the fact that I could write an ad or write a letter and have somebody raise their hands and say they are interested in seeing this piece of equipment or even giving us money for it and it totally revolutionized my dad’s business and what we were doing and that was kind of the start of me getting way more confident about my abilities to just have that major impact and use leverage in a big way.
That’s kind of the where Yanik grew up story. From those doctor clients I had a couple that were interested in other patients, getting more patients for cosmetic procedures or elective procedures and I’m like oh great I can consult with you because I know how to do all this stuff. That turned into a way where I’m like well there’s no leverage in the consulting. I was doing a really great job for them and then I started learning about publishing and information selling and I was like I can take what I learned and actually sell it to other doctors. That other pivotal moment was like putting an ad into dermatologic surgery and having 10 doctors raise their hands and say they were interested in this report on how to get more cosmetic cases.
Finally like getting my first order for it. It didn’t come off the first try like the first letter went out, nobody ordered. Second letter went out and nobody ordered and I remember calling this one woman who I had since become friends with who actually runs, she used to run some of our events, and she used to work for the company that I was learning from. She was like go send out the third mailing just like we talked. I was like okay. We sent out the third mailing and there was a deadline attached to it and got that fax with that first order for $900 and that was like holy shit.
We actually produced $900 and then I’m like oh wait now I have to go make this thing. Literally we wrote back the letter to the doctor saying it was going to be republished. It’s going to be available in 30 days and expect to see something soon and we won’t be charging your card until then and that was the energy and motivation that I needed to go off on this path of really, this publishing path and creating the educational side of things.
JT: What was the timeframe too on that of trying to go from being a consultant to actually selling more of an information product?
YS: That was fairly fast. It was probably within a year. I had a lot of leg work and ground work for it. A lot of people, back in 2000, when I first got my first online stuff up and going, everyone was like wow this guy is an amazing overnight success story. What they didn’t see is the 7, 8 years maybe 9 years of like training and honing and learning direct response and all that stuff and then all the pieces that went into it. I think a lot of people might miss that part. They see the end result but they don’t see the practice leading up to it.
One of my mentors was Earl Nightingale and one think I always took away from him was that he said, “You can become an expert at any subject by just simply reading for one hour a day or studying it for one hour a day for three years or a world class expert for reading for one hour a day or studying it for five years.” I was like what would happen if you did it for two hours a day or three hours a day. How do you just accelerate that process and I just completely immersed in all of it. I think that was a huge head start and also it just gives me a massive amount of fundamentals the people might lack when they go straight to the end result without getting all the pieces in place first.
Almost like they are trying to create a really great masterpiece in music, which I’m totally non musically inclined but you need to know the notes and you need to know how the arrangements go so that you can create your own version of it or with artwork; you got to know the color palettes and all the different pieces that go into it before you can start creating your own way of doing things.
JT: That’s what I think is really amazing; you talking about cold calling at 14 years old. I wish I had done that at 14 and there are so many people that are listening, I have a couple people that are like 16, 17 listening to the interviews and emailing me. I’m going man you are so lucky because those are fundamentals, huge fundamentals, that if you can start earlier, the earlier the better. It sounded like, I mean you started training when you were a teenager and then it just sort of built and built and built and like you said, a lot of people don’t realize how much time that takes. They go quit my job, start up something new, I’m going to be successful and yet they might fail coming out of the gate just because they don’t have all that training like you did at the beginning.
YS: Two things on that; one is when I was 16 it totally sucked. I wanted to go to the beach with my friends and go live there and so forth. My dad was like no, make some sales. But I always had more money than my friends so that was nice because I was paid on commissions. I was making commissions so it wasn’t all bad but it definitely wasn’t like; I wanted to go hang out with my friends. I guess I am thankful for my dad for making me not necessarily do that and go to work. I mean he always gave me the choice. I actually ended up working at TCBY one summer because I was pissed off at him and I’m like this totally sucks.
Breaking down the yogurt machines every night and getting paid I don’t know, like at that time $6 an hour or $8 an hour or something. I’m like this is ridiculous. But yeah, you were talking about quitting your job and then expecting whatever to become a millionaire or to become successful and that notion of failure. I think of everything as R&D. I think everything is all about the story you give it or the frame that you give it or the perception that you have. The failure kind of thing is tough for me to swallow. Failure to me just seems like an ultimate, almost like a cop out. Okay, I failed so now I’m not going to keep trying.
But if you look at it as R&D, so research and development, you’re like wow, okay, so I figured out that this is not the way that the business model might work or this is not the way that this is optimal for my personality or for what I want to do or my skill set, then you use it as just learning experiences. That’s the best part about where we are right now with how fast things are going and the tools and the resources available for everyone. You can put something out there without much effort really to just throw it out there and then just see if it gains momentum or if people are interested in it and using, there’s a great book called Lean Startup. That actually uses a lot of the direct response principles of just putting something out there, seeing what happens and iterating fast on it.
I like the idea of coming up with the idea and maybe we can talk about some ways of creating a good big idea or a great angle on your ides but then you come up with it and then you write the copy or create the sales process around it so that you can throw it out to the world, at least in a small way, and see what the reaction is and you can even get money because using stuff like kick starter or different things like that where it’s crowd funding or it’s other things where you put it out and you’re like well this is prepublication or it’s beta or whatever it is and people will vote with their wallets instead of just their opinions. That’s where so many people get tied up.
They are asking their buddies, “Hey Jaime, do you think this is a good idea or what do you think of this?” Or they’re asking their family and they are asking the people that (A) are either going to say something to please them or (B) have no context or no knowing of what they are trying to do or they are not part of the ideal marketplace that they are going after. You’re getting false information and then you try to go off on that.
JT: Sure honey, that’s a great idea. You should totally do that.
YS: Right. That’s the exact opposite. Your buddies would be like no way, that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. You get both. That is the other thing that you sort of need though is you need that one person that is that sort of cheerleader, that person that’s always encouraging even if they have no idea of what you are doing. That was my mom for me. She had no clue what I was doing with the online stuff or any of that but you also need that marketplace feedback and then people don’t, it’s kind of tough to, as Seth Godin says “Ship” right. It’s tough to ship because you’re always worried about perfection and you’re worried about is this the right time or is this going to be the right thing to put out there.
If you look at it as this is iteration one or version 1.0 or whatever the case is, then you’re not so wrapped up in this idea of perfection or getting something out there. I would rather put something out there. For instance, I’ll explain to you what happened with instant sales letters because that was my first sort of big hit. That was our first million dollar product. After my dad’s business, I started looking at the internet. I was like wow, this is really fascinating what was going on and I really thought I was late to the party and this was late ’99.
JT: That’s when they had 4 gig hard drives that were like your hard drive inside. I worked for an internet service provider in 1999 which is crazy, it was way back when.
YS: Right, from my perception though is I had people that I was looking up to, at that point, who had been on since ’94 and doing stuff and selling information and selling products online. I’m like I kind of understand how to do this, I see some of the pieces and I was like I’m going to put something out there. I think your questions dictate your answers. If you want to put a highlight or asterisk on something, if you are taking notes, better questions create better answer for sure and my question was how do I create a fully automatic website that makes me money while I sleep, is an incredible value to people and is not just an eBook.
Even at that point I was thinking about where is the differentiation, where’s the value we can provide. I literally woke up at 3:00 in the morning with this idea for instant sales letter and jumped out of bed, got to work on it, registered a domain and I am not technical, still not technical. Hired someone to put up the site and within about a month and a half, we made our first order. I had taken some of our past resources, all the letters I had been working on for consulting clients and letters with my dad and other letters that I created and I realized pretty quickly that people want the fish handed to them.
That’s one of the ways of creating a big idea is the saying about if you had a man a fish you feed him for a day, if you teach him how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime. Well that’s kind of bullshit. People want the fish handed to them. The closer you can get to that the better. I’ve had a lot of products that have hit the million dollar mark and part of that has been because it has been a fish product. I’ve done this kind of way back with the doctors in the publishing business for the doctors. One of the best things that really drove the sales was giving them this thing called patient attraction toolkit and it was an ad, letter, press release, education report and a bunch of other stuff for specific procedures ? liposuction, laser resurfacing, whatever.
We gave them pre-done newsletters. That was a separate product that they got that was to their patients. I’m like this works really, really well. Instant sales letter ideas are fill in the blank sales letter templates and they have been selling now for 12, 13 years and that was the first million dollar product that I had. The first version of it is nowhere near as good as the version of it now but putting it out there I was able to see people are into this, they are giving me money, they are writing me notes saying that they’ve used it and it works, because it’s all based on great psychologist and really powerful stuff.
We just kept making it better and better and then I was able to go out there and get more partners and just grow it after seeing that it worked. That was the most important thing was putting it out there to just see if it had a pulse or not.
JT: Did you ask anyone before? You were just like this is a great idea at 3:00 a.m. I’m going to do it, I’m not going to ask anybody, I’m just going to put it out there and see if it works.
YS: Yes. I just put it out there.
JT: Do you do that now? You’ve created so many companies, it’s kind of ridiculous. No offense. Do you do that now? Is that sort of the same system?
YS: That’s a good question. Pretty much. When I hit on something that I know is, I don’t know, like I just feel it in my gut like this is the right direction or this has a big enough hook or an angle. That’s something that I think I’m really just innately talented in because when I’m brainstorming with other people, I can really take what they’re doing and within a really short time I’m like okay well here is the positioning for it and here’s what makes it different and here’s how we’re going to set up. They’re like oh.
JT: Good, smart, thanks.
YS: I think it’s just because I love business models and I love looking at different ways that people are making money, from all sorts of different directions, and I can cross reference all that and see what makes sense or help find gaps in the marketplace.
JT: That brings up two questions; one is focus. If you have so many things going on, like when I first started, you said put something out there see if it hits that sort of thing. I was in that mindset a lot, at first, like I created an iPhone app. I got a provisional patent. I was all over the place. I was doing stuff and taking tons of action and shipping things but then going (sound). Where does that point come when you are creating a company that focus and really putting the effort into that one thing because sometimes, like Seth Godin wrote about the dip, sometimes you really do have to push hard on one thing focused in order to see results? How do you deal with all that?
YS: I probably would have given you a different answer maybe three, four years ago. There’s two parts to it. One is still the same answer as I would have given you and it’s I look at if you’re doing too many things in totally separate marketplaces and that they don’t really kind of fold in on one another in some way, shape or form, then you’re really just spinning your wheels because then it’s hard to get any traction or momentum because one isn’t really feeding the other in any way, shape or form. For me, it has always been about entrepreneurs. That’s the only group that I care about and I love entrepreneurs from the startups to the super successful ones to you name it.
That’s who I think I was designed to really help and that’s the only thing that really gets me motivated because I look at entrepreneurs as catalyst for change and for good and the value that they can create for society and all the different things that I love about entrepreneurship. Everything that I do is linked to entrepreneurship in some way so it does have a little bit of crossover, a little bit of momentum where one might drive the other or somebody might come to one of our events and then they’ll sign off for our high level Maverick 1000 group or whatever or vice versa.
Now the other thing that has been really hard for me to kind of admit though is that I’ve never given 1000 percent effort to any one thing. I was always like well, my sort of good enough is I don’t know probably at a really, really good level than maybe a lot of people and I’ve been able to have a lot of success with it and it has kind of been this pattern. I just look back at college; I’d go out and go get hammered and stink of bourbon, come into the lecture hall, need a pencil, I was like the last one in and my buddy is like what are you doing? I’m like it’s fine and literally be the first one out of the test and leave with like a B.
JT: People hate people like you.
YS: I don’t think it’s because I’m this incredibly smart, amazing person. I was just really good at short term memory stuff and then I also sort of didn’t care that much either. I always got by with a B or a B+. Just lately I’ve been like okay what if I really did focus 1000 percent on something, what would it be? One of my buddies who is a Maverick member came up with this analogy. It comes from this book Crossing the Chasm and it’s like the headpin. If you think about a bowling alley, there’s 10 pins and there’s one headpin. If you hit the headpin, you’re normally going to knock over the rest of them or at least a whole lot of them. It’s like what’s that headpin that you can set up that you want to focus on that is going to set up and knock down the rest of them?
That was a big kind of “ah-ha” for me where I’m like yes, my headpin right now is this Maverick 1000 group which are the entrepreneurs that are the million to hundred million dollar level, who all have big business ambitions and they are out to change the world in some way and also live their most epic life ever. If I can knock that down with a really great group, then everything else that I really want to do in this eco first model that I have been creating is going to happen because the content side of what we’re doing, like we’re starting up the Maverick MBA, at some point, which is an online learning portal for emerging entrepreneurs but I have been just kind of moving forward on too many projects a little bit instead of going all the way with one.
That’s been a big change where I’m like okay I got to refocus and reallocate my assets. Even where I am now and almost it’s like a total double-edge sword. The more successful you are, the more opportunities come your way and the more stuff that people are coming to you and they are all pretty good ideas and pretty good things but, if they are not something that really sings to you and gets your heart going in a big way, then I’ve learned that now is maybe not the right time. I’ve been trying to say no a little bit more. It has been hard for me.
JT: Well it is. It’s trying to figure out those opportunities and whether they are going to be distractions or take you closer to what you want. How do you determine that? How do you make that decision? You.
YS: Right now it has all been around, like I’ve gotten clarity on what our big picture is for the next couple of years. If it fits the values and the DNA that we said and also where we’re going with this big picture, then it’s something that is a lot easier for me to say yes, no, it doesn’t fit right now.
JT: How do you commit? Like you said, how do you commit to a 1000 percent to this one thing, especially because, like you said, there’s so many opportunities, so many things? How do you know that that’s the one thing that you should be committing to 1000 percent?
YS: For me it’s because it hits on every single part that I’m excited about. I spend a lot of time journaling and thinking about, maybe like five years ago was when I first started this Maverick group of companies. It started off as just an adventure travel company essentially for high-end entrepreneurs. I made a list of all the things; I was doing really well with my publishing company and had a great reputation in the marketplace, had an amazing family and looking from the outside in, people were like wow that guy is perfect and he has everything going on but I wasn’t 100 percent happy.
I was like why aren’t I 100 percent happy and it was because I think I was playing in too small of a sandbox. I didn’t want to be known as this internet marketing guru for the next 10 more years or whatever the case is and so within kind of just journaling, really peeling back layer upon layer of who you really are, these are the things that I am most excited and interested in. It’s like you need experiences and brainstorm with other entrepreneurs and creating an impact and being a catalyst for other people that are doing something really disruptive and unique and all these different things. That’s where the first Maverick business adventures kind of thing came into.
It was interesting because I’m like okay this is it, this fits everything that I am all about and sometimes that also becomes this, like if you’re so passionate about something, it can really blind you to maybe some of the more fundamental aspects. I was putting in a ton of cash into that business because I’m like all right this is it and this is exactly what I want to do. I ended up sinking about $400,000 into it before I turned it around before I really had to think about it. Some people need a $5,000 knock on the head. For me, at that point, I needed a $400,000 knock on the head to be really like what the hell are you doing? But it was really good because that forced me to come up with a much better vision for what I really wanted and what it could be.
Right now, the vision that we have is different than five years ago and it’s some of this amazing, interconnected group of companies that all serve entrepreneurs at different levels and it stems from that Maverick 1000 group. I can just see how that one thing will lead to everything else and that’s what gets me excited and that’s what keeps me now focused on how I can build that. Just the fact I can see the pathway to everything else, because I’m total ADD. I need different projects and different ideas, but I kind of bake that into my own model.
JT: You know yourself well enough to make sure that you’ve got that in there. It’s funny; I was just about to say that you seem really fluid. You seem like, I can hear the process of evolution that you’re going through where you are like okay well I did this and that wasn’t exactly it and then I had some more success and I went down this path. It sounds like you’re totally cool with being really fluid and changing things up.
YS: Yes, I am. It’s also something that you, when you start bringing a team around you who maybe they are not as, especially if they might come from more of a corporate environment or they come from different, like you really just have to have transparency with the team too, if you’re changing up things and being like okay well here’s what we’re doing and guess what, if it doesn’t work, you know, you don’t want them to feel like you’re flip flopping.
That’s why when I created this thing called this painted picture that I learned from one my mentors, Cameron Harold, who is a former COO of 1800GotJunk, like this painted picture is a really good framework for where we’re heading but it’s also loose enough that it allows us to reverse engineer it in a way that is not so tied up A goes into B into C into D, it’s like we’ll get there but we don’t know exactly how we’re going to get there necessarily. It’s like the guideposts in the lines that you can let everybody color in their own pieces of it.
JT: When you set goals or when you start out with something, do you only know the first couple steps and then you sort of let it go from there?
YS: Yes, for sure. I look at it as many times, I think that’s one of the things that really just hurts people. Let me go back to one of the ones, so Instant Sales Letters, I wrote down in my journal or planner. I wrote down in my planner that I was going to sell Instant Sales Letters for $500,000 to Stamps.com by this date. Then I had some of the reverse steps. I always like writing or better or sooner so that gives a little bit more openings.
Looking back, I got to that point of that date, I’m like I definitely don’t want to sell it because it was kind of the catalyst for all this other stuff and it became a way of driving customers in who bought some other higher end stuff and it also created this reputation in the marketplace where I helped other people with selling their information and knowledge and what they are passionate about and really started me on this path of selling everything in the information world from little eBooks to high-priced $40,000 programs and everything in between ? so events and home study courses – you name it and that was sort of that first part that led me to it.
I look at it as, if you look at your goal that you’re shooting for, really your ultimate success usually comes perpendicular to that goal, but you won’t get there until you start taking movement towards that goal and you start opening up and seeing well this is a little bit better. This is more in line with who I am or what I am doing and then you start going down that path a little bit more but you can’t get there until, like by me setting that goal of selling it to Stamps.com, like it forced me to grow that side of it and then that opened up this whole other career I guess at that point.
JT: Do you set goals? We’re coming up on the new year, when this comes out it will be 2013, January, woo hoo, like do you go through and go okay we’re going at it, we’ve got plans, goals, how do you set those, if you do at all?
YS: Yes, I’ve done a lot of different things over the year. Just in my journal, for this coming up year, I just wrote down things that I’ve wanted out of three main areas in my life, like just relationships and business wise and health wise. I’ve just wrote a few things but kept them really specific like I want to be 163 pounds or I want to be whatever the case is but that’s for the year and then like where do I want to be at the end goal like how many members we want to have for Maverick 1000. I do set goals but I’m not so tied up in them.
I don’t feel like the process of writing them down and thinking about them is almost an off like I don’t have to go back and read them every day and visualize on them or try and figure out how I am going to manifest them. It’s just almost like that process of that one time intent was enough to at least start it and I kind of trust in the fact that maybe I won’t hit all of them but I’ll hit the right ones. I’m going to be focused on stuff that is most important, at least to me, at that moment. It might be different stuff but I know that it’s going to be the right stuff for where I am heading.
JT: That’s what I was going to ask. Do you ever feel bad about not reaching the goals that you set? A lot of people will email me and talk about goal setting and go I set these ambitious goals and then I don’t hit them and then I just feel really crappy that I didn’t hit them.
YS: One of my favorite mentors and one of my friends is a guy named Dan Sullivan from Strategic Coach and he really helped me see this thing with the process that he calls the gap. It’s almost like one of those things that I can easily fall into too, if I don’t catch myself. If you start journaling, if any time I am feeling kind of crappy, if I journal about everything I am grateful for, I can just literally snap out of it because I think our brains are really designed to focus on whatever we give attention to.
As soon as we start feeling crappy and oh I didn’t hit this goal and then all of a sudden you’re like this is wrong in my life and this is going wrong and then you’re like I didn’t finish this book that I was going to write and then I didn’t and oh my God and just all these other parts because then you start looking for other parts that are wrong. When you turn attention to that gratefulness or that gratitude, then you start focusing on what’s right in your life and that forces you to go back to; he talked about, his version is that there is a horizon and we walk towards our horizon. We don’t feel bad that we can’t ever hit the horizon. The horizon is our ideals and goal, because we know that a horizon keeps moving and that’s the same way with our goals or ideals typically.
If you look, if you start looking back at where you are now to where you’ve come from, you will always have this positive amazing confidence that you’ve really come a far way but if you start comparing yourself to the ideal or to goals that you didn’t hit then you’re always going to compare. There’s going to be a position of lack and unworthiness and just guilt. Using wherever you’ve come from as your initial measurement point, you’re always going to feel really great.
JT: I love that, especially the horizon metaphor. I think that’s awesome. You work with tons and tons of entrepreneurs and so I really, this is a question that I wanted to ask you since I met you is what do you see as some of the trends. As you’re working with tons of different entrepreneurs, you’re sort of on the cutting edge of all this stuff anyway and back then you were total cutting edge on online marketing so you seem kind of like a trendsetter. So you tell me, 2013 now, but 10, 20 years from now, what do you see is some of the trends that are going to be coming up.
YS: Ooh, 10, 20 years.
JT: I know. Maybe 5; we can do 5 too.
YS: Okay. I just really see this shift going on in entrepreneurship where it’s not the old. The people that are out there doing something really special right now are not out there only looking at what’s their bottom line. Like they are incorporating; the three things that I’ve been talking about for this kind of maverick entrepreneurs is they want to make more money, they have more fun and get more like as a simplified version like the dollar sign, happy face and heart and that’s kind of like my little simplified, I forget what it is, ben diagram with the three interconnecting circles.
That’s where I see stuff going on where the most unique parts of it and they all interrelate and interconnect like they drive one another. I look at Tom’s Shoes as a really cool example, the buy one give one kind of thing. That really propelled their business and they were also able to make a huge impact but at the same time it was a great marketing story, it’s a great story that other people can tell each other. Other companies want to be involved with them because of their great effect. If they were just like 10 percent of all proceeds go to kids in Africa or whatever for educational stuff they’d be like great. That doesn’t go as far as what they’re really doing and having that direct effect.
I love where business actually gets amplified by the impact that you have and the fun and the joy and the happiness that you also bring to your team and to other people around you. They all to me interconnected and that’s what I see more going on as this holistic kind of entrepreneurship, this enlightened entrepreneurship maybe. I don’t know what you want to call it. Some people call it conscious capitalism but I think you can go too far, like get wrapped up in the guilt of making money is bad. I Ran is one of my favorite books.
JT: I have my metal bracelet right here.
YS: Where did you get that from?
JT: My husband gave it to me for my 30th birthday; so cool.
YS: That is cool. Obviously she can be pretty extreme as far as some parts of it, but I think more so than not, the viewpoints there are really correct. I almost see like stuff converging into, you come at it from a bunch of different ways ? socially driven, impact driven entrepreneurs. We don’t want to make a penny but we want to have this massive effect. What they’re forgetting is that making a dollar is a reflection of what your value us. To me one of my core values has always been and for our companies too is that we get rich by enriching others ten times to a hundred times what they pay us in return. That’s one of the key core questions that I am always asking is like how do we provide that 10x to 100x in value and you just can’t help but get rewarded because that’s a natural law.
I really feel like you can be wealthy and create wealth for yourself and your company because it’s this natural reflection of the value provided. If it’s done with integrity, it’s done with authenticity, it’s done in a way that can also can have an impact and create more joy and happiness along the way then why not and it’s all going to get amplified. That guilt portion of well I don’t want to make money because money is evil or money is bad in some way, it just doesn’t fit. There needs to be this coming together of the two or three sides where, I don’t know how to quite explain it.
I also hang out with some of the more self development people who are love is all we need kind of thing. Love is what you need for stuff that love can provide but you need money to provide and you need other resources for stuff that only resources can provide you. The more money we have, like I always say that money amplifies who you are. If you are a generous incredible person, you are only going to be more of that and if you are a complete egotistical jerk, then there are ways to do more of that stuff. I see businesses and entrepreneurs like really kind of looking at okay what’s the bigger picture of why we’re here, what’s our mission, what’s our bigger why but then also using that to create greater profits and greater joy and happiness for everyone around them.
JT: Thank you because we all need to hear that; especially for people, like you said, who have the idea that even if it’s ingrained, even if they don’t logically believe it but they feel like well me taking money from you means that you don’t have that money anymore. That’s not good because then you’re not going to want to take the money, even if you are doing better and they are doing better because of it. That’s I think a great point to highlight. I really, really appreciate the fact that you said that too. It makes all the difference in the world for someone who does want to grow really big and make an impact in the world. If you’re afraid to do that, then why would you? But your enriching by 10 to 100 times, is huge. Of course, you’re going to want to keep selling because you’re just going to keep enriching tons and tons of people’s lives. It just makes sense.
YS: Right. I look at myself as kind of like the catalyst for other catalysts or this instigator of other instigators. That helps set the framework for it.
JT: You’re having an underground online seminar coming out in February.
JT: Where you get a ton of people that are amazing change makers coming together all in one place. Tell me a little bit about that.
YS: The underground has been going on now, it’s going to be our ninth year and it started as, there’s a good lesson in here, like kind of the background of it. It started from, I’m a huge fan of going the opposite direction and going a different way than other people are doing. Nine years ago me and my buddy are sitting around at a bar and he’s like I just go back from this internet marketing and banners. It’s just this big pitch fest and people there are just selling how to get rich on the internet based on what they’ve done and all they’ve done is how to get rich on the internet and that’s how they’re making money.
He’s like you know what I really want is a bunch of people who are out there actually doing it and sharing with me how they are doing it. He was like you know a lot of people, why don’t you put this on. I’m like all right and ignoring the fact that it’s, I started making a list of different people in different industries and who I thought would be great for that. That was the first one. I like to have a lot of fun and make it different than just an educational event. Even the very first one had a whole experience tied into it. It was like a spy theme and people got their spy briefcase and glasses and different things.
Every year we do a different spy theme from Bond to Austin Powers to you name it. This year is going to be Inspector Gadget. It will be very interesting. We have one big party every year at the event. This one will be Go Glow Gadget, so it’s going to be a glow in the dark party.
JT: I’ve always wanted to be a spy. This is perfect.
YS: It’s a lot of fun. It’s February 28 to March 2 in D.C. and it’s usually about 500 to 600 online entrepreneurs. The best part about it is in the audience about half the people in the audience, actually more, about 60 percent have 6, 7, or 8 figure plus businesses so you’re hanging out with real players who are there, who come together. It’s really this amazing networking opportunity but it’s also a lot of fun in a great educational learning environment where we try and bring in a really diverse group of speakers; everyone from people selling content to a guy selling paddle boards online and making over a million dollars to a guy selling drones of cats to another guy.
JT: A cat guy!
YS: Both of those are funded by Mark Cuban.
JT: It’s funny; I was looking at the list. You have a couple people that I had on the show. You have Frank McKinney who I interviewed a couple times on the show. Dane Maxwell, who is a good friend of mine. I’m looking through going yeah, I love them. They are awesome people.
YS: Frank is fairly well known. Dane is kind of well now or getting more well known. We try to keep it pretty under the radar, just different people they don’t really know. A few of them are more well known then we might put them in for 20-minute spots where they just talk about what’s going on in their world. The keynote guys are the longer ones and then Frank is actually, I’ve just known Frank for years now and I love Frank, so we have him coming in and talking about impact-related stuff. How that works and ties in with your business. He’s a huge philanthropist and we’ve been to Haiti a couple times with him with Maverick.
JT: You have?
YS: Yes. It’s pretty life changing and pretty extraordinary. We’re going to talk about that and hopefully grab a few more people for our next Haiti trip in May.
JT: It sounds so exciting. I mean you’re doing amazing stuff with work. Just bringing those people together imagine what can happen. I mean you know you’ve done it for nine years. Awesome. I’ll make sure to definitely link up to all that stuff. I’ve heard quite a few people went to it and absolutely loved it. I know we need to wrap up soon because you have to get going but the last question that I always ask is what’s one action that listeners can take this week to help move them forward towards their goal of a million?
YS: Yes, that’s a good one. Two things as I was thinking about that is the goal of the million. I want to touch on this for a second. At one point I was like okay I want to be a millionaire. I originally said I want to be a millionaire by age 30. It happened by 31. I didn’t quite hit it but I hit it the year after. But it was like, one my mentors is this guy Jim Rohn, who I really like, and he said, “Set a goal to be a millionaire not for the money but for who it makes you become.” I think that’s one of the most important parts. What kind of skills do you need to master? What do you need to really figure out about yourself and what’s maybe stopping you? What can accelerate you towards that?
When I hit that million dollar mark of cash assets, that’s what I want to qualify as a millionaire, and it wasn’t like this amazing like the sky, it was just like uh, all right. Going back to the GAP principle, it can be too easy, it’s great, so what. Looking back at what you were able to do, it’s really powerful. If I thought about it, I had to get really clear and this became even more clear after I had kids, was this 80/20 kind of concept and maybe even like 95/5. What are the 5 percent of activities you can do that’s going to have a 95 percent impact or a bigger process?
When I had kids I had way less time to do kind of the shuffling around of papers or activities or whatever the case is and everybody kind of knows the Covey book The Seven Habits, it’s all about what’s important but not urgent activities. If you can focus, even just one of those every single day, like a proactive, important but not urgent activity, that will get you way further than anything else. So many times we get stuck in stuff that we kid ourselves it’s work whether it’s Facebook or Twitter. There’s a million things that we can do. No one is going to be in their inbox and be like oh I’m doing something that’s going to change the world here in my inbox.
For the most part, certainly there is times when you might have a connection in there that you’re renewing or you’re doing something in there but just think about like what is that one proactive activity that you can do. Don’t feel this guilt of having to feel like you have to do everything all at once. Just one thing every single day and you will be amazed at how much further you get.
JT: I love that. First I thought you were going to say journaling because last time we talked about journaling, you mentioned journaling a bunch too. I think that makes a big difference too.
YS: Yes, journaling is a great skill. I actually have a great post; it’s at Internet Lifestyle, my old blog, on journaling and how journaling can make you happy and there’s a couple different ways of using journaling.
JT: Nice, extra resource. I’ll try and link that up and find that for you. Thank you so much for coming on. Where can we find out more about all the stuff that you have going or tell me one thing that we can talk about that you can highlight so we can get links from you right now.
YS: Probably Maverick MBA, which is my new current blog which I probably need to update a little bit more frequently. That’s probably the newest spot that I’ve got; also the book Maverick Startup which is in bookstores and on Amazon. It has been out for a little while now and getting some really good reviews on that. That’s really for pretty much anyone who wants to become an eventual millionaire I think. It’s how to move from zero to six figures and beyond. I think it’s like 11 X factors to do that.
JT: Nice. I’ll have to make sure I link that up and I’ll have to make sure I get that too. Awesome. Thank you so much for coming on today. I really, really appreciate it. I hope you have an amazing day, Yanik.
YS: Thanks, Jaime. I appreciate it.
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