Yanik Silver On The Power Of Purposeful Play
Are you looking to incorporate more fun into your life? Have you followed the traditional path and achieved success, but find yourself unfulfilled and burnt out? Today's guest has lived that life. Tired of being successful, yet unhappy, he set out to find a way to have the income, impact, and fulfillment he desired. Persevering through a roller-coaster of highs and lows, he uncovered the secret to aligning purposeful play with profit and scalable, sustainable impact. Now he brings together the world's top entrepreneurs and visionaries and facilitates significant global change. Tune in as Yanik Silver chats with Ellie Shefi about how he incorporated more fun into his life and embraced his roles as a 'Cosmic Catalyst,' 'Maverick Mischief-Maker,' and 'Prolific Doodler.' If you're ready to play more while sharing your gifts with the world, listen to this episode today!
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Yanik Silver On The Power Of Purposeful Play
Today's guest has been called a "cosmic catalyst," "Maverick mischief-maker," and a "galactic goofball." He redefines how business is played in the 21st century at the intersection of evolutionary growth, impact, and fun. He is the creator of The Cosmic Journal, the best-selling author of the Evolved Enterprise, and the Founder of Maverick1000, a global collective of visionary entrepreneurs making a serious difference in the world without taking themselves too seriously.
An avid doodler and a steadfast proponent of adding more purposeful play into your life, he delights in keeping things weird, wonderful, and full of wonderment. A firm believer that we all have our own cosmic alarm clock that goes off at exactly the right time to fulfill our destiny of greatness, he has spent his life exploring that connection of head, heart, and highest purpose. Please welcome Yanik Silver.
Welcome, Yanik. It's so good to see you. Thank you for being with us.
Evolved Enterprise is certainly a timely concept. Talk to us about what that concept means to you.
I wrote that book a couple of years ago. It's about how business can have a greater difference in the world and make a greater impact. At the same time, make more revenue, profits, and all the things that businesses typically want to do by creating ways of capturing the hearts of their team members and people that are buying from them. They are not just being the consumers but being communities that want to stand for the cause and mission that the company is on. Also, to attract more incredible partnerships, celebrities, icons, and everything. To me, business is the greatest lever for making a difference. It's like we can continually evolve what that looks like.
How did you make your leap into entrepreneurship?
I was born into it. My parents and I immigrated from Russia when I was three years old. It was me, my mom, my grandmother, and my dad. He had about $238 in his pocket. We were not used to the English language when we came here. Within about six months of coming here, he had an ultimatum from the hospital that he worked at because he was doing some stuff on the side. He ended up quitting and decided to start his own medical equipment sales and service company. Like any family business, you grow up in it. At 14 years old, I was telemarketing. I was calling on my own clients at 16. The only way I got a car was he kicked me out and said, “Go make some sales.”
At 16, I got a car. I cold-called these 50-year-old, 60-year-old doctors as a 16-year-old, 17-year-old punk. It was a huge learning curve. Eventually, some of the doctors were like, “You're good at this marketing thing. Maybe you can help me get more patients.” It grew from there and then pretty quickly, the internet was starting to happen in 2000. That's when I got that itch to do my own thing. That was probably the first, what I call, cosmic alarm clock moment.
It’s that push to go out on your own. Even though you've been born into it and had this lifetime to cultivate your skills in entrepreneurship, it hasn't always been smooth and easy. How have you been able to persevere through those tough times?
Every entrepreneur is going to have both good times and tough times. Navigating the tough times is where you come out better. That's where you get that evolution that we think about.
For me, it was interesting because when I first got started in 2000 with the internet, I woke up at 3:00 in the morning with this idea for something called instant sales letters. The question that came to mind for me - I love questions - was like, “How can I create a fully automatic website that makes me money while I sleep, add incredible value to people and is something that I love to do?” Anyway, like I said, I woke up with this idea for instant sales letters and I got to work at that at 3:00 in the morning. Pretty quickly, that was on its path to be a six-figure company. People are like, “How did you do that? Can you help me?” It then turned into success after success.
About maybe 13, 14 years ago, I looked at my life. I asked the simple question, “Am I happy? Would I be happy doing what I'm doing in the next 10 years?”
If I was honest with myself, the answer is no. From the outside looking in, people would have thought for sure the answer would have been yes. After all, I was making a lot of money. I had a lot of people that I had been helping to take their own personal missions and what they wanted to do out into the world.
We have our big dreams and our big purpose, and those continue to evolve, but it’s the daily practice of, 'What are the non-negotiables for you in life?'
I've got a great family and great reputation in that space, which isn't that easy, but there was something missing. That's another cosmic alarm clock moment as I would call it.
I started doodling what being happy and fulfilled would look like and I came up with these three interconnected circles. It’s originally a dollar sign, a heart, and a happy face. It was like make more money, have more fun, and give more. That was the start of something called originally, Maverick Business Adventure.
I'm like, “I'm going to do this thing. We're going to have Baja dune buggy races. We're going to take other entrepreneurs and people that I love. We're going to have business sessions in the middle of nowhere.” It sounds amazing, but then I ended up losing $40,000 on the first trip. I’m like, “Whatever. That's okay. It's just an investment into this new business.” About $400,000 in, my wife was like, “What the hell are you doing?”
That was the big inflection point or the big turning point. Up until that point, everything was super easy because I still believe in what I wrote in one of my very first journals, "I’ll get rich by enriching others 10X to 100X in return." That's the value framework for everything that I do. This was the first time that something wasn't working. I could very easily go back to the digital marketing world and go back to what I was doing, but there was no growth there.
This was the time when you take stock of everything. It was like the same playbook wasn't working. I'm not going to lie to you, it was a very difficult dark period. Things were very confusing and it wasn't working. Something that I was so passionate about, I couldn't understand why I couldn't make it work.
I remember one time throwing a cereal bowl, thankfully a plastic one, across my wall in my family room and being like, “What's going on?” Everything up to that point, I had been able to figure out. It took me stepping back and digging out. It’s almost like I had to start from basics again.
Walk us through that process because there are so many people early in their journey.
It started off with, “What would make a good day?” I had been studying, learning, and immersing myself in personal development and personal growth work. At 17 years old, I had an Earl Nightingale tape in my car. That's what I was listening to over and over again, and then all these other people. My friends were like, “What the hell is that?” I had been a long-time student of this. I was like, “Let's go back to real basics.” It was like, “What makes a good day?” I came up with these nine M's.
It was like, “If I have more meaning, what do I have gratitude for?” It's starting with gratitude. At this point, I had sold my Aston Martin. It’s not like all boo-hoo for Yanik because it was a thing. I had this clunky MDX. I started with, “What do I love about this MDX? I can park it anywhere. I don't have to get it detailed all the time like my Aston. I can put my paddleboards in there, and not worry about it getting muddy when I take it to the river.”
It’s starting with meaning and gratitude. Everyone has probably heard of these things but it's applying and doing it.
Next it was movement - moving my body every single day.
Another one of the nine M's is Magic, like looking for synchronicity or being aware of it. That was a big one and that's one of my favorite things.
Then it was Mentoring. If I could provide some help to someone else, I knew I felt better. Also, asking for help. You also feel good receiving it.
So it became these nine M's. I have a blog post about it called The Return Path To Joy and Happiness. It was like if you have a good day, you create a good week, and you create a good month. Things started slowly coming back together from there.
I had to explore my why. My why wasn't to build an adventure travel company for entrepreneurs. It was to change the way business is played and that's what I got to do.
So I used deep reflection and deep questions. One of my favorite questions during this time was - I asked my 111-year-old self, the wiser, not all-knowing but coming from a different timeline essentially or a different place and angle self - “What would my 111-year-old self tell me?” The answer that I got was, “Light a thousand suns so each has the potential to light another thousand suns.” I'm like, “Okay.”
That was when we changed the name from Maverick Business Adventures to Maverick1000 to represent this idea that one entrepreneur could change an industry but a thousand together could help change the world. Things changed from there and we started leaning into, 'What is this? It’s not an adventure travel company. It's a much bigger and deeper thing.' Then things started turning around.
Also, I was learning all these pieces that eventually became Evolved Enterprise. I was incredibly blessed to have opportunities to hang out with some incredible icons, some very well-known ones and some very unknown ones, who all had pieces of this idea of Evolved Enterprise. When we created a deeper mission and greater impact on what we were doing, things start picking up from there.
Those nine M's that came to you that then provided this step-by-step framework for you to utilize to shift things, would you say that was the fuel that allowed you to not go back to your golden handcuffs?
That was the daily practice. To me, so much has been about daily practice. We have our big dreams and our big purpose and those continue evolving, but it's the daily practice of what are the non-negotiables for you in your life. For me, it's meditation and journaling. During that time period, I never thought I could meditate. That's one of the nine M's. It’s Mindfulness.
I never thought that could work for me. I have a million ideas a minute and I didn't think I could stay still. It was my daily practices that created that space, but also the deeper why. I think it was Nietzsche who said something like, “You can go through any 'how' if you have a deep enough 'why.'” The 'why' was never to build an adventure travel company. That was just that expression.
The essence of it was to change the way business is played. We've changed that and that was a huge part. It's like going deeper into the why of what you're doing because that's going to allow you to show up and keep showing up.
Business and all of life is this cyclical movement and being able to see that there is going to be another cycle and another path that opens up.
Is having that clarity about your 'why' and leaning into that to do your greatest work in the world your definition of success?
That's a huge part of it. It's being clear on your purpose and being clear on what is that gift you want to share.
When I started looking at where I was, I was like, “I like myself but I don't think I love myself.” Much of it was uncovering shadow aspects of different parts of myself. The gift is always mixed in with the shadow part as well.
I think of myself as a catalyst. I’m catalyzing other catalysts. It was like, “What's the shadow aspect of that?” The shadow aspect for me was that I was starting a lot of things and not always finishing. I was looking at that part. I was looking at "why didn't I want to give 100%? Why didn't I go all-in on something?"
That was a big one. I can trace those patterns back to school. I would be the last one into a test in college. Probably even before that, I'd forget to bring a pencil to class and need to borrow one. Or I would have been out the night before drinking and come in hungover. I would be the first one out. I get a solid B-minus, but I could always get through that way.
That was a deep insight of, “What does it look like to go all in?” It was scary for me to start looking at being all-in for something. It’s continuing to unravel all these deeper parts of ourselves. There are so many great healing modalities and all sorts of things, from the meditation, from insight work, from ceremonial work, which is a big one, working with different elders and wisdom keepers. All of these were powerful.
Obstacles and pain are, a lot of times, the things that keep us moving.
Also, following your heart. That's a huge one. I talk about connecting your head, which is your business side or marketing side, to your heart, which is the impact you want to make in the world, and then to your higher purpose like, “Why the heck are you here?” To me, that would probably be the biggest definition of success. It’s honoring that and creating more of that alignment.
One thing that I love about your processes for living in that alignment, for connecting to your higher self, for showing up fully as you, and for living your life on purpose is the notion of incorporating more purposeful play. It’s that sense of curiosity that you bring to everything. You’ve referenced a couple of times asking the questions. Let's talk about that a little more.
Let's dive into how you stay open and curious. How do you formulate these questions that then open up more connections and callings for you?
The better your question, the deeper your answer is going to be. I love great questions. I keep a little notepad of questions on my phone. Anytime I hear it on one of my calls, I’m like, “That's a good one,” then I'll add it. That moment when I was lost and asked my 111-year-old self, what would I do? That's a good one because you can imagine this archetype of this 111-year-old self that has seen so much.
The more you're like, “Let's invite in this archetype. Let's take a moment and get centered and ask that archetype.” No matter if you believe it or if this is completely made up or not, it's powerful. Just decide, “I'm going to play with it a little bit.”
What I do even more powerfully is I would have a conversation with that archetype. I'm right-handed so I'm going to ask my questions using my right hand, and then I'm going to answer using my left hand. We're going to go back and forth and answer as that 111-year-old self or you can do this as any archetype. It could be the universe, source, God, whatever you connect to, and you get an amazing deep conversation.
That was one of the ways that I showed up with the Cosmic Journey oracle that I created. There are 11 of these Cosmic Q&A cards. That's a powerful advanced technique for having this ongoing conversation. A couple of questions that I love, one of them came from Brené Brown's book, Daring Greatly. It was essentially, “What would I do even if I knew it would fail?” It's a huge aspect to look at that. A lot of times, you've heard, “What would I do if I had six months to live? What would I do if I couldn't fail?”
This question to me is so powerful because it allows us to say, “What would we put our life force towards even if we're not going to have a result?” Many of us, especially entrepreneurs, are so oriented toward the result. During this time, a lot of deep spiritual work came up too. There's a great book called The Great Work of Your Life by a guy named Stephen Cope. In there, he references Bhagavad Gita across all these different people like Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Harriet Tubman, and Susan B. Anthony when they found their Dharma or their true purpose.
One of the aspects of the Bhagavad Gita, which is one of the oldest spiritual texts, is the idea that you're only entitled to your labor, not the fruits of your labor. For entrepreneurs, it’s this idea of putting your full heart and soul into the work, and then being okay with whatever happens after. That's what that question opens up for you, "What would I do even if I knew it would fail?”
Most of the time, I can tell you from personal experience, if you truly put your heart and soul into something, it's almost impossible to fail, but the reward has to be that part. It’s putting everything in and not being, “Who cares what happens,” but having a cheerful expectancy of what's going to happen after. Those are a couple of my favorites.
Those are great. It’s enjoying the journey and not being as tied to the outcome that you're expecting. I love that. You also referenced that you have been able to work with some of the biggest names in the world and some of the most profound people out there. What is the best piece of advice that someone has given you?
I've been fortunate to spend time with a lot of interesting people. As I said, some very well-known ones and also very unknown ones who are living and applying themselves in this aligned way that has a higher purpose. When I look back, the best advice is that alignment.
One of my friends who is not as well-known is a guy named Ari Weinzweig from Zingerman's. They have a great company in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He's very transparent and vulnerable. He'll say, “Here's our vision. Here's our mission.”
Sometimes we're out of integrity with what we talk about as our values. When we start feeling that, then it's time to evaluate where we are so that we can get back into that alignment. It's never a one-and-done process. That's why I love this notion of evolving or evolved enterprise. You're continually evolving and cycling up to make sure that you can find that alignment.
Another one is about inner-meshing your life. Make sure that what you're doing feels like play. It feels fun. It feels like it's something that you want to do.
Ellie, you've also had a chance to spend some time at Necker Island with Richard Branson. We do an annual trip there. It's been 11 or 12 times now. I remember asking him these random questions every once in a while. I was asking him something like, “What do you do when you don't want to go to a meeting or do something the next day?” He's like, “That's never happened. If I made a commitment, I want to do it. I'm going to show up and be fully present." I'm like, "That's an interesting one." I continue learning so much by observing, by seeing how people act, and by seeing if their public persona is different from how they are when you meet them personally. Those are my favorite people where there’s congruence.
It’s the alignment of the head, heart, and higher purpose. Also, the alignment of the public and the private, where they're showing up and creating this life that they love. They show up fully and presently and authentically. That's something that all of us can aspire to, and create our life to be one of alignment and mission and purpose.
We can if we give ourselves permission to do it or we think that it's possible, especially by seeing stories and hearing stories. I know you brought some great people onto this. It’s like hearing stories, then it becomes more alive by seeing examples. That's how originally I would do it. Look at people that you're automatically attracted to for some reason.
We talked about shadows as this dark side or part that you don't want necessarily. It doesn't have as much light that shows you the world, but there's also a golden shadow. There are heroes that you look up to in some way. That is you at your highest expression. There's a reason that you're attracted to them. It's also not being attached to that hero and worship or putting someone on a pedestal, but being like, “That's an archetype or a characteristic I love. Let me see how I can fully embody it at the times when I'm my highest self.”
That’s so powerful.
What's one thing that you wish one of your mentors had taken you aside and told you that you had to learn the hard way?
It's so interesting because I think that every single thing that happened is in a perfect way. It sets up this perfect curriculum. When you go through the hard times, you’re like, “I wish I didn't have to go through that,” but everyone who comes out the other side - and we all do - those hard times make you. For me, that created so much more empathy for other people and leaders and entrepreneurs.
What I would like to have maybe known or heard about so I knew that this was the path going forward - and I see this with so many entrepreneurs I work with - is that no matter what “success” is from the outside, there's usually another layer or another level that typically requires you to give up something. Some part of your identity or something so that you can take that next leap to the next cycle and to that next point. That next cycle usually doesn't feel comfortable because it's something different.
It’s not the same thing that got you to where you are. It is going to take you to this next spot of continuing to be fully aligned with your higher purpose. It's usually going to be this intuitive magical leap that sometimes makes no logical sense whatsoever, but it's so rewarding on the other side and it's so magical. It's hard to have someone say, "Here's what you need to do," but if you know, "This is probably going to happen,” then that would have been a great thing to hear about.
I agree. Sometimes it’s knowing to get comfortable in being uncomfortable, or sometimes knowing that when you get to that next level and you're right there, you know that you need to stretch or you need to reach. I loved your point about sometimes you need to let go of an identity that you held or a part of your identity that has gotten you to where you are in order to get where you want to go. Especially as entrepreneurs, we're so conditioned to hold on and push through. That notion of letting go can be powerful.
One entrepreneur could change an industry, but a thousand together could help change the world.
It's super powerful. Think of it as cycles. We keep coming back to things that we loved, especially as kids. There's this golden age of let's say 8 to about 13 or 15 where you look at things that you love. For me, it was being a class clown and doing parodies, being goofy and doing little mischievous things and so forth. It keeps coming back over and over again in a higher essence. The other part of this is to think about cycles. Nature always has so much to teach us if we pay attention. There's a cycle of the seasons. There's Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.
Spring is this birth or rebirth. Summer is a celebratory thing and the energy is increasing. Fall is the harvest time. Winter is the time of death or going back inward so that you can be reborn in a higher way. If you go and think about that in your own cycles of business and your own cycles of life, that's important. As you were saying, so many times we just want to keep pushing through. That's like saying we want to be in Summer all the time. That's not possible. It’s allowing yourself that natural cycle.
That's a great analogy and a powerful reminder to look to nature and think of it as a cycle. We can't have rebirth without death. We can't grow without letting go and making space for that next level. That's a powerful framework that the audience can use. They can ask, "Am I in Winter? What season am I in right now? Where am I in my journey?"
It’s going to come to you. It's going to happen no matter what because so many times, we get bonked on the head. The universe is continuing to bonk us on the head harder and harder. For me, $400,000 was enough to be like, “I need to do something different here.” I have a friend where it’s like $4 million. It could be financial, relationship, or health-wise, but you have joy as your GPS that you're continuing to be attracted to.
To me, obstacles and pain are these guardrails. We keep moving this way. A lot of times, you look at obstacles and you’re like, “I wish I didn't have this.” A lot of times, obstacles and pain are the things that keep us moving. If you're in alignment, you're going to move much smoother through this. Otherwise, you're going to have these massive bonks on the head and it will get harder and harder until you pay attention.
What brings you joy? What's your North Star?
Sometimes it's the littlest thing. I was meditating before our session and it was windy outside. It's a beautiful 70-degree day but has this beautiful humid balmy wind coming through. I'm like, “This is nice.” That brings me joy, just being in the moment. That wasn't always the case because I'm a type 7 on the Enneagram, which is someone who wants to explore everything, find everything, check off everything, have this big ultimate life list, and so forth. That brings me a lot of joy to be present in a moment like that.
More so, my kids. These little moments of watching my son play hockey and doing something out on the ice, or my daughter cheering or doing a flip or these little moments. Those have been joyful, but then other bigger joys for me are playing and laughing with friends.
It brings me a lot of joy when I can fully utilize my talents. When I can help somebody see something new that they didn't see themselves, and knowing that's going to have a greater ripple of impact on others that they want to serve and, ideally, even the world. That brings me a tremendous amount of joy. That's powerful.
There are so many things. I think cosmic creativity would probably be the one big wrapper of what brings me joy. Listening to the universe in some way and being like, “I should have this journal that is a bunch of doodles.” I'm going to come to it from a place of, “This is my journal that I want to write for myself.” It's going to be a guide like my own galactic instruction manual, then it became an oracle. That brought me so much joy. Seeing that progression of where it has gone brings me a lot of joy, so cosmic creativity.
It’s playing more.
With the universe, for sure.
With the universe and with loved ones. I love that.
Piggybacking on that, self-care is critical. You can't be present; you can't go out there and serve at the level that you do; you can't teach each one or continue to light a thousand suns if you are running on empty. What are some of your self-care practices?
You've touched on meditation, being in nature, and doodling. What else do you do to ensure that your cup remains full?
One big thing is journaling. That's one of my favorite practices that I've used for years. It was sporadic practice for a while, then it became daily. I love journaling because it has been scientifically proven to make us happier. It brings more awareness into our lives. The deeper you go with it, the deeper you will get. It's not like, “I had a chicken sandwich for lunch.” That's not very interesting. That's not journaling.
Typically, I will write before bed. I have a particular spot and I will write. What I start writing about is usually not the same thing I end up writing about. It's a process of expressive writing that gives us more happiness because it creates a beginning, a middle, and an end to whatever story or whatever we're bringing awareness to on that page. I love journaling. It's such a great practice.
Many people have tried it or given up on it. They're like, “I don't want anyone else to read it,” or whatever the case is. There are a lot of ways of getting through that. You could lock it up if you want or hide it or write in code. It's meant for you. The deeper you go into it, the better.
I like experiments. It could be trying one thing. You don't have to try eight things at once. That makes it hard but say, I'm going to try and experiment. I like 33 days. It's a specific number. It's beyond a month. It could be 21 days. Whatever it is but every single day, you give yourself a window and an easy way to win.
It could be a 10-minute or 15-minute window, “I'm going to journal. I'm going to try this.” At the end of that time period, does that make my life any better or not? Those are big ones. Make sure that you have time for yourself. I'm getting better at this. It's something I want to do even more but there is some guilt. Sometimes I'm going to take an entire day off and go hang out by the river and go paddleboarding and not do anything else.
The big things also are phones and electronics. Turning that off and having times when you can do that. I like bigger moments. Back to our cycles and nature, Equinox is coming up. Typically, I do a three-day juice cleanse leading up to Equinox. I'll go out into the woods and spend time reconnecting again. Solstice Equinox is usually a bigger connection period for me.
That is amazing. You're so fortunate to live somewhere where you can get out into nature. I think even if someone is living in an area where they don't necessarily have woods, there are many visualization apps. They can put on backgrounds and envision that they are in these places that bring them joy or peace in these restorative moments.
I live in a suburb area where we have some woods. In our neighborhood, there's a little patch of woods and a little bamboo forest, but anything could be this magical place. I go inside the bamboo forest where no one goes. It's behind a couple of houses. I sit there and meditate or I go to this little tiny creek there, then 10 to 15 minutes away is a much bigger and nicer river. I'll go there for the entire day.
The better your question, the deeper your answer is going to be.
Usually, most people are 20 minutes or 30 minutes from something. Even if it's a little park or a little oasis that you can have. As you said, there are opportunities daily to visualize and put yourself in those states. You can literally be anywhere in a cramped apartment and be somewhere else. It's all about the meaning and embracing your own way of connecting that way.
You went to Antarctica. Talk about going and creating these incredible experiences and not going to your own backyard, but seizing these opportunities. What was the genesis of Antarctica?
Several years ago it was on my ultimate life list. I was writing down all the places I wanted to go and visit. Antarctica is on that list.
I like random funny things. I'm like, “It would be funny to have Jimmy Buffett do a concert in Antarctica and have these plastic palm trees or whatever.” That was always the vision. We got close a couple of times. One of my friends was like, “I know Jimmy Buffett and his managers owe me a favor. Let me contact him.” It was looking like it was going to happen. We're like, “We'll book an entire ship.” Booking an entire ship is not the cheapest thing. It was a pretty big commitment. It was during this time when not everyone was traveling or everyone had their own level of what they wanted to do. It was a pretty big leap of faith, but so many things were opening up.
We didn't want to sail through the Drake Passage. All of a sudden, it was like, “We can do this fly-in, fly-out thing." The ship that we wanted became available the next day. There were so many signs. I believe in looking for these signs and these signals from the universe. I was like, “Let's do it.” What happened at the end of the day was it wasn't available. It didn't happen. It turned out even better because we were able to bring in Jacques Cousteau's grandson, Philippe Cousteau and his wife Ashlan to talk about what's going on there with the oceans. The purpose of the whole trip was around ocean impact and conservation.
We learned so much about the food web there, how important Antarctica is, and the overfishing that's happening for krill because they think it's a good source of fish oil, but it's not very digestible for humans. We also have a project that's coming out of this. We're going to use all these amazing marketers and people to sell a better product, which is an algae-based product. It turned out even better. I think it's an opportunity of saying yes to these things that might scare you, but also get you inspired that you're like, “I want to go there.” Being there was so powerful. It’s a majestic place, just incredible. Now, I feel like an ambassador for Antarctica and how important it is there.
I love that with all of your trips. You've referenced it a few times. I want to highlight it. With everything that you do in any of your adventures and your companies, there's this huge giving back component and a huge deeper meaning. It’s like, “Let's spotlight Antarctica. Let's spotlight ocean cleanup and a more sustainable way. Let's go algae versus krill.” All of these things that you do are purposeful play.
Here's a good example of a purposeful play. One of our team members suggested, “We are going to do a polar plunge anyway. Why don't we make it a fund run where people can sponsor other people that are going on the ship and want to see them jump in this freezing cold water in Antarctica and see what happens?” We ended up very quickly raising $35,000. It was a last-minute idea for ASOC, which is the Antarctic Society Ocean Conservation or something. That's a coalition of 27 different countries and organizations or something like that.
It was a very quick thing but it was fun. We created this whole backstory of this thing called the Peter Petroski Penguin Polar Plunge. Peter Petroski was this penguin puppet that was randomly talking about this polar plunge. Many people are like, “This is great.” We like surprises too. We had everyone in Maverick Speedos and Maverick one-piece bathing suits for the women. It was fun. We're going to be on the phone with them later on, talking about what we can do for part two of this challenge.
You're right. Working on serious issues but not taking ourselves too seriously is a huge part. Also, applying brainpower, talents, and resources. The groups that we work with are entrepreneurs and leaders. They have the resources for capital and for cash, so we do that. We raise a decent amount of money that way, but even more so and more leverage is getting them involved in thinking about and brainstorming and working on some of these solutions. To me, that has an even greater capacity for ripples. That's what I love.
The ripple effect is profound. As we start to wrap up here, let's piggyback on that ripple effect. Let's imagine that you've surpassed your 111-year-old self. You are now coming to the end of your life. It's been the life best lived. You have lit a thousand suns who are lighting a thousand suns and your ripple effect has been profound. What do you want to be remembered for? What do you want them to say about you?
At the end of the day, to me, it feels like if we could have had some fun together - if there are some good funny stories about some random things that we did together, and I instigated a bit of mischief and fun that turned into something meaningful and impactful - that's what I would love to know and hear, the stories, the fun and the impact.
I've felt this way so many times. You don't know exactly the effect that you're having on people. What I've tried to do even more so is go back to someone that might never have known that they had an impact on my life.
I remember writing a letter back to my 4th-grade and 6th-teacher. (I had the same teacher for two years.) She was one of the first people that saw me for who I am. That mischievousness but also that light that wants to make the world better. She encouraged that in her own way. I wrote her a note and she said that it was one of the most meaningful things that she ever received. I found her on Facebook. If I could get a small little fraction of that back, that's powerful to hear how I've changed people's lives. More so, maybe even making that a call to action or a homework assignment for anyone to write a note. Not a text but an actual note, ideally a handwritten note to somebody that made a difference in your life. Show them how they've made a difference because it has such a ripple of impact that way.
I love that. Everyone out there, think of somebody who has made a difference in your life. Pull out a pen, a piece of paper, crayons, or markers, and doodle as Yanik loves to do. Let them know how they impacted you. Let them know what that encouraging word or that belief that they held in you, or them seeing you, and the difference that has made to you. I think that's powerful.
It's amazing. Handwritten notes are so powerful, especially in this digital age. It makes all the difference in the world. I've upgraded my own notes. I now have a fun little seal that has the cosmic lightning bolt logo on it. I love that stuff. It reminds me every single time I have a note that is sent out to someone and how meaningful it is. I remember, one of our Maverick members told me that she has a note I had sent her sitting on her desk. I had never known that. You never know.
How can people get ahold of you? How can they contact you? How could they be part of the adventures that you form or the organizations that you helm?
For entrepreneurs who are leaders in their field, they can check out Maverick1000.com. I also blog every once in a while at YanikSilver.com. I'm not super active but Instagram is probably the place that I'm most active-ish, @YanikSilver. The Cosmic Journal is a great way of getting into my world. When I hand it to people, I say, “This is the galactic construction manual you were missing when you were born to fulfill your destiny here.” That's a great way of getting into the world.
This works like an oracle. I pulled us a page and it says, “DARE greatly. What would be felt 300 years from now, your greatest work stands the power of the centuries. What are you doing that will truly create your legendary legacy?”
The D stands for Discover. Discover what you are uniquely designed to do here. Your greatest journey is truly understanding your divine combination of skills, talents, natural attributes, and past experiences.
A, Activate your unique genius. Stand in your voice and power of who you were meant to be. Accelerate it. Step forward and proclaim your place.
R, Re-remember who you are. A perfect and infinite spiritual being experiencing this time and space because you chose it for your growth. Re-remember your true mission here and why you came.
The E is Evolve. Take your biggest dream for the greatest collective and follow it. What is your next chapter that will dwarf everything up to this point? Utilizing what you've already built and achieved. DARE greatly.
That couldn't be more perfect as a way to take us home. Thank you so much for spending this time with us. Before we sign off, is there anything else that you would like to share with the audience?
The time is now. The time is always now.
Look for that magic and those synchronicities. I love that. It is a wink from the universe across time and space about if you're on the right path or not, and start being more aware of that. That's why tools like The Cosmic Journal are fun to play with because it allows you to step into that higher self of where you're meant to be going. Start listening to things that could be numbers that are activation numbers. It could be songs or something meaningful to you and these synchronicities. Those are real taps from the universe for sure about, “Pay attention over here and not over here.”
Especially if it doesn't make logical sense, that’s always a good one too. That takes a bit of a leap of faith to see what happens because there's nothing worse than having 10, 20 or 50 years go by and be like, "I wish I had done this. I felt in my heart that I wanted to make this impression in the world or this gift that I wanted to share. I was also always a little bit too scared or there’s never the right time.” There’s never going to be the right time. We can always have so many excuses. See what you can do.
The time is now.
The time is always now.
Amen! Let’s do it.
Thank you so much, Yanik for spending this time with us today.
Thanks, Ellie. Thanks for having me on.
- The Cosmic Journal
- Evolved Enterprise
- Yanik Silver
- Daring Greatly
- The Great Work of Your Life
- @YanikSilver – Instagram
About Yanik Silver
Yanik Silver has been called a cosmic catalyst, a Maverick mischief-maker, a prolific doodler, and a galactic goofball. He redefines how business is played in the 21st century at the intersection of evolutionary growth, impact, and fun. He is the creator of the Cosmic Journal, the author of Evolved Enterprise, and the founder of Maverick1000, a global collective of visionary entrepreneurs making a serious difference in the world, without taking themselves too seriously.
Yanik is an adventurer, avid doodler, and steadfast proponent of adding more purposeful play into your life. He is a firm believer that we all have our own “Cosmic Alarm Clock” that goes off at exactly the right time to fulfill our destiny of greatness. It starts as a whisper, a small voice that gets louder and louder until you either answer it or hit snooze. Yanik has spent his life exploring that connection of head, heart, and highest purpose, and he delights in keeping things weird, wonderful, and full of wonderment.