Top Business & Life Lessons Learned from the Last Decade

Financial Independence / Freedom / Resources and Tools

When the clock strikes midnight this New Year’s it’ll mark the 10th year I’ve been in business online. I’ve been taking stock of my accomplishments, lessons learned and what I’ve done in the span of 10 years.

Here’s a glimpse at part of my list…

Personal Accomplishments:

  • 2 incredible kids (Zak & Zoe)
  • Freedom to work at home to see the kids grow up, take them to school any day or go on their field trips or special events without worrying about it.
  • Married to an encouraging, supportive and flexible wife. (Thanks Missy!)
  • Millionaire before the age of 31
  • “Officially” a pro beach volleyball player

Impact:

Adventure:

Business Accomplishments:

Your Own List

Side note: I would strongly suggest you compile your own “Best of the decade” list of how far you’ve come. I’ve also been a big fan of using the power of gratitude but I heard this another way from Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach. He has a theory of people being disappointed because they cannot reach their “ideal”.

Dan gives the example of the horizon. We all know it’s silly to think we can ever reach the horizon because it keeps moving as we move closer to it. Same with an “ideal”. We feel despondent and maybe even depressed in our greatest victories if we attempt to measure them up to our ultimate ideals. But the people who are happiest are the ones of take stock of where they are today (Point B) than when they started (Point A). And we can all look back and gain that confidence and awe of how far we’ve come.

Okay fair warning, this is going to be quite a long post but I promise it’ll be filled with some serious insights for you. (In fact, I think there will be so many prominent and buried lessons here that I’m willing to put up a little bit of a prize for the best ‘lesson detectives’ – more details at the end of the post.)

To set the stage, Jan 1, 2000 when this decade started, I was in a 1-bedroom apartment and was engaged to Missy. I didn’t have a website and I barely had an email address.

That same month was when I got an idea at 3 o’clock in the morning and woke Missy up to tell her about InstantSalesLetters.com. (She wasn’t happy!) And then I did what most people probably wouldn’t: I hopped out of bed, registered the domain and got to work on it. By February 2000, with about $1,500 invested, I made my first $29.95 sale. It was one of the most amazing feelings in the world to take an idea and have it turn into cash. And the sales kept coming – about $1,800 the first month…then $3,400…then approx. $7,800.00 and roughly $9,400.00 the fourth month out of the gate. I was on track to hit six-figures with my very first site – and that’s when things really started exploding.

As people started hearing about my success, I was invited to speak at my first Online marketing conference and I started helping others take their interests, passions, hobbies, etc. and create online oil wells.

The unusual way to ‘stumble’ onto success…

Unintended success

There’s a profound theory I heard from R. Buckminster Fuller that says your true success is found perpendicular along the path to your original perceived goal.  Instant Sales Letters is a perfect example because my original end goal was to sell it for $500k to Stamps.com or someone like that. But on my way to building up that site – I had so many people ask me how I started making money so quickly that I began teaching. And that teaching became part of my “accidental” success path for the last 8 years, opening up one door after another. I would never have got on that track unless I was moving towards the original goal.  And it’s the same thing today – the next chapter in my life is with my Maverick Business Adventures® and Maverick Business Insider companies – which wouldn’t have been formed without the contacts, connections and success delivered from my Internet business.

Starting with the Fundamentals

It’s easy to look back and see my somewhat meteoric rise with Instant Sales Letters and laud it as being an “overnight success”. Not exactly true. Before this decade started I had been preparing and studying direct response fundamentals, inner success laws and psychology.

One of my biggest mentors is Earl Nightingale. He passed away several years ago but you can and need to get everything he recorded at Nightingale.com.  He has a program called “Lead The Field” and “The Strangest Secret”. I learned from Earl Nightingale that if you want to be an expert, you spend an hour a day reading or studying on whatever subject that you’re interested in for 3 years. Or if you want to world-class expert you ready or study for 1-hour a day for 5 years.

So I said, “Well, what would happen if I read for two or three hours a day?”

I just started learning as much as I possibly could around these subjects.  Let’s cover a few here since I really believe the fundamentals never change.

When I first really started this blog I created a series of posts around the 9 ‘inner secrets’ to success. Those are worth re-visiting:

Inner Success Secret #1: Cheerful Expectancy

Inner Success Secret #2: Set your Plan

Inner Success Secret #3: Do One Proactive Thing a Day

Inner Success Secret #4: Deliver Exceptional Value

Inner Success Secret #5: Build on Your Successes

Inner Success Secret #6: Decision

Inner Success Secret #7: Continual Learning

Inner Success Secret #8: Gratitude

Inner Success Secret #9: Giving

Direct response

I would have to say figuring out and learning about direct response has been one of the biggest paradigm shifts for me. Since we’re heading down memory lane, I have to take the story back well beyond this decade to the bi-centennial.

My family is from Russia and immigrated to the U.S. in 1976. My Dad came over with $256 in his pocket for me, my Mom and my Grandmother. Just a year and half later, my Dad started his own company repairing (and then later selling) medical equipment.

I grew up working in the business starting with telemarketing latex gloves at age 14, and then even selling medical equipment to docs in person at age 16 when I got my license. At the time, I thought this totally sucked! My friends were living at the beach having a great time and I was spending my summers pedaling X-ray film and EKG machines. You can definitely look back and see significant turning points in your life, and one of my mine came when a doctor client of mine, Dr. Nathan Wei, gave me a Jay Abraham tape that turned on “the lights” about direct response marketing. I was about 18 or 19 at the time and I basically devoured it.

I loved the fact that I didn’t have to deal with rejection anymore in person and the incredible leverage of ‘knocking’ on tends of thousands of doors and only speaking to interested people. It was endlessly fascinating to me to realize you could write something in an ad or letter (now a website) and have people open up their wallets or raise their hands.

From Jay Abraham I learned to think broadly about how to leverage businesses. From there I found Ted Nicholas. Ted Nicholas is a true gentleman in the direct response world and I found his teachings just as he was transitioning out of his newsletter. I ended up buying all the back issues and previous products. (Actually I remember about 1 or 2 years later writing a note to Ted about our shared immigrant background and how much his teachings had meant to me – Ted responded back to me personally from Switzerland.)

At the same time I was studying Ted, I got a direct mail piece from some guy named “Dan Kennedy”. Dan truly changed my life. He is probably one of 3 people I credit with helping me achieve financial independence at such a young age. I went on to pay a small fortune for his manuals, books, audios, seminars and personal guidance.

I continued learning from direct marketing and copywriting masters who came before me; people like Gary Halbert, John Caples, David Ogilvy, Bob Stone and Joe Sugarman. (BTW – Joe is our business icon guest for the next Maverick Baja adventure.) From there I might find a random reference to someone in a manual or book and immediately look them up, which lead to more influences and original sources. I loved digging through the past to the beginning of mail order since those guys had to truly persuade people without the benefit of instant ordering via phone, fax, online, etc. Their customers had to slog to the post office to place their order. Greats like Claude Hopkins, John E. Kennedy and Maxwell Sackheim. And then I went back even further to find obscure (and extremely rare texts) like “Printed Salesmanship” by Robert Ruxton.

Obviously there is a long history of direct response, but if you boil it all down it comes to:

  • An offer (ideally with a deadline)
  • A way to respond/call to action (fax, phone, online, etc)
  • Measurement of response

A basic example is one I told to a dentist friend of mine. I explained to him a little bit about direct response marketing while playing volleyball together in Turks & Caicos. I told him to mail his patients with an offer; in his case it was raw materials for crowns. The cost had gone up significantly and he would have to raise his price. Because he valued his patients he would give them a window to get any crowns or dental work done at the old price until X date. They had to bring the letter in to get the special. That’s it, pretty basic. And that worked spectacularly, creating his best month ever.

With the web – nearly everything can be measured and quick test results achieved. That’s part of what makes this one of the most incredible times to be around. I definitely believe a true direct response fundamental is a key to understanding the Web. I got my chops by writing ads for my dad’s business, attempting to sell medical equipment that we only previously sold face-to-face and toes-to-toes. My dad would look at the ads I created and say, “Who’s going to read all that?” I had to persuade him to let me try it and see what happened. Quite frankly, it was a revolution in the way we could sell because we had now expanded our reach nation-wide and I only spoke to doctors who were extremely interested in a product (for a demo) or who actually whipped out their credit cards to buy. Here’s one of my original ads:

medical ad

Understanding Marketing Psychology

And then the next fundamental I stress deals with psychology. I was a marketing major and got my B.S. from the University of Maryland (a top 25 business school when I graduated), but I always say I didn’t learn much in college except partying. All my real marketing insights and knowledge came from self-study and trying things myself. In fact, if I had to do it all over again I probably would be a psychology major. To me, it’s fascinating what motivates people to take action or buy.

One of my first exposures to how powerful this could be was a book written by a professor at Arizona State University, Dr. Robert Cialdini. His book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” is definitely a top 10 book for me. I’ve read this book at least 9 times and continue to find amazing insights each time I do. Joe Sugarman also has a great book on psychology called “Triggers” where he has a slightly different take.

I uploaded a special presentation for you on the 11 Hidden Psychological Hot Buttons to Create Maximum Sales for you. (Please use this material and information ethically!)

The final thing I’ll mention about fundamentals came after meeting one of my entrepreneurial heroes, Sir Richard Branson. I was so inspired that on the plane ride home I started jotting down a list of “rules” and got to 34. I called it “34 Rules for Maverick Entrepreneurs” and it received a ton of excitement. And then it became been the catalyst for a lot of things, including a print book by the same title.

34 Rules

“Maverick Entrepreneurial Philosophy” of Make More, Have More Fun and Give More!

Maverick Entrepreneur

I realized this blog post was going to be a really, really long post so I’m breaking this up into several days – plus a lot of people suggested I put into a PDF. So good news – at the end of this series, I’ll bundle it all up into a neat little PDF with a bow. (Be sure to subscribe to our RSS feed or provide your email address in the upper right-hand corner to be notified when each new section is up on the blog.)

* Update: We just completed the PDF of all 5 parts. Download it here *

Part 2 will start where a lot of people believe they need the most help in these interconnecting circles… Make More


When the clock strikes midnight this New Year’s it’ll mark the 10th year I’ve been in business online. I’ve been taking stock of my accomplishments, lessons learned and what I’ve done in the span of 10 years.

Here’s a glimpse at part of my list…

Personal Accomplishments:

2 incredible kids (Zak & Zoe)

Freedom to work at home to see the kids grow up, take them to school any day or go on their field trips or special events without worrying about it.

Married to an encouraging, supportive and flexible wife. (Thanks Missy!)

Millionaire before the age of 31

“Officially” a pro beach volleyball player

Impact:

Helped raise over $500,000.00 for Virgin Unite to start a Young Entrepreneurship program in the U.S.

Directly donated another $500,000.00+ to charities including Caring House Foundation, Tony Hawk Foundation, Village Enterprise Fund, etc.

Helped thousands of people get their own Internet business and improve their lives and financial situation.

Adventure:

#144 to go into Space with Virgin Galactic

Ran with the Bulls in Spain

Baja racing 3x

PlayersRun Road Rally dressed as Elvis

HALO Skydive

Scuba diving in between tectonic plates in Iceland

Celebrity hockey game with NHL Pros and Gordie Howe

Rafting the Gauley River

Bungee 440 feet in New Zealand

Drove a Lambo 200mph+ (in a green speedo)

Business Accomplishments:

“Real” book ‘Moonlighting on the Internet’ published by Entrepreneur Press in 3rd printing

Sold out the Underground® Seminar weeks early (for the last 5 years)

Have over 5 different products that have eclipsed $1,000,000 in gross sales.

Run 2 sold-out, high-level MasterMind groups (www.surefiremarketing.com/mastermind)

Spent time with and interviewed Sir Richard Branson, Jesse James, Tony Hawk, John Paul DeJoria, Frank McKinney, Chip Conley, Carl Banks, etc.

Appeared or featured in INC, Business 2.0, Fox Business News, Portfolio.com, TIME, Entrepreneur, Outside’s GO magazine, American Way, TechCrunch, USA Today, Denver Business Journal, Boston Globe, Millionaire Blue Prints, Forbes.com, LA Times, Financial Times, Portfolio.com, etc.

Set the biggest goal of my life of getting 1,000,000 young entrepreneurs (aged 13-23) to start their own businesses by 2020. (www.maverickbusinessadventures.com/vision)

Your Own List

Side note: I would strongly suggest you compile your own “Best of the decade” list of how far you’ve come. I’ve also been a big fan of using the power of gratitude but I heard this another way from Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach. He has a theory of people being disappointed because they cannot reach their “ideal”.

Dan gives the example of the horizon. We all know it’s silly to think we can ever reach the horizon because it keeps moving as we move closer to it. Same with an “ideal”. We feel despondent and maybe even depressed in our greatest victories if we attempt to measure them up to our ultimate ideals. But the people who are happiest are the ones of take stock of where they are today (Point B) than when they started (Point A). And we can all look back and gain that confidence and awe of how far we’ve come.

Okay fair warning, this is going to be quite a long post but I promise it’ll be filled with some serious insights for you. (In fact, I think there will be so many prominent and buried lessons here that I’m willing to put up a little bit of a prize for the best ‘lesson detectives’ – more details at the end of the post.)

To set the stage, Jan 1, 2000 when this decade started, I was in a 1-bedroom apartment engaged Missy. I didn’t have a website and I barely had an email address.

That same month was when I got an idea at 3 o’clock in the morning and woke Missy up to tell her about InstantSalesLetters.com. (She wasn’t happy!) And then I did what most people probably wouldn’t, I hopped out of bed, registered the domain and got to work on it. By February 2000, with about $1,500 invested, I made my first $29.95 sale. It was one of the most amazing feelings in the world to take an idea and have it turn into cash. And the sales kept coming – about $1,800 the first month…then $3,400…then approx. $7,800.00 and roughly $9,400.00 the fourth month out of the gate. I was on track to hit six-figures with my very site and that’s when things really started exploding.

People started hearing about my success, I was invited to speak at my first Online marketing conference and I started helping others take their interests, passions, hobbies, etc. and create online oil wells.

The unusual way to ‘stumble’ onto success…

stumbleonsuccess

There’s a profound theory I heard from R. Buckminster Fuller that says your true success is found perpendicular along the path to your original perceived goal.  Instant Sales Letters is a perfect example because my original end goal was to sell it for $500k to Stamps.com or someone like that. But on my way to building up that site – I had so many people ask me how I started making money so quickly that I began teaching. And that teaching became part of my “accidental” success path for the last 8 years opening up one door after another. I would never have got on that track unless I was moving towards the original goal.  And the same thing today, my next chapter in my life is with my Maverick Business Adventures® and Maverick Business Insider companies – which wouldn’t have been formed without the contacts, connections and success delivered from my Internet business.

Starting with the Fundamentals

It’s easy to look back and see my, somewhat, meteoric rise with Instant Sales Letters and laud it as being an “overnight success”. Not exactly true. Before this decade started I had been preparing and studying direct response fundamentals, inner success laws and psychology.

One of my biggest mentors is Earl Nightingale. He passed away several years ago but you need to get everything he recorded at Nightingale.com.  He has a program called “Lead The Field” and “The Strangest Secret”. I learned from Earl Nightingale that if you want to be an expert, you spend an hour a day reading or studying on whatever subject that you’re interested in for 3 years. Or if you want to world-class expert you ready or study for 1-hour a day for 5 years.

So I said, “Well, what would happen if I read for two or three hours a day?”

I just started learning as much as I possibly around these subjects. Let’s cover a few here since I really believe the fundamentals never change.

When I first really started this blog I created a series of posts around the 9 ‘inner secrets’ to success. Those are worth re-visiting:

Inner Success Secret #1: Cheerful Expectancy

http://www.internetlifestyle.com/blog/financial-independence/9-inner-secrets-of-personal-success/

Inner Success Secret #2: Set your Plan

http://www.internetlifestyle.com/blog/financial-independence/secret-2-of-the-9-inner-secrets-of-personal-success/

Inner Success Secret #3: Do One Proactive Thing a Day

Inner Success Secret #4: Deliver Exceptional Value

http://www.internetlifestyle.com/blog/financial-independence/secrets-3-4-of-the-9-inner-secrets-of-personal-success/

Inner Success Secret #5: Build on Your Successes

Inner Success Secret #6: Decision

http://www.internetlifestyle.com/blog/financial-independence/secrets-5-6-of-the-9-inner-secrets-of-personal-success/

Inner Success Secret #7: Continual Learning

Inner Success Secret #8: Gratitude

http://www.internetlifestyle.com/blog/financial-independence/secrets-7-8-of-the-9-inner-secrets-of-personal-success/

Inner Success Secret #9: Giving

http://www.internetlifestyle.com/blog/financial-independence/secrets-9-of-the-9-inner-secrets-of-personal-success/

Direct response

I would have to say figuring out and learning about direct response has been one of the biggest paradigm shifts for me. Since we’re heading down memory lane, I have to take the story back well beyond this decade to the bi-centennial.

My family is from Russia and immigrated to the U.S. in 1976. My Dad came over with $256 in his pocket for me, my Mom and my Grandmother. Just a year and half later, my Dad started his own company repairing (and then later selling) medical equipment.

I grew up working in the business starting with telemarketing latex gloves at age 14 and then even selling medical equipment to docs in person at age 16 when I got my license. At the time, I thought this totally sucked! My friends were living at the beach having a great time and I was spending my summers pedaling X-ray film and EKG machines. You can definitely look back and see significant turning points in your life and one of my mine came when a doctor client of mine, Dr. Nathan Wei, gave me a Jay Abraham tape that turned on “the lights” about direct response marketing. I was about 18 or 19 at the time and I basically devoured it.

I loved the fact that I didn’t have to deal with rejection anymore in person and the incredible leverage of ‘knocking’ on tends of thousands of doors and only speaking to interested people. It was endlessly fascinating to me to realize you could write something in an ad or letter (now a website) and have people open up their wallets or raise their hands.

From Jay Abraham I learned to think broadly about how to leverage businesses. From there I found Ted Nicholas. Ted Nicholas is a true gentleman in the direct response world and I found his teachings just as he was transitioning out of his newsletter. I ended up buying all the back issues and previous products. (Actually I remember about 1 or 2 years later writing a note to Ted about our shared immigrant background and how much his teachings had meant to me – Ted responded back from personally from Switzerland.)

At the same time I was studying Ted, I got a direct mail piece from some guy named “Dan Kennedy”. Dan truly changed my life. He is probably one of 3 people I credit with helping me achieve financial independence at such a young age. I went on to pay a small fortune for his manuals, books, audios, seminars and personal guidance.

I continued learning from direct marketing and copywriting masters who came before me, people like Gary Halbert, John Caples, David Ogilvy, Bob Stone and Joe Sugarman (Wikipedia links perhaps). From there I might find a random reference to someone in a manual or book and immediately look them up, which lead to more influences and original sources. I loved digging through the past to the beginning of mail order since those guys had to truly persuade people without the benefit of instant ordering via phone, fax, online, etc. Their customers had to slog to the post office to place their order. Greats like Claude Hopkins, John E. Kennedy and Maxwell Sackheim Wikipedia links perhaps).. And then I went back even further to find obscure (and extremely rare texts) like “Printed Salesmanship” by Robert Ruxton.

Obviously there is a long history of direct response but if you boiled it all down it comes down to:

· An offer (ideally with a deadline)

· A way to respond/call to action (fax, phone, online, etc)

· Measurement of response

A basic example is one I told a dentist friend of mine explaining to him a little bit about direct response marketing while playing volleyball together in Turks & Caicos. I told him to mail his patients with an offer, in his case it was raw materials for crowns had gone up significantly and he would have to raise his price. Because he valued his patients he would give them a window to get any crowns or dental work done at the old price until X date. They had to bring the letter in to get the special. That’s it, pretty basic. And that worked spectacularly creating his best month ever.

With the web – nearly everything can be measured and quick test results achieved. That’s part of what makes this one of the most incredible time to be around. I definitely believe a true direct response fundamental is a key to understanding the Web. I got my chops by writing ads for my dad’s business attempting to sell medical equipment that we only previously sold face-to-face and toes-to-toes. My dad would look at the ads I created and say, “Who’s going to read all that?” I had to persuade him to let me try it and see what happens. Quite frankly, it was a revolution in the way we could sell because we now expanded our reach nation-wide and I only spoke to doctors who were extremely interested in a product (for a demo) or who actually whipped out their credit cards to buy. Here’s one of my original ads:

EliteDopplerpdf

And then the next fundamental I stress is around psychology. I was a marketing major and got my B.S. from the University of Maryland (a top 25 business school when I graduated) but I always say I didn’t learn much in college except partying. All my real marketing insights and knowledge came from self-study and trying things myself. In fact, if I had to do it all over again I probably would be a psychologically major. To me, it’s fascinating what motivates people to take action or buy.

One of my first exposures to how powerful this could was a book written by a professor at Arizona State University, Dr. Robert Cialdini. His book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” is definitely a top 10 book for me. (http://www.internetlifestyle.com/blog/?p=235) I read this book at least 9 times and continue to find amazing insights each time I do. Joe Sugarman also has a great book on psychology called “Triggers” where he has a slightly different take.

I uploaded a special presentation for you on the 11 Hidden Psychological Hot Buttons to Create Maximum Sales for you. (Please use this material and information ethically!)

[slideshare id=2776400&doc=psychologicalhotbuttonsspecial-091225114832-phpapp02]

The final thing I’ll mention about fundamentals came after meeting one of my entrepreneurial heroes, Sir Richard Branson. I was so inspired that on the plane ride home I started jotting down a list of “rules” and got to 34. I called it “34 Rules for Maverick Entrepreneurs” and received a ton of excitement. And then it became been the catalyst for a lot of things included a print book by the same title. (www.MaverickBusinessInsider.com)

YS_34Rules_Poster

“Maverick Entrepreneurial Philosophy” of Make More, Have More Fun and Give More!

maverick-entrepreneur

I realized this blog post was going to be a really, really long post so I’m breaking this up into several days plus a lot of people suggested a PDF. So good news at the end of this series I’ll bundle it all up into a neat little PDF with a bow. (Be sure to subscribe to our RSS feed or provide your email address in the upper right-hand corner to be notified when each new section is up on the blog.)

Part 2 will start where a lot of people believe they need the most help in these interconnecting circles… Make More

33 Comments

  1. December 29, 2009, 10:49 am

    Yanik, Ahoy my good friend.

    I am SOOOO looking forward to this series! This first posting has me impatiently waiting for the next installment.

    As important as it is for an entrepreneur to focus on the present and where one is headed, every so often it is important to review one’s past and remember how far we have come. On days when I feel like I’m not making progress, I like to look back and see the tremendous progress I have made in the last few years. It always provides me the motivation to maintain the forward momentum.

    Praying for all to have a wonderful 2010 New Year. Dream big, be bold!

    Arrr

    CaptRobLee

  2. December 29, 2009, 11:03 am

    Yanik – As always your a great mentor and trusted advisor. Looking forward to another great year of Maverick Business Adventures!

  3. Kat
    December 29, 2009, 11:33 am

    Wonderful post and really looking forward to following along.
    Kat~
    p.s. Thanks CaptRobLee for the heads up

  4. December 29, 2009, 12:53 pm

    Dear Yanik,

    Thank you for this post. I’m always interested in such interesting, advisory type of articles on building businesses.

    I wish you and your family a great 2010.

    Warm regards,
    Peter

  5. December 29, 2009, 1:35 pm

    Dude.

    This is a really good post.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Matt Bacak

  6. December 29, 2009, 1:44 pm

    hey Yanik, you talked about a lot of people who where instrumental in your success. I just want to let you know that you were like that for my life. I love your products, and they helped me as a young entrepreneur take my life to a new level. I enjoyed reading about your first $29 you made, the feeling of making your first sale is awesome. Thanks so much

  7. December 29, 2009, 1:45 pm

    Awesome post, Yanik, thanks for sharing. You are one true marketer who walks the talk, no doubt about it – -and you even have a BLAST doing it!

    Here’s to a great New Year to everyone there and reading this. Better sign off now before this blog self-destructs (that’s a Yanik’s Underground joke for fellow spy fans out there!)

  8. December 29, 2009, 1:59 pm

    @Capt Rob – yeah the exercise of thinking about progress not perfection is really powerful

    @Patrick AKA MLM marketing…awesome! Thank you, I love hearing that stuff. And you absolutely always remember those first moments when you realize this can really work.

  9. December 29, 2009, 2:09 pm

    Hi Yanik,

    This is amazing.. Just yesterday I was watching the Phenomenon (to program myself for a better 2010). You insisted on the importance of preparation and triggering success by acting on your own ideas.

    Thanks for sharing these incredible insights.

    Regards

    Srini

  10. December 29, 2009, 2:23 pm

    Yanik!!! WOW! Cool stuff, as you know, you’ve been a great teacher, mentor and inspiration to me.

    I started online about 6 yrs ago or so.

    I was a teacher, earning about 40k or so per year and about to get married, and also in debt somewhere in the area of 24, 25 or 26k.

    Much of my learning came from you, as a subscriber to the USS newsletter and listening to all your audios in my car time and time again, most of which didn’t just give me marketing tools but mind set tools, it pushed me to the edge big time.

    I now have 2 business, a gym and an online business.

    BOTH of my business have been influenced by your materials.

    Also, the mind set strategies you always encouraged, such as being uncomfortable, taking a risk, making the jump…

    I still remember our phone conversation when you told me that I would eventually have to make the jump, even if the situation wasn’t perfect.

    In November I grossed over $20K and netted a large amount of it since most of my products are digital.

    Most importantly, I now have breakfast with my wife and kids every morning and the BIG change is we sold our house and bought a new, bigger home, less than 1 mile from the beach in a beautiful town!

    Over a year ago you interviewed Gary Vee for the USS and it’s still in my truck, and in the first few minutes Gary said his success was largely based on mind set.

    I can’t thank you enough dude, you’ve been an awesome coach and it has changed my entire life and the life of my family.

    Talk soon, Bruddah!

    –Z–

  11. December 29, 2009, 2:28 pm

    Wow, what an amazing post. I haven’t delved into the psychology part as you have, now I’m going to.

    Thanks for the great stuff Yanik.

  12. December 29, 2009, 2:49 pm

    Great post Yanik! And your advice about ‘looking at where you’ve come from rather than comparing to the ideal’ deserves to bolded and set in 24 pt.

    Working with athletes on the mental side of their game – its one of the big secrets to keeping them confident and focused… even years later I’ll get feedback from them saying its been the most valuable thing they’ve adopted into their daily life.

    Just like the sentiments of others… your business and marketing teaching have influenced me and my business tremendously giving me the chance to make a bigger impact.

    I guess you never know how far the ripple travels when you drop a stone of value into the pond!

    Thanks Yanik!

  13. December 29, 2009, 3:17 pm

    Yanik – You are an example and mentor to so many of us – truly Awesome achievements – very well done. To the next 10 years and a Million Young Entrepreneurs being influenced – that will be a ripple that will go on and on and on…..

  14. December 29, 2009, 3:23 pm

    Yanik,

    Ten years? Already? Congratulations! I know my subscription the Maverick Business Insiders has changed the way I look at life (and business), and in just the last year you’ve helped kick my butt and spur me into action in oh, so many ways.

    Thanks to your encouragement my 2009 has rocked. In May I started contributing to the Know-How Exchange of http://www.marketingprofs.com/ea/(the site has 360K registered users and 36K monthly visitors) and I’m now ranked in their top 10 contributors (from scratch in May).

    I’m now attracting offline clients, I’ve been approached about a couple of JVs, and I’m working on a product. Yanik, your success has inspired me and I’m getting off my butt and doing something to help myself. You helped direct my 2009 and push me toward action … and 2010 is going to be even better—I know it, I can feel it.

    Yanik, have a great remainder of ’09 and a stellar 2010. I know the new year is going to take us both much much farther.

    Kind regards— Gary B. (Wilmington, DE)

  15. Allyn Cutts
    December 29, 2009, 3:48 pm

    Yanik… Excellent post.

    Congratulations on all that you have accomplished. You have been a mentor and example to many.

    Happy Holiday’s to you and your family.

    God Bless,

    Allyn

  16. December 29, 2009, 4:30 pm

    Great post, Yanik…Really makes you stop and think. You’ve got a very inspiring vision and you’ve been a true inspiration to me since we had coffee in January. Thanks for sharing and I wish you another decade to remember. God Bless,

  17. December 29, 2009, 6:09 pm

    awesome post – it has inspired me to pick up my ‘Influence’ book and make my gratitude list! plus I had Zac and Zoe picked out for my kids, how truly strange!

    am off to write my achievement list now! Should pick up the mojo!

    Kat

  18. Dave Fernandez
    December 29, 2009, 9:30 pm

    Great post! Your philosophy rings true to everyone, even the 9-5ers like me! I enjoy reading your posts and find them to be inspiring to say the least. In fact, I was so inspired by this post that after reading it, I sat down and mind mapped out my department’s goals for 2010.

    Thanks again for giving back and kudos to the previous contributor zach even – esh for taking the leap… I haven’t been able to do it yet!

  19. December 29, 2009, 10:02 pm

    Yanik,
    for me this post was both timely and inspiring. Thank you!

  20. December 30, 2009, 2:56 am

    Yanik,
    i can’t even remember when i signed up for your newsletter – i think i was referred to you by eben pagan. and honestly i haven’t really read a lot of the stuff you sent – until today! this blog post just blew my away! it made “click” in my mind several times while reading it. thank you so much for your insights. this is so ultra valuable.
    All the best from Hamburg, Germany!

  21. ridwanzero
    December 30, 2009, 6:50 am

    I’m now attracting offline clients, I’ve been approached about a couple of JVs, and I’m working on a product. Yanik, your success has inspired me and I’m getting off my butt and doing something to help myself. You helped direct my 2009 and push me toward action … and 2010 is going to be even better—I know it, I can feel it.

    Yanik, have a great remainder of ‘09 and a stellar 2010. I know the new year is going to take us both much much farther.

  22. December 30, 2009, 7:39 am

    […] A Decade Of Lessons and Growth […]

  23. December 30, 2009, 2:08 pm

    I am very impressed with your system of work. I have only been working online for about 8 months, so my learning curve is very high. But it is people like you whom produce great quality material, that keeps me believing I will succeed. Thanks for all of your knowledge that you share.
    John

  24. December 31, 2009, 4:04 am

    Just wanted to drop by and say I really enjoyed your post. I’ll definitely take your advice to heart and compile my own “Best of the decade” list.

    By the way, found the quote by R. Buckminster Fuller to be really insightful. Thanks!

    Steven

  25. December 31, 2009, 11:55 am

    Hey Yanik,

    YOu may remember our lobster dinner this year past, but I have to say, GREAT POST and love the insights and great links. 2010 is certainly my year to generate real revenue on the internet, I appreciate your insight and hope we can connect in the near future.

    My goal was to be at your underground event this year, working hard to make that happen.

    Best of luck, and Happy New Year!

    Chef Tony

  26. December 31, 2009, 12:21 pm

    Absolutely Tony – that was a good lobster dinner! Hopefully you’ll make the Underground it’s quite an experience. Talk soon.

  27. December 31, 2009, 12:26 pm

    […] I mentioned in part 1, I learned from Earl Nightingale early on about books/resources/educational material as a […]

  28. January 1, 2010, 11:26 am

    The horizon example reminded me of an old truth about happyness:

    John was said because he wanted to fix the world and coundn’t.
    Jack was happy because he wanted to fix the cupboard, and he could.

  29. January 1, 2010, 6:15 pm

    Thanks for the post,

    You gave me (nr. 9) a lot of interesting things to think about!!!

    For example I like the concept about true success being found
    perpenicular along the path TO your original preceived goal.
    I definitely had such an experiences, like for example
    with my goal to create a communication channel to write
    about the little ebook I wrote, and to be able to receive feedback
    from readers, while that way discovering
    Affiliate Marketing that even has a considerable
    bigger turnover than my own ebook sales.
    (although the actual profits of
    my own product are higher.)

    Looks like an alternative version
    of what John Lennon said:

    ‘Life is what Happens while
    you are planning other things’

    Thanks for showing this concept because I usually am slightly inclined to think of this as a negative expectation while it also can be very positive at times.

    Also thanks for showing your concept of Cheerful Expectancy
    based on building expert knowledge.

    All the Best,
    To your Happy Inspiration,
    HP

  30. Deb
    January 3, 2010, 2:46 am

    So after reading your post I scrolled back to the top to check out the links. I only got through the first one thus far and I’m feeling as though fireworks fueled by excitement have erupted within me!!
    Happy New Year! Onward and Upwards from Here. I have declared that 2010 is going to be a stellar year for myself, my friends, and my family.
    I appreciate your lust for life. Keep smiling, Deb

  31. January 4, 2010, 12:08 pm

    Yanik- Great post… I personally appreciated the fact that you placed “personal accomplishments” before all others… I trust this was by design… I happy personal life is priority #2 in my view, (#1 being FAITH), then Family, Friends, Fitness, and lastly Finances..

    Finances is last in my view because if you dont have Faith/Family/Friends/Fitness, no ammount of $ in the world will bring true happiness…

    Best to ALL in 2010!
    Brian-

  32. April 5, 2010, 8:20 pm

    Great post, man.

    It’s crazy. I’ve been online for two years now and the ups and downs have been insane. I can’t even begin to imagine all the different booms and busts you’ve seen happen online.

    Reading your posts always makes me smile. I don’t really know why. They always just inspire.

    Hope you had a great Easter weekend!

    Zach

  33. April 6, 2010, 12:09 pm

    Great going Yanik your accomplishment is well taken. I have been online now for a while and too hope to someday reach your level of success. Keep up the good work.

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