Episode 176: Yanik Silver, Maverick Business on Big Hooks and Handing Them the Fish
Yanik honed his Internet marketing skills in his father's medical device business and went on to encapsulate his direct marketing success in a series of information products including Ultimate Copywriting Workshop, his seminal offering.
He's in his second metamorphosis, from IM wunderkind to Entrepreneurial Booster. Founding Maverick1Million.org to create a forum a knowledge base for young entrepreneurs.
This entire interview is sprinkled with wisdom, actionable insights and clever strategies that come from years of successful online marketing.
Even better, Yanik is a visionary who wants, like Sir Richard Branson, to live a big, bold, lusty life and creates businesses that support his zeal.
Find out about:
- Achieving financial independence using information products
- Setting up the Big Hook in copywriting
- Handing the Man a Fish, Not Teaching Him to Fish
- The Brass Balls Factor
- Pricing Psychology
- 9 Phases of Copy Editing
- The 500 Word Sweet Spot
Susan Bratton: Welcome to DishyMix. I’m your host, Susan Bratton. And on today’s show you’re going to meet somebody I’m newly fascinated with. His name is Yanik Silver. And Yanik was introduced to me by Eban Pagan, he connected the two of us. He’s got a really interesting conference coming up. He runs a fascinating business. And he is just so full of crazy energy and life that I know you’re going to enjoy this bit of a thrill ride today. So Yanik, welcome to DishyMix.
Yanik Silver: Thanks. I appreciate it.
Susan Bratton: It’s my pleasure. So lets do a little bit of a levelset on your business today, your maverick business today. Let people know all of the things that you’re doing at a super high level so that we can get a bead on you.
Yanik Silver: All right, so all the craziness. I have I guess for the last ten years, I’m probably most well known for the internet marketplace and created a bunch of different content and my own products and taught a whole lot of people basically what I’ve done, and we’ll jump into that. But then I expanded kind of like this crazy idea maybe three years ago now to take high level entrepreneurs and CEO’s and business owners and take them out on exclusive and unique experiences and combine it with business and combine it with philanthropy to teach young kids about entrepreneurship. And that’s sort of morphed into it’s own thing, that’s Maverick Business Adventures, and it’s morphed into this Maverick One Million mission and a lot of different things that we’ll cover. So I guess at a high level that’s probably what gets me the most excited right now is that aspect.
Susan Bratton: Yeah, you’re interested in doing a lot with entrepreneurs and we are going to get to that. I want to start with the information product business. You left your father’s medical device company and decided to strike out on your own and become an information product marketer. You’ve made a lot of products over the years. Tell me about those products, how you created them and, you know, just kind of what it was like to be a multi product publisher of information products.
Yanik Silver: Yeah, I mean looking back I’ve created a whole lot of stuff and literally done everything from little e-books that we’ve given away or sold for a couple bucks to like $20,000, $30,000 very high end programs and everything in between. I started out believe it or not when I was 14 years old with my dad’s business, medical equipment sales and service, and started telemarketing for my own leads to sell latex gloves and I hated it but it was a great education in sales. I actually would recommend almost anyone to try and do some face to face sales, and that’s what my next step was at 16 when I had my license, and my dad, our family’s from Russia so my dad has this very thick Russian accent, so when I was 16 he said, “Mr. Yanik, go. Go make some sales.” And he basically kicked me out the door and told me to go cold call on doctors. And…
Susan Bratton: Does your dad really sound like a Russian leprechaun? He sounds like a Russian munchkin, the way that you make him sound.
Yanik Silver: Yeah, you can meet him in person.
Susan Bratton: I’m totally going to tell him how you make him sound.
Yanik Silver: Yeah, that’s like the only accent I can do. If I try and do any other nationality it comes across as Russian, but him and any other Russian person I can pretty much nail.
Susan Bratton: So going back to the products that you created, I just want to kind of rattle off a few of them. I can probably, I’ve got it written in front of me, it’s probably easier for me to do it. You’ve written Instant Sales Letters, Instant Internet Profits, 33 Days to Online Profits, 33 Days to Online Profits Video CD ROM’s, Mind Motivators, Ultimate Copywriting Workshop, Web Copy Secrets, Public Domain Riches, Magnetic Marketing, Copywriting Seminar in a Box, Power Pause, Auto Responder Magic, Million Dollar Emails, and probably some that I’ve missed. That’s a lot of stuff. How did creating all of that work and what was it when you did that that made it successful for you?
Yanik Silver: I guess I probably would have to go back to, so that very first product was Instant Sales Letters, and so the transition for my dad’s business to my own kind of publishing company was, like anything else, I think it’s sort of a zigzag approach, right. So I started getting really involved with marketing, like when I was 17 I guess I just got so excited by hearing a Jay Abraham tape that one of my rheumatologist customers physicians gave me and just, you know, got so excited by this aspect that I didn’t have to start knocking on doors for doctors anymore and I could just, you know, write a letter, I could write an ad, and so I really kind of honed my chops with my dad’s business writing all this stuff for him and seeing what worked and what didn’t work. And so I’d come out with these full-page ads for selling like a fetal Doppler or something like that and, you know, that’s for people that don’t know to check babies heartbeats. And so something that we never would sell by ourselves through an advertisement before, my dad would like at it, all this copying and be like, “Who’s going to read all this?”, and that’s my Russian leprechaun impression. But yeah, and I’m like, “Come on Joe”, I call my dad Joe because we worked together for so long, I’m like, “Come on Joe, just run it, lets see what happens”, and add like, I don’t know, 1080 percent return on our investment when we ran it, and a whole bunch of other ones, you know, similar to that and really changed the way his business was working because it went from a little local shop to now we could advertise nationally and so forth. And that was kind of when I got the bug to start doing some stuff on my own, and I kind of like stair stepped it where I’d work with some of my doctor clients and help them generate more patients for their practice, and that was my very first product actually was I realized that there’s no leverage there, and that’s one of the best things about the information marketing business is the leverage. You know, ideally you want to do the work one time and get paid over and over again. So what I was doing originally was kind of consulting and I was trading my time for dollars working with like a dermatologist, a neurologist and a couple other docs, and I decided to take that package and literally, you know – you’re going to laugh about this Susan – I’d literally run a little classified ad that went into Dermatologic Surgery Journal, very exciting reading, and it was this little ad and we had, you know, it said, you know, “Free report, shows you how to increase the number of cosmetic patients that you get for your dermatologic practice” or something like that. And so I got ten leads out of there. And on the very last day of this deadline that I put on the sales letter, I didn’t have the product done, alls I had was a sales letter, a report talking about in the sales letter, and on the very last day I got an order, it was my very first order. It was a $900 course, and I was so excited, like literally had to peel myself off the ceiling when, you know, the fax came through.
Susan Bratton: Fax, oh you are dating yourself.
Yanik Silver: Oh yeah, fax came through and the guy had his credit card number on there. It was great. It was, you know, it was like one of those amazing feelings. And then all of the sudden like, “Oh shit, I got to write this thing, and I got to create this thing.” And, you know, a lot of times that’s been sort of the way that I’ve operated. And so we sent back a letter saying, you know, “This is being republished and it’s going to be available within 30 days. Thank you for your order. Your card won’t be charged until that point”, and I got to work, you know, I’d clock out at 5PM every single day from my dad’s business and just got to work till like 3AM writing the manual that I promised them. And of course it was a lot of work at one point, but then a couple months later I was probably doing about $10,000 to $15,000 a month just selling these courses and the different products that I created for the doctors and I expanded to plastic surgeons and so forth. So that was my very first kind of foray into the information marketing world. And from there, one of the things that I really picked up that worked a lot was one of our best sellers was, we created a whole bunch of these kits, I called them patient attraction toolkits, and they were for different specific teachers, like liposuction, blethoplasty, laser resurfacing, you know, a bunch of different cosmetic procedures. And I gave them predone ads, postcards, letters, special reports, you know, just anything that alls I had to do was just fill in the blanks, and I gave it to them on, you know, like this one, diskette
Susan Bratton: I hope you’re not going to say 5 and ¼ floppy.
Yanik Silver. No. Yeah, but diskette and then hard copy, and those were like the best sellers, right. So I took this knowledge, and that’s one of the things that I talk a lot about is giving people, handing them the fish, because we’ve all heard the saying “If you hand 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. They totally want that. And, you know, the close you can get to that, to the silver platter kind of thing, the better you’ll do. And so that was my very first product was this instant sales letters and that was like an idea literally 3:00 in the morning that I sat up late in bed and tapped my wife – actually she was my fiancé at the time, soon to be my wife – on the shoulder, I’m like, “Miss, Miss, wake up, I got this great idea”, and she’s like, “Oh god, please, go back to bed.” And like as most entrepreneurs we have way too many ideas, but it’s something that most people wouldn’t do and I got up out of bed, registered a domain name and got to work on this first product. And that was kind of like this next road, and that all was part of the lesson learned was about the fish product, an instant sales letters or these, you know, fill in the blank sales letter tools for any sort of business, and that took off where as a little, I think at that point as like a $30 product, little downloadable templates and that’s still what they are. And got the first order, was so exciting to wake up and have money in your inbox, and then made like $1800 the first month and then like $3400 the next month and then like $7800 and then I think like $9600 by the fourth month. And that’s when, you know, I knew something pretty cool was happening and people started asking me, you know, what the hell I was doing and could I possibly teach them how to do that too.
Susan Bratton: You know, that was how many years ago, 15 years ago? Ten years ago?
Yanik Silver: Ten years.
Susan Bratton: So how has the information product marketing game changed? Obviously it has; I mean people are even moving away from sales letter format websites and things like that. So how has it changed, where is it now and what advice would you give to someone who has an idea for a product line like you did where you’re teaching people copywriting and sales letters and how to make money online? If someone has that and they’re thinking about building their personal franchise of information products now, what would you tell them to do now?
Yanik Silver: All right, so obviously, yeah, a lot of things have changed in the last ten years I’d say. A lot of things have also stayed the same, believe it or not. So I’ve seen sites where long form sales letters, the ugly ones, still outpool the pretty, the video sales letters like you mentioned, or the shorter form copy. And then other times, in other market places it’s the exact opposite and that works. But, you know, people are people. It’s still the same. They need solutions to their problems. They still go online looking for information. But some of the ways that we deliver that information have changed a lot I think and people now really – consumers, if you can give them, you know, we talked about giving them the fish. If you can give them some of my best selling products and some of the stuff that my friends have come out with that’s worked really well is getting people, instead of like a huge just massive amount of information that’s dumped on them without exactly knowing what to do with it, they give them very step by step, you know, here’s what to do. Like one of our products was 33 Days To Online Profits, it’s a bit age now, but it was a great idea and that idea can carry over to anything that you want to do because it was, “Everyday, here’s what you need to do”, it was a quick bite sized lesson, and then at the same time it had a homework assignment to do for that day. So people love the, you know, the six weeks to eight weeks, the… For me it was 33 days because I really like specificity because, you know, it feels scientific in that way. So that’s one of the things that I think have changed for sure and one of the things that you can capitalize on.
Susan Bratton: Definitely. People are using a drip system, like wish list a member, what have you, to drip out the content over time. We certainly do that. We’ve moved from giving people a massive download of audio, video, e-books, workbooks, to a membership site where they can access things over time and making 21 day programs or, you know, three weeks to whatever. I think it does work much better to break it down into manageable chunks. I want to go back to you said fundamentals, and when I think about the body of work that you’ve created in the information product marketing business Yanik, I think that what you’ve done is you’ve encapsulated all of these fundamental concepts and literally made them into lists, like, you know, the 68 PowerPoint copy checklist, you know. Every little thing you should think about when you’re writing a sales letter, or writing copy for an ad or what it might be, you’re very good at getting all the chunks of all the fundamental information together. And I really have been looking for a copywriting product that I could tell my followers, my DishyMix listeners and my online followers about, and I really am impressed so far with what I’ve seen in your ultimate copywriting workshop. So what I want to do is I want to – ‘cause I know a lot of people have been emailing me, you know, “How do I get started writing the copy for the product? I can write the product, you know, I know my stuff, but I can’t figure out how to position it and market it.” And you’ve captured so many of the essential persuasion and influence and psychological I don’t want to call them tricks, but like how to appeal to people in the way that they want to be explained and appealed to. So go through Ultimate Copywriting Workshop with us, just for a minute or two, high level. What is it that you teach in that?
Yanik Silver: Well that came out of a result of, so obviously, it’s almost like, you know, when I first kind of go on the scene everybody was like, “Wow, this guy’s an overnight success.” But really I’ve been probably studying direct response marketing for, I don’t know, seven-eight years at that point, and then applying it in a whole totally separate business, which is my dad’s medical equipment business, and then using everything that I learned then to create my own products. And all of those were sold just via remote control, obviously through copywriting. And a lot of it is around the psychology of a customer, of a buyer and, you know, you were talking about kind of influence tricks and things like that. I mean one of my favorite books – and I know we’ll cover books – is Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini…
Susan Bratton: Yeah, I had Bob on the show, and he’s really awesome, yeah.
Yanik Silver: Yeah. I mean I’ve read that book probably nine times and not in a way to try and manipulate people or anything like that ‘cause I totally don’t believe in that because it’s…
Susan Bratton: Me neither.
Yanik Silver: You know, it’s not…
Susan Bratton: It’s wrong.
Yanik Silver: Yeah. I mean at some point if it doesn’t, you know, you’re going to… It’s just not going to, it’s in the karmic sort of a way it’s going to come back to you and…
Susan Bratton: Bite you in the ass.
Yanik Silver: Totally. Yeah, so it has to be persuading them for something that makes a lot of sense and for something that is going to help them. And so what we did is I took, you know, everyone was asking me about the copywriting and so forth and I have, I don’t know, I guess maybe one of my unique talents is kind of breaking stuff down into whether it’s formulas or lists like you’re talking about…
Susan Bratton: Yeah, that’s what it seems like to me too. I love the checklist formats of things you do.
Yanik Silver: Yeah. And so I put on a three day seminar that was a $3,000 seminar to get into and literally went through every single facet of copywriting. And if anyone’s been, you know, involved or checked out copywriting, I mean it’s obviously, it starts from the basic stuff from the research of getting inside a customer’s mind. And for me a lot of stuff that I’ve written has been me as the customer, so I haven’t been as deep on the research as, unless I was doing client work, which I’ve also done. So starting with the research and figuring that part out and talking to the customers and figuring out what they want. But then moving into obviously creating the hook or the big idea, and that’s I think really sets, that sets you up. You can be very mechanical in your copywriting, you can have a bunch of templates and a bunch of (unintelligible) material and you can just kind of copy and paste and you’ll get to a certain level, but unless you create a big idea or a big hook that people can latch onto, then it’s not going to really work. And so for instance one of the big hooks that I created was, you know – we’ll talk about the underground seminar – but I always tell people going in opposite directions, so everybody was promoting – not everybody – but a whole lot of people had internet seminars and I decided well I’m going to have my own but I’m going to do it in a different way and instead of having the exact same people on stage, we decided we’re going to have regular people who are out there really doing it and making a lot of money online you’ve probably never heard of. And that created the hook, which then created the copy and the copy becomes a lot easier to write at that point. The other part that I think that I really dig into that most people don’t – and this actually becomes work and that might be a four letter word for some people – but I think it’s really important to polish the copy. So my rough draft is going to look very similar to a lot of peoples rough draft. But what I do is I have nine phases of editing where literally instead of just going through and editing one time and thinking about what can make this better I have very specific things that I’m looking for every time I take a pass through my copy. So one time it might be where should I put, you know, the embellishments on it so the bolding and the highlights and the italics are underlined, different things like that, where any sort of like copy doodles and different things like that. Another pass through might be all about transitions because you have to read your copy aloud to…
Susan Bratton: Right.
Yanik Silver: kind of in your head as you’re writing it your brain will make different connections that either you don’t pick up or it makes jumps for you that you’re thinking will do, but when you stop and read it out loud, and even if you get somebody else to read it out loud for you, a lot of times that’s even better. You know, pay a little, a neighborhood 14 year old kid to read it for you. And by the way, that’s probably a really good grade level to aspire to for most people who get that simple clear writing, and so reading out loud you figure out stuff, whether it’s things that are missing or things that are stumbling blocks and all of those are going to keep people from digging into it. And by the way, an interesting step is if people get through 500 words, and there’s definitely ways of doing that and we’ll discuss that in a second, but the next point that they typically stop at is 5,000 words. So a lot of people who are really scared about long copy or scared about, you know, nobody’s going to read all that, the thing is you have to remember is they’re going to read it or they’re going to watch a video around it. You know, like some of these video presentations you might not realize it, but they’re massive.
Susan Bratton: They’re ten or fifteen minutes long.
Yanik Silver: Yeah.
Susan Bratton: Or even longer, 20 to 30 minutes. I’ve seen them very long, yeah. Once you hook them.
Yanik Silver: Right, exactly. You have to be compelled and you have to be hooked in and, you know, the same way that we do it in writing, we try and keep it very short, very engaging in the beginning, very benefit oriented and, you know, hooking little curiosity peaks in there of what’s going to get them moving through, you know, like so. We’ll do something like, you know, in a moment I’ll tell you about this, this and this, and, you know, it gets people to keep following in. And that’s what you want to do is, you know, sales is a very sequential process. It has to start from, you know, there’s a lot of formulas around that. I mean a very basic on obviously is AIDA, which is Attention, Interest, Desire, Action, and you have to hook them with that attention and then you’ve got to hook their interest, and so it doesn’t matter if you’re delivering it as a video sales letter, as a PowerPoint on your site, as a bunch of blips, you know, whatever the case is you have to go through a sequential process there.
Susan Bratton: So I want to take us to a break and I want to let you know that I am really behind Yanik’s Ultimate Copywriting workshop, this particular product, the way he breaks things down, the way he gives you things like the nine phases of editing. I mean I didn’t know how to do that two years ago when I started doing all the copywriting that I do now, and I never thought about nine phases of editing until Yanik said that right now, but I can tell you that that’s what I learned and figured out how to do over the two years of just writing copy pretty much everyday. And I wish I had known about this product two years ago and I didn’t, but now you do and I want you to have access to it. So what I’ve done is I’m an affiliate for this product, I recommend this product to you. If you’re doing banner ads, social media tweets and Facebook page posts, if you’re writing landing page copy, website copy, online ads, whatever it is you need to get this fundamental information earlier than later. And I want to incentivize you to take the step to learn this level of sophistication in your copywriting. I think for so many of us as marketers it will make a big difference in the outcome of the work that you do everyday, and to incentivize you do that I’ve set up susanbratton.com/copywriting and if you go there I’m giving you a triple bonus of my own products. I’m going to give you Masterful Interviews, I’m going to give you Speak Up With Power, which helps you clarify your goals and ask for the support that you need to accomplish what you want, and I’m going to give you any other product that you’d like from the 20 products that we produce for two reasons. Number one, you’ll get to obviously learn the things in those products as well, but you’ll also get to see how information products are created and get to see a couple of different information products. So I’m going to give you three of my programs, that’s a total of $891, when you purchase Yanik’s copywriting course, and to get that deal you have to go to susanbratton.com/copywriting. And once you make the purchase through that link I’ll know you did and I’ll send you an email with whatever products you choose. So I really want to use DishyMix for good. I want to get people like Yanik, who have really great products, on the show and I want to work out a way for you to get them in a beneficial way. So susanbratton.com/copywriting, it’ll tell you all about it and you can make your decision from there. We’re going to go to a break, and when we come back I want to talk about some of the other things that Yanik’s getting into now, how he’s transforming his life and his business with a vision that he holds dearly to himself. So stay tuned and we’ll be right back with Yanik Silver of Maverick Business.
Susan Bratton: We’re back with Yanik Silver. So Yanik, we talked a lot about your information product business. You also started Underground. I want to get into Underground and what that is. You mentioned it briefly, but describe it. You’ve asked me to speak at this conference. Tell us about it, who’s going to show up, who would benefit from it and why anybody wants to know about it.
Yanik Silver: Yeah, absolutely. It’s been going on, we’re coming up to our seventh year, sold out for the last six years a lot because of that hook that I was talking about, which is bringing in real world people who were, you know, actually doing it online who don’t sell how to make money on the internet stuff, at least not as their main product, and just, you know, bring in everyone from SEO people to continuity to information marketers to email marketers to affiliates to, you know, bloggers, you name it, e-commerce people, just this interesting mix. It’s grown out to about 500 people, and the interesting thing about it is inside the audience is, if you look to the left or right there’s typically someone who’s doing seven figures a month, and that’s the kind of caliber of audience that’s in there. It’s about 50 some percent are doing between six to seven plus figures online, and we also bring in these really interesting keynote speakers on top of our what we call ‘rogue agents’. Susan you’re one of our rogue agents this year…
Susan Bratton: Am I Agent Self-Help Samurai? I saw your email and I was trying to figure out which one I was.
Yanik Silver: Yeah, we come up with those. You know, we love to have a lot of fun with it so it’s also experiential and I don’t want to give away all the surprises but we have, it’s called 007 this year, so we have a bond theme, and previous years we’ve done also some fun stuff from spy missions that actually go out on the streets. We’ve done secret spy dinners, we’ve done casino royale kind of nights, so it’s very experiential. I mean literally we spend like tens of thousands of dollars on the staging. It’s like a small Hollywood production, so that part of it makes it really fun for people. And it’s a great time, it’s a great learning experience. People that you meet there I guarantee are going to change your business, and of course from the information that you get there. And the other thing is we were bringing up some really interesting keynote speakers too. Like we’ve had Tony Shay from Zappos there a couple times. We had Gary Banerchuck last year, (unintelligible) from Akiva. We’ve had Bob Parsons from Go Daddy. This year we’re bringing out Ted Leonsis, a former AOL exec and…
Susan Bratton: Yeah, Ted’s great.
Yanik Silver: yeah, owner of the Washington Capitals, my favorite hockey team, owner of the Blizzards and so forth. And also Scott Harrison from Charity Water talking about what they’re doing with their charity and how they engaged in social media and what they’re doing that’s really incredible, as well as I think we have like 14 really cool speakers coming in that, you know, are just doing some wild stuff like this group of 20, you know, guys in San Diego who are making $800,000 a year with free iPhone apps. I mean, so you get stuff like that, just real wild stuff, and they’re just coming to share what they’re doing.
Susan Bratton: The key theme for Underground, in this case Underground 007, is making money on the internet without having to be a big, big corporation in general. It’s about individuals or small business making big money leveraging digital technology. Is that how you would quantify it, typify if?
Yanik Silver: Yeah, I mean it’s definitely, yeah, you don’t see like the head of a Disney bear…
Susan Bratton: Right.
Yanik Silver: Though I definitely think they can learn something from these bootstrappers for sure. It’s these bootstrapping entrepreneurs who are just, you know, doing some really incredible killer stuff that’s working incredibly well for them and they kind of want to share.
Susan Bratton: What I would say about Underground is that you get people who are quietly raking in the dough, leveraging digital marketing, and they actually come and share with your small group what they’re doing. It strikes me that, you know, I’m used to the AdTechs and the iMedias of the world, which are awesome and entirely different, but if you’re a marketer in an organization, if you’re an online publisher, if you’re a marketer at a company and you really want to get the inside track on what the peoples making big money with small resources are doing, that’s where Underground fills a niche that the typical advertising or marketing conferences can’t touch.
Yanik Silver: Yeah, I think that’s a great way of putting it. It’s kind of like a little different world out there.
Susan Bratton: Yeah, it totally makes sense. So I want to move into the adventures piece of what you do, because you talked about how you like to create this big hook, the secret agent, the 007, you know, you really like to embed a story into what you do. And a big part of your personal story is that you’re an adventurer. You fancy yourself maybe I would say the next Sir Richard Branson. You like the daredevil aspect of living. You’ve done some pretty crazy things on what you call your ultimate big life list. Tell us about some of the things you’ve done and how that turned into Maverick Business Adventures.
Yanik Silver: Sure. Yeah, you mentioned Branson, so he’s absolutely one of my big heroes and icons. So I think, well my wife will probably tell you that it’s grown as I guess our finances have increased or our businesses increase, but she’s like, “You weren’t quite this way.” I mean I was definitely crazy when we met but not as crazy I guess…
Susan Bratton: You’ve gotten crazier.
Yanik Silver: I think so.
Susan Bratton: She had no idea what she was signing up for, did she?
Yanik Silver: Yeah, basically.
Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.
Yanik Silver: And so I’ve done everything from bungee jump about 440 feet, running with the bulls in Spain, which is another back story that we’ll save for another day, but my wife was 7 months pregnant with our first, with our son, which still, you know, hasn’t quite forgiven me for that, done a Halo skydive, which is a high altitude low opening like 30,000 feet, like say next time you’re in an airplane look out the window and that’s where I jumped from. Gosh, all sorts of stuff. Exotic road rallies with exotic cars, offroad racing in Baja Mexico, zero gravity flights, I’m signed up for a (unintelligible), you know. You name it, if it has something thrilling or adrenaline based or there’s some adventure component to it I’m on it or it’s on my list I’m sure.
Susan Bratton: Looking back at all the things you’ve done, what was truly the most dangerous of all the things you’ve done?
Yanik Silver: Oh, I don’t know, I mean it kind of depends. I mean I think Halo, the skydive had the most emotional aspect of feeling dangerous, but…
Susan Bratton: Jumping out of a plane at 30,000 feet; how high are planes when we usually, the typical thing we see when people jump out of a plane?
Yanik Silver: About 8,000 to 13,000 feet.
Susan Bratton: Yeah, all right. So 3 or 4 times more.
Yanik Silver: Yeah, so you have an oxygen mask and you’re breathing oxygen for 40 minutes, get all nitrogenited blood so you don’t get the bends, but I don’t know if that was the most dangerous. It probably would have to be running with the bulls just because…
Susan Bratton: That’s what I was thinking. It’s unpredictable
Yanik Silver: Yeah, exactly. You know, you just don’t know what’s going to happen. Like literally one of our Maverick members went I think two years after me or maybe three years after me and there’s an amazing photo of him in the local paper where there’s like a bulls horn like wrapped around his arm, like literally it misses his arm by millimeters. It’s crazy. And so, you know, you never know what’s going to happen there.
Susan Bratton: So you’ve turned this adrenaline junkie passion into an actual part of your business. What is Maverick Business Adventures?
Yanik Silver: So it all came about really just because I wanted to do all these different adventures and all my friends either didn’t have the time to go on them, they were too busy with their businesses or they didn’t have the money but they had plenty of time. And so I decided, you know, I literally made a list of everything that I wanted and what would make me happy and the list was around, you know, adventure and experiences and working with entrepreneurs and philanthropy and just brainstorming. And you know, there’s a great energy when you’re connected with other entrepreneurs. It’s just you all get each other. And I’m like, “Well, you know, why don’t we do something like this where I get a little beta test of a trip out of Baja Mexico, ‘cause that was one of my favorite things where you do offroad dune buggy racing, and like 24, I think it was all guys at that point, but our group is not all guys, and I think 24 guys showed up and I know there was one girl in the first one, and then just to see what happens when we can have business meetings in the middle of nowhere, like in a thatched roof hut in the middle of like it’s a place called Scorpion Bay that is literally in the middle of nowhere, it has the second longest (unintelligible) in the world.
Susan Bratton: Mexico?
Yanik Silver: Yeah.
Susan Bratton: Yeah, Mexico has a lot of scorpions.
Yanik Silver: Yeah, and it’s just so, you know, just crazy and I thought, you know, it could be interesting to see what will happen because most business owners come together maybe at a seminar or something like that, but the bonding that’s happened… You know, my whole idea was get people out of their normal routine, not only create an incredible experience for them, but also create exceptional business connections that wouldn’t happen any other way, and a lot of times we also bring in like a business icon, so for that trip we brought in Jesse James and we’ve done trips with Sir Richard Branson that you mentioned and John Paul DeJoria who’s the co-founder of Petrone Tequila, a lot of different people. And so bringing these people together in the setting that just is, it just facilitates these deep connections and these business deals happening, and then at the same time the start element is the teaching of young entrepreneurs or in some way supporting entrepreneurship at the startup level, and so we would go, and the first trip we actually taught a group of students from Mexico, from Baja, just about all our entrepreneurial thinking and, you know, these panel of very successful entrepreneurs and business owners talking about what they’ve done and their lessons learned and it was a great inspiration for these kids.
Susan Bratton: So I asked you if you could have an article written about you in any publication, and it would be about anything, you said that you would like to be featured in Fast Company and the headline of the article would be “What Maverick Entrepreneurs Do To Grow Their Profits, Have The Ultimate Lifestyle and Create A Lasting Impact”, and that’s exactly what you’re trying to do. How does that fit into maverick1million.org?
Yanik Silver: Yeah, so Maverick 1 Million is this somewhat crazy idea of helping one million young entrepreneurs ages 13 to 23 create their own startup, or, you know, helping them with whatever they have already going. And so Maverick 1 Million has become, it’s in beta right now and what we really need is this great driver for it, so anyone out there is a driver for this contact me. We have a spot for these successful maverick entrepreneurs to stick ideas in that the kids can run with as like an incubator. We have a knowledge bank in there. We have, you know, want to do different startup funding for them, we would have virtual mentorship that we’ve been beta testing with a group out of South Africa from Branson School of Entrepreneurship. So it’s just become a platform or we want it to become a platform for significant change.
Susan Bratton: So if you could find the perfect person to drive the maverick1million.org website for a knowledgebase, etcetera, who would that person be? Is it a full time job? Is it a volunteer job? What skills would you be looking for because, you know, on DishyMix, sometimes wishes come true?
Yanik Silver: Yeah, well that would be cool. It’d be like my fairy godmother.
Susan Bratton: I have a magic wand. Did someone tell you? Someone told you right?
Yanik Silver: Yeah. No, someone who absolutely loves, gets, thinks, lives, breathes entrepreneurship or has a passion for young entrepreneurship for sure. Right now it’d probably be a volunteer position but we have a lot of ways that we want to monetize it and create revenue out of it in a way that’s authentic and has a lot of integrity, where a significant amount of it would be free and always free but might be sponsor driven. So obviously skillset around project management, around just getting stuff done on zero budget and then someone that is interested and possibly a profit share from things that come out of it.
Susan Bratton: Do you know Adam Gilad?
Yanik Silver: Mm hmm.
Susan Bratton: Okay, so you know he’s an information product marketer. Did you know that he’s working on an infomercial with another partner, I forget who. Maybe somebody from Guthy Ranker or something like that. He’s actually producing an information product about being an entrepreneur and he’s creating an infomercial to market it. Do you know that he’s doing that project?
Yanik Silver: No, I didn’t know that…
Susan Bratton: Yeah, definitely connect with him on that because I think there’s a way that you could potentially integrate maverick1million.org into the entrepreneurial work that he’s doing.
Yanik Silver: Yeah, that’s, I owe him a phone call anyway. We had a funny, you know, a funny Vegas incident where, this is probably, you know, one of these random things that you’ll learn about my personality and maybe we’ll get to it later with another example, but we did this party for one of my buddies and we called it the monkey business party, and we all, I brought in these monkey masks and then we had these monkey lollipops and tattoos and all this stuff that we went out into the bars with, and we had this crazy back story that said that my buddy was going off to Africa to go film gorillas and that he was, you know, leaving the country, and so that’s why we were having this party. So it was kind of made up but it was a going away party and Adam was part of that. And the funniest part was we had these monkey masks and one of our buddies was sleeping from the night before’s affects and so we came in I think at 9 in the morning from being out all night, and snuck into his suite and had the monkey mask and turned on the lights and just started yelling like monkeys and jumped on his bed and it completely freaked him out, it was great.
Susan Bratton: Yeah, it’s always good to have a Vegas story or two with Adam. Really with anyone.
Yanik Silver: Yeah.
Susan Bratton: All right, so I want to finish up with two quick things. We’re running a little long but that’s fine ‘cause this is a great conversation. The first one is that when I asked you – so I need some terse answers now Yanik.
Yanik Silver: Yeah.
Susan Bratton: When I asked you as we were prepping, and awesome job giving me so much information about who you are, I can tell you like to write when you responded to so many of my questions beforehand in the email, that was great. One of the things that you told me was that a man named Dan Kennedy has had one of the biggest influences on you for your career. Can you net that down, get into the core essence of what you learned from him and share it with us?
Yanik Silver: Yeah, so Dan Kennedy’s definitely one of I’d say three or four people that probably had one of the most significant impacts on me of the chipping financial independence, and from Dan I think learned a lot of key parts. One of them was skillset related, which is all around information marketing and the really, he’s one of the masters at this for sure. And so from him one of the things that I learned was how to make sure that you charge, he calls it the brass balls factor and it’s a lot of his philosophy as well, not just in pricing but he talks about, you know, making sure that you price your material in line with what it’s really worth and not feeling like a) you have to give everything away or b) – and there’s like this interesting whole psychology on price too where a lot of times people want to pay more or some people will pay more because, you know, it’s just like there’s always Neiman Marcus buyers and there’s K-Mart buyers, and when you go to Neiman Marcus you expect the high quality, you expect a different level of service and so forth. And so, you know, that was one of the things that I learned from Dan. Another thing that I think I learned from him was he’s a big believer in setting your own rules, and you know, he has this way that he’s built his business around his personal likes and dislikes and, you know, it’s just very refreshing when you’re going into business to realize that you don’t have to do, you know, you don’t have to carry on the dogma that although, you know, people believe that in business where you have to be on call 24/7 for your customers and you can set yourself up to make it what you really want. I mean for him he hated managing people and he found the business partner that was all about that and was willing to grow the business in different ways that he didn’t want to do that, but he wanted to remain in just the things that he loved, which was writing and a little bit of consulting and coaching. And so that’s all that he does, and he set up, like even like, you know, you can’t email Dan. Dan doesn’t have email. Dan only works via fax and he won’t get back to you like the next day. He’s all about time management and positioning, and it’s interesting and, you know, some of the stuff you don’t have to always completely buy into and do everything that he does. I mean for me it doesn’t work for my personality for everything that he does and that’s another big thing is I think that, you know, I mentioned at the beginning was that you have to keep to yourself and be authentic and genuine and picking up like from Dan, he’s a bit of a grouch sometimes and part of what he set up is just ways of not necessarily interacting with people that he doesn’t want to and that’s fine, but I like interacting with people so I would never set up all the barriers that he’s set up.
Susan Bratton: Yeah, so following his personality, living true to who you are, that’s what I netted out of that conversation.
Yanik Silver: Yeah.
Susan Bratton: Definitely you are an embodiment, a walking embodiment of creating the life that you want, working the way you want to and pulling people together and making them believe that they can have that for themselves.
Yanik Silver: Yeah, I appreciate it. I mean it’s still a work in progress, I think everyone, it’s always an evolution.
Susan Bratton: If it’s not a work in progress you’re retired.
Yanik Silver: There you go, that’s a great…
Susan Bratton: It’s true. Hey Yanik, thanks for coming on the DishyMix show. It’s been a pleasure to get to know you. You’re a deep and soulful person with a boundless amount of energy. It’s a very nice combination and I’m looking forward to meeting you personally at Underground 007, and I think I’m going to go get some kind of an outfit, like a secret agent outfit for the show. That just sounds fun to me.
Yanik Silver: You totally need that, yeah.
Susan Bratton: I’m going to rock self-help samurai. I don’t know about samurai. I think I might need a new name, I’m not sure.
Yanik Silver: We can give you a new codename.
Susan Bratton: I’ll have to go look at all the old Bond movies. Is it a James Bond theme?
Yanik Silver: It’s totally a James Bond theme.
Susan Bratton: The only one I can think of right now is Pussy Galore and I’m not sure that one, I should do that one. I might never live it down. So it’s been great to get to know you better. Thanks so much for coming on the show today and sharing your experience, your wisdom and your enthusiasm.
Yanik Silver: Thank you. I appreciate it.
Susan Bratton: All right, I’m your host, Susan Bratton. You got to meet Yanik Silver of Maverick Business Lifestyles, Adventures, you name it. Check out the maverick1million.org, it’s maverick1million.org, and see if you know anybody who could help Yanik out bringing that idea to fruition, it’s certainly a beneficial one. And it’s a networking that will find that perfect person for him. I’m your host, Susan Bratton. Thanks again for listening to the show today and I’ll look forward to connecting with you next week. Take care.