GE 211: Yanik Silver Discusses How the Turning Point of His Business Success Started with Losing $400K (podcast) With Yanik Silver

Yanik Silver

Hey everyone, in today’s episode I share the mic with Yanik Silver, founder of Evolved Enterprise, a business that comes alongside entrepreneurs in helping them discover who they are—their passion and purpose—and equip and assist them in achieve these purposes.

Tune in to hear Yanik share how he began his journey in the online space when an idea popped into his mind one day at 3 a.m., how he made 6 figures within the first couple months, the business lessons he learned from Richard Branson, and why it sometimes takes a loss of $400K to realize that you’re just not there yet.

Download podcast transcript [PDF] here: Yanik Silver Discusses How the Turning Point of His Business Success Started with Losing $400K TRANSCRIPT

Time-Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:41 – Please leave us a review and rating and subscribe to the Growth Everywhere Podcast
  • 01:00 – Eric introduces Yanik
  • 01:32 – Yanik started in the online space in 2000
    • 01:36 – He woke up at 3 a.m. with the idea of instant sales letters
    • 01:43 – Within the first couple of months, he made 6 figures
    • 01:45 – People who ask how he makes money online became the reason for Yanik helping others take their expertise and sell it online
  • 01:54 – 10 years ago, Yanik asked himself if he was happy – his answer was NO
    • 02:14 – He knew there was something bigger he needed to do and be able to give
    • 02:22 – Maverick Business Adventures was what Yanik thought would be his passion
    • 02:34 – After $400K was invested in Maverick, Yanik’s wife asked him to reflect on what he was doing
    • 02:37 – His wife’s questioning led Yanik to think deeper about what really mattered – that’s when he founded Evolved Enterprise
  • 03:24 – Yanik’s cosmic alarm clock
    • 03:28 – “You don’t know when it’s going to go off”
    • 04:05 – Yanik’s cosmic alarm clock was a voice in his head that kept asking if he was doing what he was supposed to do
    • 04:27 – It was 2 parts for Yanik: acknowledging he was unhappy and the exploration
  • 05:11 – We learn either through pain or joy
  • 05:50 – Yanik lost $40K on his first trip with Maverick and went on to lose $400K
  • 06:10 – “Is my why big enough?”
  • 07:17 – Having an open checkbook for bootstrapping was one cause for losing the $400K
  • 07:52 – Maverick Business Adventures evolved to Maverick 1000
    • 08:27 – Maverick 1000 is the idea of putting together the world’s 1000 game-changing entrepreneurs on retreats and activities that can support their business and personal growth
    • 09:12 – A friend of Yanik had a charity dinner where Joe Polish and Richard Branson were present
    • 09:30 – Yanik signed up for the charity event to connect with Richard
    • 09:55 – In his 2nd year, Yanik and Joe partnered up to bring people to the event
  • 10:33 – Richard, as Yanik describes, is the ultimate entrepreneur
    • 11:30 – Richard won’t start a venture unless there is a key person in that business
    • 12:14 – A rule on Richard’s private island is: “No Work in the Afternoon”
    • 12:58 – Yanik’s best guess for Richard’s work hours is 3-4 hours/day
    • 13:37 – When Richard is present, he’s engaged with you – he’s not on his phone
  • 14:11 – Maverick 1000 looks for 3 categories in entrepreneurs: an entrepreneur with a voice, a world-class expert, and an industry leader
    • 14:38 – Members get to vote on which members can come in
    • 15:07 – Maverick 1000 is a membership group that charges $1500 per month
  • 16:17 – Evolved Enterprise is a seed that Yanik wants to spread to help entrepreneurs rethink their businesses
    • 16:52 – Evolved Enterprise moves a business from a transactional company to a transformational company
    • 17:41 – It’s when entrepreneurs stop and think about their purpose that they find alignment in their business
  • 18:51 – For Yanik, making a difference in the world was the common DNA to be in connection with influencers
    • 19:47 – Being interested in helping in other people’s passion is important, too
    • 20:33 – Transcending is the highest form a business can take
    • 21:18 – Ultra Testing is an example of a company that is transcending – a complete disadvantage turned into a competitive advantage
    • 21:48 – There are 11 different impact models Yanik talks about in his book, Evolved Enterprise
    • 22:01 – Apart from the book, Evolved Enterprise also has an online virtual community called Catalyst Coalition
    • 22:33 – It’s 10x easier to do business with this mindset shift
    • 23:17 – From a digital standpoint, having donation options in your checkout pages decreases abandons in the shopping cart page
  • 24:13 – Firms of Endearment look for companies that have a great culture and a purpose behind them
  • 24:57 – Having a purpose in your business not only feels great, but it keeps your team aligned with a greater vision
  • 25:50 – At the end of the day, it’s not about the paycheck but how you impact the world
  • 26:24 – Camp Maverick is a public, summer camp activity hosted by Maverick 1000
  • 26:45 – Yanik is a big fan of meeting other people
  • 27:27 – What’s one piece of advice you’d tell your 25-year old self? – “Jump into ways of keeping yourself whole faster”
  • 28:54 – What’s one must-read book that you recommend? –The Great Work of Your Life
  • 30:02 – Connect with Yanik on his blog, Evolved Enterprise, and Maverick 1000
  • 30:30 – End of today’s episode

3 Key Points:

  1. People learn from two ends of the spectrum—through pain or through joy.
  2. Find your WHY and search for that deeper purpose that will sustain you through all things.
  3. Make it a part of your business’ mission to create an impact in this world; so that you and those who partner with you are joined to something much greater than just themselves.

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Full Transcript of The Episode

Show transcript
Yanik S.: Literally, at three o'clock in the morning woke up with this idea for a site called Instant Sales Letters and it became my first million dollar product and people are like whoa, how did you do that? Then that turned into me helping other people take their content information expertise and sell that online.

Announcer: Do you want to impact the world and still turn a profit? Then you're in the right place. Welcome to Growth Everywhere. This is the show where you'll find real conversations with real entrepreneurs. They'll share everything from their biggest struggle to the exact strategies they use on a daily basis, so if you're ready for a value packed interview listen on. Here's your host Eric Siu.

Eric Siu: Before we jump into today's interview, if you guys could leave a review and a rating and also subscribe as well that would be a huge help to the podcast, so if you actually enjoy the content and you'd like to hear more of it, please support us by leaving us a review and subscribe to the podcast as well. Thanks so much.

Hello, everyone. Today we have Yanik Silver who is the founder of Evolved Enterprise, which is an illuminating journey for 21st century entrepreneurs ready to explore how greater purpose, joy, and meaningful impact create fierce brand loyalty and marketplace leadership and deliver exceptional profits.

I'm gonna let Yanik actually elaborate on that in a little bit, but Yanik how's it going?

Yanik S.: Hey, Eric. Thanks for having me on.

Eric Siu: Yeah. Thanks for being here, so why don't you tell us a little more about well, I guess, who you are and what you do 'cause you've got a lot of experience.

Yanik S.: Yeah, just the quick background is actually got started in the online space in 2000. Literally, at three o'clock in the morning woke up with this idea for a site called Instant Sales Letters and it became my first million dollar product. Within the first couple months on track to do six figures and people are like whoa, how did you do that? Then that turned into me helping other people take their content information expertise and sell that online.

About ten years ago I sorta had this, I don't know. I asked myself a really simple sounding question, which was: am I happy? If I was honest the answer was no. I mean outside looking in had a, making a lot of money, drove a really hot car, had a great family, had a great reputation in the online marketing space, which isn't always that easy, and, but I just knew or thought that I had something bigger to do and give and so forth and that started this whole track of. Originally, I started something called Maverick Business Adventures where I thought it would be my ultimate sort of passion business. Get entrepreneurs together, do well trips and combine it with business and some sort of charity.

Then fast forward about $400,000 in, my wife's like what the hell are you doing? And it forced me to think about okay, what really mattered? Part of that process was actually getting all the pieces here for Evolved Enterprise. Being able to meet some of the Yanik S.: Yeah. Yeah, for sure and that's really where we started applying this framework of Evolved Enterprise, but Maverick 1000 is this idea of can we get together a thousand of the world's sort of game changing leading entrepreneurs and voices in entrepreneurial space and how do we get together? So that we can support each other, our personal growth, our business growth, make the world a better place through our entrepreneurial thinking and talents and then also have a bunch of fun in the process? We'll have different retreats that go on throughout the year. We have different adventures like I'm going to Haiti next week and we built a self-stained village there. All the way to. We go to another island. We go to Necker Island, which is Richard Branson's Island for a week each year and-

Eric Siu: How did you even get that connection?

Yanik S.: It's been great. I mean ... now we're. It's going on. That was our ninth trip the last you know. We got back, maybe a month ago and it came from a friend of mine who ended up having a. He went to a charity dinner with him and a guy named Joe Polish. Joe made a quick connection with Richard and thought maybe I could do this trip to Necker that would support and raise money for the [inaudible 00:09:26], which is the charity arm. I was actually one of the first people that signed up for it because I always had in my life list like have lunch with Richard Branson. I thought that'd be great. I mean, he's been one of my biggest business heroes. Right the guy. He's associated with 300 plus businesses and [tape issue 00:09:40] adventures and yet, he wants to make a difference in the world. I'm like who better, right?

Like that totally is someone I resonate with and so I went that first year and then Joe's like, well, I don't know if I can fill it again so I don't think we're gonna do it. I'm like well, why don't you and I do it together so that ended up being that we partnered up for a couple of years and did it where I bring half the people and he brings half people and now it's become a trip that we run ourselves because it's really in alignment with these involved enterprise principals because Richard and I definitely share that shared belief that business can be the greatest lever to make a difference in the world and now I've actually been asked to part of the [inaudible 00:10:16] board. It's been an amazing sort of full circle journey.

Eric Siu: Cool. I want to talk about Maverick 1000 a little bit more, but what are some key lessons you think or I guess, even key habits you've taken away from Richard while hanging out with him?

Yanik S.: Yeah, it's a great question. He is. I mean, there's so many, right? Because you get to witness somebody who is kind of the ultimate entrepreneur, right? Because of all the things that he's involved in and it's fascinating because he is more concerned about what is a good that he's going to do then talking to his team about a particular business or a thing going on. He really does believe in this idea of. Yeah, we do a Q&A with him every single year so we get a chance to sit down and ask him questions and then of course just kind of on the fly I'll ask him things, but you always wanna know. How do you manage with 300 some entities that you're associated with in some way?

And some of 'em are just licensing deals, right? Where Virgin Brand is licensed to these companies, which are more straightforward, but some of 'em like Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Galactic and so forth, he's pretty involved, but it always comes back to bringing in good people. He won't start a venture or take one on unless there's a key president or key person there. That's been one of his pieces. You know it sounds so trite when he says it. It's just like well, of course. Go hire good people and bring them in and even you can't afford it and even when you don't think that. You wanna move yourself out of a business as fast as you can is what he'll say [crosstalk 00:11:48] and see that's. That's one of his lessons for sure.

Another one for absolute sure is he doesn't take himself too seriously. He has a lot of fun. On Necker, which is truly like this paradise that he's built of everything that he wants. I mean there's lemurs there and flamingos and you name it. He's been able to build almost like this Fantasy Island in a way and, but he has a rule there of there's no work in the afternoon and it sounds almost ... again it's so simple, but he absolutely believes in that you get more done by A, constraining the time that you have things to do and then also making sure that you're continually rejuvenating yourself and making sure that you're taking care of yourself.

He also starts every morning with some sort of physical activity and we've talked about this a great deal. Just that is such a key part of his daily routine. He'll go kite boarding in the morning. He'll swim around the island mostly now it's been about tennis. He'll play tennis in the morning.

Eric Siu: How many hours do you think he works? Per day?

Yanik S.: Yeah ... if I was gonna make my best guess, I'd say four, maybe three.

Eric Siu: Wow. That's efficiency.

Yanik S.: Yeah. I mean ... he has two assistants that are with him at all times. One that is his main assistant and they'll ... she's the one who really sits and sorts his workload of who he needs to respond to and how and then ... he'll dictate and she'll provide the stuff that. She works way more than four hours a day.

Eric Siu: Okay. That makes total sense then. [crosstalk 00:13:26]. He has these two extensions of him.

Yanik S.: Yeah. Yeah, for sure and, but ... just to be around him is fascinating because he's in conversation. He's in conversation with you, right? There's no phone that he's constantly checking or texting while he's having a conversation. It's just. He's engaged with you. It's powerful. It's really amazing to just be around him.

Eric Siu: Back to Maverick 1000 so how does it work? I mean, how much should? I bet there's a lot of entrepreneurs listening to this right now that are thinking I want to look at this Maverick 1000 thing just based off of some of the stories that you just told me right now about Necker Island.

Yanik S.: Yeah ... we have a summer camp that I mentioned, Camp Maverick, which is a bigger. You don't have to be a member for that and it's more a public event. It's still curated, like an application, but it's a lot of fun; summer camp activities, but then we bring in some really amazing speakers and have them do, not key notes, but more like fire side chats and so forth, but me personally.

I mean I'm a big fan of just meeting other people so figuring out other places that I can meet exceptional entrepreneurs and people doing very cool things. I might be going to a couple conferences. If I'm not speaking at one, then it's attending them. I don't know.

Eric Siu: Come on down to Summit in L.A.

Yanik S.: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. I don't know if I'm gonna make that one. I mean I know L.A. and I've known him since he started Summit. I've been to a few. The first Summit was. I haven't been to the bigger ones so I haven't seen the evolution in and it's really incredible what he's been able to do at Powder Mountains and so forth.

Eric Siu: Yeah, life changing. All right.

Yanik S.: Yeah.

Eric Siu: Just a couple more questions for you.

Yanik S.: Yeah.

Eric Siu: Before we wrap up here. What's one piece of advice you'd tell your younger self. Let's say your 25 year old self.

Yanik S.: It's interesting because I think that everything that I've done is like there's no mistakes and there's no ways to do it over necessarily so it would really be just in trusting that you're doing the right things. Of course, I wish that I had listened to or found a book like this or whatever it was like when I was 25 and really been able to put the pieces together because I was thinking it. I was doing it in smaller ways, but I didn't have the, I don't know. I didn't have the framework. I didn't have the. And I don't know if I had to go through all things I went through for 15 years before I figured it all out, but if I was gonna tell myself one thing it would really be to jump into ways of keeping yourself whole faster.

Last couple years I've been meditating every day. I'm into Yoga now. It's been one of these life-changing kind of pieces that's a practice. It's not a light switch. Taking my health more seriously, taking. I'll have sugar once a week if I want it so it's all these little things.

Maybe I'd tell him to go experiment more with things like that, to just see how does that affect what you do and how you do 'em.

Eric Siu: Everything compounds, right?

Yanik S.: Yeah, yeah. For sure.

Eric Siu: All right. Okay, so besides your book and I know you recommended a book earlier in the podcast. I'm gonna challenge you with a third book. What's one other must read book you'd recommend to everyone?

Yanik S.: I like books maybe that not everyone has read so the one that I would recommend is called "The Great Work of Your Life."

Eric Siu: Wow.

Yanik S.: It's by a guy named Stephen Cope. It's essentially written by Yogi and it takes [inaudible 00:29:12], which is one of our oldest spiritual texts and aligns it with all these people throughout history like the Mandela's of the world and the Gandhi's and so forth, and Susan B. Anthony. How did they live? This book is about living your Dharma, like your true path, your journey in that aspect and getting full alignment with your Dharma and what does that look like. It's really. It's a big read. It's actually. It's really well written so it's not hard. It's not a ... you're not slogging through it. It's pretty neat to see all these people's lives who have done something great and when they found what that was that they were meant to do and how everything aligned and got turbo charged.

Eric Siu: Awesome. Well, Yanik, this has been great. What's the best way for our people to find you online?

Yanik S.: You can check out my blog that I intermittently blog at, which is Y-A-N-I-K

"Evolve Enterprise," the book is on Amazon or anywhere else or We have a great package there. We actually. You help fund a village that we put together for micro-entrepreneurs in East Africa and then if you're interested in some Maverick stuff,

Eric Siu: Great. Yanik, thanks so much for doing this.

Yanik S.: Thanks, Eric. It was awesome.

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