Where in the world is Yanik Silver? (catching up…)
Looking at the last post it’s been awhile. Sorry. I wanted to catch you up on some business stuff and adventures.
#1: Let’s start with our last Maverick Business Adventures Ultimate Baja experience…
This was our 2nd time (and my 3rd) going off-road Baja racing. It still seems somewhat crazy that they get you take these Porsche-powered dune buggies 80mph+ through nearly any type of terrain.
It probably wasn’t more than 30 minutes into leaving the ranch when my co-driver and buddy, Joe Polish, ran into a tree. I mean totally and completely ran smack dab into the tree. He said he thought he could make the turn. At least we weren’t flying so the damage wasn’t too bad – but it was still pretty funny because Joe got us stuck in the tree. The entire front grill of the car was entangled in this poor tree and when we got pushed out – we took 1/3 of the tree with us. I shot some quick video of the aftermath here:
Then here is the removal of said tree:
The next day, motorcycle mogul, Jesse James, came-in for a private business session and to hang out with all the members. Jesse never really does anything like this and it was a real treat to have him with us giving some big lessons on branding and how to be authentic. That was probably my biggest take-away…saying ‘no’ to the stuff that just makes money and that doesn’t passionately resonate with you in a genuine way.
Jesse James took several members on a ride with him and the best one had to be Millionaire MasterMind and Maverick member, Barry Dunlop. Jesse and Barry were trailing our leader, Nick, but he didn’t quite make it through a soft spot of mud. He got completely stuck but not before Nick totally ‘roostered’ Jesse and Barry. The Baja racers don’t have windshields so their each of them and their car was totally covered in mud. I couldn’t help but laugh. Here is a pic with Jesse and his mud-covered helmet (it’s actually semi-clean at this point).
Here’s part of the aftermath -
The last day of driving we had to traverse some of the most hair-raising, switchbacks in Baja. It was probably a 800-1000 foot sheer drop in some spots with about 1 foot on either side of the cars. I was real excited to get the radio call back from our leader informing us (car #5) that we had no reverse in our car. Essentially I had to bump our car a bit into the rock and push the clutch down to put into neutral. Then it would roll backwards and I’d hope first gear would engage before we spilled over the edge of the cliff wall. (Fun!) Here’s a quick pic that doesn’t even do this area justice:
I think my final “Maverick Moments” has to take the cake. I have to lay blame with my buddy, Brad Fallon. Because the night before in Guadalupe Canyon, Brad was telling one of the team leaders, James, that he really wanted to get back onto the test track again at the Ranch.
Brad “I think I can really clean up on that loop!”
James “What? Are you kidding? I’ve only had one other client want to do the test track again after all the crazy terrain we traveled.”
So we left it at that until we rolled into Horse Power Ranch.
James (on the radio) “Ok – who wanted to do the test track again?”
Yanik “Um….that would be Brad.”
James “Ok, a victory lap is in order”
James proceeded to lead us to the test track on the Ranch and I flipped it into second gear and started peeling around the turns. I got caught in a huge Baja dust cloud and at the last-second when it cleared car #4 was directly in front of me. It was too late to stop and I plowed right into them. Ugh! I dented my grill and broke my front headlight. And the guys in car #4 (Kim from our team and Tim Storm got a nice shake-up thanks to me.) I went the entire trip without a major mishap and ended up smashing my car on the “victory lap”. Well played sir.
And just to make sure I don’t live it down Maverick member, James Shramko, captured some of the aftermath on tape:
After drinking a few beers and showering up it was time to head out to our Super Bowl party with Super Bowl MVP and Heisman trophy winner, Desmond Howard. Here’s me doing my best (worst) Heisman pose with our football piñata:
Truly Disconnecting While Away
I want to point out something I did that might seem a bit over-the-top. I completely ‘black holed’ all my emails during my week in Baja. Meaning – I had them all deleted with a note directing people emailing me who to contact for help or support while I was gone and then asking them to email me again after my return if they needed. Most people would be scared to death to do this in case something incredibly urgent comes through and is missed. Oh well.
How many times do you come back from adventures a little bit more stressed out because you’ve got 2,313 emails sitting in your inbox? Or worse, you try to knock them out each day while on vacation. I believe in truly disconnecting and recharging your batteries. I came back feeling relaxed and invigorated. It was interesting because the members with iPhones got connections in a lot of places and you could see them getting on their phones, checking stuff, connecting online, etc. My little low-tech Razr phone didn’t have a connection and I couldn’t be happier. Except for my SAT phone to call and check in on Missy and the kids – I loved being without email, my laptop and cell phone. (I fully recommend it.)
#2: Underground 5
A few weeks after returning from Baja – we put our 5th totally sold-out Underground Online Marketing Seminar. (Note: a limited set of recordings will be available soon.)
This was our biggest event yet and I truly think the best one. The caliber of attendees and speakers there were pretty amazing. To give you a small idea – I’d be talking to one person and they told me they took their business from $5M – $38M (damn!). I’d turn around and another guy was telling me how he bought all the intellectual property of a well-known video game producer and was using them for PC-games (cool!). I mean seriously there was more than enough brainpower in the audience to supply a month’s worth of non-stop sessions.
This year’s spy theme was 007 and it was fun hanging out with our Bond Girls. Here are we are greeting guests for the VIP dinner and Casino Royale night. Not sure if you can tell or note but in my hands are a Martini and a Walther PPK. As some of my buddies found out it was loaded! (Yes, it had those air pellets – and they definitely sting)
Once again the event was totally sold-out! Here’s a pic of the group including one very short attendee in the front with me. (Zak!)
We truly had an incredible line-up of speakers including our 2 keynote presenters, Tony Hsieh from Zappos.com and Bob Parsons from GoDaddy.com. To let you guys in on some of the great content I cornered both of these gentlemen during the event. Take a look:
And finally here’s one of my favorite shots – George Lazenby, who played James Bond in ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ and yours truly duking it out in front of my Aston.
The kudos from the event were overwhelming. Do a search for #UG5 on Twitter and you can see a candid stream of thoughts and interaction from attendees. I was considering making #5 our last Underground but so many people told me I needed to do another one that I’ve decided to go ahead and host #6. It’s going to be March 12-14, 2010 in Washington, DC so mark your calendars early. And if you want another view point on the event here’s a video one of our attendees made in DC:
Okay and finally a little rest in the sun…
#3: Family Vacation in Florida with Missy, Zak and Zoe